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Principal's Update - September 9th 2022

Shawsheen Valley Technical High School

Principal's Update

Friday, September 9, 2022


I'd like to send a huge shout out to all of our students and educators for a great (almost full) first week of school! Freshmen learned and showcased a variety of new skills during their first exploratory cycle while juniors welcomed and supported the Class of 2026 during their very first shop week at Shawsheen. Sophomores and seniors began to acclimate to their new academic classes, as sophomores get ready to prepare for MCAS this year and seniors continue to prepare for their plans after graduation. Next week, over 130 seniors will report to co-op jobs, and that number continues to increase as more students pass in their co-op paperwork. That means that only 7 days into the school year, at least 45% of seniors will be participating in co-op, which is awesome. Go Rams!


Reminder: Electronic Student Handbook Forms are Due TODAY

Last Thursday, I wrote to you with information about Back To School Gateway and Student Handbook Forms. Please log into Back To School Gateway to check and make changes to the information we currently have on your file for your student and to provide your electronic signature on forms for the Student Handbook sign-off. For full details regarding this process, please click on the following link: Thursday, September 8, 2022 - Reminder: Electronic Student Handbook Forms Due Tomorrow.


Make-Up Photos

SmilePro will be back at Shawsheen on Thursday, October 27, 2022 to take make-up photos for any students interested in them. Pictures can be ordered from SmilePro.


Shawsheen Clubs & Activities

We encourage Shawsheen students to get involved in the school community beyond the school day by participating in the various club & activities we have available for students. To learn more about what we have to offer, please visit the SVTHS Clubs & Activities page.


After-School & Late Bus Information for Students

We encourage students to take advantage of after school opportunities available to them, including extra-help with teachers, athletics, and club & activity meetings. Students who stay at school beyond the regular school day must be in one of the following supervised locations:

  • with a teacher, advisor, or coach for extra-help, meetings, practices, or events.
  • in the library, which is open and staffed Monday - Thursday from 2:15pm - 5:30pm (closed on early release days).
  • in the fitness center, which is open and staffed Monday - Friday from 2:15pm - 5:00pm (closed on early release days).  

Students have access to late buses only if they are at school participating in one of the approved activities listed above. Late buses pick students up at the patio near the cafeteria/gymnaisum. Students should arrive prior to the departure times listed below. For full details on late buses, visit the Bus Routes page on the school website.

  • 3:20pm - Mondays - Thursdays (none on early release days)
  • 5:40pm - Mondays - Fridays


Student Leadership Opportunities

Yesterday, I wrote to Shawsheen students about Student Leadership Opportunities involving the Student Cabinet, Student Representatives to the School Committee, and the School Council. Click on the following link to view the full details: Thursday, September 8, 2022 - Student Leadership Opportunities.


Parent/Legal Guardian Representatives on the 2022-2023 School Council

Yesterday, I wrote to Shawsheen parents/legal guardians about the upcoming election for Parent/Legal Guardian Representatives on the School Council. Click on the following link to view full details: Thursday, September 8, 2022 - 2022-2023 School Council Election Process for Parent/Legal Guardian Representatives.


School Council Information

To view School Council information during the 2022-2023 school year, you can visit the following link, which will be updated regularly and is also available on the Principal's Office page of the school website: School Council - 2022-2023.


Interpreters Available at the Parent/Guardian Meet & Greet on Thursday, September 22, 2022

We will have interpreters available for parents/legal guardians who need them during the Meet & Greet on Thursday, September 22, 2022. Please email Heather Tate if you would like to utilize those services that evening.


Reminder: 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 evening: Meet and Greet Parent/Guardian-Teacher Night Schedule - September 22, 2022.


Reminder: 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.



Jessica Cook




Quick Links:



  • 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