Warrior Wednesdays

News from the Andover Public School District

Wednesday, November 7, 2018- vol. 10

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DON’T MISS IT! Andover Elementary Students on WCVB starting this week.

Set your DVRs! In September, WCVB- channel 5 visited all five elementary schools to record their “Good Morning Eye Opener” segments. You can watch the students in action wishing Boston area viewers a good morning from Andover Public Schools throughout the month of November!

  • Sanborn Elementary – November 9th
  • Bancroft Elementary – November 14th
  • West Elementary – November 16th
  • South Elementary – November 19th
  • High Plain Elementary- November 21st

The segments air at approximately 5:10 a.m. and repeat at 6:10 a.m.

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STUDENTS' SPOTLIGHT- Sanborn 5th Graders Create Lasting Mural

Fifth graders at Sanborn Elementary are excited to put the finishing touches on a mural that reflects the theme of Sanborn C.A.R.E.S. - (Collaboration, Acceptance, Responsibility, Empathy, and Stick-to-itiveness). The concept of the mural’s design emerged at the end of the last school year, when students engaged in a dialogue about how to communicate Sanborn’s values.

The design process for the mural was collaborative and hands on, facilitated by Artist in Residence Eric Bornstein. Each student in the 5th grade had something to add to the mural—about 75 pairs of hands total. Speaking with students Kara Zugel, Hazel Faulkner, Jai Kalwani, Emmett Salamone, Anna Deekan, Hannah Newman, Luke Fugere, Anushka Choudhary and Sanjith Kalphe, it’s clear that acceptance, cooperation and team work were the largest lessons.

When one class would leave the studio at the end of their session with Mr. Bornstein, he would work with the next class to add another layer to an existing panel of the mural, teaching the students that each person has a voice and perspective to offer. The work a student did would evolve and change over the weeks with additions from their peers; the final product reflecting the cultural diversity and inclusiveness at Sanborn.

Not only did the experience affect the fifth grade class who made the mural, it will impact the entire Sanborn community (students, staff, parents, and visitors) by becoming a permanent installation in front of the library that expresses the school’s core values to all.

FEATURED TEACHERS- Mindful Classroom at West Middle School

David Hughes, social worker at West Middle School, has been sharing his program, Mindful Classroom, for the past five years. Offered as part of Flex Time curricula, students learn strategies and activities to reduce anxiety, improve attention, focus, self-awareness, reflection and resilience. David and ELA teacher Shannon Witman collaborate on the program for 6th through 8th graders. Both find this to be the optimal age to introduce the concept of mindfulness to students.

A mindful classroom creates a safe and low–stress environment for optimal learning, promotes on-task behavior and helps to reduce distraction. David and Shannon begin each mindful classroom lesson with a few minutes of quiet focus or self-awareness. They teach students to focus more broadly on all five senses, not just what they see. The objective is to bring full awareness to each challenge or opportunity a student faces not only in the classroom, but as they move through life.

David and Shannon have presented this model at the New England League of Middle Schools, sharing their strategies with teachers around the region. David has been at West Middle School for 18 years and attended West as a student. Shannon has taught sixth grade English language arts for 13 years at West Middle School, and attended Doherty as a student. She recently participated in the New England Arts for Literacy project and co-teaches two mindfulness enrichment classes.

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On Tuesday, November 6, polls were open, the elementary schools were hosting parent conferences, and teachers and administrators from the high school and all three middle schools gathered to take part in the first segment of a year-long professional development initiative focused on culturally proficient teaching. Facilitating this professional development were staff from Facing History and Ourselves, a nonprofit educational and professional development organization that supports schools in studying racism, prejudice and anti-Semitism to promote the development of more humane and informed citizens. Founded in 1976 by two educators in Brookline, MA, Facing History and Ourselves has grown into an international organization, working with teachers, departments, schools and districts to foster empathy and reflection, improve students’ academic performance, and encourage active civic participation.

At APS, our student body hails from more than 60 countries, and more than 40 languages are spoken in their homes. One of our roles as educators is to learn about these different cultures and teach in a way that is culturally proficient. Our goal is to create a learning environment that reflects and honors the many abilities and cultures of our students.

In recent weeks our nation has witnessed a number of troubling incidents in which intolerant attitudes took the form of threatening and even deadly behavior. Though these events occurred hundreds of miles away from Andover, they continue to have an impact on our students and their view of the world. Facing History and Ourselves is assisting us in providing our teachers with the tools to help students work together with tolerance and respect so they can shape a society that values all people . . . a society that sees differences as something to explore and celebrate.

Building on this effort, on Tuesday, November 13, Andover Public Schools will celebrate World Kindness Day. Created in 1997 and observed internationally, World Kindness Day shines a light on some of the many good deeds that take place every day in our communities, focusing on every human being’s positive power and the common thread of kindness that binds us together. Teachers will be highlighting acts of kindness in the classroom, incorporating the theme of kindness into their lessons, and encouraging students to share ideas for practicing kindness at home. We hope that our focus on culturally proficient teaching and kindness will lift students’ spirits next Tuesday, while also fostering a sense of community and collaboration within our classrooms and schools. We encourage all parents to help us celebrate World Kindness Day by spending time with your children on November 13th in performing some special acts of kindness in your homes and neighborhoods.

Shelley Berman


APS Community News

Andover High Girls Soccer Team to Offer Turkey Dinners for Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is around the corner, and some in Andover are hoping to get gas turned back on in time for the holiday. The Andover High School Girls Soccer team is preparing fully cooked turkey dinners for those who can’t cook in their own homes.

A number of people have signed up and the team has the ability to handle more orders. Food needs to be ordered by the end of this week; if you’re interested please contact Coach Don Sheldon: DShel1@aol.com with “Turkey” in the subject line and your name, phone number and number of people you are serving in the email. The dinners are available at no charge thanks to a generous anonymous donor.

Full dinners will be available for pick up at Temple Emanuel in Andover on Thanksgiving morning. Each dinner will include a full turkey breast, mashed potatoes, stuffing, veggies and gravy, and will feed 6 people.

Lunch with a Special 1st Grader at West Elementary

Parents and guardians were able to spend some quality time with their first graders last week. Hosted by the West Elementary Student Council, all were treated a special lunch and recess! Lunch with a first grader is always a popular day at West El- over 125 adults attended this year!

Mexican Culture at South Elementary

Mrs. Zappas’ first grade class combined art and literature to study Mexican culture through the works of three prominent Mexican artists. Students read rich and exciting texts to learn about Jose Guadalupe Posada, Frida Kahlo, Pedro Linares Lopes and Dia de los Muertos. They also created calavera masks and alebrjies to represent the artists.

As a celebration of Dia de los Muertos and ending their unit, students took part in a performance of understanding that combined music and performing arts. The class performed for parents, students, staff and Dr. Berman.

Doherty Students Work to Help Their Peers

Team 7B students at Doherty Middle School made fleece blankets for six classmates and an Instructional Assistant who are without heat in their homes due the gas crisis in town. With the help of their teacher, Mrs. Kuda, this act of kindness warmed the hearts of both the recipients and the blanket makers!

Bus Driver Appreciation Day at Bancroft Elementary

Showing gratitude for our bus drivers continued this week at APS, with students and staff at Bancroft Elementary treating drivers to a little breakfast and music on Monday! We know how hard it’s been to navigate their routes this fall, and we are thankful for getting our students to school safely each morning!

Global Gala

The first annual Andover Youth Foundation (AYS) Global Gala was held on Saturday, November 3, 2018 at Andover's Old Town Hall. All proceeds benefit the Global Pathways Scholars, the Andover Portal Project, and the growing number dynamic global initiatives created for the youth of Andover.

Sleep Study Community Presentation

Join us for a community presentation on the effects of sleep on adolescents Tuesday, November 13, 2018 at 7 PM at the Veterans Memorial Auditorium, adjacent to the Doherty Middle School.

Dr. Judith Owens, Director of Sleep Medicine at Boston Children’s Hospital and Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School, will discuss the rationale for later school start times for middle and high school students. She will outline the basics of sleep and circadian biology in adolescence, the consequences of insufficient sleep, and the evidence supporting school start time change as a means of optimizing the health of students.

The School Committee is currently considering the implications of the Andover schools schedule on adolescents’ mental health and well-being, and potential impacts of changing start times within the district. We invite you to participate in this very important presentation.

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