Volume 3 - Issue 8 April 1, 2018


It is happening! After a year and a half of discussions, plans and ultimately votes, we are finally getting to see the fruits of our collective labor. The Anne Bradstreet Early Childhood Center construction has started!! The fences are up, the machinery is arriving and the modular construction is happening off-site. We are talking about delivery dates, picking finishes, creating temporary parking plans, and meeting every week on the progress. This is so exciting for our schools and North Andover.

What this means is that in September all our kindergarten students will be attending school together in appropriately sized classrooms that have no more than 22 students in them. This means that our 5 Elementary Schools will have the appropriate

space to begin to address class size, provide music, art and library, ensure that we are delivering specialized instruction in appropriate spaces and that we are moving forward in a major way to improve the educational experience of our students.

I encourage you to visit the ECC expansion website at to keep updated on all that is happening. You can even follow the expansion blog that includes updates and photos. Assistant Superintendent Mealey's update below explains even more about this project. Thank you, North Andover, for supporting this most important project. It is so exciting to see that it is happening!!


Middle School and High School Robotics Teams Heading to VEX World Championships in Louisville, KY

North Andover Middle School’s robotics program, the Bionic Knights, is a year-long, after- school STEM program focused on applied robotics for students in grades 6-8. Students form teams of 4-7 and work together to tackle a year-long challenge put forth by the Robotics Education and Competition (REC) foundation. This year’s challenge, “In the Zone”, involves manipulating and stacking cones of various weights and sizes within a specified time frame.

Guided by coaches Jon Miller and CJ Jordan, the middle schoolers have been assisted through many rounds of brainstorming, idea selection, implementation and testing as they attempt to build a robot that will compete against other students from middle schools in MA, CT and RI. The students utilize a simplified agile-based methodology to manage the tight timelines between competitions and must document their design in engineering notebooks and present it to competition judges to be considered for awards.

With five teams signed up for the 2017-2018 academic year, the Bionic Knights had a very successful season, winning multiple awards including the Design Award, Judges Award and Create Award.

Three of the five teams made it to the regional competition, the Southern New England Regionals in Framingham, MA. One team, Team D (Alex Miller, Keenan Gosselin, Luke Ralph, Timmy Briley, Zach Goldman and Zoe Levin) was thrilled to have qualified for one of five spots in the region to compete at the World finals in Louisville, KY (April 25-28)! This will be the first time a middle school team from North Andover has made the trip and competed against teams from around the world. They are currently working very hard to raise the required money to make this dream a reality. If you would like to help support the team in their journey to the big show, please visit their fundraising site

NAHS Robotics Team 8568A has advanced from S. NE. Regional to Vex Worlds Championship in Louisville, KY. This is the 4th consecutive year that at least 1 team from NAHS has competed against the 500+ teams that come from 30+ countries to determine the Vex Robotics World Champion. Teams from the Honors Robotics course and Robotics Club have prepared and competed multiple times this school year with a goal of advancing to World Championship.

Families are encouraged to watch live stream video of the matches. Information about teams and live stream will be posted at https://sites. Please contact Mike Motherway at mikemotherway @ northandoverpublicschools. com if you have any questions.

"Heroes All Around Us" A Celebration of Volunteerism in North Andover Public Schools

The North Andover PTO, PTAC, and PAC will be holding a cocktail reception to honor all volunteers on Wednesday, May 9, 2018, from 6 to 9 p.m. at the North Andover Country Club. Special recognition will be given to the 2018 Pristash Award recipients: Kim Marroni, Inez Gove and Maureen Ryan.

Proceeds from the evening will benefit the 2018 Pristash Scholarship, awarded to a NAHS senior who best exemplifies the spirit of volunteerism. To date, more than $20,000 in scholarships have been awarded. Please click here for more information.


Assistant Superintendent Gilligan Successfully Defends his Doctoral Dissertation at Boston College

Congratulations are in order for our Assistant Superintendent, Gregg Gilligan. On Wednesday, March 14, he successfully defended his doctoral thesis, and he will formally receive his Doctorate in Education later this spring.

Gregg began his doctoral studies at Boston College in the summer of 2015. He was part of 24-member cohort who met at Boston College for two weeks each summer and one weekend every month continuing through March of this year, and during that time, the cohort completed 19 classes.

Five members of the cohort conducted an extensive study of Lawrence Public Schools while under receivership of the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) and Jeff Riley, Receiver. Central Office Support of Principals through Assistance Relationships in a Turnaround District was the overarching thesis, and Gregg's specific area of study was Central Office Leaders' Role in Supporting Principals' Instructional Expectations in a Turnaround District. Gregg's purpose in undertaking this qualitative case study was to explore the role of central office leaders in a turnaround district as they supported principals' development of high instructional expectations (within their schools and of their teachers). The two research questions on which his thesis was based were:

  • In the context of a turnaround district, what practices do central office leaders employ to strengthen principals' instructional expectations?
  • In the context of a turnaround district, how do "assistance relationships" between central office leaders and principals affect principals' instructional expectations?

Congratulations, Dr. Gilligan!

Handwritten Thank You Notes

Painted Rocks to Honor Veterans


Snow challenges have played a much larger role in the education of our students this year than both the Superintendent and most parents would like, particularly in January and March. But rather than focus on what may be an abbreviated summer vacation, we would like to acknowledge the thoughtful and imaginative efforts of those students who took on the challenge by featuring them in this month's newsletter.

Edible Pyramid Challenge

Colored Ornaments

Snow Challenge winners get to choose either a book from Scholastic or lunch from Stachey's Pizza. A few of the lucky winners are pictured below:

Maya Cutler, ECC

Gabriel Pineda, Kittredge

Sophia Jensen, Atkinson

James Mealey, Assistant Superintendent of finance and operations

Update on the Anne Bradstreet Early Childhood Center

The future kindergarten school now has a name. With the addition of the new kindergarten building to the existing Early Childhood Center, the resulting complex will be known as the Anne Bradstreet Early Childhood Center. This will be home to our preschool and all kindergarten students in our district.

Work will begin in earnest in the next couple of weeks. Site work is scheduled to begin March 30, 2018. This will necessitate the installation of a construction fence around the work site, which in turn will impact traffic flows for the middle school, the ECC, and Atkinson Elementary. The principals will be communicating these changes with parents through multiple means, including models demonstrating the new traffic flows that will be made available on the district's website.

We remain on schedule for an August 20, 2018 completion date. Not only will the site work begin soon, but the construction of the building has already begun. Since this project is being done using modular construction, the building is constructed off-site, then taken apart, transported here, and put back together. Once the site is ready and the parts delivered, onsite construction will happen very quickly.

We will continue to keep you updated on the progress of this project as we go along. You will find these updates on our district's website.

Donna Straight, Assistant superintendent of Student Services

RAISE Awareness North Andover Cable Show

RAISE Awareness is a new North Andover CAM program hosted by Donna Straight, Assistant Superintendent of Student Services. In collaboration with Brian Fraser and the NACAM staff, this program will highlight the important work of North Andover Public School Department which works independently and collaboratively to support the students, families, district staff and community.

The initial show centers on Social Emotional Learning (SEL) initiatives at the elementary and secondary levels and the collaboration with Rick Gorman, Executive Director of the North Andover Youth and Recreation Services. The guests on the show include: Nikki Murphy, Director of Social Emotional Learning; Jim Gosselin, Middle School Guidance Counselor; Pete Concannon, Adjustment Counselor; and Rick Gorman. You may view the show by following the link: RAISE Awareness Video

As a follow-up to the SEL show, the second RAISE Awareness show will focus on knowledge beneficial for parents who would like to gain strategies to help their children with emotional regulation within the home. The guests include: Lizza Sandoe, Adjustment Counselor for the Elementary Therapeutic Program; Michelle O’Leary, Adjustment Counselor for the Middle School Therapeutic Program; Tom DeStefano, Adjustment Counselor for the High School Therapeutic Program; and Nikki Murphy. Once complete, you may access this video on the North Andover Public School District Student Services webpage or the North Andover NACAM webpage.

Future shows will include such topics as: a) an interview with the North Andover Special Education Advisory Committee (NAPAC); b) information about Autism; c) new curriculum; and d) special projects. If you would like to highlight a particular topic or project, contact me at

Tweet of the Month

A nor'easter can't stop 6C from enjoying tropical day at NAMS

School Committee Update

The April School Committee meetings are:

April 5, 2018 - 7 pm


April 26, 2018 - 7 pm

566 Main Street

Central Office Conference Room