Bear Den Program Recognized as Innovative Special Education Program by New Jersey School Boards AssociationPosted by Webmaster on 5/25/2021
Bergenfield, NJ (May 13, 2021) – In partnership with the Association of Schools and Agencies for the Handicapped (ASAH), the New Jersey School Boards Association (NJSBA) recognized the district’s “Bear Den Life Skills Program” as one of six imaginative programs that are helping some of the state’s 250,000 special needs students.
Located in a fully-appointed home located on the Lincoln Elementary School property, the “Bear Den Life Skills Program” provides the opportunity for students with severe disabilities to practice daily living skills to increase their level of independence.
The “Bear Den” began as an integral component of the district’s “IEP for Life” pilot program. This three-year grant from the New Jersey Department of Education provided funding to promote positive post-school outcomes for students with disabilities by establishing a model program for those aged 16 to 21.
The program is accomplishing this goal through person-centered planning, community-based instruction, and systematic instruction during age-appropriate activities in the community—such as integrated, competitive employment, adult education classes including college courses, public transportation utilization, shopping, recreational activities with peers without disabilities, and facilitating linkages between students and adult service agencies.
“This program provides hands-on learning experiences that will last these students a lifetime. It is rewarding to be able to offer this opportunity here within our community” said Superintendent of Schools, Christopher Tully, Ed.D.
Since 2002, as part of its celebration of Special Education Week, NJSBA and ASAH have sponsored an “Innovations in Special Education” program that has drawn wide interest from the state’s special education community. For this year’s award program, public and private schools from across New Jersey submitted 41 eligible entries.
The New Jersey School Boards Association, a federation of boards of education, provides training, advocacy, and support to advance public education and promote the achievement of all students through effective governance.
Association of Schools and Agencies for the Handicapped is a not-for-profit organization of private schools and agencies in New Jersey which provide highly specialized services to more than 10,000 infants, children, and young adults with disabilities. Founded in 1974, ASAH now serves 129 schools and agencies throughout the state.
To read more about the awards, visit https://www.njsba.org/news-publications/school-board-notes/may-4-2021-vol-xliv-no-42/innovative-special-education-programs-will-be-honored-may-11/.
Bergenfield High School Ranked in Top 5% in America in U.S. News & World Report's 2021 Best High School RankingsPosted by Webmaster on 5/25/2021
Bergenfield, NJ (April 28, 2021) – For the sixth year in a row, Bergenfield High School has been ranked among the top 5% of high schools in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. BHS was recognized as 1237th in the nation, 53rd in the state, and 13th in Bergen County in the 2021 Best High School Rankings.
The “2021 Best High Schools” rankings include data on more than 24,000 public high schools in 50 states and the District of Columbia. Nearly 18,000 schools were ranked on six factors based on their performance on state assessments and how well they prepare students for college.
U.S. News & World Report previously ranked high schools solely on their College Readiness metric. However, in 2019, the criteria began including college readiness, math and reading proficiency, math and reading performance, scores on state assessments of student subgroups, the proportions of 12 graders who took and passed AP and IB exams, and high school graduation rate.
“We are excited once again to be recognized for our student success,” said Dr. Christopher Tully, Superintendent of Schools. “We continue to provide our students with access to rigorous learning opportunities taught by a world-class faculty, and our students continue to answer the challenge.”
For more information, visit http://www.usnews.com/education/best-high-school.
District Earns Prestigious Recognition in National School Board Associations 26th Annual Magna Awards ProgramPosted by Webmaster on 5/25/2021
Bergenfield, NJ (March 19, 2020) – National School Boards Association’s flagship magazine, American School Board Journal announced Bergenfield Public School District as a recipient of a 2020 Magna Award. This is the third year that the Magna Awards recognize school districts and their leaders for their efforts to bring educational equity to their students. It also marks the second Magna Award for the district in the past 7 years.
The Magna Awards, supported by Sodexo, honor districts across the country for programs that break down barriers for underserved students. An independent panel of school board members, administrators, and other educators selected the winners from more than 100 submissions. This year’s three grand prize winners and 15 first place winners were selected from three enrollment categories: under 5,000 students, 5,000 to 20,000 students, and over 20,000 students.
“Focusing on equity requires school leaders to think differently and creatively,” said Thomas J. Gentzel, National School Boards Association executive director and CEO. “The 2020 Magna Award-winning districts showcase the amazing and innovative work going on in public schools to ensure students are supported and provided with the tools and opportunities needed to succeed.”
Bergenfield was recognized as a First Prize winner for its “IEP For Life Project,” which was created to target a cadre of students in grades nine through 12. The district began by increasing staff to improve the staff-to-student ratio; training staff to implement person-centered planning and instruction, purchasing new curriculum and instructional supplies, and building a manufactured home called the Bear Den to enable students to practice life skills.
In addition, the program also increased access to community-based instruction and structured learning experiences; to internships, employment, and community service opportunities; and to postsecondary adult education and college classes.
“This program provides hands-on learning experiences that will last these students a lifetime. It is rewarding to be able to offer this opportunity here within our community” said Bergenfield Superintendent, Christopher Tully, Ed.D.
The National School Boards Association is the leading advocate for public education and supports equity and excellence in public education through school board leadership. NSBA believes education is a civil right necessary to the dignity and freedom of the American people, and all children should have equal access to an education that maximizes his or her individual potential. The association represents state school boards associations and their more than 90,000 local school board members throughout the U.S.
To read more about the awards and the IEP For Life Program, visit https://www.nsba.org/ASBJ/2020/April/first-place-magna-awards.
Bergenfield Public Schools Earn Middle States ReaccreditationPosted by Bergenfield Public School District on 12/4/2020Bergenfield, NJ (December 4, 2020) – The Middle States Association Commissions on Elementary and Secondary Schools (MSA-CESS) announced that the Bergenfield Public School District has earned reaccreditation, the gold standard for measuring and evaluating school performance. All seven schools were reaccredited as a system.
Bergenfield was only the second district in New Jersey to undergo the new, rigorous Systems Approach process when it first received its district-wide accreditation from Middle States on December 1, 2013. Following the recent reaccreditation by MSA, the district will retain its accreditation until December 1, 2027.
In a message received from Middle States Association, Accreditation Officer Dr. David Montroni stated,“Your district has been a beacon, a catalyst and an inspiration for so many other districts who have sought a model of good pedagogy along their route toward accreditation.”
Middle States accreditation is a multifaceted evaluation process that schools and school systems voluntarily use to demonstrate they are meeting a defined set of research-based performance standards. Middle States accredits preK-12 public, private, parochial, and charter schools. In addition, MSA-CESS accredits non-degree granting career and technical post-secondary institutions and learning services providers.
“We are pleased to have earned reaccreditation with Middle States, ” said Bergenfield Superintendent Christopher Tully, Ed.D. “The accreditation process proved valuable in our strategic planning efforts and in helping us set system-wide goals that will lead to continuous growth and improvement.”
About Middle States Association Commissions on Elementary and Secondary Schools (MSA-CESS)
Based in Philadelphia, the Middle States Association is the worldwide leader in accreditation and school improvement. For over 125 years, Middle States has been helping school leaders establish and reach their goals, develop strategic plans, promote staff development and advance student achievement. With more than 2,700 accredited schools and school systems in 34 states and nearly 100 countries, MSA-CESS is proud of its continuing legacy and its ongoing innovations to meet the challenges of improving education in the 21st century. For more information visit https://www.msa-cess.org.
2020 Sustainable Jersey for Schools Grant ProgramPosted by Bergenfield Public School District on 6/4/2020
The Bergenfield Public School District was awarded a $10,000 grant from the 2020 Sustainable Jersey for Schools Grant Program funded by the PSEG Foundation.
The grant was awarded on Tuesday, June 2, 2020 via an online event through which grant recipients shared project details and participated in a Q&A session with Sustainable Jersey for Schools staff.
Superintendent, Dr. Christopher Tully, who participated in the event, stated, “The district is thrilled to have Roy W. Brown Middle School selected to receive a 2020 Sustainable Jersey for Schools grant. This grant will be used for our 7th grade science students to grow organic fruits and vegetables in both indoor aquaponic and outdoor soil-based gardens."
The Roy W. Brown Middle School grant project will expand district efforts towards attaining the goal of creating green schools. In 2016, Bergenfield High School received certification for its sustainability efforts through the Sustainable Jersey for Schools Program. BHS, at the time, was the first school in Bergen County, NJ to be certified by the nonprofit organization, joining a group of 83 schools across the state.
Sustainable Jersey schools collaborate with their district to assemble teams of key school members, including board representation, administration, faculty, and students, to implement programs for certification. “Becoming certified with Sustainable Jersey for Schools is a significant achievement for schools and their school district,” said Donna Drewes, co-director of Sustainable Jersey. “They are leaders in implementing sustainability measures that save money, improve the learning environment, and prepare today’s students to address the challenges of tomorrow.”
Dr. Tully added, “This grant award will enable the district to continue our efforts to not only teach—but to practice—the importance of protecting our environment for future generations. The simple steps that we each can take towards making our schools “green” add up and make a tremendous difference. While we celebrate this mission on Earth Day, here, in Bergenfield, we strive to instill a love of our environment every day.”
Bergenfield High School Named New Jersey State Winner in National STEM Competition from SamsungPosted by Bergenfield Public School District on 1/14/2020
School wins $15,000 in technology and classroom supplies; advances to the next stage in the Samsung Solve for Tomorrow Contest
Bergenfield, NJ (January 9, 2020) - Selected from thousands of entries nationwide, Bergenfield High School in Bergenfield has been named a New Jersey State Winner in the Samsung Solve for Tomorrow Contest for its proposed plan to address antibiotic resistance, which is one of the most urgent threats to the global community.
The Samsung Solve for Tomorrow Contest encourages teachers and students to solve real-world issues in their community using classroom skills in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).
Bergenfield High School is among the nation's 100 State Winners (at least one school from all 50 states) and will receive $15,000* in technology for its achievement. In addition, the school will also receive a Samsung video kit for students to create and submit a three-minute video that showcases their project development and how it addresses the issue. The video will be used for the chance to advance to the next phase of the contest and win additional prizes and educational opportunities.
"Samsung is extremely proud of the evolution of the Solve for Tomorrow platform over the past 10 years: fueling students' passion and curiosity to tackle issues that affect their communities in unexpected and creative ways," said Ann Woo, Senior Director of Corporate Citizenship at Samsung Electronics America. " Reading the innovative proposals students and teachers have put forth this year exemplifies what we know to be true for every student - that young minds have just as much to teach as they do to learn. Our guiding citizenship vision is 'Enabling People,' and we are thrilled to celebrate another year of empowering future innovators to achieve their full potential through STEM learning."
According to the high school’s application, antibiotic-resistant bacteria now cause illnesses that were once easily treatable with the same antibiotics. The school community would greatly benefit from reducing the number of student absences resulting from illnesses that have become harder to treat, such as pneumonia, ear and sinus infections, and even meningitis—all caused by resistant Streptococcus pneumoniae, a bacterium that is easily spread through coughing, sneezing, and close contact with a sick person.
The BHS STEM team is working on finding ways to overcome the antibiotic resistance seen in certain strains of bacteria, by looking for common compounds that can be used in conjunction with certain antibiotics. These compounds may have a synergistic effect on a bacterial colony and possibly reverse the resistance to the antibiotic. The team will be working with non-pathogenic strains of various bacteria with known resistance to certain antibiotics for their research.
About Samsung Solve for Tomorrow Contest
For questions about the Samsung Solve for Tomorrow Contest, please reach out to SamsungSFT@allisonpr.com.
Bergenfield High School Recertified by Sustainable Jersey for SchoolsPosted by Bergenfield Public School District on 12/3/2019
Bergenfield, NJ (December 3, 2019) - Bergenfield High School has once again achieved bronze certification for its sustainability efforts through the Sustainable Jersey for Schools program. Bergenfield High School became the first school in the county to be certified for a second time by the nonprofit organization, joining a group of 241 schools across the state in 2019. BHS was also the first in the county when it received its first three-year certification back in 2016.
“Our district believes in educating our learning community about the importance of environmental stewardship and conservation. We applaud Bergenfield High School for the sustainability efforts they have implemented. By acting locally and thinking globally, our students are paving the way to make Bergenfield and the global community a better place,” said Dr. Christopher Tully, Superintendent of Schools.
Bergenfield High School evaluated the school’s existing programs and identified ways to reduce waste and increase sustainability. A number of current programs, such as general recycling, before-the-bell breakfast program, and renewable generation system served as a strong platform for the certification process. In recent years, the school installed new uninvent systems that would help control indoor air quality while providing more energy-efficient heat, as well as began utilizing air quality flags in the athletic program to better inform members of outdoor air quality. The high school also received a Sustainable Jersey for Schools grant from PSEG to support a new program that targets collecting food waste and converting it to compost to be used in school gardens and grounds.
Participating schools collaborate with their district to assemble teams comprising key school members, including board representation, administration, faculty and students to implement programs for certification.
Bergenfield High School was honored at a reception during the New Jersey School Boards Association (NJSBA) Workshop 2019 Conference in October.
About Sustainable Jersey for Schools
Sustainable Jersey for Schools is a certification program for public schools in New Jersey. It was launched by Sustainable Jersey, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that provides tools, training and financial incentives to support and reward municipalities and schools as they pursue sustainability programs. A total of 887 schools and 340 school districts are participating in the program overall.
U.S. News Releases 2019 Best High School RankingsPosted by Bergenfield Public School District on 5/13/2019
For the 4th year in a row, Bergenfield High School was selected as one of the best high schools in the nation when the U.S. News & World Report released its “2019 Best High Schools” rankings on April 30, 2019.
BHS's College Readiness Index Rank this year is 637, up from 707 in 2018! Bergenfield High School ranked as 1054th in the nation, 45th in the state, and 10th in Bergen County. Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Christopher Tully, is pleased to see Bergenfield High School continue to skyrocket up this list. Dr. Tully stated, “Despite our previous success, staff, students, and parents worked even harder to enable Bergenfield High School to climb an amazing 70 places higher in just one year. By all objective measures, we are ensuring all students are fully included and prepared for the rigors of college and careers in the 21st century.”
The “2019 Best High Schools” rankings include data on more than 23,000 public high schools in 50 states and the District of Columbia. More than 17,000 schools were ranked on six factors based on their performance on state assessments and how well they prepare students for college.
U.S. News & World Report previously ranked high schools solely on their College Readiness metric. However, in 2019, criteria included college readiness, math and reading proficiency, math and reading performance, scores on state assessments of student subgroups, the proportions of 12 graders who took and passed AP and IB exams, and high school graduation rate.
Jay Mathews Challenge IndexPosted by Bergenfield Public School District on 5/13/2019
For the eighth year in a row, Bergenfield High School (BHS) has been recognized as one of our nation’s most challenging high schools by the Jay Mathews Challenge Index.
The 2019 Challenge Index places BHS at 945th in the nation and 44 th in New Jersey—landing the school in the top 4% in the U.S.
According to Bergenfield Superintendent of Schools Dr. Christopher Tully, “Bergenfield High School’s consistent presence on this prestigious list is documentation that Bergenfield Public School District is attaining its mission by enabling the district to set even higher goals each new school year.”
Superintendent Tully stated, “Increasing student academic achievement has been our top priority. Now, it’s clear by objective measures that we are elevating college and career aspirations for all students and ensuring every student has the tools to not only meet, but exceed those aspirations. On behalf of the Bergenfield Board of Education, I congratulate our staff, students, and parents for a job well done! Achieving such a high ranking is certainly an accomplishment worth celebrating.”
Jay Mathews is an education writer and has been a columnist for The Washington Post and Newsweek for nearly 50 years. Since 1998, he has been publishing his Challenge Index which ranks America’s most challenging high schools.
Jay Mathews Challenge Index is the only list that compares private and public schools. It ranks high schools by a simple ratio: the number of Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate or Cambridge tests given at a school each year, divided by the number of seniors who graduated that year.
NAMM Best Communities for Music Education 2018-2019Posted by Bergenfield Public School District on 5/13/2019Bergenfield’s Music Education Program Receives National Recognition
District is one of 4% of school districts in nation to receive distinction
Bergenfield Public School District has once again been honored with the Best Communities for Music Education designation from The NAMM Foundation for its outstanding commitment to music education. Bergenfield is one of only 623 districts across the nation receiving the prestigious award in 2019. This award recognizes that the district is leading the way with music learning opportunities.
The Best Communities Music Education designation is awarded to districts that demonstrate outstanding achievement in efforts to provide music access and education to all students. To qualify for the Best Communities designation, Bergenfield answered detailed questions about funding, graduation requirements, music class participation, instruction time, facilities, support for the music program, and community music-making programs. Responses were verified with school officials and reviewed by The Music Research Institute at the University of Kansas.
Superintendent of Schools, Mr. Christopher Tully, stated, “Our professional and dedicated music department provides a world-class learning experience that allows our students to continue excelling.”
For more information or to see the full list of ranked high schools, visit https://www.nammfoundation.org/articles/bcme-2019-districts.
About The NAMM Foundation
The NAMM Foundation is a nonprofit supported in part by The National Association of Music Merchants and its approximately 10,300 members around the world. Its mission is to advance active participation in music making across the lifespan by supporting scientific research, philanthropic giving, and public service programs. For more information about The NAMM Foundation, please visit www.nammfoundation.org.
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