Dear Lakeview Families, I want to thank you for a great start to our school year! It is hard to believe the first term has already ended. We hope you had a great fall break. I also want to...
Dear Lakeview Families,
As you have probably heard from your students, we have made a few changes at Lakeview this year. Most of the changes have to do with how big our school is getting. We have more than 800 students and are now the largest elementary school in the district. This has instigated changes in a few procedures at the school.
Assigned lunch tables: We have assigned groups of tables where each grade level sits. They don’t have individually assigned seats, just an assigned group of 12 tables for their grade level. Students may sit at any of those tables with any friend they choose. We also have designated allergy tables within each grade level grouping.
Posted expectations: As you walk around the building, you will notice posted behavior expectations in the hallways, lunchroom, restrooms, and playground. At our opening assembly, each grade-level team presented one of the new posters. The expectations help clarify for students how they should conduct themselves in high-traffic areas where safety is important.
Recess: We (along with other Provo schools) have contracted with an organization called Playworks to improve and maximize our recess space. They designate areas for different types of play and teach students games they can play at recess. Students can choose to participate in one of those areas or they can still play whatever they want. They can create their own game, sit and talk with a friend, or just have a minute alone, just as before. The Playworks team also teaches students conflict resolution skills. We have already found this to be beneficial at reducing problems on the playground.
Recess equipment: We have asked the students not to bring balls or equipment from home. In the past, we had a lot of “my ball, my rules” type of behavior. By having plenty of common equipment for students to share, we have eliminated that problem. There are many paraprofessionals providing campus supervision on the playground to make sure students who want to play can be involved in a game.
Exit procedures: This has been a big change. With the new construction in the parking lot, we lost about 8 feet of gathering space in front of the school. Even last year when we had more space, it was a crazy time right after school with students running through the halls and coming out the main doors. Several teachers mentioned that at previous schools, they had all exited the closest door. Older kids had to agree to an outdoor designated meeting spot to meet younger siblings. While moving to this model has been a big adjustment, we have seen safety inside and outside the school improve and our pick-up going a lot faster. Students aren’t gathering to play in the front of the school like before. Yesterday, most of the students were gone within 10 minutes of school ending. We hope that after a few days, the routines will be in place and anxiety over this will drop.
I also wanted to clarify some misconceptions about the LSR. I asked Sara Thompson, our behavior specialist, to explain it a little bit better. Here is what she wrote:
“The LSR stands for Life Skills Room and it is a place for students to learn skills that will help them function better in the classroom and with peers. If a student has had 3 warnings in class for the same behavior but continues with that behavior, they are excused from the classroom and brought to the LSR. If a student has a “safe schools” violation they are referred immediately. These are occasions when a student puts themselves, another student, or school property at risk. Once in the LSR, they are given a chance to de-escalate (usually by doing some type of worksheet). Once they have calmed down they fill out a “think sheet” where they write down what they did and how it affected them and those around them. After they finish, I talk with them about other things they could have done so that they have ideas about how to deal differently with situations and the importance of following the rules. Then we try and repair relationships (apologize, write a nice note, return items took, etc.) if needed. And then they return to class! Students who are referred to the LSR three or more times in a month are discussed by our behavior intervention team. If needed, there will be a conference with parents and teachers.”
I hope this helps parents to know of the changes and why we have made them. We realize it is difficult to change routines that might have been in place already. As the school continues to grow, we will re-evaluate and see how things are going. Please don’t hesitate to contact me with any concerns.
Thanks for all you do to make Lakeview a great school for all of our students!