BCSD Superintendent Updates

  • Superintendent Blog Post - April 9, 2021

    Posted by Victoria Jackson on 4/9/2021

    Dear Beacon Community:

    I wanted to provide you with a couple of important updates on the 2021-2022 BCSD budget and the upcoming capital project.

    BCSD 2021-2022 Budget Update

    We received some significantly good news this week with the passage of the New York State Budget.  The budget both raised state aid to schools but also raised the level of foundation aid that schools receive.  

    Why is this good news for Beacon?

    For an extended period of time this year, the budget news coming from Albany was exceedingly bleak in regards to schools.  The adopted state budget allows us to maintain all of the budgetary and staffing gains we have made over the past four years. 

    Over the past four years, we have added several initiatives to our budget to serve our students:

    • 7 elementary teaching positions to lower class sizes
    • 1 elementary music teacher to expand instrumental music to the 4th grade
    • 1 social worker at Beacon High School
    • .5 art teacher at Beacon High School
    • A chromebook for every student K-12 (accomplished before the pandemic)
    • Expanded professional development
    • Expanded activities for students

    We will be discussing the budget with the Board of Education on Monday, April 12.  Along with the budget, we will begin initial discussions with how the American Rescue Act will support expanded summer academic support, social/emotional support for students, and improved school infrastructure.  The adopted state budget also has a plan to increase access to Pre-k and the Beacon City School District will explore how that could be accomplished here in our community.

    We will work with the Board of Education to adopt the budget the week of April 19 and then we will send more formal communications to homes regarding the budget and we will also do zoom town hall meetings to discuss the budget as well.  Let me know if you have any questions.

    Upcoming Capital Project

    We are working with the Board of Education’s Facilities Committee to prepare a capital project plan for a potential vote in October, 2021.  With the ability to use some funds from the American Rescue Act for ventilation improvements in schools and the funds from the sale of the land at Dutchess Stadium (pending voter approval), we are able to expand the budget of the project to $22.2 million.  The infrastructure needs of the district are being prioritized in this process but we also want to impact educational spaces across the district.  

    Each school has a capital project committee that will begin meeting next week via zoom with district office staff and our architect.  We hope to have recommendations, especially regarding educational spaces, to the Board Facilities Committee by late May.  Our goal is to have the structure and outline of the project completed by June, 2021 so we can begin more formal communications with the community before the vote in October.  I will work to keep you continually updated about the project via multiple means.

    District Professional Development Committee

    We have a District Professional Development Committee that has teachers, teaching assistants, administrators, and we would like to have parent representatives as well.  The committee will meet every other week on Tuesday afternoons from 3:30-4:30 tentatively starting on April 27 via zoom.  The plan developed by the committee will ultimately be approved by the Board of Education.  Let me know if you are interested by emailing me at landahl.m@beaconk12.org

    COVID-19 Vaccinations for Students 16+

    We are working with local health officials to see if we can become a vaccination site for students 16+.  Of course, vaccinations would have to be consented to by parents/guardians and they are not required by the state for students.  If you have a chance to get a vaccine, take it, but we are also working on providing opportunities in the district.

    Have a good weekend!

    Matt Landahl



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  • Superintendent Blog Post - March 26, 2021

    Posted by Victoria Jackson on 3/26/2021

    Superintendent Blog Post - March 26, 2021

    Dear Beacon Community:

    I want to provide a quick update on a few important items.

    Return to Four Days a Week of In-Person Instruction

    This week our Pre-k and K students returned for four days of in-person instruction.  On April 6th, our 1st-8th grade students will return to four days a week of in-person instruction.  On April 19, we are planning for our high school students to return to four days a week.  Thanks to our teachers and support staff for working to make this possible!

    Opt-In For State Testing This Year

    This year, we are making the state 3-8 tests an opt-in model.  If you wish your child to participate in the tests, please notify your child’s principal.  A letter is attached to an email I sent to the community today that explains our state testing program this year.

    Travel Advisories:

    The Governor has lifted travel restrictions for domestic travel as of April 1.  That information is here: https://www.governor.ny.gov/news/governor-cuomo-announces-quarantine-domestic-travel-will-no-longer-be-required-starting-april

    For families traveling internationally, New York is requiring you to follow CDC guidelines.  That information is here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/testing-international-air-travelers.html.

    Have a great Spring Break!

     

    Matt

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  • Superintendent Blog Post - March 15, 2021

    Posted by Victoria Jackson on 3/15/2021

    Dear Beacon Community:

    I wanted to take a moment to update the community on some projects we are working on this spring.

    Upcoming BCSD Capital Project

    The Facilities Commitee of the Board of Eduation is excited to share with the community that we are working on a proposed capital project with a projected vote in October, 2021.  The projected amount of the capital project is between $17-19 million.  The focus of the project will be upgrading the infrastructure of all of our buildings and modernizing learning spaces throughout the district.  

    We are working to create a structure for meaningful input and feedback to support the development of this project.  Each of our buildings will have a capital project committee.  The school committees will have administrators, teachers, support staff and two parents working with the PTO.  The committees will meet 3 times before the end of the school year and meetings will most likely be in the afternoons via Zoom.  The committees will discuss the condition of the building and discuss and make recommendations for improvements to the Facilities Committee of the Board of Education.  Notify your school principal and PTO if you are interested in joining.  We will be updating the community more frequently about this upcoming project over the next several months.

    End of Year Activities

    With our ongoing work on bringing more students back to in-person schooling, our collective thoughts are turning to end of year activities like graduations, moving up ceremonies, and other celebrations.  We are definitely working on initial plans for these activities at all of our schools as we continue to be updated by our local and state health departments with revised guidance.  These celebrations are very important to all of us and we are committed to figuring out solutions that follow health guidelines.  We will keep everyone updated as we progress with our planning.

    New BCSD Website

    We are proud to share our new website at: https://www.beaconk12.org/ .  It is been live for about a month now and we are still working on some issues but we are very happy it is up and running!  Thanks to the community for your patience as we worked on this and let me know if there are areas we can improve on the website.  

    Matt Landahl

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