We have been busy here in the secondary school attending to procedural routine issues as well as planning for the future to ensure that your child is and will continue get a wholesome educational experience.
Our seventh grade students have settled down and are now fully acclimated to their new school building. In fact they have matured a lot since leaving the elementary school and are performing both academically and behaviorally to my satisfaction. One more change that will impact the current seventh grade students will be the implementation of computer based testing (CBT) for the New York State 3-8 assessments. The State is pushing for mandatory CBT assessments with a projected full implementation in 2020. In order to ensure that we are adequately prepared to address any inherent challenges in the CBT, our seventh grade students will be doing their English Language Arts assessments in April 2018 entirely on the computer instead of the usual paper based assessment format. Students in both grades, seven and eight, will eventually be doing their assessments in mathematics, English and science using CBT.
It is also important for me to stress now that all students in grades seven and eight will be required, as per New York State, to sit these assessments. In the past students whose parents refused their taking the assessments were placed in a separate location during the assessments. This will not be an option beginning this school year. All students who are in school on the days of the assessments will be required to sit the assessments. No alternative location, assignment or supervision will be provided for students whose parents refuse their taking the assessments.
As the end of the second quarter draws near so does the beginning of the examination period. I have included a copy of the Regents and midterm examinations schedule. There will be other midterms being administered the week prior and during the week of January 22 that will be done in the regular class periods. The dates of these in-class examinations will be provided to children by their teachers. Please note that there will be no school for all secondary school students on Friday, January 26. This will be a rating day for teachers.
Finally, we will soon be going through the process of course selection and scheduling for the 2018-2019 school year. Included in this process is a course catalog review which entails potential addition of courses or programs that may further enrich our students’ educational career. Consequently, the Board of Education recently listened to a presentation by Sargent Dennis Palow, a member of the U.S. Army Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC). Sargent Palow also visited the building and surveyed students during their lunch periods to see who would be interested in being in a JROTC program next year. There will be a financial cost to the district associated with the implementation of this program. Therefore, before proceeding further, I am soliciting your input into whether or not you are interested in having your child in a JROTC program here at BKW. This program would be open to high school students only (grades nine through twelve). That is, students who are currently in grades eight to eleven would be eligible.
I am enclosing an information flyer on the program for your perusal. Only students who have indicated their willingness to be in this program will be enrolled in it if it were to come to fruition. However, we will only enroll students with their parents’ or guardians’ permission. The parents/guardians of each student who signed up with Sargent Palow will be contacted individually at a later date.
Please fill out the bottom of this sheet, and return it to the main office, to indicate your interest in your child being enrolled in the JROTC program at BKW Secondary School.
Mark A. Pitterson, Ed.D
Secondary School Principal