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Lancaster ISD holds red carpet welcome

Dallas Examiner | 9/2/2013, 12:23 p.m.
On Monday, Lancaster ISD students and parents returned to campuses in style as they were greeted by men in suits ...
Lancaster ISD Red Carpet Welcome RH Jimenez graphic

Special to The Dallas Examiner

On Monday, Lancaster ISD students and parents returned to campuses in style as they were greeted by men in suits upon arrival and walkwd a red carpet to enter the buildings as part of the Back to School Red Carpet Welcome.

“Our goal is to have at least 100 positive partners who are visible in professional dress welcoming students to school, opening car doors, and greeting students as they enter on their first day of school,” Lancaster ISD Superintendent Dr. Michael McFarland said. “Their presence will help us promote the importance of education and is an opportunity for leaders to show our students that there are positive role models within our local community who care, value and support education.”

Executive Director of Accountability Dr. Lamont Smith has been organizing this event.

“We want to make this a special day for all of our students, as they walk into the building they will feel the excitement the teachers and their peers will have,” he said. “It is our desire for the parents and community members to send the unified voice that we are working together to meet the needs of our children.”

This year, Lancaster ISD’s long-term focus is to increase the number of positive leaders involved as role models and mentors to students.

“In collaboration with parents and communities, our mission is to ignite learning that translates into sustainable success for all students in an ever-changing society. Therefore, a key component that we will emphasize this year is an increased focus on collaboration with parents and communities,” McFarland said. “For us to be successful, we must build a true collaborative partnership among the schools, the parents and the community.”

He added that he believes that sustainable success can and will be achieved when the district leadership ensures that a strong relationship exists among the three entities.

“As I visited campuses last year, I heard the cry, loud and clear, of parents who aspire to be more engaged and to help others do the same. I also heard from educators who voiced a desire to have more parents engaged and more community members involved,” he said. “In response to these concerns, it is my intent that we embark on an aggressive and explicit campaign to build bridges among the classroom, the home and the community.”

Lancaster ISD has been working with different facets of the community, including city and civic leaders as well as members of the clergy, to ensure that students and parents receive the red-carpet welcome that they deserve.

“We hope to set a tone on the first day that will be a reflection of volunteerism, encouragement and community that will carry on throughout the school year,” Raelynn Pineda, Turn Around Agenda In-School Program Coordinator for Lancaster ISD said. “It is vital for parents to be engaged and connected with their children and the first place to start should be the educational system in which your child attends and spends the vast majority of their day.”

In addition to seeing the support of the community, the district hopes that parents are also inspired to join in the effort and volunteer as well for future events and become more active and involved locally at each campus.

“As parents become more and more visible at school, we believe parent involvement will have a positive impact on student achievement and social behaviors,” Smith said.

The district is asking that volunteers are available for a minimum of 30 to 60 minutes at one of the campuses greeting students and parents from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. at the 6th grade, middle and high school campuses or 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. for the elementary campuses.

Those interested in participating need to click on both links below to register and complete the necessary documents. Once the district receives the registration and completes the necessary background checks, volunteers will be assigned to a campus and receive additional information. All schools will open at 7 a.m. with secondary classes beginning at 7:30 a.m. and elementary at 8:15 a.m.