The beginning of a new school year brings excitement -- and this year, we’ve got a lot of reasons to be proud in Lexington Two.
Our Board has approved a budget plan for the 2019-2020 school year that puts the focus not only on important programs and resources for our students but supports priorities that our teachers have advocated for.
Among Lexington Two’s plans for the new school year:
- Reducing classroom sizes, to meet or exceed state guidelines, with averages we’ve set at 20-1 in elementary school, 24-1 in middle school, and 22-1 in high school core content classes.
- Hiring three mental health counselors to support school safety and meet the emotional health needs of our students.
- Hiring four middle school and high school curriculum specialists as academic resources for teachers.
- Extending the contracts for assistant principals to a full year, to strengthen school-level leadership and mentorship.
- New funding to support non-revenue high school athletics; books and learning materials for our elementary and middle school media centers; and adaptive physical education equipment to serve all the district’s special needs students.
- Creating a well-deserved incentive for our most experienced teacher ranks: STEP increases for those with more than 23 years’ experience, something uncommon among area districts.
Among other news, Lexington Two is one of 10 Districts statewide to be selected for the eLearning program, which allows Districts to use online lessons at home when classes are cancelled for inclement weather. We will partner with Anderson Five to launch our program.
We are in the final phase of our $225 million school construction program, approved by voters in 2014. We’re opening the renovated Fulmer Middle this fall, completing renovations at several schools, and starting initial work on our new District-wide performing arts center.
Our state-of-the-art Innovation Center will now include Early College, as well as some Advanced Placement and dual enrollment programs. With the L2IC’s curriculum that spans traditional vocational offerings like cosmetology and culinary arts plus global marketplace careers in engineering, science and medicine, arts and technology, our students have the opportunity to graduate not only with diplomas but also professional certifications, college credits -- and, in some cases, completion of Associate Degrees and full freshman-year college course requirements.
Our elementary and middle schools provide the strong foundation Lexington Two’s future graduates will need to succeed in today’s global marketplace. Toward this end, we are introducing a new grading system for our youngest learners, kindergarten through second grade, that will provide parents a more detailed look at their child’s areas of mastery and improvement. In later elementary and middle years, learning collaborations between teachers and administrators across our schools, along with student exposure to the variety of college and career opportunities, will better prepare students for success in school and life.
We are proud that the Class of 2019’s roughly 450 graduates earned a District record $17.4 million-plus in scholarships, while our career track students saved more than $205,000 in post-graduation training toward professional certifications -- proof that our graduates are gaining an edge.
Our priority is the success of each and every student in a safe learning environment. We are looking forward to the new school year.
Dr. William B. James Jr.