On Tuesday, May 17, the community has the opportunity to vote on the 2016-17 school year budget, a bus purchase proposition, and elect two board of education candidates. The proposed budget, the lowest budget, tax levy, and tax rate increase in more than five years, maintains class sizes and current programs and enhances course offerings and student support services.
While the spotlight this time of year is the annual budget vote, our year-round focus is the faculty, staff, and student accomplishments that the budget supports. Here are just a few of this year’s accolades:
Lancaster School District has the highest graduation rate in Western New York (99 percent), for the first time in district history. The high school was named a New York State “Reward School” for the second year in a row and the second time in district history. For the first time in district history, this year LHS also was named a Top High School in the Country by US News and World Report.
Elementary students at William Street School started a new and a one-of-a-kind elementary advanced math program. Freshmen students enrolled in the new two-year AP global studies course. All high school students began training in hands-only CPR. Outside of the classroom, our students continue to excel in music and athletics as demonstrated by the musicals, bands, and choral programs and unprecedented success on our fields, courts, tracks, and pools.
Enhancing the use of technology in the classrooms has been a focus since our infrastructure upgrades two years ago. Our Chromebook rollout continues to provide all students and teachers with 21st century tools for learning in new and exciting ways. Our Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy continues its success in grades 9-12 and debuted this year at the middle school. Several high school students, dubbed ‘techsperts,’ serve as technology ambassadors for teachers and students alike, providing assistance in integrating technology in the classrooms. Our tech mentor initiative is being duplicated by other districts as the mentors present their innovative ideas at state and local conferences.
While many schools are cutting their technology education programs, we are recognized as a leader in the area of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math). The recent second annual middle school tech night was a huge success. Shaun Canaski, Project Lead the Way master teacher, and initiator of Project Lead the Way concepts in grades four through six at William Street School, is one of 10 finalists for New York State Teacher of the Year. And the list goes on.
Information on the propositions and board of education election is available on our website. Please visit the polls on May 17 and as always, thank you for your continued support of our students.