Dear Lakewood Community,
Welcome to the 2018-2019 school year! The Board of Education, Administration and all Staff are looking forward to a positive year focused on creating an environment that supports excellence in student achievement.
We have had an excellent start to the school year this week and appreciate your efforts in helping our children have a positive first few days.
A lot of work has gone into preparing for this school year. Some of the focus areas determined as a result of the community forum on safety we convened last year included the following: overall student well-being, school resource officers, secure doors and vestibules.
While we know our work is never complete, I am excited by what we have been able to accomplish so far:
- We have a partnership with the Village Network and Behavioral Health Partners to assist with students and families who may face difficulties.
- We now contract with the Licking County Sheriff’s Office for 2 fulltime School Resource Officers. Officer Mike Crider and Officer Joe Harvey plan to present educational programs associated with personal safety, school safety, social media, bullying, law topics, careers, and other topics that will be suggested throughout the year.
- We added a safety vestibule at Lakewood Middle School with new security features. We also redesigned the bus and student pick up area at the middle school to make things safer for students. While this is new this year, we will monitor the change, take input and make adjustments.
- Administrators worked with community members this summer to get their ideas to decrease instances of bullying, to better inform parents about our process and to provide training for staff.
- The Board of Education approved a new Threat Assessment Team policy and we had initial training for administrators this month. The district has identified members of the Threat Assessment Team and we will work with the Sandy Hook Promise organization as we use this model to identify students who need support and intervention with harmful behaviors.
- A few staff participated in Calm Classroom Train-the-Trainer Workshop this summer. Our Futures of Licking County partnered with Licking Memorial Health Systems to offer to all Licking County Schools. We’re excited to bring it to our district as part of our SEL (Social Emotional Learning) programming. It’s a research-based, proactive, pro-social way to help students/adults develop self-awareness, focus and emotional resilience. We will begin implementation at Jackson Intermediate School at the beginning of the school year.
- A team of building leadership, teachers, community stakeholders and our athletic department joined efforts to research the local and national trends regarding drug testing policies in public education. As part of their efforts, we held 2 community forums for input from parents and students. The Board adopted a new Drug Testing Policy which is being implemented this school year.
District leadership has experienced changes over the summer. While she is no longer at Hebron Elementary, we are happy that Dee Martindale will serve as the district STEM Coordinator. She will also lead the effort in continuing our Business Advisory Council this year which strives to connect our students with employment, mentoring, internships and valuable work experience. We want to make sure that, whether a student is going straight to college or is looking for work upon graduation, we have provided pathways for them to make valuable career connections.
We have many new administrators new to the district, 2 of whom had other roles in the district previously. They are looking forward to meeting and working with you:
- Kevin Krier, LHS Principal, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Jason Lee, LHS Assistant Principal, email@example.com
- Scott Harris, Athletic Director, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Jason Boland, LMS Assistant Principal, email@example.com
- Beth Cline, JIS Assistant Principal, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Nikki Henry, HES Principal, email@example.com
The Lakewood Local Board of Education has undergone some changes as well. Our Board members are:
- Tara Houdeshell, President – Board Policy Committee member, Board Legislative and Student Achievement Liaison to Ohio School Boards Association
- Jon Lynch, Vice-President – Board Policy and Facility/Technology Committee member
- Nathan Corum – Board Finance Committee member
- Brittany Misner – Board Finance and Facility/Technology Committee member
- Bill Pollard – Delegate to Ohio School Boards Association
The Board of Education conducted a community survey in the spring and will use that information, along with stakeholder input, as the district embarks on a long-term strategic planning process this fall.
As we plan for a new Elementary School, the passage of a bond levy is essential. We will continue to engage the community in our planning and invite you to be a part of our outreach events. The Lancer Pride Levy Committee can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The energy, excitement, hard work and dedication of our staff matters to the success of our students. Most importantly, we cannot do what we do without the support from our community. Together, great things are happening at Lakewood and it makes me proud every single day to be a Lancer! #oneteam.
All the best,
Mary Kay Andrews