What I want to accomplish as your Superintendent
By Mark Laurrie
Superintendent of Schools, Niagara Falls School District
In considering what I want to accomplish as your Superintendent, I sat thoughtfully with the Strategic Goals of the District. Owing to the excellent work done been my predecessors, I believe we are now in a position to more fully implement the spirit of those goals. I would like to share my vision with the community, so you know what to expect of me, and how you can help.
I plan to expand professional development, student learning opportunities, and student support services, while forming closer ties between the District and the community it serves.
I plan to include a professional development focus on the demographics and psychographics of our students, in order to assist teachers and support staff in recognizing and addressing issues around poverty, with the ultimate aim of reducing suspensions so students remain in class. I am also committed to developing more leaders, so that we build capacity for the future. I am committed to actively recruiting minority teachers, administrators, and staff, to create a workforce that more closely mirrors the community and the student body.
I want to keep students in school longer, because increased class time will yield higher achievement. Expanding the school based Extended Learning Program for learners in primary grades will be a start. I will also add two classes annually for three-year-old students, and carefully review our enrichment/accelerated program at Abate, so our most successful young students can be challenged in a way that recognizes their full potential. I plan to develop an afterschool booster program at every elementary school, so all students can access additional support.
I would like to add modified sports at the Prep level, continue to develop STEM partnerships, and incorporate the Arts to the STEM experience.
I want to strengthen and expand our Partnership with NCCC, and offer more opportunities for credit/course recovery for students in older grades. I will also bring in programs to address two serious issues many youth have: pregnancy and thoughts of suicide.
I will establish a student advisory panel, the “My Brother’s Keeper” Program, a mentoring program in partnership with Niagara University, and a Junior ROTC program at NFHS.
I will personally establish a regular presence among, and accessibility to, organizations, educational partners, community leaders, and the public at large, and encourage other administrators to do the same in order to facilitate dialogue. I am committed to improved communication, including a presence on social media, to create easy access to information parents need.
This is an overview of my Year 1 plan; a more fully detailed document can be found on our website, www.nfschools.net. Basically, I believe in meeting students where they are, providing optimal support, opportunities, and challenges for them. I believe in empowering employees to do their best work and improving communication for the mutual benefit of all, most especially youth. Working together, I know we will have a great academic year. There is much to do; I look forward to working with you.