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Lewiston-Porter remains ever-hopeful, despite statewide school closure

Fri, May 1st 2020 04:45 pm

‘In the Loop’ with the Lewiston-Porter Board of Education

By Board of Education President Jodee Riordan

Per Gov. Cuomo, all schools will now remain closed for the remainder of the school year. Ever optimistic, we carried the hope that life would get back to “normal” sooner than later, and we would be able to return this year. We now know that will not happen.

What will happen is we will continue to provide the very best possible education to our students, we will continue to keep our children and our educators safe, and we will continue to support our entire community. We will get through this and we will get through it together.

Parents, students, faculty and staff are receiving regular communication from Superintendent Paul Casseri, as well as our administrators. Paul’s updates are also posted directly to our district homepage, along with vital information regarding kindergarten registration, meal pick-up and child care, upcoming board meetings and other important announcements. We encourage the community to stay current by regularly reading Paul’s updates, which are available by following Lew-Port on Facebook and Twitter.

During the ongoing closure, Lewiston-Porter will continue to provide the essential services outlined by the governor per executive order 202.4, “the provision of school meals, childcare and distance learning are considered essential services or function”:

Education: From the superintendent: We must stay positive and keep moving forward as a home/school partnership. As a district, we continue with the plans that are now in place for K-12 continuity of learning through the end of the school year. As a group of educators, we will do our best for our students and families to create instruction in new learning to the greatest extent possible. We will continue to work in a collaborative way with our community to deliver this learning in a positive and supportive manner for all our students.

Obviously, we need all families on board and carefully following the instructions and directions from teachers and support professionals (counselors/social workers/special educators/related service professionals, etc.), as we move remote instruction toward the end of the year. If you need anything from the district – whether it is help with technology, help with specific assignments, social/emotional learning issues at home, meals, day care – we are here to help: Please reach out.

Food Service: We are providing meals to meet the needs of our families seven days a week: Meals are available from 9-11 a.m. Monday-Wednesday-Friday for all students under the age of 18. Students receive meals for two days (two breakfasts and two lunches) when picked up on Monday and/or Wednesday, and for three days on Friday (three breakfasts and three lunches).

Meals are available at the Lewiston-Porter High School main entrance. Families not able to pick up should email Dr. Patti Grupka ([email protected]) to make arrangements to have meals delivered.

To date, Lew-Port has served over 20,000 meals.

Lewiston-Porter is partnering with the WNY Food Bank to provide food for any family in need. Each Wednesday, families with children will be able to pick a backpack of supplementary, nonperishable food items when they pick up their lunches and breakfasts. Each backpack will include a protein and vegetable along with other food staples.

It is not necessary to register in advance; just ask when you pick-up and you will receive a backpack. Those who have home delivery will have the bag delivered to their home on request.

As this crisis continues, need is growing within our community. The Care-N-Share Food Pantry is providing food and personal care items (shampoo, soap, body wash, toothpaste, deodorant). Care-N-Share is located at 3628 Ransomville Road. Hours are 3:30-5:30 p.m. Tuesday, 5-7 p.m. Thursday, and 9 a.m. to noon. Saturday.

Thank you to our teachers (LPUT), our aides and monitors (LPUEE), and the IEC Multiage who have given generously to Care-N-Share.

If you are able to give: Donations of nonperishable food and toiletries can be dropped off at the food pantry during the above operating hours. Monetary donations can be mailed to Inter-Community Services at PO Box 401, Ransomville, NY 14131.

The Niagara River Region Chamber of Commerce has set up a “Give or Take Table” on its porch, 895 Center St. Just take what you need, give what you can.

If you are able to give, the following items are in greatest need: Soup, canned fruit, peanut butter, tomato sauce, jelly, oatmeal, toilet paper, toiletries and baby food. Please ensure nothing is expired; and no clothing, please.

Child Care: Lewiston-Porter Central School District provides free child care for all essential workers while schools are closed due to COVID-19. Please see our website (or executive order No. 202.4) for a complete list of eligible essential workers. Child care is provided from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays for children of eligible workers ages 3-12 at the Lewiston-Porter Primary Education Center (in partnership with the Buffalo Niagara YMCA).

To register for the service, please contact the Lockport Family Branch YMCA at 716-434-8887 or email Office Manager Brigid Dillman at [email protected] between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. weekdays.

The Board of Education will meet via Zoom at 6 p.m. Tuesday, May 5. The agenda will focus on policy review, updates on the ongoing school closure, and discussion of the budget and board election.

As I write this, the impact to all school budgets by state aid cuts is unknown, as are the date and details of the Board of Education election and the budget vote. By Tuesday, we may have a clearer picture.

(Cuomo later announced a June 9 date.)

Please join us. The link to the meeting is posted on our homepage: Meeting ID 745 3582 5242; Password: Lewport.

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