Welcome to the 2016-2017 School year!
It is at this time of the year when you begin to notice that the sunsets are earlier and the evenings are cooler ---a breath of fall air in August, which indicates that we are nearing the beginning of another school year. The start of a new school year means a new beginning for everyone as we welcome more than 1,800 students to experience a successful educational journey with us.
We will continue to focus on teaching and learning so that our students graduate college and career ready. Our primary academic initiative will continue to be a focus on reading. Teachers have been training over the summer to implement Fundations and Wilson Reading programs in their classrooms. The Administration will continue their work with PLC Associates which will allow them to hone the skills needed to help teachers improve teaching strategies within their classrooms. Guided by administrators, teachers will continue their curriculum updates and mapping by identifying the essential standards necessary in every grade at the elementary level and in every course at the secondary level to ensure all students succeed.
Building community, educational, and business partnerships has been a major focus for the District this year. We have successfully partnered with Erie 1 BOCES and Trocaire College for the PTECH program. We have a new partnership with Cornell Cooperative Extension who is working with us to create healthier schools. Niagara University has been a long-time partner with New Step Courses which offer transferrable college credit for high school students. This year, NU began providing professional development for our Pre-K teachers, and they also offered our teaching staff an opportunity to become TESOL certified at a reduced rate. We are in the initial stages of partnering with ECC and Ford Motor Company. Currently they are doing apprenticeship training exclusively for Ford in the industrial arts wing of our high school with the hope of expanding programming. Our newest partnership includes CAO Headstart with a plan to provide infants and toddlers placement in the primary wing of McKinley School in the early Fall of 2016.
While maintaining the initiatives already put into place, this year we will be able to offer after-school programming at the secondary level. Through partnerships with Prevention Focus (grades 7-12) and the YWCA (grades 6-8), students will have an opportunity to help plan and participate student-driven and engaging activities. The programs will also include homework help and refreshments. Students will focus on developing the skills they need to make healthy choices and develop healthy behaviors that will help to sustain them throughout their lives.
On behalf of the Lackawanna Public Schools, thank you to the voters who once again supported our public schools by passing a $27 million capital project for school improvement which will occur primarily at the secondary complex. Included in this project are new roofs or roof repairs for all schools, new doors, and windows at the secondary center, new separate and secure entrances for the middle and high school, updated science labs, work on a common hallway to accommodate the administration and all the support staff, and updating the football field to allow home games to be played at the high school athletic complex. This project will occur in three phases and we will look forward to it’s completion in Fall 2018.
The 2016-17 school year promises to be filled with excitement, planning, hard work, challenges and accomplishments for all.