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Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Students at South School Help Make a Difference in the Community

The Community Service Committee, along with the students of South School, held a food/supply collection for two weeks in November for Bread and Roses in Lawrence, MA. Bread and Roses is a soup kitchen that serves and cares for thousands of people in the Merrimack Valley. The Community Service Committee made colorful posters and wrote morning announcements to encourage their fellow classmates to donate items such as tea, coffee, jelly, sugar, paper towels, napkins etc. These are items that were most needed at Bread and Roses. The Community Service Committee is very thankful to all those who brought in donations for this worthy cause. The committee meets once a month on a Thursday at 8:15 AM to brainstorm ideas and plan projects to help those in our local community.

Monday, December 22, 2014

The Andover Collins Center Comes Alive with the Peace Concert

This week all 10 Andover Public Schools took part in the Peace Concert at the Collins Center in Andover. The Peace Concert is one of 6 major performances presented by the Andover Vocal Music Department. All choirs, elementary thru high school, participated in There is Peace. The high school choirs and orchestra performed in the Hallelujah Chorus. Also taking part in the holiday festivities was the AHS Faculty Choir.

Friday, December 19, 2014

January is DVD Donation Month at High Plain Elementary!

Is your family streaming its videos?  Do you have a closet full of G- or PG-rated videos that our students might enjoy?  We would love to have them to circulate to our library lovers.  Many of these videos are based on popular children’s literature and are a popular checkout item.  We have just weeded out our VHS movies because the boxes are pretty flimsy and the tapes get damaged so please, if you donate, send DVDs.  (They last much longer.)

Also, during January, the library literature will focus on multicultural books and folklore.  Our new nonfiction section has a large selection of fairy tales from all over the world, fables, myths, tall tales and legends.  We’re also featuring fictional items about cultures here at High Plain so students can spend “inside” days with great reading.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

The Great Mail Race is Underway at HPE !

In an effort to learn more about each of the 50 great states in our nation, we are writing/contacting another 4th grade class in each and every state.  We are providing them with information about HPE, Andover and the Boston area, and we hope to receive responses back from them to build to our library while covering the 4th Grade Social Studies standard of: Regions and the USA.
Students are using their laptop and research skills to find a school in their assigned state.  We have written letters using Google Docs (and storing them on Google Drive), now we need to mail them out.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

This Shawsheen Student was the "Wise Old Owl" for the Day

A student from Mrs. O’Donnell’s Preschool class was the "Wise Old Owl" today for participating in music class and having his body in control. Every time he sang, he had a great big smile on his face! For doing wonderful work, he received a sticker and got to ring the gong.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

High Plain 3rd Graders Learn to Apply the Engineering Design Process in Science

The 3rd grade is in the middle of designing traps to catch the mischievous ginger bread man. We’ve
read stories and have discussed strategies. We’ve drawn blue prints. Our traps are currently being designed and built using the EiE engineering design process. Afterwards we will be writing scripts and creating "how to" videos with the help of our digital learning specialist and our iPads.
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Monday, December 15, 2014

Students at Sanborn Combine SS, ELA, and Technology to Study Historical Figures

Sanborn fifth graders are integrating Language Arts, Social Studies and technology.   Each child wrote a biography on a historical figure from their Social Studies unit.  Using the iPad app Tellagami, each child changed the character’s apparel, selected the background, and used his/her own voice to record the biography which was shared with the class.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Students Explore Programming at Bancroft and High Plain

During this past week, in celebration of Computer Science Education Week our students in grades 1-5 participated in the "Hour of Code".

The Hour of Code is an introduction to computer science, designed to demystify code and show that anybody can learn the basics. Mr. Harkins, our Digital Learning Specialist, Mrs. Fegan, High Plain Librarian, and Mrs. Snow, our Bancroft Librarian, led the students through the programming.

Students learned about computer science and coding. It helps nurture problem-solving skills, logic and creativity. By starting early, students will have a foundation for success in any 21st-century career path.

Students utilized the iPads to practice their new found coding skills on apps like Daisy the Dinosaur, Scratch Jr, and Cargo-bot
For more information you can check out
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Thursday, December 11, 2014

Bancroft's Student Council Wraps Up "Fill a Cruiser" with Toys for Tots

This December, Bancroft's Student Council worked hard to "Fill a Cruiser" with Toys for Tots. The Student Council collected new, unwrapped toys (for ages Infant - 14) thru December 16th. Shown here are Student Council members displaying items that were collected. Now that the toy drive is complete, the Massachusetts State Police will be picking up all the toys. Student Council will then, FILL THE CRUISER! 

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

The "Hour of Code" Returns to Andover

I bet you didn't know that this is Computer Science Education Week? I'm also willing to bet that you weren't aware that students in all the Andover schools were taking part in this week's "Hour of Code" initiative. For example, Doherty Middle School students participated in the Hour of Code in Engineering this week.  Students throughout the district learned programming skills in programs such as Frozen, Angry Birds, Light Bot, and Hopscotch.  Friday, December 12 students at AHS will participating in the "Hour of Code". 

So far this week over 3.5 billion lines of code have been written by children.

Designed to help get children more involved in computer science, the Hour of Code program is being explored by thousands of schools around the world. Coding is becoming a skill in high demand. 

Want to learn a little more about how to get started? Check out the video and resource links below.

West Elementary's Mr. Hunt is Helping Bring the New Math Program into Focus

Mr. Hunt, a grade five teacher at West El, recently ran an inservice training for all the fifth grade teachers in the district on the new Math In Focus math curriculum. He serves on the math advisory team for the district and is a teacher leader.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Top Secret Science Pays a Visit to Gr. 2 at West

West Elementary recently had "Top Secret Science" visit the second grade to do a presentation on matter. The students loved doing experiments.

One second grader, Kira, loved the experiment on matter where they mixed a liquid and a powder to get a type of sand. They use this sand for fake snow in movies. Kira said, "I thought it was really fun to see the change in front of my eyes."

Bryan, also a second grader, loved the experiment where they made bracelets with beads that changed colors when they interacted with the sun. "It was really cool!” 

Monday, December 8, 2014

Shawsheen's, Chef for the Day!

At the Shawsheen School PTO Dance in November, raffle drawings were held.  One of the winner’s, Tully O’Keeffe, 1st grader, got to be CHEF OF THE DAY with her friend, Anthony Silvestro.

They worked with Mrs. Gaudreau and Mrs. Sleeper in the kitchen learning about how the cafeteria is able to serve all the students at Shawsheen School and the nutritional information that goes in to the daily preparations.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Mrs. Galligani's Class Celebrates Writing in Kindergarten

Mrs. Galligani's kindergarten children have been busy with the writing process this year. They have learned to think of ideas, draw and write about those ideas as well as to persevere in the face of writing challenges. In celebration, Mrs. Gerry's class came to listen to them read their very first teaching books. Three Column HTML Layout

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Sanborn's 36th Annual Harvest Festival

 This incredible school wide event gathers the entire school community together to bring gifts and joy to Andover’s senior community. Yesterday’s musical assembly and last Friday’s gift bag delivery to 250 senior citizens in Andover help to make the Thanksgiving season special.
 By donating items and precious time, our children have learned the true value of giving back to the community.  Harvest Festival 2014 was based upon the theme “Count on Me”.  As a school community we celebrated the strength of our community through friendship, compassion, and teamwork.

Monday, December 1, 2014

South School PE Students Participate in Guinness World Record Event

South School students recently participated in a sport stacking event as part of a Guinness World Record attempt. What is sport stacking? Sport stacking (also known as cup stacking or speed stacking) is an individual and team sport that involves stacking specialized plastic cups in specific sequences in as little time as possible. 
Sport stacking not only promotes physical fitness, but also academic learning. Students that sport stack on a regular basis have shown increases in test scores and levels of concentration. This is achieved when students use both the right and left sides of their brain concurrently. When students sport stack they are crossing the "midline" of their bodies and developing new connections in their brains. These new connections help to spur brain growth, which in turn promotes greater academic achievement. (

South School is proud to have been part of setting a new Guinness World Record for "Most People Sport Stacking at Multiple Locations in One Day." People from 35 countries took part in this year’s event. Last year’s record was 555,932. Currently the certified total is 556,401 but verifications are still coming in and could take up to another week. People can keep track at

South School had 382 stackers this year. All 2nd -5th graders plus one 1st grade were able to participate. Next year we hope to include all 1st graders as well. South School had the 3rd highest number of stackers in the Commonwealth! Go Team South!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

DMS Science Classes Explore Environmental Impact at the Beach

The Team 8A science theme for the year is;  Is Andover a coastal community?  On Tuesday the team is going on a field study to Salisbury Beach State Reservation. The Reservation, located where the Merrimack River enters the Atlantic Ocean, is a perfect location to look at the impacts the town of Andover has on a coastal environment.
8A science will not only investigate how we impact the ocean but how the ocean impacts Andover.  We will conduct a trash survey, graph a beach profile as a proxy for sea level change, build Bohr models of coastal elements, and journal about how the conservation of mass can be applied to our everyday lives.  The interdisciplinary data collected on this trip will be used to start answering our theme question and many, many more!!

Monday, November 24, 2014

The Day Before Thanksgiving: A Food Drive Epic

So many families in need of our care
Missing the Thanksgiving feast just wouldn't be fair!
But how could we help all our neighbors in need?
It seemed like way too many mouths for us to feed!

Just then at Shawsheen there arose such a clatter
As everyone learned just what was the matter.
Faster than lightning, the whole school pitched in
Bringing all the things we needed to fill the food drive bin!

Now Claire! Now Amelia! Now William and Aria!
On Colin! On Kevin! On Ashley and Claudia!
To the pantry at home! To the store down the street!
Bring in your donation, be quick on your feet!

And anyone who brings food tonight to the dance
You’ll earn yourself one free raffle chance!
We especially need rice, beans, stuffing, and gravy
But we also welcome cereal, milk, sauce, and spaghetti.

Bring it tonight to the dance, or to Mr. Bones next week in school
Coming together to help our neighbors for Thanksgiving will be cool!
And remember, no matter how small, every little bit counts...
With each box, bag, and can the donation pile mounts!

Finally, pause for a moment and think of what makes you smile
And remember to be thankful and share that every once and awhile.
And when we deliver this great gift of food, we’ll be sure to call:
“Happy Thanksgiving and a very warm thank you to all!”

Friday, November 21, 2014

With New Lab Coats and Goggles, these Future Scientists from ShawsheenNow Look the Part

A group of Shawsheen parents graciously donated lab coats and goggles for students to wear as they participate in the Science curriculum. Looking the part makes them feel like they are "real" scientists! 

Thursday, November 20, 2014

AHS Exploring Engineering Students Get "Hands-on" Experience withHydraulic Actuators

At left is a picture of the Exploring Engineering students at Andover High learning about the hydraulic actuators in a backhoe.  
Chuck Kearn from the Andover Water Department brought over the back hoe and gave the students a great lesson about the ability of hydraulic actuators to multiply force on a backhoe.  It was very well done, and we learned a lot.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Community Read-Along at Shawsheen

League members, town officials, and leaders of civic groups visited Shawsheen School classrooms on Tuesday, November 18th to read favorite books and discuss town involvement with the students.  

Pictured are a member of the Fire Department reading to Mrs. Galligani’s Kindergarten class and West Middle School PTO President and former Shawsheen parent, Gina Murray, reading to Ms. Gerry’s 2nd grade class.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

S.H.A.R.K.s At South !

Over 90 fourth and fifth grades SHARKS (Scientific, hardworking, achieving, researching kids) participated in the South School Science Fair this year. Individually or in pairs, students took on the challenge of developing a question on a topic of their own choosing, making a prediction, gathering materials, planning a procedure, gathering and recoding results, drawing a conclusion and then sharing their results. Science is all about asking questions and no one asks better questions than kids! Questions ranged from “Is it possible to sink a marshmallow in water?” to “Does celery absorb colored water?” to “Will a potato light a light bulb?”

After researching and planning their presentations at home, it was time for the Science Fair. In the afternoon, the student presenters set up their display boards and prepped their experiments. South School students were then invited to walk through the Science Fair, view the displays, and talk to the student scientists about their work. In the evening, the student scientists returned to share their work their parents and other adults.

Science may be messy sometimes (just ask our clean up crew!), but all of the students and families had a wonderful time and learned something new in the process!

Monday, November 17, 2014

CREW Provides Wood Hill Students a Supportive Environment for Personal Growth

It’s not unusual to hear middle school age children saying they wish they had an outlet to safely express their opinions on issues that matter to them, such as typical adolescent concerns. At WHMS, that environment exists in the form of the Wood Hill Crew. CREW provides students a small group setting, which allows for open communication on issues of importance to them with a caring, trusted adult. This environment helps WHMS students develop a deeper sense of support and belonging in their school community.

Some of the goals of the program include:
  • providing a sense of community so that students feel accepted and valued by advisors and peers
  • giving students opportunities to discover their uniqueness so that they might come to appreciate the main differences among people
  • giving students opportunities to deal with issues and concerns related to their personal school experience
  • providing students an opportunity to develop social, conflict, resolution, and communication skills
  • heightening student awareness of good citizenship by providing opportunities for meaningful contributions to their school environment

Friday, November 14, 2014

The Annual Middle School Cross Country Race

The Andover Physical Education Department, in cooperation with the Andover High School cross country team, conducted the 10th Annual Andover Public Schools Middle School Cross Country Run on Tuesday, October 28.  All boys and girls at the Doherty Middle School, West Middle School and Wood Hill Middle School were invited to participate. This year sixty-three students completed the race, which was originally scheduled for October 23 but was rescheduled due to the weather. The course started and ended on the track at Andover High School’s Eugene V. Lovely Field and included a combination of field running and road running. The event was held to bring students from the three public middle schools together in an environment promoting physical fitness, friendly athletic competition, school spirit and sportsmanship.

Andover High School cross country coach Leo Lafond, his assistant coaches, and dozens of his team members laid out the course and conducted the event. Team members were spread out on the course to act as guides and assist runners and they timed the race and recorded race results.

Separate boys and girls races were held. The finishing places for the first five male and female runners from each school were added for a race score. The results from the boys and girls races were combined to crown a middle school team champion. The team from the Doherty Middle School retained the championship that they have won each year.  The Wood Hill Middle School team finished second and the West Middle School team was third. The Doherty Middle School team was awarded the “Golden Warriors Cup” which they will proudly display at their school. All runners should be proud of their accomplishment.
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