BORO Program whips up a successful year


BORO Program whips up a successful year
The BORO Program and Sugar Shack on East Main Street. (Photo/Maureen Sullivan)

WESTBOROUGH – It’s been a sweet year for the BORO Program’s Sugar Shack, and the prospects are even sweeter.

During the School Committee meeting on Jan. 18, Program Director Erin LaPrad presented the program’s report for 2022.

“It was another prolific year,” she said. “All signs are positive.”

The Bridging Over to Right Opportunities Program (BORO) provides vocational experience for students within Westborough Public Schools ages 18-22 with special abilities.

BORO helps students develop skills in communication, socializing, self-advocacy and more. It also provides individual instruction so that these students can better access college coursework; integrate into work or volunteer opportunities; and learn to navigate the daily challenges of adult life.

The program also runs the Sugar Shack, a vocational “learning lab” where students develop their entrepreneurial skills.

This year, BORO includes 10 students and eight full-time staff members. According to LaPrad, the biggest highlight from 2022 was the Sugar Shack’s production of fresh fudge.

“It’s been a definite draw,” she said.

The Sugar Shack also offers gourmet candy and gift assortments.

Since 2019, sales have grown from $45,369 to $111,069. However, profits went down from $20,490 in 2021 to $6,491. LaPrad said the dip in profits was because of higher vendor costs as well as an upgrade to its point-of-sale system.

For 2023, LaPrad said the lower level of the building will undergo renovations to provide more flexible programming space for students, as well as more storage and production space for the Sugar Shack.

“We’ve created a business experience,” she said.

She added that several school systems have contacted the BORO program to see how it works.

Later in the meeting, the School Committee accepted $100 for the program.

For information on the BORO Program, visit, or Sugar Shack visit

Buildings and Grounds study

The School Committee voted to award a bid for a long-range capital improvement plan to Russo Barr Associates.

The plan will be to study the buildings and grounds of Westborough Public Schools, except Fales Elementary, which was just built.

Russo Bar was among three vendors who returned a request for bids. It was not only the lowest bid (at $155,540), but they seemed to fulfill much of what the schools would like to see in the study.

During the Jan. 4 meeting, David Gordon, director of finance and administration, said the schools have yet to identify a funding source to pay for the study. Superintendent Amber Bock proposed having the study done over two budget cycles.