BBRSD District-Wide Weekly Update

February 4, 2022

BBRSD School Committee

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, 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 1, 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

DESE updated the COVID 19 protocols this week. Please see the Pupil Personnel Section of this for more details on this, along with our new at-home COVID testing program.


Jeffrey T. Zanghi

Superintendent of Schools

jzanghi@bbrsd.org

Pupil Personnel Department

At-Home Testing Updates


  • Due to the weather-related cancelation of our schools today, At-Home testing kits for students will be sent home on Monday, February 7th. This distribution is for students who were opted-in by January 28th. Please remember to check their bags for the test kits.
  • Students who were opted in after January 28th will receive their first At-Home test kits on February 18th.
  • It is not too late if you haven't already opted-in for the new At-Home Testing program. Opt-in here: https://forms.gle/HkhYmn9YCMzSk7jK7
  • At-Home Testing kits are used at home each Wednesday.
  • Positive results are reported here.
  • 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.



Protocols for Responding to COVID-19 Scenarios

DESE and DPH updated the Protocols for Responding to COVID-19 Scenarios on Monday.


Families and staff should review the updated protocols here: https://www.doe.mass.edu/covid19/on-desktop/protocols/protocols.pdf


Highlights of the changes include:

  1. COVID-19 Symptom information has been updated
  2. Protocol A for individuals who test positive has been updated to note: "Return to school should be based on time and symptom resolution. Testing during isolation to return to school is not required."
  3. Protocol B has been revised and has multiple parts. Berlin-Boylston follows Protocol B* (New Version) to correspond with the At-Home Testing Program.
  4. Protocol C for Symptomatic individuals has been revised and applies to vaccinated and unvaccinated students and staff who experience COVID-19 symptoms. It is also recommended that individuals receive a negative PCR or rapid antigen test.


If you have any questions about COVID-19 symptoms, readiness to return to school, or these protocols, please don't hesitate to contact the School Nurse.



Jannel Fitzpatrick

Director of Pupil Personnel

jfitzpatrick@bbrsd.org

Boylston Elementary School

As we get into the new year I wanted to share with all of you one of my resolutions. My goal is to streamline our processes. We've been working on parent pickup and I think we've made some progress there. The next big one is drop-off which also impacts our tardies. With the bus issues over the past two months, we loosened up our drop-off times as we had more people driving students in the morning. However, now that the buses have a permanent solution, it is time to look at our morning drop-off routine.



You may have noticed our new sign reminding families that at 8:25 students are tardy and need to be signed in at the office. We have had excessive tardies in the new year and people have not been signing in the students. Another part of this concern though is that parents are in the line down onto Sewall at 8:25. We need to do a better job of moving this line along. We will have an additional sign reminding people to pull all the way up to the corner allowing upwards of 8 cars to be along the sidewalk at a time.


Once you are parked along the sidewalk please have your child disembark. Do not wait until you have pulled all the way up. Please also have your student ready as soon as you get to the sidewalk. If they need to get into the back to get their bags or have multiple things they need to collect first, avoid the line entirely by driving to the left of the island, and parking in the visitor spots or a spot along the side of the gym. Please share this information with grandparents, babysitters, and spouses who may not have gotten around to reading this. We're going to make this a well-oiled machine!



In other news, we have also officially entered our universal COVID screening protocol. Tests will come home with students who have opted in today on Monday. Please know if you did not receive them, the state required our first order based on those opting in by 1/28. We already know that we will have nearly triple as many for our next distribution on 2/18.


Students should take the test on Wednesday evening. You can read the full letter from Nurse Lisa here or find it in the electronic folder. If you are like me and learn best through YouTube, here is a link on the "how to administer." You only have to report if it is a positive result and do so here. And finally, it isn't too late to opt into the program. You can do that here.



A reminder that we have Jump Rope for Heart on Thursday 2/10. If your child is participating, please make sure they have their signed American Heart Association permission slip or they won't be able to stay. Please note this in School Dismissal Manager as well. Pickup for non-After School Program students is 4:00 at the gym doors. After School Program students will return to ASP at 4:00 and can be picked up as normal.



And lastly, there has been a run on snow clothes in and out of the office this week. It seems like every morning at least one bag of gear comes off the bus after arrival. It would be helpful if you labeled your child's gear/bag. This will help us make sure it gets to the right child before they head out to play in the snow.



Electronic Folder



  • Sunday (2/6)

  • Tuesday (2/8)

    • School Committee

  • Thursday (2/10)

    • Jump Rope for Heart




Ace Thompson, Principal

athompson@bbrsd.org

BES Office: 508-869-2200

Tahanto Regional Middle/High School

Latest COVID Information

Hopefully, you received the communication from the Superintendent about the new protocols and signing up for weekly at-home test kits. You can sign up here if you missed it. At-home testing kits will be sent home with students who have been opted in beginning February 4th. Please remember to check their bags for the test kits on Monday. 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 5th: Athletic Booster Meat Raffle 12-4

  • February 7th: College Admission Panel 8:30-10:00

  • February 8th: School Committee meeting 6:30

  • February 21st-25th: Vacation


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


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 2:15PM-3:15PM, as follows:


  1. Thursday, February 10, 2022

  2. 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 schools 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 February 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.


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




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.