BCSD Superintendent Updates

  • Superintendent Update - February 15, 2021

    Posted by Victoria Jackson on 2/16/2021

    February 15, 2021

    Dear Beacon Community:

    I just wanted to take a minute to share a couple of quick updates.

    Celebrating Black History Month- Be on the lookout on our Facebook and Instagram pages later this week and month with updates and pictures from our schools and classrooms on different activities that took place this month to celebrate and honor Black History Month!

    Weather:  It looks like we have some challenging weather coming at us this week.  Just a couple of things to remember.  This year, due to the differences in our school schedules, we do not have a two-hour delay, so on those days, we will offer remote instruction.  However, one of the things we will have to take into account is if teachers and students have access to the internet.  Power outages and internet outages across the region could make remote instruction impossible for us.  This all becomes more real to us when we have a potential ice storm coming in on us.  Needless to say, we will make a decision tomorrow morning around 5:00am with the best information we have available.

    Voluntary COVID-19 Surveillance Testing:  We did our first round of rapid COVID-19 testing this past week.  It was very successful due to our nursing staff who were amazing and our security team did a great job keeping it organized.  Our next testing dates are on February 24 and February 28.  We will be calling folks to set up a time who filled out the form.  

    You can still volunteer to participate in this program by filling out this online form: https://forms.gle/WwrTiiXRCQYbh7o39

    As long as we have tests available, we will keep doing the testing program through this late winter and into early spring.  We will share results as soon as we have reached testing 10% of our in-school population.

    The next Diversity Committee Meeting will be Thursday, March 4 at 7:00 via Zoom.  We will share updates about the various projects in progress at the meeting.

    Enjoy the rest of President’s Day!

    Matt Landahl

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  • Superintendent Update - February 9, 2021

    Posted by Victoria Jackson on 2/9/2021

    Dear Beacon Community:

    I am incredibly proud of our efforts this year to keep people healthy and safe and to educate our young people.  Although September 2020 seems like a long time ago we were the largest district in Dutchess County to open for in-person instruction for our students with our hybrid model.  We have safely maintained our hybrid and remote models through many challenges the past many months without a long term closure of any of our schools.  None of this would have been accomplished without the efforts of everyone in our district and our community.

    Even in the midst of this long winter, there are signs of hope on the COVID-19 landscape for our community.  Our staff members are slowly but surely starting to get vaccinated through state or county programs.  While we want this to happen faster, it is starting to happen.  Case rates and hospitalizations have also been decreasing for several weeks in our community and county.

    With these signs of hope, we have been exploring ways for students to be in school more often.  One first step is with Beacon High School.  They will be starting a full eight period day for its hybrid and remote students on March 1.  I also wanted to make the community aware that we are studying a return to four days a week instruction for our students while still maintaining remote instruction for those who choose it. While I cannot make promises that this will be possible for us, we are working to develop a plan that would start with elementary students and then move up to middle and possibly high school.  We would need to maintain safety standards and will work with health department officials to see what’s possible.

    A potential timeline will look like this:

    Late February- Town Halls and other communications with details of the plan

    Late February/Early March- Families decide on in-person programming vs remote

    Late March/Early April- Students begin to return to an in-person four day a week instructional model starting with elementary students.  

    Look for more communication on this later this month and let me know if you have questions or concerns.

    Sincerely,

     

    Matt Landahl

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  • Superintendent Blog Post - January 29, 2021

    Posted by Victoria Jackson on 1/29/2021

    Dear Beacon Community:

    I wanted to update you on a couple of items, namely on our Voluntary Surveillance Testing Program and an opportunity to give the state input on high stakes testing this year.

    Voluntary COVID-19 Surveillance Testing

    First, if you want to volunteer for testing, please fill out the form.  If you have already filled it out, thanks and we will be in touch.

    In Spanish: https://forms.gle/kcN97V6WfH5zEuFEA

    In English: https://forms.gle/8c2ce6J6vypovVZT6

    Our first day of testing will be Wednesday, February 10 for Gold students.  We pushed back testing a little bit due to some projected winter weather on testing dates this upcoming week.  We will also test on Sunday, February 14 for Blue students.  We will start calling next week to set up appointments.  Testing will be at the Beacon High School parking lot and people will be able to stay in their cars the entire time.  Thanks for your patience as we set up this program.

    Highlands Current Conversation about Beacon Schools During COVID-19 February 3, 7:00

    If you have not had enough of me on Zoom this year, here is another chance.  The link to register is here: http://ow.ly/FyZM50Dk6Jq  and they allow questions.  We will do our own Reopening BCSD Zoom Town Hall later in February where I can probably be more specific about potential next steps for the district.

    New York State Seeking Input on High-Stakes Testing

    New York State is seeking input on high stakes testing and their letter and information is below.  I believe that the high stakes testing program should not take place this year for logistical, health, and educational reasons.  Below is your chance to share your opinion, I shared mine!

    The New York State Education Department (NYSED) is seeking input from stakeholders about the need for additional flexibility related to certain provisions of the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) pertaining to administration of State assessments in spring 2021 and identification of schools and districts for improvement.

    Comments on the draft waivers may be emailed to  ESSAComments@nysed.gov with “ESSA Comments from (sender/organization name)” in the subject line. Comments will be accepted through February 5, 2021. In addition, stakeholders are encouraged to fill out a brief survey regarding the 2020-21 school year student assessment and school accountability processes.

    NYSED Assessment Waiver Request Letter to USDE

    NYSED Accountability and School Identification Waiver Request Letter to USDE

    Have a good weekend!

    Matt

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