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. 

 

Sept/Oct 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.

Greetings ASRSD Families!

September? What? When did that happen? This was the fastest month ever! Can you fathom we are completing our 6th week of school, and we are halfway through Term 1. Progress reports were issued this past Wednesday to students in Grades 6-12. Remember K-5 is on a trimester schedule and progress reports will be sent out next Wednesday, October 12.  

Ensuring Equity, Equality, and Access for All: Connecting to Every Learner
What is equity? What is equality? What does this mean for your child? Equality requires that every student have the same resources such as textbooks; equity entitles every student to resources and teaching strategies that meet the need of each individual student to ensure he/she learns and achieves. Equity and equality provide every student access to learning.

How do we ensure equity in the classroom? Equity for each student is achieved when teachers differentiate and provide each student a range of options, choices, and pathways to learning and mastering content. For example, a Grade 5 reading standard: Compare and contrast two or more characters drawing on specific details in the text (e.g., how characters interact). Students are assigned to read the same novel and are assigned to compare and contrast two characters. Some students may read the class novel in print, others may read the novel in print and listen to it on tape, while others may just solely listen to the novel on tape. When finished reading the novel, students complete the assignment. Each student is required to compare and contrast two characters, but may have different options to complete the assignment. One student may show their understanding by writing a compare/contrast essay, one student may create a visual representation, or it may be a partner project and the students use Google docs and create a chart.

As a parent, you fully understand that each child is different and has different needs and you do your best to meet each child's needs so they will grow and thrive. We educators must do the same for every learner that sits before us in the classroom. Students learn differently and have different needs; educators must provision and design lessons to meet the different learning styles and needs of each student to ensure success.

We are committed to providing academic excellence to every child. We do not discriminate as every child is entitled to an excellent teacher who provides a high quality education to every student under his or her care regardless of race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, gender identity, home situation, or disability status.

Parent and school engagement are essential to a child’s success, and we hope you have already joined us in ensuring academic excellence for all. It is never too late, so please start collaborating with us today!

If you are interested in further exploring the concepts of equity and equality, please see the following resource:
http://www.edutopia.org/blog/equity-vs-equality-shane-safir

National PTA offers a variety of resources to assist families in their children’s education: http://www.pta.org/parents/?navItemNumber=506  

District/School Websites
The district/school websites are rich in resources and information. We encourage you to visit the website for information and the latest communications. Each week we send out a Weekly Update to keep you informed on the week's happenings. We showcase our students and district on the website, on Facebook, on Twitter, and each principal sends out monthly communications. We have so much to celebrate and our students, teachers, and all of our wonderful programs make headlines just about every day!  To gain full access to all the website has to offer, here are some tips to ease your navigation:

On the district homepage, scroll below the photos and go to the “I want to…” section. Click on the Parent tab and navigate to the view Parent Resources link. You will find many academic resources to assist you and your child. We continue to add information to this section, so be sure to check it frequently.

On the right-hand side of the website you can view the calendar of events, weekly athletic schedule, 2016-2017 state testing schedules, district events, and the full school year calendar.

  • Below the calendar, you can view District Announcements which includes announcements, news, and upcoming events.

  • Scroll to the bottom of the page and you will see Facebook Posts and Tweets posted by many of us in the district. This is particularly helpful and informative if you do not have Facebook or a Twitter account.

  • All teachers are available to provide 30 minutes of after school extra help to your child. The schedule for each school may be viewed on each school’s website in the ”I want to...“ section under the Students’ tab. Click on After school extra help schedule. The high school’s schedule is posted and the other three schools will be posted by Wednesday of next week.

2016 MCAS/PARCC Results
Administrators and educators have been very busy analyzing state assessments results. Overall, our results are very positive.

  • The district remains at Level 2 in its accountability ranking.

  • Three schools increased their percentile ranking, which measures a school’s performance in comparison to all other schools in the state of similar grade configurations (e.g. K-5).

  • The percentages of students scoring at the proficiency level increased significantly at certain grade levels and subgroups.  

  • Student growth scores increased significantly at certain grade levels and subgroups.  

Please click here for a more detailed report. 

Please note: Parent PARCC/MCAS reports were sent out this week and you should receive your child’s report any day now.

Understanding Your Child's MCAS/PARCC Report
Please join us for a workshop on providing you guidance on your child's performance on last year's state assessment. We will provide you feedback, suggestions, and strategies for helping your child at home this school year. The workshop is Monday, October 17 from 6:00-7:30 in the library at the middle school. Please bring your child's assessment report with you. Hope to see you there! Come partner with us!

School Closing/Delayed Opening/Early Dismissal
As much as we do not want to think snow or even go down that road, we must be prepared. Procedures for school closings, delayed openings, and early dismissals are below and are always accessible on the website under Parent tab, “I want to…”and District Announcements.

The following procedures will be followed for a school closing/school delay/early dismissal:

  1. A decision will be made as early as possible, preferably by 5:00-5:30am.

  2. You will receive a call and email via Blackboard Connect.

  3. School closing/delay will be announced on Channels 4 & 38 WBZ, 5 WCVB, 7 & 56 WHDH, Fox 25, and NECN.

  4. The no school/delay announcement will be posted on Facebook, the District Website www.asrsd.org, and also tweeted on the Superintendent’s twitter account, which is @MaryMalone7.

  5. The message will be recorded on the district phone system at 978-772-8600. 

Other Important Reminders

  1. The Ayer Child Care Program & Shirley extended day will both be closed when the schools are closed.

  2. AM pre-school sessions are cancelled in the event of a delayed opening.

  3. School start times for a delayed opening:

    High School

    9:15

    Middle School

    9:30

    Page Hilltop

    10:35

    Lura A. White

    10:35

Early Dismissal: 
It may become necessary to close schools early due to an emergency. In the event of an early or emergency dismissal, all after school and evening activities are cancelled. In the event of an early or emergency dismissal, it is the responsibility of the parent to have in place an alternate plan for their child.

Coffee & Conversation
Please join me for Coffee and Conversation next Thursday, October 13, from 9:30-10:30 at Central Office located at 115 Washington St. If you are unable to stop by, always feel free to schedule an appointment to meet with me, send an email, or call on the telephone.  Email: mmalone@asrsd.org Tel: 978-772-8600 x1508

Have a panthertastic month! Thank you for sharing your children with us. We think they are great!

Warmest regards,
Dr. Malone

 

 

 

Great turn out at Page Hilltop's Welcome Back Picnic

Great turn out at Page Hilltop's Welcome Back Picnic.

The high school was recognized by state legislators at the State House for our partnership with Mass Insight. Pictured here are Representative Harrington, Dr. Malone, Mrs. Capasso, and Mr.Varga.

National Honor Society students were on hand to greet parents at Open House!

Kick-off for high school students by Mass Insight, a program designed to encourage all students to take Advanced Placement courses. Equity, equality, and access for all!

Senator Eldridge was a guest speaker at the ASRHS performance, We Remember 9/11. If you missed it, be sure to catch it next time around. It was exceptional.

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