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First Day of School: Long But Satisfying For Educators

By Peter Day
For some Lucerne Valley Unified School District staff members, the first day of school on August 8 started early and ended late. But that long day brought home the realization that a lot of exciting things are happening at Lucerne Valley schools.
At the Middle High School, Assistant Superintendent/Principal Nate Lambdin and his staff arrived to the campus early to prepare for the students. He and several administrations were still busy at the regular monthly school board meeting that night.
“Capt. Jared Blevens (who oversees the new California Cadet Corps program) had a great first day,” he said, and new Introduction fo Medical Pathways instructor James “Tom” Hodkinson also had a successful first day.
Also, all 341 students at the campus were issued their personal Chromebook laptop computers, thanks to the 1:1 Chromebook Classroom initiative. Earlier in the week, school counselor Rebecca Rubio conducted a suicide prevention class for LVMHS teachers, he said.
Lambdin also complimented the summer crew — maintenance and information technology staff, in particular — for performing a number of duties during the summer. The IT department set up the new media center while the maintenance staff helped construct additional handicapped parking spaces and ramps. He also was impressed that the maintenance team were able to replace a water heater and fix an electronic gate, which saved thousands of dollars.
“Their work was just incredible,” Lambdin said. “Not only do they have the ability, but they have the willingness.”
During the summer, Lambdin and team of teachers attended the AVID Summer Institute, FFA advisors Danielle Hickman and Troy Van Bavel went to the State California Agriculture Teachers Association Summer Conference, and Cindy Lazenby and Brian Hood attended the Expository Reading and Writing Course Two-Day Update. Other summer conferences also were attended by the school’s teachers.
LVMHS will hold its Back To School Night on Wednesday, August 28.
Lucerne Valley Elementary School also benefited from the hard work of staff members during the summer, according to Assistant Superintendent/Principal Burt Umstead.
“Our facility looks the greatest it’s ever looked,” he said.
A few days before school started, staff members received training in Restorative Practices, which helps foster a positive, healthy school climate.
All of the preparation made for a great first day at the elementary school. “The first day was incredibly smooth,” Lambdin said.
The elementary school also has added Ricky Anderson to its administration team. Anderson is the Assistant Administrator of Academic Improvement.
“I get to learn from (former coaching great) Vince Lombardy over here,” Anderson said.
The LVES Back to School Night will be held at 5 p.m. on Thursday, August 15.
Superintendent Peter Livingston complemented the staff for a fantastic first day of school.
“Kudos to everyone,” Livingston said. “I think we’re off to a great start, a great day one.”
In Discussion/Action Items, the LVUSD Board of Trustees approved the following:

• a membership agreement with the San Bernardino County District Advocates for Better Schools (SANDABS)

• a proposal for a new projector to replace an out-of-date projector at the elementary school

• a Career and Technical Teacher Externship and Participation Agree with General Atomics Aeronautical Systems

• a Special Services Agreement between the school district and Justin Cunningham for consulting services related to administration and oversight of the District’s charter schools

• a provisional internship perform for new art teacher Kristin Czech

• and, a recommendation for Jared Blevens to lead the Cadet Corps at the Middle High School.