Renowned for its refinement of technology, facilities, and curriculum, Blackstone Valley Tech’s commitment to continuous improvement has resulted in upgrades to the school’s admissions policy and application process.
At the recommendation of its Policy Subcommittee, the Blackstone Valley Vocational Regional School District Committee approved the revised admissions policy on October 15, 2015, and received approval from the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education on November 6, 2015. The most significant changes were made to the policy’s weighted selection criteria, which scores applicants based on scholastic achievement, attendance, school discipline/conduct, local guidance counselor’s recommendation, and an interview. The maximum number of points for scholastic achievement was dropped from 40 to 30 points, and the cap on points for attendance was increased from 5 to 15 points.
“Placing more value on attendance benefits applicants who demonstrate the commitment and work ethic necessary to pursue a dual education in academics and vocational technical training,” explained Superintendent-Director Dr. Michael Fitzpatrick. “Successful applicants will further develop those traits as they prepare to meet the modern workforce’s demand for reliability and consistent attendance.”
Fitzpatrick credited the BVT admissions team with researching and compiling the suggested revisions, which were formed with input from business and industry advisors, personnel from sending school districts, state education officials, and prospective students and families. Other revisions included the addition of gender identity and homelessness to the policy’s Equal Educational Opportunity section, as well as clarification that Valley Tech’s annual open house for prospective students will take place in late November or early December. This year’s open house for interested seventh and eighth grade students and their families will be held on Wednesday, December 2, 2015, from 5:30-8:00 p.m. at 65 Pleasant Street in Upton.
Along with changes to the admissions policy, the BVT School Committee also made several adjustments to the admissions application. Rather than ranking their top-three choices for program placement, applicants are now asked to rank their interest in all of BVT’s 18 vocational technical programs. The revised application also places renewed emphasis on the fact that parents and guardians are primarily responsible for requesting accommodations an applicant might need to complete any part of the application process due to a disability or language barrier.
“Blackstone Valley Tech is receptive to all applicants and encourages any request for accommodations that will enhance a student’s ability to succeed,” Fitzpatrick said.
Fitzpatrick added that the updated policy applies to the admissions process for the 2016-2017 school year. Prospective students and families are encouraged to visit the school’s website [www.valleytech.k12.ma.us] for details on the policy upgrade and admissions process.