All Around APS

News from the Andover Public Schools - December 2, 2022

APS Pride

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Sanborn Elementary School celebrates its 43rd Harvest Festival

Students and staff at Sanborn Elementary celebrated the annual Harvest Festival, with students performing in-person for the first time in two years! As a part of the annual tradition, Sanborn students, staff, and the PTO collaborate to bring gift bags to the Robb Senior Center and perform for the seniors. As a thank you, the “Sunrise Singers” from the Robb Center perform for students and staff at Sanborn during the Harvest Festival. This year’s performance was recorded by Andover TV and is available to view on their website.

Career Day at AHS – Health Sciences

In its second year, the Career Speaker Series at Andover High School is providing students with the opportunity to hear from experts in a variety of career fields during H-block. On Monday, November 28th, professionals in the field of Health Sciences presented to students in the Collins Center.


The AHS Career Speaker Series is a collaboration of the AHS MyCAP (My Career and Academic Planning) and the AHS Guidance departments.

From the Desk of Dr. Parvey

Thank you for your support of the West Elementary and Shawsheen Preschool Project!


At the December 1st Special Town Meeting, voters approved additional funding for the West Elementary and Shawsheen Preschool Building Project. Economic challenges across the country, including supply chain issues, labor shortages and inflation presented the need for the West Elementary and Shawsheen Preschool Building Committee to request the funding from the community. The affirmative vote will keep the construction phase of the project on schedule. Construction began earlier this year, and the news schools are expected to open in 2024 (West El) and 2025 (Shawsheen).


This week’s vote was a critical step forward for us all and I appreciate the engagement of the community. Your dedication and vision to provide educational opportunities for our children is an investment all families in the district deserve. I look forward to watching the new schools take shape in the coming years and seeing our students and staff benefit from your commitment.


Dr. Magda Parvey

Superintendent

Updates from the Special Services Department - By Nancy Koch, Executive Director of Special Services


DESE’s Tiered Focused Monitoring Review

For the past few months, the Special Services Department has been preparing for the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) Tiered Focused Monitoring review. Every three years, Massachusetts public and charter school are reviewed by DESE through the Tiered Focused Monitoring system and the process is broken into two groups.


Group A focuses primarily on special education standards with a minor focus on civil rights. Group B is considered the mid-cycle review with the primary focus on civil rights, licensure and professional development. In addition, the mid-cycle review examines parent, student, community engagement, classroom observations, time on learning, and equitable access for students.


The district has completed our self-assessment, consulted with and met our designated reviewer from DESE. On December 6, 2022, two reviewers from DESE will come to APS to conduct the on-site visit. Each DESE reviewer will visit three schools and interview principals to ensure that all students have equal access to facilities and academics.


The review concludes on December 7, 2022 with an interview of Dr. Magda Parvey, Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Julie Riley, Assistant Superintendent for Teaching and Learning, and Nancy Koch, Executive Director of Special Services. Once all data is analyzed, the district will receive a final report.


SEPAC

The Special Education Parent Advisory Council (SEPAC) facilitates collaboration between families, the district and staff, the School Committee, and the community in order to promote inclusion, understanding of, respect for, and support of all children with neurodiverse needs in our community.


SEPAC holds virtual meetings monthly and in-person social events. Each virtual meeting includes some informational presentation such as Basic Rights: Understanding the IEP, ADHD and Executive Functioning, and understanding a psychoeducational report. In addition, information pertaining to one’s child entering special education is also discussed.


Families are encouraged to visit SEPAC’s webpage for upcoming events, including their monthly virtual meeting scheduled for Tuesday, December 6th at 7 p.m. If parents have questions or concerns regarding SEPAC, they are encouraged to reach out to the co-chairs, Melissa (andoversepacchair@gmail.com) and Lauren Kinney (andoversepac.chair1@gmail.com).

District Upcoming Dates & Notes

In case you missed it! The 2023-24 school year calendar is now available for our families and staff!


  • Friday, December 9, 2022- Early Release Day


Season of Giving

With the joy the holidays may bring, they can also be a challenge for some families. Many of our schools accept donations to provide to families facing challenges during the holiday season. If you would like to offer support, or are a family in need, we encourage you to reach out to your school directly. All donations and recipients remain anonymous and will be kept in strict confidence.

Andover High School Building Committee- Virtual Public Forum


The Andover High School Building Committee will be hosting a public forum to provide information and solicit feedback on a potential Andover High School facility project. The architecture firm HMFH and Building Committee members will give an overview of current facility conditions, the process being undertaken to develop options for improvement, and feedback received to-date. The forum will be held virtually on Thursday, December 8, 2022 at 7 p.m.


Zoom link to join: https://zoom.us/j/92753400497?pwd=TjE4VlZHQVZ3bjJmOEhtUm4va25oUT09

Meeting ID: 927 5340 0497


For more information on the AHS Building Committee, visit the website.

Global Pathways Scholars Endorsement Program

On Thursday, December 8th, we are holding an informational session for parents of 8th, 9th, and 10th graders about The Global Pathways Scholars Endorsement Program at Andover High School. The meeting will be in the AHS Library from 6:30-7:30 p.m.


The Global Pathway Scholars (GPS) program is a three-year experience for students to thrive as global scholars in our complex, dynamic, diverse and ever-changing global society. GPS students are guided by faculty advisors as they travel their global path through coursework, immersive experiences, service learning, a Capstone research project, annual Global Summit and ongoing enrichment experiences during H blocks and after school.


The three-year program leads toward the Endorsement for Global Engagement on student transcripts and the AHS graduation diploma. During the information session, the Global Advisory Team will explain each component of the program and be available for a Q&A afterward.


Please don’t hesitate to contact Jiyoung Song, AHS Latin Teacher, at jiyoung.song@andoverma.us if you have any questions prior to the meeting.

West Middle School Drama Club presents Elf the Musical


The West Middle School Drama Club will present Elf The Musical JR. on Friday, December 9th at 7:00 pm, Saturday, December 10th at 7:00 p.m. and Sunday, December 11th at 1:00 p.m. at the West Middle School auditorium at 70 Shawsheen Rd. Andover. Tickets are $10.00 and can be reserved and paid for in advance (by December 8) by visiting: https://payments.efundsforschools.com/v3/districts/55647. Tickets may also be purchased at the door. For more information on the show please call 978-247-5400.

STAY CONNECTED with APS

Communication with our families is essential to the success and wellness of our students. To assist our families and help them connect with the appropriate staff who is best suited to answer questions, we have updated our “Who We Are” page on our website. The information will guide families to resources on how to reach staff with concerns and how to stay connected to news and events across the district.

School Committee Corner

The School Committee met on November 30, 2022. Items on the agenda included a Technology Integration and Digital Literacy presentation by Jennifer Starr, APS Executive Director of Technology Integration and Digital Literacy. Ms. Starr updated the Committee on the EdTech Team’s efforts this school year, including strategic planning, the role of Instructional Technology Facilitators (ITFs), and the implementation of Schoology.


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 Thursday, December 15, 2022. 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. All School Committee policies are available for the community to reference through a searchable manual.


School Committee Informal Forum – Saturday, December 17th

The School Committee welcomes the community to join them for a virtual informal forum on Saturday, December 17, 2022 at 9:30 a.m. The forum will be held virtually via Zoom. Registration is required for participation and can be done at any time.


Register in advance for this meeting:


These forums have no set agenda, and the community is welcome to stop in at any time to speak with two members of the School Committee on any topics related to our schools. More information on School Committee informal forums, including upcoming dates, is available here.

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What are the Mission, Core Values, and Vision of the District?

Beginning this past summer, the School Committee and district administrators began work to update the district’s mission, core values, vision, and strategic direction during a series of workshops. The School Committee also met last month for a workshop to continue discussion on the District’s Strategic Roadmap.


On Monday, December 5th, we will provide our community with a survey to gather feedback on the draft document, specifically the:


  • Mission: Our Core Purpose with Distinction
  • Core Values: Drivers of Our Words and Actions
  • Vision: What We Intend to Create



Consultation with our community through survey feedback will be a valuable resource in finalizing the district's strategic plan. We encourage you to review the current version in advance of the survey. We encourage you to participate in the upcoming survey, which will be released via email. Your feedback will be shared at a future School Committee meeting.

Community Updates

Holiday Happenings

Join the Town of Andover on Friday, December 9th beginning at 5:00 p.m. as we celebrate Holiday Happenings! Take a stroll down Main Street for holiday entertainment, photos with Santa, or carnival rides! Horse drawn carriage rides and food vendors will be outside Andover Town Offices and events for families are available at the Andover Youth Center. Top off the evening with fireworks at 8 p.m. at the Playstead at Whittier Court!

Andover Health Division offers free COVID-19 test kits and hosts COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic

Covid-19 Test Kits – The holidays mean family gatherings, and that means potential exposure to Covid-19. Free test kits are available at Memorial Hall Library, Town Offices, and the Robb Center.


Andover Health Division will be hosting a COVID-19 vaccination clinic on Thursday, December 8, 2022 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Robb Center, 30 Whittier Ct. Vaccinate Rx will be providing the vaccine.


The Health Division will be offering the age/series appropriate Bivalent Pfizer and Moderna COVID Vaccines, both initial doses and boosters:


  • Pfizer vaccines available for ages 3+
  • Moderna vaccines available for ages 18+


More information is found on the Andover Health Division’s website. Please click here to schedule: select Pfizer or Moderna: https://www.appointmentquest.com/scheduler/2250024227?schedule=andover

The Robb Center presents My Own Voice on Thursday, December 8, 2022

Enjoy a concert by My Own Voice on Thursday, December 8th at 6:30 p.m. My Own Voice is a group of students with physical, cognitive, and developmental disabilities or impairments. My Own Voice is unique, there are no other after-school music programs for children with special needs like this one. Registration is request by calling 978-623-8320 or visit www.myactivecenter.com

Andover Parent 2 Parent welcomes Bonnie Harris – Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Andover Parent 2 Parent invites the community to a virtual workshop with author Bonnie Harris on “When Your Kids Push Your Buttons & What You Can Do About It” on Tuesday, December 6, 2022 from 7-9 p.m. For more information on this speaker and upcoming events, visit the Andover Parent 2 Parent website.