March 2017 Recap

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Dear Parent/Guardian,


Well, spring has sprung and in the month of March, we had a blossom of district events and activities. We started and ended the month celebrating academic and social excellence with the National Elementary and Junior Honor Society Induction ceremonies and the anticipated 5th annual 21st Century STEM Expo and Parent Connect Event. Additionally, our campuses focused on STEM career exploration, test prep and as a district, we are already planning for the upcoming 2017-18 school year. We have opened the online registration link and are currently accepting your Pre-Registration information.


This is our seventh month bringing you this newsletter packed with information about recent happenings, upcoming program opportunities and chances for you to be more engaged in your child's education.


In Lancaster ISD, it is truly our pleasure to serve you and your child each day. Please enjoy this edition of a newsletter especially designed for you.


Thank you for staying connected!

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Lancaster ISD Launches New "WE BELIEVE" Video Series

Parents, we’re embarking on an exciting mission to share our new narrative and tell the many stories of our school district! We truly love to highlight and share the wonderful people and programs in our district we’ve created a new videos series entitled, "We Believe”, to do just that. With this new video series, we will showcase the essence of what makes our district unique, feature the personal stories of our staff and students, and share the family connection that exist within Lancaster ISD. We are excited to share these stories with you and invite you to watch our video series, share our stories, and believe in Lancaster ISD. #WeBelieve


This video features Rosa Parks/Millbrook Physical Education teacher, Joshua Hairston.

Please like and share it...

Lancaster ISD Receives Commit! Partnership Bright Spot Award!

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Dallas, TX/Lancaster ISD – The Lancaster Independent School District was recognized at the Commit! Partnership Annual Dallas County Scorecard Achievement event on Thursday, March 2 with the first annual Commit! Bright Spot Award.


Recognized for the best performance over the 5-years that Commit! has been measuring academic success across the county, Lancaster ISD has seen a 12 percent gain across Commit’s ‘Cradle-to-Career indicators’, and a 3 percent decline in income-based achievement gaps. In total, 614 more students are meeting key benchmarks from Kindergarten readiness through high school graduation rate in Lancaster ISD.


“Lancaster ISD had the highest growth rate of student achievement across our indicators ranging from Kindergarten readiness to high school graduation.” explained Sagar Desai, Chief Operating Officer of the Commit! Partnership. “The other key factor was Lancaster’s success in helping low-income students achieve at levels commensurate with their peers.”


Lancaster ISD Superintendent Michael McFarland attributes the district’s success to a culture of student achievement originating from the board of trustees, an intentional focus on getting the right campus leaders, targeted STEM efforts, and a continual focus on data to drive to student growth.


“We are thankful for our partners, Texas Instruments and Educate Texas, who have worked with us as we’ve designed a K-12 STEM for All Model which has transformed choices and opportunities for our students and their families,” he said. “We started as a school district, city and community representing the best, I believe, of what collective impact can produce and I am proud of our work. We set out to improve a school district, but what we’ve done is transform our community.”


Only one other school district in Dallas County matched Lancaster ISD’s performance since the inception of the Partnership, and that was Irving ISD.


The cradle-to-career indicators included in this measurement are kindergarten readiness, 3rd grade reading, 4th grade math, 8th grade science, algebra 1, college readiness, and high school graduation. These indicators were determined based on best practices and input from community leaders across the country as the key measures for student success across their K-12 academic career.


The Commit! Partnership is a non-profit that helps drive student achievement in Dallas County from cradle to career by analyzing where help is needed, activating what is working, and growing capacity and capabilities on a system level. For more information visit commit2dallas.org.


For additional inquiries regarding Commit! and the Bright Spot award, please contact Media Contact: Rob Shearer at shearer@commit2dallas.org or at 214-882-5787.


The Lancaster Independent School District serves more than 7,000 pre-kindergarten through grade 12 students in 11 schools. Our vision is that all students achieve self-sustaining success and leave a lasting legacy. And our mission, in collaboration with parents and communities, is to ignite learning that translates into sustainable success for all students in an ever-changing society.

Lancaster ISD Hosted Elementary and Junior Honor Society Induction Ceremonies

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Each year, the district celebrates the academic, social and personal development of our students in numerous ways. In March, we inducted elementary and middle school students into the National Honor Society. This national organization centers its membership around four pillars: Scholarship, Service, Leadership and Character -in addition to the students with a GPA of 85 (3.0) or above.


Students are involved on their campus or in their community on a regular basis, have demonstrated leadership skills, and are known to be a person of good character, honest and reliable.


We inducted 199 elementary students into the National Elementary Honor Society and 53 students into the National Junior Honor Society. The induction ceremony for the high school students will be held on Thursday, April 20.


Each event was packed with parents and other relatives, that it was almost at capacity. We want to thank you parents, for the strong showing of your support of this student achievement.


See more photos from the NJHS

The Academic and College and Career Readiness Departments Partnered to Host A Successful District-wide STEM Career Week!

For the last 7 years, Lancaster ISD has held a district-wide week of Career Exploration. This year, this week was narrowed to focus on STEM careers and brought a very creative and innovative approach to learning. The students heard from a diverse group of professionals who shared their journeys and day to day responsibilities with our students.


Please see the gallery below to enjoy a few examples of student engagement and learning during STEM Careers week.

Houston Elementary: The "Living Wax Museum" of Notable People and Careers

Houston Elementary students in the second grade classes took career day to another level. Students researched and dressed as a career professional and participated in a 'living wax museum" to share information on notable people and careers with their campus peers.


Some students came dressed as astronaut, Mae Jemison, renown poet and author, Maya Angelou and the one-of-a-kind musician and singer, Stevie Wonder amongst others.


Students also gained knowledge about Anne Heap, a pastry artist who founded the Pink Cake Box company, Jackie Robinson, the baseball player who broke the color lines, Troy Aikman, a former Dallas Cowboy football player, and Zelda Wynn Valdes, an African-American fashion designer and costumer.


The students shared their research and "living wax museum" with students in Pre - K to First Grade classes on their campus.

LMS Hosts Annual Career Day with A Diverse Group of Professionals

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Students at LMS had the opportunity to get in-depth information from Mr. Williams, an engineer who explained how his passion for understanding how things worked as a young child brought him to his career path, allowed him to work with government officials, have the lifestyle that he desires and do what he enjoys each day.

Belt Line Elementary Marks Career Day with A Myriad of Speakers

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Belt Line students pose with retired NFL player, Keith Davis during STEM Career Week. He spoke to the students about realizing their dreams regardless of what occurs in your life. He shared his journey from high school to college and his professional career. He also shared how he planned for life after football to ensure his long-term success.
These are just a few of the diverse range of professions to which students were exposed to during the Belt Line Career Day 2017. Additional guests included, City of Dallas' executive manager, attorneys, realtors, physical exercise trainers, a chemist, police officers, fire fighters, dentists and UPS delivery team members.

Students in the Lancaster ISD SEEDS Program Host Campus Lemonade Day During STEM Career Week

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The Lemonade Stand Contest idea started with the plans for STEM Careers Week. Lemonade Stand is a lesson within the STEM Math Literacy Resource material that is used in self- contained SEEDS classrooms. The SEEDS teachers were notified a week ahead of time to switch their SEEDS Lesson plans to teach the Lemonade Stand Lesson the week of March 6- 10. This allowed the teachers and students to be prepared for their campus lemonade day. The wonderful part about this lesson is the student interactive learning opportunities. Students participated in the artwork displayed at their Lemonade stand and the instructional piece included the concept and language of math and money. Additionally, there’s also a reading comprehension piece with the attached reader titled, "Lemonade Stand.”


A scoring rubric was used to evaluate the visual art, math, writing, the finished display and of course, the taste of the lemonade.


Belt Line Elementary was the winning campus that received the highest score in two of the categories. The students also went above and beyond by creating a web site to add the technology piece to their lemonade stand!

All four of the campuses that participated actually sold lemonade to the other staff and students on their campuses. This was a great interactive learning experience that incorporated a real-world concept and also allowed students and teachers to be collaborative, inclusive, and creative.


The other campuses that participated are Lancaster Middle School, Rolling Hills Elementary and G.W. Carver Learning Center. These students came up with some great concepts. Please see the pictures of the other campus lemonade stands below.

Lancaster ISD Hosted STEM Showcase & Parent Connect Expo

Traditionally held in the month of May, this year, the district moved this academic showcase of STEM learning in Lancaster ISD to March. During the March Madness themed event, students in the Gifted and Talented Program participated in a 4C Challenge that tested their critical thinking, communications, collaboration and creativity. There were student performances and activity stations, project showcase gallery, a vendor expo and resource fair and parent workshops. It was a very interactive, informative and fun day for parents and students.
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Students had the opportunity to see the Ruben's Tube, also called a flame tube, in action during the STEM Expo. This can be summarized as using fire as visual waveform because the flames dance along to the rhythm of the music. It is a physics experiment that involves a balance of sound, gas and air pressure. During the Expo, the station was constantly attracting attendees full of wonder and questions about this unique display.
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GT students amid one of the creative design challenges during the Expo. The winners of the challenge were students from Pleasant Run, Houston and West Main Elementary campuses.

Lancaster High School Culinary Students Catering in the Community

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Congratulations to LHS Culinary Instructor Chef Dawn and Ms. Bray for their outstanding work with the culinary students! The staff and students of the LHS Culinary Arts Department catered the Queenish Women's Professional Club event at the Lancaster Recreation Center in March. The feedback was phenomenal from the event coordinators and participants. It was stated over and over that our students were poised, professional and provided excellent customer service – not to mention the food was delicious!

Lancaster Athletics: Dr. Monty "Doc" Montgomery Named THSCA Athletic Trainer of the Year

Monty “Doc” Montgomery has been selected Trainer of the Year in the state of Texas for the Texas High School Coaches Association. He will receive his award at the Hall of Honor Banquet on Wednesday, July 26, 2017 at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston.

Secure Your Child's Seat : Pre-Register for the 2017-18 School Year Today!

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Lancaster ISD is amid a general pre-registration period for the 2017-18 academic school year. Parents, you can pre-register your children by going to www.LancasterISD.org to update your information and documents in our parent portal system or you can click the link below. Please take a moment to secure your child's seat today.

Bond Construction Update

Construction on our two new elementary campuses has been breezing along with both buildings really starting to look like schools.


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. Be sure to watch this week’s videos which feature footage from inside of the schools. See the future cafeteria, gym, hallways and classrooms of both campuses.


Pleasant Run - Click HERE to see this week’s Pleasant Run construction video


Construction at Pleasant Run Elementary continues to progress.


Below is a list of the most recently completed tasks:


Cafeteria/Kitchen


  • Continued installation of glass in curtain wall and installation of ceiling grid
  • Continued wall tile and brick work
  • Continued painting interior walls and exposed ceiling
  • Installed duct work for vent-a- hood


Started East Classroom Section


  • Installed windows
  • Continued installing drywall and duct work
  • Continued brick work
  • Set AC Roof Top Units (RTU) and started electrical work to RTUs
  • The elevator was delivered
  • Started taping and bedding the drywall


West Classroom Section


  • o Continued duct work, electrical and plumbing in second floor
  • o Continued wall framing
  • o Started installation of exterior windows and roof work
Gym
  • Continued louver installation, duct work, electrical and plumbing
  • Site Work
  • Completed the storm line on the East side of building
  • Civil inspection passed by ONCOR
Lancaster ISD: Bond Construction Update (Week 42) Pleasant Elementary


West Main - Click HERE to see this week’s West Main construction video


Construction at West Mail Elementary continues to progress. Below is a list of the most recently completed tasks:


Cafeteria/Kitchen


  • Continued ceramic wall tile, tape and bedding the walls
  • Started installation of the curtain wall
  • Continued brick work


East Classroom Section


  • Continued tape and bedding drywall and fire sprinkler piping
  • Completed the overhead plumbing and ductwork and roof work
  • The elevator was delivered


West Classroom Section


  • Interior walls passed inspection
  • Continued exterior sheathing and water proofing, electrical, plumbing and AC duct work
  • Started roof work


Gym


  • Completed laying the brick and duct skirts
Lancaster ISD: Bond Construction Update (Week 42) West Main Elementary

9th Grade Center

Part of the 2015 Bond Projects was to convert the existing Lancaster Elementary School into a 9th Grade Center. The district is ready to begin this phase of the Bond Project and received 12 statements of qualifications for architectural services. We ranked each firm on the information they provided and narrowed our list down to four firms. The top four firms presented to the facilities committee last week and the committee provided feedback to administration team. The administration team will then evaluate the qualification statements and the committee's feedback to determine a recommendation to the School Board.


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.

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The District Invites You to Participate in the 2017-18 Budget Survey

As Lancaster ISD works to develop the 2017-2018 district budget, we are seeking your input. We will review and utilize your feedback for future conversations, plans and decisions related to the development of the 2017-2018 Lancaster ISD Budget and beyond.


Lancaster ISD operates within the constraints of a finite amount of resources on an annual basis. As such, we must prioritize the funding of our programs and initiatives based upon their impact on student outcomes and financial sustainability. Our intent is to obtain input from all of our stakeholders to gain sufficient insight into our community’s perspectives around these key resource allocation decisions.


We invite you to provide your input on this survey from now until April 28, 2017. Please go the www.LancasterISD.org to share your opinions or simply click the link below.

Click to Open the 2017-18 District Budget Survey Link

This link will remain open until April 28, 2017.

Events and Celebrations

Lancaster ISD Pre-Kindergarten, HeadStart and New to District Elementary Onsite Registration is Open from April 3-7

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Lancaster ISD will hold an onsite registration for all Pre-K 3, Pre-K 4, and new to the district elementary students on April 3-7 from 8:30 AM - 4 PM.


On Thursday, April 6, the registration team will be available until 7 PM for those who need to register in the evening. There will also be a discounted immunization clinic on April 6 from 4PM to 7PM.


The onsite registration will be held at the Lancaster ISD Administration Building located at 422 S. Centre Avenue.


Please note that all students currently in the Pre-K 3 program must re-enroll for the upcoming year. The Pre-Registration process can be started online and a link is available on the Lancaster ISD website at www.lancasterisd.org. For additional questions, please contact 972-218-1400.

April School Menus

Click this link to see the meals scheduled for the students. 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

Village 2020: Lancaster ISD and the City of Lancaster to Provide Free Internet Access to Students

Lancaster, TX/Lancaster ISD – In an effort to bridge the ‘digital divide,’ Lancaster ISD has partnered with the City of Lancaster and Lancaster Veterans Memorial Library to offer internet access to local households.


Just as one can check out a favorite book or movie, soon the Lancaster library will have 30 mobile hotspot devices on site and available to be for check out to full access Lancaster Veterans Memorial Library card holders to provide internet access to families. One is allotted for check out per household for up to 14 days.


“In ongoing discussions between the City of Lancaster and the Lancaster ISD over the years, one of the recurring themes has been the need for technological improvements “connectivity” for students and citizens Citywide,” City of Lancaster Managing Director Quality of Life & Cultural Services Sean Johnson said. “We then created a mobile hotspot policy that allows these devices to be added to the circulation for library card holders to check out.”


Learn more about this local partnership designed to keep our families connected at the Lancaster ISD Veterans Memorial Library located at 1700 Veterans Memorial Parkway or by calling the City of Lancaster at 972-227-1080.

Sign Up for the City of Lancaster's Code Red Alert System to Keep You Safe and Informed

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There are times when the weather is unpredictable or we may hear sirens in the area and don't know why. The city of Lancaster, Texas uses the CodeRED emergency notification system. It is a communication service available for emergency and non-emergency notifications. CodeRED employs intranet mapping capable of geographic targeting of calls and a telephone-calling system capable of delivering prerecorded messages directly to homes and businesses at the rate of up to 60,000 calls per hour.


Residents can sign up for this alert or download the app to stay connected and be notified.

Learn More About CODE RED and Sign up Today!

Users must opt-in to receive alerts. Your contact information will remain private and will only be used for severe weather alerts. You may also receive alerts in other areas that use CodeRED for community notifications.

Upcoming District Events

April 3-7: Pre-K, Headstart and New to District Elementary Student Enrollment Week

April 13: End of 5th 6 weeks

April 13: IB Art Show

April 20: NHS Induction

April 27: Special Olympics

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.
    Have something to share? Click here & Let's Talk!

    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!