Niagara Falls City School District

Learning For All...Whatever It Takes

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  • Niagara Falls Board of Education Meeting May 28, 2020

  • June 1, 2020

    Dear Parents, Guardians, Students and Staff:

    Here we are halfway through the calendar year, nearing the end of the school year, and what a year it has been. We have had to deal with a global pandemic that has killed over 104,000 of our fellow Americans, an economic depression with an unemployment rate of almost 24% (according to Fortune) and nationwide protests over the death of an African American man, George Floyd, while in police custody.

    Not as traumatic as the aforementioned events in terms of life and death situations, our school-aged students’ lives changed remarkably when in mid-March Governor Cuomo ordered all school buildings closed. Schools have remained closed since March 13, 2020, and students, teachers and parents have struggled to adjust to distance (virtual) learning, all while being quarantined inside their homes, not permitted to leave unless venturing out for “essential items.” This was all part of a new term that has become commonplace in our vernacular – “social distancing.” For our students, who are learning relationship building and how to deal properly with others, “social distancing” goes against a major tenant of education.

    And then there are the Niagara Falls High School seniors. They have dealt gracefully with a last year of school unlike any they could have imagined. The Class of 2020 is missing out on socializing with friends who will soon go their separate ways, playing spring sports for a final year, on gracing the stage of the Performing Arts Center one final time…the list goes on.

    Perhaps it’s missing the “rites of passage” that stings the most for our graduates. There will be no prom, traditional graduation ceremony, senior breakfast/picnic, and senior class day. Those of us who have experienced those things feel that the NFHS Class of 2020 has been robbed. But ask a 2020 grad how he or she feels about missing out on the last three months of senior year and most often you will receive an answer such as: “I am sad about missing out on the year-end activities of being a senior, but if it helps others stay safe and healthy, then it is a sacrifice we have to make. We just want everyone to be okay.”  

    Wow! Such maturity, selflessness and acceptance demonstrated by so many of our graduates. They will celebrate in different ways – parades, a motorcade procession, a virtual Senior Award Night on OSC1302 at 6:00 p.m. June 2, and a Wonder of the World lit in the school colors – blue and gold – on June 26 and 27. Now how many seniors across the country can say that?

     

    Mark Laurrie, Superintendent

    Niagara Falls City School District

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