BCSD Superintendent Updates

  • Superintendent Blog Post - April 12, 2019

    Posted by Victoria Jackson on 4/12/2019

    Superintendent’s Blog Post - April 12, 2019


    Budget Update

    We received good news from the folks in Albany a few weeks ago in the form of additional state aid for our work here in Beacon.  We will be able to move forward with further reducing class sizes at the elementary level, add programming to the high school, and offer extensive professional development to our staff.  The Board of Education will be adopting the budget at the April 23 board meeting and the budget vote is on May 21. You can check out all of the slides from the board presentations from the last few months on our website here: https://www.beaconk12.org/domain/418 .


    Community Conversations about the Strategic Plan and the Budget

    I will be out having community conversations with folks about how the Strategic Plan and the Budget work together.  Please think about coming out to join me on one or more of the following dates:

    Sunday, April 28  6:00 at the Beacon Light Tabernacle

    Thursday, May 2 7:00 at the Beacon Rec

    Thursday, May 16 4:30 at the Howland Public Library

    At these community meetings I will discuss the new foundation for our Strategic Plan and how the 19-20 budget intends to support the work moving forward.  I hope to see you there.


    Tuesday, May 28, 2019 is now a day off for teachers and students

    The Board of Education approved this calendar change earlier this week.  We only ended up using 3 full snow days this year and our contract with the Beacon Teacher Association says that if we use between 2-5 snow days in a school year we need to take one extra day off.  We decided to extend Memorial Day weekend with this extra day. Memorial Day weekend for this year is now Friday-Tuesday, May 24-28.


    Here are some pictures of the new mural at Rombout Middle School.

    RMS Mural - Go Bulldogs!                   RMS - Mural Bulldog

    The work on the Mural will be completed on April 12, 2019.  

    Enjoy Spring Break and we will see everyone back on Tuesday, April 23!

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  • Superintendent Blog Post - March 29, 2019

    Posted by Vickie Jackson on 3/29/2019

    Budget Update

    I wanted to take a moment to update you on the budget.  At this week’s board meeting, we presented our instructional budgetary goals for the 19-20 school year.  We are excited to present several initiatives that we think will help the Beacon City School District continue on a path to excellence.  Here are some brief highlights of our plan.

    We will work on supporting the district in the implementation of our new Strategic Plan by:

    • Hiring an additional teacher at the elementary level to continue to drive down class sizes.  All of our elementary classes except one are below 24 and half of them are below 20. We want to continue to strengthen this work.
    • Continuing to support the Fourth Grade instrumental music program in our elementary schools by continuing to fund the position (it is currently funded through a grant).
    • Hiring an additional School Social Worker at Beacon High School to provide students with more mental health support.
    • Hiring a business teacher at Beacon High School to begin a business education program and help create an internship program beginning in the 20-21 school year.
    • Hiring a half-time art teacher at Beacon High School to teach Architectural and Interior Design and possibly sculpture.
    • Funding the Project Lead the Way Computer Science program at Beacon High School with existing staff, with the goal of moving the program to Rombout Middle School in future years.
    • Creating an Italian language program by offering an introductory course at Beacon High School with existing staff.  
    • Beginning the implementation of a three-year professional development plan in Responsive Classroom, Restorative Practices, and the Dignity Framework.  All models support our goal of strengthening our Culture of Care in the district and providing an equitable education for all.

    With this exciting update, I do have one word of caution.  With Governor Cuomo’s budget proposal, we might be unable to fund the business and/or art teacher at Beacon High School.  Our hope is that the amount of aid to the Beacon City School District will increase as the legislature negotiates with the Governor in the coming days and we can fully fund our proposed initiatives.

    Testing Update

    I am writing to briefly update you on Grades 3-8 testing that will take place next week in Beacon and across New York.  On Tuesday and Wednesday of next week, April 2 and 3, third graders through eighth graders in Beacon will be taking the English Language Arts exam.  These tests are a part of national requirements through the Every Students Succeeds Act with the federal requirement of 95% of our students taking the test.  The Mathematics test will be on May 1-2.

    New York has undergone some changes over the past few years regarding the tests, most notably that there are only two days of testing for ELA and two for math, the tests are untimed, and the scores are not used to evaluate teachers.  The results of the test also provide us with useful information about how we are reaching all of our students in ELA and Mathematics.  If you are interested in more information about testing put out by the New York State Department of Education you can access the information at this website: http://www.p12.nysed.gov/assessment/ei/eigen.html 

    New York State Department of Education monitors test participation every year and will begin to implement Participation Improvement Plans with schools and districts that continue to be below the expected participation rate.  The Beacon City School District will potentially have to implement these plans at the individual school or district level if our participation rate continues to decline.

    All of this being said, we respect a parent’s decision regarding the testing process.  If you wish to not have your child participate, please contact your child’s principal, preferably in writing.  We ask that your child bring something to read on the testing days and they will be in an alternate location during the test.  


    Star Student  Star Student - Chris Crawford - Rombout Middle School

    Chris Crawford - Stat Student - RMS

    Chris Crawford is an 8th grade student who excels in the classroom and in athletics. He has had great success this year playing modified football and varsity wrestling. This past season, Chris qualified for the NYS Wrestling Championship at the 99lb. weight class. Chris became Beacon's first 8th grade student to qualify for the NYS wrestling championships. Chris also works hard in the classroom. He maintains good grades and is well liked by all of his teachers and peers. Chris' accomplishments are admirable and the RMS community is very proud of him!


    Star Employee Employee Recognition - Barb Ahern, Transportation

    Employee Recognition - Barb Ahern, Transportation Bus

    Written by Ron Mackey - Transportation Director 

    When I think of all the drivers in our fleet, Barbara Ahern is one of the first to come to mind, not just because her last name starts with an A, but because of her work ethic, positive attitude, and the example she sets for other drivers. Barb has also been with the district for 27 years, and is known and loved by the students, teachers, and principals she has worked with for so long.

    On more than one occasion, I have interviewed candidates for driver or monitor positions, who tell me that they will always remember the bus driver they had when they went to school.  They are always happy to hear that Barb is still on the job.

    She has driven elementary, middle and high school students, and the CTI shuttle.  As a small school district, we have only a few late runs for our middle and high school students.   Barbara has come to be known as “the late bus queen”.   Each day, she arrives at the high school, picks up the late run students, meets up with the other buses at the middle school, and then sorts all the students on to their proper late buses.  If one of the other drivers tells her “I’m full Barb” her reply is usually “That’s ok, I’ll get them home”

    I have only known Barb for the past 9 years, but this has been long enough to see her genuine sense of caring for her students, as well as her co-workers.  When other drivers have been reluctant to take things on, her attitude is always, “well let’s get them home”.

    If ever there was an argument for human cloning, she is it.  The world needs more Barbs.

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  • Superintendent Blog Post - March 8, 2019

    Posted by Victoria Jackson on 3/8/2019

    Superintendent Blog Post  - March 8, 2019

    I just wanted to take a moment to thank the community for supporting our Professional Learning Day in the district.  We started the morning all gathered together learning about our Strategic Coherence Plan. After that, our teachers, teaching assistants, and administrators focused on many different learning topics.   We had learning sessions on:

    • Responsive Classroom-25 teachers participated in a whole day training
    • Restorative Practices for Middle School teachers
    • Coding in the Classroom
    • Using 3-D Printers
    • Using Google Docs and Google Classroom
    • Collaborating with DIA: Beacon
    • Elementary Science/STEM Curriculum training
    • Mindfulness for Educators: The What, Why, and How
    • Data Driven Conversations for High School teachers


    As a parent, I recognize these days cause schedule changes and disruptions for families.  Please know that we use every second focused on developing more powerful learning opportunities for the young people in our district.  Thank you for your support, I really appreciate it! Have a great weekend!

    Please take a look at the pictures below to see what we focused on today.  

    Matt Landahl

    Restorative Practices

     Restorative Practices


    Coding in the Classroom

    Coding in the Classroom       Coding in the Classroom


    Responsive Classroom

    Responsive Classroom

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