All Around APS

News from the Andover Public Schools - June 17, 2022

APS PRIDE

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Congratulations to the AHS Class of 2022!

Commencement was held for 401 AHS graduates on Monday, June 6, 2022. Valedictorian Jade Nair and Salutatorian Stella Shen lead the procession into the Tsongas Arena, welcoming graduates and families to the celebration. This graduating class is an impressive and resilient group of young adults; we are so proud of their initiatives and accomplishments in academics, athletics, arts, social justice, and so much more. Best of luck to the AHS Class of 2022, we wish you the best with your future plans!

Lily Gregoire receives Gold Key medal at Scholastic Art Awards

It has been quite an exciting few weeks for Lily Gregoire. Earlier this month, Lily joined the Class of 2022 at graduation and then traveled to Carnegie Hall in New York City to receive her Scholastic Art Awards Gold Key medal. The Scholastic Art Awards is the nation’s longest-running and most prestigious award for creative teens. We can’t wait to see what Lily creates at the School of Art Institute of Chicago, where she will attend this fall.

Celebrating Juneteenth & Pride Month at APS

Schools across the district are celebrating LGBTQ+ Pride Month and Juneteenth this month. At High Plain Elementary, the Inclusion, Diversity, Equity Alliance (IDEA) Committee celebrated Juneteenth and Pride Month by sharing lessons on the importance of inclusivity and diversity and brightening the hallways to highlight these two important observances.


While June is Pride Month, Doherty Middle School celebrates and supports LGBTQ+ students all year. In April, students and staff honored the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network’s (GLSEN) National Day of Silence. Doherty Pride Club students and allies took a vow of silence to bring awareness on how their peers and teachers can be more inclusive at school. To celebrate Pride month and a successful year of school at DMS, the Pride Club hosted a party on Wednesday, June 8th. Staff and students were invited to listen to speeches and skits prepared by the Pride Club Members. These performances were geared towards pronoun awareness and that using correct pronouns is above all, respectful.


At Andover High School, you may have seen AHS Guidance Counselor Kimberly Bergey dancing in the hallways recently to celebrate Pride Month. As students arrived at school, staff joined Ms. Bergey to dance in the hallway, where they handed out Pride flags and stickers.

Juneteenth will be celebrated by the Town of Andover and Andover DIVERSE this Saturday, June 18th from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. The celebration of Juneteenth and Black traditions and achievements is open to all, more information is below in Community Updates.

APS HAPPENINGS

Volunteer Bilingual Read Aloud Program at South Elementary

Sarah Rose, ESL teacher at South Elementary recently received an ACE grant to start a “Volunteer Bilingual Read Aloud Program” where parent and community volunteers read books in several languages to South students. Parents took turns reading aloud with their child, in both their native language and in English. Books were read in Chinese and Portuguese with future plans to read in several other languages to help celebrate the wonderful and diverse population at South School. Students were engaged during the read aloud and learned how to say several words in a new language. The program helps to increase cultural awareness in all children, and helps students feel more comfortable speaking in front of others in their native language.

Bancroft Maker Night & Heritage Celebration

Bancroft School celebrated a night of S.T.E.A.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) on June 1st. The events highlighted the students’ creativity, talent and ingenuity and families were invited to attend the Grade 3, 4, & 5 Art Show, the Chorus Concert, and the K-5 MakerNight. Bancroft saw a great crowd, with over 350 people attending the event.


On June 9th, Bancroft families were treated to Heritage Night, an opportunity to celebrate the different cultures that make up the Bancroft community. Attendees grabbed their passports and explored “Country Tables” and artwork representing traditions in the lives of students. Families were also able to connect with friends in Kigali, Rwanda through the PORTAL and learn their culture, music, and literature.


We also would like to wish Ms. Costa the best and thank her for her commitment to Bancroft staff and families!

From the Desk of Dr. Parvey

Dear APS staff and families,


It has been a pleasure to participate in end-of-the-year celebrations with our students these past few weeks. Seeing our students beam with pride at graduations, moving on ceremonies, and celebrations of learning reaffirms why educators do what we do – to provide our children with the best opportunities and environment in order to promote deeper learning, provide a sense of community, and to support their social emotional growth and wellbeing.


As we begin our summer vacation, I want to take this opportunity to thank the community, students, staff, and families who have provided encouragement during my first year as superintendent. When I arrived in July 2021, my goal was to listen and learn from you all. I am appreciative of all who offered support and collaboration. Your insights and wisdom will help define the district’s goals as we move forward together. I wish you all a peaceful and restful summer break.


Magda Parvey

Superintendent

DISTRICT UPCOMING DATES & NOTES

We wish you all a wonderful summer! The 2022-23 school year calendar can be found on our website.


School Committee Informal Forum – Tuesday, July 12th virtual meeting


The School Committee welcomes the community to join a virtual informal forum on Tuesday, July 12th at 9:30 a.m. These forums have no set agenda, and the community is welcome to drop in at any time to speak with two members of the School Committee on any topics related to our schools.


Because these sessions are attended by only two School Committee members, they allow an interactive dialogue outside of the Open Meeting Law legal parameters. Issues raised at the forum that might require further discussion with the entire School Committee will be communicated during a regular business meeting. More information on how to join this virtual meeting will be shared with the community in a future communication.

New and Familiar Faces to join APS

Principal of Bancroft Elementary

It is a pleasure to announce that Beth Leavitt will join the Bancroft Elementary School as principal beginning July 1, 2022. Ms. Leavitt is coming to Bancroft Elementary following her tenure as principal at the Alice M. Barrows Elementary School in Reading, MA for the past four years. She has been an educator for 31 years and spent her teaching years as an early childhood special education teacher, first grade teacher and second grade teacher.


In her time as principal in Reading, Ms. Leavitt brought a sense of community to Barrows through strong communication and a respectful and open dialogue with her staff and families. She has built a culture of “anybody is welcome” and prioritized equity for all students. She completed her field-based experience to become a principal at APS, under the supervision of former principal at Sanborn Elementary, Patty Barrett.

Executive Director of Special Services

We welcome Nancy Koch to APS as the district’s new Executive Director of Special Services. Nancy is a familiar face to many, as she returns to the district following her time as the director of Student Services for the Newburyport Public Schools. Nancy served as the assistant director of Student Services for the Andover Public Schools from 2016-2020. She earned a Master of Arts degree in Education at University of California, Berkeley, and an Ed.S. degree in Educational Leadership from Gordon College.


In her role as Executive Director of Special Services, Nancy will be responsible for the overall quality of Andover Public Schools’ Special Education Program. Her responsibilities will include providing a vision for the program, working in partnership with the assistant superintendent of Teaching and Learning to develop collaborative special and regular education initiatives. In collaboration with the leadership team, Nancy will ensure that all students have equal access to educational opportunities at APS.

Executive Director of Technology Integration and Digital Literacy

Jennifer Starr will join the district as the Executive Director of Technology Integration and Digital Literacy. Ms. Starr joins us in July, having recently served as the director of Digital Learning and Innovative Educational Technologies for the Millis Public Schools. Her experience is developed from districts across Massachusetts, including as a classroom teacher, a K-8 Curriculum and Technology Specialist, and Digital Literacy Leadership Team Coordinator in Northborough and Southborough Public Schools and an English Language Art and Mathematics teacher and Technology Coordinator in Framingham, Massachusetts. Ms. Starr earned a Master of Education degree in Curriculum and Instructional Technology from Framingham State College.


In her role as Executive Director of Technology Integration and Digital Literacy, Jennifer and her team will provide APS staff and students with the supports needed in terms of technology and digital learning. Jen’s expertise includes finding ways to use technology to deepen and enhance teaching and learning, encourage student agency, and support digital literacy in daily lessons.

Executive Director of Secondary Instructional Operations

We also welcome Shereen Rancourt to her new position as Executive Director of Secondary Instructional Operations at APS in July. Ms. Rancourt is currently the principal of the Nettle Middle School in Haverhill, Massachusetts and previously spent nine years in the Malden Public Schools as an educator, interim director of STEM Disciplines - K-12, and principal at Malden High School. In these roles, Ms. Rancourt focused on academic rigor, multi-tiered systems of support and supportive school culture. Ms. Rancourt earned a Master of Arts in Educational Leadership at the Teachers College at Columbia University.


In her role as Executive Director of Secondary Instructional Operations, Ms. Rancourt will be instrumental in the coordination of district, school, and community initiatives to improve student achievement across all secondary curriculum areas, working in close coordination with principals, program coordinators, and the assistant superintendent of Teaching and Learning.

COMMUNITY UPDATES - From the Town of Andover

Celebrate Juneteenth with the Town of Andover

The Town of Andover and Andover DIVERSE are excited to announce its partnership with the Andover Baptist Church and the Social Justice Coalition of South Church to celebrate Juneteenth on Saturday, June 18th from Noon to 3 p.m. at the Robb Center, 30 Whittier Court. This celebration of 150 years of Juneteenth traditions and Black achievement and resiliency will feature a ceremony, noted speakers, educational exhibits, fun for children, music, and door prizes.

Andover DEI Youth Survey

There is still time for students to participate in the DEI Youth Survey, prepared by the Town of Andover’s DIVERSE Division. We encourage your children to participate. Andover DIVERSE (Diversity, Inclusion, Values, Respect, Support and Education) is a Division focused on advancing community-driven initiatives and engagement with the goal of building a more inclusive Andover. The survey is still open and students can share their thoughts here.

Memorial Hall Library Teen Summer Reading Program

Memorial Hall Library is gearing up for reading this summer. MHL offers a lot of great programs planned for teens and tweens, including their reading challenge, where teens who read for 10 hours this summer become eligible to win great prizes like free books, gift cards, a Kindle fire, and more! For more information about all of our summer reading programs for all ages, please see the MHL page here.