Dear LCPS Family:

Week # 28 has been an active one all around LCPS. To walk out of the Central Office between 3:00 and 6:00 pm is to walk into a flurry of activity. The LCMS-LCHS complex has been bursting with students in the afternoons and evenings, with practice for the marching band and games of tennis, soccer, softball and baseball.

My week’s activities began on Monday evening with a regional school board meeting in Greene County where a professor from UVA spoke about the benefits of extracurricular activities for students. Tuesday evening’s induction to the National Art Honor Society gave me the opportunity to celebrate the achievements of our highly creative students and to hear an encouraging speech from an LCHS graduate, Darius Quarles, whose career is in art. On Friday, middle school students participated in the Reality Store, a simulation of the many economic decisions that adults have to make from purchasing basic necessities to purchasing a vehicle to child care. We are grateful to the Extension Service and the numerous community volunteers who have given their time to assist our students in learning financial literacy.

It was my great pleasure to present the Educator of the Year awards on Thursday to Rochelle Peasley, Mary Lombard, Carol Collins, Ed Heisig, and Helen Weddle whom you selected to represent the best in LCPS education. This year we received a record 200 nominations from students, parents and the community. You, our LCPS educators, are known for your excellence. I congratulate all who were nominated. Please mark your calendars for the April 29 program at LCHS.

The General Assembly’s budget means good news (less reduction in our budget) for LCPS because of changes in VRS payments. We will share the impact with the School Board at its next meeting. Thanks to all of you who have sent budget savings ideas. We continue to consider how to implement them as we strive to be fiscally responsible while meeting our mission of educating students to be life-long learners.

This week rising fifth graders visited LCMS to begin their transition to middle school. Last week 8th graders and their parents had the opportunity to make a visit to LCHS to begin their transition process as well. I commend the middle and high schools for providing that most important step in our students’ school journey.

If you visit TJES, please check out the new “reading area” across from the gym. Carpet, comfortable chairs, and bookcases full of books make it a delightful spot for students to enjoy reading. I understand that members of an Effective Schools’ correlate are responsible for putting together this cozy area.

Our LCPS activities continue this weekend with the Arts Festival on Saturday. It is more than a showcase of our students’ art – it is a community celebration of the arts. Please join in this event which represents a year’s work of planning by our art teachers and creating art by our students. They always transform the LCHS gym into an art museum as well as an activity center in which we can all find our creative side. In addition, we are always treated to vocal and instrumental performances by our musicians. Can you tell that I LOVE the Arts Festival? Experiencing it with my grandchildren is just icing on the cake! Hope to see you there!

We are a week away from Spring Break. Hang in there! Keep learning and connecting, stay healthy, and turn off your lights and computers.

I hope you have a wonderful birthday!!