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.
This file gives an overview of the test and some information about how the school prepares. There are links to the Department of Education district & school profiles pages that highlight Atkinson performance over time.
Please review this calendar if you have a child in grades 3-5. These are important testing dates in the spring. We've revised the original dates slightly. Thanks for all the help preparing the students for these test sessions!
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
MCAS Overview and Calendar
Click on the link above that gives an overview of MCAS and highlights Atkinson's performance over time. Thanks for all your support at home!
Mother Son Jammin' Fun Dance
What a fantastic event! Thanks to our organizers and to the North Andover community for their strong support! London Long and His B-Boys made a return for breakdancing lessons and for participation in the various contests throughout the night. We hope you were there and had a ball!
Atkinson Kindergarten Registration Night
New kindergarten families are welcome to join us on Tuesday, April 14 betwee 6:30-7:30pm for our school-based registration night. This follows the information session provided at the middle school in March. We ask that you complete the online registration form (linked through the district webpage) and come with your child's birth certificate, immunization record and your proof of residency. Please pass on the word to family and friends who may have a son or daughter turning five years old by September. Thank you!
Our weekly registration times are Monday-Friday 10am-1pm.
Communication & Problem-Solving
Atkinson staff takes pride in responding to parent/guardian concerns in a timely and respectful manner. When a school problem arises that relates to your child, the following process should be followed:
Contact your child's teacher first. Depending on what was shared at home, the teacher will often be able to provide another side of a story that brings about understanding. If a student is having a hard time with content or peers, our teachers are famous for making adjustments to their instruction or management to help students in any way they can.
Contact the principal next. Often, the issue could be a larger one that extends beyond a child's particular classroom. It might be a concern about behavior, communication, curriculum, playground conditions or a number of other bigger issues. The principal can email, talk on the phone or certainly meet in person to share our thoughts on the matter in order to help with the problem.
Consider the next level. If there ever is an issue that cannot be solved at the school level and needs to be brought to the superintendent level, it should be done in collaboration. Over time, there have been problems that required input from the system’s leadership and these matters have been worked on together. Attempts to solve a problem should be made at the school level before it's brought to the superintendent or school committee level.
Social media can be an efficient and effective communication tool, however, we ask that you please consider the potentially detrimental effect a post could have on students, parents/guardians, staff and/or the school community. Thank you very much for reflecting on this process and for supporting the school in so many other ways throughout the year!
BeyBlades and Pokemon Cards
We all love toys, right? Kids especially do. But, toys and school don’t mix well most of the time.
We know that toys can bring children together for positive social interactions. Friendly competitions take place and respect for self and others can grow. Children can often learn to solve problems without adult support, which is a good thing. However, we have observed a growing number of conflicts around toys this winter. There has been the need for a great deal of staff intervention in matters relating to BeyBlades and Pokemon cards, in particular.
North Andover Schools have always discouraged students from bringing high interest items in from home. Often, toys and cards are traded without parent permission, things can be misplaced and sometimes, outright stealing happens. These are all teachable moments, but they are unnecessary events and problems that can require a good deal of staff and student time to work through.
At this time, Pokemon and Beyblades are becoming a serious and unnecessary distraction for many of our students in school. While I’m hesitant to forbid them, I hope you’ll support me in strongly discouraging your child from bringing both to school each day. For many of our students, I think it will improve focus and attention to detail along with positively impacting academic achievement and growth. Thank you all very much for your support with this!
Spirit Days April 13-17
MondayCelebrate poetry in homerooms. Kick off school-wide poetry raffle. Get together with RAISE Buddies to share poetry, write and publish poems, recite poems to another class, sing poems, make poem posters, Sport/Activity/Club/Scout Outfits (Red Sox home opener!) Spirit Day
Tuesday Poetry Slam! Volunteers present a poem on the microphone at lunch and earn a raffle ticket. RAINBOW Spirit Day: Gr. 5 Lime Green, Gr. 4 Blue, Gr. 3 Orange, Gr. 2 Black, Gr. 1 Yellow, Gr. K Red
WednesdayPoem in Your Pocket Day! Everyone comes to school with a poem and all day long reads and trades poems with others.
ThursdayPoems for Two Voices Poetry Slam! Lunch poems written for and read by two voices. Cafeteria tables will be “decorated” with poems. Atkinson Green Shirt Day
FridayCRAZY Poetry Hats! Poetry Assembly! Choose a poem and create a hat that captures that poem. Poems about cats - make a hat decorated with pictures of cats! Bring or wear your hat to school and we will show these off at the assembly. Assembly at 9:30am. Hat Shows: each class will stand and model their hats. Guest Poetry Readers will share their favorite poems. Raffle winners drawn and poetry books given away.
Please check out our reading blog for some helpful information to support your young reader at home. Thanks to Mrs. Ohrn for building the site! Atkinson Readers Blog
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 arrival and dismissal routines. Thanks for your support!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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