Archive for Tuesday, February 22, 2011

First Bell: Task force report to face board Q&A next week; Family Science Night coming to Langston Hughes; Foundation Follies still seeking acts

February 22, 2011


A few education-oriented items from around the area:

Whatever the Lawrence Elementary School Facility Vision Task Force ends up recommending regarding the future of the Lawrence school district’s elementary schools, there’s one thing folks can rest assured about.

The Lawrence school board won’t be making any specific decisions about the recommendations next week, when the task force is scheduled to deliver its report to board during the board’s meeting at 7 p.m. Monday at district headquarters, 110 McDonald Drive.

“That meeting is just a presentation meeting,” said Mark Bradford, the board’s vice president. “I don’t anticipate any actions to be taken by the board. It’s just kind of a question-and-answer presentation for the membership of the task force to give their report — their findings, their recommendations — to the board. We potentially will be asking some clarification questions, if we have any.”

The task force is charged with coming up with “a community vision and plan” for the district’s 15 elementary schools that reflects “varied community and educational values and how to best reflect those values given the restraints of current and anticipated district resources.”

Recommendations are sought for “improvements” — replacing schools, remodeling schools and/or closing schools — to “better meet the current programming needs.”


Students, parents and others throughout the district are invited to attend Family Science Night at Langston Hughes School, 1101 George Williams Way

The event is set for 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. March 1 in the school gym.

Students will get a chance to take part in hands-on activities, with assistance from Kansas University faculty, graduate students and community volunteers.

The flier for the event promises all kids of fun:

• Play detective!

• Watch robots!

• Try chemistry experiments!

• See brains!

Uh... see brains? Personally, I’d have to think about that one, but it sure sounds exciting...

The event follows the school’s science fair, which runs from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.


Lawrence school district officials are still searching out on-stage talent — for skits, songs, dancing and the like — to be featured in the Foundation Follies, set for 8 p.m. April 15 at Liberty Hall, 644 Mass.

The annual event, now in its 21st year, is a variety show conducted by the Lawrence Schools Foundation and Lawrence Education Achievement Partners, allowing Lawrence educators to let their collective hair down for a good cause: the foundation’s Teacher Innovation Grant Program.

Previous grants have helped finance a teaching garden at Broken Arrow School, acquisition of a digital camera for journalism students at West Junior High School, and districtwide use of music therapy, known as “Tuned into Learning.”

There are two ground rules for prospective Follies acts:

• Group acts should have no more than 12 participants.

• At least half of the participants should be affiliated with the district.

For more information, contact Patrick Kelly, a district curriculum specialist, at 330-2405, or; or Trish Averill Neuteboom, 330-1457, or

Prospective acts have until March 11 to turn in their forms.

— The First Bell e-mailbox is always open:


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