February 2018 - Recap
In February, the district campuses and staff celebrated culture, college access, and kindness in addition to providing our students with a world-class learning experience.
The College and Career Readiness Department sealed more great college access connections for our students with the addition of new partnerships. The Academics and Innovation team hosted the Black History Bowl and Competition for the students and we also marked the 100th day of school at the top of the month!
These are just a few of the wonderful happenings of February 2018. We definitely expect greater things to occur during this semester as we prepare for the state testing season.
Please know that your involvement and decision to allow us to shape your children to successfully thrive in society, achieve self-sustaining success and leave a lasting legacy fills us with appreciation and gratitude.
Enjoy this publication, designed especially for you, to keep you informed and connected to the accomplishments and achievements of the Lancaster ISD community.
News From the Office of Student Affairs
The Lancaster Independent School District Academic Calendar Survey Is Open!
We invite our parents, staff and community members to vote on the 2018-2019 School Calendar. Please click the link below to view the options and take the survey.
You may also visit the district web site at www.LancasterISD.org and click the banner at the top of the home page to view the options and take the survey.
News From Academics and Innovation
Lancaster ISD Held Its Fifth Annual Black History Bowl, Art and Essay Competition
Saturday, February 10, was a memorable day set aside to celebrate Black History Month as a district. Parents, staff and students gathered to test their overall knowledge of black history at Lancaster High School.
The award-winning Lancaster High School JROTC Color Guard presented the colors which was befitting since the national theme of the month-long celebration was "African-Americans in Times of War." This theme celebrated the centennial anniversary of the end of World War I. The Black History Bowl keynote speaker, Calvin Davis, who also served in the military, further celebrated the theme as he shared the beginnings of war times and training even prior to the time of Africans in America. He even used his military leadership training to motivate students and other members of the audience for competitions of the day. In fact, a few students did push ups!
The artistic talent and creativity of Lancaster ISD’s elementary and secondary students made the judging of the Black History Bowl Art and Essay Competition a tight race for the four local artists who agreed to judge the art portion of the day’s contests.
Ultimately, two young students’ artwork were chosen as the winners in the elementary and secondary divisions. West Main Elementary third grade student, De Caymion Andrews’ artwork titled, I FLY, a charcoal and pastels art portrait won elementary division. George Washington Carver 6th Grade STEM Learning Center student, Angelica Palacio, who submitted a color pencil art piece titled Color of Nature won the secondary division.
The esteemed panel of noted artists included Ebony Lewis, a local teacher and two-dimensional expressionist, Jeremy Biggers, a realism and portrait painter and graphic designer, Cedar Valley College Art and Visual Design Instructor Jessica Battes-Grabowski and Lancaster legend and renowned artist, Jer Giles, a veteran scenic artist, noted for commissioned to re-paint the State Fair Classic icon Big Tex and the current mural on the front of the District’s Athletic Indoor Fieldhouse.
The artwork theme coincided with the National Black History Month Theme, African Americans in Times of War, which celebrated the Centennial Year of the end of World War I and contest unfolded many creative surprises for the industry judges.
Sixty-five students in both elementary and secondary grades submitted artwork.
The W.E.B. Dubois Essay Contest winners graced the stage to receive their award during the closing round of the bowl competition. The secondary student winner was Kaiden Drain of Elsie Robertson Lancaster STEM Middle School.
Kaiden’s essay focused on the role of blacks in the fight for independence during the American Revolution. Kaiden also recently won the 2018 Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Essay Contest held by the Dallas Martin Luther King Community Center.
The elementary W.E.B. DuBois essay winner was Jade Miner of the Houston Health Science Technology Academy.
Jade’s essay topic was centered on the life of Mr. William Harvey Carney, who was the first African American to receive the Medal of Honor.
Lancaster Reads: The Summary of the February Lancaster ISD Reading Challenge
We are grateful for the members our city leadership, Mayor Marcus E. Knight and City Manager Mrs. Opal Jones and their staff including the Lancaster Police and Fire Departments, the district leaders, parents and students who all teamed up to read to students during the month!
Lancaster High School Engineering and Robotic Students Participate in the TAME Competition
On February 10, 2018, the Lancaster High School students from the Engineering and Robotics Club participated in the Texas Alliance for Minorities in Engineering (TAME) Math, Science, Engineering competition at Tarrant County Community College SE Campus in Ft. Worth, TX.
Sixteen students in grades 9 to 12 from LHS Engineering Robotics, Math and Science Clubs, along with at least 200 other students from the Dallas and Fort Worth areas, engaged in a day of STEM-related competitions.
Mr. Charles Richardson, the club sponsor stated that this is the fifth year that Lancaster ISD students participated in the TAME events. "It is our goal to continue to prepare the students to meet the challenges of the 21st century through these events.”
Lancaster High School students made a strong impact as shown in the following summary:
Written Math Test – 9th Grade
- Ethan Ruiz – 2nd place
Written Math Test – 11th Grade
- Marco Medina – 6th place
- Lloyd Trimble – 5th place
- Melvin Hernandez – 4th place
- Dewitt Hunter – 2nd place
- Jordon Wolfe – 1st place (qualified for state)
Science Written Test – 9th Grade
- Ethan Ruiz – 6th place
Science Written Text – 11th Grade
- Marco Medina – 6th place
- Lloyd Trimble – 5th place
- Jordan Wolfe – 4th place
- Dewitt Hunter – 3rd place
- Melvin Hernandez – 2nd place
Engineering Design Challenge Judge’s Choice
- Victor Ajuobi – 3rd place (Team 17)
- Ethan Ruiz – 1st place (Team 10) *qualified for state
Engineering Design Challenge Parachute Apparatus 7000 Design Challenge Operation
- Robert Mbelwa – 2nd place
Engineering Design Bullseye Challenge
- Jaylan Fletcher – 1st place (Team 14)
News From the Athletics Department
The Athletics Department announces that Lancaster High School Head Basketball Coach Ferrin Douglas recently celebrated his 300th Career Win. The Lancaster ISD School Board of Trustees, Superintendent Granger and the Athletic Department along with his team, the Running Tigers, marked this grand occasion.
News From Bond Project Team
News From the Early Childhood Department
This partnership was an idea that the PreK - 4 teachers at Belt Line came up with in order to expose their students to fine arts.
Mark Your Calendars For the Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten Registration Event!
News from College and Career Readiness Department
Lancaster High School Students Participate in Dallas County Promise Student Leadership Summit
On February 5, Lancaster High School students were among the 200 students in the area who participated in the Dallas County Promise Student Leadership Summit at Cedar Valley College. The half-day event featured, civil rights activist and attorney Fred Gray, whose discussion focused on the role of young people in the past addressing the issues of college access and economic opportunity.
Lancaster High School and University of North Texas Partnership
Acceptance to the program also allows the students to participate in the senior year experience which offers participation in campus events and programming such as College Preparatory Workshops, Eagle Advantage Tours, Junior Day, and Senior Day.
More details and calendar events can be found at senioryear.unt.edu.
Career Week is March 5-9
AP Saturday Learning Sessions are Currently in Progress!
Parents of 6 to 12 Grade Students - Sign Your Child Up for the AVID Program
Seven Lancaster ISD Students Participate in the Cedar Valley College CTE Signing Day Event
Lancaster, TX/Lancaster ISD – Seven Lancaster High School students publicly shared their commitment to higher education as they signed their letter of intent to pursue a degree and workforce certification at Cedar Valley College during its inaugural National Technical Letter of Intent Signing Day held on the college’s campus.
Two Lancaster High School seniors, Troy Hilliard and Billyndria Griffin, selected a business certification and Kaylen Speaks committed to study Veterinary Technology. Samantha Cano and Nazir Evans are interested in the STEM certifications with a focus in Forensic Science, Mechanical Engineering and Chemical Engineering, respectively while Nicholas Woods intends on pursuing an Engineering Technology certification.
These Lancaster ISD students were among 55 students from local area high schools and districts including Cedar Hill and DeSoto Independent School Districts and two Dallas ISD schools, David W. Carter and Wilmer-Hutchins high schools participating this National Coalition Centers for Certification (NC3) partnership.
Cedar Valley College Director of Public Information and Marketing Henry Martinez said that this new higher education partnered approach to Career and Technical Education is poised to yield good results for students and the community.
“They are taking advantage of the opportunity to obtain a degree and an industry relevant workforce certification at the same time to ensure good job placement upon graduation,” he said.
Hilliard, who along with Griffin intends to obtain a business certification, wants use his degree as a springboard to entrepreneurship.
“I want to learn how to start a business successfully and be able to make a huge profit and continue to build it,” he said.
He chose Cedar Valley College because of its proximity and that fact that he can continue to excel.
“They have a good business program already in place for students from Lancaster High School to come over and actually start learning about it.”
Griffin said, that it is the constant partnership between the school district and her community that helped solidify her choice to study at Cedar Valley College.
“I don’t pass up any opportunities that will help me with my education and to better myself. Once I graduate, I hope to give back to my high school and community,” she said. “I want to help those whom I can tell that I have been in their shoes before.”
News From the Child Nutrition Department
- You can access your students lunch account from wherever you are
- Keep up with your child's meal balances online or via the app
- Check cafeteria balances & purchases
- Receive low balance alerts
- Set up automatic payments
Download or logon to www.myschoolbucks.com today.
Click to see the menu for the campus breakfast and lunch service.
News from the Health and Safety Departments
In Lancaster ISD School Safety is Our Priority and Our Commitment...
In light of recent events in our country and even in districts in the DFW area, we want to reaffirm our commitment to the safety and security of our students and staff.
Every day, our teachers and staff arrive to work ready to educate and pour into each one of our students with the goal of returning your children back to you in the same, if not better, condition than when they arrived to our campuses.
We are sure that the administrators and teachers at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida shared the same goal. However, on February 14, their world was rocked by this senseless tragedy.
Even though school systems have long had safety measures in place, now, many school leaders are revisiting those plans to ensure that everyone—students, teachers, custodians, cafeteria workers, campus leaders and office personnel—knows what to do in the event of an emergency or crisis situation.
In Lancaster ISD, we take every opportunity to learn from events like this and operate daily with a level of vigilance as we work to maintain a safe and secure environment for our students and staff.
The following are some of our current procedures and safety protocols in place. We will continue to provide an environment that is as safe and secure as possible:
- Every campus has a security vestibule that limits access to the building.
- Every campus is equipped with multiple security cameras.
- Every campus has a crisis management team, which works closely with the District safety and security team to ensure that effective safety measures are in place.
- Every campus conducts emergency drills to practice responses to a variety of scenarios including fire, lockdown, evacuations and shelter-in-place.
- Lancaster ISD has a visitor registry plan that requires all visitors to check-in and show identification at the front desk prior to having access to the building. All employees and secondary students are required to wear identification badges while on district property.
- Our district has a Police Department that monitors each campus and quickly responds to emergencies.
Heath Services Reminder: Don't Let the Flu Get You!
We have noticed an increase in student absences due to cold/flu-like illnesses, and the following notification is to inform you of our proactive, precautionary measures and to ask that you help us maintain a safe and healthy learning environment.
As customary this time of the year, we have increased the frequency of our deep disinfection of the building to help keep our environment as clean and germ-free as possible. In fact, proper health and safety protocols have been in progress including ensuring that common areas and water fountains are disinfected throughout the day.
However, since viruses can spread easily from person to person, we need your help to prevent such cases in students and staff. It is important for all staff, students and families to take the following precautions to help maintain the wellness of our learning community:
• If your child is ill with flu or strep-like symptoms, it is extremely necessary for you to keep him/her at home. Remember that students cannot return to school until the fever has been gone for at least 24 hours without the help of anti-fever medicines.
• If your child shows signs of severe illness – such as difficulty breathing – please seek immediate emergency care.
• Please practice and continue to remind your children to wash their hands with soap and water, use hand-sanitizer regularly, cover their cough with their elbow, avoid touching their face and to stay away from other sick people as much as possible.
For more information about flu, its symptoms and treatment, call 1-800-CDC-INFO or visit www.flu.gov. Also, please use the Dallas County Health and Human Services influenza resources and updates available at: http://www.dallascounty.org.
News From the Fine Arts Department
The students from West Main Elementary, Rosa Parks Millbrook’s dance team, 6th - 12th grade dance and theater students made for a total of 350 students and staff attending the student matinee performance at the Dee and Charles Wyly Theater Downtown Dallas.
The students saw dance works created by three different nationally known choreographers, two of which studied at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. The student matinee performance was a part of the Cultural Awareness Series sponsored by Wells Fargo. Lancaster ISD students then toured the facility and observed the dressing rooms, costume shop, roof top view, and backstage areas. It was a great exposure activity for our deserving Lancaster ISD students.
Fine Arts Hosted Its Inaugural Day of Dance
This year, the Fine Arts Department created and hosted it’s first annual Day of Dance.
All dance students were invited from each campus that are a part of the dance program. West Main, George Washington Carver, LMS, and LHS dancers were all audience members as well as student performers. The idea of the program was to allow students of dance to showcase the work they had been doing in the Fall semester and receive feedback from other students. The dance faculty consisted on professionals who facilitated productive conversations about the world of dance and student’s career opportunities.
The Fine Arts Department also invited a professional company to perform for the Lancaster ISD Dance Department. The Terrence M. Johnson Dance Project http://www.tmjdanceproject.org of Dallas, TX danced a trio.
The Terrance M. Johnson Dance Project (TMJDP) was founded on March 15, 2016 by Terrance M. Johnson. The project was founded to enrich underserved communities by providing more exposure and opportunities to participate in art & culture programs. Our community outreach programs are designed to promote art in education, civic values, and cultural awareness.
Students reported they could feel the movement in their souls. We are excited and appreciative of the fine arts leadership and that Mr. Garry Williams supported this Day of Dance. A great time was had by all and we look forward to next year’s Day of Dance.
(Article Submitted by Stacey Lotten, Assist. Fine Arts Director)
Upcoming District Events and Deadlines
News, Info,Highlights and Events From Our Local Partners
Lancaster Residents: Attend the City of Lancaster Citizens Public Safety Academy
This academy is FREE to all participants! Citizens Public Safety Academy is designed for persons living in or working for the City of Lancaster who wish to learn more about the Lancaster Police and Fire Departments. Applications are available at the link below or at the Lancaster Public Safety Building. Check back periodically for future class dates.
Participants are given the opportunity to have “hands on” demonstrations of emergency operations. Among the course subjects: organization and operations of both departments, emergency medical services, S.W.A.T., emergency communications, medical helicopter services, home safety prevention and much more! Applicants for this academy will undergo personal background checks as part of the application process. Don’t miss out on this incredible opportunity; submit your application today!
Reminder from Lancaster the ISD Communications Department: Stay Connected!
Get the App: Keep Lancaster ISD at Your Finger Tips!
In Texas, we know that there is a potential to have inclement weather and we may have to make some adjustments to our regular school schedule. We want to be certain that you have updated your information in our database. Our goal is to keep you connected and engaged to Lancaster ISD news and information, however, the last thing that we want to do is become a nuisance.
This SchoolMessenger parent video clearly communicates how you can set your preferences for school notifications. Click the link to view the short video about setting your preferences: https://vimeo.com/schoolmessenger/parentpreferences
Let's Talk! is an always-on communication channel, allowing you to share your thoughts with us at any time. Click the button above to get started!
In Lancaster ISD, our VISION is 2020!
Lancaster ISD Beliefs:
Equity in education is a human right.
Educators, parents and students share in the responsibility of developing well-rounded individuals.
Engaged, relevant learning experiences provide for a quality education leading to a quality life.
Learning is a life-long process that is enhanced by taking risks.
A person has the capacity to learn from past experiences.
Purposeful planning to meet individual student needs leads to intentional outcomes for student success.