By CAROLINE MURRAY
Recorder News Staff
BROADALBIN -- With a new school year kicking off Thursday, the Broadalbin-Perth Board of Education finalized its 2014-15 goals at a special meeting last week.
The goals outline the objectives the board would like to see the staff and administration complete by the end of the school year.
That includes tailoring the district's educational programs to meet students' interests and making them more customizable --similar to a college atmosphere.
"What's unique about the college atmosphere is that it is kind of when the students can customize their learning. They can sit and make a choice off of a menu of what they want to take," Superintendent Stephen Tomlin-son said.
Tomlinson added giving the students more flexibility in choosing their educational programs will help give them a better feel for the "real world."
Additionally, another goal includes a greater push for technology in the classroom. Moving forward, the district would like to see every student assigned a laptop or tablet device, to better enhance their STEAM programs.
The board agreed the goal was ambitious, however, members also added this particular resolution would be revisited every year until its completed.
Members said it is not feasible for the school district to reach the goal by the end of the year, but it is possible to jump start the initiative now.
"That is where I envision it going," board president Robert Becker said.
"I think it sets a direction, I think it is a very lofty goal. I think anyone that reads it will say it is almost impossible to make that happen in one year, but yet, I would rather have it read that way than our goal is just to give devices to seniors," Tomlinson added.
Below is a list of goals the board created and approved for the 2014-15 school year.
* Create a task force to draft a plan for making B-P's educational programs more flexible, customizable, college- and career-oriented, and tailored to meet students' interests and needs to better prepare students for their futures.
* Expand and deepen STEAM learning opportunities while moving toward creating a learning environment where every student is assigned a district-provided laptop, tablet or similar device.
* Prepare and plan for a capital project that addresses deficiencies in buildings and grounds, parking and traffic patterns; necessary building maintenance; and long-term educational and safety needs while having the least possible impact on the local tax levy.
* Continue to improve school culture by fostering a safe, responsible and respectful learning environment.
* Exemplify lifelong learning by formalizing ongoing professional development opportunities for board members. Each board member will complete and track a minimum of 12 hours of professional development, during the 2014-15 school year.