Together we can
Superintendent's Blog

The View From Here

Welcome to The View From Here, a blog by School District of Lancaster Superintendent Dr. Damaris Rau. She publishes about once a week on a range of issues, from topics local to international. Rau is a veteran of 35+ years in education, including stints as teacher and principal in urban and suburban school districts. She has been superintendent of the School District of Lancaster since 2015.

State budget update

The first piece of our budget puzzle has fallen into place. Gov. Wolf unveiled his proposed state budget on Tuesday, including his proposals for education funding. For the School District of Lancaster, the results are mixed. First, the good news. The governor’s proposed budget provides savings to school districts by setting charter payments for cyber […]

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Our budget outlook is challenging

Last week, our school board approved a preliminary budget for the 2020-2021 school year with a projected deficit of more than $10 million. It appears that this will be a budget year as challenging as those SDoL faced in the early 2010s. You may have read in LNP + LancasterOnline that it would take a […]

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Fair Funding and SDoL

Last month, I updated our High School Parent Advisory Committee (PAC) on our school district’s legal case against the PA Department of Education and the idea of fair funding. We are hopeful the case goes to trial this year. It is tentatively scheduled for this summer in Commonwealth Court. In 2016, the state Legislature adopted […]

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How our students are saving $250K+ on college tuition

Last month, I invited Dr. Jeremy Raff, our coordinator of college & career services, to call for reforms that could help low-income, first-generation college students be more successful pursuing higher education. Today, I want to share one key strategy of ours to help these students—dual enrollment—and how you can help. I have spoken about dual […]

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Shining the spotlight on a special partner

On Tuesday, I had the pleasure of attending a special tree-lighting program at Christmas Tree Lane at Clipper Magazine Stadium. The School District of Lancaster is fortunate to have decorated one the trees, thanks to the generosity of our friends at Willow Valley Communities. Hand Middle School decorated the tree. FYI, you can vote for […]

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Congress can help low-income students succeed after high school

The U.S. House of Representatives and Senate this week passed amended versions of the FUTURE Act, which simplifies the FAFSA process for student financial aid. It also permanently reauthorizes funding for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs). For low-income students, federal policy can make or break their pursuit of higher […]

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A call to action

On Thursday, I joined with colleagues from nearly 20 urban schools across Pennsylvania to advocate for our students, teachers, staff and families. Specifically, we called on our leaders in Harrisburg to reform the funding and oversight of charter schools and cyber charter schools in Pennsylvania. Below are my remarks, with some minor edits for space. […]

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Thankful

It is the season of giving thanks, and as our students and staff embark on a much-deserved break, I want to share how thankful I am to continue to lead an amazing group of people in the School District of Lancaster. From the earnestness and resilience of our students, to the passion and professionalism of […]

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Speaking out on civil rights

On Thursday, I traveled to Philadelphia to participate in a briefing meeting on the PA Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. The topic was “Dismantling the School-to-Prison Pipeline: Addressing the Disparate Discipline of Students of Color, Students with Disabilities, & LGBTQ Students.” I shared the good work we are doing in SDoL […]

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A call for mentors

The first of the three primary goals the school board set for our district is: “Ensure all students have equitable opportunities.” As many of you know, I am deeply invested in this goal. Now I am calling on community members to serve as mentors for some of our most at-risk students: black males in our […]

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Together we can!

Welcome to my new blog, The View from Here! The truth is, this blog is about you. As a transplant to Lancaster, I have found this community to be the most caring, committed and innovative place I have ever lived. Our schools benefit immeasurably from the human capital of our students, our families, our volunteers […]

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