History

Educating The Mind, Reaching The Heart

A Voyage of Discovery

1976
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1976

In the fall of 1976, a committee was first called together to begin investigating the possibility of starting a preschool at Grace Lutheran Church.

After canvassing the surrounding neighborhoods, and receiving a commitment from parents, the committee presented their findings to the church council, and the preschool was approved in January of 1977.

1977
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1977

Grace Lutheran Preschool opened its doors on September 14, 1977. They had 20 part time students and two teachers. The preschool was initiated by Pastor Paul Johnsen who had come to Grace from another church where he had helped to establish a preschool.

Pastor Paul Johnsen had a passion for the Lord, and children. He wanted to reach out to the community and provide not only a service, but also an opportunity to minister to families who did not have a church home. Pastor Paul wanted all children to know that Jesus loved them.

Part Time Program
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Part Time Program
The preschool set their school calendar around the local school district’s calendar. They began the first year with only a part time program. The students could come to school either Monday-Wednesday-Friday or Tuesday-Thursday from 9:00-11:30 a.m. The second year they began offering an option to stay an extra hour for lunch, as well as an afternoon class. This class was from 12:30-3:00 p.m. Each year, as attendance grew, the preschool offered more and more options, including four day, five day, and full day programs, hiring more staff as needed.
1982
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1982
As the preschool grew and expanded, there was an interest and need for a Christian elementary school. Again, Pastor Paul Johnsen gathered a team of lay people from the church, and they began the process of investigating the possibility of adding an elementary school. In the fall of 1982, Grace Lutheran School opened its doors with the first class of kindergartners. Each year a grade was added until the school reached eighth grade.
1995
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1995
In 1995, the school moved to a larger site on Waikiki street, leased from Ocean View School District (OVSD). In the spring of 2006, the OVSD offered the church and school a larger campus, located on its current site, McFadden Avenue.
Academic Program
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Academic Program

Currently, GLS offers an academic program aligned to the California State Standards, and in accordance with the curriculum guidelines of California Common Core Standards for individual matter, as well as California Standards for the Teaching Profession (CSTP). The curriculum focuses on reading and writing, mathematics, social studies, and science. Spanish is offered as a foreign language. Phonics, introduced in Kindergarten, provides the foundation for teaching reading skills. Enrichment/Special classes include music, band, STEAM, physical education, after school sports, and art.

School & Church
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School & Church
A strong bond between the school, church, and home environment is desired; therefore, parents are encouraged to take an active role in their child’s education by reinforcing Christian values, facilitating the development of their child’s home-study habits, and participating in school programs and activities.
Extended Day Care Program
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Extended Day Care Program

GLS offers a quality extended day care program (RecClub) from 7:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. A responsible Rec Club staff oversees structured activities such as arts and crafts, games, sports, and study time in a homework club.

NALC
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NALC

The GLS campus is located on McFadden Avenue in Huntington Beach, two miles west of Grace Lutheran Church. As an outreach arm of Grace Lutheran Church ofHuntington Beach, GLS teaches and practices the Christian religion according to the doctrines and practices of the North American Lutheran Church (NALC). The NALC is a church family committed to the authority of the Bible as the inspired Word of God. In keeping with the Lutheran Confessions, NALC members believe all doctrines should and must be judged by the teaching of Scripture.

The NALC has embraced four core values: Christ-Centered, Mission Driven, Traditionally-Grounded, and Congregationally-Focused. NALC Churches are centered on the unique Gospel of Jesus Christ, animated by missions and evangelism, grounded in the two thousand-year tradition of the Christian faith. Since the Christian faith is the focal point of the school’s educational purpose, students and their families are encouraged to attend church and/or Sunday School on a regular basis.

2002
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2002

Grace Lutheran School has held WASC accreditation since 2002; prior to that the school was accredited by the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA) church body.

The last complete full self-study was in the spring of 2014, which resulted in a six-year accreditation term with a one-day mid term visit. During the current six-year accreditation period, the school staff has engaged in ongoing improvement.

The administration plans, evaluates, and modifies the action plan annually. The accreditation was held in March 2022 and earned a 6-year term until 2028.

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