Dear Parents and Community,
The school year is well underway and we are enjoying the magnificent fall foliage and seasonal changes. One significant change for students at the Middle School and High School is a later morning start time. The students have seamlessly adjusted to the new schedule, and although traffic in the area around the school remains a challenge, it appears as if more students than ever are walking to school in the morning. Such a positive, unanticipated result of the new start time! The health benefits of students getting more sleep and walking to school are well documented in the research, and the findings confirm that as a result, students are more prepared to learn.
Expanded use of technology in the District is also helping students learn at higher levels. Students in grades 4-11 are excited to be using their individual Chromebooks each day in school. Students in 12th grade have multiple options for their personal technology use; including the use of a Chromebook should they choose. At the beginning of each year, we teach digital citizenship at all grade levels. Digital safety, citizenship and security are important skills for our students and reinforced throughout the school year through ongoing presentations and programs conducted by both in-house staff and experts in the community.
Dobbs Ferry teachers continue to use the Wednesday professional development time to engage with their colleagues in many areas of training, curriculum work and design. This includes MYP, IB, Common Core-aligned lessons, technology integration and more. Our Emerging Technologies Coach has "hit the ground running" working with teachers at each school and one-on-one with them in their classrooms.
This year, Springhurst is rolling out its new Common Core aligned report card, the result of a year-long collaboration among teachers and administrators. The revised report card is an important step forward in assessing our elementary school students’ educational growth. It charts each child’s progress towards identified standards so that parents and students measure real learning development along a continuum. This is a “forward thinking” approach and an area where the Dobbs Ferry School District continues to explore new ways to evaluate and enhance learning. .
Our District is aggressively exploring opportunities for our students to be engaged with STEM and STEAM (Science/Technology/Engineering/Art/Math) curricular offerings at all three schools. We are pleased to welcome the PTSA KICS (Kids Imagine, Create & Solve) Afterschool Program at Springhurst, and as part of our MYP curricular changes at the Middle School we have added a STEM Algebra-based coding class for all students in 6th and 7th grade. Additionally, we are happy to welcome Cyberpatriots, a new student club for middle schoolers interested in cyber security.
Please remember that our Board of Education (BOE) meets twice each month on Thursday evenings, and our website www.dfsd.org is chock full of information for parents and community members. Our monthly Board of Education Committees publish minutes of all meetings open to the public enabling community members to follow the issues being discussed and considered by our BOE. Committee information can be found in a drop down menu from the BOE tab on our website. Click on Committees. Another great place to get a glimpse of what’s happening in our schools is via the District Facebook page. See photos, videos, news and much more as exciting events and initiatives unfold in our classrooms and after school.
We want your Dobbs Ferry Schools’ experience to be a positive one. We are off to a great start and look forward to “connecting” with our school families and community partners throughout the year.