Tentative Revisions to 2017-2018 School Calendar

Recent weather-based school closings have necessitated the following changes to the 2017-2018 school calendar:

Friday, June 1, 2018 – School in Session – No Early Dismissal
Monday, June 4, 2018 – School in Session
Tuesday, June 5, 2018 – Last Day for Students, Early Dismissal, Graduation
Wednesday, June 6, 2018 – Act 80 Day (Staff Only)

The above changes to the calendar are tentative until approved by the Board of School Directors. These tentative changes will be voted on by the Board of School Directors at the April 19, 2018 Committee of the Whole Meeting. The District understands that the altered school calendar and change to the graduation date may cause scheduling issues for families; however, the District stands to lose thousands of dollars in reimbursement if the dates are not changed. We apologize for any inconvenience that this may cause.

PSSA’s – Middle School

Dear Parent(s)/Guardian of BM Middle School Student:

The Blue Mountain School District will participate in the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA) Program.  These tests measure the achievement of students across the Commonwealth in English Language Arts, Mathematics, and Science.  The testing dates for each of the assessments are given in the chart below.  Information concerning these assessments is provided on the attached Frequently Asked Questions sheet.

Test Grades Dates
PSSA English/Language Arts Grades 6, 7 & 8 4/9/18 – 4/11/18
PSSA Mathematics Grades 6, 7 & 8 4/17/18 – 4/18/18
PSSA Science Grade 8 4/24/18 – 4/25/18

 

These assessments provide achievement information for each individual student, and student score reports will be provided to parents.  The assessments also provide grade level, school level, and district level information which assists Blue Mountain in making curricular, instructional and teacher in-service decisions.

A state-level policy continues to be implemented this year that prohibits any student from having a cell phone or other electronic device while taking any of the PSSA assessments. We encourage students to leave their cell phones at home on testing days.  However, prior to beginning the tests each day, teachers will ask students to hand-in their cell phones.  The phones will be kept in a secure location until testing is completed for the day.  There are severe consequences for students found to be in possession of a cell phone during PSSA assessments.  Please read over the attached letter from the Pennsylvania Department of Education concerning electronic devices and discuss it with your child.

Please review the attached Code of Conduct for Test Takers with your child prior to the assessment.  If you have any questions about the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment Program, please contact me at (570) 366-0515, ext. 1028 or gjbelding@bmsd.org.

Sincerely,
Gwen Witmer-Belding, Director of Elementary and Secondary Education
Encls.
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2017-2018 Dress Code Changes

Blue Mountain School District has approved revisions to the dress code guidelines.  There are different changes at the elementary and secondary levels.  A summary of the changes and links for the full listings of the dress code guidelines for each level are provided below.

 

Elementary Dress Code Changes (Kindergarten – Grade 5):

Florescent and neon apparel is permitted.

Tops and bottoms do not need to be solid color (stripes, plaid, patterns, etc. are permitted).

Blue jeans are permitted.

All Blue Mountain apparel may be worn over a regulation shirt.

Hooded sweatshirts are permitted over a regulation shirt (Hoods on tops may not be worn on the head in the building).

Appropriately placed designer names, emblems, or manufacturers’ logos are permitted on all apparel.

Reimbursement for dress code policy clothing will no longer be available.

*Reminder – Leggings may not be worn separately as dress policy bottoms but may be worn under dress code appropriate skirts.

 

Secondary Dress Code Changes (Grade 6-12):

Blue jeans are permitted

Tops do not need to be a solid color (stripes, plaid, and patterns are permitted)

Reimbursement for dress code policy clothing will no longer be available

Additional guidelines were developed for Schuylkill Technical Center (STC) students, see the full information below.

 

Elementary Dress & Grooming

Secondary Dress & Grooming

STC Dress & Grooming

Budget Update (No tax increase for a fourth consecutive year)

The Blue Mountain Board of School Directors approved a tentative budget for the 2017-18 School Year and placed it for review on May 18, 2017. The budget will be formally adopted at the June Board Meeting scheduled for June 22, 2017. This budget calls for a 0% increase in property taxes (for a fourth consecutive year). The Budget is the result of the collective efforts of the Board and entire staff of the school district. It effectively addresses significant increases in state mandated retirement contributions in the sum of $478,000 and increases in healthcare costs in the sum of $531,000. In addition, it also includes the estimated reduction in state reimbursement for transportation costs of $161,500. The district, while facing increased operating costs and decreases in state and federal subsidies, has been able to:  [Read more…]

Changes to Vaccination Requirements

The changes listed on the attached are effective August 2017 for attendance on the first day of school for 7th grade students and 12th grade students.         New School Vaccination August 2017