Amesbury Public Schools Update

From the Office of the Superintendent - May 6, 2022

Dear Amesbury Families,

We have turned another page on the calendar. I cannot believe that we have a little more than 6 weeks left in this school year. I am certain that the weeks will fly by as the number of events at each school increases and we begin the celebratory phase of the year. This past Monday, we kicked off the season with the junior prom. It was fantastic to see many of the pre-pandemic traditions back in place. The promenade went off with out a hitch and the community came out to see and celebrate them. Atkinson Country Club served as a beautiful venue for the evening.


The celebration continued into the next week with the Excellence in Education Luncheon on Monday, the Sgt. Jordan Shay Memorial Bowling Tournament yesterday, and the AEFI Hall of Honor events tonight. Busy, busy, busy.


Next Friday night, AMS will host the AMS Idol in Landry Stadium (weather permitting). I am lucky enough to have been asked to serve as a judge. I am embarrassed to admit that this will be my first Idol - but I am really looking forward to it.


Please make sure to check the polys and the newsletters for upcoming events in your child's schools. I look forward to seeing you out and about!


Sincerely,


Elizabeth McAndrews

Administrative Assistants Week

Last week, the AHS and Central Office Administration recognized their administrative assistants for the incredible work that they do! We are so thankful for the time, effort, and commitment they give to support our students and families. You are all FABULOUS!
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ASSET, i love u guys, Youth at Risk Conference Presentation, and Inforce 911

ASSET

In August of 2021, we held our first ASSET (Amesbury School Support and Empowerment Team) meeting. As we prepared for a return to school fully in-person, we anticipated that there would be increased needs for the members of our school community. To that end, the leaders of our community services, school, city, police, fire/rescue, and Pettengill House met all together for the first time. Our goal was to enhance communication between organizations to better support students, to improve the well-being of both students and families, and to improve the sense of community and connectedness as we emerged from the height of the pandemic. At the same time, we knew we needed to reconnect in terms of school safety as we were going to be back in school full time. Thus, ASSET was officially born.


For me, this group has been an amazing resource. The level of knowledge, experience, commitment, passion and dedication of my teammates is beyond impressive. On Monday night's school committee meeting, we gave an overview of the work that we have been doing over the past year. Some of those things include reviewing data and statistics, planning for school drills, debriefing our response to community incidents that have involved the school, and planning for systemic change.


Our biggest project thus far is to use the NEMLEC Stars Toolkit to revise, create, and implement collaborative and integrated crisis response protocols, located in one all-inclusive document, for the Amesbury Public Schools District by 2024. As part of this process, we will include proper communication and training for staff, faculty, students, parents/guardians and the community as a whole. When this is complete, it will be an incredible resource for our school community. A sample of how the response flow chart will go is shown below.


For the full presentation please follow this link: https://schools.amesburyma.gov/Page/9442

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i love u guys

Prior to COVID, the Amesbury Public Schools utilized concepts from the ALICE Training to drive their school safety protocols and practices. Since that time, based on real life experiences, the Standard Response Protocol has been slightly modified. The i love u guys foundation has developed crisis response programs that are research based and implement best practices. According to their website, their programs "are used in more than 30,000 schools, districts, departments, agencies, organizations and communities around the world." At the March 16th, professional development day, Officer John Morrill and Lt. Kevin Donovan spoke with our district staff about the revised terminology and how the responses are not much different than what we have done in the past. Staff was also informed that we will be conducting low level drills in all schools before the end of the school year. The dates and nature of all drills will be communicated to all students, staff, and families prior to them happening.


I have included a document from i love u guys that provides the basic information of the Standard Response Protocol.


If you have any questions, please reach out to your building administrator or directly to me. We are happy to answer any questions.

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Youth at Risk Presentation

The Youth at Risk Conference is offered each year as a way for professionals who work with at-risk youth to learn, share and grow. Typically, guidance counselors, adjustment counselors, social workers, and licensed medical health providers are the ones who attend this conference. Historically, some our guidance and adjustment counselors attend each year.


Because of the unique and collaborative work that ASSET is doing, we submitted a proposal to present at the conference this month. We are excited to say that the session is full and we are looking for a larger room!

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In Force 911

This software provides "in time" notifications to all connected personnel including police, fire/rescue, and school staff. As part of the standard response protocol, school personnel are expected to respond based on the information that they have. With In Force, staff members will have immediate access to information to help with their response to an incident. In addition, they will be able to add information in order to update emergency responders as well as other school personnel. This direct communication to the police will decrease their response time as compared to having to route the call through the regional system. This will help our students and staff. The application also includes BeSafe digital floorplans to provide additional information for our first responders.


Please check out the information sheet below.

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Excellence in Education Award Winners

On Monday, May 2nd, the Excellence in Education luncheon was held at Flatbreads. Each award recipient was recognized by the person or people who nominated them. Prior to hearing all the great reasons for each person's recognition, recipients and guests, through the generosity of Flatbreads were treated to an outstanding meal of pizza, salad, and brownie sundae. The meal and the ceremony itself were excellent! Congratulations to the recipients:


Front row: Nicole Quadros, Susan Kimball, Chrystal Florent, Jennifer Hawrylciw

Second row: Karen Pratt, Pauline Fitzgerald, Sarah Luz, Lori McCrevan Klucznik, Cathy Mamokos

Back row: Linda Lynch, Luke Alley, Evan Melanson

Missing from picture: Rae Pritchett

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Building and Grounds Updates

There are several things in the works at the Amesbury Public Schools:


  • The RFP for the 2 HVAC units was posted in the third week of April and proposals are due by Friday, May 20th. From there a team from Central Office will review the bids and award the job to a vendor.
  • Similarly, the RFP for repairing the AMS roof over the Performance Center went out. The proposals are due on the same day, Friday, May 20th. We will follow the same process for this as for the HVAC units.
  • A small team is currently in the process of reviewing the proposals for a Food Service contractor. At this time, Chartwells is our Food Service Provider. We received three proposals, including Chartwells, and look to award the job early next week.
  • We are waiting for engineered drawings from SLR, an engineering company, to design drawings for the high school baseball field. Once we receive those drawings, we will do an RFP for that work. It is our hope that this project will begin in the early summer. It is very likely that the varsity baseball field will not be able to be used until next spring. We understand the pressure that this places on the summer baseball season; however, the field needs significant modifications and repairs. This will also impact the field hockey season this fall. To that end, Athletic Director, Glen Gearin, has already begun working on an alternative venue for the field hockey season.

Nursing Notes

Please see the latest Nursing Notes Newsletter with some key information about Flu A and continued COVID testing.


https://www.smore.com/upnmg

Ty Sells

On April 27th, PACT (Partnership of Amesbury Community and Teens) as part of SPACES, (Student, Parent, and Community Education Series), hosted Ty Sells from Youth to Youth International. Mr. Sells spoke with high school students in each grade by day and held an evening event for families. Mr. Sells message to families centered around how to have difficult conversations with young people so that the message is heard. By making your message Practical, Receivable, Interesting, Memorable, and Engaging (PRIME) it is more likely that the message will be heard and will have an impact.
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Technology 3-5 Year Planning Committee

It has been a while since the Technology Planning Team has been convened. To that end, I have asked for staff volunteers to work to develop a plan that effectively prepares our students for the future in terms of technology. The group will look at technology needs, integration of technology into the classroom and increasing access to content for our students through the use of technology. I am seeking representation from all buildings, both technology and non-technology teachers, administration, our IT Team, a member of the School Committee, and other community stakeholders.


It is my intent to convene this team once this year to set the dates for next year's meetings and to ensure that all members understand the purpose of the committee. Should you be interested, please email me at elizabeth.mcandrews@amesburyma.org. Please share your interest no later than Friday, May 20th. I anticipate our meeting taking place during the week of June 6th. More information to come.

Wellness Committee

By state law, each district is expected to have an established group of school staff and concerned community representatives to recommend, review, and help implement school district policies addressing school nutrition, nutrition education, physical activity and related issues that affect student health. We are looking for members of the staff, the Amesbury community and the student body. If you are interested in participating on this committee, please contact our nurse leader Kristin Tierney at kristin.tierney@amesburyma.org.

AEFI Hall of Honor

Today and tonight, AEFI will be recognizing this year's Hall of Fame Honorees:


Former Student - Dr. Jessica Cassavaugh

Friend of Education - Jason Regis

Former Educator - Billie McLane


During the school day, students at AHS are able to hear the stories, accomplishments and the connections that the honorees have to the Amesbury Public Schools. The presentation is followed by a smaller question and answer session where students can ask questions of any of the honorees.


Later that evening, a reception during which a silent auction will be held will take place in the Amesbury High School lobby. The ceremony will begin at 7:15 pm in the Francis Lawlor Auditorium.


As a point of information, honorees are nominated by peers and members of the community, with the AEFI committee selecting a former student, former educator, and a supportive friend of the Amesbury Public Schools. Their plaques are permanently displayed in the Amesbury High School lobby.

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Faces of the Central Office

Our Facebook Series continues! Since you first met Daniel in the last newsletter, we have introduced three other Central Office members.


First, Matt Bennett - Director of Buildings and Grounds



Responsibilities: Overall safety and maintenance of all of the schools in the district


How to Contact: (978) 388-0507


On the Personal Side: Matt has been married to his wife, Victoria, who is an attorney for 26 years. They have a son Gehrig who is 19 and, yes, he was named after Yankee great, Lou Gehrig. Gehrig is a Yankee fan....his dad, however is not. Matt has a dog named Pearl who is a German short-haired pointer.


Favorite Color: Green


Favorite Food: Chicken (not particularly fussy, but chicken is the favorite)


Favorite Movie: "Stalag 17" with William Holden


Hobbies: Read and then fall asleep! Matt has the entire signed, first edition of everything Robert Parker has ever written.)

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Sarah St. John - Special Education Secretary

Responsibilities: Offer support for the Director of Special Education/Student Services


How to Contact: stjohns@amesburyma.gov or (978) 388-0531 ext. 7013


On the Personal Side: I am blessed with a beautiful, blended family. We have our own crazy version of the Brady Bunch, but without the much needed Alice!


Favorite Color: Orange


Favorite Food: Nachos


Favorite Movie: Dead Poet's Society

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Joy Berube - Finance Manager

Responsibilities: Accounts Payable/Receivable


How to Contact: joy@amesburyma.gov


On the Personal Side: I have two beautiful daughters, two amazing sons-in-law, and tow of the best grandkids anyone could ask for!


Favorite Color: Yellow


Favorite Food: Lobster


Favorite Movie: "Shawshank Redemption"


Hobbies: I like to read and go to the beach

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AMS Idol

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Progress from Shay Memorial - Photos courtesy of Ed Pereira