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. 


October 2017 Blog

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


Greetings ASRSD Families,

Daylight savings time is quickly approaching. Remember to turn the clocks back one hour on Sunday, November 5, 2017. The days will be shorter and the nights will be longer. Our time exposed to natural light becomes limited, which can have a negative effect upon us. The lack of sunlight can cause even children to feel down, perhaps a bit more anxious and lethargic, and they may experience difficulty in sleeping. It is important to monitor your child and family members during this temporary change to our lifestyle. Be sure to take care of yourselves. Driving to work in darkness and returning home in darkness is less than desirable. Thankfully this period of shorter days and longer nights endures for a relatively short time. After December 12, we start to gain the splendor of daylight, and we really begin to notice later sunsets in January.

October has been a busy month and seems to have gone by faster than the speed of light.

“How did it get late so soon? It’s night before it is afternoon. December is here before it’s June. My goodness how the time has flewn. How did it get so late so soon.”

~Dr. Seuss

We have already surpassed the halfway mark for the first term/trimester. Please be sure to monitor your child’s progress in the parent portal. All of our teachers are available for 30 minutes of extra help after school. For the extra help schedule for individual teachers, please click HERE. Our parents/guardians are strongly encouraged to contact their child’s teachers with any concerns.

Trick-or-treaters will soon be strolling through the streets! Watch out for those spooky ghosts and eerie goblins. Be sure your child wears light clothing and carries a flashlight. Always check your child’s goodies before they consume. Boo! Have fun!

Traditionally, November is a time for celebration with our families and friends. We count our blessings and give thanks for all that is good. I am thankful and honored to serve as the Superintendent of the ASRSD.

I am also thankful for…

Your wonderful children

Our supportive and engaged families

Our hard working and caring faculty and staff

The Ayer Shirley Education Foundation (ASEF)

For all the good in our towns and schools

What are you thankful for? Please share your response in the text box below, and we will post your response on the website. All are invited to join in and give thanks.



2015-2018 District Improvement Plan 

Long Range Goal: Strengthen and deliver research-based high quality curricula, instruction, and assessments to improve student achievement for all students.

Task 2: Strengthen Tier 1 instruction and ensure academic rigor in each and every classroom, preschool-12.

Task 3: Use data to inform instruction. 

Important Information on 2017 Legacy MCAS, Grade 10, & Next-Generation MCAS, Grades 3-8

The results of the 2017 assessments were publicly released on Wednesday, October 18. The Parent/Guardian Reports arrived and will be mailed out by Monday, October 30. Please take note we have scheduled an informational night for parents, Understanding Your Child’s MCAS Report, on Monday, November 27, from 7:00-8:00pm in the Page Hilltop Cultural Arts Room. Please take time to review your child’s report and jot down your questions and concerns. If you are unable to make it, please feel free to email your child’s principal.

The 10th graders took the Legacy MCAS last spring and it is the same MCAS assessment that has been administered to students since the inception of MCAS. Students are assessed in ELA, math, and science.

The Next-Generation MCAS is new and was administered to students in Grades 3-8.  Students are assessed in ELA and math. Students in Grades 5 and 8 took the Legacy MCAS in science, the older version of the assessment.  The new MCAS standards are more rigorous than the former standards of advanced, proficient, needs improvement, and warning/failing. It definitely is a more difficult assessment. The focus is on critical thinking abilities, applications of knowledge, and the ability to make connections between reading and writing.  The assessment provides us more accurate data on students’ readiness for the next grade level.

Other Important Things to Know:

  • Next-Generation has four performance descriptors which range in scores from 440-560:  Exceeding Expectations (530-560), Meeting Expectations (500-529), Partially Meeting Expectations (470-499), and Not Meeting Expectations (440-469).

  • This new test provides consistency in the scoring standards of Exceeding Expectations, Meeting Expectations, Partially Meeting Expectations, and Not Meeting Expectations. The Legacy MCAS was developed in iterations which resulted in a separate standard setting process for a specific test.

  • Approximately 50% of students met or exceeded expectations statewide. This year’s results are a baseline and therefore most elementary and middle schools did not receive an accountability rating (Level 1-5). We are cautioned to not compare this year’s achievement results to prior results because this new assessment uses different numerical scales and descriptors.  What we can compare is years of student growth percentiles, which measure how much progress a student made in a year. 

  • A higher percentage of students are more likely to score Exceeding or Meeting Expectations in future years as we become more familiar with the assessment.

  • This year’s 10th graders will take the Legacy MCAS. This year’s 9th graders will take the Next-generation MCAS as 10th graders in the year 2019.

We did well in our first year of testing. Please see the performance levels for all students in the district. We had a respectable performance; we have areas of strength and areas in need of improvement. Administrators and faculty in all four schools continue to analyze data to inform instructional decisions.

  • Ayer Shirley Regional School District’s DESE Assessment Profiles:

Innovation Zone Legacy XII Superintendent's-Footsteps2Brilliance
We are so proud to join The Early Literacy Innovation Zone, which is an approach to eliminate illiteracy throughout North Central, MA. All birth through Grade 3 families, teachers, children, and community stakeholders will receive a high quality, online, educational literacy resource called Footsteps2Brilliance. Our district will adopt this program in our preschool classrooms this year. The curriculum will available to area child care providers as well.  The Legacy XII Superintendents will become the innovative leaders and role models for early literacy. We are fortunate to receive financial incentives from United Way Northern Central, MA, Footsteps2Brilliance, and Community Foundation. Please stay tuned.

Coffee and Conversation with the Superintendent
Please  join me on Monday, November 27, from 5:30-6:30pm in the Page Hilltop Cultural Arts Center.  This an opportunity for the community to ask questions and provide feedback. Help us get better! What you think and have to say greatly matters!

ASRSD Drama Productions
Looking for a fun night out with the family? The ASRMS and ASRHS will be putting on their Fall productions.  Please come out and support our Performing Arts programs.

ASRHS presents John Cariani's, "Almost, Maine", in the high school auditorium.


  • Friday, November 3: 7-9pm
  • Saturday, November 4: 2-4pm and 7-9pm
  • Sunday, November 5: 2-4pm. This Sunday performance is an Autism/Special Needs-friendly performance.

ASRMS presents "Super Short Shakespeare Parodies", in the middle school auditorium.


  • Friday, November 17: 7-9pm
  • Saturday, November 18: 7-9pm
  • Sunday, November 19: 2-4pm
And the Award Goes To...

Top Runner
Ethan Matthews, ASRHS senior,  will be running in the regional competition on Thanksgiving weekend in New York. To date, he is the second fastest runner in Massachusetts. Congratulations, Ethan!  Depending  on the outcome, he may be invited to run in the Footlocker Nationals on December 9th in San Diego, CA. Best of luck, Ethan.

MIAA Sportsmanship Honor Roll  
ASRHS has been named to the MIAA Sportsmanship honor roll for the 3rd consecutive year.  On November 20, a small group of students will go to Gillette Stadium for a workshop and accept the banner patches for 2014-2015, 2015-2016, and 2016-2017 school years. The Sportsmanship Summit is a day filled with activities and celebration acknowledging the sportsmanship displayed by schools from all across the state.

Will Doyle Named National Merit Scholarship Semifinalist!
Will Doyle, ASRHS senior, has been named as a Semifinalist in the 2018 National Merit Scholarship Program! “As one of approximately 16,000 high school seniors who are Semifinalists, Will has an opportunity to continue in the competition for some 7,500 National Merit Scholarships to be offered next spring.” All Merit Scholarship recipients will be chosen from this group of Semifinalists based on the strength of their accomplishments and abilities. The goals of the National Merit Scholarship Program are to identify and honor academically talented U.S. high school students and encourage them to pursue rigorous college studies; promote a broader and deeper respect for learning in general and for exceptionally talented individuals in particular; stimulate increased support for the education of scholastically able students; and encourage the pursuit of academic excellence at all levels of education. Good luck, Will.

Preschool teachers learning about Footsteps2Brilliance.

Grade 1 teacher, Leah Crutchfield, setting up her literacy center.

Mrs. Pasquaretta's 4th grade class.

Mr. Sweeney, Athletic Director, at the HS girls' volleyball game.

Mrs. Allaire recognizing the seniors on Senior Night.

ASRHS Volleyball Seniors.

MS Girls soccer team at Wilde Field, Shirley.

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