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Audit finds Lockport City Schools in good shape, superintendent says

With a new school year under way, the Lockport City School District is looking ahead to its on-going goal of increasing student achievement.

At the district's board meeting Wednesday night, Mark Ferm, a partner in Tronconi Segarra & Associates, a Western New York-based certified public accountant and business consultant firm, presented the district's internal audit, with moderate recommendations.

"The district is in good shape," Superintendent Terry Ann Carbone said.

Recommendations included keeping "current with upgrading all board policies," Carbone said.

"Our process is very thorough," Ferm said. "It's nice to see these types of results."

Edward Sandell, board member and chairman of the policy committee, said the committee's objectives include reviewing eight to 10 district policies per meeting to ensure they still apply and are working effectively. These policies range from finance to facilities.

"We have a very active policy committee. We review all policies every three years -- especially the most important policies," he said. "We make sure we have read them through."

The district's capital project plan for construction at the high school was submitted to the state Education Department on Sept. 9, Sandell reported during the meeting.

The district now is awaiting state approval, which was expected to take 12 to 16 weeks.

In the meantime, Carbone said the district continues to focus on student achievement at each grade level. In particular, it is emphasizing literacy to ensure all students leaving second grade are reading at grade level and to increase the percentage of students leaving middle school and ninth grade who pass all their courses, she said.

"We had a great opening. The buildings are ready. Our teachers are energized and excited to return," she said.

During the meeting, Carbone had a message to all the district's teachers.

"I am challenging everyone in the Lockport City School District to become a legend and think about how you want to be remembered while you touch the lives of the children," she said.

While the district pursues such long-term goals as improving its facilities, increasing the graduation rate and decreasing the dropout rate, Carbone said it also is focused on the day-to-day operations.

"We need to think about how we are making a difference in the lives of students every day," she said.

e-mail: niagaranews@buffnews.com

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