News from the Andover Public School District

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Inaugural edition; we welcome your feedback!

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On Tuesday, August 22, 2018, over 125 Student Ambassadors welcomed the Andover High School Class of 2022 to their new school. The upperclassmen extended a warm welcome to the freshmen students by providing building tours, hosting a panel to explain the inner workings of the school, and getting to know the new students.

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Andover Public Schools will see new faculty faces for 2018-2019. Three of our administrators, including Assistant Superintendent Sandra Trach, join us from the Lexington Public School District. Additionally, 27 new teachers will join us for their first year at APS. Ann McNamee, social studies teacher at the Doherty Middle School, leads the orientation program for new teachers.

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SUPERINTENDENT'S MESSAGE- What's Your Inspiration for this School Year?

Andover Public Schools faculty and staff celebrated Opening Day of the 2018-2019 school year with a visit from Timothy Shriver, the Chairman of the Board of Directors for Special Olympics International. Dr. Shriver is also the Co-Chair of the National Commission on Social, Emotional, and Academic Development and co-founded the Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL).

Tim is an inspiring individual, deeply committed to inclusion and equity, and a strong advocate for social-emotional learning.

“What’s your inspiration for this school year?” Shriver rallied faculty. “I believe this is the age of the educator, a time when educators have the potential to change the future of a nation.”

Shriver’s remarks helped APS faculty and staff expand their understanding and deepen their work in social-emotional learning (SEL). Faculty will extend the work launched last year in universal design for learning. During the 2017-2018 school year, the APS Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) team undertook several major initiatives, including Open Circle and Responsive Classroom in elementary schools, at the middle school with Where Everyone Belongs and CREW, and at the high school with H-block scheduling.

Teachers at all five elementary schools underwent training and began implementing the Responsive Classroom program. Responsive Classroom is an evidence-based approach that emphasizes the modeling of appropriate behaviors and sends students a strong message that all students belong and are important contributing members of their class and school community. The SEL team issued a recommendation that the district expand the use of the Responsive Classroom program at the elementary level this year and introduce the program into the middle schools. Finally, the SEL team created a Cultural Climate Committee to combat racism and discrimination while fostering identity-safe schools.


District of Distinction

Given the extensive efforts of so many in our district, APS was selected by District Administration magazine as a “District of Distinction” for our work in addressing dyslexia and language-based learning difficulties. “We are blurring the lines between regular and special education,” says Sara Stetson, assistant superintendent of student services. At the elementary level, literacy proficiency was increased by 4 percent overall in the first year, and students in the program for severe dyslexia continue to show significant improvements on multiple assessment benchmarks.

Andover Schools Cited in National School Nutrition Report

A national survey of school meal program directors finds school districts are utilizing more tactics - holding student taste tests, locally sourcing produce and scheduling recess before lunch - to increase student consumption of healthy school meals and combat food waste. The findings are part of School Nutrition Association (SNA)'s "School Nutrition Operations Report: The State of School Nutrition 2018," based on survey responses from 1,550 school districts nationwide. APS Food and Nutrition Services is recognized for the inclusion of local produce in school meals.

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