Principal - Jill M. Rossetti
Blue Hills Regional Technical School
Dear Parents and Guardians:
On behalf of the administration, faculty and staff, I would like to welcome back our new and returning students. I am very excited and truly honored to be a part of the Blue Hills family - and I hope that you feel that way, too! This is my third year as principal, and after a combined teaching and academic director experience of seventeen years, I still love education, my job, students, teachers, curriculum, the community and families.
I hope that you had an enjoyable summer break. I feel refreshed and restored after spending some quality time with my family, friends and passions over the past two months. I read many interesting books, including:
- “I Read It, but I Don’t Get: Comprehension Strategies for Adolescent Readers” by Cris Tovani
- “The Beach House” by Mary Alice Monroe
- “Rigor, Relevance, and Relationships in Action” by Willard Daggett
- “Dispatches” by Michael Herr
- “Before the Fall” by Noah Hawley
- “Talk Like Ted” by Carmine Gallo
- “The Dream Manager” by Matthew Kelly
- “A Low Country Wedding” by Mary Alice Monroe
- “A Man Called Ove” by Fredrik Backman
My philosophy is relationships first, with relevance and rigor for all students, in a vibrant educational atmosphere that supports and engages them fully. In our academic and vocational programs, teachers create breakthrough moments that students never forget, such as when they master new concepts or suddenly understand a subject that has been giving them difficulty. Our goal as teachers and administrators is to always do everything possible to help students attain the lifestyle they want and prepare for careers they desire. The role played by parents and guardians is essential also. The encouragement, understanding and support they provide to our students makes a huge difference for them throughout their high school experience.
Textbook learning is important, as are the character traits we try to instill in the students: responsibility, initiative, perseverance, optimism, courage, respect, compassion, adaptability, honesty, trustworthiness and loyalty. These are the qualities we want in our spouses, families, friends, neighbors and co-workers. At Blue Hills, we strive to help students become contributing members of society who are also capable professionals and lifelong learners. Our record of success over the distinguished fifty-year history of this school indicates that we have fulfilled this mandate very effectively.
Our instructors are incredibly well-trained, motivated, generous with their time and knowledge, and compassionate. They routinely ask themselves four crucial questions:
- What skills do our students need to be (Video link): successful in our classes?
- What skills do our students need to be successful in life after Blue Hills?
- What do students see as the major obstacle they face in my class?
- What do I do to help my students be successful in my class?
Our faculty and staff bring their best every day. We persevere. We don’t dwell on problems; we cherish conversations, even if they are challenging ones. We continue to integrate academics and vocational learning into students’ digital lives. We have an obligation to (Video link): awe. Learning is cool at Blue Hills. Recognition of excellence happens often. Students involved in SkillsUSA and other competitions are honored for their achievements, as are Advanced Placement and honor roll students. We value excellence in sports. Sportsmanship, respect for opponents and coaches, and having the ability to win with dignity and lose with grace are always praised in our student-athletes.
An education at Blue Hills is not a spectator sport. It entails total immersion and commitment, thorough comprehension of the material presented, and significant personal growth through experiences in the classroom, on the playing fields, in the community, and via rigorous extra-curriculars. During their years here, our students evolve from youngsters to young adults who are eager and ready to compete in the 21st-century global economy.
Relationships matter; they build culture, and our school culture is one key element that makes Blue Hills special. Our in-house coaches, counselors and instructors are the “go-to” adults for the students. Our CTE teachers’ philosophy is “learn to do.” They reach our students through hands-on, real world applications of what is taught in the classroom. Some students experience looping with their CTE teachers, which means they have the same instructor for several years in a row. There are many added benefits such as building strong relationships, mutual respect and trust. Once the CTE teacher gets to know you they can personalize the learning and stretch the learning for the student. Another benefit of looping is decreased anxiety.
We are a twenty-first century school that integrates literacy, math, CTE programs and technology across grade levels and disciplines with Chromebooks and apps. With access to a mind-boggling wealth of information at students’ fingertips 24/7 via mobile and classroom technology, we need to teach them to become critical thinkers, to use technology appropriately and to be discerning judges of content. Being responsible consumers of information is an essential skill that we emphasize at Blue Hills. The technology always changes from generation to generation but the message is always the same: engage, be authentic and aware.
(Video link): Technology in Education
There are several exciting changes in personnel and resources at Blue Hills that I am pleased to share with the members of our community. The student cafeteria has a refurbished stage, lights and sound system; we have added a new music room and DVC is adding a recording studio. Also, please join me in welcoming our new Vocational Director, Ms. Michelle Sylvia. I am happy to say that all members of the Leadership Team are instructional leaders and I am honored to work with such a dedicated, talented, intelligent, thoughtful group of people. There are two new faces in Finance: Stephanie Walsh, Accounting Assistant, and Joanne McDonough, Purchasing Coordinator. Our Payroll Specialist, Melody Hagg, is now our Human Resource Specialist also. We also have added a Technology Integration Specialist, Ms. Rebecca Ray (a hidden gem from our very own English department). Ms. Ray will be able to model technology applications during professional learning meetings and opportunities for staff to explore new technology tools and strategies for the classroom. We have an amazing faculty and staff at Blue Hills and excellence breeds excellence. We also have several other new teaching staff: Burke Doherty, Construction Technology, Paula Walsh, Health Assisting, Matthew Martino, Social Studies, Grace Magnani, English Language Arts, and Anthony Giuffre, Culinary Arts. We hired Robert DeMarco, a new Auto Collison instructor. Also, we have a new vocational resource specialist, Peggy Bertocchi-Hall, and a new vocational resource aide, Justin Nelson. Ms. Valerie Quaglia is joining us temporarily in the Early Education and Care program. We expect to hire new cafeteria workers. We also hired Larry Bernard and Scott Dunn as new staff members in Maintenance, and Theresa Riley as our new Facilities / IT Systems Coordinator.
Curriculum areas we will focus on this year include our continuation of developing and implementing our MA Model Guidance Curriculum and tweaking lessons from last year. Our school counselors will continue to provide programs, classroom-based interventions, group or individual counseling, integrate academic, technical and employability skills development and assist students in making well-informed career decisions and plans. We are working on Next Generation Science Standards, updating academic curriculum for the MCAS 2.0 and beyond. We believe in rigorous learning for ALL students. We use multiple indicators to measure student success and stretch learning. Hands-on learning is maximized by student engagement. We not only measure proficiency, but student growth from grades 9-12. We know our students need to read at about almost a 1400 Lexile to be successful in the military, entry-level occupations, SAT, ACT and to read high school textbooks. Everyone must teach reading all the time. Encourage your child to read at home. I encourage independent reading at all times and I am an avid reader myself.
We are also looking forward to implementing our online Admissions Application program to reignite the way we communicate with incoming freshmen. We will be providing professional development in many areas including technology, best effective practices and writing across the curriculum including our new online mandatory professional development via Public School Works.
Our emblem is the Warrior. We are all Warriors at Blue Hills; we are resilient, we are rugged, we are hardy and honorable competitors, we take pride in our traditions, and we share bonds forged by loyalty to this school and respect for each other. We adhere to the tenets of our mission statement with regard to academic achievement. The biggest test our students can pass is being successful after they leave BHR…and they very frequently are successful.
Most of the information students and families need about the opening of school, including necessary forms to be returned to school, is on our website. We also provide translations of information for non-English speaking students and their families. You will also find our Parent Student Handbook, Program of Study, Faculty and Staff Directory, bus schedules, School Council and SEPAC and summer reading. There is also information about sports, concussions and addiction tips for parents regarding the opioid epidemic in our towns.
I want to remind all students and families that you are part of the Blue Hills family. Please be an active participant by joining our Booster Club, School Council or attending and supporting our school events. Your presence and input are greatly valued and welcomed. Please contact my Administrative Secretary, Ms. Cindy Fama, at 781-828-5800 x261, or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to look for the Principal’s Post which comes out almost every other week because we never pass up an opportunity to say something great about Blue Hills. Feel free to contribute wonderful photos with captions for the Principal’s Post.
Working together, we will have a great year filled with learning, building lifelong relationships, and achieving (Video link): success. Please feel free to contact us if you have a question, suggestion, or if we can be of any assistance. I look forward to meeting and working with many of you in the coming months. Let’s make it a wonderful 2016-2017 school year!