All Around APS
News from the Andover Public Schools - November 18, 2022
The Snack Shack at High Plain Elementary
Every week at High Plain Elementary, students participating in our EXCEL program get together to make a culinary creation. Students incorporate reading, writing, and math, as well as social and life skills into these lessons. Students measure, scoop, sort, pour, mix, chop, and search online to find recipes. They make grocery lists, figure out cost of ingredients, and use grocery store maps to locate the aisle where one would need to find necessary ingredients.
With support from HPE staff members Sarah Masys, Scott Waller, Kathryn Buckland and APS Program Advisor Heather Eigen, students host a student-run “snack shack” where they sell baked goods and beverages to teachers, often times items that are made in cooking club! In running the “snack shack,” students practice their social, communication, motor, math and reading skills in preparation for their week. Several of our students use augmentative communication devices and skills are reinforced during Speech and Language sessions. Money skills are incorporated into math, and “customer service skills” are reviewed during social skills block. Peer mentors are present to help students with problem solving should the need arise.
Snack Shack is loved by teachers, students, and administration. It’s truly a fun and inclusive learning opportunity unique to High Plain Elementary.
AHS Student-Athletes Sign Letters of Intent
Congratulations to the six Andover High School student-athletes who signed their National Letters of Intent on Wednesday, November 9th! These students will continue their athletic careers in college.
- Scott Brown, Baseball - UMass Lowell
- Michaela Chokureva, AHS Girls Swimming - University of North Carolina
- Anna Foley, AHS Girls Basketball - Quinnipiac University
- Molly Kiley, Girls’ Cross Country and Track - Boston University
- Colin Kirn, Boys’ Cross Country and Track - UMass Amherst
- Emma Reilly, AHS Girls Field Hockey - Columbia University
AHS Coach Inducted into the Massachusetts Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame
Legendary AHS Basketball Coach Dave Fazio was recently inducted into the Massachusetts Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame. For over 33 years, Coach Fazio has been a fixture on the court at Andover High School and hit his 500th win this past February.
That same evening, AHS Girls’ Basketball Coach Alan Hibino & Assistant Coach Kerry Cashman were honored as Coaches of the Year. Congratulations to all and thank you for your commitment to our students and community!
Winter Weather - from the desk of Dr. Parvey
Earlier this week, we saw a brief preview of the winter weather we can anticipate each year in New England. As we prepare for the colder, wintry months ahead, I wanted to take a moment to review our communications for families, staff, and students when the forecast calls for inclement weather.
While the preference is to keep schools open, our first priority is the safety of our students, bus drivers, and staff. In order to plan appropriately, APS collaborates with Andover’s Department of Public Works (DPW) on upcoming forecasts. DPW provides the district with guidance on road conditions during a storm. Based on this collaboration and the weather forecast, we may delay or cancel school.
These decisions are made either the night before or in the early morning hours depending on the forecast and timing of expected winter weather.
APS will send notices out via email, text, voice recording via Blackboard. We will post the same information on our website under “District News” and add to our Twitter and Facebook accounts. We also alert Boston TV stations with these details.
On some occasions, road and traffic conditions might warrant a one- or two-hour delayed start time, which will be announced in the same manner as if school is closed. In the case of a one hour delay, morning (AM) preschool will not be cancelled.
A two hour delayed start time does cancel morning (AM) preschool. All other schools, including full-day kindergarten and preschool, will begin two (2) hours later. If your child takes the bus, it will arrive two hours later than a typical school day. After any delayed opening, schools will be dismissed at their regular times.
Whether you enjoy this season or look forward to spring weather, some winter weather is inevitable in New England. We appreciate your understanding as we work to keep our staff and students safe.
Dr. Magda Parvey
Secondary Educators Professional Development Day
By Shereen Rancourt – Executive Director of Secondary Instructional Operations
On November 8, 2022, APS secondary staff gathered at Andover High School for an exciting day of professional learning. The day opened with a keynote presentation, The Healing Power of Optimism, from Steve Gross, MSW, Chief Playmaker at Life is Good. Mr. Gross encouraged the staff into the playmaking spirit with an intense tournament of “Rock, Paper, Scissors,” and engaged staff in reflecting on the power that optimism has to support cognitive skills and social-emotional wellbeing for our students and for ourselves.
The keynote was followed by three workshop sessions focusing on high-leverage instructional strategies to support academic and social emotional learning for all students. Staff were able to choose from over twenty session options presented by our own talented teachers, counselors, and administrators sharing their expertise. Sessions included a diverse selection of topics such as: supporting students with attention and executive functioning disabilities, using technology resources in the classroom, and using mindfulness strategies to support student engagement.
There was also an informative student panel presentation available during each session with our own AHS students sharing insights into their experiences. The variety of choices gave educators engaging opportunities for individualized professional growth.
District Upcoming Dates & Notes
In case you missed it! The 2023-24 school year calendar is now available for our families and staff!
- Wednesday, November 23, 2022- Early Release Day (Beginning of Thanksgiving Recess)
- Thursday, November 24 & Friday, November 25, 2022- Thanksgiving Recess- NO SCHOOL
- The Special Education Parent Advisory Council (SEPAC), in collaboration with the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education will be hosting a parent orientation to learn about the upcoming Special Education and Civil Rights review in our district. The parent orientation will be held at virtually at 7 p.m. on November 29, 2022.
- Please join us at this link: https://zoom.us/j/94392618604 . You may contact Nancy Koch at 978-247-7040 with questions about the parent orientation or the review. You may also find this information on our district website.
Andover High School Building Committee- Virtual Public Forum
The Andover High School Building Committee will be hosting a public forum to provide information and solicit feedback on a potential Andover High School facility project. The architecture firm HMFH and Building Committee members will give an overview of current facility conditions, the process being undertaken to develop options for improvement, and feedback received to-date. The forum will be held virtually on Thursday, December 8, 2022 at 7 p.m.
Zoom link to join: https://zoom.us/j/92753400497?pwd=TjE4VlZHQVZ3bjJmOEhtUm4va25oUT09
Meeting ID: 927 5340 0497
For more information on the AHS Building Committee, visit the website.
West Elementary and Shawsheen Building Project updates
Warm weather days have allowed for great progress on the project; concrete foundation and site work have advanced for the new Shawsheen and West Elementary wings. Major construction activities for the new school have focused on excavation, soil preparation, space coordination, and material deliveries. New underground utility installation has been ongoing for storm drainage and water piping.
Work Activities Planned for November:
- Completion of new building concrete foundation – both West Elementary and Shawsheen Wings
- Completion of foundations for new building elevators
- Construction of new site retaining walls
- Backfilling and grading soil around the new building
- Ongoing excavation and installation of new water and sewer utilities
- Installation of new building interior main plumbing and electrical piping
- Preparation for future structural steel framing assembly
For more information on the West Elementary and Shawsheen Preschool Project, visit our webpage.
School Committee Corner
The School Committee met on November 17, 2022. Items on the agenda included a presentation from the Andover Special Education Parent Advisory Council (SEPAC), to share results from a survey they conducted last spring to gather information on how the Council can best to support APS’s Special Education community.
The meeting also included a presentation by Social Emotional Learning (SEL) Coordinator Jason Levene on SEL work in the district this school year, the introduction of the APS Long Range Financial Plan Model, and approval of the 2022-23 School Committee/Superintendent Operating Protocols.
Did you know?
The School Committee and Dr. Parvey collaborated last year to create the district’s first School Committee/Superintendent Operating Protocols document with the goal of fostering a productive working relationship between the Committee and Superintendent. The operating protocols purpose and objectives are defined, as are standards of conduct and standards of operations. These protocols are reviewed annually and serve as a guiding document to clarify the roles of the Committee and the Superintendent.
This year’s document was refined to include the Andover Public Schools Communications Protocols and Resolution Procedures to address inquiries and concerns from the community.
The next School Committee meeting will be held on Wednesday, November 30, 2022 at 7 p.m. Agendas are posted up to 48 hours in advance and can be emailed directly to those who are interested and sign-up for “Notify Me” alerts on our website.
Meetings are held in the School Committee Room at Central Office, 30 Whittier Court – 2nd floor and are broadcast live by AndoverTV via Andover public access television (Comcast Channel 99 and Verizon Channel 43) or by streaming from www.andovertv.org. Recordings of these meetings are posted on Andover TV’s Video Archive under the School and Building Committee Meetings webpage.
To view meeting minutes from previous meetings, check out the School Committee’s meeting minutes archive page. All School Committee policies are available for the community to reference through the searchable policy manual.
November events in the Teen Room at Memorial Hall Library
Memorial Hall Library has released their November Teen Room schedule with programs for students in grades 6 through 12! The Teen Robotics Showcase is also open to grade 5 students! For more information on events at Memorial Hall Library, check out their calendar!
The Robb Center Holiday Bazaar is back!
The Robb Center Holiday Bazaar returns for another year! The event will take place on Friday, December 2 from 9 a.m.– 3 p.m. The Robb Center will host a bake sale, white elephant table, crafts, and more! If you are interested in donating or volunteering, please reach out to Kelly MacKay, 978-623-8372 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Town of Andover Art & Placemaking Community Workshops
In what ways can Public Art and Placemaking enhance character, celebrate history and envision the future of Andover? Please join us for a three-part community workshop series to revisit the Historic Mill District and areas in Downtown Andover where art and placemaking can strengthen our Town!