Volume 4 - Issue 7 March 1, 2019
If you have a student in the Middle School, you may know that the average class sizes are some of the largest in the district and among the highest in comparable communities. In order to bring down class sizes, we would need to add an additional team at each grade level. However, there is no physical space at the Middle School to add these additional classrooms. We have made two attempts to get into the Massachusetts School Building Authority queue, a process that is currently taking 6 to 7 years and would provide State matching funds for the project.
Although our previous two efforts have failed, we are submitting a Statement of Interest again this spring, but the fact remains that the MSBA is funding only a few projects each year. If we are not successful in our third attempt, it may be necessary for the Town of North Andover and the North Andover Public Schools to start a conversation about other possible ways to fund the expansion of NAMS, including Facility Master Planning, self funding, etc.
DID YOU KNOW
Mr. North Andover - Friday, March 15, 2019 at 7:00 pm
Watch as eight NAHS senior couples vie for the title, each with his own personally designed creative performance during this extremely entertaining show. One hundred percent of the proceeds from ticket sales will go towards the SOS All Knight Graduation Party. Tickets are $10 each and will be sold from March 7th-13th at the high school during all 3 lunch periods. Tickets may also be purchased for $15 at the door, but this popular event tends to sell out so get your tickets early! This year’s contestants are Jimmy Lyons and Iasmina Birleanu, Matthew Samenuk and Cate Cheevers, Keenan Doherty and Hannah Carroll, John Kooken and Peyton Sportelli, Nate D’Entremont and Bella Feng, Peter Coufos and Jess Rosenthal, Andy Robie and Audra Guglietta, and Joe Huggins and Kathryn Smid.
First Annual North Andover Junior Merchant's Expo
The North Andover Merchant's Association, along with the Joseph N. Hermann Youth Center, are proud to host the 1st Annual North Andover Junior Merchant's Expo. This event will provide an opportunity for kids to sell their handmade crafts and artwork to promote their business services. The event is open but not limited to: musicians, lawn care service, computer experts, photography services, and bakers. You will be able to sell your products and promote your business by handing out business cards and showing photos or videos of the service you provide.
We hope this community event supports children as creators and entrepreneurs and encourages them to work with their hands, learn project management skills, put mathematics to use and explore their creative self-expression.
Event Date and Time: April 6, 2019 9 AM- 12 PM
Event Location: Joseph N. Hermann Youth Center
Rules and Requirements:
Open to children in grades 4-12 who live in North Andover
Artwork must be made by the artist
Participants must provide their own table and chairs
All children under 15 must be accompanied by an adult
Online application link: https://goo.gl/forms/ERIaMq1oGlBuAZo03
Or request a printable application at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thomson Elementary School by Christopher Raymond, Principal
Hello and welcome to the Private Albert E. Thomson Elementary School -Home of the Tigers! We are pleased to update you this month on some happenings at the Thomson School. We believe it takes the collective efforts of all to ensure a supportive and rigorous learning environment for our students. We appreciate the work of our entire parent community, our PTO, the many parent volunteers who coordinate and assist at events, and we especially want to recognize our hard working and dedicated staff. They work hard each day to further each child down the road to academic success and social and emotional development. Our children are the beneficiaries of the tremendous staff we have at Thomson.
The Thomson PTO sponsors numerous fundraisers and events during the year that directly support our school, staff, and students, and we couldn’t do the work we do without them. Some events have included our twice-a-year book fair, ice cream social, monster mash/trunk or treat, holiday fair, vendor fair, and fall and spring clean ups. The spirit of volunteerism was very evident at our fall clean up when almost 60 volunteers turned out to clean up the Thomson School grounds. In addition to our many parent volunteers, we welcomed several members of the NAHS Honor Society and an environmental science class who turned out to help us clean up this fall. Our PTO has been active in supporting our school library through the purchase of many new books. These books, combined with expanded volunteer hours, have increased our overall circulation by well over 1,000 books. We love all that extra reading and the excitement that a good book brings!
We continued our tradition of honoring our local veterans in November during our Veterans Day program. Through speeches, songs and presentations, we welcomed our veterans to Thomson and wanted them to know how much we appreciate their service.
Several other events (some old and some new) have occurred this year. Through the efforts of our PE teacher, Mr. Morgan, over 100 Thomson students turned out at the high school in October to secure the “Knights on the Run” trophy for the 3rd year in a row. We also invited 4th and 5th grade students to participate in the Thomson Globetrotters. Each year thousands of schools in the United States participate in the National Geographic Bee using materials prepared by the National Geographic Society. The contest is designed to inspire students to be curious about the world. The Thomson School entered the 2019 National Geography Bee Competition.
The Thomson Globetrotters met for several weeks to expand their knowledge of geography and prepare students for competition. We had over 40 students participate during the months of December and January. Many thanks to grade 4 teacher, Ms. Gilmartin, who spent many hours before school, after school and during recess time getting students ready for the competition. They learned a lot and had lots of fun. A picture of Ms. Gilmartin with some of the finalists appears in this month’s newsletter.
Other events that are new to Thomson included our grade 5 students going to Brightview Assisted Living Facility in December. Our students brought a snowman craft they had made as a gift for a resident, they sang songs, and shared conversation with the residents. The feedback was tremendous, and we are looking forward to going back next year. Another new event is the creation of a drawing club facilitated by our school guidance counselor, Ms. Foster, one day per week for students in grades 3, 4 and 5. Our students have enjoyed the opportunity to attend and make new friends with a common interest. With over 20 students participating from each grade each week, it's been a huge success!
We have several hardworking staff members volunteering their time to serve on our RAISE/SEL Committee. This year we are supporting a kindness campaign at Thomson, consulting with our district SEL coordinator, Nikki Murphy, supporting professional development in SEL for our staff and looking for ways to increase student voice at Thomson. Our students developed an anti-bullying kindness skit, new banners, and presented at all school community meetings to kick off our Coats for Kids drives and our Pennies for Patients campaign. We were thrilled to place 3rd in the state in the coats' drive, and as we write to you for this newsletter, we surpassed our $2,000 Pennies for Patients goal by over $1,000. We are proud that all these efforts and the presentations came directly from our students.
Finally, we would like you to know about our wonderful noon attendant, Shirley Kern, who celebrated her 90th birthday this year. She dedicates herself to doing her very best for our students each day during lunch and recess. It makes us smile to see her sitting with students at lunch talking with them or just listening to a story. We celebrated her birthday at Thomson this year as a whole school and appreciate all that she does for our kids each day.
Veteran's Day Assembly
Thomson School Globetrotters
Ms. Kern's 90th birhday celebration
Kittredge School Library
Kittredge and Franklin Libraries by Dale Osborne
The students at the Kittredge School are very excited to have a new library space this year! With the movement of kindergarten to the new Anne Bradstreet Early Childhood Center, the library was able to move to a larger space that is more suited to meet student needs during their library time. Stevens Memorial Library donated unused library shelving fixtures, and we are grateful to the public library for their generosity and their continued partnership with the schools. I would also like to thank Kittredge School Principal, Richard Cushing, for his support in making this change happen and to all of the school and town facilities and custodial personnel that worked tirelessly over the summer to refit the space. I personally spent 2 weeks at the end of the summer putting books on shelves and getting the space ready for students, and our Technology Director, Michael Grant, helped get the technology piece up and running.
This new space has enough seating and Chromebooks for up to 26 students at one time and is utilized by classroom teachers on a regular basis when the Library Media Specialist, Ms. Osborne, is not using the space for library lessons. This makes it possible for the first and second graders to have more opportunities to use the Chromebooks and have access to electronic resources for learning more frequently.
The Kittredge library space holds approximately 8 thousand books, but we could certainly use book donations. Please refer to the library’s online wishlist.
If you are interested in donating some gently used, recently published books please contact Ms. Osborne at email@example.com to coordinate any donations. We also are in need volunteers on Wednesdays and Fridays to facilitate circulation and reshelve books. Please contact Amanda Christiansen at firstname.lastname@example.org if you can volunteer.
Franklin School Library
4th grade working on a research project using online databases.
Students enjoying some scary stories on Halloween.
Students at the Franklin School library have been working on various fact-finding missions throughout the months of January and February. All of the 1st grade and Mrs. Colman's multi-age classroom have been learning about American symbols and places such as the Statue of Liberty and the American Flag. Working in pairs, they are reading about their American symbols and taking notes about their topic on the Chromebooks. Soon they will be ready to start writing in an interview format about their symbol or place. After their writing is complete, we will film them in front of the green screen telling us about their topic. Finally, their film will be edited using DoInk or WeVideo so it will appear as though they are reporting on location at the site that they have been researching. We look forward to sharing the finished products at the school's Arts and Academic Fair in May.
4th and 5th graders plan imaginary trips
Meanwhile, 4th and 5th graders have been planning imaginary trips to a state of their choice. To begin, the students wrote a trip narrative telling the reader about where they wanted to go and what they wanted to do there. This involved researching things to do in various states to decide where they wanted to go. Next, everyone was given the same per- person budget to go on their trip. Students used travel search engines such as Travelocity and Expedia to get prices for things such as airfare, lodging, car rentals and even activities. They learned how to use a spreadsheet to keep track of their budget and make graphs and charts to show their spending. After February vacation, they will also be making a slide presentation about their trip and include the charts or graphs from their budget, as well as pictures of their destination. This has been an eye-opening experience for many students as they realize how expensive vacations can be, and it has been a fun way to learn various features in Google sheets and Google slides.
ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT AND ENDEAVORS
EL Services by Kristen Ando
Did you know that our North Andover Public Schools students and their families speak over 35 home languages? Many of our North Andover families are bilingual in Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, Arabic, Gujarati, Hindi, Korean and many more languages! As a school system, we are so excited to have the gift of such wonderful language diversity in our schools.
The mental flexibility involved in knowing two languages is a strong asset. Some of these students are part of our English Learner (EL)Program. Our English Learner (EL) programming services approximately 100 students across our eight schools with EL tutors working in every school in North Andover for
this programming. The students focus is developing skills in the four domains of language: listening, speaking, reading and writing, and teachers and tutors work with students both in and outside of the classroom to best meet the developing needs of students in acquiring and developing their academic language in English.
All EL students in grades 1 through 12 are tested annually in the ACCESS (Assessing Comprehension and Communication in English State-to-State for English Language Learners) test, the results of which are used to inform instruction and measure the progress of EL learners.
What's Happening at Stevens Memorial Library?
Looking forward to the spring? The Library has several special events in March that may entice you out the house while we all wait for sunshine and daffodils. Details for all events are on the Library’s website calendar. All programs are free.
Sunday, March 3rd, join North Andover Police Dept. Animal Control Officer Katie Kozikowski and Wildlife Rehabilitator Dr. Stephanie Magnarelli for the second Animal Education Series: Rehabbing Wildlife. Suitable for 6th grade and up, registration is required. Sorry, no live wildlife this time.
Wednesday, March 6th, the Merrimack College Environmental Studies & Sustainability Program students host our first World Café on the subject of Climate Preparedness.
Thursday, March 7th, photographer Robert Michelson presents ideas and tips on Digital Photography & Video with Your Smart Device.
Sunday, March 10th, historian Dina Vargo recount stories of the Wild Women of Boston, bringing to life some of Boston’s “hidden” historical figures through storytelling.
Sunday, March 24th, First Man, the 2018 movie about astronaut Neil Armstrong and the legendary space mission that led him to become the first man to walk on the Moon on July 20, 1969.
There is always room for more in story times, elementary and middle school book groups, grades K-5 Crazy 8s Math on Tuesday afternoons, and Poetry Open Mic at the end of each month.
Don’t miss out on regular programs and special events. Follow the Library on Twitter @StevensMemLib, Facebook, or the Library’s website www.StevensMemLib.org
The Role of the ETL
The Evaluation Team Leader or ETL works in a collaborative manner to guide the special education process through Team meetings. The ETL requires certification as a special education teacher or specialist who possess years of experience navigating the state and federal special education laws. The primary duty of the position is to ensure compliance with all special education timelines and regulations. The responsibilities and duties of the ETL include: ensuring best practices; processing the evaluation paperwork that is required in the area of special education; collaborating with all teachers, specialists, administrators, and parents; and establishing positive relationships for student success. Special education paperwork includes processing all referrals for special education and adhering to the timeline that is in place for such referrals. Once a student’s evaluation is complete and a Team Meeting is scheduled, the ETL will organize/send the evaluation reports to the parents at least 48 hours in advance of the meeting.
The ETL will coordinate and chair all subsequent evaluation and annual review meetings to ensure the student’s needs, as defined by the Individual Education Plan, are being met in the least restrictive environment. Upon completion of a special education team meeting, the ETL will summarize the meeting and oversee the completion of the IEP, assuming the student is/continues to be found eligible for specialized instruction through special education services. The ETLs related special education responsibilities include holding/attending regularly scheduled meetings with the building-based special education staff, principals and central office administration, along with assisting in the transition of students from one level to the next or to a specialized program through collaboration with other ETLs and school staff in other buildings. The ETL is always available to provide insight to the special education process and best practices to achieve positive student outcomes.
School Committee cORNER
Happy Month of March,
After finishing our budget review and hearing in January, we spent the February meetings seeing what is going on in our schools. Earlier this month, we enjoyed a visit from the advisors and peer leaders of the newly formed Anti-Defamation League Peer Leader program at NAMS. Selected students in 7th and 8th grade have been participating in training on how to address people who are engaging in hate speech, bullying, or discriminatory conduct or remarks. These students are truly becoming leaders and developing skill sets that will give them confidence in and out of school to stand up for what is just. It was wonderful to see them share with the committee how much they are enjoying their experience in the year-long program.
A couple of times each year, the school committee likes to hold meetings in the schools themselves. Last week, we held our meeting at the Sargent school so that we could see the STEM program in action. Fourth graders showed the committee the different, very cool tools and gadgets they are using to learn
fundamentals of coding, physics, and engineering. The committee was so impressed with how engaged the students were and how quickly they learnedwhy something did not work the first time and how to correct it. The supplies were all purchased from a STEM grant obtained by STEM Coordinator Kara Larcome. We are looking forward to having a future school meeting at NAHS, to see its new History Lab and the Scarlet Knight school in action.
Finally, the committee also approved next year’s school calendar, which has a start date of Tuesday, September 3, 2019 and an ultimate worst-case end date of Friday, June 19, 2020.
Enjoy the last few weeks of winter!
Holly Vietzke-Lynch, Chair
Tweet of the Month
We had a great group of community members reading to students at Franklin School today. #Dragons#ReadAcrossAmerica#MrClarke
March School Committee
566 Main Street
March 14, 2019
March 28, 2019