DISTRICT UPDATE

November 2, 2022

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Dear Parents, Guardians, and Staff,


The past week has been full of great news! From state championships to thoughtful giving to vast funding opportunities, our districts are very fortunate. Congratulations to the student-athletes in volleyball and basketball, as well as those in Marching Band (see full stories below).


CENTER OF TECHNOLOGY GROWTH

I received notice that our State of Maine Department of Education application to expand the Biddeford Regional Center of Technology (COT) was tied for the highest ranking score receiving conditional approval for the full amount of $7 million. Although we remain in the 15-day appeal window, we are confident this project will move forward which is a huge win for the students in Biddeford, Dayton, Saco, Old Orchard Beach, Kennebunk, and other outlying communities who attend COT.


The COT expansion, to occur in two phases, will allow students increased choice in career pathways.

  • Create a Culinary Arts and Hospitality Program. According to the Coastal County Workforce Board, Hospitality/Food Service/Tourism is one of the five industry sectors in need of workers to be trained in customer service, money handling, food handling certifications and requirements, dependability, and performance of multiple functions in a kitchen. The program space would include a culinary classroom/lab, dining space, dry storage, linen closet, and a mock hotel room.

  • Create an Athletic Training Program. This new program would be in close proximity to the gym and the athletic training space at BHS allowing the use of current equipment to reduce the overall cost. The classroom would be equipped with appropriate interactive technology.

  • Expand EMT Program. According to the Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics, EMT and Paramedic job growth is projected nationwide to increase by 11% through 2030. On average, there are 125 openings per year in Maine for EMT professionals. Our EMS Basic is considered an entry-level position in the workforce, and students can use their EMT­ Basic Certification to advance through professional levels and responsibilities in the field. The expanded space would allow the program to gain lab space providing a positive clinical experience.

  • Expand Plumbing & Heating Program. The COT’s current plumbing program has been running a waitlist for the past two years. Projections for this field continue to be strong for the future, and students can apply their hours toward their Maine Journeymen's license.

  • Middle School Programming. COT has been one of the middle school program pilots allowing students to explore their interests and learn about the many career opportunities available. This expansion would allow for possible middle school programming in the future.


All the programs that will be housed in the new addition offer certifications such as ServSafe, OSHA 10, NCCER Plumbing Certifications, EMT Basic Licensure, CPR & First Aid, Athletic Training, dual enrollment opportunities, and post-graduate Apprenticeship opportunities.


ELECTRIC BUSSES

Thanks to the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Clean Bus Program, Dayton is among one of the 13 school districts in Maine to be granted funding to replace their fleet of diesel-powered buses with electric, low-emission buses. With a value of over $1.5 million, including charging stations, Dayton will replace four buses over the next year. The EPA references the benefits of cleaner air, reduced health risks, reduced greenhouse gas emissions, and grid resilience. For the full story on News Center Maine, click here.


GIVING THANKS

I was thrilled to learn that several local businesses are continuing their sponsorship of Thanksgiving meals for our students in need. Our resiliency coordinators, social workers, and counselors are connecting with families in need, and on Saturday, November 19th, they will pick up or receive delivery of a full Thanksgiving meal. On behalf of all our families, my deepest gratitude to the local businesses that contribute to caring for our community!


INCLEMENT WEATHER COMMUNICATION

Although it does not feel like it this week, we want parents to be informed of how we will notify families when there is inclement weather that delays or closes school. Please review the storm letter linked here and below.


May your family enjoy a nice Thanksgiving holiday later this month.


Jeremy Ray

Superintendent of Schools

Investing in Clean School Buses


  • Wednesday, November 2: Early Release Day

  • Sunday, November 6: Daylight Savings Time Ends - Set clocks back one hour

  • Tuesday, November 8: Election Day

  • Wednesday, November 9: Ask the Experts Webinar Series (Info below)

  • Wednesday, November 16: Watch email for Principals’ Newsletters

  • Tuesday, November 22: Early Release

  • November 23-25: No School - Thanksgiving Holiday

GIRLS BASKETBALL PLAYERS - MAKE IT TO NATIONALS

Eight students from Biddeford and Saco Middle Schools who play on the Firecrackers Club basketball team recently competed at the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame Ladies Ball Global Championship. The students, coached by Ed Silva, battled hard through the New England Region tournament to make it to Nationals in Pennsylvania. The girls started the weekend tournament with a stop in New York City for a press conference and photo shoot and then carried on to Scranton, PA, where they played basketball at the highest level to date.


“They are a great group of hard-working, talented kids who love to be around each other and play basketball, said Silva. “Our squad competed tremendously in the tournament.”


Although they didn’t get to compete for the National Championship, they came out with their usual fierce competitive spirit and left Scranton with a great win in their final game and lifelong memories.

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Front Row: Riley Ewing (MSK), Sophia Sirois (TAMS), Avery Keegan (SMS), Natalia Silva (BMS), Mia Mariello (BMS), and Brooke Bodnar (SMS).


Back Row: Olivia Breen (Oceanside Middle School), Sienna Eldred (SMS), Olivia Hunter(BMS), and Gabriella Silva (BMS).

BHS VOLLEYBALL WINS STATE CHAMPIONSHIP

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The Biddeford High School volleyball team finished off a 14-0 season with three postseason victories and a Class A State Championship victory over Gorham High School at the University of Southern Maine. The Tigers lost one set to Scarborough the entire season. The Lady Tigers bounced back from a heartbreaking loss to Scarborough in last season's state game to dominate opponents this season. Congratulations to the coaches and team!

BHS MARCHING BAND PLACES SILVER AT MBDA FINALS

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Congratulations to BHS students in the Seacoast Marching Band for earning a Silver Medal at the Maine Band Directors Association Marching Band Finals last Saturday, October 29th. Seacoast Marching Band is a marching band cohort between Biddeford and Old Orchard Beach Schools. A combined 41 students from both schools participated in the activity this year. Many music programs around the country are experiencing low enrollment so to ensure the viability of our program we created a cohort between the two school districts. This cohort has allowed an opportunity for those students interested to have a great experience in the marching band. We are proud of their accomplishments!

BMS STEM STUDENTS HOST 5K & KIDS FUN RUN

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STEM students from Biddeford Middle School hosted a very successful 5K race on Sunday, October 30th, to support the program they love. The students directed, organized, designed, and facilitated the race with the help of their teachers. Approximately 80 people were registered for the event. The STEM team would like to thank all of the local businesses that sponsored them and all those who participated in the event.

BHS STAFF RAISE MONEY FOR BREAST CANCER MONTH

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The Biddeford High School staff wore pink last month to raise money and awareness of National Breast Cancer Month in October. They were able to raise $150 to support the Susan G. Komen Foundation.

BIS STAFF MODELING KINDNESS

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HAVE TIME TO BE A SUB? JOIN OUR TEAM!

How is media impacting my child’s relationship with friends and family; is it hurting or helping? Why does my child talk about influencers like they have a real relationship? How can I best connect with my child in the face of constant technology use? With increasing reliance on digital platforms for interaction, how are relationships changing? Is this contributing to the growing concern about youth social anxiety?

From authentic connection to isolation, join us for our next “Ask the Experts” webinar “(dis)Connected? Relationships in the Digital Age” when an esteemed panel of psychologists and researchers will delve into the science (and art) of relationship-building! Attendees will be treated to a fascinating discussion about the characteristics of healthy and unhealthy relationships among children and parents, peers, siblings, and dating partners, and hear tips they can share with youth to promote strong personal connections in the context of near-ubiquitous use of smartphones and other technologies.

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