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!
Atkinson is a designated "Targeted Assistance" school through the Title I grant. Please read Mr. Gilligan letter on the matter.
Atkinson Elementary School 2014-15
Thank you, PTO!
Our very generous Parent Teacher Organization presented the entire student body with new RAISE tee-shirts celebrating the school's 50th year. We distributed them prior to an All-Star Assembly so we could be together and in color... students were a sea of lime green in the cafeteria! Staff and alumni were also gifted with adult-sized gray colored shirts to wear. What a memorable treat for our community of learners! Thank you, PTO!
Updates on Routines
Please review the principal's message above related to morning and afternoon routines. Things are going very well, but there are a few specific things to tweak. Thanks for your support!
As of Monday, October 6, we added a third bus to transport Atkinson students to and from school. Buses 1 & 2 stay the same. The third bus is now Bus 21 (formerly called Bus 1B in the afternoon). Families were notified via a School Messenger call and mailing with updated drop-off and pick-up times at each stop. The great news is that students have arrived to school in the same time frame and the change has led to a more efficient dismissal at the end of each day.
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.
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.
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.
Atkinson Fun Run #4, Date TBD
Stay tuned for a date for our fall Fun Run at Atkinson. We will hopefully have another win for the school at Knights on the Run on October 18th at NAHS; we are going for a 3-peat! We'll follow that up with a schoolwide day of exercise at the end of October/early November. Mrs. Rodden will be getting the kids ready soon.
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.
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.
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!
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