October 21, 2021
To read this newsletter in Spanish, click the "view in my browser" link. In the menu to the right, choose Translate and pick "Spanish" in the dropdown box.
Para leer este boletín en español, haga clic en el enlace "ver en mi navegador". En el menú de la derecha, elija Traducir y elija "Español" en el cuadro desplegable.
Message from Dr. Bowers
Well, it looks like Fall has finally arrived in the Antelope Valley. Cooler weather, a few clouds, and strong winds came rolling in last week. No complaints however, we can definitely use the rain. With the onset of Fall, we see many families already preparing for the Holiday season beginning with Halloween. This year has really gone by quickly and I’m sure the next couple of months will be no exception.
Parent conferences this week will mark the closing of the first quarter of the school year. If your child could benefit from a little extra tutoring or homework help, please take advantage of our Online Tutoring help offered FREE to all Lancaster School District students in TK – 8th grade – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Just login through your student’s Classlink or G Suite account to access the app. It’s a safe place to get support when you need it and a variety of subjects are available.
Lastly, though the need remains for us to continue to practice our COVID-19 safety protocols, I am very pleased to say that the return to in-person instruction has gone very well. Thank you for doing your part at school and at home! In an effort to keep our schools safe – students and staff, please remember that good health and safety practices are especially important right now as friends and family prepare for holiday gatherings and travel. Please make sure to check out some of the tips for Halloween safety in this newsletter.
Celebrate Red Ribbon Week!
The Red Ribbon Campaign is the oldest and largest drug prevention program in the nation, reaching millions of young people during Red Ribbon Week, October 23rd – October 31st. This year's theme is "Drug Free Looks Like Me".
The National Family Partnership is the sponsor of the National Red Ribbon Week Celebration. Lancaster School District joins in the event every year, providing a Red Ribbon for students and staff to wear and sharing the message against drugs. This year, our district also provided bracelets for everyone, as well as a large pennant to be displayed at each school.
In partnership with LAMAR Advertising, Lancaster School District promotes an Annual Art Contest, where student art work is selected to be shown on billboards throughout the City. Each site submits one winner per grade level and then District Office staff votes on three districtwide winners.
Each school plans different daily activities during the Red Ribbon Week Celebration. Make sure to check them out at your site!
Halloween Safety Tips
Some top tips include:
- Make sure your little goblins can be seen. Put reflective tape on costumes or treat bags so they can be spotted by drivers a good distance away.
- Accompany small children all the way to the doors.
- If older children are going unaccompanied, plan and review an acceptable route and agree on a specific time to return home.
- Check candy before allowing kids to eat it.
- Keep COVID precautions in mind.
For additional resources, check out these sites:
Halloween Health and Safety Tips (healthychildren.org)
Halloween safety: Tips for trick-or-treaters (Mayoclinic.org)
Simple Steps for an Extra Safe Halloween (National Safety Council)
Guidance for a Safe Halloween (LA County Dept. of Public Health)
Cybersecurity Awareness Month
October is here, not only are we celebrating cooler weather but it’s also National Cybersecurity Awareness Month! While cybersecurity may have previously been relegated to IT in the past, it’s visibility and impact reaches our personal lives as well. While there may be less Nigerian Princes offering you vast sums of money, the threats using those techniques have unfortunately evolved. Cybersecurity statistics indicate a significant rise in data breaches and hacking. The FBI has also acknowledged a jump in cybercrime over the last few years.
So what can we as cyber-citizens do about it? The first thing to do is to ensure that devices are kept updated. The second is to use a unique, strong password for each account. How to keep track of all those complex passwords? Reputable password managers like Lastpass, Keeper, or 1password are good, and sometimes free, options that make it easy.
Another way to stay cyber safe is to only browse reputable sites. At bare minimum, we should be looking for the little lock sign in the browser bar. This indicates that the website is who they say they are in the certificate. Some shady websites will use other characters to look similar to websites you frequent, so pay careful attention to what the address bar indicates.
Finally, using multi factor authentication (MFA) wherever possible is a good way to secure your accounts. Multi factor authentication uses text messages, codes, and alternate email addresses to send verification that you are who you say you are when you are logging in. While there may be lots of threats on the internet, you are not powerless against them. To help you here's a good resource from CISA. Stay safe out there!