Volume 4 - Issue 2 October 1, 2018
North Andover High School and the New England Association of Schools & Colleges Accreditation
Did you know that every ten years public high schools in Massachusetts participate in a review in order to be accredited by the New England Association of Schools & Colleges (NEAS&C)? So what does this review mean for North Andover High School? Accreditation indicates that an educational institution has conducted a self-evaluation of all of its programs and has hosted a visiting committee to evaluate the institution in terms of its own stated educational goals and the seven Standards for Accreditation of the Commission on Public Secondary Schools. This year North Andover High is completing their self-study and will host a visiting team in September 2019.
NEAS&C defines accreditation as a research-based set of practices and concepts that provides guidance to school personnel on all aspects of the education of the young people under their care. The Standards are typically reflective of current trends in research on public education, and NAHS will receive a report next year with commendations and recommendations which will ultimately assist in strategic planning actions for our high school.
For more information on the accreditation standards check out the following link: NEAS&C's 7 Standards.
DID YOU KNOW
8th Annual Knights in Training
Saturday, October 20, 2018
Each year a special trophy is awarded to the one North Andover elementary school with the highest participation rate!
Who will bring home the trophy for 2018?
The Knights in Training Kids’ Run (for kids under 12) will be held at NAHS on Saturday, Oct. 20, 2018.
Registration Fee: $10.00
Check-in begins at 8:00 am
Kids’ Run begins at 9:00 am
ALL participants receive a race bib at check-in, a Knights on the Run band bracelet, and lots of great giveaways!
Register online at www.knightsrun5k.com
Questions? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Community Programs is excited to announce that we have recently opened our 7th Kids Stop / Breakfast Club location at the Anne Bradstreet Early Childhood Center and are fortunate to have the opportunity to provide the ABECC students with before- and after-school programming. Also, keep an eye out for our Fall Excel Enrichment brochure which will be distributed via email on October 1, 2018.
We have a wide variety of classes being offered district wide beginning the week of October 22, 2018. Classes will include: Minecraft, Hip Hop Dance,
Lego Robotics, Global Child Spanish, Gym classes, Intro to Sewing, Arts and Crafts, Acting / Theater workshops, NA CAM Studio workshop, Taste Buds Test Kitchen, Driver Education, SAT Prep, and Pottery to name a few!
A complete list of programs will be listed on the Community Programs Excel Enrichment page of the district website. You can register for courses online through our community pass system or in person in our office at 566 Main St., Central Administration Building. Please contact Community Programs at 978-794-3080 with any questions.
By Kristen Ando
There are many changes to the way MCAS data is reported this year. The Massachusetts Department of Education uses the MCAS data in English Language Arts, Mathematics, and Science/Technology Engineering to inform schools and districts on their strengths and areas of growth. At this point, the data can be used for planning purposes, and teachers are looking at the data and examining how they can improve their instruction for students. For example, our elementary teachers are looking at the ELA, Math, and Science Item Analysis data, the Massachusetts Standards and the current units of study in order to make the best decisions they can for students.
Schools are measured in two main ways, Progress Toward Improving Targets and the Accountability Percentile. The Progress Toward Improving Targets
number is comprised of information concerning achievement, growth, English learner progress, and chronic absenteeism for our elementary and middle schools; and those measures, as well as advanced coursework completion, are included at the high school level. All of these metrics are boiled down to a single number between 0 and 100.
The second measure for schools is the Accountability Percentile. An accountability percentile between 1 and 99 is reported for most schools. This number is an indication of a school's overall performance relative to other schools that serve similar grades and is calculated using data for all accountability indicators. School percentiles are not calculated for districts. MCAS results will be going home to parents on Friday, October 5.
ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT AND ENDEAVORS
High School Spanish Exchange Program
Tearful goodbyes were the proof of a successful exchange! North Andover High School hosted the Spanish Exchange from Saturday, September 8 to Wednesday September 19. This annual event allows young people from Spain to visit North Andover and stay with host families and host staff. Our students often build life-long friendships that start with this experience in North Andover. Thanks to the hard work of Spanish teachers Meredith Prior and Ashley Gravel, we are able to coordinate a wonderful experience for our community. The trip includes family days, school days, hiking, trips to Boston, presentations at North Andover Middle Schoo,l and culminates with a good- bye dinner where host parents provide food and desserts. Our students will be going to Spain in February to experience the Spanish culture from February 17 through March 3, 2019, and can't wait to reunite with their friends as the adventure continues.
National Merit Scholarship Commended Students
On Friday September 14, High School Principal Chet Jackson presented the students listed below certificates for being recognized as 2019 National Merit Scholarship Commended Students. Commended Students are recognized for the exceptional academic promise demonstrated by their outstanding performance on the qualifying test used for program entry. National Merit recognized our students based on their PSAT scores. Of the 1.6 million students that took the 2017 PSATs last October, the identified students scored within the top 50,000 highest scorers. The recipients of commendation are: Talia Brown, Soumil Dhayagude, Nour Douffir, Derek Gilmore, Haley Gove, Francis Hearst, Avinash Kumar, Kathryn Smid, Kaira Vo and Brian Woke. Daniel Ludwiszewski was absent from photo.
Understanding Our Differences
For the fourth year in a row, students in grades 3 through 5 will be putting together jigsaw puzzles, completing dot-to-dots, playing charades and weighing Lego blocks all in the name of inclusion.
Understanding our Differences is a program that has taken off here in North Andover. It originated in Newton, MA 40 years ago. Created by parents of children with disabilities, over 30,000 elementary school students have been educated on learning disabilities, as well as physical and intellectual disabilities, autism, chronic medical conditions, deafness and hard of hearing. Through slideshows, videos, hands-on activities, and guest speakers living with the topics discussed, students learn what it is like every day for people with these disabilities.
Over the years, it’s been shown that through this program, children learn to accept and feel comfortable around those with disabilities. One child said he didn’t know how to talk to a child with Down Syndrome, but after the program, he said, “I know to just walk up to them and say hi.” Another high school student who spoke about her learning disability to the younger students wrote her college application essay on the experience. She said it “forced her to come
out of her comfort zone, and it was empowering.” Finally, a fifth grader wrote that the autism program made her “think about treating everyone with autism extra thoughtful...especially her brother who has autism.” This program is run by hundreds of volunteers that are made up of parents and school staff. Parents can have children in any school, in any grade, with or without a disability. No experience is necessary for volunteering, and a parent does not need to have a child in special education. Training is online and very easy to view in about 20 minutes. It only takes about one hour in the morning at one of the elementary schools. Volunteers can help out as little as one morning per school year or at all 30 programs.
To find out more information, including UOD’s history as well as how to volunteer, please go to www.understandingourdifferences.org , www.northandoverpac.com , and to http://www.northandoverpublicschools.com/departments/student-services/special-education/understanding-our-differences .
If you have any questions or to volunteer, please contact Maureen Ryan and Heidi Watters at UoDofNA@Gmail.com .
What's Happening at Stevens Memorial Library?
1,000 Books Before Kindergarten Reading Program
Reading to a child is one of the most powerful ways to boost their skills. The simple and enjoyable act of sharing books helps a child learn pre-reading skills such as understanding the sounds letters make, developing a larger vocabulary, and building background knowledge — all important skills that help prepare a child for learning to read and entering kindergarten.
Join us at Stevens for the 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten reading incentive program for children ages birth to 5 years. Visit the Children’s Room to get more information about the program and check out some books. If you read just 3 books a day you will reach the 1,000 books goal in one year!
Kindness means sharing and spreading joy! Kayla and Dylan Coolidge are so generous . . . look at all of the books they are donating!!!
School Committee cORNER
Well, September certainly brought more than our typical beginning-of-school-year fun. This past month made our usual start-of-school bus delay concerns seem like paying a penny more for gas. From the logistical issues of the opening of the ABECC to the gas explosions, Superintendent Gregg Gilligan has been working tirelessly and endlessly each weekend since (and including) Labor Day weekend solving problems, addressing parental and faculty concerns and ensuring the safety of all of our schools and students. Dr. Gilligan and his leadership team directed traffic in all kinds of weather the first week of school and jumped in to help with lunch and recess duty. North Andover is very fortunate to have leaders in town that the school committee would like to recognize and thank for all of their work behind the scenes this past month.
Priorities for the school committee this month include hearing from all the schools regarding their MCAS successes and plans for improvement, voting to name the wrestling room at the high school, reviewing school and capital
improvement plans, honoring our newest member of the Educator Hall of Fame, Barbara McGovern, former Franklin School classroom teacher, and celebrating with all the teachers who have earned Professional Teacher Status during the ceremony on October 24 at the Stevens Memorial Library. Everyone is welcome and encouraged to attend this lovely event in the library rotunda.
Our October meetings are listed below and are also televised on the local cable access channels.
Holly Vietzke-Lynch, School Committee Chair
October School Committee Meeting Dates
October 11, 2018 and October 25, 2018
566 Main Street Conference Room
Tweet of the Month
Local, state and federal officers are thankful for Middle School support through hundreds of thank you cards.