2018-19 Back-to-School Essentials

2018-19 Back-to-School Essentials
Posted on 07/11/2018
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Beginning Thursday, August 16, Lakota teachers and support staff will welcome new and returning students for the start of the 2018-19 school year. Here is some important information to keep in mind as you and your family gear up for the new school year. From school supplies to bus routes to teacher assignments, we answer all your questions in this back-to-school FAQ. 

back to school

Frequently Asked Questions

When is the first day of school? 

When is my child's open house or orientation? 

What school will my child attend? 

What are my school's hours? 

Does my student receive bus services? 

How do I communicate my child's transportation arrangements? 

How do I look up my student's bus route and teacher assignment? 

What is Home Access Center and how do I access it? 

I'm new to Lakota. How do I enroll my student? 

How do I update my home address? 

How can I update my preferences for receiving mass communications from Lakota? 

I received a text message from Lakota about opting into text alerts. Why am I receiving this? 

How do I check my school's calendar? 

What's for breakfast and lunch? 

How do I find my student's school supply list?

How do I pay my student fees?

How else can I stay connected to Lakota all year long? 

When is the first day of school?

  • Thursday, August 16 – Grades 1-12

  • August 16, 17 & 20 - Kindergarten phase-in days (varies by building; families will be notified)

When is my child’s open house or orientation?

Open Houses for grades K-6 are as follows:

  • Kindergarten - Phase-in days, Aug. 17 & 20 (varies by building; families will be notified)

  • Early Childhood Schools (Grades 1-2) - Tuesday, Aug. 14, 5:30 - 7 p.m.

  • Elementary Schools (Grades 3-6) - Tuesday, Aug. 14, 6:00 - 7:30 p.m.

Students in grades 7-12 can pick up their class schedules according to the following schedule:

  • Hopewell Junior SchoolWednesday, Aug. 8, 4-6 p.m. & Thursday, Aug. 9, 9 - 11 a.m.; New student orientation: Wednesday, Aug. 8, 9-11 a.m.

  • Liberty Junior School - Thursday, Aug. 9, noon - 4 p.m. (7th grade); Friday, Aug. 10, noon - 4 p.m. (8th grade)

  • Ridge Junior School - Thursday, Aug. 9, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.

  • Plains Junior School - Tuesday, Aug. 7, 1-4 p.m. (8th grade); Wednesday, Aug. 8, 9 a.m. - noon (7th grade)

High school schedules will be available in Home Access Center according to the HAC restoration schedule detailed below. Both high schools will host orientations for freshmen, sophomores and other new students according to the following schedule: 

  • Lakota East Freshman School - Tuesday, Aug. 7; presentations at 6 p.m. (last names A-K) and 7:30 p.m. (last names L-Z); schedules available at 5:30 and 6:45 p.m., respectively

  • Lakota East High School - Wednesday, Aug. 8 at 5:30 p.m. (last names A-F), 6:30 p.m. (last names G-N) and 7:30 p.m. (last names O-Z) (sophomores) 

  • Lakota West Freshman School - Tuesday, Aug. 7 at 10 a.m., 1 p.m. or 6:30 p.m.

  • Lakota West High School - Wednesday, Aug. 8 at 10 a.m., 1 p.m. or 6:30 p.m. (sophomores & new students) 

What school will my child attend?

Use Lakota’s interactive attendance zone map to enter your address and view a listing of all the Lakota schools associated with your current attendance zone. A building realignment and grade level reconfiguration was necessary to offer all-day kindergarten without the lottery system this year. Learn more about the reason behind these changes for the 2018-19 school year.

What are my school’s hours?

To complement the reconfiguration of grade levels and expansion of specials, earlier this year we announced new start and end times for our preschool through junior high students. We are extending the school day for our preschool through sixth grade students by 20 minutes. At Lakota’s junior high schools, students will be in session 15 additional minutes each day. Click here to view a complete list of arrival and dismissal times for each Lakota school building.

Does my student receive bus services?

Lakota provides transportation to all students in kindergarten through second grade. Eligible students in grades 3-6 who live more than one mile from their school will receive transportation. Eligible students in grades 7-8 will receive busing if they live more than two miles from their school. Lakota does not provide busing at the high school level. Click here to check transportation eligibility by address. Please visit Lakota's Transportation page for more information.

Every year, Lakota’s transportation department reviews the district’s bus routes for possible efficiencies and opportunities to maximize services and shrink our standard exclusion zones, always working within our financial boundaries. If a student isn’t eligible but will be receiving services this year, they will be contacted by Lakota’s transportation department. 

How do I communicate my child’s transportation arrangements?

If your child will be opting out of bus services, or will be served by a child care provider at an address other than your home, you must complete a transportation/child care information form. You are not required to submit this form if you 1) utilize Lakota’s bus transportation from your home address or 2) already have one on file and your transportation circumstances aren’t changing this year.

Regardless of the circumstances, all ECS students (grades K-2) must complete a 2018-19 transportation form.

How do I look up my student’s bus route and teacher assignment?

Bus route information will be available from Lakota’s bus provider on August 13. At that time, you will be able to view bus and ECS/elementary teacher assignments for the 2018-19 school year on the registration page of Home Access Center (HAC). A link will also be prominently posted from the district’s homepage when the information is available.

What is Home Access Center and how do I access it?

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, attendance, and more.

In preparation for the new school year, HAC will be inaccessible to parents and students. Accessibility to 2018-19 information will be restored according to the following schedule:

  • ECS/Elementary Schools – Wednesday, Aug. 8 @ 8 a.m.
  • Junior Schools – Thursday, Aug. 9 @ 8 a.m.
  • Freshman Schools – Wednesday, Aug. 8 @ 8 a.m.
  • High Schools – Thursday, Aug. 9 @ 8 a.m.

Families new to the district will receive their usernames and passwords by mail from their schools. Returning families who lost their login information should contact their school’s main office. Review this user guide for more details about how to take full advantage of HAC.

Home Access Center is also available in a mobile app, allowing you to view all information from any mobile device. Click here for more information about the HAC app or search for "eSchoolPLUS Family" in your app store. The app will be available according to the same schedule listed above for HAC.

Check out the Parents section of Lakota’s website for a listing of other helpful resources.


I’m new to Lakota. How do I enroll my student?

Visit our Lakota Welcome Center webpage for everything you need to enroll your child at Lakota, including office hours and required documents. If you are planning to have your student start the first day of school, please have all of your documents submitted by the end of the business day on Aug. 10.

How do I update my home address?

To update your address, please visit Lakota’s Welcome Center at its new location inside the Central Office at 5572 Princeton Road. See the Lakota Welcome Center webpage for office hours and required documents.

How can I update my preferences for receiving mass communications from Lakota?

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 platform, which provides these important benefits:

  • Customize your notification preferences. Choose which phone numbers and email addresses should receive which types of communications – emergency, weather-related or general school/district news and announcements.

  • No more annual updates. For current parents, guardians and staff, the new system automatically recognizes your associated school(s), grade level(s) and even language preference, and will update as this information changes in our databases to ensure you receive information pertaining to those associations. If you wish to sign up for general school communications outside of your immediate school associations, you will want to create a second account through our self sign-up portal.

  • Manage your sign-ups from a single platform. While we still ask that parents and guardians keep their information in Home Access Center updated for one-on-one communication needs, all mass notification sign-ups happen through Info Center.

If you are the official parent or guardian of a current Lakota student or a current employee with a valid Lakota email address, please log into School Messenger to make sure the phone numbers and email addresses being automatically pulled from Home Access Center (parents) and active directory (staff) are accurate and up-to-date. For your username, use the primary email address associated with your personal Home Access Center account (parents/guardians) or your Lakota email address (staff).

Click here for more information about signing up, viewing or changing your communication preferences.

I received a text message from Lakota about opting into text alerts. Why am I receiving this?

Lakota’s notification system uses something called “short code” texting to send text messages to parent and staff mobile devices, when necessary. This method is highly reliable and fast because it is strictly regulated by the wireless carriers themselves. With that access comes some strict federal requirements for Lakota to gain opt-in verification from those on the receiving end of those text messages.

Even if you’ve already selected text message preferences through your notification account setup process, to officially begin receiving text messages, you must opt-in each mobile device from which you wish to receive text messages.

To opt-in your mobile devices to receive Lakota text messages, the process is simple:

  • For any mobile phone number you’ve opted to receive text messages from in your School Messenger account, you will receive the following text from 67587:  “Lakota Local Schools messages. Reply Y to confirm, HELP 4 info. Msg&data rates may apply. Msg freq varies. schoolmessenger.com/tm” Reply Y to confirm.

How do I check my school’s calendar?

From the Lakota website, click on “Select a School” to visit your school website and view your school’s calendar for open house, orientation and curriculum night dates, as well as other upcoming building and district-wide events.

What’s for breakfast and lunch?  

Breakfast and lunch menus for August, September and October are available on Lakota's website. Use EZPay to add to your child's lunch account or check the balance. Learn more about applying for free and reduced price school meals and reporting special dietary needs and food allergies to the Child Nutrition department.

How do I find my student’s school supply list?  

Early childhood, elementary and junior high school supply lists can be found on the district’s school supply list webpage. High school students will receive supply lists from their teachers on the first day of school.

How do I pay my student fees? 

Student fees for the 2018-19 school year are now available. Parents or guardians have the option to pay student fees at the school office or via their EZ Pay account. Balances are typically available for early childhood and elementary students in mid-August and for junior high and high school students at the beginning of September. 

How else can I stay connected to Lakota all year long?

  • Be sure to bookmark Lakota’s website which presents vital information through sections such as “Trending Now,” “Quick Links” and “District News,” as well as social media highlights and upcoming events. The homepage also quickly links to school-specific pages, so you can keep up on all the great things happening district-wide and with your student’s school.

  • Follow Lakota’s social media accounts or search for the district hashtag, #WEareLakota, to receive daily updates on important announcements, upcoming events, photos, videos, news stories and more. Be sure to participate in the annual back-to-school photo contest, too. Post your proudest first day photos. Tag them #WEareLakota, then share them with your friends to rack up the votes, or "likes," for a chance to win.

  • Lakota’s new and improved mobile app is available in Apple and Google Play stores. The app is packed with more resources all in one place, plus the ability to customize your calendar, news feed and push notifications, based on your personal school selections. To download, search for “Lakota Schools” from your mobile device’s app store. You can also click here from your mobile device to download the app from the Apple Store or Google Play.

If you have additional questions, please
contact your school’s main office or the Lakota Central Office at 513-874-5505.