When it comes to turning out top-notch students, teachers at Trinity Lutheran School in Freistatt are well versed in the skills needed to make it happen.
"We've been in the top 10 percentile on the Iowa Test of Basic Skills (ITBS) for several years," said the school's principal, Carole Kleiboeker. "This year we ranked in the 91st percentile in the nation."
The school uses the ITBS, because Kleiboeker says it is a more comprehensive test than the Missouri Assessment Program (MAP) test.
"Our students are tested in everything," Kleiboeker said. "Spelling, capitalization, punctuation, usage, expression, vocabulary comprehension, word analysis, social studies, science, math and sources of information."
MAP tests frequently rely on testing in specific areas only.
"We tried using the MAP tests for a couple of years, but we went back to the ITBS because it gave a more comprehensive snapshot of the student's strengths and weaknesses," Kleiboeker said. "It gives teachers more of an idea of what areas need improvement."
Trinity Lutheran School is not the only school to use the ITBS as a measurement of student knowledge.
"A lot of parochial schools use this test, and most of the Lutheran schools use it," Kleiboeker said. "Some public schools in Missouri still use it as well."
Kleiboeker said the ITBS is not the only measure of a student's skills teachers use.
"We know we are turning out well-rounded students," Kleiboeker said. "They are more prepared for high school when they go. Many go on to be in the top 10 percent of graduates from high school."
The school not only teaches academics, but religion, morals and ethics as well.
"We use secular textbooks," Kleiboeker said, "but we incorporate Christian concepts during classes."
She said teachers are "willing to bend over backward to help each student reach their potential," and that many teachers, who could be earning higher salaries in public school settings, preferred to stay at Trinity.
"Our teachers and staff are dedicated," Kleiboeker said. "They take pride in their work and do a good job. It reflects on the students."
There are 90 students currently enrolled in upcoming fall classes, but there is room for more.
"We did an expansion a couple of years ago, but I think the economy has affected our enrollment," Kleiboeker said.
Parents pay about 60 percent of tuition costs, while the church provides for the other 40 percent.
"We also have tuition assistance and scholarships available to parents who want their child to receive education in a Christian-based school," she added.
Enrollment for fall classes begins at 5 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 15 for children in pre-school to eighth grade.
"Trinity Lutheran School will be officially accredited by the State of Missouri Non-Public Schools and the National Lutheran School Accreditation boards in August," Kleiboeker said.
For more information on Trinity Lutheran School, call 235-5931 and leave a message or call Kleiboeker at 285-4932.