Amesbury Public Schools Update
December 3, 2023
Hello Amesbury Families!
I hope that you are all doing well and enjoying the change of seasons. It has been a very busy month with all kinds of contests, activities, and of course, learning!
I want to congratulate the football team on an impressive and memorable football season. It was a great run! In addition, I would like to thank the greater Redhawk family for its support of the team in their quest for the MIAA Division 7 State Title. So many of you attended games throughout the season but it was the sheer number of you who showed up at Gillette on Friday that was absolutely amazing! It was fabulous to so many students, staff, families, alums, and community members make the trek down to Foxboro. We really showed everyone what it means to be part of a supportive community. I have included a bunch of pictures from the game.
Yesterday's holiday parade was also a tremendous showing of community! A huge variety of groups and organizations were represented in the parade and the streets were lined with many excited people of all ages. As I enjoy my 18th year in Amesbury, I continue to be impressed by the City's uniqueness and it's commitment to creating an inclusive culture. I am thankful for the volunteers who make these special celebrations - like the parade, the chili cook-off, the Sip and Stroll - so successful and ingrained in our community. Thank you!
I know how busy this time of year is for everyone but I encourage you to schedule some time to attend a concert, performance, contest, fundraising activity or anything else our students and staff are offering to the public. Enjoy this time and thank you for your continued support of the Amesbury Public Schools.
Division 7 State Finalists
AMS Band Performs in the Holiday Parade
Check out this video of the AMS Band courtesy of Ms. Juliet Richard.
Coffee with the Superintendent
Hope you can join me for coffee and muffin tops! This is an informal way of touching base with me. No set agenda, just an opportunity to meet new people and get some information. Hope to see you this THURSDAY from 8:30 to 9:30 am.
I will offer virtual meetings starting in January. Stay tuned!
Thursday, December 7th - PRT Day - Middle and High Schools dismissed at 11:30 am, Elementary Schools dismissed at noon
Thursday, December 21st - Last day of school before vacation - FULL Day
Tuesday, January 2nd - First day back from vacation
Thursday, January 11th - PRT Day - Middle and High Schools dismissed at 11:30 am, Elementary Schools dismissed at noon
Monday, January 15th -MLK Jr. Day - No School
Tuesday, January 23rd - District Wide Vote on the Whittier Building Project - 11 am to 7 pm - AHS Gymnasium
Thursday, February 8th - PRT Day - Middle and High Schools dismissed at 11:30 am, Elementary Schools dismissed at noon
Saturday, February 17th - Sunday, February 25th - February Vacation
Toys for Tots
The Amesbury High School Student Council is collecting new, unwrapped toys for families in need from Monday, December 4th through Friday, December 8th (7:30 am). Please send or bring toys to Amesbury High School during school hours. Thank you in advance for your generosity.
Budget Process and Timelines for the Amesbury Public Schools
Administrators have been asked to prepare 4 tiers of a budget for their respective buildings or cost center. First, a level services budget which means that all of the current staffing, programs, and other components of the budget are maintained but calculated at the anticipated cost for the upcoming year. Second, a level funded budget which leaves our budget at the same fiscal level as FY24. In short, a level funded budget involves reductions of some sort in order to absorb the inflationary costs and remain at the same funding amount. The final two tiers are anticipating a 5% and 10% reduction to their level services budget number.
At this time, I anticipate presenting a recommended budget to the School Committee at the end of February with a public hearing planned for early March. Once dates are finalized, they will be shared.
Thank you for your ongoing support of the Amesbury Public Schools.
School Committee Spotlight
Do you know a group or individual that has positively impacted our schools and students? If so, nominate them for a "Spotlight". The School Committee would like to thank these individuals at a School Committee meeting and share the great news with the Amesbury Community! Use the QR code below to complete the nomination form!
Whittier School Building Project
As you may have heard, Whittier Vocational Technical School is hoping to build a new building. Currently, 126 students who live in Amesbury attend Whittier. On January 23, 2024, Amesbury residents, as well as residents of the 10 other sending cities and towns will be asked to vote on whether or not to support the project. Please take a few minutes to visit the following sites:
Information page on the project tailored to Amesbury: Amesbury's Whittier Information page
This site shares information about the project: Whittier's Project Information.
The Mayor's office adds new information to its page as additional content becomes available.
AMS Roof Update
The process of replacing the roof on the Amesbury Middle School is in full swing! As you may recall, we selected Phil Palumbo from Colliers to be our OPM (Owner's Project Manager) for this project. Once Phil was selected he got right to work creating the documents required to select an architectural firm to design the roof. There were 12 different companies who submitted information. Our AMS Roof Committee, comprised of Mayor Gove, Director of Finance and Operations, Joan Liporto, Director of Facilities, Jim McCarthy, AMS Assistant Principal, Adam Denio, and I, evaluated all 12 submissions. Based on the overall ratings, we selected three firms to interview. Those interviews took place last Thursday. We are very excited to announce that we have selected GRLA (Gorman Richardson Lewis Architects from Hopkinton, MA to begin the FS/DS fee proposal process. The shared a presentation with us that is incredibly detailed, demonstrates a lot of experience and skill, and illustrated a strong understanding of the components of this project. Can't wait to take the next step!
Body Cameras - Amesbury Police Dpt and our SROs (School Resource Officers)
This paragraph is taken from the City's information page on Body Worn Cameras:
The implementation of body cameras in police departments has become a crucial and transformative step in law enforcement practices. As concerns about transparency and accountability have grown in recent years, many police departments have adopted body cameras as a means of providing an unbiased and comprehensive record of officers' interactions with the public. These small, wearable devices not only capture video footage but also audio recordings, offering a more complete picture of events during incidents. The use of body cameras has the potential to enhance public trust by providing an objective record that can be reviewed in cases of disputes or allegations of misconduct.
The Amesbury Police Department's (APD) adoption of body cameras serves as a tool for both officers and the community to improve behavior and promote professionalism. The presence of body cameras can de-escalate tense situations, as individuals interacting with law enforcement are also aware that their actions are being documented. This accountability contributes to a safer and more transparent policing environment, benefiting both law enforcement and the communities they serve.
APD has undergone extensive training in the technical use of the new body cameras, the appropriate times at which they are used, and the processing and redaction of footage.
In addition to body worn cameras, patrol vehicles will be equipped with dash mounted cameras.
Information about the use of Body Cameras in the Schools (also taken from the City's information page):
School Resource Officers (SRO’s) will wear body cameras while on duty in schools. Cameras will be activated if a student is a threat to themselves or others, or if criminal incident takes place in the schools.
The information that I have chosen to include is a small portion of the information that is available on the City's information page. Please take a few minutes to review. If you have questions, please direct them to me.
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