Students will be arriving at Bourne Public Schools for their first day on Tuesday, August 26. If all goes well and there are no snow days, the last day of school is scheduled for a half-day on Tuesday, June 16.
A welcome reception for 9th graders and newly registered high school students will take place on Monday, August 25, at 6 PM. Students and their families are invited to familiarize themselves with the high school, check out their lockers, see their homerooms, and pick up their schedules at that time.
When all Bourne public school students return on Tuesday they will see that school administrators and staff have been working all summer to plan and prepare for a successful year, with some notable changes.
The new student handbook was approved last week by the Bourne School Committee. Parents and students will find a beefed-up bullying prevention and intervention plan, new discipline rules regarding student expulsion and responsible use guidelines for phones, tablets and computers.
“We want our students to learn and use technology but we want them to use it in appropriate and responsible ways,” superintendent of schools Steven M. Lamarche said.
The handbook for Bourne Middle School will also include a new dress code.
Principal Melissa Stafford Ryan addressed the school committee last week regarding the change. “What is new? We really have listened to everyone concerned about this and it all boils down to a first step in changing our dress code. We do not want this issue to divide our school, we want this issue to bring us together,” Ms. Ryan said.
The changes summed up by Ms. Ryan include requirements for all shirts to have some kind of sleeves, and all shorts or skirts should be no more than three inches above the student’s knees.
Over the summer the district also hired a new administrator, Christine Borning, to oversee the creation of curriculum in science, technology engineering, art and math (STEAM) for the entire district. Ms. Borning will work closely with humanities director Lisa DiBiasio to desegregate curriculum in the two areas of study and to develop learning opportunities for both staff and students as they relate to all five areas of the STEAM focus.
Two new lab spaces have been created at the high school this summer in support of STEAM curriculum; a research and design studio related to teaching students the engineering process and a robotics lab for hands-on experience. Both spaces are expected to be ready by the start of school.
Also new at the high school will be a 7:15 AM start and a new schedule. The time and scheduling changes are intended to create a time frame that allows students to take advantage of career and college readiness programs such as the work internship program and the early college experience program in collaboration with Cape Cod Community College.
Also, the high school has added three new Advanced Placement (AP) courses in physics, statistics and European history.
“We are very excited to be able to expand our Advanced Placement offerings and enrollment. We just received the Massachusetts Mathematics and Science Initiative grant, which is designed to help increase both student enrollment/participation and qualifying scores. It provides our teachers with ongoing AP training for both our middle school and high school teachers,” Bourne High School principal Amy K. Cetner said.
The new offerings acknowledge and expand upon the success of the existing AP program. Last year Bourne student AP scores outperformed state and international averages in Advanced Placement testing scores for calculus, literature, biology, language composition, US history and psychology