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February 27, 2021

Good evening.
We have had four (4) new COVID-19 cases. Contact tracing, where required, has been completed and all those affected have been notified.

Copper Beech Middle School 1

Lincoln Titus Elementary 2

Van Cortlandtville Elementary 1

The purpose of the Lakeland Central School District’s social media pages is to share news and information about the District and its schools and to share the accomplishments of our students and outstanding work of our faculty and staff. Open and respectful dialogue regarding these posts are welcome. However, comments must be civil, cordial and relevant, so that Lakeland can share this open space with everyone. Please see the Rules of Engagement below:

Lakeland Central School District Social Media Rules of Engagement: 

  • Comments must stick to the topic of the post and contribute to the conversation. 
  • Comments must be factual. Inaccurate or false information will be removed. 
  • Comments will be removed if they contain or link to abusive or inappropriate statements, including profanity and/or personal attacks. 
  • Comments will be removed if they are discriminatory, harassing or threatening, or are spam. 
  • Comments should not be used as advertising space. Comments will be removed if they endorse, promote or solicit on behalf of a product or service. 

  • Comments should not contain disparaging statements about Lakeland employees, the Board of Education or its students. 
  • Comments should not contain confidential information.
  • Abuse of these rules will lead to removal of the specific comment. Commenters who repeatedly violate the rules of engagement may be blocked from posting on our pages.

Next Thursday, March 4 at 7:00 pm, Dr. Rappleyea, our Assistant Superintendent for Pupil Personnel Services, will be moderating a panel discussion for our community entitled: Supporting Our Children Through the Pandemic: An evening with mental health experts. Please follow this link for information about the event. 

I would like to thank those who attended or viewed last night’s Board of Education meeting. As a reminder, we will be holding a virtual Q and A on Monday, March 8 at 6:00 pm related to our goal of increasing to four days of in-person instruction by April 6, Details on how to register will be communicated next week.

Have a great weekend.

Brendan Lyons, Ed. D.
Superintendent  2-26-21 2021

February 25, 2021

Dear Lakeland Families,

As district superintendent, I believe the best place for students to learn is in our classrooms. It is important for their academic success as well as their social and emotional growth. I wholeheartedly share the goal of wanting to bring our students back to school as much as possible, but we must do it safely.

I’m writing with some hopeful news as we work toward increasing in-person learning to the greatest extent possible while keeping our schools safe for students and staff by employing best practices to mitigate the coronavirus.

This evening, I will present the Board of Education with a series of considerations for increasing in-person learning for all of our students. These considerations, developed with our district physician, call for giving students the choice to attend school in-person four days a week, with Wednesdays continuing as our flex day. Students would still have the choice to learn fully remote at home as well.

For the four-day-a-week, in-person option to be possible, the district seeks to meet two metrics. Using the 7-day rolling average for Westchester County, the coronavirus positivity rate must remain below 5%, and the district is targeting 70% or more of its faculty and staff to be fully vaccinated. Our goal to begin the four-day-a-week, in-person option is April 6.

When our district physician, Dr. Louis Corsaro, certifies that the metrics have been met, 

all students could attend school four days a week. The district will reconfigure classrooms to provide 3 feet of space between desks and each desk will have a three-sided plastic barrier, a protocol permitted by the New York State Department of Health. In addition, every pre-K-12 classroom will have an air purifier.

Next week, the district will begin its weekly, on-site COVID-19 testing program, which is voluntary for students and staff and will help keep our schools safe as more students attend.

The logistics of bringing students in more frequently are complex and present challenges that will require flexibility from our families, students, faculty and staff. If COVID-19 conditions change and the district is no longer meeting the metrics, there may be a need to return to the hybrid model.

I am looking forward to presenting this positive development in our planning with the Board of Education and the community this evening.

There is nothing I would like more than for a complete return to normalcy and for our schools to fully reopen to in-person learning. As we continue to contend with the pandemic, this path forward represents our best option under the current conditions. I am hopeful that we will see students four days a week at our schools after spring recess. In the meantime, I ask for the community’s patience and support in continuing to stay safe as we fight the virus together.

Be well and stay safe.

Brendan Lyons, Ed. D

February 24, 2021

All that snow is being put to good use at Lakeland High School, where physical education teachers are breaking out the school’s new snowshoes.  

student snowshoeing on the track

Through a generous grant from the Lakeland Education Foundation, the school purchased 24 pairs of snowshoes and poles several years ago. But a lack of sufficient snow meant they hadn’t been used until this winter and its never-ending snowfall.

Snowshoes were chosen for a gym activity to give students the opportunity to learn a recreational pursuit they could enjoy throughout their life, said physical education teacher Mike Macchi, who applied for the grant along with the district’s supervisor of physical education, health and athletics, Rebecca DiSisto-Leslie.

“We were looking for a lifetime outdoor activity and this was something different,” Mr. Macchi said. “It’s not about being an athlete, it’s about being active and keeping healthy. It’s just another tool you can use in your fitness repertoire, because people get bored doing the same exercises.”

Snowshoeing gets your heart rate up and you need to balance. “It’s different than just walking without resistance or jogging,” he said. “This gives you more resistance. It’s a good cardio activity because you really have to work at it. And it works on muscle endurance.”

Since about mid-February, he has been putting the snowshoes out as a choice during gym class and other teachers have offered the unit as well. The snowshoes have been popular, with students taking them out every class, Mr. Macchi said. Students strap the shoes on and walk around the track, which must be covered with at least 5 inches of snow to avoid damage.

“It’s something different and the kids like it,” Mr. Macchi said. “It’s a hit.” 

One student who enjoyed snowshoeing on the Friday before the Presidents Day recess was junior David Pinkowsky, who snowshoed with several friends.

“It was a great experience,” he said. “It was something new and different. Granted, it was cold, but it was awesome to be able to walk around the track when it was covered in snow.”

student snowshoeing

He had fun, especially when he and friends sprinted to the end of the track. “It is pretty difficult,” he said. “It was something that I really enjoyed and would do it again.”

David appreciated the chance to get outside during gym. 

“It was nice to get outside and get fresh air,” he said. “Hopefully in the spring we can get outside again because gym is so much more fun when you get to be outside and in the nice air.” 

“It was up there with some of the best gym classes I’ve had,” David said. “More people should partake in snowshoeing.”

several students snowshoeing

February 24, 2021

Please join us for this important parent program on Thursday, March 4 at 7 p.m. Our expert panel will offer ways to support our students during the coronavirus pandemic.

To submit questions and topics you would like to hear about on March 4, please use this Google form: Questions for the panel

To watch the panel discussion via livestream on March 4, please click here: Supporting Our Children Through the Pandemic: An Evening with Mental Health Experts

LCSD Supporting Our Children Through the Pandemic

Black History Month
February 22, 2021

Throughout the month, Lakeland students have continued to participate in meaningful activities in celebration of Black History Month.

At Lakeland High School, teachers have given numerous lessons that celebrate the 2021 theme of Black History Month, which is "The Black Family: Representation, Identity, and Diversity."  In addition to learning about the contributions of African Americans to U.S. society, Lakeland High School has recognized famous African Americans on the schools’ own social media page throughout the month. See a few examples below:

Social Media Link 1
Social Media Link 2

At Benjamin Franklin Elementary School, the Kindergarten classes are learning about the lives and accomplishments of Ruby Bridges, Jackie Robinson, Rosa Parks, and Mae Jemison.  They will listen to stories, create projects, and conduct an experiment to explore how we may look different on the outside, but are the same on the inside.   1st grade students read "Superheroes are Everywhere," a book written by our Vice President Kamala Harris.  This book showed our students that ordinary people in our lives can be superheroes.  After the break, the 1st graders will be reading books and completing activities on Ruby Bridges, Rosa Parks, Jackie Robinson, and Barack Obama.  2nd grade students will be researching a famous African American Leader.  They will use PebbleGo,, or to complete a biography slide that states when the leader was born, what they were best known for, and one fun fact that they learned. Once complete, the students will share with their classmates the leader they researched.  3rd grade students are working on a "Spotlight on Trail Blazers" choice board activity that highlights Black Americans from different eras and areas of interest.  From the arts, sciences, sports, and civil rights, to our newest poet laureate, students will learn about Black Americans who have blazed trails for those who follow.  The students will be sharing their new knowledge in grade-wide FlipGrids and Padlets, which will give them the opportunity to engage with their peers outside of their own classes.  4th grade students have been learning about a famous African American each day through a read aloud/short video/discussion and activity.  Their research has included Ruby Bridges, Jackie Robinson, Katherine Johnson (famous mathematician), Michael Jordan, and Mae Jemison. 5th grade students are doing a Person-of-the-Day each morning. They will have a Google Slide presentation which includes a read aloud, an inspirational quote, and a short video that provides facts and information about the person.  Additionally, in the library, Mrs. McKeon is using literature to focus on prominent Black Americans and their accomplishments. She is featuring black authors while using their work to promote exposure to the experience of Black Americans.

Black History Month
February 22, 2021

As Black History Month continues, this week we highlight activities from Lakeland Copper Beech Middle School and Lincoln-Titus Elementary School.

The Middle School students
are engaged in many meaningful and thought-provoking activities.  Below you’ll see some highlights from Social Studies, Science, and Spanish classes, followed by a link to see English, Art, and Music classes.*

  • Nick Zilempe’s 7th grade Social Studies class will look at the 151st anniversary (February 3) of the 15th amendment (Right to Vote Not Denied). His class will also follow NFL player DK Metcalf’s twitter page, as he shares the story of Emmett Till, a 14-year-old whose murder in 1955 brought nationwide attention to racial violence in Mississippi.
  • Mike Ferraguzzi’s 8th grade Social Studies class is working on World War I, with an emphasis on the 369th Infantry, a.k.a. the Harlem Hellfighters, a segregated unit that fought for France in the war.
  • Christina Visconti’s 7th Grade Social Studies class explored why we celebrate Black History Month and how it began. Students chose a person to conduct their research on, and will do presentations on, among others, Rosa Parks, Jackie Robinson, Michael Jackson, Ruby Bridges, Frederick Douglass, Benjamin Banneker, Chadwick Boseman, and Martin Luther King Jr.
  • Richard Harrison’s 7th Grade Social Studies flex class will be discussing videos on the Civil Rights era (A Time for Justice and Eyes on the Prize) that look at Emmett Till's murder, the Montgomery Bus Boycott, and Brown vs. the Board of Education. They will also examine the speeches, beliefs, and famous quotes of Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X.
  • Tanya Broccolo’s 7th grade Science students will work on a research project focused on a black scientist’s work, and will also research that scientist’s life, obstacles, and impact on society.
  • Bernstein’s 7th and 8th grade Spanish students will be reading short biographies in Spanish of prominent Afro-Latinos, such as Soledad O'Brien (journalist), Miguel Cabrera (athlete), and Christina Milián (actress/musician).

       Please click here to see more from the Middle School English, Art, and Music classes.*

Lincoln-Titus’ elementary students also have so much planned, we had to summarize by grade level: 

UPK students have read The Other Side, a Rainbow of Friends, and Snowy Day. Kindergarten students will learn about and discuss Rosa Parks, Ruby Bridges, Jackie Robinson and George Washington Carver. First graders will learn about famous African Americans and will write their own nonfiction books about them, or do a writing/craft project. Second graders select an inspirational Black American they have learned about and create poetry or write a summary about one person. Third graders will research a person on Pebble Go and create a slide show to teach others about that person. Fourth graders will select a person from Brain Pop’s Black History Month collection and create a Google Slide to present what they have learned. The fifth graders will combine for a Google Meet and discuss “A Moment in Black History.” The Library will also have stories that share themes of tolerance and unity.

Although schools will be closed next week, we will continue this post, so please check back for more highlights.


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