DISTRICT UPDATE

September 7, 2022

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Dear Parents, Guardians, and Staff,


It is so wonderful to have students back in the buildings! I took some time this past week to visit all the schools to welcome new and returning staff while watching the kids’ smiles as they jumped off the bus or out of their vehicles to reunite with their friends. We are hopeful this school year brings with it a sense of normalcy in which students can focus on academics and making new friends, while we also support them in conquering the post-Covid aftermath of social-emotional challenges.


I am always impressed by the sheer volume of work completed by our custodial and maintenance staff, food services and transportation staff, front office assistants and support staff, teachers, educational technicians, and administrators to provide the best possible return for our students. As is customary during the first couple of weeks of school, we recognize there are some logistical challenges that we need to alter and improve. As we work to improve, I thank you for your patience and understanding and applaud our staff for their continued professionalism, care, flexibility, creativity, and positive attitude as we address each situation.


TRANSPORTATION

Approximate bus stops/times have been noted in the Infinite Campus Parent Portal under the 2022/2023 School Year tab. If you have any questions about your child(ren)’s transportation needs, please contact the Transportation Department at 282-0909.


ATTENDANCE

On behalf of all our educators, we wish to remind parents and students alike of the importance of regular school attendance and on-time arrival (see below start times). Even once-monthly absences have a profound impact on student outcomes. Encouraging regular school attendance is one of the most impactful ways that you can bolster the work we do in the classroom. When you emphasize the importance of showing up, you’re doing so much to help your child develop healthy habits that last long past graduation.


FREE BREAKFAST & LUNCH

All students will receive free breakfast and lunch. I encourage parents to review the menus each month on the district website and take advantage of this program–one less thing to think about in the morning! However, it is vital that parents complete the Meal Benefit Application as it directly affects our school’s funding. The link is below to complete it online, along with more information. All meals meet USDA nutrition guidelines, and any special requests should be made directly to the Nutrition Department.


THANK YOU!

Through partnerships with the community and many generous donors, we have collected backpacks, school supplies, etc. to help students in need (see a full list of donors below). If your child is in need of anything, please don’t hesitate to reach out to the Principal or Resiliency Coordinator so we can be of assistance. We do not want there to be any barriers to making students feel comfortable and welcome so that they may focus solely on academics.


STAY INFORMED

We’ve worked hard in the last several years to strengthen school-to-home connections. Between emails, newsletters, social media, mobile apps, public meetings, etc., we’re doing more than ever to keep you connected. We encourage parents and guardians to follow the school and district social media pages, read the newsletters to stay informed and ask questions for clarification. If you do not receive the emails, please verify your Parent Portal information in Infinite Campus to update.


Sincerely,

Jeremy Ray

Superintendent of Schools


UPCOMING DATES TO REMEMBER

  • Thursday, September 8: First day of Pre-K

  • Wednesday, September 14: Early Release Day. As a reminder, the early release times are as follows:

    • Pre-K: No school on early release days.

    • JFK (Kindergarten only): Dismissal at 11:50am

    • BPS & BIS: Dismissal at 12:00pm

    • BMS: Dismissal at 12:50pm

    • BHS & COT: Dismissal at 12:25pm

    • Dayton Consolidated: Dismissal at 11:30am

  • Wednesday, September 21: Watch email for Principal’s Newsletter

  • Wednesday, October 5: Early Release Day & Next Superintendent Update.

  • Friday, October 7: No School for Students - Teacher Development Day

  • Monday, October 10: No School - Indigenous Peoples’ Day

SCHOOL ARRIVAL & DISMISSAL TIMES

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REQUIRED FOR ALL - REGISTRATION & PARENT PORTAL

It is very important for parents to complete the registration process in order to stay connected and informed about your child(ren)’s education. If you have not yet set up your Infinite Campus Parent Portal, or need to make any edits to your information, please do so by clicking on the links below. Step-by-step instructions (apply to both Biddeford and Dayton) are available by clicking here.


DOWNLOAD THE SCHOOL DISTRICT’S MOBILE APP!

Stay informed by downloading the school district’s mobile app! It will allow parents to choose the school(s) they would like to get notifications from, see the dining menu quickly, access the live feed, sports schedules and scores, important documents, emergency notifications, and more! Simply download the relevant app at the link below:


THANK YOU TO OUR GENEROUS DONORS

During the last month, the schools within our district have received generous donations from individual and organizational donors to help our students in need, as well as our teachers with additional items for their classrooms. In the last Superintendent Newsletter, we highlighted a $5,000 donation worth of backpacks and school supplies from FMI, a Spirit AeroSystems Company.


Thank you to all of our other donors who have donated backpacks, school supplies, gift cards, and funds to help our students:

  • Staples

  • In a Pinch Food Pantry

  • Team Letellier of Re/MAX Realty One

  • Saltwater Vineyard Church

  • Patriot Subaru

  • Gentleman's Studio Barbering

  • People's Choice Credit Union

  • Lincoln Lofts Tenants

DEVICES FOR STUDENTS

Every student in the Biddeford and Dayton School Departments will be assigned a school-owned device for the 2022-2023 school year with the expectation that students and/or parents will be responsible for returning them in similar condition.


To begin the year, students in Grades PreK through 4 will each be assigned a device that will stay at school but will be ready to go home in the event of unexpected circumstances. Students in Grades 5-12 will be issued a device that may go home with them each day (as determined by their teachers/building). Students should bring their device to school each day—charged. Devices will be assigned during the first week of school.


DEVICE PROTECTION PLAN

The Device Protection Plan is strongly recommended for students in Grades 5-12. These students are considered to be in a “one-to-one take-home” device program. They are allowed to keep the device with them and may end up with the same device for several years.


For Grades PreK through 4, whose devices will be left in the classroom, The Device Protection Plan is not seen as necessary, UNLESS these students end up in a Remote Learning situation or need to quarantine at home at some point and will be taking their devices home. At that time, it would be recommended that parents consider purchasing the Device Protection. Device Protection Plan and cost details here.


FOR PROBLEMS/ISSUES WITH DEVICES:

Students/parents should immediately inform the student's teacher, who will then contact the Technology Department. This will keep the teacher and others at the school aware of the situation and the remedy.

FREE MEALS + THIS FORM = MILLIONS IN SCHOOL FUNDING

We are thrilled that all youth will again have access to free breakfast and lunch this year which meet nutrition standards established by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Although there is no charge, we ask ALL families to please complete the Meal Benefit Application, regardless of eligibility, as the data provided is used to determine our school funding, including Title 1 funds for special education programs; before/after and summer school programs; discounts on laptop insurance and internet; and teacher's student loan forgiveness.

BREAKFAST & LUNCH MENUS

PARENTING IS HARD

The Opportunity Alliance offers parent education classes to help parents and caregivers develop and strengthen their parenting skills as well as provide resources for support. Some of the current classes include Circle of Security™, Nurturing Parenting™, and Child Protective Services 101: For Parents, By Parents. All classes are held via Zoom and are either free or provide a sliding scale fee. Check out their website below for more information.

BEF’s Pillars of Pride Dinner & Silent Auction - Save the Date

Saturday, Oct. 1st, 5:30-8:30pm

168 Saco Avenue

Old Orchard Beach, ME

The Biddeford Education Foundation (BEF) is pleased to announce its 5th Annual Pillars of Pride Dinner and Silent Auction. The event is scheduled for October 1, 2022, 5:30-8:30 pm at Duffy’s Tavern and Grill in Old Orchard Beach. This year the guests of honor will be Denise D’Entremonte and Apex Youth Connection. For more information, please contact skane@biddefordschools.me.