BCS Archery Instruction Hits Target

When Athletic Director Joseph Stark introduced his love of archery to students at Bullis Charter School this year, he hit the bull’s-eye.

“It was a passion of mine,” said Stark, who joined the staff in the fall. “It is something I learned and love, and I know it is accessible to a lot of students, so I thought I should bring it to Bullis.”

Stark taught archery during regular physical education classes, then began to offer it as an afterschool sport.

“Our afterschool athletics program is built around the community interest at our school,” he said. “Archery has been at the top of that list for a long time.”

Participation has been solid, according to Stark, with approximately 60 students enrolled in the afterschool program and 20 regularly attending.

The charter school designed its archery program with National Archery in the Schools (NASP) standards in mind, emphasizing safety and proper technique.

“It’s the second-safest sport behind pingpong,” Stark said. “It may not seem like it, because you are using bows and arrows, but we emphasize safety and steps to succeed.”

Stark trained students to participate in the NASP California Archery Tournament, which requires them to shoot 15 arrows from a distance of 10 meters and 15 from 15 meters. More than 20 students competed in the tournament, individually and as a team. Bullis Charter School eighth-grader Skyler Rosenberg placed third overall with a score of 281.

Archery became one of Skyler’s passions after Stark launched the sport at school. Skyler enrolled in the afterschool program and pursues it outside of class as well.

“I think archery is special because it is one of the sports that is really accessible to everyone,” Stark said. “You are not really held back by any disability – you don’t have to be the most athletically gifted in the world. A lot of it is about patience, focus and concentration.”

Skills learned through archery can be used in everyday life, he added.

“You go out every day and try to better yourself,” Stark said. “There are a lot of kids who understand that. They set their own goals and you see the excitement when they actually reach one.”

Stark said he is fortunate to work at a school that allows him to share his interests with the students.

“You can really see how my passion is reflected in the students’ growth throughout the year – I am lucky to have that,” he said.

Bullis Charter School is First “Future Ready” Local Public School

Teachers Implement Digital Learning Plans Aligned with Best Practices

Members of the Bullis Charter School (BCS) leadership team recently attended the Future Ready Regional Summit in Mountain View, CA to learn how to improve teaching and learning through the effective use of technology. BCS is now certified as a “Future Ready” school – the first local public school to earn this designation.

“We’re so proud to be recognized as a Future Ready school. Technology is woven into every aspect of our curriculum here at BCS because we want our students to be prepared to live and work in a high tech world while also learning how to be safe and responsible digital citizens.”

BCS furthered its commitment to becoming future ready by engaging in a series of workshops that offered expert support to build upon their existing digital learning plan that aligns with instructional best practices. BCS shares the vision with Future Ready schools to prepare students for success in college, a career, and citizenship.

“The Future Ready Regional Summits is a forum where local leaders can share knowledge with their peers, engage leaders from outside their region and better equip themselves with skills and tools necessary to provide students with what they need to be successful in life,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.

The summits are an important step toward realizing the goals of President Obama’s ConnectED Initiative, which is to connect 99 percent of students to high-speed Internet and empower teachers with the technology they need to transform teaching and learning.

“Future ready is about helping district leaders leverage technology to empower teachers, engage students, and close persistent equity gaps by creating a learning environment where all students have access to the tools and expertise they need to be prepared for the future,” said Richard Culatta, director of the Education Department’s Office of Educational Technology (OET).

Since its inception in 2004, BCS has utilized technology with both students and staff to help each individual reach his/her full potential. By partnering with Future Ready schools, BCS is taking the next step in ensuring that all students in grades K-8 benefit from digital learning as part of the core curriculum.

For more information about the OET, including resources for students, parents and educators, visit http://tech.ed.gov. #FutureReady

To download a PDF copy of this press release, click here.