Pre-K Applications Now Being Accepted
Based on anticipated state funding, the Lancaster Central School District is accepting applications for a no-cost pre-kindergarten program for the 2021-2022 school year. The district’s Pre-K provider is located at 149 Central Avenue, in the former Central Avenue elementary school building. The program runs 2.5 hours per day, 5 days a week, and follows the district calendar for holidays and recesses. Classes are offered in the morning (9-11:30am) and afternoon (12:15-2:45pm). These times may be subject to change. Parents are responsible for transporting their child to and from the program.
· Your child must be 4 years old no later than December 1, 2021.
· You must be a Lancaster Central School District resident.
Please download the application below. The application deadline is Friday, March 19, 2021. Students are selected by lottery to participate in the Pre-K program. A lottery for available enrollment will be held at William Street School on Monday, March 29, 2021 at 5pm.
UPK Lottery Application
A New Way to Watch BOE Meetings
Starting Dec. 7, 2020, Lancaster board of education meetings will be live streamed so the community can view the action from any Internet connection – computer, laptop, or phone. The community will not need to log into Zoom, as they previously had done, to watch the school board meeting. Lancaster has partnered with LocalLive to live stream district events. The system will be used for all school board meetings, as well as streaming some athletic and music events. All events can be accessed through the Live Streaming icon on the district homepage. Once on the page, select Upcoming School Events from the event dropdown. It’s easy, watch how to view. The BOE recorded meeting and transcript will continue to be available on the Board of Education Board Meeting Videos webpage.
Substitute teachers are now being hired for the Lancaster School District. Highest sub pay in WNY - $125 per day - for certified teachers and $115 per day for uncertified applicants (must have a bachelor's degree). Please send cover letter and resume to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail to: LCSD, Attn: Personnel, 177 Central Avenue, Lancaster, NY 14086. Come work for the best district in WNY!
Please take a moment to view NY State's plan for the Every Student Succeeds Act.
The food service department has recently updated its Food and Nutrition website. Through the site you can learn about pre-payment options, view menus, access the district wellness policy, nutrition information and fitness tips. You can also visit the site via the Food Service icon in the black icon ribbon above to the right.
Section 409-1 of the New York Education Law requires schools to post access to the Prevent and Report Child Abuse Hotline, 1-800-342-3720.
This page, provided by the New York Office of Children and Family Services, provides language translation services on the upper left side of the screen.
Emmerson Bartels is National Merit Scholarship Award Semi-Finalist
Lancaster High School student Emmerson Bartels has been named a semi-finalist for the National Merit Scholarship award. Since 1955, the National Merit Scholarship Corporation has recognized academically talented students in the U.S. with scholarships to attend an accredited post-secondary institution. About half of finalists are awarded a scholarship of $2,500.
Emmerson is a member of the Math Honor Society, English Honor Society, and National Honor Society, as well as the Lancaster Youth Bureau Teen Volunteer Program and the LHS Healthcare Academy. She has also participated in the LHS Antlers Club, the LHS Environmental Action Club and has been a volunteer at Court Street Elementary in the past.
Emmerson was selected for the National Chemistry Olympiad Competition and has received Science, Math and French Student of the Year awards at LHS. She plans to major in biochemistry or pharmacy but has not yet decided on which college to attend in her quest to work in drug development and biochemical research one day.
“The dedicated teachers and the wide variety of challenging courses offered at LHS have allowed me to explore my academic interests and foster my passion for science,” said Emmerson.
National Merit Scholarship award finalists will be announced in February. To become a finalist, semi-finalists must submit an application, essay and faculty recommendation.
At last year’s Day of Giving in December, I spent my morning at the Lancaster Youth Bureau wrapping gifts for families in our community. Like many years prior, I sat surrounded by numerous children’s toys that had been donated, trying to help get items wrapped before the families arrived.
Started in 1992, the annual event now involves so many in our school community, from our students, staff, community members, fire and police departments, and many more. They are all volunteers who step up to lend a hand to others.
Each year the Lancaster Youth Bureau works with the Lancaster schools, families, and community members to assist families in need during the holiday season. Through a collaboration with the Western New York Holiday Partnership, as well as food, clothing, toy, and monetary donations from the school communities in Lancaster, over 120 families received food, gifts, and evergreen trees to make a memorable holiday.
This year’s event on December 18 looked slightly different as the families drove through for a curbside distribution, rather than attend an in-person event. The gifts, food, and Trinity Food Pantry vouchers were all pre-bagged, and volunteers ran the packages out to each car. Lancaster fire and police departments also assisted.
Nicole Gunsher, program coordinator of the Lancaster Youth Bureau, and Danielle Pitirri, LCSW-R, a school social worker who divides her time between Como Park Elementary and the Youth Bureau, led this event.
This year they did everything they could to keep everyone safe, which included changing the distribution to a drive-through, staggering the days, times, and number of volunteers in the building, sanitizing daily, and pre-packaging items for the families to take home, such as wrapping paper and cookie dough.
Families must apply to the Youth Bureau each year and fall within financial guidelines to receive food and gifts for their children. At other times of the year, such as Easter and Thanksgiving, families can also apply for assistance. This Thanksgiving, 87 families received food.
There is no disputing that the Day of Giving program has a tremendous impact on our school community. For the families receiving the donations, it gives them an additional boost at a time when the extras we all look forward to during holiday time might not be within reach. Mrs. Gunsher told me that the families signing up for this program are going through rough times, and this year has brought new people seeking help. She also considers herself very lucky to have worked with this program for 15 years and feels like she was brought to this job to help people in need and loves getting to know the families year after year.
The Lancaster school district also feels lucky to be part of this program. Our collection efforts were a little different this year. Some of our school buildings were able to conduct a food collection before we closed. Other buildings have reached out to our faculty and staff for donations, and they responded generously. A dress down fundraising day generated over $1,000 for gifts. This year everyone has been generous and very creative.
A much-anticipated event for our students is the cookie marathon, where the student council and Leadership in Action students bake and decorate cut-out cookies for the families. It is an hours-long session, as students make two dozen cookies for each family. This year, that had to be changed, but the students had a great idea to provide pre-packaged frozen dough, frosting, and decorations to the families. Working with the district’s food service staff, the dough was properly packaged with directions for use so the families could engage in an at-home activity of baking and decorating cookies in their own kitchen. This was a creative and inventive way to safely provide families with sweet treats.
The evergreen trees for the high school’s holiday decorating contest and holiday music concerts are not in place this year. In past years, those trees were then donated to the Day of Giving families. Instead, Mark Skowron, our high school coordinator of student affairs, reached out to local tree farms to ask for tree donations. There were trees available for families.
One thing that remained the same this year was the flurry of activity in the week leading up to the Day of Giving. This year, students and staff were divided into groups for two-hour sessions at the Lancaster Youth Bureau to organize and wrap gifts. Students “shop” for the families. They receive a slip of paper with information about a family, such as the children’s ages and interests so they can choose an appropriate gift. While most of the gifts will be wrapped, some families will also get wrapping paper and tape for any that were not able to be wrapped.
When I talk to Mrs. Gunsher, Mrs. Pitirri, and the staff and students involved in this program, the words “incredible, overwhelming, generous, and amazing” pepper the conversation. They call it the “best day of the year.” They were worried that the event would not have the same spirit due to the restrictions on personal interaction, but once again, thanks to the dedication of so many in our Lancaster school community, it turned out to be the best day of the year for so many.
Michael J. Vallely, Ph.D.
9:20 AM - 1:00 PM MS health and wellness day
3:30 PM - 6:00 PM Drive-thru meal pick-up at MS and HS 3:30-6pm
6:30 PM - 7:00 PM HS marching band booster mtg