All Around APS

News from the Andover Public Schools - January 7, 2022


AHS - "More Than Ready" campaign

We are getting a first look at the AHS students and staff starring in the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education's (DESE) public service announcement, "We’re More Than Ready.” The entire campaign begins on January 17th and will be featured across platforms, including TV and radio, digital and print ads, social media and mobile devices across Masschusetts.

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Holidays Around the World at Wood Hill Middle School

Wood Hill Middle School held their Holidays Around the World Doorway Decorating Contest before winter break. For the month of December, students researched meaning and customs of winter holidays celebrated around the world and created designs to reflect their traditions. Decorated doors were judged by the Wood Hill 'We Climb' Student Committee. The winners were: 6th grade Crew – Mrs. Billings, 7th grade Crew – Ms. O’Dea, 8th grade Crew – Ms. Conti and Mrs. Murray (tie).

DECA Award Winners at AHS

Last month, seventy Andover High School Students competed in the DECA District Competition in Boxboro, MA. DECA (Distributive Education Clubs of America) is an association of marketing students that encourages the development of business and leadership skills through academic conferences and competitions.

The following students placed in the top five (5) at the district competition and now qualify for the State Conference to be held at the Marriott Copley, Boston in March.

First Place

Catherine Machold – Apparel and Accessories

Ethan Shahbazian – Food Marketing

Second Place

David Gao – Accounting Applications

Nicholas Ventura & Xerxis Palsetia – Innovation Business Plan

Cameron Strong – Marketing Communications

Kamryn Cruz – Principles of Hospitality and Tourism

Third Place

Isabella Buckley – Apparel and Accessories

Theodore Hutchins – Automotive Services Marketing

Emily Flanagan – Business Service Marketing

Luke Suh & Marina Ten – Financial Services Team

Fourth Place

Christina Ahn – Accounting Applications

Amanda Lichtenberg & Samantha Daly – Buying and Merchandising Team

Sophia Hutchins – Hotel and Lodging Management

Karan Shome – Human Resources

Ryan Hu – Marketing Communications

Ava Sipley – Retail Merchandising

Maggie Mullen & Ella Waszkelewicz – Marketing Management Team

Fifth Place

Ayush Munot & Ethan Zabar – Financial Services

Isabella Laski – Principles of Marketing

From the desk of Dr. Parvey

I hope everyone was able to enjoy their winter break. As we return to school this week, I wanted to share some information and updates regarding COVID-19.

Since Monday, we have seen a marked increase in positive COVID-19 cases in the district, which aligns with the trends seen in Massachusetts and nationwide. We have enhanced our cleaning and disinfecting processes in all our school buildings throughout the school day, especially in high-touch locations. Our custodians are using the Clorox 360 machines in our school buildings daily; this system has shown to be safe and effective. Our staff have also been provided with additional supplies for cleaning and disinfecting.

I want to thank our educators and staff for their dedication to our students and commitment to providing in-person learning in difficult times. I am also very appreciative of our administrators who worked during the break to ensure the COVID-19 test kits were provided to our staff as they returned to schools this week.

Superintendents took part in a number of calls recently with the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE), in which the Commissioner has adjusted DESE’s protocols for PK-12 schools in response to the increase in cases across Massachusetts. More information on these changes can be found here.

The district has also made modifications to contact tracing by our school nursing staff. To help mitigate their workload, we will be adjusting COVID-19 contact tracing processes. APS nurses will no longer be available to perform contact tracing on weekends or during school vacation. Contact tracing will resume on Mondays or the next school day. Nursing staff will continue to call those identified close contacts less than 3 feet and unvaccinated. All other close contacts will receive written communication via email from the school.

As a reminder to our families and staff, DESE has not provided a remote learning option for districts this year, with the goal of in-person learning for our students. They have also encouraged us to use snow days if needed for any staffing challenges as a result of COVID-19. Additionally, DESE has not allowed remote learning as an option for inclement weather days at this time and has asked districts to consider a traditional snow day if there is a storm.

We are approaching the two-year anniversary of this pandemic and recognize the weariness of the ever-changing conditions, protocols, and variants. I appreciate the support of our community as we work to keep our students in-school this school year.

Magda Parvey, Ed. D.


District Notes

APS welcomes new staff

We welcomed Tom Howard to the district this week as APS’ Executive Director of Human Resources. Tom’s background in candidate recruitment, employee relations, employee evaluations, and negotiations will greatly benefit the district. Most recently, Tom served as the director of Career Development & Performance Management for the Middlesex County Sheriff’s Office. Tom brings over 20 years of experience working in both agency and corporate recruiting and human resources.

At the end of January, Gregory Hurley will join the district serving as our new K-12 Social Studies Program Coordinator. Mr. Hurley is 17-year veteran educator, having served as a social studies teacher and the Director of Humanities for Malden Public Schools. Mr. Hurley has expertise in curriculum development, instructional supervision and implementation of highly effective equitable instruction. We look forward to his leadership in his new position in the district.

Substitute Teachers and Nurses

APS has increased the per diem rates for substitute teachers and nurses. Effective January 3, 2022, the pay scale for substitute teachers is $85 for substitutes without a bachelor’s degree, $100 for substitutes with a bachelor’s degree or higher, $115 for substitutes who are retired Massachusetts teachers, and $125 for substitutes who are building-based.

Effective January 10, 2022, substitute nurses will receive $400 per diem for the remainder of the 2021-22 school year.

If you are interested in applying for an open position at APS, please visit our Employment Opportunities webpage to view a full list of openings.

Upcoming Dates

School Calendar

  • Martin Luther King, Jr. Day – Monday, January 17th (no school)
  • Elementary Schools – 2nd term ends on Tuesday, January 25th
  • High School – 3rd quarter ends on Tuesday, January 25th
  • Early Release Day – Friday, January 28th

  • The January 4th & 18th classes for Title III English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) at High Plain Elementary School has been postponed for the time being. We will communicate updates as they become available.

  • DESE has extended the ACCESS (ELL) testing window from February 10th to March 4th. Federal and state laws require that English learner (EL) students be assessed annually to measure their proficiency in reading, writing, listening, and speaking English, as well as the progress they are making in learning English. In fulfillment of these laws, EL students are required to participate in ACCESS for ELLs tests.

Holidays and Observances

  • Epiphany – January 6th
  • Orthodox Christmas – January 7th
  • National Mentoring Month – January

Community Updates

APS Service Day

In honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., students and families can participate in the 2nd annual Andover Community Service Day, an event that is a "day on" to give back to our community by volunteering for a service project.

How can you take part?

Review the service projects available at to look for volunteer opportunities.

If you're with an organization (PTO/PAC or other community-based group), consider being an ambassador to help coordinate and host efforts amongst your group.

Don't see a project that interests you? Submit suggestions for volunteer projects to add, either on the website or email

Andover Mobile Food Pantry

The Merrimack Valley YMCA is teaming up with Andover Elder Services to office a mobile food pantry for all ages on the second Wednesday of each month from 9A-11A at the Robb Center at 30 Whittier Court.

Dates for 2022: January 12, February 9, March 9, April 13, May 11, June 8, July 13, August 10, September 14, October 12, November 9 and December 14.

The Food Pantry will distribute bags of non-perishable groceries at this free resource, which is open to all in the community. For more information, visit or William Hernandez at or Jane Burns at

Parent to Parent- Speaker Series Virtual Events

Wednesday, January 26th - Rachel Simmons: Enough As She is: How to Help Girls Move Beyond Impossible Standards of Success to Live Happy, Healthy, Fulfilled Lives

7:30 PM-8:45 PM via Zoom - Advanced registration required.

Tuesday, February 1st – Dr. Adam Cox: Cracking the Boy Code – How to Understand and Talk with Boys

7:00 PM-8:30 PM via Zoom - Advanced registration is required.

More information on Andover Parent to Parent can be found on their website.