Superintendent's Synopsis

Blue Hills Regional Technical School District

March 2020

Blue Hills Regional Technical School is enacting a closure of school from March 16 - April 5, 2020 and school-related activities. School is tentatively scheduled to reopen April 6, 2020.


We hope you are all staying healthy and following the guidance from Dr. Anthony Fauci

regarding the corona-virus and adapting to the new home office norm. Avoid discretionary travel, avoid social gatherings of over 10 or more, sporting events with spectators, concerts, and conventions during the COVID-19 pandemic.Please practice social distancing and good hygiene. This new virus has us all learning about it and learning about what we are supposed to do to prevent the spread of the virus, protect ourselves and our loved ones.


As we all adapt to the new "home office" norm during the COVID-19 pandemic, please remember to be kind to one another. Take good care of yourselves, exercise in the house or yard, spring clean, paint, write, read, journal, play board games, play cards, do some karaoke, knit, sing, play music, create something, solve puzzles, cook healthy meals together, teach someone something new or learn something new. Then at the beginning of each day and before you go to sleep think about one thing that you are grateful for in your life.


Remember to focus on What's Important Now (WIN). We are all in this together and we will get through this as one Blue Hills.


Stay safe and be well.


  • Advisory Board Dinner for April 9 is canceled
  • Outstanding Vocational Student Awards Banquet for April 9, 2020 has been CANCELLED
  • Additionally, the MIAA Board of Directors voted to have completion of regular season and tournament games by June 20, 2020 with consideration of June 21, 2020 for weather and facility needs
  • MCAS Grade 10 Testing is postponed
  • SkillsUSA May 1st is cancelled
  • Spring Sports begin April 27
  • Day on the Hill is canceled
  • Continuing Education is canceled for the remainder of the year.


Please check out the FAQ's below.

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Student Learning

Are the days during the three week closure counted as “school days?”

No: the week of March 16-19 are non-school days. However, the period from March 23 to April 5 will essentially be considered a two week school closing period. According to the DESE guidelines,there is an expectation that we provide online enrichment learning opportunities during this period. It is important to note that the school year will not extend beyond the 185th day (June 25, 2020)

Are there expectations around Distance and Online Learning Expectations for Students or Teachers?

During the next two weeks (March 23-April 5), assignments should be provided that continue the learning process in each class. Understandably, we are not providing a full replacement of our normal curriculum. Some examples would be: enrichment activities, reading assignments, writing assignments, research assignments, mindfulness, IXL/math packets, physical activity suggestions, vocational technical assignments, hands-on science activities, Naviance, career activities from Strands 4, 5, and 6, and other online practice, etc.


All teachers and providers should be contacting their students to ensure a “continuation of learning” as described above. Teachers should communicate, insofar as they are able, at least twice per week with their classes, providing what they have determined to be the best pathway towards a continuation of learning. Teachers should communicate as close to the beginning of each week as possible and check in at the end of each week via email through their Google Classroom, Remind App, where applicable or class lists in X2. More information will be coming from Principal ZIni and your teachers.

Given a three week closure, what happens with the MCAS ELA test for sophomore students?

At this time we will not be in school during the previously scheduled MCAS window. We expect to hear more from DESE in the near future on this topic as all high schools are in the same position.

Activities, Events and Athletics

Are there any athletic, club, or activity events happening during this period of closure (March 16-April 5)?

No. All school-related events are canceled during this period.

Are spring sports delayed?

Yes. After much discussion, the MIAA BOD decided to delay the start of the 2020 spring season to April 27, 2020. Respecting the fluidity of this situation, this decision will be revisited prior to April 27.Additionally, the MIAA Board of Directors voted to have completion of regular season and tournament games by June 20, 2020 with consideration of June 21, 2020 for weather and facility needs.


What about prom, graduation, incoming 9th grade placement testing?

There are many questions that we cannot answer at this time due to the dynamic situation. Questions about end-of-year events such as prom, field trips, incoming 9th grade placement testing and graduation cannot be answered yet. We promise to keep you informed of decisions about these events.

Are Saturday suspensions in session during school closure?

No. Saturday suspensions are postponed until further notice per Dean Cavanaugh.

When is the last day of school?

Blue Hills Regional Technical School will be in session through June 25, 2020 which is our regularly scheduled 185th day.

Currently the schools are closed through April 5, 2020. Will this be extended? How will we be notified?

Blue Hills Regional Technical School will continue to monitor this fluid situation and will make the best determinations in the best interest of the students and staff. Information will continue to be provided via Blackboard Connect-ed, on our website www.bluehills.org and on all major news outlets.

What will happen to April vacation (April 20-24)?

At this time the April vacation week is scheduled as planned. However, given these unexpected school closures we may revisit the need for additional school days and this will be revisited in the near future with all impacted employees.

Will food services be available for students that qualify for free and reduced lunch?

We are not an eligible district at the moment. We will however continue to revisit our eligibility as USDA makes decisions. All students can receive meals at any approved meal location whether in their home district or any other district.Please reach out to your teacher or guidance counselor for more detailed information regarding meal locations in your town. USDA is allowing anyone from the age of infancy-18-21 to receive meals at approved sites. We will continue to be in contact with our students to ensure everyone is being supported and in the event we are approved we will distribute information then. http://meals4kids.org/schoolclosure and Project Bread are great resources for more information. Call Project Bread’s Food Source Hotline at 800-645-8333. They have food assistance for all MA residents. Able to help 160 languages and the hearing impaired.
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Will there be access to any school buildings during the March 18 - March 25, 2020 ?

At this time all the building is closed to staff and students. However, we are aware of building access requests and we will be communicating accommodations for reasonable requests through appointments with an Administrator or Supervisor. If a student or staff member needs to access the Blue Hills building on weekdays, please contact a school administrator first to make an appointment.

Principal Geoff Zini

Dean Tom Cavanaugh

Facilities Director David Galego

Academic Director Dr. Paul Bavuso

Vocational Director Michelle Sylvia

Special Education Director Angelo Dimitrou

Admissions & LPN Director Marybeth Joyce

IT Director Matt Eisan


Are LPN students and LPN teachers supposed to attend school?

No, LPN students and LPN teachers/staff follow the same procedures as their parent institution.
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COVID-19 RESOURCES AND SUPPORT

Should everyone be practicing social distancing?

Yes. Now, we ask that you do your part. Creating social gatherings during the school outage will minimize the impact of closing school. Carefully consider the necessity of being together. This is not a vacation. It is an extreme measure to allow for social distancing so the virus is not spread. Please stay 6 feet away from anyone you see and take only necessary trips to the store and work. Not being exposed to the virus is the best way not to get sick. Please refer to this CDC webpage for other recommendations to prevent illness: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/prevention.html


Your children should not be socializing with anyone outside of their immediate family during this school closure.


How do I contact my town's local board of health?

Avon (508) 588-0414 ext. 1016

Braintree (781)-794-8090

Canton (781) 821-5021

Dedham (781)-794-8090

Holbrook (781) 767-3030

Milton (617) 898-4886

Norwood (781)-762-1240

Randolph (781) 961-0924

Westwood (781)-320-1027


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What if we need Internet Access? How do I access free Xfinity WiFi hotspots?

Please use the following links for information regarding Comcast's Internet Essential Program for any families in need of internet access.

https://www.internetessentials.com/

https://corporate.comcast.com/covid-19

Xfinity WiFi Free For Everyone:

Xfinity WiFi hotspots across the country will be available to anyone who needs them for free – including non-Xfinity Internet subscribers. For a map of Xfinity WiFi hotspots, visit www.xfinity.com/wifi. Once at a hotspot, consumers should select the “xfinitywifi” network name in the list of available hotspots and then launch a browser.


Special Education

My child is on an IEP or 504 Plan, and I am concerned about the implications of the closure on my child’s educational progress.

Upon the conclusion of the closure, and the re-opening of the district, IEP teams will be available to convene to determine what type of impact the closure had on your child’s educational progress, and make individualized team based decisions as needed. Please refer to the following guidance.

I have made a request for an Initial Evaluation on or after March 16th. What should I expect?

Any timelines associated with an initial evaluation request received on March 16th or during the two week closure, will be processed using day one of the timeline as the date the district re-opens. For example, if the district re-opens on March 30th, that would count as day one associated with the timeline for an initial evaluation request. We have vetted this with our legal counsel.

Will my child’s special education liaison, related service provider, and Director of Special Education be available if I have a question during this two week closure?

Yes, special education teachers, related services providers, and the Director of Special Education will be available to assist with specific questions as needed. You can expect a “check in” from your child’s liaison, in the form of a phone call or email during this time as well.

My child is on an IEP and receives “services only” (i.e. speech/Language counseling etc.). Will my child receive these services during the closure?

Services will not be provided during the closure, consistent with how this is handled on snow days.

About Blue Hills Regional Technical School District

Located in Canton, Massachusetts, Blue Hills Regional Technical School is a part of the state's high-performing career and technical education model. By integrating rigorous academics and career-minded learning, the organization delivers purposeful education to expand students' opportunities for college and career success. In partnership with parents, business leaders, and the community. Blue Hills Regional Technical School challenges all students to embrace academic learning, experience cutting-edge technical training and elevate their character to succeed in college and career.