Monday, August 15, 2016

Communicating with BHS & Back To School Reminders

With students returning to classes in the very near future, I like to take the time to remind families of the various ways Burlington High School communicates with our community, and also highlight some important information for the start of the new school year. Please keep in mind that this information is to be used as a reference and not intended to be all encompassing. For the most up to date and complete information please contact the school or see the District/School web sites, blog, and/or the student handbook.

The Burlington High Principal's Blog and Twitter account are the main sources of communication on news from our school. I suggest you enter your email address in the box at the top of the blog on the right hand side that says ‘get BHS Blog Updates in your email’ and also sign up for twitter and follow @bhsprincipal. Doing so will provide you with an email and/or tweet whenever news from BHS is posted to these sites. Please note that you can unsubscribe from these options at any time.

Following our Facebook Page is another great way to stay on top of the happenings at BHS! You can also follow BHS department news, club information, and extracurricular news and updates by following one or more of the numerous blogs and web pages of BHS staff.

If you ever need to contact me, my email is and phone number is 781.273.7662.  Please feel free to reach out with any questions or concerns. All other staff emails and phone numbers can be found through our staff directory.   

Other administrative phone numbers you should keep handy:

Mr. Richard Sheehan Associate Principal Grades 10 & 12 781.270.1837
Ms. Deborah Deacon Associate Principal Grades 9 & 11 781.270.1844
Mr. Shaun Hart Associate Principal Athletics 781.270.186
Mr. Joseph Attubato Guidance Director 781.270.1856
Mrs. Renee Dacey World Languages Department Chair 781.505.1167
Mr. Matthew Jackling PE/Health Coordinator 781.273.7002
Mr. George Ratkevich Fine Arts Coordinator 781.270.2941
Mr. John Middleton-Cox Performing Arts Coordinator 781.270.1861
Mr. Todd Whitten   Social Studies Department Chair   781.270.1870
Mr. Brian McNeil Math Department Chair 781.270.2933
Mr. Benjamin Lally English Department Chair 781.270.1877
Dr. Peter Nassiff Science Department Chair 781.270.2923

Burlington High School Handbook:
This is distributed electronically to students during the first week of school. The BHS handbook is a valuable tool that outlines important school policies and regulations. We respectfully ask that you take some time with your son/daughter and familiarize yourself with the handbook. You can access the handbook HERE.

BHS Guidance Department
The mission of the Burlington High School Guidance Department is to support the academic, career, and personal/ social development of all students. Through individual and group counseling and collaboration with school, home and community, they foster responsible decision-making and strive to help students realize their full academic and personal potential as lifelong learners and global citizens. The Guidance Blog is a great site to bookmark as it contains information about their Guidance Breakfast Series, the college application process, standardized testing/test prep information, enrichment opportunities, program of studies information, and many more resources and tools you may find helpful.

Burlington High School ASPEN Family Portal
As we continue to leverage the functionality of ASPEN, it is strongly recommended that parents/guardians utilize the Aspen Family Portal to follow their child's progress at BHS. Within Aspen you have access to class schedules, teacher email addresses, homeroom and class attendance, and current class averages. BHS eliminated interim progress reports last year and now sends reminders to check ASPEN for student progress at interim periods of the quarter. Also, end of quarter report cards are posted to the Portal instead of mailing home hard copies. Furthermore, the email functionality is something BHS uses often to communicate with families. If you are having trouble accessing the portal or are unsure of your portal account information, please email the Student Information Office at

BHS Nurse’s Office
In order to provide a safe and healthy school environment, it is important for the school nurse to be informed of any health issues that may affect a student or require special needs (injuries, allergies, diabetes, seizure disorders, etc.). Parents/guardians should contact the school nurse, Ms. Mary Sullivan, directly regarding any health issues at 781.270.1862.

Burlington High School Attendance Policy
Chapter 76, Section 1 of the Massachusetts General Laws states that all children between the ages of six and sixteen must attend school. A school district may excuse up to seven day sessions or fourteen half-day sessions in any period of six months. In addition to this law, BHS has its own attendance policy with which you should be familiar.

Student Eligibility for Athletics and Extracurricular Activities
Participation in all extracurricular activities and school sponsored events is a privilege.  All Burlington High School students representing the school through participation in an extracurricular activity serve as ambassadors of BHS and the Burlington Community.  Students who wish to exercise the privilege of participating in an extracurricular activity must be in good standing academically (maintain a minimum of 20 credits), meet Burlington High School attendance requirements, and not be in violation of Burlington High School’s code of conduct or other illegal, unhealthy or inappropriate behaviors.

Attendance to School

  1. If a student is going to be absent, parent/guardian calls into the assigned office the day of an absence, before 8:00 a.m.
  1. Freshmen and Juniors call 270-1838

  1. Sophomores and Seniors call 270-1839

  1. Calls from parents/guardians will be recorded and students will be given an Admit Slip before school on the day they return.

  1. If it is not possible to call the Administrative Office, we shall, upon the student’s return to school, accept a note before school and will issue an Admit Slip back to classes.

  1. Students are required to present an Admit Slip to their teachers prior to being readmitted to class.

Tardy to School

Students who are tardy to school will sign in at the office and will be given a pass to homeroom. Those students whose tardiness is unauthorized will serve an after school detention from 2:15 to 3:15 p.m.

Tardy to School After 7:30

Students who are tardy to school after 7:30 must sign in at the office and present a tardy note unless the parent/guardian has already called the office. Those students whose tardiness is unauthorized will serve an after-school detention.

Students who attend classes without signing in will be subject to Extended Detention or serving up to two days In-School Suspension.

Examples of absences or tardiness that will be excused include:
  • Documented illness, injury or medical appointment

  • Bereavement/family funeral

  • Major religious observances

  • Legal appearance

  • Extraordinary family circumstances (excused at the discretion of the principal)

Examples of absences or tardiness that are unexcused include, but are not limited to:

  • Repetitive or chronic absence or tardiness due to illness or injury not documented by a doctor

  • Truancy

  • Family vacations

  • Undocumented absences

  • Non-emergency family situations

The following schedule should be used as a guideline for making up outstanding work for authorized absences:  1-2 days absent – 1 week to make up; 3-5 days absent – 2 weeks to make up; > 5 days – by arrangement. Any extensions to the time limit must be granted by an Associate Principal in conjunction with the Department Head and the teacher.

Student Drop Off and Pick Up
Parents/Guardians who drive their son/daughter to school must drop off and pick up in the circle in front of the main entrance. Please do not idle or park on the inside of the circle as this causes a dangerous traffic situation. Also. please do not drop off near the cafeteria or make illegal u-turns by the administrative entrance as this also causes unnecessary traffic situations.

For students taking the bus, routes and schedules will be released through Burlington’s Central Office in the next couple weeks.

Driving/ Parking Privileges

Parking on school property is a student privilege that may be revoked as a result of violation of the parking rules and/or attendance policy. Students are required to register their vehicles with the administration for permission to park on school property. Permits must be displayed appropriately. Students found to be parking in restricted areas may lose their driving privileges.  Parking stickers will be distributed to seniors on a first come, first serve basis. Underclassmen who wish to park on school property will be allowed to do so as space permits.

School Calendar
Our annual summer orientation program for incoming ninth grade and new students will be held on Tuesday, August 23, from 9:00-10:30 am. This program, conducted by the school’s administrators and student representatives, will provide a general overview of the school, its curriculum, rules, and extracurricular activities. All incoming ninth-grade students, as well as any new students, are cordially invited to report to the auditorium at 9:00 a.m. for a brief presentation and then a tour of the building.  Students  will also have the opportunity to meet with student mentors in small discussion groups. Students should bring their class schedules to familiarize themselves with classroom locations and the building layout.  Refreshments will be served.

Students first day is Tuesday, September 6. The first week will have a series of extended homerooms to accommodate for class assemblies and other administrative tasks we need to complete with students. Our rotation schedule will not start until Monday, September 12.

Please mark your calendars now for our annual back to school night on Thursday, September 15, from 6:30-8:30 p.m. This is an important night to meet your son/daughter's teachers, learn about their classroom expectations, and to speak with them about the best ways to establish communication this year. Freshman parents are invited to arrive at 6:00 p.m. for a brief orientation to BHS and the opportunity for a question and answer session with administrators.

Also, please plan to be at BHS during the evening on Wednesday February 1st as Chris Herren will be here to speak to community members (Mr. Herren will also speak to students during the day). This presentation is part of our ongoing efforts to educate students and community members about prevention, awareness, and the real dangers that drugs, alcohol and destructive decisions have on our youngsters.

Student Activities Fair
To learn about ways to get involved, the high school administration encourages students to participate in our annual activity fair, which is on Thursday September 22, from 1:45-2:30 p.m.

This annual event allows students to learn about different clubs and activities that are offered at Burlington High School. Students can speak to students that are involved in the different organizations, learn more information, and to sign up to participate if they're interested. The activity fair is open to all students, but is especially helpful for our 9th graders and new students who have yet to see first hand the variety of ways to get involved and to be engaged outside of the classroom at BHS.

other important dates can be found on the BPS and BHS calendars.

BHS Summer Reading

BHS School Council
BHS is always looking for volunteers who would like to serve on the BHS School Council. As an advisory body, the school council works to provide ideas and opinions to help the principal. Each year, the group reviews the Student/Parent Handbook, and creates the School Improvement Plan. In this context, council members assist by:

  • providing information and recommendations relevant to the educational needs of students;
  • reading and discussing the budget with the principal to understand the implications for goals and activities in the school improvement plan; and
  • participating actively in the process of analysis and planning that results in the identification of annual goals, activities, outcomes, and resources that will lead to school improvement.

If you are interested in serving on the council as a teacher, student, parent, or community member please contact me at or by calling 781.273.7662.

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