BBRSD District-Wide Weekly Update

February 11, 2022

BBRSD School Committee

NOTICE OF SCHOOL COMMITTEE MEETING
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 15, 2022

6:00-6:30 p.m.


Due to Governor Baker and Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) Commissioner Riley announcing that the in-school mask mandate will end effective February 28, 2022, the previously scheduled meeting on March 1, 2022, has been rescheduled for February 15, 2022, from 6:00-6:30 p.m.


Public comments are welcome at this meeting and the public comment portion of the meeting will run from 6:00-6:25 p.m. After the public comment portion of the meeting, the Berlin-Boylston Regional School District will discuss and vote on the mask mandate issue.


Those wishing to make a public comment are welcome to sign up in advance by contacting Kristi Turgeon at kturgeon@bbrsd.org no later than 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday, February 15, 2022. Walk-in constituents who would like to make a public comment are also welcome.


The BBRSD School Committee continues to welcome the thoughts, comments, and concerns of the community. Members can be reached at:

Lori-Anne Hart, Chair

lhart@bbrsd.org


Meagan Grill, Vice-Chair

mgrill@bbrsd.org


Adam Wilbur, District Clerk/Secretary

awilbur@bbrsd.org


Julie Lee, Member

jlee@bbrsd.org


Michael Totman, Member

mtotman@bbrsd.

------------------------------------------------------------------


NOTICE OF VACANCY

The Berlin-Boylston Regional School Committee is seeking qualified candidates to fill a vacancy on the Committee for the period March 8, 2022 (or as soon as possible after being sworn in), through election day on November 8, 2022.


Interested candidates must be Berlin residents and should submit a letter of interest and resume of relevant experience to Mrs. Lori-Anne Hart, Acting Chair of the Berlin-Boylston Regional School Committee no later than February 25, 2022, for review and consideration to either the above mailing or email address.


The Berlin-Boylston Regional School Committee will interview all applicants at its scheduled meeting on March 8, 2022, at 6:30 p.m. The successful candidate will be chosen by member vote at that meeting.


Any questions or concerns should be directed to Mrs. Hart at lhart@bbrsd.org.

Superintendent's Office

COVID-19 PANDEMIC SURVEY

In conjunction with the Superintendent's Advisory Council, BBRSD is conducting a parent survey to gather data on their feelings surrounding COVID protocols, including masking. We ask that parents complete this survey no later than Monday, February 14, 2022, at 4:00 p.m. Results will be reviewed and shared with the BBRSD School Committee prior to their February 15, 2022 meeting. Please click here to complete the survey.


Mask Mandate Expires

On February 9, 2022, Governor Baker and DESE Commissioner Jeffrey Riley announced that the in-school mask mandate will not be renewed beyond February 28, 2022, and that the mask mandate will be lifted effective on that day. Please click here to read the Commissioner’s Memo regarding that action.


At that time, the power to make decisions regarding masking will be handed over to local control and so the Berlin-Boylston School Committee will vote on Tuesday, February 15th to make that decision. If the Committee determines that masking should remain in place, and this may include a timeline for the duration of that decision, then masking protocols in our schools will continue in the same manner. If the School Committee votes to follow the Commissioner’s decision, and as such the DESE ruling, then masking in our schools will no longer be required by students, staff, or visitors.


While masks will not be required, our school district will continue to support those who choose or must continue to wear masks. It is important to note that as per the federal mandate, masks are still required on school busses until further notice. Therefore, your child must continue to travel to and from school with a mask in place.


If further guidance is released by the MA Department of Elementary & Secondary Education prior to February 28th, we will share that information with you as soon as possible.



Jeffrey T. Zanghi

Superintendent of Schools

jzanghi@bbrsd.org

Assistant Superintendent for Teaching and Learning


Community Grant Opportunity for Boylston Residents Including Students and Student Groups

Thanks to a community grant provided by CREST Technologies, Inc., residents of the Boylston community will have an opportunity to apply for grant funding up to $2,500. These grants are awarded through an open application process providing funding to local non-profit

organizations or individuals in Boylston, Ma. to empower them to design and

implement their own projects. To learn more about the grant, including guidelines, eligibility, and the selection process, please see below:

Guidelines

• CREST Community Grants provide funding up to $2,500

• Two grants will be awarded annually; one to an eligible Boylston student or

student group and one to a Boylston based non-profit or individual residing

in Boylston, Ma.

• The grant must fully fund the project being applied for. Funds are not to be

used for partial funding of a larger project

• Eligible non-profit organizations must operate on the local level (or be an

affiliate/chapter of a larger organization that operates locally) and the

the project must directly benefit Boylston, Ma.

The 2022 grant cycle begins Feb. 4, 2022 and the application deadline

is Feb. 28, 2022.

• Applications may be submitted at any time during this funding cycle.

• Applicants may only submit one application per cycle.

• The project must solely benefit the Boylston Community; i.e creation or

beautification of public areas, services and/or programs that benefit the

Boylston community

• Projects MUST be completed by Aug. 31st, 2022.

Eligibility Checklist

Individuals or Organizations applying must meet one of following criteria:

• An individual residing in Boylston, Ma or a student at Boylston Elementary

School or Tahanto Regional High School

• An organization holding a current tax-exempt status as a public charity

under Section 501(c)(3), or (19) of the Internal Revenue Code.

• A recognized government entity; state, county or city agency, including law

enforcement or fire departments, that are requesting funds exclusively for

public purposes.

• A K-12 public school, charter school, community/junior college,

state/private college or university; or a church or other faith-based

organization with a proposed project that benefits the community at large,

such as food pantries, soup kitchens and clothing closets.

Selection Process

• CREST Management will review the application and make initial funding

recommendations on all submitted requests.

• CREST Technologies reserves the right to adjust the amount awarded for

each grant without prior notice.

• Applicants will be notified of any decision via email. All funding decisions

are final.

• If an applicant is approved, funding will be provided based on submitted

invoices (all invoices will be paid directly) or receipts.

• In the event of being awarded a grant, applicants agree to attend a formal

recognition event.

• If municipal approval is required for a selected project CREST will assist

with that process. In the event approval is not granted a new award will be

made.

• CREST Technologies reserves the right to change these guidelines without

notice. All decisions are made at the sole discretion of CREST Technologies.

Please click the link below to access that grant application:

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdqoSkuqDdzxn2hMh11K01gsVSKhtmu_YhWfDEdxAUa534pNQ/viewform?fbclid=IwAR31drGG4tiBIxv_tk3nR--gQCDFIS4Dqn7LH_22Md_PiygF2piCBMfjfOQ


STEM and PBS Team Up

Here is a great resource for celebrating diversity in STEM brought to our attention by Lisa Sequeira, Department Chair and Science Coach at Tahanto. Brought to us by the PBS LearningMedia and entitled “Diversity in STEM: The Secret Life of Scientists and Engineers”, this target audience is students in grades 6-12. The site also contains wonderful resources for students in K-5. Check it out!

https://mass.pbslearningmedia.org/collection/secret-life-of-scientists-and-engineers-diversity-in-stem/#.WnnPk5M-dE4



Carol Costello, Assistant Superintendent

ccostello@bbrsd.org

Pupil Personnel Department

At-Home Testing Reminders and Updates

  • It is not too late to opt-in to the new At-Home Testing program. Opt-in here: https://forms.gle/HkhYmn9YCMzSk7jK7
  • Students who are opted-in from January 28th - February 16th will receive their first At-Home test kits on February 18th.
  • At-Home Testing kits are used at home each Wednesday, including over February vacation.
  • DESE advised districts this week that some At-Home Test Kits have the reagent already mixed in and others do not. Here are directions for using either type of test:
  • "Test 1' instructions here: https://www.mass.gov/lists/covid-19-self-test-at-home-instructions-graphic
  • "Test 2" contains an additional step (Step 1: Preparing Materials) here: https://www.fda.gov/media/153924/download
  • Positive results are reported here. Only report results from the At-Home testing program using this link.
  • Students and staff who have tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 90 days should not participate in At-Home testing. Symptomatic testing is available for these individuals if needed and if consented to.


If you have any questions about COVID-19 symptoms and/or your child's readiness to return to school following COVID, please don't hesitate to contact the School Nurse.



Jannel Fitzpatrick

Director of Pupil Personnel

jfitzpatrick@bbrsd.org

Big picture

Boylston Elementary School

100th Day of School

This week marked a big landmark in the school year. Monday was our 100th day of School! We are over the midway point and staring down the spring. We celebrated in various ways around the building. I had a blast visiting rooms and finding different ways to make 100. The simple addition equation here may have been my favorite. It was a ton of fun!



Help Wanted!


We need you! No really, we do. Earlier this year I put out an all-call for community members interested in ​subbing. We find ourselves in a similar situation again right now. If you like kids (and I hope you do) and have some availability during the school day please reach out to me. I can let you know what substitute teaching entails and answer any questions you may have. Shoot, I'll even buy you lunch...from the cafeteria if you agree to sub.



In a similar vein, we were recently awarded a grant to update our teachers' lounge (teachers' lounge sounds so much better than teachers' room). We have started the process of surveying staff and weighing options. However, if there is anyone out there that specializes in interior design that would be willing to volunteer their expertise we would love to hear from them. Mrs. Hatem (mhatem@bbrsd.org) has been taking the lead on this.


Grant Opportunity

Mr. Mecum has asked me to share the following grant opportunity with all of you:

CREST Technologies supports many causes in our community, but that doesn’t always mean making donations directly to organizations. We believe that empowering others to contribute in their own way is just as or maybe even more important.

CREST Community Grants are intended to do just that. These grants are awarded through an open application process providing funding to local non-profit organizations or individuals in Boylston, Ma. to empower them to design and implement their own projects.

The application process is now open and runs through February 28th, 2022.

We are excited to award two grants this year. One to a Boylston resident or Boylston-based non-profit and one to a student or student group from Boylston Elementary School or Tahanto.


The link to the application is below. Please be sure to read the terms and conditions included in the application.


We are super excited to see the projects brought forward to benefit the Boylston Community.

https://docs.google.com/.../1FAIpQLSdqoSkuqDdzxn.../viewform

Please send questions to matt.mecum@crest-tech.com



The Electronic Folder


The Week Ahead:

  • Monday (2/14)

    • Valentines Day!

  • Tuesday (2/15)

    • School Committee - Budget presentation

  • Friday (2/18)

    • 1st Grade Patriotic performance



Ace Thompson, Principal

athompson@bbrsd.org

BES Office: 508-869-2200

Berlin Memorial School

Please see the information below from Nurse Ana...

Dear Parents and Caregivers,

The new At Home Testing Program started this week. As you know if we are notified of a positive case at school, we are no longer contact tracing, notifying families, or doing the test and stay program. When your child comes to school, assume they could potentially be close contacts, just like when you go to the grocery store, after-school activities, or to family/friends gathering. Please be sure to monitor your child for symptoms of illness and keep them home if they don’t feel well.


We still have a few more weeks of cold weather, snow, and slush. The outdoors and fresh air is important to a person’s well-being and students will go out to recess if the ”feels-like” temperature is 20 degrees or above at the time their recess is scheduled. Be sure to send your child to school with the appropriate clothing to play outdoors (snow boots/pants/snow gloves and coats). As much as we would like to have extra gear for all students, it’s impossible. Having your child bring their outdoor clothing to school to wear during recess also helps teach them to be prepared and responsible.


Oftentimes, snow and slush manage to get into their boots and pants, so it's a good idea for your child to have an extra pair of socks, underwear, and pants in their backpack. Again, we would like to be able to provide all students with extra dry clothing, but we often lend it out and don’t get it back, and honestly, they are more comfortable in their own clothing.


Lastly, please be sure that your child packs a water bottle filled with water for school every day. This helps keep them not only stay hydrated, which helps them think clearly, ready to learn and uplift their mood, but also helps with GI issues like constipation that result in belly aches. Water bottle refill stations are available for refills during the day.


As always, thank you for your support and if you have any questions or concerns do not hesitate to reach out to me at aamaral@bbrsd.org.


Kindly,

Nurse Ana


  • If you would like to sign your child up for the At Home Testing Program, click here.

  • To report a positive At Home Test Kit result, click here.

  • For up-to-date covid case numbers in our school district, see the BBRSD Covid Dashboard that is updated weekly.



Spirit Week

February 14-18

Spirit week begins Monday, February 14th! Our Student Council plans these as a way to have some fun before the break. You all received a flyer to use as a reminder at home but here is an electronic copy for your information. Remember, this is just for fun, no need to go out and buy anything!


It's time for the Berlin Memorial PTL Read-a-thon!

Read-a-thon promises to be a fun, exciting journey that starts Monday, February 14, 2022. We will get your children excited about reading.


We know you have limited time but want the best education for your child. That’s why we hope everyone will activate their reader's accounts as soon as possible. This is where you can record and view your reader's progress.


We encourage you to activate your reader’s account today by clicking on https://www.read-a-thon.com/readers/r/UNGpIW/1 and following the simple instructions.

Thanks so much,

Berlin Memorial PTL


John Campbell, Principal

jcampbell@brsd.org

Tahanto Regional Middle/High School

SPRING ATHLETIC REGISTRATION FOR TAHANTO IS OPEN!!!

Now through MARCH 11,2022.



Please log onto the athletic website.

https://tahantoregional.rschoolteams.com


Click on the 2022 Spring Registration link in the middle of the page and follow the directions.


COVID AT-HOME TESTING INFORMATION

You can sign up here if you missed it. At-home testing kits will be sent home with students every other Friday who have been opted in and testing takes place every Wednesday evening. Positive results can be reported here.


Mask Wearing

Masks MUST cover both the nose and mouth. A majority of our student body does an excellent job with this, however, we do have some students who have to be constantly reminded to pull their masks up. A warning has been given to all that if reminders continue, detentions will be given to those not following the requirements.

I think we can all agree that no one wants to have to wear a mask but we all must do our part to keep everyone safe and be in compliance with the state mandate.

Please make sure that your child(ren) has a mask prior to leaving for school. The school does have extras for those whose masks break or get soiled at school, but we are not able to provide masks to those who forget theirs on a daily basis.


Upcoming Events

  • February 15th: School Committee meeting 6:30

  • February 17th: NHS Bonfire 6-8 all grades welcomed!

  • February 21st-25th: Vacation


Crest Technologies Community Grants


CREST Technologies supports many causes in our community, but that doesn’t always mean making donations directly to organizations. We believe that empowering others to contribute in their own way is just as or maybe even more important.

CREST Community Grants are intended to do just that. These grants are awarded through an open application process providing funding to local non-profit organizations or individuals in Boylston, Ma. to empower them to design and implement their own projects.

The application process is now open and runs through February 28th, 2022.

We are excited to award two grants this year. One to a Boylston resident or Boylston based non-profit and one to a student or student group from Boylston Elementary School or Tahanto.

The link to the application is below. Please be sure to read the terms and conditions included in the application.

We are super excited to see the projects brought foward to benefit the Boylston Community.

https://docs.google.com/.../1FAIpQLSdqoSkuqDdzxn.../viewform

Please send questions to matt.mecum@crest-tech.com


Career Panels

Tahanto Regional High School is sponsoring a series of career panels in March for all students in 10th and 11th grade. Students voted on the types of careers they are most interested in, and we developed our panels with this information in mind. We sent out a message earlier this week seeking volunteers to present at these panels, and we were overwhelmed with positive responses! Our panel slots are now full. The career panel schedule appears below:

Tuesday, March 1 from 11a.m. to 12p.m. - Medical Careers

Wednesday, March 2 from 11a.m. to 12p.m. - Business Careers

Monday, March 7 from 11a.m. to 12p.m. - STEM Careers

Tuesday, March 8 from 11a.m. to 12p.m. - Media/Arts Careers

In future school years, we are interested in providing job shadow and internship opportunities for our high school students. If you (or your employer) would be willing to discuss hosting a high school student (in 2023 or beyond), please reach out to our Internship Database Coordinator Jessica Gallagher at jgallagher@bbrsd.org. We will gladly keep your contact information for future opportunities. Thank you!


Tahanto Driver’s Education Course


Are You Ready To Drive?

Tahanto is partnering with CMSC Auto School to offer basic driver education to age-eligible Tahanto students at a discounted rate. This class will be offered during the first two weeks of March. Please see the attached flyer for registration information and important dates. Should you have any questions, please contact Chris Covino by email (ccovino@bbrsd.org) or telephone (508-869-2333 x 2121).

Tahanto Driver's Education Form


Jr. National Honor Society Drive for Sterling Animal Shelter


The Junior National Honor Society is collecting items for the Sterling Animal Shelter. The drive starts on February 4 and will run until February 18. Items in need are: cat litter, cat/dog toys, bleach, paper towels, stamps to mail letters, towels (hand towels, beach towels, or regular towels), heavy-duty trash bags, Lysol wipes, post-its, white copy paper, Scotch tape, Dawn dish soap, and hand sanitizer. The shelter also has an Amazon wish list on their website if you would like to donate that way. It is:

https://smile.amazon.com/hz/charitylist/ls/2FF16KPH9KI3I.

If you have any questions, please contact a Junior National Honor Society member or email the advisors:

Francene Gleason: fgleason@bbrsd.org

Kris Cassidy: kcassidy@bbrsd.org


JOIN THE ENGINEERING CLUB-EVERYONE WELCOME!!

We will be running the engineering club on the next two Thursdays from 2:15 PM-3:15 PM, as follows: Thursday, February 17, 2022


If you have questions or are interested in attending, please reach out to Mr. Eiermann at reiermann@bbrsd.org.


Managing Middle School

Time really does fly! As we wrap up Semester 1 and head into Semester 2 it is important to remember that there is still a lot of school left! Students who are thriving should keep at it through these cold and dark months. Students who may have struggled in Semester 1 still have plenty of time to turn things around and finish the year strong. The important message is that now is the time because you don’t want to make positive changes too late to make a difference.


Most middle school students will have some elective changes occur in Semester 2, so it’s a good time to look that over with them so they are sure where they need to be. If anyone needs a new schedule, please direct them to the counseling office so we can print them out!



What’s happening now?


6th grade

I have started 6th grade check in meetings and I am really enjoying getting to know the students, and look forward to connecting with everyone!

7th grade

We finished our classes for now, and I really enjoyed talking to them about bullying, kindness, school stressors, and even some deeper philosophical questions. Never a dull moment with this group! I plan to check back in a little later in the school-year and look forward to more interesting conversations.

8th grade

I will be connecting with 8th grade students in the near future, going over bullying and talking about how to be positive members of the community. We will also be talking about the transition to high school, and what they can expect next year and beyond. It’s hard to believe that high school is right around the corner for these kiddos!


Resources

Ms Ford’s virtual office - A great place to find coping strategies

Mr Picariello - Counselor grades 6-8, 9 (M-Z)

gpicariello@bbrsd.org

Ms Ford - School Adjustment Counselor

kford@bbrsd.org

Dr Trainor - School Psychologist

ktrainor@bbrsd.org

Ms MacDonald - Administrative assistant/ school registrar

amacdonald@bbrsd.org


From the HIGH SCHOOL COUNSELOR’S CORNER January 2022

The colleges are coming! Plan ahead for Monday, February 7, from 8:30-10 a.m., and join us in the Auditorium. Tahanto will be hosting a panel of college admissions representatives, who will discuss the college search and application processes. We have representation from a variety of colleges: public and private schools, in and out of state, small and large, etc. General information on topics such as school visits, the admissions process, senior year course selection, standardized testing, essays, letters of recommendation, and more will be addressed. Covid protocols of masking and social distancing will be followed. All Juniors will be attending the program in school. Families are invited and encouraged to attend as well. See who is coming - Flyer on College Panel for Juniors and Families


Remember that we are here for you via phone, email, and now for in-person appointments, so don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Visit our Tahanto School Counseling website for more information on available supports and resources.


NEW YEAR = NEW START & NEW TO DOs

A new year provides opportunities for new beginnings. In January, we also start a new semester. Everyone can view it as a clean slate, so all students should take advantage of the fresh start.

Fill Out & Submit Your FAFSA - The FAFSA, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, is an important component of your college search and became available on October 1, 2021. It’s important to fill it out as soon as it becomes available because it not only determines whether or not you qualify for federal aid, but also for certain types of state financial aid.

Parents can use their 2020 tax income returns. The sooner you fill out your FAFSA the better chances at earning state aid before funds become limited.

Learn more about filling out the FAFSA and, remember, it’s always free to fill out – so if you’re being charged to fill out the form, it’s not legitimate. The only correct FAFSA website to access the FAFSA is studentaid.gov.

Midyear Reports - Your first semester transcripts will automatically be sent to any school to which you have already applied. You do not need to request them separately on Naviance. Please check Quarter 2 report cards for any errors or incompletes. If you do not notify me about any issues, they will go out as is by mid-February.

Focus on Your Second Semester Classes - Keep in mind that no matter how your first semester went, the second semester can be a fresh start. Colleges love to see continual improvement; and, if your grades improve the second semester, your chances of getting off a waitlist or deferral list are that much better.

Avoid Senioritis - Students may have heard about Senioritis and laughed it off. It can cause a greater lack of motivation, general laziness, and lethargy. Don’t allow yourself to become a victim of senioritis. Colleges can actually rescind their admission decision if they don’t like what they see on a student’s final transcript. Treat this semester like you would any other. Remember that if seniors continue to do well enough, you could be exempt from final exams!

Register for Spring Standardized Tests - Throughout winter and spring there are many opportunities to take the ACT and/or the SAT. Check with the colleges and universities which you may be considering. Are they requiring test scores in their admissions decisions? Some have decided to continue their test-optional policies indefinitely or at least through 2024. Learn more from FairTest.

Apply for Scholarships - Continue to research and apply for scholarships. Remember that Naviance is just one tool to help you search for scholarships. It is updated on a regular basis, so check back often. Here is a Reference Guide to help you Navigate the newly formatted Scholarships in Naviance. There are many scholarship search engines out there, but be cautious of scholarship scams as well. Never pay anyone who guarantees they will find you a scholarship and do not share overly personal (financial) information.

Get a Part-Time Job - Getting a part-time job is a great way to gain job experience for your resume and help stretch your student budget. If you're searching for a part-time job opportunity, try to be strategic about where you end up. They could help you pay for college.

COLLEGE BOARD NATIONAL RECOGNITION

Carter Nosek, Class of 2022, has been selected as a College Board National Recognition Program awardee. He earned the National Rural and Small Town Recognition Award because of his academic achievements in school and outstanding performance on the PSAT/NMSQT® and/or AP® Exams. He accomplished this milestone during an immensely demanding period of his high school career. How wonderful to be able to share this great news - congratulations Carter!

COLLEGE-BOUND STUDENT-ATHLETES

Are you involved in sports and thinking about participating in athletics in college? Students considering studying and competing at an NCAA Division I or II school must register with the NCAA. The NCAA Eligibility Center is where students and families can learn about the latest initial-eligibility information, requirements they must meet to be ready when they get to campus, and where to find the best resources for planning to become a college athlete.


AN EARLY TASTE OF COLLEGE

Students interested in experiencing college-level coursework, while still in high school, have lots of opportunities to do so. Many universities offer students ways to explore and challenge themselves through online programs throughout the year. Summer enrichment programs are already taking applications. Learn from college professors, explore interests, and discover new skills. Some of these opportunities are at no cost for rising juniors and seniors who demonstrate financial need. Don’t forget to check out the Tahanto School Counseling Website for a link to a regularly updated list.


IS IT WINTER BLUES OR ARE YOU S.A.D?

Winter has arrived. If the shorter and darker days seem to really impact your/your teen’s mood, read this article to learn about Seasonal Affective Disorder. Work to improve your mood with these suggestions.


Ms. Ilene Rodman, EdM

High School Counselor

irodman@bbrsd.org

508-869-2333 x2317





Diane Tucceri, Principal

dtucceri@bbrsd.org


Sally Stukuls, Assistant Principal

sstukuls@bbrsd.org

The Berlin-Boylston Regional Public Schools do not discriminate on the basis of age, race, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, creed, disability, veteran status, genetic information, homelessness or any other class protected by state or federal law.