I'm a BLE Tiger poster

July 31, 2023

LANCASTER, Texas -- Lancaster ISD's youngest learners and their parents walked into Belt Line Elementary for the campus's first-ever Pre-K 3 Tiger Day event, which welcomes new three-year-old students and their families to the district.

Tatanisha Stevenson, Belt Line Elementary principal, organized the event to help ease the incoming students into a school routine.  

"The parents and students are often nervous or anxious about coming to school for the first time," reflected Stevenson. "The Tiger Day event allows parents to receive valuable information and get a lay of the land. They can meet the principal, administrative team, and staff ahead of time, so when the first day of school comes, they feel comfortable, and the anxiety is alleviated."

Stevenson also says Pre-K3 Tiger Day is an excellent opportunity for the students to get comfortable with the campus and have some fun. The students made their Tiger debut official by leaving their "paw print" on a poster that will hang in the hallway on campus.

Some parents, like Chrenda Dotsy, have been in Lancaster ISD for many years and are excited for their younger kids to begin their academic journey.

"I'm looking forward to seeing their excitement about learning new things and developing their tiger pride," said Dotsy. "For the kids to succeed, they need love, affection, and sternness. Lancaster ISD has given my other children a great start and education, and I'm ready for my youngest to follow in their footsteps."

During the event, students and parents toured different stations around the campus, which let children meet some of their teachers while sharing important information with parents, including the dress code, enrollment, and immunization requirements. After the tour, the students could play in the bounce house and take pictures with the Lancaster ISD elementary mascot, Flex The Tiger.

Incoming pre-k students Sherriff Shotayo and Cai Jones shared that they are ready to learn about colors and tigers when they start school in a few weeks.

Pre-K teacher Tamara Yarbrough says she's enthusiastic about seeing her students make discoveries while learning at Belt Line Elementary. 

"I can't wait to see the students have "aha" moments because it's amazing to see the light bulbs come on as they gain knowledge," says Yarbrough. "As a teacher, I've learned that what students need most is understanding and acknowledgment. Everyone learns at their own pace and in their own time. It's important to provide encouragement and positivity."

Principal Stevenson has been a campus leader for many years, so her top priority is comforting students and parents. 

"I like to call myself the 'premiere principal,' which means I'm the first principal the students will ever experience, and I set the tone for their first year of school," said Stevenson. "My job is to ensure parents are informed and understand their students are safe and will have fun in our classrooms. It can be emotional for parents to see their three-year-old heading off to school. I reassure them that I know what they're feeling because I am a parent too, and explain that there's no better feeling than seeing your child excited to tell you what they've learned each day."

Belt Line Elementary students can meet their teacher during the upcoming meet-the-teacher night event on Friday, August 11, 2023. The first school day for the 2023-2024 school year is Monday, August 14, 2023. Parents interested in their students joining the pre-k3 program in Lancaster ISD should visit https://www.lancasterisd.org/page/prek-early-learning.

To view additional pictures, please click here.