Ex­cit­ing new ad­di­tions, op­por­tu­ni­ties greet Brandy­wine stu­dents first back to school

STEM classes ex­tended; up­grades made to fa­cil­i­ties

The Kutztown Area Patriot - - LOCAL NEWS - By An­drew Pot­teiger Brandy­wine Heights Su­per­in­ten­dent

We are ex­cited to start a new school year at the Brandy­wine Heights Area School Dis­trict. There will be ex­cit­ing new ad­di­tions and op­por­tu­ni­ties that will greet our stu­dents when they start back to school on Tues­day, Au­gust 22nd.

In the realm of cur­ric­u­lar en­hance­ments, we are ex­cited to in­tro­duce an ex­ten­sion to our ex­ist­ing STEM (Science, Tech­nol­ogy, En­gi­neer­ing, Math­e­mat­ics) classes which are held in grades K-8. This year we will be in­cor­po­rat­ing Maker Spa­ces in the Li­brary which will pro­vide stu­dents an op­por­tu­nity to ex­plore, cre­ate and de­velop STEM skills while also en­hanc­ing the foun­da­tional de­vel­op­ment of crit­i­cal think­ing, com­mu­ni­ca­tion, col­lab­o­ra­tion, and cre­ativ­ity. New math­e­matic cur­ric­ula was de­vel­oped and we are ex­cited to be im­ple­ment­ing the new cur­ricu­lum and cor­re­spond­ing re­sources this school year. Stu­dents in grade K-8 will be us­ing a re­source called en Vi­sion MATH 2.0 which is a re­search based com­pre­hen­sive math pro­gram which aligns to the Com­mon Core stan­dards. We also have ex­panded our In­tern­ship pro­gram al­low­ing stu­dents to ex­plore and part­ner with lo­cal busi­nesses as they ex­plore fu­ture ca­reer oc­cu­pa­tions. An AP En­vi­ron­ment Science course has been in­cor­po­rated into the high school course of­fer­ings as we di­ver­sify science op­por­tu­ni­ties for stu­dents. The 1:1 com­puter ini­tia­tive con­tin­ues to be en­hanced as we fur­ther in­cor­po­rate tech­nol­ogy com­po­nents into the daily lessons and in­ter­ac­tions of ed­u­ca­tional ma­te­rial for our stu­dents. The ben­e­fits have been re­mark­able as we re­struc­tured our in­struc­tion to­ward elec­tronic cur­ricu­lum and as­sign­ments and as a re­sult, our teach­ers have more in­ti­mately gained in­sight into the stu­dent un­der­stand­ing of ma­te­rial taught.

Up­grades have been made to the fa­cil­i­ties this sum­mer as well. This sum­mer the se­cond phase of the Guaranteed En­ergy Sav­ings Project was im­ple­mented. Last year we up­dated LED light­ing for ex­te­rior lights in large ar­eas such as the gym­na­sium/ cafe­te­ria and also air con­di­tioned the El­e­men­tary School. This year, air con­di­tion­ing was in­stalled in the In­ter­me­di­ate/Mid­dle School build­ing in ar­eas not pre­vi­ously air con­di­tioned. Now all class­rooms across the Dis­trict are air con­di­tioned. An­other large un­der­tak­ing this sum­mer was to up­date the tech­nol­ogy in­fra­struc­ture. Pre­vi­ously, our in­ter­net con­nec­tion be­tween build­ings was 1 GB; with the up­dates, we have sig­nif­i­cantly im­proved con­nec­tion speeds up to 10 GB. Servers, fiber op­tic con­nec­tions, new backup solutions and new wire­less ac­cess points have been added to achieve faster speeds in or­der to pro­vide seam­less in­ter­net ac­cess as we place more em­pha­sis on in­struc­tional tech­nol­ogy re­sources.

We are very ex­cited for the start of a new year and wish all stu­dents a safe, suc­cess­ful school year.

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