Dear Lancaster Parents, Family, and Friends...
Who can't conjure an image of the excitement you felt as a
child over the first days of school? Whether the thrill of anticipation came
from meeting a new teacher and starting new classes, or shopping for school
supplies and clothes, or reuniting with friends, the feeling was real. Being
the father of four Lancaster students, I can tell you the excitement level in
my house is mounting.
For someone who has been out of the classroom, even for a
short while, it's easy to imagine that schools operate the same way they did
'back in the day.' Even in the brief time that my children have been in Lancaster
schools, the pace of change in technology has accelerated and teachers and
schools are challenged to keep up. Technology is an integral part of our
routine, an essential part of your child's instructional day.
Today's classrooms are infused with technology and teachers
spend their summers eagerly absorbing the latest technology applications. This
summer, we have been working to bring some of the most exciting advancements in
technology ever, placing additional
Chromebooks throughout the district.
We are pleased with the positive reception they have received
and continue to explore ways
to further enhance
Also new this year, based on student request, we are opening
a gateway to an enhanced level of communication and will become one of the
first school districts in Western New York to give all students in grades seven
through 12 their own email accounts. We agree with our students that having
access to email is an important educational tool and we have planned diligently
over the last couple of years to be successful at making this a productive,
In my discussion with students, they've said they believe
that learning how maintain an email account is essential for success in college
and in the workforce. By providing student email accounts, we are giving students
a tool that will have an immediate impact on their academic lives. Some practical
uses of district-issued email include communicating with teachers regarding questions,
extra help, or homework. Students can use email to communicate with each other
about assignments or collaborate on group projects. While text messaging is
expedient, e-mail will help students become accustomed to a more formal model
of communicating complex ideas. Access to district-issued email is particularly
vital to students who are seeking to secure internship opportunities or follow
up on networking connections made with professionals who are linked to our academies.
We are pleased to make email available for our students and
look forward to this expansion of opportunities for them. For questions about
student use of computer resources, please see our acceptable use policy at www.lancasterschools.org/student_AUP.
Michael J. Vallely, Ph.D.
Superintendent of Schools