Principal's Post - Week of December 10th

posted Dec 7, 2018, 6:56 AM by Jorge Goncalves   [ updated Dec 10, 2018, 3:57 AM ]

Dear NAMS families,

We have extended the deadline for our annual Bread & Roses Food Drive to Tuesday, December 11, 2018.  We really need your help in making our annual food drive an even bigger success than last year.  Please read below for more information, specifically what we are hoping to collect.

Bye Bye Birdie

Opening Night was last evening and what an amazing performance it was!  Remaining shows will run Friday, December 7, 2018 at 7 p.m. and Saturday, December 8, 2018 at 2 p.m.  Tickets are on sale during all lunches and will be available at the door the night or day of the remaining shows. Tickets are $8 for adults and $5 for students.  We hope to see you there!

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Your Help Needed for PTAC-Sponsored NAMS Holiday Brunch on December 13th

This year's PTAC sponsored Holiday Brunch will take place on Thursday, December 13th for NAMS staff. Volunteers are still needed to help festively decorate the conference room and also fill it with delicious soups, casseroles, muffins, cakes, salads, and desserts as a THANK YOU to the hardworking staff at NAMS. PLEASE SIGN UP HERE!

If your specialty is not included on our sign-up list, we'll take it! Just contact Eleanor Lucarini ( or Diane Nikolopoulos ( to let them know what you'll be making.

Thank you for supporting this event!

PTAC Board


December 3-11, 2018 Sponsored by Student Leadership

Last year, NAMS donated 3,042 lbs. of food and we are hoping to make an even bigger impact this year. Due to the gas explosions, the needs are even greater.

Below you will find a list of food items that have been requested along with information about Bread & Roses.  

Bread & Roses is a soup kitchen in Lawrence, MA that has long been a center of hope and caring to the thousands of people in the Merrimack Valley who are struggling for survival. Their primary purpose is to ease the hunger of people in our community by providing a well-balanced, nutritious evening meal.  Last year, Bread & Roses fed over 60,000 people. The needs are especially high this year because of the gas explosions in the Merrimack Valley.

Please bring in any of the following items which are considered critical needs now:

  • Canned vegetables
  • Canned fruit  
  • Juice boxes
  • Shelf-stable fruit cups
  • Applesauce
  • Tomato/spaghetti sauce
  • Vegetable cooking spray
  • Cranberry sauce  
  • Pasta and rice products
  • Saltine crackers
  • Oatmeal
  • Mac & cheese mix
  • Cereal - low sugar/high fiber
  • Shelf-stable milk
  • Dry milk
  • Canned tuna, salmon, chicken
  • Canned soup or beef stew
  • Canned or dry beans/peas
  • Peanut butter
  • Chicken and beef broth
  • Ranch salad dressing
  • Splenda/Sweet N Low
  • Paper products: napkins, paper lunch bags
  • Ziploc bags - all sizes
  • Gift cards for Market Basket or Stop & Shop

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Beyond the Classroom Updates
The Beyond the Classroom website is ready for your review here or at the following website address:

North Andover Public Schools believes learning can take place beyond the walls of a classroom! We’re excited to share with your our website which describes various learning opportunities. The newest initiative is the implementation of “BEYOND THE CLASSROOM” school cancellation days during the 2018-2019 school year. Should they be needed, these alternative school days will go into effect after the 4th school cancellation day. The following provides some general information. Please visit the Beyond the Classroom website for additional information.

  • After the 9/14/18 school cancellation day, our last day of school is currently scheduled for Tuesday, June 18th.

  • If school is cancelled 3 additional times, we will make up each of those days with the last possible day of school being Friday, June 21st.  

  • If school needs to be cancelled more than a total of 4 times, students will be assigned independent learning experiences to complete instead of making up cancelled days. These Alternative School Days have been named Beyond the Classroom Days.

  • The website provides specific information about all Beyond the Classroom expectations.

  • You can view the FAQ’s for answers to questions you might have.

  • Click on your child(ren)’s school for specific assignments. Due to copyright restrictions, students will need to log in using their NAPS login. Directions of how to access this via Powerschool are also on the website.

  • Teachers will be reviewing assignments and expectations with students in advance of the 5th school cancellation day and sending home hard copies as needed.

  • The website also includes Superintendent Snow Day Challenges for school cancelation days #2, 3 and 4 as well as Supplemental Learning ia

Department of Children and Families Needs Foster Homes

Is there room in your home and heart for a foster child? The Department of Children and Families is actively recruiting foster parents for children coming into care from North Andover, MA. We are searching for individuals or families with the love and patience to help foster children. You can be single, married, partnered, divorced or widowed. You can own your home or rent.

We need homes for children aged 0 to 22 which include sibling groups, children with special needs, medically involved children, and infants born exposed to drugs. We are looking for long-term foster homes but also have a need for emergency and respite homes which involve a shorter time commitment on the part of a foster family. Our goal is to provide our foster children with a supportive and healing environment in a home in their own community until they can be reunited with their families or another plan can be made on their behalf. The rewards of providing daily care, guidance and acceptance are immeasurable.

If you are thinking about becoming a foster parent, you can learn more about the application process and the supports provided by the Department by contacting Brenda Fitzgerald, Family Resource Recruiter at or at 978-557-2721.

Physiology of Addiction and the Adolescent Brain
Dr. Ruth Potee will be presenting on the Physiology of Addiction and the Adolescent Brain on Thursday, January 10, 2019 at 6:30 p.m. in the North Andover High School Auditorium.  The North Andover Police Department will also be setting up their Hidden in Plain Sight display for adults to walk through before the presentation.  Attached below is a flyer with more information about this event.

Looking Ahead
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Friday, December 7, 2018
        Last Day of Trimester 1
        Bye Bye Birdie (7 p.m. show)

Saturday, December 8, 2018
        Bye Bye Birdie (2 p.m. show)

Monday, December 10, 2018
        First Day of Trimester 2
Tuesday, December 11, 2018
Wednesday, December 12, 2018
Thursday, December 13, 2018
        Final Trimester 1 Grades will be available for viewing in PowerSchool for students and families
Friday, December 14, 2018
        Grade 7 Trip to North Shore Music Theater

Monday, December 17, 2018
Tuesday, December 18, 2018
Wednesday, December 19, 2018
        Early Release at 1:05 p.m. for students
Thursday, December 20, 2018
Friday, December 21, 2018
        Early Release at 11:05 a.m. for students


Opportunity for Current NAMS Grades 7 & 8 Students


August 2-11, 2019

Approximate Cost: $3,500 which includes everything (i.e. food, travel, lodging, instruction)

Tentative Itinerary and Course Objectives:

This summer field course will take place on the campus of the Teton Mountain School in Jackson, Wyoming.   Jackson is just outside Teton National Park and an hour south of Yellowstone National Park, both of which are areas renowned for their biological and geological wonders.  Teton Mountain School is a field school that specializes in teaching science programs about the Teton/Yellowstone ecosystems to k-12 students. This class will focus on teaching students about the local ecology and geology/geomorphology of the area.   For 6 days, we will stay in dormitories at the Teton Mountain School in Jackson. Here we will look at the geology and glacial geomorphology of Jackson Hole, so that students understand the geology that created the “hole”/valley where the town is located, and the surrounding Teton Mountains.  Then we will look at how the glaciers have weathered these mountains and created their current features and topography on a hike up into the valley to an active glacier. We will also study the ecology of the unique ecosystem within Jackson Hole. We will also spend 5 days and 4 nights touring and camping in Yellowstone National Park.   This section of the class will cover several different subjects that are unique to Yellowstone. We will study the geology that is behind the formation of the remarkable geologic features found in Yellowstone, such as geysers and hot springs, as well as the volcanic geology that created the park itself (it is a hotspot, much like Hawaii, but in the center of a continent).   We will hike to a fossil forest where entire forests were buried by volcanic ash and fossilized, leaving standing trunks of rock. We will also study fire ecology, looking at how Yellowstone has recovered from the devastating wildfires that burned much of the park a decade ago, and how this influences the ecology of the region. Finally, we will study how the reintroduction of wolves into the Yellowstone ecosystem and how this has changed the ecology of the park and the importance of top predators in other ecosystems.  

This class will be offered for credit through the summer school program.  It will include some pre-trip and post-trip research as well as a final assessment (research paper, project and/or final exam).  All meals, lodging, bedding, and transportation while in Jackson is included in the tuition price and will be handled by the Teton Mountain School.  Tuition will also include transportation to Logan Airport and the cost of the airline ticket to Jackson, WY. Linens, sleeping bag and pad, and camping equipment are all included in the price.  

If you are interested in applying to join this trip, please complete the application here.   

Craig Richard

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NAMS PTAC Direct Appeal Campaign

If you have not already, please donate to the NAMS PTAC.  You may find the direct appeal letter to NAMS families here which provides all of the different ways that you can donate.  NAMS PTAC relies mainly on direct donations from the NAMS Community to raise the funds necessary to support these programs at the middle school.

NAMS Merrimack College Hockey Night

Come join us for a fun night as we watch the Men’s Merrimack College Hockey Team take on the University of Maine!

Saturday, February 16, 2019 at 7:00 p.m. at Lawlor Rink at Merrimack College

Tickets are $15 per person and include admission and a puck for Merrimack’s Chuck-A-Puck!

Additional prizes will be given away at the game so make sure to get your tickets!

TICKETS ARE LIMITED - These discounted tickets will not be available at the door. Purchase your tickets for the holidays!

Please see the attached flyer for more information.

Save the Dates:  

Thursday, December 13th- Teacher holiday brunch

Saturday, February 16th- Merrimack Hockey Game, see below for more information

Friday, January 25th- Comedy Night Fundraiser at China Blossom

February- Book Fair along with Family Night

Next PTAC Meeting:  Thursday, January 10th at 9:00 a.m. in the NAMS Cafeteria.


NAMS 2018-2019 Yearbooks

You can order your NAMS 2018-2019 yearbook online now for $35 here.

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Jorge Goncalves,
Dec 7, 2018, 6:56 AM