The mission of our school is to teach children, as well as their parents, the Latvian language, Latvian traditions, and the Word of God. A typical school day begins with a short, child centered morning service in the chapel. Students then attend classes such as reading and writing in Latvian, vocabulary building, history, geography, and religion. After lunch, there is folk song singing and folk dancing. Although we make every effort to follow the academic guidelines set forth by the American Latvian Association, our school accommodates this curriculum to meet the needs of all students. Classes are offered both full Latvian and in English. Children who have learned to speak Latvian continue to develop their language skills by reading and writing in Latvian. Latvian language learners acquire new vocabulary in classes that teach basic conversation as well as history and cultural traditions. We have a vibrant Darzins (PreK) program available.
Our school has many special events that students, their families, friends, and guests look forward to. These include celebrating “Martini” (an ancient tradition similar to Halloween), baking “piparkukas” (spice cookies) before Christmas, Christmas pageant, with a visit by Ziemassvetku vecities, playing in the snow to celebrate “Meteni” (another ancient tradition), and using onion skins, spring leaves and flowers to color Easter eggs. We also have an annual ski trip to the Catskills, where we stay at the beloved Latvian Camp.
The eighth grade graduates participate in a two week guided tour of Latvia sponsored by the American Latvian Association. They join students from other east coast Latvian schools. This trip has been a profound and emotional experience for many of these students.
New students and visitors are always welcome! Our day begins 9:00 AM and lasts until1:00 PM. Please check our calendar for dates. See: Calendar & Events School is held on Saturdays and some Sundays, to accommodate busy family schedules and to participate in the congregation’s special events and services. If you can not make a regular commitment to Latvian School, but still want to connect with the Latvian community, we welcome you to our special events. Contact Silvija at LatvianSchool@LatvianLuthChurchPhila.org if you have any questions or if you would like to join us!