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Superintendent Monroe delivers State of the Schools presentation

Filed in Archive, District, District News by on February 11, 2020

On Wednesday, February 5, BC Superintendent of Schools Jody Monroe delivered her State of the Schools 2020 presentation to the Board of Education. The annual presentation is intended to provide a backdrop for public budget deliberations that will begin later this month and will conclude in May with the annual budget vote.

In her State of the Schools 2020 presentation, Superintendent Monroe:

  • Provided a recap of how the district is performing on a series of metrics outlined in the district’s Strategic Plan. The metrics are intended to measure growth in several areas within the core areas of Academics, Character, Community and Wellness.
  • Reviewed current district goals and reported on progress in several areas, including improving student attendance districtwide. She discussed district initiatives that are helping students be successful in school and addressing achievement gaps where they exist. These include Response to Intervention (RtI) in the early grades which provides both academic and behavior supports for students; the Grow Program at the middle school where teachers coach students in areas of time management and organization; and the BEEP program at the high school, which helps students who have been out of school for lengthy periods transition back into the classroom with personalized support of staff. Monroe also described the district’s efforts to improve equity and cultural proficiency in the district’s seven schools and looked closely at work being done in the area of Special Education and Student Services (SESS).
  • Shared results of the second annual School Climate Survey, which asked students, staff and parents to rate their school experience in areas of physical environment, instructional environment, safety, school participation, relationships, substance abuse and more.
  • Provided a summary of construction and improvement projects that have been completed or are ongoing as part of the Facilities Improvement Project approved by voters in 2016.
  • Looked back at recent budget history, state aid trends and looked ahead at enrollment projections as well as residential development in the Town of Bethlehem.

“We are building an even better BC, not only with new and improved spaces for our students to learn but with initiatives that are designed to move our district forward in academics and other areas critical to our mission,” said Monroe. “The district sets goals prior to the start of the school year to serve as a guide for our collaborative work on behalf of students. With a focus on a robust educational program, technology integration, personalized learning, equity, safety, health and wellness, I’m pleased to say our faculty and staff have ensured that the state of our schools is strong.”

Superintendent Monroe’s presentation to the Board is the first in a series of meetings that mark the beginning of the annual budget process. On February 26, Chief Business and Financial Officer Judith Kehoe will provide an overview of the budget process and will share preliminary 2020-21 budget data as part of the regular Board of Education meeting. The full 2020-21 budget calendar can be found here.

Looking at recent budget trends in the district, Monroe noted that annual budget growth in the district had been, on average, 1.43 percent over the last 10 years. Tax levy increases have averaged 2.18 percent over the same 10-year period.

Superintendent Monroe also discussed the most recent enrollment projections prepared by the Capital District Regional Planning Board and reviewed current and proposed residential development in the Town of Bethlehem.

The current student enrollment is 4,322 and in its report, the Capital District Regional Planning Board predicts K-12 enrollment will decline by approximately 57 students districtwide each year for the next five years. A significant increase in the sales of existing homes is one variable that could alter that trend, the report said.

“We are fortunate to have a lot of data to inform our decisions and help us be prepared for what lies ahead,” said Superintendent Monroe.

View Superintendent Monroe’s presentation to the Board of Education on YouTube.