In July 2013, Forward in Christ reported on ALHS Online, a collaborative effort of the WELS Association of Lutheran High Schools (ALHS) to offer high quality online courses to expand the course offerings of WELS high schools. During the 2012–13 school year, 72 different students from 11 WELS high schools enrolled.
So where are they now?
Recently accredited by the Middle States Association as a learning service provider, ALHS Online entered its tenth year of offering online classes at the start of the 2020–21 school year. About 340 students take courses each semester, including students from 23 WELS high schools as well as from home schools and public schools. Course offerings have increased from five courses the first year to 38 this school year.
These courses provide supplemental educational opportunities for students, especially from WELS’ smaller high schools. Micayla Bork, a sophomore at Wisconsin Lutheran College, took several courses through ALHS Online that were not offered at her high school, Apostles Lutheran High School, San Jose, Calif. “What I appreciated most about these courses is the important life skills they taught me,” she says. “Not only did I learn the material, but I learned how to be successful in an online class. Overall, they really prepared me for college.”
Since its inception, ALHS Online also has added math and foreign language courses for seventh and eighth grade students (students from 32 Lutheran elementary schools are taking courses this year) and a four-year high school religion curriculum.
Scott Schultz, pastor at Cross of Christ, Portage, Wis., and his wife signed their children up for religion courses this school year. “We really wanted our children to attend an area Lutheran high school, however the nearest one is over an hour away and it is not easy to get to in winter,” he says. “We decided to send them to our public high school knowing they could get their religion classes through ALHS Online.”
Currently ALHS Online offers credits through the students’ high schools, but Dr. James Grunwald, superintendent of ALHS Online, says there is a growing desire for the program to expand its offerings and offer a high school diploma. “People from outlying areas with no area Lutheran high school nearby like the Christ-centered education,” he says.
Learn more at alhso.org.
Volume 107, Number 10
Issue: October 2020