LUTHER NORTH COLLEGE PREP TO SUSPEND ACADEMIC OPERATIONS IN JUNE
Chicago, Illinois, February 24, 2017 – Luther North College Prep will not conduct classes following its 2016-2017 academic school year in June.
Facing declining student enrollment and ongoing financial challenges associated with operating a small private high school, Luther North will suspend academic operations in June after 64 years at its current Portage Park location. The decision by the school’s Board of Trustees was announced today.
At its peak in the 1960’s and 1970’s, student enrollment exceeded 1,400 students. Enrollment gradually declined in succeeding years, and today’s enrollment is 170 students. In 2010, due to financial pressures, the one-square block campus was sold to New Life Community Church. As part of that transaction, Luther North remained on site sharing the campus with New Life.
However, since then efforts to grow student enrollment and the school’s donor base have met with limited success. Financial pressures also continued to build, as the costs of operations exceeded what could reasonably be charged in tuition and fees. As a private school, Luther North does not receive any public funding.
“This institution has served thousands upon thousands of young people over the years. I am proud of our students, our graduates and those that have served on our faculty. It is with a heavy heart that we announce the fact that we will not be holding classes next year. I pray that our community will celebrate the years that we have been of service to Chicagoland. We thank God that He has enabled us to serve our mission for as long as we have,” said Wayne Wenzel, Jr., the school’s Principal.
Luther North is a successor school to Luther Institute, which was founded as a Lutheran High School in 1909. It has been located at its current Portage Park campus since 1953.
“It is honestly a privilege to have been here all four years. Not many people have the opportunity to attend a school where teachers really care about you and love you.”
“I’m thankful for the opportunity to attend Luther North. Coming from a large, public high school, I’ve never been able to experience a school with a close-knit community, where everyone feels like family.”
“LNCP is a great school to go to if education and faith are first in your life.”
“I’ve never attended a school that shows so much care or treats me like family. Being at Luther North feels like home.”
“If you want to be successful in life, this is the right place.”
“It’s an honor for me to attend a school that offered three different academies.”