Safety & Security News

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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 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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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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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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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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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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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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Meal Distribution Updates
05/05/2020
While meal distribution for our families will continue through May 20, there are two location changes that go into effect next week.
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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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Class of 2020 Graduation Update
05/01/2020
Following the updates and in guidance of Gov. Mike DeWine, the Ohio Department of Education and the Ohio and Butler County departments of health, Lakota is facing the difficult reality that a traditional commencement ceremony is not going to be feasible for the Class of 2020. The latest parent communication shares the details around Lakota's plan to honor the Class of 2020, which involves a combination of both formats being permitted by the state and local health officials.
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Mental Health Video Series: Modeling Behaviors
04/22/2020
Lakota’s emphasis on social, emotional and mental health has become even more pronounced as students, staff and our families start to feel the toll of our recent break in routine. Throughout this pandemic, Lakota is sharing brief video messages from our mental health experts on what small actions can help support our children and teenagers and keep their minds healthy and happy during these uncertain times.
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Remote Learning Continues through Academic Year
04/20/2020
On Monday, April 20, Gov. DeWine announced that remote learning will continue for all Ohio schools through the end of the 2019-20 academic year. Below is the email from Superintendent Matthew Miller to all parents.
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Lakota Reschedules, Relocates Graduation Ceremonies
04/10/2020
After learning that Xavier University has cancelled all events until August, we have identified an alternative location to recognize our graduates. We are pleased to announce that the graduation ceremonies for the Class of 2020 will be held at Lakota East and West high schools.
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VIDEO: Lakota Experts Share Mental Health Tips
04/07/2020
Lakota’s emphasis on social, emotional and mental health has become even more pronounced as students and staff start to feel the toll of our recent break in routine. In addition to the resources, tips and guidance Lakota experts are sharing with their families to help guide them through this pandemic, Lakota is sharing brief video messages from our full range of mental health experts.
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Lakota Remote Learning Update: Pulse Journal (April 5, 2020)
04/06/2020
Here is the latest remote learning update from Superintendent Miller as published in the Pulse Journal on April 5, 2020.
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Altered Meal Schedule for Long Weekend
04/06/2020
When it comes to remote learning, the district will honor its originally scheduled long weekend coming up April 10-13. But a slightly altered schedule will still make emergency food relief available to students who need it.
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'A Look Around Lakota' Video Update: March 2020
04/02/2020
In this first remote edition of A Look Around Lakota, Superintendent Matthew Miller shares just a few of the happenings that have occurred during an unforgettable March.
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Remote Learning Extended through May 1
03/31/2020
On March 30, 2020, Governor Mike DeWine made an announcement ordering all of Ohio’s public, community, and private K-12 school buildings to extend their closure to students through May 1 due to the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) health crisis. We understand that the Governor’s order to extend the school closure through May 1 presents a challenge to our families. Our district is working diligently to partner with you in furthering your child’s education and well-being in spite of these challenges.
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Remote Learning Begins March 25 for Students
03/20/2020
We know that you have questions about what remote learning will look like during this state-mandated shutdown. Using the feedback we received from you, our teachers, and our secondary students, we have used this week to work out details for remote learning moving forward. Working remotely, teachers will use Monday and Tuesday of next week to continue building out lesson plans for their students. Remote learning for students will begin on Wednesday, March 25.
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Lakota's Preparations for Remote Learning
03/17/2020
Article written by Lakota Superintendent Matthew for the Sunday, March 22 issue of the Pulse Journal: We are in the midst of uncharted territory as a nation, as a state and as a community. As we come to the end of our scheduled spring break, we will not see our students in our classrooms and hallways tomorrow. Instead, we are preparing to launch remote learning throughout Lakota Local Schools.
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Mobile Lunch Program Announced
03/17/2020
With the state-mandated shutdown for our students, we wanted to provide you with some community resources, including the schedule for our Child Nutrition lunch program, and how you can help.
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Coronavirus Update & FAQs: March 13
03/13/2020
Governor DeWine announced on Thursday that all schools in the state of Ohio would be closed beginning at the end of day on Monday, March 16 for a period of at least three weeks. Lakota schools will be closed through April 3 with students returning on April 6, unless otherwise directed by expert authorities. All district activities, including preschool, athletics and extracurriculars are canceled during this time. View a list of frequently asked questions regarding Lakota's response.
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Coronavirus Update from Lakota Schools: March 11
03/12/2020
At Lakota Local Schools, the health, safety and well-being of our students, staff and community are our top priorities. With the recently elevated discussion regarding the novel Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the news, we want to take a moment to reinforce preventive safety measures and reference our process and communications.
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March 13: Important School Safety Exercise
03/09/2020
With the increasing number of novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) cases being reported, we as a district must be prepared for the possibility of an extended closure initiated by either Lakota Local Schools or the Butler County Health Department. Having plans in place to continue educating our students during an extended closure is of critical importance and part of our evolving district safety plans. Just as we practice drills in the event of a fire, tornado or lockdown, Lakota will conduct a remote education exercise. On Friday, March 13, students at Lakota Local Schools will not report to class, but instead will continue their learning remotely from home.
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Notes from the Nursing Staff about COVID-19
02/26/2020
We understand that there is concern about illness in our schools especially with influenza, strep throat and COVID-19 (formerly known as Coronavirus). Please be assured that we work closely with the Butler County Health Department to stay up to date with concerns and illness trends in our area.
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East Seniors Bring Back Student Safety Committee
02/13/2020
School safety is the number one priority at Lakota, and some students at Lakota East are stepping up to do their part to make sure their school is as safe as possible.
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Ohio Department of Homeland Security Visits Lakota
02/03/2020
Representatives from Ohio’s Department of Homeland Security were at Lakota on Jan. 24 to speak with district administrators and students about school safety.
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Meet Hopewell Junior's Newest Staff Member
02/01/2020
Are schools going to the dogs? At least one in Lakota is. Hopewell Junior School has welcomed Golden Retriever Zooey with welcome paws...or arms. Members of Lakota’s special services department have been researching different methods to best assist the growing number of students with social and emotional needs. This led to a conversation about bringing a therapy dog into the school. “It was about thinking outside the box and trying something new,” Executive Director of Special Services Andrea Longworth said. While therapy dogs have visited Lakota’s schools for several years, the district has not had one as a dedicated staff member...until now.
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January 2020 Video Update: A Look Around Lakota
01/31/2020
In our first video update of 2020, Superintendent Matthew Miller shares just a few of the happenings around Lakota Local Schools during the month of January, including: new Innovation Hubs in our early childhood schools; a visit from the Ohio School Safety Center to speak to Lakota students and staff; an opportunity for our community to give feedback during the Master Facilities Planning process; and a special “Starbooks” themed reading week.
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Lakota Superintendent Joins Governor DeWine’s School Safety Working Group
12/18/2019
Lakota Local Schools Superintendent Matthew Miller has been named to Governor Mike DeWine’s new School Safety Working Group. Governor DeWine called for the creation of the working group in August when announcing the development of the Ohio School Safety Center, a new statewide office focused on assisting educators and law enforcement in preventing, preparing for, and responding to threats and acts of violence, including self-harm. The working group, which will be led by the Ohio Department of Public Safety, will evaluate current issues regarding school safety and advise the Ohio School Safety Center on its work.
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Hope Squads Making an Impact on School Culture
09/20/2019
Lakota East and West’s Hope Squads used last week’s National Suicide Prevention Week to spread positivity and help break the stigma about mental illness issues.
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Safety is Number One Priority: New Measures for 2019-20
09/09/2019
As another indication of the importance of safety, Lakota Local Schools has implemented new security measures throughout the district. “The safety of our students and staff is always our number one priority,” said Superintendent Matthew Miller. “Our plans are never complete. We are always working with our law enforcement partners to evaluate all of our safety measures in order to improve.” During the summer, 1,200 Bearacade® Door Control Systems were installed in classrooms throughout the district.
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Lakota Participates in County-wide Safety Drill
06/18/2019
Eleven Butler County school districts, including Lakota Local Schools, participated in a full-scale safety exercise on June 18 at the Ross Local High School and Middle School campus. This is the first time in Butler County history that a safety exercise of this scope has been planned.
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Ridge Junior Students Take Lead on First Mental Health Expo
05/07/2019
All that Ridge Junior health teacher Matthew Abshear takes credit for in the school’s first-ever mental health expo is sharing the idea and then turning his students loose.
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In-School Therapists Provide Easy Access to Mental Health Services
04/17/2019
The lack of awareness and stigma attached to mental health issues keep the majority of young people from getting help. That’s why Lakota is partnering with MindPeace, a local non-profit that connects its network of professional mental health providers with schools to increase student access to quality, affordable mental healthcare.
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A Look Around Lakota Video Update: August 2018
08/31/2018
Please enjoy this back-to-school edition of "A Look Around Lakota." In this first edition of the new school year, Superintendent Matthew Miller shares just some of the highlights and happenings of Lakota's first two weeks back.
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Increased School Resource Officer Presence, New Visitor Management System Latest in Safety-Security Initiatives
08/07/2018
Lakota Schools has announced several new safety and security initiatives since the spring. Most recently, the district has committed to hiring eight additional school resource officers (SRO) for the upcoming school year, bringing the total number to 18. This will allow full-time law enforcement coverage at every Lakota school campus.
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Lakota Partners with MindPeace to Increase Student Access to Mental Health Services
08/02/2018
A new partnership between Lakota Local Schools and MindPeace will increase student access to high quality and affordable mental healthcare.
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Lakota SRO Named Deputy of the Year
07/25/2018
Deputy Doug Hale was named Deputy of the Year by Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones on July 18. Hale was recognized for his years of service and outstanding performance.
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Lakota Increases Number of School Resource Officers
07/25/2018
In another demonstration of its commitment to the safety and security of its students and staff, Lakota Local Schools has committed to hiring eight additional school resource officers (SRO) for the upcoming school year, bringing the total number to 18. This will allow full-time law enforcement coverage at every Lakota school campus.
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