Daily Announcements

THIS WEEK IN FITCHBURG ATHLETICS

MONDAY, FEBRUARY 26, 2024

Good morning,

At 8:09 this morning, Fitchburg High School entered a medical hold that lasted approximately 20 minutes. Students and staff did an excellent job maintaining a safe environment. 

Thank you,

FHS Administration

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 25, 2024

Good Afternoon Fitchburg High School Families:

We hope everyone had a great February Vacation.

We look forward to welcoming students back tomorrow morning.

We would like to thank the Black Student Union for the annual showcase on Friday (02-16-2024). The showcase included a fashion show, dances, poetry, and a musical performance.

School Council and the School Year 2024-2025 Budget (Draft):

I will be presenting the draft school budget proposal to the School Council at FHS on Tuesday afternoon. If the School Council approves of the budget, we will do a final review with our Instructional Leadership Team (ILT) at FHS. From there, the budget proposal will be submitted to the district for their review.

Once it becomes available, I will send out a review of the finalized and approved budget to the FHS school community.

Instruction and Curriculum Updates

We added a new side tab to our website, Instruction and Curriculum Updates. The side tab will have weekly updates around our instruction and curriculum at FHS, as well as an overview of our core content curriculum. 

Reminder (MVP Program Application):

The application for the MVP Program for next school year is on the Fitchburg High School homepage. The program is a great opportunity for students who will be in the 11th or 12th Grade next school year, and are interested in studying Carpentry or Electrical. 

https://fhs.fitchburg.k12.ma.us/

Reminder (Standardized Assessment Schedule)

Reminder (Cell-Phones):

Reminders (Absent and Tardy Notes):

Reminders (Dismissal):

Reminder, Student Drop-Off (Arrival):

Reminder (Being Tardy to School):

Important Dates for the Week:

Monday 2/26, Day 5

Tuesday 2/27, Day 6

Wednesday, 2/28, Day 1

Thursday, 2/29, Day 2

Friday, 3/1, Day 3

Have a great week and thank you, 

Dr. Braga 

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 18, 2024

Good Afternoon Fitchburg High School Families: 

We hope everyone is having a great start to February Vacation. 

The application for the MVP Program for next school year is on the Fitchburg High School homepage. The program is a great opportunity for students who will be in the 11th or 12th Grade next school year, and are interested in studying Carpentry or Electrical. 

https://fhs.fitchburg.k12.ma.us/

Have a great week and thank you, 

Dr. Braga 

Important Dates for the Week

Monday: 02/19/2024

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 13, 2024

NO SCHOOL DUE TO INCLEMENT WEATHER

NO HAY CLASES DEBIDO AL MAL TIEMPO

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 11, 2024

Good Afternoon Fitchburg High School Families:

We hope everyone is having a great weekend. 

This is the last full week before February Vacation. We are looking forward to a great and productive week of school. 

Student Course Selection for Next School Year:

On Friday, Report Cards were provided to students during the advisory period. Additionally, during the advisory period, students in Grades 9-11 began to choose their courses for next school year. The deadline for students to choose their courses for next school year is February 26, 2024. Our Guidance Team is available to support students through the course selection process. Below are the presentations to support students in choosing classes for next school year. Students can access the links within the presentations by using their Fitchburg Public Schools email. 

English Presentation

https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1unwNTZFBjtqAYuOjS2YWNAWmve06t20YLG8qtHnoMv0/edit#slide=id.g4e4a9cadb8_0_0

Spanish Presentation

https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1HY4rgCurY7MU5rPP5_fDQQ6gSThGksyWzM0ValxBUPE/edit#slide=id.g4e4a9cadb8_0_0

MVP Parent Information Session:

Please see the attachments and information below. The areas of study for the MVP program are Carpentry and Electrical. 

When: Tuesday, February 13th at 6:00pm

Where: Google Meets - meet.google.com/guh-fcgs-iob

Who should attend? While anyone is welcome to attend this information session, we will only be accepting applications this Spring from students in the Class of 2025 and Class of 2026. We encourage all interested students and families from those classes to attend. 

Attendance Policy Update: The school committee voted to approve Fitchburg High School's updated attendance policy. Please review the updated attendance policy below. Attendance is an essential factor to academic success. 

ATTENDANCE POLICY FOR FITCHBURG HIGH SCHOOL

INTRODUCTION

One of the keys to academic achievement is good attendance. Consistent participation in school and school-based activities is important for making a successful transition from youth to adulthood. Parents and guardians, as well as students themselves, have the legal responsibility to ensure that attendance at school is regular and timely. Under the laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, "Every child between the ages of 7 and 16 is compelled to attend school". At Fitchburg High School, students 16 years of age or older are also expected to conform to the same rules of attendance. If a school identifies a student who is exhibiting an attendance problem, which includes tardiness, the school is required by law to address that problem. This could be as simple as notifying the parent or guardian and working together to improve that student's attendance. In extreme instances, however, it may require the school to solicit assistance from the Court or the Department of Children and Families (“DCF”).

Regular attendance and punctuality are absolute necessities in attaining an education.  The following attendance policy is recorded which provides the maximum opportunity for students to acquire a meaningful education.

Attendance Incentives:  FHS will employ a series of quarterly attendance incentives to promote positive school wide attendance.  Activities could include raffles, breakfasts, certificates, t-shirts, and other ideas initiated by students and faculty.  Quarterly Pep Rallies and other events will be announced throughout the year to promote positive attendance.  

Attendance Rule:  The requirements for the receipt of a Fitchburg High School diploma include an acceptable level of attendance in a Fitchburg Public School secondary level educational program.  Exceptions to attendance criteria can be made only by the Assistant Principal pursuant to a transcript review. This attendance policy is in conjunction with a student successfully passing all necessary academic subjects and achieving the minimum credits needed for a diploma.  Students and parents may file appeals with the Principal in a timely manner.   

Tardiness to School:  All students must report to their first period class for attendance every day. Students arriving after the official start time of 7:30 will need to report to the appropriate office to get a tardy pass.  If a student arrives 20 minutes late to class with an unexcused tardy pass will result in an unexcused absence for that class.  A pattern of tardiness will result in disciplinary action.  Five unexcused tardies will equal 1 unexcused absence.  (Detention, Raider Saturday School, Loss of parking privileges, In-house intervention, Suspension, Loss of credits, other appropriate consequences as deemed necessary by members of administration).

Attendance Waiver:  A student may apply directly to administration for a waiver for one or more absences.

Excused absence days may be for any of the following reasons:

All documentation for waivers, including doctor's notes, must be on file in the Housemaster's

Office within five school days after the student returns to school. -

Attendance at School Functions: Students who are absent from school during the day are not eligible to attend school functions in the afternoon or evening unless specifically approved by administration.  For the purpose of participation in school-sponsored events, a student is recorded absent from school if arriving after 10:55 a.m. or dismissed prior to 10:55 a.m. If the student is absent on the last day of school prior to a weekend event, this rule will be enforced. This applies to practices, competitions, meetings, games, and interscholastic events. Administration can excuse absences for purposes of participation.

Class Cut Procedure:  In order to address class cuts in a timely and immediate manner, the following process will be in effect.  As noted, class cuts disqualify students from the ability to participate in credit recovery activities and may result in a zero (0) grade for that class period’s assessments. First Cut: Teacher conference with student; Second Cut: Teacher Consequence + documented parent/guardian communication; Third Cut: Referral to Administration. 

Tardiness to Class:  Tardiness to class, without permission, is prohibited. The teacher is responsible for the enforcement of this rule and for determining an appropriate disciplinary action: teacher sessions/detention, parent meeting, calls home, etc. The student may be referred to the Assistant Principal.

Signing Out of Class/Passes:  All students must have a teacher assigned pass when in the corridor during non-passing time. Students must report to their regularly assigned class first before signing out to go anywhere. Students using the library or computer lab must first report to the teacher assigning the project and receive a research pass. Upon arrival in the library or computer lab, students must clearly sign the attendance sheet. No student may leave the library or computer lab during a period without getting approval, signing out, and having a FHS hall pass.

Dismissal from School:  Parental contact by telephone and/or note is necessary for every dismissal.

Dismissal slips will be issued from the Assistant Principal's or Nurse's office at the beginning of school. Office or public telephones are not to be used for the purpose of "last minute" dismissals, unless there is an emergency.  A reason for dismissal must always be given, and will be limited to the following:

Students’ age 18 or older and living independently may vouch for their own dismissal. The Administration will make the final determination on all dismissals.

CONSECUTIVE ABSENCE/SIXTEEN YEARS OR OLDER  

Consecutive Absence/Sixteen (16) years or older:  In Section 18 of Chapter 7 (G.L.c.76,§18),  

No student who has not graduated from high school shall be considered to have permanently left public school unless an administrator of the school which the student last attended has sent notice within a period of 5 days from the student's tenth consecutive absence to the student and the parent or guardian of that student in both the primary language of the parent or guardian, to the extent practicable, and English. The notice shall initially offer at least 2 dates and times for an exit interview between the superintendent, or a designee, and the student and the parent or guardian of the student to occur prior to the student permanently leaving school and shall include contact information for scheduling the exit interview. The notice shall indicate that the parties shall agree upon a date and time for the exit interview, and that interview shall occur within 10 days after the sending of the notice. The time for the exit interview may be extended at the request of the parent or guardian and no extension shall be for longer than 14 days. The superintendent, or a designee, may proceed with any such interview without a parent or guardian if the superintendent, or a designee, makes a good faith effort to include the parent or guardian. The exit interview shall be for the purpose of discussing the reasons for the student permanently leaving school and to consider alternative education or other placements.

Reminder (Standardized Assessment Schedule)

Reminder (Cell-Phones):

Reminders (Absent and Tardy Notes):

Reminders (Dismissal):

Reminder, Student Drop-Off (Arrival):

Reminder (Being Tardy to School):

Important Dates for the Week:

Monday, February 12, Day 6


Tuesday, February 13, Day 1


Wednesday, February 14, Day 2


Thursday, February 15, Day 3


Friday, February 16, Day 4

Have a great week and thank you, 

Dr. Braga 

MONDAY, FEBRUARY 5, 2024

Good Afternoon Fitchburg High School Families:

We hope everyone is having a great weekend.

At Fitchburg High School we celebrate Black History Month (02/01/2024 to 02/29/2024). Black History Month honors the contributions and achievements that Black people have made throughout the history of the United States. Please join FHS in honoring the past and present brilliance and innovation of the Black community. 

We have two more full weeks before February Vacation. February Vacation is from 02/19/2024 to 02/23/2024. Students return from February Vacation on Monday, 02/26/2024.

Report Cards: Second Academic Quarter

Report cards for the second academic quarter will be provided to students on Friday (02/09/2024) during the advisory period.

Biology MCAS Retake Exam (02/06/2024 and 02/07/2024): 

The Biology MCAS retake exam will take place on 02/06/2024 and 02/07/2024. The school schedule will run normally. Students who are taking the exam will be informed of their testing location.

NAEP Testing (02/08/2024):

A selection of Grade 12 students will take the NAEP test on 02/08/2024. All students taking the NAEP test will be informed of their testing location. The national assessment provides results on student performance in multiple areas and demographics.

School Committee Vote: Attendance Policy:

Tomorrow (02/05/2024), the School Committee will vote to approve Fitchburg High School’s updated attendance policy. If approved, the updated attendance policy will remove the No Credit policy for attendance at Fitchburg High School. On Tuesday, (02/06/2024), I will send a message to families around the outcome of the School Committee vote. If approved, I will send along the full updated Attendance Policy.

Peer-Mediation Training at FHS:

FHS will have a peer-mediation training on February 12, 2024 (9:00am to 12:00pm) for students who are interested in becoming peer-mediators. If your student is interested in becoming a peer-mediator, please send me an email (bragaj@fitchburg.k12.ma.us). Peer-Mediators are youth who have completed Peer-Mediation training and are prepared to facilitate conversations between other youth who are in a conflict. Peer-Mediators will ask questions to uncover the root cause of the conflict and will encourage the parties to brainstorm ideas and consider options for a resolution that is agreeable to both parties. Mediation is a voluntary and confidential conversation with the assistance of trained neutral mediators.

Reminder (Standardized Assessment Schedule): 

Reminder (Cell-Phones):

Reminders (Absent and Tardy Notes):

Reminders (Dismissal):

Reminder, Student Drop-Off (Arrival):

Reminder (Being Tardy to School):

Important Dates of the Week:

Monday, 2/5, Day 1

Tuesday, 2/6, Day 2

Wednesday, 2/7, Day 3

Thursday, 2/8, Day 4

Friday, 2/9, Day 5

Saturday 2/10

Sunday 2/11

Have a great week and thank you, 

Dr. Braga 

MONDAY, JANUARY 29, 2024

NO SCHOOL DUE TO INCLEMENT WEATHER

NO HAY CLASES DEBIDO AL MAL TIEMPO

SUNDAY, JANUARY 28, 2024

Good Afternoon FHS Families:

We hope everyone is having a great weekend.

Monday (01/29/2024), starts the second semester and the third grading period. Students should check their X2/Aspen account for any changes to their schedule.

Report cards will be provided to students on 02/09/2024 for the second marking period.

MVP Partnership (starts School Year 2024-2025):

This past Friday during the advisory period, students learned about our MVP program in partnership with local districts and Monty Tech. The program is set to begin next school year, 2024-2025. The program will have an alternating schedule where students will be at Fitchburg High School for academics for one week, and then be at Monty Tech for the vocational trade for another week. For this first year (2024-2025), the vocational trade areas will be carpentry and electrical. The program will have a limited number of spots. Please review the presentations, English and Spanish, with more information about the MVP program. At the end of the presentation there is a brief survey to complete, if your student is interested in the program. There will be more information to come around the MVP program, as well as recruitment events and informational sessions for students and families.

MVP English Presentation:

https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1M3Boty7_7skOjImjinOe6ylw5CC0KcepKflyjvAEg0I/edit#slide=id.p1

MVP Spanish Presentation:

https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1xs8SxrsermSefP2rObiTeTgcNHs5zoJehE1rsf9XNIY/edit#slide=id.p1

MVP Website:

https://www.montytech.net/MVP

School Newspaper (The Red and Gray):

The newest edition of the school newspaper is on the FHS Website.

https://fhs.fitchburg.k12.ma.us/the-red-and-gray

Reminder (Standardized Assessment Schedule)

Reminder (Cell-Phones):

Reminders (Absent and Tardy Notes):

Reminders (Dismissal):

Reminder, Student Drop-Off (Arrival):

Reminder (Being Tardy to School):

Important Dates for the Week:

Monday, January 29th, Day 2

Tuesday, January 30th, Day 3

Wednesday, January 31st, Day 4

Thursday, February 1st, Day 5

Friday, February 2nd, Day 6

Saturday, February 3rd

Have a great week and thank you, 

Dr. Braga 

FRIDAY, JANUARY 26, 2024

MVP Advisory Presentation
Spanish Copy of MVP Advisory Presentation

WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 24, 2024

There will be a two hour delay on Wednesday, January 24 due to inclement weather.

The school day will begin at 9:30am with F Period, and then continue the regular Day 5 Schedule. 

Morning buses will follow the 2 hour delay as well. For example, if your regular bus arrives at 6:30am, it will arrive at 8:30am.   


Habrá un retraso de dos horas el miércoles 24 de enero debido al mal tiempo.

La jornada escolar comenzará a las 9:30 a. m. con el período F y luego continuará con el horario habitual del día 5. 

Los autobuses de la mañana también seguirán el retraso de 2 horas. Por ejemplo, si tu autobús habitual llega a las 6:30 am, llegará a las 8:30 am.

TUESDAY, JANUARY 23, 2024

FHS Athletics Fan Code of Conduct_January2024.pdf
SPANISH_FHS Athletics Fan Code of Conduct_January2024.pdf

MONDAY, JANUARY 22, 2024

Fitchburg High Earns College Board AP Computer Science Female Diversity Award

Recognized for Improving Gender Representation in AP Computer Science Principles

 

FITCHBURG ─ Fitchburg High School has earned the College Board AP® Computer Science Female Diversity Award for achieving high female representation in AP Computer Science Principles. Schools honored with the AP Computer Science Female Diversity Award have expanded girls’ access in AP computer science courses.

 

More than 1,100 institutions achieved either 50% or higher female representation in one of the two AP computer science courses or a percentage of the female computer science exam takers meeting or exceeding that of the school’s female population during the 2022-23 school year. In 2023, Fitchburg High School was one of 834 recognized in the category of AP Computer Science Principles (CSP).

 

“We’re thrilled to congratulate our female AP computer science students and their teachers on this step toward gender parity in computer science education,” said Fitchburg High Principal John Braga. “We’re honored that our school earned this distinction and look forward to seeing these young women and others pursue and achieve success in computer science education and careers.”

 

“Computer science is the source code of our economy and much of the career landscape,” said Trevor Packer, Head of the AP Program. “In the six years since we began the AP Computer Science Female Diversity Award, it’s been heartening to see schools like Fitchburg High welcome so many more young women into this vital field.”

 

The first year of AP Computer Science Principles in 2016-17 attracted more students than any other AP course debut, and participation is on the rise. In 2023,164,505 students took the AP CSP Exam—more than triple the number of exam takers in the course’s first year. In 2023, 55,572 women took the AP CSP Exam, more than four times the number who tested in 2017.

Providing female students with access to computer science courses is critical to ensuring gender parity in the industry’s high-paying jobs and to driving innovation, creativity, and representation. The median annual wage for computer and information technology occupations was $100,530 in May 2022. However, women represent just 24% of the five million people in computing occupations.


That’s why College Board research about AP CSP is so encouraging. According to the data, female students who take AP CSP in high school are more than five times as likely to major in computer science in college, compared to female students of similar background and academic preparation who did not take CSP. The study also finds AP CSP students are nearly twice as likely to enroll in AP CSA, and that for most students, AP CSP serves as a stepping stone to other advanced AP STEM coursework.

 

These findings highlight the importance of schools nationwide achieving gender parity in AP computer science classrooms. Overall, female students remain underrepresented in our high school computer science classes, accounting for just 34% of AP Computer Science Principles participants and 26% of AP Computer Science A participants. Currently, 57.5% of the nation’s high schools teach foundational computer science. The 1,127 schools that receive this year’s AP Computer Science Female Diversity Award serve as inspirations and models for all U.S. high schools.

Students study genocide across districts

Cross-district learning took place at symposium

By DANIELLE RAY | dray@sentinelandenterprise.com | Sentinel & Enterprise

January 20, 2024 at 4:43 a.m.

A group of students from Fitchburg High School traveled to Groton-Dunstable High School in November to participate in an academic symposium based on the state-mandated genocide curriculum.

FHS teacher Mark Arsenault teaches a course at the high school along with his colleague and fellow history teacher Alissa Campbell that focuses on genocide in world history and investigates the definition of genocide and possible origins of it.


Arsenault, who has been teaching at the high school for over 20 years, said the symposium was a unique opportunity for the students to interact with each other over the topic of genocide.


“This has never been done, having two schools from different socio-economic backgrounds come together,” he said. “Very rarely do teachers work with their students across different districts. I’m hoping this becomes more of a trend in education and other districts get involved.”


Arsenault said the course was launched at the school following former Gov. Charlie Baker signing a bill in December 2021 requiring “genocide or some sort of component of genocide study should be imbedded in high school curriculum.”


Several FHS students who attended the symposium shared their thoughts on it and the genocide course and what they are learning from it.


Junior Cameron Montalvo, 17, said the course is helping him “understand genocide and the concept of it.”

“I believe it gave more insight on how genocide can affect a cultural group and how it can affect the world,” he said of what he came away with from the symposium.


Senior Bella Caron, also 17, echoed his sentiments, saying that “coming together for the symposium allowed us to connect more ideas together that we learned about.”


“Each of the curriculums were different and we were able to create more cohesive ideas and concepts about what we learned,” she said of the how the symposium was organized.


She went on to say that during the genocide course at FHS they are studying the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights and that the course is giving her and her fellow students “insight into the patterns of what leads up to a genocide and how to stop a genocide.”

Arsenault said when he and Campbell were asked by FPS Social Studies Director Dr. John Marderosian to design a course around genocide, they were happy to oblige.

“Here at Fitchburg, we are trying to create new and innovative courses for the kids,” he said. “Alissa and I spent the summer putting together the class.”

The course syllabus includes defining genocide, looking at examples of different genocides around the world, and diving deep into why genocide happens and discussing how it can be prevented. Campbell said they are doing their “due diligence” when it comes to offering the course to students and that “the more we put into it, the more we will get out of it.”

“It’s another way for students to learn more about history and what’s going on in the world today,” she said.

Instances of genocide can be found throughout history and in today’s world. In fact, according to a recent article posted to slate.com the United Nations is currently in the midst of deciding if the level of mass deaths as a result of the war raging on in Gaza – more than 24,000 bodies is the latest estimate – amounts to genocide.

Arsenault said they plan to continue the semester long elective class depending “on student interest and volume” and that they currently have two classes of 20 students – and more who have expressed interest.

“It’s available for students looking to fill a requirement and also learn,” he said.

Arsenault said they were joined by Fitchburg State University professor Dr. Benjamin Lieberman for the symposium. Lieberman teaches economics, history, and political science at the college, including courses on the Holocaust and Nazi Germany.

Arsenault said the symposium came about after a woman approached him one day when he was out with a colleague talking about Armenian genocide. It turned out the woman, Tammie Reynolds, is a social studies teacher at Groton-Dunstable High School and was also working on a genocide course curriculum.

“Coincidentally we both had the same FSU professor, Ben Lieberman, who taught a genocide course, and he ended being a part of our symposium,” Arsenault said, adding that during the all-day symposium the students discussed genocide and each school designed an activity component for the program.

Campbell said she thought the symposium “was a great initial program” and they were pleased with how it went.

“I think it’s important to get students from different backgrounds together to have collaborate learning in a safe space where their thoughts and ideas are fostered and encouraged,” she said of the benefits.

FHS junior Autumn Racine, 16, is taking the class and she attended the November symposium.

“I think it gave us a better way of looking at genocide and what other people thought about it,” she said of the symposium. “I found it really intriguing because we got to understand what other students thought and what Dr. Lieberman interpreted with genocide.”

She went on to say that she has learned a lot through the course and that “it’s an important class to understand what happens during a genocide and what leads up to it.”

UPDATED BUS ROUTES

Fitchburg High School 1-17-24.pdf

SUNDAY, JANUARY 21, 2024

Good Afternoon Fitchburg High School Families:

We hope everyone is having a great weekend.

The second academic quarter closes on Friday January 26, 2024.

Report cards for the second academic quarter will be provided to students on February 9, 2024.

Participation in interscholastic athletics and extra-curricular activities:

From the previous School Committee Meeting in January 2024, the Fitchburg Public Schools and Fitchburg High School Athletics have updated the policy to determine a potential student athlete’s academic eligibility to participate in interscholastic athletics.

We are using Rule 58 from the MIAA Handbook, most recently updated for 2023-2025. The guidance below provides clarity around Rule 58.

Students Must:

Eligibility Determinations Become Official:

What constitutes a “major” full-year course?

Notes:

Middle School Students Participating on High School Teams

Transfer Students and Co-Op Student-Athletes

Please email Athletic Director, Todd Robbins (robbinst@fitchburg.k12.ma.us), if you have any questions about the updates to the policy.

Reminder (Standardized Assessment Schedule)

Reminder (Cell-Phones):

Reminders (Absent and Tardy Notes):

Reminders (Dismissal):

Reminder, Student Drop-Off (Arrival):

Reminder (Being Tardy to School):

Important Dates for the Week:

Monday, January 22, Day 3

Tuesday, January 23, Day 4

Wednesday, January 24, Day 5

Thursday, January 25, Day 6

Friday, January 26, Day 1

Have a great week and thank you, 

Dr. Braga

THURSDAY, JANUARY 18, 2024

25th annual Montachusett MLK Coalition Martin Luther King Jr. celebration held

By DANIELLE RAY | dray@sentinelandenterprise.com | Sentinel & Enterprise

PUBLISHED: January 18, 2024 at 4:11 a.m. | UPDATED: January 18, 2024 at 11:36 a.m.

The 25th annual Montachusett MLK Coalition (MMLKC) Martin Luther King Jr. celebration was held on Jan. 15 at the senior center.

Several community members spoke at the event led by emcee Rev. Annie Belmer including MMLKC President Linda Mason, Mayor Sam Squailia, Fitchburg High School students, local politicians, and keynote speaker Rev. Dr. Susan Suchocki Brown, the MMLKC founder, among others.

Squailia called King Jr. a “visionary leader” and said, “his legacy of justice, equality, and unity continues to inspire us, and we come together as a community to reflect on the values that he has championed.”

Brown spoke about being a founding member of the coalition that was brought to life by many people as a way to “honor and remember the life the legacy and the lessons of Dr. King.”

“I am painfully aware that my struggles are nothing like those persons who grew up black, brown, and red skinned or who came from other countries or other religious backgrounds or marginalized communities,” Brown said. “But as I began to learn about the original sin of racism that our country was built on, I continued to be perplexed, puzzled, and perturbed. And it took time til I was able to fully acknowledge the ravages racism has taken on people and on our society. I was preprogramed to not see.”

She went on to say that “we are right in the middle of a huge and powerful and dangerous backlash.”

“If we don’t come together as allies and learn how to be accountable to and with one another, our very lives and the ideals of democracy will be taken away,” Brown said.

The three FHS students – senior Zoe Graham, sophomore Iyanna Louis, and senior Madison Perron – are members of the high school’s Black Student Union. They received enthusiastic applause for each of their moving speeches about what Martin Luther King Jr. Day means to them.

“Martin Luther King Jr. Day to me is not just a day off from school or another plain old holiday celebrating a person in history who isn’t really worth celebrating. To me, MLK day is so much more than that,” Graham said. “This day is one of the few days in the year that African Americans and other black folks within the diaspora can celebrate a person in our history who genuinely fought for our rights and did it in such a positive and inspiring way. MLK is and forever will be an inspiration to me because he was about protesting and standing up for what you believe is fair in the most peaceful of ways.”

Louis said that to her, Martin Luther King Jr. Day “is a day to represent my freedom and the freedom of my family.” She conveyed that her mother, who grew up on Los Angeles, “is this incredible woman who blesses me every single day and shows me the freedoms that I’ve been granted in this area.”

“Her grandmother grew up in redlining cities where they forced black people into communities where they weren’t allowed to escape because they were buried in so much debt,” Louis said. “Martin Luther King Day is a day where I get to show and represent the struggles and the beauty of being a black person because being black is this incredible experience that can’t be described in words or in stories or in poems. It is something so extraordinary and through all this struggle, through all the speeches and all the marches, and through the peace and the riot, black people have made this moment so incredible.”

Perron echoed her sentiments, saying that Martin Luther King Jr. Day “is much more than a day, it marks the significant steps to positive exposure to our fight, our battle.”

“Growing up I knew next to nothing about this man and his contributions to our culture and our movements, and as I grew into myself and my community, I also grew in the knowledge of his legacy,” she said.

Perron continued by saying that through Martin Luther King Jr. Day becoming more mainstream, “it has allowed us to have humility and humanity put into our advocacies and our advocates.”

“Dr. King has not only left us his message, but also with his wisdom,” she said. So, when he says things like ‘Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter,’ he pushes not only his work but his resilience. So, when I quote this man, I am pushing my own resilience.”

In addition to the speakers, attendees were treated to a prayers by Rev. Thomas Hughes of New Creation Church in Fitchburg and Rev. Dario Acevedo of St. Joseph’s Church in Fitchburg, several music selections by Theo and David Demosthenes, Jackson Jean, and Jerry Sabatini, as well as lunch provided by Chef Kevin Williams of Roots Natural Foods in Leominster.

The celebration was taped by Fitchburg Access Television and can be viewed in its entirety by visiting youtube.com/watch?v=zUFeYnJfqHs.

Sally Cragin contributed to this story.

WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 17, 2024

There will be a two hour delay on Wednesday, January 17 due to inclement weather.

The school day will begin at 9:30am with A Period, and then continue the regular Day 6 Schedule. 

Morning buses will follow the 2 hour delay as well. For example, if your regular bus arrives at 6:30am, tomorrow it will arrive at 8:30am.   


Habrá un retraso de dos horas el miércoles 17 de enero debido al mal tiempo.

La jornada escolar comenzará a las 9:30 a. m. con el período A y luego continuará con el horario habitual del día 6. 

Los autobuses de la mañana también seguirán el retraso de 2 horas. Por ejemplo, si tu autobús habitual llega a las 6:30 am, mañana llegará a las 8:30 am.

TUESDAY, JANUARY 16, 2024

Due to the weather, we will be canceling all after-school activities later today. This includes all clubs and sports. 

Debido al clima, cancelaremos todas las actividades después de la escuela hoy. Esto incluye todos los clubes y deportes.

Devido ao mau tempo, cancelaremos todas as atividades extracurriculares ainda hoje. Isso inclui todos os clubes e esportes. 

SUNDAY, JANUARY 14, 2024

Good Afternoon Fitchburg High School Families:

We hope everyone is having a great weekend.

There is no school on Monday (January 15, 2024) or Tuesday (January 16, 2024). Monday is Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and Tuesday is a teacher professional development day. Students will return to school on Wednesday (January 17, 2024).

Tomorrow, we celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was a leader in activism who helped to pass the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Dr. King wanted everyone to do things in a righteous and peaceful manner. Please take a moment tomorrow to reflect on the importance of Dr. King in American history.

School Committee Student Representatives:

Selina Moua and James Cannon are our 2024 School Committee Student Representatives. A special thank you to Zoe and Journie for their service as Student Representatives in 2023.

Food and Clothing Pantry at FHS:  

The Fitchburg High School Red Raider Pantry currently has socks and winter jackets available for students and families. Please reach out to Roberta McMaster at mcmasterr@fitchburg.k12.ma.us if you would like us to send some items home with students or arrange a time for families to pick them up.

Grade 12 Photos:

The last opportunity for Grade 12 photos will be on 01/19/24.

Being Tardy to School:

It is important for all students to be on time to school. Being on time to school allows students to take full advantage of their education. Additionally, being on time helps students access content and pass their courses. Starting on Wednesday January 17, 2024, Fitchburg High School will send texts home for students who are late to school. With your support, we can decrease tardiness and increase time on learning.

Reminder (Standardized Assessment Schedule) (change made for Math MCAS Date):

Reminder (Cell-Phones):

Reminders (Absent and Tardy Notes):

Reminders (Dismissal):

Reminder, Student Drop-Off (Arrival):

Important Dates for the Week:

Monday, January 15th - No School

Tuesday, January 16th - Teacher PD Day, No School for Students 

Wednesday, January 17th - Day 6

Thursday, January 18th - Day 1

Friday, January 19th - Day 2

Saturday, January 20th 

TUESDAY, JANUARY 9, 2024

Due to the incoming weather later this evening, we will be canceling all after-school activities later today. This includes all clubs and sports. 


Debido al clima entrante más tarde esta noche, cancelaremos todas las actividades después de la escuela hoy. Esto incluye todos los clubes y deportes.


Devido ao mau tempo que se aproxima esta noite, cancelaremos todas as atividades extracurriculares ainda hoje. Isso inclui todos os clubes e esportes.

MONDAY, JANUARY 8, 2024

School will be delayed by 2 hours tomorrow (January 8, 2024). The school day will begin at 9:30am with B Period, and then continue the regular Day 1 Schedule. Morning buses will follow the 2 hour delay as well. For example, if your regular bus arrives at 6:30am, tomorrow it will arrive at 8:30 am.   

La escuela se retrasa 2 horas mañana (8 de enero de 2024). La jornada escolar comenzará a las 9:30 a. m. con el período B y luego continuará con el horario habitual del día 1. Los autobuses de la mañana también seguirán el retraso de 2 horas. Por ejemplo, si tu autobús habitual llega a las 6:30 am, mañana llegará a las 8:30 am.

SUNDAY, JANUARY 7, 2024

Good Afternoon Fitchburg High School Families:

We hope everyone is having a great weekend.

As a reminder, there is no school for students on Monday January 15, 2024 (Martin Luther King Jr. Day) and Tuesday January 16, 2024 (Teacher Professional Development Day).

Grade 12 Photos:

The last opportunity for Grade 12 photos will be 01/08/24 to 01/11/24, and 01/19/24.

ACCESS Testing:

Families of English Language Learner Students: Beginning the week of January 8, 2024 all ELL students will begin the ACCESS test. ACCESS testing determines the growth that a student has made in English language proficiency. ELL students are tested in all four language domains: listening, speaking, reading and writing. Testing for most ELL students will take place in their ESL class.

Standardized Assessment Schedule:

Reminder (Cell-Phones):

Reminders (Absent and Tardy Notes):

Reminders (Dismissal):

Reminder, Student Drop-Off (Arrival):

Important Dates for the Week:

Monday, January 8th, Day 1

Tuesday, January 9th, Day 2

Wednesday, January 10th, Day 3

Thursday, January 11th, Day 4

Friday, January 12th, Day 5

Saturday January 13th

Have a great week and thank you, 

Dr. Braga