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.
Going from Good to Great
February flies by with the blink of an eye,
And before you know it, it’s time to say goodbye.
Greetings ASRSD Families,
Yes, February is our shortest month as set by the Gregorian calendar, and when Mother Nature sprinkles in some snow and ice amidst a vacation, February is in the rear window.
I hope all families had a nice vacation with their precious children. Students will return to school on Monday, February 26 in the wake of another horrific act of violence in our schools. Please know that the safety of staff and students is our first priority. I want to assure you of our safety procedures and emergency preparedness plans.
We work very closely with both the Ayer and Shirley Police Departments and other public officials in both towns. The Safety Committee has been meeting the first Wednesday of every month since I began my superintendency four years ago. We are consistently updating and reviewing safety plans. All buildings are locked facilities during school hours, and all visitors must enter through a visitor identification system. All classroom doors have safety locks, and administrators and other key personnel utilize radio systems.
We regularly practice fire and lockdown drills and evacuations in collaboration with the police departments. We have safety manuals in all schools that contain medical emergency response plans and multi-hazard evacuation plans. With respect to after school, each building has different after school and evening activities. Adults supervise students staying after school for activities or sports.
At the start of this school year, we sent home a notice outlining safety procedures and protocols. We have attached it for your review. Please refer here for guidance on talking to your child about school violence. We must all practice vigilance and open communication. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.
Recently, I was most fortunate to hear Sal Kahn speak at a conference. The story of Sal Kahn and his brainchild, Khan Academy, is most intriguing and inspiring. Mr. Khan’s powerful message is every child has a fundamental right to a world-class education, and we in ASRSD believe the same. Our vision statement affirms academic excellence for all. We want every child to succeed and believe every child has the potential to take advanced coursework. We believe all children have the potential to reach great heights.
Please check out Khan Academy. It provides free instructional videos for ALL students in the following areas: mathematics, science and engineering, computing, arts & humanities, economics and finance, test prep, college, careers & more. Students have access to practice exercises and it even hosts a personalized dashboard to encourage students to study outside of their classroom and at their own pace. The high school counselors have informed the junior class and their parents, through Family Connection and their monthly newsletters, to practice the spring SAT by linking their College Board account to Khan Academy at www.Khanacademy.org. Khan Academy can help with homework. Please encourage your child to take advantage of this free resource. It is for ALL children.
FY19 School Budget
Please see the FY19 budget book, which provides next year's budget and many facts and statistics about the school district. A public hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, March 6 from 7:00-7:30pm in the LGI room at the high school. The regularly scheduled school committee meeting will follow. Should you have any questions on next year's budget, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or at 978-772-8600 ext.1508, or Mr. Plunkett, Director of Finance, at email@example.com, or at 978-772-8600 ext 1510.
High School Field Project
Come learn more about this proposed project. New members are welcome to join the Field Committee. The next meeting is scheduled for Thursday, March 1 at 6:00pm in the LGI room at the high school. Hope to see you there.
Many of you have questions on the elementary schools. The School Committee enlisted Flansburgh Architects to conduct a full assessment of each elementary school. Once the assessment is complete, a public forum will be held to review the findings.
Winter Sports Update by Athletic Director, Mr. Sweeney
The boys' track team had a wonderful season this year capturing the Mid Wach D league title, Central MA Title, and won its first ever Division 5 State Championship. This program is seven years young, and the work that has been put in by the athletes and coaches is unbelievable. Congratulations to all!
The boys' and girls' track teams have five athletes competing in the All-State Meet this Saturday at the Reggie Lewis Center in Boston. The athletes are Natalie Battle (High Jump), Trevor Fields (1000m and 4x8), Ethan Matthews (2 mile and 4x8), Ed Ernst (4x8), and Will Ernst (4x8). Good luck to these athletes!
The girls' basketball team won the Mid Wach D league championship this season with a current record of 12-7. This is a young team that is looking to make a strong district run. Congratulations to the players and coaching staff!
Jared Magno finished 12th in the state at the D1 swim championships, and was part of a relay team that finished 9th. Way to cap off a great senior year. We are all very proud!
The LAS hockey team has put together a great record of 14-4-1 and currently sits in second place in the Coughlin Conference. The team is looking to make big noise in the districts this year. Good luck to the team and keep working.
Spring Sports Update
The first day of practice for all spring sports will be held on Monday March 19. Spring sports include boys and girls outdoor track, baseball, softball, and lacrosse.
Page Hilltop held its annual school level National Scripps Spelling Bee Contest on February 16.
A field of 20 class champions competed in the contest, which lasted for several rounds in front of a large audience of fourth and fifth grade students, staff, and guests. Fourth grader, Karen McEwen, was declared the champion with an accurate spelling of the word "correctional". Karen now has the privilege of representing Page Hilltop School in the regional National Scripps Spelling Bee to be held in mid-March in Leominster, MA. Come out and show your support for Karen!
Page Hilltop Geography Bee
Fourth Grader, Ciara Glynn, is the 2018 Geography Bee School Champion. Congratulation, Ciara!
National Junior Honor Society
Congratulations to the inaugural Inductees to the Ayer Shirley Regional Middle School Chapter of the National Junior Honor Society! Congratulations to Joseph Rezendes, Emily Granger, Katherine Kilcommins, Jackson Ehwa, Alicia Towne, Abby Carpenter, Ella Razzetti, Lili Kaeppel, Lilly Robinson, Isabelle Cody, Lorelei Folger, Annika Preston.
Our ASRSD Andromeda One Robotics Team
The team is the first in the world to successfully lift two robots in this year's challenge, achieving a triple climb.
1st Annual Black History Month Assembly Program
Mr. Stephen Tulli, science teacher and advisor to the Leadership Program, along with SSG Jason O’Brien, initiated the First Annual Black History Month Program at the high school, which was held on Thursday, February 15. The ASRHS Leadership Program student group designed and led this remarkable assembly under the direction of Mr. Tulli. Speakers spoke of diversity in the military and the importance of leadership in shaping beliefs, values, and voice in multicultural organizations. The program included a choir performance of 'Dreamer', and student poetry reading. Mrs. Lucille DaCosta, a long-term former ASRHS employee, was honored for her service to students and the many multicultural assemblies Mrs. DaCosta organized with the goal of celebrating diversity.
Congratulations to All! We are so proud of our students, teachers, and coaches.
Thank you, Panther Nation. Wishing all families a marvelous March! Spring is on its way!
Superintendent of Schools
Page Hilltop Spelling Bee winners! Spelling Bee Champion Karen McEwen (center) with Carley Ehwa & Preslie Boo (1st runner-up).
Ciara Glynn, Fourth Grader, Page Hilltop Geography Bee Champion. Congratulations Ciara!
Congratulations to the boy's indoor track team! Way to go!
Congratulations to the girls' basketball team on their Mid-Wach league title.
Congratulations to the Inductees of the first chapter of the Ayer Shirley Middle School National Junior Honor Society!
ASRHS 1st annual Black History Month assembly program.
Our great educators collaborating at a Curriculum Leader workshop.
Our Andromeda One Robotics Team!
Mrs. Melanson’s biology students engaging in a cell respiration experiment.
Lura A. White and Page Hilltop celebrate the 100th day of school!