Amesbury Public Schools Update

From the Office of the Superintendent - April 15, 2022

Dear Amesbury Families,

Well, it is officially Spring and officially Spring Break! We are most definitely in the homestretch now!

Things are definitely picking up around the schools. There are more evening events celebrating the talented students in our schools. I am thoroughly enjoying the increasing connections between buildings as we recognize our students and showcase their abilities. One such example was the Evening of Arts held at Amesbury High School this past week. During this event, the middle and high school arts teachers planned a collaborative evening of visual and performing arts. From all accounts, this was a huge success! See some of the artwork later in this newsletter.

On Thursday, April 14th, I had the pleasure of touring the schools to deliver the coveted Excellence in Education Award letters. Receiving an Excellence in Education Award is particularly meaningful as it starts with a nomination from a colleague. All of the individuals recognized have been selected because they have gone above and beyond in the eyes of at least one of their peers (and likely many more)! The competition is intense! All of the recipients will attend a lunch buffet at Flatbreads on Monday, May 2nd. Congratulations to the following staff members:

AES: Sue Kimball, Pauline Fitzgerald, Karen Pratt, Rae Pritchett, Crystal Florent and Nicole Quadros.

CES: Lori Klucznik, Jennifer Hawrylciw, and Linda Lynch

AMS: Luke Alley and Cathy Mamakos

AHS: Sarah Luz

AIHS: Evan Melanson

Well deserved!

Another huge thank you to AEFI and the Institution for Savings for their generous Staff Appreciation Breakfast! It was the perfect way to start the day!

Be sure to check out our Amesbury Public Schools Facebook page. We have added a new feature. Each week we will introduce a different member of our Central Office Staff so that you can get to know them a little bit better. This week's profile is Daniel Grayton, my Executive Assistant! I have included his profile in this newsletter, to make sure everyone knows him as he is critical to the workings at Central Office.

I sincerely hope that you all have a wonderful break! See everyone on Monday, April 25th when we hit the last leg of the 21-22 school year and all that entails!


Elizabeth McAndrews


AMS Production of Matilda Jr!

For any of you who follow me on Twitter (@amesburypublic1) or on Instagram (@amesburypublicschools), you saw my posts about the incredible show that the AMS Drama Club put on last weekend. Not only was it extremely entertaining, but it included more than 50 students all of whom demonstrated some pretty high level talent! HUGE KUDOS to both staff and students involved! It was beyond fabulous to see a live performance! Can't wait for the show next year!
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The Evening of Arts

On Wednesday, April 13th, the middle and high school art departments collaborated on a wonderful celebration of the talented visual and performing artists in both the middle and high schools. One of the highlights of the evening was the joint performance of the AMS Melody Club and the AHS Rhythmics. Please see below for some of the awesome artwork that was on display at AHS.

PACT - Community Conversation

On Wednesday, April 13th, the PACT (Partnership of Amesbury Community and Teens) Youth Council presented the data from the 2021 Youth Asset Survey. In addition to looking at the data, attendees participated in a community discussion on the effects of the pandemic and how Amesbury's young people can best be supported.

National Honor Society Induction

Congratulations to the new National Honor Society members from the Class of 2023! This induction is a rite of passage each spring at AHS. In order to be invited to apply, a student must have at least a 4.0 GPA. Upon receiving the invitation to apply, students must complete the application process which is pretty extensive. In that application, each student must demonstrate that they have shown service, leadership, and character. Then, each application goes in front of FAC (Faculty Advisory Council) anonymously. FAC scores each application blindly and submits the list of approved applications to Ms. Furlong, NHS advisor. From there, each student is notified and the induction is held. As one can see, it is quite a process! So, another hearty congratulations to the newest NHS members is well deserved!
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Institution For Savings and AEFI - Staff Appreciation Breakfast

On Thursday, April 14th, the Institution for Savings and AEFI delivered delicious breakfast treats to all five schools and Central Office. This incredibly generous act was hugely appreciated by the APS staff! We all began our last day before Spring Break with a full belly of tasty treats from the Bakehouse. The best part was that staff gathered together for a positive purpose and enjoyed one another's company! Thank you Institution for Savings and AEFI! We appreciate you!

Who Stole the Cookies from the Cookie Jar????

Mrs. Kimball's First Grade Class

Last Thursday morning, I received an email from students in Mrs. Kimball's classroom. Ms. Donais provided Mrs. Kimball with a Clue detective game for the students to solve. Mrs. Kimball told them that SOMEONE stole the cookies from the cookie jar and the students had to solve 10 math problems to unlock the clues to find out who the suspects were. Those suspects included the Cookie Monster (likely culprit), Mr. M, Jiji the Penguin, and ME!!!! Then the students solved a suduku problem to unlock the mystery of who the thief was - and guess what???? It was me!

Dang! I felt so sad for taking their cookies that on Monday, I brought them back!

Thank goodness, Mrs. Kimball's class has so many fabulous math detectives! I bet there are amazing math detectives in other classrooms too! I challenge those students to showing me their "math stuff"!

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The Thief Returns the Cookies with an Apology Letter!

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Entry Plan Findings Report

At Monday's School Committee meeting, I presented my Entry Plan Findings Report. This report, including an executive summary, summarizes my findings from the conversations, observations, and data analysis that were conducted from the beginning of the school year through January of 2022. From this data, four key areas of focus, or emerging themes, were revealed. Those trends include: Academic Excellence, Culture, Educator Empowerment, and Equity. The information gathered and analyzed will provide the foundation for the development of the Strategic Plan. From now until August, the Leadership Team will be working together to design a 3 year plan for the district. The purpose of the Strategic Plan is to provide the road map for budget, professional development, district and school priorities, and help each principal and their School Council design their School Improvement Plans. My report will be found on the District Website under the From the Office of the Superintendent starting Tuesday, April 19th.

Job Postings

As we enter into the hiring season for the next school year, we have redoubled our efforts to attract the best and the brightest to work for our students. We are advertising on both Indeed and School Spring. In addition, we are posting all of our vacancies on our website under the employment tab - use this link to see our current opportunities!

Last Day of School!

There have been many questions about the actual last day of school for this year. Let's clear this up!

Our last day of school is Wednesday, June 22nd. Here's why:

  • Our last day of school without snow days was Friday, June 17th
  • I called two snow days.
  • Sunday, June 19th is the holiday, Juneteenth which must be observed on Monday, June 20.

So, there will be a three day weekend June 18, 19, and 20th which will be followed by two days of school: Tuesday, June 21st and Wednesday, June 22nd. June 22nd will be an early release day for the entire district with students being dismissed on an Early Release Schedule.

  • CES and AES - released at 11:30 am
  • AMS, AHS, and AIHS - released at 10:50 am

Hope this helps. As a reminder, students' first day back to school will be Tuesday, September 6th.

Central Office Profile

Daniel Grayton - Assistant to the Superintendent

Title: Assistant to the Superintendent

Responsibilities: Staffing the Superintendent, serve as Secretary to the School Committee, and much more!

How to Contact: 978-388-0507,, or just stop by!

On the Personal Side: I adopted a puppy during the pandemic from Sweet Paws Rescue, best decision ever!

Favorite Color: Blue

Favorite Food: Always willing to try new things but you can't beat a good lasagna or a Hawaiian pizza (Yes, pineapple does belong on pizza!)

Favorite Movie: It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World.

Hobbies and how I entertain myself when I am not at work: Most nights in the spring and summer you can find me on a baseball diamond working as an umpire. Other than that, I am always planning trips to places that I have never been.

(And that is a circus peanut in my hand in case you are wondering - tried something new!)

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Progress on Sgt. Jordan Shay Memorial Lower Elementary School

Thank you for taking the time to read this newsletter!