2019-20 Back-to-School Essentials

2019-20 Back-to-School Essentials: All Your Questions Answered
Posted on 07/12/2019
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Beginning Thursday, August 15, Lakota teachers, administrators and support staff will welcome new and returning students for the start of the 2019-2020 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. 

2019-20 back to school all your questions answered features school supplies on top of a blackboardFrequently 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?

Do I need to update my child's immunization record? 

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?

  • Grades 1-12: Thursday, August 15

  • Kindergarten (Phase-In Days): August 16, 19 & 20
    Phase-In Days are scheduled and communicated by each building and specify a time for each family to attend. Kindergartners must be accompanied by an adult for the duration of the scheduled time. 

  • Preschool: Monday, August 19 

When is my child’s open house or orientation?

Open houses for grades PreK-6 are as follows:

  • Preschool: Wednesday, Aug. 14, 5:30 - 6:30 p.m.

  • Early Childhood Schools (Grades 1-2): Tuesday, Aug. 13, 5:30 - 7 p.m. (Kindergarten open house occurs during Phase-In Day, as noted above)

  • Elementary Schools (Grades 3-6): Tuesday, Aug. 13, 6:30 - 8 p.m.

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

  • Hopewell Junior School: Wednesday, Aug. 7, 4-6 p.m. & Thursday, Aug. 8, 9 - 11 a.m.

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

  • Ridge Junior School: Thursday, Aug. 8, 10 a.m. - noon (7th grade) & 1-3 p.m. (8th grade)

  • Plains Junior School: Wednesday, Aug. 7, 9 a.m. - noon (7th grade) & Tuesday, Aug. 6, 1-4 p.m. (8th 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. 6, 9-11 a.m., 1-3 p.m. and 5:30-8 p.m.

  • Lakota East High School - Wednesday, Aug. 7, 5-8 p.m.

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

  • Lakota West High School - Wednesday, Aug. 7 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. Families have the option to request an alternative school of choice, but the request must be submitted to the building principal of the requested school before the last business day in May for the following school year. The exception to this deadline are new residents who move into the district during the school year.  

What are my school’s hours?

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, in addition to preschool education students who qualify for busing. 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 currently resides in an established exclusion zone, but will be receiving services this year as a result of the annual efficiency review, they will be contacted by Lakota’s transportation department. 


How do I communicate my child’s transportation arrangements?

Transportation for all students is based on the home address listed in our student database. If your child will be opting out of bus services or will be needing transportation to or from an address different than their home address, please remember to complete a new Transportation/Child Care Form with current information. All alternative transportation plans are automatically cleared at the end of each school year, so please complete the form before each school year.  


Please honor the following deadlines to receive transportation for the upcoming school year, beginning on the date indicated: 

 Form Submission Deadline Transportation Available
 July 22, 2019  First day of school
 Aug. 14, 2019  Aug. 26, 2019
 Aug. 15 - Sept. 3, 2019  Sept. 4, 2019
 After Sept. 3  All forms will be processed within 48 hours.

Please DO NOT put your child on a bus or assume that the change is in effect until you have been notified of the approval. Once approved, the Transportation Department will fax the confirmation back to your child's school and you will be notified.


Regardless of the circumstances, all ECS students (grades K-2) must complete a 2019-2020 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 Aug. 9 on the registration page of Home Access Center (HAC). According to the HAC restoration schedule below, students will also be able to view ECS/elementary teacher assignments and junior school/high school class schedules for the 2019-20 school year on the registration page of HAC. 

Do I need to update my child's immunization record? 

Ohio law requires children to have certain immunizations to attend school. Click here to view the current list of required shots.


Students new to Lakota must send their most recent immunization record to their school’s main office before the start of the new school year.


Attention Incoming 7th and 12th Graders: All incoming seventh-graders are required by law to have one dose each of the MCV4 (Meningococcal) vaccine and Tdap (Diptheria, Tetanus & Pertusis) booster vaccine. All incoming seniors are required by law to provide an updated shot record showing proof of two doses of the MCV4 (Meningococal) vaccine (If the first does was given on or after the 16th birthday, a second dose is not required.) A record of these updated vaccines must be sent to your school’s main office before the start of the new school year.  

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, bus assignments, attendance, and more.

In preparation for the new school year, HAC will be inaccessible to parents and students. Accessibility to 2019-20 information will be restored according to the following schedule:

  • Preschool & ECS/Elementary Schools – Wednesday, Aug. 7 at 8 a.m.

  • Junior Schools – Friday, Aug. 9 at 8 a.m.

  • Freshman Schools – Wednesday, Aug. 7 at 8 a.m.

  • High Schools – Thursday, Aug. 8 at 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 Lakota's technology department at 513-644-1200 option 3. 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 to begin the online registration process. If you are planning to have your student start the first day of school, the entire enrollment process (online registration & appointment) must be completed by Aug. 9. 

For new Lakota students, we offer online registration for grades K-12. The final step of the online registration process will prompt you to schedule an appointment at the Welcome Center (located at 5572 Princeton Road) to complete your registration. The Welcome Center operates by appointments only. They are filling up fast, so don’t delay!

How do I update my home address?

To update your address, please visit Lakota’s Welcome Center 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, attendance 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 will be available on Lakota's website by the end of July. 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. Preschool school supplies are not required, but donations are accepted. 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 2019-20 school year will be available in early August. 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 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.