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Lawrence Union Free School District :: Welcome to Lawrence Public Schools
Welcome to Lawrence Public Schools


The mission of the Lawrence Public Schools, a unifying force at the heart of a cultural mosaic, is to ensure all learners reach their highest individual potential, through an academically rigorous educational system that inspires life-long learning; focuses on creative, student-centered teaching and learning; and enables all to posess the confidence and abilities to meet life's challenges.

Click here for High School Mid-Term and Regents Exams Snow Day Contingency Plan.

The Town Hall Meeting scheduled for Monday, January 26, 2015 has been rescheduled to Monday, February 2nd at 7:30 pm in the Lawrence Middle School Auditorium.

The meeting is to discuss various aspects of our school learning environment.

Please join us for this important discussion!

  Heroes Among Us

Stories of heroes are all over the news: First responders and even concerned passersby put themselves in harm’s way to help others, going against every instinct for self-preservation.

Our Lawrence Family lost a hero, Joseph Sanford, Jr., a 17 year member of the Inwood Fire Department who served as Lieutenant, Captain, and most recently as Assistant Chief. He loved being part of the brotherhood in the Volunteer Fire Department community. His daughter, Janisha reflected his leadership throughout her school career and is a highly respected graduate of Lawrence High School. On Tuesday, December 23, 2014 Joseph Sanford, Jr., ultimately departed this life doing what he loved, as a firefighter.

What could explain such heroism?  Heroes believe in actions rather than just words. Heroes are ordinary people who  possess confidence, courage, and valor. Heroes are prepared to risk the ultimate sacrifice to help others.

As educators, our mission is to ensure all learners reach their highest individual potential, and enable all to posess the confidence and abilities to meet life's challenges. As educators, we cultivate confidence in our learners leading some to demanding positions in life, requiring decisiveness and action that ultimately safeguards and protects our community.

Character Education is far more than a means to improving discipline, it is the foundation upon which heroes are made. With this in mind, the new year brings reflection on a hero and a reminder of our responsibility, today as educators,  for cultivating the heroes of tomorrow.

Gary Schall, Superintendent

Have a GREAT New Year

A common practice for the start of a new year is the making of promises and resolutions aimed to improve ourselves.   We all strive to become better at what we do, to reach our own greatness.   As Lawrence welcomes 2015, our resolve remains strong, to continue to enable each and every learner to reach for success.   In his bestselling book Good to Great, Jim Collins says “greatness is not a function of circumstances, it turns out it is largely a matter of conscious choice”.   In Lawrence, we choose to be GREAT.

We choose to be great with a commitment to rigorous standards, data driven instruction and a champion’s mindset. We value and use data in moving each learner from good to great. As the year progresses we will continue to prepare our learners for the assessments of the spring. Our students learning to read in pre-k through 2nd grade will be assessed with the Developmental Reading Assessment. In grades 3-8, students will take state exams in ELA and math, high school students will show their proficiency on Regent exams required for high school graduation. The State Education Department is recommending an increase in the value state tests have on teacher evaluation, what is called State Provided Growth.   Lawrence teachers and leaders exceed the expectations of the state by instilling in themselves a resolve to build greatness by cultivating champions. Lawrence utilizes the international work of Doug Lemov’s Teach Like a Champion to make a conscious choice to improve their practices and the outcomes of their learners.

Collins states "What separates people is not absence of difficulties but how they deal with the inevitable difficulties of life".   As a Lawrence family, we choose to prepare our students for the challenges ahead of them through building social emotional competencies in balance with strong academic foundations enabling all learners to display their greatness. Time and time again we see the greatness of our student body, teachers, staff, and community not just in the classroom, but on the athletic field, the stage, in local and national competitions, and in supporting one another through life’s difficulties.

Lawrence welcomes the promise of greatness ahead, supported by a strong community, committed teachers, leaders, and parents. Our resolution remains to be a GREAT school community and to continue to be champions for one another.

Dr. Ann Pedersen, Deputy Superintendent

 Superintendent’s Employees of the Month

Royal Pearsall grew up in Woodmere, attended Number Five School, and graduated Lawrence High School in 1973. He went on to hold several jobs including work as a dispatcher for the firehouse and a position with a lawn sprinkler company. Royal started his career in Lawrence in 1978 as a cleaner in the High School, three years later became custodian, and now serves as a Head Custodian II. As a member of the Inwood Fire Department he has dedicated himself to our school community for 41 years.  

Kenyatta Stevens grew up in Inwood, attended Number Two School and graduated Lawrence High School in 2009. He immediately began working for the District as a cleaner and moved on to the Security Department where he has been working for the past 6 years. Kenyatta has dedicated himself to the Inwood Fire Department since his graduation from Lawrence High School.

James Pearsall, known to all of us as “JR”, started his career in Lawrence as a summer cleaner.  After graduating Lawrence High School he went on to receive his Bachelor Degree in Fire Protection from Onondaga Community College. JR started as a custodian for the Number Six School, then the High School and is now the Head Custodian of the Middle School.  JR is one of our community heroes, serving as a volunteer firefighter with the Inwood Fire Department where he has held the rank of Captain.

Michael Ehlers grew up in Inwood, attended Number Two School, and graduated Lawrence High School in 1979. He went on to work for the Nassau County Department of Public Works and began his career with the Lawrence Public Schools in 1998, serving as a Motor Vehicle Operator. For over 30 years Michael and his wife Jeanine have also served the children of our schools as bus drivers for Independent Coach. Their children Amanda and Erin are Lawrence Graduates and their daughter Shannon is in the 8th grade at Lawrence Middle School. Michael is one of our community heroes, serving as a volunteer firefighter with the Lawrence-Cedarhurst Fire Department since 1983, where he has held the positions of Lieutenant and Captain.

These are members of our Lawrence Family who have shown great dedication working in the buildings that they once walked the hallways of as students. They are unsung heroes, who are called to duty in the middle of the night to volunteer their service to our community. They often report to work in the morning without any of us knowing that in the middle of the night they were waken from their sleep and put their lives on the line.  For this we are proud to announce Royal Pearsall, Kenyatta Stevens, James "JR" Pearsall and Michael Ehlers as Superintendent’s Employees of the Month.


Click here to view the latest version of frequently asked questions about the restructuring plan.

For further inquires please send questions that have not already been addressed to

The Lawrence Public Schools Academic Initiatives

Data Driven Instruction

Social Emotional Learning

Response to Intervention

Common Core Standards

For More Information: District Academic Plan