May 2023

Intermediate Education Center

From the Principal's Office

Dear IEC Families,

I hope this letter finds you enjoying the nice weather and doing well. As spring comes into full bloom, I welcome the month of May with open arms. It is amazing to believe the end of the year is quickly approaching. With only eight weeks of school left, it will be two very busy months at the IEC.

First and foremost, I want to extend our warmest congratulations to our fifth grade students. Their elementary years are coming to an end and their next chapter begins. I am so proud of each one of you for your hard work, dedication and willingness to learn. I wish you all the best as you move into Middle School. I will miss you.

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. This is a great time to reflect on self-care and balance. I encourage everyone to take the time this month to prioritize their mental health and wellbeing. As always, feel free to reach out to me with any questions or concerns.

Here are some important dates to remember for May and June:

  • May 3 & 4 Math Testing

  • May 11-Internet safety presentation by Northpoint for parents

  • May 16 Science Fair & Enrichment Passion Projects

  • May 17 & 18 School Musical-Lion King

  • May 22-Aimsweb ElA

  • May 24-Aimsweb Math

  • May 30-4th grade Erie Canal

  • May 31-Internet safety assembly by Northpoint for students

  • June 6- 9:15-10:00 Leader in Me student assembly

  • June 7-3, 4, 5 Concert in HS Aud at 6:30

  • June 2-5th grade Skateland

  • June 9 & 12-4th Lewiston Walk

  • June 14-Flag Day at IEC

  • 3rd: June 5, 4th May 16-18 & June 5, and 5th June 5-7 Science Investigations

  • June 16-Field Day

  • June 20-4th Forth Niagara

  • June 21 5th Grade Fun Day and June 22 MUD at 10:30 in HS Aud


Mrs. Rodriguez

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Mark the Calendar

Friday 5/5- 3rd Graders story time with the Principal 8am-8:40am

Tuesday 5/9- Early Release Dismissal at 2:25pm instead of 3:25pm

Tuesday 5/16-Science Fair6-7pm IEC gym

Thursday 5/18 Lion King Musical

Friday 5/26- Recess in lieu of remote learning- No Student Attendance

Monday 5/29- Memorial Day- No Student Attendance

May is...

Mental Health Awareness Month

Asian Pacific Heritage Month

Jewish American Heritage Month

Physical Fitness and Sports Month

National Better Hearing and Speech Month

May 1st National School Principal’s Day- Let's celebrate Mrs. Rodriguez

May 2nd National Teachers Day (first Tues of first full week of May)- Let's celebrate all of our amazing IEC Teachers

May 1-7 National Physical Education Week

May 11 National School Nurse’s day- Let's celebrate Mrs. Klettke

May 18 National Speech Language Pathologists Day- Let's celebrate Mrs. Cardwell

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3rd Grade to enjoy learning from Audubon Bird Program at the IEC

Third grade is excited to participate in the 8 week Audubon Bird Program. During the 8 week program students will participate in the following workshops. Woooo Are You, Our Feathered Neighbors: Schoolyard Birdwatching, Bird Beak Buffet: Adaptations, Raptors!: Live Owl Presentation, Migration Headache: Migration Game, Community Science: Ornithology, Habitat Project and a Audubon Bird Field Day. The program has been funded by the PTSA.

4/18 - Woooo Are You: Introduction
4/25 - Our Feathered Neighbors: Schoolyard Birdwatching (Outdoors)
5/2 - Bird Beak Buffet: Adaptations (Auditorium)
5/9 - Raptors!: Live Owl
5/16 - Migration Headache: Migration Game
5/23 - Community Science: Ornithology (Outdoors)
5/30 - Habitat Project (Outdoors)

Third grade has begun their Bird Study Unit with Mr. Tom from the Buffalo Audubon Society. On Tuesday, April 25th, students learned how to properly use binoculars as they observed birds at our pond ecosystem at the back of campus. Mr. Tom has taught students how to use field marks to differentiate between similar looking birds, and how to correctly use a bird field guide. The students are looking forward to the rest of the Bird Study Unit that was generously funded by our PTSA.

Lion King Shirts on Sale

Hi everyone! Our performance of the Lion King Kids is getting closer! Stuart’s has opened an online store to commemorate our play!

Everyone is invited to the IEC Auditorium to watch "The Lion King: Kids"

We hope to see you there!!!

Please email Karen Yager at with any questions.

Thank you!!!

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Pizza & Paws Party

School Bus 13 received a Pizza & Paws Party on Monday May 8th as a reward for their good behavior, and great fun was had by all!
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Mental health is wealth, especially during Mental Health Awareness Month, which is celebrated in May. The stigma around mental health and treatment has long existed, even though this has started to change. Still, people hesitate to seek help or even talk about it with their loved ones for fear of being judged and facing unnecessary backlash. Simple logic dictates that if we are hurt anywhere, we must seek treatment to get better. This applies to both our mental- and physical well-being.

Mental Health Awareness Month was first celebrated in 1949. It was commemorated by the Mental Health America organization, which was then known as the National Committee for Mental Hygiene and then later as the National Mental Health Association before it got its current name. The association was founded by Clifford Whittingham Beers. Beers, who was born in 1876 in Connecticut, was one of five children in his family who all suffered from mental illness and psychological distress. All of them also went on to spend time at mental institutions and it was from his hospital admittance that he discovered that the mental health field had a notorious reputation for malpractice, maltreatment, and immense bias.

Beers went on to author “A Mind That Found Itself”, which is a bestseller even today. Gaining popularity and support from medical professionals, Beers founded the National Committee for Mental Hygiene. Beers and his colleagues at the association wanted to find ways to make sure that mental health patients not only received the right care but also did not feel alone in their fight against mental diseases.

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Six students in Mrs. Khatib’s 4th grade class were recognized in this year’s Literacy contest. This year’s theme, TRY, TRY AGAIN: How effort, energy and creativity are the keys to SUCCESS, provided students an opportunity to share how effort, energy and or hard work has helped them, someone they know, or Sor someone they’ve read about, build success over time.

These creative students wrote about:

  • Falling forward

  • Overcoming obstacles or fears

  • Practicing to gain the best or perfection

  • Demonstrating determination, critical thinking, problem solving, creative thinking or hard work lead to success.

Alisha Cheema was the top entry for all of 4th grade in Niagara and Orleans Counties!

Ben Spence, Kaden Brown, Aurora Riddle, Luca Sofitti, and Allison McNally each received Honorable Mention for their work.

Morgan Pierce from Mr. Siuta and Mrs. Baio's class was also recognized, she received Top Honor last night at the Niagara County Literacy Contest Awards Ceremony for third grade!

Morgan read her piece to an auditorium of people.

Congratulations to these young writers!

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In 2006, President George W. Bush proclaimed May as Jewish American Heritage Month. This was a result of a concerted effort by American Jewish leaders to introduce resolutions in both the U.S. Senate and the House urging the President to proclaim a month specifically recognizing Jews in America and their contributions to the United States.

In 1654, a small ship carrying 23 Jewish refugees sailed into the port of present-day New York City. Fleeing oppression and discrimination, these courageous women and men faced resistance from the colony’s leaders. Nevertheless, they secured the right to remain and became the first Jewish communal presence to settle on American soil. In so doing, they expanded the frontier of religious freedoms that would help define the bedrock principles upon which this Nation was built. During Jewish American Heritage Month, we honor these 23 refugees and the centuries of successive generations of Jewish Americans, who — shaped by their own encounters with prejudice, persecution, and the promise of a better tomorrow — have emboldened our Nation to stand up for justice, equality, and freedom.

The story of America was written, in part, by Jewish Americans who, through their words and actions, embraced the opportunity and responsibility of citizenship knowing full well that democracy is not born, nor sustained, by accident. Inspired by Jewish American communal leadership, our Nation’s first President pledged that our Government will “give to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance.” Inspired by Jewish American poetry, our shores have welcomed millions with the words “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to be free.” Throughout our country’s history, Jewish Americans have proudly served our Nation in uniform, in elected office, and on our Nation’s highest courts. They have made enormous contributions to America’s cultural, scientific, artistic, and intellectual life, and they have marched, petitioned, and boarded buses to demand civil and political rights for all — from women’s rights to voting rights to workers’ rights.

Today, we continue to strive to live up to our founding ideals. As the scourge of white supremacy and antisemitic violence rises, my Administration remains committed to ensuring that hate has no safe harbor. That is why we have created new laws that give us more tools to combat hate crimes; developed the first-ever National Strategy for Countering Domestic Terrorism; provided assistance to religious organizations, places of worship, and nonprofits to protect their facilities and members; and named a new Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Antisemitism. My Administration will use the full force of our judicial system to confront bigotry and antisemitism wherever and whenever it surfaces.

The Jewish American story, and the story of our Nation as a whole, is fueled by faith, resilience, and hope. It is a story defined by a firm belief in possibilities, the resolve to make real the promise of America for all Americans, and a commitment to perfecting our Union, heeding the timeless words of Rabbi Tarfon, the first-century scholar who taught “It is not your duty to finish the work, but neither are you at liberty to neglect it.”

Three-hundred and sixty-eight years after those 23 brave Jewish refugees arrived in America, Jewish Americans continue to help our country thrive and prosper. This month, we honor the timeless traditions, heritage, and contributions of Jewish Americans that drive our progress as a Nation each and every day.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR., President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim May 2022 as Jewish American Heritage Month. I call upon all Americans to visit to learn more about the heritage and contributions of Jewish Americans and to observe this month with appropriate programs, activities, and ceremonies.

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Girls on the Run - Kicking Into Gear!

The 2023 season of Girls on the Run is off to a GREAT start!

Girls on the Run is a physical activity-based positive youth development program. Girls learn life skills through dynamic, interactive lessons and running games. Important social, psychological and physical skills are developed and reinforced throughout the practices.

Throughout the season, coaches Miss Khatib and Mrs. Khatib, help girls develop and improve competence, feel confident in who they are, develop strength of character, respond to others and themselves with care and compassion, create positive connections with peers and adults and make a meaningful contribution to their community. The team is working towards a 5k the first week in June!


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May marks Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, which celebrates the histories of Americans hailing from across the Asian continent and from the Pacific islands of Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia, and recognizes the contributions and influence of Asian Americans and Pacific Islander Americans to the history, culture, and achievements of the United States.

Asian and Pacific American Heritage month was the idea of former congressional staffer Jeanie Jew who first approached Rep. Frank Horton about the idea of designating a month to recognize Asian Pacific Americans, following the United States’ bicentennial celebration in 1976. In June 1977, Horton and Rep. Norman Y. Mineta, introduced a resolution in the U.S. House of Representatives to proclaim the first 10 days of May as Asian Pacific Heritage Week. A month later, a similar bill was introduced in the Senate by former U.S. Senators Daniel Inouye and Spark Matsunaga.

President Jimmy Carter signed a joint resolution for the celebration on Oct. 5, 1978. In 1990, George H.W. Bush signed a bill passed by Congress to extend Asian American Heritage Week to a month. On May 14, 1991, a public law was passed unanimously by congress and then signed by Bush, proclaiming May 1991 and May 1992 as Asian and Pacific American Heritage Month. By 1992, May was officially designated as Asian Pacific American Heritage Month.

The month of May was chosen because it commemorates the migration of the first immigrants from Japan to the United States on May 7, 1843 and to celebrate the completion of the transcontinental railroad by over 20,0000 Asian immigrants on May 10, 1869. However, the first Asian immigrants arrived in the U.S. in 1587 when Filipinos first began migrating to California. Immigrants continued to come from the Asian continent and the Pacific Islands through 1920 when the first Samoans were documented in Hawaii.

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Pull tabs collection for Ronald McDonald House

A very big Thank You to Amelia Kent in Mrs. Topolski's class for her generous donation of SO MANY pull tabs for Ronald McDonald House!

Pull tabs collection continues through the end of the school year- please save/ donate your pull tabs for this wonderful charity that helps families stay near their sick children during treatment!

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IEC Music Leaders of the Month

Each month, one student from Band, Orchestra, Chorus and General Music will be chosen as a Music Leader of the Month. These students demonstrate the 3 R’s (Responsibility, Respect and Resourcefulness) in these classes.

For the month of April, the following students have been chosen by Mrs. Spinnegan, Mrs. Zachary and Mrs. Carere:

Band - Grace Campise

Orchestra - Ella Wedge

General Music - Alisha Cheema

Chorus- Julia Reid

Congratulations! Keep up the great work!

Golden Spoon Award Winners -Mrs. Zito's Class!

Mrs. Zito's class were the winners of the Golden Spoon Award in April!

Mrs. Rodriguez & Mrs. Krecisz will treat them to a pizza party in May to celebrate!

The Golden Spoon Award is a school-wide competition to reward classrooms that demonstrate positive behaviors in the cafeteria. This monthly award is given out to one classroom in grades 3-5 that continually follows the school rules; follow directions, communicate with respect, keep hands, feet and objects to yourself, bring all materials to lunch, and raise your hand and wait to be called on.

The winning classroom displays a huge Golden Spoon in their room for the month. In addition, students take part in a special dining experience with Mrs. Rodriguez and Mrs. Kresicz. The winning classroom is announced at the announcement at the beginning of each month.

Spring Spirit Week April 24-28

Lancers Embrace Inclusion Spirit week was April 24th - 28th

Monday Neurodiversity NEON day

Tuesday Hard of Hearing/ Deaf Awareness tie-dyed/ rainbow day

Wednesday Fashion Passion- wear what you feel passionate about

Thursday wear Blue for autism awareness

Friday sensory friendly- wear comfy clothes

Lewiston Porter IEC

Mrs. Rodriguez, Principal

Mrs. Krecisz, Elementary Program Coordinator