To say the end of last year and this year has been challenging for us all is an obvious understatement. All Nevada schools were forced to go fully online during the 4th quarter last year, and Faith Lutheran had to begin this year in a hybrid model where 50% of our students were on campus each day while 50% learned from home - both synchronously and asynchronously. During the second semester - thanks to support from the Southern Nevada Health District and a waiver from the Chief Medical Officer of the State of Nevada and the Nevada Department of Education - students have the choice of coming to school 5 days each week or learning remotely 5 days a week.
In this unique time, we have two choices: we can be angry and pout and be frustrated by what we don't get (our full array of after school activities with audiences and fans and school as we knew it before COVID-19), or we can rejoice in what we do have (a God who never fails, faculty and staff on campus every day, students on campus each day, technology that allows students to learn no matter where they are in the world). Though our situation has changed, our mission has not. We remain steadfast in pursuit of it: "Everyone prepared! Everyone saved!"
Faith is the largest Lutheran school in the United States and the largest non-public school in the state of Nevada. This year, we serve more than 1,900 students in grades 6-12.
I have great respect for the parents who choose to send their children to Faith Lutheran. The financial sacrifices they make to ensure their children are in an exemplary school are admirable - especially during these tough, uncertain times. Our parents realize that the investment they make in their child's spiritual, academic, and extra-curricular lives will have an impact that will last a lifetime - and into eternity. Faith Lutheran is a safe, outstanding school. We are not simply a private school; we are intentionally a CHRISTian school. Daily, students learn about and experience the love and grace that God has for us through our Savior Jesus Christ.
92% of our high school's graduating Class of 2020 are in college; 93% of them are in four year colleges and universities. Together, the Class of 2020 was accepted into many different colleges and universities including Concordia University, Marquette, Baylor, Gonzaga, Grand Canyon University, UNLV, Notre Dame, Florida State University, USC, University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill, Northeastern, TCU, Colorado, SMU, University of Hawaii, Oregon, NYU, College of the Holy Cross, Texas A&M, University of Virginia, and Arizona - just to name a few. The Class of 2020 secured MORE THAN 7.5 MILLION DOLLARS IN COLLEGE SCHOLARSHIPS. In the past five years, Faith graduates have been accepted into a staggering 438 different colleges and universities in all 50 states. The average ACT score for the Class of 2020 was 23.0. Our SAT averages for the Class of 2020 were 590 in Evidenced Based Reading and Writing and 577 in Mathematics. 36 Honors and 21 Advanced Placement (AP) courses strengthen our college-prep curriculum. In grades 6, 7, and 8 our Middle School boasts Iowa Test of Basic Skills (ITBS) scores in the 90th percentile compared to other schools nationwide. Advanced classes bolster a rigorous curriculum. More than 80% of our middle school students make Faith Lutheran their high school of choice; that seamless transition allows us to serve students and families for up to seven years.
Our high school offers an incredible 191 different courses from which to choose; students only take 8 classes per year so their biggest problem is often fitting in everything they want to take!
We believe that student involvement on campus after school is a vital part of the Faith Lutheran experience. Our middle school offers several drama performances each year, choir, band, handbells, football, hockey, volleyball, cross country, cheerleading, dance, wrestling, basketball, track, soccer, baseball, softball, golf, tennis, and lacrosse. Our high school offers choir, band, handbells, drama, football, hockey, volleyball, cross country, golf, cheerleading, dance, tennis, soccer, basketball, wrestling, baseball, softball, golf, track, swimming, and lacrosse. Additionally, many clubs and activities, which are located under the "Student Life" tab on our homepage, exist for our Middle School and High School students. There is indeed something for everyone at Faith Lutheran.
While stats are impressive, it's the stories of the lives that have been changed, enriched, and blessed that inspire families from around the valley to attend Faith Lutheran every year. We love welcoming new families into the Faith Family!
We invite you to visit our dynamic campus at any time. We fulfilled another promise in our BUILD FAITH capital campaign as the Crusader Business Center/Office was completed this fall on our southern parcel. Homestretch Drive was vacated in April 2020 and became available solely for our use. On December 21, 2020, ground was broken on the Peccole-Shuirman Tennis Complex, which should be ready for use by December 2021. Our strategic plan in the next twenty years calls for adding an aquatic center or ice arena, STEM building, and new classroom building replacing our portables. Yet, if in a hundred years from now the campus still looks as we picture it today in the master plan, we will have, in a sense, failed. But if future generations, based on needs we know nothing of now, physically alter this campus to better prepare and save people so that Faith Lutheran is a vital and dynamic force in the Las Vegas Valley, we will have succeeded well beyond our wildest dreams. In the meantime, we will continue to build spaces and places for adults and kids to do their best work.
God has richly blessed us since our beginning in 1979. If there is anything I can do for you, please do not hesitate to contact me. These are indeed exciting times to be a part of Faith Lutheran. We have deep respect for our school's history and thank God for those who have gone before us as it is on their broad shoulders that we stand today, yet we firmly believe that our best years still lie ahead and look forward to God's continued grace on this place.
God bless you, and God bless Faith Lutheran Middle School & High School.
Dr. Steve Buuck, CEO - Chief Executive Officer