‘In the Loop’ with the Lewiston-Porter Board of Education
By Jodee Riordan
Board of Education President
Closure of all schools will continue now through Wednesday, April 29. The governor states this will again be reassessed in two weeks. There has been no discussion or guidance as to the closing of school for the remainder of the year. As hope springs eternal, we are still operating on the premise that schools will reopen at some certain point this year. We continue to look forward to returning to school and returning to normalcy.
During the closure, per executive order 202.4, “The provision of school meals, childcare and distance learning are considered essential services or function.”
Here is how this is evolving at Lewiston-Porter:
Education: This week, the New York State Department of Education (NYSED) canceled all NYS June 2020 Regents exams. NYSED has issued guidance on this cancelation and we are creating a plan for course credit to take the place of the Regents exam diploma requirement. Our administrative team is working on a plan for grading and reporting course credit for all grade levels, including finalizing graduation requirements for the Class of 2020.
For secondary (grades 6-12), our plan is to end the third marking period on April 30 and initiate the fourth marking period on May 1. Elementary (grades K-5) operate on a trimester basis, and are currently in the third trimester, which ends in June.
Details will be forthcoming from building principals and your individual teacher(s) this week.
Food Service: Beginning this week, meals will be available from 9-11 a.m. Monday-Wednesday-Friday for all students under the age of 18. Students will 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 that are not able to pick up should email Dr. Patti Grupka ([email protected]) to make arrangements to have meals delivered.
Child Care: Lewiston-Porter Central School District is partnering with the Buffalo Niagara YMCA to provide 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. To register for the service, please contact the Lockport Family Branch YMCA at 716-434-8887 or email Brigid Dillman, office manager, at [email protected] between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. weekdays.
Let’s Talk Technology: Lew-Port has been utilizing our mass-messaging system (Blackboard) to communicate important information directly to families through email and phone messages. This system draws family information from PowerSchool.
Not receiving emails or phone calls? It is because that information is missing or incorrect in PowerSchool. Log into the ParentPortal to update demographic information. Parents should make sure it is up-to-date for each child, as it is also vital contact information for guardian emails for Google Classroom.
Our director of technology, Nick Hill, will be sending out a letter to parents explaining this process.
Nick has been sending a series of very helpful “Planning for Home Learning” and “Tech Talk” emails, providing helpful information, resources and support for parents during this transition to distance learning. You will find guidance and help on online learning using platforms and websites such as Seesaw, the full Google suite (including a “Parents’ Ultimate Guide to Google Classroom”), Reading Plus, Think Tech, Zoom video conferencing, The Kahn Academy, Kami, and more.
Remote learning is challenging, and suddenly becoming online learners and homeschooling parents in the midst of these uncertain times is very stressful. Please check out Nick’s emails for real-world guidance – and if you need technical support, just reach out.
Over the past weeks of the closure, our teachers and administrators have been working tirelessly to ensure every student has everything they need for successful distance learning. We recognize there still may be families struggling with providing reliable internet access, and a very few who may not yet have picked up technology. If this applies to your family, or you know of someone, please contact us for immediate help.
We need each student and every family to know that we are here, whatever the need. We are all in this together, and we will get through this together.
Stay well and stay strong, Lewiston-Porter.