Superintendent Blog Post - December 3, 2020

Posted by Victoria Jackson on 12/3/2020

Superintendent Update December 3, 2020

Reopening BCSD Updates

We had a zoom town hall on November 23 to discuss our initial planning for the state yellow zone designations and what COVID-19 testing might look like in the BCSD.  The state is issuing some new guidance on COVID-19 testing in schools for yellow and orange zones later this week so some of this information might be changing but you can check out the video here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UnahPJ1XOkA

We will be hosting another reopening zoom townhall next week on Wednesday, December 9, 2020 at 7:00 where we will take a closer look at what the possible yellow, orange, and red designations might mean for our district and what testing will look like.  We will send a reminder about this townhall next week.

Switching students back to the in-person hybrid model

If parents want to switch students back to in-person hybrid from all remote, here is how to proceed:

At Beacon High School and Rombout Middle School, if you want to make this request, you can do so on a rolling basis.   Please email the principal of the school and your child’s guidance counselor that you want to request this switch.  The schools will evaluate and approve if there is space in the classrooms.  Approvals will be done on a rolling basis as well.   Rolling admissions means we will start approving these requests now and continue as space is available.

At our four elementary schools, if you want to make this request, you need to email the school principal.  At the elementary school, we would target the return to hybrid in-person for January 19, 2021 for families making the request.  We need time to evaluate each request.  Please note that the return to in-person hybrid at the elementary level could potentially mean a change in teacher, gold or blue cohort, or even school.  This is possibly necessary so we can continue to maintain social distancing requirements in our schools.

We will discuss this process more at the Reopening Townhall on Wednesday, December 9, 2020 as well.  We will continue to work hard to accommodate folks with requests while maintaining our health and safety standards.  

Diversity Committee Work Update

At the last Diversity Committee, I discussed not holding the December meeting so we can get several smaller working groups moving forward and to focus on a Board of Education meeting on the 14th that will focus on culturally relevant curriculum development.  The working groups would be a little more informal and focused on aspects of the work.

The working groups of the diversity committee are focused on:

BCSD Culture of Care- code of conduct, restorative practices, student bill of rights- starting in December

Culturally Relevant Curriculum- looking at the New York State Framework for Culturally Relevant-Sustaining Education and how to implement in Beacon- starting in January

Inclusion- looking at strengthening inclusive practices in our district- starting in January

If you are interested in joining one of these working groups, we foresee a monthly meeting over zoom.  Please email me at landahl.m@beaconk12.org  if you are interested in joining one of these working groups.  They are advisory and will inform district practices and strategic plan work.  We will cap them at 8-10 people so they can be more effective.

At the December 14 Board of Education meeting, Dr. Jevon Hunter from Buffalo State University with Erik Wright will present on Culturally Relevant Curriculum and Teaching Practices.  Our plan is to work with Dr. Hunter on our curriculum development.  Check into the board meeting on the 14th to learn more.