Donny & Kevin Take on Gillette!

Originally posted on Burlington High School Help Desk:

Editor’s note: The following post originally appeared on the blog of BHS senior Donny Boermeester and BHS junior Kevin Lynch.

Help Desk Takes on Gillette


​On, Wednesday October 21 2015 Ms. Scheffer took me and another student of the Burlington Help Desk, Kevin Lynch, to Gillette Stadium to present our student run Genius Bar at the MasCUE/M.A.S.S. Technology Conference. I explained the projects I’ve done, why I joined Help Desk, and what I get out of the program. Once I finished with what I had to say I asked if there were any questions. One person asked me about the editing app I use for my videos and screencasts (QuickTime player and iMovie. I believe really helped people understand our program and possibilities for their own tech team .

Screen Shot 2015-10-23 at 8.47.28 AMAfter the session was over I was sitting outside the room and I had the principal of another school come…

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An Evening with Admissions Expert Mark Montgomery

On Thursday October 22, 2015, Mark Montgomery, a national college admissions expert, offers his advice on how to avoid the pitfalls and pain of applying to college. Most people take a haphazard approach to visiting schools, examining statistics, consulting rankings, and comparing campus amenities as they consider which colleges might be the right fit. Similarly, during the application process, students seldom think strategically as they fill out forms, write essays, plan for interviews, and communicate with admissions offices.
But the investment in higher education is huge: hundreds of thousands of dollars, huge student loans, and at least four years of hard work. Shouldn’t the process be less scattershot and more systematic? Why is it so hard to be rational in this process?
Filled with good humor, a healthy dose of reality, and concrete examples of real students who avoided these mistakes, the presentation addresses these crucial questions and more:

• How do you calculate “return on investment” in higher education?
• What is the right way to shop for colleges?
• What are the 12 factors in the admission process?
• What are the “hidden” parts of the Common Application?
• Why is it so important to start early in this process?
• How can you develop a personal strategy for success?
• How do you preserve sanity in your household?
Dr. Mark Montgomery earned his BA at Dartmouth College and his Masters and Doctorate at Tufts University. He has been an instructor at Harvard and a consultant at Yale. He specializes in demystifying the ways in which colleges recruit and admit students. His views and advice have appeared in US News & World Report, Money, USA Today, Forbes, The Apple Daily (Hong Kong), The Huffington Post, The Chronicle of Higher Education, and The Denver Post. He also writes a popular blog on university admission at
Montgomery Educational Consulting is a full service educational firm that assists students and their families as they select and apply to the best and most appropriate universities. With offices in New Jersey, Hong Kong, and Colorado, Mark works one-on-one with students to guide them in their choices in secondary school, to articulate which educational environments lead to academic success, and identify how personal and family needs, preferences, and ambitions can be combined to help them pick the right universities—and get in.

BPS Hosts 500 Educators for Early Education Conference

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Last year Burlington School Committee Member Kristin Russo and Literacy Coach Renee Sacco visited over a dozen local Preschools to try to assess how we could support these organizations as they prepare their students for public education.  Over an over the response from these early childhood providers was that they could use more professional development opportunities.  Mrs. Russo then approached MA Commissioner of Early Childhood and Care Tom Weber to see if there was something that could be done to offer support for Early Childhood providers.

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BPS School Committee member welcomes the crowd at Early Ed Con

Commissioner Weber complimented the efforts of Mrs. Russo and Ms. Sacco stating, “Outreach like this is not happening in most districts.”   In addition Commissioner Weber promised more professional development opportunities for Early Childhood providers that would meet the needs of their schedules.

The conference featured sessions led by the following Burlington staff members: Sean Musselman, Deborah Clark, and Colleen Jenkins. Check out some of the pictures from Early Ed Con below. Special thanks to Director of Technology Integration Dennis Villano for all of his work organizing this event.

India Immersion Course Announcement

The course announcement for the 2016 India Immersion Course is out.  Many thanks to Vinita Shah and Steve Preston for their efforts to create, organize, and promote the experience.  For teachers in Burlington, the 3-credit graduate course is sponsored by Cambridge College so tuition reimbursement can apply.

The video from last year’s course and the reflections of Courtney Fallon and Margaret Berry highlight the value of the experience.

India Immersion Course Announcement 2016

BPS Edtech Presents: September Tech Savvy Parenting Night (September 28)

Source: BPS Edtech Presents: September Tech Savvy Parenting Night

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The BPS EdTech Team is thrilled to announce the first Tech Savvy Parenting Night of the 2015-2016 school year. This event is part of our ongoing Digital Bootcamp Series which was launched last year. Our September Parent Tech night, taking place on Monday, September 28th from 6:00-7:30 p.m. at the Marshall Simonds Middle School Library Commons features Alan Katzman. Katzman is the founder of the New York City based Social Assurity and is a nationally recognized digital citizenship expert. Katzman also serves as a member of the #digcit Twitter chat moderation team.

Alan’s presentation, “Elevating Your Child’s Social Media & Digital Presence for Better College & Career Opportunities” will help parents and students understand how to leverage social media tools proactively and purposefully. The new reality is that “social media has completely changed the college application and job recruiting process.” Katzman will help parents and students learn how to showcase their skills and talents in innovative ways and ultimately get noticed by college admissions representatives. He will share how students can take advantage of social media to create an impressive and discoverable digital brand. In today’s digital world, students and their parents MUST understand how they can use various technology tools to gain a competitive advantage and achieve their higher education goals.

Don’t miss your chance to learn from one of the nation’s leading experts on digital citizenship!


-The News Diva

This event is open to all Burlington Public School parents.The session is ideal for parents who have children in grades 7 through 12. Pre-registration is NOT required, however in order to prepare for the event, the BPS Edtech Team asks attendees tocomplete this Google Form.

The BPS EdTech Team looks forward to seeing you and your children on Monday, September 28th!

Dealing with the Heat This Week

With this week’s record temperatures, we are seeing the heat index increase with the return of extreme heat and humidity.  The warm weather is causing hot classrooms in our three elementary schools without air conditioning, but we continue to monitor the situation daily.

Schools are using the following preventative measures to deal with the heat:

  • turning on air handlers in the evening to bring in cooler nighttime air
  • opening windows at night to bring in some cooler nighttime air
  • keeping the window shades drawn and the level of lighting low during the day
  • using fans to circulate the air in classrooms and hallways
  • encouraging students to drink plenty of water during the day
  • accommodating for indoor recess for children if needed
  • taking advantage of areas in the schools that have air-conditioning or are cooler
  • monitoring the levels of physical activity in children and watching for signs of overheating
  • sending students to the nurse’s office if students become overheated

The Athletic Departments is also aware of heat-related issues, and coaches are making accommodations as needed.  Practices have been modified, water breaks are longer, and Athletic Trainers are watching athletes closely.