BBRSD District-Wide Weekly Update
October 22, 2021
Superintendent of Schools
This week I want to address the growing concern that has circulated among staff and families regarding the recent resignation of our school nurses at each building. As a personnel matter, I am unable to comment on the specifics of what prompted their individual decisions nor the conversations I have had with each of them individually as well as collectively as a group.
What I can assure you, however, is that our students and staff in each of the schools will have the necessary and proper care that they deserve and to which they are entitled, and that we are making every effort to fill those positions as swiftly as possible. To date, we have a new and experienced school nurse hired for Boylston Elementary and with the very recent resignation of our Tahanto nurse, we will begin the process of hiring immediately. In the meantime, substitute nurses will be in place to cover these roles. Nurse Ana Amaral has withdrawn her resignation and will continue to provide the excellent care BMS families have come to expect from her.
Although there is a general staffing shortage and specifically, a nursing shortage statewide across schools and districts, I can assure you that our nurses have the tools and resources they need to keep our students and staff safe and to provide the constant and professional care required of the position. Please be aware that as a district, we are completely in compliance with the recommended staff-to-student ratio according to the state Department of Public Health guidelines. Those guidelines may be found here.
We have also taken several steps to support the time and efforts of our nurses as follows:
- We have hired a fourth (floating) nurse that will be shared between buildings. That person will start the position shortly.
- Also, on staff is a trained health care worker from CIC Health that is available anytime a Test & Stay situation is required in the schools. That individual will not only be available to perform the tests but also to enter live data in a timely manner so that our nurses can continue with their regular duties and responsibilities.
- Each nurse receives a $500 stipend to do any contact tracing necessary that takes place beyond the school hours.
I realize that the news of our nurse resignations has created a level of stress and anxiety, particularly for the parents of our students who require advanced care during the school day. As always, we are working swiftly toward a resolution. If you do have questions or concerns, I encourage you to reach out. I do want to remind everyone, however, that there is a conflict resolution school policy in place in the District. I would respectfully ask that it be observed during these trying times. That policy is available here. Please know that it is not our intention to ignore your calls or emails but that we are obligated to adhere to the School Committee policy regarding these matters.
Thank you, in advance, for your understanding and patience as we move through yet another obstacle related to the ongoing presence of COVID-19 and its variants in our school district. We appreciate your partnership and support.
508-869-2837 ext. 1107
Business Office News
School Lunch update
A brief reminder that school lunch is now available to students quarantining at home. A parent/guardian may pick up the lunch at Tahanto Regional Middle/High School from 12:45 pm-1:30 pm on each school day of the quarantine. It will be a single location for all three schools.
Please call 508-869-2333 ext. 2346 in the morning to request a meal, and call again shortly before arrival, so the meal can be brought outside to you.
Bob Conry, Director of Finance and Operations
508-869-2837 ext. 1103
Tahanto Regional Middle/High has been experiencing some problems with its phone system over the past month or so. We have taken multiple steps to address the situation and we are getting closer to resolving the issue.
The Technology Department verified and tested the internal equipment that runs the phone system. We have also hired an outside vendor, Integration Partners, to also verify that all the internal pieces of the phone system are functioning as expected. Integration Partners completed that work and did make some minor changes in order to assure us that our equipment is not the source of any ongoing issues.
At this point Integration Partners is working with our service provider, Verizon, to test and verify that Verizon’s equipment and service lines are in fact causing the dropped calls or inability to reach Tahanto via the main phone number (508-869-2333). We will continue to work with both providers until all phone issues are resolved. Thank you for your patience as we continue this work.
Paul Mara, Director of Technology
508-869-2837 ext. 1109
Boylston Elementary School
Friday is our big parade! Remember we will be hosting the parade in the morning (9:00) this year. This will allow students to come to school in costume. Parents who wish to attend should park on the playground before 8:45. We will be parading around the whole building so please spread out. And as always, it is important that we recognize students even in costume. Also, while cool in the upper grades, excessive gore can be scary to our kindergarteners so please limit the book and guts. And finally, we do not allow toy weapons in the building - they cause far more trouble than they add to the enjoyment. We are looking forward to this event!
Meet Lisa Leighton!
I'd like to introduce you all to Lisa Leighton who will become our new school nurse on November 3rd. She comes to us with over a decade of school nursing experience in Marlboro and is well versed in all things school COVID-related (contact tracing, quarantining, pool testing, and the test and stay program). Please join me in welcoming her to our team and community! While we wait for her to start I continue to work on substitute nurse coverage. Many days are already scheduled with one or two still needing to be finalized. Just know, my priority is to keep our school and our children safe and healthy.
Test and Stay Program
As you may have read in my email from the beginning of the week, on Monday we had our first opportunity to use the test and stay program. With some outside support from state contractors, we were successful in keeping close contacts in school this week. It was a huge relief. The program was not perfect, we're still working through the state documentation process and other smaller logistical components. We'll get there but this week gave us a reason to be hopeful. I also wanted to remind everyone, the state has said that this program is for close contacts within the building. We are not supposed to utilize this program for students who become close contacts outside of school. Thank you to everyone for your support and patience. Rome wasn't built in a day and this program can feel a little like building an ancient civilization sometimes.
This week we had an exciting opportunity to celebrate STEM! Our 5th grader insider, Ivy is reporting:
"Personally I don't think there has been a more exciting, creative, and inventive week in my 6 years at BES!! STEM week was a brand new experience for all of us. We were assigned partners and split into rooms. Our focus of the week was Loon lake which is a badly unhealthy lake and invasive species. Our first mission was to build an invention that could prevent bycatch (anything you catch by accident). Because this was the first activity some people found it a little confusing and complicated, but we all enjoyed the project. We learned that an invasive species called zebra mussels were taking over the pond, we also learned that the dam the mayor had built might be what was making loon lake unhealthy as well. We made dams out of clay and tested them to see if they would hold up. Later on, we added things that would make it safe for the creatures that lived in the lake such as fish ladders, turbine screens, and fish elevators. We also worked on water testing with strips of paper that change colors depending on Nitrate and Ph. We talked about how animals can help the environment and waters too!! We built another dam out of sticks and leaves from nature to see if it would hold. We also talked about biomagnification (the buildup of toxins inside secondary predators).
To explain biomagnification we played a game of Blobs. One person starts as it (the predator) and runs after everyone else, the prey. When the predators catch the prey, they link arms and become a toxin in the predator then as the game goes on more people join arms. Everyone and their partner made a public service campaign. Some people came up with jingles and mascots. It was really fun!! We built a device that could scoop up rice and let the water out. The last thing we did was create an invention that could scoop zebra mussels (nuts) off of boats (magnets). It was hard but exciting!! This was an amazing way to celebrate science and help young scientists thrive in both their imagination and skill."
The Week Ahead:
BES PTO Pumpkin Festive
Boylston Elementary School Pumpkin Festival
- Hosted by Boylston Elementary School PTO
- Saturday, October 30th, 3 pm-6:30 pm
- Boylston Elementary School Field
- Come and spend the day with family & help support school programs. Activities include pumpkin contests, carnival & yard games. Food & Drink are available.
- We look forward to seeing you on the 30th!
- Music Provided By Keith’s Music House - DJ - Halloween Themed Music
- Tahanto Student Council Games - Fish Bowl Pong, Spin Art, Pumpkin Ring Toss, Duck Pond, Toddler Monster Bowling
- Elevation Fitness - Obstacle Course, Pound Classes
- Moe’s Street Eats - Subs & Sandwiches, Chicken Nuggets & Fries, Fried Sweet Treats
- Boylston Fire Department - Ladder Truck & Ambulance EMT Demo
- Boylston Police Department - Cruiser & Tactical Demo
- Jennifer Lee’s Bakery - Cupcakes, Brownies, Cannoli
- Veronica’s Coffee Cart - Coffee, Hot Chocolate, Cookies
- Hulltastic Popcorn - Popcorn, Cotton Candy
- BES PTO – Candy Apples & Cider
- Clinton Savings Bank
- Wegmans of Northborough
- Jazziak’s Dance School
- Elevation Fitness
- Boylston Lion’s Club
- New City Microcreamery
- Jennifer Lee’s Bakery
- Ben & Jerry’s
- Apex Entertainment Center
- Altitude Trampoline Park
- Davidian’s Farm
Ace Thompson, Principal
BES Office: 508-869-2200
Meet Lisa Leighton!
Lisa will be our new School Nurse beginning November 3!
Friday, October 30 at 9:00 a.m.
MA STEM Week
A fun and educational time was had by all at STEM Week this past week!
Berlin Memorial School
Wow, it’s sure been a busy week here! A few notes for you.
COVID “Test & Stay”
As I shared in an email yesterday, a member of the BMS community has tested positive for COVID. As a result, we have implemented the “Test & Stay” protocol for a group of students considered close contacts here at school. The process is a bit time-consuming but much better than having to keep students home for a week. As always, we will keep you posted should any new cases of COVID pop up here at School.
Our second annual Halloween parade will be Friday morning, October 29th. The parade will begin at 9:00 in the morning, and you are welcome to attend. You can find the information for that here.
Speaking of Halloween…
In case you missed these in your child’s backpack, there are some great Halloween happenings in town next weekend. On Saturday 10/30 there will be a Halloween Stroll on the South Common, and on Sunday there will be Trick-or-treating in the town center. You can find flyers for those events here and here.
John Campbell, Principal
BMS Office: 978-838-2417
Tahanto Regional Middle/High School
Tahanto Students Celebrate STEM Week!
3-D constellation projects from earth science; catapults from honors physics, and trebuchets from AP Physics are amongst some of the educational activities that students at Tahanto have been participating in during STEM Week!
October 26th: Assabet Valley Vocational School Informational visit for current 8th graders from 11:30-12.
October 29th: HS StuCo presents Haunted Trail and Bonfire
November 2nd: Picture Retakes
Tahanto will be running the Engineering Club for interested students in grades 6-12 on the next FIVE Thursdays from 2:15 PM-3:15 PM, as follows:
Thursday, October 28, 2021
Thursday, November 4, 2021
Thursday, November 18, 2021
Thursday, December 2, 2021
Thursday, December 9, 2021
Parents, please email Mr. Eiermann at email@example.com with your child's name and intent to participate.
Middle School Counseling News
Check out Managing Middle School to learn about all that is happening in middle school counseling!
Just a reminder that if your child is not feeling well, please keep them home and notify the nurse
BBRSD COVID-19 Test and Stay Program
Below please find two very important forms regarding BBRSD's COVID-19 Test and Stay program. Please note that for your child to participate in the Test and Stay program a student consent form MUST be filled out and signed by a parent/guardian. If you have any questions or concerns please do not hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
1. Letter regarding Test and Stay COVID-19 Program
2. Student Consent Form
School districts must take attendance for every student, every period. If your child is absent from school please follow the procedures below:
Call (508)869-2333 and Press option 1 to report your child absent. If your child is absent due to a medical appt. (doctor or dentist) please bring a note to the main office from the doctor’s office the next day your child is at Tahanto.
If your child is going to be late for school please still call the above number and make us aware of this.
Each student has 3 parental excusals that can be used during each semester for absences that are not subject to a doctor’s visit. To use parental excusal please write a note and have your child bring the note to the main office on the next day your child is in person at Tahanto.
If your child is being dismissed from school, a written dismissal note must be handed into the main office by 8:00 a.m. Telephone dismissals will not be accepted.
If we do not receive a call notifying us of the absence, the secretaries in the main office will be contacting parents/guardians.
If you need further clarification or need to ask a question specific to your child’s attendance, please do not hesitate to contact Kathleen Angiulo at (508)869-2333 or send an email to email@example.com
Congratulations to the following fall sports teams for their league championships!
Girls Varsity Soccer: League Champions
Boys Varsity Soccer: League Co-Champions
Field Hockey: TBD (currently at least Co-Champions, but with a victory over Clinton they would be outright Champions!)
Last Friday the WB/Tahanto varsity football team defeated Weston (43-6). Tahanto seniors Jackson Rice, Cameron O’Brien, and Jared Moulton came up big in the senior night win. The JV squad got a lot of action on Friday in the second half, including Connor Rice coming up with a big interception. The next varsity game is Saturday, October 23rd in Lunenburg at 2PM. Both teams go into Saturday’s game with a 5-1 record.
Winners of the Butter Braid and Cookie Dough Fundraiser: Boys Varsity Soccer.
Individual sales winners: Baillee McNamara, Brendan Lee, MacKenzie Shepard, Jon Sawyer, and Brooke Eckelman.
Thank you to all that participated!
Butter Braid and Cookie Dough orders will be delivered on Monday, October 25th. Pick up is after school. We know most kids have practice or a game scheduled that afternoon. Cookie Dough can be out of the freezer for up to 8 hours and Butter Braids for 4 hours. We will have some coolers on hand to help.
MS Soccer, JV and Varsity Field Hockey, and JV Soccer all have games after school. It is extremely important to contact us via Tahantoboosterclub@gmail.com to make other arrangements if you cannot pick them up before game time. The school does not have the room to store these items overnight.
We can deliver them to your home in an extreme situation. Otherwise, items will be labeled and marked in coolers outside, in front of the school. Please kindly wait until the pickup line and congestion have cleared before pulling up to the front of the school.
Thank you to everyone that came out to support the Bottle and Can Drive last Saturday. Our next meeting is Wednesday, November 3rd at 6:30 in the Teacher’s Lounge in the hallway to the left of the cafeteria.
Diane Tucceri, Principal
Sally Stukuls, Assistant Principal
Tahanto Office: 508-869-2333