Thursday, August 23, 2018

Burlington High School Back to School Reminders

August 2018

Dear Parents/Guardians, 

I hope this letter finds you well, enjoying the waning days of what feels like a very short summer vacation! Our secretarial, administrative and custodial staff have been busy preparing for your son/daughter’s return to BHS this fall. With that in mind, I would like to take this time to highlight some important information for the start of the new school year and remind families of the various ways in which we communicate with our community. 

Please remember that BHS has new start and end times for the 2018/2019 school year.
School will start at 8:35 a.m. and release at 3:05 p.m. 

School Calendar
The first day for students is Tuesday, September 4th, which is also picture day. 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 10th. Please be aware, that like last year, approximately once per month we schedule a common planning day for BHS Staff. These days are noted as CP days. On these days, school will open at the normal time and buses will run on a regular schedule, but homeroom will not start until 9:10 a.m. If your son/daughter comes to school prior to 9:10 a.m., they may report to the Library or Cafeteria. As a reminder, breakfast will be served, and the Fitness Center will be available for student use.

Please mark your calendars for our annual Back to School night on Thursday, September 13th, from 6:30-8:30 p.m. This is an important opportunity to meet your son/daughter's teachers, learn about classroom expectations, and determine the best way to establish communication with teachers this year. Freshman parents are invited to arrive at 6:00 p.m. for a brief orientation and a question and answer session with administrators.

There are various ways we prioritize our communication:

Email from our ASPEN Family Portal - In order to update the ASPEN Family Portal, please review and correct any contact information via the paperwork sent home with your child during the first week of school.

You may also sign up for Twitter and follow @bhsprincipal on Twitter and other high school accounts like BHS Athletics, DECA, English Department, etc.

You may also follow my blog by going to and entering your email address. This will provide you with an email and/or tweet whenever news from BHS is posted to these sites. Please note that you may unsubscribe from these options at any time. 

Following the district Facebook Page is another great way to stay on top of the happenings at the high school as well as other schools in town.  You may also ascertain BHS departmental news, club information, and extracurricular news/updates by following one or more of the numerous blogs and web pages of BHS staff.  

If you should need to contact me, my email is and my 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 - phone numbers / email addresses. 

Other administrative phone numbers you may require:

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 for Athletics 781.270.1867
Mrs. Shannon Janovitz English Department Chair 781.270.1877
Mr. George Ratkevich Fine Arts Coordinator 781.270.2941
Mr. Joseph Attubato Guidance Director 781.270.1856
Mrs. Katie Whitcomb Math Department Chair 781.270.2933
Mr. Matthew Jackling PE/Health Coordinator 781.273.7002
Mr. John Middleton-Cox Performing Arts Coordinator 781.270.1861
Mrs. Holly Potters Science Department Chair 781.270.2923
Mr. Todd Whitten Social Studies Department Chair 781.270.1870
Mrs. Renee Dacey World Languages Department Chair 781.505.1167

Burlington High School Student Handbook:
The Student Handbook is distributed electronically to students during the first week of school. The BHS student 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 at anytime via the previous link, the school website or my blog. 

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 the Guidance Breakfast Series, the college application process, standardized testing/test prep information, enrichment opportunities, our Program of Studies, 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, as well as current class averages. BHS does not send interim progress reports, but we push out reminders to check ASPEN for student progress at interim periods of every quarter. Also, end of quarter report cards are posted to the Portal--no hard copies are mailed home. The email functionality is something we frequently use to communicate with families. If you are having trouble accessing the portal, or you 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 attention (injuries, allergies, diabetes, seizure disorders, etc.). Parents/guardians should contact the school nurse, Ms. Suzy Shields, 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.  You can access and review the policy in the BHS Student Handbook. 

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 any 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.

  1. If it is not possible to call the Administrative Office the day of an absence, the office will, upon the student’s return to school, accept a note before school and an Admit Slip will be issued to the student so he/she may return to class.

  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 3:10-4:10 p.m. 

Tardy to School After 8:35
Students who are tardy to school after 8:35 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 Chair 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 a single file line 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.  Please do not drop off near the cafeteria or make illegal u-turns by the administrative entrance as this also causes dangerous traffic situations.

For students taking the bus, routes and schedules can be found HERE. 

Driving/ Parking Privileges
Parking on school property is a student privilege that may be revoked as a result of a violation of the parking rules, attendance or disciplinary policy.  Students are required to register their vehicles with the senior administrator, purchase a parking permit for $15.00 and park only in the designated student parking lot each day according to the parking rules. Parking permits must be displayed, with the number facing outward, on the rearview mirror of the car.  Students who violate the parking rules at BHS risk losing driving privileges permanently. Parking permits are distributed to seniors and juniors on a first come, first served basis. 

Student Activity Fair 
To explore ways to get involved, the high school administration encourages students to participate in our annual Activity Fair. This event allows students to discover the numerous extracurricular clubs and activities at BHS. Students can speak to students involved in the different organizations, learn more information, and sign up to participate. The Activity Fair is open to all students, but is especially helpful for our 9th graders and new students who have yet to experience the variety of ways to become involved and engaged outside of the classroom. The date is Thursday, September 27th, and it will be held in the Cafeteria from 2:45-3:15 p.m. 

As always please feel free to contact us at the high school with any questions and concerns you may have, as we look forward to your partnership as we embark on what I am sure will be another great school year; and please remember to check for important information and dates on my blog and the district website.


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