Amesbury Public Schools Update

From the Office of the Superintendent - October 15, 2021

Dear Amesbury Public School Families!


It is incredibly difficult to believe that we are halfway through the month of October already. The leaves are beautiful and the air crisp and clean. Fall is definitely a great time of year.


I have really enjoyed my time in each of the schools so far. The interactions between staff, students and curriculum is wonderful to see. As I mention below, a good portion of my first few months as an “officially” new Superintendent is spent “listening, hearing and counting.” To that end, I am meeting with different groups of stakeholders in the district to gather as much information as I am able to about our district. I am thrilled to share that I have learned so much already as I have met with groups of teachers and administrators in the district as well as some of our School Committee members. In these conversations, I have begun to dig into what teaching and learning looks like in our district --- and, more importantly, what we want to see happen within the next five years. Happily, I am already seeing some consistent themes emerge. These overarching concepts will be used to develop our next Strategic Plan for the District. During both the fact finding time (now) and the development of the Strategic Plan (March-August), I will need participation from stakeholders. On Wednesday, October 27, 2021 from 6-7:30 pm in the AHS Library, I will meet with any Amesbury Public School Parents/Guardians and community members who wish to attend. After I present my Report of Findings(February), I will create a timeline for the Strategic Plan feedback/input sessions.


As always, thank you for your support! I hope to “listen” to many of you on the 27th!


Happy weekend!


Sincerely,


Elizabeth McAndrews

Superintendent

COVID INFORMATION

Self Certification of Vaccination Status

At the end of last week, I sent a message home to families of AHS students looking for official documentation of each student's vaccination status. As I mentioned in my last newsletter, if we achieve 80% fully vaccinated status in any one school, we have the option to pursue making masking optional. Once we have determined that a building is 80% fully vaccinated, I have to submit paperwork to the state attesting to that fact and then the School Committee can determine if we pursue this option. As of right now, I have responses from 123 AHS students.


If you have not completed this form, with proof of vaccination, please do so at this time. If you have a child at AMS or AIHS and would like to complete the form for them IF THEY HAVE BEEN VACCINATED, please feel free to do so.


Link: https://forms.gle/6WAczgxBcxgPfMDr8

COVID Dashboard

DESE has required school districts to report the number of COVID positive cases for both staff and students each week. Their weeks run from Thursday through Wednesday. Here are our numbers by week, by building, and student/staff. To date, we have not seen any evidence of in school transmission.
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Nursing Notes

Just in case you missed it last week, our Lead Nurse, Kristin Tierney (former AHS graduate), shared a fantastic COVID resource, Nursing Notes. This newsletter contains answers to many questions, provides valuable contact information, and offers timelines for specific scenarios. If you haven't seen it, or want to look at it again, here is the link: https://www.smore.com/dp4c7

What's Happening in the Schools?

Superintendent's Entry Plan Community Meeting

On Wednesday, October 27th from 6-7:30 pm at the AHS Library, I will meet with interested community members to discuss the strengths, challenges, and hopes for the Amesbury Public School system. As part of my New Superintendents Induction Program, I am responsible for creating an Entry Plan (shared previously and located on the District Website), sharing my findings with the School Committee and school community (anticipated Feb 2022), and using those findings to provide the foundation for the new 5 Year Strategic Plan. My goal is to provide the objective and structure for the evening and then LISTEN. I hope that you will be able to join me for this conversation.
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Coffee with the Superintendent

I am pleased to announce that I will be hosting Coffee with the Superintendent from 8 to 9 am on the following dates:


Friday, October 29th (in-person)

Friday, November 19th (virtual)

Friday, December 17th (in-person)


The in-person meetings will take place in the Superintendent's Office located in the high school. Should I be lucky enough to get a large number of guests, we may locate to a different venue. As superintendent, I am looking forward to continuing one of my favorite traditions as principal. I hope that you are able to join me for one or all of these events.

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Future Freshman Night!

On Thursday, October 28th from 6-8 pm, students and families of the Class of 2026 are invited to attend an information session and an interactive tour of AHS. Attendees will have the opportunity to meet staff, ask questions, see AHS in action, and learn about academic and co-curricular activities at AHS.
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PRT and Professional Development Day

On Wednesday, October 20th, the Amesbury Public Schools will have a PRT Day. This time is incredibly valuable as it is an opportunity for our staff to receive targeted, meaningful professional development. As a reminder, AMS, AHS, and AIHS will be dismissed at 11:30 am and AES and CES will be dismissed at noon.


Tuesday, November 2nd is ELECTION DAY! Amesbury High School is happy to host elections! Students truly love this day as they do NOT have school. However, staff has a full day of professional development.


Please make sure that you get out to vote - we love seeing you and "hearing your voice". Every vote matters!

Transportation Update

We continue to experience challenges with the timing of our buses. Recently, we added to those difficulties as one of our drivers broke her foot and is unable to drive for several weeks. As you are aware, there is a state and nationwide shortage of drivers and our bus company has not been able to secure substitute drivers on a consistent basis. However, Salter has assured us that they have drivers in training and that they will get them on the road as soon as it is safely possible.


Thank you very much for your patience and flexibility as we work with Salter to resolve these issues.

Bus Passes

Effective October 25, 2021, all students riding the bus must have a bus pass and are expected to show it to the bus driver as they board the bus. One easy way to do this is to attach the pass to the child's backpack.


For those families who have not yet registered to ride the bus, please follow this link and register. Once we receive your registration, your child will receive their pass from their school secretary.

Progress on Shay Memorial

Week of October 4th

Week of October 11th

Thank you for taking time to read this newsletter!