CLEVELAND LUTHERAN SCHOOLS began at the elementary level in the 1850s when individual parishes established schools to teach the doctrines of the faith and to maintain the heritage of the German immigrant members of the parishes. Instruction until the turn of the century was in German. ZION EVANGELICAL LUTHERAN CHURCH, under the direction of its pastor, Rev. HEINRICH C. SCHWAN, established the first school in 1851. It remained open until 1974. Other early schools included those established by Trinity Lutheran Church (1853), Immanuel Evangelical Lutheran Church (1874), ST. JOHN'S EVANGELICAL LUTHERAN CHURCH (1878), St. Paul Lutheran (1880), and Christ Lutheran (1889). In Nov. 1946 11 Lutheran congregations formed the Cleveland Lutheran High School Assn. to establish a Lutheran high school in the city. Cleveland Lutheran High School was opened at the Lutheran Veterans Ctr. at 2612 Prospect Ave. on 7 Sept. 1948. It was the first under the auspices of the Protestant church in the state and the 9th in the nation. Eventually, 3 structures (former homes) at the Prospect site were remodeled to house the growing school, which was razed in 1957 to make way for the INNERBELT FREEWAY. A state payment of $1 million was used to construct 2 new, identical high schools: Lutheran High School West (1958) at 3850 Linden Ave., Rocky River, and Lutheran High School East (1959) at 3565 Mayfield Rd., Cleveland Hts. In 1995 both schools were supported by tuition, member congregations, and third-source giving. Enrollment for both campuses stood at 580 students. The system, in 1995, had 14 K-8th grade schools; each operated by its individual congregation. While many students came from church-related families, the student bodies of both were religiously and racially diverse.

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