Lancaster Central School District

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Dear Lancaster Parents, Family, and Friends...
With the school year now successfully underway, I’d like to talk a little bit about the measures we take, even throughout the summer months, to ensure every child’s success. Our summer school programs have two overarching goals: to help students be better prepared for the next school year, and/or to recover credits for on-time graduation. At a recent board of education meeting, our summer school administrators gave reports about successes achieved at all grade levels during their innovative summer programs.

At the elementary level, students were selected by teacher recommendation and kindergarten screening to attend the K-3 program, which was held at Court Street Elementary. This program, which focuses on helping students shore up basic skills using a project-based learning model, culminated in a business fair with lemonade stands and the sale of bird feeders, which students made using their research skills. At William Street School, interns from Canisius College were paired with classroom teachers to engage students using research and technology. Session highlights included using math, science, and language skills to sell drinks and snacks. Students raised $200 and voted to donate the proceeds to the Erie County SPCA.

It’s unusual that a middle school student would experience a rush of excitement upon learning he or she needs to attend summer school in order to recover credits lost during the traditional school year. However, students who attended our middle school summer school became highly engaged in multidisciplinary studies, with the help of technology and hands-on experiences. For example, students explored the scientific concept of the changing status of matter with food preparation and learned about statistics while playing golf. 

This was the largest summer session ever held with the greatest number of credits recovered for special education students. A remarkable collaboration that pairs the special education summer school with general education began four years ago. Working to the best of their abilities, students recovered approximately 120 credits in the areas of math, science, English, and social studies, in addition to 46 half-credits in physical education. Program features and field trips included projects in overcoming adversity and identifying one’s strengths.

We were particularly pleased and surprised by the enthusiasm shown for, and the results of a summer math enrichment program, intended to bridge our accelerated math program to earlier grade levels. With exciting lessons to keep them engaged, students are well on their way to understanding topics such as systems of equations, the Pythagorean theorem.    

Thanks to the dedicated effort of staff and students, 10 diplomas were awarded at the board of education meeting to students who had completed their degree requirements during the summer program. Congratulations to all of our graduates, and the families who supported them along the way!

Michael J. Vallely, Ph.D.
Superintendent of Schools