Lufkin community forum helping the community stay in the know

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - The Lufkin Independent School District has many new things to offer this school year, and the district wants parents and the community to be "in the know" about what's going on each step of the way. The first panther community forum was held Tuesday night.

The school year is off to a great start with a new superintendent. The panther community forum was a chance for any and everyone to learn about many new things.

"Some of the things that we have that are new is our student health services. We now have nurses on every campus," said Lufkin ISD Director of Communications Sheila Adams.

Prior to this new change some of the 15 campuses did not have a nurse on staff. Superintendent Dr. LaTonya Goffney said other staff members had to help with a student's medical needs.

"We had campus receptionists and campus secretaries dispensing medication to kids," Goffney said. "Well, that wasn't an ideal method of taking care of our kids."

The health services aren't the only new expansions within LISD.

Board member Dr. Keven Ellis said safety is still a number one priority and with the help of campus officers they're able to take a proactive approach to truancy.

"Some of the things that have also changed is we now patrol all 15 campuses," Ellis said. "The board recently approved the addition of two police vehicles for the police department."

Some of these officers are also parents and take pride in each student's safety.

There is now only one entrance at the middle school campus and at each elementary.

Another big change will be through communication and technology.

"We now have a Facebook page; it's Lufkin ISD. We also have a twitter page. So, it's pretty neat for us to be able to communicate with the public," Adams said. "This is whether good or bad."

The school district is also revamping their web site and adding many new things.

"It's definitely in a construction stage but within the next month you'll see some great things. One of the things that will be on my page is a 'rumor has it page'. So, you email me the rumor and I will squash it," Adams said. "I will let you know what the truth is."

Questions and answers will also be posted on for anyone to review.

Sheila Adams said with recent budget cuts and hopes to provide raises for teachers, Lufkin High School, Lufkin Middle School and Brandon Elementary will allow students to bring their technology devices to school.

"We've implemented this as a piloting a program. Basically we're allowing students to access information on the web with permission from their teacher," Adams said. "It will be for educational purposes."

Adams said these open forums will  be held quarterly. The next one will be in November and everyone is invited to attend.

"I think that this really gives them an outlet to come out, and ask questions, and to really find those answers that they've been looking for," Adams said.

Copyright 2013 KTRE. All rights reserved.