History

Venice Lutheran School (formerly First Lutheran School of Venice) was established in 1948.

Venice Lutheran School is part of a network of over 2000 Lutheran schools throughout the United States and overseas. The school is operated independently of other schools. Our congregation’s goal is to provide a service for the families in our community.

During the Second Word War the rapidly developing war industries of Southern California attracted thousands of people from the East and Midwest, including many Lutherans. First Lutheran Church was incorporated in November of 1944. On September 13, 1948, First Lutheran School opened its doors as a one-room school for 25 children in Grades 1 through 5.

That year construction began on a two-room building, which would eventually serve Grades 1 through 8.

In 1957, additional property was purchased on the west end of the block to add two classrooms to the mission-style structure.

In 1982, a Kindergarten class was added to the school’s program, to bring it to its current configuration of nine grades.

An electrical fire in 1998 initiated a remodeling of the building comprising the church, the fellowship hall, kindergarten room, and kitchen. A small-class instruction room was carved out of the fellowship hall to create a small class instruction room, in which single-grade lessons in reading, math, and English would be taught to groups of 10-12 students.

Throughout its 60 history, Venice Lutheran School has been staffed with dedicated, highly qualified teachers. As a testament to its stability, the school has been served by a mere three principals. Henry Steinweg became its first principal and retired in 1979. The current administrator, David Rusch, took over the helm in 1983. Principal David Rusch and predecessor Henry Steinweg, have over 50 years of leadership at what is now Venice Lutheran School.

At its inception, 90% of students were children of the congregation.
Over the years, the demographics of the community changed. Currently most of the students come from a variety of religious denominations and backgrounds. The vast majority of families reside in or around Venice, including Marina del Rey, Westchester, Mar Vista, Culver City, and Santa Monica.