We move our son out of public school, because he is a bright kid and was being held back by all the other kids and teachers who seemed to dislike their careers. The teachers in public school teach the same things all year for the "no child left behind test". If your child is above average, they get stuck with everyone else. At First Lutheran, the bright kids are encouraged to excel. Indeed, most of the kids there seem to be driven. The teachers either love their jobs or are incredible actors. The kindergarten teacher is the best I've ever seen in my life. The school encourages parents to eat lunch with the kids and tag along for field trips. It really feels like a school that has a personal interest in the kids.
We recently moved our child to this school from public school. It is a much friendlier atmosphere and more emphasis is placed on science and math than the public schools offer. The art and spanish teacher is excellent. Children are offered a diverse educational experience at this school.
The teachers at this school are not required and not trained to help identify kids who may have learning disabilities. The state of Arkansas does offer the school these classes, but they choose not to have their teachers attend. I've learned that other private and all public schools in the area do send their teachers, just not this one. To make this short, I had an outside party help diagnosis my child with a very treatable learning disability. With therapy, he made a complete turnaround. The therapist asked for some very simple techniques to be used by the teacher to help ease any issues in the classroom. The teacher wasn't willing to try and showed no interest. The principal said they would use the techniques, but never would enforce it with the teacher. They lost a now A+ student.
The programs in the First Lutheran School are wonderful. The students test score averages were much better then most others in the area. The Art and Spanish classes starting in Kindergarten are awesome. I and my child love this school. The doors to the school are locked down, which makes safety high overall.
I have found First Lutheran School to be dedicated to achieving an outstanding Christian education for all of its students. Teachers are talented and dedicated. Spanish and art are ongoing classes for upper elementary levels. Extracurricular activities include band,quiz bowl,science(robotics) competition, basketball and track (no football). Student discipline is well balanced with Christian values but consideration of individuality. Parent involvement is very good both in the parent support organization (PALS), on the Board of Christian Education and on specific projects. Tuition is comparable or lower than other area private schools and achievement test scores are very good. The school has recently put increased emphasis on the math curriculum. My daughter has been a student since kindergarten (now in sixth grade). First Lutheran is a good choice for parents to whom academics and/or Christian values are important.