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. 

 

January 2018

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 News
"Going from Good to Great"

 

Greetings ASRSD Families,

The first few major snowstorms can make many of us feel rescued from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. I would like to share with you a passage from a novel I read recently. When I read this, I thought this is probably a universal sentiment. The passage is from the novel, The Shack, by Wm. Paul Young.

 “There is something joyful about storms that interrupt our routine. Snow or freezing rain suddenly releases you from appointments and schedules.  And unlike illness, it is largely a corporate rather than individual experience.  One can almost hear a unified sigh rise from the nearby city and surrounding countryside where Nature has intervened to give respite to the weary humans slogging it out with her purview.  All those affected this way are united by a mutual excuse, and the heart is suddenly and unexpectedly a little giddy.” I think we all can relate. Agree?

The Winter Flu
Influenza has taken a hold on us this winter. Remember that your child must be fever free for 24 hours without medication before they can return to school. For more information on influenza, please see the family guide below:

Portuguese:
http://www.mass.gov/eohhs/docs/dph/cdc/flu/the-flu-guide-for-parents-portuguese.pdf

Spanish:
http://www.mass.gov/eohhs/docs/dph/cdc/flu/the-flu-guide-for-parents-spanish.pdf

English:
http://www.mass.gov/eohhs/docs/dph/cdc/flu/the-flu-guide-for-parents.pdf

Inclusive Learning Environments
We are in the last year of a three-year district strategic plan. One of the many objectives in the plan is to implement the Massachusetts Tiered System of Support (MTSS). MTSS is an instructional framework with tiered levels of instruction and support driven by data to inform instructional decisions.

In alignment with MTSS, the leadership team recently completed a professional development series on creating and fostering inclusive learning environments. What is an inclusive learning  environment? What does it look like? What does it mean for my child? Well, simply stated it is an environment where all children can thrive and grow as learners in a safe and supportive learning environment.

MTSS is a guiding principle of inclusive practices along with Social and Emotional Learning (SEL), Universal Design for Learning (UDL), and Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS). All of these principles provide each child equal and equitable access to the learning environment.

  • MTSS is a tiered model for teaching and learning.

  • UDL is research-based on the learning sciences and  focuses on giving students voice and choice in their learning.  

  • SEL is building skills and competencies in self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision-making.

  • PBIS is a multi-tiered approach to enhance social, emotional, and behavior outcomes for students.

  •  If you would like to read an engaging text written for parents on UDL, Let Them Thrive, by Katie Novak, EdD., is a good choice. Together we can make the learning environment for our students even better.

The following links provide an in-depth look at the principles of inclusive learning environments:

This is a handy resource for parents on strengthening the home school connection. Another good read. Home School Connection.

Ayer Shirley High School Athletic Fields Project
Please visit https://www.facebook.com/ASRHSAthleticFields/ for information and updates on this project. Members of the Field Committee have been presenting the project to various groups in the district. A representative  will be available to share information and answer questions at the upcoming Parent Conferences at both the middle school and the high school. The next Field Committee Meeting is Thursday, February 8 at 6:00 in the high school LGI Room. This meeting is open to the public. 

Many have inquired on the status of our two elementary schools. The School Committee commissioned Flansburgh to conduct a facilities assessment of the two elementary schools. The report will be available to the public in a few weeks. We encourage community members to take a tour of the elementary schools. If you are interested in scheduling a tour, please contact Michelle Towne at mtowne@asrsd.org or 978-772-8600 Ext 1508.

What is New in ASRSD?

  • Footsteps2Brilliance This is a bilingual mobile literacy program designed to ensure all students are proficient readers by 3rd grade. The program will be implemented from preschool through 2nd grade. This is an all district and community commitment to prevent illiteracy. Recently all area childcare providers joined the teachers in the district for a Strategy Planning session with Footsteps to Brilliance consultant, Catherine DeRosa. ASRSD administrators, area directors, and preschool teachers learned more about the new early literacy initiative and engaged in a collaborative planning session for mapping next steps in the roll out to staff and the community. We were thrilled with such a strong turn out from ACP, Ayer Community School, Ayer Kiddie Depot, The Guild of St. Agnes,  Wonderful World of Children and the Hazen Library in Shirley.  We will follow up with the Ayer Town library to ensure they become a community partner in this important work.

  • Chromebook Update To date, over 85% of the student body have received Chromebooks and are using them regularly in classes. Let’s make it 100%. The cost is $25.00 for four years! Please contact Principal Varga to get your child’s chromebook.

  • ASRHS Peer Tutoring This is a new after school program created by students for students at Ayer Shirley Regional High School (ASRHS). This program will enable students to receive academic support from their peers. It began on December 11, 2017. Tutoring sessions are every Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday with two one hour blocks, 2:30pm - 3:30pm and 4:00pm - 5:00pm. Students signing up for tutoring can choose one, two, or all three days, and can either participate in one session or both sessions. Tutoring sessions are held in the ASRHS Media Center. It is organized by seniors Kathryn Pollack-Hinds and Nicole Patano. Students who sign up to be tutored will be paired with a peer who has proven to be knowledgeable in the area of need. Great Idea! Kudos to  Mr. Ramos and the students!

  • Online Parent Teacher Conference Registration We launched online parent conferences this week at the high school. This nifty program enables parents to schedule conferences according to their schedule. We hope parents find this format convenient and efficient. We want your feedback. Please email Principal Varga.

  • DARE Program The program will be taught to 5th and 7th graders this year by School Resource Officer, Jen Bigelow, Officer McGuinness, and Lieutenant Cromwell. We are fortunate to have our police departments in Ayer and Shirley so invested in our kids. Big shout out to law enforcement!

News Makers

  • Student Government Day Nicole Patano and Shandy Ndigue have been registered to represent ASRHS at Student Government Day, which will be at the State House in Boston on Friday, April 6, 2018.  This is an informative program about state government, which includes students participating in the role of elected or appointed officials to observe the processes of government. It enables government officials to have contact with students. It allows students to voice their positions on important current issues through prepared debates. Students are able to participate in the legislative process through simulated committee hearings and House and Senate formal sessions. They have the opportunity to exchange views with their peers throughout the state on statewide issues.

  • ASRHS MassFIRST Members of the ASRHS MassFIRST team hosted Bob LePage, Assistant Secretary for Career Education for the Governor’s Executive Office of Education on December 28 to talk about the benefits of FIRST Robotics and strategies to get FIRST Robotics into every public school district in Massachusetts!

  • Congratulations to Kelsey Bozek, a junior at the high school. Kelsey is dually enrolled at Mount Wachusett Community College and has been accepted into The National Academy of Future Physicians and Medical Scientists. This is a unique organization founded on the beliefs that medicine is among the most honorable of professions and that young people need a positive message and the direction, confidence, and capabilities to stay true to their dream of becoming doctors and medical scientists. The Academy was established to provide young people, their parents, and their teachers with extensive information and guidance on how one becomes a doctor or medical scientist through their educational programs and library, mentoring teleseminars, and a social network that connects young people to each other as well as to medical professionals and academicians. This is quite an honor, Kelsey! We are so proud of you.

  • ASRHS Mock Trial Team Congratulations to the members of the Mock Trial team for their win over Voyagers, Inc. and Westford Academy. Our kids did a fabulous job and represented the District wonderfully. If you have a chance to go to a competition, do not miss it. It is fascinating to watch.

  • ASRSD High School Football Awards Banquet The banquet was held this past Sunday.  Congratulations to all who played this season! A special congratulations to the following award recipients:

  2017 Ladder Award

 Ben Rotker

 

           2017 JV Awards:

  Defensive MVP 

 Dillon Granberg

  Offensive MVP            

 Gabe Davis

 Most Improved            

 Halston Wilkey

  Lineman Award           

 Jake Morine

 110% Award                

 Dante Sequeira

 Core Values Award      

 Mason Casavecchia

 

           2017 Varsity Awards:

 Defensive MVP       

 Mick Mitrano

 Offensive MVP        

 Steven Lawton

  Lineman Award       

 Thomas Dentino

   Core Value Award    

 Leo Farrell

  Most Improved        

 Jaden Hamilton

  Loyalty Award          

 Nick Taylor

 110% Award            

 Cole Casto

 Receiver Award       

 Marcus Fields

 

College Acceptances to Date

  • Boston University
  • Bridgewater State University
  • Fitchburg State University
  • Nova Southeastern University
  • Penn State University
  • Regis University
  • Roger Williams University
  • University of Maine
  • University of New England
  • Western New England University
  • Worcester State University

Thank you Panther Nation. Have a great February! This is the time to show love for one another!

Sincerely,
Dr. Malone
Superintendent of Schools

School Committee Vice Chair, Mr. Deforge, presenting the Athletic Field project to the coaches.

Page Hilltop Kindness Challenge Assembly. #kindnessmatters

ASRHS Football Athletic Banquet. What a special group of guys!

ASRHS girls' basketball game. They fought a tough battle last night. Go Girls! Make it to Districts.

Look at the student support at the girls' basketball game. Such pride and spirit! 

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