The Atkinson Elementary School is a vibrant learning environment growing with positive energy and effort. Our school community embraces the philosophy and goals of North Andover Public Schools through its mission statement and academic expectations.
Our mission is to cultivate a respectful community of engaged learners, insightful thinkers, and effective communicators.
Built in 1964 as a neighborhood middle school and named for Frederick Atkinson, a local doctor and school committee member, our elementary school provides care and challenge for all students each and every day. You'd never know that the school is celebrating its 50th anniversary judging by its appearance inside and out.
Atkinson School is the “Home of the All-Stars," but it’s also the birthplace of our town's RAISE values: Respect, Achievement, Inclusion, Service & Empathy. Our students are encouraged to be high achievers and productive citizens and to “RAISE and Shine” everyday! Atkinson teachers present our children opportunities for academic and social-emotional growth that build on our community values and beliefs.
We all expect our 430 students to be the all-stars of today and tomorrow; good and smart people who lead by example. As a community of teachers and parents, we'll be RAISE-ing the bar as high as we can for our children in developmentally appropriate ways on academic, social and emotional learning for years to come.
We've adjusted the lunch times for students this year. Within a 45-minute timeframe, students will have a lunch and recess block. Please send in a snack each day even if your child buys a lunch at school. Thank you!
It's hard to believe that opening day is Tuesday, September 2. Please see the links above so that you and your child are prepared for day one. Most important is the "dismissal form" so that school staff is clear about how your child will be dismissed from school each day of the week. Also for those who drive to school, don't miss the "car drop-off and pick up procedures" diagrams above. We all look very forward to a spectacular school year! Thanks for your support.
Kindergarten Visits on September 2
Our three kindergarten teachers will be welcoming in students and families on Tuesday. The make things more comfortable in the classroom spaces, we have divided the groups alphabetically. If your child's last name begins with A-L, please visit the school between 9-9:45am. If your child's last name begins with M-Z, please come from 10-10:45am. (Please park in the grass along the perimeter behind the stadium if possible.) We hope you all have a wonderful experience and feel very confident about the care and challenge our staff will be providing your children during the day. We also hope you'll be able to make it in on Wednesday morning around 8:30am for our "clap-in" for kindergarteners. More information about the clap-in will be shared during your visit. Welcome to the Atkinson community!
8:10am Students may arrive at school. Supervised morning recess.
8:25am The bell rings and students enter school.
8:35am Students are officially tardy for school. Parent/guardian must sign in.
3:00pm Students are dismissed from school. Supervised patrols by staff.
New Family Orientation, August 26, 6:30pm
We had a wonderful, casual meet and greet on Tuesday, August 26 at 6:30pm on the Atkinson School playground. Atkinson's PTO provided popsicles for the children and families while Mr. Landry answered questions about school expections and logistics. Many brought chairs or found spots on the grass and on our RAISE rocks. We hope you all felt welcomed and familiar with a few faces who will be willing to help you along the way.
End of the Year
What a fantastic end of the year we had! With the weather as nice as it was, students stayed engaged all the way through June 24. So many helped their teachers prep for the summer projects taking place at Atkinson (carpeting, painting, energy efficiency updates, classroom moves) and all were able to spend some time reflecting on the year that seemed to pass so quickly. We hope your children reported good things to you at home throughout the school year about their experiences with classmates and staff. New class assignments will either be emailed to families or will be posted on the door to the school on Monday, August 18 at noon. Students return to school on Tuesday, September 2. Kindergarteners begin on Wednesday, September 3.
Art and Music Showcases on CAMEd
Please check out our student talent and work on our local cable channels, Comcast 99 and FioS 28. We recorded both end of the year activities for your repeated enjoyment both online and on the tube at home. For a number of reasons we were not able to hold our annual evening event, but we hope you will enjoy the shows via technology. Next year, we anticipate bringing back the night-time event in May. Thanks for your support! Here is the schedule through July 20. Both shows will air back to back starting on June 26.
Dismissal Plan 2014-15
Thank you for printing out and completing the dismissal form (linked on this page) for the first day of school or whenever a long-term change happens. It is very important that your child (and we) know how he/she is being dismissed each day. We have 3 patrols for dismissal: cafeteria (car pickup, Kids Stop, Parker/Main St. walkers), playground exit (Mass. Ave. walkers), gymnasium (bus riders). If you cannot print out the form, it is imperative that you write a note for your child's teacher or visit the front office for any other time when your child's dismissal plan changes. Thank you very much for your attention to this form.
RAISE Surveys Results
During the months of March and April 2014, 281 students (70% of our student body) in grades K-5 participated in a RAISE Survey from home. We were looking for students to do it independently so that we could get feedback directly from them on how we can improve the school. We asked some basic questions on RAISE, but also asked for them to apply their knowledge of those 5 key values. The upper grades had more items to think about, which included questions on bullying and communication preferences. Both the K-2 and 3-5 groups were given the chance to comment on any aspect of the school that they would like to cheer for or change. The Atkinson staff and the districtwide BRC-RAISE committee will review these survey results as we work to improve our lessons around social-emotional learning. Thank you all for your help with these important community feedback tools!
Some of what we learned: Students demonstrated a strong understanding of the meanings and applications of our 5 RAISE values: Respect, Achievement, Inclusion, Service, Empathy. The large majority in grades 3-5 believe that RAISE helps them be better people. Over 90% see RAISE in action around our school consistently. Most all who responded consider the values before taking action in school. Empathy is the hardest value to demonstrate based on survey data. In the upper grades, there are misconceptions about what bullying is. Only 50% of the students surveyed got the definition of bullying right, which means that we must do more work to educate the student body to clear up the difference between intentionally mean behavior and bullying. Most students don't think bullying is a problem in school based on their current perception of the term. 92% stated that they feel safe at school; we will be working to identify and help the 8% who feel differently. In the K-2 and 3-5 surveys, there were many insightful and/or emotional comments about the goings-on at Atkinson. One read, "I think our school has great teachers and great students. I love Atkinson School. I also think that we do lots of fun and creative things that other schools don't." The K-2 open responses keyed in on how much they appreciate certain students in their classrooms who demonstrate RAISE values everyday.
April was another amazing month for us. Right off the bat, our fifth graders experienced one of our most popular Enrichment Council activities called “Techsploration.” It focuses on science. Students have multiple hands-on experiences in the cafeteria and in classrooms that explore motion and velocity, air pressure and more. Report cards were distributed on April 4. Our April RAISE assembly was a huge hit with students. Grades 1 & 2 supplied the activities with a focus on INCLUSION and EMPATHY. Poetry was also a focus, which leads us into lunchtime poetry slams when we return from vacation. Grades K-2 were taught fire safety measures by Lt. McCarthy on the 11th. ArtQuest, another really popular enrichment program, visited our fourth graders before the break. This classroom-based program brings art and social studies concepts together. Library lending happened twice this month, thanks to our fantastic volunteers. Second graders will be introduced to Anne Bradstreet upon our return from vacation week. The Goodwill service project was another huge success. Thanks to all who participated. We are pleased to announce that 3C was the class that donated the most. They will receive the generous gift card from Goodwill Industries in the coming week. As a school, we contributed over 2 tons of material for the second year in a row. On April 16, K-2 students and families were treated to a curriculum night around mathematics. Ms. Symonds brought her Family Math Night back for another year and another round of raving reviews! Thanks to all who were able to attend the workshop!
RAISE-ing the Curtain on Student Work
We hope you really enjoyed our first home-grown collection of student work put together by students, staff and PTO volunteers. It was distributed to each and every child in the school so that they could enjoy seeing samples of work from students throughout K-5. We hope all were proud of what was included as we celebrate the effort of our all-stars. One more "Special Edition Newsflash" will be out for the community by the end of May. This work connects directly to our district and school improvement plan goals of showcasing the achievement and effort of our student body. Please click on the link above.
March is usually the longest and one of the busiest months on the school calendar. Our PTO book fair was a success thanks to so many parent-volunteers who stepped up to organize and run the show each day. Over $4000 in Scholastic dollars was raised and will be used to improve our shared literature and library collections. Thank you! Classes had their school pictures taken, which is always a treat. Student who made it into our Variety Show took to the stage on March 12 and 13. What a show! The talent this year was top-notch. The Atkinson community was so proud of the energy and courage the performers put on display. There were a good number of students who provided a great service backstage making sure the show ran smoothly. MCAS in ELA came and went on the back end of the month. Students in grades 3-5 put in their very best effort on reading comprehension tasks and our fourth graders also responded in writing to a prompt. To top it all off, our PTO held an extremely successful “Mother Son Jammin’ Fun” dance at the high school on the 29th. The turnout from the North Andover community was outstanding and those K-5 students were treated to dance contests, sporting activities, energizing raffles and some quality time with mom or a significant other. What a month!
Atkinson Variety Show
Our annual Variety Show showcased student interests and skills in a wide-range of areas. We had dancers, singers, comedians, musicians, athletes, and more. This is always a wonderful opportunity for kids and staff to learn something more about the student body in our school. Thanks for all you do to support learning of all kinds at Atkinson!
March Book Fair
Thank you all for supporting our annual Scholastic Book Fair, March 3-7! We hope you enjoyed our PTO's special author visit on Thursday, March 6 at 6pm.
We were lucky again this year to have a visit from a few special local Rotarians who came bearing gifts. As the organization works to encourage literacy, they donated a brand new dictionary to each and every third grader. Wow! Our school resource officer, Officer Katie, came by to encourage our 4th and 5th graders to participate in the NAPD Safety poster contest. We enjoyed a “movie night” on Friday the 7th of February, sponsored by the PTO. Library lending happened twice during the month. The Fifth graders made a visit to NAMS for a special event and also took on the staff in our annual basketball game. The students won in a blow-out! The Museum of Science also visited the fifth graders for an enrichment program on sound.
We opened 2014 in style with a snowstorm that extended our holiday vacation even longer. The first week back, third and fourth graders were treated to enrichment programs provided by the NAEC, both Museum of Science workshops on weather and electricity. Parent volunteers were able to offer two library-lending weeks to our students. Thank you! Families had a four-day weekend as we celebrated Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Elementary teachers and staff learned from experts in the field of aggression/bullying research and writing on Tuesday, January 21. We ended the first month of the calendar year with our annual Pasta Night, put on by parents, teachers and students. It was a really great community event that raised funds for our group of fifth graders’ end of the year activities.
We had two rounds of library lending in the short month. Thank you, volunteers! Students had picture retakes early in the month. Middle schoolers entertained fifth graders across the district as Annie was performed at NAMS on the fourth of December. Our PTO Holiday Winter Wonderland was a huge success the night before report cards were distributed to families in grades 1-5. The North Andover Enrichment Council brought in The Museum of Science educators for our students who learned about weather and electricity. We had an awesome All-Star Assembly focused on ACHIEVEMENT when we were able to celebrate collective and individual work in the school community. Right before vacation, Leo and Jarrell served as Kid Principals for the Day with me. We had a ball taking care of business at Atkinson.
K-5 teachers took part in professional development with our district consultant in mathematics. Student All-Stars shined in our third Fun Run. Teachers participated in workshops around improving literacy instruction on the early release day. K-2 students experienced “Bubblemania” presented by the North Andover Enrichment Council and our PTO. Mothers and daughters enjoyed tea on a Sunday afternoon in our school cafeteria. Library lending was facilitated twice in the month by our wonderful parent and community volunteers. Fifth graders, staff and parents went back in time, making the trek to Plimoth Plantation to learn more about America’s early history. The whole school came together for a wonderful assembly on the value of SERVICE in our school and greater community. Grade 2 students visited North Andover’s Historical Society to learn more about our town’s history. Thanksgiving break ended the month of activity is positive way.
November Assembly on SERVICE
Our fifth grade team of teachers and students had a great show for us before Thanksgiving. Together, we learned more about our RAISE values, especially about SERVICE. We taught the students that service is about helping others. The school participated in the St. Jude Children's Hospital math-athon again this year, so this was our kick-off event. The students were encouraged to help in any way they can. We like this service project because of its link to mathematics practice. Over the past three years, we have RAISE'd more than $20,000 for this great cause. Thank you for all of your help with this!
Atkinson Fun Run #3, November 8
Following up our win for Knights on the Run on Friday, November 8, the Atkinson School held its 3rd Fun Run in a year. Each grade participated in a run or walk on the track. Each grade level did different numbers of laps based on age. The top three boys and girls at each grade will earn a medal. Mrs. Rodden, Mrs. Munro and all our teachers are always promoting healthy, active lifestyles for our All- Stars and the fun run is an example. Hopefully you heard some great things about it!
Thank you so much for your help with our school causes! Because of your purchases, the Atkinson PTO is able to support Enrichment Programs at our school, as well as, provide teachers and staff with supplemental funding to support classroom needs beyond what is covered by the school district.
RAISE Magnets for Sale
If you'd like to own one of those snazzy RAISE magnets that you see on cars across town, see Mr. Landry. Each magnet is $5 and proceeds go directly to the Building Respectful Community/RAISE committee for use on activities and programs that impact social-emotional learning in North Andover.
We Won Knights on the Run!
Congratulations to the Atkinson School community for repeating as Knights on the Run Fun Run participation champions! Forty-seven students and their families registered for the run early on Saturday, October 19. Not only did we win the trophy for participation, three of our students finished first in their age group's contest. Congratulations to Andrew, Dylan and Ava for showing off their speed and All-Star spirit! Let's make it a 3-peat next fall!
I can happily and proudly report that the Atkinson students did very well on our most recent MCAS testing. Our students showed moderate to very high growth in ELA and Math. Our math CPI target was exceeded and was the best improvement in the district. We put a lot of attention on our math instruction and into our MCAS prep last spring. The number of students performing at a level that is “proficient” or “advanced” in the content area increased. We are also judged on the growth students make year to year on MCAS. Fourth and fifth grade scores that were reported in September had “student growth percentiles (SGP)” noted along with their performance level (Warning, Needs Improvement, Proficient, Advanced). Third grade scores will not have SGP because it is the very first year they’ve participated in state testing. This year was the very first time that we sent home MCAS packets over a vacation week. I hope that didn’t take away (math lingo) from anything you had planned with the family, but also hope that it served as a review and helped parents and guardians better understand the expectations of the exams. Thanks for taking the time to help at home to make sure the kids were well-rested, fueled up and ready to show what they know.
School Hours 8:25am-3pm
School starts at 8:25am. Teachers are on duty outside for morning recess from 8:10-8:25am. For inclement weather or when temperatures are below freezing, students will go straight to the assigned indoor space (cafeteria, gymnasium or classroom) at 8:10am. PLEASE DO NOT DROP CHILDREN OFF BEFORE 8:10am because there will be no adult supervision. Please note, children must be escorted & and signed-in by an adult if they arrive on or after 8:35am. All children must know how they will be dismissed at the end of each school day. If a change needs to be made to their normal routine, please send in a note to your child's teacher. Drop-in dismissals at the end of the day are difficult to manage. If we know in advance, we can have your child ready for you when you arrive. Regular dismissal is at 3pm.
The Elementary School Handbook
A copy of the new Atkinson Elementary School Parent and Student Handbook is posted on this page and on the side menu to left. The elementary handbook has a great deal of information that I hope you’ll find useful. In the handbook, you will find entries on attendance, birthdays, food safety, homework, health, PTO and our code of conduct that is directly linked to RAISE. Some handbook items apply only to adults while others should be read or shared with your child. It should take no more than 30-minutes to review the entire handbook. As we work to make fewer copies and to promote the use of our school website, I encourage you to download the handbook from the link below, although hard-copies of the handbook will be available in the Atkinson office and/or can be sent home at your request. Our goal is to have all children and families aware of our school procedures and policies. As the practices and policies around school conduct are updated this year to link to our work with Responsive Classroom training, we will certainly let you know. Thank you all for your time and support!
Car Drop-off and Pick-up Procedures
Please re-view the document linked on this page for clarification. It highlights our general procedures in the morning and afternoon around cars and children. It is very important that you read and follow the guidelines listed on the linked pages so that we can get students to school on time and safe while avoiding traffic jams on the main roadways. In the afternoon, it is also important to follow the dismissal routes so that students are dismissed in an orderly and safe manner. The system breaks down when we have people take short cuts around the procedures. Thank you very much for your cooperation!
Lunch Program Info
Elementary school lunches cost $2.50 this school year. Milk only is $.65. Lunch snacks are offered to kids in grades 3-5 for $.75 each. Students are also eligible for free/reduced lunches based on family income. Please send in those forms ASAP. The School Lunch Program will again offer a “point of sale (POS)” debit system at the Atkinson School this year. This system eliminates the need to give your child school lunch money on a daily basis-we try to collect money from home on Mondays.
Title I School Letter
Please take a few minutes to read the letter from our Assistant Superintendent, Gregg Gilligan, about our school's access to Title I funding and support (linked on this page).
Responsive Classroom Parent Brochure
Please see the link above for some important information about the Responsive Classroom approach that's been adopted at Atkinson School. Please ask your child(ren) about their experiences with morning meeting and about their "hopes and dreams" for the school year.
Please make sure your child’s health records are up to date. The State mandates that health forms for any new student be completed prior to entry into the school. Please present your child’s health records to the secretary and nurse as soon as possible. Thank you!
Parent Portal Access
Log on to the Parent Portal via the following link to update contact information: naps.powerschool.com/public/
If you are curious about what your child may need for a grade level at the beginning of the year, please see the supply list linked above. Please do not feel obligated to provide any of these materials. It's just a guide in case you want to pick up a few things at Walmart or Staples as your child starts looking forward to his/her school year. :)
New Family Orientation
If you couldn't join us in August for our introduction to the Atkinson Elementary School, please see the slideshow found in a link on this page. We welcome all new families to school prior to day one so that there is some familiarity with surroundings and school procedures.
Placement Input Letters
Before the end of June each year, our grade level placement teams will be meeting to discuss data that will help us create class assignments for students entering grades K-5. The placement procedure is an involved and thoughtful process. Factors we consider for placement into balanced groups include academic effort and achievement, gender, as well as social relationships and learning style. Our goal is to create classes balanced academically and socially to meet each and every learner's needs.
Old, But Good News!
CAM Ed Studio Trip
Please check out the video above; it's awesome! Dozens of our students entered a contest to share their book reviews on camera at our local television studio. Fourteen students were chosen and we recently took the trip. The students overcame their nerves and came across as old pros when the cameras went live. Mrs. Hestand and Mr. Landry, as well as the CAM Crew, were very proud of their effort, positive energy and their show of support for one another. Big thanks to Tiffany Begin and Brian Fraser at the studio and also to Rick Gorman from North Andover Youth Center for providing transportation! Sean Reardon, NAHS Sophomore, was our video editor for the second time; we couldn't enjoy this without him! Looking forward to next year... The All-Star Readers show will air Tuesdays and Thursdays at 7am, and Monday, Wednesday and Saturdays at 6pm. It can be found on CAM Access on Channel 22 on Comcast and on Channel 24 on Verizon Fios.
Atkinson Cleanup and Nat’l Wildlife Volunteer
What a great day we had cleaning up the schoolyard back in late April! So many families showed up on a very busy weekend to get their hand dirty raking, weeding and collecting scraps of wood and trash that found their way onto our grounds. North Andover student and volunteer for the Nat’l Wildlife Association, James McCarthy, planted 55 native bushes and plants at the south end of our school (near the flagpole) on June 15th. He organized this donation and has worked with Merrimack College to grow these bushes in their greenhouse. James also connected with other schools around town and will be installing similar plants on their grounds. These natural gifts will not only add beauty to the school, they’ll attract native birds and butterflies (and probably some bees) back to the area, which is a good thing for nature in North Andover. Thanks to James, to Adele Gaulocher and to you for all time and labor you’ve shared to make our school look so good!
Art & Music Fair 2013
On Thursday May 30, we had our annual Art and Music Fair. It was a night for you to hear your child harmonize with grade-level friends on stage along and to admire our students’ artwork on display throughout the school.
Take 25 Poster Contest Winner
Aubrey Lee, one of our hard-working 4th graders, recently took home a prize in the annual townwide poster contest about safety. The North Andover Police selected six winners out of hundreds of entries in their ''Take 25'' safety theme poster contest and we are so proud that Aubrey won from our school. She entered a number of different posters and one was chosen. See the picture in our slideshow. Congratulations, Aubrey!
Big Hit Variety Show
What a great couple of shows we had in April! Over 85 students participated in the performances on and back-stage. The students who made it into the performance really did a wonderful job sharing their talents and interest. More importantly, each was able to take that positive risk in front of a couple of very large audiences. I was and am so proud of them for their efforts. We watched over 35 acts that included entertaining hosts, singers, dancers, pianists, magicians, gymnasts, and pogo stickers. It’s always a really fun and memorable time for students and families. A few parents with theater experience offered to help me next year, which will be awesome!
Snowman Competition, Winter 2013
Please check out the dozen or so pictures in our slideshow above from the impromptu snowman-making contest that a few teachers and some students were part of on March 19th. Some children came to school grounds and others worked at home to make the perfect snowman. Mrs. Baylies, Mrs. Quaden, Mrs. O'Connor and Mrs. Fuller all entered their own works of art into the contest. We'll let you decide which one was the best!
RAISE YOUR SMARTS
We saw a great number of well-done projects come in over the past few weeks. Over one-third of the school (131 students) participated. Not bad… These kids all showed their ACHIEVMENT and many INCLUDED others in their learning and fun. Next time, let’s get over 200 kids to join in. KC, 1A, 2A, 3A and 3B all had double digits of participants. We received some exceptional projects on Dr. Atkinson, our school, poems, brochure and a ton of cut outs and disappearing digits posters. Wow! Wait til you see some of them on display on our website and in our halls in the coming weeks. All students who participated names were entered into a special raffle for movie passes and local food gift cards. If a child earned a 3 for his/her work, his/her name was entered three times. Students who got “2” have their name in twice. And anyone who scored a one on the rubric will still have one ticket in the raffle. Congratulations to the winners. Big thanks to all the participants!
RAISE the Bar, RAISE a Star!
The staff is very proud of the work we've done with RAISE values over the last six years. You may know that the entire school district has adopted our key values and now students in grades K-12 are taking part in activities that revolve around the elements of RAISE which are helping to build a respectful community in North Andover. A few years ago, Channel 5 visited the Atkinson School to interview Dr. Hutchinson and two of our students about the importance of RAISE. On April 30th of the same year, Fox25 News made a "Zip Trip" to our wonderful town. Some early-bird students, parents and staff joined me on the town common for a presentation of our RAISE program and sculpture to the world outside North Andover. Nice to hear good news on TV every once in a while. :-) Please check out both stories and, as always, thank you for your support at home around RAISE! Channel 5 Story Fox 25 News Zip Trip (We follow a Merrimack College student.)
The mission of North Andover Public Schools is to cultivate a respectful community of engaged learners,
insightful thinkers, and effective communicators.
It is the policy of North Andover Public Schools not to discriminate on the basis of race, gender, religion, national origin, color, homelessness, sexual orientation, age or disability in its education programs, services, activities or employment practices.
Atkinson Elementary School is located at:
111 Phillips Brooks Road | North Andover, MA 01845 | Phone: 978-794-0124 | Fax: 978 794 2454