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

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