‘In the Loop’ with the Lewiston-Porter Board of Education
By Jodee Riordan
Board of Education President
Happy Halloween, boys and ghouls! This week at Lewiston-Porter was filled with spirited activities across the district as students celebrated School Spirit Week. Activities included dress up days and virtual events, including Halloween celebrations, bringing the whole school community together.
If you are celebrating Halloween this weekend, stay safe and warm and follow state Halloween guidelines (https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/system/files/documents/2020/10/13244_covid_halloweenguidance_102020-2.pdf).
While we are talking about safety, let’s take a moment to recognize the work of the elementary safety patrol. This month, more than 60 members of the fifth grade class joined the safety patrol team.
“We are thrilled to have such a large group and are ready to begin our safety mission this year!” advisers Jill Jaruszewski and Karen Yager said.
The Lew-Port safety patrol is divided into morning and afternoon teams and train while on duty. Students can be identified at drop off/pick-up locations by their bright yellow belts. Thank you to each of the fifth graders taking the lead and making safety a priority.
•The Board of Education has been very busy this week, beginning with a regular business meeting Monday evening at the Community Resource Center. Board members reported on recent and ongoing committee work, including policy review (a review and update of board policies); facilities (the current capital project and NYSED five-year comprehensive facilities report), special education (the upcoming full audit of the district’s K-12 special education program), the upcoming strategic planning steering committee meeting (immediate short term goals and long term plans of the 2020-25 strategic plan); and health and wellness (supporting the social and emotional health of L-P students and staff).
In addition to normal business, the board accepted the generous donation of potter’s equipment and art supplies to the Lew-Port Art Department by the family of the late Katie Foley. Katie was a talented artist and a dedicated, caring teacher, and the donation will benefit and inspire Lew-Port art students for years to come.
•Board members spent the week attending the New York State School Boards Association convention. In response to the pandemic, the annual convention is fully remote this year. Board members are attending virtual educational sessions, presentations and networking events throughout the week, with time at the next two work sessions devoted to sharing and discussing what members learned.
Educational sessions focus on board governance, community relations and school improvement, cultural awareness and diversity, finance and facilities, health, safety and school climate, rural schools, school law/employee relations, skills-based training, and student achievement.
•The Board of Education will meet at 6 p.m. Monday, Nov 9, for a work session. Join us via Zoom. The meeting link is posted on the Lew-Port homepage (www.lew-port.com). Passcode: Lancers.
•The NYSSBA is the statewide voice for the interests of public boards of education. NYSSBA serves more than 675 local school boards and boards of cooperative educational services (BOCES), which represent more than 5,200 members (nearly half the elected officials in the state). This morning, NYSSBA holds its annual meeting, adopting resolutions and setting the course for the coming year.
It has been my honor to represent WNY (area 1) on the NYSSBA resolutions committee for the past two years, helping to put forward the resolutions that become adopted as the official advocacy positions of NYSSBA. Resolutions are submitted by individual school districts and also crafted by NYSSBA, based on results of in-depth surveys on areas of concern across the state. These resolutions, once adopted as position statements, guide the work and legislative priorities of NYSSBA in support of excellence in education throughout New York.
•Remember to set your clocks back on Sunday, Nov. 1, as Daylight Savings Time officially ends.
•Looking for something to do next weekend? Explore the early history of Fort Niagara when the French controlled the fort. French Heritage Day is usually held on the first Friday in November in concert with National French Week, sponsored by the American Association of Teachers of French. This year, because of field trip restrictions, French Heritage Day is moving to Saturday, Nov. 7. Students and teachers are invited to visit the fort with their families.
French Heritage Day offers students and their families a variety of experiences that will help them better understand the early French exploration and occupation of the Great Lakes region during the 17th and 18th centuries. The day’s program includes living history programs about garrison life, trade, architecture, music, travel, food-ways, Native American relationships and other topics.
Guests will experience many of the same engaging programs that Lew-Port offered on “French Day Friday” in the past. All guests are asked to wear a mask and practice social distancing. Old Fort Niagara is a large site and many of the activities will be outdoors.
Admission to the program is discounted at $14 for adults and $9 per student (show school ID). Tickets are available at the door. Check out the previsit YouTube link in French. More information can be found at oldfortniagara.org.