A Message from the Superintendent, Mr. Daniel Pacos
As we work through the second half of the 2022-23 school year, I'd like to encourage our students to continue striving for excellence. A large part of success in school is the direct result of attendance - it's difficult to stay current with learning when a student isn't in school. Remember that if your child is sick please keep them home. But we ask you to make sure your child is in school every day if they are not sick, so we can make sure they get the most out of their school experience this year. This year, we continue our focus on meeting the social and emotional needs of students and staff, so we can nurture an environment where our students can learn.The District Administration and Board of Education are working on our 2023-24 school budget. The budget will be presented to District voters at our annual budget hearing on Tuesday May 2nd, in the Lake Shore High School Media Center. Anyone with questions about the budget for the next school year is encouraged to attend. District voters will vote on the school budget, a proposition for the purchase of school buses, a capital project proposition and the election of two school board members at the annual budget vote on May 16, 2023 from 9:00 am until 9:00 pm in the High School Central Office Lobby area.When District residents cast their vote on the school budget, they will also be asked to vote on the purchase of school buses for the 2023-24 year. As in the past, the proposed purchase will not result in an increase in taxes because of the savings on fuel and maintenance costs for the new buses, and the funds received from the sale of older buses that would be removed from the District's bus fleet. The District is no longer purchasing 71-passenger diesel-powered buses because we will not be able to use them after 2032 under NYS regulations. In an effort to work toward compliance with the State's requirement for zero-emission school buses, we will be asking voters to approve the purchase of a 71-passenger electric bus - like the bus we purchased this year, which has proven to perform as the manufacturer promised. The bus manufacturers do not yet have fully electric mini-buses available for purchase, so we are seeking voter approval to purchase one gasoline-powered mini-bus this year. We will look to move toward electric mini buses in the future, once they become available.Voters also will be voting on a new proposed capital construction project. The District recently completed its required five (5) year Building Condition Survey, which outlines areas in our school buildings that need to be addressed and/or updated. The scope of the project work is still being finalized, and we are anticipating that the Board of Education will approve the project at its upcoming Regular Board Meeting on March 21, 2023. If approved, the proposed work will include the repair of deteriorating foundation wall areas at the William G. Houston Middle School and some roofing replacement and heating/ ventilating/air conditioning (HVAC) upgrades in our school buildings.The work will also include some improvements to our athletic fields that were not able to be completed in the District's current capital projects. This will include the installation of artificial turf on the baseball and softball fields, as well as the multi-purpose (soccer/lacrosse) fields on Eagle Drive. We will be replacing the football stadium seating and announcer's booth with two-sided seating that will serve both the football field and the soccer/lacrosse field. Our current bleachers are not compliant with Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) regulations, so we felt it best to upgrade to multi-use seating that will serve multiple sporting events. The work will also include air conditioning in our school buildings, to help keep our buildings closed & secure during warmer months. We are also looking to install solar panels on the roofs of our buildings where possible, so that the District can generate its own electricity and save money on utilities in future budgets - much like we did decades ago when we drilled gas wells at several of the District's school locations. We anticipate that all of the proposed work can be completed with NO ADDITIONAL TAX INCREASE for District property owners. The District will utilize a combination of State Building Aid and Native American Building Aid, as well as proceeds from the District's Capital Reserve that voters approved previously. Additionally, we will seek any other available funding sources that can further reduce the project cost - like grants or reimbursements from the NYS Energy Research Development Authority (NYSERDA ).When considering how you will vote on these things, we ask that you please reflect on our current school programs, including our transportation of students each day, and the work that we've been able to complete on our buildings in our current capital construction projects. Through careful planning and bidding, the District has been able to complete all four planned phases of the current capital project and complete the work under the original budget estimates. This has allowed us to complete additional work on our buildings that has been identified, without additional cost to the residents.All of our buildings now have a secure single point-of-entry at the front office that ensures visitors cannot access the building without authorization. Our elementary school students are receiving new playgrounds that are not only handicap accessible, but include equipment that can be used by our Physical and Occupational Therapists to provide outdoor exercise and therapy to students (we've never had that ability before!). The High School has new technology classrooms to help train our students for manufacturing careers, along with a new athletic entrance.
This area includes new restrooms and a concession stand that can be used for both indoor and outdoor sporting events. It also has updated girls and boys locker rooms on the ground floor - they used to be in the basement. The school building gymnasiums have been remodelled throughout the District, and all sport the school colors and mascot (yes, the blue is all gone from the high school gym!). The Middle and High School gymnasiums are also now air conditioned to not only keep visitors comfortable during sporting events, but to also keep the areas cool during Regents exams without jeopardizing the building's security with outside doors open. The Middle and High School auditoriums have been fully remodelled, and are both now available for use. High school science, music and art classroom spaces were also remodelled and updated. It should be easy for District residents to see how the District made use of the funds approved for the last set of capital projects, and determine the merit of additional improvements and upgrades.My vision is for Lake Shore to continue creating a culture where students feel welcome and comfortable, and where they become involved and strive to excel. We hope our buildings and facilities also reflect our efforts to provide a safe, welcoming environment that students want to come to every day. Lake Shore CSD is a truly special place, and I'm humbled and honored to serve as the District's Superintendent of Schools.
Superintendent of Schools