Lovejoy Community, Happy Spring Break, Leopards! Whether you spend the next week near or far, I hope you have some time to rest and enjoy the people and activities you love. I am looking forward to spending time with my family and getting our backyard ready for the warmer weather. If you get a chance, share your Spring Break pictures on social media using the hashtag #LovejoySpringBreak2023. One of our culture commitments is fun and it makes all of our hearts smile to see student, staff, and family fun in action.
Today, we celebrated Maintenance Worker Appreciation Day to thank our incredible team members who make sure our buildings are functional, safe spaces for our students to learn, teach, and thrive. We enjoyed breakfast together this morning and had the opportunity to express our deep gratitude for their hard work.
There is some important information in the newsletter this week about the Master Schedule Study. While it is a lot of information, I encourage you to take some time to become informed about an issue of significant importance facing our District.
Enjoy a safe and relaxing Spring Break, and I look forward to seeing everyone when we return on Monday, March 13th.
There is only ONE LOVEJOY and we are ALL LEOPARDS!Katie Kordel Superintendent
2023-2024 Master Schedule Considerations
As we engage in 2023-2024 school year planning and budget development, we have three challenges facing our District.
Teacher and Staff Retention, Recruitment, and Support Funding Challenges
Maintaining Our Legacy of Excellence
Significant numbers of Texas teachers have left the profession. According to the Texas Education Agency (TEA), this past summer, nearly 43,000 Texas teachers left the profession. This was approximately 13% of the 320,000 teachers in Texas Public schools. According to a 2022 statewide survey of teachers by the Charles Butt Foundation, teachers are feeling undervalued, underpaid, and overworked. This is an alarming trend, with the number of teachers who are seriously considering leaving the profession jumping from 58% in 2020 to 77% in 2022. Of the 77% considering leaving, 93% have taken concrete steps to do so. Texas teachers, including Lovejoy ISD teachers, are working well beyond the 40 hour work week.
In addition to identifying concerns, this statewide survey identifies strategies related to improved retention, support and working conditions. When asked specifically about pay and benefits, teachers’ responses make clear distinctions between retention strategies they consider important to encourage them to stay in the profession. The percentages reflect the percentage of Texas teachers who consider each retention strategy extremely/very important.
91%: A significant salary increase
88%: Maximizing retirement benefits
85%: A schedule with more time in your day for planning
85%: District-wide days off for student and teacher well-being
71%: Additional paid personal days off
58%: Student loan assistance or forgiveness programs
57%: A one-time retention bonus
51%: Affordable housing options close to where you work
Lovejoy ISD is starting to experience the challenges with teacher/staff retention and recruitment that are reflected in the findings from the TEA and Charles Butts Foundation reports. A committee of Lovejoy ISD teachers and administrators have been studying master schedules because they represent our most important asset and resource in serving our students, teachers and time. In March of 2022, the TEA formed a Teacher Vacancy Task Force to address teacher vacancies throughout Texas. One of the recommendations of the recent TEA Teacher Vacancy Task Force Study is to examine teacher time, including master schedule redesign.
TEA Teacher Vacancy Task Force Final Report
Additionally, each master scheduling option has specific staffing requirements which impact our district budget.
The five master schedule models that have been under study include:
8 Period Day (middle and high school)
7 Period Day (middle and high school)
Block Scheduling (middle and high school)
4 Day Student Instructional School Week
Extended Planning Days in the Calendar
We will continue to have an 8 period day at Willow Springs Middle School and Lovejoy High School for the 2023-2024 school year, unless there are decisions made in the current 88th Texas Legislative Session that negatively impact our 2023-2024 funding projection. Based on the Staff Master Schedule Committee study, we will not be moving forward with a 4 day week for the 2023-2024 school year.
The staff master scheduling committee has recommended further study of extended staff planning days. Extended staff planning days provide teachers flexible time to plan and work during their contract time and support a greater level of work/life balance. This allows teachers additional time for planning and preparation. Extended staff planning days would be achieved by extending the school day and converting a number of student instructional days into student holidays/teacher work days. No recommendation or decisions have been made at this time.
We are hosting two parent informational meetings on this topic. One meeting took place on March 1st and we will have another one on March 22nd at 8:30 a.m. in the Lovejoy Child Development Center Library. There will also be a presentation at the March 20th Board Workshop. The Workshop will be streamed and recorded. Furthermore, the District will engage parents and additional staff in a deeper study of extended staff planning days by bringing the Financial Sustainability Committee and the LOVEJOY2030 Strategic Planning Committee back together. There will be another survey for parents and staff sent out by April 1st.
During the March 1st Master Schedule Parent Information Meeting, “sample” calendars were shared that reflect extended teacher planning days and a 4 day student instructional week. The purpose for sharing was to assist with understanding and for comparison purposes only. The sample calendars are not recommendations. The presentation shared at the first parent information session is linked along with sample calendars.
Master Scheduling Parent Information Meeting Presentation
Master Scheduling Parent Information Meeting
Adopted 2023-2024 School Calendar
Sample Calendar 1
Sample Calendar 2
Sample 4 Day Student Instructional Week
Dr. Hill Named Senior Director of Support Services
Dr. James Hill was named the Senior Director of District Support Services. Dr. Hill will have oversight of Safety and Security, Custodial Services, Construction & Facility Planning, Grounds and Maintenance. Dr. Hill is an experienced educator who has held both campus and district leadership positions for over 25 years.
Dr. Hill spent his early years teaching middle and high school in the Lewisville ISD. Dr. Hill also served as High School Principal in Argyle ISD. Most recently, Dr. Hill has served as a Managing Director of Human Resources in the Frisco ISD. He received his Bachelor of Education and Masters of Education degrees from the University of North Texas and his Doctorate in Educational Administration from Dallas Baptist University in 2018.
Board Workshop Added on March 20th
The Lovejoy ISD Board of Trustees invites parents and community members to attend a Board Workshop on March 20th in the Lovejoy Child Development Center at 256 Country Club Rd, Allen, TX 75002. Closed session will begin at 5:00PM in room C113. Open session is expected to begin a 6:00PM in the LCDC Library.
End of (third) 9 Weeks
Maintenance Worker Appreciation Day
Social Worker Week
Texas Educational Diagnosticians Week
Daylight Savings Time Starts
LHS Student Holiday (High School Only)
Board of Trustees Workshop - LCDC Library
The Board will convene in open session and then move to closed session @ 5:00PM in C113. The Board is expected to reconvene in open session at approximately 6:00PM.
Parent Information Meeting - Master Schedules
LCDC Library @ 8:30AM - 9:30AM
CALENDAR EVENT LINKS
STUDENT ACTIVITIES & RECOGNITIONS
LHS Speech and Debate Qualifies for Nationals
If you see the following students, please be sure to tell them CONGRATULATIONS! After 4 days of competition, they qualified for the National Speech & Debate Association's NATIONALS competition in June. This is one of the biggest goals for the students each year, so we're super proud of them for achieving it!
Andy Choy - Congressional Debate
Paari Palani & David Wise - Policy Debate
Tracy Chen & Neola Edwin - Public Forum Debate
Gage Larson - Lincoln Douglas Debate
Kaitlyn Tapia- Lincoln Douglas Debate
Abby Rodriguez - Dramatic Interpretation
Alina Srambickal - Program Oral Interpretation
Romi Kahana - Humorous Interpretation
Shruti Subramaniyan - Informative Speaking
Lovejoy swept the district tournament winning Sweepstakes in Speech, Debate, AND Overall! Additionally, Zach Hevron, received the district's Assistant Coach of the Year award! Congratulations!!
LHS Orchestra UIL Success
All three LHS Orchestras performed at UIL Concert and Sight-reading last week. Chamber and Philharmonic received all Superior ratings from the judges in both stage performance and sight-reading earning them UIL Sweepstakes. The Concert Orchestra received Excellent ratings on stage and Superior ratings in Sight-reading. Congrats to all the orchestra students on their hard work and success!LHS Concert Orchestra LHS Chamber Orchestra LHS Philharmonic Orchestra
WSMS Orchestra Wins UIL Sweepstakes Award
The WSMS Concert, Philharmonic, and Chamber Orchestras participated in the UIL Concert and Sight-reading Evaluation at Allen High School yesterday. We are incredibly happy to report that ALL THREE groups received SUPERIOR ratings from all SIX judges winning them each a SWEEPSTAKES AWARD! This is the highest score they could have received!
The students performed three different pieces on stage with their ensemble and were judged on tone, technique, and musicianship.
In the sight-reading portion of the contest, students were given a piece of music that they had never seen or heard before. We had seven to eight minutes to teach it to them. After the set time was up, the students performed the piece for the judges and were evaluated.
One judge commented, "You moved me and took me to a place outside of this world." What an amazing compliment! Congratulations, Willow Springs Orchestra!WSMS Concert Orchestra WSMS Chamber Orchestra WSMS Philharmonic Orchestra
WSMS Choir Outstanding UIL Performances
This week, Willow Springs choirs attended the Region UIL competition. All 48 members making up the Treble Choir and Tenor-Bass Choir attended and were commended on their fine representation of Lovejoy ISD! The Treble Choir performed at the Varsity level on Thursday and had a wonderful performance on stage and in Sightreading. They received 1’s in the Sightreading competition and an award for “Outstanding Sightreading”. The Tenor-Bass Choir performed on Wednesday, and “wow’d” the judges in their performances, receiving a “Sweepstakes” award for receiving a majority of 1’s for their performances. Both choirs were OUTSTANDING and represented themselves, Willow Springs, and Lovejoy remarkably every step of the way. Way to go, Choirs!WSMS Treble Choir
WSMS One Act Play Receives Superior Rating
Willow Springs Middle School Theatre Productions class received at "1" or Superior Rating at their UIL One Act Play (OAP) Competition on February 25th! Students also received many individual awards, including:
Best Actress- Olivia Smith
All-Star Cast- Cora Craver, Cameron Johnson
Honorable Mention All-Star Cast- Chayse Huhnke
Outstanding Ensemble Member- Caroline Emerson
All-Star Technician- Merryn Berner
Best Tech Crew- Liam Albritten, Paige Olsen, Eireen Liao and Merryn Berner
Congratulations to the entire OAP cast and crew:
Girls Soccer Senior Night
Join us in celebrating our Lovejoy senior girls soccer players!
# 2 Maggie Manders, #6 Emma Smith, #7 Samatha Belatur, #8 Gianna Lutcza, #13 Natalia Duran De La Vega, #15 Morgan Paharik, # 16 Alexa Paharik, #17 Callan Snider, #18 Paige Young, #22 Mary MeuthPhoto credit: Becky Dugan-Hand Photo credit: Becky Dugan-Hand
LHS Girls Soccer Update
Last Friday the varsity girls soccer team beat Sherman 6-0. Goals were scored by Ella York (hat trick), Emma Nelson (2), and Margo Chester. Assists were by Emma Smith (2), Callan Snider, Lainey Pierce, Nicole Young, and Paige Young. Kenlea Swadender and Natalie Lenart were in goal for the team's 11th clean sheet of the season. On Tuesday, the varsity team beat Denison 6-1. Goals were scored by Emma Nelson (hat trick), Kate Carlson, Paige Young, and Kiera Watson. Assists were by Emma Smith, Ella York, Maggie Manders, and Natalie Knight.
Last Friday the JV girls soccer team beat Sherman 2-0. Goals were scored by Sophia Johnston and Izzie Stein. On Tuesday the girls beat Denison 6-0. Goals were scored by Maria Arlaban (2), Izzie Stein (2), Sophia Johnston (2), and Rachel Dobbs. Assists were by Izzie Stein, Maria Arlaban, and Mia Lutcza. Kirsten Yoakum and Jenna Murphy earned the clean sheet in goal playing behind an excellent defense.
Our final home game is on Friday, 3/10, over Spring Break vs. McKinney North. Kick off is at 5:30 for JV and 7:15 for Varsity. Come out and support the team as they look to win the district championship.
Battle of the Alamo
On February 24th Hart 4th graders had a guest speaker, Mr. Conway Barton. Mr Barton is an expert on the Battle of the Alamo. He walked students through the events and people that led up to the Battle as well as after the battle. He shared maps, drawings, photos and even brought an 18 pound cannon ball.
Building Healthy Habbits
Dr. Sage Yoo of Sprout Dentistry for Kids visited the students of the Lovejoy Child Development Center last week to teach them how to take care of their teeth. They had so much fun learning how to brush, floss, and choose foods that will keep their teeth healthy.
"Engaged in a Healthy Lifestyle" is one of Lovejoy's Core Values in our Graduate Profile, which begins with our littlest Leopards! Thank you Dr. Yoo for helping our us build healthy habits!
BOARD OF TRUSTEES
Lovejoy ISD is committed to providing consistent, transparent communication with our community and employees. We hope this meeting summary will support you in staying connected and informed.
2023 Board Meeting Summary
Additionally, Regular Board Meetings and Workshops are now recorded and archived on the Lovejoy ISD website. You can access recordings by clicking the picture to the right. Passwords are noted below the recording links.
February 27 Board Meeting Continued
The Lovejoy ISD Board of Trustees celebrated two great coaches.
Logan Kelly was recognized for being named the Texas High School Coaches Association Boys Cross Country Coach of the Year for 2022-2023.
Carly Littlefield was recognized for being named the Texas High School Coaches Association Girls Cross Country Coach of the Year for 2022-2023.
The Sloan Creek Intermediate School 5th grade science team presented highlights from the recent 5th grade camp experience at Sky Ranch. The presentation included student learning opportunities that correlated with 5th grade science TEKS (Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills) as well as hands-on student enrichment activities.Shannon Ferguson Sloan Creek Intermediate Mary Jo Hedland Lovejoy High School
NEW! LHS JAZZ BAND & WAYNE BERGERON
THIS WEEK! G/T REFERRALS OPEN MARCH 1ST
NEW! ORCHESTRA FUNDRAISER
NEW! PTO SENIOR SCHOLARSHIP
MAJESTICS: EGG MY YARD
FOUNDATION FOR LOVEJOY SCHOOLS
STEM T-SHIRT DESIGN CONTEST
FEBRUARY NUTRITION NEWS
DANCING WITH THE MAJESTICS
SPECIAL EDUCATION PARENT WORKSHOPS
STEM FESTIVAL VOLUNTEERS
LAST CHANCE! LOVEJOY SCHOLAR REGISTRATION
KINDERGARTEN REGISTRATION OPEN
ALMUNI SPOTLIGHT INTEREST FORM
Leopard LifeCOMMUNITY NEWS
The Lovejoy ISD Community News website is intended to facilitate connections and raise awareness of local events, activities, fundraisers and organizations that might interest Lovejoy families.
HEALTH AND SAFETY
The Texas Department of State Health Services released new guidance for the 2022-2023 school year regarding Covid-19 and schools. LISD Health and Safety Measures are posted on the District website, linked below.