What's New

Collaboration in Science is Music to their Ears
05/17/2022
Did you know that it’s possible to make a flashlight out of an index card? Fourth graders at Independence Elementary School certainly do. As part of the science curriculum unit on electricity and magnetism, the fourth-grade team of teachers make sure to include hands-on learning to “spark” their students’ interest.
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Submit 2022-2023 Transportation Requests by Aug. 4, 2022
05/16/2022
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 Aug. 4 to receive transportation on the first day of school.
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Passarge Honored with Regional, Statewide Service Awards
05/11/2022
Chris Passarge, Chief Operations Officer at Lakota Local Schools, was awarded the 2022 Southwest Region Distinguished Service Award and the statewide 2022 Virginia Ramsey Service Award by the Ohio Association of School Business Officials’ (OASBO) Foundation for School Business Management at its 2022 Annual Conference & Expo in Columbus.
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District Seeking Input on 2023-2024 Calendar
05/11/2022
The Lakota District is soliciting community input on the 2023-2024 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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Lakota Board of Education Update
05/05/2022
Lakota shares an update on further action being taken in response to the recent situation involving a Lakota Board of Education member and for the safety of all Lakota students and staff.
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Statement Addressing Recent Board Member Behavior
05/04/2022
Lakota Local Schools would like to address recent behavior by one school board member and allegations posted to social media.
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Staff and Returning Families: Open Enrollment Applications Due May 31
05/02/2022
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. Due to the high volume of returning open enrolled students, at this time we are not accepting first-time applicants for the 2022-2023 school year.
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Emergency Board of Education Meeting Held Today
04/27/2022
The Lakota Local Schools Board of Education called for an emergency meeting this afternoon to ask for a resolution to censure Board Member Darbi Boddy and also request her resignation. The resolution to censure passed 4-1. The motion to request Boddy’s resignation passed 4-0, with Boddy leaving the meeting before the vote took place.
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MTSS the Driver Behind Personalized Learning, Success Story at West Freshman
04/26/2022
If you’ve ever heard your child talking about their own personal academic progress, a regular check-in with a teacher, or perhaps “following the group plan,” it’s likely just one of the many byproducts of Lakota’s increased focus on something called MTSS - otherwise known as Multi-Tiered Systems of Support. MTSS is the driver behind personalized learning at Lakota and a big success story playing out at Lakota West Freshman.
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Lakota Announces Class of 2022 Valedictorians, Salutatorians
04/26/2022
As we approach the commencement ceremonies for the Class of 2022 - scheduled at Cintas Center May 18 for Lakota West and May 20 for Lakota East - Lakota is proud to announce this year’s valedictorians and salutatorians.
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Facilities Committee Narrows Plans for Next Steps
04/26/2022
At the April 14 Master Facilities Committee meeting, the Board narrowed down several plan options to prepare for future community engagement sessions. The options, which fall into three different grade-band configurations, also include estimated costs associated with each.
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Battelle for Kids Data Breach
04/26/2022
Battelle for Kids has informed us that it has been a victim of a ransomware attack, which has compromised information on some of our former and current students. The district shared this information with families via email.
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Lottery Applications for 2022-2023 Tuition-Based Lakota Preschool due May 9
04/25/2022
The 2022-2023 lottery application for seats in Lakota’s tuition-based preschool program, provided in partnership with the Butler County Educational Service Center, is getting a late start this year due to significant changes in preschool special education operating standards regulated by the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) and in accordance with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Lottery applications for a limited number of tuition-based seats will be accepted through May 9.
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Ohio Department of Education Special Education Survey
04/21/2022
The Ohio Department of Education, along with Ohio Statewide Family Engagement Center and The Ohio State University, invites families who have children with an IEP and receive special education services to complete a brief survey.
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Students Turn Recycled Caps & Lids into Benches
04/21/2022
Why are students so proud of the 50-gallon barrel on display at Hopewell Early Childhood School? It’s filled with old caps and lids that the K-2 students are recycling to turn into benches for their school. Before the year and a half long project is over, the students will have literally sorted through a ton of used caps and lids.
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State of the Schools Highlights & Video
04/20/2022
Lakota’s annual State of the Schools event was the perfect venue for the community to learn about the exciting things going on around the district. For those unable to attend, the event can be viewed on demand.
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Military Commitment Ceremony Honors 18 Seniors April 26
04/20/2022
We invite our community to join us on Tuesday, April 26 at 7 p.m. as we celebrate the 18 seniors who have made a commitment to enter a branch of service after graduation. In addition to the traditional in-person ceremony open to the public, the district will live stream the program on West Chester Township’s YouTube channel.
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Cherokee Elementary Receives Purple Star Award
04/18/2022
The Ohio Department of Education recently selected Cherokee Elementary as a 2022 Purple Star school for its outstanding commitment to serving military-connected students and families.
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Matt Miller Named Digital Superintendent of the Year
04/15/2022
Matt Miller, superintendent and CEO of Lakota Local Schools, has been named the 2022 EmpowerED Digital Superintendent of the Year by CoSN, a premier association of K-12 education technology leaders, and AASA, The School Superintendents Association. Miller received this honor in recognition of his efforts to ensure all students are engaged and inspired learners who have access to equitable and inclusive learning environments.
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May 3: Kindergarten Readiness Learning Session
04/13/2022
Parents of all incoming kindergartners for the 2022-2023 school year are invited to join Lakota's "Kindergarten Readiness Learning Session," being offered virtually on Tuesday, May 3 from 7-8 p.m.
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Fiscal Responsibility: Lakota Earns Eighth Auditor of State Award with Distinction
04/07/2022
For an impressive eighth year in a row, Lakota Local Schools has earned the Auditor of State Award with Distinction from the Ohio Auditor of State. This recognition comes after the Fiscal Year 2021 financial audit.
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Lakota Safety Village for Incoming Kindergartners Begins May 23
04/06/2022
Lakota Local Schools is proud to present the first-ever Lakota Safety Village, hosted by the West Chester Police Department and the Butler County Sheriff’s Office School Resource Officer Divisions at Lakota West Freshman. Enroll in one of the nine weekly summer sessions to get your child kindergarten ready.
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VLO Changes Announced for 2022-2023 School Year
04/05/2022
Lakota Local Schools recently announced to its virtual families that the Lakota Virtual Learning Option will shift to grades 9-12 only for the 2022-2023 school year. Current VLO students in younger grades will return to in-person learning.
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Be Part of Lakota's Military Commitment Ceremony
03/31/2022
WE are proud of our seniors who have made the commitment to serve in a branch of the United State’s military or attend a military academy after graduation. The community is invited to join us on April 26 at the Lakota East Freshman School to celebrate these members of the Class of 2022 at our fifth annual Military Commitment Ceremony.
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Lakota Military Family Spirit Week: April 25-29
03/30/2022
April is the “Month of the Military Child.” As a way of lifting up all our military families, Lakota is proud to announce a district-wide “Military Family Spirit Week” April 25 through April 29.
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SEEN Parent Workshop Coming May 6
03/29/2022
Whether you’re a parent, teacher, counselor, or neighbor, seeing kids and teens dealing with difficult emotions can be scary - BUT there is hope! Center Pointe Christian Church (CPCC), in partnership with Lakota Local Schools, is hosting a special parent workshop on Friday, May 6 to help encourage, empower and equip parents to connect with their children even during the most difficult times.
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Lakota Treasurer Announces Retirement
03/29/2022
At the March 28 school board meeting, Lakota’s treasurer and CFO, Jenni Logan, announced that she will retire on Aug. 1. “Lakota has been my home for the past 11 plus years,” she told the Board. “This decision has been one I have personally struggled with, but have now reached a sense of peace and know it is the right thing and right time for me and my family.”
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Lakota Athletic Hall of Fame Welcomes New Inductees
03/28/2022
Eight new members were inducted into the Lakota Athletic Hall of Fame on March 24, bringing its membership total to 224.
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New ‘Junior Entrepreneurs’ Sets Stage for High School INCubatoredu Experience
03/28/2022
A case that charges your phone. An inflatable camping tent. Skate shoes controlled by your phone. An automated pet feeder. All ideas that were born from Lakota’s first-ever attempt at “Junior Entrepreneurs,” the stepping stone for the year-long INCubatoredu high school elective for budding entrepreneurs.
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Northern Cincinnati Foundation Accepting Nominations for 2022 Lakota Educator of Excellence Awards
03/28/2022
The Northern Cincinnati Foundation, in partnership with Lakota Local Schools, is currently accepting nominations for the 2022 Lakota Educator of Excellence Awards. The nomination deadline is Monday, April 18 and all honorees will be announced before the end of the school year.
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ICYMI: Community Conversation Notes
03/24/2022
Now in its tenth year, Lakota’s Community Conversation program gives school board members and administrators an opportunity to gather feedback from parents, staff, students and community members on a variety of topics.
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Community Invited to Lakota’s Annual State of the Schools on March 29
03/23/2022
Lakota’s annual State of the Schools & School Showcase will be held on March 29 and is open to the entire community.
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Community Conversation: Post-Pandemic Education
03/22/2022
Join us on March 23 for a community conversation about lessons we have learned during COVID-19 and how we should apply them to education.
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Lakota Hosts Educators from Across the Country
03/22/2022
“Your kids are happy. They love learning.” “Every student said they felt seen and felt heard.” “Students are very engaged in the process of learning - not just what they’re learning.” These statements aren’t just something WE strive for, but feedback received after nearly 100 superintendents and educational leaders from across the country toured six Lakota schools as part of the League of Innovative Schools Spring Convening on March 10.
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Disney Imagineers in the Making
03/18/2022
What if you could create the next Disney theme park? To quote America’s favorite mouse, “Oh, boy!” Sixth-graders at VanGorden Elementary School got a glimpse into life as an Imagineer when they were tasked with dreaming up a new "land."
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ESL Tech Connect Helps Families Partner in Student’s Education
03/16/2022
Families that left the recent ESL Connect evening at Cherokee Elementary really felt like partners in their student’s education. For many families, technology and language barriers had kept them from being able to view their student’s grades and assignments, check on their nutrition account, or to be able to read communications from the district in their language of preference.
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Changes Announced to COVID-19 Reporting
03/11/2022
Lakota Local Schools announced changes to its COVID-19 reporting. These changes align with requirements for K-12 schools from the Ohio Department of Health.
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Parent Resources for Responding to Russia Ukraine Conflict
03/02/2022
As we all witness the devastating impact of the conflict between Ukraine and Russia, we recognize that this international event is catching the attention of our youngest citizens, too. We understand that current events of this magnitude may trigger a lot of questions and cause significant unease and anxiety among our students. Check out these useful parent resources for talking with your kids about this conflict.
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CDC Update: Masks Recommended on School Buses
03/01/2022
In response to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's updated Order, masks are now recommended on school buses but not required.
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Super in 60: February 2022
02/25/2022
Lakota Superintendent Matthew Miller shares all the latest highlights for this month in 60 seconds. Catch up on Lakota's Who Dey spirit recognized by Bengals Coach Zac Taylor himself, a new Junior Entrepreneurs program and more.
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OSBA Honors Lakota Nurses with Prestigious President’s Award
02/24/2022
The Ohio School Boards Association (OSBA) Southwest Region is presenting this year’s prestigious President’s Award to the entire team of Lakota nurses. Watch this special video message from Superintendent Matthew Miller and Lakota Board President Lynda O'Connor.
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2022-2023 Preschool Registration on Hold As District Reviews New State Requirement
02/23/2022
The Ohio Department of Education recently announced statewide changes in requirements for preschool programs that may limit Lakota’s ability to accept new students into its tuition-based program for the 2022-2023 school year.
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Lakota’s Innovation Hubs Relaunch, Elevate Personalized Learning
02/21/2022
While COVID may have temporarily derailed Lakota’s plans to leverage Innovation Hubs for more collaborative learning, the concepts driving the new spaces - personalized, student-led learning - have been as alive as ever the last two years. But little by little, the spaces are beginning to return to their original purpose.
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Lakota’s First Summer Fun Fair Open House is Next Week
02/20/2022
It’s time to start thinking warmer weather and summer fun! Lakota’s annual Summer Fun Fair events will give you lots of great ideas to fill those summer days. Lakota East and West’s hallways will soon be lined with over 70 organizations offering summer youth activities -- everything from camps, learning centers and childcare facilities to athletic leagues, art programs, recreation activities and volunteer opportunities. Choose the date and location that works best for you.
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Summer School Registration Opens March 7
02/19/2022
Registration for Lakota’s secondary Summer School program opens March 7. This year's summer session will be held May 24 through July 1 (with no school on May 31 or June 20) at Hopewell Junior School.
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Sixth Graders Collaborate to Publish Book
02/18/2022
It all started with two fourth-grade girls creating a backyard game for fun. Now two years later, those girls have turned that game into a 229-page published book called The Wishmakers.
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Liberty Leaders Learn Beauty of Kids Helping Kids
02/18/2022
When Liberty ECS second-grader Brogan Huxel heard about the tornadoes that struck Dawson Springs, Kentucky last month, he was immediately reminded of the question his counselor, Dana Hallgarth, had posed to him and his fellow Liberty Leaders in their preparation for Random Acts of Kindness Week. “What does it mean to be kind?” she had asked, challenging the group to lead a project in their school.
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Junior High Student Solves Problem for Math Teachers
02/17/2022
When Independence math and science teacher Jennifer Hall posed a question in a parent email, she had no idea who would help solve her problem. A series of connections would lead to Liberty Junior seventh-grader Claire Denlinger.
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Shawnee's Lit Lab Gets a Huge Makeover
02/15/2022
Shawnee ECS has given its Literacy Lab (aka Lit Lab) a huge makeover. Instead of being on a cart that rolls into kindergarten classrooms, Lit Lab now has its own designated space. It’s also chock full of new hands-on resources and materials, thanks to the generous collaboration with the PTO.
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Musical Theater Brings History to Life
02/14/2022
Studying a play during English class is part of the educational standards for tenth graders throughout Ohio. When making this year’s lesson plans, Lakota East’s Courtney Jacobs wanted to find a play that her students would be excited to study - something that would grab their attention.
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Lakota Announces 4 Es Community Conversation
02/11/2022
Join us for a community conversation about Lakota’s 4 Es: Enrollment, Enlistment, Employment and Entrepreneurship on Thursday, Feb. 24.
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Feb. 14: Meet Lakota's Newest Board Members
02/09/2022
The community is invited to meet the newest members of Lakota’s Board of Education, Darbi Boddy and Isaac Adi, at a meet-and-greet happening prior to the regular Feb. 14 board meeting.
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Lakota Central: One Stop for Flexible Education Choice
02/08/2022
Lakota Local Schools is excited to introduce Lakota Central for the 2022-2023 school year. Lakota Central brings together the three different flexible learning options for students under one roof: The Academy, Access and Lakota’s Virtual Learning Option (VLO).
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WE Love Lakota Spirit Week: Shower Staff with Love Feb. 14-17
02/02/2022
WE are showering Lakota staff with lots of love this month, but we need your help to reach everyone! Join us for a district-wide “WE Love Lakota” spirit week Feb. 14-17 to show your appreciation for the teachers and staff who show so much love to our students and families all year long.
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COVID Update: Contact Tracing Procedures
01/31/2022
On Jan. 31, 2022, Lakota Superintendent Matthew Miller shared an update with staff and parents/guardians regarding a change in COVID-19 contact tracing protocols per the guidance of the Ohio Department of Health and the Butler County General Health District.
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K-12 Online Registration for 2022-2023 School Year Opens Feb.1
01/31/2022
Online registration for grades K-12, including Lakota’s all-day kindergarten program, opens Feb. 1 for the 2022-2023 school year. Early kindergarten registration extends through April 1.
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Master Facilities Plan Restart
01/27/2022
After pressing pause on Lakota’s Master Facilities Planning (MFP) process last spring, the Board of Education has reengaged, and expanded, the committee to build a plan to protect the district’s most important physical assets in a way that supports the education of its 17,000 students. This work kicked off at the Board of Education’s Jan. 24 work session.
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Lakota LEADS Science & Engineering Fair Results are In
01/26/2022
The third annual Lakota Science & Engineering Fair, hosted by Lakota LEADS on Jan. 21 at Hopewell Junior School, showcased an amazing display of projects from Lakota students in grades 5-12.
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Freedom’s ‘Virtuals’ Find Purpose in Spreading Kindness
01/25/2022
What started as a support group for students returning to Freedom Elementary after more than a year of virtual learning has morphed into a group with a singular goal - to spread kindness and make Freedom a better place.
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Summer Fun Fair Coming Up: Free Raffle with $5000 in Prizes
01/24/2022
If you are looking for summer youth activities, be sure to mark your calendars for Lakota’s tenth annual Summer Fun Fair events.
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MESH Workshop: Own Your Learning
01/21/2022
In 2019, Lakota West math teacher Jenny Circello introduced the concept of a flipped classroom to her students and she hasn’t looked back. In fact, she’s taken it up a notch by creating MESH Workshop with Lakota West English teacher Kelsey Gelhaus. Together, they’re challenging students to own their learning.
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Lakota Closed Jan. 14 due to Staff Shortage
01/13/2022
In response to the high number of staff absences district-wide, Superintendent Matthew Miller sent the following message to parents to communicate the difficult decision to close Lakota Local Schools on Friday, Jan. 14, 2022.
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School Board Holds Annual Organizational Meeting
01/11/2022
The Lakota Board of Education held its annual organizational meeting on Jan. 10. All school boards in Ohio are required to hold this meeting within the first 15 days of the month.
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Important COVID Update for Parents
01/07/2022
In a parent email today, Superintendent Matt Miller asked parents to be prepared in the event that a school might be forced to close for a day or more due to staff absences and the lack of substitutes.
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COVID Quarantine-Isolation Protocol Update
01/03/2022
Lakota Local Schools announced updates to its COVID-19 quarantine and isolation protocols to follow CDC and ODH guidance.
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Past, Present Talent Explodes at West Theatre’s 25th Anniversary Celebration
12/21/2021
The Lakota West Theatre managed to fit 25 years of mainstage productions into two hours last Friday and Saturday night. Together, 18 current students and 12 alumni took a trip down memory lane, playing back some part of all 60-plus musicals and dramas adapted for Lakota West’s stage over the program’s 25-year history.
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Lakota State of the Schools Returns March 29
12/21/2021
Lakota is excited to return to an in-person format for the fourth annual “State of the Schools” address, scheduled for the evening of March 29 at Lakota East High School. The event is open to the entire community.
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Lots of Lessons Wrapped Up in Union’s Hawk Buddy Program
12/20/2021
A new class buddy system at Union Elementary is forging the path for new friendships across grade levels. For students of Jackie Bender, Kristin Moore and Jeanne Turek, it is doubling as an opportunity to reinforce math and English language arts (ELA) standards.
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Boys Club: Life Skills and Friendships
12/20/2021
“How can I make good on the promise to help build this community?” Ridge Junior School teacher Andrew Wuest asked himself this question during his first year of teaching. The answer: Boys Club.
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Jan. 17: Community Celebrates Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Student Winners
12/16/2021
The entire West Chester Liberty community is invited to attend a virtual edition of the 23rd annual celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr. on Monday, Jan. 17 at noon. The virtual program follows the 10 a.m. in-person community march, which extends from West Chester Township to Liberty Township. Tune into the virtual program to hear from all the winning students in this year's contest.
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In-Person Activities Add More Personalization for VLO Students
12/15/2021
“One of the most enjoyable parts of learning to read is getting to ‘shop’ for books to borrow from the classroom library,” said VLO second-grade teacher Charlotte Elia.
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Lakota Announces Summer Fun Fair Dates, Makes Call for Exhibitors
12/13/2021
Lakota’s 10th annual Summer Fun Fair, featuring local youth-based summer programming activities, is back to being in-person this year.
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Real World Learning Through Mentorship
12/06/2021
What do you do when you’re a retired engineer who loves physics? If you're Richard Rigley, you volunteer in high school physics classes.
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Lakota Increases Sub Pay Rates to Help Overcome Shortage
12/03/2021
At the recommendation of Lakota Superintendent Matthew Miller at the Nov. 29 Board of Education meeting, the school board voted unanimously to increase the district’s current substitute pay structure.
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East Freshmen Learn Real Money Equals Real Problems
12/01/2021
Lakota East Freshman students had no choice but to succeed in the game of life last Monday. And while some had an easier path than others, they all walked away with a better understanding of the value of a dollar.
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Student Choice at Center of West Freshman’s ‘Real World 101’
11/30/2021
The program of study for Lakota West Freshman students grew by 40 courses last Tuesday. The resounding theme: “Real World 101.”
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Lakota Balances Budget for 10th Consecutive Year
11/30/2021
Members of the Lakota Board of Education approved the district’s most recent five-year forecast by a vote of 4-1 at last night’s meeting, with board member Lynda O’Connor voting no. Jenni Logan, Lakota’s treasurer/CFO, presented the forecast, which is updated each November and May as required by the State.
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Record Number of Lakota Students Competing in National Contests
11/29/2021
Over 1300 Lakota students are excited about challenging themselves in national math and language arts contests.​
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Super in 60: November Edition
11/29/2021
Lakota Superintendent Matthew Miller brings you the latest district highlights in just 60 seconds. Get the latest on Lakota's 2021 Educators of Excellence, the Ohio School Boards Association Student Achievement Fair and Lakota's rankings in the 2022 Niche Education Report
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Words of Wisdom: What are You Thankful for?
11/25/2021
In the spirit of Thanksgiving, we asked students to share what they are thankful for in this month’s Words of Wisdom. WE are thankful for all of our students, staff, families and community members.
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Casper Joins Chamber Alliance's 'Women of Excellence'
11/23/2021
The West Chester Liberty Chamber Alliance recognized the 2021 “Women of Excellence” at its Nov. 19 awards dinner and gala, including Lakota Board of Education President Kelley Casper. The ten Class of 2021 honorees were selected based on their contributions to business, education, culture, or philanthropy in service to our region.
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Turning Lemonade into Lessons
11/22/2021
You usually hear about turning lemons into lemonade, but some teachers and students at Adena Elementary recently turned lemonade into lessons – lots of real-life lessons.
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Lakota Earns Top Grades in Education Rankings
11/22/2021
The Lakota Local School District earned an “A” grade and ranked in the top 6% of school districts in America and in the top 7% in Ohio in the 2022 Niche education report.
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Hopewells Buddy Up to Build Each Other Up
11/19/2021
After just three interactions amounting to no more than an hour and a half together, Hopewell Early Childhood School first-grader Siima Kibuuka looked affectionately at her partner, Hopewell Junior eighth-grader MJ Demcho, and said, “Yeah, we’re friends." This is exactly the outcome both schools hoped for when they came together to reignite their mentor program this year.
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O'Connor Receives All-Ohio School Board Award
11/15/2021
Lakota School Board member Lynda O’Connor was honored at the Ohio School Boards Association’s (OSBA) 2021 Capital Conference. With more than 3,500 elected members across the state, O’Connor was one of just five selected to receive the association’s most prestigious honor, the All-Ohio School Board Award.
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ThoughtExchange on District Finances
11/11/2021
Do you have questions about Lakota’s finances? Share them via ThoughtExchange through Tuesday, Nov. 30 at 9 a.m. Jenni Logan, Lakota’s treasurer and CFO, will answer top questions in her presentation during next week’s community conversation on district finances.
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Celebrating Our 2021 Lakota Educators of Excellence
11/05/2021
The Northern Cincinnati Foundation, in partnership with Lakota Local Schools, are proud to announce the recipients of the 2021 Lakota Educator of Excellence Awards: Heritage ECS teacher Jenny Hutzelman; Lakota East LINCC Lab teachers Roxanne Begley, Stacey Cooke and Emily Edwards; and West Freshman Associate Principal Scott Laman.
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Lakota Community Elects One Returning, Two New School Board Members
11/04/2021
The November 2021 election marked the start of three new terms on Lakota’s Board of Education. Voters re-elected President Kelley Casper to a second term and welcomed new members-elect Isaac Adi and Darbi Boddy.
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Community Conversation Announced: District Finances
11/02/2021
With an annual budget of more than $175 million, there’s lots of interest in where the money comes from and how it’s used to provide an education for our 17,000 students. Join us for our next community conversation on Dec. 1 from 6:30-8 p.m. at Plains Junior School.
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Important COVID Update: New ODH Quarantine Guidelines & Mask Protocols
10/29/2021
The following update was shared with Lakota parents, students and staff the afternoon of Oct. 29, 2021 regarding a change to the mask requirement in response to the updated ODH guidelines regarding COVID-related quarantines for in-school close contacts.
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Food Stylist Gives West Photo Students Taste of Non-Traditional Art Career
10/27/2021
Ever wonder why that sandwich on the billboard or that plate of spaghetti in the magazine looks so tasty? After a recent visit from a professional food stylist, photography students at Lakota West High School aren’t wondering anymore - and have yet another real world application to the concepts they’re learning in art class.
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Revised 2022-2023 Academic Calendar
10/27/2021
The 2022-2023 Academic Calendar has been revised; the half-day Professional Development Day scheduled for April 10, 2023 has been moved to March 10, 2023.
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October Words of Wisdom
10/27/2021
In honor of Make a Difference Day, we asked students around Lakota: how can WE make a difference in our schools and our community?
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Super in 60: October Edition
10/27/2021
In this month's edition of "Super in 60," Lakota Superintendent Matthew Miller brings you the latest district highlights in just 60 seconds.
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Lakota Answers the Call, Stuffs the Bus with Over 19K Items
10/26/2021
In a year when our local food pantry is on pace to serve far more families than the year prior, the Lakota Board of Education’s “Stuff the Bus” food drive tradition was of critical importance. Students, staff and families answered the call and topped last year’s grand total by 3,000 items. Reach Out Lakota’s single largest food drive brought in approximately 19,500 items, all together weighing in at 15,500 pounds.
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District Reviewing Updated ODH Quarantine Guidelines
10/26/2021
Lakota Local Schools is in the process of reviewing the Ohio Department of Health’s updated quarantine guidelines with local medical experts and the Butler County General Health District.
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Choir Class: Teaching to a New Tune
10/25/2021
When the school year began in August, Arju Sapkota found herself not only in a new school, but in a new school district. However, the task ahead was a little more daunting for Sapkota because she is blind.
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FALLowing Fall: Quarantine Idea Turns into a Year-Long Science Project
10/25/2021
Quarantines aren’t just impacting students. Sometimes a teacher is quarantined, too. When Ridge Junior School teacher Fritz Prior found himself quarantined, ‘FALLowing FALL’ was born.
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Lakota Issues 2020-2021 Quality Profile
10/21/2021
Lakota Local Schools is proud to share with the community its 2020-2021 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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Independence Postcard Project Puts Learning on the Map
10/18/2021
How do you get your students excited about a United States mapping unit? Independence Elementary School teacher Amy Smith found the answer in the postal service. For the last few weeks, her third-graders have been learning about the states via postcards from their friends and family - but the invitation is open to the entire Lakota community.
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2022 MLK Day Student Contest Promotes Building a ‘Beloved Community’
10/15/2021
In preparation for our community’s 23rd annual celebration of Dr. 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.
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10th Year of Community Conversations Kicks Off
10/08/2021
How do you have a conversation with someone when you don’t agree? Is it possible to disagree but still speak to one another with respect and civility? We think it’s not only possible, it’s a must.
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WE are Hiring
10/01/2021
Lakota Local Schools and Petermann Transportation have opportunities for you.
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Super in 60: September 2021
09/29/2021
Lakota Superintendent Matthew Miller brings you the latest district highlights in just 60 seconds. Get the latest on Lakota's National Merit semi-finalists, update on the impact of the current mask requirement, a new tool called Lakota Listens and the upcoming "Stuff the Bus" food drive.
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Face Covering Update
09/28/2021
On Sept. 28, Mr. Miller updated families about the School Board's vote to extend the face covering requirement.
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Cherokee Puts Pinwheels for Peace on Public Display
09/28/2021
“Peace is the sun basically. Without it, we wouldn’t be able to survive.” Cherokee Elementary fourth-grader Katie Stengel shared these words, reflecting on the importance of her school’s recent “Pinwheels for Peace” art project. Students at every grade level participated, ultimately putting on public display thousands of things that bring them peace on a daily basis.
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Lakota Students Named National Merit Semifinalists
09/27/2021
Congratulations to these Lakota seniors who have earned positions as semifinalists in the annual National Merit Scholarship Program, recognizing the nation’s most academically talented high school seniors.
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School Board's 'Stuff the Bus' Food Drive Oct. 11-22
09/27/2021
The Lakota Board of Education’s 14th annual district-wide food drive for Reach Out Lakota will run Oct. 11 through Oct. 22, leading right up to National Make a Difference Day on Oct. 23. 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 the primary relief organization for families in West Chester and Liberty townships.
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Meet the Candidates Virtual Event
09/27/2021
The Lakota District Parent Council (DPC), together with the West Chester/Liberty Chamber Alliance and Miami University, will host its Meet the Candidates virtual forum on Wednesday, Sept. 29 at 6:30 p.m.
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‘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 y