Volume 5 - Issue 2 October, 2019


The visiting team from the New England Association of Schools & Colleges (NEASC) completed a very successful 3-day site visit at North Andover High School this month. The site visit is part of the ten-year cycle in which Massachusetts public high schools participate in order to be accredited by the NEASC. Prior to the site visit, schools are required to conduct a 12-month self-study. After the completion of the self-study, the NEASC visiting team then evaluates each school in terms of the school’s own stated educational goals and the seven Standards for Accreditation of the Commission on Public Secondary Schools.

During the 3-day site visit, NEASC members met with teachers, parents and community members, visited classrooms and shadowed students. At the conclusion of

the site visit, the Team Chair spoke to all of the high school staff and praised the school's culture, commended the staff for their dedication to teaching and learning, and commended our students for sharing their perspectives and experiences. NAHS will receive a report within the next several months which will include commendations and recommendations that will ultimately assist in strategic planning actions for our high school.

I want to thank Principal Jackson and the NAHS Steering Committee Tri-Chairs, Caitlin Flanagan, Diane Freirmuth and Aimee Oteri, as well as administrators Steve Nugent, Scott Young, and Brooke Randall for their work over the past year to prepare for this important site visit.

HEY HEY HEY FROM human resources

Celebrating Teachers Night

On Wednesday, October 30, we’ll be honoring a number of special North Andover teachers from past and present. “Celebrating Teachers Night” will be held at the Stevens Memorial Library rotunda at 6:30 pm.

The School Committee will be inducting into the Hall of Fame two outstanding educators. Congratulations to the two inductees and their families: Kathleen Corkery Iminski and Anthony “Tom” McGowan! Both made incredible impressions on students and the district over their many years of teaching. We’ll also be spotlighting the 17 staff who have earned Professional Teacher Status in North Andover after three outstanding initial years in the school system.

They are: Alyson Dubzinski, Elizabeth Farr, Ann O’Neil, Lindsay Connolly, Susan Connolly, Tripp Dimauro, Sarah Forward, Dana MacDonald, Julie Moreau, Colin Batchelder, Rebecca Duchesneau, Patrick Furey, Vincent Griseto, Tom DiStefano, Garine Kazandjian, Meghan Picanco and Nicholas Traicoff. Congratulations to all!

Families and colleagues are welcomed to join the celebration of our honorees. Light refreshments will be served. Please RSVP to Greg Landry if you’d like to attend this event:

save the dates


This MASS STEM Week event will provide an opportunity for high school girls to meet with local women working in STEM fields and learn about their experiences. This event will be modeled after a Women's Career Day event held this past year. Keynote Speaker, Amanda Deveny-McNamar, Senior Manager, System Test Dept. for Integrated Defense Systems at Raytheon, will kick off the morning. Students will then meet in small groups with participants to learn more about specific jobs and the

challenges of being a female in STEM fields. They can ask questions and get advice on pursuing a career in STEM.

DATE: Tuesday, October 22, 2019

TIME: 8:00 to 10:00 am

LOCATION: North Andover High School 430 Osgood St., North Andover MA



This MASS STEM WEEK event will be a community building opportunity to introduce ABECC students and their families to STEM resources. Families will rotate through stations together and fill out a "passport" as they complete activities including counting the math way, making a Rekenrek, using a Code and Go Robot mice, building with magnetic tiles and trying out a green screen.

Date: Wednesday 10/23/19 OR Thursday 10/24/19 Time: 6:00 to 7:00 pm

Registration is Required: We want to make sure we have enough resources for ABECC students and their families, thus registration is required. The program is the same on both nights so please sign up for one night only.

No cost thanks to a grant from the Northeast STEM Network


Are you struggling to support your student with the "new math"? Do you feel like they are speaking a different language? The Massachusetts mathematics standards and Eureka Math can seem like a foreign language. Please join Kara Larcome, STEM Director, and Jen Hudak, Math Coach, to experience the "new math." Learn about Eureka Math and the Massachusetts Mathematics Standards so that you and your student can have a common understanding.

What: K-5 Math Models and Strategies

Date: Monday, October 28

Times: 9 - 10 am or 7 - 8 pm (Choose one)

Where: NAPS Central Office, 566 Main Street

Times: 9 - 10 am or 7 - 8 pm (Choose one)

Registration: Required-

We want to make sure we have enough resources; thus, registration is required. Please sign up for either the morning or night time session as the program will be the same for both sessions.

RAISING A READER - Strategies for supporting reading at home

Come meet Kristen Ando, North Andover's Humanities Coordinator, along with Anne Joyce and Jaclyn Taylor, elementary literacy coaches, to learn about ways you can help develop your child's literacy skills and promote a love of learning. Strategies for bridging the home-school connection will be presented and parent resources will be made available.

Please Join Us

Date: Tuesday, November 5

Times: 9 am or 7 pm

Where: NAPS Central Office, 566 Main Street


Franklin Elementary School

Welcome back to school, North Andover! Franklin is honored to be the first school highlighted in Dr. Gilligan’s Knightly News. Although we’ve only been in school for a little more than a month, it has been a month jam-packed full of amazing opportunities of teaching and learning. We have had a fantastic start to our year at the Franklin School, and that is in large part due to the amazing community of lifelong learners we have working within our walls each and every day. Our students have worked hard at consistently exhibiting their RAISE values throughout the school day with peers and adults, while focusing on their own personal goals. The Franklin staff works tirelessly to maintain high expectations for all students and to assist all students in reaching their goals. We couldn’t have accomplished all that we have without the unwavering support of our families and community. This year we welcomed many new staff members, including 3rd grade teacher Ms. Meeks, Interim PE teacher Mr. Griffin, Library/Media Specialist Ms. Alden, and many other staff members around the building. The school has been abuzz with excitement and RAISE - and it hasn’t stopped in over a month! As we begin the second month of the school year, I look forward to all that I know we will accomplish together and am inspired by what I have already seen. Let’s look at some of those highlights from the first month of the school year at the Franklin School:

We held our second annual Welcome Back Assembly on the second day of school this year! It was a wonderful celebration acknowledging where we’ve been and looking ahead to where we’re going. We focused primarily on our mission for the year - #RAISEUP1. It’s all about learning to put in a little more effort, a little more care and a little more attention to what we do in order to RAISE ourselves UP by 1. We discussed how at 211 degrees, water is hot, but when the temperature RAISEs up 1 to 212 degrees, it boils, creating steam, and steam can power an engine! Our students have already been working hard to RAISE themselves up a little more each day by taking risks, setting goals, and trying their best. Keep it up, Dragons, you’ve got 180 days to soar!

On the first day of school, we kept our incoming dragonling tradition continuing! In years past we always had a kindergarten clap-in to begin the circle that ends with our traditional 5th grade clap-out. This year, though, we welcomed our first incoming 1st grade students from the ABECC. On the first day of school, all incoming 1st graders and their parents/caregivers were welcomed into the cafeteria for a “Go Get’em” send-off to start their career at Franklin. The students came in excited and smiling, we lined them all up by class, and off they went! The parents/caregivers, teachers, and staff in attendance gave them a rousing round of applause as they walked out of the cafe and officially became Dragons. Good luck and we’re already so proud of you!

Franklin School is known far and wide for the positive vibes they put out for the New England Patriots each season - basically, we’re the reason they keep winning Super Bowls! Our first week of school is so much fun for so many reasons, but one of those reasons is our annual Patriots Spirit Day to kick off the year of Spirit at Franklin and the season for the PATS. One of the best things about Franklin though, is that our student body demonstrates Inclusion and Respect in everything they do - even spirit days! Each year, we have our die hard fans of teams other than the Patriots wear the gear of those teams, and we have a good, friendly time with it! We have Dolphins (as you can see!), Steelers, Ravens, Seahawks, JETS - it pains me to even type that one! :), and many other teams represented, but regardless of who’s jersey you’re wearing, we all know that we bleed the red and black of our Franklin Family and that trumps all. The spirit is high, the competition is respectful, and we’re having fun… what more can you ask for? GO PATS!

In addition to all elementary schools in NA and the ABECC, Franklin School has been awarded a grant to implement a language-free computer program called ST Math. Hopefully, you’ve heard about it from your child by now! They love playing with JiJi the Penguin and trying to get him across the screen. This program is all about thinking critically to solve a problem when you have no directions or language on the screen to guide you. It pushes our students to think about math differently and we’re getting a ton of positive feedback from students and staff. The wonderful thing for students is it appears to be a video game, but in actuality it’s teaching them math and problem-solving skills. The bonus for teachers is that the progression of ST Math aligns perfectly with the Eureka Math resources and affords them an additional opportunity to observe student growth! Overall, we’re one month in, and students are already making connections between their time on the computer and the lessons with their teachers! Check out these 3rd graders problem solving and helping JiJi out!

Students this year have already embarked on a new science adventure with Mystery Science. We started trying out this new resource last year and all elementary schools have taken advantage of it! Mystery Science hooks the students with some videos, teacher mini-lessons, and a great hands-on learning experience. Our students have been pushed to think about the “why” in science. The Mystery Science website refreshes our memory that when we were young and asked about the inside of the Earth, we were taught about the crust, mantle, outer core and inner core. But how did we KNOW that was true? Mystery Science has exposed our students to exploring scientific concepts more deeply and the response has been great. Our students have been enthralled in what they’ve learned so far and looking forward to what else the year in Science will bring (and it doesn’t hurt that Mystery Science is aligned to the Next Generation Science Standards!). Here we have some 4th graders building some roller coasters while learning about energy! WOOOOOOAAAAAAHHHHHHHH!

NAPS has continued its thoughtful roll-out of the Lucy Calkins Reading Units of Study, with 1st and 2nd grade fully adopting the resource and philosophy this year (and some upper grades have voluntarily taken on the challenge of adopting it as well!). Students are introduced to the Reading Workshop model which includes book clubs, reading partners, mentor texts, and, most importantly, fostering a love for reading. This workshop model has empowered our students to find meaning and learning through the teacher’s specifically taught strategies and then connect that learning to their own reading, not only on the day the strategy is taught, but every time they are reading! Students are excited because they get to share their experiences and ideas with their teachers during small group and/or individual conferences as well as with their peer partnerships. Check out these 1st graders participating in some partner reading! Two heads are better than one!


North Andover Schools Enrichment Council is a volunteer-run, nonprofit organization dedicated to the support, strengthening and enrichment of the North Andover school curriculum by providing in-school cultural and educational programs in the Sciences and Humanities. Founded in 1986, and comprised of volunteer representatives from each of the five elementary schools and the middle school, the NASEC is responsible for providing some of the students' favorite programming over their years in the North Andover Schools - the Whalemobile (1st grade) and Techsploration (5th grade) to name a few. The volunteers work closely with the District's curriculum coordinators to make sure that programming is age appropriate, supports RAISE values, and enhances the curriculum. Every year they provide feedback forms and an end of year survey to teachers to ensure programming is supporting their work, particularly for Elementary school STEM learning, where hands-on experiences are greatly appreciated. Programming also supports the humanities, in presentations on Poetry, or Music, or by bringing in Authors to discuss their work.

The first program of this year will be presented in mid-October to the 3rd Grade Students of North Andover. "People of the East," provided by Plimoth Plantation, will bring a Native American Museum Educator into the schools to discuss the lives of the Wampanoag people both in the 17th century and today, enhancing the Social Studies curriculum.

What's Happening at Stevens Memorial Library?

The North Andover Public School district and the Stevens Memorial Library present North Andover Reads “Service: In Their Footsteps,” a series of programs to honor our veterans and highlight the Christmas Truce of 1914, described by British historian Piers Brendon as ". . . a moment of humanity in a time of carnage . . . what must be the most extraordinary celebration of a Christmas since those notable goings-on in Bethlehem."

Join family, friends, and neighbors to read, watch, listen, and gather October 1 to November 21. Learn about the people of World Wars I and II: the soldiers, nurses, ambulance drivers, code breakers, and phone operators, as we recognize service, part of North Andover’s R.A.I.S.E. initiative. Find the full schedule and book lists at North Andover Reads, on the Library’s website Calendar, or brochures at the Library.

  • What to read? The Truce (Jim Murphy) or anything on the suggested reading list.
  • What to watch? Movies and dvds at the Library. For adults: the Peter Jackson documentary on the centennial of World War I’s armistice or the documentary of World War II’s Navajo code talkers. For children: watch the animated feature about the most famous dog in World War I. Or, view video biographies made by NAHS students.
  • Listen? October 16 NAHS teacher Brian Sheehy shares his experiences touring WW I battlefields and cemeteries through National History Day’s Memorializing the Fallen program; hear his eulogy for Lawrence’s Philip O’Connell. November 12 hear author Bethany Dorau describe how questions about a local monument led to the discovery of the letters and diaries that tell young Eben Bradbury’s story. Search OverDrive or the Library’s catalog for audiobook versions of the suggested reading list.
  • Gather? October 22 come meet local veterans who will share their experiences serving. October 27 Small Planet Dancers bring alive the music and dance of our World War II veterans. November 11 after the Veterans Day parade, join us in the Library to hear the Thomson and Kittredge Schools’ musical talent, enjoy a hot drink and admire the elementary schools’ Poppy exhibit.

Mark your calendars for November 19, 7:00 pm to hear Don Mullan, an Irish journalist, author, movie/documentary producer, activist, and humanitarian, speak about the Christmas Truce of 1914, the efforts to have the area named a UNESCO World

Heritage site, and other humanitarian projects. Arrive early (5:30-6:30) to visit the NAHS History Lab Open House. (Don will be speaking to some High School classes earlier in the day.)

All events are free, all are welcome. Please check if registration is required.

Student Projects - Librarians at Bradstreet and the five elementary schools are reading picture books to the students about World War I and the Christmas Truce. The students are learning about the significance of the poppy, a symbol of remembrance. They are busy making hundreds of poppies for the Poppy exhibit on Stevens staircase with the help of their art teachers. Middle Schools students are contributing a banner and their own poppies for the display.

In Their Footsteps and the commemorative pin - Thanks to NAHS teacher Brian Sheehy’s efforts, a third partner is joining us in North Andover Reads this year. In Their Footsteps is a New York-based non-profit organization whose “mission is to bring young people together to learn and draw inspiration for the stories, lessons, and contributions of past generations.”

NAMS and NAHS students, and adults, can earn a limited edition In Their Footsteps commemorative pin by completing 4 activities in the North Andover Reads Challenge Passport. Challenge Passports are available at the Stevens, or in the NAHS and NAMS libraries.

Thank You - Thank you to the Friends of the Stevens Memorial Library, the Stevens Memorial Library Board of Trustees, the North Andover Public Schools, and In Their Footsteps for their support.

P.S. Visit the Friends of the Stevens Memorial Library Fall Book Sale on November 1, 2, and 3. All funds earned support the Library’s programs like the ones above.

NAMS Art Students

Elementary Art Students

Volunteers begin hanging the students' poppies in the Poppy Exhibit at Stevens Memorial Library

Visit the Library's website and calendar for more events: www.StevensMemLib.orgStevens Memorial Library, 345 Main Street, North Andover978-688-9505

School Committee cORNER

By David Torrisi, School Committee Chair

I hope this edition of the Knightly News finds all of you well. It’s hard to believe that we are well into the school year, but the drop in temperature lately reminds me that we are indeed in the autumn season. The school committee has been meeting regularly and has been actively engaged with Superintendent Gilligan and his team. We have developed goals with the administration to deliver the best learning experience for all our students. We want to actively engage the school community and advocate for the necessary resources with the town leadership. We want to gather and share accurate information on district performance, policy and budget. This is vital as we begin to enter our budget discussions for fiscal year 2021. We are excited to work with our new town manager, Melissa Murphy Rodrigues, and are confident she will share our enthusiasm for our schools as we develop our operating budget and our capital plans.

The school committee is committed to engaging with all members of the public. We generally meet every other Thursday night and we welcome public comment at the beginning and end of each of our meetings. Normally, we meet at the school administration building, but we have been moving our meetings to other locations around town to demonstrate to the community that we want to be accessible. Check out our meeting schedule on the NAPS website to see when and where we will be meeting next.

Tweet of the Month

Great meeting with the North Andover Schools Enrichment Council Leaders, Karen Melota, Shelly Thomson and Aya Goldman

October and November

School Committee

Meeting Dates

566 Main Street

7:00 pm

October 17, 2019

November 7, 2019

November 14, 2019