Lubbock-Cooper ISD was selected as the May Business of the Month. Read below to discover how LCISD plans to address current and future needs of the students. ____________________________________________________________
In recent years, Lubbock-Cooper ISD has become a “destination district,” a term coined by the Fast Growth Schools Coalition. This describes communities where growth is fueled not necessarily by traditional factors like booming industry or real estate availability, but by the stellar reputation of the local school district.
Proactively accommodating rapidly growing enrollment has been a challenge supported by the LCISD community. In 2016, voters passed a $208 million bond (the largest in district history) which allowed for the construction of the new East Elementary campus, a rebuild of the South Elementary campus, and several other facilities to host student growth now and in the future. The sense of community is strong in LCISD, and many residents take pride in the growth and accomplishments of the district, evidenced by the formation of community support organizations. The Lubbock-Cooper Ambassador Program, a school board-outreach initiative made up of over a hundred district parents, meets quarterly to learn district plans and offer input. The Lubbock-Cooper Education Foundation, established just five years ago, has already funneled more than half a million dollars into LCISD campuses through community donations.
There’s a reason the community is so invested in their school. The district’s vision statement, “Building the future, one student at a time,” has become a call to action for educators and administrators as they strive to meet each student on an individual level in terms of learning style and support needs.
“As the number of students we serve grows, so does the number of life paths for which we should be building a foundation,” says LCISD Superintendent Keith Bryant. “Students have very individual ideas, interests, capabilities, and plans. What they have in common is the ability to succeed, and it is our job to foster that.”
At Lubbock-Cooper, the path to individual success launches the moment a child is enrolled. Elementary students are met with a learning environment unlike the classrooms mom and dad sat in years ago. Soft seating is available for those who need a little more freedom to wiggle while they learn, or those who have a difficult time focusing in a rigid, sometimes uncomfortable, hard-backed chair. Students have a variety of methods available for completing schoolwork, as well. Some students may present a project using the video feature of their tablet, while others may utilize a more traditional pencil-and-paper route. Some may be more comfortable researching using a familiar search engine on a classroom computer, while others may prefer poring over topical books in the campus library.
While this environment may sound overwhelming to some, Lubbock-Cooper educators have found the opposite to be true. Students seem to focus better and retain more when they are given ownership over their learning experience. The freedom to, with guidance, select the learning style that best works for them creates an investment from the student.
While younger Lubbock-Cooper students may not realize they have already begun constructing their paths through discovering the learning styles and interests that best serve them, secondary students are increasingly aware of their future beyond LCISD. College-bound students have access to a variety of preparatory courses, many of which allow students to simultaneously receive high school and college credits in core courses. Students preparing to enter the workforce are met with a growing availability of Career and Technical Education programs, including health sciences, digital and interactive media, agriculture, building trades, fashion and interior design, cosmetology, welding, and more.
The horizon looks bright for the Pirates of Lubbock-Cooper ISD, and the innovative ideas keep coming. This fall, the district will roll out its School-wide Application of iPads for Learning (SAiL) program, a 1:1 device initiative designed to put an iPad into the hands of every student for educational purposes. The goal of this community-supported push is to literally place opportunity at the fingertips of every LCISD student. The district also plans to supplement evolving student interests with the implementation of orchestra and swimming programs with the start of the 2019-20 school year.