BCSD Superintendent Updates

  • Superintendent Update - April 6, 2024

    Posted by Victoria Jackson on 4/8/2024

    Superintendent Weekly Update April 6, 2024

    Calendar Reminders-

    Monday, April 8- As stated a few weeks ago, we are having a regular school day on the eclipse day but if you want to check your child out early that day to experience the eclipse as a family, just follow the normal school procedures for an early checkout.  We will not have any quizzes or tests on this day.

    Wednesday, April 10- School is closed for Eid al-Fitr

    Capital Project/Budget Community Conversations

    I am working on finalizing the calendar for these events but we do have the following scheduled:

    Wednesday, April 24 Zoom Webinar at 7:00. We will share and post the link closer to the date

    Thursday, May 2 at Beacon Rec (23 W. Center St) at 6:00

    We are working on adding another in-person event or two and will publicize those as well.

    Quick Budget Update

    I am working on preparing the final budget proposal to the Board of Education at the meeting on Monday, April 15. The Governor is backing off of her education budget through quotes I have read in the news.  While that is good news we are eagerly awaiting the actual finalized budget and will share more when we receive that information.  We will still need to plan long-term for eventual changes to the Foundation Aid formula which most likely will be put in place next year.  We are excited to keep the momentum we have built through our budget for the last seven years and build on that. We will keep you updated!

    Upcoming Home Athletic Events

    Today at BHS!

    Varsity Baseball at 11:00

    Varsity Softball at 11:00 and 1:00

    Tuesday, April 9

    Boys Golf at Southern Dutchess at 3:30

    JV Baseball at 4:00 (BHS)

    JV Boys Tennis at 4:00 (BHS)

    Varsity Softball at 4:30 (BHS)

    Varsity Baseball at Dutchess Stadium at 7:00

    Thursday, April 11

    Boys Golf at Southern Dutchess at 3:30

    Boys Tennis at 4:00 (BHS)

    JV Softball at Memorial at 4:00

    From the Foundation For Beacon Schools!

     Film Fest

     

    Have a great weekend!

    Matt Landahl

    Comments (-1)
  • Superintendent Update - March 21, 2024

    Posted by Victoria Jackson on 3/27/2024

    Superintendent Weekly Update - March 21, 2024

    I want to share some important calendar updates with you.  I also wanted to wish you a great Spring Break, I hope everyone enjoys some family time!

    Friday, March 22 is a Half Day for Professional Development

    BHS dismisses at 10:30, RMS at 11:00, Elementary Schools at 11:40.

    Spring Break March 25-April 1- Students Return on Tuesday, April 2

    Eclipse Day- Monday, April 8- BCSD is open and on a regular schedule

    On April 8, portions of New York will be along the path of a solar eclipse. Locally, this will be experienced as a partial eclipse occurring in the afternoon.  There will be no changes to the regularly scheduled instructional day. We will discuss and teach about the eclipse in our schools however we are not purchasing eclipse glasses for students because we have some liability issues with ensuring that every student wears them appropriately.   If you want to pick up your child early on this day because you want to experience the partial eclipse with them or have other concerns, please feel free to do so.  The schools will be prepared to handle early checkouts on this day and we will not be giving tests or quizzes on this day either.  Click here for a great resource about the eclipse: https://eclipse.aas.org/eclipse-america-2024

    Eid al-Fitr- Wednesday, April 10- BCSD is Closed for Students

    This is just a reminder as it has been on our calendar all year as we are closed for the Muslim holiday commemorating the end of Ramadan.

    Snow Give Back Day- Thursday, May 23- BCSD will be closed

    We used three full snow days this year and according to the district formula (based on our contracts) we give a day back.  Per our adopted calendar, Thursday, May 23 is now closed for students.  The Memorial Day weekend BCSD schools are now closed Thursday, May 23 through Tuesday, May 28.  Even if we use one more snow day (it can snow in April) we would still have the one give back day.  

    Please let me know if you have any questions.

    Sincerely

    Matt Landahl

     

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  • A Message from the BCSD Board of Education - Budget Advocacy

    Posted by Victoria Jackson on 3/15/2024

    Dear Beacon Community:

    Below is a message from the BCSD Board of Education regarding Governor Hochul's proposed budget which I wholeheartedly endorse.  After this message, I am also including the Board of Education's letter to lawmakers and I am attaching it in pdf format as well.  Let us know if you have any questions.

    Matt Landahl

     

    Beacon’s school district may lose more than $1 million in Foundation Aid for the 2024-25 school year. Send a message to your state representatives and help us protect our budget.

     

    What is Foundation Aid?

    School Districts in New York get funding from the state, known as State Aid. In Beacon, State Aid accounts for nearly 50% of our budget. The majority of State Aid comes from what’s called Foundation Aid. Foundation Aid is calculated using a formula that was created more than a decade ago. Each school district receives a different amount of Foundation Aid, based on several different factors that go into the formula.  

     

    What is changing this year?

    In Governor Hochul’s proposed budget for 2024-25, there are significant changes to the amount of Foundation Aid districts are receiving (see State Aid amounts for all districts here). These changes appear to be the result of tweaks to the Foundation Aid formula, as well as a proposal to end the “hold harmless” provision. This provision ensures that no school district receives less Foundation Aid than it did in the previous year. 

     

    What does this mean?

    Beacon is among the districts that would be most impacted by this change. In the Governor’s proposed budget, we’re facing a loss of more than $1.2 million in Foundation Aid. That’s a cut of 6%. Based on the current formula, the district was expecting an increase of about $639,000, or 3%. With this unexpected change, we would have to consider cuts to our PreK program, extracurriculars and clubs, and mental health supports in order to balance the budget. 

     

    What happens now?

    Both the State Senate and Assembly have released their own State budget proposals (or one-house budgets), and now negotiations with the Governor will begin. Both houses are supporting a restoration of Foundation Aid, keeping the hold harmless provision, and a minimum increase of 3% for all districts.

     

    What can we do?

    The Beacon City School District has been advocating on this issue since the Governor’s budget was announced. Adding voices from the school community will help amplify the message that these cuts to Foundation Aid are unacceptable and detrimental to students in our district. This is a powerful reminder for legislators as they enter budget negotiations.

     

    The district has sent a message to State legislators, and you can do the same. 

     

    Send a message through an education advocacy platform like the Alliance for Quality Education (actionnetwork.org/letters/massive-school-funding-threats-take-action-today) or the Lower Hudson Education Coalition (https://www.lhec.org/votervoice.html). 

    Or

    Email or call your representatives directly: 

     

    You can use the email templates on the above education advocacy platforms, or take info from the Board of Education’s letter to create a more personalized message.

     

    Below is a copy of the letter that the BCSD Board of Education has sent to state lawmakers.

    March X, 2024

     

    Name

    Title

    Address

     

    Dear ________________,

     

    We write to you on behalf of the Beacon City School District (BCSD), which faces some of the most drastic cuts in proposed Foundation Aid. As you negotiate the State budget with Governor Hochul, we want to make sure you know what’s at stake.

     

    The Governor’s budget reverses all recent progress to fully funding Foundation Aid. Under the existing Foundation Aid formula, we would receive an increase of about $639,000 (+3%). But Gov. Hochul’s proposal leaves us with a decrease of $1,268,492 (-6%) in Foundation Aid. 

     

    This unexpected change in Foundation Aid — made possible by the Governor’s proposal to end the “hold harmless” provision that ensures each district receives at least the same amount as it did in the previous year — is the symptom of a broken system. 

     

    Such a significant loss of funding would require deep cuts to our budget. In our district, we may need to make cuts to our PreK program, extracurriculars and clubs, and mental health supports. Each of these cuts represents a lost opportunity for students. In the same year that we’re losing Federal Covid funding and dealing with a record-high increase in education costs, these Foundation Aid cuts turn a budgetary hardship into a crisis. 

     

    As Board Members, we’re the fiduciary stewards of our school district. We review the budget and the plan for each department, well in advance of presenting it to voters for approval in May. That same timely, consistent stewardship should apply at the State level. The proposed Foundation Aid cuts, followed by weeks of political negotiation, leave districts like ours scrambling to plan around worst cases, with many assurances — but no guarantees — that funding will be restored. 

     

    We ask that you restore Foundation Aid to expected levels based on the existing formula and keep the “hold harmless” provision to ensure school districts don’t have to reduce programs year-to-year. In the longer term, the State should update the aid formula to make it more equitable and predictable.

     

    Thank you for your continued support of our community and for considering our concerns. If you require additional information, please call BCSD Superintendent Matthew Landahl at 845-838-6900. 

    Sincerely,

    Beacon Board of Education

    Attachments:
     3_24_BCSD_BOE_budget_advocacy_letter_to_Hochul.pdf (69.4 KB)

    Comments (-1)
Beacon High School