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.
If we cannot now end our differences, at least we can help make the world safe for diversity.
~ John F. Kennedy
Greetings ASRSD Families,
We hope all families enjoyed a peaceful and wonderful Thanksgiving holiday. One of the core beliefs of this school system is to embrace diversity, tolerance, respect, and ensure equity and equality for all.
Our Core Beliefs in the 2015-2018 District Improvement Plan:
Respect for self, property, and others are essential to a healthy learning environment.
Psychological safety and physical safety are necessary conditions for learning.
December ushers in three multicultural holidays: Hanukkah, Christmas, and Kwanzaa.
Hanukkah is a Jewish holiday commemorating the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem. This year it will be celebrated December 12, 2017 through December 20, 2017. It is celebrated with gift giving on each night, a nightly menorah lighting, prayers, and special food.
Christmas is an annual holiday commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ. It is celebrated on December 25. This holiday is celebrated by gift giving, Santa Claus, religious celebrations, and heavenly food.
Kwanzaa is an African-American holiday celebrated December 26, 2017 through January 1, 2018. It honors African-American culture and each of the seven days focuses on one of the seven core values of Unity, Self-Determination, Collective Work and Responsibility, Cooperative Economics, Purpose, Creativity, and Faith. This celebration culminates with a feast and gift-giving.
We would like to continue hearing from our staff, students, and community. Please share with us your favorite holiday tradition. My favorite is all of the festivities and time with my wonderful family.
Let us rejoice in our diversity and traditions, and let there be peace and goodwill on earth.
MCAS Parent Presentation: Understanding Your Child’s MCAS Report
For those who were not able to join us, please take some time to view the MCAS presentation. Please feel free to contact your child’s principal or teachers with any questions. In the October blog, I informed you we did well on our baseline assessment from Grades 3-8, and the Grade 10 MCAS assessment results were fantastic. All students passed the ELA test, and students scoring advanced increased by 21%. Students scoring advanced in mathematics increased by 14%. Fabulous results. Congratulations to all! Click here to view the MCAS presentation.
Shout Out to Fall Sports
I want to thank all the coaches, parents, and volunteers who made the fall sports season a success. A special thanks to our athletes who go out and give it their all every practice and every game. Winter sports and activities are underway. We will watch our male and female athletes in basketball, indoor track, hockey, and swimming. We also need to support our robotics teams and mock trial team at the high school.
Fall Sports Update by Mr. Jon Sweeney
Football The football team had a winning season this year for the second time in three years. They played their last game of the season on Thanksgiving morning at Littleton High School. The team had great senior leadership and will graduate eight student athletes. Quarterback, Steven Lawton, lead the way for the team this year with an impressive running attack and a tremendous amount of leadership on the defensive side of the ball.
Golf The golf team improved throughout the season and battled back from an early season hole to take 3rd in the league championship. The team is returning five of their six starters and continues to have strong Middle School involvement at the developmental level. The team finished a rigorous season on a high note.
Boys’ Soccer The boys’ soccer team had a great season and built a strong foundation for years to come. With only three seniors graduating, the team is poised to make a district run for the next few years. Lead by junior captains John (Jack) Brewer and Leo Rosales the team played meaningful soccer games up until the last game of the season. The team will return a strong sophomore class lead by Michael Woodland and Preston Davis, and they have already begun preparing for next year.
Girls’ Soccer The girls’ soccer team qualified for district play for the fifth consecutive year. They completed a great season in what we thought would have been a rebuilding year. The team showed that it had an abundant amount of young talent at the Varsity and JV levels. They prospered through the senior leadership of Delaney House and Mayden Shelton. The team fell short against Oxford 5-4 in the districts, but showed that girls' Panther Soccer is going to be the team in the future.
Girls’ Cross Country The girls completed a great season and capped it off with a league championship and a 7th place finish at the District Meet. The team is returning everyone next year and proved hard work and dedication pays off. Their league title is the second in four years and they are only going to get better. For the first time in school history, the girls finished the season in the top 20 teams in the state with a ranking of 17. We are all very proud of what they accomplished this year.
Boys’ Cross Country The boys’ team competed in the state championship at the Wrentham Developmental Center. They did very well at the meet, and we are very proud of the coaches and runners.
Cheer The Cheerleading Team qualified for the regionals for the second year in a row. The team showed terrific unity and spirit throughout the entire season and should be proud of their accomplishments. It has been years since an ASRHS cheer team qualified for the regionals in consecutive years. The team's dedication and sacrifice has catapulted them to the top.
Volleyball The volleyball team bounced back this year and advanced to the second round of the district tournament. This was led by senior, Molly Cadogan, in an exciting and rewarding season. The team plays in a large school league and came to compete night in and night out this year. They defeated teams that were over double the size of ASRHS and played like champions. The amount of effort that went into not only qualifying for districts, but advancing was superb. Congratulations to the team and we are all proud of you!
Middle School Soccer The boys’ and girls’ middle school soccer teams showed Panther Nation that the future is indeed bright! The teams competed hard this year and played the first ever middle school night soccer game. We have a tremendous amount of talent and dedication coming through the ranks. Both teams played with positive enthusiasm and a love for the game. They had a great season and should be recognized for their hard work.
Fall Sports Banquet
To cap off the season, the fall sport banquet will be held on Wednesday, December 6, 2017.
Ayer Shirley Education Foundation
A huge thank you to our ASEF partners for the grant award package to our teachers of $25,461.31.
Girl Scouts USA National Gold Award
Karedis Robles, senior, was awarded the Girls Scouts USA National Gold Award for her project, Exploring Music. Karedis has spent the last two years working on developing an after-school music program for prekindergarten/kindergarten children. Her program introduces students to music through listening to everyday objects, exploring patterns (beats), musical instruments in each section of the orchestra, cultural music, playing music and creative dance. Her project was conducted at the Our Lady's Academy in Waltham, MA and was well received by staff and parents. National Gold is the Girl Scout equivalent to the Boy Scout Eagle. Fewer than 6% of Girl Scouts achieve this accomplishment. During her five years in girl scouts Karedis has dedicated herself to exploring new challenges, leadership development and problem solving. She will complete Ambassadors this June with National Silver, National Gold, Gold Torch Leadership, and a Presidential Volunteer Award. We at ASRHS are very proud of her dedication to excellence as a leader, advocate, and innovator.
Congratulations to Ayer Shirley Senior Ethan Matthews for coming in 24th out of 180 runners at the Foot Locker Northeast Regional Cross Country Championships. Ethan won a Bronze medal and was named 3rd team Northeast. Ethan was also part of the top five runners from Massachusetts who came in second in the Northeast team competition behind New Jersey.
John & Abigail Adams Scholarship
On Tuesday, November 14, a breakfast was held to honor the 26 ASRHS recipients of the John and Abigail Adams Scholarship. These students scored a minimum of advanced on one of the tests (ELA, science, math) and proficient on the other two tests. They must also have combined scores that place them in the top 25% of the graduating class.
Congratulations to the following students:
Thank you Panther Nation. Enjoy the holiday season.
Superintendent of Schools
Congratulations to the 2017 John and Abigail Adams Scholarship recipients!
Principal Varga, Assistant Principal Ramos (not pictured), and Athletic Director, Mr. Sweeney, serve a Thanksgiving lunch to students.
Great performance at the middle school fall play, 'Super Short Shakespeare Parodies'.
Boys Cross Country competes at the Div. II State Championship in Wrentham.
ASRHS Marching Band getting ready to march in the 53rd annual Haverhill Santa Parade for the 2nd year!
Mrs. Lynch's 2nd grade class planting bulbs in the garden at Page Hilltop.
FIRST Lego Robotics getting ready for their big competition. Good Luck!
The Ayer Rotary Club handing out dictionaries to 3rd grade students a Lura A. White.
The Lura A. White kindergarten class enjoying the Friendship Feast!