Saturday, December 16, 2017

Elementary Study of Special Education/General Education

The Billerica Public Schools will be conducting a review of our programming for students at the elementary level as it relates to social, emotional, and behavioral needs for all; please see information below from Billerica School Committee Chair Jim Gately inviting parents to provide their input:


The Billerica School Committee has contracted with the New England School Development Council (NESDEC) to conduct a study of structures and programs within the Billerica Public Schools. This study will focus on the elementary school level, particularly the relationship between special education and general education in supporting all students' social, emotional, and behavioral needs.
To support this work, representatives from NESDEC will be conducting interviews of parents in focus groups, small groups, and 1:1 settings. These interviews will take place during the day on Tuesday, January 9 and Friday, January 12, as well as in the afternoon/evening of Tuesday, January 16. If you are interested in participating in one of these 30-minute sessions, please fill out our form at

Thank you,
Jim Gately, Chair, Billerica School Committee

Friday, November 17, 2017

Steel Nearing Completion at BMHS

With Town Hall closed today, I had to find another place to work in the district, and so I found myself working out of Mr. Murphy's office at BMHS. And what a great sight to see out of his window as work was continuing on the last steel phase of the high school project - the auditorium area:

Thank you to the entire construction (Shawmut), design (Perkins + Will), and project management (Leftfield) team for keeping us on schedule and about to reach another milestone!

Monday, October 30, 2017

School for October 31

Thank you all for your patience with today's aftermath of the storm.  We have been continuing to assess the situation in town throughout the day, and as of this moment we have power at seven of our nine school buildings; the Hajjar and Vining are still without power, and we are not optimistic that power will be restored by morning.  As such, we are putting the following plan into place:

1. The seven buildings with power - BMHS, Locke, Marshall, Ditson, Dutile, Kennedy, and Parker - will be open as scheduled tomorrow.

2. If either the Hajjar or the Vining regain power by 6:15 tomorrow morning, school will be open; otherwise, both schools will be closed.  A message will go out to parents in those schools at 6:15 tomorrow morning with the announcement of the status of the schools.

3. If either the Hajjar or the Vining are closed, we will work with staff and the parents in those buildings to identify a makeup date later in the school year.

In addition, the Town of Billerica would like everyone to know that Trick-Or-Treating has been postponed until Friday evening, during the same scheduled hours of 5-8pm.

Thank you again for your patience and understanding,

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Update From Redistricting Team

At last week's School Committee meeting, I provided an update on the work of our Redistricting Team. This team is charged with developing a redistricting plan for implementation in the fall of 2019, and recommending it to the School Committee by the end of summer 2018.

The full update can be found on our Billerica 2019 Transition website; however, I wanted to state here the strongest guiding principles for the team's work, as informed by the surveys we conducted.  Those guiding principles are:

  • Regardless of what schools children attend, there should be equity in educational experiences - particularly as it relates to class size and resources
  • It is important to keep neighborhoods and school populations together as students progress through the system from elementary school to middle school
  • It is important to minimize the physical distance between students/families and the schools they attend
We will continue to provide periodic updates on our work, and questions specific to the Redistricting Team can be sent to  We have also created an email address for general questions about the transition; they can be directed to

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Recognizing Great Things in Billerica Schools

As the calendar turned to October, we began a new campaign to recognize all of the great things that are happening every day across the Billerica Public Schools! Each morning, we will be posting a brief picture and story of something that is happening in the district on our Facebook page at - whether it is a large one-time event, or something that is part of our everyday practice - because our students and staff do amazing things every day and deserve to be celebrated!

Check it out!

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Town Meeting Funds Capital Projects for Schools

Last night at Billerica's Town Meeting, representatives overwhelmingly approved a $1,000,000 spending article for capital improvements across the district.  My thanks go out to Town Meeting representatives for their support, and to our team in the district for putting together our plan.

The list of projects presented at Town Meeting last night is below; the vast majority of this work (my necessity) will be done during times when school is not in session in order to not impact school for students and staff.  The full presentation can be found at

  • Kennedy School: Supply and install new 2nd floor hallway ceilings and new LED lighting (phase 3 of 3): $63,000
  • Kennedy School: Asbestos abatement of VCT flooring in Cafe and replace with new VCT: $50,000
  • Dutile/Kennedy Schools: Playground structure improvements: $96,000
  • Locke School: Asbestos abatement of VCT flooring in Cafe and foyer hall and replace with new VCT: $97,000
  • Locke School: Repave bus loop: $40,000
  • Marshall School: Asbestos abatement of VCT in Cafe and replace w/new VCT: $71,000
  • Marshall School: Asbestos abatement of VCT in N wing and replace w/rubber (phase 3 of 4): $169,000
  • Marshall School: Asbestos abatement of VCT in S wing and replace w/rubber (phase 4 of 4): $210,000
  • Marshall School: Partial locker replacement: $51,000
  • Ditson School: Bridge paving (phase 3 of 3): $59,000
  • Multiple schools: Carpet replacement: $45,000
  • Multiple schools: Cafe table replacement: $19,000
  • Multiple schools: Ceiling panel coating: $30,000