JOSEPH SCIAME is one of the founders of the Bedford Stuyvesant New Beginnings Charter School and previously served for ten years as the founding Chair of its Board of Trustees.
Mr. Sciame is Vice-President for Community Relations at St. John’s University, with campuses in Queens, Staten Island, Manhattan and Rome, Italy. In his current position, since 1994, he interacts with all local civic and community groups in keeping the communication levels open in terms of University related activities. He is known for his keen awareness of establishing lines of strong communication with community leaders, and with all levels of municipal government as well.
An involved person in his own community of New Hyde Park, NY, where he resides, Mr. Sciame is involved with his church as a lector at the parish of Note Dame, and is Chair of the Board of Ethics for the Town of Hempstead, one of the three towns of Nassau County.
A graduate of St. John’s University from its School of Education, Mr. Sciame commenced his earlier years working from 1962-1994 in the areas of registration, admissions and financial aid, which ultimately led to his presidency of the NYS, Eastern Region and National Associations of Student Financial Aid Administrators.
In addition, he has been a local, state and national president of the Order Sons and Daughters of Italy in America, and a national past chairman of its Commission for Social Justice, which fights bias, bigotry and discrimination. He currently is the President of the Sons of Italy Foundation, a 501(c)3 entity that provides national scholarships, veterans benefits and donations to other charities.
VICTOR RIVERA JR. was born and raised in the Sumner Projects in the same Bedford-Stuyvesant area of Brooklyn which serves as the home of Bedford Stuyvesant New Beginnings Charter School.
Mr. Rivera is a founding member of the Board of Trustees, former Treasurer and is currently the Board Chair. He is a graduate of New York City’s prestigious Regis High School (1980), Pitzer College (1984) and the Harvard Law School (1987).
Mr. Rivera is an attorney who has practiced in the area of commercial litigation for over 30 years in New York City. He is currently a Partner at R&R Legal Advisors LLC, a general business law firm with offices in NY and NJ specializing in working with dreamers, entrepreneurs, startups and small and mid-size businesses to create, grow, and protect their companies and ideas. Mr. Rivera lives in Westchester County, New York, with his wife and their two children.
DORIS GIVENS is our Board Trustee, Governance and Development Chair. She grew up attending District 16 schools in Bedford-Stuyvesant Brooklyn which serves as Bedford Stuyvesant New Beginnings Charter School’s home district.
Ms. Givens is a retired Banker. She served as Vice President, Operations Executive and Strategic Business Partner, respectively, for JPMorgan Chase and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York over the course of twenty years. She is a graduate of Pace University, holds an MBA from NYU Stern School of Business and has professional certifications in risk management and compliance.
Ms. Givens served as Senior Director for Year Up, Inc., a national workforce development nonprofit. She is the immediate past President of Jack and Jill of America, Brooklyn Chapter and is passionate about developing and advancing our next generation of leaders. She lives with her family in Brooklyn.
KEVIN A. NESBITT has a career dedicated to working on the behalf of students and faculty in diverse settings ranging from the Department of Education (NYC), Charter School Management, to Columbia University, the New School, John Jay College and presently at Hunter College as Assistant Dean for Student Affairs. His emphasis is on cultivating a culture of cross-trained academic and student affairs professionals engaging in high impact practices. These efforts lead to student persistence, student retention and graduates prepared to engage in critical professions. Dean Nesbitt most recently served CUNY as John Jay College’s Director of Faculty Affairs where he managed the tenure and promotion process and faculty development opportunities until November 2015. With a focus on enrollment management, he currently oversees the Offices of Admissions, Recruitment, the Welcome Center and Financial Aid at Hunter College. He currently serves on CUNY Vice Chancellor’s Arts and Education Committee.
Nesbitt has an MS in English Education from Teachers College, Columbia University and an MA in Politics from the New School University. He is ABD at the New School for Social Research in the Department of Political Science. In addition to studying issues affecting Caribbean-American immigration policies and practices, he has spent the last several years trying to better understand the recognizable shift in how families are defining and organizing themselves in the modern era. In specific he is identifying and examining what he has coined as “Male Headed Single Parent Households,” MHSPHs and the movement for men to reclaim a role in families, even without the physical presence of a mother or partner. His recent interests include understanding single parent households by retrospectively exploring concepts of single motherhood in America up against modern-day single fatherhood. Nesbitt is a Brooklyn native of Jamaican descent whose addiction is traveling. He is the proud father to a 11 year old boy and 13 year old girl both born to him and his wife right in Bedford-Stuyvesant.
CECELIA MARY RUSSO, a native of Brooklyn, not far from Bedford Stuyvesant New Beginnings Charter School, is one of its founding members and is currently Chair of the Education Sub-Committee.
Ms. Russo is the Director of Pre-Admission Programs at St. John’s University and Associate Director of the Science & Technology Entry Program (STEP), which is a New York State Education Department co-sponsored program for 7-12 graders who are African-American, Hispanic, Alaskan and Native- American who have been historically underrepresented in the STEM-L fields. At the University she is responsible for five programs, which reach out to more than 4,000 junior high and high school students in the five New York City Boros, Nassau, Suffolk, Westchester and New Jersey.
Ms. Russo has a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education, permanent New York State Certification in teaching Kindergarten – Eighth grade, a Master of Science Degree as a Reading Specialist for elementary and secondary students, a Master’s degree in Counseling and a Professional Diploma in Counseling/High Education.
During her thirty years in the field of education, she has taught at the elementary, junior high and college levels, concentrating mostly on the Language Arts area. She has tutored children of all ages and levels in English, Social Studies and communication/ study skills. She has also taught adults in a General Equivalency Diploma Prep Program. She has conducted workshops for students, parents, teachers and administrators.
Ms. Russo has served in many leadership positions for elementary, secondary and college associations and has been and will continue to be an advocate for a quality education for all.
JOSUE DE PAZ is working to break generational cycles of poverty by lowering barriers to education and providing holistic interventions for underserved and first-generation students. As students struggled to adjust to remote learning during the COVID-19 pandemic, Josue founded First Tech Fund (FTF) to close the digital divide faced by under-resourced students. Working with 50 volunteers since May 2020, FTF has provided free computers, internet access, mentorship, networking, and workshops to over 135 low-income New York City high school students. FTF received over 1,000 applications from students across New York for participation in their programs. After FTF’s first cohort year, Josue found that the computers and other technology that his organization provided not only supported the students themselves–but also their siblings and extended family members, enabling them to participate in remote schooling and access social services, employment, and health resources.
Originally from Cuernavaca, Mexico, Josue is a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipient. Prior to founding FTF, Josue worked at Girls Who Code, an organization that works to close the gender gap in technology, where he managed partnerships, outreach and strategy across the southern United States. Josue was a 2021 Coro Workforce Systems Leadership Fellow and a 2022 Council for Urban Professionals Fellow. He holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Santa Clara University.
SHAWN CARSON was born and raised on Lafayette Avenue in the heart of Bedford Stuyvesant, just a few blocks away from the Bedford-Stuyvesant New Beginnings Charter School and serves as Board Treasurer.
Mr. Carson is a very seasoned mortgage lending professional possessing more than twenty years of real estate financing and sales experience. He has originated, underwritten, and/or closed over 1,000 residential and commercial real estate transactions that total in excess of $700 million dollars during his career in the mortgage industry. He also has an extensive network of real estate professionals, community advisors, and political figures who have a deep commitment to not only the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood but specifically educating and cultivating the next generation of leaders from this community. With a focus on maintaining access to home ownership for current residents, Mr. Carson routinely conducts first time home ownership courses with local housing counseling agencies and organizes wealth building and preservation exercises throughout the Bedford-Stuyvesant and surrounding “Brownstone Brooklyn” communities.
Shawn received his Bachelor of Arts degree from the State University of New York (SUNY) College at Oswego, and his MBA from the Rochester Institute of Technology’s E. Phillip Saunders College of Business. An avid sports fan (Jets, Mets, and Nets!!!), self-described soccer and track dad, and a North Fork winery enthusiast Shawn currently resides in East Yaphank, NY with his wife and their combined “Brady Family” of 5.
Parent Bill Of Rights:
BSNBCS Parent Bill Of Rights Education Law § 2-d mandates that each educational agency develop a Parent Bill of Rights for data privacy and security. The purpose of this document is to provide information to parents and students about certain legal requirements that protect personally identifiable information.
Fact Sheet for Parents: Education Law § 2-d protects student personally identifiable information (PII) from unauthorized disclosure. Additionally, this law provides parents with rights regarding their child’s PII.
Complaints: Parents and eligible students have the right to report an improper disclosure of student information, in writing to Nicholas Tishuk, Chief Privacy Officer, 82 Lewis Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11206. Include “Complaint to the DPO” in the title of your correspondence.
Per NYSED, see the following definitions from Education Law Section 2-D
“Educational agency” means a school district, board of cooperative educational services, school, or the education department.
“Personally identifiable information,” as applied to student data, means personally identifiable information as defined in section 99.3 of title thirty-four of the code of federal regulations implementing the family educational rights and privacy act, section twelve hundred thirty-two-g of title twenty of the United States code, and, as applied to teacher or principal data, means “personally identifying information” as such term is used in subdivision ten of section three thousand twelve-c of this chapter.
“School” means any public elementary or secondary school, universal pre-kindergarten program authorized pursuant to section thirty-six hundred two-e of this chapter, an approved provider of preschool special education, any other publicly funded pre-kindergarten program, a school serving children in a special act school district as defined in section four thousand one of this chapter, an approved private school for the education of students with disabilities, a state-supported school subject to the provisions of article eighty-five of this chapter, or a state-operated school subject to the provisions of article eighty-seven or eight-eight of this chapter.
“Student” means any person attending or seeking to enroll in an educational agency.
“Eligible student” means a student eighteen years or older.
“Parent” means a parent, legal guardian, or person in parental relation to a student.
“Student data” means personally identifiable information from student records of an educational agency.
“Teacher or principal data” means personally identifiable information from the records of an educational agency relating to the annual professional performance reviews of classroom teachers or principals that is confidential and not subject to release under the provisions of section three thousand twelve-c of this chapter.
“Third party contractor” shall mean any person or entity, other than an educational agency, that receives student data or teacher or principal data from an educational agency pursuant to a contract or other written agreement for purposes of providing services to such educational agency, including but not limited to data management or storage services, conducting studies for or on behalf of such educational agency, or audit or evaluation of publicly funded programs. Such term shall include an educational partnership organization that receives student and/or teacher or principal data from a school district to carry out its responsibilities pursuant to section two hundred eleven-e of this title and is not an educational agency as defined in paragraph c of this subdivision, and a not-for-profit corporation or other non-profit organization, other than an educational agency.
Education Law § 2-d and Part 121 of the regulations of the Commissioner of Education:
Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) – The foundational federal law on the privacy of students’ educational records, FERPA safeguards student privacy by limiting who may access student records, specifying for what purpose they may access those records, and detailing what rules they have to follow when accessing the data.
Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment (PPRA) – PPRA defines the rules states and school districts must follow when administering tools like surveys, analysis, and evaluations funded by the US Department of Education to students. It requires parental approval to administer many such tools and ensures that school districts have policies in place regarding how the data collected through these tools can be used.
Children’s Online Privacy Protection Rule (COPPA) – COPPA imposes certain requirements on operators of websites, games, mobile apps or online services directed to children under 13 years of age, and on operators of other websites or online services that have actual knowledge that they are collecting personal information online from a child under 13 years of age.
FERPA affords parents and students over 18 years of age (eligible students) certain rights with respect to the student’s education records. These rights are:
The right to inspect and review the student’s education records within 45 days of the day the school receives a request for access;
The right to request the amendment of the student’s education records that the parent or eligible student believes is inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student’s privacy rights under FERPA. Parents or eligible students should submit to the building principal a written request that identifies the record(s) they wish to inspect. The principal will make arrangements for access and notify the parent or eligible student of the time and place where the records may be inspected. Parents or eligible students who wish to ask the school to amend a record should write the building principal, clearly identify the part of the record they want changed, and specify why it should be changed. If the school decides not to amend the record as requested by the parent or eligible student, the school will notify the parent or eligible student of the decision and advise them of their right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the parent or eligible student when notified of the right to a hearing.
The right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information in the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent. One exception, which permits disclosure without consent, is disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his/her professional responsibility.
FERPA provides the option to designate certain categories of student information as “directory information.” Below are those categories:
participation in school activities or sports dates of attendance
degrees and awards received
most recent school attended
Social security numbers or other personally identifiable information will not be considered directory information.
Once the proper FERPA notification is given by BSNBCS a parent/guardian or eligible student will have fourteen (14) days to notify the School District of an objection to the “directory information” designation. Once the eligible student or parent/guardian provides the “opt-out,” it will remain in effect after the student is no longer enrolled in the School District.
The right to file a complaint with the US Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the school district to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The name and address of the office that administers FERPA is included below:
Compliance Office, US Department of
Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW,
Washington, DC 20202-5920.
Photographs/videotapes of students and/or student work may be used occasionally in school publications. If you object to your child(ren)’s photograph or work being used in these publications, you must do so in writing to the building principal.
BSNBCS is not only a supportive school for my children, I have a third grader and a seventh grader, it is very supportive to me as a parent as well. Their teachers are in communication with me regularly about my child’s progress and the office team and support staff are always available to answer any questions. It is a loving community that I am glad to be a part of!
This is a great school. My son started out in kindergarten and he will be going to 5th grade for the new school year. The teachers work hard with each child. The staff are friendly and polite and the school as a whole is well organized. Thank you BSNBCS.
Since I enrolled my kids in this school I have seen improvements in their academic performance. They can now read well. The school's staff and teachers are friendly and approachable. I would recommend this school.
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