• Shawsheen Valley Technical High School

    Principal's Update

    Thursday, September 1, 2022


    It may have been a short one, but we definitely had a great first week of school at Shawsheen! Yesterday, we welcomed the freshman class to the Ram Family for the first day of their two-day orientation. Over the past two days, freshmen have toured the building; met their academic teachers; learned about the various opportunities, supports, and expectations for students; received their school laptops and credentials; learned more about bullying & harassment prevention, the dangers of substance use, career planning, and extra-curricular opportunities; and they have worked closely with the upper-class student orientation leaders through a number of activities around the school campus. Today, students in grades 10-12 received and reviewed their school schedules for this year and attended class meetings to review school expectations, supports, and opportunities. Sophomores and seniors reported to their shops for the day, took school photos and received their school laptops, while juniors reported to their academic classes. Juniors will take school photos and receive their school laptops on Tuesday when we return from the long weekend. Next week will be a week 2, which means that sophomores and seniors will report to academic classes, juniors will report to their shops, and freshmen will start their first exploratory cycle! Freshmen and their families should review the What to Wear and Bring to Freshman Shop Exploratory list if they have not done so already to ensure students are prepared to participate on Tuesday.


    Due Next Week: Electronic Signatures from Parents/Legal Guardians on 2022-2023 SVTHS Student Handbook Forms

    This year, Student Handbook forms for returning students will be signed electronically using Back To School Gateway. Parents/Legal Guardians of returning students in grades 10, 11, and 12 will receive individual emails by the end of the day today from Shawsheen Tech with information on how to log into Back To School Gateway. Once logged in, you will review and update the current information we have on file for your student, and then you will be able to sign all of the 2022-2023 SVTHS Student Handbook forms electronically. Electronic signatures are due by next Friday, September 9, 2022. Please note, access to Back to School Gateway will be given to both primary contacts we have on file for each student, but only one primary contact needs to complete this process for each student.

    If you do not receive an email about Back to School Gateway by tomorrow morning (and you also do not see the email in your junk folder), please read the instructions below to submit a ticket at the following link: https://shawsheentech.sherpadesk.com/portal/

    • Click on the green 'Submit Ticket' button 
    • Enter email address
    • For Location, select: _Home
    • For Class, select: _PARENT ASPEN LOGIN ISSUES
    • Please provide all contact information 

    Additionally, please note that the distributor for our Student Handbooks mistakenly left some pages/sections out of some hard copies of the Student Handbook when they printed them. Those hard copies will need to be replaced. Students who need new copies should notify the Dean's Office if they have not done so already. The full version of this year's handbook can be viewed anytime at the following link: 2022-2023 Student Handbook


    Parent/Guardian & Teacher 'Meet & Greet' & Freshman Parent Orientation - Thursday, September 22, 2022 

    This year, we have two nights for parents/guardians to meet with teachers. They will both be in-person. The first one in September will be a Meet & Greet (there will be no individual conferences that evening), and the second one in November will consist of individual conferences with teachers. The 'Meet & Greet' scheduled for Thursday, September 22, 2022 will begin promptly at 6pm so we ask parents/guardians to arrive and report to their assigned locations by 5:45pm to ensure they are able to follow the schedule as planned. Parents/Guardians will follow their student's academic schedule, visit their student's shop where teachers and guidance counselors will be present (grades 10-12 only), and attend Freshman Parent Orientation (grade 9 only). In addition to those activities, Billerica Substance Abuse Prevention Committee has arranged for "Hope's Room" (see more information in the next section below), to be available for parents/guardians to drop into anytime from 5:30pm - 7:30pm that evening.  

    We are trying this "Meet & Greet" model for the first time, to give parents/guardians the opportunity to follow their student's schedules and meet their teachers and counselors near the start of the school year and will be looking for feedback after this evening to help inform the structure of the event in future years. Please click on the following link to view the schedule for that eveningMeet and Greet Parent/Guardian-Teacher Night Schedule - September 22, 2022


    Hope's Room - Resource for Parents/Guardians to Identify Possible Signs of Substance Use

    Hope's Room is an ongoing hidden in plain sight education campaign run by the non-profit, Team Sharing, Inc. Spearheaded by Gary and Tracy Carter after losing their son Bryant to an overdose, they travel the state and the country bringing a mobile mock bedroom around to educate parents on what to look for and where in their children's bedrooms. Hope's Room is a mock child's bedroom designed to show possible signs of substance use that may go unnoticed in daily life. From indicators to clever hiding places, our goal is to give parents one more tool to keep their children safe from the epidemic of substance use. Your children are growing up in unprecedented times. The pressures and traumas today's children may be facing is beyond anything we've seen historically. This combined with the easy availability of illicit substances is a recipe for disaster. Let's give them every chance they deserve. Early intervention is the key.

    The mobile "Hope's Room" will be in Shawsheen's student parking lot from 5:30pm - 7:30pm on Thursday, September 22, 2022 for parents/guardians to visit while they are on campus for the Meet & Greet.


    Today's Class Presentations

    Grade 9: As part of today's Freshman Orientation activities, freshmen rotated through various sessions on important topics. One of those sessions was a presentation from our Dean of Students Ms. Tobin and our Assistant Principal Kevin Caruso. You can view that presentation at the following link:  Freshman Presentation - Thursday, September 1, 2022

    Grades 10-12: Class meetings were held for grades 10-12 today, to provide students with school reminders and various grade-specific updates. You can view those presentations by using the links below:


    An Introduction from Mr. Jim Carlson, Director of Guidance & Health Services

    Please click the following link to read an introductory letter from our new Director of Guidance & Health Services, Mr. Jim Carlson: Carlson Community Letter.


    An Introduction from Mr. Kevin Caruso, Assistant Principal

    Please click the following link to read an introductory letter from our new Assistant Principal for Student Affairs, Mr. Kevin Caruso: Caruso Community Letter.


    Shawsheen's District Curriculum Accommodation Plan (DCAP)

    Shawsheen's District Curriculum Accommodation Plan (DCAP) was recently updated and can be viewed at the following link Shawsheen DCAP. It is also posted on the Principal's page of the Shawsheen Website under Important Resources.


    Reminder: NO SCHOOL Tomorrow or Monday

    There will be no school tomorrow or Monday. Students will return to a week 2 schedule on Tuesday, September 6, 2022 after the long weekend.


    Reminder: School Photographs for Grade 11 & Make-up Photos - Tuesday, September 6, 2022

    Reminder: All students are expected to take photos for their school-issued IDs, and those photos are also available for families to purchase from SmilePro. SmilePro will be emailing parents/guardians directly regarding photo package options. Please note that students are required to have their school-issued IDs with them when at school and at school-sponsored events, and that school IDs must be swiped when students get breakfast or lunch.



    Jessica Cook




    Quick Links:



    • Friday, September 2: No School
    • Monday, September 5: Labor Day - No School
    • Tuesday, September 6: Grade 11 Photos & Make-up Photos
    • Thursday, September 22: Parent/Teacher Night 'Meet & Greet' - 6pm - 8pm
    • Friday, September 23: Half-Day - 10:43am Dismissal for Students
    • Friday, September 30: Q1 Mid-Term