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August 2018

Dear Patriot Families,

Welcome to the 2018-19 school year! I hope you have had the opportunity to enjoy the summer and spend quality time with family and friends. Summer has provided opportunities for our faculty to revise curriculum, learn new skills and time for our support staff to ensure that the building is ready to open for the first day of school.

As I begin my second year as principal of Binghamton High School, I remain deeply committed to making a positive difference in the lives of our students through a safe learning environment that promotes academic rigor and learning opportunities that are second to none in the region. Our commitment to excellence remains a top priority.

There are a number of changes that will be occurring this year that I would like to share. First, I want to welcome the members of the high school’s new administrative team:

  • Ms. Miriam Purdy will now hold the responsibilities of an Associate Principal and work with students in grades 10th – 12th, whose last names begins with letters A - D;
  • Ms. Dawne Anna-Adams will now hold the responsibilities of an Associate Principal and work with students in grades 10th – 12th, whose last names begins with letters E - L;
  • Mr. Eudes Clarke, Assistant Principal, will work with students in grades 10th – 12th, whose last names begins with letters M - Z; and,
  • New to Binghamton High School, Mr. Dario Vazquez, Assistant Principal, will be working with all students in 9th Grade.

 

It is my firm belief that making improvements to our school comes from using a collaborative approach involving all stakeholders. During the course of my first year, I actively listened and observed aspects of the school environment that were of concern to members of the school community. One of the concerns raised was around how lunch was structured. The structure resulted in significantly poor attendance the period after lunch. Students were allowed to eat throughout the building during lunch due to space limitations in the cafeteria. Over the course of the year, a committee of various stakeholders was formed to review lunch procedures at BHS. The committee spent countless hours reviewing our current procedures and then examined procedures of surrounding districts as well as districts across the state. A survey was sent to parents to gain a broader perspective on issues regarding lunch. As the result of the committee’s hard work, the survey results, conversations at PTSA meetings, and many other meetings with students and community members, a plan has been developed for this coming year that includes instituting 3 lunch periods. There are 9 periods of instruction offered at BHS. The first lunch period will occur during 5th period. This will be for 9th graders as well as BOCES students and members of chorus. All 9th graders will be required to remain in the building during their lunch period for the entire school year. Our 10th, 11th, and 12th graders will have lunch during either 6th or 7th period. The campus will remain open for these upper grades during the lunch period. Additionally, all students who eat on campus during lunch will be asked to do so in the cafeteria.  Students will continue to be allowed during lunch to visit teachers for extra help, go to the library and continue to access music classes. The purpose of these changes was to address the many issues brought forth by the committee and members of the community, but at the same time remain vigilant in not taking away opportunities for our students. Additionally, the administrative team will be providing opportunities for our students to share what opportunities they would like to see offered during the lunch period. We will then evaluate the impact of these changes toward the end of the coming school year to determine if additional adjustments need to be made.

A third change will come with the location of attendance offices. A single, centrally located office will be found in the main lobby. All students who are late to school will be required to check in at the attendance office before they head to class. Any student who needs to leave early must obtain a pass to leave the building from the attendance office. If you haven’t begun using Safe Arrival, I would encourage you to do so. Please check out https://go.schoolmessenger.com/#/home for more information.

Finally, a team has been created to review existing academic programs and course offerings to ensure they align with both student interests and future careers. We will be embarking this year in a re-design that will identify clear academies of study that also provide work-based learning opportunities.

Below are some important tips and reminders as well as some new building practices for the upcoming school year:

  • All students will report on the first day, Thursday, September 6th, by 8:00 a.m. to their Orientation Room for the first 10 minutes of the day. Students will report to a specific location based on their last name and grade level. During that time, schedules and IDs will be handed out. Orientation Room assignments and locations will be posted in the main lobby as well as posted online.
  • All students are asked to enter and exit the building through the main entrance on Oak Street. All visitors will be required to sign in at the front desk and show identification. They will then be escorted to their destination.
  • If your student discovers that a scheduling error has been made, they will be asked to complete a Report of Scheduling Error form available from the Guidance Office. Once the form has been completed, students should report to their scheduled class and they will be called down to meet with their counselor. Students should not wait in the Guidance Office.
  • The dropping of courses, teacher changes or requests to move a classes to a different period will only be made in extreme circumstances and only with approval from an administrator.

In closing, I look forward to an amazing 2018-19 school year. I hope that you are able to join me on September 26th at 5:30 pm for Community Resource and Job Fair, followed at 7 pm for our Curriculum Night. Together we will educate, empower and challenge all students.

Respectfully,

Kevin J. Richman
Principal