Dr. Manno's BCSD Brief, Edition #16, 2016-17 School Year
A Message from the Board of Education and Superintendent of Schools
Dear BCSD Families and Residents,
So much has transpired since our Opening Ceremonies of school on August 31, 2016, in the FLHS Gym.
A few highlights include:
- Our Board of Education has identified Core Values and Team Commitments.
- We have finalized several key leadership positions and are in the process of resolving the remainder.
- Our District Leadership Team has identified Core Values and Team Commitments.
- Our Budget Advisory Committee developed and presented a comprehensive report to the BoE.
- Our Space and Enrollment Advisory Committee developed and presented a comprehensive report to the BoE.
- Our Student Achievement Advisory Committee has been exploring various aspects of our programs and services for students and is making worthwhile recommendations.
- The Board engaged 28 school-community representatives to reflect upon, refresh and articulate our Districts Values and Beliefs, Mission and Vision, and to identify short, mid, and long-range issues and objectives to be addressed.
- We reviewed, revised and approved several important policies, and have developed a plan to overhaul our entire Board of Education Policy Manual.
- We have worked to enhance communications with our families in various and creative ways.
- We have reflected upon and expanded our concept of the Inclusion of ALL students, recently, through the support of our Special Education Parent Teacher Organization (SEPTO), hosting an internationally renowned presenter, Mr. Dan Habib, on this topic.
- We have engaged a group of representative stakeholders to reflect upon and refresh our District Values and Beliefs, Mission, and Vision; and, identify short and long-range goals and objectives. (See Strategic Planning below)
- We developed a First Responders Task Force that for the first time has brought together Police, Fire, and EMS from each of our towns, County Police, State Police, BOCES Emergency resources, District officials, and others to discuss and plan for safety, security, and effective emergency response.
- Our District, along with parent and community partners, have engaged in extensive advocacy efforts to help our legislators and the State of NY Education Department understand the disparities that exist in State funding which results in BCSD receiving less fiscal State aid than required. We have partnered with the BTA in these efforts.
- The District developed important tools to help better understand our fiscal status and present to the BoE and community the best budget for the coming year to meet the needs of our students and community. These tools include Position Control, Budget Reduction Impact Analyses, a Budget Dashboard, and a Position Analysis tool.
Board Members and I have enjoyed visiting our schools, meeting staff, children, and families, and attending events throughout the community. With every visit, we are impressed with the professionalism and expertise of our staff and, of course, the inquisitive nature, enthusiasm, talent, and engagement of our students.
To keep informed, check out our District Facebook Page, Twitter Feed, and our school and parent association web pages/newsletters. Also, subscribe to our events calendar and new athletics calendar. At this time all Board subcommittees are active and engaged in important district business. You may find Board meeting materials and subcommittee minutes in Board Docs.
Please accept our appreciation for your support for BCSD.
Colette Dow, President
Brian Sheerin, Vice President
Dr. Christopher Manno, Superintendent of Schools
ANNOUNCEMENT: Critical Safety Tool - Anonymous Alerts!
It continues to be our top priority to maintain the safety and security of our students. The Bedford Central School District is launching a system for sending private, anonymous messages on urgent or sensitive matters. The system, called Anonymous Alerts, allows students, parents, and staff to confidentially report bullying, cyber-bullying, safety concerns or issues, and other sensitive topics through private messages. All messages are secure, encrypted, and remain completely anonymous. Submitters do, however, have the option to reveal their identity if they prefer to have a person-to-person discussion. Here is a link to an important letter to families regarding Anonymous Alerts.
BCSD Strategic Planning 2016-17
A very important group that convened for the past six months is our 2016-17 District Strategic Planning Committee. This group was charged by resolution of the Board of Education to: uncover shared District values and beliefs, develop a refreshed District Mission, clarify a District Vision, and identify short and long-term opportunities and challenges which will help inform our goals.
We solicited District-wide participation in the Strategic Planning Committee. Our Committee consisted of 28 members, including parents from each of our five towns, School Board members, four high school students, members of several of our parent associations, SEPTO representation, representation from the Budget Advisory and Space and Enrollment Advisory Committees, Sports Boosters, and both teacher and BTA officer representation.
As a point of context, here are our stated Vision, Mission, and Goals of current BoE Policy last visited in 2004 and 1967.
Our Vision…To Inspire and Challenge Our Students…speaks to our Mission, to cultivate curiosity and passion for learning, to provide challenging educational opportunities for ALL students, and to ensure ALL students achieve their full potential as productive and contributing members of society. The Vision…To Inspire and Challenge Our Students…is open-ended. There is no period at the end of the phrase. This implies the possibilities to realize this Vision are endless. The “Our” in the Vision implies our collective ownership for each and every student.
The work of our 2016-17 Strategic Planning Committee is just the beginning of our work as a District. These constructs, developed by a representative group of stakeholders, form a foundation for our District that each department and school can further define, and make relevant and connect to specific work with students.
The next step in the process will be to identify short- and long-range issues, objectives, or initiatives in the BIG GOAL areas of continuously improving:
- Curriculum, Instruction, Assessment, and Program
- Climate and Safety
- Community Engagement and Communications
- Fiscal Oversight and Operations Management
2017-18 BCSD Budget
The 2017-18 Superintendent’s Budget was presented to the Board of Education and community on February 28th. The budget:
- Preserves all existing general, special, extracurricular, and athletic programs.
- Complies with elementary class size BoE policy guidelines (per current enrollment projections).
- Begins to restore budget cuts from prior years.
- Restructures our Special Education and Pupil Personnel Services departments to provide improved support and services.
- Complies with the NYS property tax levy cap.
- Reverses the trend of relying on unassigned fund balance (savings); and,
- Increases district savings for the first time in at least five years. (as of March, 2017 budget projections)
An update will be provided by Dr. Manno during the scheduled March 22nd BoE Budget Workshop meeting. The Board will begin deliberations over the budget and hear public comment.
Our next Budget Workshop meeting is tonight in the FLMS Little Theater at 7 p.m. The Board will also continue discussions on March 29th at 7 p.m. at FLMS.
Link to BCSD Advocacy Information
Foundation for Bedford Central Schools Comedy Night, March 30th
The Foundation for Bedford Central Schools is an independent, volunteer, non-profit group supporting outstanding academic opportunities in BCSD’s seven schools. Working with senior administrators, they have identified several excellent initiatives to sponsor for the 2017/18 school year. The Foundation’s 2017 fundraiser is Comedy Night on March 30. Several local businesses have provided underwriting and sponsorships to allow maximum funding to be raised for Foundation supported programs for BCSD students. Details and tickets are available at http://www.foundationbcs.org.
Elementary Bike Run
The 7th Annual BCSD Elementary BikeRun is open to all students of the five BCSD elementary schools, and all are encouraged to participate in this health and wellness, and fun for the whole family day!
The BikeRun will be held on Sunday, May 21 on the Fox Lane Campus at 8 am.
Registration for the event opens this Monday, March 13 and will close when we reach the capacity of 400 (which we always do!)
Parents can register their children here: http://bcsdny.org/k5bikerun
Emergency Closing/Delayed Opening Procedures
In the event of inclement weather or other circumstances that would cause the closing of schools, a delayed opening, or an early school closing, communication with staff and families occurs in multiple and redundant ways.
Families and staff members will get notified via phone, email, and text using our School Messenger system. Please make sure your school has up-to-date contact information .
The District also posts delay, early dismissal, or closing information on the District Website, BCSDTV, and uses WHUD, News 12, NBC-TV, CBS-TV, FOX 5, and ABC-TV to broadcast school closings, late arrivals, and early dismissals.
On days when inclement weather is predicted, the decision to close school could be made the evening prior. If not, the decision-making process begins at 3:30 a.m. and includes research on weather conditions, assessment of site conditions for our schools, consultation with the highway departments of our towns, and a conference call with regional superintendents of schools. A decision will be made by approximately 5 a.m. and the communication process will be initiated.
Some important information:
- A "Delay" means a 2-hour delay for students and staff. Students report to their bus stops or arrive at school 2 hours after normal time.
- When a "Delay" is called, please continue to be alert for communications, as a "Delay" can become a "School Closing."
- For "Early Dismissals," the earliest bus runs for the high school/middle school would begin at 10:20 a.m. Elementary students would be dismissed at 11:30 a.m.
- If schools are closed, facilities are not available for use for after-school or evening activities by internal or external organizations; therefore, all after-school activities are canceled, with the exception of after-care occurring in schools.
- For "Early Dismissals," staff members are dismissed after students have left the campus.
- If schools are closed or there is an early dismissal on a Friday, please check the District website for the status of weekend activities.