As the movie and a song of the same title proclaim, “Some Like it Hot!” If that’s you, this certainly was an unbeatable summer! I hope you enjoyed the record-breaking heat and found time to relax and enjoy your family. At this point, I think most of us welcome a return to more moderate temperatures a return to the reliable daily routine--especially parents!
Speaking of welcomes, please join me in extending the warmest Lancaster welcome to the newest additions to our team. Judy Feldmeyer is supervisor of transportation, and Nathan Mason is director of facilities. We appointed two assistant principals, Stephanie Lackie at Lancaster High School and Scott Bindemann at Lancaster Middle School. We hired more than 55 support staff and 30 teachers. Interview committees raved about these individuals during the hiring process. We are confident they will help the district and our schools to become better.
Here are a few other notable highlights as we head into an exciting new year:
· We’ll be initiating a Career Development and Occupational Studies Credential Program for qualifying students. Students will develop a career plan, complete career/technical education coursework or work-based learning, and an employability profile. This credential, which recognizes work readiness and preparation for post-school employment, will be used in conjunction with a high school diploma.
· Amendments to education law bring some changes to safety drill and training, now requiring eight fire and four lockdown drills annually in each building. All employees will be trained annually on emergency response plans, violence prevention (DASA), and mental health (with a focus on suicide prevention).
· Summer curriculum work engaged teachers in every discipline and grade level.
While major bond issue undertakings create some inconveniences, I think everyone can agree that the end result is worthwhile! The name of the game for summer over the next five years is ‘construction.’ Seeing each phase complete, it’s exciting to envision the ‘extreme makeover’ that will be the end result. Meanwhile, our buildings and grounds staff have worked together to get buildings, classrooms, fields, and facilities ready for everyone’s return.
As parents complete their back to school shopping, I can share some good news for everyone’s wallet. Thanks to a favorable increase in property assessments, the board of education adopted tax rates that are lower than estimated. In Lancaster, the tax rate will be $16.96/per thousand (8 cents lower).
I look forward to working together to make 2016-2017 our best year ever!
All 30 varsity teams qualify for honor