Page Hilltop Paws-itively News

December 2020

Principal's Thoughts

Welcome to our December edition of our Paws-itively News. This on-line newsletter is sent to all Page Hilltop families at the beginning of each month. If you wish to receive a paper copy of this newsletter, please notify school Admin. Asst. Gail Januskiewicz at the following email address: and we will be happy to send you one. You may also contact Gail at ext. 1401 or by sending a written note in with your child. Our goal is to provide consistent and effective communication between home and school. For our students / your children to have a successful learning experience, we must partner together for their benefit.

From time to time you may also receive additional notices, regarding important news updates, events and activities that were not included in this monthly newsletter. It is important that parents / guardians take time, on a daily basis, to ask your children about their school day and whether they have important papers in their backpacks.

We welcome your input on ways that this newsletter can be more helpful to you. Page Hilltop is OUR school community!

Thank you for sharing your children with us!!

Fred Deppe, Principal .......................................Denise Levesque, Assistant Principal 1400....................... ext 1426

Loaves and Fishes Food Pantry

If you are a resident of Ayer, Devens, Dunstable, Groton, Harvard, Littleton or Shirley and hunger is affecting your family, Loaves & Fishes can help! The staff and volunteers of Loaves & Fishes are dedicated to helping our neighbors in need in a way that promotes dignity, respect, and honors your confidentiality. Many clients report the kindness they receive from our volunteers is just as valuable as the nourishment they get from the groceries.

Ayer Police Department Holiday Toy Drive

The Ayer Police Department will be conducting its 20th Annual Holiday Toy Drive beginning Saturday, December 5th. Because of COVID-19 restrictions, the Toy Drive will be different this year than it has been in the past. The Police Department will host three "Fill A Cruiser" events being held at the Ayer PD on 12/5, 12/12, and 12/19.

Those who can donate are asked to bring new, unwrapped toys and gift cards to the Ayer Police Department (54 Park St), on December 5th, 12th or 19th between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm and place your donation into the police cruiser parked in the front of the station

Our new program provides gifts to Ayer families in need. For more information, contact Ofc. Jennifer Bigelow at 978-772-8200

Rotarians gift dictionaries to students

AYER – Thanks to the continued generosity of the Ayer Rotary Club, all grade 3 students at Page Hilltop Elementary School will soon receive a unique but nonetheless important gift: a dictionary.

A Student’s Dictionary, to be specific, is a modified gazetteer containing everything from biographies of the U.S. presidents to a map of the seven continents. This gift from the Rotarians is an annual event that began with Annie Plummer, a resident of Savannah, Ga., who gave 50 dictionaries to children at a neighboring school in 1992.

Since the project’s official formation in 1995, over 31 million kids across the country have received dictionaries meant to further their education at school and at home. The project has been taken on throughout the country by groups including Kiwanis Clubs, Lions Clubs, the Republican Federation of Women and others. This is the sixth year that the Ayer Rotary Club has participated in the project, giving dictionaries not only to Page Hilltop’s third graders, but also to students in Harvard and Shirley.


As part of our SEL (Social Emotional Learning) & Positive Behavior Incentives program, we continue to promote our PAWS program. Our ultimate goal is to have every student coming to school, ready to learn in a safe and respectful environment built upon a foundation of positive community culture & climate. This program is supportive of both our "Hybrid" and "Remote" students.

The “PAWS POWER” form can be presented to ANY student by ANY staff member at ANY time. If your child happens to bring one home, please celebrate with them! I am sure you will be as proud of them as we are here at PH.

Students receiving a PAWS POWER tickets will receive two copies. Students who are part of our Remote Learning Academy will have their PAWS tickets mailed to them.

When a student has earned 10 PAWS POWER tickets, they may contact Mrs. Levesque. They will receive a coupon that may be redeemed for:

  • $1.00 prize at the School Store

  • Lunch for themselves, and two friends, with Mr. Deppe

  • Lunch for themselves, and two friends, with Mrs. Levesque

  • Lunch for themselves, and two friends, with Officer Bigelow


At Page Hilltop we believe that learning opportunities may extend beyond the "typical" school day. We currently offer after-school enrichment classes in School Chorus for our 4th & 5th graders. If interested in joining chorus, please contact Mrs. Richter at:

We will also soon begin the first session of our Portuguese Club. This is open to all 3rd-4th-5th graders and there are a few openings left. Students in this club will learn to speak basic Portuguese as well as learn about the music, foods & culture of Brazil. Please contact Mr. Deppe for additional information.

Do you, or your children, have any ideas for enrichment classes that you would like to see happen at Page Hilltop? Do you have a hobby that you would like to share with students? Would your children be interested in learning another language? Please contact Mr. Deppe and let's chat.


As has been mentioned many times previously, home-school communication is vital to your child's school success. Our 1st Trimester Parent - Teacher Conferences will be taking place on December 17th & 18th. You will be receiving additional information relative as to how our virtual conferences will be held

December's Lunch Menu

Please click here to view this months lunch


Dec. 3rd - PTO meeting @ 7:00pm (Virtual Zoom Meeting)

Dec. 9th - TIE Day

Dec. 14th - Trimester 1 Report Cards issued

Dec. 16th - Spirit Day: "Heroes Day"

Dec. 17th - 1/2 day of school ~ Evening Conferences

Dec. 18th - 1/2 day of school ~ Afternoon Conferences

Dec. 21st & 22nd - Holiday Festive Attire Days

Dec. 23rd - Half-day of school / 12:15 dismissal

Dec. 24th - Jan. 1st School Vacation


We cordially invite all of our Page Hilltop families to join nus for a virtual PTO meeting on December 3rd from 7:00 - 8:00pm. We have a wonderful PTO at Page Hilltop - a group that supports our students, teachers & families. Join us at the December meeting to learn what is being planned for this school year, ask questions & share any ideas that you may have. Do to the current situation, this meeting will be held virtually via Zoom. The zoom link is listed below: JKZTNSMkREaS94V1czMzA2OHhsUT09


Our students have been enjoying their outside recess activities while remaining safe at the same time. They are to be commended for being creative-thinkers when it comes to adapting some "traditional" games into alternative options which allow for the same fun with no physical contacts.

Students are allowed to bring a jump rope or basketball to school - for their own personal use. Unfortunately there can be no sharing of items at this time.


Recently our Nurse Leader, Rene Paine, sent home a FAQ sheet to help all parents understand and follow protocols relative to COVID-19. We hope that information has been useful to you. If you have any additional questions, please contact the Page Hilltop School Nurse, Tiffany Naughton, at 978-772-8600 x 1406.

Important reminder that all student vaccinations are due to be completed this month.


This is to remind parents that all students are to come to school dressed appropriately for the changing weather conditions. We take the students outside, for fresh air and a mask break, every day possible. Please have your child dress in layers so that they are able to add on / take off a layer of clothing depending on the weather at any time. Students are always welcome to leave a sweater / sweatshirt in school for times when they need it.


Thanks to all of the parents, and other adults, who are involved in either the morning drop-off and / or the afternoon pick-up. As you know we have had to implement some changes in our procedures and we appreciate your flexibility & cooperation. I am very pleased with how smoothly both procedures have been running.

Please take note of the following reminders:

* Parents may not leave vehicles idling while sitting in line, waiting for drop-off or pick-up. We understand that this might be a common practice during the cold weather. However it is a Motor Vehicle Violation (with a monetary fine attached) to leave a vehicle running outside a public school.

* During morning drop-off, private vehicles are not allowed to pass other vehicles OR make a U-turn during the drop-off process.

* Please adhere to slow speed zones during drop-off or pick-up

* When picking up, please keep your "name card" visible at all times. Do not take it down after the staff have checked in with you.

Thank you for your patience and cooperation so that we may keep everyone safe!


Daily attendance is essential to student academic success. This applies to In-School Hybrid Days, Asynchronous Days & Remote Learning Days. Attendance is checked daily and reported to our school office where, in turn, it is then reported to the DESE. This does not apply to days when your child may be potentially sick. On those days, please make sure you contact our school office to report the health concern.


At the beginning of the school year, I shared a list of protocols for your children to follow when they are involved in virtual zoom meetings. As I stated at that time, behavioral expectations are the same, whether a student is physically n the classroom or is on a zoom meeting.

It has come to my attention that we need to review some of these expectations:

1. Students should be dressed for school and sitting at a desk / table during their zoom lessons.

2. Students should be visible on screen and not distracted by a television, video game, cell phone, family pet or siblings.

3. Parents may assist if your child is having some technological problems. However parents should not be talking with the student or teacher while zoom class is in session.

4. Students should remain on-line for the duration of all lessons.

5. Parents / Guardians should be aware that you can be heard, even if a student is wearing headphones. Please do not be talking in the same room as they child is attending zoom class.


Your classroom teachers are here to support your child whenever there is a need. Please feel free to contact your child's teacher if necessary. Last week I sent home a news notice that shared an abundance of information regarding supports we have in place for both students and parents. Hopefully you have had a chance to review that notice and will keep it handy in the case of any future need.

In addition to our outstanding teachers, we have a "Student Support Group" at Page Hilltop. Please feel free to reach out to any of these people:

Fred Deppe, Principal 978-772-8600 x1400

Denise Levesque, Ass’t Principal 978-772-8600 x1426

Rachel Savoie, School Counselor 978-772-8600 x1424

Jenny Alquist, School Counselor 978-772-8600 x 1489

Tiffany Naughton, School Nurse 978-772-8600 x 1406

Ofc. Jen Bigelow, SRO 978-772-8600 x1337


Dec. 1st - 23rd: HOLIDAY WISHES We have a display board by the office and welcome any Page Hilltop families to display a holiday card / note on this board, to be shared with all of our staff. You may email any notes to Mr. Deppe. You may send in a card with your child or mail it to the school. There will also be a bin placed out on the tables outside the main entrance. Parents may stop by and place their card / note in the bin at any time.

Dec. 9th - TIE DAY: The month of December is National Tie Month so we will be celebrating "Tie Day" at Page Hilltop on Wednesday, Dec. 9th. All students are encouraged to wear some sort of tie during their classroom zoom lessons. If you don't have a special tie of your own, perhaps you can borrow one from a family member. A scarf / boa will also do. You may even feel creative and design your own tie. Whatever you do, have fun and show us what you are wearing!

Dec. 21st & 22nd - HOLIDAY FESTIVE ATTIRE DAYS: The Panther cohort will celebrate on Monday and the Pride cohort will celebrate on Tuesday. Students in our remote Learning Academy will decide, with their teacher's direction, which day to participate in (or both). On these days all students and staff are encouraged to wear their most festive clothing. It can be connected to any holiday that you may be celebrating with your families. You can also go "wild & crazy", if you like.


Our next Spirit Day is Wednesday, Dec. 16th and it will be "Heroes Day". Students are encouraged to dress up as either their favorite "Superhero" OR as one of our "Everyday Heroes" - doctors, nurses, first responders. police & fire personnel, etc.