Lawrence school board to hear update on middle school redesign committee

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The Lawrence school board, meeting Tuesday to avoid conflicting with Yom Kippur, will hear a report on the committee that is working to redesign or repurpose Liberty Memorial Central Middle School.

District administrators had suggested repurposing LMCMS as a themed or magnet school as part of recommended budget cuts back in February. Lawrence school board members, however, voted to delay any changes and instead establish a committee to spend a year investigating the idea.


The committee, which includes three administrators, a counselor and 10 teachers, has met 11 times, beginning in April. Patrick Kelly, chief academic officer, and Shaun Hanson, director of secondary curriculum, this week will give the board an update on the committee’s progress, according to the agenda.

Specifically, the committee has been tasked with coming up with recommendations on the following, according to the agenda item:
“1) repurposing LMCMS with a special curricular focus,
2) boundary shifts aiming for a more equitable distribution of socio-economic status within the student body,
3) contingencies for the possible elimination of the middle school second plan time, and
4) other related curriculum adjustments.”

The committee received 492 responses to a family survey and 236 responses to a staff member survey, according to the agenda. One finding in the report is that “Top student enrollment requests are STEAM-based” — Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math. The report states that data is also emphasizing project-based learning, interdisciplinary teaching and community partnerships.

The board will not vote on anything related to LMCMS on Tuesday, according to the agenda.

School board members will also hear a report on the capital improvement plan for the next five years and consider approving it.

The meeting will end with an executive session, or closed-door meeting, with Brad Finkeldei, counsel for the school district, according to the agenda.

The board will meet at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 26 at district offices, 110 McDonald Drive. The district announced last week that this meeting, which would usually be held on Monday, would be moved to Tuesday to honor community members who are celebrating the most holy day in the Jewish year.

Meetings are open to the public, livestreamed on the district’s YouTube channel,, and broadcast on Midco channel 26. Full meeting agendas are available on BoardDocs.

To give public comment during the board meeting, sign up before the meeting starts either in person or by emailing Commenters may request to participate by Webex video/phone conferencing.

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