The BKW Superintendent and Board of Education took significant steps this week toward implementing federal funding through the Coronavirus Recovery and Relief Stimulus Act and the American Rescue Plan Act. They did so June 21 by appointing key staff to advance previously developed coursework to a more fully integrated delivery within the system, as well as redesigning the delivery of Technology Education in grades 5-8.
Over the past six years, the district has established an Agricultural Science program, Construction Math course, an eSports team, extracurricular clubs related to coding and robotics, and has added several college credit bearing courses through articulation agreements with higher education institutions.
“We have tried to be proactive in creating a variety of opportunities for our students because we believe their school experience should provide them with a path to life after high school,” said Superintendent Dr. Timothy Mundell.
Spending stipulations in the CRRSA and ARPA legislation may be invested in any programs that lead to Career and Technical Education (CTE) credential. Mundell recommended, and the Board approved, the appointment of BKW English teacher Bonnie Kane to a three-year special assignment role titled College and Career Readiness Coordinator to be funded with CRRSA and ARPA monies. Kane’s task will be to work with faculty in grades 5-12 to develop and articulate embedded learning activities and specialized programs creating pathways to life after high school.
In describing Kane’s preparation for this role, Mundell said, “Bonnie is an outstanding teacher and has a long agricultural science and FFA background. She has also been instrumental on our Rural Education Network team participating with Harvard University to improve student attendance and college and career readiness. In consideration of these factors, and the completion of the recent capital project, it was only logical to tap Bonnie to be the point person on this project. I have every confidence in her ability to work with staff to create this unique program for our students.”
In a similar vein, elementary teacher, Bill Dergosits, was appointed to a teaching position in the Technology Education department. The position is a permanent appointment and carries a three-year probationary period. In this new role, Dergosits will concentrate on redesigning grade 5-8 Technology Education instruction to focus on gaming, coding, and robotics. Doing so will establish a new specialized pathway to life after high school, and will complement the CCR work to be coordinated by Kane.
“It is so exciting to see how our district has, and is, creating new real world programs for students, and doing it without impacting taxpayers in our community,” said newest BKW Board of Education member Lisa Joslin.