Volume 4 - Issue 9 May 2019
I had the opportunity today to participate in Civics Day at the Middle School. This is the 5th year that our dynamic and creative 8th grade social studies teacher Pat McGravey has attempted to demystify for students how our state and local government functions. With the opportunity to engage with people who are either elected or hold positions in government, students are able to see the relevance of civics and the important role it plays in their lives.
As May 6 through 10 is Teacher Appreciation Week, I would like to acknowledge all North Andover teachers, who, like Pat McGravey, go the extra mile for our students. In addition, May 8 is School Nurse Day, and we are fortunate here in North Andover to have a skilled and caring team of health professionals, our school nurses. Together, our teachers and nurses provide a caring and supportive environment for all our students.
DID YOU KNOW
ABECC Teacher Runs Boston Marathon
Anne Bradstreet Early Childhood Center kindergarten students are very proud of their teacher Kelsey Garvey who ran the Boston Marathon for the benefit of Cystic Fibrosis. She finished the Boston Marathon in just over 4 hours.
ABECC student ran their own mini marathon and raised over $600 for Cyctic Fibrosis.
North Andover Performs Chorus Gold Medal Showcase
The North Andover Concert Choir, Treble Choir and Scarlet & Black Singers all earned a gold medal rating at the MICCA (Massachusetts Instrumental & Choral Conductors) Choral Festival and were invited to perform at Symphony Hall for the gold medal showcase on Saturday, May 4.
NAMS and NAHS Robotics Teams Excel
For the second year in a row, a NAMS robotics team advanced to the middle school level Vex Robotics World Championship. The team won the Innovation Award, an impressive accomplishment.
For the 5th year in a row a NAHS robotics team advanced to the high school level Vex Robotics World Championship in Louisville, KY. The team was formed in September and managed to advance from Qualifier, to Regionals, to Vex World Championship. After a competitive season, the members who aren't graduating are looking forward to honing their skills and look forward to earning their way back in April 2020.
MS Robotics Team visits Amazon Robotics facility in North Reading
HS Team 8568H traveled to VEX Robotics World Championships in Louisville, KY
ST (Spacial Temporal) Math
Three More NAPS Schools Join ST Math Massachusetts Program to Enhance Math Learning!
Anne Bradstreet Early Childhood Center, Atkinson, and Franklin Elementary Schools have been selected to join the ST Math® Massachusetts Program, which seeks to expand high-quality elementary math. MIND Research Institute, in partnership with Mass STEM Hub, a program of the One8 Foundation, has selected 60 Massachusetts schools to be part of the second cohort of the program. Kittredge, Sargent and Thomson Elementary Schools were selected last year in the inaugural cohort of the program and are in their first year of implementation.
ST Math is a visual instructional program that builds a deep conceptual understanding of math through rigorous learning and creative problem solving to engage, motivate and challenge PreK-8 students toward higher achievement. ST Math’s digital learning complements Eureka math lessons and provides another way for students to build their math understanding.
Schools were selected through a competitive and rigorous multi-step application process. As a program member, the schools will not only have access to ST Math but to additional support and features including:
● School grant averaging $40,000 per year to support the adoption
● Additional professional development opportunities
● Personalized support from dedicated ST Math team members
● Access to enhanced student and teacher dashboards
● Cohort events to support best practice sharing and networking
Students love helping “Jiji” the penguin make it across the screen by solving ST Math puzzles. We’re excited to expand the use of ST Math to K-5 students throughout the district! Learn more about the program: stmath.com/massachusetts:
Thomson and Kittredge Teachers work together to solve a puzzle during ST Math Training
Sargent holds ST Math Deeper Learning Symposium
Thomson students are introduced to ST Math at Thomson School
ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT AND ENDEAVORS
Expedition and Service from the Andes to the Galapagos
Twenty-two NAHS students, along with their chaperones, spent 11 days experiencing the rich culture and diverse landscape of Ecuador. The adventure started with a visit to Yunguilla, a sustainable community in the cloud forest devoted to raising organic agriculture and livestock. A stop at the Intiñan Solar Museum provided a look at the various indigenous groups of Ecuador and experimentation with the forces at work at the equator. The group then traveled the Pan-American highway through Volcano Alley to the Chimborazo Province. Along the way, they visited Salcedo to try their unique ice cream and Colta to see the first Spanish church of Ecuador and watch local artisans carve vegetable ivory. While in the Chimborazo Province, the group worked with “Me to We” and their “WeCharity” program. They participated in a “minga” collaborative community project in Sablog located high up in the Andes. Working side-by-side with community members to build a new primary school, they learned about the importance of this specific project. They took on different tasks such as shoveling rocks, tying and cutting rebar, and spreading concrete.
The next day students had the opportunity to work with the women of the indigenous village of Pulingui to learn about their weaving collaborative that provides extra income for their families to provide for education, clean water and health care. The students learned how to shear sheep (with shears, not razors!), clean and spin wool, and weave various patterns. They had the privilege of sitting down with one of the women to learn how the group began and how the women have worked to combat the “machismo” of their culture and gain more respect. In the afternoon they helped one of the women work in her potato field. These were very enriching days learning about the culture in the highlands!
From there the students traversed down to sea level with a few small stops along the way to learn about the growth of bananas, cacao, and sugar cane and try some local fruits such as finger bananas, achitillo, and zapote. Once in the coastal city of Guayaquil they visited Iguana Park and took in local scenery before the internal flight to the Galapagos Islands.
The group visited San Cristobal, Santa Cruz and Santa Fe Islands where they snorkeled in several locations and had first-hand experiences of each unique ecosystem. They were amazed at the countless animals they encountered including blue-footed boobies, sea lions, starfish, pelicans, frigates, sea turtles, iguanas and lots of colorful fish. In addition, they visited the La Galapaguera de Cerro Colorado where they are working to improve the population of the island’s tortoises, the Interpretation Center to learn about the history and settlement of the Galapagos Islands, and finally the Charles Darwin Research Center where they are working to conserve the environment and biodiversity of the archipelago within the context of dynamic changes in the commercial, political, and social landscapes of the Galapagos Islands.
This unforgettable experience provided students the chance to explore ecosystems unlike New England while interacting with native Ecuadorians. It opened their eyes to new cultures and lifestyles and consider ways they can make a difference in the world.
What's Happening at Stevens Memorial Library?
You’re invited to Read, Watch, Listen, and Gather during North Andover Reads May 1st to June 9th. Join the Library and the North Andover Schools to learn about and celebrate “amity” (friendship), the keystone to this year’s theme: “America’s Other Tradition: Race Amity.”
· What to read? The Wishtree (Katherine Applegate) or anything on the suggested reading list.
· What to watch? The documentary: An American Story: Race Amity and the Other Tradition or Green Book.
· Listen? Tune in to a North Andover Youth Center Podcast or borrow the board game Breaking It Down to facilitate a discussion.
· Gather? May 10th story walk; May 11th family story time or a family movie; May 14th NAHS Library Lunch Time Book Discussion; May 21st Tuesday Evening Book Discussion; May 22nd NAHS Race Amity Club School World Café (afternoon) or NAMS Celebration of the Arts at Stevens (evening); and June 9th to celebrate North Andover’s Race Amity Day, hosted by the North Andover High School Race Amity Club. Visit the wish trees at the elementary schools or Stevens Coolidge Place.
Visit http://nak12.net/NAReads or the Library’s website for suggested reading lists and the full list of activities’ dates, times and places. For more information about North Andover’s Race Amity Day celebration, visit http://nak12.net/race-amity
Don’t miss out on regular programs and other special events at the Library. Follow the Library on Twitter @StevensMemLib, Facebook, or the Library’s website www.StevensMemLib.org
Stevens Memorial Library, 345 Main Street, North Andover (978) 688-9505
P.S. Visit the Friends of the Stevens Memorial Library Spring Book Sale May 3, 4, & 5. All funds earned support the Library’s programs, movies and museum passes.
By Joe Diorio, Special Education Director of NAHS
The North Andover High School Special Education Department is nearing the end of a great year. First, we have an excellent staff consisting of Paula Sexton, Sandra Christian, Ryan Burr, Kristin Newman, Kara Frink, George Odell, Meghan Picanco, John Guilmet, Steve Nickerson, Nick Traicoff, Patricia McSweeney, and our devoted psychologist, Gina Bonanno, and Speech Pathologist, Matt Souza. Additionally, our students and teachers are supported by many highly qualified Teaching Assistant who serve our students.
Our special education department embraces the concept of the full-inclusion model for all students as allowed by the individuality of each student's IEP. The staff have attended various trainings to improve and expand our model of student services. We strive to ensure our students are able to achieve success to the maximum of their abilities in the areas of academics, social, behavioral, emotional and life skills. This requires adjustments to teaching and learning techniques and curriculum adaptations to meet the individual needs of
students. In addition to our inclusion training, all staff members have been attending an IEP Writing Seminar Series led by an outstanding consultant, Allan Blume. This training provides our staff with an increased understanding of IEP concepts to continually improve upon the development and consistent approach to writing student-centered IEPs. This district-wide training allows for an IEP that is significantly more “user-friendly” for all stakeholders involved by explicitly delineating the services and complex language of special education.
It is our goal to have a consistent pattern or flow to all IEPs and to develop a common language across all grade levels. A consistent pattern and language will allow our teachers a clear vision and direction for working with all students. We hope to continue to be able to serve the students in our programs in a manner that affords the best academic, social, emotional and life skills success as possible.
School Committee cORNER
It is hard to believe that this school year is in the final stretch. We have just four school committee meetings left, beginning with May 9. Last month, we reviewed and shared the results of the independent review conducted by Attorney Jeffrey Sankey. You can see the report here, but to summarize, the report stated that all procedures were appropriately followed in the Title IX investigations conducted in 2017 and 2018, but the language contained in the safety plans was not appropriate. The report recommended discontinuing the use of the safety plans as written, which the district has already done.
At the last meeting, the committee also heard an update from the young women who are participating in the coalition to advise the district on raising awareness and education in the high school about sexual abuse. It is wonderful to see such activism and passion among our students, and the committee is supportive of their efforts.
Regarding the committee’s next steps, vice chair Amy Mabley has been busy gathering and reviewing relevant school committee policies, in consultation with town counsel Suzanne Egan. When they determine which policies are most relevant and in need of revision, the school committee will discuss them in upcoming meetings. School Committee Clerk Helen Pickard is a member of the high school coalition and has been working with the students and parents to hear their concerns. We look forward to strengthening both our policies and our education and awareness around this important but sensitive issue.
Finally, the Educator Hall of Fame is now accepting nominations for induction in October. If you have a former teacher or administrator you would like to nominate, please click here. Our next meeting is May 9, 7pm.
Holly Vietzke-Lynch, Chair
Tweet of the Month
Congrats to Jason Martel and Bella Feng on being honored for academic excellence at Merrimack Valley Superintendents' Luncheon.
March School Committee
566 Main Street
May 9, 2019
May 23, 2019