Welcome to the 2019-20 school year. Our school year is off and running. This will be an exciting year at Lewiston-Porter; we have a great team assembled to take student learning to new heights.
Our district mission states:
The Lewiston-Porter Central School District empowers and inspires students to achieve academic and personal excellence through rigorous curriculum, collaborative partnerships, and resourceful decision-making. We promote a diverse learning environment through innovative practice, a focus on the individual student and respect for all.
Our goal is to develop and align policies and programs to fulfill our mission. Our work as educators is unique in that we are not creating a tangible commodity. We are passionately and with conviction, seeking ways to help every child within our community reach their maximum potential. We are in essence creating the future and through our mission, we hope to create the kind of educational experience that will allow each student to thrive and develop fully. Please review at our website both our Board and District goals for the 2019-20 school year. Our focus this year is on Professional Collaboration focused on student learning, technology integration, and strengthening the home/school partnership. I believe we have set the Lewiston-Porter Central Schools on a new trajectory, one that will truly capture our motto, “We are Aiming Higher.”
Many exciting things are happening at Lewiston-Porter Central Schools. As you have driven by the school district over the summer, perhaps you noticed construction vehicles moving about our campus. Work continues on Phase II of our $9.25 million capital project. Work is continuing in virtually all building expect the Intermediate Education, however significant outside site work is taking place on the old tennis courts behind the IEC. The goal had always been to have the project in all buildings wrapped up before the start of school. Unfortunately due to construction delays and issues procuring HVAC equipment in Mexico the project is running 6-8 weeks behind schedule. Once completed significant upgrades will be seen in our science labs in both the Middle School and High School. Also, at the High School we will established a new School Counseling suite and see a beautiful new commons area with a school store, concession facilities and study rooms. The High School will have a real college look and feel as we move into the fall. Behind the Intermediate Education Center we will have lighted basketball courts and play area as well as batting cages for our baseball and softball programs. Finally at the Primary Education Center we will have a totally updated HVAC system with air conditioning. It is really too bad that delay after delay have forced us to put off a grand opening until mid-November or early December. We will have details of the Open house to showcase this work out in October.
You’ve probably heard the buzz by now but if not Lewiston-Porter Community Education is back. The enthusiasm for our course offerings has been overwhelming. If you haven’t yet selected a class or two, please do many have closed out and time is running out to register. Please visit www.lew-port.com for more details. Our 5,000 square foot, state of the art fitness facility is once again available for use by the community this school year. We have created access both before and after school for community members for a very nominal membership fee. Please check out the Athletics section of the District website for more details. Memberships are currently being processed in the Athletics office: Stop by, or call 286-7263 extension 2115. We hope all community members take advantage of this great asset.
Our teaching faculty and staff was officially back this past Tuesday and Wednesday, August 27th and 28th, for our Opening Day activities and professional development as we finalize preparation for the 2019-20 school year. A key aspect of our work over these two days was continued energy around implementation of our District wide Strategic Plan 2016-2020. This is the last year of the plan and a stakeholder community is currently working on the next iteration. It will be out and revealed to the public this coming spring. As we close out the current plan, two key areas will be of focus in terms of teaching and learning for the 2019-20 school year. A continued focus on the Professional Learning Communities model for school change and Technology integration in the classroom. This year we are completely one-to-one in terms of technological devices (Chromebook, IPad) in student and staff hands. We now need to leverage that hardware and software in terms of expanding learning opportunities, communication possibilities between student homes, the school and the community at large. Ultimately with this technology now at everyone’s fingertips, student achievement should follow. Technology must be used wisely and cannot simply substitute a computer for a chalkboard or overhead projector. The work must be deeper than that and we must see gains in student learning as a result.
We want the community to recognize and be proud of the tremendous school system that has been built here at Lewiston-Porter. We are the 8th ranked School District in Western New York according to Business First. We have some of the most innovative programming of any educational organization, both public and private, in our region. We continue to use the lens of our Strategic Plan to further hone that programming to meet the needs of all learners and provide for this community a 21st century educational experience for our young people. Our vision is a program with national and international significance that creates opportunity and a positive trajectory of all students, as they move through their elementary and secondary school experience, to life after Lewiston-Porter and all the possibilities that can bring.
You have a tremendous Board of Education representing the community in all district matters. Most recently, at our summer retreat, the Board adopted its yearly goals for 2019-20. The Board of Education has again committed itself to strong community relations. We have developed interactive monthly work sessions that seek community involvement. All meeting times and dates are posted on our website. You can also like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. We to begin live streaming some of meetings as well. Our goal is transparency and to create a flow of information from the district to the community at large, regarding all that is happening educationally at Lewiston-Porter. Board and District Goals are posted on our district website. I’m pleased to announce this year we will launch a new Lew-Port app that can be downloaded through Google play store or Itunes. Details on the app will be out the first week of school to all families.
Please know that all of us here at Lewiston-Porter are committed to the success of every child within our District. We will always seek to develop the most innovative ways to create the strongest educational experience for the students of our district. My door is always open. I will again be hosting an open coffee hour at the Orange Cat Coffee Company in Lewiston from 4:45 to 6:00 pm. The dates for these sessions are Monday, October 7ths, Monday, January 6th (this is a change from the school calendar) and Monday, April 20th. Any question, comment, concern or topic is open for discussion. From our Strategic Plan to curriculum and instruction, athletics, school finance, all topics are on the table. The coffee is great and so are the cookies and they are on me, so please stop by.
Have a great 2019-20 school year!
Paul J. Casseri