On Sunday, April 17, Immanuel Lutheran School broke ground on a five-classroom addition to the school building. After several years of planning for this renovation and expansion project, the community was thrilled to come together to celebrate the official groundbreaking.
Current ILS families, alumni, and members of Immanuel Lutheran Church joined with representatives of the project partners, including Rust Orling Architects, Chamberlain Construction, and the Lutheran Church Extension Fund (LCEF) for the ceremonial ground breaking. Construction is scheduled to begin this spring and continue until January 2017. Students are expected to move into the new space during the 2016-2017 school year.
Immanuel Lutheran School was originally established in Old Town Alexandria by German immigrants in 1870. After closing during WWI, the school was reopened in its current location off of Russell Road in 1944, where it continues to serve students in Jr. Kindergarten through 8th grade.
As well as adding five new classrooms to the school building, the existing classrooms will be renovated with new floorings, ceilings and millwork, additional bathrooms will be built, the HVAC system will be updated, and an elevator will be added to the school as a part of this project. Work is also planned for the church building, including improvements to the kitchens, the addition of more bathrooms, the construction of an elevator.
"This is a significant moment in Immanuel’s history,” said ILS School Board Chairman Jason Kunik. “For more than 70 years, this school has stood in this location, serving students and families from throughout our community. We have been so blessed with the continued growth of the school, and we need this additional space and the improvements to our facility to be able to continue to serve families for generations to come.”
As a part of the 2016 National Lutheran Schools Week, members of our ILS faculty shared reflections on the theme of Life Together in Christ. Each focused on the different parts of our "life together" as we play together, serve together, pray together and learn together. In today's reflection, Upper School Lead Teacher, Ms. Kramer, shares insights on serving together at ILS.
Serve Together – Ms. Kramer
As they mature, ILS students are being trusted with more and more responsibility throughout the school: patrol, helping younger grades at chapel, other forms of chapel service, running the Talent Show, developing the culture of the school through our house systems. And there are countless other ways students serve without programs: I can think of two 4th grade students who scan the blacktop and playground every day for left-over trash without being asked, or students who jump at the chance to help a teacher with tasks. We take service seriously at Immanuel, because we are becoming who we are meant to be: members of community, people who will love and care for one another. Is there any more meaningful way to be an image bearer of Christ?
During Lutheran Schools Week, our faculty shared reflections on this year's theme of Life Together in Christ, focusing on the different aspects as we play together, serve together, pray together and learn together. In today's reflection, 1st grade teacher Mrs. Gorr shares insights on learning together at ILS.
Why do we serve together? Why take precious time away from academics to work on service projects?
I am reminded of Saint Paul’s warning to the Corinthians. Don’t gloss over the text; it’s worth reading:
“If I speak with the tongue of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.”
In other words, we fail as a classical school if the only outcome we achieve is a well-trained mind. If our students graduate as intellectually robust defenders of truth yet lacking love and vision to use their gifts in service to neighbors, then our work has been in vain.
Immanuel Lutheran School is excited to announce a new partnership with the Trinity Forum. From their website: "The Trinity Forum convenes leading thinkers and thinking leaders to consider and discuss life’s great questions in the context of faith. Trinity Forum Society members interact with some of the most distinguished thinkers on the arts, sciences, business, cultural engagement, and more, and will have the opportunity to connect with like-minded leaders from around the world." In other words, they help provide a classical education for grown-ups!
Upper School students at Immanuel study a new sport each month in Physical Education classes. For the month of October, the Upper School students worked on their soccer skills, everything from dribbling the soccer ball, to passing, to shooting, to goal-keeping. To set a goal for our students, a game was scheduled with Alexandria Country Day School on October 29. Needless to say, with an upcoming game against ACDS, the students’ motivation was high to push harder and learn intently in PE classes. The students knew as well as I did that they had to take advantage of every moment in PE to get ready for their opponent just a few blocks away on Russell Road.
On Wednesday, November 11, Immanuel Lutheran School hosted a Salute to Veterans. In recognition and honor of all who have served our nation in our Armed Forces, including many within the Immanuel community, the school welcomed veterans and their families to the school for a Veterans Day program.
Immanuel Lutheran School students have begun the new school year enjoying a variety of musical opportunities, including live performances by local area musicians as well as the chance to travel off-campus to hear live professional performances.
On Friday, September 25, the entire school was treated to a special bagpipe performance by Frank Lucchetti. Mr. Lucchetti is a sophomore at Bishop O’Connell High School in Arlington. In addition to sharing with students the history of the bagpipes and how the instrument is played, Mr. Lucchetti performed a variety of music, including both Amazing Grace and the theme song from Star Wars, much to the delight of the younger students.
Additionally, this is the fourth year in a row that ILS students have attended a performance of the Washington Bach Consort Noontime Cantata Series at the Church of the Epiphany in Washington, D.C. On October 6, students enjoyed the featured Cantata, Christus, der ist mein Leben, BWV 95, along with a solo performance of Bach’s Prelude and Fugue in E Minor, BWV 548, performed by J. Reilly Lewis on the recently restored Æolian-Skinner organ. Following the performance, students had an opportunity for Q&A with the musicians.
The music program is an important part of the classical curriculum at ILS. All students are taught music appreciation through the study of Compositions and Composers of the Week. Each week, the entire student body listens to and studies a classical composer, including Johann Sebastian Bach, Antonin Dvorak, and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Students also learn singing and have the opportunity to perform in a number of programs throughout the year. Beginning in third grade, students also begin playing the recorder and hand chimes, and students in the upper grades have the opportunity to learn the hand bells. Additionally, ILS Upper School students are this year participating in a vocal masterclass with Ms. Stephanie Lange.
Students are looking forward to a harp demonstration from local musician Sarah Meirose on Friday, November 13th, as well as their own upcoming evening choral service in December.
Latin Makes Me Free: Silverpoint at National Gallery of Art
By Mrs. Krumwiede
Many make the argument that Latin is useful but this summer on a trip to the National Gallery of Art in D.C. with my family, Latin was more than just useful. Latin is for leisure and joy. Latin is for finding joy in higher things and it is also for freedom: the freedom to self-educate.