BCIT Graduates Honored by Burlington County CommissionersPosted by Dr. Nagy on 7/14/2022.Last night at the monthly Burlington County Board of County Commissioners, Commissioner Director Daniel O'Connell and the Board of Commissioners honored four BCIT 2022 graduates with a certificate and scholarship from the NJ Association of Counties based on their outstanding academic record and recommendation. We congratulate the following:
- Anna Wilkins received the Amazon Scholarship
- Ray Kramer received the SHI International Scholarship
- Adrian Zivalioglu received the Investors Bank Scholarship
- Elisa Holley received the Investors Bank Scholarship
We are grateful to the sponsors, the Burlington County Commissioners, and our students for all of their contributions. Congratulations to our award winners.
BCIT Welding Teacher Among 50 National FinalistsPosted by Dr. Nagy on 7/13/2022
I am proud to announce that one of our own welding CTE teachers, Tim Hagar, was chosen to be among the 50 finalists for the Harbor Freight Tools for Schools Prize for Teaching Excellence, which honors excellent teaching in skilled trades education in US public schools. As a finalist, Tim is among the 50 to be eligible for 20 prizes totaling $1.25 million which will be announced in October 2022. Congratulations Tim and best wishes to be among those 20 prize winners. We are proud of you and your contributions.
BCIT in the News - Campus Building ExpansionPosted by Dr. Nagy on 7/11/2022
In a recent publication of ROI-NJ, BCIT was mentioned in the article that focused on the $16 million CTE Bond Act grant that BCIT was recently awarded. The article also featured a picture of one of our BCIT students in one of our shops. We are excited about the opportunity to expand the building footprint on both of our BCIT campuses. Please see the article entitled: Career Classroom: State granting another $37 million to expand career and technical education.
BCIT West Graduate in the News - 26 AcceptancesPosted by Christine Jenter on 7/7/2022
There was COVID-19, there was a fall and despite that, Damaris-Anne Spring, a South Jersey native and Willingboro Public Schools alumna earned one of the high GPAs and had 26 college acceptances and more than $2 million in scholarships. This is inspiration and this is what makes BCIT so special. Congratulations Damaris. You are inspirational and amazing.
Board of Education Reorganization Meeting HighlightsPosted by Dr. Nagy on 7/7/2022At the annual reorganization of the Board this morning, a new President of the Board was elected. Mr. Tyler Burrell was nominated and elected president and who will fill the position held by Mr. Leon Jones Jr. for the past year. Mr. Jones will remain on the Board. Mr. Robert Brittain was re-elected as the Vice President of the Board. Congratulations to our Mr. Burrell and Mr. Brittain and a warm note of appreciation to Mr. Jones for all that he did this year as Board President. As is customary, key district positions such as the school district physician, architect, auditors, solicitor among many other positions that support the operations for the 2022-2023 school year were approved.In addition, there were a few personnel appointments and acceptances of resignations and retirements that were on the agenda and approved a part of general operations. The Board of Education meetings have been approved for next year and will be held in the same place as this year's meetings in BCSSSD Westampton Campus media center and will be available in person and remotely to the public.Dr. Nagy thanked the Board for all of their efforts and support and noted that he looked forward to another productive 2022-2023 school year.
Selected Board of Education Agenda Highlights from Tonight's MeetingPosted by Dr. Nagy on 6/23/2022
The following are highlights from the Board of Education tonight which marked the last meeting of the school year. There were multiple presentations made at the Board meeting this evening.
The Board acknowledged BCSSSD Transition Student Armani Marino for the many achievements and dedication to the sport of soccer and who participated this month in the Special Olympics USA games in Florida where he and his teammates earned a Gold Medal. We are so proud of Armani. Congratulations.
The Board recognized a number of donations on the Board agenda. The Board is grateful to our community members and Burlington Chevrolet represented by John Broderick and Bob Deaton for their generosity and scholarships. Two students in the automotive technology program, Sammad Michel and Breon Turner, were honored with scholarships from Burlington Chevrolet.
The Board, administration and staff are also grateful to Board member Anna Evans for her service on the Board and to our two Districts and to Assistant Superintendent Dr. Lisa English for her dedication and contributions to both districts and who will be moving on as the appointed superintendent of the Shore Regional School District effective the beginning of July. Congratulations and thank you. A certificate of appreciation was presented to Ms. Evans and Dr. English.
Dr. Nagy acknowledged the successful commencement ceremonies held for BCSSSD and BCIT over the past two weeks. He recognized the outstanding work of the administration, staff and student speakers and commencement participants which made the celebrations very special. We want to thank the Burlington County Commissioners, Senator Singleton and our Board of Education members for their participation and to our education foundations.
Dr. Nagy noted that the Districts saw the end to the school year at BCSSSD earlier this week and the last day for teachers at BCIT was today. What a year and much to celebrate while putting the pandemic as much as possible in our rearview mirror. We must remain vigilant and follow appropriate protocols put in place and endorsed by the CDC and BCDOH. I want to thank all our staff, students and parents for working together to get through this year, which was the third year in a row that was interrupted by Covid-19.
We say thank you to all of those staff whose retirements will be approved this evening. We wish all of you the very best and good health in your new endeavors.
The Board approved updates to job descriptions, contract approvals, appointments and resignations.
The Board approved the Limited Certificate of Eligibility and Certificate of Eligibility with Advanced Standing Five Year Pilot with the NJDOE. This will provide us with flexibility for hard to fill certificated positions.
The Board also approved statements of assurance, affiliation agreements and NJDOE Facility approval submissions as well as the addition of a few more special education classrooms based on growing enrollment and need.
The next Board of Education meeting will be the reorganization meeting which will be virtual at 9am on July 7, 2022.
The following are a few highlights of activities and honors announced during the past month:
- BCIT WesTech and MedTech have been awarded CTE grants in the amount of over $16 million for submitted architectural and programmatic expansions on both campuses as part of the Securing our Children's Future Bond Act. In addition, Burlington County is generously providing a 25% match of the total cost of the project, which is in addition to the grant money! Thank you to all the administrators & CTE instructors who provided input into the project design, to the County for all of their assistance, and to our administrative team who provided all key data and information for the submission of the grant applications.
- BCIT Dental Occupations was highlighted in an article by Jackie Burke, the Executive Director of the NJ Council of County Vocational-Technical Schools, which was featured on ROI-NJ, a business news website.
- BCIT WesTech Ad Art, Fundamentals of Art, and Entertainment Tech students virtually participated in the 2022 Burlington County Teen Arts Festival. Of over 350+ Visual Arts entries, the work of 4 students from Ad Art were selected to be on display and serve as State Representatives for Burlington County at the NJ State Teen Arts Festival. Additionally, the digital work of Freshman, Demanie Boone-Chubb, was 1 of 4 pieces selected to be part of a touring exhibit in NJ representing Burlington County. In the Filmmaking category, a Film titled, "Strangers" by Entertainment Tech students was selected as a representative for Burlington County at the NJ State Teen Arts Festival. All of this beautiful and inspiring work can also be seen on our Facebook page.
- MedTech celebrated the time-honored tradition of the Jaguar's Choice award Ceremony. Students are nominated by staff members to attend the Jag Awards and while there are no particular requirements for this, staff members are invited to acknowledge those students that have impressed you with their manners, determination, willingness to help others, dedication, or maybe they have just made you smile every day.
- Juniors in MedTech Welding all passed their OSHA10 Training and received their certificate. They are now ready to move on to Work-Based Learning!
- Senior Awards & Scholarship Ceremony. A senior in each shop and academic area is nominated/recognized by a staff member for academic excellence. Scholarships are also presented at this award ceremony.
- MedTech hosted their Sports Awards Ceremony to celebrate all fall, winter, and spring athletes. In addition, each coach nominated the top athletes for each sport and these students were awarded trophies.
- Students in VOTAG (gifted talented program) were celebrated this month as well. These students were nominated for excellence in vocational, academic, and leadership. In addition, student projects were displayed in a showcase and scored.
- MedTech held an Academic Honors Breakfast for students who have maintained Honor Roll for Marking Periods 1, 2 and 3. Breakfast is prepared by Culinary students and Mr. Parker presented the students with academic certificates and pins.
Both BCIT Campuses Awarded a Combined $16 millon Plus for Program and Building ExpansionPosted by Dr. Nagy on 6/2/2022
Both BCIT Campuses Awarded a Combined $16 millon Plus for Program and Building Expansion
The Superintendent's Office received word yesterday that BCIT has been awarded CTE grants for both campuses for a total of over $16 million for submitted architectural and programmatic expansions on both campuses. The county is providing a 25% match of the total cost of the project which is in addition to the grant money which has been awarded as part of the Securing our Children's Future Bond Act approved a few years ago. We applied for the second round of grants as part of this bond act.
BCIT West Scope
This project scope includes the augmentation and renovation of our transportation, distribution,and logistics classrooms. The project will include the reconfiguration of three storage rooms; the addition of an auto technology room and a diesel technology room; and the new construction of a corridor, TLD warehouse, and an outdoor covered garage area.
BCIT Medford Scope
This project scope includes the augmentation and renovation of our welding technology, HVAC, and green technologies programs. This will include the enlargement of HVAC and welding program footprints along with the remodeling of the classrooms and storage areas.
Note of Gratitude
This is an exciting chapter in our district history and will provide for the growth for many generations to come through the halls at BCIT. I want to thank all of our administrators, CTE instructors who provided input into the project design, to those in the County for all of their assistance and to our administrative team who worked with the architect, grant writer and provided all key data and information for the submission of the grant applications. I am grateful to all of whom have worked diligently with the architect and Andrew to get the applications through in a timely manner. This is exciting. Stay tuned for more details as when we can expect the project to begin. Congratulations to all of you.
Governor's press release
List of the six projects funded
Burlington (BCIT Medford): $5,895,488
Burlington (BCIT Westampton): $10,416,657
Cape May: $14,450,859
Board Honors Security Officers at Board MeetingPosted by Dr. Nagy on 5/28/2022
At the monthly Board meeting on Thursday this week, the Board of Education honored two individuals who went over and beyond among our security personnel. Dr. Nagy noted how fitting it was at the BoE meeting, with the assistance of the Director of Security, Veldon Harris that two school security officers be honored in the shadow of recent tragedies. Sherman Boyd was honored as the Security Officer of the Year and who works on the Lumberton Campus. Terrence Graves was honored as the Security Lead Officer of the Year and is on the BCIT Medford Campus. We are grateful to them for their example, service and role models they play on their respective campuses to keep us safe and the environment orderly. Pictured with the honorees is Board President Leon Jones.
Board of Education Selected Agenda HighlightsPosted by Dr. Nagy on 5/27/2022
Before Dr. Nagy started to address the agenda items last evening at the monthly Board of Education meeting, he asked if all present would take a moment of silence to remember the families affected and the fallen children, victims of a senseless school shooting this week that took place at the Robb Elementary School in Texas. After a brief pause, he thanked all in attendance.
Dr. Nagy noted that this is a stark reminder of the importance of staying vigilant. In the wake of this tragedy Dr. Nagy noted that proactive steps are being taken on campuses to ensure the safety and security of students, teachers, and school personnel. The New Jersey Office of Attorney General's Office issued guidance to increase law enforcement presence at schools throughout the state, effectively immediately.
We have spoken to the security officers at our various schools and advised them to remain vigilant and increase our perimeter checks of the schools. We have tight protocols at our entrances and perimeter doors are constantly checked. All visitors are to come through the main office and go through the screening process. Both security and administrators are trained in emergency protocols.
Communication between school administrators, school resource officers, and security is highly important. All staff members are reminded to report anything considered unusual or suspicious and if they are unsure, always err on the side of caution and report it. In emergency situations any staff member can dial 911 immediately. Also, we have the Bluepoint panic alarms in the schools which contact the local police department immediately in the event of an active shooter or a similar emergency situation.
Dr. Nagy also noted that each building conducts required drills monthly and hope that we may never have to utilize those protocols in the future.
Dr. Nagy thanked our security team under the leadership of Director of Security, Veldon Harris, our administration, dedicated staff and our parents for this combined effort to support the safety and security of our students and staff.
There were two presentations made at the Board meeting. Dr. Nagy was pleased to welcome Dr. Leonetti this evening who after 27 years of service to both BCIT and BCSSSD as the District Physician, announced her retirement effective the end of June. Dr. Leonetti received a certificate of commendation as a token of the Board and District’s appreciation for efforts from Dr. Leonetti to keep our students, staff and district safe and particularly through this pandemic. Dr. Nagy acknowledged how closely she worked with our nurses and administrators who are also grateful to her.
The second presentation honored two individuals who went over and beyond among our security personnel. Dr. Nagy noted how fitting it was at the BoE meeting, with the assistance of the Director of Security, Veldon Harris that two school security officers be honored in the shadow of recent tragedies. Sherman Boyd was honored as the Security Officer of the Year and who works on the Lumberton Campus. Terrence Graves was honored as the Security Lead Officer of the Year and is on the BCIT Medford Campus. We are grateful to them for their example, service and role models they play on their respective campuses to keep us safe and the environment orderly.
The Board approved the notification of retirements from a number of staff. Dr. Nagy noted as well as Board of Education President Leon Jones that we cannot thank our staff enough for their dedication, years of service and positive impact they have had on our students, colleagues and the district. May they enjoy their well-deserved retirement.
On the Board agenda, the Board approved a number of appointments pertaining to new hires for retirements and resignations as well as staffing for our summer programs and co-curricular and athletic activities for next year. The Board also approved a number of submissions for Statement of Assurances required by the NJDOE.
Dr. Nagy noted that he was grateful to the Board and administration and staff who have participated in the formulation of the goals for the next school year and for feedback on Board and Superintendent evaluations.
Dr. Nagy also noted that he was pleased to report our successful efforts realized in our improved scores for the District and School Grade Report under the Anti-bullying Bill of Rights.
There were three items that were tabled prior to the final approval of the superintendent’s agenda pertaining to an employee and the SFEA calendar for next year
After the Board took action, Dr. Nagy provided the following statement prior to the public comment pertaining to non-agenda items. The following was the statement he read:
People have signed up to speak about our imposition of the mask requirement. Rest assured everyone will have the opportunity to comment. In this connection, we request and will require compliance with our District Civility Policy # 9160.1, namely that we treat one another with respect and to be civil to one another as we look at addressing the order of business at the meeting tonight. If for some reason this may be a challenge, the individual (s) will be directed to leave school district property. Thank you.
Prior to opening for public comment, I believe it would be helpful if I provided a brief account of what we have done and why.
As many of you are aware there has been a recent spike in COVID cases across the State such that all Counties including Burlington have been elevated to Orange status. With regard to our school district we recently experienced an outbreak of cases at both our Transition School at the Westampton campus of the Burlington County Special Services School District and at Medford Tech. In the case of Medford Tech., the outbreak followed closely on the heels of the School Prom which took place on May 13th. As of last week, the number of students at Medford Tech who had tested positive had reached 40.
Alarmed by the increasing cases at Transition and BCIT Medford, we consulted with the Burlington County Department of Health and were advised that we should institute a mask requirement at both schools. In accordance with our statutory duty to responsibly address communicable disease issues and in accordance with our related school policy we instituted the mask requirement at both schools. In the case of BCIT Medford parents were informed on 5/20 a mask requirement for students would be effective for the week of 5/23 with the hope that numbers would decrease during the week such that the requirement could be lifted after the Memorial Day holiday weekend.
The mask requirement was implemented at both schools. No opposition or complaints have emanated from Transitions. However, at BCIT Medford a very small number of students – less than 14 out of a school population of over 800 have balked at the mask requirement.
For the safety of our staff and cooperating students, the small number of students who have refused to wear masks at BCIT Medford have been removed from their classrooms and placed in a dedicated room where they have been provided a link to live classroom instruction. In addition, for those in this group and those compliant with the mask requirement who need CTE enrichment sessions, such sessions will be made available. Accordingly, no student, whether compliant or non-compliant with the mask requirement need miss a beat with their educational program. Our commitment to a thorough and efficient education in accordance with the N.J. Constitution for all our students has been and will continue to be met.
In addition, I am pleased to report that at BCIT Medford, the number of reported cases now stands at 31 as of yesterday – down from 40. We will monitor the results again tomorrow and make a determination at the end of the day as to the lifting of the mask requirement and returning to mask optional status.
In conclusion, I wish to emphasize that the steps we have taken, have not been taken lightly. Rather, the mask requirement was not done across the Board – but only at our two schools suffering serious outbreaks, only for a limited duration, and only at the advice of the Department of Health. Please also know, we are not an outlier District in instituting these measures. Dozens of public schools across the State, including several in Burlington County have taken similar action. In fact, at least one large District has never lifted the mask mandate initially imposed on all Districts by our Governor. Finally, rest assured we will continue to take all steps necessary to fulfill our mission and mandate of providing a thorough and efficient education for all of our students while also protecting the health and safety of all our students and staff.
The following are highlights of the activities on BCIT campuses during the Month of May:
- At the beginning of the Week on the BCIT West Campus we had a number of legislators who participated in a celebration of CTE and enjoyed a tour of the building to see in person our State of the Art programs and innovations in person. At the ceremony, Senator Singleton was honored for his commitment to BCIT and to career and technical education as a valuable partner to create skilled workers and stackable credentialing to allow graduates to be ahead of the curve.
- BCIT's very own, Randy Yarnell Saldaña, has been named as the 2021 TREK All-Star Student Athlete!! The All-Star Student Athlete Award recognizes student-athletes for their outstanding competitive achievements and potential for future success in competitive cycling. We are quite proud of this young man!
- BCIT graduate, Alex Maya-Romero, has committed to a PHD program! Alex has decided to attend UC Berkeley after much consideration and acceptance into the following schools: Harvard Program in neuroscience,,Harvard Biomedical and Biological sciences, Yale Biomedical and Biological Sciences, Weill Cornell Neuroscience, University of North Carolina, University of Penn Neuroscience & UC San Francisco. Simply Amazing!
- Two freshman BCIT Medford Academy of Performing Arts vocal music majors auditioned for-- and were accepted into All State Treble Chorus!! This chorus will perform at NJPAC in Newark in February, 2023. We can't wait to see them showcase their talents.
- Both the Medford and Westampton campuses celebrated the time-honored ritual of Prom; a night filled with formal wear, great food and dancing. What a wonderful memory for all in attendance.
- The APA held the Dance Showcase and Music Concert to highlight the incredible talents of the students in their respective career pathway. The audiences were mesmerized by the varied abilities with a special flair for performing. Nicely done!
- BCIT Adult Education hosted a group of 17 students from Lenape High School to tour the BCIT facilities and learn more about the adult education division. This was the first time we hosted high school students from another school as prospective adult learners.
- Six of our BCIT Culinary students participated in the Cook-Off Challenge on May 6th at the 71st NJAC Annual conference. BCIT is the 2022 Winner of the Silver Chefs Award for food presentation. Great job students and Chefs!
- School Community groups came together at WesTech on May 24th to host a Culture Connects Workshop event that supports student voice and leadership. What a great opportunity for our students to lead! ● Ad Art III WesTech student, Jeremy Henskens and his family received a personal phone call from our Congressman, Andy Kim, to let Jeremy know that he won the 2022 Congressional Art Competition for our District! Jeremy's artwork, along with high school winners from all over the country, will be on display at the United States Capitol building for a year. All the winners will be honored in Washington, D.C.
National School Nurse Day Celebrated TodayPosted by Dr. Nagy on 5/11/2022Since 1972, National School Nurse Day has been dedicated to recognizing the outstanding efforts of our nurses to support student and staff health and wellbeing. The day was created to foster a better understanding of the role school nurses play in the daily operations of schools. At no other time than during the pandemic have these services been magnified and the dedication and response to various layers of needs and crises underscore the role of heroes each and every one plays. Please join me in celebrating and saying "thank you" to our dedicated health professionals.