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.
Greetings ASRSD Families,
The cycle of the seasons is perplexing and perhaps a mystery. Each season is marked by changes in the weather. The days grow longer or shorter, the climate gets colder or warmer, and the foliage around us appears in many forms. As they say, spring has sprung, but we would not necessarily know by the current weather conditions. It is still quite chilly, and snow still blankets the ground, and maybe another snow storm on the horizon? Tell me it can't be true! But let us not be fooled; the days are longer and the buds have awakened on the bare branches.
The spring season is often compared to the cycle of life. In the spring we see new growth, the rebirth of nature. We plant flower and vegetable gardens, and we nurture our plants with fertilizer and water, along with the sun, and maybe a song or two. We hope to provide a solid foundation so we will cultivate beautiful, strong, vibrant flowers and hearty, mature, delicious vegetables. Don’t we do the same with new life? We care and nurture our babies so they grow into strong and bright children. Once they enter school, we educators contribute to the nurture and growth of your precious children. We support and protect them as you do. We take our job of educating your child as seriously as you do in raising your child. We commit to the development of the whole child and this is why the partnership between school and family is so critical. As stated in the attached article,“Making the Case for Educating the Whole Child," 'The demands of the twenty-first century require a new approach to education policy and practice - a whole child approach to learning, teaching, and community engagement.' ~ASCD
The spring season is a time for all to renew and reflect both personally and professionally. It is the time of year when we solicit your feedback to assist us in our renewal and reflection on how well we have done our job of educating your child. As stated in our vision statement, “We are committed to academic excellence for each and every child in this district.”
Family and community engagement is an important strategic lever in the District Strategy Plan.
V. Family & Community Engagement
Foster partnerships with all stakeholders, including families, faculty members, and members of the community, to maximize resources in order to promote the learning and social-emotional well-being of all students. Engage and collaborate with parents, community organizations, and local businesses in supporting academic excellence in all schools.
During the week of April 10, we will send out a parent satisfaction survey and hope to have 100% participation.We thank you for your support and partnership and look forward to your honest feedback.
Please remember to visit the website and social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter for up to date information on all the happenings in the school district.
Next Generation MCAS Assessment (Grades 3-8)
The testing window begins Monday, April 3 - Friday, May 26, 2017. Specific testing schedules have been sent to you by your child's principal. Please encourage your child to do his/her best so we can measure how well he/she has mastered the grade level learning standards taught during the course of the school year in English Language Arts, mathematics, and science. If you have any specific questions or concerns, please contact your child's principal.
Technology at the High School
We are very pleased to announce the implementation of a 1:1 environment for our high school students next year. Students will be provided with chrome books. We are still working out the fine details on the roll out of this program, and we are very excited. We acknowledge our students are digital natives and it is our obligation to meet the needs of our learners. Integration of technology into the curriculum is integral to 21st century teaching and learning.
FY18 School Budget
The School Committee certified the budget at the March 22 meeting. The total appropriated general fund budget is $27,495,409. It is estimated that ASRSD will receive $8,658,302 in Chapter 70 and other state aid. This leaves a balance of $18,837,107 to be assessed to the member towns. The next step in the budget process is to seek approval of the budget at the Spring Town Meetings in Ayer and Shirley. The Ayer Town Meeting is scheduled for Monday, May 8 at 7:00pm in the high school auditorium. The Shirley Town Meeting is Monday, May 15 and Tuesday May 16 respectively at 7:00pm in the middle school auditorium.
In the November Blog, we introduced families to the discussion on eliminating class rank. Class rank is a process where students at the high school are ranked from highest to lowest on Grade Point Average (GPA). There is a strong case that class rank may hurt a student’s chances of getting into colleges and/or certain programs. Also in November, a presentation was held at the high school on class rank. The presentation may be viewed here. Many districts in the Commonwealth have eliminated class rank. You will see the list of districts in the attached presentation. Hudson High School recently abolished class rank beginning with the class of 2017.
School Committee Member, Mr. Jim Quinty, met with the Student Council at the high school to ensure students have a voice and an opportunity to express their thoughts and ideas on eliminating class rank. The students asked excellent questions and were curious on other schools who have eliminated class rank. They also wanted to know which graduating class this would affect.
Parents/Guardians are invited to join in on the discussion at the School Committee meeting on Tuesday April 4, 2017, at 7:00pm in the high school LGI Room. The topic of class rank is on the agenda.
High School Course Registration
Grade 8 students are beginning the process of registering for high school. High School Principal, Mr. Varga, has sent information to parents of 8th graders regarding the process and timeline. Such an exciting time for these students! Principal Varga and the high school staff hope Grade 8 students will attend the movie night on Thursday, April 6. We hope Grade 8 Parents/Guardians will relive an hour of their high school life by attending the Open House on April 13 from 1:00pm-2:00pm at the high school. Come experience high school life.
Grade 9,10,&11 students are also beginning the process of course selection for next year. Parents/Guardians have received information on the process and timeline.
Please take some time to peruse the 2017-2018 Program of Studies. We offer a high quality and rigorous program of studies to prepare students for entry into college and the world of work. The high school offers pathways or concentrations for students should they wish to focus on a specific track. The pathways include STEM; Mass Core; Honors; Early College/AP. The pathways and more information may be found on page 8. We would also like to focus your attention on the new mathematics program of studies on page 10.
Below are new courses with page numbers to view course descriptions:
- Video Pre Production (p.11)
- Video Post Production (p.12)
- Integrated Math I/II (p.17)
- Integrated Math II/III (p.18)
- Advanced Placement Statistics (p.19)
- Mandarin (p.28)
- Senior Seminar (p.31)
- ASRHS Robotics Team, Andromeda One
The team received the top honor award at the WPI competition! They won the Chairman's Award for the third year in a row. A special thanks goes out to the Chairman's interview, video, and writing team: Ryan Kilcommins, Dana Maloney, Jacob Miska, Sarah Ernst, and Maureen Kilcommins. Congratulations to Will Doyle for being selected as a Dean's List Quarter Finalist! The M31 robot earned a ranking of 4 out of 40. It was a great day for the Ayer Shirley Regional High School's Robotics Team!
This past weekend the team did extremely well in New Bedford. They came in 7th out of 42 teams at the end of the qualification matches. They also won the Engineering Inspiration Award. They are on to the New England Competition next weekend.
- ASRHS DI Team
The Sassy Sleepers and the Gnomes are moving on to the State Competition at WPI this Saturday, April 1st. The team would love to have the support of their community. Their performance time is 4:20 pm. They will be in the student center/lounge building on the 2nd level in Odeum.
- High School Jazz Ensemble
The Ensemble participated in the Massachusetts Association for Jazz Education (MAJE) competition for the first time this year and earned a bronze medal. Congratulations! The band and chorus are competing in the MICCA Festival this weekend. Good luck!
- Page Hilltop
Congratulations to Nathan Baptista, a student in Ms. Pasquaretta's fifth grade class, who finished third out of twenty-four contestants at the 2017 North Central Massachusetts Regional Spelling Bee held in Leominster, MA. Congratulations to Nathan and his family!
- ASRHS Mock Trial Team
This team had an outstanding season. They made it to the Elite Eight out of 140 high school teams. Mr. Varga and I attended the competition, and it was a fantastic performance by the team. So impressive. Congratulations!
- High School Teachers
Mrs. Amy Allaire and Mrs. Melanie Wittmier, have been invited to become College Board AP Readers in US Government and Politics and English Literature and Composition respectively. We now have two College Board certified readers on faculty. Congratulations!
- Mrs. Wittmier has been nominated by The Marble Collection [TMC] Board of Directors to receive their distinguished “Creative Advocate – Outstanding English Language Arts Educator” award for her commitment to share TMC’s mission to cultivate creativity and excellence in the arts with her students. Mrs. Wittmier will be honored as one of two educator awardees at the 4th annual magazine release gala, Spring into Art, which celebrates the teens published in the Massachusetts High School Magazine of the Arts on Sunday, May 21, from 3:00 -5:00pm, at The Harbor Gallery at UMass Boston.
Kyle Crawford, 8th grader at ASRMS and member of Youth Venture, shared his group's work, the Cartooning and Comic club, with RSC.
Julia Sanzio, 4th grader at LAW, shared her narrative writing piece with RSC.
Emily Churchill, 4th grader at LAW, shared her opinion writing piece with RSC.
ASRSD teachers collaborating and analyzing student work in math with teachers at Francis W. Parker Charter Essential School in Devens.
ASRSD teachers collaborating and analyzing student work in science with teachers at Francis W. Parker Charter Essential School in Devens.
Senior Ryan Martone addressing the audience at the 2017 Hockey Banquet.