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BHS Principal Welcomes Students Back For New Year

Principal David G. Smith outlines what's new this school year.

The following was written by Principal David G. Smith in the school's August newsletter.

Welcome to the 2012-2013 School Year! This will be an exciting year at Broadneck High School. We have many new members of our Faculty & Staff including Allison Pastine as a Professional School Counselor (serving students with last names A – Crt), and new Department Chairs in Science and Special Education (Alison Mikeska and Megan Lewis respectively).

All Anne Arundel County Public Schools are focusing on “High Expectations for All, Differentiated Instruction, Culturally Proficient School Climates, A Highly Skilled and Diverse Workforce, Equitable Access to – and Success in – Rigorous Courses and Family and Community Collaboration.”

I believe that these desirable ends can be more simply expressed in this way:   We want for your children that which we would want for our own children. We believe that the overall success for our entire student body will be achieved one student at a time. Whether the idea is expressed in more traditional educational terms or in this more personal way, we want the best for your sons and daughters.

This will be a very interesting year!  The Performing & Visual Arts Music Magnet has arrived with thirty-five talented students (many from other schools), 1.5 additional music teachers, a second music technology lab and a vibrant after-school program.

In the years to come, PVA Music could have as many as two hundred-fifty students enrolled. Our Environmental Literacy Program is moving along under Michelle Weisgerber’s leadership, with Amanda Adley teaching the Signature Survey Course.

We continue to add curricular overlays in many subjects and further build extra-curricular activities related to our Signature. The basic idea of this program is to graduate students who will have various degrees of genuine environmental awareness.

For students who take courses, that will be extensive but all will be touched by this program – either through connections made in their “regular” classes or   through extra-curricular activities.

We are continuing our specific instructional initiatives (differentiated                instructional methods for example) and Professional Development activities as we move forward toward full implementation of the Common Core Curriculum and extend our efforts to close the achievement gap.

Two new AP courses (we offer twenty-seven) – U.S. Government & Politics and Micro & Macro Economics have been added to our Instructional Program. The fourteen month Science Renovation and Open Space Enclosure is well into the first of four phases.

By the opening of the 2013-14 school year, we will have twelve brand new, state-of- the-art science labs along with two smaller science instructional spaces and our few remaining “open classrooms” will be enclosed. In addition, we have a brand new track with a new Turf Field to follow next summer. Our school is moving forward nicely in many ways!

As the school year begins, students sometimes need to have their schedules corrected. This requires parent consent and there are approved reasons for such changes (the time for preferential changes has passed). The “Request for Course Change” form is available in the Main and Counseling Offices.

I remind you that except in extraordinary cases, students who have registered for AP (Advanced Placement) courses will not be able to drop those courses until the beginning of the second quarter. While some students are taken aback by the work load in these college level courses, with help from teachers, nearly all adjust and do well. They must have the chance to learn that.

More information will follow in late August in a Connect Ed message regarding the process for making schedule changes. Generally, it is important to understand that in most cases, the time to make schedule changes has passed.  There were many opportunities to do so from the time of initial course registration in January until June 1.

On or about September 30, your son or daughter will bring home a Federal Impact Aid Survey form. Please help us by filling out the information requested and returning it to AACPS in the self-addressed, stamped envelope provided.  

The Federal Government gives localities payments to make up tax dollars that cannot be levied on Federal Property (Ft. Meade and the USNA for example).   Last year, AACPS received about 3 million dollars based on the information provided on these forms. Please help us receive all of the funds to which we are entitled by completing and returning this form.

From time to time you may have questions or concerns. When that is the case, please ask or raise them. While your first thought may be to begin with me, I encourage you to ask your question or raise your concern initially with the person who is best placed to respond.

That could be a teacher, counselor, coach, assistant principal or support staff member. The goal is to resolve concerns promptly. The staff member who works directly with the student is best placed to do so. If that is not possible, I will become involved as the process continues.

Homecoming will occur during the week of October 15. Activities will culminate on Saturday, October 20 with the Parade, Football Game and Dance. Seniors will have the first opportunity to purchase tickets for the dance.

Each class will have their opportunity to purchase tickets in turn. As we approach Homecoming more information about the dance will be provided.  

Back-to-School Night will occur on Wednesday, September 5, at 6:30 pm. We must begin the program promptly. To alleviate parking problems please arrive early and ride share. Limited space will be available in the back parking lot as will the Broadneck Library parking lot.

Your students should have completed a form that includes their schedule and the time frame for the evening and given it to you. Please ask him or her for it.

Broadneck High School is an exciting, vibrant place. Each of us contributes to the success of your sons and daughters, our students, and the programs they pursue.

I invite you to work with us as we strive to bring them the best possible instructional program in an environment that is safe, supportive and stimulating.

I wish you and yours a very positive and successful school year.

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