Lawrence school board to hear report on curriculum, consider class additions

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Lawrence school board members on Monday will hear a report on the district’s curriculum and structured literacy and consider adding some STEM courses.

District staff members will give board members an “overview of structured literacy initiatives in USD 497, including the Every Child Can Read Act, state Dyslexia requirements, and the professional learning that aligns with the above expectations,” according to the agenda.


A report in the board’s agenda materials shows the district is recommending adding the following classes, all in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math:

  • Algebra 1 in Manufacturing Processes, Entrepreneurship and Design (AMPED)
  • Geometry in Construction
  • Integrated Algebra/Geometry 1
  • Integrated Algebra/Geometry 2
  • Production Methods
  • Project Lead the Way App Creators (MS)

District administrators are not recommending deleting any classes as part of this year’s course updates, according to the agenda.

See the full agenda item and three attachments at this link.

In other business: 

As part of the consent agenda — a list of items that are generally approved with one vote, unless a board member or the superintendent asks to discuss an item: 

Board members will consider approving a pay increase for substitute teachers. 

In August, the board approved a daily sub pay increase to $115 from $105, and long-term sub daily pay to $140 from $130. “In order to remain competitive in substitute pay with surrounding districts and continue to fill certified absences,” new proposed rates would increase daily sub pay to $135 and long-term sub daily pay to $160, according to the agenda. 


The cost increase for this school year will be paid with ESSER III (federal COVID-19 relief) funds, and it will be paid from operating funds for 2024-25 forward, according to the agenda. 

The board will consider purchasing wearable panic alert badge systems for six buildings: Liberty Memorial Central and Billy Mills middle schools, and Deerfield, Cordley, Sunset Hill and Woodlawn elementary schools.

The cost of the project will be split 50/50 with a Safe Schools grant and the district’s operations safety and security capital outlay fund for a district expenditure of $142,200, according to the agenda. 

The board will meet at 6 p.m. Monday, Nov. 27 at district offices, 110 McDonald Drive. 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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Molly Adams / Lawrence Times

Lawrence Indigenous, queer communities and allies mourn death of nonbinary Oklahoma teen

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Members of Native American and queer Lawrence communities joined in solidarity for a vigil in honor of Nex Benedict, a 16-year-old nonbinary student from Oklahoma who died this month after suffering injuries from a fight in the girls’ bathroom at school — the bathroom state law required them to use.


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