By Jodee Riordan
Board of Education President
As January comes to an end, we are now halfway through the school year. This past week was full of midterm and Regents exams, and the second marking period closed at the high school and middle school.
Beginning this coming week, high school students will start second semester courses and middle school students will follow new course schedules. We welcome February and, with it, our elementary students will celebrate "The 100th Day of School." Eighth-grade students will attend Transition Night on Wednesday, Feb. 7, in the high school auditorium.
In the high school, AP Exam fees are due by Feb. 1. Students are invited to attend a college planning night at Niagara-Wheatfield High School on Feb. 8. And cap and gown orders for the Class of 2018 will be placed this month, with representatives from Jostens on site to facilitate the process.
'One District, One Book,' Year Two
And the winner is ... "The Mouse and the Motorcycle."
The big "One District, One Book" reveal event was held at the Lewiston Public Library on Wednesday. The turnout was incredible - with families filling the library with excitement. It was a moment of pure joy as Superintendent Paul Casseri and Assemblyman Angelo Morinello announced the winning book.
Each student at the Primary Education Center and Intermediate Education Center will now receive a copy of "The Mouse and the Motorcycle" by Beverly Cleary. Every family in the Lewiston-Porter Elementary School community will read the same book at the same time.
"One District, One Book" is a fantastic opportunity for our whole community to connect. Even if you do not currently have a child in elementary school, you can instantly connect with a little one just by asking about the adventures of Ralph and his friend, Keith! Pick up the book, or check out Lew-Port webpage to watch the video series of special guests reading each chapter. Join in the fun!
Thank you to everyone for this wonderful event: principals Mrs. Larson and Mrs. Rodriguez, librarians Mrs. Zielinski and Mrs. Metz, the Lewiston-Porter PTA and the Lewiston Public Library, Youngstown Free Library and Ransomville Free Library and their dedicated librarians and staff. Lewiston Tops and Orange Cat Coffee provided refreshments and Favorite's Pizza awarded the first 100 children with certificates for a free slice of pizza. Many of our local restaurants supported the event with special promotions (Apple Granny's, Brickyard and Tin Pan Alley, Spicey Pickle, 700 Bistro, Ray's Tavern and the Orange Cat).
Shout out to Julie Donnelly's adorable schnauzers, who stole the show in the "ODOB" lead-up videos.
Lewiston-Porter High School celebrates "Winter Spirit" this coming week. There is a pep rally Friday afternoon and a dodge ball tournament at 4:30 p.m. A winter dance takes place at 7 p.m. Saturday in the high school gymnasium.
Spirit Week will celebrate Lancer pride with the following themes: Monday, Clash Day; Tuesday, Decades Day; Wednesday, Sports/Olympic Day; Thursday, Country Day; Friday, School Colors: Green and White Day.
Today, Lewiston-Porter Board of Education members, Superintendent Casseri, Assistant Superintendent Patti Grupka and I are attending the Niagara-Orleans School Boards Association legislative breakfast, continuing our advocacy for education and its equitable funding in New York state. The breakfast is an important annual event that brings us together with our lawmakers and our fellow board of education members and administrators from across Niagara and Orleans counties. NOSBA representatives and superintendents will outline the crucial issues facing our component districts, with Sen. Rob Ortt and assemblymen Morinello, Mike Norris and Steve Hawley addressing the topics of concern.
Legislators have visited the Lew-Port district over the past few weeks to meet with us and, in February, we will travel to Albany for the NYSSBA Capital Conference to advocate on behalf of our district. We will meet individually with our senator and assemblymen to discuss Lewiston-Porter's specific fiscal and educational policy concerns, and also with a broad NYSSBA forum to advocate for reliable, equitable funding for education within the upcoming New York state budget process.
Lewiston-Porter's budget work sessions begin Tuesday, Feb. 6. Budget sessions will continue on Tuesday evenings through March, with the formal budget process then continuing through April and May.
The budget development calendar is posted on the Lew-Port website and all work sessions are open to the public. Join the BOE as we crunch numbers and craft the 2018-19 budget.