Sep 21, 2012 - By Katie Roenigk, Staff WriterTrinity Lutheran School's accreditation this summer through the Consortium for Classical and Lutheran Education should help bolster enrollment numbers and possibly increase the flow of donations to the Riverton school, said head teacher Susan Tucker.
"It's not that we're overly concerned with (accreditation) ourselves, but there's one faction of the public (that is)," Tucker said. "It's one of the questions we get asked ... 'Are you accredited?'"
School administrators didn't think Trinity fit the mold of a standard state accreditation, however, so they contacted the CCLE, a small, fairly new organization that Tucker said is recognized by the National Lutheran School Accreditation group.
"We went with the one that suited what we're doing here, the classical and the Lutheran education," Tucker said.
Accreditation did not come without some work from Tucker and the rest of the staff at Trinity, who addressed several recommendations from the CCLE before becoming part of the group. Tucker said a CCLE site team made a visit to Riverton last year to observe classroom work and tour the Trinity facility, after which they submitted a list of suggestions for the school.
"When we first got their report, I think it was painful," Tucker said. "But these people are fantastic and so supportive. I'm very appreciative and excited that they are helping us improve."
Among other changes, Tucker said Trinity's history curriculum will now be more comprehensive and consistent throughout all grades, and students will be exposed to rhetoric and speech lessons at an earlier age than they have in the past.
"In my mind, rhetoric is what you do in middle and high school, but you can start the process and do some foundational work in the lower grades," Tucker said. "We'll be addressing that from preschool on up in very simple terms to better prepare students for more formal rhetoric classes in the upper grades."
The art department will also work to integrate its lessons with the rest of the school's curriculum, Tucker said. If students are studying Picasso in art class, for example, they will spend some time learning about events that took place during his lifetime.
That change required extra work for teachers during their time off, Tucker said, thanking them for their dedication.
She will submit annual reports to the CCLE to demonstrate ongoing progress at Trinity. The school serves 86 students with a staff of six full-time teachers and one administrative assistant.
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