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Lutheran School 'grows' New Room

Lutheran School 'grows' New Room image
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Ann Arbor no longer has its one-room schoolhouse. Redeenier Luthern School, located at 1360 Pauline, has instead grown to two roomsand has added another grade and teacher in the process. Built in 1946, the school's one modern classroom had in the past proved adequate for the number of pupils attending. But this fall, 30 pupils enrolled- too many to be handled by one teacher, according to Raymond Manthe, principal and teacher. Moreover, the Redeemer Lutheran p a r e n t s requested that the school be expanded and another grade (seventh) be added. "They want to keep their children in a Christian day school as long as possible," Manthe explained. And so, the one-room schoolhouse became a two-room school when Redeemer Lutheran opened its doors Wednesday. Eileen Hartwig, a recent gradúate of Dr. Martun Luther College in New Ulm, Minn., was recruited to become the school's second teacher. Miss Hartwig is teaching kindergarten through the third grades. She comes to her new job with one year's teaching experience at a Lutheran school in Mission, South Dakota. Manthe, who last year taught all the children, now instructs the fourth through seventh graders. And he is already planning ahead for the 1969-70 school year, when an eighth grade is expected to be added. This year's enrollment of 30 students is an increase of two over last year- a trend which has been continuing for several years now. Manthe attributes the increase to a number of factors, one of the most important being "a strong desire by the parents to have religious training for their children." This "strong desire" is also shown, Manthe says, by the parents' willingness to financially support a second teacher. The school is supported mainly by Redeemer Lutheran Church's congregation, supplemented by tuition fees of non-member students. Redeemer Lutheran belongs to the Wisconsin Synod. The school is fully accredited and meets all state requirements, though it wiE accept no state aid whatsoever because "we believe in complete separation of church and state," Manthe says. Most of the classes are taught separately with science and social studies being the only courses taught to combined grades. Religión class continúes to be an extremely important part of the day, when a Bible story is read and discussed and hymns are sung. The kindergartners are ed in the religión classes during their morning schedule, though Miss Hartwig says the lack of a piano in her room makes singing a bit difficult. The children are taught by modern methods ("new math" is studied, for example,) and strict discipline is maintained by Manthe and Miss Hartwig, with the full support of the parents. Interestingly enough, not all the children at Redeemer Lutheran are of the Lutheran faith. Three are not, but they must take religión class- a required class- along with their Lutheran classmates. Religión is required since the school was founded to promote that faith, as well as to edúcate the children in all other subjects. The advantages of a oneroom school, enumerated by Manthe in an earlier interview, are sure to be maintained even though the school now consists of two rooms. These advantages include a great amount of individual attention which can be focused upon each child (Manthe has 14 students, Miss Hartwis has 16), and the fact that the children learn to b e c o m e "independent studiers."