September 2017 - Recap

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District News

Lancaster ISD Receives State’s Highest Accountability Rating, Campuses Earn 37 Academic Distinctions from the Texas Education Agency

Lancaster, TX/Lancaster ISD

The Lancaster Independent School District recently received the 2017 STAAR scores from the Texas Education Agency (TEA). Based on the results, the school district and all schools received the state’s highest accountability rating of “Met Standard.”

“I am extremely proud of the collective work of the students and our team. The distinctions awarded by TEA provides us with credible evidence that setting high expectations is worth the effort,” Superintendent Dr. Mike McFarland said. “In addition, the recognition provides affirmation for the work that we have done in the past, and provides motivation for this work to continue. Our aspiration is to prove that students can learn at high levels, regardless of demographic factors, when the adults commit to taking intentional actions to ensure excellence for every student in every school.”

The 2017 accountability scores were calculated from tests students took in December, March and May of the 2016-2017 school year. The district received a record 37 TEA Academic Distinctions—more than any school district or charter school in the Best Southwest area. Every Lancaster ISD school received an academic distinction with 90% of the campuses receiving two or more distinctions. Three of the campuses received six distinctions—the maximum number available—which indicates that the campuses are among the top comparable schools in closing achievement gaps, college readiness and advanced performance. This is the fourth year in a row that the district’s campuses have all met standard.

“The bar in Lancaster ISD has been raised and the students have risen to the new challenges of excellence,” Dr. McFarland said.

During the last few years, more than 50 school districts from across the state and country have visited Lancaster ISD to learn about its innovative practices.

“With the recent release of the current results, I anticipate more educators coming to Lancaster ISD to find out more about the excellent systems, exceptional programs and effective practices that have been critical to our transformation,” Dr. McFarland said. “Lancaster ISD is now seen as a premiere district that is one of the best at educating the students we serve.”

The superintendent credits the district’s focus on continuous improvement as being the driving factor for its recent success.

Lancaster ISD Bids Farewell to Dr. McFarland and Welcomes Interim Superintendent, Mr. Elijah Granger

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On Monday, September 25, 2017, the Lancaster ISD School Board meeting featured a final farewell to Superintendent, Dr. Mike McFarland. The close of the celebration was met with well wishes, applause, hugs and tears for Dr. McFarland as he transitions to Crowely ISD as the superintendent of schools. He has passed the superintendent baton to Lancaster ISD Assistant Superintendent, Mr. Elijah Granger who will now serve as Lancaster ISD Interim Superintendent.

We would like to wish Dr. McFarland continued success and thank him for his vision and leadership during his time in Lancaster ISD.

To learn more about our Interim Superintendent, please click the link below.…

For more information and updates on our Superintendent search, please visit

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G.W. Carver students portrayed Dr. McFarland as a elementary , college and superintendent and the campus gave him a Jersey that describes him as a game changer.
Rolling Hills Elementary presented Dr. McFarland with a quilt of Lancaster ISD paraphernalia. He also received gifts from Lancaster STEM Early College High School, J.D. Hall Learning Center, Rosa Parks Millbrook, and Pleasant Run Elementary. The Central Office staff also presented Dr. McFarland with an inscribed rocking chair and a "thank you" book from district and campus staff members.

Lancaster ISD Students and Staff Implement Donation Drives to Support Residents Impacted by Hurricane Harvey

Rosa Parks MillBrook Elementary Students Featured on WFAA for their Lunch Letter Writing Campaign

Article By: Demond Fernandez, WFAA Reporter, September 01, 2017

LANCASTER, Texas – Students at Rosa Parks Millbrook Elementary School have been closely watching coverage of the flooding and aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.

The children have been discussing the impact on the families and communities in the greater Houston area who lived through the storm.

This week, children across the third and fifth grade classes have been putting their thoughts on paper. They are writing special and encouraging letters to Houstonians.

“I have faith in you,” one student wrote as she began her letter.

The letter writing project was encouraged and supported by staff and administrators at the campus.

“I am praying for you every night,” another student wrote. “Also you are not alone.”

The students say they want the flood victims to know their hearts, prayers, and concerns are with the victims.

“We want to support you in any type of way,” a fifth grader added to her letter.

The letters are genuine thoughts flowing from the children’s young minds on to paper.

“We’re all here in spirit,” one young man expressed.

Many of the students have loved ones who lived through and escaped the flooding in the Houston area. Some of them say their families are still waiting on updates from friends.

“You are going to be ok, and you will make it out of this problem,” another child wrote.

Rosa Parks Millbrook Elementary school administrators say the letters will be added to lunch boxes a community chef plans to deliver to Houston area flood victims this Saturday.

"You all helped us when we were destroyed by the tornado. So it’s our turn to do the same thing. God protects everyone all the time," fifth grader A’Mariyah Combs said.

The students say they are doing all they can with what they can.

"It’s really hard to find ways to help people with no money, but trust me, I’ll do it," Alexis Evans said.

Some letters have personalized touches with pictures and art.

“I pray that you will be safe,” one letter closed.

The students and their school community said they just want those who have weathered the storm to know they are in someone’s thoughts.

“I just want them to know that they are not alone and Lancaster, Texas really supports them," Evans added.

© 2017 WFAA-TV

NBC 5 Features Houston Elementary School Students Donation Effort to Help Hurricane Harvey Residents

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Lancaster, TX/Lancaster ISD – As the students and staff of Houston Elementary School in Lancaster, Texas learned about the catastrophic impact of Hurricane Harvey on the residents in the Houston, Texas, they felt an instant connection and decided to unite with the Red Cross to launch a campus-wide donation collection effort Tuesday.

“It’s appropriate because of the namesake. If anyone was going to lead the charge, it should be the school with the same name.” Lancaster ISD Houston Elementary Principal Tatanisha Stevenson-Sparks said about the premise around the project. “When you hear or see the name Houston mentioned in the media, it digs at your heart strings because that is also our moniker.”

The idea developed after 4th grade students and teachers spoke about the devastation. Soon the effort was in motion and the quest to collect essential items such as bottled water, deodorant, diapers, sanitary napkins/ tampons, tissue (rolls), soap, towels (hand and body), petroleum jelly, toothpaste, toothbrushes and socks began.

In less than five days, the students, staff, parents and community members were well on their way to transforming a conference room into a hurricane relief supply room.

Fourth grade students Maria Rodriguez and Destiny Alonso were a part of the group that started the project.

“We are helping people who need help,” the two shared.

Seeing her students working to serve others has Mrs. Sparks feeling encouraged.

“It feels empowering. I’ve been feeling helpless about my own friends and family who have been affected. And, being a part of a campus that wants to help, gives me great pride and assurances that all is going to be fine,” she said. “It shows that students are really trying to live by our campus motto to, ‘Honor, Exceed and Serve.’”

She also shared that this effort caused the students to ask more questions and teachers are challenging them to think globally and care about communities outside of Lancaster, TX.

Lancaster High School Students "Fill A Truck" Residents Impacted by Hurricane Harvey

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In just a few days, Lancaster High School students and members of the community "filled the truck" with donated relief supplies to support the Gulf Coast residents impacted by the recent hurricane, Harvey. The items were donated to local shelters that housed coastal area evacuees.

Lancaster ISD Recognized September as National Attendance Month

Lancaster, TX, / Lancaster ISD - Lancaster ISD joined a nationwide effort to celebrate Attendance Awareness Month in September and pledged to raise awareness about the value of regular school attendance and focus on reducing chronic absenteeism in the new school year.

Campus and district leaders recognize that good attendance is essential to academic success. And through intentional intervention, for the past few years, the district’s attendance rate has been higher than the state average. And Lancaster ISD intends to keep it that way. This is why every year the district joins the nation in encouraging students to get to class every day.

Across the nation, too many students are at risk academically because they are chronically absent. Chronic absence is described as missing 10 percent of the school year—or about 18 days – for any reason, excused or unexcused. That’s the point at which absenteeism begins to affect student performance, research shows.

For the school district, Dona Mitchell, who manages truancy, is spearheading the efforts to raise awareness regarding attendance.

“Missing just a couple of days of school each month can negatively impact student achievement,” she said. “Attendance gaps lead to achievement gaps. Starting in kindergarten, chronic absences can lead to third graders being unable to read well. And by sixth grade, it’s a warning sign that students will fail classes or even drop out of high school.”

Throughout the month of September, the community and district joined forces to host numerous events to promote and support regular school attendance. The list of events included attendance office and door decoration contests, essay contents, in class and on-time Slurpee coupon giveaway, poster contests, and incentive field trips to the Texas Rangers game vs the Houston Astros. The community events included discounted oil changes at Fina Lube Express and a fundraising event at IHOP restaurant in Lancaster.

Lancaster ISD committed to and appreciate your support and help to ensure students are in class, on-time each school day.

Lancaster Middle School In Class, On-time Slurpee Coupon Giveaway

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G.W. Carver Top Three 6th Graders Attendance Essay Winners Received a Special Lunch

The Attendance Rocks team and G. W.Carver congratulates Heaven Tuner, Unity Robinson and Crystal Mijares on winning 1st, 2nd & 3rd place,respectively, in the annual Lancaster ISD Attendance Rocks Essay Contest.

The theme was “Why Is School Attendance Important?” These young ladies enjoyed lunch at CiCi’s Pizza. To their surprise, they traveled in grand fashion, on a Lancaster Fire Engine. The first place winner, Heaven, will be recognized at the school board meeting and will receive her grand prize, a new bicycle!

Attendance Rocks Oil Change Discount Event Was a Great Success!

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IHOP Attendance Month Fundraiser: Thank You For Your Support!

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We appreciate your support of our annual fundraiser for the Attendance Rocks incentive programs throughout the year. It was truly wonderful to see our students, parents and community and clergy partners and their congregations supporting this event. In addition, we are grateful for the work of the Lancaster High School Cheerleaders and radio station 97.9 - The Beat.

Lancaster ISD Hosted STEM Week in September!

Lancaster ISD students had the opportunity to explore each STEM pipeline through current events, in real time. The goal was to inform and increase awareness of the careers in each of these pipelines that are vital to providing life-sustaining services to communities in crisis.

The exploration placed its focal point on addressing natural disasters and is designed to prepare students to become more civic-minded, forward thinking and able to make meaningful connections.

Student learning emphasized the careers in the Engineering, Entrepreneurship, Global Arts Communications, Health Science Technology and Information Systems and Software Design pathways.

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Lancaster ISD Also Hosted College Go Get It Week!

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Inspiring students to reach to the level of their highest potential,district and campus staff kicked off College Go Get It Week with Regalia Day and Wear Your Favorite Hat day. The staff also shared their college stories with students throughout the week. Campuses also emphasized the importance of college, hosted college visits, speakers, and even discussed college life and the degrees that can be received.
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Students participated in themed days throughout the week, made college pennants, learned about campus Greek life, attended financial aid sessions and college fairs.

The Inaugural DuBois Scholars Luncheon

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Lancaster Middle School, Lancaster STEM Early College and Lancaster High School students convened at Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship for the inaugural DuBois Scholars Luncheon. These students were paired with current, outstanding professionals both inside and out of the district to gain more insight on the journey to and through college to land in a successful career.

News From Academics and Instruction

English Language Arts and Reading Department:

Istation beginning of year testing will kick off October 2 for students in grades PreK-8. This computer-based reading and math test will assess students on basic skills, giving indications of how Lancaster ISD students compare to students nationwide.

Math Department:

Please encourage your child to spend a little time sharpening their mathematics skills in their spare time on

News From the Bond Management Team

Part of the Bond Project includes converting an existing elementary campus into a Ninth Grade Campus. On Monday, September 18, we held a Community Forum regarding the Ninth Grade Center Design Color Options at Pleasant Run Elementary. Community members had an opportunity to provide input regarding the types of external and internal materials as well as the color scheme of the campus.

During the next few weeks, we will host a serious of meetings to get additional input and finalize designs.

Below are some renderings of the new Ninth Grade Center.

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News from College and Career Readiness Department

On October 2 via the website, Dallas County Promise will launch its new initiative for 2018 high school graduates. It allows students to receive free tuition to any Dallas County Community College.

Lancaster High School wants to ensure that all students have access to a higher education, so in addition to encouraging its seniors to apply to two- and four- year colleges and universities outside of the county, the LHS College Center has set a 100 percent Cedar Valley College application completion goal for all students. Class of 2018 parents, please work alongside the college center advisors to be sure that your child is on track to graduate this spring.

News From the Early Childhood Department

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Please help your young learner get an early start by enrolling them in the Lancaster ISD Head Start program for Pre-K students. You will be glad you did! Learn more about our leading Early Childhood program at 972-218-1400.

News From The Fine Arts Department

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In October, Lancaster ISD fourth grade students will experience the sights and sounds of the arts at the upcoming Peter and the Wolf performance at the Meyerson Symphony Hall in Dallas, Texas. The students and their teachers will be a part of this magnificent exposure activity.

Prokofiev's delightful fairy tale will be brought vividly to life by narrator Quincy Roberts and the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and is described as the perfect introduction to the orchestra. The students will have the opportunity to hear the unique sounds of the musical instruments as they illustrate the personality of each character, from the adventurous Peter's sprightly strings, to Grandfather's bassoon, and of course the sly Wolf's French horns!

News From Lancaster ISD Athletics Department

The Lancaster Athletics Department appreciates your strong support of the student athletics programs and look forward to seeing you in the stands.

  • The football, volleyball and cross country competition schedules are located at Please click "Departments" and then, select "Athletics."

  • The LHS Football and Cheerleader Media Guide is available for $3 and features the football schedule, pictures of the varsity, junior varsity, freshmen football team along with pictures of the varsity and junior cheerleaders.

  • Coach Chris Gilbert has 58 wins and is one win away from becoming the winningest football coach in Lancaster High School history!

  • Homecoming Parade Wednesday, October 25, 2017 @ 5 PM

    • Parade entry fee is $20 and should be turned into the athletic office.

    • Parade Line-Up will begin at Lancaster Middle School @ 4 PM.

“About the First Three” - Football Game Highlights from Lancaster High School Head Football Coach Chris Gilbert

The football season through the first three games had our record at 2-1. Our Team has already had some great learning experiences within these first three games.

The first game versus Denton Ryan highlighted some areas of improvement for the players as well as the coaching staff. The second game versus Dallas South Oak Cliff High School was a great, intense rivalry game that had a playoff feel to it and we learned how to function in this type of environment. Lastly, our home opener versus Corsicana

proved to be a little of an emotional letdown for the team after playing the first two big ball games. We learned a lot about ourselves including learning to play to a standard that we set and not based on the opponent.

So, we are onto District Play and rest of the season.

Here are the remaining home football games:

  • Lancaster Tigers vs. Mansfield Summit Friday, October 13, 2017 at the Beverly D. Humphrey Tiger Stadium @ 7:30 PM (Breast Cancer Awareness)

  • Lancaster Tigers vs. Red Oak Friday, October 27, 2017 at the Beverly D. Humphrey Tiger Stadium @ 7:30 PM (Homecoming)

  • Lancaster Tigers vs. Midlothian Friday, November 10, 2017 at the Beverly D. Humphrey Tiger Stadium @ 7:30 PM (Senior Parent Night)

Remaining volleyball home games:

  • Lady Tigers vs. Mansfield- Summit Friday, October 6, 2017 in the Tiger Coliseum @5:30 PM/6:30 PM

  • Lady Tigers vs. Mansfield -Timberview Tuesday, October 13, 2017 in the Tiger Coliseum @5:30 PM/6:30 PM

  • Lady Tigers vs. Mansfield -Legacy Friday, October 17, 2017 in the Tiger Coliseum @5:30 PM/6:30 PM (Senior Parent Night)

Cross Country competition schedule:

Boys and Girls Cross Country programs are running strong!

• Boys/Girls Cross Country Jesuit Classic Friday, October 6, 2017 @ Norbuck Park

• Boys/Girls Cross Country District 10-5A Meet Wednesday, October 11, 2017 @ Lynne Creek Park

• Boys/Girls Cross Country Region 2-5A Meet Monday,October 23,2017 @ Lynne Creek Park

Reminder from Student Services: Parent Portal has a Mobil App

Parent Self Serve/Mobile App and Online Registration Information:

Did you know you can use our parent self serve/mobile app and online registration each year for your student registration, to update the majority of your contact information, access grades, view attendance, and to communicate with your student’s teachers?

Well, it is true and our Parent Mobile App is also available to download on your smart phone by going to your App Store and searching “Prologic TEAMS.”

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Click to See Our Monthly Foodservice Menu

Click to see the menu for the campus breakfast and lunch service.

News From the Child Nutrition Department

Our records indicate that some of our students are temporarily receiving free or reduced priced meals due to the grace period from last year’s eligibility.

This temporary eligibility expires on October 2, 2017. If you have not already submitted a meal application for the 2017-2018 school year, please submit one immediately.

Once the grace period of October 2 has expired and a new meal application has not been received, your student(s) may be charged full price for the meals until a new meal application is processed.

If you are not certain if a meal application has been completed for this current school year, please contact the Child Nutrition Office at (972) 218-1632.

You can re-apply by picking up a meal application from the school office, fill it out completely, and return it to the School Office or Cafeteria Manager, go online to to submit an online meal application or you may come to the Child Nutrition Office located at 1105 Westridge Ave, Lancaster, Texas 75146.

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to call the Child Nutrition Office at 972-218-1632.

Upcoming District Events

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College and Career Readiness Dates to Note:

Cedar Valley College Applications – ongoing until 100% goal reached

October 1 - FAFSA window opens

October 2 -

October 3 - ACT School Day Testing for 9th (CFA), 10th ( Pre-ACT), 11th and 12th (ACT) grade students

October 17 - ACT Aspire (for selected 7th and 8th graders)

Act Like A Lady, THINK Like A Boss - Next Meeting October 10

Lancaster High School Parents, If you are looking for a chance for your daughter to be mentored, or to be around like minded young ladies please join us as we discuss the issues facing young ladies, pathways to success, and just what it means to be a Lady... and a Boss!

The next meeting will take place October 10, 2017 at 3 PM - 5 PM in the Lancaster High School Cafeteria, the Topic will be Guide to Radiant Skin. If you are in need of more information, please contact

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The City of Lancaster To Host National Night Out on October 3

On Tuesday, October 3, the City of Lancaster will host a community National Night Out event at the Public Safety Building from 6 PM – 8 PM. We join the city for this annual event to share information and highlight our excellent people, programs and district progress. Meet campus leaders, other staff members, program leaders and more! We want to see you at National Night Out!

Lancaster ISD School Board Meeting Quarterly Review - October 5 at 6:30 p.m.

Please make plans to come and learn more about the goals, accomplishments, and new focuses of various Central Office Departments on October 5. The meeting will take place at the Student Engagement and Exploration Center (SEEC) located at 1201 N. Dallas Avenue in Lancaster, Texas.

The City of Lancaster and KaBOOM! Are Building a Playground!

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Play is central to a child’s ability to grow into a productive adult. Together, we can ensure kids get the balanced and active play they need to thrive! Please join us to bring play to more kids in Lancaster and show that #playmatters to you. KaBoom and Lancaster are looking for 100 volunteers to help actually build the playground. Please consider being apart of this effort to bring a new playground to Lancaster. Sign up via the link below as soon as you can to be included in this effort.

The Actual Build Day

Friday, October 13, 2017

8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Kids Square Park

1990 W. Belt Line Rd

Lancaster, TX 75146

  • Volunteers should be age 18+ and will assemble playground pieces, mix concrete, move mulch, etc.
  • Wear comfortable clothes you don’t mind getting dirty and closed toe shoes; leave valuables at home.
  • Youth activities will be provided.
  • Gloves, goggles, breakfast, and lunch will be provided.

Interested in volunteering to build this playground? RSVP at

Please contact Ms. Kaylon Jackson at or 972-218-3706 if you are in need of additional information.

Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month at the 4th annual Hispanic Heritage Bowl and Academic Competition

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The Lancaster Education Foundation To Host November Basketball Tournament

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Boys and Girls Team are welcome to sign up to participate in this annual tournament!

Reminder from Lancaster the ISD Communications Department

Lancaster ISD believes in collaboration, growth and open communication. Therefore, we have created an opportunity for you to share your ideas, thoughts and experiences with us through the Let's Talk communication platform. We want you to become familiar with this application and use it as an additional tool to connect with us 24 hours, 7 days a week. We are proud of our partnership with you and appreciate your trust in our district staff to prepare your child to achieve self-sustaining success.

Have a question or want to share a compliment?

See something you like, or maybe something you don’t?

Click the Let’s Talk! button on our district website at

Start sharing your thoughts today!

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!

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.

    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.