Weekly Feature



2013-08-29 / Editorial

Lancaster is ready and enthused for new school year

MICHAEL VALLELY
Lancaster Superintendent of Schools

As the father of four school-age children, I sometimes feel like I’m living in the middle of a sit-com. You know the scene — bags of crayons, colored folders, notebooks and markers, all waiting to be tripped over on the dining room floor while four youngsters huddle over who their teachers are and who’s going to be in their classes. As the father of one going to John A. Sciole, two going to William Street and one going to the middle school, I can relate to the back-to-school anxiety you are experiencing. I feel your pain!

The chaos that reigns in homes the last two weeks before school starts has been mirrored by activities in our schools all summer long, as everyone has been working at a feverish pace readying our buildings, buses and classrooms for opening day. It is my distinct pleasure to assure you that we are ready!

It has been a busy summer. A number of excellent teachers have moved to different schools as the result of staffing changes. They bring their expertise and professionalism to share with their new colleagues and students. Additionally, we have some administrative changes to announce and new leadership to welcome. Amy Moeller was appointed principal at Hilllview, and Carrie Greene, as principal of John A. Sciole. Veteran High School Assistant Principal John Bender moved to Lancaster Middle School. Additionally, Dr. Marie Perini was named assistant superintendent for curriculum, instruction and pupil personnel services, and Dr. Andrew Kufel was named director of secondary education, Jamie Pernick and Monica Daigler were appointed assistant principals at the high school. All are highly regarded for their professionalism and expertise.

A portion of our capital project that had been held in the State Education Department’s queue for months has finally been approved. We are now able to go out to bid and begin upgrading all schools, with an emphasis on safety and technology. Lancaster will be at the forefront of technology integration following these exciting upgrades that include a powerful and robust technological infrastructure and wireless classrooms. Other bond issue projects will begin in the spring and summer of 2014.

This was the busiest summer ever with regard to the number of teachers engaged in curriculum writing. The primary emphasis to many of these projects was the integration of the Common Core Learning Standards and lesson/unit development. There were also curriculum and assessment revisions around the new elementary math series, beginning work on aligning science curriculum, the development of a new standards-based report card for grades one to three, training in computer based testing and more.

All of us here in Lancaster schools look forward to seeing your children’s smiling faces on our first day of instruction, Sept. 4. Until then, enjoy the beauty of summer and cherish the time you have with family and friends.

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