High School News

Parent Letter February 1, 2017

posted Feb 3, 2017, 7:45 AM by Mike Motherway

Dear Parents/Guardians:

I want to share a few thoughts about NAHS this week.  First, our annual musical goes up this Thursday at 7:00 p.m.  Our student cast and musicians have worked hard for weeks with our wonderful director, Linda Schoonmaker, to present a fun and entertaining show.  See the details about the musical Grease below.  Our athletic teams are in their final competitions and many are hoping for tournament bids.  We wish all our athletic teams and performing arts students success in their awesome final performances.  

I would also like to share the announcement I made this morning to all our students and faculty.  Our country is in an important political transition, which has continued to be a topic of conversation amongst faculty and students since the presidential campaigns.  I have written to parents previously about this.  Over the weekend we also experienced another bombing of a place of worship in Montreal, Canada.  The national and international events last weekend generated some important faculty conversation on Monday.  Some teachers worried that we would compound for our students the tensions in the world by having our important “lockdown” drill on Tuesday.  We talked through this, went ahead with the drill yesterday, and I felt it was important to speak to the NAHS student body about all of this in my morning announcement today.  The text was announced as follows:

Good morning.  I want to thank everyone for a successful ALICE drill yesterday.  We think a lot about keeping students and faculty safe at NAHS.  Although it is highly unlikely that we will ever have to use this protocol, it is better to be prepared and practiced in the event that we have to.  I would also like to recognize that over the weekend, we all saw on the news national protests, many different views about immigration policy, and the tragic event of the mosque bombing in Montreal, Canada.  These events can be confusing, and some are sad and concerning.  Some of these events may directly impact North Andover High School students and their families.  So please think about your classmates who might be impacted by changes in national immigration practice or by an affront to a Muslim place of worship.  And if you are someone whose family is impacted, please know that you can reach out to a classmate, teacher, counselor, or administrator if needed.  NAHS is a safe and welcoming space for all students.

I give our students, and in particular our teachers who guide students, a lot of credit for navigating our many modern realities in a thoughtful, inquisitive, and open manner.  I believe that NAHS will continue to be a place where a diverse group of thinkers and learners can hold, share, and discuss different points of view and perspectives.


Deborah Holman

NAHS Interim Principal


Grease, the musical, NAHS auditorium

Thurs., February 2 at 7:00 p.m.

Fri., February 3 at 7:00 p.m.

Sat, February 4 at 1:30 and 7:00 p.m.

For tickets visit www.actingouttheater.com

Go Pats !!!

posted Feb 3, 2017, 7:35 AM by Michael Motherway   [ updated Feb 3, 2017, 7:36 AM ]

The North Andover Drama Guild is presenting GREASE

posted Feb 3, 2017, 5:42 AM by Michael Motherway   [ updated Feb 3, 2017, 5:45 AM ]

The North Andover Drama Guild is presenting GREASE on February 2nd and 3rd at 7PM and February 4th at 1:30 and 7PM in the NAHS auditorium!  Tickets can be purchased directly at www.actingottheater.com allowing you to choose your seat right on-line!  Reserved seats are $20 and general admission is $15 in advance, $18 at the door.  Students and seniors are $10 in advance and $12 at the door.  This will likely sell out, so get your tickets early!

2017-2018 Program of Studies

posted Jan 30, 2017, 6:17 PM by Michael Motherway

2017-2018 Program of Studies

Parent Letter January 24, 2017

posted Jan 24, 2017, 10:39 AM by Michael Motherway

Dear Parents and Guardians:

Greetings from North Andover High School.  By this Friday evening, teachers will have posted on PowerSchool their mid-trimester comments about your student’s progress.  You should find updated grades and comments on “Habits of Learning” skills. This is a good time to have a conversation with your student, in particular ninth graders, about progress if your child is not meeting his or her learning goals or aspirations.  Teachers are usually available before or after school for help, and our Academic Development Center (ADC) is available after school for all students, Monday - Thursday from 2:15 - 3:15 p.m.  The ADC  provides a quiet homework space, access to computers and assistance with academic work.

Reminder again that parents can always access in PowerSchool your student’s grades on major assessments, as well as attendance.  If you need assistance logging onto your PowerSchool account, contact Alicia Murray at aliciamurray@northandoverpublicschools.com.

And finally, congratulations to a number of our student organizations for their hard work:

  • Student Council continues their work to revise and improve our cell phone policy.

  • The cast members of Grease, our musical, who are in their last full week of rehearsal. Come see Grease next week!

  • Our Asian American Club, Feminist Club, and LGBTQ Club for continuing their smart and civil discussion about the presidential election; a discussion that has attracted students and staff from a variety of political viewpoints.

  • All of our winter athletic teams and coaches who have represented well the Scarlet Knights!

On that note, boys and girls varsity basketball teams play our rival Andover High tonight at 7:00 p.m.  Boys at Andover, girls at North Andover.  We have a fierce and fun rivalry with Andover High that, in most years, stays very positive, however we have occasionally not brought our best fan sportsmanship to this boys varsity contest in recent years.  I reminded student fans this morning to continue the rivalry tonight in positive and healthy ways, to “bring their best self to the game,” and to direct support and cheers only toward our teams. Parents can help remind student fans of this expectation.

Go Scarlet Knights!

Deborah Holman

NAHS Interim Principal

Parent Letter January 6, 2017

posted Jan 11, 2017, 10:37 AM by Michael Motherway

Dear Parents and Guardians:

Happy new year and welcome back to NAHS.  I find that our students have a way of immediately powering back up after a vacation.  In the last two days I have seen them enthusiastically reading aloud MacBeth, studying Teddy Roosevelt, celebrating the logging of a collective 9000 pages of independent reading in a ninth grade class, rehearsing for the February musical Grease, presenting “pitches” at the DECCA business conference, and playing some intense 9th grade girls basketball against Tewksbury, among other athletic contests.  

And our teachers are busy with a January full of teaching and much professional learning and reflection.  For example, the NAHS History Department will soon host the district leadership team in “instructional rounds,” where district and building leaders walk through history classes observing teaching and learning and then give feedback to the department in a non-evaluative manner.  Our general education and special education co-teachers are looking forward to a full-day workshop next week about best practices in teaching classes with students who have a wide range of skills and abilities.  And all teachers in North Andover will enjoy the January 13 professional day, which we call “Ed Camp.”  It has been really nice to be in a school and district that believe ongoing teacher learning is key to improved student learning and success.

Regarding student learning and success, I want to remind you that parents can always access in PowerSchool student grades on major assessments, as well as attendance.* Teachers update these regularly.  At the end of January (mid-trimester), teachers will be communicating about your student’s progress.  On January 27, you will find grades and “Habits of Learning” posted on PowerSchool.  

A reminder that over the last few years, NAHS has done impressive work:

  • articulating curriculum standards and various common assessments in each department

  • agreeing that a term or final grade should only reflect what a student knows and can do according to the standards

  • declaring that nightly homework is important, and that it is mostly for practice or formative assessment

  • and that separate from the achievement grade, students and parents need feedback on “habits of learning” - for example non-academic factors such as behavior, student effort, attendance, homework completion

The idea is that if NAHS is transparent about its learning standards, about how the standards will be assessed, and about students' progress to meet the standards, then there’s a better community understanding of what the high school is all about.  Having said that, it is still a journey and always a work in process.  Teachers in each department continually work to align curriculum and make learning and grading meaningful. We hope that our trimester reporting to parents/guardians is informative and helpful.

And last, on a safety/security note.  I am happy to report that the high school building exterior doors are now locked during the school day, and we have a process to screen and “buzz in” visitors.


Deborah Holman

Interim Principal

* If you need assistance logging onto your PowerSchool account contact Alicia Murray at aliciamurray@northandoverpublicschools.com


January 9 -  College Test Prep Fair & College Bound Juniors Night sponsored by NAHS Guidance Department, 5:00 - 8:00 p.m.

January 13 - No School - Full professional day for staff

January 16 - No School - Martin Luther King Day

January 18 - NAHS principal search - parent/guardian meeting with Supt. Jen Price, 8:00 a.m. in room 1064

January 19 - PICC College Coffee Talk 8-10 a.m. sponsored by Guidance Dept.

January 25 - Early release at 1:00 p.m. professional day; PAC meeting, 6:00 p.m. in library

January 27 - Mid-trimester grades and comments posted on PowerSchool at end of school day; during the school day - blood drive held in the fieldhouse


NAHS production of “Grease” - February 2, 3, 4

Parent letter Dec. 12, 2016

posted Dec 23, 2016, 10:01 AM by Deborah Holman   [ updated Dec 23, 2016, 10:03 AM ]

December 13, 2016

Dear Parents and Guardians:

We are fully into Trimester 2 this week, and I hope your students have transitioned well.  NAHS is my first experience working with trimesters, so I am still learning about the ways that the system works, its assets and deficits, both of which I see.  Trimesters allow students a fresh start three times a year; can offer some students much variety in course choices, often in the upper grades; and they allow an intensity of focus for 10 weeks.  On the other hand, the quickness of a trimester can be demanding; students usually have many teachers for a shorter amount of time; and less deep teacher-student relationships may result.  NAHS faculty has been talking about trimesters for a long time, so we are now launching a multi-phase schedule review process as part of the revised NAPS strategic plan.  Phase one consists of an internal review where we’ll begin to collect faculty and student feedback about the daily schedule.  Phase two will collect feedback from parents / guardians.  The review will include research about successful high school schedules that may meet the goals of NAHS and be worthy of considering.  We will work closely with NAPS leadership and communicate carefully with parents / guardians and students.  No quick decisions will be made, and there will be no change in the 2017-2018 schedule, which will remain trimesters.  

Other important information: The parent portal on PowerSchool is open and should display student grades for Trimester 1, and you can also find your student’s Trimester 2 schedule.  Please consider joining the Wednesday, December 14 - PAC meeting in the library at 6:00 pm.  NAPD will discuss the ALICE safety protocols, then Director of Guidance Steve Nugent will discuss guidance offerings.  And finally, the PAC teacher appreciation breakfast is this Friday, Dec. 16.  PAC would love donations and you can sign up here.


December 14 - PAC meeting, library, 6:30 p.m.

December 15 - Winter Concert in auditorium AT 7:00 p.m.

December 16 - PAC teacher appreciation breakfast.  Sign up here.

December 21 - Early release at 1:00 p.m., professional day

December 22 - Alumni Brunch & Seminar / last year’s graduates back to NAHS, noon   

December 24 - January 2 - Holiday Break

January 3 - School resumes

January 4 - Early release at 1:00 p.m., professional day

January 5 -  DECA field trip for district competition @ Merrimack College

January 9 -   College Test Prep Fair & College Bound Juniors Night sponsored by NAHS Guidance Dept., 5:00 - 8:00 p.m.

January 13 - No School - Full professional day for staff

January 16 - No School - Martin Luther King Day

Parent Letter - November 18

posted Nov 28, 2016, 1:25 PM by Michael Motherway

Office of the Principal

North Andover High School

November 18, 2016

Dear Parents and Guardians:

Greetings from NAHS.  This week, I would like to share some student celebrations, an important note about a concerning cell phone application, and upcoming dates/events.  

Good news first: Although I get to see our NAHS students doing great things every day, I could never share with you all their successes.  However, I would like to offer a (non-exhaustive) list that paints a bit of a picture and to offer my congratulations:

  • This fall, we celebrate 6 twelfth graders as National Merit Scholars commended students.  Students are commended based on their PSAT scores taken during their junior year.

  • This week we honored our 94 twelfth grade John and Abigail Adams Scholars.  Scholars are named based on their MCAS scores taken in the ninth and tenth grades, and this qualifies them for a college scholarship at a Massachusetts public college/university.

  • Congratulations to NAHS Chorus students Emily Cummings and Will Ferguson, who traveled to Texas last weekend with Ms. Sara Durkin to perform with the National Association for Music Education’s All-National Honors Choir.  Ms. Durkin reported that it was intense and amazing for her, Emily, and Will.

  • Out of 700 students in the region, freshman Jacob Boylorn was recently in first place in the Boston Globe Stock Market Game in Mr. Pete Concannon’s class. Go Jacob!

  • 18 NAHS students completed our food service training class and recently earned their SERVSAFE certification from the National Restaurant Association.

  • The girls volleyball team clinched the league title earlier this month. The following players were honored at MVC Volleyball Night: Natasha Stewart- Player of the Year; Rachel Davies- League All-Star; Sophie Meyers- League All-Star; Kathryn Farnum- All-Conference Player; Megan McNally- All-Conference Player; Abigail Keiver- Unsung Hero Award

  • Senior Sam Caron was the MVC Open Champion for Golf.

  • Sophomore Kaitlyn Parks recently emailed President Barack Obama expressing her desire to work in the government some day, and she received a long letter back from the President.  Nice networking, Kaitlyn!

  • Junior Katherine Colwell is currently doing a semester abroad in Finland, and we look forward to hearing about her many adventures.  

Next, it’s important that I share with parents/guardians our concern about a cell phone application called “After School,” which our students brought to our attention. It allows posting of anonymous comments, and we know that there has been some negative use of this “app” by NAHS students over the last few days.  It is frustrating that, in many ways, this type of anonymous digital platform is beyond school and parent control.  Nevertheless, we are constantly working with our students around appropriate use of technology and digital communication.  This weekend, I encourage all parents to ask your children about this “app,” its use, and talk about appropriate digital communication and the importance of putting one’s name behind one’s statements whether in the virtual world or the face-to-face world.


Deborah Holman

Interim High School Principal


November 20 – “Shortsfest” One Act Festival - 2:00 pm in the auditorium. Students write, act, and direct.

November 23 – Spirit Rally: early dismissal at 11:00 a.m.

November 24 -- Thanksgiving Football game at Andover High

November 30 – Trimester 1 Exams: Periods 1 and 2 exams, periods 3, 4, 5 are regular classes

December 1 – Trimester 1 Exams: Periods 3 and 4, period 5 is a regular class (dismissal at noon)

December 2 – Trimester 1 Exam: Period 5 exam ends 9:15 and makeup exams

December 2 – Winter Coffee House  - held in cafeteria  7 p.m

December 6 – School Picture Retakes during all 3 lunches

December 10 – ACT Practice Test 8:45 a.m. – 12:30.  We encourage sophomores and juniors to take the free ACT practice test to see if it might be a good alternative to the SAT.  Registration:  click here.

December 15 - Winter Concert in auditorium AT 7:00 p.m.

November - Parent Letter

posted Nov 10, 2016, 7:38 AM by Michael Motherway

November 9, 2016

Dear Parents and Guardians:

Greetings from NAHS.  I would like to share with you a few “principal thoughts” and a few reminders about upcoming November events.  

As a former U.S. History teacher, my “principal thoughts” this week have centered on this year’s intriguing election season.  The presidential campaign was unlike any in recent memory. However, it was certainly in line with an American political tradition that can waiver from mundane to raucous campaigns. Our students have discussed the election and its issues in many of our humanities courses, and our A.P. Government seniors with their teacher, Dianne Freiermuth, organized our mock election on Monday.  This was an instructive mock election exercise about the presidential candidates and the Massachusetts ballot questions.  These types of activities are essential to the work and mission of a public high school.  We consider it our responsibility to have students learn the value of civic engagement and political participation.  As we join families in discussing and unpacking our political system and this election, we also emphasize the many wonderful aspects of our country, and by extension, of our town and high school.  One American aspect that I emphasize and celebrate often is the multiplicity of views and the diversity of people both in our country and in our school.  And that all of those views and people are welcome and safe at North Andover High School.

In that vein, I made the following announcement this morning to the high school community.  I thought it may be useful to share with families.

Good morning.  I hope students had a great day off yesterday, and I thank faculty for a great professional development day.  So, I am a U.S. History teacher in addition to being principal, and I’d like to comment briefly on the remarkable and challenging presidential election we just witnessed.  You and your families may be pleased with the results.  Or you and your families may be disappointed with the results.  However, I want to remind us that one of the most impressive aspects of the U.S. is that through elections, we transfer political power peacefully.  Some other countries do not do this.  So what does this mean for us?  It means that as a nation and as a school, we discuss political change, political disagreements, and what we think about our presidential candidates in a peaceful and civil manner.  We can disagree energetically and robustly.  But our discourse nationwide and at NAHS needs to be marked by respect for all.  The current great American tradition of welcoming and respecting ALL citizens regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, gender, national origin, language, sexual orientation, or gender identity will continue.  And I am confident that respect will be seen and lived at NAHS.  I look forward to many conversations with you in the days ahead.  Thank you.

And below, please see some dates for upcoming NAHS events.


Deborah Holman

Interim NAHS Principal


November 10 – 8:00 – 10:00 a.m.  PICC (Planning and Information College and Career) College Coffee Talk for parents in room 1064.  Please send any questions you have for the agenda to stevensd@nak12.com.

November 11 – No School – Veteran’s Day

November 16 – Seniors measured for cap & gowns for graduation during all lunches

November 16 - John & Abigail Adams Scholarship Recipient Breakfast at 10:00 a.m. for notified juniors.

November 17 – Open House for 7th & 8th grade parents at 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.

November 18 – One Act Festival - Auditorium

November 23 – Spirit Rally  - early dismissal  at 11:00 a.m.

Thanksgiving Break

November 30 – Trimester 1 Exams: Periods 1 and 2 exams, periods 3, 4, 5 are regular class

December 1 – Trimester 1 Exams: Periods 3 and 4, period 5 is a regular class (dismissal at noon)

December 2 – Trimester 1 Exam: Period 5 exam and makeup exams (dismissal at noon)

October - Parent Letter

posted Oct 20, 2016, 7:35 AM by Patricia Roy

Office of the Principal

North Andover High School


Dear Parents/Guardians:

 It has been a terrific opening month of school, and I have really enjoyed getting to know students, parents, and staff.  Every day, I see our NAHS students doing great work in our classrooms and labs, on the athletic fields, and in the art and choral and band spaces.  I am continually impressed by the school community, the dedication of our staff, and our students’ respect for each other and NAHS as a great place to explore and learn.

 A few quick notes and some dates for October:

 Congratulations to our NAHS Marching Band members who won a silver medal last Saturday at the NESBA (New England Scholastic Band Association) marching band competition.  Thank you to Mr. Smalley and his team for all their hard work, and thank you to parents Martin McGrath and Kim Hearst, our NESBA Show Coordinators.

Athletic Director Scott Young and I recently joined some of our football players and cheerleaders to attend a Friday afternoon assembly at Atkinson Elementary. Our NAHS students were a model and inspiration to the younger students, who asked insightful questions of our high schoolers such as: “in the high school, what do you do for service?” and “can a girl play football at NAHS?”  This event was a great ritual that creates a really nice connection between schools and students.

 On another note, NAHS sponsors many exceptional global and domestic learning opportunities such as: a German exchange, a French exchange, a service trip to the Dominican Republic, a chorus trip to California, a Global Student Leadership Conference in Peru, and a U.S. History class trip to Washington, DC., to name just a few.  In order to help make all of these great offerings available to all of our students, regardless of family income, the superintendent and high school faculty have created a “Live Your Learning Educational Fund” (LYLEF).  Please join us for our first celebratory fundraising dinner on November 5, 6:30 p.m. at Brightview on 1275 Turnpike Street in North Andover.  We have 50 tickets available.  The cost is $125 per ticket for a special meal by a special chef.  Proceeds will benefit the LYLEF.  See the NAPS website for tickets.

 I hope you and your families enjoy this long weekend.


Deborah Holman

NAHS Interim Principal




OCTOBER 12 & 13 - Yom Kippur - No homework assigned for all students the night of 10/11 and 10/12.  No assessments for all students on 10/12 and 10/13.


OCTOBER 12 - Early release at 1:00 p.m. Teacher collaboration.


OCTOBER 13 - School Photos taken of all students. Order forms will be available to purchase photos.


OCTOBER 15th - PSAT (Preliminary S.A.T. exam) at NAHS for sophomores and juniors.


OCTOBER 17 - 22 - NAHS HOMECOMING - Homecoming will be celebrated on October 17 - 22. During the week, Student Council will sponsor dress up days and school spirit activities culminating in a whole school Spirit Rally on Friday afternoon.  Athletic Teams compete throughout the week with Friday night being the traditional football game against MVC rival, Chelmsford. During the Football Game, senior members of the band, cheerleading team, and football team will be honored as well as the Homecoming Corps. Saturday morning, all members of the community are invited to participate in the “Knights on the Run” 5k Walk/Race. Saturday evening, the annual Homecoming Dance sponsored by the Class of 2017 will be held in the NAHS Field House.


OCTOBER 19th - College Financial Aid Night, 6:30 pm - 8:00 p.m., NAHS Auditorium.  The Director of Financial Aid at Merrimack College will give a MEFA (Massachusetts Educational Finance Authority) presentation and answer questions regarding the financial aid process.


OCTOBER 26 - Early release at 1:00 p.m. Teacher collaboration.



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