News/Announcements

School Start-Time Information

Later Start Times for Middle and High Schools Approved 
On Wednesday evening, April 6, 2016the school committees from Biddeford, Dayton, Saco, and TA approved the recommended changes in school start times for 2016-2017.  Biddeford, Saco, and TA will be the only schools in Maine starting middle school and high school at 8:30, meeting the recommendations from the CDC and American Academy of Pediatrics.



Kindergarten Students Thank Biddeford Police

posted May 15, 2017, 8:17 AM by Karen Chasse

On May 15th, the students at John F. Kennedy Kindergarten Center gathered in an all-school assembly to honor the Biddeford Police Department for their efforts in keeping them safe.  Several gifts, posters and banners were presented to several officers, including the School Resource Officers for Biddeford Schools.  Pictured here are the students in Mrs. Crook’s class who made this large banner for the officers.


Austin Dutremble Takes First Place in State for InvestWrite Competition

posted May 11, 2017, 9:15 AM by Karen Chasse

While most students focused on homework and extracurricular activities after school, 18-year old Austin Dutremble, a senior at Biddeford Regional Center of Technology, was busy analyzing the global financial markets. His hard work resulted in a long-term return, making him a first place Maine state winner of the SIFMA Foundation’s InvestWrite® competition. The program challenges thousands of students across the country to consider an investing scenario and make recommendations that incorporate short- and long-term investment goals.

“Austin Dutremble’s rigorous analysis and remarkable essay earned him the SIFMA Foundation’s ‘InvestWrite Genius’ title this semester,” said Melanie Mortimer, President of the SIFMA Foundation. “We commend Austin and his teacher, Ken Crepeau, for this achievement. Helping students better understand our economy, our markets, the role of investors, and how to make good investments will pay dividends for the students, their education, and the economy.”

InvestWrite serves as a culminating activity for 600,000 4th-12th graders nationwide who compete each year in the SIFMA Foundation’s Stock Market Game™, an online simulation of the global capital markets that reinforces STEM learning, 21st Century skills, economics, investing and personal finance. Since InvestWrite’s inception in 2004, over 200,000 students have submitted essays. Dutremble is among 20,000 students this school year participating in the InvestWrite challenge, which bridges classroom learning in mathematics, social studies, and language arts with the practical research and knowledge required for long-term personal financial planning.

The essay prompt challenged Dutremble to describe the strategy he used to select his Stock Market Game classroom portfolio and also to analyze and suggest stocks based on the “blended” approach favored by investment guru Peter Lynch. The recommendation needed to include a stock, bond or mutual fund that would make a good long-term investment. The essay required Dutremble to describe the technical or fundamental analysis he used to make his recommendation. Dutremble focused on Nike, including in his essay, “Blended approach investing uses fundamental and technical analysis to determine the value of a stock. After using this approach, I discovered investing in Nike is a good idea because the fundamental analysis is very strong."

InvestWrite enables students like Austin Dutremble to develop the personal financial savvy needed to make practical financial decisions with confidence and gain a deeper understanding of economic opportunities, consequences, and benefits. Students consider real-world events and news, conduct research online, and develop investment recommendations. They work in groups during The Stock Market Game™ program and then write their InvestWrite essays individually to reflect their critical thinking, analysis, and creative talents.

Dutremble was the recipient of the Maine Principal’s Association Award and has received the Certificate of Academic Achievement for the past three years. He is a member of the National Honor Society and the National Technical Honor Society. Dutremble has volunteered for Habitat for Humanity and is a Biddeford High School Freshman Mentor. His teacher, Ken Crepeau, has been teaching Investing and Personal Finance for 12 years and has previously had both Stock Market Game and InvestWrite winners. Crepeau said, “We find the Stock Market Game not only educational but fun. InvestWrite provides great value to my program, and is an intrinsically motivating activity for my students.”

Winning InvestWrite essays are chosen through rigorous judging by thousands of teachers and industry professionals who evaluate students’ understanding of long-term investing, diversification, the capital markets, and factors that drive investments as well as their expression of investment ideas in essay form.

An independent, double-blind, nationally randomized evaluation conducted by Learning Point Associates (now AIR) found that The Stock Market Game improves students’ academic achievement and personal financial behavior. Students who participated in the SIFMA Foundation’s Stock Market Game scored significantly higher on mathematics and financial literacy tests than their peers who did not participate. They also found that teachers who taught The Stock Market Game reported that the program motivated them to better plan for their own financial futures. The Stock Market Game has been named the only program that successfully increased scores on the Jumpstart Coalition’s test of high school students’ financial literacy.

Dutremble and Crepeau were honored at an event held at Biddeford Regional Center of Technology on May 9.

Winning Essay by Austin Dutremble

Investing in the stock market takes much more dedication than one would assume. There are many different aspects to a stock that need to be taken into consideration before investing your money. All investors have an investing technique they live by and it’s important for people to find the one that fits their investing plan. Peter Lynch, an investment guru, lives by a blended approach technique. In a blended approach the investor starts by recognizing prominent companies and then researching them. Two different types of research are fundamental and technical analysis. Fundamental analysis keys in on evaluating the financial position of the company. Technical analysis is based on the current stock price and the trends of the stock... Peter Lynch and many other investors use the blended approach before making any decisions in the stock market.

The Stock Market Game is a very effective way for new investors to get experience using the different investing techniques. It gives people a way to figure out the best strategies without using their own money. In the Stock Market Game, I started off by using an invest what you know strategy. The only stocks that would cross my mind were the big, successful companies that I knew about. Apple, Facebook, and Amazon were some of the stocks that I considered buying. Once I learned more about the stock market I knew that to know what would get a bigger return I would have to do more research and use the blended approach. Using this technique, I analyzed the stock Nike on the website Yahoo Finance. Nike is the highest status athletic clothing and equipment brand and they are always producing new items from superstar shoes to running clothes. Many people need the Nike swoosh on their athletic items. Researching Nike using fundamental analysis showed me a lot about the company. It showed me that the company is in a very good position, and has strong financial statements. Nike’s net income has been on the rise over the past two years going from $2,693,000 up to $3,760,000. This shows that the company is headed in the right direction. Another important statistic is that Nike has a good return on equity of 30.57%. A rule that my class looks at is that a stock’s return on equity should be greater than its price to earnings. Nike follows this rule, which shows the stock is a good investment. Next, I researched Nike using technical analysis. This technique showed me that Nike has somewhat of a steady projected growth. Everyone buys Nike clothing and the company will continue to be the leader of a decent industry. Their one-year estimate is $10 higher than its current price which shows that the stock is projected to grow. One concern about Nike is that its price to earnings growth is 1.83, which shows me that it is overvalued. I was very surprised by this statistic, however there are many other positives to this stock. Fundamental and technical analysis under the blended approach taught me how to analyze stocks in a smart way.

Investing takes a lot of time, effort, and research to be a successful investor. There are many different techniques that can used to be successful. Blended approach investing uses fundamental and technical analysis to determine the value of a stock. After using this approach, I discovered investing in Nike is a good idea because the fundamental analysis is very strong. The technical analysis of the company is not as good; however, it is not awful. The stock market game brings a way to use the blended approach, or any other investing technique, and see if the research was evaluated correctly. It is very effective for new investors who want to get an idea of how to evaluate stocks and invest without using their own money. The Stock Market Game brings a whole different element to investing, and allows people to practice all types of different investing techniques without any risk at all. 

About the SIFMA Foundation for Investor Education

The SIFMA Foundation is dedicated to fostering knowledge and understanding of the financial markets for individuals of all backgrounds, with a focus on youth.  Drawing on the support and expertise of the financial industry, the SIFMA Foundation provides financial education programs and tools that strengthen economic opportunities across communities and increase individuals’ access to the benefits of the global marketplace. Notable Foundation programs include the Stock Market Game, which has served nearly 16 million students since it began in 1977, the InvestWrite national essay competition, www.investwrite.org, the Capitol Hill Challenge, and Invest It Forward. For more information on the work of the SIFMA Foundation, visit www.sifma.org/foundation.

About SIFMA

SIFMA is the voice of the U.S. securities industry. We represent the broker-dealers, banks and asset managers whose nearly 1 million employees provide access to the capital markets, raising over $2.5 trillion for businesses and municipalities in the U.S., serving clients with over $20 trillion in assets and managing more than $67 trillion in assets for individual and institutional clients including mutual funds and retirement plans. SIFMA, with offices in New York and Washington, D.C., is the U.S. regional member of the Global Financial Markets Association (GFMA). For more information, visit www.sifma.org. 

Austin Dutremble, a senior at Biddeford Regional Center of Technology and Biddeford High School, was named the state winner of the SIFMA Foundation’s Fall 2016 InvestWrite® essay competition.  Pictured left to right: BRCOT Instructor Ken Crepeau, ME/NH Coordinator for InvestWrite Jim Ford, BHS Senior Austin Dutremble and his Mother Tracy Dutremble.

 

elightens a lot of passion’

Community Rallies to Rebuild Waterhouse Field

posted May 9, 2017, 12:29 PM by Karen Chasse

Volunteers to take down condemned bleachers on Saturday, May 13th

On Saturday, May 13th from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. volunteers are being summoned to help take down the condemned bleachers at Waterhouse Field, as well as other tasks to re-build and prepare for opening the field this Fall.  Following a public forum of priority improvements needed at multiple fields in Biddeford, Waterhouse Field Alumni Association President Jim Godbout put a call out to anyone interested in volunteering.   Facebook and web metrics show that thousands of people have been reached by Jim’s call, and based on community feedback, there is an expected turnout north of 300 volunteers from both sides of the river.


“Both the City of Biddeford and the School Department are grateful for Jim Godbout's ability to rally the troops on this effort,” said City of Biddeford Mayor Alan Casavant.  “The citizens have voiced that they want to be involved and with Jim at the helm, we are confident we will see volunteerism come back to life. It is is going to take the entire community to come together to make this a fiscally responsible process. Jim has extensive contacts throughout Southern Maine and is a well-respected leader who gives selflessly to make Biddeford/Saco a better community.  He is the epitome of volunteerism and inspires others to give back.”  


The priority improvements noted for Waterhouse Field included: equitable field for all sports, new bleachers, new lighting and new press box. The press box was taken down last week and remains salvageable for re-install on the new bleachers.


Superintendent Jeremy Ray said that preliminary contractor quotes for demolition and removal were upwards of $40,000.  “This is a savings to the taxpayer, and a great build of momentum toward providing our kids facilities akin to those in Saco, Waterboro, and other neighboring communities.  We look forward to a continued partnership with Jim, the city, and our amazing volunteers to repair and modernize our fields.”


“Fortunately I am in a position to make things happen whereas City government has proper channels to work through,” stated Jim Godbout. “I am hopeful my actions will allow us to move forward with playing sports in the Fall.  Our community needs to be working collaboratively without negativity and should be supportive of City leadership. This is about volunteering - a positive influence of sacrifice which I learned so much about from the silent generation.  We should all learn what sacrifice does to build community and whatever future improvements we make, will be made by our local leadership and community support.”


Ray added, “Jim is a dedicated community servant the likes of which I've not seen in my 40 years in Maine.  He was recognized as Biddeford’s 2016 ‘Pillars of Pride’ Recipient because he is exactly that - a reliable, supporter to reinforce and promote the positive in our community. His work in projects ranging from the Rotary House to Red Ribbon Week to his service on the Waterhouse Commission are second-to-none.  He is a doer, and he gets results.  He has energized the community and we feel blessed to have Jim's passion and commitment in our Waterhouse effort. The entire school community is sincerely grateful for his contributions.”


An online volunteer site has been established.  All volunteers should sign-up to assist with pre-planning of assignments.  It can accessed on the Biddeford School Department website/Waterhouse Field page or via the Waterhouse Field Renovation Facebook page.  All skill levels are encouraged to participate, with the exception of children K-8 for safety reasons, and volunteers must sign a waiver prior to working.  Parking will being across the street at the JFK school, and overflow parking will be on adjacent neighborhood streets, akin to a Friday night football game.  If community members are unable to attend but would like to make a financial contribution to the project, please visit the Waterhouse Field webpage or call Karen Chasse at 207-391-6885.


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Duranceau Scholarship Fund Donates $10K to BHS

posted May 5, 2017, 11:53 AM by Karen Chasse

On May 5th, the Board of Directors for the John C. Duranceau Scholarship Fund presented a $10,000 check for a new sound system to be installed in Biddeford High School’s (BHS) Tiger Gym. Lynn Duranceau-Tilley said, “We are honored to give back to our alma mater in John’s memory.  We were impressed with the tour and know he would’ve been proud of the renovated high school.  We are pleased that a plaque with his photo will be visible as people enter the gym.”

John C. Duranceau, a 1980 graduate, was a beloved member of the Biddeford-Saco community when he passed away unexpectedly in 2010.  His family began the John Duranceau Memorial Golf Tournament, a game he loved, to provide college scholarships to a Biddeford High School and Thornton Academy Senior.  Since its inception, they have given $7,000 in scholarship funds.

(L-R): Pam Duranceau, Brad Duranceau, Taylor Duranceau, Lynn Duranceau-Tilley, Brian Boudreau, Superintendent Jeremy Ray and BHS Principal Jeremy Sirois.

Structural Evaluation Closes Bleachers at Waterhouse Field

posted Apr 12, 2017, 12:59 PM by Karen Chasse   [ updated Apr 12, 2017, 1:01 PM by BSD Web Site ]

On April 11, the Biddeford School Department received a formal Structural Evaluation report of the bleachers at Waterhouse Field from Weston & Sampson, an independent architect firm hired to evaluate all fields in Biddeford.  The report recommended the bleachers and press box be closed until further structural inspection and rehabilitation occurs to address life safety issues and replacement.  


“We take our responsibility for the safety of students and the community as paramount and this is a preventative measure we must adhere to,” stated Superintendent of Schools Jeremy Ray. “We understand people may be upset about graduation, as are we, but we are diligently working on alternative plans for it, Spring sporting events, and community events such as La Kermesse.  We are thankful for our partnership with the University of New England as they have graciously allowed us to use their fields for all Lacrosse games in the interim.”


Significant findings included damaged frames by impact, supports bearing directly on flat 2x wood pads directly on grade, deteriorating wood and settlement resulting in buckling of several truss members.  The report concludes, “Even with favorable results from the structural analysis, substantial rehabilitation would be required and may be cost prohibitive when compared to a complete replacement of the bleachers.”  


The School Department and Waterhouse Field Commission have identified similar concerns leading the School Committee to hire the independent architect.  Once the full report for all Biddeford fields is complete, we will determine next steps with the City of Biddeford.


The full report provided by Weston & Sampson is available here.

Austin Dutremble Receives MPA Principal’s Award

posted Mar 6, 2017, 6:32 AM by Karen Chasse

Biddeford High School student Austin Dutremble of Biddeford, Maine has been selected to receive the 2017 Principal’s Award, Principal Jeremie Sirois announced today. The award sponsored by the Maine Principal’s Association, is given in recognition of a high school senior’s academic achievement and citizenship.

“Throughout his years at Biddeford High School, Austin has distinguished himself in the classroom, in athletics, and as a leader in the school and community. He is a fine young man with a tremendous future ahead of him. Austin very much deserves this recognition.” said Sirois.

Austin Dutremble, Principal Sirois, and other award winners and their principals will attend an Honors Luncheon at the Spectacular Event Center in Bangor on Saturday, April 1, 2017 at 12:30 p.m.

The Honors Luncheon recognizes these outstanding students with the presentation of an individual plaque and the awarding of five $1000 scholarships in the names of Horace O. McGowan and Richard W. Tyler. Mr. McGowan and Mr. Tyler were former Maine principals and executive directors of the Association. An addition five $1000 scholarships will be presented through the efforts of the MPA Scholarship Golf Tournament. 

The Principal’s Award is presented in more than 100 Maine public and private high schools by member principals of the MPA, the professional association which represents Maine’s school administrators.

Academic Showcase to be held March 9

posted Feb 27, 2017, 6:30 AM by Karen Chasse

Biddeford High School (BHS) and Biddeford Regional Center of Technology (BRCOT) are holding their first annual Academic Showcase to strengthen relationships and increase understanding, provide support for students, and better connect with families and businesses. The event is open to all grades and the community-at-large. It is an open-house style in which attendees may drop-in when it is convenient for them between 4:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 9.

"Through our Community Engagement Coalition we have heard from students, parents, teachers, businesses and members of the community that they would like to know more about what is occurring with academics as our youth prepare for college and the workforce,” stated Biddeford Regional Center of Technology Director Paulette Bonneau. “We are proud to showcase their efforts, display their robotics built through the STEM Academy and allow the community to learn more about our offerings to students, as well as adult learners.”

The showcase will highlight: innovative learning opportunities available to students as some showcase their own work; how you can support what’s happening in the schools; how your valuable tax dollars are shaping youth; how your business can partner with the schools; and the many technical and career programs offered through the Biddeford Regional Center of Technology.  

Seeking Public Input Regarding Biddeford Fields

posted Feb 24, 2017, 6:39 AM by Karen Chasse   [ updated Feb 24, 2017, 6:40 AM ]


Maine-based Artist Pigeon to Work with BHS Students on Equality

posted Feb 15, 2017, 12:55 PM by Karen Chasse

"No More Out of Sight, Out of Mind: Bringing to Light Issues of Inclusion at BHS”

Biddeford High School’s (BHS) Civil Rights Team is tackling the issue of inequality head-on thanks to a visit by Maine-based artist and activist Pigeon, also known as Orson Horchler, on February 28. Pigeon will work with the Team to conceptualize and create a custom art installation that addresses the theme of belonging before co-presenting their work at a school-wide assembly.  Students will create a piece that focuses on themselves as Mainers titled, “No More Out of Sight, Out of Mind: Bringing to Light Issues of Inclusion at BHS.”

“We pride ourselves on our school spirit; yet, we know some students are still not fully accepted in our community,” stated BHS Civil Right Team Leader Veronica Foster. “Often this exclusion happens quietly: muttered comments in the hallway, students who are not elected to Student Council despite being qualified, hurtful generalizations about ‘those kids.’ As a result, our happy sea of black and orange can hide the more isolated experiences of students who do not fit the norm.”

While Maine is the most homogeneous state in the union, the Biddeford School Department benefits from remarkable diversity.  More than half (53%) of York County’s English Language Learners attend Biddeford schools consisting of 160 students from nearly twenty countries.  The BHS Civil Rights Team will make a piece of art that explicitly acknowledges the valuable contribution that ALL students bring to our school community, especially students who may not feel like they fully belong. They want students to be able to walk past the art installation and see themselves reflected back.

“I applaud our students for taking the initiative to bring this Maine-based artist to BHS,” stated Superintendent Jeremy Ray.  “This is an unsettling time for many of our students and it is important they know they belong here.  They enrich our curriculum and enhance the quality and diversity of our schools.”

Pigeon’s artwork depicts singular images of individuals with “Mainer” noted below. His goal is to create a lively dialogue around the perception of ‘Mainer’ and bring forth the issues of race, class and belonging to those who call Maine home. Pigeon has been invited to hang his portraits on vacant storefronts in Portland, at the Maine Historical Society, University of Maine at Farmington and more.

Sample of Pigeon’s artwork.

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