“Along with new lunch bags and colored markers, at Trinity Lutheran School there is an abundant supply of fresh grace and mercy.”

Each year as summer draws to an end, students and parents begin to prepare for a new academic year. Life is busy with the tasks of gathering:

• New wardrobes for children who have inexplicably grown out of their old clothes in a few short, hot weeks
• New backpacks, ready to hold fresh classroom supplies
• New schedules, with carpools and extracurricular activities for a calendar full of opportunities

It’s also time to consider a few teacher-tested tips for the new school year:

• Establish regular bedtime and wake-up routines before school starts
• Make school year prep a fun activity – combine shopping with lunch or a movie outing, talk about things that your child is looking forward to when school resumes
• Designate a specific location for homework, and set blocks of time to help your child understand and complete projects
• Determine ways that you can get involved as a parent, in classrooms or extracurricular activities – your child’s teacher will be able to offer possible ways you can help
• Pay attention! If your child’s attitudes or behaviors change – find out what is going on in his or her life. Are there academic challenges? Social obstacles? Keep lines of communication open!
• Read! As a family, and as an individual. Set weekly book time or schedule trips to the library.
• Connect with school staff and other parents. Make communication a two-way street. Teachers can alert you to emotional, social, or academic struggles they see your student struggling with at school. Be sure to notify school personnel about changes that might affect your child’s behavior in school, such as illness, marital difficulties, a death in the family, household move or new job.

Each school year start at Trinity is accompanied by another kind of new start – the knowledge that despite whatever obstacles or disappointments may have plagued any of us in the past, we too get a new start. Along with new lunch bags and colored markers, at Trinity Lutheran School there is an abundant supply of fresh grace and mercy, washing over every student, family, teacher and staff member.

Revelation 21:5 states, “Behold, I am making all things new.” This weighty sentence talks about the work of Christ, seated on His Heavenly throne. It also refers to an attitude that can see us through all the changes in life.

This is a truth that infuses the environment at Trinity Lutheran School. As the new school year prepares to launch, there are new faculty members, new classmates and new beginnings. It can add up to a lot of changes.

And yet…under the newness there is a rock-solid constant. Trinity Lutheran School continues its mission, one that has remained consistent since class opened in 1860: “To know Jesus Christ; to make Jesus Christ known.”

So…what is new is also unchanging. This paradox can bring a secure reassurance as we get ready for the roller coaster ride that seems to start each new school year. Ready for a new start? Hang onto the rails…and to Jesus, who is the solid rock on which Trinity stands.