A BPS Spotlight

In this new section, BPS will highlight the positive contributions from among members of our community. This is brought to you by the Community Connections Committee and will be an addition to the faculty/staff and community newsletters.

Spotlight on – Raffaella Almeida

Beginner ELL students at BHS probably remember exactly when Raffaella Almeida stepped into their lives. Raffaella is in her fourth year as a BHS staff member, working in a dual role as a bilingual school counselor and adjustment counselor. A member of the 1995 BHS graduating class, she arrived in the United States just after completing elementary school. Raffaella understands through her own experience, the complex supports ELL students need. “It’s important for people to have representation of themselves when they come here,” Raffaella shared. “They need to see it’s welcoming, it feels safe, and there is someone they can speak to who understands the difference in cultures.”

In her efforts to build relationships, Raffaella frequently reaches out to check in with her students, as well as their families. The significance of that relationship is evident. Long after students are no longer on her caseload, many continue to seek out Raffaella’s advice. She clearly has carved a niche.

Raffaella perfectly captured why she is meant to be in Barnstable: “I belong in Barnstable because I feel it has the most diverse population in the schools. I believe I am able to contribute to making it welcoming to those from every culture. This is my purpose- there is no other school I want to work for.”

FY24 Budget Update

On March 15, 2023, the School Committee held their budget hearing. At that hearing, Chris Dwelley and I presented a budget of $82,761,867, or an increase of $5,981,956 (7.79%). This is an increased amount from the original budget presentation due to a favorable budget forecast emerging from the Governor’s budget released on March 1, which provided for additional Chapter 70 funding (state aid) through the Student Opportunity Act (SOA). The SOA implements additional funding for education in the areas of English learners, special education, guidance and psychological services, economically disadvantaged students, and health insurance/fixed costs.

This budget provides for additional investments in supporting students across the District, with a priority on evidenced-based programs aligned with the spirit of the Student Opportunity Act. The School Committee is expected to vote on the budget April 5, after which it proceeds to the Town Council.

The Budget presentation can be viewed on YouTube: https://youtu.be/0jIbtqoDRC8

The Budget slide show is posted to the finance webpage of our website: https://www.barnstable.k12.ma.us/Page/5732