6-12 Principal

Phone: 605-837-2171

Email:

Degrees and Certifications:

Mr. Robert Lukens

Welcome to the Kadoka Area School District! I’m Robert Lukens, and this is my second year as 6-12 principal in Kadoka Area Schools. A North Dakota native, I have been active in several districts across the Midwest as a teacher, coach, paraprofessional, and administrative intern. I grew up working on my family’s farm, I have a masters in science education, and am pursuing a doctorate of educational leadership.

My wife, Jenn, and my two sons Elijah and Sylas look forward to being part of the Kadoka Area. We are so humbled and excited to serve you and your family this year.

  • Kougar Column 6-30-2022

    Posted by Robert Lukens on 6/30/2022
    Dear Kadoka Area,
    The summer is speeding by; it is with great excitement that I write to you today as a common task of teachers in the summer is increasing their knowledge and competency in the ever-changing world of education. I have been working on expanding my understanding of education, and I see others also have. How does this work for teachers?
    There are typically three avenues that teachers can use to expand skills in the summer, and many times each route can take place in concert with each other. First is experiential jobs, such as summer school or online learning course instruction. Next, higher education courses are available through our regional and state universities and departments—lastly, certificate and specialist certifications through national and regional professional organizations.
    Teachers often prefer experiential jobs because they are one of the few summer avenues that can pay a stipend, salary, or hourly wage along with the ability to work with and expand their value as an employee of a district. Although you do not necessarily have to sign a summer job with your school district, often, like our summer program here in Kadoka, teachers stay and learn in their district. However, I have known teachers to take summer teaching and growth positions in other communities for various reasons. Working with large groups of children and students is a skill that can be sharpened and valuable to schools.
    Higher education courses are constantly available to teachers in many states, such as our native South Dakota, where all educators must complete a certain amount of specific credits to maintain a license to teach. I am pursuing this option this summer. Classes I have personally taken over my career have allowed me to improve my skills, meet wonderful people who help me and form a core group that will enable us all to grow in our young careers.
    The final piece of learning is certificate and specialist certifications that are available. While there is no replacing real work experiences in a topic, educators often need empathy for their students and coworkers to enhance their skills as a teacher. As an administrator, I have taken these courses to help myself better understand diverse cultures and specific educational challenges and build an understanding of upcoming challenges that may arise.
    While summer learning is not required, many educators go the extra mile every year, improving staff and child outcomes in all aspects. We are excited to have a great Kadoka Area School District team that regularly engages in these functions. It is a privilege to work with them.
    Sincerely,
    Mr. Lukens
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  • Kougar Column 6-23-2022

    Posted by Chad Eisenbraun on 6/21/2022

    Hello Kadoka Area,

    This week, I write in encouragement. Sometimes, education takes a back seat to the community we serve, and I feel this is the time. Recently, storms have rocked our families in our district's northern and central parts. Reports of no power for many days and families who lost all their food have surfaced, and my heart goes out to them. 

    The Dakotas have seen many natural disasters since its founding as a territory. However, our success as a settlement makes the losses of each occurrence all the more costly. For whatever reason, I have had to live and see a few historic natural disasters in my time here. These events include the flood of 1997 in Grand Forks, ND, where I was born and raised; the Northwood, ND tornado of 2007, where I graduated high school; and the 2009 floods of Stutsman County, ND, where I went to college. However, the 2022 storms of western South Dakota have shaken the core of many in our district. 

    One common theme I have seen in so many in all of the events I have experienced is the ability to get up, stay positive, and face the challenges of what mother nature brings us in the Dakota seasons. I don't think it matters the area of the Dakotas; a majority of us recognize we can't control everything. However, we do what we can, when we can do it. This spirit will serve us well as we try to recover from damage to our belongings, and we are thankful that we have people around us to support us in that attitude. It is what makes me proud to call the Midwest home. 

    In support of the Kougars,

    Mr. Lukens

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  • Kougar Column 6-9-2022

    Posted by Robert Lukens on 6/9/2022

    Dear Kadoka Area,
        The summer has fully arrived. I am so excited to go out into the community and see our students working summer jobs and developing skills that complement their knowledge base in our hallways. From counting change at the local restaurants, our local farms, and our city positions of a wide variety. Everywhere I go, I see the work of our great students coming forward. Thank you, community, for being the focal point that supplies the hands-on skill development that every school needs. 
        Our K-12 online learning program, middle school, and high school are now done for the year, and I am buttoning up some of the finer points of our school year. There is still so much that even our smallest learners can take in with the summer months. This past Memorial Day, my family was able to go camping in the Black Hills. My young sons were able to take in the inner workings of Jewel Cave, the largest cave in North America. 
        While my sons were only able to take in a fraction of the whole 212 miles of vast underground landscape. They were completely engaged in the experience as they took to the hands-on learning programs of the "Junior Ranger" system the park produces for the students that walk into the exhibit. As I went through that experience with my family, I asked myself, could I have put together a better learning experience for kids than my sons were going through with all the background I have accumulated in education? Quite decisively, I decided that I could not.                 
        While our best teachers have a skill that is to be coveted, even the best understand that sometimes, less is more. As my youngest walked from place to place to earn his 'ranger' badge, we learned about wildlife, water flow, air pressure, and some very advanced topics in a simple, digestible format for all learners.      
        As we went around the area, kids from ages teens to age three fully engaged in studying the environment and all things you might find in state and national parks. The amount of differentiation in learning provided by our park service to develop learners' love and interest in science was a joy to experience. While I stood with my toddler, he asked questions about birds and eggs and the places they grow. I felt a feeling of pleasure to watch him grow. It was truly unique.
        Still more, the KAHS National Honor Society was lucky enough to be selected by the South Dakota Housing Authority to paint the local home of Susan Davidson. The whole story can be viewed on our website. However, much like seeing our students in the workforce, the idea of our top students learning how to change a community truly is rewarding. These are our future leaders; as they are in our student body, they will be the ones that find a way to solve the problems of our future. That only comes with a service to others, as a skill they are learning this summer.
        Again, we are a diverse society, and many learners come from many different backgrounds. However, in the summer, we, the school and families, get a chance to really develop the differences of our interests to set them up for a lifetime of success.  
        This summer, consider taking the time to develop your student's interests, whatever that may entail. The summer will go fast, and so will the time our students have in our Kadoka Area School System. I look forward to seeing them all return and tell about what they learned next fall.

    Sincerely,

    Mr. Robert Lukens

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  • Kougar Column 6-2-2022

    Posted by Robert Lukens on 6/3/2022

    Dear Kadoka Area,
        This week, I will write about how our state's commitment to dual credit courses could potentially impact how we think about early childhood education. Can delay decisions on accelerated learning in public schools? What are the potential effects of this on the high school level as we go forward?
        In the Kadoka Area School District, we provide dual credit classes from our state universities that count as a high school credit and college credit for the student. Students are eligible to start taking these classes the summer before their junior year through their graduation from our district. The district does cover some of the extra cost of taking these classes and allows the student to have a focused 'dual-credit' hour to advise an on-site staff with problems that may arise with the courses in the online portal.
        Since 2000, students taking dual credit classes have risen exponentially across the United States. The use of dual credit enrollments rose 753 percent between 2000 and 2017. In our current environment, it is common for students with substantial academic achievement to graduate with 30 college credits when entering the higher education portal. Typically, school districts, including KAHS, have high academic entrance standards for students who are allowed to take dual-credit classes.
        With this rise in high educational achievement at the high school level, what implications does it have for the system? Recently, I was able to take part in a roundtable discussion with educators and administrators from across the United States and talk about the current issues of the present educational system. One of the topics discussed was retention at the elementary and middle school level. Research shows that some brains do not mature until age 26 after our prized graduates walk across the 8th-grade graduation stage at age 14. 
        The idea has been presented that kids are often held back in early elementary school, kindergarten or younger, to increase physical maturity in sports. Dual credits seem to expand this discussion. If students' minds are mature enough in the high school years, they can save families thousands of dollars in high education costs by being mature enough to take dual credit courses in their high school years.  
        As the roundtable discussed, building a foundation of maturity for students in the early years can pay dividends for families who commit to helping their children learn and gain the skills that will be the bedrock of their educational growth in K-12 schooling. Many times, families consider the cost of having their child in their household an extra year as an expense when deciding when and how to invest in early childhood education. Still, a trend could be erupting in education that was insolated to athletics previously. A higher occurrence of older early childhood entrants could be coming in the United States.
        Recently, a student from North Dakota was in the news because she was the first in that state to earn an entire associate's degree and graduate two years of college before she could give her speech at her high school graduation. At the University of South Dakota, the cost of credit is $354 each. If a student at KAHS can complete their 60 credits of an associate's degree before graduation, they would save the family over $21,000 in tuition costs.  
        While missing two years of higher education is not going to be a typical result for any child, it is essential to recognize that, indeed, it is about the timing of the decision. There is no exact science as to when and how to be a parent and work through the primary years of education; it is essential to recognize that every child is different and will grow at a different pace. Families may find it attractive to decide to accelerate the growth of their student's education at age 16 instead of age 5, allowing them to understand better the child's skills and desire to achieve. Time will tell if the pattern of later entrance into early childhood and early entry into dual credit courses becomes more commonplace. Still, recent conversations advocate that it isn't going away.

    Sincerely,

    Robert Lukens

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  • Kougar Column 5-26-2021

    Posted by Robert Lukens on 5/26/2022

    Dear Kadoka Area,

     

                  As we set into summer, I hope to continue weekly communication through this medium for the district. Consistency and access are chief factors in education and engagement for any form of attention. However, the topics we explore will shift from what is happening in our hallways to what we, as educators, do to prepare ourselves for the next school year. In the United States, we are unique because we operate on an agriculture calendar in our schools. In many ways, this still makes sense in the Dakotas, where I have spent a large part of my educational career, and will probably make even more sense in 9-12 as we advance.

                  Today, I will look back on the past three years and give some thoughts we could have learned in the outset of Covid-19 and the fallout. As schools and a society, we hope to move away from the most disruptive and transformative time in public education to an altered place of normalcy. Again, these thoughts are my own, and my experiences are unique, so you as a reader may agree or disagree, but please know I respect your opinion. As a resident of our district, I would love for you to stop by my office this summer and chat about our education at KAHS.

                  The four observations I want to reflect on are the value of teachers, online education, personalized learning, and the foundation of family engagement. While each is interrelated, they tested to the limit, and we learned quite a bit about them during our time of the pandemic.

                  The pandemic pronounced the need and emphasis that must be placed on quality instructors and teaching in our classrooms. MAPS, a national testing organization used in schools nationwide, saw as much as a 20% drop in learning retention levels for students strictly online in the grades 9-12 in a biannual review from January 2020 to January 2022.   Ultimately, the faster schools can get their students in person for instruction safely, the better the adjustment graduates will have in filling in for the workforce and applying to higher education institutions without remedial intervention classes. In Indian country, this is ancient wisdom, and advances have recently been reported by technology companies attempting to fill the gaps in other mediums tried in distance learning. However, at this time, nothing shows an effect of a fully engaged classroom and teacher on learning data. Districts that prioritize this method should benefit going forward.

         The next topic is an online education portal that was tested and used more than it ever has. In Kadoka Area, we currently use a division of the Black Hills Special Services Cooperative, also known as Black Hills Online Learning (BHOL), as our primary online education provider for our students. I will be the first to say that the team at BHOL is as good as I have seen. The quality of education they produce is superior to other programs I have used. However, our state Smarter Balance Test data does not support the idea that students will tend to score as high in 9-12 as a student in the classroom at this time. Although we have seen some high scores produced due to the team's outstanding work at Black Hills Online, they are not as frequent as those engaged as in-person students. 

                  As I am the point person for k-12 in our online program at KAHS, I can honestly assess that the benefits of online education are more significant in 9-12 than in any other area, and if my son/daughter were to have an option to use online learning in an emergency below 9th grade. It could be done for a short time, but a high priority to push my student to in-person learning would be placed as we advance. It would yield better results for my child. 

                  The problem with lower grades is maturity; as my advertising father stated, technology is made to engage you fully. An IPAD, or screen technology, produces more data and actions than a mind can fully process at one time at a younger age, and even with a parent sitting directly beside a student for a study period. The brain's frontal lobe will tire out at a higher rate than in a classroom setting, and recovery will be significant due to the considerable recovery time for the brain under substantial stress. Brain fatigue leads to less learning per day and a tendency for a student to avoid the process altogether, far different than a teacher in a primary classroom who makes a student want to go to school each day. The process is much different to observe, as are the results.

                  Building off online learning, we discuss personalized learning, a new movement that started as a sales pitch in the second year of the pandemic. A study in Great Britain showed that student choice could significantly affect learning as light and air quality pace learning in a classroom. The major shift had the time to be explored as many districts stayed online and attempted to personalize their learning experiences for the student to keep them engaged and moving forward. In districts that followed this online engagement method,  they did see better results than many online instruction models. Still, again, choice coupled with a classroom far outweighs the effects of personalized learning through a computer. Quality in-person instruction still wins if the focus is on student success rather than distance engagement. Therefore, districts that came back in person this year, or will be next year, will benefit from investing in teachers that enable choice in their classrooms, with technology integrated as a choice rather than technology being the instructor and monitored by the teacher from afar.

                  Finally, we confirmed what has been known in Indian culture and this area of South Dakota since the founding of the state in 1889.   Family support of learning and engagement of the village around the child in the learning process is the most crucial factor in education. It should be considered an evergreen tenant of every school that develops or evaluates a strategic plan in any district cabinet. It was reported that online learners of the Pine Ridge saw 15% engagement in their online classes in grades K-12. If parents are working during the day, it isn't easy to allow the student to have the needed time to learn after a parental workday. However, those parents who engaged fully and totally in the learning process of the altered COVID-19 school saw better results for their children.  

    In closing, the changes from COVID-19 will have lasting effects on schools and students, but it is our goal at KAHS to have the best education we can going forward. As a member of our district's leadership team, I hope to take what was learned and apply it for a better result for our students.

     

     

    Sincerely,

     

    Mr. Lukens

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  • Kougar Column 5/19/2022

    Posted by Robert Lukens on 5/18/2022

    Hello Kadoka Area,

    What a fantastic graduation ceremony this past week. Thank you to all in the community who came to attend and support our graduates. The seniors of '22 celebrated the end of the time they had a Kadoka Area. We are so privileged to be able to take in the beautiful passage of these talented young people. In the words of Dayna Brave Eagle, director of education on the Pine Ridge Reservation who spoke and led our graduation feather tying on campus, the only resource we have is the children we produce. Our investment in them will be what we have as a legacy, and I wholeheartedly agree with this.

    The question that arises as we work through these times of year is, does everyone agree? Are we the only ones that believe that children are a good investment? Is public education worth it? 

    For the last four years, I have been pursuing to answer this question in my studies. Can the work we do in education be a good investment not just for the educators involved, but is that view outside my sphere? My research as a student has led me to believe that, yes, others think this too.  

    The more states invest in their schools, the more evidence suggests that more private investment arrives in a state economy. Acting as a type of private match program that seems to raise the personal investment the higher a student per-pupil payment enters our public school system. Growing up in a conservative state and residing in one match, the excellent use of tax money is often questioned. According to my research, successful private industry moguls tend to agree with state legislatures that use their tax money to invest in public education and protect it.

    So this week, we celebrated our district's commitment to educating our young people. We reflect on Director Brave Eagle's words that our greatest resource is our children. I know that Indian country isn't the only group to feel that way. The numbers show that it is something that unites us; our graduates are our future and our most incredible resource. We celebrate education and graduation this week because it is an exceptional commitment by the masses.

    So this graduation, we look back on the fantastic seniors and say in unison, "We believe in you."  Thank you, seniors, parents, and families, for an amazing school year. Our investment is well worth it.

     

    Sincerely,

     

    Robert Lukens

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  • Kougar Column 5-12-2022

    Posted by Robert Lukens on 5/12/2022

    Dear Kadoka Area,

    The month of May is an exceptional time in our school district. It is when all the work we have done can be shown to the world. The students we have worked with within our core of educational instruction can spread their wings and leave our school system to use the skills we have instilled in our students. 

    The students in this class are a particular group of kids to be celebrated to the utmost. Having shown extreme ability to adapt in times of COVID-19, and have been able to show significant progress in both the academic and athletic arenas and the critical skills in the CTE clubs that scatter across our student groups. Just last week, a group of them made us proud at the national high school land and range judging contest in Oklahoma. Their presence will show a loss in the halls when we come back next year.

    Seniors are the heart of your student body. They set the tone for your year.   In Kadoka, we talk at the beginning of the year about a 'Kougar Culture,' part of my central theme as I talk to the seniors is that they are the footprints of the student body and the year as we remember it. The eldest students can set the tone they want for the year. The leadership role in the student body has been a central theme for the students to follow, and they have excelled.

    On the same day as our seniors graduate, we will be having a ceremony for our 8th-grade graduates. All of the 8th grade of our middle school students from all the different schools will have the chance to gain a middle school diploma and be recognized for their accomplishments. A recent study by one of my colleagues here at KAHS found that if students can attend school with at least 88% consistency from third grade on having established competent skills when the state tests them at the end of third grade. They will show strong character to graduate with skills that will serve the workforce well. So we celebrate our 8th graders graduating because it means that they have taken half the journey to our district's primary and singular purpose, feeding the workforce of our state and region, and we celebrate that. So, while this is a less familiar aspect of school graduation, we are so excited to celebrate the time and effort of all those involved as we move our students from district-wide middle school to high school, as it means we are achieving our goals of feeding and growing the students of Jackson County, and subsequently the economic aspects of the business and culture in our community.

                  In closing, this column aims to celebrate the students of the Kadoka Area. In the case of the seniors who will no longer be with us next year, we are proud to watch them enter a new phase of life. We are proud of who they are and what they have become.

    We look forward to seeing them reaching their full potential in our community and the state, as is the purpose of public education. We relish their accomplishments as time goes on.

     

    Robert Lukens

    MS/HS Principal

    Kadoka Area High School

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  • Kougar Column 5-5-2022

    Posted by Robert Lukens on 5/5/2022

    Dear Kadoka Area,

                  Happy Teacher Appreciation Week! Spring has fully sprung. The wind and rain of last week melted what snow was left, and the farmers are starting to talk of spring's work amongst the table conversation in the area. One new technology that all farmers and ranchers have available is variable rate fertilization of crops or giving plants enough food to eat based on their health and yield potential. Today, the Kougar Column will look at how the practice of differentiated instruction, or teaching students where they are, with what they need, is very similar to what farmers do with variable rate fertilization. Hopefully, this column will give a new appreciation for the profession of teaching and how its workload parallels that of a farmer/rancher. 

                  The similarities between the two practices start at the very beginning. To do any variable rate fertilization, you must get some litmus test of the soil's chemical makeup. This step is nearly identical to what educators call 'benchmark testing.'  In 'benchmark testing,' we find out where the gaps are in an entering student's learning, precisely as we do in soil testing. 

                  Why is this important? We can't give students what they need educationally without knowing what is already developed. A rancher applying potassium or potash to an alfalfa crop can not effectively apply fertilizer to a field without knowing what parts of the area require the resource. Similarly, a teacher trying to differentiate a student's instruction is almost as if they were an artist painting in the dark. They don't know what colors to use or where to place them because they lack clarity on the issue they are trying to fix.

                  Next, after the teacher, or the farmer/rancher, has found the problem within the tests given. They can then attempt to address the issue. What is so interesting in both of these processes is that many go into the implementation thinking they will reduce inputs, effort in the educator's case, and fertilizer use in the case of the agriculturist. However, many quickly realize that inputs are more, not less. The bright child in the classroom pushes themselves to want more, and the more we challenge the student, the more they tend to enjoy the success of their conquests. On the opposite end, low-end learners need intensive interventions that may require additional school staff or even the implementation of a specialized plan to account for gaps that have developed in prior education. Similarly, I found that crops need more fertilizer when we stop treating each band of soil as if it is the same as the one next to it. The potential for growth in a crop, and a student, is often beyond our expectations. 

                  As a result, the growth of technology has opened this world on both the agricultural and the educational sides. At the same time, technology has not, and cannot at this point, replace a quality teacher's instruction. It allows a bridge to meet a student's needs while a teacher's efforts can be distributed at a manageable level across a classroom. Just as a farmer's judgment in applying fertilizer is not replaced, the technology allows for more efficient time use and avoids exhaustion for more productive days. Plants grow more prominent, as children learn more because we know what they need and give it to them individually in a portion they can handle. 

                  In closing, the advent of the technological age has allowed public schools the chance to address the gaps in learning for students at all levels. Just down the road, the farmers and ranchers have been better able to use their resources to supply American food sources to fuel our economy. It is an age that we want to relish and enjoy and thank those that made it possible, the teachers who taught the students to innovate and learn.

     

    Happy Teacher Appreciation Week!

     

    Sincerely,

     

    Robert Lukens

     

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  • Kougar Column 4-28-2022

    Posted by Robert Lukens on 4/27/2022

    Dear Kadoka Area,

    Today we live in a world where we are flooded with information. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and others constantly 'feed' the information we, as individuals, feel is vital for us to share. The flow of information lets us research a topic anywhere, anytime. However, this was not always the case; on April 18th, 1930, it wasn't the example at all. On that April day, the British Broadcasting Company reported to its listeners that there was no news for the day and played music for the rest of the 15-minute segment. Has the standard of communication changed? Why would such a moment exist? How could it even be possible? At Kadoka Area, as our students write and research topics for their school work, I hope our students graduate knowing the answer to these questions. 

    In 1930, all news had to be fact-checked and come from a reputable source. Pre-World War Two, there were fewer ways for reporters to verify the facts that came in. Facts could not be opinions; facts had to be provable and verified. Recently, star college football coach Deion Sanders had a social media star, Brittany Renner, speak to his football team about working on social media in the modern world. The more you engage on the contemporary media, the more you must be careful about the content you receive and put out for the world to see. Coach Sanders warned his players as Renner spoke, "This is how the game is played now, and I hope you all make it to the NFL, but even if you are in business and you don't make it... this is the (world) game we play in."

    Coach Sanders's modern take on an old adage brought me to the wise work of a cherished relative, my great-grandaunt, Iris Westman, who passed away in 2021 as the second oldest American and was the oldest person to live within the Dakotas since the territory started keeping records. A librarian and English teacher herself glowed with pride, telling a story of the students she influenced to go on to success in the written world of the 1940s and 1950s, emphasizing that facts were paramount, and it served those students well. 

    As we reflect on Deion Sanders, Iris Westman, and the BBC:  we rejoice in the standard we put forward as our libraries and English department do a fantastic job preparing our students for their written state tests each year. Facts are available and taught to be valued; from this practice, we build the ethics of our student body. Books, internet sources, and print publications are vetted for quality to prepare our students for their journey into the South Dakota University System and their dual credit offerings.   

    In 1930, could the BBC have put together a newsreel if they wanted to? They could have, but would it have been to the standard that the society expected of 'news' of the time? No, therefore, the audience listens to fine musical pieces instead. It is better to tell the truth and be sure of it than not be sure of your footing factually in that age. The standard of trust in the news media in the 'golden age of radio' is a foundation of evergreen learning, withstanding time, and we hope to enforce it in our students. Thank you all in our school who make that possible.

     

    Sincerely,

     

    Robert Lukens

    MS/HS Principal

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  • Kougar Column 4-21-2022

    Posted by Robert Lukens on 4/21/2022

    Dear Kadoka Area,
    This week the topic of the Kougar Column is a safe and welcoming culture by giving everyone a seat at the table. It is an often overlooked portion of your culture, passing (the short break when students are walking between classes) and lunchrooms, and how it sustains our growth towards our goals of 1% growth every day to a safe and welcoming place. Remember there isn't one thing in our school that can make us better than our past in the infinite education game, but the little things in executing bring up the level of your staff and students to compete in the competition of education.
    Giving everyone a seat at the table in your school starts in the lunchroom. Kadoka Area is one of the largest school districts by area in the state; many of our students will attend one of our Elementary/Middle School systems and then come together in their first year of high school. Add to that the diverse backgrounds of our families and the never-ending interests of teenagers in Generation Z. It can be a challenge to make students feel like they matter. Lunch is a bedrock for showing them they do matter. Can they find a place to sit? Can they meet with their friends? As a lunch supervisor (yes, I supervise lunch as a principal), can you remember their name and make them feel better about themselves. No matter where you come from and what you believe, we try at Kadoka to let you have a seat at the table as much as possible in all instances. The lunchroom is the starting point of that.
    Why emphasize passing times between classes and lunchtimes? School learning builds on relationships. Passing and lunch are often the only times some of our kids will see or hear from specific teachers. If a student forges a relationship with a teacher, it must be serviced at some point each day; how is it possible to do that if they don't have the student in class? Finding ways to get our staff and I in the hallways and lunch area to interact with our students is essential to building and maintaining a safe and welcoming culture for all who enter our building to enjoy.
    It isn't one thing in a school that builds a safe and welcoming culture. A lot of little things play into the formation. The culture must take advantage of the lunchroom to have the most success in a school and give kids a seat at the table. Secondarily, interaction in the short times between classes, and passing times, must be thought through as we help kids find themselves in a school.

    Sincerely,

    Mr. Lukens

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