Thursday, May 15, 2014

    for our 3rd Annual "Meet Our Scholars...Who Reach for the Stars" Scholarship Fundraiser...



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    Lawrence Family Development & Education Fund, Inc.'s Maria del Pilar Quintana Family Center Awarded BIA Accreditation...Read More...




    LFDCS/LFDEF, Inc. does not automatically close when Lawrence public school close....Read More...

From the Superintendent

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Parent Information


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Mission Statement

 “Strong families, working in partnership with the school as advocates for academic achievement, will create an environment where every child has the opportunity to acquire the foundation skills and habits of mind that foster life-long learning, citizenship participation, and personal fulfillment.”

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04/28 K-1 Screening - Fo...
04/28 L-FASTS 7 Math (3-8)
04/29 Spring Math Benchm...
04/29 K-2 ELL Math Night...
04/30 SEI Make Up

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LFDCS Attendance In the News
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YouthBuild-Lawrence Award


Random Quote

" From now on, ending a sentence with a preposition is something up with which I will not put. "
Sir Winston Churchill

Converse & LFDCS Educational Partnership

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Middle School Students Unleash their Creative Spirit with Converse PDF Print E-mail

Middle school students are passionate about fashion, particularly footwear. So when the eighth grade embarked on a project that required them to design the “Ultimate Teen sneaker,” motivation, interest and opinions were not in short supply.

Eighth graders were given an in depth tour of Converse headquarters in North Andover. There they saw 3D printers that produce prototypes, learned about how flexibility of shoes is measured and were given a history of the company. A panel of Converse employees also led a discussion about academic and career choices that lead them to work for this sneaker company.

Back at LFDCS, students decided what type of consumer they would design for. This required them to put together an inspiration board and carry out primary and secondary research. Students designed survey questions which they gave to the fifth, sixth and seventh graders, and the findings from the survey helped determine each shoe design. Eighth graders learned a number of skills that helped them grow as a learning community. Students learned that the needs of the consumer must always come first, and that personal opinions, though important, are secondary in this situation. They also used Pugh charts as a way to support the decision-making process. Each homeroom had to choose a single design from a selection of fourteen. Listing attributes for their sneakers and scoring them in a Pugh chart made this process much more manageable. Students were commended by Converse for working as teams. LFDCS students began to see that the Engineering design process is a lot easier when you have a team to help make it happen.

The project culminated in students presenting their findings in a PowerPoint presentation to members of the Converse Company. Those representing Converse included: John “ Spud” Foti, Jose DesChamps, Dawna Bulter, Matt Telleen, Kristen LaFontaine and Dave Dirsa.

In addition, the creative spirit was unleashed by one student making an additional design. Wilfredo Santiago, under his own initiative, went on to design an LFDCS sneaker incorporating the school's wolf prints symbolizing the LFDCS mascot and stars that represent the school's vision for our students "Reaching for the Stars."

Food Play Theater Program Comes to LFDCS PDF Print E-mail

Lawrence Family Development Charter School (LFDCS) is extending its projects in the areas of health and nutrition. A special priority for the school is increasing the School Breakfast Program. In addition to grant awards and donations this year from the Healthy School Food Champions program, Whole Foods, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care and Johnnie’s Seeds for its school-based gardens, the school brought to an audience of its Lower School students (Kindergarten through third grade) the dynamic show called FOOD PLAY. This fun-filled activity exposed students to eating habits as core to “healthy minds” and “strong bodies.”


According to Food Services Director, Mary Claire Kennedy, who arranged to bring FOOD PLAY to LFDCS, “In addition to educating our parents and students about health and nutrition, the school is training its Food Service staff on food promotion strategies based on Smarter Lunchroom Techniques.” Complementing this effort in past summers, school gardens increased awareness of food choices with gardening techniques in its Summer School program. The school currently has six Raised Bed Gardens located at LFDCS’s Lower School campus at 34 West Street, Lawrence, Massachusetts.


Like other schools across the country, on March 4 Lawrence Family Development Charter School teamed up with FOOD PLAY to empower children with more of the skills they need to take charge of growing up healthy and fit. FOOD PLAY, a national award-winning theater show promotes healthy eating and exercise habits by bringing its cast of colorful characters, fantastic feats of juggling, motivating messages, music, magic and fun to schools across the country.


While FOOD PLAY makes good eating great fun, its messages are very serious. So serious, in fact, that First Lady, Michelle Obama, has launched the nations first childhood obesity taskforce, designed to tackle the alarming rise in the number of overweight children. In the last 25 years, childhood obesity rates have doubled among elementary school children and tripled among teenagers. One in three children are overweight, and less than two percent of the nations youth are meeting their daily nutritional requirements. Kids on average are drinking over 600 cans of soda and consuming more than 150 pounds of sugar a year, missing out on recommended levels of fruits, vegetables and whole grains needed for optimal health.


FOOD PLAY introduces USDAs new MyPlate food guide, helping children learn to fill half their plates with a rainbow of colors from fruits and vegetables, choose GO foods from all five food groups and cut down on soda and sweetened drinks. Children learn how to see through TV commercials, decipher food labels and make choices that are good for their health and good for the health of the planet. As the children walk away to the beat of “Treat Your Body Right!FOOD PLAYs message is: feed healthy foods to your body, positive messages to your mind and have fun being active everyday! To extend the lessons throughout this coming spring, the school will receive a comprehensive Follow-Up Resource Kit filled with hands-on nutrition education materials for teachers, parents, school food service, health staff and students. Teachers receive activity guidebooks to help integrate nutrition into core subject areas and link cafeteria with classroom learning.


Founded in 1995, the Lawrence Family Developmentand Education Fund, Inc.'s Lawrence Family Development Charter School (LFDCS) is one of the first K-8 Commonwealth public charter schools. As a Level 1” public school for MCAS performance in 2012 and 2013, the work of the Lawrence Family Development Charter School is known for its best practices as a Massachusetts urban school. The school uses research-based practices for academic instruction and intervention and supplements this instruction with after school and summer school programs. TheFarm to School Initiative:Raised Bed Gardens use funding and partnerships for science and nutrition lessons in summer and after-school programs as well as to create modifications to its school menu. The school’s health and nutrition programs benefit from grants from the Massachusetts Departmentof Elementary and Secondary Educations Food Services and Title One, Whole Foods, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care and Johnnies Seeds.

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LFDCS Engineering Celebration PDF Print E-mail

Lawrence Family Development Charter School is extending its projects in the areas of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) education. The term STEM was selected by the National Science Foundation (NSF) as a way to encompass interdisciplinary practices in education that combine the subject areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Some say that this new “meta discipline” will modify traditional classrooms that focus on teacher-centered instruction to create “flipped classroom” instructional formats which are inquiry-based and lead to enhanced problem solving opportunities for students.

According to LFDCS Superintendent Ralph Carrero, "The overarching goal of STEM education at Lawrence Family Development Charter School is ensuring that our students, by the end of 8th grade, appreciate the beauty and wonder of science, possess sufficient knowlege of science and engineering to engage in public discussions on these issues, are careful consumers of scientific and technical information in and outside of school and eventually enter into careers of choice, including but not limited to, careers in science, technology, engineering and math."

In the past few years as a way to launch STEM education at the charter school, teachers and students have been supported by important university and corporate partnerships. These partnerships bring “real life lessons in problem-solving” to a number of instructional formats, and in particular, these relationships are foundational to the school’s “beyond the school day” activities. Through the leadership of school staff, in particular the Head of Science, Stephanie Cross, Lawrence Family Development Charter School works closely with its STEM partners from: the University of Massachusetts Lowell (UMass Lowell), sneaker manufacturer – Converse, Quarrybrook Outdoor Learning Center, Northern Essex Community College, the Boston Society of Civil Engineers, Boston College and the Metro North Regional Employment Board/Cambridge and the Merrimack Valley Workforce Investment Board. In addition to grant support that the school receives from the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, some of its STEM projects are supported by the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education through the STEM Pipeline Fund and the Regional Employment Boards.

In connection with these projects, LFDCS held its annual Engineering Celebration on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at the LFDCS gymnasium at 400 Haverhill Street. This Engineering Celebration attracted many attendees who were parents, partners and judges to evaluate the capstone engineering projects which fourth through eighth grade students developed over a number of months in the “beyond the school day” activities. In this year’s program cycle, 45 families from LFDCS were involved. To signify the Merrimack Valley’s “next generation of engineers” the University of Massachusetts Lowell’s Chapter of the American Society for Civil Engineers designed and awarded T-shirts to students and staff. The Chapter’s members played a key role during the months of engineering projects at LFDCS. Throughout the term, UMass Lowell undergraduate students served as project mentors to upper elementary school students. Dr. Edward Hajduk, Lecturer at UMass Lowell said, “Working with Lawrence Family Development is a pleasure. The school sets high benchmarks for itself, as well as its partners. We see the Engineering Celebration as a terrific way to educate elementary students in the disciplines of science, technology, engineering and mathematics while providing undergraduate engineering students with the opportunity to share what they are learning in the area of problem solving.”

Founded in 1995, the Lawrence Family Development and Education Fund, Inc.'s Lawrence Family Development Charter School (LFDCS) is one of the first K-8 Commonwealth public charter schools. As a “Level 1” public school for MCAS performance in 2012 and 2013, the work of the Lawrence Family Development Charter School is known for its best practices as a Massachusetts urban school. The school uses research-based practices for academic instruction and intervention and supplements this instruction with after school and summer school programs. The school’s STEM program and its Engineering Celebrations benefit from grants from the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Title 1, the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education and two Regional Employment Boards. 

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Academic Program

Our program includes a dual-language model with students learning in both Spanish and English. The goal is to enable students to attain advanced levels of functional proficiency in two languages and to promote understanding of and appreciation for the cultures represented by the languages studied. The primary objective is to teach students language and literacy skills that will allow them to function effectively in both their personal and professional lives. We feel the development of literacy will foster a love of learning to read, and then the competency of reading to learn.


We believe there is a strong link between school success and effective and consistent leadership. As a result, our Board of Trustees, composed of parents and community leaders, provides valuable oversight and focuses on creating and upholding policies that support our students and their families. We also have initiated a new administrative structure with a principal and heads of upper and lower schools, who manage daily operations and discipline. Leadership from the ranks of the teaching staff is also highly evident, as teachers improve curriculum, serve as mentors to novice educators and work to attain National Board Certification.

Community Partnerships

Our goal is to work with many individuals and organizations in order to provide the resources necessary to enhance and enrich the lives of our students, both during the day and in our extended day and extended year programs. The quality and breadth of our community partnership program is unique. We work with an extensive array of local private schools, parent and community volunteers, and organizations providing on-site programs.

Parent Partners

We believe that when parents are actively involved in their children’s education, students have a better chance of succeeding academically. At LFDCS parents are required to be active participants in the education of their children. Parents serve on our Board of Trustees, participate in training programs designed to help them work with their children at home, volunteer in the classroom and on field trips, and assist with fundraising initiatives. All parents sign a contract that places high expectations on their participation both at school and at home.



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LFDCS//LFDEF, Inc.  is an equal opportunity and affirmative action institution. LFDCS/LFDEF, Inc. does not discriminate due to race, color, sex, religion, national origin, sexual orientation or disability.

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(K-1, K2 & Grade 1)
  10 Railroad Street, Lawrence, MA 01841
  (P) 978 258-6210
LOWER SCHOOL (Grades 2-4)
  34 West Street, Lawrence MA 01841
  (P) 978 689-9863  (F) 978 689-8133
UPPER SCHOOL (Grades 5-8)
  400 Haverhill Street, Lawrence, MA 01841
  (P) 978 738-0609   (F) 978 651-2207