Article and photo by Janet Schultz
At its Tuesday meeting, the Lewiston-Porter Board of Recognition presented a "Do The Right Thing Award" to Middle School student Charlie Dieteman.
In October, Dieteman organized a Cerebral Palsy Awareness Day with all students wearing green and selling green wristbands; it brought in $400, which was donated to the Cerebral Palsy Association. The award comes from the Niagara County Sheriffs Office and Police Athletic League.
Also recognized was Principal Paul Casseri and the high school on its being proclaimed a New York State Reward School. This represents the third reward Lewiston-Porter High School has received out of 4,617 schools; 351 are recognized. Reward School status is awarded to schools that are identified as "leading New York State toward the accomplishment of educational excellence through an increase in student achievement and closing the gap in student performance."
In other news from the session, the board announced a series of public forums would take place this month for those wishing to provide input on the selection for the new Lewiston-Porter superintendent of schools. Roser will be leaving the district at the end of the academic year. The first forum will be held at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 5, in the district office boardroom; and a second will take place at 10 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 8, in the boardroom of the Community Resource Center.
On a related note, at an earlier meeting this month, Dr. Clark Godshall, district superintendent of schools for Orleans/Niagara BOCES was appointed as the search consultant at no compensation.
•Board President Jodee Riordan welcomed newly appointed Assistant Superintendent of Schools Patricia Grupka to the meeting. She is expected to assume that position shortly.
•The Lew-Port board accepted the audit report, which was presented prior to the regular meeting, from Lumsden and McCormick. The report made suggestions for some minor procedural changes that the district is now undertaking.
•Mike Antonelli presented an overview on the progress of the Carol M. White PEP Grant received by the district. The $1.2 million grant will be paid out over a three-year period; its purpose is to initiate, expand and improve physical education programs and after-school programs for children in grades K through 12.
In its first few months of the grant Lew-Port has hired a grant monitor and purchased 210 heart rate monitors, active watches, fitness equipment, cardio equipment, selectorized weight training machines and other fitness center supplies. The digitalized equipment is also interactive and provides students insight on keeping fit through fun and exercise while monitoring their heart rate and exercise routine.
"Seventy-five students can all be active and doing something at the same time," said Antonelli. "The equipment is monitoring their heart rate."
As another part of the grant, Lew-Port acquired the SPARK Physical Education Curriculum, equipment and training for their faculty. The SPARK program focuses on inclusion rather than competition.
Partnering with the YMCA, the district can now offer fitness programs before school begins allowing children to come in early and work out thus giving them after-school time for their other activities. Staff members of the YMCA have also been trained in the SPARK curriculum.
Lew-Port has also partnered with Mt. St. Mary's in their HERO program, which focuses on good nutrition and teaching children how to eat right.
"The biggest purchase we made are SMART (interactive) walls with a wide range of games that are upgraded on a regular basis," said Antonelli.
All of this is being installed in the Middle School, target age of the PEP grant.
•As fall sports wraps up, Lew-Port's boys soccer team is heading for the Sectional finals and the Lew-Port girls cross country team placed second in the Niagara Frontier League. Three girls and one boy from the teams are heading to States.
•The board proclaimed Nov. 18 as National Schools-Related Professionals Day, recognizing those employees who work with teachers to help students reach their potential and become productive members of society.
Roser presented each board member with a token of appreciation in recognition of National School Boards Week, stating, "You don't know how much hard work goes into serving until you are on the board. We thank you for your service," Roser said.
Wrapping up, the board accepted a donation of $500 worth of books for the Intermediate Education Center from the Usborne Book Co. "We thank them and accept any donations," said Riordan.
The next regularly scheduled board meeting will be 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 25, in the Community Resource Building.
For continuing news on the district, visit www.lew-port.com.