Other Information for Parents

Pupil Admissions & Swing Areas

For All Grades: Registration of new residents is a two-step process. Parents must first see Registrar Jackie Martini to establish that they are residents of the BH-BL School district. She can be reached at 518.399.9141, ext. 85014 or jmartini@bhbl.org. After documenting residency and receiving a registration ticket from Mrs. Martini, parents can register their child at their specific school.

Keeping class sizes as small as reasonably possible has long been a priority in this school district, and it is the Superintendent’s responsibility to assign pupils to specific schools so that class sizes will be as balanced as possible across the district. When elementary class sizes are larger than desired, the Superintendent may use “swing areas” to reduce this problem. Swing areas are neighborhoods served by school buses for more than one elementary school. Families with elementary children who move into a swing area will be assigned to the school with the smaller class sizes.

As new housing developments are built and our community continues to grow, balancing class sizes across the district becomes a growing challenge as well. Neighborhoods that previously attended one elementary school may shift to being served by a second school (i.e., may become a swing area). Also streets that were already a swing area may change from one year to the next for incoming pupils. This flexibility is designed to provide smaller classes and the best balance in class size for all district children.

For Kindergarten: BH-BL follows the recommendation of the State Education Department that a child must be five years old on or before December 1 of the year he or she enters kindergarten. While no exception is made to this rule, a child does not have to begin school until the following year.

Kindergarten registration is held in early March for the incoming class of pupils. Parents are invited to an evening orientation session and will receive a evening appointment to register their child the next week — see the district calendar for specific dates in March. Rick Evans, the principal of Stevens Elementary School, is responsible for kindergarten registration and can be reached at 518.399.9141, ext. 83500. All families should be aware that the Superintendent will assign no kindergarten pupil to a particular elementary school until after kindergarten registration is completed in April.

Family Educational Rights & Privacy Provisions

The BH-BL school district complies with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). Parents and 18-year-old students may inspect official records relating to them including progress reports, grades, aptitude and achievement test scores, psychological tests, and teacher evaluations. A record may be challenged by parents or 18-year-olds when they believe it to be inaccurate or misleading. The principal may remove designated material if in agreement with the challenge. If the principal does not agree, the parent may appeal to the Superintendent either to have it removed or to add explanatory comments to the record in question.

Individual student records are confidential and are not released to colleges, employers, or elsewhere without written permission subject to the following exceptions. District schools may forward educational records to other schools that have requested them and in which a BH-BL student seeks or intends to enroll. What the law refers to as “directory information” may be made public for school purposes unless a parent informs us in writing that they do not want this information made public. Directory information that we may make public includes: a pupil’s name, address, phone number, grade level, honor or award received, dates of attendance, photograph, age, membership in a school athletic team, activity or club, and (for athletes only) height and weight. Directory information is primarily made public so that students’ accomplishments can be included in various publications such as a concert program, yearbook, or honor roll.

Parents and 18-year-old pupils have the right to opt out of the disclosure of directory information by contacting their school principal. Parents should also inform the Superintendent if they do not wish their child’s likeness to be included on the District website or in occasional photos or film taken by the media or district staff for school-related purposes.

Also in accordance with the federal Protection of Pupil Rights amendment, the district hereby notifies parents that our schools may occasionally conduct student surveys that touch on topics such as political affiliation, income, or beliefs or religious practices of the student. In such cases, a letter will be sent home outlining parent rights to opt a child out from such a survey before it is conducted.

Parents also have the right to request and receive information about the professional qualifications of their child’s classroom teachers and teaching assistants. All BH-BL elementary school teachers are “highly qualified” as defined by federal No Child Left Behind legislation.

Questions about school policies in connection with any of the above laws or parent rights can be addressed to the school principal or the Superintendent.

Some Ways Parents Can Help Their Children Succeed in School

  • Read to your child, and listen to your child read.
  • Play games with your child.
  • Help your child get a library card. Go there often, and help pick out interesting books. Find out about the library’s activities for children.
  • Give your child his or her own space to keep books.
  • Write notes to your child.
  • Allow your child to write creative stories. Pictures, scribbles and inventive spellings are acceptable. Help your child form letters and words when asked.
  • Limit your child’s television watching and video game playing. Turn the television set on for selected shows and turn it off immediately after the show is over.
  • Read and discuss your child’s schoolwork. Provide a designated quiet place for your child to routinely complete school work.
  • Give your child a calendar for writing down special events and marking off each day.
  • Give your child specific duties to perform on a regular basis at home. Let your child help you prepare dinner.
  • When traveling, read road signs with your child. Discuss what they mean. Traveling can also provide a great time to review basic math facts for addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.
  • Provide counting experiences for your child. Show your child how to count change.
  • Give your child a special place (box, dish pan, etc.) to hold items he or she must take to school each morning. This ends the last minute searching for library books, papers, keys, and homework that can make kids late for school.
  • Allow your student to be creative artistically using clay, puzzles and scissors to develop fine motor skills.