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Rochester Central Lutheran School


RCLS at a Glance

What do parents want in a school? Rochester-area parents most often say they look for...

1. Academic rigor

2. Extracurricular opportunities

3. Small class sizes

4. Supportive community

5. Emphasis on character

Read how RCLS can help parents provide these for their children, then scroll down to learn more about the academic outcomes of an RCLS education.

Demographics 21_22 image

Rochester Central Lutheran School has been shaping and developing strong, Christian students for nearly 150 years. As a thriving, independent, Preschool-grade 8 school in Rochester, Minnesota, RCLS is committed to helping students achieve academic excellence and to helping them discover how they can impact the world for good.

Art, vocal music, band, physical education, and technology are key components of students’ school days, while service opportunities and extended school-day options such as athletics teams and academic and art activities contribute to our mission to educate the whole child

Always, faith in Jesus Christ underlies this mission and informs our worldview.

RCLS’s guiding principles, small class sizes, comprehensive curriculum, and extensive extracurricular options equip us to nurture students academically, artistically, physically, socially, and spiritually. 

Girl at computer

Boy in science class

RCLS, in association with  Grace, Holy Cross, and Trinity Lutheran churches, is a Christ-centered school that welcomes students from the four corners of Rochester and surrounding communities and from 30 different local churches.

Students need not be Lutheran to attend RCLS.

In fact, while 22 percent of our students attend one of the four association churches, 65 percent attend other local churches and 13 percent have no affiliation with a church at all.

Still, we are a family at RCLS. Our small but diverse community is such that relationships are inclusive of the whole family. Students develop trusting relationships with peers and teachers, and parents and families enjoy the friendship our community fosters.

Teachers and current parents agree: “Kids love it here!”

Please do schedule a visit. We think you will see that, too.

young girl reading

Boy playing saxophone

Standardized Testing

Each fall and spring, RCLS administers the NWEA standardized test. The NWEA offers standardized norms, but this test has an advantage in that it allows teachers to map an individual student’s progress.

Recent NWEA results indicate that mean RCLS scores in Math and Reading are substantially above state standardized means. Consider this snapshot of RCLS mean grade-level scores as compared to state mean scores. Included here are Fall 4th grade scores, which indicate students' level of performance at the end of the foundational, early learning years, and Fall 8th grade scores, which indicate students' level of performance near the end of their years at RCLS.

All students at RCLS take the NWEA MAP test. Students requiring adaptations to testing conditions are granted those adaptations. 


Math- RCLS mean RIT score

Math- state norm mean

Math- RCLS mean compared to state norms

Reading- RCLS mean RIT score

Reading- state norm mean

Reading - RCLS mean compared to state norms




The mean RCLS score is at the 68th percentile of state standardized-test scores.



The mean RCLS score is at the 70th percentile of state standardized-test scores.




The mean RCLS score is at the 73rd percentile of state standardized-test scores.



The mean RCLS score is at the 73rd percentile of state standardized-test scores.


For more on RCLS's philosophy on standardized testing, see the Bobcat Blog article entitled "Testing to Teach."


Boy studying

Girl dribbling basketball