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     Superintendent Mark Laurrie

     

     Mark Laurrie

    Superintendent of Schools

    April 2020 Message

     

    Dear Citizens of Niagara Falls,

    As your Superintendent of Schools, I come to you with an exciting and an important message for all residents, especially families of Harry F. Abate, Kalfas Magnet and Niagara Street Elementary schools.  At its February 27, 2020 meeting, the Niagara Falls Board of Education officially approved restructuring the three schools as primary and intermediate grade learning centers, or Sister Schools.  Beginning September 2020, Kalfas and Niagara Street will house students in grades Pre-Kindergarten to 2 only, while Abate will have all students in grades 3 to 6, as well as the Elementary Enrichment Program, for grades 2 to 6. 

    The decision was made following a year of study and information gathering, which included an advisory committee with parents and school staff, public forums at each school, and a parent survey. The new configuration will allow the District to provide more special programming and support for students and families. At the primary schools, extra remedial programs will be in place for struggling students, and at the intermediate school, additional programs such as performing arts, science-themed projects, and career preparation activities will be offered to all students. 

    Within the coming months, all families will receive information regarding school assignments and transportation, and we will invite all to multiple family and student orientation events at each school. 

     

    The budget vote for the 2020-2021 school year is rapidly approaching. On May 19, 2020, the citizens of Niagara Falls will go to the polls for the Niagara Falls School District Budget Vote and Board of Education Vote.

    This year’s $155,243,370 budget keeps the District’s programs that support the best education for students of all ages and abilities. The proposed budget allows for students with learning challenges, and those who are ready for advanced coursework, opportunities to test their capabilities. 

    This proposed budget keeps all of our current programs in place. Because of our responsible budgeting, we are pleased that this budget allows us to add services for our students that do not raise the tax levy one penny.

    The District is taking a deeper dive into many areas, especially special needs tuition and transportation. The District has decided to create two autistic classrooms. The District is also proposing to purchase a handicapped accessible bus and hire a driver. This will save at least $30,000.

    The proposed budget is a prime example of the District’s trend of responsible spending. We will continue our trend of increasing and enhancing programs with smart spending and budgeting.