BBRSD District-Wide Weekly Update
December 17, 2021
OUR NEXT NEWSLETTER WILL BE JANUARY 7, 2022
Vaccine Clinic Update
Thank you to all who came out for our vaccine clinic at Tahanto on December 11. More than 130 people came out to get vaccinated at the clinic, which was held in partnership with the Mass. Department of Public Health.
Preliminary FY2023 Budget
The preliminary FY2023 budget was presented to the BBRSD School Committee on December 14, 2021. To view the presentation please click here. To view a video of the School Committee Meeting with the full presentation, please click here.
COVID Data Dashboard
In conjunction with the BBRSD School Committee, we have posted a COVID Data Dashboard to our website homepage under "Announcements." This dashboard will be updated each weekend and posted to the website on Monday mornings. Any questions or concerns about the COVID Data Dashboard should be directed to Dr. Susan Henry, Chair, Berlin-Boylston Regional School Committee at email@example.com.
Jeff Zanghi, Superintendent of Schools
Assistant Superintendent for Teaching and Learning
One of my favorite activities over the long vacation break is reading a good book. It is a great way to relax, de-stress and even make connections with others who are doing the same. Brene Brown’s new book, Atlas of the Heart is already calling to me from the nightstand, and I look forward to the time after the business of the holiday has settled down to finally pick it up and open the first pages.
Reading a book, whether alone or together, is a perfect way for families to come together and share special, quiet moments with one another. Children are always curious about what their parents, siblings and relatives are reading, and especially love being read to on any occasion.. Growing up in our home, it was always a treat for my father to read Clement Moore’s famous poem, “A Visit from St. Nicholas” to my sons on Christmas Eve. They looked forward each year, not only to hearing the story in great anticipation of Santa’s arrival, but to the personal time they had with their grandfather that was all their own. (That’s my Dad and son reading the story together).
Whatever traditions, celebrations, or holidays your family participates in through the years, there always seems to be a good story to be told. Consider finding that special book or story to share. And even if your children are too old to want to be read to, sitting down together for a time to read independently offers a precious gift of time in this busy world of ours.
Before we close for the holiday break, I wanted to share some very exciting news out of Boylston Elementary School related to reading a good book. Fourth grader Adrian Favulli recently participated in a virtual event with J.K. Rowling, interviewing the author about her most recent book, The Christmas Pig. Adrian was nominated by his teacher for being a “super” reader, and went on to be selected by Scholastic, Inc. as one of five students across the nation chosen for this prestigious event. For his efforts, Adrian received a copy of the book for himself and one to give away to someone special in his life. As J.K. Rowling reminded the students in the interview, “Giving someone a book can be a very powerful thing.”
The link to the virtual event can be found below, and I encourage you to watch it by yourself or with your family. What a gift, and how exciting for Adrian, his family, and our district that he was selected!
Wishing everyone a safe, healthy, and peaceful holiday season, the chance to rejuvenate, and the joy of receiving a new book.
Carol Costello, Assistant Superintendent
508-869-2837 ext. 1111
Hello from the Technology Department!
As we again approach the holidays and that feeling that we are reaching the mid-way point of the school year, I once again wanted to take a moment to show my appreciation for the work being done for our students.
Thank you to my fellow Tech Department member Dave McCarthy who continues to work tirelessly to make technology accessible to all of our students, teachers, and families.
Thank you to the teachers, administrators, and support staff that have worked to make our schools both a safe place to learn and a place where our students can be challenged once again to do their best and continue their education.
Thank you to those community members that have risen to the occasion and donated goods, services, or just their time in order to make this crazy pandemic have less of an impact on our school community.
Thank you to the parents and caretakers of our students who have had to sacrifice so many things in order for their students to make it through the continuation of the pandemic.
Thank you to our students for always surprising us with just how resilient you can be. And how you can be there for each other.
Lastly, a big thank you to all of you for your patience and understanding that no matter how much we might like our technology to be “perfect”, there will always be glitches and bumps and now ever-increasing delays for parts and services along the road.
I thank you as my department and I try to eliminate those glitches and smooth out those roads and cross our fingers hoping some of the “supply chain issues” start to resolve themselves.
As always, just a short reminder to say that as the year progresses should your child’s District-owned Chromebook fail or be in need of service, please bring the device to the school. There they will swap out the non-working device for a spare Chromebook. Repairs will be made if possible and the unit returned to the main office for pickup.
Paul Mara, Technology Director
Boylston Elementary School
At this point, I am sure you have read last night's email from Superintendent Zanghi and likely seen or read news about the threat. While this "Tik Tok" challenge did not specifically target our community, we take all these seriously. If you were at drop-off or pick-up today you noticed the police presence. We truly appreciate the support the BPD offers to our community. They were here to reassure everyone that we are safe and looked after.
Inside these walls, we practice ALICE (Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, and Evade) in the event of any danger within the building. Staff completed an online refresher course this fall and I share the steps of this with every substitute I hire. We have not done a drill with the students yet this year but we will have one this year. I believe, especially at this level, it is most important to have the adults in the building prepared to maintain the safety of our community. With some students knowing about the situation, staff reinforced with them that everyone was safe and we had Mrs. Pierce (our Adjustment Counselor) in on her day off and Mrs. Wong (School Psychologist) was available for anyone that needed to talk.
The big news this week is next week! BES will be hosting a spirit week and all are encouraged to participate.
Monday: We'll kick off the week with a Snow Day! No, not a real snow day but that sure would be nice! Forget Labor Day and come dressed in all the white clothes you have and we'll make it feel like a snowy day inside.
Tuesday: Crazy hat/hair day! Come to school with your best Cindy Lou Who hair or your most outrageous hat! Get creative :)
Wednesday: Comfy Cozy Day! Do you have a favorite Hoodie? Foot pajamas? Or even a sweater? Come to school dressed to be cozy all day!
Thursday: Holiday Hoo-rah! Celebrate your favorite winter holiday in as festive a manner as you can muster!
BEF Square 1 Art
The BEF has asked me to share the delay in receiving Square1Art. It is unfortunately a product of the many delays we are seeing across the country. A more full explanation can be found here.
The Week Ahead:
Early Dismissal at 11:45
Return to school!
PTO meeting in the Library at 6:30
Ace Thompson, Principal
BES Office: 508-869-2200
Berlin Memorial School
Despite the warm weather, our Winter Break is almost here. Just a few notes as we get ready for a well-deserved break.
School Spirit Days
As is our tradition, the Student Council has planned out some school spirit fun for the last few days of December.
Monday is Crazy hair or hat day!
Tuesday is Blue Jay day - wear blue!
Wednesday is Pajama Day
Thursday is a Holiday - wear holiday clothes, ugly sweaters, maybe even dress like an elf.
I will send out reminders the night before each day. You can also download the flyer here.
Holiday Concert, 2021
A good news-bad news note here. The good news is that we will have a Holiday Concert this year. The bad news is that it will be virtual. Happily, for us, our good friends at Berlin Cable will be live streaming the event so that everyone can enjoy it in a safe manner. We will share out the link for that event as soon as it is set up!
Public Chorus Performance
The elementary Chorus groups in Berlin and Boylston will be singing the national anthem at the Worcester Railers game on Saturday, January 15th! I’ve attended events like this before, and the kids have a great time. Let’s all turn out to support our kids! You can purchase tickets online through this link - https://fevo.me/3neYdt5
Just a reminder that next Thursday, December, 23rd, is the last day of school. It is a half-day for students!
Have a wonderful weekend!
John Campbell, Principal
Tahanto Regional Middle/High School
Music Department News
The Tahanto Music Department presents
A Winter Concert
Links to the Radio productions will be posted on
the Tahanto Music Website on December 23, 2021
Note from Nurse Courtney Lamb
Dear Parents and Guardians,
Hello and thank you for the warm welcome that I have received already! I hope you all were able to enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday and spent some time resting and relaxing with your family. I want to thank you for your patience while there have been some transitions within the Nursing Dept, as well as ever-changing policies concerning Covid-19, and the launch of the Test and Stay program.
I'd like to take the time to clear up some questions we've been getting regarding Test and Stay, Symptomatic Testing, and Covid vaccinations.
Q: “Can my child participate in the Test and Stay if they are a close contact with someone outside of school?”
A: Unfortunately, no. Your child would need to quarantine at home for 7 days from the last day of contact with the positive individual. Your child would need to get tested between days 5-7, and if negative and asymptomatic, your child may return to school on day 8. The Test and Stay program is only available to unvaccinated students/staff that are close contacts of a positive individual at the school where the exposure took place. These are the protocols from DESE/DPH that we are required to follow for now.
Q: "I signed up for the Test and Stay, why does my student need to go home when they're sick? Can't you just test them?"
A: The symptomatic testing is slightly different from Test and Stay, though it uses the same test and same consent. It's when a student or staff member has one symptom, such as a sore throat, cough, fatigue, congestion, or headache- *that develops while in school. Once the student or staff has more than one symptom OR if they have one of the following symptoms: Fever (100.0 F or higher), chills/shaking chills, difficulty breathing/shortness of breath, the new loss of taste/smell, or body aches/muscle aches- they are required to go home and have a negative PCR/Molecular Covid test or an alternative diagnosis from their Dr in order to return to school. A Rapid/Antigen Covid test cannot be accepted. *Please note: If your child states that they were not feeling well in the morning prior to coming to school, they will be sent home and required to get a negative PCR/Molecular Covid test or an alternative diagnosis from their Dr in order to return to school. We are trying our best as a community to keep everyone safe and healthy. Please do not send your child to school if they are not feeling well before school starts.
Q; “Why bother getting vaccinated if both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals are getting the virus?”
A: The vaccine is meant to help your body recognize the virus, build up enough immunity to fight it, thereby decreasing the likelihood of hospitalization, severe symptoms, and less chance for transmission. The recent rise in cases reminds us that we all need to do our part to protect ourselves and others. Children ages 5 and older are now eligible to get vaccinated. While this is a personal family decision, I do ask, if your child falls into this category and you choose to have them vaccinated, please send me a copy of their completed vaccination card so that I can update their school health record.
New! Effective 11/17/2021 all individuals 16+ are eligible for a COVID-19 Booster! For more information click here.
Thank you for your support and partnership. If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to me at any time.
Have a wonderful Holiday Season!
Courtney Lamb M.Ed, MSN, RN
Tahanto Regional Middle-High School
Phone: 508-869-2333 ext. 2303
Confidential Fax: 508-869-6202
Boylston Lion's Club
The Boylston Lion’s Club has graciously donated Christmas trees for families who may be in need of a tree this season.
If you are interested please call the main office at (508) 869-2333.
Get ready Middle School!
SPIRIT WEEK is next week!!!
MON Monochromatic Monday
(Pick one color, any color, and dress in just that color.)
TUES Shiny Day
(Think sparkles, glitter, and/or bright colors)
WED Holiday Spirit Day
(Dress up with any winter holiday in mind: Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa etc…)
Thurs Comfy Day
(Pajamas, sweats, whatever makes you feel cozy!)
Managing Middle School
Somehow a holiday break is right around the corner. This can be a really tough time for many families, so if there is anything we can do to support your student in the coming months, please let us know. This is the end of a long stretch of school so many students are feeling the strain and we often see behaviors pop up this time of year. Keep an eye out for anything that seems out of place and let us know how we can help.
What’s happening now?
6th-grade Counseling Class
6th-grade classes were swapped in the rotation, but we’re still hoping to get some time with the students before the new year. It will look a little different, taking place during Quest block, but this allows us to connect with students on a more personal level. We’re really looking forward to connecting with the students!
Our 7th-grade lessons have begun in Ms. Hutchinson’s classroom. We started our conversation by going over how to identify and deal with bullying and mean behavior. We are moving towards talking about common stressors for middle schoolers and will be identifying strategies to deal with them. By the time we finish in a few weeks, we will also have touched on morals and ethics, philosophy, community, and good citizenship.
We’re planning on meeting with the 8th-grade class right after the holidays to discuss the transition to High School at Tahanto. We will also be introducing them to Naviance, which is a tool they will get to know quite well during the college application process.
Assabet applications and all required paperwork are due January 15th, 2022. That feels like a ways away, but these next few months can fly! Tahanto has little to do with the application or school tour process, so if you have any questions about Assabet, please reach out to them!
Unfortunately, the PTO was not able to have our annual Wreath Sale Fundraiser this year due to supply chain issues. This is one of our main fundraisers and will leave a hole in our finances.
Please consider donating in lieu of the usual wreath sale. Thank You!!!
Hopes for Humanity
THANK YOU TO ALL OF YOU WHO DONATED!!
"Hopes for Humanity" is a high school club focused on civic engagement, teaching students how to be active citizens in our community. This month, we partnered with WHEAT Community Connections, part of United Way, to assist with their holiday toy drive. Thanks to the generosity of donors, Tahanto is sending 65 wonderful gifts to WHEAT, to be distributed to local families in need.
Don't miss out! Yearbook orders are due by 1/10/2022 and are $65. All orders MUST BE pre-ordered. Each Senior will receive a FREE yearbook, sponsored by the Class of 2022. Please reach out to Mrs. Esposito with any questions or email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Do you have a senior student? Parents can send their child some well wishes by purchasing a Parent Ad. See Mrs. Esposito with any questions or email at email@example.com
December 21st: Mid-Term Grades Posted
December 23rd: Early Release
December 24th-December 31st: Winter Break
Please click on and read the important letter below from AD Matt Porcaro concerning Winter Athletics
Click on 2021-2022 Winter Athletic Registration and follow the directions.
Diane Tucceri, Principal
Sally Stukuls, Assistant Principal
Tahanto Regional High School
1001 Main Street
Boylston, MA 01505