Page Hilltop Paws-itively News

February 2020

Spelling Bee Champion Lindsey Kaplan

We held our annual Scripps School Spelling Bee last Friday. Eighteen 4th and 5th graders competed against each other for the top spot in the school. After numerous rounds of competition, fifth grader Lindsey Kaplan took the honors as 2020 School Champion. She will go on to represent our school at the regional spelling competition in March. We would like to recognize and congratulate all of the finalists from grades 4 and 5: Serena Carlisle, George Carlson, Sophia Cormier, Collin DaSilvaneto, Jake Delyani, Alisha Kudtarkar, Jake Leone, Gabriel Malantic, John Marble, Lily McEwen, Serenity Middlebrook, James Pierce, Summer Richard, Evan Spellman, Emma Stewart, Karen Truong and Runner-Up Jayden Kouagheu.

Cole Hillman: Award - Winning Writer

This past fall members of our Panther Leadership Team (PLT) took part in a special writing contest sponsored by Scholastic News. We are very proud to announce that fifth grader Cole Hillman was selected as the first place essayist in this national competition. Please click on the link below to read Cole's heart-warming essay.!prettyPhoto

Meet Willow, our newest PH member!

Willow the Therapy Dog has officially started at Page Hilltop! Students love seeing her in Mrs. Savoie’s office on Fridays. Research has shown that therapy dogs support psychological growth and increase social skills and self-esteem in children and adolescents. Therapy dogs have been trained to provide emotional support in addition to positively impacting reading progress and communication skills. We are looking forward to many more visits with her!

PLT One-Week Food Drive is an overwhelming success!

We can't thank our Panther Leadership Team, students and parents enough for stepping up to meet our one week challenge to fill boxes with needed items for Loaves and Fishes Food Pantry. We had more than we ever expected and it was all because of your KINDNESS. The boxes of donated food items totaled in excess of 500 pounds! Needless to say, our friends at the food pantry were overwhelmed. What a great way to start our celebration of Kindness & Giving!

Kindergarten Registration for SY 2020-2021 is Open!

Registration is now open for parents to register their child who will be entering Kindergarten in the fall of 2020 !

Parents can pick up registration information at the main office and return the completed information between Feb. 3-7.

MTWF - 9am -2pm

Thursday - 9am-6pm

For more information:

Contact: Gail Januskiewicz at 978-772-8600 X1401 or or

Peggy Carlson at ext 1402 or

D.A.R.E. Program is in full swing!

Officer Bigelow has been trained as a certified DARE instructor, and is very excited to bring this important, successful program to our 5th graders. Below is a brief description of the D.A.R.E. curriculum, taken from the D.A.R.E website for elementary education; (

D.A.R.E.’s keepin’ it REAL Elementary School curriculum continues a more than thirty year commitment to providing cutting edge instruction that helps prevent drug use by developing basic, core skills needed for safe and responsible choices…skills that extend well beyond drugs to healthy and mature choices in life.

The curriculum, designed based on the Socio-Emotional Learning Theory (SEL), identifies fundamental, basic skills and developmental processes needed for healthy development including:

Self-awareness and management

Responsible decision making

Understanding others

Relationship and communication skills

Handling responsibilities and challenges

The course’s ten lessons are arranged in a scaffolding process, starting with the basics about responsibility and decision making and then building on each other allowing students to develop their own responses to real life situations. The very first lesson starts with responsibility and introduces decision making with subsequent lessons applying these skills in increasing complex ways to drug use and other choices in their lives.

Exxon - Mobil Alliance Energy Grant

We would like to recognize and thank Gary Archer of Archer's Mobil in downtown Ayer. Thanks to his efforts, our school has received an Exxon - Mobil Alliance Energy Grant in the sum of $500. Gary has been sponsoring our school for many years now and we greatly appreciate his support. These grant funds will be used to help develop our STEM Makerspace Room. If you happen to be downtown, please consider stopping by the Mobil station and thanking Gary!

News from Mrs. Gravelle - Page Hilltop Health Teacher

Celebrate American Heart Month!

In 1963 American Heart Month began. It was a celebration created to raise awareness of heart disease and to encourage people to fight against it. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States. Every year, 1 in 4 deaths are caused by heart disease.

The good news? Heart disease can often be prevented when people make healthy choices and manage their health conditions. You can make healthy changes to lower your risk of developing heart disease. Controlling and preventing risk factors is also important for people who already have heart disease.

As a family, try these ideas!

  1. Identify free times for activity.

  • Keep track of each family member’s daily activities for one week. You’ll get a snapshot of when you might be able to get the family together for physical activity. It can also help you see which activities you can cut back on.

  1. Plan a weekly menu, go shopping and prep your meals.

  1. Simplify your family’s schedule.

  • In today’s society we’re expected to do it all. But this type of non-stop lifestyle isn’t sustainable or healthy. Try prioritizing your activities and see what you can do without so you’ll have more time for the things that matter. You can also work on ways to manage stress.

  1. Take baby steps, not giant leaps.

  • Making sure that all the hearts in your home are healthy is a lot to handle. The key is to take baby steps. Getting heart-healthy is a journey; you don’t have to do everything at once.

  1. Ask everyone in the family to do their part.

  • Depending on their ages, kids can help prepare healthy meals and help around the house. Treat your family like a team and encourage everyone to work together.

  1. Live by example.

  • If we want our kids to eat healthy and exercise, we’ve got to model that behavior. You’re not perfect, but if you’re determined and persistent, there’s not much that can stop you.

The Boys Have Arrived!

Page Hilltop welcomes Rachel and Jack McKillop's twin boys. Camden James and Duncan Ryan were born on January 8th. Mrs. McKillop is a first grade teacher.
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Welcome Charlotte!

Not long after the arrival of the McKillop twins, Leah and Nate Crutchfield announced the arrival of their daughter: Charlotte Adalynn on January 17th, 2020!

Mrs. Crutchfield is also a first grade teacher.

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Special Education Advisory Council (SEPAC)

In an effort to grow SEPAC, we’re looking to partner with administrators, educators, and staff in the district to assist in growing awareness of this council. Part of that is identifying families or interested parties within Page-Hilltop who could use SEPAC as a resource. The Special Education Parent Advisory Council is to develop understanding, respect and support with children of all abilities in the community while acting as a resource for parents and the Ayer Shirley Regional School District. We have access to MASSPAC, along with surrounding SEPAC presentation schedules, to assist individuals seeking information and additional resources. All presentations are free and open to any interested party, including school staff, parents, family members, and beyond.

SEPAC upcoming scheduled events:

-March 11, at 7pm, Education Consultant-Barbara Rich at the ASRMS library

National School Counselor Week - Thanks to Mrs. Savoie & Mrs. Fusco

National School Counseling Week 2020 is Feb. 3–7. This week, sponsored by the American School Counselor Association (ASCA), highlights the unique contribution of school counselors within U.S. school systems and the tremendous impact they can have in helping students achieve school success and plan for a career.

We would like to recognize our school counselors, Rachel Savoie & Rachael Fusco, and express our gratitude for all they do to support our students, staff & families.

We would encourage our PH students / families to send a card or note of appreciation to these ladies.

Groundhog Day 2020 - Spring Will Arrive Early!

It's official! That furry little weather forecaster from Pennsylvania, Punxsutawney Phil, came out of his burrow early Sunday morning and did NOT see his shadow. According to American folklore, this means that we will be seeing an early spring! From my perspective, that would be great!! For all of the students who participated in our Groundhog Day contest, 47.4 % had the correct guess that the groundhog would not see his shadow.
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PH PANTHER NEWS TEAM - Interviewing the world-famous Harlem Wizards

When PH Panther News reporters Jack & Leona sat down with members of the Harlem Wizards Basketball Team, they learned that these athletes were not just there to talk basketball. The Wizards players shared their views on Kindness, Respect & Perseverance. Click on the link below to view the entire interview:

Great Kindness Challenge - Spreading Kindness, Respect, Empathy

Last Monday we held our Great Kindness Challenge assembly and the high school auditorium was full of energy, excitement and, of course, KINDNESS! In attendance were all of our students, teachers and staff. We also had many family members joining us to spread the kindness, along with school / community officials: Ass't Superintendent Charlie Caliri, High school administrators Spencer Christie & Miriam Meyer, Ayer Town Manager Robert Pontbriand, Ayer Police Chief William Murray, Deputy Chief Brian Gill and School Resource Officer Jennifer Bigelow.

Mr. Pontbriand read an official proclamation from the Ayer Board of Selectmen - recognizing January 27th as "Great Kindness Challenge Day" at Page Hilltop. Mr. Pontbriand is always very supportive of our school.

We began our assembly with our "official" kindness chant: KINDNESS .... MATTERS! We were pleased to have a group of high school students, from the National Honor Society, who participated in our program. The auditorium was rockin' loud & proud whenever we asked the audience to respond to this mantra.

Many of our PLT students shared kindness poems that they had written. We also saw some skits, some video reminders, a live performance by our K-1 students .......... all of which shared the same theme of kindness.

At the conclusion of the program, we had a group of staff, parents and guests leading the entire audience in the singing of "Count on Me" by Bruno Mars.

As I reminded the students, this is only the beginning. Kindness is not just for a single assembly or one day in school. We want to create an atmosphere of kindness and promote this positive culture throughout the school year.

My challenge to all students, staff & parents is to reach a goal of 10,000 random acts of kindness! To reach it we must come together as a school community and think about kind acts each and every day. As the saying goes: KINDNESS MATTERS ...... EVERY DAY ...... EVERY WAY!

It begins with students and families completing the GKC checklists that went home. If you complete one and would like to work on another, we are happy to provide one for you.

Students can also complete kind acts at school.

If a student receives a PAWS slips, that is an act of kindness.

The 500 food items donated to the food pantry represent acts of kindness.

Kind notes to our school counselors during this week are acts of kindness.

We will be having a "kind manners" day in the cafe which shows kindness.

There are opportunities for displaying kindness all around you. Look for an opportunity and act on it. This includes our PARENTS also.

When, not "If" we reach the 10,000 mark, I have promised the students that they can select a special challenge for me to fulfill. I am ready and willing because


Upcoming Events

February 3rd -7th Children's Stage Adventures "Prince & the Pauper"

February 3rd -7th Open Kindergarten Registration, 9-2 Monday - Friday, 9-6 Thursday Feb, 6th.

February 10th - 100th day of school

February 13th - Tanglewood Marionettes will be performing for all grades

February 17th - Presidents Day - No School

February 18th - 21st Winter Vacation