SDoL Back to School 2020 Plan

The School District of Lancaster board of directors approved a preliminary phased reopening plan for schools, beginning Aug. 24. The plan is not intended to be comprehensive; it outlines the general schedules, modifications and protocols based on health guidelines.

Read the Full Plan
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Education in the School District of Lancaster

School District of Lancaster is a public school system. Every child has right to go to public school at no cost. What is required to enroll a child at School District of Lancaster? Who are all the people you see in schools? Whom do you talk to if you have a concern or if your child has a problem? At what age children start school, and how long is the school day? What to do if your child must be absent? We have answers and resources to help you transition to school in the United States.












Types of Schools

There are schools for children of different ages:

School Calendar

The U.S. school year begins in late August and ends in early June.  During the school year, children attend school Monday through Friday.  Children do not go to school on Saturday and Sunday.

Teacher/Staff Roles


Administrators do not teach students.  They are in charge of schools.  There are different kinds of administrators:

Superintendent:  The superintendent oversees the entire school district.

Principal: Each school in the district has a principal who oversees the school.  The principal communicates to teachers, students, and students’ families.

Assistant Principal:  Each school has one or more assistant principals who helps the school principal.


Teachers teach the students in the classroom.  There are many different kinds of teachers:

Classroom teachers:  In kindergarten through 5th grade, students usually stay with their classroom teacher for most of the school day.  The classroom teacher usually teaches many school subjects, such as reading, math, social studies, and science.

Content teachers:  In middle school (grades 6-8) and high school (grades 9-12), students have different teachers who specialize in a particular content area, such as English language arts, mathematics, science, social studies, physical education, art, etc….

English Language Development (ELD) teachers:  ELD teachers work with classroom and content teachers to develop English language skills in listening, speaking, reading, and writing, as well as cultural awareness.

Special Education Teacher:  Special education teachers support students who have different learning, emotional, and/or physical needs.

School Staff

Besides teachers, there are many other school staff members who also help students and families, including:

School Counselor:  School counselors advise students throughout their education, helping to choose classes and make schedules, as well as helping with their social, emotional, and behavioral needs.  They can also help get you more information about school and community supports and resources.

School Nurse:  The school nurse helps students who are sick or hurt.

School and Family Resource Specialist (SFRS):  School and Family resource specialists support students and families with various social, behavioral, and physical needs.  They can help support home/school communication by visiting homes and connecting families to school and community services.

School Resource Officer (SRO):  SROs are trained police officers who help keep students and staff safe on school grounds.

Secretary:  The school secretary works in the main office, and can help connect families with administrators and teachers.  They may also keep track of when your child is in school or absent.  You should contact the school secretary or attendance office if your child will not be in school.

Parents Rights vs Responsibilities

As a parent with a child in the U.S. school system, you have both rights and responsibilities.

You have the RIGHT to:

  • Know how your child is doing in school
  • Meet with teachers about your child’s school work and academic progress
  • Know what your child learns in school
  • Ask the school for help if your child has a hard time seeing, hearing, or learning in school
  • Know what school papers mean before you sign them
  • Know what school programs and activities are available and can help your child
  • Know if your child gets in trouble at school and how the school responds
  • Go to school meetings
  • Receive language interpretation services when meeting with teachers or school staff

You are RESPONSIBLE for:

  • Making sure your child goes to school on time, every day, unless they are sick
  • Making sure your child does their homework every day
  • Making sure your child is clean; fed; wears clean clothes, and sleeps well.
  • Making sure your child understands how to act in school and follows the rules made by the teacher.  These rules may include:
    • Children listen to the teacher and do what the teacher tells them.
    • They raise their hands to speak.
    • They stand in line and walk together in school.
    • They do not hit or fight.
    • They do not threaten other children.
    • They do not use bad words.
    • They work with other students.
    • They are on time to class.
    • They finish their homework and bring it back to school.

Supporting your child at home

You may be wondering how, as a parent, you can help support your child’s linguistic and academic progress.  Here are some strategies:

  • Be patient. Understand that learning a language is a complex, long-term process.
  • Learning in a new language takes lots of energy. Ensure that your child gets plenty of rest.
  • Create a quiet place and a regular time to do homework and study.
  • Talk to your child about what is happening at school.
  • Communicate with your child’s teacher and participate in parent-teacher conferences.
  • Encourage your child to show you all school work.
  • Maintain your home language. Being bilingual is a wonderful skill!
  • Read with your child in any Literacy in a home language will transfer and support the development of literacy in English.

Family and Community Resources

  • Refugee Center

  • Community Schools

  • Adult Ed/Literacy Council

  • Health Clinics