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State Releases School Report Cards

By CARA MATTHEWS

Gannett Albany Bureau

ALBANY - The state Education Department issued its annual school Report Cards today, two months earlier than they were released last year.

Check Your District's Report Card

Report Cards are normally released in February or March and were a little late in 2010, said Jane Briggs, a state Education Department spokeswoman.

The 2009-10 Report Cards include statewide, district and school statistics on enrollment, teacher qualifications, class size, test scores, graduation rates, demographic data and other information.

A lot of the data has been released in the past year, but the School Report Cards compile all of the information on the state's 2.9 million students in one place.

Town of Aurora's Winterfest Runs Through Feb. 27

Town of Aurora's Winterfest Runs Through Feb.  27

by Renee T. Engels

There is nothing unusual about a parade in Western New York. But a parade in the middle of February? With pets in costumes?

The costumed pet parade is only one of the dozens of events being held this year at the annual Town of Aurora Winterfest. The parade begins in front of Paws in the Pantry on Sun., Feb. 20 at 1 p.m. and proceeds down the sidewalk of Main Street to the Absolut Care of Aurora Park. There, all participants, pets included, will delight the residents of the facility by parading throughout the hallways and showing off their costumes. The event is free with any donations of new pet treats or toys to be donated to the SPCA of Erie County.

Annunciation School Plans Carnival and Second Open House Event

Annunciation School Plans Carnival and Second Open House Event

Coming off a very successful open house in February, Annunciation School in Elma announced that it will host a second open house event from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Thursday, March 10, at the school, located at 7580 Clinton St. The event will be held in conjunction with a Winter Carnival sponsored by the Home School Association.

Bounce houses, games, cotton candy, snow cones, popcorn and pizza will ensure a fun evening, and tours will be offered for families interested in seeing the school and meeting the teachers. Registration forms for the 2011-12 school year will be available during the event.

Update on Anti-concussion Petition Drive

Update on Anti-concussion Petition Drive

Members of the New York State Bar Association, school board trustees, athletic directors and numerous local athletes are among those who have signed a petition asking New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to mandate anti-concussion ordinances at the local, regional and state level. The petition was created by Primordial Strength Inc. of East Aurora, in conjunction with the Sports Legacy Institute.

“We need more signatures from parents and student athletes who have experienced concussions,” said Steven Helmicki, president of Primordial Strength Inc. and a leader in the anti-concussion movement. “This is important legislation that can change the health and welfare of sports participants. We also need concerned individuals to contact their local representatives and urge them to support this petition drive.”

Major Medicaid Reform Legislation Approved In Committee; Chairman Gallivan Shepherds Bill

Major Medicaid Reform Legislation Approved In Committee; Chairman Gallivan Shepherds Bill

ALBANY, NY - Senator Patrick M. Gallivan (R,C,I – Elma), Chairman of the Senate Social Services Committee today announced a major piece of reform legislation has passed through the Social Services Committee with his enthusiastic support. The bill, often referred to as Medicaid opt-out legislation, allows for increased local control of Medicaid by permitting county governments to “opt-out” of non-mandated services that do not fit the needs of their specific county, significantly reducing the cost burden on local property taxpayers.

“For too long New York State’s Medicaid system has tried to be everything to everyone, but the simple truth is everyone, doesn’t need everything. The one-size-fits-all approach has produced a system that provides sub-standard care at a cost of more than $1 billion per week; a price tag larger that the Medicaid systems of California and Texas combined,” said Gallivan.

Village Turns Down Dissolution Study

Village Turns Down Dissolution Study

A little more than a year after deciding to apply for it, the East Aurora Village Board has decided to refuse a $50,000 Local Government Efficiency study grant from New York State. The reason for the board’s change of heart was the state’s demand that the study focus mainly on the possibility of dissolving the village government, rather than examining a broader range of options.

Village Board Incumbents Will Run Unopposed

Village Board Incumbents Will Run Unopposed

by Jeremy Morlock