Bedford Central School District

Dr. Manno's E-Brief, October, 2018, Edition #4

Superintendent's Scoop

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2018 - 2019 , Edition #4, October 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,


Fall is finally here! As we greet the cool crisp air, pumpkins, hay, and cornstalks, and the flourishing of colorful landscapes, BCSD is busy with much activity associated with the exciting beginning of the school year. Fall sports, Fox Night and Homecoming, the implementation of new curriculum programs, and many other curricular and extracurricular programs and activities are some of what’s going on.


This month, Dr. Manno kicked off the 2019-20 budget development process. A number of refinements and improvements to the process have been implemented. Budget managers (Assistant Superintendents, Principals, and Program Directors) are working with their respective staffs to identify needs for next school year to develop building and department proposed budgets.


We are pleased to welcome Ms. Linda Carpenter, Interim School Business Official. Ms. Carpenter is a well-regarded and highly recommended retired School Business Official in the region who has completed a number of interim assignments. Linda started on October 15th and will be working with us on a part-time basis for the coming months.


We also welcomed Ms. Kelly Lent, Assistant Business Manager, who also joined our team on October 15th. Kelly comes to us with significant private-sector and public-sector accounting experience. Ms. Lent will assist our school business official in the oversight of business office functions, including supervision of business office staff, payroll, accounts payable, financial analysis, reporting, long-range planning, budget development, and civil service employee management.


On November 13, 2018, Mr. James Reese will join our team as Interim Assistant Superintendent of Business and Administrative Services on a full-time basis. Mr. Reese comes to Bedford highly recommended after a long and successful career as a School Business Official and having completed numerous interim assignments in the region. We are planning to begin the search process for a permanent Assistant Superintendent for Business and Administrative Services in the near future.


In this edition of our E-Brief, you will find an article about our work to continuously improve the teaching of reading and writing for our young learners. In addition to focusing on improvements in classroom teaching and learning, our BCSD Success Plan also aims to meet the social and emotional needs of our students. In this edition, we are pleased to introduce you to our two new Student Assistance Counselors on the Fox Lane Campus.


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. You may find Board meeting materials and subcommittee minutes in Board Docs.


Please accept our appreciation for your support for BCSD. We wish everyone a safe and enjoyable fall season.


Sincerely,


Colette Dow, President

Michelle Brooks, Vice President

Michael Bauscher

Bill Canavan

Pam Harney

Edward Reder

Beth Staropoli


Dr. Christopher M. Manno, Superintendent of Schools

Feature Article

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Feature Article: Continuous Improvement - Nurturing Young Readers and Writers

BCSD’s Elementary Literacy Program

by Mrs. Amy Fishkin, Principal, Pound Ridge Elementary School


The BCSD elementary schools are excited to be partnering with the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project to bring professional development to our elementary teachers (K-5) on the implementation of reading and writing workshops. Our teachers will be participating in onsite professional development in classrooms with TC staff developers. Teachers and principals will attend conference days at Teachers College throughout the year in order to grow our understanding of the best teaching practices for our young readers and writers. We are joining a knowledgeable professional learning community who continue to be on the front line of the latest research in reading and writing instruction. In addition, we are continuing to roll-out the implementation of Fundations, a K-3 systematic, multisensory phonics program, that builds the foundational skills of successful reading, including phonemic awareness, phonics, high-frequency word study, reading fluency, vocabulary, handwriting, and spelling.


In a reading workshop, teachers model reading behaviors and provide direct instruction on reading strategically. Students are given ample time to read, an opportunity to choose their own reading selections, and time to talk about books and strategies. Teachers are following the Teachers College reading and writing units of study, which is a series of lessons and units, designed for each grade level, that build upon one another and provides our students with explicit instruction in reading decoding, comprehension, and fluency. Students will study a variety of genres, including fiction, non-fiction, mystery, historical fiction, and fantasy. They will continue to develop decoding and comprehension strategies in order to become skilled, fluent readers. Students will also learn how to analyze character, author’s craft, text structures, and story elements in order to become critical, thoughtful readers and thinkers.


Last year, our elementary teachers and administrators from all five elementary schools came together to develop a consistent set of beliefs and values around reading instruction. These beliefs were based on our collective knowledge of how students learn best, an understanding of active learning environments, and research in the field around strong instructional practices that support the development of lifelong readers. We then examined how our instructional practices match up with our beliefs and ways that we could build more consistent practices across all five elementary schools. We are confident that the continuation of a balanced literacy approach, incorporating the Teachers College units of study and Fundations program, will provide our elementary students across the district with a cohesive and comprehensive reading curriculum.


Our instructional practices are grounded in the following beliefs about reading instruction (http://www.unitsofstudy.com/k5reading/):


  1. Readers need teachers who demonstrate what it means to live rich literate lives, wearing a love of reading on our sleeves. Teachers need professional development and a culture of collaborative practice to develop their abilities to teach.

  2. Readers need long stretches of time to read. A mountain of research supports the notion that teachers who teach reading successfully provide their students with substantial time for actual reading.

  3. Readers need opportunities to read high-interest, accessible books of their own choosing. Students need access to many books that they can read with high levels of accuracy, fluency, and comprehension. They need opportunities to consolidate skills so they can use skills and strategies with automaticity within fluid, engaged reading.

  4. Readers need to read increasingly complex texts appropriate for their grade level. Teachers can find ways to scaffold instruction to provide students with access to these texts.

  5. Readers need direct, explicit instruction in the skills and strategies of proficient reading.

  6. Readers need opportunities to talk and sometimes to write in response to texts. Talking and writing both provide concrete, visible ways for learners to do the thinking work that later becomes internalized and invisible.

  7. Readers need support reading nonfiction books and building a knowledge base and academic vocabulary through information reading.

  8. Readers need assessment-based instruction, including feedback that is tailored specifically to them. Learners are not all the same and learners do not need all the same things to progress. Teaching, then, must always be responsive, and our ideas about what works and what doesn’t work must always be under construction.

  9. Readers need teachers to read aloud to them. Read-aloud is essential to teaching reading because it provides students with modeling of fluent reading and opportunities to practice comprehension strategies in texts that students are not able to decode yet.


Readers need a balanced approach to language arts, one that includes a responsible approach to the teaching of writing as well as of reading.
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Feature Article

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Feature Article: Introducing our New Student Assistance Counselors

Angela Alvarado is the new Student Assistance Counselor at Fox Lane High School implementing the research-based program Project SUCCESS. She is a licensed social worker and has worked in the Student Assistance Program for the past 14 years. As the Student Assistance Counselor, Angela will meet with students individually, in small groups, and in classrooms.


Over the years, Mrs. Alvarado has helped many students and families to prevent the onset of alcohol and other drug use and provided early intervention services to students who have struggled with substance use and other youth-related issues to get the assistance needed to begin making healthy decisions and choices. She is available to staff and parents to provide consultation and educational workshops.


Tamara Tribble is the new Student Assistance Counselor at Fox Lane Middle School, also implementing Project SUCCESS. Ms. Tribble has a Masters Degree in Social Work and has experience working with adolescents and their families. Ms. Tribble has had specialized training in providing substance abuse prevention and early intervention services to adolescents in order to prevent the use of alcohol and other drugs and to provide information and skills to support students making healthy decisions. Ms. Tribble will meet with students in classrooms and in individual and group sessions. She is available to staff and parents to provide consultation and educational workshops.


As the new Student Assistance Counselors, Mrs. Alvarado and Ms. Tribble will work with students in a peer a leadership club, Youth 2 Youth, to plan and implement school-wide substance abuse prevention and educational activities. These activities will provide the entire student body with accurate information punctuating the potential dangers of alcohol and other drug use and promoting a healthy lifestyle and safe school climate. They will empower students to become leaders and develop problem-solving skills.


Overall, the goals of both the High School and Middle School Student Assistance Counselors are to prevent the onset of any substance use and to intervene as early as possible with students who may have started using any substance. To accomplish these goals, they will help students develop and use healthy decision-making skills and provide information to students to correct any misconceptions they may have about alcohol and other drugs. Ms. Tribble and Mrs. Alvarado will provide a full range of prevention services to the staff, parents, and the community.

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October 23 - 31 is Red Ribbon Week

National Family Partnership (NFP) provides drug awareness by sponsoring the annual National Red Ribbon Campaign. Since its beginning in 1985, the Red Ribbon has touched the lives of millions of people around the world. In 1988, NFP sponsored the first National Red Ribbon Celebration. Today, the Red Ribbon serves as a catalyst to mobilize communities to educate youth and encourage participation in drug prevention activities.


NFP was established as a grassroots, nonprofit organization in 1980 by a handful of concerned and determined parents who were convinced they should begin to play a leadership role in drug prevention. Their mission is to lead and support our nation’s families and communities in nurturing the full potential of healthy, drug-free youth.

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October has been National Bullying Prevention Month

No student shall be subjected to harassment by employees OR students on school property or at a school-sponsored function; nor shall any student be subjected to discrimination based on a person’s actual or perceived race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, or sex by school employees or students on school property or at a school-sponsored function.


Here are great resources to address and prevent bullying in schools.


Dignity Act Webpage


Dignity Act Policy


Dignity Act Regulations and Incident Report Form

Parent/Guardian Engagement

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This month, 9th grade parents night was well attended. The presentation was informative and provided parents with critical information regarding their student's next four year at Fox Lane High School.

Helping families prepare their children for the college admissions process

Well over 150 parents came to Senior Parent Night on Thursday, September 27th. The evening walks parents through the college applications and admissions process. This presentation is very informative for parents.

Important Information Links

Fox Lane High School Fall Guidance Newsletter

Parents, You have to check this out. The information is invaluable!

Fox Lane Students Excel!

Student Achievement in the Arts

We are very proud of our Fox Lane High School student musicians who were selected to participate in All-New York State Music Ensembles.


1. All-State Wind Ensemble, Kaitlyn Ramlakhan


2. National Association for Music Education (NAfME) National Honor Ensemble, Olivia Tebsherany, Alto, Mixed Chorus


3. New York State School Music Association (NYSSMA) All-State Conference Ensembles

  • Kaitlyn Ramlakhan, flute, Wind Ensemble
  • Joanna Green Delgado, timpani, alternate
  • Caitlin Brown, cello, alternate
  • Kenneth Poor, violin, alternate
  • James Giokaris, bass, alternate


4. Area All-State Participants 2018

  • Ava Anduze, Soprano, Treble Chorus
  • Taylor Bazos, Alto, Treble Chorus
  • Lauren Bell, Alto, Treble Chorus
  • Jia Binder, Alto, Treble Chorus
  • Lydia Steenman, Soprano, Treble Chorus
  • Gabriela Ackermann Logan, Alto, Mixed Chorus
  • Jessica Barresi, Alto, Mixed Chorus
  • Megan Blake, Soprano, Mixed Chorus
  • James Giokaris, Bass, Mixed Chorus
  • Jack Kadleck, Bass, Mixed Chorus
  • Joseph Purcell, Bass, Mixed Chorus
  • Clever Streich, Bass, Mixed Chorus
  • Olivia Tebsherany, Alto, Mixed Chorus
  • Justin Eimer, French horn, Band
  • Kaitlyn Ramlakhan Flute, Band
  • Jesse Federbush, Trombone, Orchestra
  • Joanna Green Delgado, Timpani, Orchestra
  • Henry Pence, Trombone, Orchestra
  • William Krasnow, Viola, String Orchestra
  • Joelle Leong, Viola, String Orchestra
  • Beatrice Pence, Cello, String Orchestra
  • Kenneth Poor, Violin, String Orchestra
  • Alexander Boguraev, Viola, Symphony Orchestra
  • Caitlin Brown, Cello, Symphony Orchestra
  • Nicholas Deupree, Viola, Symphony Orchestra
  • Jaqueline Nagel, Cello, Symphony Orchestra
  • Kate Radom, Viola, Symphony Orchestra
National Education Week: November 12-16

Mon Nov12, 2018: Kickoff Day *** Tues Nov 13, 2018: Parents Day *** Wed, Nov 14, 2018: Education Support Professionals Day *** Thurs, Nov 15, 2018: Educator for a Day *** Fri, Nov 16, 2018: Substitute Educators Day

Student Achievements

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Science Research at Fox Lane High School Goes Global!

Fox Lane High School Senior to Present at the 2018 Annual AMIA Symposium in San Francisco, CA

On October 11th, senior Science Research student, Diane Zhang was accepted to present her research via poster at the American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA) 2018 Annual Symposium in San Francisco, CA November 4-7, 2018. Diane’s work, Transcriptional Regulation in Atrial Versus Ventricular Cardiomyocytes was reviewed and selected based on the following criteria: importance to the field, scholarship, methodological contribution, and overall organization of the presentation. The AMIA 2018 High School Scholar Program (HSSP) provides opportunities for high school students to present their research through the funding of airfare, lodging, and meals for selected students.

Fox Lane High School Senior will Present Science Research in South Korea

Senior Science Research student, Madeleine Sleeman, will be traveling to Daejeon, South Korea October 17-23, 2018 to present her research entitled The Role of Src Homology Phosphatase 2 (SHP-2) in T Cell Activation and PD-1 Mediated Inhibition. At the GENIUS Olympiad held in June 2018 at SUNY Oswego, Madeleine won an all-expenses-paid trip to MILSET Expo-Sciences Asia 2018 as one of the top awards in the fair. We wish her the best and safe travels as she represents Fox Lane, New York, and the United States!

Fox Lane Students Engage Deeply in Language Arts!

About 30 FLHS students on October 19th traveled to the Biannual Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival (New Jersey Performing Arts Center Newark, NJ) to engage in and appreciate the art of poetry. Special thanks to FLHSA for their support in this effort.


October 19 - 21, FLHS students participated in the 17th Annual Writing Retreat held at Sharpe Reservation in Fishkill. The author/workshop facilitator of this year's retreat is Julie Chibbaro, author of three novels: Redemption, Deadly, and Into the Dangerous World.

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Keeping our Campus Safe for Students, Staff, Families, and Visitors

This important letter was published this month about safety on the Fox Lane Campus.


Speeding has been a safety concern on the Fox Lane Campus. In addition to regular vehicle and pedestrian traffic, our athletes use the campus for running and training. Our students and staff walk between buildings continually throughout the day. Traffic is heavy. We want everyone to be attentive to prevent situations that could lead to accidents, particularly during arrival and dismissal. It is critical that everyone drive safely and slowly on campus.


You may have noticed that this summer we increased the size of the speed bumps on the Fox Lane Campus. Please drive slowly and cautiously. If you have a car with low ground clearance and you drive over the speed bumps too quickly, you WILL damage your car. Additional speed bumps will be installed this month throughout the campus.

Dr. Manno had a great time playing some Rock and Roll with our MS 8th grade Rock Ensemble!
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Hidden in Plain Sight

Brought to you by FLHSA, Mount Kisco Partners in Prevention, and Student Assistance Services Corporation


An interactive presentation for parents.


Come into our teen’s bedroom, test your knowledge and strengthen your observational skills. As you stroll through the room can you find what hidden references and paraphernalia could indicate a teen’s drug or alcohol use?


Where: Fox Lane High School Cafeteria

When: Tuesday, October 23, 6:30—8:00 PM

Contact: Amanda Greene, mandybg@optonline.net


This presentation is for adults only.

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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