By Jodee Riordan
Board of Education President
How are you, Lewiston-Porter? On our homepage, you will find a quick family check-in survey. Please take the time to fill it out and let us know how your family is doing, and the best way to support you and your children during this time.
The check-in asks, on a scale of 1-10, how are you and your family doing? (1 = We are struggling 10 = We are doing well). How are you doing with technology (hardware and software, resources, support), and completing work from school, and communicating with teachers and school staff? Do you need help with household necessities (e.g., food, paper products, personal hygiene, etc.), staying organized, or child care? Are you going stir crazy and need ideas on how to keep the kids occupied during these challenging times?
We want to check in on both the quantity and quality of work your child has been assigned over the closure? Is it too much/ just right/ not enough? Does it seem like busy work/ just right/ is it especially engaging?
As of May 1, there will be new learning and it will mostly be online. We need to know what support you/your child will need to be ready. You may be ready now, or perhaps you need a little assistance to be ready. You may be feeling overwhelmed, and need support – educational, emotional or physical. 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.
The Board of Education will meet on Tuesday, in our first virtual meeting during the pandemic, in accordance with Open Meetings Law and social distancing protocol. We encourage the community to join us. The link for Tuesday’s Zoom meeting can be found on the Lew-Port.com homepage: Meeting ID: 761 3357 0685 / Password: Lewiston.
On the agenda is regular Board of Education business such as policy review and district operations, as well as annual approval of the proposed Orleans-Niagara Board of Cooperative Educational Service (BOCES) administrative budget, and election of the BOCES Board of Education members. Wendy Swearingen will continue as Lewiston-Porter’s representative to the BOCES Board of Ed, where she serves as board president.
The board will then further our budget discussion, with a presentation by Dr. Patti Grupka. As the state budget is set to be reassessed at the end of this month, we continue to develop budgetary strategies to meet these unprecedented times and do not plan to adopt a 2020-21 budget until at least May 11. We will also move to amend the previous election date in accordance with executive order No. 202.13 (“Continuing Temporary Suspension and Modification of Laws Relating to the Disaster Emergency”). The order provides that “any school board election scheduled to take place in April or May of 2020 is postponed until at least June 1, 2020, subject to further directive as to the timing, location or manner of voting for such election.”
In other words, we do not yet know when the budget vote and Board of Education election will take place. Our district clerk will announce details as soon as we receive official guidance. Stay tuned.
Let’s continue our weekly review of the state of the ongoing school closure and how this is evolving at Lewiston-Porter: Per Gov. Andrew Cuomo, closure of all schools will continue now through Friday, May 15. During the closure, per executive order 202.4, “the provision of school meals, childcare and distance learning are considered essential services or function.”
Education: A plan of action is now in place to finalize third marking period grades (for secondary students) and establish new learning, with graded work, for the fourth marking period. The third marking period will close on Thursday, April 30. Students will only be graded for work that was assigned prior to March 13. Report cards will be available online through PowerSchool no later than Friday, May 8. Again, this is for secondary students in grades 6-12. The fourth marking period will begin officially on Friday, May 1.
For the elementary schools (PEC/IEC), work established after May 1 will be graded and will count toward students’ grades for the third trimester. All work assigned from May 1 forward, in grades K-12, will be entered officially into the PowerSchool gradebook. It is imperative that students are fully up and running with Google Classroom/Seesaw and are following the specific directions from each of their teachers in terms of assignments and due dates. Details will be forthcoming directly from building principals and individual teachers this week.
Food Service: 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.
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. 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.
As of Friday, per executive order, all people must wear a mask or face covering in public in situations where social distancing is not possible. Please comply with this order as you pick up meals on campus, and at any time it is necessary for you to leave your home.
Stay strong, Lewiston-Porter.