MILLBURY, Mass. - The Millbury School Committee has begun to find alternatives for Millbury students who had applied to but not had been accepted into Blackstone Valley Tech.
The discussion started with Superintendent of Millbury Schools Susan Hitchcock explaining to the committee on the numbers involved in regards to students as well as the application criteria that prospective students are judged upon.
Currently, Hitchcock said, BVT services between 1,000-1,100 students and serves 13 communities. Each class entering BVT is roughly 250 students, averaging out to about 19 students per community. With Millbury's admissions at 18 students, "We're right in the ballpark" Hitchcock said.
"Looking at the application, we may be able to better prepare the students for this, starting at the end of Grade 6 at Shaw," she added. "Tech assigns 25 points for the Quality of the interview, 40 points for Academic scores, 5 points for attendance, 15 points for behavior and 15 points for teacher evaluations."
Hitchcock added, "We need to stress how important it is for 7th and 8th graders that everything they do will carry through the application process."
The Guidance Department is also working on gathering a list of alternative schools for students interested in trades upon graduation like Porter and Chester Institute, New England Institute of Technology as well as other community colleges that are options.
While the committee and superintendent have agreed to continue working on this, they also have agreed to look into industrial arts programs in neighboring communities.
In other business, the committee was read a letter commenting on the excellent effort and conduct put in by the Millbury High VEX Robotics Team on their recent trip to the World Championships in Anaheim CA. All the committee agree that the team as well as Bruce Rawley their coach are to be commended for setting such a great example for Millbury.
The FY2013 School Calendar had some minor changes that were also approved; the first full day of school for grades 1-12 will now be Aug. 29. Kindergarten will start on Aug. 30 and preschool's new start date is Sept. 4. School will end on June 18 and in the event of five snow days, the adjusted end date is June 23.
The committee also approved a school trip to Spain and France for April 2013. The proposal was given by Besian Kodra, a Social Studies teacher in Millbury for eight years. Currently 43 students are already enrolled, there are several others on a waiting list and the school will take along other educators as chaperones. Besides the cultural opportunities afforded, it will be a learning experience that will stay with students for the rest of their lives.