Amesbury Public Schools Update

From the Office of the Superintendent - November 4, 2022

Dear Amesbury Families,

I hope that everyone is doing well and that each of you has been able to get out to enjoy the recent warm stretch. Even though the leaves are past their peak, it is still a very pretty time of year. Warm days and cold nights are fabulous but signal that the winter is not too far away! Personally, I can wait a bit for it to arrive!


I want to begin with a bit of an apology for our bus transportation struggles. There have been a few significant losses of personnel at Salter and they are working to address those losses. I know that our principals are reaching out to families once they are aware that there is an issue. We are working with Salter to provide us with more timely information so that we can share that with you. I am confident that bussing will settle down into more regular routines very shortly. When you have concerns about transportation, please reach out to the specific building first and if they are not able to answer your questions or resolve your concerns, please contact Director of Finance and Operations, Joan Liporto at (978) 388-0507 or liportoj@amesburyma.org. Again, we thank you for your patience and understanding as we work through this challenge.


It was fantastic to see our 8th grade students arrive on the AHS doorstep to have their chance to see AHS in action. From all accounts, the visit was a success. Later that evening, families of 8th grade students had their opportunity to visit and see all of the fabulous things that are happening at AHS. I am certain that AHS Principal, Dr. Danielle Ricci, let all families know that if they have any questions to reach out to the administration for clarification or additional information. We are looking forward to welcoming the AHS Class of 2027 in September of 2023.


As we roll into the second week of November, students at the middle and high schools are working on closing out the first quarter of the year. At the high schools, grades close on November 10th and report cards will be published (in Aspen) on Friday, November 18th or Monday, November 21st. At the middle school, the quarter also ends on November 10th and report cards will be published (in Aspen) on Wednesday, November 16th. One of the primary keys to the success of every student is the communication between school and families. Please reach out to your child’s teacher(s) if you have any questions.


Thank you for your continued support of the Amesbury Public Schools! I am wishing everyone a happy and healthy November!


Sincerely,


Elizabeth McAndrews

Superintendent

Standard Response Protocols - Lockdown Drills

On November 16th and 17th, the District will be conducting LOCKDOWN Drills as part of the Standard Response Protocol. The lockdown is next in the progression of our practice drills. During a lockdown, students are trained to move away from sight, maintain silence, and not to open the door. Staff is trained to recover students from the hallway if possible, lock the classroom door, turn out the lights, move away from sight, maintain silence, do not open the door, and prepare to evacuate or defend.


In short, for this first lockdown drill we will simply be asking students and staff to lock doors, turn off lights and stay out of sight. We will not be using a scenario for the drill; instead, we will just say, "This is a lockdown drill. Locks, Lights, Out of Sight" two times.


During the drill, no visitors will be allowed in the school. Classrooms will be unlocked one by one with a uniformed policeman and a school administrator. Once the drill is complete. We will announce that the drill is over. Unlocking each individual takes a while. As a result, we anticipate that this drill will last longer than the previous two have.


A few weeks ago, Officer Morrill, Officer Burrell, Principal Mascia, and I walked through Cashman Elementary School and designed the relocation plan for that building to provide the maximum amount of safety for all students and staff. For safety reasons, we will not be sharing this information outside of the building, other than with the Amesbury Police.


I realize that this is a very anxiety provoking event - it is for all of us. Therefore, if your child needs additional support around this - either before or after the drill - please reach out to the principal, social workers, or counselors.


Thank you for your support as we work to keep our students and staff as safe as possible.


If you have additional questions, please feel free to reach out to me at elizabeth.mcandrews@amesburyma.org.


This link takes you to a handout that provides additional information. The website for even more information is https://iloveuguys.org.

Professional Development Day - Tuesday, November 8th

Election Day will soon be upon us! Voting for Amesbury residents will take place at Amesbury High School with polls opening at 7 am. We are asking that voters drive into the large parking lot and head towards the back. There is designated parking for voters near the cafeteria and the tennis courts. Voting will take place in the cafeteria.


Our teachers will be participating in professional development that day, so there is no school for students. We have a very busy schedule for all!

No School on Veterans Day, Friday, November 11th

We are honored to have the time to thank all of the veterans who have served our country over the years. School will re-open on Monday, November 14th.

AMS and the Boston STEM Showcase

In October, eight teams from Amesbury Middle School attended the Boston STEM Showcase. The students presented their information to industry professionals, including some who wanted to be educational administrators! These presentations provided the entry point for deeper conversations with those same professionals. A huge thanks to those students and Ms. Jennifer Donais for the time and effort they put in to get our AMS students out there!

Money for Rectangles

In October, Senator Finegold presented the City of Amesbury with a check for $100,000 to do work on our rectangle fields. At this time, we have targeted the CES field which is used by both boys and girls soccer and Amesbury Youth Soccer teams. We sincerely appreciate the support for our fields which need work!
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Around Amesbury

This week the Mayor and I spent some time with ACTV and friends at the Sgt. Jordan Shay Memorial Lower Elementary School. The Mayor and I were guests of Meryl Goldsmith who is the host of "Around Amesbury". When this airs on Channel 12, members of our community will be able to see a more personal look into the new school and learn a bit about how, when and why this transition will benefit both our students and our staff. Hope you can catch the episode when it airs!

Progress on Sgt. Jordan Shay Memorial Lower Elementary School

Thank you for taking the time to read this newsletter! Enjoy the fabulous weather and good luck to all of our teams as they begin the MIAA State Tournament!