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Lancaster ISD begins 2010-11 school year with new superintendent

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Lancaster - Lancaster Independent School District began the 201011 school year with more than 6,000 students and new Superintendent Michael McFarland.

Dr. McFarland admits that although he has had many first days of school—never have been as the superintendent.

"This is an exciting time for me and the teachers and staff of LISD," stated Dr. McFarland.

"We start the year with increased enrollment, two exemplary campuses, three IB World Schools and a new preparatory academy for ninth grade boys."

Enrollment in the district is up from last year and McFarland has issued the challenge that by May 1, 2011, 85 percent of LISD students should have a letter of acceptance to a college, university, notice of enlistment in the armed services or employment.

His ‘more than a diploma initiative’ will be a resounding message throughout the year.

McFarland begins the school year determined to remove the veil of doubt that has been cast over the district.

The district has made significant progress in the past two years, and the employment of the new superintendent closes the loop on the need of the district to have the oversight of a financial conservator.

The district’s financial health has been a topic of conversation throughout the city.

The CFO recently reported that the district’s fund balance is approaching $4 million.

Dr. McFarland anticipates that the district will continue to improve its’ academic rating and is engaging in intentional steps towards targeted growth.

Parents agree LISD is moving in the right direction as evidenced by the feedback on the Districts recent neighborhood walk.

The district kicked off the year with the annual convocation, to an auditorium of over 750 staff members.

The excitement and noise prevented many from hearing as McFarland, conducted ‘roll call’ for all of the schools.

Afterwards, the teachers and staff hit the streets, knocking on doors and handing out information about the district.

Many of the district’s parents were excited as well as encouraged by the effort.

McFarland’s first day of the school year was spent traveling to each campus greeting, parents, students and staff.

He concluded his day with a conference call with all campus leaders, central office personnel and a report that 90 percent of students returned to school with summer projects in hand.

McFarland sites improved communication, clear expectations and parent commitment as reasons for the success.

Campus leaders reported a great first day.

In fact, McFarland states that "this is one of the best first days of school he has ever had."

For more information, visit www.LancasterISD.org.

The Lancaster Public Schools serves more than 6,000 pre-kindergarten through grade 12 students in 10 schools.

The mission of Lancaster Independent School District, a leader in providing innovative, quality programs, is to educate every student with the knowledge; skills; and principles to succeed and contribute in a competitive and technologically advancing world by providing rigorous and engaging learning opportunities that promote diversity; create an environment of integrity and respect; and establish a commitment to continued improvement in partnership with families and community.

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