Friday, September 18, 2009

Launching the 2010 Budget: Elementary Review

Mindful of the need to contain costs and respond to the economic downturn, the Bronxville Board of Education launched the 2010 budget cycle with a comprehensive review of Elementary School programs and services. Superintendent David Quattrone introduced the presentation as follows:

"Tonight we resume a budget development process that began last year and is sure to continue over the next few years. Our goal is to establish a sustainable model of educational excellence that adapts our programs and services to economic realities. . . As we move from the technical fixes and trimming reflected in this year’s budget to more substantive changes, the decisions will be more difficult. We will need to determine if we are offering the right programs at the right scale, and whether or not some programs and services should be reduced or eliminated. As we go through this multi-year process we need to focus on two competing priorities – what we can afford and what adds the most value to student learning..."

The Elementary School presentation, delivered by Principal Tom Wilson and Assistant Principal Heidi Menzel, can be found here.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Enrollment and Class Sizes Remain Stable

K-12 student enrollment nudged upward by 1%, reported Superintendent David Quattrone at the September Board of Education meeting, with most of the increase at the Elementary School. The total K-12 population on September 9 was 1,542, up from 1,527 last year. The Elementary enrollment is 723, the Middle School enrollment is 363, and the High School enrollment is 452. Official enrollment figures will be finalized as of October 1st.

Class size patterns are also similar to previous years: The average class size for grades K-5 is 20.8, and the comparable figures for the Middle and High Schools are 18.9 and 19.3, respectively. The class size summary can be found here.

New Teachers and Tenure Candidates

Bronxville welcomed ten new teachers this fall, in addition to a number of leave replacements and interns. The Teacher Center sponsored a two-day orientation program led by Center director Denise Lutter and mentors Frank Viggiani and Julia Brogan. The program encompassed district purpose and vision, technology, support services, a Village tour, as well as logistical assistance. Pictured at the right are Danielle Green, psychology intern; Jillian Tomlin, school psychologist; Megan Garcia, special education; Camille DiSalvo, grade 4; Lorraine Voytek, kindergarten; Marge White, kindergarten; Sarah Wolf, elementary music; and Karine Schaefer, HS English.

Tenure Candidates

Each fall the district publishes a list of tenure candidates and probationary candidates, inviting parents to participate in the process through written, signed letters. Comments and concerns should be addressed to the school principal. All such letters are shared with the teachers named, and are part of a comprehensive performance appraisal process that includes multiple observations and supervisory conferences. The 2009 list can be found here.

College Admissions Results Jump Up

At the September Board of Education meeting, Superintendent David Quattrone presented student achievement results for 2008-09. Overall patterns are stable with respect to state testing and advanced placement results. But college admissions at the nation's most competitive colleges and universities jumped by 16%. Nearly two-thirds of the Class of 2009 (65%) enrolled in colleges and universities ranked in the "most competitive" category by Barron's Guide. Typically, about 90% of Bronxville graduates attend colleges in the top three tiers - "very", "highly", and "most" competitive.

For the full presentation on achievement results, go here.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Next Level of Learning

Opening Remarks to the Bronxville Faculty and Staff by David Quattrone, Superintendent of Schools, September 8, 2009.

Welcome back, everybody. We are ready to open school thanks to the hard work of your own classroom preparation and summer curriculum projects, and the ongoing efforts of our maintenance, technology, and clerical staff. We have a number of facilities projects that we hope will improve the quality of life for the students and faculty, including nine renovated bathrooms funded by the PTA, new lighting and ceilings in various hallways and classrooms, new lockers, and a number of painting projects that we hope contribute to a positive quality of life. This morning we also welcome all new faculty and staff members.

Today we kick off a community wide read of the book, Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson. The book recounts one man’s amazing journey to create new educational opportunities for children in Pakistan and Afghanistan. He started out with little more than mountain climbing experience and a deep commitment to making the world a better place. More...