October 2016

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Dear Parent/Guardian,

October was a busy month as we celebrated cancer awareness, fire and school bus safety, red ribbon week, fall festivals and more. We hope that you and your student really took advantage of this month to participate in these campus engagement activities and reinforced these values in your home. This is our second month providing you this information resource that highlights what's happening in Lancaster ISD!

In this issue, we are sharing recent activities, district bond progress and upcoming activities and educational programs and more! We appreciate you being a valuable part of the Lancaster ISD family. #LikeaFamily


Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month

Parents and students from every campus in Lancaster ISD gathered at Lancaster High School for the 3rd Hispanic Heritage Academic Bowl & Cultural Celebration on Saturday, October 29. The Pleasant Run Elementary Team Independence (4th graders) and the G.W. Carver Smart Tarts teams outsmarted their peers teams to claim the elementary and secondary titles, respectively. These winning teams won the grand prize and a seat on the annual Lancaster U.S. History tour.

This event was a culminating celebration of Hispanic Heritage for the district and highlighted great Hispanic cultural leaders throughout history and kicked off its opening ceremony with a guest speaker and education consultant, Elda Rojas who emphasized the reason and purpose of the month-long celebration.

Integrated into the event was a cultural dance performance and an art contest featuring the work of 63 students. The winners of the art contest were Lancaster High School student Diana Tonche and Belt Line Elementary student Serenity Harrell. The art contest winners were selected by members of the Lancaster ISD School Board of Trustees.

Although the PRE Team Independence and G.W. Carver teams won the top seats, the district's Trustees selected two teams, Lancaster Elementary Epoch Experts and Rolling Hills Braniacs to receive the Good Sportsmanship award.

Lancaster ISD - Hosts A Day of Service Learning

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Once the weather begins to cool and the leaves change colors, many people start to prepare for the fall and holiday season with acts of kindness in the general spirit of giving. From Breast Cancer Awareness activities and fundraisers to Thanksgiving canned food drives, 'tis the season to put others first.

And while many high school seniors across the nation are busy accumulating required community services hours in the spirit of giving, this year in Lancaster ISD, students in grades Pre-K through twelve are uniting for a District Day of Service on Tuesday, November 1.

Director of Family Engagement and Behavior Support Dr. Kanesha Waites said that the district started with a simple question.

“‘How can we, as a district, make a difference right here in our community?’ As a team, we understood the importance of giving back since we had all experienced service in our own upbringing,” she said, “As a village, I believe it is vital that we continue to teach our students the values and beliefs that have been taught to us.”

For weeks, a team of representatives from each campus have met to determine which community service activities their students will take on as part of this inaugural district-wide event. Campuses were challenged to get creative with their acts of service.

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Some of the activities are:

  • Canned Food Drives and items will be donated to the North Texas Food Bank and community churches
  • Monetary donations will also be collected to give back to the North Texas Food Bank
  • Staff and students will create goody bags to give to the children at Children’s Hospital
  • Students will recycle in efforts of creating a clean and safe environment
  • Students will create holiday cards and letters to send to the servicemen who serve from Lancaster
  • Students will adopt a local firehouse and provide treats as a thank you for their service
  • Students will collect socks for patients at a community nursing home and area Red Cross
  • Students will collect baby wipes for a local crisis center.
  • Students will collect soap to donate to a women and children’s shelter
  • Students will write letters to Mayor Knight sharing the success and improvement of their campus
  • Students will write thank you letters to veterans in the hospital and their families
  • Students will create survival kits for the local police and fire departments
  • Students will create post cards to send to elderly citizens in the community
  • Students will create and decorate placemats for Meals on Wheels
  • Students will collect toiletry and hygiene products for The Family Place

The district’s Student Affairs Team has spearheaded the efforts of this Service Learning Project and Executive Director of College and Career Readiness/Student Services Creslond Fannin said that the goal is for students to become more civically engaged and leave a legacy in their community.

Follow the district's efforts on social media @WeServe.

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Lancaster Mayor and City Council Recognizes Lancaster ISD class with Excellent School Attendance

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On October 24, the City of Lancaster Mayor, the Hon. Marcus E. Knight, requested that one class from each district campus attend the City Council Meeting to be recognized for excellent attendance during the first six weeks of school. This recognition was a concerted effort by the school district and the city to highlight and promote regular school attendance during national attendance awareness month. The classes that were selected are as follows and each class was given a certificate to mark its success.

  • Belt Line Information Systems and Software Design Academy – Naomi Charles (2nd Grade)
  • Houston Health Science Technology Academy– Charmaine Harris (3rd Grade)
  • Lancaster Engineering Academy – Latrice Cooks (3rd Grade)
  • Pleasant Run Global Arts Communications and Entrepreneurship Academy– Blanca Rodriguez (4th grade)
  • Rolling Hills Engineering Academy– Sonya Howard (5th grade)
  • Rosa Parks Parks/Millbrook Information Systems and Software Design Academy – Latoya Gilliam (5th grade)
  • West Main Health Science Technology Academy – Shontae Hamilton (1st grade)
  • George Washington Carver 6th Grade STEM Learning Center – Bessie Smith (6th grade, Math)
  • Elsie Robertson Lancaster STEM Middle School – Johnathan Johnson (Social Skills)
  • Lancaster IB & STEM High School – Daniel Gober (OCC Prep)

Lancaster ISD Will Soon Enroll for the Lancaster STEM Early College High School (LSECHS)

In keeping with our VISION 2020 mission and our commitment to offering our students More Than a Diploma by providing access to more choices and opportunities before they graduate, Lancaster ISD will soon begin accepting applications for the Lancaster STEM Early College High School (LSECHS) scheduled to open in the Fall of 2017. Students who are currently in the eighth grade are invited to enroll.

The benefits of attending LSECHS will allow students to have the opportunity to earn their associate's degree or up to 60 hours of college credit all for free. It will also reduce the barriers to college access and increase college attendance.

Applications will be available in December 2016. Make plans to attend the next informational presentation on December 13.

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Early Childhood Parents: Technology Aids Learning in School and at Home

Are you a ReadyRosie parent?

ReadyRosie is an online parent engagement tool that sends an email every day that contains three-to-five videos. One video is in English, one in Spanish, one child expert video, and on Tuesdays and Thursdays there are two videos for the youngest learners (one in English and one in Spanish).

It was created to give parents and guardians ideas of how to better engage their children at home, in the library, in the car, at the grocery store, or wherever they are spending time. ReadyRosie wants to reinforce the idea that there is always an opportunity for learning and talking with children and it doesn’t take hours of practice.

Parents, grandparents, babysitters, guardians and anyone can sign-up for ReadyRosie by going to: https://readyrosie.com/signup/ and completing the brief questionnaire.

Using the ReadyRosie service only takes about 2 minutes a day. Here’s how:

1. Watch a quick daily video.

2. Do the interactive activity.

3. Learn: both child and adult grow.

See Saw App

Select primary students in Lancaster have already started their path to College and Career Readiness with the SeeSaw app. SeeSaw is an electronic portfolio that lets students take pictures and video, upload files, and add written work to a digital “folder.” For parents of students using SeeSaw, the SeeSaw Parent app provides access to each student’s portfolio so parents can view, download, and share their child’s work. The wonderful thing about SeeSaw is that it shows how much progress students are making throughout the year. SeeSaw makes it easy to see how much our primary students are growing.

Bond Construction Update

As construction on both campuses continues, district leaders have been gathering and studying demographic information that will help in the rezoning process. Because the district is moving from 7 elementary schools to 6, Lancaster ISD will have to redraw its attendance zones. Stay tuned for timelines and updates related to this important process.

As far as construction, every week (if the weather permits) we are flying our drones to get real-time progress on the construction taking place at Pleasant Run and West Main Elementary.

Click HERE to see the latest Pleasant Run construction video.

Click HERE to see the latest West Main construction video.

Stay connected with our progress at LancasterISDBond.org.

News from Our Community

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Other Important Information

Click here to view our 2016-2017 Academic Calendar

Stay connected to the district academic schedule and be aware of the upcoming district holidays.

November: Parent Connect Course

November 10: Navigating the Parent Portal

Presenter: April Janeway

Location: SEEC

Time: 7:30 am to 9:30 am & 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm

District Upcoming Events

November 3: LHS Blood Drive

November 8: Election Day

November 11: End of Second Six Weeks

November 11: Veteran’s Day

November 14: City Council Meeting

November 16: Theater Arts Talent Showcase

November 17: Strengthening Families Event

November 17: Elementary Honor Choir Concert/Art Exhibit

November 19: City of Lancaster Turkey Bowl

November 21-25: Thanksgiving Break (Campuses & District Offices Closed)

November 28: City Council Meeting

November 30: School Board Meeting

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The Mission of Lancaster ISD

The mission of Lancaster ISD, in collaboration with parents and communities, is to ignite learning that translates into sustainable success for all students in an ever-changing society.