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.
June 1, 2020
Dear BKW Parents/Guardians:
As we enter the month of June and are quickly approaching the end of a most unusual school year, I want to take some time to update you on some important information.
The last day of school will be June 17. However, before we get to that date all students need to come by the building to pick up the contents of their locker. Please be advised that this will be curbside pickup only. Please pay attention to the pickup schedule that was mailed home with the report cards last week.
On June 11 at 6:30 p.m., we will be having a virtual Senior Awards evening. On this evening, we will be celebrating various successes by members of the senior class. All certificates, checks and awards that will be given out to the selected members of the graduating class will be physically presented to them at their graduation. Please look out for an invitation to this virtual ceremony from the counseling center.
I want to personally thank all the students of the Class of 2020 and their class advisors, Mrs. Keyser and Dr. Emmerich, for working together to make this year’s graduation a reality.
It has truly been a tough year on all our students but it has been especially tough on the members of our graduation class. As I have said before, I am deeply aware of the hundreds of decisions that students make from the beginning of their school career that culminate in their graduation at the end of high school. Therefore, graduation for the members of the Class of 2020 was never in doubt. What was doubtful was how we were going to celebrate this momentous occasion. To this end, we elicited the assistance of the members of the class to decide on one of three proposed graduation formats and venues. I am pleased to announce that the members of the graduating class have elected to have their graduation on June 24 at the Jericho Drive-In. The graduation will be held at 9:00 p.m. following an afternoon graduation parade. Further details and official invitations will be sent out shortly to all members of the graduating class and their parents and guardians.
I also want to make it known to all parents of members of the graduating class that any student who is eligible to graduate this year but did not have the opportunity to sit any Regents examinations that they would have done this year has the option to stay at BKW Secondary School for another year to have the opportunity to sit these Regents examinations. This is a rite being given to students by New York State Education Department. Please discuss this with your child and contact your child’s counselor if your child will be staying with us until June 2021 instead of graduating on June 24, 2020.
Though we will be unable to have a Moving Up Ceremony for our grade eight students due to the CDC’s guidelines for social distancing, we will still be recognizing the achievements of members of the grade at an award ceremony. Grade Eight Awards Ceremony will be held virtually, on the computer via Google Meet, on June 18 at 6:00 p.m. Invitations to this event will be sent out to all students and parents of the members of the grade eight class. Please join the BKW Secondary staff in celebrating their accomplishments.
In my previous letter I promised you an update on the final grading policy for this school year. The final decision is that all students will be getting a numerical grade that will be based on their grades up to March 13 and evidence of learning since March 16.
Evidence of learning will be determined by teachers based on whether they believe students have demonstrated sufficient knowledge of the materials presented, since the closure of the building, in order to proceed to the next level. If it is determined that a student has not shown enough evidence of sufficient learning for the year, that student will receive an incomplete for a final grade.
Students who receive incomplete as a final grade will be required to attend summer school to earn the credit for each course with an incomplete, if the course is being offered over the summer. If the student who received an incomplete does not attend summer school or the course is not available during the summer, that student will have to retake the course next year. Under this grading policy, no student will receive a failing grade: grade below sixty-five percentage (65%). They will either receive a final grade above sixty-five or an incomplete.
I am looking forward to seeing you at one of our ceremonies coming up in the next few weeks.
Continue to keep safe.
Mark A. Pitterson, Ed.D.
BKW Secondary School
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