Tuesday, July 29, 2014

New Network News: Smooth Operators

Throughout the year, BVP Musings shares highlights and reflections about all things education with a focus on BVP’s efforts to put every scholar on a path to success in college and the world beyond.  

By the time September launches us into another year of  learning, family fun, sports, chess, music, reading, homework and more (much, much more!), the Network Support Team has already been planning and prepping throughout the spring and summer months to make it the best year yet.

Below is part one of our blog series all about the Network Support Team and how it is changing, shifting, and improving to meet the needs of our growing schools.


Part One- Smooth Operators: The Network Support Operations Team

By Michael DeMatteo, Director of Operations

Summer is the time of year when network staff are able to not only get into each school to clean, make repairs and make sure everything is in order, but also to plan for the year ahead and implement desired changes.

As some of you may know, the BVP Operations Team is becoming more school-based.  As a result of in-depth reflection and year-long planning, I share with you the following changes, which were made to better support our growth from 3 to 7 schools at scale.

In addition to the support families receive from an office manager at each school, families will now have access to a Dean of Operations in every building to support all of the non-instructional and non-cultural school functions (e.g. transportation, food, safety, custodial, facility maintenance, enrollment).  Our hope is that this new position will provide improved customer service for families and staff, and, more importantly, allow our Heads of School to spend more time in classrooms supporting teachers.

Also at the network level, as we continue to grow and open our fourth campus in the 2014-15 school year, we have had to evaluate transportation across all schools.  

For the past three years, we have run two sets of buses - one that served our elementary schools and a second that served our middle school.  However, with the continued growth of ES2 and the opening of our high school, we have had to increase the number of buses serving the network while also trying to reduce the number serving each elementary campus due to traffic concerns.
This means that for the 2014-15 school year there will be buses serving each campus separately that result in slightly staggered start times at each school.  These staggered times allow depot stops to be used for each school and for efficiency by using the same buses for two of our schools in an attempt to control transportation costs and devote as many resources as possible to our classrooms.

Below are a few highlights by school-

Elementary School 1:
  • Pick-up and drop-off schedules will be tweaked to improve traffic flow in the community. BVP is working with the Town of Cumberland to minimize the traffic impact on Broad Street.
  • BVP will continue to offer YMCA before and after-school care.

Elementary School 2:
  • Construction on the permanent home for Elementary School 2 continues.  The third grade class will start the year at St. Joan of Arc school at 3357 Mendon Road. K-2 will start the year at the current ES2 location, 7 Fatima Drive. We will communicate more information about building timelines as it becomes available.
  • BVP will continue to offer YMCA before and after-school care.

Middle School 1:
  • BVP MS1’s operating schedule will remain the same.

High School:
While St. Joan of Arc is a great space for learning, the hunt for a permanent home for our high school scholars continues in full swing. We’re thrilled to be opening the doors to greet our very first graduating BVP class. Some key operational notes:
  • The opening of doors and the schedule of the school day starts with doors opening at 7:50AM and classes beginning promptly at 8:20AM. Dismissal begins at 4:30PM, at the end of ‘Block 9’, the extended learning block (including sports activities). There is no early release on Wednesdays.
Note: All scholars and families should contact their school’s office manager if interested in registering for bus transportation. More details about each school were communicated to families via email. 

Again, on behalf of the entire operations team, we are so excited to kick off the new year and look forward to getting to know one another better this coming fall. 

In the meantime, send any specific questions to me at mdematteo@blackstonevalleyprep.org.