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Lakewood to discuss student drug testing April 5

HEBRON – A new policy on student drug testing is in the works. Lakewood currently doesn’t drug test students.

Superintendent Mary Kay Andrews reported at Tuesday night’s regular board meeting that the district’s Drug Testing Taskforce has been working hard. She and the district’s attorney have been reviewing some drafts.

The public will have an opportunity to learn about the policy’s direction at a board meeting at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 5, in the high school library.

In other business at the rather routine meeting Tuesday, Andrews reported that the process was on track to have two Licking County Sheriff’s Office School Resource officer in place when students return from Spring Break on April 2. Andrews said she and Director of District Services Patti Pickering would be participating in the final candidate interviews Wednesday morning at the sheriff’s office. Two appointments were announced Wednesday afternoon (see nearly photo and story).

During board member comments, Jon Lynch thanked the board for its unanimous support for the new officers. “It is sad to see it come to this, but it is necessary,” he said.

The following student achievements were highlighted during the meeting:

• Austin Williamson, Grade 8, as the first Lakewood student to qualify in the State Geography Bee;

• Sarah Reen, Grade 12, for winning the 2018 Ohio Affiliate National Center for Women and Informational Technology Award for Aspirations in Computing;

• Hannah Horsington, Grade 11, for winning first place in the American Legion 6th District Oratorical Contest. She will be competing at the state-level this weekend.

• Madison Darnes, Grade 12, named to the 1st Team All Licking County League (LCL) Bowling; Bowler of the Year; and placed 39th at the state tournament;

• Megan Davis, Grade 12, named to the 1st Team All LCL Basketball; and LCL Player of the Year;

Andrew Hammon, Grade 12, named to the 1st Team All LCL Wrestling;

• Stephen Butsko, Grade 12, named to the 1st Team All LCL Bowling;

• Brandon Allen, Grade 8, placing 4th in the Jr. High State Wrestling Tournament;

• Megan Davis, Grade 12, named to the 1st Team all LCL and Buckeye Division Player of the Year in Girls Basketball; and

• Abby Smith, Sarah Reen, Kelsi Kessler, Brittany Foster, and Brittany Hill as National

Technical Honor Society inductees.

Board President and 6th District American Legion official Steve Thorp announced that Hannah Horsington and Abby Smith would be representing Lakewood at the American Legion Girls State this summer.

Jackson Intermediate School fifth grade student Rayna Booker read her revised third-place Americanism Essay, “Why Our Veterans are American Heroes,” to applause during the meeting.

Lakewood Education Foundation board member Cassie Kane announced that the Energy Coop Round-up Foundation awarded a $6,800 grant to Lakewood Middle School to purchase additional Chrome books.

During her report, Pickering said the district will not be able to offer a free breakfast to all students next school year. A change in government regulations will no longer allow the district to use federal payments to offset expenses to provide free breakfast to students who don’t qualify for free/reduced lunches. Non-qualifying students will have to pay $1 per breakfast next school year. Full pay student lunches will increase from $2.80 to $2.85 to keep up with the state minimum. Board member Tara Houdeshell, who asked that the increase be discussed separately, she said she hoped the change wouldn’t stigmatize students receiving free breakfast, leading to fewer eating breakfast. Pickering said it isn’t obvious as to who is paying and who isn’t. A total of 43 percent of Lakewood students qualify for free/reduced lunches.

Pickering reported that the block has been laid for the security vestibule at the middle school and plumbing has been installed for the new restrooms. Lakewood Pre-School will be moving from Hebron Elementary to Jackson B next school year. The move will require some playground changes and improvements.

Pickering also announced the resignation of Director of Technology and Media Services Justin Post effective April 6, “Justin has done a great job here,” Andrews added. “He will be missed.”

Two coaching positions were also approved:

• Kalynda Thayer as high school assistant girls track coach; and

• Jack Carney-Debord as a volunteer baseball coach.

The Lakewood Drama Club’s annual trip to New York City was approved for March 7 -11, 2019.

High school assistant principal Kevin Krier commented on Lakewood’s version of the National Student Walk-out on March 14. Student board member Eli Russell lead the walkout at the high school. Krier said the objective was to make it a learning experience, meeting with Russell several times. He said about 40 students participated and acted with “class and maturity,” and congratulated Eli.

Middle school principal Jessica Fry said more than 100 students there participated in a “stand-in” in the cafeteria where they stood in silence for 17 minutes in memory of the 17 lives lost in Florida. “I was very proud,” Fry said.

Board members scheduled four meetings in addition to the drug testing policy meeting on April 5. All are open to the public.

• Personnel Committee Meeting: 5 p.m. on Tuesday, April 3, at the Lakewood Administrative Office in Hebron;

• Board Work Session on Facilities: 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 4, in the high school library;

• Regular monthly board meeting: 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 11, in the high school library; and

• Board Work Session of Facilities: 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 18, in the high school library.

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