BCSD Superintendent Updates

  • Superintendent Blog Post - April 30, 2021

    Posted by Victoria Jackson on 4/30/2021

    Superintendent Update  April 30, 2021

     

    The 2021-2022 Academic Calendar has been approved

    Earlier this week the BCSD Board of Education adopted the calendar for next year.  We are planning a return to full, in-person, five days a week instruction as is evidenced by the calendar and our current planning.  We also await state guidance on issues like health regulations and the possibility of remote instruction for next year and we will communicate with everyone regularly over the next few months as we plan for next year.

    You can view the calendar on our website or click here

    Zoom Town Hall on the School Budget

    I will be hosting a Zoom Town Hall on the proposed 2021-2022 School budget on Thursday, May 6th at 7:00.  We will share the link via email and on the website early next week.  We will share highlights of the budget and also answer questions people have.  We will also touch on the American Rescue Plan’s impact on the BCSD and also share where we are with the development of the upcoming Capital Project we hope to bring to a vote in October, 2021.


    Budget Vote and Board Elections

    Our budget vote is on Tuesday, May 18th from 6:00am to 9:00pm.  We have four candidates running for four open seats on the board.  The order (chosen randomly) that will appear on the ballot is John Galloway Jr., Flora Stadler, Jasmine Johnson, and Elissa Betterbid. 

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  • 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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