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School Committee Gets Steamed; Discusses 1:1 Technology Program

Spotlight on Education Honoree Richard Linder demonstrated Science Center’s new generator and steam engine

The May 24 School Committee meeting got off to a steamy start as Spotlight on Education honoree Richard Linder demonstrated the generator and steam engine that he recently completed for Burlington’s Science Center. Linder was introduced by K-8 Science Coordinator John Papadonis who lauded Linder for his many contributions to Burlington’s science programs over the years.

““When you have top quality mentors, you can do anything, stated Papadonis. “Dick Linder is one of the best mentors ever.”

Papadonis went on to relate how the steam engine relates to the science curriculum. He explained how the device was hooked up to a water wheel for a demonstration to third grade students prior to their field trip to the Lowell Mills.

The School Committee then presented Linder with a certificate in recognition of his dedication and commitment to the children of Burlington.

After the presentation, Dr. Eric Conti, Superintendent of Schools took a few moments to recognize Papadonis who is retiring at the end of this school year. Papadonis in turn thanked the School Committee for their support and assured them that the Science Center was in the very capable hands of Wendy Pavlicek, who will take over as Coordinator of the program upon Papadonis’ departure. 

The School Committee then focused on Burlington High School’s (BHS) Acceptance Use Policy for the one-to-one initiative. Member Kristen Russo requested that additional language be added to the policy to govern use of the iPads’ installed camera. Russo suggested that the policy explicitly state that students are not to take photos or videos of anyone without consent. Principal Larkin agreed that the addition made sense and also stated that he will add this verbiage to the school handbook which would govern other devices such as cell phones. The School Committee agreed to delay a vote on the acceptable use policy until the next meeting when the revised policy will be presented.

Superintendent Conti provided the Committee with an update on school redistricting. According to Conti, seven classroom teachers will be moved to the new Memorial School. Those individuals have been notified and principals and staffers are currently working on student placement. Parents of elementary school children may expect to learn their children’s teacher placement on the last day of school as usual.

Conti also informed the Committee that the school department is planning a groundbreaking event at the Marshall Simonds Middle School on June 3 at 10 am. 

In the last order of business for the evening, the School Committee voted unanimously to name the BHS fitness center after James and Mary Trentini.  James Trentini was a teacher and coach at BHS for many years. He and his wife Mary were killed on September 11, 2001.

The School Committee then adjourned to executive session to discuss union contract negotiations.

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