Curriculum & Instruction
Byram Hills School District Mission Statement
In an environment of mutual respect, the Byram Hills School District and its community will provide students with the means, the knowledge, and the opportunity to excel in order to become productive and responsible citizens of the twenty-first century.
Lifelong Learner Standards
In support of the Byram Hills mission, the BYRAM HILLS LIFELONG LEARNER STANDARDS frame our curriculum, instruction and assessment practices to develop lifelong learners in the 21st Century.
Why Byram Hills Is a Great Place to Learn
Click here to learn about Byram Hills Special Recognition.
The District's professional development plan, developed by a committee of teachers and administrators, is designed to offer many avenues of opportunities for learning that are aligned with district goals and initiatives. The mission and vision, structures for learning, and overview of department and building goals can be viewed in the District's Professional Development Plan.
Annual Professional Performance Review
(Teacher and Principal Evaluation)
The purpose of teacher observation and evaluation in Byram Hills is to seek continuous improvement of teacher effectiveness through a supportive, collaborative, and respectful environment. The structures and processes in the Byram Hills Annual Professional Performance Review and Guide to Teacher Evaluation promote the ongoing exchange of ideas between administrators and teachers as we desire to create high quality learning experiences for all students. The Evaluation Committee, comprised of teachers and administrators who meet regularly, supports the system, reviews and evaluated the process, and makes recommendations as necessary.
The District's APPR for teachers and administrators can be found in the following documents:
Academic Interventions Services
The Byram Hills School District is committed to supporting the learning needs of all students. The District provides targeted academic support to help all students meet the rigorous state and local standards through a variety of services. The attached Academic Interventions Services and Response to Intervention Plan outlines the processes and services within each school. Furthermore, an additional plan was required this year by the NYS Education Department to outline services for students based on the results of the 2013 state tests.
Communities of Practice
The Byram Hills professional development newsletter, called Communities of Practice, is designed to communicate various District initiatives across our four schools. Please see the attached newsletters for an overview of teacher and administrator efforts to enhance practice and student learning.
- Winter 2013: Focus on Performance-Based Assessments
- Fall 2011: Focus on the Common Core Learning Standards
- Spring 2012: Focus on the Education for Sustainability Curriculum
2015-2016 School Year
Byram Hills School District commits to continuous improvement in curriculum, instruction, and assessment practices to meet the diverse learning needs of our students within a K-12 collaborative environment.
For information on our ongoing improvement efforts, please visit the District Initiatives page for details on our initiatives and programs. In addition to these ongoing efforts, our focus during the 2014-2015 school year also includes:
- Maker's Club. In our efforts to develop STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) programs, we started a club focused on the maker's movement. See this presentation for an overview of the Coman Hill Maker's Club.
- Our District definition of formative assessment provides a consistent framework to gather student achievement data and provide feedback to students during the learning process.
- Implement the revised curriculum aligned to the new Common Core Learning Standards in English Language Arts & Literacy, and Mathematics in grades K-12. The new Social Studies Framework led to a review of our curriculum K-12, and this year we are designing units of study using an inquiry model. We continue to study and revise science units based on the Next Generation Science Standards as we await new standards from NYSED, expected in January 2016.
- This year we implement a new literacy framework in grades 3-5 while continuing to revise and refine our curriculum in K-2.
- The World Languages Department is conducting a multi-year self study in conjunction with the Tri State Consortium.
- Read this issue of Classroom Connection that describes efforts to align our curriculum to the Common Core Standards.
- Watch this Bobcat TV show on the Common Core Standards in grades K-8 with five Byram Hills administrators.
- For additional information on the State Standards initiative, visit: NYS Standards page of our website.
- Develop high quality performance assessments in all classrooms K-12 aligned to critical thinking and higher level thinking skills. A rigorous assessment system provides opportunities for ongoing student feedback, and peer- and self-assessment.
- Continue to support efforts and programs K-12 on bullying and cyber-bullying prevention. The NYS Dignity for All Students Act went into effect this year. Our building and district coordinators of the Dignity Act studied the new regulations and will train all faculty and school personnel on the Dignity Act requirements. We are committed in our efforts to continue fostering a positive and welcoming climate in our schools, in part, through our character education initiative.
Some additional efforts in bullying prevention and pro social behavior programs in 2012-2013 include:
Coman Hill - Continue implementation of the Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports initiative to maintain a positive school climate; continue the second year of the blog site.
Wampus - Continue to review and explore bullying prevention programs through the Wampus study group. Also, integrate further lessons on bullying into the iCARE program.
H. C. Crittenden - Continue with the third year of Rachel's Challenge. Continue to support volunteerism through the service clubs and to integrate the resources of Facing History and Ourselves into the social studies, English, and arts curricula.
Byram Hills - Continue with the third year of Rachel's Challenge. Continue to integrate the resources of Facing History and Ourselves into the social studies, English, and arts curricula.
- Continue to support efforts K – 12 for Response to Intervention (RTI) strategies and the review and development of Instructional Support Teams in the schools.
- Implement year 6 of the classroom action research course, called, Investigators of Practice, for teachers and administrators. Continue to evaluate the impact of the program on teaching and learning. More information, visit the Investigators page on our website.
- Based upon our multi-year study of the impact of a wireless network on our curricular and instructional programs, we piloted a 1:1 mobile device program in grade 6 during the 2014-2015 school year. In 2015-2016, we launched a 1:1 Chromebook initiative in grades 3-8. We added mobile devices in all classrooms K-2, and about 300 Chromebooks at the high school.
For additional information on the Byram Hills School District, please visit BobcatTV.org for more exciting programming! Here are some new curriculum videos:
- Grade 6 Linguistics Program: Focus on German and Hebrew
- World Languages in our K-2 School
- Grade 2 Reading program
- Fundations writing program, K-2
- Grade 3 Scientific Inquiry
- Grade 5 Studies Democracy
- Crane Tribute Project at HCC
- Chemistry Teaching Assistants Program
- NeoRealism in Italian Class
- Performance Assessments in our Wind Symphony course
- High School Physics
- Internet Safety and Cyber Bullying: HCC Programs; and Interview with Judge Lazansky
- Global Village Day
We welcome your feedback and continuous support of our students, families and faculty.
Dr. Tim Kaltenecker
Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction