Cougar Connection: June 30, 2020

Dear Lakewood Middle School Community,

It is my honor to share with you the first edition of the Cougar Connection newsletter for the 2020-2021 school year. In addition to informational emails, the Cougar Connection will be key in maintaining strong lines of communication between school and home. My hope is this newsletter, which will be sent each week during the school year, will help foster that all too important relationship. I look forward to working together as we commit ourselves to our school's mission of advancing personal and academic growth through meaningful relationships.

A Brief Introduction

Welcome to the Lakewood Middle School community! I wanted to take a moment to share a little bit about myself. I have worked in the Blue Valley School District since 2003 and am looking forward to my fifth year as the principal of Lakewood Middle School. During the last four years at LKMS I have learned that our learning community is a very positive, child-centered learning environment that is committed to providing exceptional opportunities for our students to grow both academically and personally. Prior to serving this great community, I was the principal of Indian Valley Elementary for six years. Before working with the students, parents, and staff of Indian Valley, I worked as the assistant principal at Oxford Middle School, was the district's first elementary-level administrative intern at Oak Hill Elementary, and was a classroom teacher at a variety of grade levels. I received my bachelor's degree in elementary education from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. I received my master's degree in school leadership and then a few years later a doctorate of education in educational leadership from Baker University. On a personal note, my wife of seventeen years, Leah, is a first grade teacher at Cottonwood Point Elementary. We are loving life with our thirteen year old daughter, Adria, our eleven year old son, Isaac, and our seven year old sons Eli and Owen. During my free time I enjoy being outside, following Kansas City area sports teams, and visiting new places.

As the beginning of the school year approaches, especially during this unprecedented time due to COVID-19, I want to reiterate the fact that it is my goal to ensure your child has a positive, safe, and unprecedented learning experience at Lakewood Middle School. I am committed to improving the academic performance and encouraging the personal growth of each student. If there is anything I can do to further enhance your child’s experience, please never hesitate to ask.

Back to School Update
The safety and well-being of our students, staff, and community is our priority. Typically during this time of the year we communicate details for our back to school events. As the future impact of COVID-19 is unpredictable and requires that we plan for multiple scenarios, please know that information regarding back to school activities specific to LKMS will be communicated at a later date. Thank you for your patience as we follow guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Kansas Department of Education.

Reminder! Families interested in virtual education option for 2020-21 encouraged to fill out interest form
Is your family interested in the virtual education option for the 2020-21 school year? If so, please complete a preliminary Intent to Enroll in BV Virtual Education. Completing this three-question form does not commit you to enroll. It is just an expression of interest to help us gauge how many families we would be potentially planning instruction and staffing for. 

Blue Valley Schools will move forward with a virtual option to provide parents choice in what you as parents/guardians believe is most appropriate for your child’s needs. This option will allow a student to remain a Blue Valley student, but “attend” school online each day. While we still have many details to work through, a virtual program offering would have these key elements:

  • Built and powered by Blue Valley 
  • Instruction by Blue Valley teachers
  • Mirrors Blue Valley curriculum and standards
  • Includes live instruction with a mix of online activities, lessons and assessments

We will be coming back to families asking for a final commitment once we have been able to communicate full details of the virtual option in mid-July.

Register for the 2020-21 school year today
Middle school registration for the 2020-21 school year is open and online now. Registration is required annually and is the time to update your child’s information.

Important registration details

  • NEW! Partial payment option will be available this year to provide needed financial flexibility for families. 
  • Fee payment will be extended to July 30, 2020, to help families with changing financial situations.
  • Families have access to pay all required and optional fees with the exception of the following fees. Stay tuned for information on these fees later this summer.
    • Middle school activity programming fees
    • Middle school course fees
    • Student and/or family activity passes for 2020-21 school year 
  • Flexibility will be provided for families needing to upload updated immunization records and sports physicals as stay-at-home orders have impacted access to healthcare providers.

Completing registration now confirms that your child will attend school in August. Thank you for providing important information and parent permissions as part of the registration process. For more information about registration, visit

Welcome New Staff Members
One of the most important aspects of a successful school is having dedicated, caring, and professional staff members work with its students. Many hours were spent over the last 3 months interviewing and hiring people who we believe are excellent staff members to work with your child(ren). Please join me in welcoming the newest members of our learning community:

  • Alexis Messerly, School Psychologist
  • Haley Knudsen, Theatre and Modern Communications
  • Tori Loepp, Vocal Music
  • Kristin Callison, Physical Education