January 2016

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Dear Parent/Guardian,


We are past the 50-yard line of the school year and are still deeply committed to offering excellent educational experiences for our students.


This is our fifth month bringing you this newsletter packed with information on recent happenings, upcoming program opportunities and even some success plans for your students.


In Lancaster ISD, our students are extremely important to us and so are you. Please enjoy this edition of a newsletter especially designed for you.


Thank you for staying connected!

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Board Appreciation Month: Lancaster ISD Celebrated Its All-Star School Board

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Lancaster ISD students and staff from all campuses participated in the celebration of our All-Star trustees during the January School Board Meeting. From personalized videos, student presentations and artwork, skits, songs, dance and vocal performances along with gifts baskets and gifts, our trustees experienced a great outpouring of love and appreciation. The trustees were celebrated individually as well as a collective body.
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Students came bearing gift bags filled with a few of their favorites things and thoughtful ideas to show their appreciation.

Lancaster ISD Hosted Its Third My Brother's Keeper Summit at Cedar Valley College

Lancaster, TX/Lancaster ISD – Just as President Barack Obama left the Oval Office on January 20, 2017, about 400 male students of the Lancaster Independent School District in grades third through fifth convened for the third annual My Brother’s Keeper male mentorship summit. This event is a flagship collaborative of the city of Lancaster, school district and local clergymen and was held at Cedar Valley College located at 330 North Dallas Avenue in Lancaster, Texas.


The young men spent the day learning from professionals, leaders and mentors in their community. The topics will be delivered via a mix of general and breakout sessions and are designed to inform and educate the students in the areas of Leadership Development, Social Excellence, Self-Empowerment and Self-Actualization.


Lancaster ISD Superintendent of Schools Dr. Michael D. McFarland served as the keynote speaker of this general assembly and encouraged the students to maintain their will to succeed no matter what. He also presented the students with cards for their wallets to remind them that success is possible.

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In Lancaster ISD, the My Brother’s Keeper male mentorship program is active on all of the campuses as a part of the district’s Student Leadership Development Series. The program allows students to have the support needed to stay on track, overcome obstacles and develop in a well-rounded manner throughout the year.


The premises of the Lancaster ISD organization stemmed from the national, My Brother’s Keeper Initiative started by President Obama in 2014 to address the opportunity gaps faced by young men of color with the goal of guiding all young people to points of access that will help them reach their full potential socially, academically, mentally.


The program is in alignment with the district’s vision that “all students will achieve self-sustaining success and leave a lasting legacy. Learn more about the Lancaster My Brother’s Keeper Male Mentorship Program at www.lancasterisd.org or call 972-218-1400.

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Congratulations to Our Top Achieve3000 Users for the First Semester!

Lancaster ISD is very proud of the elementary campuses who have been doing great work with Achieve3000 during the first half of the year.


Achieve3000 is a web-based learning aid that assists in the delivery of differentiated instruction for students reading and writing and designed to meet students on their reading level.


• West Main is the top campus and has the highest average number of reading activities per week and also has the highest percentage of students scoring a 75% or higher on the first try at almost 82%.


•As a district, we have seen more than 10,000 logins so far this year, and students are averaging a 14-point Lexile gain in just the last two months.


Our second semester goals are to increase the percentage of students scoring a 75% or higher on the first try, as well as raising the average activity score to 80% or higher, and we are already headed in the right direction.


We want to recognize West Main Elementary for getting off to a great start!

Lancaster ISD Athletic Coaches Receives Multiple Recognitions


  • Boy's Basketball Head Coach Ferrin Douglas received the Lancaster MLK Foundation 2017 Award of Excellence for being an Educator, Role Model and Motivator.


  • Football Coach Chris Gilbert was selected as a VIP at the USA Football National Conference during NFL Pro Bowl Weekend in Orlando, Florida January 27 – January 29.


  • Boys Track Head Coach Greg Williams was selected to the Board of Directors of the Texas High School Coaches Association and is the first non-football coach to serve in this capacity.


  • Congratulations are also due to the 2016 All-District, District Coach of the Year – Chris Gilbert and his coaches which were the selected as the Coaching Staff of the Year

A Message from the Lancaster ISD College and Career Readiness Department

Parents, Does Your LHS Student Have a High School or College Plan?

Success starts with a plan and preparing your student for life after high school as early as possible is crucial. The College and Career Readiness Department has a resource center on the high school campus equipped with advisors to help students and their families complete the college admission process, complete financial aid and scholarship applications and other related items.


Below is only brief summary of suggested actions that students and their families should consider once the high school years begin. Please make time to visit the LHS College and Career Center and see what other information and support you can obtain to navigate toward the next level of success for your child.


9th: Create a four-year high school plan, began exploring careers that are of interest and connect with your campus and/or college counselor to learn about essential college entry tests.


10th: Prepare and take the PSAT, start calculating the cost of college and planning financially, get involved in extracurricular activities, began attending college fairs and planning college tours.


11th: Visit colleges and create a list of options and began to schedule your SAT and ACT tests. Also, began to explore scholarships, extracurricular, civic-focused and other financial resources for school.


12th: Pick your top 10 colleges, create a college admissions checklist and timeline that includes application and test deadlines, fees and deliverable. Get with your campus and college counselor.


If you need more information and support, please contact the LHS CCR Advisors at 972.218.1800 ext. 1848 College Center.

Click to Learn About the ACT Exam & How to Register

The next ACT Test at Lancaster High School is February 11, 2017. Visit the LHS College and Career Center located on the high school campus to obtain more details.

WME Fine Arts Academy to Open In August 2017: Applications Are Currently Being Accepted

In the fall of 2017, Lancaster ISD will open its Fine Arts Academy at West Main Elementary. This academy will offer learning around the following disciplines, music, visual arts, drama, dance and piano. Currently applications are being accepted for students in the second to fourth grades that are zoned for and are attending West Main Elementary during the 2017-18 school year. There are limited spaces available so please complete the application online today. West Main Fine Arts Academy will offer an intense study in the performing and visual arts while maintaining a strong emphasis in its core academic areas. This program is geared toward students who display artistic potential and who can be cultivated into articulate individuals focused on their artistry.
Click to Learn More or Apply Today

Spaces are limited. Auditions will be held. Contact the Lancaster ISD Fine Arts Department for more information at 972-218-1800 x 5262.

Dear Lancaster ISD Parents and Guardians,


We are once again collaborating with BrightBytes, an educational research organization, to learn more about our students’ school and home technology use for learning. The BrightBytes initiative has helped us measure our technology growth, and check whether the changes we are making at school have impacted learning.


We are reaching out to ask you to take part in the Technology & Learning questionnaire. This is an annual initiative, and your participation is essential to help us form a complete picture of technology use for student learning. Please know that all of your responses will remain anonymous to protect your privacy.


Please use the information below to complete the survey.


How to Access Parent Survey


1. Click the Survey Button Link

2. Select “Parents” from menu bar (top of page)

3. Select your campus

STEM In Lancaster ISD: Mid-Year Update

From Crayons to College to Careers, Lancaster ISD continues to provide access to STEM education for all students in hopes of ensuring students graduate with More Than A Diploma. In our 5th year of implementing STEM district-wide, Lancaster ISD, designated as a T-STEM district, by the Texas Education Agency, continues to offer specialized STEM curriculum and electives, STEM Clubs and STEM Summer Bridge Camps, while also challenging students in the classroom with problem based learning and STEM competitions.


Using the TIGERS’ Design as our premier problem solving tool, teachers and students are equipped to tackle real-world problems and propose solutions that can be used by STEM professionals. The 2016-17 school year got off to a great start and we are full STEAM ahead.


Here are a few highlights to date and some upcoming opportunities that you should know about:


  • Students in grades 6-12 are still amid the Operation Aviation: Tigers SOAR, a service learning project in conjunction with our partners, Wings of Hope and Experience Aviation. This one-of-a-kind aircraft restoration project designed for Lancaster ISD students challenges them to restore an operable four-seater, Cessna 182, single-engine aircraft through an intensive, yet innovative year round hands-on academy. This unique project connects our students to the world of STEM, Aviation and service as they embark on a journey to help others through their aircraft restoration efforts. So far, students have successfully extracted the engine from the airplane, split the crank case of the engine and removed the oil pump and oil filter housing that was stored on the engine, prepared the wings and tubing for attachments on the plane, mounted the wings, along with some minor wiring and aesthetics. This project is scheduled to culminate on March 25, 2017.
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Other STEM Academic Highlights...

  • Lancaster ISD has been named one of four T-STEM Innovative Learning Labs by Educate Texas and the Texas Education Agency. This award will allow Lancaster ISD to continue STEM education efforts and allows us the opportunity to assist other schools and academies with implementing STEM.

  • In partnership with the University of North Texas at Dallas, Lancaster ISD co-developed a STEM Master’s degree for teachers to positively impact student achievement in mathematics and science. We now have 36 teachers in our district who possess these credentials.

  • Next year, we will open our STEM Early College High School and STEM Agricultural Farm in order to increase students’ opportunities for achieving More Than A Diploma.

  • Lancaster ISD received the High Quality Pre-Kindergarten Grant. For more than 10 years, we have provided an all-day Pre-K option. We are also among the few districts who offer a free PK-3 program with a very affordable option for full-day services. This new grant allows us to strengthen our already remarkable Pre-Kindergarten program by funding instructional materials and professional development for parents and teachers.

The Lancaster STEM Early College High School (LSECHS) Has a Few More Seats Available - Apply Today

The Lancaster STEM Early College High School (LSECHS) is scheduled to open in the Fall of 2017. Students who are currently in the eighth grade are invited to enroll. The LSECHS learning pathways (Computer Graphic Arts and Core Complete) will allow students the opportunity to earn their associate's degree or up to 60 hours of college credit all for free. Space is limited, so if you are interested in connecting your eighth grade student to this opportunity, please submit the application today.

Parents of Eighth Graders Can Apply Here

Complete the application today!

Lancaster High School is hosting its 8th Grade Parent Night on February 7

The Lancaster High School counselors will host the 8th grade parent information night from 6 pm – 8 pm on Tuesday, February 7 in the Lancaster High School auditorium. The counselors will speak with parents and students about endorsements, choice sheets and graduation requirements.


Parents will also have an opportunity to visit tables where representatives from each endorsement area and organizations will provide information about their programs. Please make plans to attend this eevent as your 8th grade student begins his or her journey to the high school. To learn more, contact 972-218-1800.

Lancaster ISD Health Services: Have You Signed Up Your Child for Telehealth Services?

Lancaster ISD partnered with Children’s Medical Center’s Telehealth program to install Telemedicine carts on all of its campuses. If a parent has signed a consent form, the school nurse can use the Telemedicine cart to examine the student remotely.


Typical examinations of the ears, eyes, throat and even the skin can be made with the telescopic device, called a horoscope, which allows a physician to diagnose the child remotely. Then the physician can recommend further treatment or even issue a prescription for the parent to pick up on the way home. This additional step in our healthcare service allows a parent to not have to miss work to sit in a waiting room and it can help provide an early diagnosis to decrease time students spend away from their classroom.


If you are interested in your child being able to receive this service, should the need arise, please see your campus healthcare professional to complete the process.


Click here to learn more about the Telehealth service and the Partnership with Children's Health and Lancaster ISD.

Bond Construction Update

As we enter the month of February, the construction of our two new elementary campuses is steadily progressing.


Pleasant Run: The construction team met with the playground installer to coordinate the installation of the playgrounds. They will start the installation on May 8.

Click HERE to see the latest Pleasant Run construction video


West Main: The construction team met with the playground installer to coordinate the installation of the playgrounds. They will start the installation on May 8.

Click HERE to see the latest West Main construction video.


We invite you to stay connected to the process and share any questions that you may have as we provide periodic updates. If you have questions, please share them via the Let's Talk application on our district website, www.lancasterisd.org.


Stay connected with our construction progress at LancasterISDBond.org.

February School Menus

Click this link to see the meals scheduled for the students and also view the Valentine's Day Promo. You can also view the create-a-meal option for those who may have specific meal plan needs and also download the SFE Mobil app to plan on-the-go.

News from Our Community

Lancaster ISD Participated in the Lancaster MLK Foundation Parade and Program

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Lancaster ISD student organizations, local groups, elected officials along with various community organizations united to observe the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. , at the Lancaster MLK Foundation annual parade and program in January. Although the outside weather was a little less than ideal, the parade carried on and culminated at Lancaster High School with a memorable program. The program highlighted the past and present struggles for civil and equal rights and awarded two community members that were impactful, leaders and role model in the community. Specifically, the Foundation honored Lancaster City Councilmember, Carol Strain-Burk and Lancaster ISD Basketball Coach Ferrin Douglas. Texas State Senator Royce West served as the grand marshal of the parade and the keynote speaker for the program. He shared insightful perspectives on the struggles for civil rights and admonished everyone to pull together and remain true to the dream.
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The City of Lancaster Mayor Knight Delivers the State of the City Address

Lancaster ISD/Lancaster, TX - “The State of the City is very positive and optimistic.” Those were the words of City of Lancaster Mayor, the Honorable Marcus E. Knight, to the attendees of the annual State of the City Address held during the Lancaster Chamber of Commerce luncheon in January.


“We’re very much committed to improving infrastructure and roads in our community,” Mayor Knight said. “But we’re also focused on new developments, economic development and have some strategies and things in place to address those areas.”


Some of the fiscal management highlights of 2016 shared included some first time successes like the city’s $2 billion assessed tax value due to the increased growth and development along with the now 50/50 balance of the resident and commercial tax base. Also, the city continues to be recognized for its financial transparency.


Regarding economic development, he shared the following amounts of $1 billion dollars in growth and 134 new homes starts with and average more than $200,000.


Click here to view the State of the City Address

City of Lancaster Staff Hosted a Lancaster ISD Educator's Appreciation Breakfast

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The City of Lancaster rang in the New Year with an Educator Appreciation Breakfast designed to show appreciation to the hardworking employees of Lancaster ISD. The breakfast was held in the Veterans Memorial Library and was a great time for the staff of the city and the school district to reconnect during the first of the new year.

The It's Time Texas Community Challenge is Still In Progress...

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We Are Committed to the Challenge.... Are You?

Lancaster ISD is teaming up with the City of Lancaster for the It’s Time Texas Community Challenge on January 9 through March 31. So, we need 100% of all Lancaster ISD parents and community members to participate in this challenge so that Lancaster, TX can be #1 in its category!

Program Overview


Ways to Earn Points


For more information, contact the City of Lancaster Community Relations Department at 972-218-1300.

Upcoming Events and Celebrations

LHS Student Organizations to Host Tryouts on February 7

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Check and see if your child would like to join the action! Then, make plans to attend the interest meeting on February 7 at Lancaster High School. Please note that this meeting is for students in grades 8-12 only.

Black History Bowl - February 18

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Lancaster ISD Pre-Kindergarten Registration is April 3-7

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Upcoming District Events

Feburary 11: ACT at LHS

February 15th- LHS Financial Aid Workshop

February 18: Black History Bowl

Febuary 19-25: National Engineers Week

February 24: End of 4th Six Weeks

February 27: School Board Meeting, 7 PM

March 2: NEHS Induction Ceremony, 6-7 PM (LHS)

March 6-10: Career Go Get it Week

March 13-17: Spring Break – Campuses and District Offices Closed

March 25: STEM Expo

March 30: School Board Meeting, 7 PM

Click here to view our 2016-2017 Academic Calendar

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

In Lancaster ISD, our VISION is 2020!

Lancaster ISD Beliefs:

    Equity

    Equity in education is a human right.


    Community

    Educators, parents and students share in the responsibility of developing well-rounded individuals.


    Quality

    Engaged, relevant learning experiences provide for a quality education leading to a quality life.


    Courage

    Learning is a life-long process that is enhanced by taking risks.


    Growth

    A person has the capacity to learn from past experiences.


    Purpose

    Purposeful planning to meet individual student needs leads to intentional outcomes for student success.

    Lancaster ISD: We Believe in Excellence

    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.
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