Page Hilltop Paws-itively News

January 2020

Principal's Thoughts

Welcome back to school and the beginning of 2020! We hope you had a relaxing and enjoyable holiday vacation break. Page Hilltop was a very busy place, leading up to the holiday. Good tidings of holiday joy were in abundance. We enjoyed a wonderful evening of music with our school chorus and ukelele band. Prior to the evening performance we held two daytime performances for all of our students to enjoy. Students in classrooms were enjoying a variety of holiday-themed learning activities. Our Panther Leadership Team students visited the residents of the Apple Valley Medical Center to sing holiday songs and distribute kindness cards. Our students, staff and PH families collected hundreds of holiday cards & gifts to share with our newest friend, Carlos, who is a six-year-old awaiting a heart transplant at Children's Hospital.

As we head into a new month and a new year (January 2020), our school will continue to seek out opportunities for celebrating kindness, empathy & compassion. We hope that all of our PH families will join us. In just a few weeks, we will celebrate the beginning of the "Great Kindness Challenge" on January 27th. Please watch for additional news coming soon and hopefully you will be able to attend our GKC assembly program on the 27th (9:30am)

May we break down boundaries, tear down walls, and build the foundation of goodness within each of us.

May we look past differences, gain understanding, and embrace acceptance.

May we reach out to each other rather than resist.

May we practice gratitude for all we have, rather than complain about our needs.

May we seek cures for the sick, help for the hungry, and love for the lonely.

May we share our talents, give our time, and teach our children.

May we hold hope for the future very tenderly in our hearts.

May we do all we can to build bright tomorrows.

May we love with our whole hearts, for that’s the only way to love.

Fred Deppe, Principal ...................................Denise Levesque, Assistant Principal

978-772-8600 x1400 ....................................978-772-8600 x1426


PH students Lacey & Johnny Fritz visited their cousin, Carlos, at Children's Hospital over the holidays. Shown in the background are some of the many holiday cards that our school sent to Carlos. Thanks to all of our students, staff & families for creating the cards. Thanks also to the Adamson family and the Heart Warriors Foundation for their support.

Children's Stage Adventures

January 1, 2020

Dear Parents,

We are pleased to announce that Children’s Stage Adventures will be conducting a theatre residency at Page Hilltop School. CSA will be producing a musical play called The Prince and the Pauper, which will involve approximately 50 children (in grades 1 -5) The performances will take place in the Cultural Arts on Friday, February 7th, 2020, times TBD. A brief synopsis of the play follows.

The Prince and the Pauper, based on the novel by Mark Twain, is a delightful story centering on Edward, Prince of Wales, and Tom Canty, the son of a beggar. When a chance encounter gives them a glimpse of the other's life, the boys take the opportunity to experience a way of living that they'd always envied. Edward puts on Tom's worn-out clothes and has a chance at freedom from constantly being told what to do, while Tom enjoys Edward's luxurious lifestyle. It becomes increasingly clear, however, that neither Edward nor Tom knows how to behave in their new environments. Things soon go haywire for both boys, causing them to switch back... without forgetting the lessons that they've learned.

Student roles include: The Canty Family, the Tudors, Tom’s Court of Urchins, Edward’s Attendees, a Gang of Ruffians, Prince Edward and Tom Canty, and the Royal Guards.

(Optional - There will be a chorus of students to assist with the songs throughout the play.)

Students will also be cast in the very important roles of assistant directors, which includes being rehearsal assistants during the week and important technical assignments on show day.

The tour actor/educators from Children’s Stage Adventures will be conducting auditions for the play on Monday, February 3rd, beginning promptly at 3:30. There is no guarantee that everyone who auditions will be cast in the play. Children planning to audition should arrive by the scheduled starting time and plan to stay for the entire two-hour session. No advanced preparation is necessary to take part in the auditions. Upon being selected for a role, you will be required to pay a $20.00 participation fee.

Rehearsals will be conducted from 3:30 to 5:30 and 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. every day of the week prior to performances. Although not all cast members will be needed at every session, those auditioning must have a clear schedule for the entire week, and if selected, be able to attend all rehearsals for their role. A detailed rehearsal schedule will be distributed at the conclusion of the auditions.

The first rehearsal will begin about 30 minutes after the auditions. Approximately 16 children will need to stay for this important first rehearsal. (Optional - A snack will be provided for the children asked to stay for the first rehearsal.) Cast members scheduled to rehearse for the full four hours in one day will be asked to bring a sack meal or snack.

(The tour actor/educators from CSA will be Scott McGee and Makenzie Moorman. This is the team’s first tour with CSA though both have extensive backgrounds working with children in theatre.)

This is Children’s Stage Adventures' twentieth tour year. CSA has traveled to more than 200 towns in the northeast US and Canada casting more than 50,000 local children in musical productions. CSA is a non-profit organization supported in part by charitable donations. This coming year hundreds of cast members will take to the stage to the delight and applause of their families, friends, communities, neighbors and teachers.

The residency in is made possible by the Ayer Shirley Education Foundation!

Thank You!

Fall Lego League

Just a quick note of congratulations to all of our 4th and 5th grade Page Hilltop FLL Team members. All of the teams performed well on Saturday against some very tough competition. I believe one of the other out-of-district teams won big at last year's second round qualifier at WPI. Remember: the FLL covers students in grades 4-8, so our teams have a lot to be proud of.

This was our 8th season of FLL at Page Hilltop, and I can't believe how far we've come. Of course, none of this would be possible without the support of Ms. Cirrone, Ms. Oppenheim, and Ms. Fusco (our coaches), Sean, Eris, and Olivia (our student mentors). Additionally, supportive and generous as always were Fred Deppe, Dr. Malone, Beth Lewis, Christine Miska, Gail Januskiewicz, Peggy Carlson, everyone at the Ayer Shirley Education Foundation, Bemis Corporation, and the Andromeda One team. Thanks to all the parents who gave their kids the opportunity to be part of this great program. And an additional shout-out to Ms. Rawlinson who jumped in to coach one of the teams when one of our mentor coaches was unavailable.

We will host some sort of celebration later this school year. I'd like to tie it into the JrFLL program showcase, most likely in the spring. Our Lego Camp will be held this summer--info about that will be released later this year.

If you took any photos that you'd be willing to share, please do.

Thank you!

Holiday Concert

The Page Hilltop Winter Concert was a wonderful event! We had two performances on December 18th, during the day for students and one in the evening for families. The chorus sang songs for the holidays and the season including, “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch,” featuring a cameo by Mr. Deppe! The Ukulele Club performed four songs including, “Silver Bells” and “Feliz Navidad.” The last song of the concert was called, “Winter Fantasy” which featured both the chorus and ukuleles, and even had audience participation! The grand finale, was “The Twelve Days of Christmas” featuring teachers and staff members from the Page Hilltop Community. Throughout the concert, various students spoke about their family traditions around the holidays, which included many different cultures. A great time was had by all!

Notes from the Nurse

Notes from the Nurse

Flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that infects the nose, throat, and sometimes the lungs. It can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. The best way to prevent flu is by getting a flu vaccine each year.

Flu season runs from October to May. It's best to get a flu vaccine as early in the season as possible, ideally by the end of October. This gives the body a chance to make antibodies that protect from the flu. But getting a flu vaccine later in the season is still going to prevent a lot of flu. It takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body and provide protection against influenza virus infection.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends a flu vaccine for everyone 6 months of age and older. Flu vaccine is available at your health care provider’s office, most pharmacies and some urgent care centers. Please call to schedule an appointment for a flu vaccine for yourself and your children.

Harlem Wizards

No, this is not something from the next Harry Potter book! The Harlem Wizards will be returning to Ayer to play a benefit game against the PH Panthers basketball team on Thursday, January 23rd! Those of you who attended this game last year (or in previous years) know that it will be a fun-filled family event, showcasing some amazing basketball skills (mainly by the Wizards), audience participation, inter-active half-time show, food, fun & souvenirs! At the conclusion of the game, all of the Harlem Wizards remain on the court to take photos and sign autographs - free of charge. I recently returned from a trip to French Lick, Indiana where I sought out basketball wisdom from the legendary Larry Bird! Okay, well maybe I did read some of his books. We are very excited to be hosting a spectacular new team of Wizards - the "Showtime Unit". They will be visiting all of our students during lunches on January 16th and are ready to put on an amazing show for all of you on the 23rd. Last year's event was a sell-out so you will want to get your tickets early. We will also be holding a random draft to select a couple of parents who would like to play on our school team. Watch this week for a special Harlem Wizards news flyer coming home via backpacks and email.

The Wizards Are Coming Back!

Thursday, Jan. 23rd, 6:30pm

141 Washington Street

Ayer, MA

The Harlem Wizards vs The Page Hilltop Panthers Basketball Game

Wednesday, January 23rd 6:30 pm (Doors open at 5:30)

Get your tickets at the Page Hilltop Office or on-line at:

Note: Tickets will NOT be sent home prior to the game. There will be TICKET PICK -UP

tables at the entrance to the gym on the night of the event.


Follow the Voyage of the TS Kennedy

As we return from our holiday break, some our students and teachers will be preparing to set sail for a two-month voyage on the open seas. We will be joining the cadets of the U.S. Maritime Academy as they depart from their home port on January 10th for a training cruise aboard the USMA's historic training vessel - the TS Kennedy. Three of the cadets who will be on board are former Page Hilltop students & graduates of ASRHS: Robert Houde, Tyler Landry and John Derek Delcore. While our students will actually remain at school, they will be involved by taking a virtual voyage across the seas. Cadets on the TS Kennedy will be sending out daily blogs and videos of life on the ship. They will be providing STEM lessons that connect their training on the ship with learning that is going on in the classrooms. History and Social Studies lessons will be occurring as the TS Kennedy visits various ports around the globe. For our participating 3rd graders, there will be a special tribute to the 400th anniversary of the sailing of the Mayflower. Cadets will be providing "compare and contrast" lessons relative to the voyage of the Mayflower and the voyage of the TS Kennedy. Participating teachers are Mrs. Reilly, Mrs. Arsenault, Mrs. Bezerra, Mrs. Holmes, Ms. Cirrone, Mrs. Greenwood, Mrs. Carter, Mr. Pulizzi, Mr. Whittemore & Mrs. Marshall.

2019 - 2020 Panther Leadership Team (PLT)

Our Panther Leadership Team (PLT) is a very special group of students. Membership is comprised of 4th and 5th graders who apply for membership each year. To obtain membership in the PLT, students submit a personal writing in which they describe why they wish to be a PLT member as well as ideas they have for helping to promote a positive school culture at Page Hilltop. Throughout the year these students are expected to demonstrate good attendance, positive behaviors and consistent work habits. The objective of the Panther Leadership Team is to develop leadership and social-emotional skills within these students. We meet after school, on a monthly basis, to plan special school events as well as community service projects. This past fall our PLT students helped with the coordination of our annual Veterans Day program. In December we visited the residents of the Apple Medical Center as we sang holiday songs and distributed holiday cheer cards. This school year we also plan to conduct a food drive, visit the "Loaves & Fishes" food pantry, help with the planning of the upcoming Great Kindness Challenge, visit with the residents of the Nashoba Park Assisted Living Center, volunteer at a local animal shelter, plant flowers at Town Hall & participate in a fundraising car wash. 2019 - 2020 PLT members are: Josh Bly, Jillian Cambridge, Jill Copeland, Sophia Cormier, Lily DeBlasio, Jake Delyani, Isabella D'Ambrosio, Alana Foye, Evan Gibbons, Liliana Healey, Leksi Herbst, Cole Hillman, Lindsey Kaplan, Jayden Kouagheu, Olivia Kreamer, John Marble, Jaliyah Mayes, Jack Mayo, Lilly McEwen, Antonio Mendez, Sarah Minear, Elliot Murray, Zoie Paulmann, Carla Pileeki-Fernandes, Caydence Pinchott, Summer Richard, Evelyn Roy, Emma Stewart & Naylani Villaronga

Language Clubs

Our school community is fortunate to have many families from around the globe. We currently have students, enrolled at Page Hilltop, whose families come from North America, Central America, South America, Europe, Asia & Africa. Many of our students are able to speak more than one language. We love to celebrate the fact that we are a multi-cultural school community.

We are planning to hold some after-school enrichment classes that allow our students to learn some basic conversational language skills (other than English). To do so, we are seeking parents (or family members) who are fluent in a language other than English and would be interested in sharing their language skills with our students.

If you would like to be involved in our World Language Club, please contact Mr. Deppe with information on the language you would like to share.

Winter Wear Available

As a school community, we are here to help all of our families in need. During these cold winter days, we would like to offer some supports to any student or family member who might need our assistance.

* We have a substantial collection of winter wear (jackets, snow pants, scarves, boots, hats) that have donated by our caring PH families.

* We also have two "Mitten Trees" standing in the upper and lower hallways of PH. Hanging on these trees are winter hats, mittens & gloves. These have also been donated by PH families and friends. We would also like to recognize and thank members of both the Ayer Police Department & Ayer Fire Department who collected several boxes full of winter wear items.

Our students know that they are welcome to take any item, off of the Mitten Trees, that they may need. Our teachers and counselors are also looking out for students in need. We welcome any and all parents to contact us with any needs they may have.

January Lunch Menu

Please click here to view lunch menu

Dates to Remember

January 9th: PTO Meeting

January 10th: PTO sponsored Family Movie - The Abominable 7:00 pm (doors open at 6:15)

January 14th: PLT meeting (3:15 pm)

January 16th: Harlem Wizards visit our school & students

January 20th: No School

January 23rd: Harlem Wizards Basketball Game (6:30 pm)

January 24th: Half-Day Dismissal (12:15)

January 27th: Great Kindness Challenge assembly (9:30 am)

January 29th: Progress Reports sent home

January 29th: PLT members volunteer at the "Loaves & Fishes" food pantry

Family Support Services

The William James INTERFACE Referral Service is a mental health and wellness referral Helpline available Monday through Friday, 9 am-5 pm, at 888-244-6843 (toll free). This is a free, confidential referral service for individuals across the lifespan living in participating communities. Callers, from participating communities, are matched with licensed mental health providers from our extensive database, on average, within 2 weeks of their call to INTERFACE. Each referral best meets the location, insurance, and specialty needs of the caller.

To learn more about this program, go to:

APAC Videos

Our school district is very fortunate to have a collaboration with APAC (Ayer Public Access Corporation). Scott Kurland and his APAC crew come to Page Hilltop to videotape many of our school activities and events. You can view these at the following site: