Dear BCSD community,
Summer is flying by! On chilly evenings I'm reminded that fall is fast approaching. I hope your family is enjoying the summer, especially the rest and relaxation that usually accompanies it.
As we begin another school year, we are pleased with the progress we are making and energized about the work ahead. I believe, together, we can overcome the challenges that face us and make a difference in the lives of every child in this district.
At its annual retreat, our Board of Education developed goals for the 2013-2014 school year:
Teaching and Learning - To ensure all students have equal access to rigorous, high-quality curriculum that is aligned to the common core standards and delivered through challenging instruction.
Alternative Education Programs - To ensure students placed in alternative programs make adequate yearly progress.
Highly Effective Teachers and Leaders - To ensure continuous improvement of administrators and teachers through performance evaluation.
Parent/Community Engagement and Ownership - To create and implement communication methods that ensure families and the community are genuine partners.
School Climate and Safety - To ensure all students experience a safe and positive school climate that welcomes and actively engages all families.
Facility Maintenance - To upgrade and maintain attractive, safe and accessible facilities that promote sustainability.
Fiscal - To align district resources in the attainment of high levels of student achievement and instructional excellence.
Using the board's goals as the foundation, we are developing a strategic plan that will serve as the district's blueprint. It will be posted on the district's website along with regular reports of progress.
MacArthur Elementary School is getting closer and closer to being a reality. District meetings with architects and engineers have occurred biweekly since April to finalize design, cost estimates and construction documents. The project will be bid in two phases: abatement/demolition, and new construction. Abatement, and then demolition, is scheduled to begin in late September and be completed by December. As abatement and demolition are occurring, construction documents will be reviewed by the State Education Department. We anticipate approval of new construction is October with bidding and procurement in November/December. Construction is scheduled to begin in January 2014. Biweekly meetings will continue in order to ensure effective communication. The Board of Education will continue to receive updates each month. The Southside West Neighborhood Assembly will host an informational session on September 25 at Ross Memorial Presbyterian Church, 6 Morris Street, Binghamton. A second session will be scheduled at a location to be determined. The district website will also include updates and, once demolition begins, photographs of progress.
The district continues to focus on curriculum development and integration of the common core standards. New York's adoption of the common core standards as part of the Race to the Top competitive grant requires districts to align their curriculum to the more rigorous teaching standards to make sure all students are college and career ready. State assessments will be based on these new standards.
I am proud and honored to work with such an amazing staff. They are dedicated, sensitive, caring individuals who strive each day to meet the needs of Binghamton's students. In partnership with you, we can do great things.
Marion H. Martinez, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools