A message from Dr. Pitterson

February 14, 2019

Dear BKW Family,

It is almost unbelievable that we are now in the third quarter of the school year. A lot have been accomplished so far and many more important activities are still to be accomplished within the next few months.

In late January we had our usual mid-year Regents Examinations. Thanks for ensuring that your child was prepared for these examinations and were in attendance. With these examinations now completed, it means more of our students now have less graduation required examinations to think about.

During the first week of February BKW Secondary School hosted a Chinese foreign exchange student program. The program was a tremendous opportunity for our students, your children, to learn about the customs and culture of the Chinese people and to be able to share our customs and culture with them. The week was filled with numerous activities designed to give them as much exposure to the American high school education experience as we could have packed in only one week. Our visitors shadowed students in the high school, attended vocational programs at Schoharie CTE’s site, went on a field trip to Albany, worked with students in the elementary school, entertained the high school students with songs, dance and a piano recital during Period 9 on their last day in the building, played basketball with our students after school on Friday, and went snow tubing at Windham Ski Lodge. This was surely a whirlwind experience for both your children and our visitors. We were only able to accomplish this through the involvement of an all-star cast of BKW students, teachers, and parents.

I want to thank you, the parents, for the tremendous role you played in ensuring the successful completion of this week-long Chinese exchange program. The following parents deserve a very special thank you for opening up their homes, their wallets or purses, and shared their family’s time with our exchange students by taking on the challenges of being host parents: the Hanleys, the Johansens, the Lefkaditises, the Meachams, the Rhodes, the Searls, the Swains, and the Tymchyns. Without your willingness to becoming host parents and your children’s openness to being host siblings none of this would have been possible. This is one of the many things that make Berne, Knox, and Westerlo three great communities to live and work. Thank you.

With the first two quarters now behind us there are two major things with which I need your support. Firstly, we are entering the examination season. Our seventh and eighth grade students will shortly be taking assessments in English and mathematics, and science in the eighth grade. This year the English assessments will be done entirely on the computer for both grades seven and eight. I am again counting on your support in assisting us in having all students in these grades take these important assessments from which data will be used to guide us in our academic planning.

Finally, third quarter is that pivotal quarter that determines students’ academic success. Please continue to monitor your child’s grades, assignment completion and study habits. There is still time to salvage a less than stellar school year so far. Let us not wait until the burden of getting from under too many low grades become insurmountable. By working together we can guarantee a successful school year for all students.


Mark A. Pitterson, Ed.D