The Dobbs Ferry School District strives to develop independent, curious, and open-minded learners who think critically, work collaboratively, act ethically and are knowledgeable about the world around them.
Dear Parents and Community Members,
There has been a whirlwind of activity in the Dobbs Ferry schools this summer. The amount of facilities work has been overwhelming, and we are eager to leave the construction noise and remnants of renovation behind us. We are excited about the new wind and solar powered lights at the entrance of the High School on Broadway. These new structures not only provide much-needed illumination of the parking lot area, but are part of the District’s continued commitment to smart energy solutions.
At this point, we do not anticipate that all of the work on the air conditioning at Springhurst or the Middle School/High School complex will be completed by September, as we had hoped. We are, however, on track for the renovation of the Library Media Center which is being transformed into an innovative learning space for students at the Middle School and High School.
This fall Springhurst Elementary school is excited to introduce a revised schedule. Springhurst will be following a six-day numerical schedule that maximizes instructional time on each grade level. The number of the day will be posted daily on the Springhurst website, and it is important to note that there are no changes to arrival or dismissal times from last year.
Students in kindergarten and first grade will experience a new and improved approach to science this year as Springhurst begins to transition to become fully aligned to the new state science standards. The remaining grades at Springhurst will transition as well with each subsequent year. Our science program is highly engaging and continues to be hands-on and a constructivist approach to learning.
Students in grades four and five will continue their experiences with the exciting 1:1 Chromebook program diving into a myriad of Google Applications, and collaborating with one another in meaningful ways. Parents of 4th and 5th-grade students can look forward to an introduction to or refresher in the world of 1:1 learning at Back-to-School Night in September.
All three schools will address health and wellness this year with some significant changes related to the District’s mandatory revisions of the Student Wellness Policy. Except curricular-related events, celebrations throughout the District will now be enjoyed without food when they occur during the school day. All food and beverages offered to students during the school day must meet the requirements in the newly revised District Student Wellness Policy.
In July, both the Middle School and the High School were selected to present at the IB Global Conference in Orlando, Florida. Middle School Principal Patrick Mussolini, and IB MYP Coordinator Jennifer Hickey led the Middle School team in a presentation about the “IB Middle Years Program and the Adolescent Brain … The Perfect Fit” which demonstrated the connection between the MYP framework and the way that an adolescent thinks. Dr. John Falino, High School Principal, and Marion Halberg, IB Diploma Program Coordinator, presented for the fourth year in a row at the conference. Their topic “IB for ALL: The Dobbs Ferry High School Story” described how the IB program at the High School has grown to include all students and how we ensure their success.
In September, students in 10th grade will embark on their research and explorations for the IB Middle Years Program (MYP) Personal Projects. Last year was the inaugural phase of this part of the MYP and students produced spectacular work which was showcased for the community at the end of May. Also exciting for the year ahead, students in 9th grade will begin to work with digital portfolios. Using an innovative software solution, students will learn how to create digital portfolios as a way of archiving and cataloging their student work and projects for possible use in the future for college applications or careers.
We are excited to explore these opportunities for students as we move toward more project-based learning and alternative ways to assess student performance and expertise. Student learning at the High School and Middle School will also be enhanced through the use of Google Expeditions, thanks to the generosity of the Dobbs Ferry Schools Foundation who provided the monies via a grant. Google Expeditions is a technology solution that creates virtual reality field trips and expeditions anywhere in the world and the universe!
The Board of Education will be finalizing our work on the new Strategic Plan with the help of the community provided through the Thoughtexchange process which occurred in the spring. In addition to the wonderfully positive feedback that we received about so many areas in our schools, we are working to address some of the issues raised that are “low hanging fruit.” The air conditioning work is in progress (which was a consistent theme) and we will be addressing others as we craft the new Strategic Plan for the future.
As always, we look forward to our strong partnerships with parents, our parent organizations and our Dobbs Ferry community. The 2017-2018 school year presents an endless number of exciting opportunities and together, we will continue to fulfill our District vision of creating Independent Thinkers Prepared to Change the World!
Hope you are enjoying your summer!
Lisa Brady, Ed.D.
12:30 PM - 2:30 PM Curriculum & Instruction Committee
7:00 PM Springhurst Square Dance