its antiquated computer lab in order to keep students in the classroom more, Trinity-Rantoul has been able to maximize learning time for its children. The small school raised all the money it needed for a mobile computer lab using all Apple products.

Eliminating the computer lab also created space for a combined 3K and 4K classroom. 5K students are combined with first graders. The 3K and 4K classes are held mornings only, three days per week for the 3K and four days per week for 4K. “We are quality education over quantity education,” Gosa said of those kindergarten classes. “We only have them for three hours so it has to be quality.”

Working to get more students

With these improvements in place and more on the way, Trinity Lutheran School-Rantoul is setting its sights on getting more students to attend the school. Many schools struggle with that in this era of smaller families, but Gosa said they are up for the challenge.

“It’s very much a grassroots philosophy,” he said. “You build from the bottom up. You get the young kids here.”

That is where Trinity Lutheran Daycare enters the picture, offering year-round care for children from 6 weeks old to 12 years old, 6 a. m. to 6 p. m. weekdays.

Jodi Oye is the director of Trinity Lutheran Daycare, located in its own, newer building just a few paces from Trinity

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Lutheran School-Rantoul. Similar to what is going on at the school, Oye said, “We’ve made some changes to make it a better program.”

One of those changes is the addition of a summer school program this year for youths who have completed 4K and older. Participants have gone on field trips to a movie, a farm and to a library, and Oye said they are having fun while continuing to learn through the summer.

As is the case with the school, youths do not have to be from Lutheran families or even religious families to attend the daycare. The daycare and school will introduce and teach religion, but Gosa said they do not shy away from topics such as evolution and other world religions. “It reaffirms their faith in God,” he said, adding that the theme of last school year was “Armor of God.”

Gosa added that they have worked hard to make school fun for both teachers and students. Every two years the seventh and eighth graders go on a trip to Washington, D. C. Extra-curricular offerings include volleyball and basketball for fourth graders and up, softball for sixth graders and up, Spanish, a school play done at Chilton High School’s Engler Center, and speech therapy provided by the Hilbert School District. Gosa said they also hope to introduce band. “We want every kid to have the same options as the public school,” he said.

He added, “We’re definitely a step in the right direction. We’re making those steps to be excellent.”

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