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.
2015-2018 District Improvement Plan
Strategic Objective 5: Family & Community Engagement
District Priorities: III-C-1 Two Way Communication
Long range goal: Foster family and community engagement by building collaborative partnerships in support of improved student academic and non-academic outcomes.
Vivid sights and sounds
Descending acorns and leaves
Crimson, amber, brown
Greetings ASRSD Families,
August and September have gone by and October is around the corner!
We are off to a great school year. Thank you for your cooperation and support. Our teachers deserve a big shout out. They welcomed your children with open arms and got right to work. Classrooms are abuzz with activity. Students are happy, engaged, and they are learning.
There are many avenues for parents to be engaged in the teaching and learning process. Access the parent portal and stay on top of your child’s grades. Email your child’s teacher when you have concerns or questions. Request a face-to-face conference. Make sure your child is in school and on time every day. Ensure he/she completes daily homework and long-term projects. Take advantage of the after school x-help sessions. Encourage your child to get involved in the many after school activities. Regularly visit the district website and social media sites. The Parent Tab on the district website offers many resources. Join Twitter! For the high school students, make sure you are accessing Family Connections/Naviance. Be engaged. Establish a robust homeschool partnership.
You may find these articles interesting, The first article is “Reading to Rewire”. The research describes how early reading at home may help reshape the brains of children in a family with a history of dyslexia. https://www.gse.harvard.edu/news/uk/17/09/reading-rewire
The second article, “Insta-Ready”, provides you guidance on helping your teen develop digital literacy skills.
Parent/Guardian Open Houses
These were happening places to be at this time of the year! All of the open houses were a success. Parent participation was excellent and we hope your experience was pleasant and informative.
October is National Principals Month
Please take the time to thank you child’s principal throughout the month of October. We honor all four of our principals for their dedication and hard work. ASRHS Principal Varga, ASRMS Principal Aikey, PH Principal Deppe, LAW Principal Desai all have your child’s best interests at heart. They aspire to being the best. We know great schools are lead by great principals. I am very thankful and appreciative of their work and commitment to ensuring academic excellence for all students, every day. #ThankAPrincipal
Speaking of principals. Principal Varga has been accepted to the Principal Advisory Cabinet at the Department of Education. We are very proud of his participation in this group as it gives our district visibility and a voice at the Department of Education.
National Custodial Workers Recognition
Monday, October 2 is National Custodial Workers Recognition Day. This day is set aside to show appreciation for the men and women who keep our schools and grounds clean, safe, and fully operational. Please thank a custodian today. #CustodialWorkersRecognitionDay
In Spring of 2017, Grade 10 students took the legacy MCAS and students in Grades 3-8 took the new assessment, Next-Generation MCAS. The results of the assessment are embargoed until October 24, 2017. At that time Parent/Guardian reports will be mailed to districts, and we will promptly mail your child’s report to you. We will hold an informational night on Understanding Your Child’s MCAS report in November. More details to follow. Please be on the alert for updates and notifications. In the meantime, please refer to the Parents’ Guide to the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS). This guide provides information on how the test results inform teaching and learning, the new scoring categories, and how you can support your child.
Competitive Grant Award
In partnership with Francis W. Parker Charter Essential School in Devens, we were awarded a federal grant, Massachusetts Dissemination Program: Facilitating School-to-School Learning. The purpose of this two-year grant is to share successful practices between charter and district public schools that have been developed, tested, and proven successful in Massachusetts’ charter schools at improving student performance. This project supports the creation of and enhancement of safe, supportive, emotionally healthy school environments through four strands of work: whole school program development in advisory; capacity building through professional development for staff; program development for specific student groups; needs assessment and planning for social emotional learning. We were awarded $147, 326 and were one of the top scorers in the state. Our work will focus on developing Advisory for grades 6-12. In general, an advisory is a scheduled time where teachers meet with small groups of students for the purpose of guiding them on academics, social-emotional skills, and goal setting.
3rd Annual Curriculum Night
Be sure to join us next Thursday, October 5 from 6:00-7:00pm. Learn more about the curricula! We are so proud to have new high quality resources to support your child’s learning. Learn more about the parent portal. Learn more about preparing for college and our wonderful resource, Family Connection/Naviance. Learn how to open a Twitter account. You can make your first tweet about your child’s principal using the hashtag #ThankAPrincipal. Join in on the refreshments and raffles. See you next Thursday.
Grade 5 Band Program
Twenty-two students participated in the Grade 5 Band Program last year. Seventeen of them have joined the Grade 6 MS Band Program. This year 46 students in Grade 5 have joined band. We have more than doubled student participation in just one year!
We hope you have found our new procedure for collecting athletic fees improved, more efficient, and more convenient. You can now make payments via MySchoolBucks.
School Closing Procedures
Planning ahead is most important. Over the last three years, the closing of school, delayed openings, and early dismissals have gone pretty smoothly. For your records, please take a few minutes to review the procedures. Please note, we have added the option of a one-hour delay. We did have a few situations last year, where the DPWs just needed additional time to clear the parking lots. We have updated this information in the K-8 handbook and the procedures are listed on the website under the Parent Tab.
In closing, please join me in thanking the Ayer Shirley Education Foundation (ASEF). This organization is comprised of the most dedicated group of parents. On Sunday, September 24, they hosted the annual Holdenwood Trail Run to raise funds for our schools. Since its inception in 2004, they have funded more than 335 creative learning opportunities for our teachers and students. Their efforts and dedication go beyond. On a very, warm Sunday morning, they were all there volunteering their time assuming every job needed to run a smooth and successful operation. Thank you, ASEF, for all you do.
ASEF Workers at Holdenwood Trail Run.
Look at all the runners at the Holdenwood Trail run!
Families enjoying the welcome back picnic at Page Hilltop.
Parents attending open house at LAW.
Interactive lesson on learning about erosion at LAW.