Preschool – 6th Grade
Charger News

11/22/21 – 11/28/21

“My Heart Leaps”

A devotion from

“The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song. (Psalm 28:7)

There is nothing quite like the zeal and passion we see on a child’s face as they sing praises to Jesus. At times I have wished I could let go of inhibition and dance and sway during particularly moving hymns that accompany our service. What stops us from doing this? What stops us from demonstrating our thanks to God with our whole bodies? We tend to get more animated at sporting events or more emotional at the movie theater than we do in response to the message in church on Sunday. While customs and personality play a part, could it also be that sin has dulled our zeal? This is an area where we can appreciate the little children of our congregation, and even learn from them. Appreciating their joy is the first step. What follows is incorporating a child-like faith by putting our desire to praise God into action.

My heart leaps for joy—what an amazing proclamation! I doubt that David sat still as he sang about his heart leaping with pure delight. Just as we witness children’s ability to proclaim their love for Jesus while dancing or shouting praises to our God, likely so was David as he pondered Christ’s strength and goodness in his life. While we may not physically dance or sway, that overwhelming zeal comes from knowing God’s grace, that he is our strength, our shield, and we can trust in him. What a wonderful thing to be excited about! It is only right we declare with enthusiasm the love that Christ has shown to us and share that incredible message with the young children and families we serve, our own families, friends, and acquaintances.

Prayer Dear Lord, my heart leaps with joy as David’s did when I think of your goodness in my life. Please help me demonstrate my zeal for you to all those around me in all that I do, reflecting you and your love. I pray in your name. Amen.

Today’s devotion is from Check out all the great devotional resources on this page and even choose to have some emailed directly to you – there is something for everyone!

Thanksgiving Break

“Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever.”
1 Chronicles 16:34

Wednesday, November 24 will be an early release day to begin Thanksgiving Break.

  • Grade school students will be released at 11:15 AM
  • Preschool students will be released at 11:30 AM
  • JH/HS students will be released at 11:30 AM

NO SCHOOL for students in all grade levels on Thursday, November 25 and Friday, November 26. Classes resume on Monday, November 29.

Christmas Service Decorating – 12/11/21

Our school Christmas service is just a few weeks away – Sunday, December 12th at 2PM. We will be decorating the gym on Saturday, December 11 beginning at 9 AM. Please mark your calendars and consider stopping in to help set up for our service. It usually takes no more than 2 hours, but we would be happy to have help for any amount of time.

School Janitor Position

Illinois Lutheran Schools is currently seeking an energetic and highly motivated individual to join our team as a part-time Janitor. The ideal candidate for this position is detail-oriented, flexible and willing to take on non-routine cleaning and special projects as the need arises. The Janitor will be responsible for cleaning and sanitizing offices, classrooms, bathrooms, dining room and public areas. Please submit your Employment Application to If you have any questions, please contact the high school office at 708.672.3262.

Charger Parent Tshirts

Illinois Lutheran Schools is excited to offer a FREE Charger “Mom” and “Dad” t-shirt to parents of our current students! Shirts that were ordered by October 29th have been sent home.

Remember that:

  • T-shirts were distributed to your oldest child at ILS schools.
  • One t-shirt is allowed per parent.
  • If we were out of the size that you order, we gave you a larger size.
  • If your t-shirt is lost or damaged, a new one can be purchased for $10 (while supplies last).

A Request

Principal Falck is asking parents to let their child’s teacher know when they have received any vaccination this season. This is NOT an effort to track who may or may not be getting any vaccination. This simply helps us watch for any side effects so we can make sure the students are feeling their best at school.

December Blood Drive

Versiti Blood Centers will be conducting a blood drive at Illinois Lutheran High School on Saturday, December 4 from 10 AM – 1:30 PM. Schedule your donation today by calling 800-7TO-GIVE or online at Questions? Contact Mrs. Amanda Ventura at or 708.672.3262, ext. 102.

Empower Illinois

Mark your calendars! Reservations for a 2022-2023 tax credit scholarship will open Wednesday, January 12 at 6:30 PM.

Like previous years, the reservation will be a two-step process. At 6:30 PM, the reservation form will open, giving families time to enter their information before submission at 7 PM. Once families reserve their time stamp, they will receive an email to log into their EmpowerXChange portal and complete the application when it opens on Friday, January 14.

Want to learn more? Visit the Empower Illinois website.

Yearbook Pictures

Are you a picture taker? When attending a game or school event do you have your phone out to snap some pics of those kids having fun? We are looking for your help.  If you take pictures at any ILES or Jr. High events this year, whether a game, class party, or field trip, we want to see them. We are looking for pictures that we can add to this school year’s yearbook.  During the year if you have taken some pictures of your child’s class please consider sharing them with Mrs. Oestmann for possible use in the yearbook. Pictures can be sent to Thank you!

School Pictures

For families that missed ordering your student’s school picture, you should have received an email from Image Group with a link to order pictures. If you did not receive this email, please contact Image Group at 815-932-1230.

As well, Image Group has taken photographs at various ILS events. Please click the link below if you would be interested in viewing and ordering pictures.

Winter Sports

Athletic Calendar

Be sure to check the athletic calendar online for any updates that are made to the schedule.

Sport Photos

The following sport team picture days have been scheduled. Order forms will be sent home with your child before picture day. Please remind your child to bring their uniform to school on picture day.

  • Grade School & Junior High Winter Sports – Thursday, December 2 @ 2:45 PM

Volunteer Expectations

We ask that parents plan to volunteer for concessions at least 3 times per sport season. You are not required to volunteer for your child’s sport or during their game (for example, if you have a grade school basketball player, you can volunteer for a high school basketball game). Sign up HERE. We appreciate your support!

Questions? Contact Mr. Nate Hinz at or 708.672.3262, ext. 114.

Charger Fan Popcorn Bucket

Now available at the concession stand! Purchase your CHARGER FAN popcorn bucket for $5, and popcorn bucket refills are only $0.25! Available while supplies last.

Game Protocols

As the winter sports season begins, here are a few reminders:

  • Unless a coach is supervising, students should not be in the school building more than 20 minutes prior to the start of practice.
  • Students who are at home sick are not allowed to attend a game that night.
  • Once students are in the building for a game, they must remain in the gym or multi-purpose room.
  • Unless a student has permission from the site manager, once he/she leaves the building, they are not allowed to re-enter the building.
  • We expect our students’ behavior reflects the faith that we profess at our games.

Questions? Please contact the Activities Director, Mr. Nate Hinz at Thank you in advance for your cooperation.

Call News

Recently, the Illinois Lutheran Board of Directors was led to place the following calls:

Mr. Scott Stevenson has been called to serve as the elementary school principal. Mr. Stevenson currently serves as the principal, as well as the 7th and 8th grade teacher, at Pilgrim Lutheran School in Mesa, AZ.

Mrs. Ellen Stevenson has been called to serve as the kindergarten teacher. Mrs. Stevenson currently serves as 4th, 5th, and 6th grade teacher at Pilgrim Lutheran School in Mesa, AZ.

Mr. Paul Hoffman has been called to serve as the technology director and science teacher at the junior high and high school. Mr. Hoffman currently serves as the technology coordinator and 6th grade teacher at St. Paul Lutheran School in Appleton, WI.

Mr. Steven Strong has been called to serve as a science teacher at the high school. Mr. Strong currently serves as the athletic director and 7th and 8th grade teacher at First Lutheran School in La Crosse, WI.

Please keep these teachers in your prayers as they consider their calls.

First Semester School Mission Project

Costa Maya Ministries Mexico – Showing Jesus’s Love During COVID – 19

What do you do when there are no jobs?   When you’ve been working in a restaurant, a hotel, or selling merchandize – but there are no tourists?   When the cruise ships with thousands of tourists stop coming?   When even Mexican tourists no longer travel to the beaches of Costa Maya?

COVID-19 caused the economy of the mission area to collapse.  Some people moved away.   Others remained and tried to find a way.   This was an opportunity for our little congregation, Cruz de Cristo, to show Jesus’ love.    Volunteer members combined their efforts with generous emergency gifts from fellow Christians and a grant from WELS Christian Aid and relief to purchase, transport, package and distribute “dispensas” to over 400 families each week!   One trip took us to the little village of Xcalak about an hour south.   Pastor Valleskey opened with a devotion on Jesus’ love and spiritual food, and each package included a Spanish devotion and Bible story for children.   The love of Jesus through Cruz de Cristo is now known throughout the area!

Over 700 contacts have resulted from the food distribution.   We look forward to following up!  We pray that God will use this Christian love to bring many to find the true spiritual food which brings eternal life!

Hot Lunch Program

Illinois Lutheran Schools is working with School Eatery again for the 21-22 school year to provide hot lunch to our students. School Eatery works with local restaurants to offer several options every day for your child. In October, again we’re working with Bambino’s in Steger (Monday & Tuesday), as well as Subway (Wednesday) in South Chicago Heights, Smokey Jo’s (Thursday), and Pizza Hut (Friday) in Crete.

School Eatery has notified us that all families must set up a new account each year. Please click on the links below and follow the instructions for each campus.

To set up your account, please click on these links and refer to the following instructions:


You should have received an email from the school that addresses any medical exams or forms that need to be filled out and submitted to the school office for the 21-22 school year.

ALL PRESCHOOLERS, KINDERGARTNERS, 6th GRADERS AND NEW STUDENTS are required to submit an Illinois state physical BEFORE the first day of school.

Questions? Contact Mrs. Oestmann at

Bookstore Orders

Do you need to order milk, a PE uniform, a Bible, etc? Please submit your electronic Bookstore Order and your fees will be added to your FACTS account. Questions? Contact Elizabeth Oestmann. 




Limited-time $5 & $10 gift cards now available!

Great gifts that fit any budget: Shop $5 & $10 gift cards from 15+ popular brands. They’re the perfect holiday treat for mail carriers, bus drivers, teachers, and more. Or a generous way to support people in need this season. Any way you use them, they’re sure to spread joy while supporting your organization.
Don’t have a ShopWithScrip account? Sign up on our mobile app, RaiseRight™, or on to join in the earning. Ask your coordinator for the enrollment form and code to get started today. Also, pay with your linked bank account or your credit card to get eGift cards and use reloaded money immediately. Click HERE for more details. 


Are you familiar with AmazonSmile? AmazonSmile is a simple and automatic way for you to support Illinois Lutheran Schools every time you shop with, at no cost to you. When you shop at, you’ll find the exact same low prices, vast selection and convenient shopping experience as, with the added bonus that Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price to your favorite charitable organization. Please consider supporting Illinois Lutheran with your next AmazonSmile purchases!

Covid-19 Procedures

Please familiarize yourself with our COVID-19 procedures. A reminder that if your child has any of the symptoms listed below, they must stay home and all other children in the household must stay home as well.Please notify the office by 8:00 AM at 708.672.5969  if your child will be absent.

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Shortness of breath
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • New loss of sense of taste or smell
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches

As the COVID-19 pandemic and information from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) continues to evolve, we will update you with the most current information that we have available.

Health Reminders

As we begin this new year, here’s a reminder of the ways we are continuing to keep our students and families safe at school:

Face Coverings – We continue to require everyone who enters the building to wear a face covering. We have received a number of medical exemption forms. If you see a student or parent without a face covering and have a concern, please direct your question to the principal. Also, it is very helpful to send an extra face covering (or two) with your child. We have extra disposable face coverings if needed, but it makes it easier for the student to wear what they are most comfortable/familiar with.

Water Bottles – Our drinking fountains are on, they will be cleaned regularly, and we have extra sanitizer by each of them. However, it is easiest and provides the least amount of risk to have students bring refillable water bottles from home.

Health Screenings – Please continue to be vigilant with assessing your child’s health daily before they come to school. Also consider your health and any potential exposure you may have had to the Covid virus. If you think you or someone in your family may have been exposed to the virus, or if you identify symptoms that might be associated to Covid, it is best to stay home. This might cause some inconvenience. But please understand: with the guidelines we have to follow here at school one case could lead to major consequences for our in-person learning program. It’s so good to have the students back – we want to keep them here!

Testing Available – We have a large number of the Binax Now rapid tests at school. This simple nasal swab (it is minimally invasive – only touching the inner part of the nostrils) provides a reliable result in 15 minutes. If your child is displaying any Covid symptoms and you would like to rule out Covid as the cause, please contact the office to arrange a test. Note: We will NOT administer this test to any student without parental consent.