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From the Superintendent: More student supports

Dear families and students:

I hope that you all found time to relax and enjoy this beautiful summer with family and friends.

SuperintendentEven with COVID still very much a part of all of our lives, we are looking forward to continuing to rebuild a strong sense of community and belonging in our schools this year based on the Lakewood Compact: A Small District Going Big Places. Our administrative team and staff spent time before the opening of school focused on the theme: “Engaging Learning Communities through Expectations, Commitments and Belonging.” We want to build on and deepen our work around belonging in ways that ensure each student has a voice during the school day and in all of their interactions with other students and staff.

A primary focus of the 2022-2023 school year will be articulating and supporting clear, shared commitments and expectations that define what it means to be and become a Lakewood Cougar. Each school will be talking with students, staff and parents to determine how best to support each other as we realize these commitments in all of our interactions this year. Such conversations are an opportunity for us to grow as a community—to draw on what we value in Lakewood, and also to bring new voices and experiences into our schools.

We are also enriching our systems of support. We have added to our partnerships in support of mental health and are deepening our work building support structures during the school day. For the first time, all of our elementary schools will have full-time counselors. (Secondary schools already have teams of full-time counselors.) Lakewood Middle School now has a Dean of Students to add to the administrative support for students, staff and families. We have added a psychologist to our district team, along with a districtwide behavior specialist.

Our schools will continue to benefit from student support advocates at the secondary and elementary levels, along with a student assistance professional (supporting students who need support with substance use or abuse). All families in our community now have access to Care Solace to quickly and confidentially access mental health or substance use supports. This has already been a tremendous resource for families across our district. All of these additions fit within our commitment as a district to build multi-tiered systems of support (MTSS) in each school. Such systems offer resources for teachers in the classroom, but also provide channels for students to access supports in their grade level, school and community. Lakewood School District was selected from among several school districts across the state to be part of a regional cohort in 2022-2023 that will provide training and support in the construction of a strong MTSS model.

As always, I am so proud of our students and community. We continue to lean into the future with innovative programs that seek to serve our professional staff, our incredible students and supportive families. I look forward to seeing you this year!

Scott Peacock, Superintendent