BBRSD District-Wide Weekly Update

January 21, 2022

Superintendent's Office

COVID Testing Options

The Berlin-Boylston Regional School District will be discussing new in-school COVID testing protocols and new at-home COVID testing options with the School Committee this week and we will have additional information for the community next week.


Jeff Zanghi, Superintendent of Schools

jzanghi@bbrsd.org

Assistant Superintendent for Teaching and Learning

Partnering with Parents Math Session

Have you heard comments, seen posts, or watched a celebrity as they talk about "New Math" but didn't quite understand what they were on about? Have you seen your students solving math problems by drawing visuals, breaking numbers apart, or using other ways that are different than how we once learned? If you are hoping to get a better understanding of what these strategies are and how to use them, this is the spot for you!


For our next Partnering with Parents Math Sessions, the topic will be "New Math" with the focus on Grades 2 and 3. We will meet on Zoom on January 26, 2022, at 6:30 p.m. The sessions are brief (30 minutes) with an open-ended questions session at the end. I hope to see you all there!


Please contact Mr. Joey Flournoy with any questions or concerns about this program.


Zoom Link


Carol Costello,

Assistant Superintendent for Teaching and Learning

ccostello@bbrsd.org

Business Office

New Bus “App” - Testers Wanted

In coordination with NRT Bus, the District is looking at a new bus app. that will provide real-time information on the location of your child’s school bus.


At this point in the process, some preliminary testing has been done and we are now ready to expand the testing and are seeking volunteers to continue testing the app. A big THANK YOU to our School Committee Member, Lori Hart, who volunteered to be the district's "beta tester" for her time and effort to move this project forward.


- To manage the workload, we are seeking one tester for each elementary school route. This will help us see whether there are any spotty areas of cell coverage that may impact the app.’s effectiveness on certain routes.

- We are also seeking one tester for any Tahanto Berlin route, and one tester for any Tahanto Boylston route. We do not need to test all Tahanto routes, as the areas covered by the elementary routes are essentially the same as the Tahanto routes.

If you are interested, please reply to me directly (rconry@bbrsd.org) with the information below:

- your child’s name

- your child’s address

- the school they attend

- the bus # they ride on

- parent tester name

- parent tester email address

- parent tester phone #


Thank you in advance for those willing to pitch in, test the app. out, and provide feedback on its usefulness and effectiveness.


Sincerely

Robert Conry, Director of Finance and Operations

rconry@bbrsd.org

Pupil Personnel Department

Welcome Sherry Burke

This week Sherry Burke joined us as our new Middle/High School Special Education Coordinator and Boylston Preschool Coordinator. Sherry has many years of experience as a Team Chairperson, most recently as a Lead Evaluation Team Facilitator in Lawrence Public Schools. Welcome, Sherry!


SEPAC Meeting

Please see the announcement below for the next SEPAC meeting.


SEPAC Fundraiser

Please see the announcement below for the SEPAC Fundraiser through Little Caesar.


Jannel Fitzpatrick

Director of Pupil Personnel

jfitzpatrick@bbrsd.org

Boylston Elementary School

Drop Off Procedure Reminders

I wanted to remind everyone of our morning drop-off procedures. Lately, the line has been getting a little backed up in the mornings. Please pull all the way up the corner when you are leading a new group of cars up the driveway.


Once you are stopped along the sidewalk, students should get out of the vehicle and start walking into the building. We should be able to unload at least 5 cars at a time this way. Also, if you need to get out of your car to help your student we keep the visitor parking spots and spots along with the gym open for this purpose as to not slow down drop offs.


Feel free to skip the line and come up the left-hand side of the island in these instances. The late bell rings at 8:25 and students arriving after that time need to be escorted into the building and signed in.


MCAS


Looking waaaay head: we are already in the planning stages of MCAS testing for grades 3 through 5. Please see the dates below and try to avoid scheduling appointments and trips during this window.


Grade 3: April 5th and 6th, May 3rd and 4th

Grade 4: April 7th and 8th, May 5th and 6th

Grade 5: April 12 and 13th, May 10th and 11th, May 17th and 18th



Electronic Folder



Ace Thompson, Principal

athompson@bbrsd.org

BES Office: 508-869-2200

Tahanto Regional Middle/High School


Believe it or not, we are halfway through the 2021-2022 school year. This is a great time for students to reflect on their first semester and be proud of their accomplishments. It is also a good time to set goals for the second semester around academic performance, time management, social skills, and self-care.


Please remember that we have support here to help with every facet of the learning process.


Below is a list of supports that we offer:

  • Teachers are available 1 day a week after school for extra help (check with the individual teacher for the day)

  • School Counselors are available for academic advisement and check-ins. irodman@bbrsd.org gpicariello@bbrsd.org

  • School Adjustment Counselor, Kara Ford is available for social and emotional support. kford@bbrsd.org

  • Peer Tutoring is available for students who may need assistance. Contact your child’s school counselor for more information.

  • School Nurse, Courtney Lamb is available for medical and health-related support. clamb@bbrsd.org


Upcoming events

  • January 21st: End of Q2

  • January 24th: Term III begins

  • January 27th: Engineering Club 2:15-3:15

  • January 28th: Term II & Semester grades posted to PowerSchool


TAHANTO ATHLETIC BOOSTER CLUB

MEAT RAFFLE

Stock that freezer for your

Super Bowl LVI party and join us on:

Saturday, February 5, 2022

From 12-4 at the Berlin Country Club

25 Carr Road, Berlin, MA 01503

You won’t want to miss this, it’s sure to be a great time!!!!

Food Truck Vendor, Cash Bar, Raffles, 50/50 (that can’t be donated back), music, and more!


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


GRADE 7 ELA NEWS

Each quarter, students choose a free reading book from our school library. The students have the entire quarter to read the book and complete their SSR - or silent sustained reading - project. Students get to see examples of superior projects from previous years so expectations were high……..and students certainly met the challenge!

The project this quarter was to create a 3-dimensional representation of either the protagonist or antagonist in their story; this could be realistic or symbolic. Check out their fabulous work – they did an amazing job!



JOIN THE ENGINEERING CLUB-EVERYONE WELCOME!!

We will be running the engineering club on the next FOUR Thursdays from 2:15PM-3:15PM, as follows:


  1. Thursday, January 27, 2022

  2. Thursday, February 3, 2022

  3. Thursday, February 10, 2022

  4. 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!


IMPORTANT

Assabet and other school applications should be completed at this point. Now is the time we start getting requests for grades and attendance, so please reach out to myself and Ms. MacDonald.

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

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, they 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.


PANEL OF COLLEGE ADMISSIONS OFFICERS

Right at the start of the Second Semester, 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.


We hope to host this event in person on Monday, February 7, from 8:30-10 a.m. following Covid protocols of masking and social distancing. Watch your emails as the date approaches for a Zoom link, should we need to move the event online. All Juniors will be attending the program in school. Families are invited and encouraged to attend as well. Should you have a specific question you would like addressed during the program, please send it ahead of time to irodman@bbrsd.org. I will be moderating the panel program and will include those topics about which most people indicate an interest.


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


COVID Information

In order to control the spread of COVID-19 and communicate effectively with families please remember the following:

  • Please sign up for Test and Stay. Not signing your child up until your child is a close contact may delay the test by 48 hours and increase the workload for those contact tracing, checking immunization status, etc. Test and stay sign-up must be done for each individual student (not one form for all children in the district).

BBRSD COVID-19 Test and Stay Program

1. Letter regarding Test and Stay COVID-19 Program

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1FzNLTefNy4qjKgtMDASxKlD7GTGKnB2GdYjWNH1V8Uk/edit?usp=sharing

2. Student Consent Form

https://www.cic-health.com/consent/ma#consent


  • If your child is not feeling well, please do not send them to school. Call the school nurse and leave a message with specific information as to the symptoms your child is experiencing and the nurse will contact you regarding recommendations.

  • With the new CDC guidelines if an asymptomatic COVID positive student returns after 5 days they MUST wear a mask at all times for an additional 5 days.


Mask Wearing

Prior to vacation administration met with the entire student body to remind them of expectations around 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.




Athletic News

GUARDIANS YOUTH LACROSSE

SPRING REGISTRATION IS OPEN!

WE OFFER THE FOLLOWING TEAMS FOR BOYS Grades 1-8:

U9 – Grades 1 & 2

U11 – Grades 3 & 4

U13 – Grades 5 & 6

U15 – Grades 7 & 8

No experience is necessary at ANY level!

Register at www.guardiansyouthlax.com by February 1st!

If you have any questions please reach out to guardiansyouthlax@gmail.com Guardians Youth Lacrosse is a town-based youth sports program, for boys from Pre-K through 8th grade in Boylston, Berlin, West Boylston, and Clinton





REGISTER NOW FOR BOYLSTON YOUTH SOFTBALL

We are always looking for new girls in Grades 6-8 to join our team!

Register online at www.boylstonsoftball.org

COVID Safety: We follow all state and local guidelines. Softball is an outside sport with social distancing built into the game, making it one of the safest options for youth sports.

Cost: The entry fee is $120 (Early Bird discount of $20 off if you register prior to February 1st, 2022)

Season: Starts tentatively in late April and ends in mid-June.

Equipment: We are asking that each girl brings her own helmet, glove, and bat due to the pandemic. However, if this presents a problem, we do have a limited amount of equipment that we can loan out.

Please don't hesitate to reach out if you have any questions:

boylstonsoftball@gmail.com

We are always looking for volunteers to help with coaching or join the Board. Please let us know if you are interested in helping out.

Also, check out our Facebook page @bybsb01505 and Twitter page @boylstonbasebal for information as we get closer to the start of the season.

LOOKING FORWARD TO SEEING YOU ON THE FIELD!




Diane Tucceri, Principal

dtucceri@bbrsd.org


Sally Stukuls, Assistant Principal

sstukuls@bbrsd.org


Tahanto Regional High School

1001 Main Street

Boylston, MA 01505

(508) 869-2333

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.