Summer letter from Dr. Pitterson

August 7, 2018

Dear BKW Parents and Guardians:

The summer break is quickly slipping by and in a few short weeks the staff of BKW Secondary School will once again be welcoming the return of our students. I hope that both you and your children have gotten some time to rest.

We have been busy over the summer preparing the building for the 2018-2019 school year. The building is being thoroughly cleaned and classrooms reassembled. Students and staff schedules have been completed and will be mailed home shortly. These are just a couple of the usual things that occur every year. In addition to the summer routines there will be a few changes and a few things that were already in place but were not given enough attention during the last year that will be emphasized this year.

This year there will be some new staff members in the secondary school working with you and your children. We will be welcoming two special education teachers, a new school psychologist, a new school counselor, and a new speech therapist. All these new staff members will be replacing staff members who have either retired or resigned to accept other assignments. We will also be welcoming a leave replacement science teacher in late September. All these staff members will be contacting you to introduce themselves once they have officially come on board.

On July 30th, a group of BKW community members comprising of board members, parents, teachers, administrative assistant, teaching assistant, a student, the dean and me, met to do our annual Code of Conduct review and revision. Participating members were very instrumental in sharing their perspectives on the 2017-2018 Student Code of Conduct and suggested revisions. The result of this is a more user friendly 2018-2019 Student Code of Conduct.

The print of the new Code of Conduct is more legible as we have increased the font size. The section on “Prohibited Student Conduct” has been edited to give clearer examples of the various types of prohibited students conduct. There were also edits and additions made to the section on “Dress Code.” The 2018-2019 Code of Conduct also has a table of content to make finding information fast and simple. Please review the 2018-2019 Code of Conduct with your child(ren) while paying special emphasis on the above categories to assist us in minimizing disruptions to your child(ren)’s education by having them act and dress appropriately, following the expectations, every day. Last year, I witnessed numerous violations of the students’ dress code. This year there will be greater enforcement.

BKW Secondary School is proud to announce that effective September 2018, we will be partnering with State University of New York ( SUNY) Cobleskill in a “College in the High School” (CIHS) program. Students enrolled in some of our courses in agricultural sciences, social studies, mathematics, English, and technology will be granted college credits upon successful completion of the courses. Students will be required to pay a small fee which gets even smaller for students who receive reduced price meal and will be free for students who receive free meals. A total of eleven courses have been approved so far with another four courses still to be determined. Credits received through the SUNY CIHS will be accepted at any SUNY colleges and universities.
Another major change this year will be the addition of an Albany County Sheriff deputy in the building as a school resource officer. Thanks to the commitment of the superintendent and the school board, we will be adding one more tool to help in ensuring your child(ren)’s safety while they are here. The resource officer will be considered a member of our staff but will still have the authority to act as a member of the Albany County Sheriff Department law enforcement personnel if the need arises.

Our continued goal and commitment here at BKW is to provide your child with the best education while ensuring their safety and well-being as well as teaching them lifelong lessons. Please continue to assist us in this endeavor. We are looking forward to working in partnership with you again during the 2018-2019 school year.

We are always seeking members of the community who are desirous of assisting us to raise the quality of students’ experience by joining our Shared Decision Making Committee. The committee will meet once per month at 2:45 until 3:20 to plan projects and programs that will benefit our students. If you have the time and are able to commit to this valuable endeavor, please contact us here at (518)872-1482.

Continue to have a wonderful summer.

Mark A. Pitterson, Ed.D.
Secondary School Principal