This is my first blog as principal for Our Savior’s Lutheran School (OSLS). I wanted to provide a brief introduction to the school before I jump into the topic. The school at Our Savior’s has been in existence since 1956--starting as a preschool and adding elementary after just a few years. As Lutheran Christians, we follow the command of Jesus (Mark 12:30-31 & John 13:34) to love God and love our neighbor.
It’s nice when something you’ve believed, practiced and worked to instill in your students for almost fifty years is validated in a study. This twenty year study was conducted by Damon Jones, a Senior Research Associate at Penn State. Over 700 kindergarteners were rated on a five point scale by their teachers in eight areas such as sharing, resolving peer problems on their own, being helpful, and listening to others. The children were followed for twenty years and researchers found that students with the highest pro-social skills were the most likely to have graduated from college, to be employed, and to have stayed out of trouble.
“For every one-point change on the one-to-five scale, the kids doubled their chance of being successful,” Jones told Yahoo Parenting:
Jones also told the Berks-Mont News “The good news is that social and emotional skills can improve, and this shows that we can inexpensively and efficiently measure these competencies at an early age.”
Of course, the parents, students and staff at OSLS did not need a study to tell us this, we already knew it. Yes we have very high academic expectations here, and our test scores and other honors bear that out, but it is the Christian model and the fact that our students are taught to love and respect each other that is the most important to us and our parents. Ask any school that receives OSLS students as sixth graders and you receive the same answer, “We love Our Savior’s Kids!”