Amesbury Public Schools Update

From the Office of the Superintendent - September 2, 2022

Dear Amesbury Families,

Well, it is officially here! Labor Day Weekend truly marks the start of the school year.

This summer has been a very productive one. The administration has been hiring new staff to complete our team (at last count 48 new staff members), the Cashman Elementary School received an impressive external facelift, and the Shay Elementary School is right on schedule for its substantially complete date of April of 2023. I know it will take some time to get used to the flow of traffic at CES for this year, so I am asking everyone to be patient and understanding as we work through the new pattern. This pattern will only be in effect for this year. Once the new building is open, the driveway will extend from the Upper Elementary Campus (CES) to the Lower Elementary Campus (SMS). It is truly exciting to see the new building taking its form. Mr. M and I visited a school in Woburn last week to look at furniture for the new school. There are so many choices. We were lucky that there were teachers present in the school and they shared their feelings about the furniture and set up in classrooms which will help us in our final decisions. Mr. M and I are very excited about our options!

This past week, staff from all levels participated in professional development. The offering included different facets of Academic Excellence, Building Relationships, Culturally Responsive Practice and Restorative Practices. Each workshop tied back to at least one of our Core Values: Communication, Academic Excellence, Relationships, and Equity and Inclusion. This summer my Leadership Team and I have worked diligently to identify and explicitly state our Core Values, Mission and Visions. We are excited to continue the work of developing a District Strategy that will further guide our professional development, budget development and overall prioritization of resources.

To say that we are excited to have the students back on Tuesday would be an understatement! I cannot wait to be in the buildings to see and hear the excitement and watch the students return! As I have often shared, my favorite part of the job is being in the classrooms. I just can’t wait.

I know that there is a lot of anxiety around change and transitions, so if I or my staff can assist you or your families in any way, please do not hesitate to reach out. One last relevant piece of information, all school personnel have emails that end in .org and NOT .gov. We made this transition over the summer. The majority of email addresses are formatted like this: a few email addresses are set up like this: At this time, emails sent to .gov accounts are being forwarded to .org accounts but I wanted to make you aware of this change so that you can work to make the shift.

I hope that you have a fabulous and relaxing Labor Day Weekend and I look forward to seeing everyone at school on Tuesday!

See you soon,

Elizabeth McAndrews


Core Values, Mission, and Vision Statements

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Bus Routes

Bus routes for the 22-23 School Year can be found at this location. To register for bus transportation, please use this link.

AEFI Awards the Steve Gerber - Stroke of Genius Award

On Thursday, AEFI presented their Stroke of Genius Award to AHS teacher, Sarah Luz. Sarah first joined the Amesbury Public Schools in August of 2018. Since that time she has been a visionary and consummate team player. Sarah was nominated and selected because of her work with the AC3 Program (Amesbury Career and Community Connections) and the addition of a PAES (Practical Assessment Exploration System) Lab. Through this program, students are assessed on their competitive work potential and interest level, while simultaneously exploring various jobs, using real tools and developing proper work behaviors in a variety of work areas. (PAES website
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Important COVID Updates for School

I was truly hoping that I would not have to include anything about COVID in my newsletter. However, I think it is important to note the key updates here:

  • School nurses will NOT be administering COVID tests at school
  • Face masks continue to be optional, except in the health office where they are required.
  • Nurses and schools are NOT tracking COVID exposures or COVID positive cases

The expectations for return to school after testing positive remain the same as it was at the end of the school year.

  • Students and staff who test positive must isolate for at least 5 days.
  • A return is possible on Day 6 as long as they are fever free for 24 hours without the use of medication AND symptoms are improving.
  • Masking on days 6-10 is recommended unless they test negative prior to Day 10.

Please find additional DESE guidance on COVID Isolation and Exposure for Schools and COVID-19 Matters in Schools for Fall 2022.

Safety Tip - Back to School Photos

Please take a moment to review this safety tip shared by our Chief of Police, Craig Bailey.
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Changes to MCAS Score Requirements

On August 15, 2020, the Massachusetts Board of Education voted to increase the MCAS score requirements for graduation beginning with the class of 2026 (incoming freshmen). Students will be required to attain a scaled score of 486 on both the English and the math MCAS tests. Currently, a 472 is required in English and math already requires a score of 486. Science and technology or engineering will require a scaled score of 470.

AMS School Council Opening - Parents of Grade 5 Students

There is an opening on the AMS School Council for a 5th grade parent representative. Meetings are held once a month, during the school year, with the first one being held on the evening of Wednesday, September 28th at 6:30pm. This would be a 4-year commitment, until your child completes 8th grade. To apply for this position, please provide a short biography, including the reason you would like to serve on this committee, to Carey Creps: (or send a hard copy to the main office) by Monday, September 12th. The ballot of interested candidates will be sent to 5th grade families for a vote later that week. Thank you!

Greenstone Gives

Check out the information below. We all know how important having students continue doing what gives them joy and provides consistency. Great resource!
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School Lunch Information

Please read the letter from Chartwell's, our food service provider, regarding some key information about school lunch - including the fact that lunch is FREE for all students this year.

Additionally, please see below for assistance in loading funds into your child's account.
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Standard Response Protocol

Last March, Officer Jon Morrill came to a Professional Release Day and reviewed the Standard Response Protocol (SRP) with our staff. During this year's opening PD days, Officer Morrill returned and reviewed the the SRP and added some additional information about the "Stop the Bleed" Program for our staff. For those staff members who were interested, Officer Morrill offered additional training in the "Stop the Bleed" Program. Judging by the number of hands that went up, there are many staff members who are interested!

In addition, Officer Morrill and some of his local colleagues will be conducting training exercises at AHS on Monday, September 12th, Tuesday, September 13th and Friday, September 14th. I know that they are looking for role players for the 14th. More information to follow.

Over the summer, Deputy Chief Donovan and I met to establish training dates and times for all schools in the areas of Hold, Secure, and Lockdown. Please see the attached SRP flyer for additional information on what each of those entails.

Standard Response Protocol - Parent Handout

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School Calendar 22-23

Please use this link to access the School Calendar.

Progress on the Sgt. Jordan Shay Memorial Lower Elementary School