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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!

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