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Principal's Welcome Letter - August 26th 2021

  • Dear Shawsheen Students and Families,


    I hope you are enjoying the final days of summer break as we look ahead to the first week of school. We look forward to welcoming students back to Shawsheen next week to kick off the 2021-2022 school year for 100% in-person instruction! Shawsheen staff are back in the building, preparing for the return of students and gearing up for what we expect to be a mostly 'normal' school year. When I spoke with staff at our first faculty meeting of the year yesterday morning, I noted the extent to which last school year challenged all of us - students, staff, and families - and recognized the significant impact that had on each of us as individuals and on our entire community. I also noted how proud I was about how we met those challenges - with incredible flexibility, patience, empathy, and understanding. This school year will pose its own challenges, but I am confident that we can meet those challenges and support students to be successful by exhibiting the same qualities we did this past year, with ourselves and with one another. Aside from the mask and contact tracing requirements still in place, we will return to our normal procedures and routines at Shawsheen this year. Those are all outlined in the Student Handbook, and the ones most relevant to the start of the school year are outlined below. Information specific to COVID-19 protocols were communicated earlier today in a message from Dr. Jackson. Please review that message if you have not already.


    2021-2022 Shawsheen Valley Technical High School Student Handbook 

    Please read the 2021-2022 Shawsheen Valley Technical High School (SVTHS) Student Handbook

     and, in lieu of turning in physical copies of the signature pages at the end of the handbook, students and parents/guardians will complete and submit the 2021-2022 SVTHS Student Handbook Electronic Signature Formwhich is due by Friday, September 3, 2021. To access this form, students must log into their Microsoft 365 accounts and then students and parents/guardians should complete and submit the form together. Student handbooks (which also function as agenda books and passes for students) will be distributed to students by mid-September. Unfortunately, the company that produces our handbook is experiencing significant shipping delays.


    School Procedures - Back to Normal Routines

    Last year, we made a number of changes to school routines to comply with social distancing requirements. With those requirements no longer in place, we will be returning to our traditional routines, as outlined in the 2021-2022 SVTHS Student Handbook. To ensure everyone is aware of the most essential routines for the first week of school, please pay special attention to the following:

    Student Drop-off & Morning Entry

    • Students can begin to enter the building at 7:00am, and must remain in one of the following supervised locations until the homeroom bell rings at 7:25am: the cafeteria, auditorium, library, or tent (in the rear parking lot).
    • During this time, students may only enter the building from two locations: the main entrance, and the entrance next to the student cafeteria (in the rear of the building).
    • Staff members will be assigned at all of these locations in the morning to direct and supervise students.

    Student Breakfast

    • Starting the second week of school, breakfast will be available to all students from 7:00am - 7:20am.
    • Student breakfast is available for pick-up in the cafeteria. Students can consume breakfast in the cafeteria or the tent until the homeroom bell rings at 7:25am.

    School Start Time & Homeroom

    • Students must report to their homerooms by 7:30am or they will be marked tardy.
    • Students who arrive late may enter the building through the main entrance or the entrance by the cafeteria until homeroom ends at 7:47am. Students arriving after that time must report to the main entrance.
    • Refer to pages 18-20 of the 2021-2022 SVTHS Student Handbook for detailed information about school rules regarding attendance and tardiness.

    Student Lunches

    • During the fall, students will be able to eat lunch in one of two locations: the cafeteria or the tent.

    Student Pick-up & Afternoon Dismissal

    • Student dismissal is at 2:04pm for all students.
    • We encourage students to take the bus to reduce the number of cars entering and exiting the parking lot at dismissal time.
    • Please avoid using the front parking lot for student pick-up until after 2:10pm. Cars that arrive early block fire lanes and prevent efficient pick-up of students who have mobility issues. 
    • Between 1:45pm and 2:15pm cars may only enter the rear parking lot through the entrance on Alexander Road. Buses and cars use both lanes of the entrance on Cook street to exit the rear parking lot after student dismissal.


    School Breakfast & Lunch Program

    The federal government has extended the free breakfast and lunch program for all students through the end of this school year. Students will still be required to swipe their school issued IDs when getting breakfast or lunch so that we can track the number of meals provided through the program. Students may purchase additional meals, snacks, or drinks in the cafeteria using funds loaded onto their MySchoolBucks account. Please visit the cafeteria's On-Line Payments and Pre-Payments Frequently Asked Questions page to learn more. We still encourage families to fill out a Free and Reduced Breakfast and Lunch Application and return it to the Mr. Robert Roach, Director of Food Services. This form should be completed whether or not you think you are eligible for the free and reduced breakfast and lunch program, by September 6, 2021. If your child qualifies for free or reduced lunch, they will also qualify for our free and reduced breakfast program. Information on these forms will be confidential and are needed for two purposes: first to determine eligibility for free and reduced lunch and second, as a basis to determine the amount of state and federal education aid our school district receives. Therefore, filling out these forms and returning them in a timely manner has a significant impact on all of the programs offered at Shawsheen Tech. Your cooperation is respectfully requested. Questions can be directed to Mr. Robert Roach at 978-671-3669.


    Aspen Accounts for Freshmen and Their Parents/Legal Guardians

    Parents/legal guardians of incoming freshmen will receive their Aspen credentials via email by the end of the day tomorrow, Friday, August 27. Freshmen will receive their credentials during orientation on Monday, August 30.


    Student Schedules

    Student schedules will be available to view in Aspen by the end of the day tomorrow, Friday, August 27. A notification will be sent out via email and text message once those schedules are available. Freshmen will receive printed copies of their academic and exploratory schedules during freshman orientation on Monday, August 30. Students in grades 10-12 will receive printed copies of their schedules on Tuesday, August 31. If you are having difficulty accessing the Aspen Family Portal, please read the instructions below to submit a ticket at the following link:
    •    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


    First Week of School Schedule & Logistics

    The first week of school is a Week 1, which is an academic week for students in grades 9 & 11, and a shop week for students in grades 10 & 12.

    Monday, August 30 – Freshman Orientation --GRADE 9 STUDENTS ONLY

    • Freshmen should arrive and enter the school through the gymnasium (in the rear of the building) by 7:20am.
    • We have a full day planned for students - below are a few examples of what they will experience during orientation. Students will:
      • Participate in team-building activities with their peers, upper-class student mentors, and staff members.
        • Weather permitting, this will take place on the turf football field. Students should dress accordingly (comfortable clothing and sturdy footwear), apply sunscreen, and bring a water bottle.
      • Follow abbreviated versions of their academic schedules so they can meet all of their teachers and learn where all of their classrooms are.
      • Receive their school-issued laptops and their credentials to log on and access programs such as Microsoft 365 and Aspen.
      • Attend a Vocational/Technical Panel where they will learn more about the exploratory experience from teachers representing all of our vocational/technical programs.
    • Students do not need to bring backpacks or school materials on this day.

     Tuesday, August 31 – ALL STUDENTS

    • Students must arrive to their homerooms by 7:30am.
      • Grade 9 students will report to the same homeroom locations they reported to during orientation.
      • Grade 10, 11, and 12 homerooms are organized by shop. If any student is unsure of their homeroom location (some homerooms are scheduled in the shops, while others are scheduled in classrooms), they should report directly to their shop on Tuesday morning.
    • Homeroom will be extended through the end of 1st period. During that time, students will receive locker numbers & locker combinations and then test out their lockers. Students will also receive printed copies of their schedules.
    • Students will be accompanied by their teachers to class meetings (as scheduled below) throughout the day to review important school rules/procedures as well as topics pertinent to each grade-level. 
      • Period 2 = Senior Class Meeting
      • Period 3 = Junior Class Meeting
      • Period 4 = Sophomore Class Meeting
      • Period 7 + 8 = Freshman Class Meeting
        • After the class meeting, freshmen will receive additional training on how to access school programs on their school-issued laptops.

    Wednesday, September 1  & Thursday, September 2

    • Seniors who are eligible and approved to be on co-op may report to co-op instead of shop.
    • We will follow a normal bell schedule (no extended homeroom or class meetings). 

    Friday, September 3 - NO SCHOOL

    Monday, September 6 - NO SCHOOL - LABOR DAY

    The second week of school, September 7-10, is a Week 2, which is a shop week for students in grades 9 & 11, and an academic week for students in grades 10 & 12.


    Laptop Distribution & Expectations for Student Devices

    All Students will be provided with school-issued laptops (along with charging cords and laptop cases) during the first week of school, as follows:

    • Freshmen = during Freshman Orientation on Monday, August 30
    • Sophomores = during shop (at assigned times) on Wednesday, September 1 or Thursday, September 2.
    • Juniors = during related (at assigned times) on Tuesday, August 31, Wednesday, September 1, or Thursday, September 2
    • Seniors = during shop on (at assigned times) Tuesday, August 31

    Students are required to bring their laptops (fully charged) and charging cords to school every day. Students in some shops might be informed by their teachers that laptops are not required every day during shop weeks - this is the only exception.


    School Photos & School IDs

    All students are expected to take photos for their school-issued IDs, and those photos are also available for families to purchase from SmilePro. 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. School Photos are scheduled as followed:

    • Make-up photos for Freshmen = Monday, August 30 
    • Sophomore and Senior Photos = Tuesday, August 31
    • Junior Photos and Make-up Photos = Tuesday, September 7 


    Bus Routes

    Please review the Bus Routes for the 2021-2022 School Year and make sure students know which bus to board at the end of the school day. Questions regarding bus routes can be directed to Ms. Susan Murphy in the Business Office at 978-671-3610.


    Communicating COVID-Related Information

    Please continue to communicate any pertinent COVID-related information (such as if a student tests positive, is exhibiting symptoms, or has been identified as a close contact) to



    Jessica Cook




    Quick Links:



    • Monday, August 30: Freshmen Only
    • Tuesday, August 31: All Students
    • Wednesday, September 1: First day eligible seniors can report to co-op instead of shop
    • Friday, September 3: 2021-2022 SVTHS Student Handbook Electronic Signature Form is due
    • Friday, September 3: NO SCHOOL
    • Monday, September 6: NO SCHOOL - Labor Day
    • Wednesday, September 29: Early Release Day at 10:43am/Teacher Workshop
    • Friday, October 1: Quarter 1 Mid-Term Grades Close


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