Supt's Scoop

Dr. Manno's BCSD Brief, Edition #13, 2016-17 School Year

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A Message from the Board of Education and Superintendent of Schools

Dear BCSD Families and Residents,

Happy New Year BCSD Families! As we begin 2017, we have a number of very important initiatives ahead of us.

District Goals

During our January 25th Board of Education meeting, Dr. Manno will provide a brief mid-year report on progress on our District Goals.

Community Advisory Committees

Our Community Advisory Committees have continued to be active and productive. See information in the District Reports and Info link on our website for information about the status of their work. Our Space and Enrollment and Budget Advisory Community Advisory Committee's are slated to report our publicly to the Board of Education on February 8, 2017 at 7 p.m.

BCSD Advocacy Work

The administration, Board of Education Finance Committee, Budget Advisory Committee, and others have collaborated to design a BCSD Advocacy Position and resources. Please review the information at this link. This information is important to inform our own community about BCSD's challenges and efforts.

Strategic Planning

The Strategic Planning Committee has developed a set of Core Educational Values and Mission which will empower the group to design a Vision Statement after the New Year.

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

Andrew Bracco

Michelle Brooks

Pam Harney

Edward Reder

Beth Staropoli

Dr. Christopher Manno, Superintendent of Schools

Budget Development for 2017-18 and Annual School Board Election

During the month of January, we will be developing the budget internally. We will also be collaborating with the Board of Education Finance Subcommittee, as well as the Community Budget Advisory Committee to guide our initial development and design of the budget. We have been working on several new tools to help us develop a good budget:

  • 2016-17 Budget Impact Analysis - we are evaluating every personnel and/or program reduction/cut made for this current school year, and articulating the impact of such cuts.
  • Position Control - we have created a tool which allows us to now break down costs at the program and/or school levels. This is very helpful when making budgetary and program decision.
  • Position Analysis- this is an analysis of the duties and assignments of individuals in like job descriptions. This is critical if budget reductions are needed in order to make sustainable reductions which allow the district to continue to provide programs and services to students effectively.

In February, we will complete our internal budget development. During our February 8th Board Work Session, we plan to present our status to the Board and Community. This will include our 2016-17 budget impact analysis and the presentation of the work of our Community Space and Enrollment Advisory Committee and Community Budget Advisory Committee. On February 28th, Mr. Rubbo, Assistant Superintendent for Business and Administrative Services, and I will present the Superintendent's Preliminary Budget to the Board and Community. This begins the Board of Education budget deliberation phase.

In March, the Board will continue to review and deliberate over the budget. Public input will be important and welcomed. On March 22nd, the Board must adopt any propositions other than the budget to put before the voters. On March 24th, the District will publish the first of four legal notices regarding the budget vote and Board of Education election. On March 29th, but no later than April 5th, the Board will adopt a budget proposition.

On April 17th, School Board Candidate Nominating Petitions are due in the office of the District Clerk by 5 p.m. On May 3rd, the Board of Education shall hold a public budget hearing in the Fox Lane Middle School Little Theater.

May 16th is the Annual Budget Vote & School Board Election, held in the elementary school serving each attendance area, from 7:00 am to 9:00 p.m.

Please see this link for a complete budget calendar.

BCSD Advocacy

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BCSD Unveils "What you need to know" - our NEW E-Portfolio

BCSD has been working to create an electronic resource easily accessible to residents and prospective families, the media, and realtors. We are proud to unveil our first iteration of the BCSD E--Portfolio - What you need to know. Please note this is a work in progress and can be revised and refined in real time.

We hope you find this resource useful.

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.

What happens when bad weather is expected?

It's 5:15 a.m. and your phone rings, waking your entire household - baby cries, dog barks, small children are now bright-eyed and ready to go for the day! Ugh! So what happens prior to that pesky phone call?

When inclement weather is expected, the process of evaluating BCSD's opening status begins many hours prior to that phone call. The day and evening prior, the Superintendents receives frequent notices from Fleet Weather, the District's weather service, and utilizes other weather forecasting tools, including the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA),, and other local sources.

The morning of a potential weather event begins at 3:30 a.m. with the Superintendent of Schools again reviewing weather data from various sources. The District Facilities Director collects information from regional road departments, and about conditions at each district school facility. The Superintendent and Facilities Director talk before 4:30 a.m. The Superintendent participates in a regional Conference call with Northern Putnam-Westchester Superintendents at 4:30 p.m. The Superintendent not only needs to consider conditions in BCSD communities but also must consider decisions of surrounding school districts.

A decision is made by approximately 5 a.m., and then the work begins. The Superintendent crafts the appropriate message and records and scripts the message to be sent in English and Spanish. A complex communication system is enacted, including text messages, emails, and phone messages to administrators, service providers such as transportation services, food services, and buildings and grounds staff, news media, private schools, before-school program providers, and of course notification to families via phone, email, text, BCSDTV, and the District website. Each of these steps is assigned to specific individuals and are carefully coordinated and executed.

If all goes well, the Superintendent and others involved in the decision are enjoying a cup of hot coffee by about 5:30 a.m. or so. Decisions and correspondence must occur at this early hour because buses begin to roll on a normal day by 6 a.m.

We hope this is helpful to our families and community members to know and understand what is involved in a weather decision.