Lakota Schools: 5 things to know for back to school

Here are 5 things to know as Lakota Local Schools starts a new school year Wednesday, Aug. 16:

1. Mark these important upcoming dates:

  • Wednesday, Aug. 16: First day of school
  • Friday, Aug. 18: Lakota West home football game vs. Sycamore, 7 p.m. at 8940 Union Centre Blvd.
  • Friday, Sept. 1: No school for students (teacher development day)
  • Friday, Sept. 8: Lakota East home football game vs. Princeton, 7 p.m. at 6840 Lakota Lane

MORE: 5 things you may not know about Lakota Schools

2. New superintendent takes the helm

While the 22 schools of Lakota Local Schools — the eighth largest in Ohio — are largely the same, the superintendent now leading its 16,500 students isn’t.

Matt Miller — a much heralded superintendent from Mentor Schools in northern Ohio — now directs Southwest Ohio’s largest suburban district.

Explore MORE: 5 questions with Lakota’s new superintendent

3. More social media presence

Miller established Lakota’s first district Twitter account and has been a one-man tweet storm in recent weeks — posting photos and impressions as he visits various schools and meets with staffers.

Explore STORY & VIDEO: New Lakota leader hits social media hard in first weeks

“I’m a big believer in the power of social media as a way of sharing information, but also gathering feedback,” said Miller, a Cincinnati native returning back to his home region.

“That’s why we’ve established a new Twitter account for Lakota, with many of our schools coming on board too. Our new hashtag, #WEareLakota, is starting to pick up steam too and is a great way to catch just a glimpse of what’s happening in our schools,” said Miller.

“Parent and community engagement continues to be a big focus this year. A whole host of back-to-school events have really helped us start building relationships with parents and students even before the start of school,” he said.

4. New faces could join school board

The filing deadline to be included on the November 2017 ballot for Lakota school board has passed. Here’s a look at who is running for three open seats:

  • Jason A. Baldwin
  • Kelley Casper
  • Ernest Duane Gause
  • Bradley R. Lovell
  • Ray Murray (incumbent)
  • Todd M. Parnell (incumbent)
Explore MORE: Former longtime Lakota board member running for West Chester trustee

5. Opening of Boys and Girls Club of West Chester/Liberty

The future center of after-school youth activities for West Chester and Liberty townships is being built ahead of schedule.

Originally the two-story, 30,000 square-foot club rising from the site of the former Lakota Union School in Olde West Chester — 8735 Cincinnati Dayton Road — was estimated to open in late December or January 2018.

Explore RELATED: Township, schools, police discuss new youth club programs

But Patti Alderson, board of director member for the club and leader of its private $9 million fundraising goal, said the center is ahead of its original construction schedule and could open as early as November.

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