Pleasantville Union Free School District administrators are back at work for the 2012-13 academic year and took time to catch up the board of education about new happenings as the school year gets underway.
At the September 11 meeting, Bedford Road School Principal Peggy Galotti said the elementary school said goodbye to a large—137 student—class in June and welcomed in a kindergarten class with 105.
"What is interesting is that there are 13 children that live in Pleasantville that were age-eligible to enter kindergarten, but their parents chose for various reasons to wait a year," Galotti shared. "We have six sections at every grade and we had a great opening."
At the meeting, Galotti expanded on five initiatives the school will be tackling this school year.
The "character education program" that she explained incorporates information from the New York State Dignity for All Students Act— will be carried out through a "Fill a Bucket" task.
According to the New York State Education Department website, the Dignity Act went into effect on July 1 of this year and "seeks to provide the State’s public elementary and secondary school students with a safe and supportive environment free from discrimination, intimidation, taunting, harassment, and bullying on school property, a school bus and/or at a school function."
The school's pilot "Big Buddy" program will also be expanded upon this year. The Big Buddy program was the brainchild of then Pleasantville High School sophomore Robbie Persons, who last year worked with Galotti to form a partnership with an elementary school student.
This year, "I have been in contact with Robbie Persons already," Galotti shared.
The school's administration is going to increase its web presence this year by uploading presentations and videos from the Parent Teacher Association (PTA).
"We are shooting for one a month," she said.
The school now also has a total of four community members who are offering their expertise in a variety of areas to students. One of the volunteers is chess master Jack Stockel, who has been a longtime presence in the schools.
Finally, during a recent recess, the students met a group of Pace University freshmen who live together and have pledged four years of community service, starting at BRS.
"They will be come to meet with the Student Council, in the art room, in the science room and playing activities at recess the entire year," said Galotti. "We are very fortunate they chose Bedford Road School to start their program."