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Holy Cross School evolves

In the summer of 2023, Holy Cross Lutheran Church and Preschool opened a new chapter in our education ministry. Our goal is to establish the first ELCA kindergarten and elementary school in the state of Wisconsin. We envision offering each child an environment in which to feed their curiosity, to learn joyfully, and to view the world around them with wonder. Research proves that play is essential for healthy child development across the cognitive, social, and emotional spectrums. Our approach to education will build and sustain academic achievement through a play- and nature-based instructional model. Through meaningful and memorable learning experiences, our school will support the development of students who become environmental stewards, individuals of inclusion, and global citizens.  As an ELCA institution, Holy Cross Lutheran School will provide pre-K through fifth-grade children a safe place to learn and thrive. Our core values of integrity, inclusion, and kindness will shape meaningful learning experiences and encourage children to take social, emotional, and cognitive risks. 

We invite you to continue reading below to learn about the progress we have made toward our goal of opening in fall of 2025 with a kindergarten classroom.

Building Blocks

The Vision

Our journey began with a casual conversation between a pastor and the preschool director about the dynamics of local school districts. We have heard from families who are concerned about the well-being of their students and who wish for a school in which children feel safe and supported in their complete selves. We have an appropriate space and the opportunity in our building to grow our preschool and accommodate more students and their families. Holy Cross Lutheran Church welcomes all through our work as a Reconciling in Christ church, and we are dedicated to teaching the faith through love, grace and acceptance. It is through these lenses that our vision began to take shape: an elementary school that feels safe for all students and families to attend.

The Beginning

Our first step was to extend the position of Preschool Director from a part-time to a full-time position. The preschool and the church directed dedicated funds to the school to fund the increased hours and salary for the director. Between September 2023 and March 2024, we established a School Advisory Board (consisting of educators, grant writers, and the pastors), applied for and received permission from DPI to open an elementary school, and applied for grant funding from two education-specific foundations. Research continues on the Wisconsin Parental Choice program, accreditation, and funding. 

Image by Valery Fedotov
Typing on a Computer

Principal 360

In January 2024, our director enrolled in Principal 360, an eleven-month intensive leadership development program sponsored by the Chicagoland Lutheran Educational Foundation (CLEF).  Principal 360 develops and equips a united network of Lutheran school principals as visionary educational leaders. The program culminates with a professional certification for the director as well as a comprehensive strategic plan for Holy Cross Lutheran School. You can learn more about Principal 360 here.


As the director navigates Principal 360, we are solidifying the school’s vision, mission and values. Guided by those values, we are exploring curriculum, developing plans for indoor and outdoor classrooms, and writing job descriptions, policies, and handbooks.

Another important aspect of our current work involves securing funding to establish the school and hire additional staff with the aim of opening our doors in the fall of 2025. To that end, we are applying for grants and seeking potential donors. We are planning to extend the Legacy Circle of Holy Cross Lutheran Church to include an opportunity to leave a legacy gift to Holy Cross Lutheran School. If you feel called to help us on this journey, you can donate here or be in touch with Pastor Andy Fetters ( to discuss how you might contribute.

School Supply
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Who we are

Holy Cross Lutheran Church

Our Mission:

Growing disciples across all generations to do justice, welcome with love, and serve humbly with God.

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