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Bournedale Elementary School Completes Successful Kindness Week Challenge

BOURNE -- Superintendent Kerri Anne Quinlan-Zhou is pleased to announce that Bournedale Elementary School students participated in Kindness Week to share positivity throughout their school and community.

During Kindness Week, Jan. 23-27, students filled out "Kindness Acts" worksheets to document how they spread kindness at home and in school. Students who completed their worksheet had their name displayed on the school's Kindness Board.

School Adjustment Counselors Bethany Magnatta and Abby Downing coordinated the Kindness Week Challenge.

Students and faculty were able to wear fun outfits based on each day's theme. Themes included “Peace, Love & Kindness,” where students were encouraged to wear tie-dye clothing, and “BEE Kind,” in which students were encouraged to wear yellow and black.

Bournedale faculty read books with a kindness theme, and decorated doors around school with positive messages.

"Our students went out of their way to make sure their peers feel recognized, and I am so proud of them,” said Superintendent Quinlan-Zhou. "They learned that even the smallest act can have a profound impact on those around them, a lesson they will carry forever."

At the end of the week, participating students received a dance party and popsicles for their tremendous efforts.

"I love seeing everyone, students and staff, coming together to celebrate kindness. It's one of my favorite weeks of the school year," Magnatta said.

This year, Bournedale Elementary School collaborated with the Great Kindness Challenge Team to collect "Kind Coins" to help fund ocean clean-ups, and raised almost $500.

This initiative helped give students a sense of empowerment and highlighted how they can make a difference globally.

To learn more about the Great Kindness Challenge. click here.

"Our students exhibit kindness and compassion every day," said Downing. "I am continuously in awe of their kindness toward others, and this week highlighted how wonderful they are to those in their community and within our schools."

Bourne PD/FD Kindness Assembly
Bourne Police and Fire visit Bourndale Elementary to participate in Kindness Week. (Photo courtesy Bourne Public Schools)
Bourne Elementary Kindness doors
First grade teacher, Mrs.Kelley displays door decorations during Kindness Week. (Photo courtesy Bourne Public Schools)
Bourne High School Launches New 'Ask a Student' Email Program

BOURNE — Superintendent Kerri Anne Quinlan-Zhou and Bourne High School Principal Amy Cetner are pleased to announce the launch of the new "Ask a Student" email program.

Bourne High School (BHS) has created the program to connect prospective students with current students to have their questions answered from a peer's perspective. The program was designed for Bourne Middle School students or School Choice students who want to ask current high schoolers about their BHS experience.

Prospective students who want to take part in the program can reach out via email using

The email account will be moderated by the BHS Guidance Department, which will then match inquiries to a Bourne High School ambassador who can answer any questions and interact with the prospective student.

"This is an excellent opportunity for students looking ahead to high school to have their questions answered by a peer who can speak from direct, personal experience," Principal Cetner said. "This will be a unique way for students to get direct insight from our high schoolers and learn from students about our programs of study, athletics, clubs and more."

About School Choice
Bourne participates in the Massachusetts School Choice program where families of non-Bourne residents who are interested in enrolling students in Bourne Public Schools may do so based on availability. For more information about the Bourne School Choice Program or to download the application click here:

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 — Superintendent Kerri Anne Quinlan-Zhou and Early Childhood Grant Liaison and Program Facilitator Maura Dankert are pleased to announce that Bourne Public Schools has been awarded funding that will allow local families to participate in the Parent-Child Plus program.

The $75,000 grant was awarded to Bourne Public Schools by the Department of Early Education and Care as part of the Parent-Child Plus program, a parenting, early literacy, and school readiness program designed to support parents in building critical school readiness skills, including language, literacy, numeracy, and social-emotional through verbal interaction and educational play between parents and their young children.

Building on the work of the Bourne For Children Children Coordinated Family and Community Engagement (CFCE) grant, also funded by the Department of Early Education and Care, the Bourne Parent/Child Plus program adds an extra layer of engagement to support families of Bourne Public Schools' youngest canalmen.

"I am excited to initiate this program into our district and provide Bourne families with all of the amazing resources that the Parent-Child Plus program offers," Superintendent Quinlan-Zhou said. "The ideologies of the Parent-Child Plus program align with our overarching Building Bridges Initiative and I look forward to working alongside them."

Grant funds will be used to purchase Verbal Interactive Stimulus Materials specifically, 12 brand new books and 11 brand new toys for families utilizing the program to keep. Funding will also be used to purchase a child development tool, known as the Ages and Stages Questionnaire - Social Emotional ( ASQ-SE). The ASQ-SE helps families become more knowledgeable about their child's social and emotional development by identifying whether or not infants and young children's social and emotional development requires further evaluation to determine if referral for intervention services are necessary.

To date, the process of hiring Early Learning Specialists has begun in preparation for the home visiting process, with the first visits anticipated to begin the week of Feb. 27

Bourne residents seeking to participate in the program should contact Maura Dankert at Bournedale Elementary school. 508-743-3800 x6751.

The Parent-Child Plus program will be available to Bourne residents with a child or children ages of 18-48 months.

"On behalf of the entire department, I want to express our gratitude to the Department of Early Education for this generous grant," Dankert said. "This funding allows us to provide Bourne families with resources that will help their children thrive."

About the Parent-Child Plus Program:
The Parent-Child Plus program is designed to give Parents or caregivers the opportunity to become actively involved in their child's education by learning fun, creative, and effective ways to play and read with their child.

The program is a two-year home visiting program that takes place during the school year, with the option of extending through the summer months. Throughout the duration of this program, a trained Early Learning Specialist will bring free educational toys and books for children to keep. The program is fully funded through the department of Early Education and Care.

To learn more about the Parent-Child Plus Program, click here.

Bourne High School Music Department Receives Donated Digital Piano

BOURNE — Superintendent Kerri Anne Quinlan-Zhou and Bourne High School Principal Amy Cetner, are pleased to announce the donation of a new digital piano to the high school’s Music Department. The piano was donated in memory of Bourne High School's former social studies teacher Robert A. Pacheco Jr., who died unexpectedly due to illness last year.

The school was gifted the piano, from Sandwich Piano Works, by Robert's parents, Mr. and Mrs. Robert and Barbara Pacheco. The piano boasts a plaque commemorating their son Robert who was a supporter of the school's music program. According to Bourne High School music teacher Lisa Fournier, this generous donation will be used during ensemble chorus performances and in daily chorus classes.

“Bob was an avid musician who supported students in music teacher Lisa Fournier's classes,” said Principal Amy Cetner. "Bob befriended many students and staff at the school when he worked as a special education support teacher and in many other roles, and later when he became a social studies teacher, which was his dream job. He also taught private piano lessons to students."

The piano was delivered to Bourne High School on Tuesday, Jan. 3. Robert and Barbara Pacheco were present for its delivery and were treated to a first song by Fournier.

Fournier and Pacheco Jr. were close friends who would often meet on Zoom during remote learning in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic to play dueling piano solos.

The digital piano will require less maintenance than one of the standard pianos used in school chorus performances. The school regularly hired a vendor to tune their standard piano before and after any performances, as well as after significant temperature fluctuations. The digital piano doesn’t need to be tuned.

“He loved playing the piano,” Fournier said. “The gift is such a tribute to his legacy. When I’m gone, his name will still be on it. It’s a tribute to him and who he was. When I look at it, I smile.”