Dear LCPS Family:

Week # 23 finally brings us back to school midst piles of snow and slippery driveways. This winter is certainly one for the record-books! My last letter to you commented on “pacing” ourselves as marathoners do in their races. That message takes on greater significance as our students have had much down-time without instruction. Re-teaching and review will be an important part of your planning, along with strict adherence to your pacing guides. The LCPS team has conquered many challenges and I know that we will be successful in meeting this one as well.

The William G. Thomas Educator of the Year program is now underway. We are grateful for the sponsorship of the William A. Cooke Foundation. This is our opportunity to celebrate and highlight our incredible LCPS teachers!

The School Board continues to deal with budget challenges. During the past two weeks, they have held “town hall” meetings to get parent input on the possibility of moving TJES students to MNES as a cost-saving measure. Generally, parents do not want to see TJES closed. Also, many who reside in close proximity to MNES will be greatly disappointed if their children do not attend MNES. On February 9, the School Board adopted a budget that includes opening MNES and that requests $2.6 million from the county. The final decision on TJES and MNES will be made in the near future. We are fairly certain that the budget will change as we could get further cuts in our state funding.

Thank you for your input regarding savings. We included many of the suggestions in developing the budget. This is a difficult economic time for our state and our country. Please know that we are keeping instruction of students at the center of every decision, but it is likely that we will have to reduce teaching positions which means increased class sizes. We have already reduced non-personnel costs such as printing, staff development, and textbooks. I will keep you informed as we receive more information from the state and county. As I stated earlier, the LCPS family is a team and we will meet this challenge together.

Regarding the school calendar, you are aware that we are using March 12 as a make-up day. We are waiting until the March 2 School Board meeting to make further recommendations regarding make-up days. Let’s hope that the weather pattern will change and that spring will arrive soon!

Congratulations to our Indoor Track Teams for placing second in the Jefferson district and best of luck in the Region II championships this afternoon. Also, congratulations and best of luck to Josh Scharf who is competing in the State Wrestling Tournament this weekend as the # 1 seed!

Stay healthy, keep connecting, and turn off your lights and computers.