BCSSSD Pioneer Press

School Community Newsletter, Winter 2014-15, Edition #3

Editor: Mrs. Laura Geltch, Coordinator of Program and Community

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Don’t Send That Email. Pick up the Phone! by Anthony K. Tjan (published in the Harvard Business Review, Nov. 1, 2011)

The following article appeared in the Harvard Business Review, Nov., 1, 2011.

Around this time last year, I wrote about how we need to get back to allowing conversation to occur without texting, emailing, browsing, Tweeting, Facebooking, or doing whatever else zeros and ones can do these days on smart phones, iPads, notebooks, etc. I am as guilty as the next person of falling for the perception that any response latency is unacceptable. As 2012 fast approaches, this needs to go on top of my New Year’s resolution list: focus on the live conversations at hand, rather than parallel conversations on the Blackberry screen.

But the bigger need is just for more live conversations to occur, period. This is especially true when people are trying to resolve a conflict or communicate an important business decision. There is a rising and unproductive trend towards people trying to do digital conflict resolution. The de facto path for issue resolution seems to be increasingly via email. More accurately, email has become a convenient mechanism for issue-avoidance. It is easier, quicker, less stressful, and less confrontational to have critical or challenging issues sent over email versus a live one-on-one with a counterpart.

Like many readers, I have experienced too many unproductive strings of back-and-forth emails or texts that should have stopped in round two, but continue. The problems with trying to resolve sensitive matters over email or text are quite obvious:

1. It is hard to get the EQ (emotional intelligence) right in email. The biggest drawback and danger with email is that the tone and context are easy to misread. In a live conversation, how one says something, with modulations and intonations, is as important as what they are saying. With email it is hard to get the feelings behind the words.

2. Email and text often promote reactive responses, as opposed to progress and action to move forward. Going back to the zero latency expectation in digital communications, it is hard for people to pause and think about what they should say. One of my colleagues suggests not reacting to any incendiary message until you have at least had a night to sleep on it, and always trying to take the higher ground over email. While by definition reactive responses occur in live discourse, they are usually more productive. The irony is that while email, as an asynchronous channel, has the potential to be more thoughtful, it often promotes the opposite tendency to be immediately reactive. Why? Because the bark is almost always bigger than the bite behind remote digital shields.

3. Email prolongs debate. Because of the two reasons above, I have seen too many debates continue well beyond the point of usefulness. Worse, I have experienced situations which start relatively benignly over email, only to escalate because intentions and interests are easily misunderstood online. When I ask people if they have called or asked to meet the counterpart to try and reach a resolution, there is usually a pause, then a sad answer of “no.”

Email is one of the greatest productivity contributors of the past two decades, and social communication platforms such as Twitter and Facebook have fundamentally changed and positively enriched the means and reach with which we are able to interact. Yet we have to recognize when such digital channels cannot substitute for a live conversation. Email and social networking modes of communications have created a generation of casually convenient new connections, and even helped us deepen existing relationships, but they can rarely replace the real world. As digital communication accelerates the pace at which people form and broaden relationships, it is also decreasing the rate at which people are willing to resolve issues professionally and directly in-person. The next time you experience an issue over email, ask yourself if it is something that would be better served by a real conversation. Then have the courage to stop emailing and pick up the phone. Or even better: have a meeting.

Revised Policy (Staff Conduct and Field Trips) regarding transporting students in private vehicles

School personnel are prohibited from transporting students in private vehicles under any circumstances.

CONGRATULATIONS to our 2015 Educators of the Year!

CONGRATULATIONS to our DISTRICT Teacher of the Year, Teacher Assistant of the Year, and Educational Services Professional of the Year

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Here are some memorable Holiday moments:

PASC Staff with" The Big Man" himself!

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Thank You from the Jump Start Store staff.

Dear BCSSSD Staff and Students,

We just wanted you to know that we truly enjoy working with you and feel honored to be your chosen School Store.

The growth we’ve experienced this past year is because of friends like you, who faithfully support Jump Start Store. Due to your patronage and generosity, we have been able to provide behavior modification incentives to our students and consumer/retail experience to those in this vocational shop.

We appreciate your support and we’ll do our best to continue to give you the kind of service you deserve.

Thank you and Happy Holidays,

Al McHugh, Katrina Zawadzki,

Erin Rambo, Laura LeCompt-Yankson,

& our Jump Start Students

BCSSSD Education Foundation

Did you Know? BCSSSD has an Education Foundation that serves YOU! The Foundation exists to raise awareness and funds to benefit the needs of our classrooms and students. Click here for more information on the BCSSSD Education Foundation.

What's Splashing Newsletter

Linda Warren, Teacher at the Lumberton Campus Junior High made a volcano with her class. "I’m very proud of them for working as a team and asking great questions while learning. They also asked if they could hypothesize and implement other things to see what would happen. It was a great learning experience for all", remarked Ms. Warren.

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Extraordinary events happen every day!


The National Association of Special Education Teachers (NASET) is a national membership organization dedicated to rendering all possible support and assistance to those preparing for or teaching in the field of special education.

Special Ed Teacher Recourses on Pinterest

Discover ideas for any project or interest, hand-picked by people like you.

Education World

Education World is a complete online resource that teachers, administrators and school staff can visit each day to find high-quality and in-depth original content.

New Emergency Closing/Delayed Opening Procedures:

In the event of a campus emergency or inclement weather, staff members will be contacted via email, phone message, and text message. In addition, we will post a Special Alert Message on our website.

Staff Members, Help us Contact You.

Have you moved? Have you changed your phone number or email address? Please make sure to update your information with BCSSSD Personnel. A TEST Emergency Notification Message was sent on November 19, to ensure everyone's information is up-to-date and you will receive our future notifications.

Students will be contacted using information stored in Genesis, our electronic student database. Parents should be reminded to ensure their contact information is up-to-date. Any changes should be reported to the main office of the student's school.

2014-2015 BCSSSD Refrigerator Calendar


This is a District Calendar, for staff, student, parent/guardian reference. The Website Calendar is to be used for school events, i.e.: meetings, trainings, activities, sports, etc.