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LBHS Principal Ross Details Campus Progress

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Lake Belton High School Principal Jill Ross provided an update on the campus’s progression to the Belton ISD Board of Trustees at its November 18, 2019 monthly meeting. In addition to the construction of the building, which has progressed to include more than 90% of exterior walls complete, Ross detailed the significant work underway regarding the hiring of personnel, purchasing of instructional material and planning for student activities.

Planning for curriculum and instruction has been among one of the most significant behind-the-scenes work involved in developing a new high school.

“This build has really been designed for function,” Ross said. “We want to encourage our staff and students to be critical thinkers, collaborate, be creative, and analyze. So, we have worked to create a building that emphasizes all of those activities.”

An important next step is purchasing, and Ross has been working closely with the Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction Dr. Deanna Lovesmith and her team to identify what resources are needed to ensure teachers and students have necessary learning materials.

Fine Arts is a major part of the development process. While the official band name is still to come, new LBHS Head of Bands Bobby Yerigan has been diligently working to identify what is needed for when ninth and tenth graders start in August 2020.

On November 21, Future LBHS Bronco Band members will be viewing two uniform sample options, providing feedback on their favorite, and offer input on a school song and fight song. A number of these students were also part of a focus group in the fall that gathered to look over uniform drawings and identify likes and dislikes.

“Next year is a 4A advancing year for marching contests,” Ross said about the need to purchase the right quality and quantity of resources. “We have pretty high expectations. We want to see them come out of the district contest and perform well.”

Choirs and choral groups have yet to be named, however the Choir Director position will be posted online in January. Performance uniforms will also be designed.

The Theatre Director position will also be posted in January, and will be followed up with decisions on what performances will be produced in 2020–2021 by the initial ninth and tenth grade thespians.

Current Belton High School teachers were given a staff survey in October that asked their preference for working at BHS or LBHS. Staff transfers will occur over the next three years as each new grade level is added. The first wave of notifications for staff will go out in December; however, Career and Technical Education, for example could take longer because staffing decisions are based on student course requests.

Some campus leadership positions have been posted including the head football coach. Current Belton High School Assistant Principal Brian Gill will begin a new position as AP at LBHS when the campus opens next August.

The final item Ross highlighted was work on campus culture, such as the mascot costume, bronco and horseshoe logo, yearbooks and letter jackets.

“The yearbook publishers are great,” Ross said. “They understand we’re going to open with a small student body, but it needs to not be a small student book.”

Ross concluded her presentation by thanking a number of departments that have been instrumental in the planning, designing, construction, purchasing and staffing of LBHS

“It really takes every department across the district working together to be ready,” she said.