Dear Lancaster Parents, Family, and Friends...
Summer is a wonderful time in Western New York. We wait all winter for these few precious weeks of fun filled days and lazy nights. As I travel throughout the Lancaster community, I sense a tendency for people to think that once school ends, activity in the district comes to a screeching halt. Actually, July and August are some of our busiest times - a crucial opportunity for us to offer remediation and to prepare our schools for the coming school year.
Summer programs housed at Hillview and William Street are providing remediation to more than 100 elementary students to hone reading and math skills. These programs are designed to address gaps in student understanding and 'summer slide.' Often, the support students receive in this environment is just what they need to propel them on to a successful new year.
Summer school classes are offered to students in grades 7 through 12, providing opportunities to make up course credits in small, individualized settings. Middle school students spend their days exploring science, social studies, math, and literacy through an experiential learning program - imagine ice cream and fireworks in science! High school summer school assists struggling students in achieving the ultimate goal of graduating, on time, and with their classmates, while the building itself bustles with activities, from swim lessons to rehearsals for the youth bureau summer musical, to music lessons and football practices.
At the same time these programs are in full swing, our $19 million construction and renovation project continues. Phase I is wrapping up with technology, communication, and safety system enhancements. Network and Internet upgrades will improve access to technology in all our classrooms. Many teachers are in training, learning best uses of technology to implement with their students, come fall. Public address and telephone systems have been upgraded, as well as the installation of an ID card building access system. Coupled with Phase II, this work further contributes to the safety and security of our buildings.
Phase II, which began July 1, includes major security enhancements to the entrances at Como Park, John A. Sciole, and Court Street schools so they are better able to control the movement of visitors and optimize student and staff safety. Other Phase II projects include the addition of Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) accessible features to bathrooms, auditoriums, and exterior entries; energy efficient upgrades to lighting; new heating and ventilation controls; and much-needed replacements to paving and sidewalks. Phase III work planned for Hillview, the middle and high schools is scheduled to start in spring 2015.
Summer is a busy but exciting time in our district. Stay in touch with construction updates and other summer activities on Twitter @LCSDSuper.
Michael J. Vallely
Superintendent of Schools