Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Seeking Parent Involvement: Redistricting Team

At the beginning of the 2019-2020 school year, the Billerica Public Schools will undergo a major transition as we open the new high school, change the district's grade configuration for schools, and close the Vining School.  Planning work to support this transition is already underway, and we are seeking parents to join us in this work.

With the Vining School closing, the district's attendance boundary lines for elementary school will need to be modified, and we will also be looking at the attendance lines for the two middle schools.  In particular, the key questions that need to be answered are:
  • How do we draw attendance lines at the elementary level with the Vining closing?
  • How do we draw attendance lines to ensure that there is no middle school split from sending elementary schools? (i.e., how do we wend the split from the Kennedy/Parker Schools?)
  • How do we best engage the community in this discussion?
To support this effort, we are creating a formal Redistricting Team.  This team will ultimately be charged with making a redistricting plan recommendation to the School Committee, and will have the following composition:
  • Superintendent
  • Assistant Superintendent
  • Director of Finance and Operations
  • Assistant Business Administrator
  • 3 Elementary School Principals
  • 1 Middle School Principal
  • 1 School Committee Member
  • 6 Parents (one from each current elementary zone, evenly split among middle school zones)
This team will begin meeting this spring prior to the end of school, with the goal of having a plan to submit to the School Committee by the start of the 2018-2019 school year.  As part of this process, we anticipate having multiple public forums where parents from across the community will have the opportunity to provide feedback on the Redistricting Team's efforts.

If you are interested in being one of the parent representatives to the Redistricting Team, please send me an email at tpiwowar@billericak12.com with your name, address, and reason why you are interested, by Tuesday, May 9.  

If you have any questions or comments about this process, also please send those to me at tpiwowar@billericak12.com.

Thank you,
Tim Piwowar, Superintendent

Seeking Community Member for Vining Re-Use Advisory Commmittee

Last March, the Billerica School Committee established a Vining Re-Use Advisory Committee to explore potential educational options for the Vining School after its closure in 2019, and to make a recommendation to the full School Committee if there is a future educational use for the building, or if it should be turned over to the Board of Selectmen.

There is currently an opening for one (1) community member on the Vining Re-Use Advisory Committee.  Anyone interested in that opening should submit their name and their reason for interest by Tuesday, May 9 to:

Ms. Denise Blanchet
Recording Secretary, Billerica School Committee
dblanchet@billericak12.com

Thank you,
Tim Piwowar, Superintendent

Monday, April 24, 2017

Weekly Construction Update - April 24, 2017

The project hit another exciting milestone last week as the first concrete was poured on site!  The picture below was taken early Friday afternoon; approximately 100 cubic yards of concrete were placed that day!


Upcoming construction activities include:

  • Stripping, stockpiling, and trucking of loam is nearing completion.
  • The River Street connection to water services is complete and paving occurred on Saturday, April 22.  
  • Street cleaning and catch basin maintenance along River Street will be ongoing throughout spring and summer construction activities.
  • Temporary and permanent drainage measures, including Alumni Field basin, are nearing completion.
  • Soil nailing to prevent undermining of existing foundations is complete.
  • Site retaining walls are underway and will continue in the coming weeks.
  • Excavations for new foundations and footings is ongoing and on schedule.
  • The first concrete pour, along the south foundation wall, was placed on April 21!  Concrete deliveries will continue to ramp up over the coming weeks and throughout the summer.
  • Steel is expected onsite, beginning in area C, at the end of June.
  • Steel and elevated concrete floor decks will be completed through the summer and into fall 2017.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Latest Edition of Inside BPS: Billerica Bionics Robotics

This month's edition of Inside BPS features students from the BMHS FIRST Robotics Team, the Billerica Bionics, Team 4909:


This year's season is over, but if you missed them compete, you get a chance to see what the robot can do in the second half of the program - and make sure you catch them next year!


Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Weekly Construction Update - April 19, 2017

With the school vacation week upon us, the update was delayed this week - but there's certainly no delay occurring onsite as the big activity this week is the beginning of excavations for the new foundations!

This week's activities include:

  • Stripping, stockpiling and trucking of loam is ongoing
  • River Street connection to water services is underway
  • Excavations for new foundations and footing is ongoing, and concrete is scheduled to begin in the coming week
  • Temporary and permanent draining measures including structures, piping, and stormwater basins are ongoing
  • Stormwater basin #3, towards Alumni Field, is underway and will be complete in the coming weeks
  • Soil nailing to prevent undermining of parts of the existing foundations close to construction activity is underway
  • Large site retaining wall blocks are onsite and installation towards the north/west corner of the site will commence next week

This week's pictures are taken from a different angle; these are taken from the IT department which is located on the second floor at the far western end of the Memorial Building (Room 1201).




Monday, April 10, 2017

Weekly Construction Update - April 10,2017


Picture from Mr. Murphy's office - April 10, 2017

Site work is continuing, and will be helped by this week's great weather forecast.  The activities of last week are still continuing this week and include:
  • Stripping, stockpiling, and trucking of loam is ongoing
  • Excavations for new foundations are underway
  • Reinforcement of existing foundations close to construction activity will be completed in the coming weeks
  • Temporary and permanent drainage measures including structures, piping, and stormwater basins are ongoing
  • Utility work will ramp up in the coming weeks
  • Installation of limited block site retaining walls is scheduled to commence in mid-April
  • Continued preparations for the commencement of concrete footings and foundations in the third week of April
The BMHS Building Committee also has a meeting tomorrow night, Tuesday, April 11, at 6:00pm in the Parker School cafetorium.  The agenda can be found at https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BzKiya6lq2ehdFVjYm5vY2pGV2M

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Assistant Superintendent Screening Committee

The Billerica Public Schools is currently seeking highly qualified candidates to apply for the position of Assistant Superintendent, which has become available for the 2017-18 school year.  We have begun the processing of assembling a Screening Committee to assist in the search process.  The Screening Committee will review applications, interview candidates, and recommend several candidates to the Superintendent as finalists for the position.

The Billerica Public Schools invites three (3) principals, three (3) administrators, three (3) educators, two (2) parents, one (1) community member, and (1) student to serve on the Assistant Superintendent Screening Committee.  People who serve on the Screening Committee should be able to attend several meetings including the candidate interview sessions.  The first meeting of the Screening Committee will be held on April 25, 2017 at 3:15 P.M. in the Collins Room, located in the Billerica Town Hall.  During this meeting, we will discuss the interview process, begin to review applications, and develop potential interview questions.  Many tasks must be accomplished during this meeting so members should plan to be available for approximately two hours.  A subsequent meeting will be held on April 27, with screening committee interviews scheduled the week of May 1-5.

Selecting a new Assistant Superintendent is an important activity for the entire community, and it requires an extraordinary commitment of time and energy.  If you are interested in serving on the Assistant Superintendent Screening Committee, please forward a letter of interest to Tim Piwowar, Superintendent, at tpiwowar@billericak12.com, no later than Thursday, April 13, 2017.

Sincerely,

Timothy G. Piwowar
Superintendent of Schools

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Latest edition of Inside BPS

Earlier this year, I started a new BATV program called "Inside BPS", which airs monthly and is designed to showcase the great work of our students across the district, as well as the staff members who help support them.  The current show that is airing features three students - Shelby Broughton, Patrick Bouthillette, and Taylor Bennett - who are involved in this year's BMHS musical production of The Drowsy Chaperone, as well as teacher Andrew Mills, who is the show's choral director.  The show can be found online at https://sites.google.com/a/billericak12.com/bps/district/vpa.



For tickets to this year's show, they can be bought at the door or in advance online at https://app.arts-people.com/index.php?ticketing=bfom.


Monday, April 3, 2017

Weekly Construction Update

Thank you to all that were involved in last week's groundbreaking ceremony - it was great to see the whole town come together to celebrate the success that we have had so far!

Starting this week, I will be providing a weekly update on construction activities that are occurring on site as provided by our construction team.  This week's activities include:
  • Stripping, stockpiling, and trucking of loam is ongoing
  • Excavations for new foundations are underway
  • Reinforcement of existing foundations close to construction activity will be completed in the coming weeks
  • Temporary and permanent drainage measures including structures, piping, and stormwater basins are ongoing
  • Utility work will ramp up in the coming weeks
  • Installation of limited block site retaining walls is scheduled to commence in mid-April
  • Continued preparations for the commencement of concrete footings and foundations in the third week of April
The picture below, taken from Mr. Murphy's office this afternoon, shows the earthwork that is continuing on site - it's hard to believe how much the landscape has already changed in such a short period of time!