From Niagara Falls City School District Superintendent Mark Laurrie
The Niagara Falls City School District (NFCSD) 's Back to School days went smoothly. The excitement surrounding the 2023 – 2024 school year kick-off was sparked by news of an 85.5% graduation rate for the Class of 2023. The 85.5% graduation rate has boosted the morale of the entire District. You can feel the infectious positive energy as you walk through our schools this young school year. We're on a mission to keep that graduation rate climbing, and everyone is focused from Early Head Start and PreK to grade 12.
The District's multitiered security approach was efficient and orderly at all our schools. Utilizing a layered security approach, the blend of state-of-the-art technology, and highly trained school resource officers and safety officers means our students and staff started a safe school year that will remain safe.
Teachers and administrators are receiving positive feedback on subjects with new curricula:
- The Kindergarten through Grade 5 English Language Arts
- The Kindergarten through Grade 5 Science
- Grades 6 through 8 Math curriculum maps
- Grades 6 through 8 Science
Niagara Falls High School expanded six courses:
- African American Studies
- Career and Financial Management
- Printmaking and 2D Design
- Advanced Theatre Studies
- African American Theatre History
- Jr. Law Enforcement
The feedback and participation have been excellent.
The extended school day for NFCSD elementary students has been met with high praise. With dismissal time moved to 3:20 p.m. five days a week, the students enjoy extra time for important subjects such as art, music, STEM, and physical education classes. The children are enjoying activities to expend extra energy and express their creativity.
Niagara Falls High School is buzzing this year as students are taking advantage of expanded opportunities to explore career options for life after high school. Students will have more choices of classes they can take as dual-enrollment to earn college credit with the District's partners Buffalo State University, Niagara University, Niagara County Community College, Daemen University, and Erie County Community College.
The District has seven new business partners in its Labor, Trades, and Skills Pathway and four new partners in its Business/Hospitality track. Our business partners are Seneca Niagara Casino, Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center, and M&T Bank Tech Hub.
As with any organization that transports thousands of students, I need to acknowledge that transportation and the bus driver challenge continue to impact the ontime delivery and dismissal of students. We pledge our continued focus on improvement in this area. We thank you for your patience.
We're back at it! The District keeps growing, adding more programs that drive everyone forward to precisely what we're seeing now: a graduation rate that continues to climb steadily. Raising the graduation rate and improving student achievement will always be the District's goal, whatever it takes.