Volume 4 - Issue 10 June, 2019
It has been an exciting year for the North Andover Public Schools! We have had some great successes across all levels and some challenges as well, starting with the gas disaster on September 13. The school and town communities responded in a way that truly epitomizes our RAISE standards. North Andover is a special place, and I am honored to work in a community that always goes the “extra mile” for our 4,806 students.
It was exciting to have the town unanimously approve our school
budget at the 2019 Annual Town Meeting. I am enthusiastic about the future of our schools as we work to lower class sizes, adopt new curriculum resources, plan for a middle school expansion and maximize support for ALL of our students.
The summer is a wonderful time to relax, recharge and catch up on some reading! I hope you will also encourage your children to read and participate in the Superintendent's Summer Reading Challenge. This year's theme is A Universe of Stories.
DID YOU KNOW
Race Amity Day is Sunday, June 9 at the High School from 10 am until 1 pm. Please click here for more information.
North Andover Reads is celebrating America's Other Tradition - Race Amity . Please click here for a list of recommended books.
The Superintendent's Summer Reading Challenge has been issued. Please click here to view the details.
Congratulations to this year's Pristash Award Winners: Kris Murray, Timra Carlson and Linda Burns who represent the elementary, middle and high school level respectively.
The Massachusetts School Nurse Organization Inc. has chosen our own Cheryl Barczak as the 2019-2020 recipient of the Massachusetts School Nurse Administrator of the Year Award. The award is intended to recognize school nurse administrators in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts who have made significant contributions to the health of school-aged children, demonstrated leadership, and modeled effective school health management skills.
The Massachusetts School Nurse Organization used the following criteria in making their selection: (a) administrative qualities that promote excellence in school nursing.
Anne Bradstreet Early Childhood Center
The ABECC has almost completed its inaugural year! It has been a big year for our little ones and for our staff. Preschoolers and kindergarteners adjusted to the layout of the building and can navigate their way from the classroom to various areas of the school. We have implemented many routines, and we are grateful for a wonderful group of students and families. We want to take this opportunity to thank everyone and to share some highlights with you.
One of the highlights of the year was voting in our mascot and then our logo. We voted as a school (and involved the community) to elect a school mascot, the bulldog, who makes regular appearances at school-wide events. “Raise a Paw” helps to encourage appropriate behavior and care for friends. Students earn a paw when they exhibit RAISE values. Everyone had a great time participating, and it became quite competitive around the school with bears, bees and bulldogs everywhere!
Students vote for new Mascot
Newspaper Announces a Mascot Winner
Children discuss RAISE values
Boston Marathon Fundraiser
Bradstreet Animal Show
Mrs. Twomey's Author's Day Class
Our library was created from the ground on up this year. It was a lot of work to get up and running, but we are excited to say we have a great collection of books for children to now check out. We had many books gifted to us through families for birthdays, special events, thanks, etc. In addition, we recently were awarded the Joseph Middlemiss Big Heart Kindness Library. This is an amazing collection of hard covered books that all center around social/emotional growth and kindness. They are a wonderful addition to our library. In addition to our book collection, we also have a great collection of Chromebooks, and the children are doing awesome learning how to use them. We thank all of the parent volunteers for getting the ABECC library ready for our children!!
Children work with Chromebooks
Introduction to Library at ABECC
Overall, it was a big year for the ABECC! We brought 6 different schools together to create our Early Childhood Center. As we reflect back on our journey this year, we are amazed at the growth with our preschool and kindergarten children. Our preschoolers have adjusted to being in school and loving their classroom environments. They are loving their dancing, painting, learning letters, creating friendships, etc. Our kindergarten children are so much more confident than they were in September. It’s amazing seeing children doing errands for their teachers to the office, going to the nurse independently, reading stories, writing journals, doing addition, etc. This is why we love early childhood - every day is different and the children change so quickly!! No doubt, it is the place to be - the ABECC! We grew a lot as a school, staff, building, etc., and now we look forward to year two when we welcome a new principal and over 300 new kindergarten children and approximately 70 new preschoolers. We thank each and every one of you for your support of our new school over this past year. We thank the administration for supporting our needs, and we thank our amazing PTO for their continued support throughout the year. Have a great summer friends and remember - have fun!!
ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT AND ENDEAVORS
Civics Day Celebration and EMK Institute Visits by Pat McGravey, 8th Grade Social Studies Teacher
May has been an exciting and educational month for all NAMS eighth graders in their social studies classes as they participated in the Fifth Annual NAMS Civics Day on May 3. I also will have completed six trips to the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the US Senate in Boston at the end of May and through the beginning of June. This coincides with a new change in the Massachusetts History Frameworks which will switch to an intensive year of all Civics instruction for eighth graders starting in 2020. This new end-of-year tradition at NAMS for over three hundred fifty students on the three eighth-grade teams has resulted in engagement, an increased knowledge base in Civics and most of all fun.
NAMS Civics Day started out as an idea from former 8B student Kaitlyn Parks who is now graduating from NAHS and pursuing a career in government at American University in Washington DC. She brought her social studies teacher, Patrick McGravey, and State Representative, Diana DiZoglio, together in 2014 which started with a small program involving only two speakers for one eighth- grade team. This has now grown to a celebration of Civics with over a dozen speakers providing seminars to ALL eighth-grade students on a rotating basis for the entire academic day.
Highlights this year included new NAMS Principal, Jorge Goncalves, participating as a naturalized US citizen with local Lawrence judges and representatives from the Immigration Department. Students also heard from newly elected State Representatives Tram Nguyen and Christina Minicucci, as well as Senator Diana DiZoglio, Michael Ryan from the Jury Duty Commission, various local government representatives from the School Department,
School Committee, Board of Selectmen, and the office of Congressman Seth Moulton who is also running for President in 2020. Bringing government from all levels together was a massive success, and the students impressed all of the speakers with their high-quality questions, model behavior and overall application of the RAISE values throughout the day. The next part of this enhanced experience in Civics Education will take place throughout six trips to the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the US Senate in Boston. At this hands-on and interactive site, students will participate in a simulation of being a U.S. senator, crafting and debating legislation on Immigration Reform which can be a complex and controversial issue. Students will be sworn in, given Senator profiles, placed in committees, and provided with the opportunity to vote for various bills that would be sent to the House of Representatives and eventually the President to become law. It will be a very exciting day for all that attend and hopefully an experience that will be long lasting for the students soon to be future engaged citizens and possibly U.S. leaders.
The eighth-grade social studies department continues to work diligently to provide meaningful experiences for all students in Civics Education and looks forward to future opportunities as the implementation of the new Civics standards become a reality in 2020. This will include an eventual MCAS assessment in Civics, as well as a Civics Community Leadership Project, which was recently signed into law by Governor Charlie Baker, that will require all eighth graders across Massachusetts to complete by the end of their Middle School experience.
Students visit the Edward M. Kennedy Institute and participated in a simulation of being a US Senator
Michael Ryan from the Office of the Jury Commissioner speaks to students.
Tram Nguyen, Diana DiZoglio, Pat McGravey, and Christina Minicucci
What's Happening at Stevens Memorial Library?
Summer is officially just days away! Summer at the Stevens 2019 kicks off the fun with music, the Ukulele Scramble on June 27th, followed by the Children’s kickoff with Wigglekids, June 29th. Weekly events start July 8th and run through August 16th. Join us for Family Movies Under the Tent at the Stevens Estate, the Flying High Frisbee Dogs, a Visit with Sally Ride (Sheryl Faye), and the full slate of programs planned for all ages. With your Library Card, you have thousands of books, movies and music from which to choose. And, a lot of these things are available online through OverDrive, Freegal, and the E-Library. If you’re traveling, try audio books or a children’s travel activity bag. Beads and brag tags are back for the younger readers, the teens and adults drawings have some great prizes.
If you’re taking Dr. Gilligan’s Superintendent Challenge, we’ll have his book list, too.
Library summer hours are: Monday through Thursday 10 am – 9 pm, Friday 10 am – 6 pm.
Thank you to the Friends and the Trustees of Stevens Memorial Library, and the North Andover Cultural Council for making these programs possible.
New Director of Student Services is Announced
There will be a familiar face back with us in the Special Education Department beginning in July, 2019. Happily, Marci Boccuzzi has accepted the position as Director of Student Services. Twenty-two people applied for this position and eight were chosen for initial interviews. The field was narrowed down to three very strong candidates who participated in additional interviews, meetings with stakeholders, and completion of performance tasks.
Throughout the search process, Ms. Boccuzzi impressed us with her depth and breadth of special education knowledge across all levels, as well as her extensive experience with special education programming, IEP implementation, professional development and 504s. Ms. Boccuzzi possesses
strong communication skills and a collaborative approach to leadership. She is very excited to serve North Andover in her new capacity.Ms. Boccuzzi is currently a Special Education Administrator at Wakefield High School. From 2011 to 2016 she was the Special Education Coordinator and Out-of-District Coordinator in the North Andover Public Schools. She has worked as a Special Education Coordinator in Newburyport, Danvers and at Coastal Collaborative. These experiences included working with 504s, Out-of- District Placements, and a 45-Day Assessment Program. She is certified as a Special Education Administrator and holds a Masters Degree in Moderate Special Needs and an Undergraduate Degree in Communication Disorders.
School Committee cORNER
I am incredulous that as I write this, there is just one school committee meeting left. And even more incredulous that we never got to experience our new initiative this year, Beyond the Classroom. It does feel good to be getting out June 19.
It was enjoyable this year to see so many student presentations at our meetings. We saw the elementary classes show us what they were doing with the new STEM program, heard the seventh graders discuss their experience with the new ADL peer training group, marveled at the impressive “food art” ceramic projects created in their art class, heard eighth graders talk about their science curriculum and recent projects, and toured the new history lab at the high school. We also enjoyed terrific presentations about social emotional learning, Understanding Our Differences, health and wellness initiatives, and the TOP program. North Andover has such talented faculty, staff, and students that it is always a treat to attend and hear about all the goings-on in the schools.
In May, we recognized three wonderful and deserving Pristash Award winners, Kris Murray, Timra Carlson, and Linda Burns. The Pristash Award honors
outstanding volunteers in our district at the elementary, middle, and high school levels. I don’t think there is a greater reason for an award, and our district is so fortunate that each year, we have so many qualified nominees that it requires a vote to choose just three.
The committee also recognized our own Cheryl Barczak, who was named the Massachusetts School Nurse Organization’s School Nurse Administrator of the Year. So with the high school football team’s success and Cheryl’s honor, North Andover can boast two “Best in State”s this year.
Finally, as I wrap up my last Knightly News, I am grateful to have had the opportunity to serve as Chair and the confidence that my fellow committee members have shown in me. It has been a tremendous and valuable learning experience, made easier with their support and help. I’d also like to thank Dr. Gregg Gilligan for his tireless leadership, both behind and in front of the scenes, and his dedication to our students. It is easier to serve on the school committee when we know that he always has the district’s best interest in the forefront of all of his decisions.
Holly Vietzke-Lynch, Chair
Tweet of the Month
Celebrating brilliant careers. Congrats to this year's retirees!
June School Committee
566 Main Street
June 6, 2019