Volume 3 - Issue 7 March 1, 2018


As you can imagine, this is a challenging time for all of us in schools. The sadness that comes with an incident like Parkland is so strong. It also can be very scary for those of us working in schools each day and for those of us who send our child/children to school each day. Please know that our number one priority is to keep our children safe at school. As you may remember, we instituted a new approach to our lock-down procedures last year (ALICE) that gives our students and teachers more flexibility in one of these situations. We continue to refine our process with the Police through our many lock-down drills. We are working hard to prepare for the unimaginable with the focus on doing our best in a very difficult situation.

We have also been a leader in the area on social-emotional learning. So much of this work needs to focus on supporting all of our students to feel connected to our schools. We were one of the first districts in MA to hire a Director of Social Emotional Learning (SEL), and continue to focus our efforts on providing social emotional supports both inside and outside of the classroom. For more information about our SEL approach, please visit our SEL website at: Thank you, as always, for being our partners in this process.


In light of the recent school shooting at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, the North Andover Police Department felt it was important to review what we went over at our ALICE information nights regarding the responsibility of parents and guardians should there be an active threat in one of our schools.

If there is an active threat in one of our schools, the North Andover Police Department will be working tirelessly with other agencies throughout the town and state to ensure an appropriate response to tend to your children. Therefore, we ask that you do not call the police, fire or school departments. Rather, while we acknowledge it will be extremely difficult, please wait for us to contact you with the location where we will be reuniting you with your children.

This will NOT be at the school where the threat is and, therefore, we ask that you do not go to your child's school. No one will be allowed on the school's property.

In North Andover, we have always prided ourselves on working as a team and a community. We trust that the students know how to respond should one of these situations arise, and we are humbled that you trust your children within the safe environments that the police, fire and school departments have created for them. Should there be an active threat we ask that you be part of this team and wait to hear from us on your next steps in assisting with moving forward as a community. Should you have any additional questions please email our School Resource Officer, Officer Kara Caffrey, at


North Andover Girls' Ski Team

By Jerry Marchegiani

The North Andover Girls’ Ski Team finished the regular season 14-0 which makes it five years in a row that the team has gone undefeated. This equates to over 70 straight wins which is a league record. This accomplishment was lead by the outstanding leadership and skiing ability from co-captains Maria and Rachel Cavallaro. Also contributing to the team’s success were seniors Sophie Killilea and Reese Deery along with freshmen standouts Sydney Schwalm and Jane Freund. All in all this was a team of incredible chemistry with an intense desire to compete every time every time they took to the snow.

Thomson School Treble Chorus

The Thomson School is very proud to announce that four Thomson Elementary students have been selected to perform in the Northeastern District Treble Chorus Festival. They are Madeline Fernandes, Mia Bono, Finn Ryan and Riley Knapp. The concert will take place on March 10th at 3 p.m. at Manchester-Essex Regional High School. Thanks also to our music teacher Ms. Dragosits.


North Andover High School History Learning Lab

The History Department at North Andover High School is happy to announce the creation of the North Andover High School History learning Lab and Archive. The objective of the North Andover High School History Learning Lab and Archive are twofold: first, we would like to create a History Learning Lab where students can, through hands-on experience, live, touch, and see history in action. The History Learning Lab will allow teachers at North Andover High the opportunity to expose their students to historical artifacts and resources so their students can gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of historical artifacts. Instead of reading about history in a

Johnson High School - Also served as Town Hall in the 1860s

textbook, students can touch and experience history for themselves.

Our second objective will be to create an archive that will house primary sources and artifacts relating to North Andover's Johnson High Schools. We hope to collect, document, and use sources and artifacts related to local history. We are looking for donations of pictures, artifacts, and other materials from the time period 1860 - 1980. If you are interested in donating, please contact Brian Sheehy at or call (978) 790-5707.


This month, the first grade at Kittredge School celebrated writing success with an Authors’ Tea. Mrs. Murphy and Mrs. Barnett gave their students a chance to show off their newly minted writing skills with a fun party!

The kids recently wrapped up the narrative writing unit of the Lucy Calkins Writing Workshop program. Over the past few months, they have been crafting “small moment” stories about topics that ranged from a family dance party to the excitement of Christmas morning. With each new writing technique they learned, the students edited and revised the stories. They finished them off with beautifully illustrated covers and “about the author” pages.

To celebrate the hard work, families and loved ones were invited to an Authors’ Tea in the first grade classrooms. All dressed up in their “fancy” clothes, the students proudly read the stories to the guests and discussed their writing skills. Afterwards, they enjoyed some iced tea, lemonade, and cookies. What a wonderful way to showcase the hard work of the new writers!


Supporting Young Writers at Home

"The single most important element children need to grow as writers is the belief that they are writers." Lucy Calkins

For the past several years, many North Andover elementary teachers have been attending Home-Grown Institutes during the summer, which are-5-day workshops focusing on writing.

Immerse your child in conversation

  • Accompany and chronicle daily events with conversation
  • Solicit running commentaries from your child
  • Retell the day's events
  • Ask for your child's opinion on a family, neighborhood, or world issue

Build rituals for conversation

  • Dinner time
  • Long car rides
  • Bedtime
  • Sunday afternoon ice cream
  • Saturday morning walks

Immerse your child in the "writerly life"

  • Foster careful observations of the world
  • Accompany your own writing with talk

- Focus on the purposes and processes of writing foremost

- Invite participation

Create conditions and opportunities for your child to write

  • Provide a variety of paper and writing utensils
  • Invite your child to:

- Draw a story

- Add a signature to art work

- Add labels to drawings

- Create grocery lists

- Make signs

- Write a letter

- Write information down to teach someone else

Give your child an audience for his/her writing

  • Ask your child to read his/her writing to you
  • React to your child's writing by focusing on the content and purpose of the writing

Give children writing strategies

  • Draw and write from personal experiences and knowledge
  • Use spelling approximations
  • Use the specific, interesting language of oral conversation
  • Reread writing

"Help the child do today what she will be able to do independently tomorrow." - Lucy Calkins

High School Class Rank

We want to let you know that the High School is recommending the elimination of class rank at NAHS in order to enhance our student’s post-secondary options. Steve Nugent, Head of Guidance, and Chet Jackson, NAHS Principal, presented information to the School Committee that demonstrated the negative impact of class rank on student’s applications and financial aid. They also highlighted that the majority of the top high schools in MA no longer use class rank, including our neighbor Andover. For more information and to watch the presentation by Mr. Nugent and Mr. Jackson, please visit nahs /guidance/class-rank-info.

The School Committee will be taking a vote of support for this policy change at tonight’s (3/1) School Committee meeting.

Tweet of the Month

Just had a great lunch with Snow Challenge Winner Gabriel Pineda from Ms. Farr's Kinder class at Kittredge.

School Committee Update

The March School Committee meetings are:

March 1, 2018 at the Thomson Elementary School 266 Waverley Road 6 p.m.

March 15, 2018 at the Sargent Elementary School 300 Abbott Street 6 p.m.