West Portal Lutheran School

From the Desk of the Principal

Welcome to West Portal Lutheran School! Since 1951, West Portal Lutheran School has existed to partner with parents, to provide a Christ-centered and challenging educational experience for children. We at West Portal Lutheran understand the significance of home, church, and school working together to maximize each child’s potential in a faith-based, safe, challenging, and loving setting; and to explore opportunities in music, art, drama, and sports, always keeping in mind that God wants us to honor Him through our thoughts, words, and deeds. West Portal Lutheran School is dedicated to student learning, which is focused on building responsibility, leadership, character, academic skills, and the value of service.

I can assure you that our teachers love to teach and diligently seek to make a positive difference in the lives of our students, who I am equally confident are eager and engaged learners. Therefore, let us go forth together to learn, to teach, and to do all things for the glory of God.

In our various academic classes and in our student chapel services, we will be emphasizing respect for God, family, friends, school, environment, church and government officials, and self.

Parental involvement and support in the life of our school are essential. There will be numerous opportunities to add to the fabric of the life of all of our students at both campuses such as by serving as a room parent, a coach, a ChoiceLunch helper, or by taking book orders for the school. If you have an area of expertise that you would like to share with the students, please contact your child’s teacher and principal and we would look forward to incorporating that into our curriculum.

The Lord has asked us to bring up our children in Him (Eph. 6:4): to make disciples and teach all nations (Matt. 28:19-20); to teach His Word diligently (Deut. 6:6-8); and to grow in grace and knowledge of Him (2 Peter 3:18).

We as members of West Portal Lutheran Church and School take these commands seriously and promote various education programs which comply to the commands of the Lord.

We believe that Christian education is a part of the church’s mission to fulfill the Lord’s commands.  The agencies of Christian education bring people to a distinctive relationship with their God and His Word.  This relationship enables the children to become witnesses for Christ in their lives.

We further believe that the Christian elementary school provides the most effective means of nurturing the whole child through:

  • Daily Christian instruction in God’s Word.
  • More opportunity for God’s Spirit to operate.
  • Christian witness by teachers and fellow peers.
  • A better understanding of the relationship of God to His total creation.

It is further the purpose of Christian education to guide the total growth and development of each child of God.  This will be accomplished through educational achievement, intellectual development, social interaction, spiritual nurturing and guidance.  By these means we expect to provide well adjusted members to the Christian church, the community, and our nations.

West Portal Lutheran School’s excellence and commitment to Christ-centered education is recognized by the National Lutheran School Accreditation Commission.

Please visit us and experience the commitment of both the West Portal Lutheran congregation and our professional educators to minister to children.  We’d be honored to be entrusted with the instruction and spiritual development of your child.


By providing a demanding education and stressing the values of moral responsibility, self-control, social interaction, cooperative skills, honesty, good manners, good citizenship, and good sportsmanship, we prepare our students to meet the challenges of higher education and thrive in the complex world that they will face as adults.

West Portal Lutheran is an academically focused school, and we challenge our students to strive for excellence in a nurturing Christ-centered atmosphere.  It is our goal to have WPLS students prepared to meet the challenges of the best San Francisco Bay Area high schools and possess the foundational skills needed for College or University education and ultimately the student’s chosen vocation.

West Portal Lutheran is committed to equipping our students with the skills they will need to be productive 21st century learners.  We work to develop a curriculum that will enable our students to develop critical thinking and problem solving skills, interpersonal collaboration, the ability to access and analyze information, and effective oral and written communication.  Our teachers’ professional development is focused on educating the 21st century learner.

Based on the California State Curriculum and Instruction frameworks, the WPLS curriculum includes a program of traditional academic studies including language arts, mathematics, science, social studies, and foreign languages (German and Spanish).  Music, art, physical education, and computer classes are also taught to enrich and balance the students’ academic experience.  These subjects are often dropped from public school curricula because of budget cuts. Students receive religious teaching through study of the Bible and Luther’s Catechism.

Our Elementary Educational Philosophy

We believe it is an exciting task to teach kindergarten through third graders as they learn to read…so that they can read to learn!  It is our goal to provide students with a solid foundation in the basics of religion, language arts, mathematics, science and social studies.  This is accomplished through a variety of age-appropriate learning experiences, including hands-on activities, which create a love for learning that will last students throughout their lives.

Special attention is given to the development of reading skills, reading comprehension, language and writing skills.  Teachers use multi-faceted approaches to ensure that children with different learning styles and developmental rates are consistently motivated to read and write at their highest level.

Our Middle School Educational Philosophy

Students in the Middle School are in transition from childhood to young adulthood. Thus, these are special, exciting years as students experience sudden bursts of growth, not only in their bodies, but also in their spiritual, academic and social lives. West Portal Lutheran strives to make these years stimulating, productive and enjoyable. We desire to be in a partnership with the student and their family as they travel through these interesting, and often, challenging years.

Our curriculum consists of core subjects, enriched with additional courses to meet the needs of our students.

The core subjects include: Religion courses which are Bible based courses studying our salvation from a historical perspective and making it come alive through a relational perspective; Language Arts where students study literature and composition; Mathematics, where courses are offered through Algebra 1, thereby allowing students to complete Calculus in high school; Science, where courses are integrated and laboratory based; and Social Studies, where 6th grade studies Geography, Latin America, and Canada, followed by World History in seventh grade and American History in eighth grade.

The Middle School also includes enrichment  programs such as German or Spanish, Physical Education, Classroom Music, and Technology.

With advanced work in all curricular areas, and strong Stanford Achievement-10 results, it is clear that our students are capable and do very well not only in our curriculum but also at the high school level.

Our students are accepted at the most desirable High Schools in San Francisco and the surrounding communities.  These schools include: Lowell, Saint Ignatius, Sacred Heart Cathedral, Mercy, Riordan, University, Lick-Wilmerding, and Drew.

In addition, our graduates have attended prestigious colleges and universities across the United States including the University of California: Berkeley, Davis, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz; Stanford, Harvard, MIT, USC, Howard, Brown, Marquette, and Concordia University.