Dear Bogota Bucs Students and Families:
Welcome back!! I am so excited to start my fourth year as principal of Bogota Junior/Senior
High School. I feel honored and humbled to be part of the Bogota family and look forward to continuing to move our district in the right direction. I would also like to extend a special thank you to our superintendent, Mr. Damian Kennedy. It is under your guidance that we have been able to continue to move forward in such a positive manner.
The last year and a half was a period of time like NO other. In March of 2020, we were asked by the state to go remote with only a few day’s notice. Our teachers, admin, and support staff jumped in and hit the ground running, thinking it would only be for a short two weeks. We did not open our doors again until October of 2020 and when we did, our daily day looked a lot different.
With new demands put on our students and our infrastructure, we updated our guidelines provided for attendance and code of conduct, distributed Chromebooks to all students (reaching our one to one goal before our target date), and enhanced technology and bandwidth to support our virtual learning. Our teachers stepped up and rose not only to the challenge but above the challenge. Thank you to our teachers and support staff. You made this year possible.
Also exciting is Bogota’s ongoing commitment to constant contact and teamwork with our parents and students. We now regularly use our district Twitter @BogotaPublic and our high school Twitter @BogotaHigh to showcase not only the big events but the day to day activities that happen in our school. Please follow us for all of the most updated academic and sports-related information. We have put all pertinent documents on your parents portal and in “going green” send all information virtually. In 2020-2021, we again had 100% participation in parent portal login. Please remember to check your email address and phone numbers are updated.
Our student-athletes continue to make us proud. We were league and sectional champions in multiple sports with our girls’ volleyball team taking home the title of NJIC Patriot Division and NJSIAA Group 1 State Champs! Cross Country (boys and girls) secured the title of NJIC Patriot Division Champs and our soccer program continued to see improvements. Boys basketball once again had a successful season and a winning record and our bowling team walked away winning 8 of their 10 matches. We also partnered up with Ridgefield Park for the third year in order to continue to improve our wrestling team. Our football team also won the NJIC Union Division! Also always making us proud, our twirlers and our band received a large number of awards and are recognized as one of the most decorated teams in New Jersey.
We also revamped our entire academic probation. With the new guidelines, students who attend in order to participate in extra-curricular activities will be held more accountable. Academic probation worked closely with the student and the teacher (of the failing grades) to ensure the correct work is accessible and being done. The results of this were evident in our students’ grades.
One of my proudest accomplishments to date is the introduction of our wellness/mental health clinic. We as a school understand that mental health is important at every stage of life and must be built into our every day in order for our students and our staff to be successful. Through our clinic, we offer individual emotional, psychological, and social well-being as well as group work. This has always been important to me and only becomes more important in the pandemic. If you have any concerns about your student, please contact your guidance counselor/case manager for more information.
Moving Forward Into Our Future
For our 21-22 school year, the Bucs will be seeing BIG changes with the addition of our new middle school. While we are sad to see our 7th grade teachers leave the building, we are excited for the next step in our journey to improve all of our Bogota school.s.
We will also be welcoming new staff members, including a new Biology and Physics teacher, a new guidance counselor, and a new Vice Principal. We are so excited to bring all of these people into our family.
In an effort to continually improve safety, we will also be adding more cameras, maintaining our lockdown buttons, replacing all classroom doors, and will welcome back our Special Law Enforcement Officer – Class III. We also expanded our safety team and updated all manuals.
I am very proud of our school and I am looking forward to working closely with the Parents Teachers Organization (PTO), the community, students, teachers, staff, and all clubs and organizations that have been so supportive and helpful in the past. I know that the school does not work without a strong family and community presence and I am thankful every day for the support. We plan to continue to raise the bar through improved instruction, student leadership, and increased expectations for both ourselves, our staff, and our students.
Please remember to stay healthy and safe. We are family first and we look forward to another successful year.
Kelly Foley DeCongelio