• ""
  • Michael J. Vallely, Ph.D.
    Superintendent of Schools
     
    Lancaster Central School District
    177 Central Avenue
    Lancaster, NY 14086
     
    District Clerk/Secretary:
    Sandra Janik
    716-686-3201 
  • Dear Lancaster Parents, Family, and Friends...

    Yet another fantastic school year is coming to a close and I am proud and delighted to congratulate every member of the Class of 2019 on their outstanding achievements. It is also important to give thanks to the supportive adults who have helped these young people realize their dreams of completing high school and starting on the next chapter of their lives.

    All of our students, from PreK through grade twelve, deserve credit and accolades for all of the hard work that they put forth to meet and exceed the educational challenges and opportunities that come their way. On behalf of the board of education and administration, I’d also like to say ‘hats off’ to our stellar faculty and staff, who have ushered their students through this year’s many memorable moments.

    In particular, I’d like to highlight the efforts of two teachers from Hillview Elementary who found the winning formula to transform a fitness challenge into what is likely to be a long-cherished memory for several of the school’s students–two teachers who went the ‘extra mile’ that exemplifies what Lancaster spirit is truly about.

    Recently, thanks to the efforts of physical education teachers Abby Paolella and Julie Pouthier, students from four Hillview classrooms were surprised with a Fuel Up to Play 60 play date with the Buffalo Bills for being the school with the highest participation rate in Western New York!

    Fifteen Buffalo Bills teammates led students in physical activity stations to celebrate their record-level participation in the challenge. Players interacted with the students in eight different stations, from a large inflatable corn hole and parachute games, to a workout with dice, throwing practice, punt receiving, dodging defense, and catching a touchdown. No one was left on the sidelines as the Bills ensured every student had a chance to be a part of the action. The excitement at this event was palpable and it’s a fair bet that the Bills made several lifelong fans that day!

    Fuel Up to Play 60 is a national in-school nutrition and physical activity program launched by the National Football League and National Dairy Council. The program encourages youth to consume nutrient-rich foods (low-fat and fat-free dairy, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains) and achieve at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day.

    Designed to engage and empower youth to take action for their own health by implementing long-term, positive changes for themselves and their schools, 13 million students are making better food choices and 16 million students are getting more physically active during the school day since the program began.

    Locally, the Buffalo Bills have partnered with Independent Health to make the month-long Fuel Up to Play 60 challenge a year-long, sustained program of fitness, nutrition, and health awareness for elementary students by combining their efforts with the Independent Health Foundation’s Fitness for Kids Challenge.

    How did the Hillview teachers achieve the highest participation rate in WNY? First, Pouthier and Paolella determined that since they see every child throughout the school, it would be advantageous for them to track participation rather than asking individual classroom teachers to do so. Once they opted in, they used teamwork and the winning formula of 95210 to engage students in activities and practices that would benefit them socially, physically, and emotionally, both at school and at home. Activities focused on the formula of 9-5-2-1-0; or, nine hours of sleep a night, five fruits and vegetables a day, two hours less screen time, one hour of play time or activity–the ’60’ in Play 60–and zero sugary drinks.

    Following the fun-filled Buffalo Bills visit a few short weeks ago, just this week it was announced that Hillview is also the recipient of one of five large school grants for $2500 to be used toward fitness equipment or to enhance health and wellness programming at the school. This award is also based on participation and underscores the value of teamwork that Hillview, Paollella, and Pouthier have exemplified.

    One classroom teacher said that this was the best field day ever in her 19 years of teaching.  Pouthier and Paollella say they are genuinely looking forward to continuing their participation next year and serve as a role model for other schools in the district that participate. But, before we can get started on the next big Play 60 Challenge, there’s an all-too-brief interlude, a little thing called summer vacation.

    Whether you’re planning to travel in the upcoming weeks or hang out on ‘Verandah Beach,’ I encourage you to send your children on a field trip to 95210. Here’s my Summer ’19 Challenge, ‘loosely’ based on Play 60: Get plenty of downtime or sleep; eat lots of farm fresh fruits and vegetables–better yet, go to a farm and pick your own; reduce screen time and get outside and take advantage of one of our great playgrounds or summer youth programs; and reduce consumption of sugary drinks. Oh, and my challenge includes one more thing: READ…READ…READ! Have a wonderful, well-deserved break; wishing you a summer filled with memories in the making with family and friends. See you in September!

    Sincerely,

      
    Michael J. Vallely, Ph.D.
    Superintendent