September 25 - October 2, 2020
Dear Parents, Guardians, Staff and Students:
I wrote an article this week that appeared in the Niagara Gazette about the District’s smooth reopening. The key to our successful return to school during the COVID-19 pandemic can be summed up in one word: communication. Utilizing several modes of communication, we have done our very best to keep everyone in the District and the community well-informed.
In case you missed it, here is an abridged version of my article.
Schools districts across the nation faced a monumental task this year of reopening during the COVID-19 pandemic. Media attention is fixated on stories of squabbling over remote, hybrid, or full in-person learning and which method is the safest and most effective way to educate our children.
The Niagara Falls City School District (NFCSD) acknowledges that parents and staff do not agree with everything in the District’s hybrid plan. Yet constant dialogue with our Board of Education, unions, teachers, administrators, and parents led to a transition back to school that has forged ahead with remarkable smoothness.
Daily YouTube videos provide back-to-school information, updates and policies. YouTube videos provide me a virtual face-to-face opportunity to calm fears, clear up confusion, and call for patience.
Daily superintendent autodialer calls emphasize our message. Parents receive a telephone call that includes important information and reminders.
Our COVID-19 webpage provides information on how to contact teachers, access online assignments, and screen a child for any signs and symptoms of COVID. A daily “pop up” message with highly important information appears as soon as a user logs on to our website.
Parents of school children are craving information at this unusual time. The unknown is scary. So we must provide many channels of communication to assuage those fears. Beyond the basics of how to access assignments and proper handwashing, our communications offer hope, encouragement and security.
The cooperation of the community during this crisis has been exceptional. Well done, Niagara Falls. Well done.
Mark Laurrie, Superintendent
Niagara Falls City School District
Starting Monday, grab and go school breakfasts and lunches will be available from 11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. at the following schools only: Cataract, Hyde Park, Abate, Niagara Falls High School, and Niagara Street School. Thank you.