Dr. Manno's BCSD Brief, Edition #7, 2016-17 School Year
September 9, 2016
A message from our Board of Education
Dear Bedford Central Community Members:
The Board of Education has been hard at work this summer already tackling critical issues and planning for a productive school year. We have revamped our Board of Education meeting cycle. The objectives of this new cycle are: to integrate the work of the community advisory committees and board subcommittees systematically; to connect the work of the advisory committees and Board subcommittees with the decisions of the Board of Education; and, to schedule ample time for Board discussion. Each month, in addition to Community Advisory Committee meetings, subcommittee meetings, and a Business Meeting, we have added a Work Session that will provide the Board greater opportunity to discuss and delve into critical issues.
Our BoE Policy subcommittee has embarked on an aggressive plan to overhaul our District Policies. Our BoE Curriculum subcommittee is working on substantive issues related to curriculum, program, teaching, and learning. Our Finance and Facilities subcommittees are organizing their work for the year and preparing to analyze and tackle some significant issues that will have an impact on our district for years to come.
The Board of Education recognizes that community involvement is a key ingredient to the attainment of the District’s mission, standing goals, and annual goals. Community members with interest, expertise, and willingness to aid the Board with research and advice on particular topics are asked to apply to serve on an advisory committee. Applications for participation on our Community Advisory Committees are available on our website.
Please apply no later than September 22, 2016. Members will be appointed with consideration to representation from all elementary school attendance areas, as well as other community members. Thank you in advance for your interest in serving the community and the children of the Bedford Central School District.
Budget Advisory Committee: The Budget Advisory committee is charged by the Board with providing input and insight to the Board of Education Finance subcommittee and ultimately to the Board of Education as a whole on topics related to:
- Budget and finance
- The budget development process
- Analysis of district revenues and expenditures
- Multi-year budgetary planning
- Meetings will occur monthly
Student Achievement Advisory Committee: The District Student Achievement advisory committee is charged by the Board with providing input and insight to the Board of Education Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment subcommittee and ultimately to the Board of Education as a whole on topics related to curriculum, instruction, assessment, and student achievement. Such topics include:
- Learning: guiding principles of learning and student achievement
- Testing and Assessment: standardized testing; types and frequency of local tests and assessments; use of external tests as benchmarks of local student, school and district achievement; emphasis of assessment and testing with respect to time devoted to tested and non-tested content; test preparation
- Curriculum: guiding principles of curriculum and development of such, consideration of the depth and breadth of the Bedford Central curriculum, taking into consideration required standards and assessments
- Achievement and Engagement: experiences and data to benchmark student achievement and academic engagement
- Communicating Success: benchmarking and communicating success with emphasis placed on rankings by national, state, and local publications; means of measuring and communicating student progress, growth, and point-in-time achievement; and means of communicating student(s) learning
- Mandates and Policy: understanding federal and state policies and reforms
- Meetings will occur monthly.
Space and Enrollment Advisory Committee: The District Space and Enrollment advisory committee is charged by the Board with providing input and insight to the Board of Education, and the Facilities, Finance, and any other pertinent subcommittee of the Board, and ultimately to the Board of Education as a whole on topics related to:
- Available space
- Enrollment and demographic trends across the District
- Alternatives to effectively and efficiently maximize space utilization in a manner aligned with the guiding principles and educational mission and programs of the school district
- Meetings will occur at least monthly
Colette Dow, President
Brian Sheerin, Vice President
A message from Dr. Manno
With about a week of school under our belts, the school year appears to have started smoothly. I have visited every school at least once to tour and greet the students and staff. We are working diligently to develop action plans to achieve our TEN BIG District Goals. For the first time, every school shares goals and objectives under three broad areas - Communication, Special Education and Inclusion, and Curriculum and Program. Keep alert for a call for participation in our District Strategic Planning Initiative.
I would like to commend our entire staff and administration for their hard work to make the opening of school positive and productive for our students. I would also like to thank the many parents and volunteers who helped in so many ways to get us off to a great school year. Special thanks are offered to our West Patent staff and Mrs. Berezowsky, our facilities team, construction contractors, and all volunteers who helped to get the school open. We appreciate the patience and support of our West Patent School Community as we improved our facilities for our staff and students. The school and classrooms look great!
Our Business Office has been working on budget projections and the formatting of our budget in new ways to determine our fiscal health, and to plan for the future. We are excited to begin our Community Advisory Committees to obtain valuable feedback from the tremendous expertise and varying perspectives that exist in our school community. We are also working to permanently fill numerous leadership positions currently held by individuals with interim titles.
Finally and importantly, this weekend marks the fifteenth anniversary of September 11, 2001. It is a solemn time for us all to remember and honor lives lost, including first responders. It is a time to keep in our thoughts those in our own communities who were impacted by that horrific event. It is a time to reflect on how the events of September 11, 2001 brought Americans together in the aftermath. It is especially a time to recognize and honor the heroes around us - the police, fire and EMS personnel who keep us safe, and our military personnel and veterans who sacrifice for our nation's freedom, safety, and security. It is a time to reflect on how we may all be in service to our fellow Americans and our Country. Westchester County has set a benchmark for making 9/11 a day of service.
Our Back-to-School Nights begin next week and are all listed on our District Events Calendar. Enjoy meeting your children's teachers and learning about our programs. I wish everyone a year of enjoyment, learning, and inquiry!
2016-17 BCSD Goals
- Strategic Planning: Convene a group of representative stakeholders to articulate the current values/beliefs, mission, vision and broad goal areas of the district.
- Evaluate, refine and improve the budget development process to result in a 2017-18 budget which balances school community needs and constraints.
- Develop a comprehensive communications plan which includes forums for public discourse between the Board of Education, administration and community members.
- Resolve negotiations.
- Implement the District Curriculum Review Cycle and continue key program initiatives.
- Evaluate, refine, and improve BCSD Policies.
- Create a detailed special education action plan to refine and improve services to students, focusing on developing a shared understanding and theory of action for the term “inclusion”, implementing refined processes to ensure understanding and implementation of accommodations set forth in IEPs and 504s, and seeking additional parental input regarding special education programming and services.
- Create and implement a new Board of Education and subcommittee meeting cycle to refine and improve the functioning of community advisory committees, Board subcommittees, and the Board as a whole.
- Design a consistent process for the filling of leadership positions.
- Continue the work of the Space and Enrollment Community Advisory Committee, including engaging in more in-depth study and the evaluation of the previous recommendation to consider the closing of an elementary school and other options for efficiencies and cost savings at all levels.
Student Appreciation Weeks: Mon. 9/12 - Fri., 9/23 - All Schools
In addition to showing appreciation for our youngsters, this program accomplishes several objectives. First, it exposes students to the various choices within our lunch program. Second, the school lunch program is limited in the amount of fund balance it may carry. Because our lunch program is so successful, our fund balances over the years have exceeded the allowable amount. In addition to other measures such as replacing outdated equipment, this Student Appreciation program helps us keep our fund balances to acceptable levels.
We hope your children enjoy the lunch program!
Fox Lane Sports Booster Club Meeting
Emergency Closing/Delayed Opening Procedures
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 use for after-school or evening activities by internal or external organizations; therefore, all after-school activities are cancelled.
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.