Zion Lutheran School was formed in 1901 in Snohomish as a German-language school for the German immigrants at Zion Lutheran Church. We have been educating, preparing, and caring for 118 years, and we plan to be here another 118. We stand out in three areas: Care, Excellence, and Opportunities.
We had a visiting certification team on our campus in 2016, and they were assigned with investigating all the details of our how are school operates—they looked at our buildings, they interviewed teachers, parents and students, and they sat in on our classes. They came to several conclusions, but first and foremost they discovered this: Our kids are happy: They love being here. In their final report, the team wrote, “Strengths: Climate/atmosphere is ‘friendly’ and inviting. Students and parents are happy and want to be at ZLS.”
Part of their work was a survey of our 72 4th-through-8th graders. They gave them 19 statements to which the only available answers were Yes or No. The first statements on the survey were things like “Students treat adults with respect”, to which 77% answered Yes; and “The things I learn at school will help me as an adult”—92% Yes. We love these percentages because they show that our message is getting through: Our students see what is important to us.
Then we gave them the following statement: “My teachers care about every student.” 72 4th-through-8th graders responded “Yes”. That’s what we do well at our school. This is what Zion is about. Our teachers care about every student, and the students see that. The statement isn’t “My teachers care” or even “my teachers care about me”, it was literally “My teachers care about every student”, and 100% of these kids responded Yes. We care about every student.
Over the last 118 years, we’ve had thousands of students walk through our doors, and they have gone on to all kinds of success: Our alumni have been doctors and lawyers, pastors and teachers, professional athletes and congressmen. Recently, our alumni have been valedictorians at Lake Stevens (in 2012) and Glacier Peak High School (in 2016 and 2018). High schools love our graduates because they find them well-prepared, well-organized, and kind-hearted. Our eighth-graders leave our school ready for all those twists and turns that life will throw at them, confident in their faith in Jesus
Christ. Our SAT scores show that our eighth-grade graduates leave our school more advanced in their education than their public school peers. In that same survey, we gave those 4th-through-8th graders the following statement: “My teachers want me to do my best work.” 100% Yes.
When your kids are at Zion, they have many more opportunities to achieve, to participate, and to excel than anywhere else. Our Middle School students participate in Robotics, Basketball, Flag Football, Cross-Country, Track, Soccer. We offer Knowledge Bowl, Science Club, Choir, Yearbook and Japanese. They can have a lead in the LEST Drama performance, or sing and dance in the Spring Musical. We have Art classes and Library classes. As one current parent suggested, her boys are able to participate in basketball at Zion, but wouldn’t be able to make the team at a large public school. We offer more and better opportunities than any other school.
Our lower grades offer private tutoring, Robotics, Digital Citizenship, Art, Music and Library. Our small class sizes are perfect for learning. Our newly certified reading intervention specialists are available to support any student. We have the opportunity to talk about Jesus all day long—our students lead devotions in their classrooms, pray for their classmates, and help with our weekly chapel services. They have the opportunity to discuss the Word of God with their teachers and their classmates in Religion Class.
In our 2016 survey, we asked the students if the following statement was true: “My teachers and principal want every student to learn.” 99% Yes. And that’s a tough one. That takes effort on the teacher’s part to reach every student in the classroom and a classroom climate that states learning is important. In order to do that teachers genuinely have to care about each child and his or her education. This is our specialty. When we take this survey again in 3 years, we’re going to get 100%, because learning is important to us. We provide care, excellence, and opportunities for our students and their families.
In 2019 and beyond, we will continue to add programs but our core values will not change. We’re purchasing Chromebooks for 6th through 8th graders for this school year. We’ll start our online Zion High School Academy this autumn. In 2019 we’ll install a new lighted entrance sign and electronic entrance gates. Beyond 2019, projects include adding a Daycare program, to add churches to our Association, and eventually planning a new building to replace our modular portables. Come join us, and be part the foundations we’re building and life-transforming that God is accomplishing through us here at Zion.