Bedford Central School District

Dr. Manno's E-Brief, December, 2018, Edition #7

Superintendent's Scoop

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2018 - 2019, Edition #7, December 2018

Inspiring and Challenging Our Students

The Bedford Central School District shall cultivate curiosity and a passion for learning by providing challenging educational opportunities for all students so they may achieve their full potential as productive and contributing members of society

A Message from the Board of Education and Superintendent of Schools

Dear BCSD Families and Residents,

This is an exciting time of year. Our schools are buzzing with positive activity that engages students in learning and celebration. Winter athletics are in full swing. Students are engaged in academic, enrichment, social, and issues-oriented clubs and activities. School Holiday concerts are underway and have been quite impressive.

Our school leaders, teacher leaders, faculty, and staff are focused on achieving the goals and objectives crafted in our BCSD Success Plan. At this link, you may see the Success Plan and specific action plans.

While much work has already been done, after the New Year, we will turn our full attention to the creation of the 2019-20 School District Budget. The budget is being designed with goals and objective directly connected to our Success Plan. We are cautiously optimistic that we will enter the third year of program restoration and growth. There are numerous variables that can impact on this outlook; however, at this time, our forecasts are generally positive.

In this edition, you will find timely information about holiday safety from the Drug Abuse Prevention Council. You will also find updates on our work around Character Education, with students on executive functioning skills (organization, note-taking, etc.), and our Tri-States Accreditation process, which is focusing on promoting student voice and membership.

As always, 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 athletics calendar.

The Bedford Central School District offers you our most sincere wishes for a holiday season filled with peace and joy. We wish you success and prosperity in the New Year.


Colette Dow, President

Michelle Brooks, Vice President

Michael Bauscher

Bill Canavan

Pam Harney

Edward Reder

Beth Staropoli

Dr. Christopher M. Manno, Superintendent of Schools

Holiday Safety Tips

Unfortunately, the holidays are a period of time that teens are at increased risk for the use of substances. The holiday season is considered to begin the night before Thanksgiving and goes to New Year’s Day. According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, SAMHSA), on an average December day, more than 11,000 young people, aged 12 to 17, will use alcohol for the first time. (Parenting for Prevention, November 2018).

The Drug Abuse Prevention Council (DAPC) offers these Holiday Safety Tips for teens and families. These can be found on our website under Parents and Community, Parent Resources.

We wish everyone a safe and enjoyable holiday season.

Students First: Respect, Relationships, Membership, Voice

by Dr. Joel Adelberg, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction

Among the Core Values of the Bedford Central School District are the following: Students First and Relationships, Respect and Membership. We are committed to these Core Values, not only as statements of belief but also as they are reflected in the daily experiences and interactions provided to all students in the BCSD. In helping us define, support and enrich these experiences for our students, our 2018-2019 Success Plan includes a number of Action Plans that explicitly address this work.

Recently, the BCSD welcomed to our district colleagues from New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut as members of the Tri-State Consortium, to engage with us in examining our commitment to Membership and Student Voice. During their three-day BCSD visit, our colleagues spent time at each of our district’s 8 schools, observed classes, and spoke with students, teachers, district and building leaders, Board of Education members, and parents. They examined data and reviewed district practices. They were asked to provide us with feedback on these three questions:

  1. To what extent does BCSD provide opportunities to promote and support membership and student voice for all across the district?
  2. To what extent do our current instructional practices promote and reflect membership and student voice?
  3. To what extent does our commitment to membership and student voice align with student experiences in the classroom, school, and district?

We asked the Tri-State Consortium to look for evidence of how much our students feel invested in their school community. Do our students feel that they are a part of and have

a say in their schools and in determining their future goals? How much do BCSD students, K-12, own their educational experiences inside and outside of the classroom?

We await a written report from the Tri-State Consortium which will include recommendations for our continued commitment to Membership and Student Voice and we look forward to sharing their report and our work with the entire BCSD community.

Membership and Student Voice speaks to experiences in and out of the classroom, considers instructional strategies, as well as curriculum in core content areas, skill development, social and emotional learning, and character education.

Character Counts

by Dr. Edward Escobar, Director of Pupil Personnel Services

The BCSD Character Education Committee has been working as a group for the past two years. This year, the Committee has established core goals to support the mission and vision of the district yet allows each school to continue their initiatives while maintaining the unique culture of each building. The committee is charged with developing and adopting a district-wide definition of character education for our five elementary schools. Members have worked collectively on a district definition of character education that will eventually be shared and posted throughout the district.

Using the national standards of character education, the committee has set out to have each school identify several of the 11 Principles of Character Education as their focus for the year. As a result, each school will then adopt a multi-year plan for character education that demonstrates consistency across the district.

The committee is also working to create and disseminate a Needs Assessment of character education in all 5 elementary schools as well as requests for professional development to support the needs of each building. Although the current charge is to work with our elementary schools, the committee consists of teachers and administrators from all levels and all schools.

Empowering Students with the Skills to Succeed!

by Jason Spector, Fox Lane Middle School, Interim Assistant Principal

This past week, Pam Leibring, national AVID trainer, presented at Fox Lane Middle School grade level meetings to discuss focused note-taking. AVID, Advancement Via Individual Determination, is a college readiness program designed to help students develop the skills they need to be successful in college. The program places special emphasis on growing writing, critical thinking, teamwork, organization and reading skills. Between presentations, Ms. Leibring was able to visit the AVID classes at FLMS to observe our students in actions.

One of the critical ways that students are expected to process material in the content areas is through the strategy of focused note-taking. There are five phases in the focused note-taking process: (1) taking notes, (2) processing notes, (3) connecting thinking, (4) summarizing and reflecting on learning, and (5) applying learning. Teachers were taken through these phases using their own content material to develop lesson plans that help students access the material with ease and proficiency. Through this work, students are encouraged to think more deeply about their learning, to reflect, and to apply their learning to create new work. Ultimately, through this process, students will be able to access more complex work and become more independent learners. This is a key component in the building and district’s work to cultivate curiosity and a passion for learning in a rigorous academic setting.

Local Live Comes to Fox Lane!

Out of town? Not feeling well? At work late? Can't get to a Fox Lane sporting event? Fox Lane has adopted Local Live, a live streaming service with cameras in the FLHS main gym and the FLHS Stadium. Anyone can view sporting and other events online in high quality at any time.

Enjoy the Action No Matter Where You Are

  • Games streamed live and for free.
  • Everything is recorded and available for replay.
  • Watch on laptops, tablets and smart phones. No app needed

Important Information Links

Letter from the Foundation for BCSD

Read this important letter explaining the important work of the Foundation for BCSD and what you can do to help.

Parent Resource on the BCSD Website - Parenting for Prevention

Under the "Parents and Community Tab" on the BCSD Website, you will now find Parenting for Prevention newsletters with valuable information to consider as you experience the challenge and journey of raising children in the 21st Century.

Emergency Closings, Delays, or Early Dismissals

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 dismissal bus runs for the high school/middle school begin at 10:20 a.m. Elementary students are dismissed at 11:30 a.m.
  • If schools are closed, facilities are not available for after-school or evening activities by internal or external organizations; therefore, all after-school activities and meetings are cancelled, with the exception of after-care occurring in schools.

  • For "Early Dismissals," staff members are dismissed after students have left a 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.

What you need to know

Under the "About BCSD" tab on the BCSD Website, you will also now find our What you need to know E-District Portfolio with in-depth information about BCSD, including contact information for key administrators and coordinators.

New and Revised Board of Education Policies

BCSD has committed to revamping and updating the Policy Manual. School Board Policy establishes important rules, regulations, procedures and parameters within which our school administrators and staff can effectively operate the district, ultimately for the betterment of our students and education. We have adopted the BOCES comprehensive policy services to assist us in this venture. On the Policy Section of our website under the Board of Education tab you will find our "old" policies and "new policies."

Cultivating curiosity and passion for learning.

Providing challenging educational opportunities.

All students achieving their full potential.

Important Information Links

School Organization Websites

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