The Byram Hills Central School District commits to a continuous improvement process--study, plan, implement, evaluate, reflect, revise/refine--on many district-wide initiatives. We provide opportunities for professional development throughout the school year and during the summer to develop our skills and knowledge in curriculum, instruction, and assessment to improve student learning. Furthermore, we strive to meet the goals of our District mission, to "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."
Below are various initiatives in the Byram Hills School District and the professional learning opportunities for teachers and administrators.
The Byram Hills School District, in seeking to live its mission to create an "environment of mutual respect," adopted a set of core values with respect to character education. These values were determined based upon a survey of parents, teachers and students. Adopted over ten years ago, the District supports programs and activities
The Site-Based Teams and the Curriculum Committees continue to support As part of our character education
As part of our character education
In 2005 the
The Cultural Proficiency Study Groups at Coman Hill and Wampus Elementary Schools meet monthly to continue training and to plan for additional programs, efforts and initiatives to support the District goals of cultural proficiency. A Student Leadership Board was created to train high school students
The links below offer detailed information about this important initiative.
The Byram Hills School District recognizes the importance of educating students, parents, faculty and community members about environmental responsibility. The District models best practices in the schools, develops a coordinated K-12 curriculum, integrates environmentally sustainable products and practices into the facilities and transportation departments, and finds partners with local, state and national communities and organizations.
"Educators for sustainability work to develop in young people and adults the knowledge, skills, attitudes, and enduring understandings required to individually and collectively contribute to a healthy and sustainable future." (Jaimie P. Cloud, Educating for a Sustainable Future, 2010, p. 168)
From 2008 to 2010, the District engaged in a study of our World Languages program with a committee of teachers, administrators and parents. The study was presented to the Board of Education, and we are currently reviewing and implementing the recommendations of the committee.
The recommendations made to the Superintendent, Dr. Jackie Taylor, were:
In 2011-2012, we:
In 2012=2013, we are:
A detailed overview of the committee's work is located on the World Languages Study page.
For the past 16 years, the District has engaged in a focused and sustained effort to integrate technology into every classroom at all grade levels to support student learning. We continue to support the use of meaningful technology in our classrooms, such as the use of SMART Boards, BOBCAT-
In 2011-2012, implemented many new technologies, such as, the Smart Table at Coman Hill, Lego Robots at Wampus and H. C. Crittenden, and the Smart Response System at Byram Hills High School. Beginning in 2013, we began an infrastructure project to update our network to include wireless and evaluated the use of mobile devices. We joined a Google domain and began training faculty in the use of Google apps.
Starting with the 2014-2015 school year launched a mobile learning initiative, which included the purchase of tablets in grades K-2 and Chromebooks in grades 3-12. You can read the study of our pilot initiative, An Implementation Study: The Impact of a Wireless Network on Curriculum, Instruction, Student Learning, and Professional Development, which guided us into our 1:1 mobile device initiative.
In 2015-2016, we launched a 1:1 Chromebook initiative in grades 3-8, following a pilot in grade 6 the previous year. Additionally, we added mobile devices in each classroom K-2 and carts of Chromebooks at the high school. The middle and high schools also allow for bring-your-own-device. The 1:1 initiative was supported by a multi-pronged approach to professional development for faculty.
For more information about technology, visit other sections of our District website:
Each year we conduct a detailed data analysis of our New York State Testing Data.
As a result, the District strives to collect valuable assessment data systematically on student learning above and beyond the state standards across all disciplines and grade levels. In doing so, we recognize the need to develop a system to collect student performance data. The District definition of performance assessments is:
A performance assessment is a unique task which measures enduring understandings through the application of skills and transfer of knowledge.
Since 2005, the District has provided extensive training on the development of high quality performance assessments. In 2011-2012, we expect to develop performance assessments across grade levels and classrooms as we provide further teacher training in assessment design and data analysis of student work samples.
The District assessment reports can be viewed on Assessment Reports page of our website.
The District strives to meet the learning needs of every child. Over the past ten years we have provided professional development at all grade levels to support teacher learning of the theories of differentiation and provide opportunities for collaboration on differentiated lessons, activities and assignments. Our efforts are guided by the work of Carol Ann Tomlinson, and ongoing training has been provided by Cindy Strickland from the University of Virginia.
The District continues to support
To learn more, you can watch a Bobcat TV program on differentiation: Differentiation and World Languages
Investigators of Practice
Byram Hills teachers have the opportunity to engage in a collaborative inquiry approach to professional learning through Investigators of Practice. During this course, teachers have the opportunity to systematically analyze an aspect of their classroom practice in a supportive collegial environment. Teachers will: reflect upon their practice; develop an inquiry plan; collect and analyze data; use literature to inform their work; discuss their work and respond to the work of others in a reflective learning community; and share their work with the school community.
The first Investigators of Practice course began during the 2009-2010 school year and was met with success. The participants develop written summaries of their inquiry projects each year, and these summaries can be found on the Investigators of Practice page (click here or on the link to the left.)
We believe in the importance of educators sharing their knowledge with the greater community for the purpose of enhancing the learning within the teaching profession. We hope our Investigators of Practice summaries provide you with valuable information and insight, and that it inspires you to investigate your practice through the collaborative inquiry process.