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Parent Newsletter
August 5, 2020
You may not be able to see the smiles but they're there! Grade-school campers had a great time at the 2020 VL Summer Camps. Experiences in volleyball, track and field, basketball, ultimate frisbee, art, and baseball made for full fun-filled weeks!

Wow, it's been quite a summer, hasn't it?!  I've been in education for 35 years and have never seen anything like these past 5 months.  The fear and anxiety in tracking new cases of a serious virus, the pain and frustration of those who face racism, the stress and uncertainty of those dealing with unemployment, the grief and depression of those who have lost a loved one or have lost all they owned to storms or flood.  It is easy to feel isolated and alone while struggling with so many life impacting challenges. 

What is the antidote?  A hymn I remember as a kid goes "On Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand."  He is certainly the solid ground on which to stand during these unsure times.  In the Bible, Christ is depicted as our rock but he is also described as the cornerstone.  A cornerstone is traditionally the first stone laid in the construction of a building. I had first thought it was because the cornerstone assisted in making the foundation firm (and it might still help with that) but the main purpose of the cornerstone is to orient all the other stones placed so that the building is facing the right direction.  We look to Christ for the direction in which we should go.  And his word tells us that "God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control" (2 Timothy 1:7).  Even though we may feel unsettled, we have power through the Gospel to love and care for others and the strength through Christ to do what it takes to press on.  Need some encouragement today?  Check out this link for a great reminder:   Cornerstone by Hillsong

Dr. Lisa Meyers, Academic Dean

P.S.  We know that our students may also be dealing with those same feelings of anxiety, frustration, and uncertainty.  We will be working on that very issue when we head to our Faculty Retreat next week.  If you would like to read more about this topic, check out the following excellent article in The Washington Post (July 21, 2020): 5 Ways to Help Teens Feel Seen and Heard by Ana Homayoun.

Need to Know
2020-2021 Tuition
If you have not yet set up a tuition payment plan for the 2020-21 school year, or have other concerns about tuition payments, please contact Bill Ankoviak at 790-1676 or
Summer Read Reminder
Students are to read one of the following books available for their grade before the 2020-2021 school year begins: 
  • Freshmen (Class of 2024): Shift by Jennifer Bradbury or Guts by Gary Paulson   *For students taking the course Transitional Reading (or others by permission), choose one of the following: Monster by Walter Dean Myers or The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba 
  • Sophomores (Class of 2023): The Book Thief by Markus Zusak or The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls 
  • Juniors (Class of 2022)Warriors Don't Cry by Melba Patillo Beals or The Help by Kathryn Stockett
  • Seniors (Class of 2021): All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr or Friday Night Lights by H. G. Bissinger
There will be no project for the book. In place of the written project, students will take a comprehension test on their book at the end of August. That grade will still be a part of their English grade for 1st quarter. For students who do not have a VLHS English course during the fall, the grade will be incorporated into another class.Be prepared to either present on your book or discuss it. This may happen in family groups, English classes, or in other classes.

If you have any questions about the summer read, contact Lisa Meyers at

Fall Sports Update

The MHSAA has released an update for fall sports. The full update can be found at As we look forward to the start of the fall season, the MHSAA did approve a "phased-in" approach. Below are highlights that affect the starting dates of sports that Valley provides.
  • Allowed all low-risk sports to begin practice and competition as scheduled on August 12. This includes golf and cross country.
  • Allowed moderate-risk sports of soccer and volleyball (pending the opening of school gyms) to begin practice as scheduled on August 12 but to delay competition. Decisions on competition timelines (to start or to delay further) would be made on or by August 20.
  • Delayed the start of football practice with full player pads and equipment until Monday, August 17. The week of August 10 shall only include practice sessions that consist of conditioning, physical training and skill work but without player equipment other than helmets. This week of acclimatization (August 10-16) is similar to the allowed summer activities with helmets, only, that have been ongoing since June. 
  • Decisions on competition timelines (to start or to delay further) would be made on or by August 20.
 Even with this update, there are many unanswered questions and hurdles to overcome. During the next week, I will be working with the VLHS Administration, VLHS Coaches, and the Tri-Valley-Conference Athletic Directors as we go through the details, continue watching for updates, and do everything possible to provide for a safe start to fall sports. As of today, here are the start times for practices. If there are any changes, they will be communicated through email:

Start Date
Start Time
End Time
Extra Information
Cross Country
7:00 pm
8:30 pm
V Football
8:00 am
1:30 pm
Parent Meeting 8/9 at 6:00 pm
JV Football
8:00 am
1:30 pm
Parent Meeting 8/9 at 6:00 pm
3:30 pm
5:15 pm
Practice at Pleasant View
Varsity Soccer
6:00 pm
8:00 pm
8/13 6-8 pm.     8/14 8-10 am
JV Soccer
6:00 pm
8:00 pm
8/13 6-8 pm.     8/14 8-10 am
F Volleyball
5:00 pm
8:00 pm
Tryouts 8/12 &8/13 5-8:00 pm
JV Volleyball
5:00 pm
8:00 pm
V Volleyball
5:00 pm
8:00 pm

Health and Safety Information.
A current physical needs to be on file in the VLHS office to begin a sport. The MHSAA is allowing physicals dated after April 15, 2019 to be used this year. What does this mean?
○ Any student who provided VLHS with a physical last year after April 15, 2019 does not need a new one for this year, however, an official MHSAA Health Questionnaire needs to be filled out and turned in.
○ Any athlete who turns in a physical exam dated after April 15, 2020 to VLHS does not need the MHSAA Health Questionnaire.
○ Incoming freshmen who can provide their completed physical form from last year, can turn it in with a health questionnaire.
○ All athletes need to take care of this process before beginning practice.
As of this point, we will be continuing with the use of our policies that were put in place for official summer workouts. These policies provided the following safety guidelines:
○ Social Distancing
○ Good Communication/Attendance Records
○ Good Hygiene
○ Cleaning/Disinfecting
○ Requiring the wearing of a mask to workouts
○ Requiring athletes to bring their own water bottle

Our athletes have had a great summer of hard work. The workouts have been very well attended and provided a healthy environment for our athletes. I would like to thank our dedicated coaches who volunteered many hours to help with this process. My hope is that we can have a smooth start to fall sports and continue to build towards a great year at Valley Lutheran.

God Bless and Go Chargers!

Eric Smith
Athletic Director
Valley Lutheran High School

Bring Your Own Device

Vision and Rationale
Bring Your Own Device (BOYD) has been discussed in the past, and now is the time to take this step in educational excellence for our students. The vision for moving in this direction for the start of the 2020-21 school year is rooted in the desire to continue to improve the quality Christian education our students receive each day.

Students will be utilizing technology daily in their future. Whether it is college or the workforce, they will be regularly accessing technology to effectively accomplish tasks and assignments to be successful.
Furthermore, BYOD puts students and teachers in a strong position to be fully prepared for distance learning to occur with a smooth transition if that becomes necessary. That is important in our progress toward educational excellence amidst the uncertainty that comes with Covid-19. Whether school closes in the future or not, we will be preparing students for success, and that is very important to us.

Please see the details below!

Julian Petzold, Executive Director
Dr. Lisa Meyers, Academic Dean

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) Plan for 2020-21

  1. We are asking all students to bring a device (either a laptop or chromebook) to school daily as a necessary school supply. Either a windows or apple platform is fine, but it would need to be the same device every day.
  2. Please have those devices in school by September 15. On that day, we will approve each device and admit it to the second tier of our wi-fi system which will give the device preferred access to the internet. Approved devices will be given a VLHS sticker that will be placed on the device so that it can be seen when the device is being used.
  3. We recommend a PC or a chromebook but you may choose whatever device you like as long as it is either a laptop or chromebook (tablets and phones do not have as much functionality for academic work).
  4. Attached are some places you can find a device and some types of devices that would work well but the list is not inclusive or intended to restrict your choice of device. Link to Device Suggestions
  5. We will have some of our school chromebooks available for sale at prices that reflect their age and use (some at $100, some at $50, and some at $25). A reservation form will be emailed out the week before school where you may sign up for one of the school chromebooks if you choose.
  6. While the school chromebooks will not come with a guarantee, we will be able to replace, free of charge, any chromebook that stops working any time prior to Christmas break (December 18, 2020). This does not apply to any chromebook that is damaged or broken.
  7. School staff and IT can not support, repair, or troubleshoot student devices. They can not store or hold onto student devices. The exception is a student device that becomes part of a student discipline issue which may be held in the office as part of the investigation or the disciplinary consequences.
  8. Approved devices will not be managed by Valley Lutheran High School however, they may be disabled if found to be used inappropriately, lost, or stolen.
  9. As with other personal items, Valley Lutheran High School can not be held responsible for any loss or damage to the device.
  10. Students are encouraged to charge their devices fully at home before school. The school facility cannot guarantee the necessary time or power source to charge devices during the school day.
  11. Students and parents/guardians must agree to the appropriate use of BYOD devices as a tool for learning: 
  • All communication using the BYOD device (or other personal device) must be appropriate whether in any public messages, private messages, or material posted online by the student.
  • BYOD devices are prohibited from locker rooms, restrooms, and any other location that is designated device-free.
  • Students are not permitted to use any electronic device to record audio or video media or take pictures of any student or staff member without their permission. The distribution of any unauthorized media may result in disciplinary action including but not limited to suspension, criminal charges, and expulsion.
  • Personally owned devices used in school are not permitted to connect to the internet through a 3G, 4G, or other content service providers. Personally owned devices must access the internet through the school's content filtered and monitored wireless network.
  • Teachers will determine when students are allowed to use their devices during class. 
  • Students should not borrow a device from another student. The exception to this would be when students are working in groups and are all working on the same device.

Virtual Parent Meetings
Due to current limits on numbers of people allowed to meet in groups, we will be holding our pre-school parent/student nights as virtual meetings. Join us live to meet our new Executive Director and hear some important information on the start of school. We'll also be sharing traditional pre-school information on testing, guidance, technology and more. There will be an opportunity to ask questions and the meetings will be recorded and made available to those people who cannot make it.

Monday, August 17 at 7:00 pm - Junior students and parents
Tuesday, August 18 at 7:00 pm - Sophomore students and parents
Tuesday, August 18 at 8:00 pm - Senior students and parents
Friday, August 21 at 7:00 pm - Freshman students* and parents

The meetings will be held using Google Hangouts. The links for each of the meetings will be emailed to you the week before. You will simply be able to click the link at the appointed time to join.

*Freshman students will also be receiving some orientation at the Freshman Academy and Fun Day on August 24th
Guidance Corner
Schedules for all returning students will be emailed to their VLHS student email account by 5:00 pm on Friday, August 21. If you cannot find the email, check your SPAM folder before contacting Mrs. Mueller. Schedules for the Class of 2024 will be printed and handed out at Freshman Academy. To make a change to your requested courses, contact Mrs. Mueller at Please note that, per the VLHS Student Handbook, all course changes require parent approval.

Students should have been checking their email regularly over the summer. This is how Mrs. Mueller is communicating if there are any concerns or issues with course requests or schedules for the 2020-2021 school year. Schedules will be released Friday, August 21. If you are intending on changing a request, please email Mrs. Mueller ASAP.

All PE Waivers received last school year should have appeared on a student's report card at the end of the semester. If you did not see one at the end of the year, it means I do not have one on file for you. Students should check Google Classroom for a digital copy they can download and complete.

Students under the age of 18 must have a work permit on file to hold a job. Governor Whitmer has lifted some of the detailed requirements in obtaining a work permit, but they are still necessary to hold employment during the school year OR in the summer. Any student who needs a work permit should email Mrs. Mueller directly.

The CollegeBoard provides a great, free resource for students and their families to navigate the world of careers and colleges. Students can log into their CollegeBoard account, fill out surveys to link them to potential careers and colleges, and save favorite schools to compare and contrast. Check it out as a family at

The June national test date for the SAT has been officially cancelled. Registration for the 2020-21 SAT administrations is now open. June registrants will be able to transfer their seat to a 2020-21 administration. All other students in the high school class of 2021 who don't have SAT scores will also have early access to register for the August, September, and October administrations. This includes students who had registered for March or May and had their registrations canceled and refunded. SAT is offering national exams every month from August to December 2020.

Michigan has also announced that they will be providing an SAT with Essay Exam during the school day in the fall to the Class of 2021. This will replace the same exam they were planning to take this past April as part of the MME.

Khan Academy (free test prep) -
Get Involved
Save the Date for the 21st Annual Golf Outing
Save the Date - Saturday, September 19, 2020 - 21st Annual VLHS Golf Scramble

For over two decades, the Valley Lutheran Golf Scramble has been a highlight of the year: uniting VL supporters and community members for a fun day of golf and fellowship.

The planning committee intends to hold this important and fun event. We realize it may look and feel different than in the past, due to these unprecedented times we are in. As we prepare right now, we know golfing is allowed, however gatherings of our event's size are still not.

So for now, please SAVE THE DATE for the annual VLHS Golf Scramble on Saturday, September 19, 2020 at Apple Mountain. Please watch for updates this month as the planning committee closely monitors the situation.
Community Information
LEAP Seeks to Serve
LEAP (The "Lutheran Education Advancement Plan") supports and celebrates the educational ministries of 22 Lutheran congregations and 21 Lutheran schools across the Great Lakes Bay Region. Its purpose statement is to "Advance Christ-Centered Education through Collaboration among Lutheran Churches and Schools." It does so in four areas:
  • LEAP promotes working together, communication, and unity of purpose among congregations and schools (Inter-Congregation Collaboration),
  • LEAP encourages enhanced marketing, public relations, and recruitment and retention of students, encouraging Lutheran and non-Lutheran community accessibility from early childhood through grade 12 (Enrollment Growth),
  • LEAP seeks to investigates and recommends best-in-class- school funding models including endowments, donations, grants, and financial aid (Funding Options),
  • LEAP supports the development, evaluation, and retention of high-quality teachers, administrators, and school board members. (Professional Staff and School Board Development.)
We pray that our God would continue to bless the Christian educational ministries of our Lutheran schools!

 Click on the image above to view the latest Valley Vision.

Mission Statement
Valley Lutheran High School believes that Christ is the foundation of our school and everything that we do.  We prepare our students as children of God academically, physically, socially, emotionally and spiritually to serve in the world today and tomorrow.

Julian Petzold
Valley Lutheran High School