ORR Among Honored Schools

Old Rochester Regional High School is one of 547 school districts in the U.S. and Canada being honored by the College Board with placement on the 5th Annual AP® District Honor Roll for increasing access to AP course work while simultaneously maintaining or increasing the percentage of students earning scores of 3 or higher on AP Exams. 2014 is a milestone year for the AP District Honor Roll, and more districts are achieving this objective than ever before. Reaching these goals indicates that the district is successfully identifying motivated, academically prepared students who are ready for the opportunity of AP. Since 2012, Old Rochester Regional High School has increased the number of students participating in AP while improving the number of students earning AP Exam scores of 3 or higher.

Data from 2014 show that among African American, Hispanic, and Native American students with a high degree of readiness for AP, only about half of students are participating. The first step to delivering the opportunity of AP to students is providing access by ensuring courses are available, that gatekeeping stops, and that the doors are equitably opened so these students can participate. Old Rochester Regional High School is committed to expanding the availability of AP courses among prepared and motivated students of all backgrounds.

“The devoted teachers and administrators in this district are delivering an undeniable benefit to their students: opportunity. When coupled with a student’s hard work, such opportunities can have myriad outcomes, whether building confidence, learning to craft effective arguments, earning credit for college, or persisting to graduate from college on time.” said Trevor Packer, the College Board’s senior vice president of AP and Instruction. “We applaud your conviction that a more diverse population of students is ready for the sort of rigor that will prepare them for success in college.”

Helping more students learn at a higher level and earn higher AP scores is an objective of all members of the AP community, from AP teachers to district and school administrators to college professors. Many districts are experimenting with a variety of initiatives and strategies to determine how to simultaneously expand access and improve student performance.

In 2014, more than 3,800 colleges and universities around the world received AP scores for college credit, advanced placement, and/or consideration in the admission process, with many colleges and universities in the United States offering credit in one or more subjects for qualifying AP scores.

Inclusion on the 5th Annual AP District Honor Roll is based on the examination of three years of AP data, from 2012 to 2014, looking across 34 AP Exams, including world language and culture.

Small Works Holiday Exhibition

Art on Center kicks off the holiday season with its third annual “Small Works Holiday Exhibition” starting with an opening reception Saturday, November 22 from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. This exhibition and sale features art created by local artists and all works are priced at $250 and under. Join us for holiday cheer this opening day and meet the artists at the “Jingle Mingle” from 3:00 to 5:00 pm. Art on Center is located at 15 Front Street, Fairhaven, Massachusetts.

Art on Center also carries a variety of fine, handcrafted gift items including jewelry, stained glass ornaments and lamps, hand painted silk scarves, woodcraft, and more.

For your holiday gift buying, consider selecting one of a kind, handcrafted items and artwork for your loved ones. The recipients are sure to appreciate the uniqueness of their gifts, and you will be supporting local artists, your local economy, and your local nonprofit art center as well!

This exhibition runs through December 20th.

Art on Center is a 501(c)3 federally approved nonprofit organization. For the center’s hours and more information, call 774-206-1709 or email info@artoncenter.org or check out the website, www.artoncenter.org.

Marc A. Rouillier

Marc A. Rouillier, 54, of Rochester passed away November 23,2014 at St. Luke’s Hospital. He was the husband of Cindy L. (Wamboldt) Rouillier.

Mr. Rouillier was born in New Bedford, son of the late Roland and Claire (Levesque) Rouillier, and resided in Rochester for the past 20 years. He was a member of the Long Plain United Methodist Church, Acushnet. He was employed as a customer service representative by KVH Industries, RI. He loved his dogs, motorcycle, pizza at Pa Raffa’s, salt-water fishing and his wood stove. He had many friends who he referred to as “brothers” and was very proud of his children.

In addition to his widow, he is survived by his son: Jordan M. Rouillier; his daughter: Jae R. Rouillier; his sister: Cecile Fiano and her husband, Robert; his brother: Denis Rouillier; his aunt: Irene Morse; his dear friends: Esther and Ted Turbak; and several nieces & nephews.

A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date and will be announced when the date is set.

Mom’s Shopping Night Out with Bingo

The 6th grade parents group at Sippican Elementary will be hosting a Mom’s Shopping Night Out with Bingo on December 5 from 7:00 to 9:00 pm. All proceeds go to 6th grade activities such as their Appalachian Mountain Trip, Cape Cod Canal Bike Trip and more.

We are looking for vendors, crafters and bakers or businesses that would like to sell gift certificates, etc. Cost for vendors is $20 per table plus a raffle item. For more information, please email us at Sippican6@gmail.com.

“Tidings of Comfort and Joy”

As it has for nearly five decades, the Sippican Choral Society of Marion ushers in the Christmas season in Southeastern Massachusetts with its annual Christmas concerts on Friday, December 5 at Grace Episcopal Church in New Bedford at 8:00 pm, and again on Sunday, December 7 at 4:00 pm in Tabor Academy’s Wickenden Chapel in Marion.

The chorus will again be joined by the fabulous Sippican Children’s Chorus under the direction of Leslie Piper, which will sing two of their own pieces, the German carol “Still, Still, Still” and the contemporary gospel spiritual “Go Where I Send Thee” by Caldwell and Ivory. They will also join the choral society on a number of selections.

If you want to bring comfort and joy into your life this Christmas, this concert is a wonderful place to start. The chorus will open the concert with the joyous Advent motet “Lift Up Your Heads, Ye Gates” by Andreas Hammerschmidt, followed by Haydn’s “Qui Sedes,” which is based on the first two verses of Psalm 80. The repertoire also will include some familiar Christmas music, such as “God Rest You Merry, Gentlemen” and “Tomorrow Shall Be My Dancing Day.”

Comfort music will include a very unusual – and hauntingly beautiful – arrangement of “Lo, How a Rose” merged with Amanda McBroom’s “The Rose.” Chorus member Barbara Connulty will be the soloist for this piece.

In addition, a chamber choir, composed of about 20 chorus members, will sing three pieces.

As always, the audience will have the chance to sing along with the chorus on several familiar Christmas carols.

The following Monday evening, about 40 members of the chorus will sing selections from the concert at the Sippican Long Term Health Care Center in Marion.

Now in its 49th season, the 80-member Sippican Choral Society is under the direction of Mr. Brian Roderick, with Ms. Michelle Gordon of Mattapoisett as its accompanist. The group performs at least two concerts every year, singing the works of the world’s great composers, as well as contemporary music.

Beginning with our spring concert in April, the chorus will be celebrating 50 years of providing classical and popular music to audiences along the South Coast. That concert will be a joint one with the Tri-County Symphonic Band, reminiscent of the chorus’s very first concert in 1965 when it performed with the same symphonic band. Back then, with Shirley Cowell as the 35-member chorus’s first President, Zavan Mazmanian was the first Music Director, and Thelma Ostenfeld was the accompanist. John Pandolfi directed the Tri-County Symphonic Band.

Tickets for this year’s Christmas concert are $15 each ($7 for children under 18), and are now available at The Bookstall in Marion, the Symphony Shop in Dartmouth, the Euro in Fairhaven, and No Kidding in Mattapoisett’s Ropewalk. Chorus members (and parents of the children’s chorus members) also have tickets for sale. A limited number will be available at the door. Doors for the Friday concert at Grace Church on County Street in New Bedford will open at 7:30 pm. Doors of the Sunday concert at Wickenden Chapel on Spring Street in Marion will open at 3:30 pm.

For further information about these concerts, contact Peter McDonald at 508-748-0286 or via email at peterconversemcdonald@gmail.com.

Fall Teams Make History

The fall sports season had a very successful conclusion in the past week with a number of teams making it into the playoff rounds.

The Girls’ Varsity Soccer team competed in the tournament and put up a strong fight against The Governor’s School, concluding their season as a top team in New England.

The Girls’ Varsity Cross Country team had the best season in the history of the program. The team completed the regular season with a record of 33-2 and placed second out of 15 teams in the Division 2 New England Championship Meet at The Williston Northampton School.

Four Tabor runners placed in the top 20 and qualified as New England All-Stars, allowing them to compete in a race this past Saturday with the top runners from other divisions.

Head Coach Kelley McSweeny reports that 12 girls ran their career best times in the final race and called it “an incredible finish to an incredible season.”

McSweeny attributes much of the team’s success to their ability to “pack run,” meaning that a number of top runners race at the same pace, which is key for scoring at the top.

Five varsity runners will graduate in the spring, so the team will work to rebuild the program in the coming season; however, a significant number of team members will return in the fall.

The Girls’ Cross Country team has grown immensely over the past few years, becoming one of the top teams in the division. The team placed fourth in both 2012 and 2013 and has continued to improve this season with their best record and best New England finish in the history of the Girls’ Tabor Cross Country Program.

The Varsity Field Hockey Team also had a remarkable season, making it to the Class A semifinal game. According to Coach Kelly Walker, the last time the team made it this far was in 1997.

“We have been quarterfinalists in the tournament in the fall of 1999 and in the fall of 2009,” said Walker.

Additionally, in the quarterfinals, the team beat Greenwich Academy 3-1 for the first time ever. Thus, this was a historically impressive season for the team.

Led by Captain Caroline Shaunessy and Assistant Captains Sammy Davis and Sara Kosicki, the team had a record of 12-3-1. Nine different players scored multiple goals throughout the season.

The top scorers were Woodard Hooper (’16), Sammy Davis (’15), and Caroline Shaunessy (’15). The defensive team has also been strong with seniors Sara Kosicki, Olivia Palombo, Jenna Weyant, and Sarah Noyes contributing to the team’s success, while senior Amanda Dionne, the team’s goalie, has achieved eight shut outs.

A number of influential and talented seniors will graduate this spring.

“Our seniors have been terrific leaders of this team and understand teamwork,” said Walker. “Most importantly, this team is about team. They work incredibly hard and support each other on and off the field.”

Congratulations to all of the fall sports teams on successful conclusions to the season.

Winter sports have begun and Wednesdays and Saturdays will be filled with competitions in the weeks to come. The public is welcome to all competitions at the Fish Center. Check www.taboracademy.org for team schedules.

By Julia O’Rourke

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Board Slighted, Will Appeal ZBA Decision

“I don’t think we were ever notified,” said Rochester Planning Board Chairman Arnold Johnson on November 12, displeased over a variance for signage the Rochester Zoning Board of Appeals granted to Rochester Crossroads.

Johnson described the situation as the applicant jumping over the Planning Board and heading straight for the ZBA to obtain approval for five signs slated for the proposed commercial development at the intersection of Route 28 and 58, facing Route 495. The approved signs would exceed the maximum size limit of the Town’s bylaw.

“We get notifications from other towns but not from our own…” said Johnson.

A careful reading of the ruling from the ZBA noted that its decision does not supersede action taken by other boards.

“I think we need to put the building inspector on notice,” said Johnson, to ensure that a building permit was not issued before the Planning Board could appeal the ruling.

The board agreed to seek an appeal of the ZBA ruling and contact Building Inspector Jim Buckles.

“We’re not being notified on a consistent basis,” stated Johnson, citing the need for improved communication between boards.

Also during the meeting, the board discussed the Hartley Mills subdivision still standing in a state of suspended animation since the developer stopped construction on the site many months ago.

Johnson said the permit is about to expire, and he pondered what the board might do to assist the applicant.

“In good faith they started it,” board member Gary Florindo said. “Shouldn’t the permit still be valid?” Florindo said it was not the developer’s fault, since economic crises caused the project to halt after some roadway and infrastructure work.

Town Counsel Blair Bailey had told Johnson that if the permit expires, the applicant would have to start from the beginning, incurring additional fees and expenses. Johnson said he would check again with Bailey to make sure the permit was in jeopardy of expiring and work with Town Planner Mary Crain to notify the applicant of same. Johnson said that Crain is looking at all open permits and developing a database to ensure that applicants are notified when expiration dates are nearing in an effort to keep all parties informed.

In other matters, the board reviewed issues at Connet Woods. Highway Surveyor Jeffrey Eldridge informed Johnson of some missing berms and possible problems with stormwater management at the site. Johnson referred to the development as a work in progress.

Board member Susan Teal suggested having the Town’s engineers and surveyor work with the contractor to ensure that sidewalks, roadways, and drainage basins function properly, calling it “adaptive management.”

Two of the evening’s public meetings included an Approval Not Required (ANR) application from Susan McCarty of “Lucky Farms” at 570 New Bedford Road that was approved. McCarty, who currently resides in California, is planning to return to the 46 acres she owns in Rochester, keeping approximately 25 acres in permanent protected status from development in the future. Agricultural activities are planned, as well as a small parcel designated as residential for a single-family dwelling and two barns, and another parcel for a possible residential subdivision.

The other public meeting was for The Pines at Hathaway Pond. The board voted to accept code violation rectifications as “minor” on the plan of record and accepted a report from Ken Motta of Field Engineering that the work had been completed to code.

The November 25 meeting of the Rochester Planning Board is cancelled unless they receive an ANR application. Their next meeting is December 9 at 7:00 pm in the Town Hall conference room.

By Marilou Newell

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School Safety, School Performance

It was a sign of the times on November 13 with members of the Old Rochester Regional Joint School Committees contemplating the unthinkable during a demonstration of an advanced school security software system called Mutualink™ Edge, a collaborative suite that allows virtually instant interagency and interschool communication in the event of an emergency.

Mattapoisett Police Chief Mary Lyons introduced Bob Galvin, a retired police officer now working for the Connecticut-based Mutualink™, who gave a presentation on how the program operates to an attentive school committee and a couple town officials in attendance.

The software streamlines the emergency response process by instantly forming multimedia communications via a secure network that can connect a school with police, fire, other schools within the district and other agencies, and connect them to video surveillance cameras within the school, computers, tablets, smart phones, and hand-held radios.

On the computer screen, a user can open an incident box and drag and drop those agencies the user desires to be included in the emergency response. By accessing the existing video surveillance cameras within the school, police can assess the situation and respond.

“It gives the police what I call ‘situation awareness,’” said Galvin. Police can take over the intercom system and inform the school staff and students where an intruder might be located within the building so they can react accordingly.

A hardwired panic button is located at the main office, with “soft” panic buttons available to designated staff via an app on their smart phone or tablet.

“In the event of an emergency, time is of the essence,” said Galvin.

Galvin said the system’s secure network is military-level encrypted, the highest level of security available.

“There’s no cure for what we’re talking about here,” said Galvin, after the phrase “school shooting” was spoken several times throughout the evening. “I really shouldn’t have to be here because we shouldn’t have to be talking about situations like this.”

Other school districts in the region have heard the same presentation and some have opted to adopt the program. Galvin said it makes schools safer.

“I believe in this system,” said Galvin.

The cost to install the system is $17,000 per school, which includes training. It is then $1,100 annually per site for maintenance and continued support.

Superintendent Doug White said the three towns would have to vote at Town Meeting to back the school district financially if The Joint eventually decides to pursue the program.

Chief Lyons said all the Tri-Town chiefs are on board with adopting the program and the town administrators are discussing it.

Also during the meeting, principals presented their 2014 MCAS scores from each of the schools – some celebrating and some vowing to improve their scores by taking specific measures to support students and staff in preparation for the 2015 PARCC exam and MCAS in high school.

Assistant Superintendent Elise Frangos gave an overview of the schools’ scores and shared some insight into some of the reasons why not all schools improved their scores as much as they had hoped.

“We’ve experienced some drops this year because of the full implementation of the Common Core,” stated Frangos.

Sippican School Principal Lyn Rivet had much to sing about, with the school’s recognition as a commendation school – the highest level of achievement for schools – for the first time. To achieve commendation school status, MCAS scores must reflect that achievement gaps have closed, which all the participating grades at Sippican accomplished.

A point of pride for Sippican is that English Language Arts (ELA) scores were strong and increased significantly in grades three through five, ranking Sippican number one for its cohort (a smaller grouping of school districts sharing similar demographics).

Center School and Old Hammondtown celebrated commendation school status for its third year, one of only five school districts in the state to receive the honor for three consecutive years. One of Mattapoisett’s points of pride is that 96percent of sixth-graders scored in the advanced or proficient category in ELA, and 91percent of them fell within the advanced or proficient category in Mathematics.

Rochester Memorial School ranked number one in its cohort for growth comparison. Eighty-one percent of sixth grade students scored advanced proficient in ELA, and 86percent scored proficient or advanced in Math.

ORR Junior High School Principal Kevin Brogioli explained a significant dip in progress in the Math portion of the MCAS, and laid out plans on how the school will address the issue.

Brogioli said a math text expert and a math coach to support staff with the curriculum have been brought in to support students and staff during this transition into the Common Core learning standard.

“It points to a big area of concern from sixth grade to seventh grade,” said Brogioli, adding that the math coach will assist by modeling lessons, observing, guiding, and providing instructional strategies to increase student engagement.

“[We are going to] roll up our sleeves and get after it,” said Brogioli, “and that’s what we’re going to do.”

ORR High School Principal Michael Devoll started his presentation by saying said the Common Core “hit us.”

“And it hit us pretty good,” he said. Devoll continued, “High needs students were not reaching their potential and that was causing a gap for many of our students.”

Devoll described a summer school skills class for entering freshman that need catching up on Algebra 1, where a discrepancy in learning appears to have an impact on freshman and sophomore MCAS performance.

Devoll was happy to announce that the school made the Advanced Placement (AP) Honor Roll, with increased participation and test performance in AP classes.

School Committee members weighed in on their thoughts about MCAs performance, and Co-Chairman James O’Brien told Brogioli that the committee would continue to support him as long as he kept the committee informed throughout the year.

“I can’t change what was,” stated Brogioli, “but I can go from what is, to what it ought to be.”

The next meeting of The Joint School Committee is January 15 at 6:30 pm in the Old Rochester Regional Media Room.

By Jean Perry

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Douglas G. Bowman, Sr.

Douglas G. Bowman, Sr., 64, of New Bedford passed away unexpectedly Thursday, November 20, 2014, at St. Luke’s Hospital. He was the longtime companion of Rebekah Pimental of New Bedford.

Born in Acushnet, the son of the late Walter Bowman, Sr. and Florence (Morse) Bowman, he grew up in Mattapoisett and lived in Fairhaven for many years before moving to New Bedford 20 years ago.

Mr. Bowman was the owner/operator of Doug’s Prop Shop in Fairhaven. He enjoyed fishing and being with his dogs on walks. Doug was a member of the Fairhaven Varsity Club.

He is also survived by his three sons, Douglas G. Bowman, Jr. of New Bedford, Gary A. Bowman and his wife Kelly of Sunderland, MA and Matthew M. Bowman and his wife Crystal of New Bedford; his former wife, Anne T. (Gallant) Bowman of New Bedford; five grandchildren, Shawn, Christian, Paige, Brenden, and Jorja; seven brothers, Walter, Robert, Neil and Mark Bowman all of New Bedford, Stanley Bowman of Acushnet, Carlton Bowman of Florida and George Bowman of Taunton; and several nieces and nephews.
He was the brother of his deceased brother William.

Calling hours are Tuesday, November 25, 2014, from 2-4 and 7-9pm in the Fairhaven Funeral Home, 117 Main Street, Fairhaven. Cremation will follow and interment will be private.

Paul F. Keane

Paul F. Keane, 92, of Mattapoisett died Sunday November 23, 2014 at home. He was the husband of the late Mary H. (Bauer) Keane.

Born in New Bedford, the son of the late Paul and Julia (Long) Keane, he lived in Mattapoisett for many years.

He was a communicant of St. Anthony’s Church.

A veteran of World War II and the Korean War, Mr. Keane served in the U.S. Navy for twenty years until his retirement in 1963. He later served in the Fleet Reserve for ten years. Following his naval service, he was employed as a custodian at Old Rochester Regional High School for twenty years.

He was a graduate of Fairhaven High School and a member of the American Legion.

He is survived by several nieces and nephews, including Kate Souza who was his caregiver.

He was the brother of the late Brother William Keane, ss.cc.

His Funeral will be held on Wednesday November 26, 2014 at 9 AM from the Saunders-Dwyer Mattapoisett Home for Funerals, 50 County Rd., Route 6, Mattapoisett, followed by his Funeral Mass at St. Anthony’s Church at 10 AM. Burial with military honors will be in Center Cemetery, Wareham. Visiting hours will be on Tuesday November 25, 2014 from 4-7 PM. In lieu of flowers, remembrances may be made to the Humane Society and Shelter – SouthCoast, 31 Ventura Drive, Dartmouth, MA 02747. For directions and guestbook, please visit www.saundersdwyer.com.