QUESTION: Why a Christian education?
ANSWER: Good question … each family needs to determine what they value. At First Immanuel, we value a Christian education that provides high-quality academics and Christian character-building. While our students generally score substantially above average on national achievement tests, we can also provide some things not available in public education. We pray together. We have chapel services. We have faculty and staff members that are committed to Christ and who work together in harmony and with a common purpose. We strive to prepare children for a life of service to God and to their fellow man … not just to live for self. Most of all, on a daily basis, we strive to teach each child that he or she is known and loved by God, that he or she is precious to Him, and that in Jesus Christ that child has a Savior who has forgiven all sins and provides eternal life.
QUESTION: Does my child have to be Lutheran to attend First Immanuel?
ANSWER: No! We gladly welcome students of all faiths, and those with no religious affiliations. All students are expected to participate in the full range of course work and activities, including instruction in the Christian faith.
QUESTION: What are the grade levels and ages served at First Immanuel?
ANSWER: We have Christian education available for children age 2 - 5 in our early childhood center. We offer both full and half day Kindergarten programs and elementary and middle school for grades 1 to 8. We typically have one or two classrooms at each grade level.
QUESTION: How do FILS students perform on standardized tests?
ANSWER: FILS students in Kindergarten - 8th grade take the Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) standardized test for reading and math both in Fall and Spring. MAP results are reported in RIT scores (short for Rasch Unit). A RIT score is an estimation of a student's instructional level and also measures student progress or growth in school. This type of score increases the value of the test as a tool to improve student learning because it enables teachers to recognize where to focus attention for each child's learning.
QUESTION: How do FILS graduates perform in high school?
ANSWER: FILS graduates perform very well in high school. For the past three years an average of 66% of our graduates were on the honor roll in their first semester of their respective high schools. We look at information from LWLHS, CHS, MLHS and GHS. Additionally, in the past 6 years, we have had 9 graduates earn the honor of class Valedictorian (5 from LWLHS, 3 from CHS and 1 from MLHS).
QUESTION: Are the teachers at FILS high-quality and licensed?
ANSWER: First Immanuel has made a commitment to recruiting the highest quality teachers to minister to our students. Of course this means well-educated, state-licensed teachers. But more importantly, it means teachers committed to Christian education, dedicated to serving children and families, and actively living their Christian faith. The FILS staff is fully committed to providing the best learning environment possible for all children, through high classroom expectations and a nurturing attitude.
QUESTION: Do you have an up-to-date technology program?
ANSWER: First Immanuel has the most cutting edge technology program in the region. All children in grades 1-3 have individual access to an iPad, all children in grades 4-6 have a Chrome Book and all students in grades 7-8 have a laptop or Chrome Book which they keep after their graduation. Every K-8 classroom at First Immanuel is equipped with a Smart Board, which allows teachers to teach more interactively and dynamically. We have a technology instructor, and all teachers are formally trained to use all available software and technology.
QUESTION: Do you offer foreign language classes?
ANSWER: FILS offers Spanish instruction to students in grades 4-8. 7th and 8th grade students receive instruction from a Spanish teacher. The Spanish curriculum taught over the 7th and 8th grade years combined is the equivalent of a high school Spanish 1 course. A final exam administered at the end of the 8th grade year to measure readiness for Spanish II in high school. Instruction in grades 4-6 utilizes Duolingo, an online program that provides fun, game-like lessons to keep students motivated and excited about learning a new language. Should students wish to pursue a language other than Spanish, they will utilize Duolingo for instruction.
QUESTION: Do you provide other curricula such as music, art and physical education?
ANSWER: We have both music and art classes at least 2 days a week for all students. We have an in-school band program once a week for grades 5-8, that includes a regional band experience. We also have a robust physical education program, with classes at least 2 days a week for all students.
QUESTION: Do you offer other extracurricular activities?
ANSWER: We have many activities outside of class, including Student Council, MathCounts, Lego League, Wildcat Music Ensemble, school band, Chapel Bells handbell choir, and Piecemakers quilting club.
QUESTION: Do you offer interscholastic sports?
ANSWER: We believe that sports are an avenue for teaching important Christian life lessons about effort, responsibility, teamwork and honor. For girls and boys in grades 3 and 4, we offer an introductory interscholastic basketball program. Starting in grade 4 girls and boys can be part of our cross county teams. For girls in grades 5 through 8 we offer soccer, volleyball, basketball, poms and track. For boys in grades 5 through 8 we offer soccer, basketball and track. In the spring we offer co-ed softball and tennis for our middle school students as well as volleyball for boys in grades 7 and 8. Our teams are inclusive, yet they are also competitive in local, state and national tournaments.
QUESTION: How does the middle school experience differ from that of the rest of the elementary school?
ANSWER: The FILS middle school, which includes grades 6-8, has its own wing of the campus. The middle school is fully departmentalized, with licensed teachers teaching in their licensed area of expertise. Students are assigned lockers and change classrooms for each period. The students begin and end their day in homeroom. All middle schoolers may take home their laptops, and own them after 3 years, upon graduation.
QUESTION: What is the cost to attend FILS?
ANSWER: First Immanuel Lutheran School is supported in large part through the giving of members of First Immanuel Lutheran Church. We charge tuition in an attempt to recoup just a portion of the cost of educating each child. The amount of tuition and fees varies based on the class the child attends. A tuition and fee schedule can be requested by contacting Teresa Hajdu, Director of Admissions, at (262) 377-6610.
QUESTION: Is there a student aid grant program?
ANSWER: Yes! The FIL Studentship Award is our need-based student grant program. The FIL Studentship Award is graciously funded by First Immanuel’s Guardian Angel tuition assistance fund. Families are encouraged to apply for the FILS Studentship Award as part of the enrollment & re-enrollment process. The goal of First Immanuel’s Guardian Angel program is for every child to choose to attend FILS regardless of their financial situation. Eligibility for grant funds is determined by a FACTS, our financial aid processing and tuition management agency; applications are confidential and reviewed with greatest confidence. For the 2016-17 school year, the Guardian Angel tuition assistance fund has helped 56 children from 40 families with more than $100,000 in grants. In the 12 years since the program was started, the Guardian Angel Fund has distributed almost $1,000,000 to help families afford a Christian education at First Immanuel.
QUESTION: Does FILS participate in the school choice programs?
ANSWER: Yes! First Immanuel is both a Milwaukee Parental Choice Program (MPCP) and Wisconsin Parental Choice Program (WPCP) school. Funded through a voucher program, school choice programs give parents the opportunity to determine the best educational choice for their children, including the opportunity for religious education. Additional information about the choice programs can be found at: http://www.chooseyourschoolwi.org/ .
QUESTION: When does the school day start and end?
ANSWER: Our early childhood half-day classes begin at 8:00 a.m. and end at 11:00 a.m. While the school day classes begin at 7:30 a.m. and end at 2:30 p.m. The early childhood programs have a “drop-off” window that allows for flexible drop off to better accommodate various family schedules. At 8:15 a.m. all the early childhood classes start their structured schedule. In our elementary and middles school all students start at 7:35 a.m. (the first bell is at 7:25 a.m.). The half-day kindergarten class ends at 11:00 am. and the other classes end at 2:30 p.m. Busing is available for K-8 students that live within the boundaries of the Cedarburg School District.
QUESTION: For working families, do you provide before- and after-school care?
ANSWER: We have a fully staffed Before & After School Care Class program for families that need care provided before and after school. Care is also available on non-school days (excluding major holidays) and during the summer.