What's New

‘Lakota Listens’ Helps Community Get Answers, Share Feedback
09/22/2021
Have a question about Lakota? Need help resolving an issue? Want to share ideas or feedback?
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Mental Health Education for Parents
09/21/2021
Lakota Local Schools in collaboration with NAMI Southwest Ohio is presenting a Mental Health Education program for Parents
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Parents & Staff: Where to Update Your Contact Information
09/20/2021
As we prepare for a transition to a new notification system that will better serve our district’s needs for school-to-home communications, we are pointing all parents and guardians to their personal Home Access Center (HAC) account to make any necessary updates to their email or phone numbers throughout the school year.
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Adjustment to COVID Reporting Begins Sept. 20, 2021
09/17/2021
Beginning Monday, Sept. 20, Lakota Local Schools will make a slight adjustment when notifying parents and staff about positive COVID-19 cases.
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Coming Soon: District E-News Changes
09/14/2021
We asked. You answered. We listened. In response to your recent feedback, the next edition of this district e-newsletter “A Look Around Lakota,” will look different to better fit our readers’ needs.
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Parents: Update Contact Info in Gateway by Sept. 17
09/14/2021
The deadline for visiting the new Back-to-School Gateway has been extended to Friday, Sept. 17 at 5 p.m. to encourage more families to complete the important process. The information you provide in the Gateway will subsequently update your Home Access Center (HAC) account, the primary data source for all parent/guardian contact information following the closure of Gateway.
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Words of Wisdom Sept. 2021: Make It a Great School Year
09/14/2021
How can you make it a great school year? That's what WE asked our students in this month's "Words of Wisdom" video.
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Cherokee Student Ambassadors Answer the Call for Help
09/13/2021
When Todd Caulfield, a sixth-grade teacher at Cherokee Elementary School, received an email from A Child’s Hope International asking for donations to assist victims of Hurricane Ida, he knew just who to turn to: the school’s sixth-grade ambassadors.
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Watch: School Finances 101
09/13/2021
General fund. Permanent improvement fund. Have you ever wondered what exactly these terms mean? School finance can be challenging to understand so we wanted to help break it down. Join Lakota second-grader Leo as he explains school financing in this short video.
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Students Plan Activities in Support of Suicide Prevention Month
09/13/2021
“You are loved.” Positive chalk messages like this greeted students as they entered school last week. Students and staff throughout Lakota are taking part in activities all month long in support of Suicide Prevention Awareness Month.
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Supply Chain Challenges Impact School Menus
09/13/2021
Following the unique challenges of preparing and serving food to our students last school year, Lakota’s Child Nutrition Department is happy to return to its normal service and menus.At the same time, we and other school foodservice programs nationwide are facing unprecedented challenges with the supply chain and availability of some menu items. We are finding that this means occasionally changing our posted menus with little to no notice in some of our schools.
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New School Year Sends Lakota ‘Back to the Future’
09/01/2021
Celebrating the fact that “WE are Better Together,” the start of the 2021-2022 year sent Lakota students and staff “back to the future.” Lakota staff kicked off the year at their all-staff opening day celebration, while families enjoyed a return to in-person open houses before a staggered start to the new school year.
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New K-6 Special Provides Strong Foundation for Success
08/31/2021
Students in grades K-2 started off the school year greeted by positive messages like these. I can solve problems. I can accept new challenges. I can reach my goals. I can keep going when things get tough. I can learn new things. They are important lessons to learn; ones that give students a strong foundation for academic achievement as well as success in life.
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Help Us Improve Lakota's District Newsletter
08/31/2021
We'd love to hear your thoughts on how we can improve our district newsletter. A Look Around Lakota E-News is sent every two weeks during the school year (generally each school also sends out its own weekly newsletter).
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Super in 60: August 2021
08/31/2021
Got 60 seconds? Lakota Superintendent Matthew Miller shares his first "Super in 60" of the new school year, providing the latest district highlights in just 60 seconds. Get the latest on Lakota's gradual return to normal, what the district is doing to help keep kids in school learning and other important back-to-school updates.
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DPC Hosts Meet the Candidates Night
08/31/2021
Election season will soon be upon us and the Lakota District Parent Council (DPC) has partnered with the West Chester/Liberty Chamber Alliance and Miami University to host a “Meet the Candidate” forum. This virtual event will take place via a Zoom webinar on Sept. 29 at 6:30 p.m.
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Lakota's COVID-19 Hub Update
08/31/2021
While the new school year has once again begun with COVID protocols in place, many experiences during the school day, including the use of collaboration spaces and daily specials, are closer to normal. Families and staff are encouraged to visit Lakota’s COVID hub to stay up to date on the latest information. Documents related to COVID and the district, including its protocols and Spanish translations, can be found here.
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Video: Why Masks Matter & Help Keep Our Kids in School
08/24/2021
We understand and respect that masks in schools is a very divisive issue, with a lot of emotions and strong feelings on both sides. The decision to require masks was based on advice from medical experts. This includes stringent quarantine protocols for schools that have the potential to cause massive student and staff absences when not everyone is wearing a mask while at school. Watch this video see how quarantine protocols set by the Butler County General Health District could play out for both a "masks required" and "masks recommended" learning environment - and the residual impact on lost instructional time.
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Lakota Releases COVID Protocols, Requires Masks
08/16/2021
Lakota Superintendent Matthew Miller shared this message with staff, students and parents to announce this year's COVID-19 safety protocols, including the requirement for all PreK-12 staff and students to wear a mask, regardless of vaccination status. The decision is based on the advice of medical experts, the increasing numbers of positive COVID cases among children in our county and stringent in-school quarantine protocols that put unmasked individuals at a significantly higher risk of quarantine.
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Breaking down the Butler County General Health District’s Quarantine Guidelines
08/16/2021
As a public school district, we must follow the quarantine protocols set by our local health department for indoor classroom settings. Read on for a summary of current quarantine guidelines.
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Back-to-School Photo Contest
08/15/2021
For some of our students, the new school year begins Wednesday, Aug. 18 and for others, Thursday, Aug. 19. So get ready to capture those special first day moments at the front stoop, at your bus stop, in your classroom or at home in your new VLO workspace.
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Fall 2021 Mailer: WE are Better Together
08/11/2021
Several times a year, Lakota produces a community newsletter to help parents and residents stay informed about important district-wide news and updates. The fall 2021 edition, titled "WE are Better Together", shares an inside look at how Lakota is getting “back to the future,” where collaboration is at the center of everything we do.
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Lakota Welcomes New Administrators for the 2021-2022 School Year
08/10/2021
As Lakota Local Schools prepares to welcome its students back for the start of the 2021-2022 school year, the district is pleased to announce several new administrators. The changes come as a result of both movement throughout the district and the need for expanded support programs to meet the needs of Lakota’s 17,000 students.
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Lakota Launches Back-to-School Gateway for E-Forms
08/02/2021
As a convenience to all our K-12 families, Lakota is excited to introduce Back-to-School Gateway, a new platform powered by Registration Gateway for managing your REQUIRED district-level back-to-school forms electronically. Parents must log into OneLogin by Sept. 10 to electronically review and update information the district has on file for their child, including emergency contacts, medical information and contact information for school-to-home communications.
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2021-2022 Back-to-School Hub
07/22/2021
We know your back-to-school questions are piling up, so take a moment to visit Lakota's 2021-2022 Back-to-School Hub, now live on Lakota's website. Here you can find answers to all the latest district-level back-to-school questions.
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New 7-Bell Schedule Details Finalized
07/20/2021
Details regarding the new seven-bell schedule for students in grades 7-12 have been finalized. Read the email sent to parents here.
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Staggered Start to 2021-2022 School Year Supports Relationship Building
07/16/2021
For in-person and virtual students in grades 1-12, the 2021-2022 school year will begin on a staggered start over a two-day period based on the first letter of their last name. Kindergarten Experience Phase-In Days will occur over three days, while preschool will not implement phase-in days. The schedule puts teachers and students in a smaller group setting to accelerate relationship building.
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Stuff the Bus School Supply Drive
07/14/2021
Community partners from across Liberty and West Chester townships are once again teaming up to help students prepare for the upcoming school year with a backpack and school supply giveaway. This is the 4th year for the event to help area families get the school year off to a good start.
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ThoughtExchange: Lakota's Website & Mobile App
06/21/2021
As Lakota works toward offering a new and improved ​website​and mobile app to our school community, we need your help evaluating our current tools. Participate in this ThoughtExchange, which closes July 2!
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Burnside Named New Lakota East Principal
06/21/2021
In a letter to Lakota East High School parents, staff and students on June 21, Superintendent Matthew Miller announced Rob Burnside has been named the new principal of Lakota East High School. Read the message in full here.
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'In the Loop with the Supe' Alternates Between In-Person and Virtual
06/17/2021
Stay "In the Loop with the Supe" at the reinvented version of Superintendent Matthew Miller's monthly coffee chats kicking off July 8 at the MidPointe Library. The once in-person chats transitioned to entirely virtual via Facebook Live during the COVID-19 pandemic. Beginning in July 2021, the program will begin a rotation between a virtual and in-person format.
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Super in 60: May 2021 Edition
05/26/2021
In this year’s final edition of "Super in 60", Lakota Superintendent Matthew Miller provides some year-end highlights in just 60 seconds. This month, we celebrate the return of many end-of-year traditions like field days, the Parade of Graduates and graduation for the Class of 2021. Hear about an inaugural event for Lakota’s new entrepreneurship program and how to stay connected throughout the summer.
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Changes to Elementary Gifted Services Next Year Equals More Services for More Students
05/25/2021
Beginning next school year, changes to the structure of Lakota's gifted services at the elementary grade levels will result in more students being served as well as more services. A professional development plan implemented by a modified team of gifted intervention specialists (GISs) will shift gifted education for math to the traditional classroom, while adding a new opportunity for gifted instruction in English Language Arts plus and increased support for social-emotional learning for all students.
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2021-2022 Academic Calendar Update
05/25/2021
A recent update to the 2021-2022 academic calendar, which changed the line-up for some staff professional development days, forced some changes to scheduled school days for students. The total number of student school days and staff professional development days remain the same. Click to see the changes.
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Celebrating the Lakota Class of 2021
05/25/2021
As the school year came to a close, the Class of 2021 enjoyed time-honored celebrations like the Military Commitment Ceremony, Parade of Graduates, senior picnics, and of course, commencement exercises. Graduation had a more traditional look and feel, returning to Xavier University’s Cintas Center this year. In order to follow social distancing protocols and allow up to four guests per graduate, each school held two ceremonies. All ceremonies were live streamed, giving even more family and friends the opportunity to share this important milestone with Lakota’s 1,280 graduates.
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Summer Break / Back to School Information
05/24/2021
Thursday, May 20 marked the last day of the school year for all Lakota students. Area residents are reminded that many more children will now be outside playing during the day and to use caution, especially in residential neighborhoods. The first day of school for the 2021-2022 school year is Wednesday, Aug. 18. Check the district and school websites, along with social media accounts, throughout the summer for additional information and general Lakota news.
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East, West Entrepreneurs Awarded Seed Money to Kick-Start Business Ideas
05/24/2021
“Students, you have one proud teacher tonight.” These were the parting words from INCubatoredu@Lakota teacher Kevin Keen that closed out the program’s inaugural “Pitch Night” at Miami University’s Voice of America Learning Center on May 11. Nine months in the making, the evening spotlighted the top five of 20 new business ideas developed by budding student entrepreneurs at both Lakota East and Lakota West.
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Community Foundation Accepting Nominations for 2021 Lakota Educator of Excellence Awards
05/24/2021
The Community Foundation of West Chester/Liberty, in partnership with Lakota Local Schools, is currently accepting nominations for the 2021 Lakota Educator of Excellence Awards. The nomination deadline is Friday, Sept. 3 and all honorees will be honored in the fall.
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Garden Project Builds Community at Heritage ECS
05/20/2021
What do Jenny Hutzelman’s second graders say is the best part of a recent project? “Making a positive impact on the community.” – Kinsley “Finding worms!” – Isabella “Getting to work with other people to get things done.” - Cael “Being with Mother Nature.” - Aiden Perhaps the best part of the garden project is that it was the students’ idea.
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Lakota Celebrates 2021 Retirees
05/18/2021
Lakota Local Schools is celebrating 33 employees who will be retiring in 2021. The district has been recognizing each of the individuals on social media throughout the month of May.
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Coffee Chats Continue During Summer Months
05/17/2021
Coffee Chats with the Superintendent will continue during the summer months this year to keep the community informed about all things Lakota. Join Superintendent Miller on Facebook Live (@LakotaSuper) for his next monthly coffee chat on June 2 at 7 p.m.
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Parade of Graduates POSTPONED
05/16/2021
The Parade of Graduates has been postponed until Tuesday, May 18 due to weather.
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District Seeking Input on 2022-2023 Calendar
05/12/2021
The Lakota District is soliciting community input on the 2022-2023 district calendar. Lakota staff, students, parents and community members are invited to review the current draft before any final recommendation is presented to the school board.
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Summer Food Service Program Begins May 27, USDA Extends Free Meals through Next School Year
05/11/2021
The Lakota Local School District, in partnership with the Faith Alliance, is participating in the USDA’s Summer Food Service Program. Meals will be provided to all children (ages 1-18 and individuals with disabilities through age 21) - free of charge regardless of income - beginning May 27 through August 5. The final pick-up day will be Aug. 2.
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Student-Led Project at Independence Challenges Others to ‘Spill It Fill It’
05/11/2021
What started as a simple extra credit challenge escalated into a full-fledged social media campaign led by room 209 at Independence Elementary School. Their goal: “To be the creators of the beginning of the end of littering.” It was a class discussion on citizenship and civic participation during a social studies unit about “Rights and Responsibilities” that sparked what the class has since coined the “Spill It Fill It” movement.
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Lakota Announces Class of 2021 Valedictorians & Salutatorians
05/11/2021
Lakota is proud to announce the valedictorians and salutatorians for the Class of 2021.
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Words of Wisdom for Our Graduates
05/10/2021
Graduation is just around the corner for the Class of 2021. With this in mind, some of our younger students are once again proving how wise they are. This month’s Words of Wisdom is all about advice for our seniors.
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Mental Health Support Over the Summer Months
05/09/2021
We all know that mental health needs don’t take a summer break and that our students continue to need support even when they are not at school. ​ That is why our MindPeace partners and therapists are still available to support Lakota students via telehealth or in person (typically at the school).
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Student Shout-Outs Top Off Staff Appreciation Week
05/08/2021
From snack bars to handwritten notes to social media posts, we took time to celebrate Lakota’s 1,700 teachers and staff during Staff Appreciation Week May 3-7.
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A New Twist to Volunteering: Random Acts of Kindness Project
05/07/2021
Did you ever wonder why Lakota high school students volunteer with community organizations as part of their government classes? The 15 volunteer hours even comprise about 20% of a student’s quarterly grade.​
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Staff and Returning Families: Open Enrollment Applications Due May 28
05/07/2021
Each school year, the Lakota Board of Education re-evaluates the district's open enrollment policy and votes on whether or not to approve its renewal. If renewed, students residing in other Ohio school districts can apply to attend Lakota.
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Write Challenge Winners Announced
05/06/2021
The Lakota LEADS parent group recently announced the winners of its annual writing competition. The Write Challenge was open to K-12 students and submissions could be in the form of a poem, narrative or essay.​
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Gifted Services Update for 2021-2022 School Year
05/05/2021
Changes to the structure of gifted services at the elementary level for the 2021-2022 school year will result in more students being served. “By rethinking the way we work and committing to a multi-year rigorous professional development plan, we’re going to be able to not only serve more students, but also add services,” said Lauren Webb, Lakota’s assistant director of gifted services.
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Submit 2021-2022 Transportation Requests by July 20
04/29/2021
To ease the transition to a new school year and honor families’ requests for alternative pick-up and drop-off locations for transportation, Lakota is asking that families submit transportation forms by July 20 to receive transportation on the first day of school. There are now separate forms for early childhood and elementary school students.
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Super in 60: April Edition
04/28/2021
In each month's edition of "Super in 60", Lakota Superintendent Matthew Miller provides the latest district highlights in just 60 seconds. Get the latest on a district-wide Walk 4 Hope; the new partnership with neighborhood bridges to facilitate community support of students in need; the expansion of Lakota's one-to-one technology program; and a celebration of Lakota's graduates who have committed to serving our country.
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East NHS Seniors Leave Legacy: Eco-Classroom Taking Shape
04/27/2021
A group of 120-plus Lakota East seniors are leaving a lasting mark on their soon-to-be alma mater. A new eco-classroom is beginning to take shape just outside of the school’s stadium, all thanks to the leadership of the National Honor Society. When complete, the space will be a fully functional, ADA-compliant classroom with student seating, a whiteboard, Wifi connectivity, overhead shade and beautiful surrounding landscape.
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Military Commitment Ceremony Honors 26 Seniors April 28
04/27/2021
We invite our community to join us on Wednesday, April 28 at 7 p.m. as we celebrate the 26 seniors who have made a commitment to enter a branch of service after graduation. Due to COVID restrictions, the in-person ceremony will be exclusive to Lakota’s senior honorees and their families, but the district will live stream the program on West Chester Township’s YouTube channel for the larger community to enjoy.
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Honoring the Class of 2021
04/27/2021
With May right around the corner, celebrations to honor the Lakota East and Lakota West Class of 2021 are set to have a more traditional look and feel, albeit with some modifications due to the coronavirus pandemic.
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WE Walk 4 Hope: District Pauses for Mental Health
04/27/2021
A district-wide “Walk 4 Hope” on April 19 underscored the importance of mental health and wellness at all ages. Lakota West’s Hope Squad - a peer-to-peer suicide prevention program focused on spreading positivity and building awareness around mental health - encouraged all Lakota students and staff to “pause” in the form of a midday lap around their building.
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District's 1:1 Device Initiative Expands to Grades 3-5
04/27/2021
Lakota’s WE are Empowered program continues to grow for the 2021-2022 school year with one-to-one (1:1) access to learning devices expanding to all students in grades three through five.
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Lakota Board of Education Update
04/26/2021
​The following statement was read by School Board President Kelley Casper at the April 26, 2021 Board of Education meeting:
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Junior High Classes Share Memorable Virtual Learning Experience
04/25/2021
Virtual learning teachers faced big challenges at the beginning of the school year. “Building relationships with students has always been a cornerstone of my in-person classes, so creating a comfortable, positive, encouraging online environment was extremely important to me as I began the school year,” said Plains Junior science teacher Erin Middendorf. “I was worried it was going to be especially difficult for the new seventh-graders, who were not only new to virtual learning, but also to junior high.”
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Lakota Announces Launch of Neighborhood Bridges' 'Gateway for Kindness' Program
04/22/2021
Lakota Local Schools is proud to announce the launch of neighborhood bridges’ “Gateway for Kindness” program - a resource to facilitate community support of students and families in need within the Lakota school system. As a tool for teachers, counselors and social workers, neighborhood bridges Lakota will involve the surrounding community to aid in meeting the essential needs of at-risk and underprivileged students as a way of removing barriers to learning.
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May 5: Coffee Chat with the Superintendent
04/21/2021
Join Superintendent Miller on Facebook Live (@LakotaSuper) for his monthly coffee chat on May 5 at 8 a.m. Get an update on the end of this school year as well as a look ahead to the fall. You'll also have the opportunity to share your questions and concerns.
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A Peek Behind the Curtain: Virtual Learning
04/13/2021
Take a closer look inside Lakota Local Schools with a video series called “A Peek Behind the Curtain.” This time, you’ll get an inside look at the inaugural year of Lakota’s Virtual Learning Option (VLO) from the perspective of students, parents and teachers who experienced it firsthand.
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East ASL Club Creates Unique Summer Reading Program 
04/13/2021
In a “normal” year, mentors from the Deaf Institute visit houses during the summer to read books to children using American Sign Language (ASL). Like many other plans, the coronavirus has made the organization rethink its summer reading program. “Normally, people go to houses and sign books because so many parents of deaf children don’t sign or are learning to sign themselves,” explained Lakota East ASL teacher Jessica Snyder.
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Military Commitment Ceremony Honors 24 Seniors April 28
04/13/2021
Join us as we celebrate our seniors who have made a commitment to enter either a military academy or branch of service after graduation. Due to COVID restrictions, the in-person ceremony on Wednesday, April 28 at 7 p.m. will be exclusive to Lakota’s 24 senior honorees and their families, but the district will live stream the program on West Chester Township’s YouTube channel for the larger community to enjoy.
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Students Transform Liberty Junior into Memorial Site
04/13/2021
During the days leading up to spring break, Liberty Junior was the site of 350-plus student-created monuments or memorials honoring the likes of Princess Diana, Jackie Robinson, Amelia Earhart and even Seabiscuit. For the first year ever, all eighth-graders participated in the joint venture between the school’s social studies and language arts department.
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Wyandot ECS Embraces Peace Project
04/12/2021
It’s been challenging to make connections this school year due to COVID protocols, but that isn’t stopping the entire Wyandot Early Childhood School community from working together on a new initiative called the Peace Project.
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West Hallways Filled with New Art Installation
04/06/2021
“We are One” is a new art installation filling the hallways at Lakota West. The sixty larger than life photos of in-person and VLO students are part of a global participatory art project called “Inside Out.”​ West photography student Martin Philip explains the meaning behind the project.
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Super in 60: Lakota's Latest in 60 Seconds
03/23/2021
In each month's edition of "Super in 60", Lakota Superintendent Matthew Miller provides the latest district highlights in just 60 seconds. Get the scoop on year-end senior traditions like prom, graduation and Parade of Graduates, two state champions, the continuation of Lakota's Master Facilities Planning process and all things registration season.
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Celebrating the Class of 2021
03/23/2021
Lakota is excited to announce plans to celebrate the Class of 2021 including Prom, Parade of Graduates and Graduation. All events will be held with safety protocols in place. Our schools will be sharing more details with students and parents. While we know that these events will look different than in years past, we are excited to be able to continue these traditions for our seniors.​
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East Students Spread Positivity During Hope Week
03/23/2021
“Kindness should be free.” “Smiles are free.” These two statements, made by Lakota East sophomore Caitlyn Spaulding and junior E.J. Upton, succinctly describe the Hope Week celebrations at both main campus and East Freshman.
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April 22: Community Conversation on Resiliency
03/23/2021
Resiliency is an important topic for discussion, especially during a pandemic in which we have collectively experienced loss, toxic stress, and trauma. Children and adults have all been impacted in some way. How do we strengthen our ability to recover more quickly from life events, and how do we help our children?
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Educational Visioning Process Puts Lakota One Step Closer to Master Facilities Plan
03/23/2021
The most recent series of community listening sessions, focus groups and a ThoughtExchange reinvigorated Lakota’s Master Facilities Planning (MFP) process, which was paused in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Through all these opportunities, participants were asked to reflect on lessons learned from the pandemic that might alter Lakota’s original visioning exercise completed over a year ago.
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COVID-19 and Spring Break
03/23/2021
While the number of positive COVID-19 cases across the district have been much lower since the return from winter break, it is important to remember that our policies regarding students and staff who are symptomatic, have been in contact with a positive COVID-19 case or are awaiting test results have not changed.
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April Kindergarten Readiness Series for Early Registrants
03/22/2021
Parents of incoming kindergartners who are enrolled for the 2021-2022 school year by the April 1 early registration deadline are invited to join one or more sessions in this special four-part "Kindergarten Readiness" virtual series.
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Words of Wisdom: Why are You Lucky to be in Lakota?
03/22/2021
In this month’s Words of Wisdom, students from across the district share why they feel lucky to be in Lakota. You can join in the conversation on social media using the #Lucky2BNLakota.
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Plains Production Just What the Students Ordered
03/22/2021
This year’s theater production at Plains Junior may have stood in stark contrast to the musical spectacle the school normally stages, but it was just what students needed. “I turn to music, dancing and acting to relax and unwind,” said eighth-grader Mackenzie Nitz. “I needed that more than ever with the pandemic this year.”
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Behind the Curtain: Music in Our Schools
03/22/2021
It's National Music In Our Schools month! In this edition of "A Peek Behind the Curtain," you'll get an inside look on how music is still very much a part of Lakota Local Schools - even during a pandemic.
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West's Symphonic Winds Shares Love of Music with Kindergartners
03/19/2021
Some of Lakota’s oldest and youngest learners shared a unique learning experience last week when Lakota West’s Symphonic Winds zoomed into Alyssa Carr’s Liberty Early Childhood kindergarten class. While COVID has posed many challenges over the past year, it has also resulted in many creative and fun collaborations like this one.
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April 14: Next Coffee Chat with the Superintendent
03/16/2021
Join Superintendent Miller on Facebook Live (@LakotaSuper) for his monthly coffee chat on April 7 at 3 p.m. for an update on the school year and to share your questions and concerns.
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Summer School Registration Open through April 9
03/11/2021
Lakota's Secondary Summer School program provides an opportunity for students who will be in grades 7-12 for the 2021-2022 school-year to earn original and recovery credit. Students may also participate in summer sessions for select math courses to qualify for advanced math placement the following school year (upcoming seventh- and eighth-graders).
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2021-2022 VLO Registration Now Open
03/11/2021
Enrollment for the 2021-2022 Lakota Virtual Learning Option (VLO) will remain open through the April 9 deadline. Learn about all the opportunities to get educated about the VLO and make the most informed decision possible.
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Board of Education Update
03/11/2021
A lawsuit was recently filed against the Lakota Local School District Board of Education in the Butler County Court of Common Pleas.
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Technology Promotes Innovative Teaching, Personalized Learning
03/09/2021
“It’s not just about filling our teachers’ toolboxes with lots of technology tools. Just because we have this new tech tool or that new tech resource, doesn’t mean we have to use it. Instead, the focus is on learning over digital. We look at what we need to teach, and then look for any tools that can help each student learn,” said Heidi Adams, one of Lakota’s Innovation Specialists.
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Community Conversations Reveal Lessons Learned
03/09/2021
Nearly 100 people participated in last week’s series of community conversations focused on lessons learned about education during a pandemic. School board members and district leaders listened in on both small and large group discussions over three days that included parents, secondary students and staff.
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Bridge Challenge Builds Teamwork, Puts Learning to the Test
03/09/2021
Alfredo. Bolognese. Carbonara. When you think of fettuccine, a bridge might not be one of your first thoughts, but it is for students taking physical science at East Freshman. “Our goals are engineering based,” explained teacher Larry Honigford. “The difference between engineering and science is that science addresses the fundamental concepts and ideas. (They) can then be applied in engineering, which is trying to address a problem.”
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Master Facilities Planning: Involving the Community
03/09/2021
While the facilities planning process was underway last year, the work was paused in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The MFP committee, made up of district leaders, school board members and VSWC Architects, began meeting in November and has begun to re-engage the community in the process.
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March Social Media Challenge: #Lucky2BNLakota
03/09/2021
Why do you feel lucky to be in Lakota? Take this month’s social media challenge and you could win a pot of gold in the form of Lakota spirit gear.
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Still Looking for Summer Fun Activities?
03/08/2021
In case you missed last week’s virtual Summer Fun Fair, there are still several ways you can learn about youth programming this summer. While an in-person event would have been preferred, Lakota was able to team up with the West Chester Liberty Chamber Alliance to hold this year’s 2021 Summer Fun Fair.
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Virtual Learning Option Available for 2021-22 School Year
03/04/2021
Lakota Local Schools is pleased to announce that its Virtual Learning Option (VLO) will be available to district families for the 2021-2022 school year. This fully-online learning option is available to all enrolled students in grades K-12, offering families the opportunity to continue their exemplary Lakota education with the flexibility of learning from home.
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2021-2022 Preschool Registration Open through March 29
03/01/2021
The 2021-2022 lottery application for Lakota's tuition-based preschool program in partnership with the Butler County Educational Service Center is now available. Registration for the program, hosted at both VanGorden Elementary and Liberty ECS, will be open through March 29.
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$145K Grant Aids Virtual Students with Internet Connectivity, Provides District Savings
02/23/2021
Lakota Local Schools was proud to put to work a recent grant that covered the entire cost of 180 new Chromebooks complete with integrated Internet capability. Most of the devices have already been deployed to Lakota’s fourteen K-6 schools for students lacking a device and Internet connectivity to access digital resources while learning at home.
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February Master Facilities Plan Update
02/23/2021
In March 2020, the Lakota Master Facilities Plan (MFP) committee pressed pause on its work due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The committee reconvened in November to continue this important process, as outlined in Lakota’s strategic plan. The last time Lakota completed a modified MFP was in 2008. The last comprehensive plan was completed in the early 2000s.
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Super in 60: February 2021 Edition
02/23/2021
Got 60 seconds to spare? In each month's edition of "Super in 60", Lakota Superintendent Matthew Miller provides the latest district highlights in 60 seconds flat. Get the latest on Lakota's staff COVID-19 vaccinations, Black History Month activities, Master Facilities Planning and important upcoming events like Summer Fun Fair, Community Conversations and registration for next school year.
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Words of Wisdom: What Do You Love about Lakota?
02/23/2021
What do you love about Lakota? That’s what we asked students around the district in this month’s Words of Wisdom.
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West Students Engineer Solutions to COVID Challenges
02/23/2021
When given the chance to find a problem and solve it, students in Jim McClure’s Engineering Design & Development capstone class looked no further than the halls of Lakota West High School. In the end, their work in the Butler Tech satellite course yielded industry-recognized certifications and viable solutions to two different challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic this school year.
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Community Conversation: Lessons Learned During the Pandemic
02/19/2021
Many lessons have been learned about educating students through a global pandemic. From remote learning to the creation of the Lakota Virtual Learning Option to a safe return to the classroom for in-person learning, we want to hear from our parents.
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Lakota's Annual Summer Fun Fair Set for March 3
02/19/2021
Let’s put the snow behind us and start looking forward to fun summer activities! Lakota’s annual Summer Fun Fair is set for March 3 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. -- with a new twist. This year, you will be able to meet ‘face-to-face’ with local organizations offering youth summer programming, all from the comfort of your home.
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Next Coffee Chat with the Superintendent on March 3
02/16/2021
Join Superintendent Miller on Facebook Live (@LakotaSuper) for his next monthly coffee chat on March 3 at 8 a.m. for an update on the school year and to share your questions and concerns.
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Feb. 23: Remote Learning Meal Distribution for In-Person Learners
02/10/2021
With no school on Feb. 24 due to our staff vaccination clinic and remote learning scheduled for Feb. 25-26, we will still offer a pre-ordered breakfast and lunch option for our in-person learning families to cover these days. With the extension of the USDA meal waiver program, all meals will be free and at no cost to the district. Place your order by Feb. 15 for meal pick-up day on Feb. 23.
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Master Facilities Planning Resumes
02/09/2021
In line with Lakota’s strategic plan, which calls for an in-depth assessment of our facilities, the district launched a full-scale master facilities planning process last year. The end goal was to build a plan that protects the district’s most important assets - Lakota’s 25 buildings valued at more than $400 million - and supports the type of learning that will carry our schools into the future.
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New Student Groups Focus on Diversity
02/09/2021
When Elgin Card joined the Lakota Outreach, Diversity and Inclusion (LODI) department as senior director in August, one of his first actions was the creation of student diversity groups at each of the district’s eight secondary schools. “I think it’s important to hear from the students’ mouths,” said Card. “They know what’s good and what’s bad. I want to know how they think we can improve and how we can amplify the good things we do.”
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A Peek Behind the Curtain: Lakota’s School Resource Officers
02/09/2021
From opening up milks at lunch and teaching classroom lessons to leading safety drills and making connections with students, being a school resource officer is a lot more than meets the eye. In this edition of “A Peek Behind the Curtain," you’ll get an inside look at the unique role of Lakota's SROs. While everything they do has student safety at its core, some of the responsibilities that fill their daily workload might surprise you.
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P&G Partners with Lakota on ‘Te Da La Mano Program’
02/09/2021
“As I have moved through my journey, people gave me guidance and help,” said P & G’s Hector Brignoni. “I learned that they were giving me a hand to help and that is exactly what I would like to do.” A new program called P&G Te Da La Mano (“P&G Gives You A Hand”) is designed to do just that.
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Endeavor Sixth Graders Create Kindness Crew
02/09/2021
It all started with an idea. And now two Endeavor sixth graders are bringing that idea to life by forming a new school club called the Kindness Crew. “We wanted to stop bullying and wanted to put more kindness in school,” said student Elle Hensley. Lyla Gully and Elle set up a meeting with counselor Kathy Wiseman and principal LeAnna Webber to discuss their plan. “It was important to us that people don’t feel left out, so they feel like they want to come to school,” said Lyla.
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Lakota Celebrates Black History Month
02/09/2021
The theme throughout Lakota this month is clear - and it’s more than just Valentine’s Day. From bulletin board displays, book studies and trivia to Spotify playlists, slideshows and read-alouds, Lakota students and staff are finding creative ways to celebrate Black History Month.
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Important Update Regarding Feb. 24-26
02/08/2021
At the Feb. 8 school board meeting, Superintendent Matthew Miller announced an adjustment to the school schedule following staff vaccinations on Feb. 24. Read his email here.
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#WELoveLakota February Social Media Contest
02/05/2021
In celebration of Valentine’s Day in February, share what you love about Lakota – with a photo! Think about what you would put on a conversation heart about Lakota: Love My Teacher, Love My School, Love My Team, Love the Chicken Nuggets or ????
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Lakota Schools Receive Purple Star Award for Supporting Military Families
02/01/2021
The Ohio Department of Education has selected Adena Elementary and Lakota East High School as 2021 Purple Star designees for their outstanding commitment to serving military-connected students and families in their schools. To be successful in school and when transitioning between school settings, Ohio’s military-connected youth require particular supports to ensure that their unique social, emotional and academic needs are met.
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Lakota to Host Community Vaccination Clinics
01/28/2021
Lakota Local Schools is excited to partner with UC Health West Chester to help vaccinate our community against COVID-19. The hospital will hold the clinics at Lakota East High School when vaccines become available.
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Important COVID-19 Information: Staff Vaccination Feb. 3 & 24
01/27/2021
On Jan. 26, Lakota Superintendent Matthew Miller shared with staff and parents an important update regarding the district's distribution of the COVID-19 vaccination to staff on Feb. 3 and 24, requiring a change to this year's academic calendar.
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Lakota VLO Family Takes Learning Cross-Country
01/26/2021
The Piening family likes to think they’ve been “making COVID lemonade” since August. In just five months, the family of five has managed to visit more than 20 cities in 11 different states - all while first-grader Cami, second-grader Daniel and fifth-grader Elle continued their “regular” studies (and then some) at Liberty ECS and VanGorden Elementary. How? They rented their home for a year, replaced their three cars with an RV and hit the road just as their other adventure with Lakota’s first-ever virtual learning option (VLO) was getting underway.
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All About Your School Board
01/26/2021
Have you ever wondered what a school board does? Join Cherokee Elementary fourth-grader Josef Ullman as he dons his detective hat to discover the important role Lakota’s Board of Education plays in the district.
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West Senior Brings LOG OFF Movement to Lakota
01/26/2021
“Put down your phone” is probably something that most teenagers have heard their parents say at one time or another. Would you believe that it’s something that teens are saying to one another? Sarah AbuDakar, a senior at Lakota West, is one such teen.
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International Technology Award Featured in January 'Listen Up Lakota'
01/26/2021
This month’s edition of “Listen Up Lakota,” a monthly radio program powered by 89.3FM WMKV, will focus on the work behind Lakota’s recent international digital learning award. These special guests share how Lakota’s partnership with the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) has transformed learning: Liberty Junior teacher Moriah Walker, Independence and Woodland innovation specialist Kim Carlson and VanGorden assistant principal and former innovation specialist Jessica Carrelli.
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K-12 Online Registration for 2021-2022 School Year Opens Feb. 1
01/26/2021
Online registration for grades K-12, including Lakota’s all-day kindergarten program, opens Feb. 1 for the 2021-2022 school year. Early kindergarten registration extends through April 1. ​ Parents of incoming kindergartners are encouraged to attend the virtual Kindergarten Information Night at the early childhood school in their attendance zone.
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Super in 60: January Edition
01/25/2021
In each month's edition of "Super in 60", Lakota Superintendent Matthew Miller provides the latest district highlights in just 60 seconds. Get the latest on Lakota's newest therapy dog, our community's celebration of MLK Day, School Board Recognition Month and the district's release of this year's Quality Profile.
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Project Helps VLO Second Graders Learn More than Economics
01/22/2021
To culminate their recent Economics unit, Lakota VLO students banded together to learn some real-life lessons about needs and wants.
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Lakota Announces 2021 Summer Fun Fair
01/12/2021
Lakota is teaming up with the West Chester Liberty Chamber Alliance to hold our annual Summer Fun Fair using a unique online event solution called Remo, where exhibitors can come ‘face-to-face’ with Lakota families to share information about summer programming activities.
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Board of Education Holds Annual Organizational Meeting
01/12/2021
The Lakota Board of Education held its annual organizational meeting on Jan. 11. All school boards in Ohio are required to hold this meeting within the first 15 days of the month. The board members voted to unanimously approve Kelley Casper and Michael Pearl as president and vice president, respectively.
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Changes to Quarantine Protocols, COVID-19 Dashboard
01/12/2021
As Lakota students return to the classroom for in-person learning following winter break, changes to school-related quarantines will be implemented as a result of a State evaluation of virus spread in Ohio’s schools.
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Lakota Releases 2019-2020 Quality Profile
01/11/2021
Lakota Local Schools is proud to share with the community its 2019-2020 Quality Profile. This annual publication, mailed to every household and business in both West Chester and Liberty townships, is designed to provide highlights from the previous school year in light of major priorities and areas of focus driving our daily work.
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Feb. 3: Next Virtual Coffee Chat with the Superintendent
01/09/2021
Join Superintendent Miller on Facebook Live (@LakotaSuper) for his monthly coffee chat on Feb. 3 at 1 p.m. for an update on the school year and to share your questions and concerns.
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Jan. 18: Community Celebrates Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Student Winners
01/06/2021
The entire West Chester Liberty community is invited to attend a virtual edition of the 22nd annual celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr. on Monday, Jan. 18 at 10 a.m. This year’s student contest, themed “Reinventing Reforms,” challenged students to reflect on what they can do personally, using the resources of this era, to carry on the work started by MLK.
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New Quarantine Guidelines for Second Semester
01/06/2021
On Jan. 6, 2021 Superintendent Matthew Miller updated families on new quarantine protocols. Read his email to families in its entirely here.
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Social Media Challenge: What are You Looking Forward to in 2021?
01/01/2021
With 2020 in the rear view mirror, it’s time to celebrate 2021 with a new social media challenge! Lakota, we want to hear what YOU are looking forward to in 2021.
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USDA Free Meals Program Extended through End of School Year
12/17/2020
In response to the financial hardship felt nationwide as a result of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced an extension to its free meals program for all students announced this fall. Originally ending Dec. 31, 2020, all students learning both in-person and virtually are now eligible through the end of the 2020-2021 school year. The program is being offered at no cost to the district.
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COVID-19: Reporting Cases, Dashboard Update
12/15/2020
The latest COVID-19 communication update covers how to report cases over the winter break, as well as upcoming changes to Lakota's COVID dashboard.
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Board Approves Changes to In-Person Academic Calendar
12/15/2020
At the Dec. 14, 2020 Lakota Board of Education meeting, the members of the Board voted unanimously 4-0, with Michael Pearl absent, to make changes to the in-person learning academic calendar in January.
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Board Approves Contract Extension for Superintendent Miller
12/15/2020
Members of the Lakota Board of Education voted unanimously to extend Superintendent Matthew Miller’s contract for an additional five years, beginning Jan. 2021. The 4-0 vote, with member Michael Pearl absent, took place at the Dec. 14, 2020 meeting.
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Jan. 6 Coffee Chat: Treasurer Takeover
12/15/2020
Join Lakota’s Treasurer/CFO Jenni Logan when she takes over January’s virtual Coffee Chat. Tune into Superintendent Miller’s Facebook Live (@LakotaSuper) on Wednesday, Jan. 6 at 1 p.m.
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Debt Refinancing Saves Lakota Taxpayers
12/15/2020
Jenni Logan, treasurer/CFO for Lakota Local Schools, announced that the district will save more than $6 million in interest expense due to recent refinancing of debt. “Just like our community members, we look to take advantage of a low-interest rate market in order to refinance our debt and save our taxpayers money,” said Logan.
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2020 State of the Schools Marked by Real Reflections from Students, Staff
12/15/2020
This year's unique "State of the Schools" format featured both in-person and virtual learning students and staff sharing a lens into the current school year. The Jan. 8 event, which can now be viewed on demand, drew approximately 200 people for the hour-long presentation.
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Notice of Logistics for Dec. 14 Lakota Board of Education Meeting
12/14/2020
Due to the current rise in COVID-19, the Lakota Local School District is pausing its in-person public participation during its Board of Education meetings. ​Notice is hereby given that the Lakota Board of Education, Butler County, will meet in person at its normal meeting location, Plains Jr. School, 5500 Princeton Rd, Liberty Township, Ohio on December 14, 2020, with the public participating virtually.
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Bringing 100-Year-Old History to Life
12/14/2020
Lakota East teacher Hannah Martin learned the causes of World War I in high school by memorizing a bulleted list. But she wanted something different for her students.
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New Video Celebrates Diversity & LODI Efforts
12/14/2020
A new video presented by Lakota’s Outreach Diversity & Inclusion (LODI) department features the rich diversity that our students bring to Lakota’s classrooms every single day.
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Board Member Video Series: Meet Brad Lovell
12/14/2020
Lakota Local Schools is excited to introduce our community to the members of the Board of Education. Through December, you’ll get to know more about each of the five members. Meet Brad Lovell, a lifelong community member and former school administrator in Lakota, who is serving his first term on the Lakota Board of Education.
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West Senior Dedicates Eagle Scout Project to Former Elementary School
12/14/2020
“I just wanted to give back to the school that gave me so much,” said Lakota West senior Josh Strong, when asked about why he chose Heritage Early Childhood School as the beneficiary of his recent Eagle Scout project. The project gave a major facelift to one of the school’s outdoor learning spaces where students are able to grow their own plants.
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Lunch and Learn Series Connects ECS Parents, Offers Support
12/13/2020
How can parents stay connected and receive support in these difficult times? “It is definitely difficult not having adults in the school building this year to help build community and connectedness,” said Jen Gillum, counselor at Wyandot Early Childhood School. “The Lunch and Learn Series is helping to bridge that gap.”
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All Students Eligible for Meal Pick-Up During Altered Second Semester Start
12/11/2020
With the altered schedule for the return to second semester Jan. 5-15, all in-person learners will be eligible to pre-order breakfast and lunch meals to cover the remote learning days. While the schedule change does not impact VLO families, students are still invited to register for meal pick-ups following the normal VLO meal program schedule.
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Second Semester Update
12/09/2020
On Dec. 9, Superintendent Matthew Miller shared this update with parents and staff regarding the district's altered plans for returning to school for second semester. The slight change in the academic calendar is in response to a recent survey that returned mixed results regarding a return to in-person learning versus remote learning. The change will allow for a more gradual return from break, giving the district time to review the COVID-19 trends and takes us further from the holidays when increased social gatherings may result in a spike of positive cases.
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Updated COVID-19 Quarantine Guidelines
12/07/2020
On Friday, the Ohio Department of Health adopted the recent changes to quarantine guidelines recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). We have been notified that our local health commissioner has also approved these guidelines for Butler County.
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Board Member O'Connor Honored for Service to OSBA
12/04/2020
Lynda O’Connor, member of the Lakota Local Schools Board of Education, was recognized at the Nov. 16 school board meeting for her service to the Ohio School Boards Association (OSBA).
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Independence Student Leads ‘Operation Overseas: Treats for Troops’
12/01/2020
Independence Elementary sixth-grader Trevor Earnest drew his inspiration for a recent food drive he organized at his school from his dad, a surgeon in the U.S. Air Force currently deployed in Afghanistan. Called “Operation Overseas: Treats for Troops,” the food drive was designed to not only assist the troops overseas with depleting resources, but also bring awareness to the important work they are doing.
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Heritage Debuts StoryWalksⓇ for In-Person and VLO Families
12/01/2020
What can in-person and virtual learning students do to experience the same thing? This is the question that Heritage Early Childhood School Assistant Principal Natalie Jimenez asked herself. The answer? StoryWalksⓇ.
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COVID-19 Updates: Snow Days, Mask-Wearing
12/01/2020
With December comes winter weather and potential snow days. Lakota Local Schools will continue its practice of using calamity days for all students, both in person and those enrolled in the Virtual Learning Option, should it be deemed necessary to close or delay school due to inclement weather.
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Meet Our Board Members: Kelley Casper
12/01/2020
Lakota Local Schools is excited to introduce our community to the members of the Board of Education. Through December, you’ll get to know more about each of the five members. Meet Kelley Casper, a former teacher and proud Lakota parent who has served on numerous committees at the district level since 2005, including District Parent Council, strategic planning, redistricting and levy committees.
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First Semester Exams Canceled for High School Students
12/01/2020
End of semester exams for students in grades 9-12 have been cancelled for the first semester this school year. Grades for the first and second quarters will be weighted equally at 50% to determine first semester grades.
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Lakota Gears Up for Virtual State of the Schools Dec. 8
11/30/2020
Lakota’s annual “State of the Schools” event returns next Tuesday, Dec. 8, giving parents, students, staff and community members a 45-minute overview of the district’s top priorities, as they related to current and future work. Although virtual, the event maintains its purpose to keep the community informed about the current and future outlook of our schools.
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West Hope Squad Ends Anti-Bullying Month with Duckloads of Positivity
11/30/2020
A month marked by acts of kindness and anti-bullying messages at Lakota West High School culminated in “Duck Duck Hope Week,” where rubber ducks sprinkled all over campus had but one purpose: to send students and staff off to Thanksgiving break on a positive note.
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Media Design & Communications Project Connects VLO Students
11/27/2020
Hundreds of K-2 virtual learners are having some fall and winter fun, thanks to some Hopewell and Liberty junior high VLO students. Students in Moriah Walker’s Media Design & Communications class recently took on a project to create activity books full of coloring pages, word searches and math puzzles for younger VLO students at Hopewell and Wyandot early childhood schools.
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WE Can: Persevering through a Pandemic
11/19/2020
On Nov. 17, Lakota celebrated a very important milestone: three months of in-person learning. A special live video premiere featured students and staff sharing all that they’ve overcome so far this school year.
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VanGorden’s ‘Team Togetherness’ Helps Celebrate Diversity
11/17/2020
The transformation of the VanGorden Elementary lobby is now underway. The school’s new Team Togetherness Committee is overseeing the project that highlights the diversity of its students and staff.
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Engineering Students Help Others Through Real World Learning
11/17/2020
Real World Learning has even more meaning when the project helps a teacher. See how Taylor Blackburn, Jonah Dangel and Amane Ohhashi designed a shoe for English teacher Kendra Herber’s prosthetic leg in their Introduction to Engineering Design class at West Freshman. The class is led by teacher Scott Fetzer and is through Butler Tech’s Project Lead the Way program.
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Lakota Marching Bands Triumph Over Tenacity, Not Trophies
11/17/2020
While their performance schedules were nowhere near their normal load, both Lakota East and Lakota West’s marching bands have something big to celebrate: they finished their seasons. “Several times, we thought that the season would be shut down by the current events of the pandemic,” remembered Lakota West Band Director Andrew Carr. But against all odds, regulations were loosened just enough to give them some semblance of a season. And with it came a new realization.
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Dec. 3 Virtual Community Conversation: Diversity & Inclusion
11/17/2020
Lakota’s Outreach Diversity and Inclusion (LODI) department will host a Dec. 3 Community Conversation that challenges students, staff, parents and community members to discuss the current opportunities and challenges.
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Meet Our School Board Video Series: Lynda O'Connor
11/17/2020
Lakota Local Schools is excited to introduce our community to the members of the Board of Education. Through December, you’ll get to know more about each of the five members. Meet Lynda O’Connor, a member of the Board of Education since 2008.
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Plains Pilots Peer-Run ‘Sources of Strength’ Program
11/16/2020
A pilot program at Plains Junior is just the start of a three-year health and wellness plan for all Lakota seventh and eighth grade students.
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MLK Day Celebration, Student Contest the Focus of November 'Listen Up Lakota'
11/16/2020
This month’s edition of “Listen Up Lakota,” a monthly radio program powered by 89.3FM WMKV, will focus on West Chester Liberty’s “Live the Dream” MLK Day celebration and student contest.
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Lakota One of Nine Districts to Participate in State COVID Study about Quarantines
11/16/2020
Lakota Local Schools is one of nine districts statewide to participate in a public health evaluation about classroom spread of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). The Ohio COVID-19 School Evaluation (OCSE) testing program will give school districts, public health experts and elected officials more scientific data regarding quarantines related to positive novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in school.
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COVID-19 Communication Update: Thanksgiving, Bus Transportation
11/16/2020
The latest COVID-19 communication update covers the Thanksgiving Holiday as well as bus transportation information.
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‘Dude, Be Kind’ Week a Year-Round Philosophy at Hopewell ECS
11/16/2020
At Hopewell Early Childhood School, kindness isn’t just something staff teach; it’s something they model. And although it was even more top of mind during the district’s celebration of “Dude, Be Kind” week all last week, Hopewell’s interim counselor and reading intervention specialist Kathy Gall says it’s really a year-round focus in their building.
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Nov. 3-4 Remote Learning Survey Results
11/16/2020
“While we certainly do not want to have to shift to remote learning, we want our staff and our families to be prepared,” said Superintendent Matthew Miller. This belief led to the district’s first remote learning practice days of the 2020-2021 school year on Nov. 3-4.
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Super in 60: November 2020 Edition
11/14/2020
In each month's edition of "Super in 60", Lakota Superintendent Matthew Miller provides the latest district highlights in just 60 seconds. Get the latest on Lakota's criteria for any possible shift to remote learning and the district's participation in a COVID-19 study evaluating in-school spread, plus an opportunity to help shape the focus of this year's "State of the Schools."
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Fall VLO Celebrations Build Community
11/13/2020
“It was an optional Zoom session, but 90% of my children came to the party dressed in their costumes. What I thought might be a half hour turned into 50 minutes of fun and laughter – talking – sharing – just enjoying being together,” said Wyandot ECS first grade teacher Abigail Detcher.
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Dec. 2: Coffee Chat with the Superintendent
11/13/2020
Join Superintendent Miller on Facebook Live (@LakotaSuper) for his monthly coffee chat on Dec. 2 at 3 p.m. for an update on the school year and to share your questions and concerns.
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Lakota Earns International Technology Award
11/12/2020
Lakota Local Schools is one of just three school districts worldwide to earn the “2020 Distinguished District Award” from the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), which supports more than 200,000 educators worldwide in using technology to overcome challenges in education.
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Superintendent Video Update: COVID-19
11/11/2020
In this quick video update, Superintendent Miller shares information related to the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) and our schools.
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‘WE Can: Persevering through a Pandemic’ Video Debuts Nov. 17
11/10/2020
Thinking back to Aug. 17, did you ever think in-person learning would still be an option three months later? Join us in celebrating this awesome milestone and all that we’ve overcome so far this school year with a special live video premiere on Nov. 17 featuring “WE are Lakota” students and staff.
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A Peek Behind the Curtain: Mask Breaks
11/04/2020
Take a closer look inside Lakota Local Schools with a new video series called “A Peek Behind the Curtain.” This time, you’ll get an inside look at this year’s mask breaks - what they are, how they work and what students are saying about them. Throughout the year, continue to follow this series to get a peek inside different parts of the school day.
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Save the Date: Lakota State of the Schools Dec. 8
11/03/2020
Lakota Superintendent Matthew Miller will deliver the district’s “State of the Schools” address virtually this year on Tuesday, Dec. 8 at 7 p.m. The 45-minute event is open to the entire community and serves as the district-wide update for both last school year and the current one.
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Meet the Board Video Series: Julie Shaffer
11/02/2020
Lakota Local Schools is excited to introduce our community to the members of the Board of Education. Through December, you’ll get to know more about each of the five members. Meet Julie Shaffer, a member of the Board since 2012.
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Raise Craze Fundraiser Focuses on Acts of Kindness
11/02/2020
“We have to focus on the positive, on things that we can do, on giving lots of grace and having lots of patience this year.” What could be considered words to live by in the middle of a pandemic is actually how Emily Miller, co-president of the Adena Elementary School PTO, recalled a conversation among the executive board when discussing fundraising activities for the year.
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Safety Protocols Help Stop In-School Spread of COVID-19, Keep Students In School
11/02/2020
Did you know that even though the number of positive cases of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to rise across Butler County and the state of Ohio, we are not seeing classroom spread of the virus? Let us repeat that. We are not seeing COVID-19 spread in Lakota’s classrooms.
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Improving COVID-19 Communication: Survey Results
11/02/2020
In the last district e-newsletter, a ThoughtExchange was launched to find out how we can best communicate COVID-19 related information to our parents, staff and community. Click to see a full report as well as the top five thoughts and the district's response.
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New Contest: Oh! The Places You'll VLO!
11/01/2020
There’s no doubt about it – with Lakota’s VLO you can learn from just about anywhere. We’re celebrating that flexibility with a contest we’re calling Oh! The Places You’ll VLO!
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‘Stuff the Bus’ Food Drive Shatters 2019 Total
11/01/2020
In a year when our local food pantry provided 645 emergency food boxes in a little over a month, the Lakota Board of Education’s annual “Stuff the Bus” food drive tradition was more critical than ever. Students, staff and families topped last year’s grand total of 12,000 pounds, donating nearly 15,500 pounds of food and other essentials.
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Why Are You Thankful?
11/01/2020
As we begin to count down the days to Thanksgiving break, Lakota is asking staff, students, parents and residents to look back over the last year and let us know who or what makes you thankful for your Lakota experience.​
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Lakota East, West Theater: The Show Must Go On
10/30/2020
Last spring, just two weeks before Lakota West was set to perform Fiddler on the Roof, COVID-19 happened and the show was cancelled. “It was all so very disappointing, but looking back, it was actually partially a gift,” said Ethan Kuchta, who was to play Tevye. “A lot of us were taking being in the show for granted, getting the opportunity to perform for granted. Now we are very invested and realize the huge loss.”
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Creekside Students Get Tips from Best-Selling Author/Illustrator
10/28/2020
Creekside VLO and in-person students recently learned the secret to being good at anything. Award-winning author and illustrator Derek Anderson held a special Zoom session for each grade at Creekside, where he shared this secret along with many other tips about writing and drawing.
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WE are Prepared: Fall 2020 Community Newsletter
10/26/2020
Several times a year, Lakota produces a community newsletter to help parents and residents stay informed about important district-wide news and updates. The fall 2020 edition, titled "WE are Prepared", shares an inside look at one of the most unusual starts to a school year yet and all the ways we are preparing for what could come next.
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Super in 60: October 2020 Edition
10/21/2020
In each month's edition of "Super in 60", Lakota Superintendent Matthew Miller provides the latest district highlights in just 60 seconds. Get the latest on Lakota's Educators of Excellence, the district-wide food drive and recent changes to the academic calendar.
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Nov. 4: Next Coffee Chat with the Superintendent
10/21/2020
We hope you will join Superintendent Miller on Facebook Live (@LakotaSuper) for an update on the school year and to share your questions and concerns. These virtual coffee chats have been very well attended, and to help efficiently prioritize questions and concerns, consider sending in your thoughts via Thought Exchange.
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Honoring Lakota's 2020 Educators of Excellence
10/20/2020
The Community Foundation of West Chester/Liberty, in partnership with Lakota Local Schools, are proud to announce the three recipients of the 2020 Lakota Educator of Excellence Awards.
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Lakota COVID-19 Update
10/20/2020
This week marks the start of the second quarter. Lakota’s staff, students and families have proven that they are following the guidelines, wearing face coverings, washing their hands and staying home when they are sick.
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East LEAF Club Reforestation Project Takes Root
10/20/2020
A once wide-open plot of land between Lakota East High School’s baseball fields and Interstate-75 now dawns about 60 trees - all thanks to the advocacy of the school’s LEAF Club and two critical community partners, Cincinnati’s Taking Root and Delhi Nursery.
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Liberty ECS First Grade Detectives Look for Clues
10/20/2020
What do police detectives have in common with first graders? They look for clues. This is what Janet Alsip’s class at Liberty Early Childhood School learned during a recent lesson in reading.
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WOW Gives ‘Women of West’ Social Emotional Boost
10/20/2020
“I was in one of the most accelerated career paths for P&G, yet I couldn’t look myself in the mirror,” shared Helena Alsbury, a chemical engineer and senior director of product supply at P&G. “What I had two years ago was a self-esteem issue.”
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Ridge Jr. Storage Area Transformed into Fitness Center
10/19/2020
An old storage area at Ridge Junior School is a now a place where students and staff can go to improve their physical, social and emotional health. It all started last year when Scott Laman (who was the school’s Athletic Director) proposed turning the area into a fitness center.
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Lakota Celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month
10/19/2020
National Hispanic Heritage Month took place from Sept. 15 – Oct. 15, and schools around the district held their own unique programs to honor the histories, cultures and contributions of those from Latin American countries. Lakota students represent 14 of those Hispanic countries and they make up 9.6% of the student population.
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In-Person Learning Survey: The Results are In
10/19/2020
Lakota Local Schools could not have completed its first quarter, offering both in-person and virtual learning options, without valuable feedback from parents, staff and students. ​ There were 4,180 responses to Lakota’s in-person learning survey that closed on Oct. 12.
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Meet Our School Board Video Series: Michael Pearl
10/19/2020
Lakota Local Schools is excited to introduce our community to the members of the Board of Education. Through December, you’ll get to know more about each of the five members. First up, meet Michael Pearl, the newest member of the Board.
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Words of Wisdom: What Do You Like About Fall?
10/19/2020
What do you love about fall? That’s what we asked students around Lakota for this month’s Words of Wisdom.
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Lakota Board of Education Recognizes OSBA Business Honor Roll
10/19/2020
The Lakota Local Schools Board of Education announced four outstanding business partners as recipients of the Ohio School Boards Association’s (OSBA) Business Honor Roll at last night’s school board meeting.
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October's 'Super in 60' Video Update
10/19/2020
In each month's edition of "Super in 60", Lakota Superintendent Matthew Miller provides the latest district highlights in just 60 seconds. Get the latest on Lakota's Educators of Excellence, the district-wide food drive and recent changes to the academic calendar.
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LODI Introduces Kinship Connections to Link Lakota Caregivers
10/12/2020
Lakota’s Outreach Diversity & Inclusion (LODI) Department is introducing a monthly program called “Kinship Connections.” Designed for our grandparents and other kinship caregivers of Lakota students, the program is being introduced in response to the feedback district leaders received at a Community Conversation with some members of this group earlier this year.
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Lots of Color in Hopewell’s Creative Alternative to Color Run
10/06/2020
Despite having to completely reimagine this year’s format, at least one thing about a popular after-school event at Hopewell Junior School remained intact: lots of color. But this time, rather than having staff and parent volunteers throw color at them, students spread out on the school’s athletic field and were throwing paint on a blank ceiling tile. All together, the individual tiles will soon form a large display of student expression in the school’s cafeteria.
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Focus on Meeting the Social & Emotional Needs of Virtual Learning Students
10/06/2020
Addressing the social/emotional needs of students is always important, but especially so for virtual learners during the COVID pandemic. ​Students in virtual learning environments such as Lakota’s VLO might feel particularly isolated or lonely by missing out on valuable social interaction and relationship building in the school setting.
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Lakota Cyber Academy Partnerships: A new Wave of Cyber Talent
10/06/2020
The Lakota Cyber Academy is a first of its kind program for high school students. It has been designed alongside industry partners to develop a local pool of talent in one of the fastest growing professions in the world: cyber security.
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WE are Prepared: COVID-19 Update
10/06/2020
Now in its eighth week of in-person learning, Lakota Local Schools continues to follow the guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Butler County Health Department (BCHD). Safety protocols continue to be adjusted as needed in order to help stop the spread of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).
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New Video Series Debut: A Peek Behind the Curtain
10/06/2020
Take a closer look inside Lakota Local Schools with a new video series called “A Peek Behind the Curtain.” Throughout the year, you’ll get an inside look at different parts of the school day. In this first video, you’ll meet the #DogsOfLakota, the district’s four therapy dogs who are helping students and staff in innovative ways.
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Freedom Elementary Hallway Becomes Stone Age Cave
10/05/2020
How do you get sixth-graders excited about studying the Stone Age? Transform the hallway by your classroom into a cave. Freedom Elementary social studies teacher Regan Hagemeier explained to her students that they would spend the school year travelling all over the Eastern Hemisphere studying world civilizations.
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Lakota School Board's ‘WE CAN’ Food Drive Serves Reach Out Lakota
10/05/2020
The Lakota Board of Education’s annual district-wide food drive for Reach Out Lakota will run Oct. 12 through Oct. 23, leading right up to National Make a Difference Day on Oct. 24. In true “WE are Lakota” fashion, the district is challenging families, staff and community members to “stuff the bus” with canned goods and other non-perishables needed by our community’s local relief organization.
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New Literacy Lab is on a Roll at Shawnee ECS
10/02/2020
Many Shawnee ECS kindergarteners are saying it is the favorite part of their day. It’s not recess. It’s not lunch. It’s when the Literacy Lab rolls into their classroom.
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October Social Media Contest: Fall Favorites
10/02/2020
Is it jumping into a big pile of leaves? Warm apple cider? Trick or treat fun? Family and friends sitting around a fire pit? We want to know your favorite thing about fall. Lakota’s October social media contest is all about fall fun. Share a photo showing what you like most about fall, and you just might win a prize basket full of Lakota spirit items.
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Academic Calendar Change: Nov. 2-4
09/28/2020
Lakota has made an adjustment to our academic calendar for Nov. 2-4. Traditionally, Lakota’s teachers and staff participate in professional development on Election Day. This decision is part of our safety and security guidelines because 18 of our schools are used as polling locations in our community.
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Technology Zoom Sessions Help Parents Support Student Learning
09/22/2020
How can I help my child who uses Seesaw? How do I navigate Canvas? What are some tips and tricks to make all of this technology easier to use? Whether students are learning virtually or in-person, parents across the district are asking these questions.
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Mask Breaks Reinvent Outdoor Learning
09/22/2020
If it weren’t for “mask breaks,” Wyandot ECS teacher Alison Brunk may have never discovered just what a “treasure trove” of learning opportunities her school’s outdoor classroom has to offer her first-graders.
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INCubatoredu@Lakota Cultivates 100 Future Entrepreneurs
09/22/2020
Kevin Keen can recall several good answers he received after asking his 100 students what they hoped to get out of Lakota’s newest course for budding entrepreneurs. But his favorite was the student who said that she wanted to use the class to “make as many mistakes as possible while there are no real stakes involved.”
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Lakota Receives Prestigious Auditor of State Award for Sixth Consecutive Year
09/22/2020
Fewer than 5 percent of all entities that are audited annually earn the Auditor of State Award with Distinction – and Lakota has received the honor six years in a row. Treasurer ​Jenni Logan was virtually presented with the award for the district’s clean audit and excellent record keeping at the Sept. 14 Board of Education meeting. The award recognizes the district’s commitment to fiscal responsibility and transparency.
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Lakota Updates, Expands COVID-19 Dashboard
09/21/2020
Beginning Monday, Sept. 21, Lakota Local Schools will expand the information displayed on its novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) dashboard. The dashboard, which launched on Sept. 8, initially presented the number of staff and students who have tested positive for COVID-19, or are presumed positive by the Butler County Health Department (BCHD) or their doctors. The number of quarantined individuals related to in-school cases is also displayed.
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Whole-Student Activities Prepare Students for the Future
09/18/2020
Each day, Plains Junior students spend ninety minutes in ‘advisory period.’ But what actually is advisory period? ​ Sixty minutes is set aside for typical academic assistance from teachers and continued academic practice, while thirty minutes is devoted to whole-student skill development. ​
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2021 MLK Day Contest Challenges Students to ‘Reinvent Reforms’
09/17/2020
In preparation for our community’s annual celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, all Lakota students are invited to participate in a contest that promotes self-reflection about diversity and inclusion in our community and nationwide. This year’s "Reinventing Reforms" theme challenges students to reflect on what they can do personally, using the resources of this era, to carry on the work started by Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
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Super in 60: September 2020 Edition
09/15/2020
Lakota Superintendent Matthew Miller’s newest video series, “Super in 60”, gives parents, staff and community members a 60-second overview of what’s happening around Lakota. View the inaugural edition of “Super in 60.”
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Michael Pearl Appointed to Lakota Board of Education
09/14/2020
The Lakota Board of Education unanimously appointed Michael Pearl to the school board at its Sept. 14 meeting.
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All Lakota Students Eligible for Free Meal Program
09/12/2020
In response to the financial hardship felt nationwide as a result of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced an opportunity to provide free meals to all students through an anticipated date of Dec. 31, 2020. Beginning Wednesday, Sept. 16, student accounts will not be charged for any breakfast or lunch meals that meet the regular meal criteria set forth by the USDA.
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Lakota Board of Education Update: Mr. Parnell's Resignation
09/11/2020
On Sept. 11, the Lakota Board of Education made a statement regarding the reason for former board member Todd Parnell's resignation. Lakota Superintendent Matthew Miller shared this statement via a letter to the Lakota community.
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West’s Student Athlete Advisory Board: More than Meets the Eye
09/09/2020
What does a practice look like when it combines student-athletes from 27 different sports? It looks like Lakota West High School’s Student Athlete Advisory Board, better known as SAAB. Every other Sunday, August through May, nearly 60 of Lakota West’s finest student-athletes gather for two to three hours to practice a skill shared across all their sports: leadership.
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VIDEO: Student Words of Wisdom for a Great School Year
09/08/2020
In spite of this year’s unique challenges, our students have some pretty good ideas for how to make it a great school year. Our monthly video series featuring student voice, “Words of Wisdom,” continues this year. Click to hear what Lakota students had to say this month.
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Lakota Gets Feedback from Parents, Students and Staff
09/08/2020
Lakota Local School continues to gather feedback from its parents, staff and students regarding the 2020-2021 school year. “This is new to all of us,” said Superintendent Matthew Miller about the reopening of the district amid the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Since the mandatory closing in March, the district has invited feedback as it navigated through uncharted territory.
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Lakota's COVID-19 Communication Procedures, New Data Dashboard
09/08/2020
With the return to in-person learning, Lakota is committed to responsibly tracking positive cases of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) among our students and staff, as well as current quarantine counts in response to such cases.
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West's Volley for the Cure Goes Virtual Sept. 8-25
09/08/2020
Lakota West’s 14th annual Volley for the Cure event may look different this year, but still supports a great cause. The volleyball team is asking fans to put on an old “Volley for the Cure” T-shirt and tune into its full line-up of official “Volley for the Cure” games virtually on Tuesday, Sept. 8, beginning with the freshman game at 4:30 p.m.
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Back-to-School and COVID-19 Updates
09/08/2020
Have you visited Lakota’s Back-to-School webpage recently? The list of frequently asked questions is updated regularly, as information regarding the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) remains fluid.
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Wearing Masks Doesn’t Stop Students & Staff from Making Connections
09/08/2020
We may be starting the school year wearing masks, but that hasn’t stopped Lakota students and staff from making important connections with each other. Challenges associated with wearing masks have brought about creative solutions across the district.
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C3 and Lakota Focus on Impact of Social Media on Youth
09/08/2020
The area’s largest school district and a local non-profit organization are teaming up to host a conference exploring the impact of social media and technology on youth.
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Liberty Junior Student Engineers Tackle Football Team’s COVID-19 Challenge
09/07/2020
The Liberty Junior School football team had a problem - one that Doug Noxsel’s Design & Modeling students weren’t afraid to tackle, even if it was just their first full week in the new class. Despite his best efforts to make the team water cooler completely touchless in light of current COVID-19 precautions, Coach Hamilton still had no way for his student-athletes to refill their bottles during practice. The alternate valve that he purchased may have kept students from touching the same release button, but still required each water bottle to repeatedly touch the same surface.
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VLO Students Staying Connected to Home Schools
09/07/2020
While about a quarter of Lakota students might be learning virtually from their own homes, the goal is to keep them as connected to their home school as possible. ​ A partnership between the Virtual Learning Option (VLO) and school principals is focused on ways to maintain this connection. Students receive communications from their home school, can participate in extracurriculars, and can even get their school pictures taken and be part of the yearbook. Whenever possible, students have a VLO teacher from their home school.
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Meal Program for Virtual Learners
09/03/2020
Beginning Thursday, Sept. 10, Lakota's virtual learners will be able to pick up breakfast and lunch via our new drive-through bagged meal service. Meals will be available for pick-up at four locations on Mondays and Thursdays.
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Applications Now Being Accepted for Board Vacancy
09/01/2020
The Lakota Local Schools Board of Education seeks applicants to fill the unexpired term of board member Todd Parnell, who resigned on Aug. 27, 2020. The board will interview candidates on Sept. 12 and 13. A replacement must be appointed within 30 days of the resignation. The newly appointed member will serve until Dec. 31, 2021. If the appointed member desires to continue serving, he or she must run in the Nov. 2021 general election.
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Lakota Limits Spectators at All Athletic Events
09/01/2020
Per Gov. DeWine’s most recent sports health order, as well as guidance from the Ohio High School Athletic Association, Lakota is significantly limiting attendance at all athletic events until further notice. As we prioritize the families of our student-athletes, we will not be accepting staff badges, Golden Lakota passes or Corporate Sponsor Passes at any sporting events for the 2020 season.
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Lakota Board of Education Accepts Member’s Resignation
08/27/2020
The Lakota Board of Education accepted the resignation of school board member Todd Parnell at an emergency meeting this afternoon.
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Lakota Welcomes Back Students in a Whole New Way
08/25/2020
Lakota welcomed back its 16,800 students last week in a whole new way. While relationship building was still in the forefront, students and staff also spent the first days of school becoming accustomed to new safety procedures.
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What Does a 'Mask Break' Look Like?
08/25/2020
From dancing on the playground to relocating class outside, teachers throughout Lakota are finding creative ways to give their students, and themselves, “mask breaks.”
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Survey Results: How Was the First Week?
08/25/2020
Lakota Local Schools values feedback from its families, students, staff and community. Beginning on March 13 when Lakota closed its doors to in-person learning due to the state-mandated shutdown of schools because of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), the district began gathering feedback about everything from the remote learning process to looking ahead to the 2020-2021 school year to feedback on the first days of school. District leaders use the feedback to help guide their decisions on how to best meet the needs of its students.
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Introducing Back-to-School Photo Contest Winners
08/25/2020
While Back to School 2020 may have looked a little different in some ways, Lakota’s annual back-to-school photo contest returned in full force. We are excited to announce this year’s contest winners, based on the posts coming out on top with the most votes (or “likes”).
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Lakota’s Back-to-School Karaoke 2.0 Celebrates Safe Return
08/24/2020
Lakota's Back-to-School Karaoke 2.0, which follows last year's hit school bus karaoke debut, features Lakota students and staff celebrating a safe return to school. The new hit, titled “At Lakota,” is sung to the tune of “Copacabana”.
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Lakota Celebrates Top Volunteers in Unique Way
08/24/2020
Lakota spent the last weeks of summer break honoring the district’s most beloved volunteers. A social media campaign, each day featuring a different 2020 Barb Bossu Volunteer Spirit Award winner, replaced the District Parent Council’s traditional recognition event that takes place in person every spring.
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Lakota Launches Unique Virtual Learning Option
08/24/2020
One in four Lakota students are starting their school year as part of the Virtual Learning Option (VLO), setting up their classrooms in home offices, kitchens and even in an RV during travels out West.
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First Day Photo Contest: Celebrate New School Year
08/14/2020
For some of our students, the new school year begins Monday, Aug. 17 and for others, Tuesday, Aug. 18. So get ready to capture those special first day moments at the front stoop, at your bus stop, in your classroom or at home in your new VLO workspace.
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Lakota Welcomes New Administrators for 20-21 School Year
08/14/2020
As the district prepares to welcome back students for the 2020-2021 school year, Lakota welcomes new administrative leaders at several schools, as well as in two key district positions.
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Lakota Releases COVID-19 Safety Protocols & Guidelines Resource Manual
08/13/2020
In accordance with guidance from the Butler County Health Department, Lakota Local Schools has compiled a comprehensive resource manual outlining the district’s safety protocols and guidelines for its responsible reopening this school year.
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Lakota’s Child Nutrition Department Prepares for New School Year
08/07/2020
Lakota’s Child Nutrition Department is working closely with the Butler County Health Department, building principals and custodial staff as it gears up for the 2020-2021 school year.
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HAC: Bus Routes, Teachers, Schedules and More
08/07/2020
Home Access Center (HAC) is a communications tool to help keep students and parents up-to-date and in contact with their teachers throughout the year. Use HAC to find daily assignments and scores, report cards, schedules, bus assignments, attendance, and more.​
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Video: Face Coverings Safety Tips and Tricks
08/05/2020
For everyone's safety this school year, Lakota staff and students will be required to wear a face covering at most times throughout the school day. During planned mask breaks or at other times when students and staff can be at least six feet apart, face coverings will not be required. Lauren Brown, Lakota's Manager of Health Services, shares with the Lakota community some tips and tricks for effectively wearing and caring for your face coverings.
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Daily Health Assessment Important Part of Lakota’s Reopening Plans
08/04/2020
When Lakota opens its doors on August 17, students and staff will notice many changes to help protect the safety and health of our Lakota community. In order to keep our schools open, it will be up to everyone to closely follow new procedures and protocols, including a daily COVID-19 health check.
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Special Mask Promotion in Lakota Spiritwear Shop
08/03/2020
As our families mark off items on this year's non-traditional school supply list, Lakota is offering a special face mask promotion via its online spirit wear shop. The promotion includes a two-pack of "WE are Lakota" 3-ply face masks, including both youth and adult sizes in three different colors: black, grey and red.
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Board Approves Plan A: New School Year Begins Aug. 17
07/31/2020
This afternoon, the Lakota Board of Education met to review the most recent data and recommendations from the Butler County Department of Health surrounding the reopening plans for the 2020-2021 school year. The Board called today’s special meeting in order to vote on whether or not to move forward with the district’s Plan A, which welcomes back all students for in-person learning with additional safety precautions.
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Notice of Special Board of Education Meeting: Lakota School District
07/29/2020
Notice is hereby given that the Lakota Board of Education, Butler County, will hold a special meeting on Friday, July 31, 2020, at 4:00 p.m. for the purpose of reviewing and approving the re-opening plans for the 2020-21 school year.
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Star In Lakota's Back-to-School Karaoke
07/28/2020
Lakota Local Schools is ramping up for a school year like like no other - and WE need students, staff, parents and community partners to help us get it started on the right foot! Lakota Karaoke 2.0, which follows last year's hit school bus karaoke debut, will feature the Lakota community celebrating a safe and energetic return to school - through song! Submit your homemade music videos until Aug. 5!
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Check Your Lakota Communication Preferences
07/23/2020
Lakota is proud to offer a powerful mass notification system for delivering important school and district news and announcements via email, phone and text message. We encourage parents, employees and community members to take full advantage of the customization options within School Messenger platform. Before the school year gets underway, log into your account to check your preferences.
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Miller Participates in WCPO Virtual Town Hall
07/21/2020
On July 13, Superintendent Matthew Miller participated in a virtual town hall meeting hosted by WCPO, the ABC affiliate in Cincinnati. The television special featured educational leaders from the tri-state area speaking about plans to return to in-person learning amid the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).
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Lakota Names New High School Principals
07/13/2020
Lakota Local Schools announced today that it has hired two new principals to lead Lakota’s two high schools this fall - Ben Brown at Lakota West and Yejide Mack at Lakota East.
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Work Permit Update
07/07/2020
Effective July 7, 2020, Lakota students in need of signed work permits are asked to visit their respective high schools to complete the paperwork. Previously, the COVID-19 shutdown shifted this process to Lakota's Central Office.
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2020-2021 School Year Plans Announced
06/30/2020
At the June 29 Lakota Board of Education work session, Superintendent Matthew Miller presented four different plans for the 2020-2021 school year, including a virtual option that will be available to families who do not wish for their children to attend school in person. “We want our students back in school,” said Miller.
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Lakota Virtual Learning Information Sessions Announced
06/26/2020
After surveying Lakota families at the end of the school year, as well as through a community-wide ThoughtExchange, it is evident that some families may be uneasy about sending their children to school in the fall due to concerns about the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). To help meet the needs of families, the district will offer a 100-percent online K-12 education through the Lakota Virtual Learning Option this fall.
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WE are Prepared: Fall 2020 Update
06/23/2020
As Lakota prepares for a potentially different start to the 2020-2021 school year, Superintendent Matthew Miller shared an update with parents and staff on June 23. While we await guidance from Governor DeWine, the Ohio Department of Education, the Ohio Department of Health and the Butler County Health Department, we want to share the principles guiding our plans and other resources to stay informed as the summer continues.
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ThoughtExchange: Community Shares Input on Responsible Reopening
06/16/2020
“As we continue to build out options and plans for what school can look like in the fall of 2020, what considerations should we keep in mind?” Lakota Local Schools recently posed this open-ended question to its parents, students, staff and community members to gather input on reopening the district’s 23 buildings for the 2020-21 school year.
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Guiding Principles for Reopening Lakota School Buildings for 2020-2021 School Year
06/11/2020
Even before the past school year ended, Lakota began planning for what the 2020-2021 school year might look like based on COVID-19 considerations. How schools reopen in the fall will depend largely on requirements and guidance from Gov. DeWine, the Ohio Department of Health, the Ohio Department of Education and the Butler County Health Department. Lakota is also using feedback gathered from parents, staff and students, to build out plans for the upcoming school year.
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District Seeking Input on 2021-2022 Calendar
06/09/2020
The Lakota District is soliciting community input on the 2021-2022 district calendar. Lakota staff, students, parents and community members are invited to review the current draft before any final recommendation is presented to the school board.
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NOTICE OF LOGISTICS FOR REGULAR BOARD MEETING OF JUNE 8, 2020
06/05/2020
As we begin our transition to in-person Board of Education meetings again, notice is hereby given that the Lakota Board of Education, Butler County, will meet in person at its normal meeting location, Plains Jr. School, 5500 Princeton Rd, Liberty Township, Ohio on June 8, 2020, with the public continuing to participate virtually. To continue to preserve social-distancing standards to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus, we will continue the public the ability to view and participate in the meeting via the live video conferencing.
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A Message to the Lakota Community
06/04/2020
To Our WE are Lakota Community: Our students, staff, families and community, as a whole, are rightfully and justly upset by the horrific death of Mr. George Floyd - and the national outcry that’s ensued since his murder. To take a united stand against future injustices, that same reaction and level of emotion needs to be felt and experienced by each and every one of us.
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Drive-In Style Graduation Ceremonies Celebrate Class of 2020
06/03/2020
Lakota’s graduation weekend was marked by seven non-traditional, yet memorable celebrations of both East’s and West’s Class of 2020. Over the course of two days and seven separate ceremonies, nearly 1,100 graduates celebrated the important milestone among their family and friends from the comfort of their vehicles (or parking spaces).
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Final Remote Learning Survey Results Guide Preparation for 2020-2021 School Year
06/02/2020
Ongoing feedback from Lakota parents and secondary students has played an important role in shaping Lakota’s fourth quarter remote learning experience. Surveys went out to parents at the start, middle and end of remote learning. The final survey recently closed, and results will help Lakota prepare for the 2020-21 school year.
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Fall Thought Exchange Closes June 3
06/02/2020
How school looks in the fall will depend largely on requirements and guidance from Gov. DeWine, the Ohio Department of Health, the Ohio Department of Education and the Butler County Health Department. While we understand that guidance may be released early, we also anticipate that it will most likely change between now and August. Keeping this in mind, district leaders are building out possible scenarios for our students’ safe return to school this fall.
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Mental Health Supports Remain In Place Over Summer
06/02/2020
We all know that mental health needs don’t take a summer break and that our students continue to need support even when they are not at school. That is why our MindPeace partners and therapists are still available to support Lakota students via telehealth (either through a virtual or phone appointment).
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East Holds Reimagined ‘Relay for Life’
05/19/2020
This is the tenth year that Lakota East has held its Relay for Life event to benefit the American Cancer Society. This year, though, it looked a little different than in the past. When in-person Relay for Life events were cancelled through the end of June, East decided to pivot to a virtual event to ensure that those affected by cancer could still receive the things they need, especially during these difficult times.
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Lakota Celebrates 2020 Retirees
05/19/2020
Lakota Local Schools is celebrating its 21 employees who will be retiring in 2020. The district has been recognizing each of the individuals on social media throughout the month of May.
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Lakota's Military Commitment Ceremony Honors Seniors
05/19/2020
On May 7, Lakota Local Schools celebrated its 22 seniors who have committed to attending a military academy or enlisting in a branch of the armed services after graduation. While this was the third annual Military Commitment Ceremony for the district, it was the first held virtually. “Regardless of the setting, it was important that we recognize our seniors who have chosen to put service before self after graduation,” said Superintendent Matthew Miller.
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Honoring the Class of 2020
05/19/2020
A senior year like no other of course means honoring the Class of 2020 in unique ways as well. A community celebration on what should have been graduation night for both Lakota East and West high schools, May 20 and 22 respectively, will light the path for our graduates.
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PTO/PTA Activities Bring School Communities Together
05/19/2020
Lakota schools are still relying on the support of their parent-teacher organizations during remote learning to help bring their school communities together.
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Woodland Team, Blue Jacket Captain Create Memorable Moment for Student
05/19/2020
onsidering it came from his all-time favorite sports figure, Woodland Elementary Thomas Kiefer received the compliment of a lifetime last week. “You’d be a big leader in our locker room,” said Columbus Blue Jackets Captain Nick Foligno. “I love your enthusiasm. You’re awesome,” he added, to which Thomas responded, “I think you are, too!”
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Community Foundation Accepting Nominations for 2020 Lakota Educator of Excellence Awards
05/19/2020
The Community Foundation of West Chester/Liberty, in partnership with Lakota Local Schools, is currently accepting nominations for the 2020 Lakota Educator of Excellence Awards. The nomination deadline, traditionally in the spring, has been delayed until September 4th due to the current health crisis.
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Plains Junior Virtual Awards Include Surprise Presentations
05/18/2020
During normal times, Plains Junior eighth graders would have had several events to mark the end of their junior high years. “Because of the pandemic we couldn’t physically have these celebrations, but we wanted to make sure students knew that their hard work did not go unnoticed,” said Plains Principal Kim Wade.
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Reflections on Remote Learning: Pulse Journal (May 17, 2020)
05/18/2020
Superintendent Matthew Miller shares thoughts on the end of the 2019-2020 school year while looking ahead to the fall in this article as published in the May 17, 2020 Pulse Journal.
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Class of 2020 Graduation Update: May 12
05/12/2020
On May 1, we shared Lakota’s unexpected change of plans for celebrating the Class of 2020. This was a direct response to the governor’s strong recommendations against large, in-person commencement gatherings, now or later this summer, as well as guidelines set forth by the Ohio Department of Education. This latest update reflects enhancements to the original plan in response to student and parent feedback, as well as changing expectations from our local health department.
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Virtual Parades of Graduates Celebrate Class of 2020
05/11/2020
Lakota's "Parade of Graduates" tradition has become an important rite of passage for Lakota East and Lakota West seniors. To carry on this tradition in a virtual format, every weekday from May 11 through May 22 (the last of Lakota's original graduation dates), Lakota is releasing a new video dedicated to each of the elementary schools our graduates may have attended.
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Mental Health Video: Talking About COVID-19
05/06/2020
In the latest installment of this video series, Lakota’s Student Wellness Coordinator Megan Cameron shares some tips for talking about COVID-19 with your children. In this minute-long watch, she provides a list of questions to help guide the discussion.
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Military Commitment Ceremony Premiere May 7
05/05/2020
Join us as WE celebrate our seniors who have made a commitment to enter either a military academy or branch of service after graduation. Lakota Local Schools will host a Facebook video premiere on Thursday, May 7 at 7 p.m. to recognize this group of 22 seniors.
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COVID-19 Health Tips from Your School Nurse
05/05/2020
Adena Elementary school nurse Karen Fogel recently produced this simple and kid-friendly video (in English and Spanish) as a way of sharing tips for staying healthy during the COVID-19 outbreak.
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Remote Learning Update: Pulse Journal (May 3, 2020)
05/04/2020
Here is the latest remote learning updated from Superintendent Matthew Miller as published in the May 3, 2020 Pulse Journal.
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Remote Learning Update: Pulse Journal (April 19, 2020)
04/20/2020
Here is the latest remote learning updated from Superintendent Matthew Miller as published in the April 19, 2020 Pulse Journal.
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Master Facilities Update
04/07/2020
Due to the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis, Lakota Local Schools has pressed pause on the process to create a new Master Facilities Plan (MFP). District leaders will continue working on the plan in the coming months. As a result, the scheduled meetings, including the community open houses, have been postponed.
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Feb. 26 Meeting Recaps Visioning for Lakota's Future
02/28/2020
On Feb. 26 members of the community gathered at Lakota West Freshman to hear the district’s most recent update on the Master Facilities planning (MFP) process. Attendees heard from Superintendent Matthew Miller, Chief Operations Officer Chris Passarge and Educational Visioning Planner Tracy Richter. “We’ve spent the past month meeting with the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission (OFCC) to update our building conditions and holding focus groups to hear from our community about what they think education should look like in Lakota,” said Passarge.
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Community Input in Lakota's Master Facilities Planning
02/24/2020
As Lakota moves forward in creating a new Master Facilities Plan, it is imperative that we include our community in the process. Our next community meeting is on Feb. 26 to discuss results from our recent visioning sessions with students, parents, staff and business & government officials.
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Lakota Listens: Community Shares Feedback about Facilities
02/15/2020
Immediately following the first Master Facilities community meeting on Jan. 28, Lakota Local Schools launched a ThoughtExchange online survey to gather feedback about the data shared. 
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Feb. 26: Next Community Facilities Meeting Discusses Visioning
02/07/2020
Lakota continues to make progress toward building a Master Facilities Plan (MFP) that protects Lakota's most important physical assets and supports the type of learning that will carry our schools into the future. Parents, staff, students and community members are invited to attend the community visioning meeting on Feb. 26 at 6 p.m at Lakota West Freshman.
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Lakota's Master Facilities Planning Process Loops in Community
01/29/2020
On Tuesday night, the community had its first opportunity to hear the results of an intensive review of Lakota’s school buildings presented alongside the district’s student enrollment projections. The analysis lays the groundwork for a multi-year Master Facilities Plan (MFP) that hasn’t been updated since the early 2000s.
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Master Facilities Planning: Community Meeting Jan. 28
01/11/2020
Lakota’s strategic plan calls for an in-depth assessment of our facilities, with the end goal being to build a plan that protects our district’s most important assets and supports the type of learning that will carry our schools into the future. The first community meeting on Jan. 28 will share data that the committee has gathered so far to help devise a plan.
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