News & Events
Saturday March 25, 2017 from 10:00 am-1:00 pm at the Newton Angier Elementary School. See details on the ABRSD HR page.
The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education will do a Coordinated Program Review of the ABRSD this school year. Department staff will be visiting our District the week of February 13, 2017. For more information see this announcement. Members of the public may request an interview by contacting the Superintendent's office or the DESE (see announcement) by January 30, 2017.
In accordance with MA Public Records Law, Chapter 121 of the Acts of 2016, ABRSD has designated Beth Petr, Executive Assistant to the Superintendent and School Committee, as the Records Access Officer (RAO) and Marie Altieri, Deputy Superintendent, as the Records Custodian. Beth may be reached at email@example.com or 978-264-3306. A Guide to the Massachusetts Records Law may be found at http://www.sec.state.ma.us/pre/prepdf/guide.pdf. Complete text of the new law may be found at https://malegislature.gov/Laws/SessionLaws/Acts/2016/Chapter121
Here is the 2017-2018 School Calendar voted by the School Committee on 12/15/16. Please note that Elementary School Thursday afternoons are not confirmed yet.
Proposed Changes to ELA and Math Standards Available for Public Comment:
Last week the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education voted to release for public comment new drafts of the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks for English Language Arts and Literacy (ELA/Literacy) and Mathematics. Comments may be made from December 1, 2016 through online survey. Educators interested in learning more about the proposed changes to the Frameworks are encouraged to check out the ELA/Literacy and Math Standards Review page on ESE’s website or sign up for one of ESE's Office Hours sessions scheduled throughout the comment period.through an
Survey on History and Social Science Framework Revision:
As Massachusetts embarks on the revision of the 2003 Massachusetts History and Social Science Curriculum Framework, the Department encourages educators and others to offer comments on and suggested revisions to the current framework via a survey. The survey will take approximately 10–20 minutes to complete and will remain open until .
ABRSD is reaching out to employees and vendors to whom the District has issued checks that have not been cashed. Notification letters were sent out November 1, 2016. You may also view the lists on the Finance page of the website.
Here is a recent letter that went out to all families of the Acton-Boxborough learning community.
As many of you may already be aware, our district experienced the loss of a second student at the high school over the weekend. Our thoughts are with the two bereaved families as we support them during this difficult time.
When students die by suicide, it understandably raises a range of emotions, concerns, and questions. Over the last five years, we have seen a number of our neighboring districts experience losses like these. We hoped that this letter was one that we would never have to write. But, given the statistics on teenage mental health, the reality is that any school that serves adolescents faces this risk.
Our high school leadership team and teachers have, over the course of the last three years, made mental health and wellness the focus of their professional learning and work with students. As a result, these losses have been especially painful. At the same time, I have been extremely impressed by their commitment to do everything possible to support students during these difficult times through their close collaboration with professionals who are noted in the field of school loss and crisis, including Maria Trozzi of Boston Medical Center’s Good Grief Program, and psychologist Dr. Rob Evans. In the face of both tragedies, our high school has followed the established protocols and recommendations from the Good Grief Program.
Among the steps we are taking, we are in the process of partnering with community agencies to offer in the near future an evening on adolescent mental health. Please watch for additional information on this as soon as plans are solidified. Additionally, as we do every year, we will provide the entire 9th grade with Signs of Suicide Prevention training (SOS) in their Fitness for Living classes. In the next month, our counselors will also be delivering presentations in all grade levels about the signs and symptoms of depression, effective ways of coping with it, what to do if they or someone they know has thoughts of suicide, and how to access appropriate resources. Some people have asked us to hold school-wide assemblies for students, but given the varied ways children cope with loss, these have not proven to be helpful and are not recommended by experts in the field.
We will continue to do everything we can to support our students, but there is no substitute for healthy conversations between families and their children. Here are links to resources that can help you talk with your children: http://abschoolswellness.weebly.com/mental-health-learn-more.html, including a video of Maria Trozzi’s recent parent presentation, When Our Adolescents Face Losses: Words, Strategies and Wisdom that Promote Resilience, and the attached article Helping Students Cope with Tragic Loss by Dr. Rob Evans and Dr. Mark Kline.
We are deeply saddened by these losses to our school community and we remain committed to partnering with you to support the wellbeing of all our students.
Glenn A. Brand, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools
Over the last few years, our district has engaged in work in the area of health and well-being for all members of our learning community, including social emotional learning (SEL). Click here to see the website and learn what we are doing to develop engaged, well-balanced learners through collaborative, caring relationships.