District News

Dr. Jill Geiser Appointed as Assistant Superintendent

posted May 22, 2017, 5:25 PM by Tim Piwowar

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

May 22, 2017

 

This evening, the Billerica School Committee voted unanimously to support the recommendation for Dr. Jill Geiser to be the next Assistant Superintendent of the Billerica Public Schools.  Dr. Geiser will be taking over for Dr. Dede Galdston, who is leaving to become the superintendent of Watertown Public Schools on July 1.

 

“I am thrilled to have Dr. Geiser join us in Billerica,” said Superintendent of Schools Tim Piwowar.  “Throughout the interview process, it became clear that she has the right combination of skills, experience, and approach to the work that will make her a great fit for the students of Billerica and for our leadership team.”

 

For the past five years, Dr. Geiser has been the principal of the PreK-8 Healey School in Somerville; prior to that she served as a middle school principal and high school assistant principal in Lawrence.  Dr. Geiser holds a Doctor of Education degree from Boston College, and graduate degrees from the Teachers College at Columbia University and UMASS Boston.

 

Upon her appointment, Dr. Geiser said, “I am very excited about coming to serve Billerica as Assistant Superintendent.  Over the past few weeks as I have gotten to know the community, I have seen such a high level of commitment to educating its students and I am looking forward to being a part of that.”

 

Dr. Geiser’s start date will be July 1, 2017.

 

Prevention Resources and Education for Parents (PREP) workshop May 9

posted May 8, 2017, 4:18 PM by Dede Galdston

On Tuesday, May 9, the Billerica Substance Abuse Prevention Committee is hosting a presentation for parents on "Prevention Resources and Education for Parents (PREP)."  This presentation will take place at the BMHS Auditorium from 7:00-8:30.  

Letter to Parents - 13 Reasons Why

posted May 1, 2017, 1:24 PM by Tim Piwowar

To all:

     The letter below was sent to the parents/guardians of our middle school and high school students earlier today, regarding the Netflix series "13 Reasons Why".  The purpose behind sending this letter was two-fold.  The first purpose was to raise awareness among our parent community regarding the depiction of themes of sexual assault, suicide, cyberbullying, alcohol use, and depression in the series, and how it depicts a fictional story that is not the norm.  The second purpose was to provide information about what our school community does to support students, and to share information about what parents and students can do if they become aware that someone they know is struggling with suicidal thoughts.

      We hope that this may help open the line of communication between parents and students who may have watched the series, and we also encourage you to reach out to Ms. Cripps or Ms. Flynn if you need further information or support.

--------------
May 5, 2017 

Dear Parents and Guardians, 

Addressing the social and emotional needs of our students is an important focus of the Billerica Public School System, which is why we are taking the time to shed light on the recent release of a Netflix series entitled “13 Reasons Why”. This series is the story of a young teen’s suicide and the 13 tapes she leaves behind to be listened to by those she perceives have contributed to her fatal decision. A major note of caution when viewing the series is the graphic depiction of sexual assault, suicide, cyberbullying, alcohol use and depression. Many healthcare professionals have voiced concern about the series in that it presents unsafe and mixed messages to teens regarding suicide and survivors of suicide. There are major concerns with many aspects portrayed in each episode, such as romanticizing suicide, a lack of adult support, memorializing of the person who killed herself, placing blame and insufficient treatment. The main character Hannah’s story is fictional, tragic, and not the norm. Unfortunately, teens might not recognize that when watching the series. 

While many youths are resilient and can differentiate between real life and a TV series, engaging in thoughtful conversations with them about the storyline of the show is vital. This will give your child the opportunity to process the issues addressed and for you to reinforce the message that suicide is not a solution to problems. Help is available. 

What does our school community do to support students: 
Our team of school counselors has been made aware of the impact of this series and are prepared to provide supports you or your child may need. If you have a concern or question, we encourage you to work closely with the school counseling team at your child’s school. Billerica Public Schools offers the following to students and families:

     • The Signs of Suicide prevention education curriculum is provided in middle and high school health classes. 
     • Social Workers and Nurses are available for students at every school in the district. 
     • School Counselors are available to students at middle and high school. 
     • Health Education is provided to every student K-12 in which they practice skills around decision making, communication, coping, and stress reduction. 

What can you or your child do if you become aware that someone in your life is struggling with suicidal thoughts:
     • Do not leave the person alone.
     • Alert a professional to help you: Guidance Counselor, Social Worker, Pediatrician, Teacher, School Administrator, Emergency Room, Urgent Care, call 911.
     • Remind children not to keep it secret if a friend or family member shares that they are thinking about harming themselves. They need to tell a trusted adult. 

Click here for additional talking points from the JED Foundation, which focuses on suicide prevention. 

It is our hope that discussing the show with your children will open up lines of communication about the serious issue of suicide. Do not hesitate to reach out to us at any time if you need further information or support. 

Melinda L. Cripps 
Director of Guidance 
978-528-7925

Jennifer Flynn 
Coordinator of Health Services and Wellness  
978-528-7924

Camp Invention July 31-August 4

posted May 1, 2017, 8:59 AM by BPS Webmaster   [ updated May 1, 2017, 8:59 AM ]

Camp Invention
July 31 - August 4, 2017 from 8:00am - 2:30pm
Parker Elementary School - 52 River Street, Billerica, MA 01821
Directed by Samidha Sane
ssane@billericak12.com

See attached flyer for more details

2017-2018 District Calendar

posted Apr 24, 2017, 4:54 PM by Dede Galdston   [ updated Apr 24, 2017, 4:55 PM ]

The BPS 2017-2018 School Year Calendar has been posted.  Please use this calendar when making plans for next year. 

BATV Youth Programs April Round-Up

posted Apr 7, 2017, 4:23 AM by CARLA FITZGERALD

IT'S NEVER TOO LATE TO JOIN A VIDEO CLUB!

The schedule is as follows:

6th-8th Grade:
Tuesdays, 4:45-5:45

4th-5th Grade:
Wednesdays, 4:30-5:45

9th-12th Grade:
Thursdays, 6:00-7:15


What is a "video club"?
Video clubs are student-driven after school programs. Kids learn everything from the video production process to animation! Unlike some of the other offerings at BATV, the majority of the projects we work on in video clubs are based on student interest and ideas (within reason). Transportation is not provided to and from video clubs, unfortunately, but we do have snacks!

Schedule changes, including cancellations, will be posted on the
BATV Youth Programs Facebook and the BATV website.
There will also be an email sent out notifying these changes.

We follow the school schedule for all BATV programs.
No school, no video clubs.
Video clubs run until the end of the school year.


If you have any questions or want to join,
feel free to contact Amber at amber@batvinc.org.

Two-Hour Delayed Opening: Wednesday, March 15

posted Mar 15, 2017, 3:34 AM by Tim Piwowar

In order to allow sufficient time for cleanup from today's storm, the Billerica Public Schools will have a two-hour delay tomorrow, Wednesday, March 15. We would like to thank the Billerica DPW and our custodial/maintenance departments for their work throughout the storm today so that we will be able to open tomorrow morning and not have to cancel the day.

Navigating the Cyber World

posted Mar 6, 2017, 10:22 AM by BPS Webmaster   [ updated Mar 6, 2017, 10:23 AM ]

Thursday, March 16, 2017
Marshall Middle School Auditorium
6:30-7:30pm
Free Admission
See attached flyer for more information.

FY2018 Public Budget Hearing Presentation

posted Feb 28, 2017, 6:20 AM by Tim Piwowar   [ updated Mar 6, 2017, 10:23 AM by BPS Webmaster ]

On February 27, 2017, the Billerica School Committee held their public budget hearing for Fiscal Year 2018, and voted to set the School Department budget for FY2018 at $61,423,060, consistent with the figure presented to the Board of Selectmen.  Please click on the link below to see the budget presentation given at that meeting.

Parent and Family Engagement Focus Group

posted Feb 27, 2017, 12:35 PM by Dede Galdston

The Billerica Public Schools invites parents, caregivers and family members to attend a parent engagement focus group on either Wednesday, March 8 at 7:00 pm at the Parker Elementary School Library or Friday, March 10 at 9:00 am at the Billerica Town Hall Auditorium.  The goals for the parent engagement focus group are as follows:

·        Gather feedback from parents and family members on how best to partner in the education process

·        Determine best practices present in the district that we should continue into the future

·        Develop a vision for increasing parent engagement in our schools as part of the 2017-2020 District Improvement Plan

An RSVP is not required, but it will help us to plan for set up and materials.  Please RSVP at https://goo.gl/forms/m2n7GHBVTIvX46Bi2.

We look forward to seeing you next week!

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