biliteracy

Twelve local students have received a state biliteracy award recognizing fluency in at least two languages. Holding a sign noting the Foxboro High School Seal of Biliteracy for the Class of 2020 are: (front row) Sasha Hussain, Naomi Pham, Anna Marcucella, Brooke Connoll and Sara Scardocci (back row) Aidan Stapleton, Kevin Tully, Kyle McGinnis, Jacob Parkman, and Ryan Proulx. Not included in photo: Tim Behn and Ronald MacLellan.

A new-and-improved school district newsletter spotlighting student achievement and related items will be distributed shortly to households and businesses across Foxboro.

Administrators previewed the soon-to-be-released “community report” for school committee members at the board’s Jan. 6 meeting, saying that it would be mailed at the end of January.

According to Superintendent Amy Berdos, the seasonal report originally was launched in keeping with the district’s strategic plan, which pledges ongoing communication and shared resources among parents, teachers, town organizations and residents at large.

“It was a way to really put the information out there, all we had to offer,” Berdos said, adding that several different formats have been employed.

Assistant Superintendent Alison Mello said school principals contributed items for the newsletter ranging from progress on the new outdoor athletic complex at Foxboro High School, to upgrades in classroom technology, to elementary lunch options that feature Tuesday tastings of foods from around the globe.

“This is our way to share with the community some of the things they might not be aware of in our schools and give them a sense of what is important to us,” Mello said.

Among other things, the report highlights that Foxboro was recognized as one of the top 50 school districts in Massachusetts by Boston Magazine, and notes that 12 local students have received a state biliteracy award recognizing fluency in at least two languages.

Mello stated the new report reflects an effort to enhance communication by adding Twitter handles for the district and individual school buildings, as well as for key administrators.

“If we’re going to keep talking about it, then it’s important that people know how to find us,” she said. “That’s new this year.”

The upcoming edition also includes a number of intriguing factoids, including:

  • Local students come from homes in which 30 different languages from 38 countries are spoken;
  • The most recent BIT elementary school auction raised more than $70,000 to help fund field trips and enrichment programming;
  • Before- and after-school extended care programs are available at the Ahern School and all three elementary schools;
  • Nearly three quarters of local schoolteachers have taught in Foxboro for more than six years, with 54 percent teaching here for more than 10 years;
  • Foxboro schools do not charge fees for athletics, transportation, parking or extracurricular activities.

“I think we really are in the minority in that department,” Mello said of the item referring to fees. “It’s important for our community to know that we value their support.”

The report also included an overview of student demographics, with 22.4 percent of the town’s 2,584 students eligible for free or reduced price lunch, 20.1 percent enrolled among the special education population, and 90 percent of 2019 graduates opting to continue their education,

Following Mello’s presentation, board members helped polish the draft in what was characterized as an effort to better market Foxboro schools.

Towards that end, committee member Robert Canfield urged administrators to include information about building improvements to help illustrate how tax dollars are being spent.

Meditech donationAlthough it wasn’t included among the highlights in the upcoming community report, Foxboro schools were recently awarded a $10,000 donation to advance technology instruction by Medical Information Technology Inc., better known as Meditech.

According to Berdos, the grant will be used to help finance an expansion of Project Lead the Way, a project-based STEM curriculum at the Ahern School.

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