Lutheran-Parker, Denver Lutheran to become one school

Posted 2/11/11

Lutheran High School-Parker could see a lot of new students this fall. The Colorado Lutheran High School Association’s board of directors announced …

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Lutheran-Parker, Denver Lutheran to become one school

Posted

Lutheran High School-Parker could see a lot of new students this fall. The Colorado Lutheran High School Association’s board of directors announced Feb. 2 that it will be reorganizing the ministries of Denver Lutheran High School and Lutheran High School-Parker into one school at the Parker location next academic year.

The consolidation of the two schools came after months of discussion in order to meet financial challenges and to ensure the long-term viability of the Colorado Lutheran High School Association ministry. The board’s decision also was geared to make the greatest use of the assets and resources available, while addressing its financial situation in uncertain economic times, said Juls Clausen, CLHSA chief executive officer.

“While it’s an extremely difficult decision, our board of directors believes this is the path forward that provides the best opportunity for the association to stabilize and move forward in ministry,” he said.

Clausen said over the years the Denver campus was losing enrollment, and since 2008, the Parker enrollment had been stagnant, so from an economic perspective, to operate both schools was not economically feasible. He said the board decided to consolidate the two schools to be as financially strong as possible.

Parker’s enrollment is about 180, but the building is designed to hold 350 students, so Clausen said there is plenty of room for new enrollment from students coming from Denver.

The staff at Lutheran-Parker could change. Clausen said all the teachers at both schools are employees of the CLHSA not employees of the individual schools. He said the board will be taking the entire pool of association teachers and will be staffing the school at the Parker location.

“In a sense the school will no longer be Lutheran High School-Parker, it will be Lutheran High School, because we are bringing the two schools together,” Clausen said. “They are not separate entities. They are both ministries of the Colorado Lutheran High School Association. We are not really closing one school, we are bringing two schools together.”

Clausen said both staffs understand the importance of being able to continue their ministry, but they are dealing with both sad and excited emotions.

“It’s a hard thing to hear, and it was hard for all of us,” he said. “But the board knew the reality of the financial situation, and we needed to do this to go forward successfully. And I think everyone understands and has accepted that.”

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