Superintendent Creating Positive Partnerships To Meet The Needs Of All Students
Writer / Lynda Hedberg Thies
Superintendent Dr. Shawn Smith’s mission is for MSDLT to raise graduation rates, improve existing programs, and provide services designed to serve all students in the district while creating positive partnerships in the community. Superintendent Smith wasted no time showing that he knows what the school corporation needs and he is committed to achieving his mission. Here are some key initiatives:
- With the economy down and poverty levels rising, Smith implemented “Summer Servings” to offer a free summer lunch program for any student in the district who is 18 years old or younger. The program was in operation all summer long and at times has served anywhere from 100-500 students.
- The Lawrence Advance Academy is a brand new school designed to accommodate 180 11th grade students from both Lawrence North and Lawrence Central high schools. Unveiled in June, students were invited to consider enrollment in this non-traditional school setting based on certain criteria. Designed to prevent the most at-risk students from dropping out of school, the school offers a 15-1 student-to-teacher ratio. The program will allow students to have their unique academic needs addressed in a non-traditional school environment. The Academy will be housed in the Lawrence Education and Community Center building located at 6501 Sunnyside Road.
- MSDLT has a very strong working partnership in place with Community Hospitals with a free clinic offered for teachers and staff of the township. Community Hospitals already provide a nurse in every Lawrence Township school to meet the needs of the students. In addition, final year high school students with significant disabilities can participate in a program called Project Search, offering on-the-job training, and it gives students the opportunity to leave high school with a full-time job with benefits.
The MSDLT website is a great way to stay informed about school news. Transportation information will be conveyed via phone to every family on August 10, and emails will go out on August 11. Dr. Smith, the School Board and staff are planning a productive, results-driven and resourceful school year and welcome all Lawrence Township students and their families back!