Gaining a grip on student expectations

Lawrence High School holds orientation for parents of freshmen

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Before completing the journey through Lawrence Middle School, eighth grade students took a tour in May of Lawrence High School, where they’ll spend the next four years. Roughly three months later, their parents received an orientation on student expectations on Aug. 27.

In just over an hour, the parents listened to an overview of Lawrence High School from Principal Dr. Jennifer Lagnado and each grade’s assistant principal, learning what will be expected of their child.

Originally scheduled to take place in the high school’s Little Theater, the event moved to the auditorium, the recently renovated space has air conditioning. Before addressing the room, which housed more than two dozen parents, Lagnado said, “I hope they see all the incredible resources that we have to offer, academics, extracurricular activities and improvement projects.”

Rosaline Fernandez, the mother of an incoming freshman, said that she wanted to hear more about what they offer besides academics. “What sort of fun stuff do they have to help keep them focused,” she wondered. “Their procedures for bullying and fighting, too.”

One point that Lagnado drove home was the goal of ensuring the students are accomplished in multiple fields. She noted that Lawrence High School offers 560 different courses, more than 40 clubs and 36 sports programs. “Being a well-rounded student is very important for getting into college these days,” she said.

After citing the requirements for graduation and then noting the diverse levels of courses, including Advanced Placement, which are college level courses, Lagnado introduced each of the assistant principals for grades nine through 12. This is part of the reason why Naomi Ostrow wanted to attend, she said. “I wanted to meet the key administrators,” she said. “Besides just seeing how the school runs on a day-to-day basis.”

The assistant principals spoke in the order of their assigned grades, Kathleen Stanley first, then William Moss, John Valentine and Christian Paulino. “If your children have any questions or concerns about anything at all … they should come into the main office,” Stanley said.

Moss explained why it’s important for students to start planning their academic schedule immediately. Valentine, who like the students is about to start his first year at Lawrence High, covered the necessity of student ID cards to enter and move around the building. Paulino, in his second year at the high school, covered some of the security measures, such as vape detectors in the bathrooms and cameras that cover the entire campus.