First Bell

Meeting for parents of LGBT students to be held Thursday

There will be an informal meeting for parents of LGBT students in the Lawrence school district Thursday evening, with the goal of forming a support group of local parents. Lawrence schools Superintendent Rick Doll and Sonja Feist, president of the Lawrence/Topeka chapter of Parents, ...

Big Brothers Big Sisters honors donors, volunteers

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Douglas County is recognizing several local businesses and individual volunteers for their contributions to its mentorship program. BBBS provides one-to-one mentoring to more than 250 children throughout Lawrence. “We are grateful to the corporations, ...

Eudora Schools Foundation awards grants for innovative learning projects

The Eudora Schools Foundation awarded nine grants totaling more than $6,000 last week to fund projects that include a "bike lab" with exercise bikes to ride while reading, a weather lab for making weather observations and predictions, and a radioactivity monitor that can be used for carbon ...

Route maps for each school available for Walk to School Day

International Walk to School Day is on Wednesday, and for those who plan to leave the car at home, the safest walking or biking route has been mapped for each elementary and middle school in the district. The maps show students and parents the safest route to their neighborhood school and ...

Lied Center names IMPACT award winners

The Lied Center has named gifted-education teacher Dani Lotton-Barker and jazz musician Branford Marsalis as the 2015-2016 Lied Center IMPACT Award winners. The award honors one artist and one Lawrence educator every season for distinguished service to the performing arts. “We are ...

Nominations open for community MLK awards

The Lawrence school district is now accepting nominations for the 2016 Martin Luther King Jr. Awards. This is the second year for the event, in which the public can nominate students, teachers, school staff, community leaders or community groups for one of four awards: MLK Character, MLK ...

The fascinating journey of Lawrence’s original school bell

This may be the most literal application the title of this blog will have. The original bell from Lawrence’s first school received a new home this month. The 1,600-pound bell is now safe in a refurbished case, but prior to that it has had many resting places, including the bottom of the ...

Lawrence Adult Education Center offering GED practice tests for $1

As part of a promotion this and next month, students can take the GED practice test for $1 at the Lawrence Adult Education Center, 2145 Louisiana St. The practice test, which is usually $6, will be offered at the reduced price from now until Oct. 31 as part of a back-to-school discount. The ...

New tech education and labs in store for Eudora schools; teacher honored

Eudora students will soon be able to do some high-tech tinkering. The Eudora school district has been awarded a $25,000 grant to grow robotics, engineering and coding programs at its schools. The America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education program awarded the grant, which will be used to ...

Registration open for this year’s Future City Competition

As part of this school year’s Future City Competition, students will be asked to think a lot about trash. Specifically, piles of trash waiting to be dumped into landfills, incinerated or hauled off, and what a better process might look like. The theme of this year’s Future City ...

German school offers classes for all ages in Lawrence

For parents who want to introduce their kids early to a foreign language, there’s a bit of Deutschland to be found in Lawrence. For children as young as 4 years old, the [German School of Northeast Kansas][1] offers classes Saturday mornings. The school, now in its fifth year, includes ...

My visit to the Lawrence College & Career Center

More than 100 Lawrence high school students wrote their first cover letter this week. Yes, some of them made up the positions they sought and the credentials that qualified them, but nonetheless it was a realistic exercise of a question adults often pose to children: What do you want to be when ...

Want to get your student involved? School clubs may be the answer

Want to get your middle or high school student involved in something after school? Athletics may be the obvious go-to, but they can be a substantial time (and monetary) commitment for both parents and students. Teacher-sponsored school clubs — with the convenience of being at school and ...

Getting in the back-to-school spirit

Welcome to First Bell, a K-12 education blog where you can find helpful or interesting notes about schools across Lawrence. The first day of school is right around the corner, so here's to putting the summer behind us and looking forward to the new school year. **New look for a new ...

Online infographic tracks school district’s mail-ballot election returns

By now, all registered voters living within the Lawrence school district should have received the materials necessary to participate in the district's mail-ballot election concerning its local option budget. Voters have until noon Jan. 27 to return their ballots to the Douglas County clerk's ...

KNEA taking tenure battle into mixed judicial environment

The state's largest teachers union announced this week (sort of) that it plans to launch a legal fight over teacher tenure rights. But it will be doing so in a clouded judicial environment where two recent court rulings have gone in opposite directions. The Kansas National Education ...

Kansas teachers keeping close watch on North Carolina

In a case that is resonating with many teachers in Kansas, a judge in North Carolina last week struck down that state's new law that does away with traditional teacher tenure. As reported by the [Raleigh News & Observer][1], Superior Court Judge Robert Hobgood ruled that the law, enacted ...