Connect with Katie.09.09.2022.Issue6

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Photo Credit: Becky Hand

Table of Contents 03

Superintendent's Message


Voter-Approved Tax Rate Election


District Highlights


District Calendar


Student Activities & Recognitions


Staff Recognitions


Staff Spotlight


Board of Trustees


Leopard Life: Lovejoy Links


Leopard Life: Community News


Featured Job Openings


Health and Safety

SUPERINTENDENT'S MESSAGE Lovejoy Community, This short week has gone by in a flash. I hope you and your family had time to rest and reconnect over the long holiday weekend. It is an honor and privilege to serve as the superintendent of our uniquely special school district. An important part of my role is keeping you informed on significant issues facing our district. Current financial projections show a $2 million deficit in fiscal year 2026 with 65 days of fund balance. A baseline of 90 days and target of 120 days of fund balance are benchmarks for addressing district cash flow needs. On November 8, 2022, Lovejoy ISD will hold a Voter-Approved Tax Rate Election (VATRE) to consider increasing the M&O portion of the 2022 ISD tax rate by 3.17 cents. Due to tax rate compression, Lovejoy ISD's 2022-2023 Tax Rate will decrease with or without the passing of the VATRE. The passing of the VATRE would generate approximately $640,000 in additional funding for Lovejoy ISD. Priorities for the VATRE are employee compensation and restoring the fund balance. Property tax rates for homeowners 65 years and older with the appropriate exemptions will not be impacted by the VATRE.

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Superintendent's Message Continued Prior to calling for a VATRE, Lovejoy ISD engaged in a budget analysis which included: Formation of a 40 Member Stakeholder-Based Financial Sustainability Committee Assessment of Current State including the following: Demographic Study Staffing Efficiency Study Program Reviews Capacity Assessment Implementation of Zero-Based Budgeting Development of a three year Financial Forecast In the coming weeks, we are eager to share Lovejoy ISD’s financial facts with you. We have already held two VATRE community information sessions and appreciate those that took the time to attend. Our next VATRE community information session will be held on Monday, September 12 at noon in the Lovejoy Child Development Center Library and additional options will be communicated soon. For more information or to request a presentation to your community group, please visit There is only ONE LOVEJOY and we are ALL LEOPARDS!

Katie Kordel Superintendent

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Parent/Community Information Meetings Lovejoy ISD invites parents and community members to attend an upcoming VATRE Community Presentation. Following the presentation, there will be time for questions related to the VATRE. All meetings will be held in the library at the Lovejoy Child Development Center (LCDC) at 256 Country Club Road, Allen, TX on: September 8, 2022 at 6:00 PM - Complete! September 9, 2022 at 8:00 AM - Complete! September 12, 2022 at 12:00 PM (Noon) Active communication, collaboration and community engagement is a priority for Lovejoy ISD. We hope you will join us at one of the above Parent/Community Information Meetings! Additional dates will be shared soon.

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VATRE Weekly Fast Fact: Budget Development The road to financial sustainability is a journey. A tax rate adjustment through a VATRE is one of many strategies Lovejoy ISD has implemented from our 2021-2022 budget assessment and Financial Sustainability Committee recommendations.



DISTRICT HIGHLIGHTS Hart's Team Building Scavenger Hunt What do teachers do when students are on holiday? Learn, collaborate, and have a little fun! Hart Elementary teachers started off their Professional Development day with a fun Scavenger Hunt. On their hunt, they had to spell HART out with pencils and find a soccer ball. The winning grade level will receive a special lunch from Mrs. Craft! Here are our 1st and 2nd grade teams in action.

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PTO Wildflowers Puster mom, Cassie Webb, and her 3 year old future Leopard, helped Lisa Wilkins and the PTO throw out new wildflower seeds around Puster's property, including: Texas Bluebonnets, Little Bluestem, Indian Grass, Blue Gramma and a wide variety of other Texas native wildflowers. They hope to have a gorgeous prairie mix next year. Prairie and wildflower benefits are huge. To name a few, wildflower areas provide critical habitat for pollinators, beneficial insects and wildlife, which is important for ecosystem function and pollination. Wildflowers can improve soil health, prevent erosion, improve water quality. Thank you to Puster PTO for making our schools a more beautiful place!

Lovejoy ISD Campus Library Updates In an effort to support transparency and parental involvement, Lovejoy ISD school libraries are initiating a communication practice. Parents will receive a weekly notification from the campus librarian that includes library materials their student currently has checked out. Librarians are planning to begin notifications the week of September 12th. Parents should ensure email contact information is current in PowerSchool so to receive the weekly information. Parents will also have the option to request limited access for their child to library materials. Campus librarians will post information on the campus website that provides guidance for parents to request specific book titles they do not want their child to check out. Our campus librarians serve as an excellent resource for parents should you have questions. Our school libraries are committed to providing extension and enrichment opportunities for students with library materials through school and home partnerships.

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Lovejoy Advisory Committees We are pleased to announce that Lovejoy ISD is launching Special Education, Gifted and Talented, and Career Education Advisory Committees. These committees will include parents, as well as campus and district staff representatives. The purpose of the advisory committees is to establish an additional layer of communication and collaboration, resulting in achieving positive outcomes for all students through strong home and school partnerships. To learn more about the Lovejoy ISD advisory committees, please reference the following links. Committee interest forms will be accepted through Friday, September 16th. Lovejoy ISD Special Education Advisory Committee Lovejoy ISD Gifted and Talented Advisory Committee Lovejoy ISD Career and Technical Education Advisory Committee

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District Calendar Updates September 2022 September 11

Texas First Responders Day

September 12

Board of Trustees Workshop - LCDC Library

September 16

LHS Homecoming - LOJO vs. Terrell

September 20

National IT Professional Day

September 22

North Texas Giving Day

September 26

Board of Trustees Meeting - LCDC Library

Closed Session @ 5:30 PM in D100 Open Session is expected to begin at approximately 6 PM

Closed Session @ 6:00 PM in D100 Open Session is expected to begin at approximately 7 PM

October 2022 Month of October

National Principals Month

October 2

School Custodian Appreciation Day

October 5

Ladies Night: Foundation for Lovejoy Schools

October 6

End of First Quarter

District & Campus Calendars Link Athletics Calendar Link Campus, District, and Athletics Calendars are linked above for the convenience of our community. *Please note event dates, times and locations are subject to change and should be verified by participants.

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STUDENT ACTIVITIES & RECOGNITIONS Reading with the Leopards The Cross Country, Track and Field, and Soccer teams were fired up about getting the opportunity to read with our little Leopards! Reading with the Leopards is a wonderful program that creates connections between our Lovejoy Athletes our littlest Leopards. Each sport gets the opportunity to read three (3) times per year. Athletes greet kiddos as they get to school, open the doors for them, and then they visit classrooms to read. Reading with the Leopards day is a favorite day for both the BIG and LITTLE kids!

Reading with the Leopards Photo Credit: Becky Hand

Pep Rally The first LHS Pep Rally of season, Welcome to the Jungle, featured a decorative jungle atmosphere provided by the LHS Cheer program and boosters. The morning featured pep talks from football, volleyball, and cross country. The LHS Cheer and Majestics were featured performers wowing the student body with their great choreography. A Cappella and the Lovejoy Band also provided school spirit with the Fight Song and Alma Mater. The Lovejoy Band won the Leopard Battle Cry. It was a great start to a very spirited year! The next home game pep rally is September 16th and will feature Homecoming festivities!

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Dallas Morning News Features Lovejoy Leopards The front page of the Dallas Morning News Sport Section this week featured Senior Kyle Parker and three of his Lovejoy teammates. "Parker is one of four Power 5-caliber wide receivers in Lovejoy’s receiving room this season. Through natural ability and a teamfirst mentality, the group has become arguably the best in Texas and one of the top rooms in the nation. The elite group is made up of Parker, fellow senior Jaxson Lavender, junior Parker Livingstone and sophomore Daylan McCutcheon." Lia Assimakopoulos, Dallas Morning News Read the full article in the Dallas Morning News (member-exclusive content).

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Volleyball The Leopard Volleyball program traveled to McKinney Boyd last Tuesday to take on the Lady Broncos! After some hard fought matches, the Leopards finished with another program sweep! Tonight begins our district play as we face the Melissa Cardinals at home,and it's Kids Night for our K-8 Leopards! We can't wait to see you there!

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STAFF RECOGNITIONS Texas Master Naturalist: Ms. Perez Willow Springs Middle School science teacher, Jenny Perez, recently earned her Texas Master Naturalist certification. Ms. Perez is a wonderful example of how Lovejoy science teachers are true citizen scientists, helping our community and children.

Rain or Shine #KidsComeFirst #TeamLovejoy Lovejoy ISD is home to the most incredible team of educators and staff! Their daily dedication, passion, and servant leadership can be hard to describe, quantify and convey. But as they say, "A picture is worth a thousand words." Picture and message sent September 1 from a Willow Springs parent: "I just wanted to let you know how hard core your team is at Willow Springs. There was lightning and it was raining absolute buckets at carline today. All our windshield wipers were on max. This is not a very good photo of Ms. May because she is looking down, but she was directing traffic like a boss. With her boot on one foot, and going barefoot with the other…I assume her shoe was just completely waterlogged but she still got the job done. I hope you can give her a shoutout. Thank you for all you do. We love Lovejoy."

STAFF SPOTLIGHT Sarah Thrash College, Career and Military Readiness Professional Background 7 years teaching 8th grade in multiple content areas, including 5 years as lead reading and AVID academic support. 7th year as a high school counselor with a focus on College and Career Counseling . Education: Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree Personal Highlights: I have a son that is 17 and a senior at Wylie East 2 fur pups: Maggie Mae and Emory Janie Born in Helena, MT and grew up in Sulphur Springs, TX Roles and Responsibilities College and Career Counselor 504 Coordinator Coordinating social media for Counseling Department SAT & ACT Saturday Coordinator Providing student and family support in the area of post high school planning Serving as a resource for our students, families, and educators Collaboration, Connection, Community Collaborate: LISD Guidance & Counseling, my team, and LHS and LISD Administration Connect: Colleges, Trade Schools, Military Branches, students and families Community: I am so thankful for the opportunity to work with Lovejoy students and families. I am passionate about helping students (and families) prepare for their next steps whether it be college, career or the military! Please know I am here to help and serve however I can! Contact Information Email:

Work Phone: 469.742.8799


Dear Lovejoy Community, As a Board, we are committed to strong and proactive communication with our community. Part of this commitment is sending an email invitation to our community prior to Board Meetings with a sincere desire for you to be involved and fully aware, so we can come together as a community for our children. September 12, 2022 Board Workshop Public Notice You may find the full agenda with supporting documentation on our district's BoardBook Premier website HERE. Sincerely, The Lovejoy ISD Board of Trustees Barrett Owens, President Julie McLaughlin, Trustee Marvin Bobo, Trustee Amy Smith, Vice-President Jeff Wood, Trustee Jason Jaynes, Trustee Anne Smith, Secretary

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Leopard Life


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. The information featured on the Community News website is submitted by community members. Lovejoy ISD is not affiliated with the organizations and does not claim to endorse them. Check out the new Community News format!

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The Texas Department of State Health Services released new guidance for the 2022-2023 school year regarding Covid-19 and schools. Key Take Aways Students and/or staff who have tested positive for COVID-19 may return in 5 days if they have been fever and symptom free for 24 hours. (Change from 10 days for students) Students with a COVID-19 household member who has tested positive are no longer required to quarantine. The district will not maintain a local “dashboard”, reporting positive cases. The district is required to report positive cases to the state. A link will be provided on the website that reflects this information for the district. The health screener QR code will remain in place at each campus for volunteers and visitors to complete. Current Covid-19 Illness/Exclusion Protocols

Connect with Katie . September 9, 2022 . Issue 6