News and Information
Dr. Christopher M. Manno, Superintendent of Schools
The District's Monthly E-Newsletter, the BCSD Brief,
A Message from Dr. Manno
Dear BCSD Families and Community Members,
The summer months were busy here in Bedford Central preparing for the start of a new school year - curriculum development and revisions, professional development, buildings and grounds projects, closing last year's budget and beginning to administer a new budget, hiring, orienting new faculty and staff, finalizing schedules and transportation, and many other important projects and tasks. Over the summer, we at BCSD share a singular mission: For every student to have a great first day of school and a successful school year.
With much analysis, planning, and preparation work behind us, we are ready to implement our 2019-20 strategic plan. The strategic plan, called our SUCCESS Plan, is designed to help us continue our trajectory to achieve our long-range 2021 SUCCESS Plan.
Our SUCCESS Plan was created in 2016-17 with input from many school community stakeholders. The plan states, in essence, who we are, what we stand for, our purpose as a public school district, where we are going, and how we’ll get there. Our core values are grounded in a “Students First” philosophy. We strive for our schools and classrooms to establish an environment that fosters high student engagement and a passion for learning. We aim to cultivate student curiosity, creativity, and critical thinking while engaging student in a rigorous curriculum. We believe that attending to the social and emotional needs of students is equally important as supporting their academic growth. Our outstanding faculty and school leaders constantly seek to establish relationships with students to foster a culture of safety in which students feel supported and respected. We aim for every student to feel that she/he is an independent and valued member of a school community who has a voice to advocate for themselves and their beliefs. Through a continual focus on living these values, BCSD faculty seek to realize a bold vision to Inspire and Challenge Our Students each and every day.
Lofty ideals are important for any organization to grow and thrive, but organizations can wander aimlessly and stagnate if their ideals are not grounded by a shared vision of what success looks and feels like - and a clear plan to achieve that vision. Our SUCCESS Plan outlines the plan.
Each year, we strive to make progress in four BIG FOREVER Goal areas:
- Improve programs for students,
- Improve climate and safety,
- Improve communications and community engagement, and
- Improve fiscal and operational management.
Each year the District identifies key objectives to ultimately achieve these BIG Goals. We develop and follow detailed action plans to achieve these objectives. At the end of the school year, we evaluate progress and identify objectives for the following year that will continue momentum and progress toward achieving the BIG Goals. The process is cyclical with a final evaluation of success in 2021, at which time stakeholders will come together not only to review progress, but also to craft the next 5-year plan.
In 2018-19, the District made significant progress in each of these BIG Goal areas on behalf of our students. We designed new programs and implemented instructional practices to provide inclusive experiences for students. Our elementary faculty and leaders engaged in sustained professional learning to formally implement a new literacy program for students. We expanded our one-to-one technology program to include grade 9 and planned for implementation in grades 5-12 for 2019-20. We evaluated and made improvements to our Response to Intervention program and adopted universal screening tools to ensure every student who is struggling receives the proper support and intervention. Each of our schools focused on creating supportive environments in which students feel a sense of membership and voice. The District also completed a comprehensive demographic study and planned for the development of a long-range facilities plan this year, which will engage a wide swath of community stakeholders. For the first time, BCSD will open in September a public Curriculum Portal so all parents and community members can see overviews of each subject and course taught in our schools. These are just some of the action planning areas.
For 2019-20, among numerous curriculum evaluation and development initiatives, operational improvements, and facilities projects, our priorities to Inspire and Challenge Our Students include:
- Inclusion - to continue to promote inclusive instructional practices for all students.
- STEM - to research, develop, and support STEM programs for students.
- Enrichment - to develop and support enrichment opportunities for students.
- Literacy Instruction - to support the continued implementation of balanced literacy in our elementary schools.
- Student Support - to develop and implement character education and other programs and practices to support students’ social and emotional learning.
We have filled a number of key school leadership positions. Please join in welcoming back Mr. Jason Spector in his new role as Assistant Principal of Fox Lane High School. Jason spent the past year as Acting Assistant Principal at Fox Lane Middle School. Jason has been the Coordinator for the World Languages Department for four years and a FLHS Spanish Teacher for seven years before that. We welcome Ms. Amanda Gerber to the position of Assistant Principal at Fox Lane Middle School. Amanda has been a FLMS Health teacher for the past ten years, and the FLMS Dean of Students for the past two years. We also welcome Magaly Reluzco as World Languages Coordinator. Magaly has 21 years of experience as an educator and supervisor in public education, the last fifteen years as the Supervisor of World Languages at the North Hunterdon -Voorhess High School District in Annandale, NJ.
At the Central Office, Ms. Cynthia Hawthorne joins our team as Assistant Superintendent for Business and Administrative Services. Cynthia comes to BCSD from the Webutuck Central School District where she was the School Business Administrator for the past five years. She brings nineteen years of public and private experience in finance and operations management. We also welcome Mr. Adam Lodewick as the Director of Physical Education, Health and Athletics. Mr. Lodewick comes to Bedford with seven years of experience as a Director of Physical Education, Health and Athletics; and ten years of experience as a teacher.
We are starting another school year on a strong fiscal foundation. We will again manage our budget closely and tightly as we start the year, with the goal of ending another year in a strong fiscal position. A strong fiscal foundation makes it possible for to provide outstanding programs and services for children.
Elementary families can anticipate mailings regarding teacher assignments, transportation, and other important information in mid-August. Secondary families can anticipate mailings regarding schedules, transportation and other important information toward the end of August. Please look for an important letter during the second week in August about traffic safety on the Fox Lane campus. This is an important matter we evaluated last year and worked with a consultant to develop a plan to address safety concerns.
To keep informed, check out our District Facebook Page, Twitter Feed, and our school and parent association web pages/newsletters. Also, subscribe to our events calendar and athletics calendar. You may find Board meeting materials and subcommittee minutes in Board Docs.
Please accept our appreciation for your support for BCSD. We wish everyone a safe and enjoyable remainder of the summer.
Dr. Christopher Manno,
Superintendent of Schools