Principal Message

Lakes Principal Karen Mauer Smith

November 1, 2019

Dear Lancer Families,

Happy November, it seems Fall is starting to give way to Winter as the days are darker and the temps are getting cooler.  We are settled in to the school year and have completed our first quarter already.  Progress reports will be mailed home this Friday.  Please do remember that every progress report sent home before the final semester grade, is not a final grade and students have time to bring those grades up to where they want them to be.  The only grade a student receives which is final, is the semester grade, all of the other grades you see, reflect their progress at a particular point in time, mid-quarter and at the quarter for example.  We want to keep you informed along the way, so that you can partner with us for the success of your child. 

We have an exciting new program beginning in November called Lancer Lab.  Lancer Lab is a block of time twice a week to help personalize your child’s education.

  • Lancer Lab is academic time.
  • Lancer Lab occurs Tuesday and Thursday for 30 minutes.
  • Teachers will offer sessions for intervention, support, enrichment, or extension.
  • Student sign-up happens in Advisory, usually on Monday.
  • Teachers may “pre-schedule” students for one or more of their Lancer Lab sessions.
  • Pre-scheduled sessions will, without exception, take priority over student preferences.
  • Students who have not been pre-scheduled will have choice on what session they attend.

Essentially, this is time designed to support students at every level get the help and/or enrichment they need during the school day.  I have attached a Power Point to my Family Message in School Messenger, which gives you the basics about what Lancer Lab is and how your students will learn about and operate through this process.  There will be times when teachers, based upon student learning and need, will select your son or daughter for Lancer Lab Sessions and there will be times if a student has not been selected that he or she can choose from the list of options.   We know our students are working hard and sometimes need either time to keep up or extra support to gain an understanding of important concepts.  We are excited to start this for the benefit of all of our Lancers.  The addition of Lancer Lab does change our schedule during the week.  You will find the two schedules in the Power Point as well.  We will have one schedule for Mon-Thurs and another for the Late Start Wednesdays.  This will all be explained to our students before we begin this process.  They in fact will be given more information on November 4 and 5 of next week.  We will keep you informed of the process and how it is going!  We will also have copies of the schedule to hand out during conferences.

November brings our first round of student led conferences and they will take place November 6-8, you should have an appointment scheduled for this conference, if you do not, please do reach out to your child’s advisor or have your child do so to make sure you do not miss out on this opportunity.  Study after study has shown that students who find success in school, also create for themselves a vision of where they want to be after high school.  The advisory process and the conferencing process is a big part of helping students create that vision.  There is a power for each child in speaking about how they are doing, and where they want to go.  Please use this opportunity as well to ask any questions you may have and understand too, if your advisory teacher does not have the specific answer, those questions will be referred to counselors and administrators who will follow up.   

Finally, November brings us a very special day for Lancers.  We want to say thank you to all of the amazing veterans in our lives!  Our incredible JROTC has put together another wonderful assembly on November 6, 2019 from 7:30 -8:15 am on Wednesday, in the main gym.  We know that families serve too and we could not be prouder than to serve the families of JBLM, thank you for your dedication!  Families are welcome to attend the assembly, please do sign in and get a visitor’s pass at the main office.   

Thank you for allowing us the honor of working with and learning from your amazing children!  Have a wonderful month and don’t hesitate to reach out with questions, concerns or celebrations.  I can be reached at or at 253-583-5550. 



Karen Mauer-Smith

Very Proud Principal, Lakes High School

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