Category Archives: Uncategorized

Rest In Peace Maria

The Town of Georgetown lost a kind and beautiful soul yesterday with the passing of Maria  Boragine,  half of the amazing couple and self proclaimed “dynamic duo”  known as Jeff and Maria .  Both town residents all of their lives, Jeff and Maria love this town and it loves them.  Sadly, Maria was stricken with a medical episode less than a week ago and passed away yesterday surrounded by her loving family. Sadly , she  was only 30 years old but in her short life she married her soul mate, established a successful business with Jeff, dedicated her life to family, loved and mentored countless young people who  she considered “her kids”  and brightened the lives of everyone who knew and loved her.  There are no words to explain or understand why tragic things like this happen to good young people like Maria with her whole life ahead of her. This news is an unimaginable shock and tragedy and it is now time for us  to surround her husband Jeff and her entire family with love  and support as they will need it in the days and months ahead. Maria may be gone by she will not be forgotten. She will be remembered for her kind spirit, selflessness, big heart and her compassionate dedication to helping and making other people happy. Maria was a giver and together she and Jeff have made all of our lives a little sweeter through their generosity, positivism and incredible love of this town and it’s people. That will be her legacy. Maria did not have enough time in this earth but she lived a full life in the time she was given especially if the measure is how much good she did to make a real difference in the lives of others.  She certainly did that and more!

Rest in peace Maria and we will take care of Jeff and your family in their time of need. One of my friends said ,” Georgetown has another angel now” and that made me smile through the sadness.  Hopefully others will feel the same.

Our Vaping Detection Program is in the News

Today has been a very busy day in the district with inquiries from the press about the vaping devices we have purchased and installed in some of the bathrooms at the Middle High School.  Apparently there was a story on the news this morning that Georgetown is the first district in the state to install these vape detectors and they wanted to know about why we were doing it and what have we found in terms of their . You may hear from your MHS student  that the press was at the school and I want to let you know the reason. Principal Richards and I met with reporters from two local stations  and I expect there will be coverage on the local news tonight.  We implemented the detectors when we learned of their use in another state. As we told them, vaping among middle and high school students is on the rise nationally and all schools are having some challenges with it , especially since the devices are more available on-line, entice students with flavors and are easily concealed due to their style and size. In the last year or so, we have become aware of vaping particularly in the bathroom and ,as part of our commitment to ensuring the health and wellness of our students, we decided to look into these devices made by Fly Sense which detect vapor and loud noise and send an alert to the administration mostly as a deterrent.  Obviously, if students are caught vaping in the bathroom, there are consequences outlined in the student handbook but we know that these devices will not always result in catching students in the act. We think the value is for those students who might consider vaping but are concerned about the risk of being caught as this acts as a deterrent and keeps the bathrooms safer and healthier for all students.  We all know that students do not always do what is best for them and they have developing brains that do not always help them avoid engaging in risky behavior however our goal is to use education to get in front of the issue for students. One of the things I am most proud about is the start of a vaping diversion program for students who have been caught multiple times and may have an addiction to the liquid nicotine that is in the vaping device.  With this program, students can have their consequences downgraded if they agree to go through this educational program that includes learning about the dangers, meeting with key health,wellness and counselling staff and making a plan to assume a healthier lifestyle. In our experience, punishment does not always change behavior, especially if it involves addiction, so we have a tiered approach to helping our students that we believe will work. We explained this to the press and feel that they left having a better understanding of why we are implementing this program that we are not doing this because we want to catch students vaping and punish them. It is because we care about their health and well-being and want to provide a clean, safe and drug free school environment.  I want to be sure to thank the Georgetown Cares Coalition Committee for appropriating the funds to purchase these vape detectors using funds from the Healthy Phams medical marijuana facility in town.  I understand that there will be press coverage on the television tonight at 6:00 PM.

Special Education Department Wants Your Help

Recently, the district contracted with an outside consulting firm Walker Partnerships to conduct a comprehensive audit of our special education programs. We are a mission driven organization which means we try our best to operate our programs and services based on data, information and student needs and in a way that is consistent with our collective vision and mission for excellence in our schools. As a matter of practice, we periodically bring in an outside organization like Walker to conduct interviews with parents, teachers and students, visit classrooms  and programs and review policies and procedures. The information gleened from this review will let us know how consistent we are with the federal law, the degree to which our programs meet high quality standards, whether our programs meet the needs  of our students and the  level of satisfaction that our parents have about our programs.
During their recent visit to the district, the consultant from Walker Partnerships met with a small group of parents at the end of the school day. Our Director of Student Services Jack Tiano requested a time for parents to to meet with the consultant  beyond the school day but that did not work into the  contracted hours. While we appreciate the input provided by this small group of parents, we realize that hearing the voices of other special education parents is  also important. With this in mind, I have included a link to a brief survey ( no more than 10 minutes) that special education parents can fill out to help us in our program evaluation. You and your child are our customers and we want to be sure we hear your voice in this important process. We need to hear feedback on what is going well and what we can improve  upon. Please complete this survey as soon as possible but before school closes for the holiday break on Friday, December 21, 2018. Thank you in advance for your help and assistance!

Crossing Guards Needed Immediately

I spoke to Police Chief Donald Cudmore today about our crossing guard situation. The crossing guards fall under the Police Department  but they work outside of each school so we work together.  We have been fortunate to have had some very dedicated crossing guards but we now are in dire need of two new guards with one of the posts open from a previous resignation and the other because this is the Perley crossing guard’s last week.

We are looking for two guards, one at the light across from the Middle High School and the other guard will be posted outside of the Perley School. The Perley post is our most pressing need.

If you or anyone you know is interested in becoming a crossing guard , please contact the Chief at dcudmore@georgetownma.gov or me at jacobsc@georgetown.k12.ma.us.

Hear are the details:

Hours and Pay

We need people who can work from 8:00 Am-9:00 AM and 2:30 PM -3:30 PM. This is a school year position and there will be some training  done by the Police Department. You must enjoy working with people but especially with young people.

The pay is $15 per hour. Not having crossing guards  in front of every school poses an issue  so spread the word and hopefully we will find 2 people with the time and Interest in filling this role.

Contact me or the Chief if you have questions. I know there are people out there who would like this job but we just have to find them. Feel free to share this post widely!

NEASC Report for GMHS

Report of the Visiting Team for
Georgetown Middle/High School
Georgetown, MA
March 04, 2018 – March 07, 2018

(CLICK HERE TO SEE THE FULL DOCUMENT)

Walker Partnerships To Conduct Program Evaluation

November 12, 2018

Dear Members Of The Georgetown Community:

I am writing to inform you that Walker Partnerships is in the process of conducting a review of all special education programming and services available through Georgetown Public Schools. This review is being conducted at the District’s request.

As part of their evaluation, personnel from Walker Partnerships will be onsite on both November 15th at Perley and Penn Brook Elementary, and November 19th at the Middle High School. During those two days, they will meet with staff, conducting interviews and observing our services. They will also have a focus group for parents on each day. Elementary parents will meet on the 15th at the Penn Brook School from 2:30 to 3:30. Parents of students in the Middle High School will meet there on the 19th from 2:00 to 3:00.

Please know that I completely understand that the timing may not work for many of you. Walker Partnerships has much to see in only two days, so scheduling was not an easy task.

If you have interest in participating in one of the focus groups, you can contact Tom Stewart through the SEPAC. You can also reach out to me at (978) 352-5777 x. 100 or via email at tianoj@georgetown.k12.ma.us. Feel free to contact me with any questions.

Sincerely and Respectfully,

 

Jack Tiano

Director of Student Services