Teaching Since 1878

In 1878 St. Mark’s congregation purchased six city lots and a ½-acre near the church. One of the buildings on these lots was remodeled for a school. Since the attendance of the school steadily increased, more room was needed to accommodate this growth. In 1885 the decision was made to build a new school building on one of the lots recently purchased. The new 22’ x 36’ building was completed November 3, 1885. School enrollment continued to grow and more school room was needed. To this end, an addition was built onto the present building in September 1906.

German was taught in some subjects in the school. Consequently, during World War I St. Mark’s was the target of harassment so it decided to close the school for one year in 1918. The school was reopened in 1919. The growth of membership in the congregation prevailed also in the school, so much that the present facilities were overcrowded. A building committee was appointed and the first cornerstone was laid July 1, 1928, for the new St. Mark’s Lutheran School. The new school had three stories and contained an auditorium on the top floor, plus three classrooms, a room for the Ladies Aid, and a full basement. In 1959 the school was remodeled by dividing the auditorium into 3 rooms. The additions and changes were completed in 1960.


Effective January 2023

If your child will not be in attendance, call the school office before 8:10 am or send a note to the office with a sibling or friend stating who is absent, the reason, and a parent's signature. If there is no confirmation of a child’s absence by 8:10 a.m., an attempt will be made by the school to contact the child’s parents and confirm the absence.

Children will be counted as tardy for any absence of less than 1 hour during the school day. An absence of 1-3 hours will be counted as a half-day absent. An absence of more than 3 hours will be counted as absent for the entire day.

Perfect attendance means no tardies or absences for half or the whole day. All students need to sign in/out at the school office when leaving early or arriving late during the school day.

A valid cause for being absent includes:

  • mental, behavioral, or physical illness of the student
  • observance of a religious holiday
  • death in the immediate family or family emergency
  • other situations beyond the control of the student, as determined by the SMLS School Board
  • such other circumstances that cause reasonable concern to the parent for the mental, emotional, or physical health or safety of the student.

Procedures that will be used to identify the causes of unexcused absences include interviews with the student, his or her parent or guardian, and any school official who may have information about the reasons for the student’s attendance problem.

Interventions and supportive services for truant or chronically truant students include parent conferences,
information regarding counselors for the student or student's family, and information about existing community
services available to truant and chronically truant students and relevant to their needs.

SMLS collects and regularly reviews chronic absence data to identify the student who most needs support and how best to support them. After a student is absent for 10 consecutive days, a doctor’s excuse will be necessary, or it will be an unexcused absence.

It is the student's responsibility, especially in grades 4-8, to find out what work was required during the absence. It is then the student’s responsibility to see that it is completed within the time allotted. Good schoolwork depends to an extent on punctuality and regular attendance. Any child who regularly misses school or otherwise has poor attendance (10-15 absences) will be referred to the Regional Superintendent of School’s Attendance Officer.