Welcome back to Lonoke Schools for the 2013-14 school year! We have had an extremely busy summer full of lots of interviews and recommendations for hire as we work to replace open positions throughout the district. Construction of the new Gina Cox Center is almost ready for the grand opening event to occur on Aug. 10, 2013; at 3 p.m. Doors will open for seating at 2:30 p.m. Tours will follow the grand opening ceremony.

Repairs and general maintenance of the facilities has been done to keep our buildings looking nice and in good condition. The new C.O.R.E. (Committed to Other Routes of Education) center, located at the Carver Campus, has received some minor repairs in preparation for the students who will participate in the program. Students from Carlisle and Hazen will also participate in this new program if they meet the criteria guidelines for entry.

We are looking forward to a wonderful school year full of lots of learning and providing assistance, support and love to each child, every day. Thank you to all the parents, grandparents, volunteers, and community leaders and members that have so graciously been providing support to our students, faculty, staff, and administration. It is important for everyone to work together for the success of the students. If you have questions throughout the school year, please feel free to contact the school and speak to one of the building leaders regarding student or staff matters. If your question involves district matters, please contact the Superintendent’s office.

We have three new administrators at Lonoke for the upcoming school year, Marc Sherrell, high school principal; Jennifer Barbaree, elementary principal; and Rebecca Reed, primary principal. We hope to see everyone at the upcoming "Open House Night" for each campus to meet these new leaders as well as the new faculty and staff members. Coach Dean Campbell will be the dean of students at primary. Andrew Duncan will be the dean of students at the elementary, and Coach Drake Widener will be the dean of students at the C.O.R.E. to provide assistance to the building administration. Rosalynd Kelleybrew will be the assistant principal at the middle school, and Karen Gibbs will be the assistant principal at the high school. Please see any of these leaders during the school year regarding student, teacher, or building level issues. They are willing and ready to provide assistance to you and your child.

School begins on Aug. 19 at 8 a.m. Open house dates have been set and are as follows:

•Primary: Monday, August 12, 2013 at 5:30 p.m. for pre-kindergarten and kindergarten in the cafeteria

First grade and second grade at 6:15 p.m. on Aug. 12, in the cafeteria.

•Elementary- 5-6:30 p.m. to tour and drop off school supplies; third grade parent meeting is Tuesday, August 13, at 5 p.m. Fourth grade parent meeting is 5:30 p.m., and fifth grade parent meeting is at 6 p.m. Meetings will be located in the gym area of the elementary building.

Classroom meetings with teachers will be held following parent meetings with the administration. Third grade will be 5:30 p.m. Fourth grade will be 5 p.m., and fifth grade will be at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 13.

•Middle School- Tuesday, Aug. 13, at 6:30 p.m. for sixth grade and 7:30 p.m. for seventh and eighth grade in the gym

•High School- ninth grade at 6:45 p.m. and 10-12 grades at 7:30 p.m. in the new high school cafeteria on Monday, Aug. 12.

C.O.R.E. - Lonoke students on Aug. 12 at 6:30 p.m. and Carlisle and Hazen students will be at 7 p.m. at the Carver Campus.

School supply lists are available at Wal-Mart in Lonoke and Cabot. Lists are also available on the website and at each school campus. Please follow traffic laws by not talking on your cell phone when dropping off or picking up your child or own the school campus when school is in session and students are present. Also, please drop off your child no earlier than 7:30 as our duty personnel are not on duty before that time. Please remember to buzz in upon entering the school campuses where our children and staff reside during the school day. This is to provide extra protection for everyone. Thank you for your cooperation in helping to keep our children as safe as possible while they are under our care.

Our school district has been hit once again with the loss of a school board member, Chris James, school board member for five years. The school district and the Lonoke community has lost a great person who contributed much to everyone he came in contact and had such a giving and kind heart for others. The district lost Ray Kelleybrew, long-time board member, earlier in the 2012-13 school year. Both these fine men will be truly missed in the upcoming school year.