All Around APS
February 9, 2024
From the Desk of Dr. Parvey
Dear APS families and staff,
I am pleased to provide updates on two major initiatives we are currently working on at APS; a comprehensive equity audit for the district and the search for a principal for Andover High School.
This spring, APS is conducting an equity audit with Public Consulting Group (PCG). The focus of the research is centered on the district’s culture and climate, instructional practices, and professional learning. Our goals are to identify potential causes of inequity in the school community and assist us in supporting equity, diversity and creating schools that are free from bias, prejudice, and discrimination for all of our students. Our efforts mirror feedback from a recent Tier Focused Monitoring review from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE). The review found an identified need for APS to conduct an institutional self-evaluation to address barriers to access for educational programming for underrepresented/marginalized students and disparities in student performance.
The audit will include a survey of staff, families, and secondary students, focus groups and on-site observations. In the coming week, we will be sharing a survey with our community, and I encourage your participation. Your voice is a crucial part of this important work. For more information, please review the frequently asked questions.
At the February 8, 2024 School Committee meeting, Dr. Henry Johnson from Hazard, Young, Attea, Associates (HYA), presented findings from the recent focus groups and survey and shared next steps on the search for the next principal of Andover High School. Dr. Johnson also presented the desired characteristics and a leadership profile based on feedback from the APS community. Based on community feedback, our next AHS principal should be courageous, innovative, and collaborative to serve the students and staff at AHS. I agree that an ideal candidate will believe in the stability of leadership and understands that education is a top priority for the Andover community. The position will be publicly posted in the coming days, and I look forward to further engaging the community in this process.
Dr. Magda Parvey
First Year Mentors receive professional development at AHS!
The First Year Mentor Program at Andover High School was piloted last year and fully established this year to help incoming students with the transition to ninth grade. Twenty-six upperclassmen are paired with each of the sixteen 9th grade advisory groups to mentor and lead the new class over the course of the year.
At the end of January, Ignite for Schools visited AHS and provided leadership and skill-building training to empower and equip students to be agents of social change within Andover High School. Support for this program was provided by Andover Coalition for Education (ACE). The objective is to develop an annual summer leadership program for AHS students to become leaders on campus.
Student leaders had opportunities to practice the art of conversation facilitation, public speaking, and advocacy. An important focus of social emotional learning is fostering emotional and social skills that are the core of mental wellbeing. The purpose of the Student Empowered Leadership (SEL) Lab was to instill an awareness of students' leadership roles and establishing a higher level of accountability for every student-leader.
All-State Musicians at AHS
Three Andover music students were recently chosen to participate in the Massachusetts Music Educators Association’s (MMEA) All-State Honor Ensembles. Abinaya Ganesh and Owen Finlay were accepted into the MMEA All-State Choir. Finn Scully was accepted as 2nd chair Euphonium in the MMEA All-State Honor Band. These students earned the opportunity to rehearse with elite musicians from across the Commonwealth and perform in concert at Boston Symphony Orchestra Hall on Saturday, March 23rd. This is the culmination of a rigorous and extensive audition process. Congratulations!
AHS Students excel at Harvard’s Model UN Conference
Twenty (20) student delegates from the AHS Model UN club recently participated in the prestigious Harvard Model UN conference alongside thousands of other students from all over the world. They represented the countries of Poland, Saudi Arabia, and India in various committees, seeking diplomatic solutions to various current global issues. Of note, several students received awards for their efforts in their respective committees:
- Diplomatic Commendation: Ty Li & Luke Organisciak
- Diplomatic Commendation: Ria Vaishnavi
- Honorable Mention: Cella Ventura & Sashwat Patcha
- Outstanding Delegate: Annesh Ratnala
- Diplomatic Commendation: Kyle Huang
- Diplomatic Commendation: Tyler Buono
AHS Model UN participants: William (Liam) Bennett, Tyler Buono, Sydney Call, Aarit Chauhan, Sean Conner, William Conner, Connor D'Angelo, Owen Finlay, Kyle Huang, Mitran Kumar, Hannah Lehmann, Canyu (Ty) Li, Daniel Lin, Luke Organisciak, Sashwat Patcha, Aneesh Ratnala, Anush Sambangi, Ria Vaishnavi, Manoel (Lucas) Tavares Vasconcelos, and Cella Ventura.
AHS Quiz Team qualifies for Season 15 of WGBH’s High School Quiz Show
Congratulations to the Andover High School Quiz Team as they qualified to compete in season 15 of WGBH’s High School Quiz Show! The first round match against Hopkinton High School will air on Saturday, February 24, 2024 at 6 p.m.
From L-R: Coach Alan Hibino, AHS junior Luke Suh, AHS junior Liam Bennett, AHS junior Collin Souza, AHS junior Aniketh Sherigar, AHS junior Gavin Bennett.
District Upcoming Dates & Notes
- Presidents’ Day/ Winter Recess – Monday, February 19 – Friday, February 23, 2024 – NO SCHOOL
- Early Release Day – Friday, March 8, 2024
- Lunar New Year (Year of the Dragon) – Saturday, February 10, 2024
Andover SEPAC welcomes APS Joe Yarid for a discussion on Anxiety
Please join Andover SEPAC for a discussion with Joseph Yarid, LICSW and director of Social Work for Andover Public Schools.
Anxiety is one of the most common categories of mental health disorders in the US impacting almost 6 million children (9.4%) between the ages of 3-17 years old. In this discussion, we will talk about some of the signs and symptoms associated with stress/anxiety, as well as strategies students and parents can put into place to try to alleviate some of the negative impacts of anxiety.
A look inside the West Elementary and Shawsheen Preschool Project!
School Committee Corner
The School Committee met on Thursday, February 8, 2024. Items on the agenda included the annual presentation of the AHS Program of Studies, the AHS class size report, and a presentation to the Committee from HYA Associates on the search for the next principal of Andover High School. HYA Associates shared the results of their recent focus groups and surveys in the district, as inputs to the Leadership Profile and Desired Characteristics of the next AHS principal.
Meetings are held in the School Committee Room at Central Office, 30 Whittier Court – 2nd floor and are broadcast live by AndoverTV via Andover public access television (Comcast Channel 99 and Verizon Channel 43) or by streaming from www.andovertv.org. Recordings of these meetings are posted on Andover TV’s Video Archive under the School and Building Committee Meetings webpage.
To view meeting minutes from previous meetings, check out the School Committee’s meeting minutes archive page.
The next School Committee meeting will be held on February 29, 2024. Agendas are posted up to 48 hours in advance and can be emailed directly to those who are interested and sign-up for “Notify Me” alerts on our website.
About the FY25 Budget
On February 8, 2024, the public hearing for the FY25 Recommended School Budget was held. The School Committee appreciates the participation of the Andover community on the delivery of education to our students. To assist our families with any questions about next year’s budget, we have created a list of frequently asked questions. We encourage you to review these topics as the process continues.
The Superintendent will present the district’s final version of the budget on February 29, 2024. This budget will be presented to the Select Board and Finance Committee at the Tri-Board meeting on March 2, 2024. The School Committee will hold its final budget vote on March 7, 2024. The school department budget is funded as part of the Town Manager’s Fiscal Year Budget, to be voted as part of Article 4 at Annual Town Meeting, which begins on April 29, 2024.
There’s a Policy for That! – IGA/IGD – Curriculum Development and Adoption
Each year the School Committee reviews and votes on the Andover High School Program of Studies under Curriculum Development and Adoption policy, IGA/IGD. The Committee recognizes that review, adaption, development, and adoption of curriculum is necessary to meet the needs of students in the district.
The presentation by the AHS principal and the director of guidance outlines an overview of courses available at AHS, graduation requirements and core values. This document is reviewed and voted on by the Committee each year and assists students and families with course selection at Andover High School. This annual presentation and vote comply with School Committee Policy IGA/IGD and constitutes its adoption of the curriculum for official purposes.
All School Committee policies are available for the community to reference through a searchable manual.