Burnt Hills - Ballston Lake Teachers Association 5k Run!
The Teachers Association would like to thank everyone who donated items and their time to our 2nd Annual Garage Sale. The event was a huge success raising $1900 for local students and community members. The money will be donated as follows: $1000 to the BH-BL TA Scholarship Fund, $500 to Community Human Services, and $400 to the Middle School Odyssey of the Mind Team. In addition to the $1900, we also donated 8 large bags of women's and children's clothing and shoes to the Bethesda House of Schenectady and two full truck loads of items (including clothing, baby supplies, homegoods, toys, and books) to the City Mission of Glenville. The Shellstrong Foundation kept the shoppers fed with a variety of tasty homemade goodies from their bake sale.
This event brought TA members, community members and various organizations together for several great causes. We would also like to thank Josh at Upstate Dumpsters for donating his services for clean-up which allowed us to donate all of the proceeds directly to charity (http://upstatedumpsters.com) .
Thank you for your help and support.
-Sue Cifaratta & Melissa Thomas
More photos here.
SATURDAY, APRIL 27th 8:30am - 2:00pm
Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake Teachers Association Garage Sale
Burnt Hills High School Cafeteria - ONE DAY ONLY!
Items for sale: Furniture, Electronics, Clothing (womens, mens, kids), Baby Items (bassinet, swing, bouncer, clothing, etc...), Toys, Books, DVDs, Video Games, Homegoods (Kitchen Items, decor, holiday and more), Shoes, Animal cages, aquariums, too many items to list!
ALL PROCEEDS FROM SALE WILL GO TO LOCAL STUDENT SCHOLARSHIPS & CHARITY
There will also be a coffee and bake sale supporting Shellstrong Foundation.
Admission is FREE! (Early birds may enter at 8:00am for a $5 fee)
BH-BL Teachers Association District Mailing
Second Annual First Responders Appreciation Breakfast
April 13th, 2013 - As part of a yearlong focus on community involvement, the Burnt Hills – Ballston Lake Teachers Association hosted an all you can eat pancake breakfast for first responders in our community on Saturday, April 13th. The breakfast took place at the Burnt Hills High School.“Around 40 firefighters, police, E.M.T.’s and their families attended from our community. We invited the first responders that protect our homes, businesses, and schools. You can’t say ‘thank you’ enough to these people. They literally risk their lives every day keeping us safe,” said Mike Mosall, President of the Burnt Hills -Ballston Lake Teachers Association, the union which represents about 280 teachers in the community.
Special thanks to Kim Brunson for all her efforts! More images here
To be held 5/11/13 - The Spartan 5K Run
Nice Job Teachers! Enjoy your summer!
BH-BL again ranked 5th out of 85 school districts
BURNT HILLS: The Albany-based Business Review newspaper today published their annual compendium of rankings and data on public school districts in the Greater Capital District.
Their "Schools Report 2012" ranks Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake 5th out of the 85 school districts that serve grades K-12 in an 11-country area.
This is the third year in a row that BH-BL has ranked 5th overall.
BH-BL is the highest ranking school district in Saratoga County.
In another Business Review analysis, BH-BL ranked 74 in per pupil spending (after being 77th last year). This means that 73 school districts spent more money per pupil than Burnt Hills.
View the entire Schools Report 2012 here:
Check out our Facebook page for information about the BH-BL Flag Day Parade. The BHBLTA was a significant sponsor of the event both financially and with volunteers. We have audio of retired BHBL teacher, Rick Reynolds, discussing the event and its significance on radio station 101.3.
The parade was held on June 7th, 2012. More than 80 bands, floats, clubs, teams, local businesses, fire trucks, churches & scout troops participated marching south on Route 50 from Kingsley Road & Burnt Hills Lanes as far as Country Acres.
As I look at the budget returns from last night, I am incredibly encouraged by the impact our efforts have had on this community. Many factors went into the 71% margin of passage for last night's budget vote. However, I believe we would be remiss if we did not pause and consider the impact our Positive Voice is having on this community. Since 2003, the highest margin of budget passage at BH-BL was 63%. It is my belief that our actions with such events as the 3x3 campaign, the Firefighters Pancake Breakfast, the Garage Sale, direct budget mailings to NYSUT members, and the Schoharie County flood relief effort (to name a few) are making a positive impact on our community. Additionally, you all do tremendous work in your classrooms on a daily basis and I am incredibly proud to call you all colleagues.
Our efforts speak for themselves. No longer will we allow a vocal minority to paint us in a negative light with half truths and falsehoods. There is still work to do, but I am incredibly encouraged by the dividends our efforts are already paying. We must continue these efforts as we move forward this year and into next.
Thank you, thank you, thank you.
TA Garage Sale a Tremendous Success!
The Teachers Association would like to thank everyone who donated items and their time to our 1st ever Garage Sale. The event was a huge success! The sale made a profit of $2000. This money will be donated to the BH-BL TA Scholarship Fund, Community Human Services, and the Burnt Hills Community Library.
In addition to the $2000, we also donated 10 large bags of men's, women's and children's clothing and shoes to the Bethesda House of Schenectady. We donated two truck loads of items (including a variety of baby supplies, homegoods, toys, and books) to the City Mission of Glenville. The Shellstrong Foundation ran a very successful bake sale and The Blue Star Mothers of the Capital Region held a quilt raffle and sold "Support Our Troops" magnets.
This event brought TA members, community members and various organizations together for several great causes. Several area businesses donated their services which allowed us to donate all of the proceeds toward charity. Thank you to the custodial staff who assisted with the set-up and clean-up of the event. We plan to make this an annual event and look forward to TA members and community members coming together for charity.
NYSUT President Iannuzzi Visits Burnt Hills
150 members of the Burnt Hills TA listened to President Iannuzzi discuss the APPR and other issues of concern to education. We thank President Iannuzzi for his time and providing a positive outlet to express our thoughts and concerns.
Here is a blurb in the Daily Gazette about the TA's efforts to reach out to the community this year and the pancake breakfast we held for Firefighters on Saturday!
Burnt Hills – Ballston Lake Teachers Reach Out to Local Firefighters as Part of a Community Focused Campaign
(Burnt Hills) March 20th, 2012 - As part of a year long focus on community involvement, the Burnt Hills – Ballston Lake Teachers Association will be hosting an all you can eat pancake breakfast for fire fighters in their community this Saturday, March 24th. The breakfast will take place at the Burnt Hills High School cafeteria from 8:00 to 9:30 am.
“So far around 50 firefighters and their families have confirmed they are attending from our community. We have invited the fire companies that protect our homes, businesses, and schools. Members of the Charlton, West Charlton, Harmony Corners, East Glenville, Ballston Lake, and Burnt Hills departments will be joining us. You can’t say thank you enough to these people. They literally risk their lives every day keeping us safe,” said Mike Mosall, President of the Burnt Hills -Ballston Lake Teachers Association, the union which represents about 280 teachers in the community.
The breakfast is part of an ongoing effort by Burnt Hills – Ballston Lake teachers to reach out to their community. “Our Association values its role as a member of the community. We have focused on reaching out to the community this year. I am very proud of some of the things we have done,” said Mosall.
In September, Burnt Hills – Ballston Lake teachers traveled to the Schoharie Valley to lend a hand in the clean up following Hurricane Irene. All told, over 260 hours were dedicated to flood zone clean-up efforts over three weeks in September by Burnt Hills teachers. Additionally, the teachers donated over $1100 to the American Red Cross and purchased over $1400 in gift cards which were handed out to flood victims in Schoharie, Middleburgh, Windham, and Gilboa.
“In October and November, we encouraged each of our teachers to contact 15 parents of our students with strictly positive feedback. Hundreds of phone calls were made. The truth is, many parents only receive phone calls or correspondence from teachers when their child is having a problem. We felt this was not really the whole picture of what goes on in a school,” said Mosall. “It was very successful and we will continue to encourage our members to make these positive calls.”
In January, Burnt Hills – Ballston Lake Teachers and Administrators held a training session for parents on the district's new computer data system called PowerSchool. The new system allows for direct communication about student grades and progress between parents and teachers through the Parent Portal.
“The PowerSchool Parent Portal is an excellent online communication tool between students, parents, and teachers. It allows parents to log into the system and check their child’s progress at any time. The teachers at Burnt Hills embrace this type of innovation and want to make sure that as many parents and students as possible are using the new system. It can revolutionize the way teachers communicate about student performance and progress. This is something we are really excited about,” Mosall said
Mosall is thrilled that Burnt Hills – Ballston Lake teachers have reached out to the community in such a positive way. “At the end of the year, I think we will be able to say we really put ourselves out there in the community as partners. In April we will also be hosting a community garage sale to benefit Shellstrong and Community Human Services. So many of us who teach in Burnt Hills live in Burnt Hills. Many of us have chosen to send our children to Burnt Hills. We have a vested interest in the future of this community. We hope our actions reflect this.”
Here is a district mailing that went to Burnt Hills - Ballston Lake community members detailing TA efforts to help flood victims in the Schoharie Valley.
Burnt Hills Teachers Hold Parent Information Night for New School Grade Program
(Burnt Hills) January 16th, 2012 - Burnt Hills Teachers will be holding a training session for parents on January 18th at 7:00pm at the High School for the district's new computer data system called PowerSchool. The new system allows for direct communication about student grades and progress between parents and teachers through the Parent Portal.
“The PowerSchool Parent Portal is an excellent online communication tool between students, parents, and teachers. It allows parents to log into the system and check their child’s progress at any time. ” said Mike Mosall, president of the Burnt Hills - Ballston Lake Teachers Association, the union which represents about 280 teachers in the community.
“The teachers at Burnt Hills embrace this type of innovation and want to make sure that as many parents and students as possible are using the new system. It can revolutionize the way teachers communicate about student performance and progress. This is something we are really excited about,” Mosall said
The teachers at Burnt Hills have embraced the opportunity to communicate with parents through the Parent Portal according to Mosall. “The Parent Portal is a logical extension of the era in which we live in. Communication has become virtually instantaneous in our lives. We support speeding this process up. When I was in High School it might take weeks to know averages and midterm grades. Today we can speed that up tremendously by making use of modern technology.”
The Parent Portal will officially open for all Middle and High School students next week at the start of the second semester. “The teachers want to put this new option out there and make sure as many parents as possible know about it. There are some tricks to using the new system and we want to share that information. Our goal is 100% parent participation,” said Mosall.
Burnt Hills teachers sought the opportunity to provide this information session to reach out the community and establish important ties with parents. “With all the negativity surrounding teachers in the news lately, it is important that the community understand our commitment to the students of Burnt Hills. Communication between teacher and parent about student performance is so important. Parent Portal makes that link easier than ever to establish,” said Mosall
It’s hard to believe, but November is upon us! At this time of year, I am always thankful for my family and friends and look forward to the holidays that are just around the corner. In my new role as Teachers Association President, I have been fortunate enough to be invited into many classrooms throughout the district to get to know our membership and share in the daily successes and challenges that our teachers face.Through these classroom visits, I have learned so much about the people who make up our Association and witnessed exceptional teaching that we, as an Association, can be thankful for.
In Kristen Cartwright’s 2nd grade class, I learned how important it is to “do what’s right, even if its not easy or popular”. In Cheryl Brott’s 3rd grade classroom I had the life cycle of Monarch Butterflies “ingrained on my brain” and I also learned how to talk to adults. In Elsa Hjelmar’s 1st grade class, I learned how the “spaceman” comes down at the end of a word. (You had to be there, but it was pretty cool!) While at the Middle School, I spoke with Rita Pelton and Katherine Zyskowski about some of the big picture issues facing education today. Their insight was incredibly valuable. While visiting Pashley during the month of September, I learned about “determination”, their monthly character trait. I saw many determined teachers who care deeply about their students and profession. John Clement, Roger Kopa, and Kelleen O'Rourke took their entire lunch break (and then some) to help me better understand elementary scheduling. Pamela Dintrone invited me into her 4th grade class to share her passion for reading. As I panicked, Sarah Engelhard calmly showed me what to do during an elementary fire drill. For those of you who have never had the privilege of hearing the fire alarm at Pashley, it is easily the loudest sound I have ever heard. It is a testament to our teachers that hundreds of young children do not absolutely freak out when that alarm goes off. Kathy Fernau taught me how to play 2nd grade bingo and Michele Bowker even let me have some 1st grade apple sauce made by her students. By the time you read this, I will also have spoken to every 4th and 5th grade teacher in the district about the APPR process. All of these teachers selflessly gave up their lunch break to help me do my job better. In the High School, Renee Tolan worked incredibly hard this fall to make the Student Government Organization’s Homecoming and Meet the Candidate events incredible successes. The same can be said of Cheryl Bach who has given tirelessly of herself to help the victims of Hurricane Irene in the Schoharie Valley this fall.
My only regret is that I haven’t been to all of your classrooms. I greatly enjoy these interactions and I truly believe it helps me gain valuable insight into the successes and challenges our teachers experience daily. I look forward to more of these visits over the coming months. We have so much to be thankful for this holiday season and I am happy to report that the teachers of Burnt Hills have been added to my list. In Unity,
Although we may have our differences, it is important to recognize the time and commitment it takes to be a Board of Education member. We will recognize that as an Association at the October 25th Board meeting (Tuesday night at 7:30 in the Middle School Library). The TA President has done this in the past. This year we would like many Association members to join the President in this ceremony. During "Privilege of the Floor", the TA president will read a brief prepared statement thanking the Board for their efforts. Baked goods will be presented at this time as a token of the Association's thanks.
Many of you have indicated you will be attending. Sign up here so we can coordinate our efforts.
This is a good opportunity to participate in an short event (10 - 15 minute commitment) for those with busy schedules.
Letter to TA members from Mike Mosall, TA President
Approximately a month ago, the people of the Schoharie Valley and surrounding areas were devastated by the flood waters left in the wake of Hurricane Irene. As you know, the BHBLTA instituted a three tiered response to this crisis. I would like to now share the results of these efforts.
The first tier involved direct monetary contributions by TA members and other district employees to the American Red Cross. Final donations totaled $1140.00! Congratulations go to Andy Haluska for organizing this amazing response.
The second tier involved the “Adopt a Classroom” drive spearheaded by Raelene Noll. TA members gave books, folders, paper, pencils, and other classroom materials. Additionally, you gave over $1200.00 in gift cards to Target, Walmart, Staples, Home Depot, Lowes, and other retailers to help the people of Schoharie, Middleburgh, Windham, and Gilboa rebuild their shattered lives. These gift cards will be distributed to the people most affected by this disaster in the next few days. Raelene delivered a van full of books and school supplies to Windham and Gilboa last Friday. The teachers are extremely grateful and are overwhelmed with our generosity. Thank you to you all for your generosity and kindness and special thanks to Raelene for her efforts and passion about this.
Finally, the third tier, involved direct worksite aide. I am proud to report that the Burnt Hills Teachers Association donated over 260 hours to flood zone clean up over three September weekends.
Your efforts in this time of great need typify what I know to be true about Burnt Hills’ TA members. You are amazing teachers and amazing people. Your donations and man hours have made a direct impact in the lives of people who desperately needed a hand.
I am proud to be your president. Your generosity knows no bounds.
(There is still work to be done. Here is a comprehensive list of continuing relief efforts.)
Several Burnt Hills Teachers Association members, their spouses, friends,and Mustang Rugby players visited the Schoharie Valley, New York on 9/3/11 to see if they could lend a hand to the flood victims of Hurricane Irene.
This video was shot automatically by a GoPro Hero video camera while traveling between work sites. This video focuses on Main Street in Schoharie. Pay special attention to the sides of the road. Peoples belongings are piled up like snow banks as far as the eye can see.
There are few words to describe the situation in Schoharie. The damage caused by the flooding is catastrophic. The people of the Schoharie are desperately in need. Their houses are damaged or destroyed, their future uncertain. Please do anything you can