The student-run news site of Lawrence Free State High School

Free Press Online

The student-run news site of Lawrence Free State High School

Free Press Online

The student-run news site of Lawrence Free State High School

Free Press Online

Senior Caroline Börk smiles as she works on one of her art pieces on display at the Lawrence Arts Center. Börk began her art journey at a young age by taking classes at the Arts Center Preschool. “Funny enough, that is where the [previous] exhibition was, I both started and ended my Lawrence artist journey at the arts center,” Bork said.

FEATURE: Lawrence Schools Held Annual District Art Show at Lawrence Art Center

Evie Chancy May 12, 2023

Art teachers from across USD 497 curated the best works from their students to be displayed at the annual District Art Show on April 28 at the Lawrence Art Center.  When the art teachers began accumulating...

After receiving advice from her students, orchestra director Judy Erpelding marks her music. Although the director normally makes the artistic decisions, Erpelding will often consult her students and hear their opinions on what sounds good and what they should try out. “[The students] are the heart of the program, not me,” Erpelding said. “I know they will carry that on and I will miss them. Making great music with them, being able to challenge them, taking their inspiration.”

NEWS: Judy Erpelding Announces Resignation

Lilly Wall May 11, 2023

After serving as the Director of Orchestras program for 11 years at the school, Judy Erpelding has announced her resignation, effective May 26.  With this position being her first teaching job, she...

Picking up a box of juice, JustFood warehouse manager Wayne Briggs collects donations of leftover food from the cafeteria. Briggs picks up extra, unopened food from the kitchen twice a week. These donations, often at least 50 pounds, are taken to the pantry, where anyone can take food free of cost.

FEATURE: JustFood Receives Leftover Food Donations

Lilly Wall May 4, 2023

During April, 855 pounds of leftover lunch food from both public high schools were repurposed to feed the community through just one partnership. Starting in the fall of 2022, USD 497 looked locally to...

NEWS BRIEF: District Votes to Close Two Elementary Schools

NEWS BRIEF: District Votes to Close Two Elementary Schools

Natasha Torkzaban and Lilly Wall March 28, 2023

The USD 497 Board of Education voted to close Pinckney and Broken Arrow Elementary on Monday in an attempt to bridge the $9.6 million budget deficit.  Despite two public hearings at Broken Arrow...

Senior Ashanti Riccardo draws on an iPad using a pen. Next year, students will be given a pen along with their iPad to allow similar functionality.

NEWS: Trading MacBooks for iPads

February 23, 2023

For six years, USD 497 high school students have been provided with MacBooks for school; however, the school board has opted to transition to iPads next year. The board made the decision on Jan. 23,...

NEWS: Coaches Blindsided By Increasing Facility Rental Fees

NEWS: Coaches “Blindsided” By Increasing Facility Rental Fees

Natasha Torkzaban and Allison Mayhew October 28, 2022

As the district reviews facility rental fees, sports teams may now have to pay the district the same fees charged to outside groups for their summer workouts and camps, in accordance with a new fee...

Following the Pre-ACT, freshmen sit waiting in the Commons before touring the building. For many, this was their first time being in Free State.

Board discusses budget shortfall due to enrollment decline

Isis Norris, Free Press Editor-in-Chief November 10, 2020

More than $2.65 million has been spent by the district to mitigate the spread of coronavirus, according to a report given by Executive Director of Finance Kathy Johnson at the Lawrence Public Schools Board...

Walking the halls, freshmen students move quickly to the next stop on their tour destination. Free State LINK Crew organized leaders to give building tours to new students.

District officials discuss precautions during hybrid learning

Zanna Ingram, Copy Editor November 8, 2020

As hybrid plans start to roll into effect, students and faculty are asking questions about the precautions needed to keep everyone safe. Principal Myron Graber said that plans have been put in place...

USD 497 sues Juul for damages of vaping epidemic

USD 497 sues Juul for damages of vaping epidemic

Jack Bellemere, Reporter February 24, 2020

“I don't think [the administration] outwardly cares about their students,” one anonymous student said when describing their frustration with USD 497’s anti-vaping initiatives. “I think they just...

Administration releases new dress code

Sabrina Castle, Editor-in-Chief November 11, 2019

On November 7, USD 497 Board of Education released an updated dress code draft. More lenient than past policies, the administration seeks to define more open guidelines of appropriate attire.  According...

A photo of Dr. Anthony Lewis included with the district press release.

Lawrence Board of Education selects new superintendent

Jackson Barton, Online Editor in Chief January 30, 2018

Dr. Anthony Lewis has been selected as the next superintendent of Lawrence schools effective July 1 according to a press release sent out Monday morning. Lewis previously served as an assistant superintendent...

Interim superintendent Dr. Anna Stubblefield opens the evening conversation with district accomplishments since the previous conversation last January. Attendees were handed sticky notes to write an issue they wanted discussed on.

District hosts second Community Conversation, administrators absent

Jackson Barton, Online Editor in Chief January 19, 2018

Around 50 students, parents, teachers and staff packed the auditorium at the Lawrence Public Library on Dec. 14 for a Community Conversation. It was the second of two opportunities for community members...

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