Lancaster Central School District

Centers of Learning and Growth


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In the Spotlight...

Happy Thanksgiving


Dear Lancaster Parents, Family, and Friends...
There's a popular catchphrase, "You only live once," or YOLO. My Grandma Grace used to always say, "You only live once in awhile." I didn't always understand the meaning of her words, but as the years go by, I realize the key to what my grandmother said was that the moments we truly live are those in which we choose to take time, take a deep breath, and truly savor them. Some of those moments are planned, others are unplanned, but when we recognize the breadth of beauty around us, that is when we are truly living.
This time of year, there can be so many distractions for families, and turning on the television news does little to warm the heart. Yet, there are heartwarming moments everywhere around us, if we simply look. In this season of giving thanks, we can follow the lead of our students, teaching us that giving is from the heart.
At a recent board meeting, Hillview Elementary third graders asked every district administrator and board of education member, to "pay it forward." Each adult was given a strip of paper to record how he or she had helped someone or done something kind. Those strips will be joined with the children's to create a paper chain around the school, highlighting good deeds that have been done for others.
At Como Park and John A. Sciole elementaries, donations are being made to honor our armed forces. Como Park students sent troops their Halloween candy while Sciole students made cards to remind them that we think of them and their service, especially at the holidays. Court Street students are making crafts that will accompany food delivered through Meals on Wheels. Recipients will have a hot meal and something to decorate their home from the hands of our youngsters. William Street students are making wreaths for an upcoming tree lighting ceremony. The wreaths will ultimately be donated to nursing homes to brighten the halls for the holidays.
As our students start to enter young adulthood, they take on more of the responsibility of planning service projects. Students at Lancaster Middle School have been instrumental in operationalizing the collection that helps stock the food pantry, learning valuable life and job skills while helping others. Our high school students really give of themselves, throughout the year, but particularly before the holidays when extracurricular groups go above and beyond to make the youth bureau’s annual holiday distribution a huge success.
We are proud of the initiatives our students take to make the world a better place. As they graduate and move on, we're quite sure they will continue to be people who make the most of every moment and make a difference in the lives of others.

Michael J. Vallely, Ph.D.

Superintendent of Schools