Lockport City School District

March 26, 2020

Message from Superintendent Michelle T. Bradley

Although we have been officially apart since Monday, March 16, 2020 there is no doubt that the Lockport City School District learning community continues to work together through the COVID-19 situation.

First of all, many, many thanks to all employees of the Lockport City School District and Aramark Food Services for collaborating with colleagues, demonstrating compassion for and staying connected with each other, students, and families, and remaining calm in a time of turbulence and uncertainty. Since schools were directed to close last week, alternative electronic and non-electronic instructional plans were developed by teachers and distributed to students, close to 20,000 meals have been provided to families, and our nurses did a phenomenal job of returning necessary medication for students to their parents. Thank you to parents and students for taking learning so seriously. Instructional packets and computers were picked up by nearly everyone! Some items were delivered to families.

Schools will be closed through March 31, 2020. Sometime soon, it is expected that Governor Cuomo will announce if the status of school closings in New York State is extended. In the meantime, parents are encouraged to stay connected with their child’s teacher and principal through email or other applications, and by checking our website and other social media accounts for the most recent updates and changes.

Learning experiences for our students have been designed to maintain foundational skills and reduce any regression in learning. It is important for students to keep a daily routine, find time for physical activity, engage in reading and writing, and wash your hands frequently! Teachers and administrators, under the direction of Ms. Currie-Hall, are working to develop the next block of lessons, in the event that school closure is extended. The third quarter officially closes on April 3. Teachers and principals are now discussing how to report student progress to parents for the six weeks of learning that was captured during the third quarter of school.

As many of you are aware, New York State testing in grades 3-8 has been suspended for this school year. At this time, the New York State Education Department is continuing to closely monitor the COVID-19 situation and will provide guidance on the Regents examinations in the near future.

The New York State Education Department and New York’s nine public television stations announced expanded educational resources and “Learn-at-Home” programming is now available to ensure equitable access to home learning. Thank you to Trustee Hare for her involvement in this innovative initiative.

In addition to providing instruction and food, the Lockport City School District, in collaboration with the YWCA of Niagara, has opened a child care program at John Pound Early Childhood Center. The service was created with an emphasis on providing a program to children of first responders and health care workers. The program is located at 51 High Street and interested parents may contact the YWCA of Niagara for more information.

On March 25, 2020, the Board of Education authorized the donation of personal protective equipment and other supplies to Eastern Niagara Hospital. Items include such things as goggles, sanitizer, gowns, and masks. These items were taken from our high school science classrooms, nurses’ clinics, and custodial department. Several teachers, administrators, custodians, and nurses helped to gather these items and deliver them to the hospital. At this time, I would like to extend thanks to our local first responders and health care workers for their intense efforts to keep all people in Lockport safe and healthy. A special thanks to Trustees Lambalzer and Kershaw who are nurses.

The Lockport City School District may, in the near future, become a site for an upcoming blood drive. Space for blood drives across the state has been requested by Governor Cuomo. Todd Sukdolak, director of health, wellness, and athletics, is looking into this possibility.

While only essential staff are allowed in school buildings, the Lockport City School District custodial members have been cleaning and disinfecting school facilities to be ready to reopen schools when that day comes.

The situation is truly evolving day to day, and quite often hour by hour. In this time of uncertainty, it is important to remain steady, calm, and place the health and safety of all people first and foremost.

LCSD administration is committed to staying on top of the latest developments, directives, and recommendations from federal, state, and local officials and agencies, and stands ready to respond as quickly as possible when the situation changes. These adjustments and actions will be based on specific and reliable information, rather than speculation.

A special thank you to all members of the Lockport City School District Board of Education for their leadership, support, and focus on keeping the district moving forward.

Through our “all hands on deck, all hearts open wide, and all heads together” approach, we will continue to overcome seemingly impossible obstacles to ensure that children are cared for and that real learning continues, and the needs of our community are considered.

Pride in our Past, Faith in our Future…at some point in time, we will look back to the past and what we lived through, realizing that we pushed through in order to keep the Lockport City School District moving forward for a strong future for our children.

Stay safe, stay healthy and stay LION STRONG, everyone!