News from the Andover Public School District
Don't Miss It!
Set your DVRs! Last month, WCVB- channel 5 visited all five elementary schools to record their “Good Morning Eye Opener” segments. You can watch the students in action wishing Boston area viewers a good morning from Andover Public Schools throughout the month of November!
· Sanborn Elementary – November 9th
· Bancroft Elementary – November 14th
· West Elementary – November 16th
· South Elementary – November 19th
· High Plain Elementary- November 21st
The segments air at approximately 5:10 a.m. and repeat at 6:10 a.m.
STUDENT SPOTLIGHT- Doherty Middle School Broadcast
Eighth grader Ohad Mamet wanted to change up the typical morning announcements at Doherty Middle School, hoping to make them more interactive. He decided to create the DMS Broadcast, a quick “newscast” video announcement that began airing on Friday, October 26th.
The broadcast can be seen internally at Doherty Middle School each Friday. Hosted by eighth graders Justin Jin, Amelia Hanscom and Rachel Haydar, who are naturals on-camera, segments include the Pledge of Allegiance, current events and after-school programs, and the “Ask Calvin” segment, where Calvin offers advice to students who submit questions in boxes set up around the school.
The group enjoys offering the newscast for their classmates and says it’s a great opportunity to spread news in a way that catches students’ attention. The first broadcast can be seen here.
FEATURED TEACHERS- Design Thinking Leaders at APS
West Elementary teachers Jennifer Sands and Scott Price, along with Digital Learning Coach Katherine Fowler, are leaders at APS for Design Thinking. As part of our teachers’ professional development, Jennifer, Scott and Kathy have been trained to instruct their colleagues on how to incorporate Design Thinking into your child’s classroom. They also practice this strategy with their students at West Elementary.
Design Thinking is a framework for problem solving and involves collaboration among all students. Created by the Stanford University School for Design, steps to the Design Thinking process include: empathy, define, ideate, prototype, feedback and testing.
In groups of 3 or 4, students tackle a challenge as a team, demonstrating the multiple ways to solve a problem. This allows for equity in ideas and for each student to respectfully collaborate with their peers. The entire process is focused on helping students strengthen their creative abilities in order to apply them in solving problems in the world around them. In classes, students take on projects and challenges that require a new way of looking at what’s possible to frame problems and produce innovative solutions in both classrooms and beyond.
Kathy and Scott have created a “Novel” Engineering in the Classroom course for teachers. In this course, teachers learn to use existing classroom literature- stories, novels, and poetry as the basis for engineering design challenges.
West El 3rd grade students recently heard the story “The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere” read aloud. They identified the problems in the text for both the Regulars and the Colonists. This allowed students to explore a historic event from more than one perspective using a hands-on approach that encouraged students to use the 4 c’s (critical thinking, communication, collaboration and creativity). The development of this unit was inspired by Tufts University Center for Engineering Education and Outreach “Novel engineering” approach.
Jenn is currently holding instruction for teachers at APS who have had some experience with Design Thinking. Her course will help teachers investigate different ways to bring elements of Design Thinking and the process into lessons.
Jenn, Kathy and Scott were all trained in Design Thinking at the Henry Ford Learning Institute in Detroit, and know that Design Thinking is a great way to enrich learning experiences in the classrooms.
The past week has been witness to some very troubling incidents in our nation. The news media have covered in detail the events surrounding more than a dozen pipe bombs being sent to political leaders across the country, the shooting of two African-American shoppers at a grocery store in Kentucky, and the deaths of eleven members of a Jewish synagogue in Pittsburgh. From what we have learned thus far, it appears that all of these incidents arose from prejudice and a lack of tolerance and respect for differences in the way people look, think, and believe.
As parents and educators, we struggle to find the right words to discuss these matters with children. Adults and children alike have difficulty understanding why people behave this way toward others and what we can do to make a positive difference. Even as we are deeply saddened and want to extend our sympathy to all who lost loved ones, it is important to take this opportunity to talk with our children and let them know that prejudice, racism, and discrimination are not acceptable. We need to help children know that by working together we can build a society that values all people and that offers respect and tolerance for the differences that make up the fabric of American life. As you have these conversations with your children and respond to their questions, here are some links to resources that may be helpful.
I’ve also learned of additional opportunities that may help your children at this time. This Friday, Jewish communities all over the United States are opening their Shabbat services to everyone as part of a solidarity observance with the Jewish Community of Pittsburgh.
Here in Andover, the congregation of Havurat Shalom is welcoming the community to a potluck dinner and service to be held at Christ Church- 33 Central Street, Andover. More information is available here. Temple Emanuel will be hosting a service of “Hope, Affirmation and Unity” on Friday, November 2nd at 6 p.m.- 7 Haggetts Pond Road, Andover. All in the community are welcome to attend.
APS COMMUNITY NEWS
Andover High Student Ambassadors Create Blankets for Students in Need
Student Ambassadors created no-sew fleece blankets for over 150 students at Andover High School who remain directly affected by the gas crisis, and have no heat, hot food, or hot water in their homes.
AHS senior Paige Long, and juniors Hannah Finn and Karina Calhoun came up with the idea to provide for some warmth and care for their classmates. “We wanted to do something that might help; we thought blankets would lift their spirits and let people know others care about their difficult situation,” said Calhoun, Long and Finn. “We are grateful for the donation from the Service Club of Andover.”
The Service Club of Andover provided $1,300 to cover the cost of materials. The Service Club of Andover is a volunteer organization that seeks to make a difference in the lives of our youth and friends with special needs. Joann Fabrics provided a generous 75% discount off the retail price for the kits. Andover High School Student Ambassadors assume leadership roles in their school and communities, focusing on wellness, sportsmanship and service to others.
Bus Driver Appreciation Day at West Elementary
A little rain (O.K. a LOT of rain) didn’t stop students and staff at West Elementary from showing their appreciation for their bus drivers! Our bus drivers work tirelessly to ensure our students get to school safely each morning. We know that since the gas line disruptions in September their routes have become more difficult to navigate but they have done their best to tackle these challenges.
October is National Principals Month
Each October, the National Association of Secondary School Principals, National Association of Elementary School Principals and the American Federation of School Administrators honors the hard work and dedication of America’s principals all month long. Before the month passes, please take a moment to #ThankAPrincipal
Annual Fun Run!
The APS Annual Fun Run was held on Tuesday, October 30, with participation from middle and elementary schools. South Elementary Physical Education Teacher David Giribaldi congratulates 4th and 5th grade South Elementary students as they cross the finish line!
The first annual Andover Youth Foundation (AYS) Global Gala will be held on Saturday, November 3rd, 2018, at Andover's Old Town Hall. All proceeds will benefit the Global Pathways Scholars, the Andover Portal Project, and the growing number dynamic global initiatives created for the youth of Andover. We look forward to celebrating with a festive evening of food, dancing, entertainment, and fundraising. To learn more about the Global Pathways Scholars visit https://sites.google.com/k12.andoverma.us/global-pathways-at-ahs/ayf-global-gala-2018
West Middle School Flamingo Drive Success!
The West Middle School’s Parent Advisory Council (PAC) has brought back its flocks of pink flamingos this month! The Flamingo flocks visit every 2 years and this year raised $8,000 to support activities and improvements at West Middle! The West Middle PAC plans to use the funds raised to renovate the recess area in collaboration with the WMS student leadership team.
Sleep Study Community Presentation
Join us for a community presentation on the effects of sleep on adolescents Tuesday, November 13, 2018 at 7 PM at the Veterans Memorial Auditorium, adjacent to the Doherty Middle School.
Dr. Judith Owens, Director of Sleep Medicine at Boston Children’s Hospital and Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School, will discuss the rationale for later school start times for middle and high school students. She will outline the basics of sleep and circadian biology in adolescence, the consequences of insufficient sleep, and the evidence supporting school start time change as a means of optimizing the health of students.
The School Committee is currently considering the implications of the Andover schools schedule on adolescents’ mental health and well-being, and potential impacts of changing start times within the district. We invite you to participate in this very important presentation.