Our vision is to connect, engage, and inspire all students in the Ayer Shirley Regional School District to reach academic excellence. We, the educators of the Ayer Shirley Regional School District, will instill habits of reflection and inquiry to challenge our students in setting ambitious academic and personal goals. Students will develop a strong voice to express thoughts and ideas in the community and the confidence to showcase their talents and successes in preparation for entry into college and the world of work. 

 

February Blog 2017

Our vision is to connect, engage, and inspire all students in the Ayer Shirley Regional School District to reach academic excellence. We, the educators of the Ayer Shirley Regional School District, will instill habits of reflection and inquiry to challenge our students in setting ambitious academic and personal goals. Students will develop a strong voice to express thoughts and ideas in the community, and the confidence to showcase their talents and successes in preparation for entry into college and the world of work.

Panther Pride 

February 2017

 

2015 - 2018 ASRSD District Strategic Plan

Long Range Goals

I. Curriculum & Instruction
Strengthen and deliver research-based high quality curricula, instruction, and assessments to improve student achievement for all students.

II. Educator Effectiveness
Develop a common and shared understanding of high-quality research based instruction responsive to the academic and non-academic needs of all students.

III. Management & Operations
Ensure equity and parity of resources for all four schools: establish consistency and common expectations for district procedures and protocols in school finance, human resources, leadership and governance.

IV. School & District Culture
Foster culture of unification as one district that promotes success for all students by nurturing and sustaining a district and school culture of high expectations.

V. Family & Community Engagement
Strengthen family and community engagement by building collaborative partnerships to support the learning and social-emotional well being of all students.

Greetings ASRSD Families,

“What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it the sweetness.”

~John Steinbeck

We certainly got a taste of toasty temperatures last week and it was sweet. Temperatures soared to 73 degrees. WOW, did that feel good! I hope February vacation was a nice week for all of you. Your children returned today rested, refreshed, and ready to get back to work.

We have had three snow days this winter and the last day of school is now Tuesday, June 20, 2017. Thank you to all parents/guardians for our quick response and cooperation on the early release day in February due to declining weather conditions.  It was the first time during my tenure that an early release was executed, and it went very smoothly. Fortunately, we got the day in as well.  In addition to avoiding a snow day, which extends the school year in June, I am most interested in the quality time for teaching and learning. As you know students must master a set of learning standards at each grade level, and the normal school year is the optimal time for teaching and learning.  The mastery of grade level learning standards prepares students for state assessments, which measure how well we taught, and your child’s understanding of the material that was taught.

Let’s take a look at the upcoming assessments and what you can do at home to support your child to ensure his/her success.

2017 State Assessments
High School

  • Grade 10 students continue to take MCAS ELA, Mathematics, and Science

  • ELA Assessments

    • March 21, Long Composition

    • March 22 & 23, Reading Comprehension

  • Mathematics Assessment is May 16 & 17

  • Science, Technology, Engineering Assessment is June 5 & 6 Assessment is paper-based

  • MCAS is a graduation requirement in addition to the local requirements of ASRHS

  • Students must EITHER earn a scaled score of 240 (proficient) on MCAS ELA and Mathematics or earn a scaled score of 220-238 (Needs Improvement) AND fulfill requirements of an Educational Proficiency Plan

  • Students must also earn a scaled score of at least 220 (Needs Improvement) on MCAS Science, Technology, Engineering  

  • John and Abigail Adams Scholarship is available to students who meet the following criteria:

  • Score at Advanced level (260-280) on one of the three assessments

  • Score at Proficient level (240-258) on the remaining two assessments

  • Have combined scores on all three tests that place student in top 25% of students in graduating class

Middle and Elementary Schools

  • Grade 3-8 students will take Next-Generation MCAS

  • Grade 5 & 8 students will take MCAS Science, Technology & Engineering

  • Next-Generation MCAS Assessment is very much like PARCC and has similarities to MCAS

  • Testing window is April 3-May 26

  • Each school develops its own testing schedule which will be sent to parents/guardians in the next few weeks

  • Assessment is computer-based

  • Annual assessment results are analyzed for strengths and weaknesses to design educational programming to meet the learning needs of each individual student

Click here for more information on statewide assessments. You will have access to prior test questions along with samples of student work and scoring guides should you wish to review content with your child.  Always feel free to consult your child’s principal or teacher with questions or for additional information.

How Can I Help My Child Be Successful on State Assessments?

  • Make sure your child is in school and on time every day

  • Stress the importance of learning

  • Use every opportunity to practice mathematics and literacy

  • Expose your child to enrichment opportunities such as going to museums or the library

  • Communicate frequently with your child’s teacher - Let them know if he/she is having difficulties  learning grade level content

  • Encourage your child to participate in the performing arts, sports, or clubs

  • Try to help your child in areas that might be difficult for him/her

  • Practice mathematics facts, sample test questions, and vocabulary with your child

  • Send your child for extra help - every teacher in the district stays after school one day a week for 30 minutes. Times and days are posted on the website under the Students Tab / I Want To/ After School Extra Help Schedule

  • Inspire your child to do his/her best and show what he/she knows

Transgender Guidance

Federal guidelines have been lifted and it is up to the states and school districts to determine whether students should have access to restrooms in accordance with their gender identity. The Massachusetts state statute, Chapter 199 of the Acts of 2011, ensures protections for all students and prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender identity. Guidance from the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education permits students to use restrooms consistent with one’s gender identity. Please see here for resources and guidance for supporting transgender students.

Massachusetts Tops Advanced Placement  

This article recently appeared in the Commissioner of Education, Mitchell Chester’s Weekly Update:

For the first time, Massachusetts is the top state in the nation in terms of the percentage of the class of 2016 that scored a 3 or higher on an Advanced Placement exam, the College Board announced this week.In addition, Massachusetts had the nation's highest five - and ten - year growth in the percentage of graduates who scored a 3 or higher.This accomplishment reflects both strong participation – approximately 44.1 percent of Massachusetts' class of 2016 took at least one AP exam while they were in high school – and frequent success, with 31 percent of the overall class scoring 3 or higher out of a possible 5 on an AP exam.

The Department would like to thank Mass Insight Education for their work to expand access to AP courses and congratulate all of the educators and students whose work made these impressive results possible!

Tell Me More About Advanced Placement Courses at ASRHS

Over the last two years we have added four Advanced Placement courses at ASRHS:

  • English Language & Composition

  • Biology

  • Physics

  • Chemistry

Next year we will add AP Statistics and AP Computer Science Principles, bringing our total to nine AP courses offered at the high school.

Additionally, we partnered with Mass Insight Education this school year. Their support increased participation in AP courses, provided high quality professional development to our high school teachers who teach Advanced Placement courses, and they provide mock AP exams to students with feedback prior to the exam in May.  The district also receives funds from Mass Insight for textbooks and laboratory equipment.

Town Hall with Senator Eldridge & Representative Benson

The event is this Thursday from 7:00pm to 8:30pm at the Bull Run in Shirley. The public is invited and welcome to pose questions and comments to the speakers. Free hors d'oeuvres will be served.

The agenda is as follows:

How Money Influences Policy - Senator James Eldridge

How the Public can Remain Engaged - Representative Jennifer Benson

The Need for a Free Press - Journalist Melissa Lynch

How to Foster Civil Discourse - Former Selectman Chip Guercio

News Makers

  • Congratulations to High School Mock Trial Team and their Coach, Mr. Gubellini. They have advanced to the Regionals/Sweet 16 Trials to be held this Sunday, March 5 at Clark University. Three cheers to the Mock Trial Team. Good luck!

  • Congratulations to our very own high school English teacher, Mrs. Wittmier. She has been nominated by the Board of Directors of the Marble Collection to receive their distinguished “Creative Advocate - Outstanding English Language Arts Educator” for her commitment to share The Marble Collection’s mission to cultivate creativity and excellence in the arts with her students. Mrs. Wittmier will be honored as one of two educators at the 4th annual magazine release gala, Spring into Art, which celebrates teens published in the Massachusetts High School Magazine of the Arts. We are very proud of Mrs. Wittmier. On a side note, we have had students’ literary work published in the teen magazine as recently as last year.

  • Congratulations to Lunenburg Ayer Shirley Hockey Team. They clinched first place and are in the playoffs. Good luck Blue Knights!

  • Congratulations to the girls’ basketball team for making Districts. They have their first playoff game tonight at home against Trivium. Be there to cheer them on at 7:00pm. Good luck, Lady Panthers!

  • Congratulations to the boys’ basketball team for making Districts. They have their first playoff game Tuesday night at Sutton High School, in Sutton, MA  at 7:30pm. Good luck, Panthers!

Grade 2 teacher, Mrs. Lynch, practicing mathematics facts with one of her students.

The power of student conversation and collaborative learning in Grade 2 math.

The power of teacher conversation and collaborative learning.

Preschool and Kindergarten Parent Information Session at Lura A. White.

ASRHS Student Council monthly meeting.  Student government at work!

Preschool and Kindergarten registration is now open!

141 Washington Street | Phone: 978-772-8600
1 Hospital Rd | Phone: (978) 772-8600
115 Washington Street | Phone: (978) 772-8600
34 Lancaster Road | Phone: (978) 772-8600