About the Principal
Dr. Mark A. Pitterson has been an educator for over 30 years, serving as a teacher of English in Kingston, Jamaica, and on Long Island, New York. He also spent a year and a half working in education in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Prior to becoming the principal of BKW Secondary School in October 2016, he worked as an assistant principal for six years and as a principal for three years on Long Island.
April 7, 2020
By now you have all heard of the governor’s extension of the closure of all schools in New York State through April 29.
As of April 1, all teachers began teaching new materials to students. Teachers will therefore be conducting their classes, to the greatest extent possible, as if students were in school in front of them. Instructions will also be conducted with the assumption that if we never resume onsite classes students’ education will, to all extent possible, prepare them for passing of the respective courses, any impending examinations, grade advancements, as well as prepare them for courses they will be taking next year.
With the April 1 introduction of new teaching materials, teachers are now indicating incomplete (INCP) or complete (COMP) on all report cards. This grade is based on whether students have been participating and adequately completed assignments or not. Numeric grades provided for the third quarter during suspension of onsite classes are grades earned through March 13. If the suspension of onsite classes continues into late spring, we will use grades from September through March 13 as the basis for final course grades. Where students’ averages from September through March 13 were failing, we will utilize information from their participation and completion of assigned tasks from March 16 until resumption of normal school as a basis for assigning a final grade.
If we were never to resume onsite classes prior to the end of the year, students’ final grades will be determined by the grade they had up until March 13 in addition to the teachers’ recommendations of whether they think the students are adequately prepared to receive credit for the course. This recommendation will be based on students’ class participation and completion of assigned tasks from March 13 until the end of the school year.
If onsite classes resume prior to the end of the year, the district’s traditional grading practices will resume.
Please note that students’ academic performance may be affected when we return if students were not participating in lessons during the closure of the building. We are not on vacation at this time. I have heard of and communicated with some students who have the capability but have not been involved in lessons since March 13. Some students have also been inconsistent in their class participation and work completion. These are unacceptable. We are not on vacation. All students need to be attending lessons as if they were in the building.
One good news is that all Regents examinations for this school year have been cancelled. Students who were registered in a class that was supposed to end with a Regents examination this June will get the Regents credit if they pass the class. Remember, passing the class will be based on students’ grades plus the students’ participation in lessons and completion of assigned tasks since March 13. If the class teacher does not think that a student has learned enough, based on participation frequency and or the student’s failure to complete assignments since March 13, the student will be given an incomplete (INCP).
The student will then be required to attend summer school to earn the credit for the class and credit for the Regents examination. Failure to successfully complete summer school will result in the student having to repeat the course during the 2020-2021 school year and sit for the Regents examination in June 2021. It of utmost importance that parents see to it that your child is regularly participating in and completing assignments at this time.
Have a wonderful week and continue to stay healthy.
Mark. A. Pitterson, Ed.D.
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