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Superintendent of Schools - Amber Bock

Dear Families,

 

Happy summer!  Several weeks of enjoyable summer remain, but August always signals that emotional shift to begin preparing for the return to school.  It is hard to believe that this time last year I was writing you a summer letter outlining upcoming projects and encouraging you to attend the fall town meeting to vote your thoughts on these projects.  Now, with just weeks until the start of the school year, those projects are quickly coming to fruition. Construction projects for school facilities are always exceptionally challenging because of the short time span when students are not in session, combined with the very limited options for alternative ways to maintain daily school programming when buildings are being worked on. As expected, we are on very tight timelines for all of our projects to be completed and to begin school, but we remain on target to welcome all students on Wednesday, August 29th.

 

Over the next several weeks, I will keep you updated on any important changes to project timelines. Please be sure to stay updated with your email as we get closer to the start of school.  We are exceptionally fortunate to have very capable construction and architectural firms working with us on all projects, but families and faculty need to anticipate being patient and flexible at all sites under construction.  I want to commend the hard work and planning that our faculty and staff have demonstrated throughout these projects. It is their efforts and professionalism that have made all of this feasible.    

 

  • High School athletic fields repair project: “Rangers on Track” is moving forward as quickly as possible. Fundraising continues toward reaching the $500,000 targeted contribution to the project goals. The fall season schedule will be shared as soon as we have finalized timelines on field access.  The excitement and collaboration efforts around this project have been amazing to participate in! 
  • Armstrong modulars repair: The 4 outdated modulars at Armstrong were demolished and the construction of a permanent 4-classroom wing is being connected to the existing building.
  • Preschool construction and Hastings office renovation: Construction continues at a very fast pace on this project and has been a highlight of summer as the community has monitored its progress. The completion of a new Early Childhood Center opens up much needed interior space at Hastings, where we have reconfigured the offices to be at the entryway of the building. Additionally, it enlarges two K classrooms and demolishes the two outdated modulars.    
  • Fales MSBA (Massachusetts School Building Authority):  This summer we continued to take important steps toward a fully renovated or new Fales School.  Working with the PreK-3 Building Committee, we submitted our Educational Vision Plan and met with the MSBA in Boston, where HMFH Architectural Firm was selected as our architect on the project.   With hard work and tight deadlines we hope we will see this project completed in 5 years.   
  •  The Gibbons canopy installation  and front parking lot repair will finalize the Gibbons project. The parking lot paving will be complete for opening and the new canopy will be installed and complete in early September. It is exciting to see this very positive project come to completion.   
  • 18-22 Program-The BORO (Bridging Over to Right Opportunities):  The BORO celebrated a successful opening this past year at 15 West Main St., and there is much anticipation for the opening this year of The BORO Sugar Shack” in mid to late October.  We are pleased this year to further develop our specialized post grad special education program by opening the gift and candy store. We look forward to sharing more about the store as we near opening.

For project details go to:  Building Initiatives

 

Other important updates will begin this fall after several years of planning.  Start times will change at three of our six schools, and an updated homework and project calendar will guide our faculty planning to allow for more planned and consistent family work breaks at important celebrations of the year. Both of these changes speak to our values of supporting wellness, family time, and a well paced school year where students can thrive.  The successful implementation of these two projects will be an important goal for the upcoming year. 

 

Continue to hold onto these last weeks of vacation, but leave time to prepare your family for an organized and positive start to the school year. More communications will be starting to arrive as we prepare to welcome everyone back for the upcoming school year.

 

See you soon,

 

Amber Bock

Superintendent