August 24, 2022
Dear Parents, Guardians, and Staff,
The new school year is upon us with staff returning this week to set up their classrooms, new staff is attending orientation, and we are excited to have students return next week. Our first official day of school is Wednesday, August 31st for Grades 1-9 (see below for all grades and start dates). We are looking forward to this year allowing us some pre-Covid “normalcy” with limited quarantines, open houses (dates below), return of school activities and assemblies, sporting events, etc.
We acknowledge that the last two years have required extensive communication due to the ever-changing nature of CDC guidelines. Our goal is to return to monthly communication with Principals and myself, alternating to provide school and district information. Please take the time to thoroughly read through this newsletter, as well as the Principal Newsletters sent out in the last week, for important information on transportation, parent portal registration, medication usage, food services, and more.
FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL BY GRADE
Please refer to the updated 2022-2023 School Calendar below for school times and important dates, including early release, vacations, etc. The first day of school will be based on your child(ren)’s grade:
PreK: First Day is September 8th
Kindergarten: First Day is September 6th
Grades 1-9 and Grades 1-5: First Day is August 31st
Grades 10-12: First Day is September 1st
If you have not yet registered your child(ren) for Pre-K or Kindergarten, please register them as soon as possible via these links: Biddeford or Dayton. To attend, they must be turning the age of four (4) for Pre-K or five (5) for Kindergarten before October 15, 2022.
We understand starting at a new school can be anxious for many students and their parents, so we want to ease those fears and limit any barriers to a triumphant return to school. Therefore, all schools have set up open houses to give families and students a chance to meet their teacher(s) and hear some basic information about what to expect as we head into a new school year. This information was published in the recent Principal’s Smore Newsletters and is also included below. If you are unable to attend the open house scheduled, please contact the principal directly.
John F. Kennedy School (JFK) - Grades PreK/K: August 31st from 4:30-6:30pm
Biddeford Primary School (BPS) - Grades 1 & 2: August 30th from 4:30-6:30pm
Biddeford Intermediate School (BIS) - Grades 3 & 4: August 30th from 4:30-6:30pm
Biddeford Middle School (BMS) - Grades 5-7 & 8th STEM: August 29th from 4:30-6:30pm
- Biddeford High School (BHS) - Grade 8 (only): August 29th from 4:30-6:30pm
- Biddeford High School (BHS) - Grades 9-12: September 22nd from 4:30-6:30pm
Biddeford Regional Center of Technology (BRCOT): September 22nd from 4:30-6:30pm
Dayton Consolidated School: August 30th from 6-7pm
OTHER DATES TO KNOW:
Friday, September 2nd and Monday, September 5th: There will be no school for all students. Have a safe Labor Day weekend.
Wednesday, September 14th: Our first early release day. As a reminder, the early release times are 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
Both building principals and I will send monthly newsletters via email, which will also be posted in the below communication avenues. 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.
District Mobile App (See below for downloadable links).
Superintendent of Schools
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:
Coordinating transportation needs is a major undertaking to finalize bus routes, stops, times, number of runs required, and record in Infinite Campus. With school starting next week, completing transportation information is extremely impactful to our administration.
Approximate bus stops/times will be noted in the Infinite Campus Parent Portal under the 2022/2023 School Year tab by August 30th. If you have previously called or emailed about your child riding the bus, you do NOT need to call again. Otherwise, please contact the Transportation Department 282-0909 or email email@example.com.
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.
Please take the time to read the important health information update from the school nurses below to ensure your child(ren) have a smooth, healthy transition and you have all the information you need to prevent any disruptions to starting the school year. This update addresses everything from required immunizations to medication use to head lice protocols.
Our district will continue to follow the Covid recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Currently, individuals diagnosed with Covid will isolate at home for five (5) days following the onset of symptoms or the date of a positive test if asymptomatic. Students may return to school on day six (6) if symptoms are improving and no fever for 24 hours, and wear a mask on days 6-10. If CDC guidance changes, this will be communicated to families.
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.
GRADE LEVEL CONFIGURATION
The Biddeford School Committee has examined stakeholder feedback over the past several months regarding the configuration of the BHS and the broader Maplewood campus specifically and the downstream effects on other buildings and programs generally. In February, the Biddeford School Committee reviewed data regarding class sizes at BHS and voted to continue grade 8 programming at the Maplewood Campus for the 2022-2023 school year. Additional exploration was required as having grade 8 STEM students across town at the middle school needed to be addressed. A parallel conversation took place in regards to the future of the JFK school, followed by recommendations for the board to consider.
A committee composed of 25 individuals who represent the school community, including parents, teachers, administrators, city and school committee members, initially met on April 22, 2022, to focus on ensuring all members had a foundational understanding of the schools and student needs in Biddeford. Throughout the Spring, stakeholders received information about district projected enrollment, overall building history, and delved further into the options presented.
At their last meeting in June, the committee developed and voted on the following recommendation for the School Board’s consideration, which passed at their July 18th meeting:
Grade 8, in its entirety, attend school on the Maplewood Campus requiring an addition built onto Biddeford High School. Grade 8 STEM will remain at BMS for the 22-23 school year while exploring expansion to the high school to include Grade 8 STEM for School Year 23-24.
The JFK School will close, requiring an addition to Biddeford Primary School. This will afford appropriate space to bring JFK students and staff to the primary school campus. The projected date depends on BPS construction so potential for School Year 24-25.
All minutes and related documents are linked here and included under District Information on the website.
Thank You FMI, a Spirit AeroSystems Company
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.