Post image for Algonquin makes Newsweek rankings for top 5,000 STEM high schools

This month, Newsweek posted rankings of the Best STEM high schools. (STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathmatics.) Algonquin Regional High School made the list, though some other area schools ranked higher.

ARHS ranked #1281 in the nation. If you eliminate private and charter schools, Algonquin moved up to 643. Looking at just Massachusetts, Algonquin ranked #81 (#35 if you eliminate private and charter schools.)

The rankings were based on a STEM score apparently calculated by an education research and credentialing organization. Algonquin’s score was 77.48 out of a possible 100. Newsweek only provides a vague description of the methodology behind the score:

STEM.org Educational Research™ (SER) has developed a proprietary scoring logic utilizing the latest in regression analysis that takes into consideration a broad set of quantitative and qualitative data inputs, collected from Q2 2015 – Q3 2019. The purpose was to determine which primary/secondary institutions in America best offer students experiences in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) —as defined by the Congressional Research Service — while preparing them for post-secondary outcomes. Additional factors including affluence and median household income were taken into consideration in compiling the rankings.

Under that methodology Advanced Math and Science Academy in Marlborough scored 95.61, and ranked #70 in the U.S. and #4 in the state. St. Mark’s School earned 90.71 and ranked #395 and #29. 

We were also outranked by Hopkinton High (scored 91.61; ranked #341 in the U.S. and #24 in the state), Westborough (86.88, #653 and #46), and Shrewsbury (78.87, #1177 and #76).

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Post image for Post-season Update: Girls Soccer CMASS Champs heading to States (plus XC and Cheer results)

Above: Algonquin Girls celebrated their big win on Thursday (image cropped from tweet by @ARHSAthletics)

Girls Soccer faced previous two-time Central MA champs Wachusetts in the Finals. Thursday’s game went in to tiebreaking penalty kicks and ended with Gonk Girls winning 3-1. You can read about the excitement in Wicked Local and the ARHS Harbinger.

Girls Soccer CMass champs cropped from tweet by ARHSAthletics

(click to enlarge)

The Central MA champions will head to Springfield Central for the State Semi-Finals at 5:00 pm tomorrow. The Girls will take on Western MA champs, Westfield.

According to MaxPreps, Westfield is a lower power ranked team (6) than Algonquin (3). But to get to states, Westfield had to beat the highest ranked team in the state over the weekend.

It’s been ten years since the Gonk Girls were State Champs. Since then, they made it back into the state tourney only once, in 2015, when they lost the Finals to Needham.

If the  Girls win tomorrow’s Semi-Finals, they’ll play in the Finals on Saturday vs either Brookline or Bishop Freehan. (Time and location TBD).

In other tournaments. . .

ARHS Boys Cross Country placed 7th out of 20 in the Division 1 All States over the weekend. The Girls team came in at 17th place. (For details on your favorite runners’ times click on Boys Results or Girls Results.)

T-Hawks Cheerleaders competed in big tournaments on Sunday. ARHS Athletics tweeted that the Performance team placed 7th at Regionals and the Game Day team placed 10th at States. 

In the non-playoff series, ARHS Football lost to Leominster on Friday, 27-8. Next week, they’ll play their final game this year.

The T-Hawks will face the Rangers for their annual Thanksgiving Day grudge match. Algonquin lost to Westborough the past two years. This year, the teams each have 4-6 records and will be playing on Gonk’s home field. The game takes place at 10:15 am. (Tickets are on sale in the Athletic Office:  $5 adults/students, $10 at the gate.)

Updated (11/18/19 1:42 pm): I added a link to the school paper’s coverage of the soccer win.

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Post image for Events this week: Flu Clinic, Mamma Mia!, Autumn Fair, SciStories exhibit, and Heritage Chorale (Updated)

Above: Fundraisers this weekend include ARHS Girls Hockey’s electonics recycling event and the Senior Center’s annual Autumn Fair. (The APTO Alcohol Awareness forum is being postponed.)

Here are highlights of what’s happening around town this week.

[Note: The highlights don’t include ongoing weekly programs. For those listings and more, check the Event Calendar.]

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

  • 4th & 5th Grade Book Group (4:15 – 5:15 pm) @ Southborough Library, Eaton Meeting Room: Book club members read a book selected each month and then meet for discussion & activities. Registration is required. Refreshments provided by Wegmans and Friends of Southborough Library. For information about joining, contact Kim Ivers at kivers@southboroughma.com
  • Postponed to date TBD* Alcohol Awareness Forum (6:30 – 8:00 pm) @ Algonquin Regional High School Library: APTO & Northborough-Southborough Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition are hosting a forum on Alcohol Awareness and Social Host laws. Presenters include local law enforcement, school administrators and District Physician Dr. Safdar Medina.

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

  • Board of Health’s Flu Clinic – Southborough seniors and employees (10:00 am – 12:30 pm) @ Senior Center, 9 Cordaville Road: Flu Clinic run by the Board of Health. During this time session, vaccines are available for Town employees and Southborough seniors. Seniors ages 65+ are eligible to receive a High Dose Flue Vaccine. Please bring your insurance cards and wear short sleeves.
  • Board of Health’s Flu Clinic (2:00 – 4:00 pm) @ Senior Center, 9 Cordaville Road: Flu Clinic run by the Board of Health. During this time session, vaccines are available for any Southborough residents aged 12+ and Town employees. Please bring your insurance cards and wear short sleeves. Seniors ages 65+ are eligible to receive a High Dose Flue Vaccine.
  • 2nd & 3rd Grade Book Group (4:15 – 5:15 pm) @ Southborough Library, Eaton Meeting Room: Book club members read a book selected each month and then meet for discussion & activities. Registration is required. Refreshments provided by Wegmans and Friends of Southborough Library. For information about joining, contact Kim Ivers at kivers@southboroughma.com
  • Open Meeting Law Training session (5:30 – 7:30 pm) @ Cordaville Hall/Southborough Senior Center, 9 Cordaville Rd: The session will be conducted by the state Attorney General’s Office. The Town is hosting the training session for board/committee volunteers and any interested members of the public. For details, see dedicated post.
  • Tales & Tails (6:15 – 7:15 pm) @ Southborough Library, main level: Children can read with a certified therapy dog from Therapy Dogs International. Contact the library to sign up for a 15 minutes time slot. Children should have some reading ability. Children can bring books or pick some from the library. (This event runs monthly on Wednesday and Thursday, usually the 4th week of the month.)

[click to keep reading…]

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Post image for The week in government: BOS on Library Trustee vacancy, Verizon agreement, and Transfer Station Fees; Regional School Committee (Plus OML Training)

Here is a selection of the committee and board meetings for the week along with my selected highlights from the agendas. Unless otherwise noted, all of these meetings are open to the public, so you’re welcome to stop on by.

Be aware that changes to the meeting schedule are known to happen throughout the week. For an updated list of meetings, visit the town website.

Monday, November 18, 2019

  • Americans with Disabilities Act Committee Meeting, 9:00 am @ Cordaville Hall, Coffee Area, 9 Cordaville Road (agenda) Agenda Highlights: Discussion with Asst Director for Community Services; Review of open ADA complaints with Town Administrator/ Compliance Officer; Building Commissioner/ Zoning Enforcement Officer input with the Massachusetts Office on Disability
  • Planning Board Meeting, 7:00 pm @ Hearing Room, Town House, 17 Common St (agenda and meeting materials) Agenda Highlights: Hearing on St. Mark’s dorm; Discussion 5G small cell policy; Lighting Bylaw Working Group Update; Site Plan Review Bylaw; FY21 budget – Broadcast live and replayed by SAM*

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

  • Board of Selectmen Meeting, 6:30 pm @ Hearing Room, Town House, 17 Common St (agenda with packet) Agenda Highlights: Fill Library Trustees vacancy; Verizon cable agreement; ADA Warrant Article request; Transfer Station Fees; Approve design Phase III for Kallander Field – Broadcast live and replayed by SAM*
  • Board of Trustees Southborough Library Joint Meeting with Board of Selectmen, 6:30 pm @ Hearing Room, Town House, 17 Common St (agenda) Agenda Highlights: Joint meeting with Board of Selectmen – Report on Library Strategic Plan, status of grants, and recommendation for filling vacancy – Broadcast live and replayed by SAM as part of the BOS Meeting*
  • Advisory Committee Meeting, 7:00 pm @ Public Safety Building, Public Meeting Room, 32 Cordaville Rd (agenda) Agenda Highlights: Presentation by Council on Aging on proposed additions to building; Discussion of free cash and impact on bond rating
  • Historical Commission Meeting, 7:00 pm @ Flagg School, Historical Society Museum, 25 Common St (agenda) Agenda Highlights: Public Hearing for 153 Middle Rd, Administration issues, payables, reimbursement and budget; Update on 4 Sears Fd

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

  • Economic Development Committee Meeting, 8:00 am @ Hearing Room, Town House, 17 Common St (agenda) Agenda Highlights: Downtown Initiative EEA Grant project; Network Event Main Street Bank; Vote to expand subcommittee to 5 members
  • Open Meeting Law Training session, 5:30 – 7:30 pm @ Cordaville Hall/Southborough Senior Center, 9 Cordaville Rd (Town announcement): The session will be conducted by the state Attorney General’s Office. The Town is hosting the training session for board/committee volunteers and any interested members of the public.
  • Southborough Housing Authority Meeting, 6:30 pm @ 49 Boston Road (agenda) Agenda Highlights: Election of officers
  • Northborough-Southborough Regional School Committee Meeting, 7:00 pm @ Algonquin Regional High School Library, 79 Bartlett St, Northborough (agenda) Agenda Highlights: Student Support Services presentation; English Language Education Update; and Concussions Update – Broadcast live by NCAT**

Thursday, November 21, 2019

  • Southborough School Committee – Policy Development Subcommittee Meeting, 9:00 am @ Office of the Superintendent, Conference Room, 53 Parkerville Rd (agenda) Agenda Highlights: Review of policies: Bullying Prevention & Intervention, sexual harassment in the school/workplace, rehab act compliance, non-discrimination/equal opportunity/affirmative action/Title IX/Section 504/Chapter 622/Grievance Procedure; School Search; Student Bus Behavior and new policy on Audio & videotaping/recording of meetings in school facilities
  • Board of Assessors Meeting, 9:00 am @ Hearing Room, Town House, 17 Common St (agenda) Agenda Highlights: Sign contract for FY2 l commercial/industrial/mixed use valuation services

Friday, November 22, 2019

  • Taxation Aid Committee Meeting, 8:00 am @ Southborough Town House, Front Foyer, 17 Common St (agenda) Agenda Highlights: Discuss approaching Selectman for purpose of Town Warrant or not – update regarding viability; schedule time to attend Selectman meeting for purpose of gaining visibility; and further discussion of January tax
  • Zoning Board of Appeals Meeting, 8:30 am @ Hearing Room, Town House, 17 Common St (agenda) Agenda Highlights: Hearings on 149 Southville Rd non-conforming porch reconstruction and 16 Newton St and non-conforming deck reconstruction

*Southborough Access Media will broadcast the meeting(s) live on Verizon-37 and Charter-192. Click here to see this week’s schedule with rebroadcast times. (Videos are also usually made available through their YouTube channel by the following morning.)

**Northborough Cable Access Television will live broadcast the meeting on Verizon-29 and Charter-194. (Note: The meeting will eventually be rebroadcast. But expect to wait several days before a time and link are posted to NCAT’s schedule.)

Updated (11/18/19 10:14 am): Although it’s not technically a public meeting, it seemed appropriate to include the OML Training being held on Wednesday evening.

Updated (11/18/19 10:28 am): I just notice that I had jumbled the acronym for Open Meeting Law training.

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Obituary: Brian G. Shifrin, 43

by beth on November 17, 2019

Post image for Obituary: Brian G. Shifrin, 43

Brian G. Shifrin, 43, of Southborough, passed away on Saturday, November 16, 2019, at his home, after a battle with ALS.

He was the beloved husband of Kristine (Wingate) Shifrin for the past 16 years. Born in Lynn, he was the son of Laura( Mand) Shifrin of Townsend and the late Stephen Shifrin.

Brian was raised in Townsend and attended Applewild School in Fitchburg. He loved Applewild and later became a member of their board of directors. He was a graduate of Choate Rosemary Hall High School of Wallingford, CT, attended University of Rochester, graduated from Fitchburg State and Suffolk Law School. Brian started Global Real Property Solutions an appraisal company and later his dream came true, He opened his own law firm, Shifrin Law. Brian and Kristine married in 2004 in Walt Disney World. They settled in Southborough, a place he loved. and volunteered his time on several boards. He was the chair of the recreation commission; chair of Affordable Housing Trust Fund Committee; Chair of Golf Course Master Plan was a member of Community Preservation Committee; SHOPC; was elected to the Board of Selectman of Southborough. Brian also served as the commissioner of Southborough Men’s Softball for over 15 years. However, his greatest joy was being a parent to his children, Charlie and Courtney. He was the best dad. He loved watching his kids play sports, helped them with homework, played catch all the time and brought them to Red Sox and Bruins games. He coached his kids and their friends in baseball for several years. He was a devoted coach. Brian was a Red Sox season ticket holder in the State Street Club for years. There was not a place that made him happier than going to Fenway with his family. Brian and his family traveled to different MLB ballparks each summer. He loved Billy Joel concerts and a good steak.

When Brian was diagnosed with ALS he fought so hard to keep living. His grace and determination was an inspiration to so many Loyal Shifstrongers.  [click to keep reading…]

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Post image for Weather Advisory: Freezing rain may continue into morning commute

Southborough Emergency Management shared the National Weather Services’ Weather Advisory. It looks like there is a potential for freezing rain that could last through morning rush hour. 

NWS latest forecast states:

Spotty light freezing rain/freezing drizzle may result in icy roads later this evening and especially after midnight to the northwest of a Boston to Providence corridor. Spotty light freezing rain may persist Mon am and impact the morning commute.

A warning from SEMA earlier today advised that the icy conditions will be hazardous to pedestrians and commuters. The bottom line was that if you may want to prepare to avoid being on the roads until late morning if possible. Here is an excerpt from Lt. Neal Aspesi’s message:

While certainly not a blockbuster or even moderate, system, the timing could not be worse. Remember, freezing rain covered surfaces look identical to wet rain covered surfaces and surfaces can ice over almost instantly without warning. It all hinges on a temperature fluctuation of a degree or less (aloft or at the surface) and is also impacted by elevation.

The active hazards should dissipate between 10:00am and noon Monday. Hazards on treated surfaces will mitigate quickly. Hazards on non-treated surfaces may linger well into the afternoon. [click to keep reading…]

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Selectmen to discuss proposal to change Transfer Station funding

November 15, 2019 04:30:07 PM
Thumbnail image for Selectmen to discuss proposal to change Transfer Station funding

On Tuesday night, the Town Treasurer will present a plan to significantly change how residents pay for use of the Transfer Station. The goal is to move towards mostly funding the trash and recycling station through taxes.

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Southborough schools’ MCAS results worth bragging about

November 15, 2019 02:55:16 PM
Thumbnail image for Southborough schools’ MCAS results worth bragging about

Southborough grades 3-8 performed well on the most recent MCAS tests, especially in math.

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Let your “Kids Shop” for holiday gifts – Dec 7

November 15, 2019 09:25:44 AM
Thumbnail image for Let your “Kids Shop” for holiday gifts – Dec 7

Kids like to shop for the holidays too, and each year Southborough Boy Scouts offer them a safe and fun environment to do just that.

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Free “Speaking Shakespeare” workshop by Southborough resident – Monday

November 15, 2019 07:31:22 AM
Thumbnail image for Free “Speaking Shakespeare” workshop by Southborough resident – Monday

On Monday, attend a free workshop that promises to demistify Shakespeare. The opportunity is mainly for actors but open to everyone who wants to “connect with” the language of the Bard.

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Girls Lacrosse – register for spring by Dec 15th

November 14, 2019 04:20:00 PM
Thumbnail image for Girls Lacrosse – register for spring by Dec 15th

Northborough-Southborough Girls Lacrosse registration is taking place for the upcoming Spring season. The sport is open to girls in both towns in grades 1 through 8.

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Obituary: Marilyn J.’Snookie’ (Hill) Borelli, 82

November 14, 2019 02:13:08 PM

Marilyn J.’Snookie’ (Hill) Borelli, 82, of Southborough, passed away on Monday, November 11, 2019, at her home after suddenly being stricken ill.

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On the market this week in Southborough (Updated)

November 14, 2019 11:27:52 AM
Thumbnail image for On the market this week in Southborough (Updated)

What went on and off the market this week.

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Decorating lessons and tips for the holidays: Workshops, decorated house tour, and floral design demo

November 14, 2019 09:22:36 AM
Thumbnail image for Decorating lessons and tips for the holidays: Workshops, decorated house tour, and floral design demo

A business in town asked me to share their upcoming workshops on holiday decorating. While I’m at it, I’ll remind that there are two other special upcoming events likely to interest the same audience.

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