Where You Can Keep Up With Burlington Public Schools in 2015/2016

If you are like Patriots’ Head Coach Bill Belichick then you can skip this post on how to follow Burlington Public Schools through our various social media accounts.  Coach Belichick outlines his feelings clearly on social media in the short video below.

However in Burlington Public Schools, we like the fact that our social media accounts allow us to spread the word surrounding news and events from our schools and classrooms and provide followers a daily dose of BPS updates.  The information below outlines the avenues you can utilize to keep up with our daily tweets and posts.

Click on any of the icons below to follow our activity:

If you do use Twitter check out our district hasthtag – #bpschat

Follow these BPS administrator blogs:
Other BPS Blogs of note:

Keep an eye out for our new Burlington Public Schools Update which will be e-mailed twice monthly…

A Great Site For Making Accommodations on the iPad – Burlington Blog Update (Edition 10)

The post below is actually a copy of a weekly e-mail that I send to our staff  to promote our Burlington Public Schools Blog which shares the great work going on across our school district. I also try to give a quick technology tip/resource that I think would be useful. It is the tenth post in the series.

As we head into our only five-day week in a six-week stretch Here are the latest posts from the BPS Blog. 

Only 130 more posts to go… 

Mrs. Fortunato Presents At Best Practices Conference In North Carolina

I had the good fortune of attending the RTI Best Practices Institute in Wrightsville Beach, NC with a team from Burlington.  It was great to hear some well-known RTI comsultants discuss Best Practice, but the highlight was listening to Burlington Math Coach Carrie Fortunato discuss all of the things happening in our Burlington Elementary Schools to make sure students are making progress developing their math skills. 
While the entire slideshow is above, I want to highlight a few of the key things that I took away from Mrs. Fortunato’s presentation. 
BPS Math Coach Carrie Fortunato
There is a lot more in the presentation that is work checking out, the key thing is that the work that Mrs. Fortunato has done along with our dedicated staff of classroom teachers and tutors has allowed us to ensure the development of strong foundational skills for all students.  This is due to the time an effort that has been given to make sure we all agree on the following three things:
  1. What we teach all students
  2. How we monitor the progress of all students
  3. What interventions we put in place when students are struggling
It is clear that people were impressed with the work that has been done in Burlington in the area of elementary math instruction!  We look forward to sharing more about this work in the future. Thanks also go to Dr. Scott Methe and his graduate students from UMass Boston for their consultation work that has supported our efforts.

Keep Up To Date With Burlington Public Schools in 2014-2015

As we prepare for the start of another school year, we want to remind our Burlington Public Schools families how to keep up with all of the latest happenings from our school system.  One of the best ways to stay on top of what is happening is following the district and school blogs.  One way to follow our blogs is to enter your e-mail address into the box on a specific blog from which you would like to receive updates. Activating this option will set you up to receive an e-mail any time there is a new post published on that particular blog.  In addition each e-mail that you receive will allow you the option of stopping the e-mails from that blog at any time. 

If you are following a number of blogs, I encourage you to look at an RSS feed service such as Feedly. This will allow you to see posts from all of these blogs in one place.

A few blogs that you may want to follow to get started

Other ways to stay up to date with BPS


Please let us know if there are any other social media resources that you would like to see Burlington Public Schools access to share information!

Here Is What Area Educators Have To Say About Our Staff and Students

One of the highlights of our New England 1:1 Summit is the classroom visits where we allow our fellow educators from across New England to see our staff and students in action.  The feedback that was shared by the over 200 educators who visited classrooms at the elementary, middle, and high school level was tremendous. Check out some of the comments in the slides below. They certainly are an affirmation of what we get to see every day of the school year in our Burlington classrooms!

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I Am Right! A Follow-up To My Rant About Online Reading

The future of books
The future of books (Photo credit: Johan Larsson)

On Monday, I posted some thoughts regarding an article from last week’s Washington Post that was titled Serious reading takes a hit from online scanning and skimming, researchers say.  I was excited to see a rebuttal to Michael Rosenwald’s perspective by his Washington Post colleague Valerie Strauss this week. 

In her article, Actually, online skimming probably hasn’t affected serious reading after all, Strauss notes the skepticism of Daniel Willingham, a cognitive scientist from the University of Virginia. Here is a bit of what Willingham had to say:

“… teachers aver that students can no longer read long novels. Well, if we’re swapping stories, I — and most of my classmates — had a hard time with Faulkner and Joyce back in the early ‘80s, when I was an English major.”

“A more plausible possibility is that we’re not less capable of reading complex prose, but less willing to put in the work. Our criterion for concluding, “this is boring, this is not paying off,” has been lowered because the Web makes it so easy to find something else to read, watch, or listen to…If I’m right, there’s good news and bad news. The good news is that our brains are not being deep-fried by the Web; we can still read deeply and think carefully. The bad news is that we don’t want to.”

While I find Willingham’s feelings on online reading versus more traditional means more palatable than those cited in Rosenwald’s artilce, my conclusion is still the same. There is no one right answer! We need to embrace the struggle between reading online and reading from paper-based products. Forcing our students to do one or the other denies them the opportunity to see the benefits that each has to offer.  In addition, there needs to be an increased focus on the advantages of online tools so that students can meet more modern standards of literacy, like the ones below described by the National Council of Teachers of English in its Definition of 21st Century Literacies:

  • Develop proficiency and fluency with the tools of technology; 
  • Build intentional cross-cultural connections and relationships with others so to pose and solve problems collaboratively and strengthen independent thought; 
  • Design and share information for global communities to meet a variety of purposes; 
  • Manage, analyze, and synthesize multiple streams of simultaneous information; 
  • Create, critique, analyze, and evaluate multimedia texts; 
  • Attend to the ethical responsibilities required by these complex environments.

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