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. 

 

June Blog 2016

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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.

 

We are all remarking, “The school year flew by.” And what a year it was! It would be impossible to try and list the many successes, accolades, awards, and recognitions bestowed upon the faculty and students this school year; but certainly not impossible to share my heartfelt appreciation and sincere thanks to our awesome students, fabulous staff, wonderful parents, and volunteers. Your financial support through PTOs and ASEF, your attendance at events, and your extensive volunteerism are most impressive and truly remarkable. Thank you for your support of our school district. 

I often find myself using the metaphor, “It takes a village,” to describe ASRSD. Our successes, momentum, passion, and dedication are the culmination of all of us collectively working together with the end in mind-to be the best school district in the state! Every student matters, and every student is worthy of academic excellence.

Now it is time for families to relax, rest, and have fun. Summertime, summertime, summertime fun…homework, projects, and obligations are none. However, before you go, there are some things you should know…

Ayer Shirley Education Foundation
I am pleased to announce ASEF has approved our grant proposal for 30 iPads for Kindergarten and Grade 1 classrooms. They most generously fully funded the cost of 30 iPads at $11,370.This will enable teachers to implement with fidelity a technology center in the classrooms. A big shout out to ASEF, and we extend to them our deepest gratitude for their support of teachers, students, and academic excellence in our schools.

Tennis Courts at the High School
The tennis courts are ready! They are open to all members of our community. Please make use of this awesome facility. Come and have some family fun!

Parent Satisfaction Survey
We had 422 respondents and we thank our families for taking the time to complete this survey. We received positive and rich feedback. We have very good and viable suggestions for improvement, which will certainly be considered and implemented to the best of our ability next school year. 

Summer Reading
We are excited to launch our K-12 Summer Reading Program.  All students, including incoming kindergarten students, are expected to participate in the program. It is designed to encourage independent reading as well as shared read aloud experiences. There are variety of reading genres, fiction, non-fiction, and even magazines are included in the reading lists. The grade specific Summer Reading Program Brochure will be sent home in the report cards on Tuesday. High school students will receive the brochure in a mailing from the high school, which will also include report cards and schedules. The brochure will include required titles, choice titles, suggested authors, a required writing assignment, and a Reading Log. Students in Grades K-8 who complete the required book assignment, and submit the reading log with parent signature on the first day of school will be eligible to participate in the Hoops & Scoops Reading Celebration at the start of the school year.

Why is summer reading so important? Studies show students who engage in summer reading experience less regression and make better academic gains during the school year. Summer reading loss can be correlated to achievement gaps in reading. 

All Summer Reading Brochures and assignment information is located on the district website and is also available at the Ayer Town Library, the Shirley Town Library, and Barnes & Noble in Leominster, MA. 

Summer Reading Link:  
CCM:BASE_URL}/additional-links/summer-reading-2016/

Special thanks to the teachers, administrators, Literacy Coach, Jennifer Traverso, parent volunteers, and town librarians, Amy Leonard and Kathleen Farrar, who collaborated with the schools to develop the K-8 and high school book lists.  To our supportive and generous PTOs, thank you for supporting the Summer Reading Program with funds for a portion of the required texts and Hoops & Scoops supplies! 

Please read the article on summer regression and summer reading with suggestions for family activities to lessen summer regression and sustain learning:

http://www.edutopia.org/blog/parents-preventing-summer-slide-on-budget-heather-wolpert-gawron

More on summer learning and resources:
http://www.edutopia.org/blog/summer-learning-resources-matt-davis

Early kickoff to Summer Learning!
Today is the summer solstice and the longest day of the year. The sun rose at 4:45am and sunset will occur at 10:34pm. This day is really special this year because summer solstice coincides with the Strawberry Moon. This is very rare and is an once-in-a-lifetime occurrence. Be sure to take a look at the full moon tonight!

To learn more on this rare occurrence:
http://www.treehugger.com/natural-sciences/strawberry-full-moon-makes-summer-solstice-super-rare-thing.html

A mini science lesson for the family. Please watch this short clip on the exquisite monarch butterfly and their amazing migration.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z9rZz3fILt4

Summer Registration
New families may register at Central Office beginning Monday, July 5, 2016. Families may register at their respective school until Friday, July 1. Hours for registration are Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:00am -1:00pm or by appointment. Please contact Michelle Towne at mtowne@asrsd.org or call 978-772-8600 x1508 to schedule an appointment. We ask that you please share this information with our new families.

Looking Ahead to the 2016 - 2017 School Year:

Trimesters
Next year K-5 student reporting will be a trimester calendar, which is divided into three, grading periods. Students will receive fewer report cards in this system, three instead of the typical four. We will issue progress reports midway through the trimesters, so students and parents will receive feedback about student progress. This system is beneficial to students, parents, and teachers. It provides teachers an extended time to assess student learning and performance, and provides more time to develop and implement a plan for improvement at the midway mark should the progress report indicate a decline in academic performance.

Blackboard Attendance Calls
Families may have received an automated call notifying you of your child’s absence. All schools in the district are utilizing the Blackboard Connect Mass Notification system to alert parents/guardians to their student’s unexplained absence from school.  In the event that your student is absent, and the school has not been notified of such, an automated call from your student's school will call your primary phone number in our database and send an email notification to alert you to your child's absence and requests you to call the school as soon as possible to verify your child’s absence. We appreciate your cooperation with this new system. Our first priority is to keep students safe.

Retirements
Thank you to Deb Flagg, Edel Stacey, Helen Harris, and Jack Senecal for their years of service and dedication to the students and families. We wish them all the best during their years of retirement, and may they experience peace, happiness, and good health.

Administration
Assistant Principal, Sean McLaughlin has elected to return to the classroom to teach history at ASRHS. Mr. McLaughlin will continue pursuit of his PhD. Good luck, Mr. McLaughlin!

Mr. Edwin Ramos has been appointed Assistant Principal. Mr. Ramos has served as Interim Assistant Principal at Minnechaug High School, and prior to that Dean of Students in Marlborough Public Schools. Welcome, Mr. Ramos!

District Website
A friendly reminder to check the website throughout the summer for updates and resources. 

Please feel free to contact me anytime during the summer.

Thank you for a great year! Have a safe and wonderful summer!

 

 

Congratulations Class of 2016!!

Luther Salmon being presented his acceptance letter to West Point at Awards and Scholarship Night.

Another photo from the Awards and Scholarship Night. Students received a total of $40,050 in scholarship awards. Congratulations to all students! We wish our 2016 seniors much success!

Our awesome staff hamming it up in the Grade 3 class play. Pictured are Mrs. Reeves, Ms. Tessier, Ms. Oppenheim, and Ms. Arsenault.

LAW Memorial Day Assembly.

Look at these tennis courts open for your enjoyment.

Have a great summer!

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