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Panel Discussion Serves as Kickoff for Bourne Public Schools' Annual Civics Action Project

BOURNE — Superintendent Kerri Anne Quinlan-Zhou, Middle School Principal Christine Borning and High School Principal Amy Cetner are pleased to announce that Bourne Public Schools hosted a discussion panel centered around the district's Civics Action Project.

The discussion panel was held at Bourne High School on Tuesday, Jan. 24. The Civics Action Project is centered around physical, emotional, and social well-being. Eighth-grade Civics teachers Sharon Moore and Lisa DiBiasio, and 10th-grade History teacher Nora Center coordinated the event.

Panelists included State Rep. David Vieira, Barnstable Sheriff Donna Buckley, Alternative Peer Group and Positive Alternatives to School Suspension (PASS) representative Stephanie Briody, the founder of the 'Kindness Rocks Project' Megan Murphy, Bourne Substance Free Coalition member Beth Griffin, and Jeanne Morrison who represented a number of organizations including the League of Women Voters of Cape Code Area.

The group of panelists spoke to about 200 students from the eighth and 10th grades about their work, how to help people in their community, and how students can get involved. Topics included kindness and mindfulness, peer group programs, substance use disorders, affordable housing, and the importance of civic engagement. The panel served as a launch of this year's Civics Action Project.

“I would like to thank our panelists for taking the time to speak with our students about how to make an impact locally within the community,” said Superintendent Quinlan-Zhou. “The Civics Action Project is a great way for students to connect with meaningful issues and engage with the world around them, and the panel discussion showed what that kind of work looks like in the real world. I hope our students were able to take away the importance of local individuals making a difference within their community and how everyday people with an idea can create a worldwide movement. I am excited to see our students' projects and the hard work that will go into them in the spring."

The Civics Action Projects are student-driven and students will present their work in the spring during the Civics Action Fair this spring. The projects are meant to provide students with a deeper understanding of engagement with their community and making their voices heard -- as well as the importance of raising awareness about an issue that is important to them. The themes of the projects are implemented to assist students in refining their projects and gathering local resources.

During this introductory session, students were able to share ideas and ask questions to help decide what issues they are interested in researching further.

Superintendent Quinlan-Zhou would also like to acknowledge the hard work of the social studies teachers within Bourne Public Schools. Their commitment to excellence has helped make Bourne an "early adopter" of the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) Civics Action Projects.

“I want to thank our students and panelists for participating in this discussion centered around our Civics Action Project,” said Bourne High School Principal Cetner. “We covered a lot of topics and students were able to build a foundational knowledge of physical, emotional, and social wellbeing that they can now implement into their projects.”

"This was a very successful event and I am glad our students were able to speak with and learn from such a wonderful group of panelists who are doing incredible work in Bourne and on the Cape," said Middle School Principal Borning.

Bourne Middle School Teacher Selected for DESE Civics Project Classroom Video Series

BOURNE -- Eighth grade civics teacher Lisa DiBiasio has been selected to participate in the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education's (DESE) Civics Project Classroom Video Series.

The video project is being produced by The Teacher Collaborative, a local non-profit organization that strives to provide educators with unique resources, training and professional development opportunities.

The Civics Project Classroom Video Series is designed to highlight the work of Massachusetts educators who are planning and implementing student-led civics projects.

DiBiasio was chosen for this project by The Teacher Collaborative because of her work in developing high-quality instructional civics projects for students.

Last year's projects focused on land, waste and clean up. For one project, students created a school composting project and collaborated with another group to start a composting club. Another project focused on creating awareness about local pollution and organizing a clean-up day, in which students and community members came together to pick up trash.

At the end of 2022, DiBiasio applied and was accepted as a Civics Fellow for DESE. This year, DiBiasio was asked, along with the other fellows, to apply to take part in the video project led by The Teacher Collaborative.

For their part in the project, The Teacher Collaborative will be filming in DiBiasio's classroom on multiple occasions this school year. The first film day will focus on how students can come to a consensus and highlight students doing consensus building workshops in groups.

Once the project is complete, the videos will be posted on multiple DESE platforms and will be available to educators across Massachusetts, providing them with inspiration for similar projects and examples of high-quality civics project instruction.

"The beauty of being selected to take part in this video series is that we will be able to support teachers across Massachusetts with components of the Civic Action Project that they, themselves, have struggled with and have asked for help," DiBiasio said. "We get to be part of a bigger support system of teachers supporting teachers across Massachusetts to bring the highest quality of civic education to our students that will result in more civically responsible young adults."

Bourne Middle School Student Wins Statewide 2022 Monologue Contest

BOURNE — Bourne Middle School Principal Christine Borning is excited to announce that a seventh grade student has won a statewide Monologue Contest hosted by the Massachusetts Educational Theater Guild (METG).

This week, Shea Reilly was awarded first place in the 2022 Middle School Monologue Contest. Reilly performed a monologue from the play Supermarket of Lost by Cassandra Hsiao.

Reilly received a cash prize and an award from the METG.

Sixth grade Bourne Middle School students Zoey Crum and Claire Canfield also participated in the contest.

The Middle School Monologue Contest was open to students in grades 5-9. It was held on Dec. 10 at Norwood High School.

Each participant had to prepare a 1-2 minute monologue, either from a published play or an original piece. Students were evaluated based on character development, physicality, vocal work and overall presentation.

Bourne Middle School Theater and Language Arts/Directed Support Teacher Keri Boisclair congratulated all participants for their hard work during their performances.

“It takes a lot of courage to get up and perform in front of judges and peers, especially while being timed, and I am extremely proud of our students for knocking it out of the park,” said Boisclair. “The dedication and hard work of our students is truly unmatched.”

This is the second year students from the Bourne Middle School drama program have participated in this contest. This award continues Bourne’s tradition of having an award winning drama program where students are consistently receiving accolades on a statewide level.

"I would like to congratulate all of our students for their hard work," said Principal Borning. "I would also like to thank Ms. Boisclair for her dedication to the middle school drama program and helping our students reach their fullest potential."

"I am continuously proud of our students' accomplishments and I want to congratulate everyone who participate in the contest," said Superintendent Kerri Anne Quinlan-Zhou. "The growth of the middle school drama program is incredible. We most recently offered the class to sixth grade students and the continued success of our fully stage middle school musicals is something we are very proud of."