Bullying expert Stephanie Fanning will present an informational cyber-bullying program tonight at Nock Middle School, offering insight to parents on how to partner effectively with schools to help resolve cyber-bullying problems.

As a recipient of training from the Massachusetts Aggression Reduction Center, she'll give tips on how to help children cope in cases of cyber bullying, and will give practical and concrete suggestions on how to approach schools for help and assist school administrators to resolve bullying issues. Parents don't need to become computer experts to assess whether or not cyber bullying is becoming a problem in their children's lives.

The event will take place from 6:30 to 8 p.m. in the Nock Middle School library.


The Newburyport Education Foundation's fourth annual Spelling Bee on April 4 raised $20,000 toward NEF's overall goal of raising $100,000 to fund the stocking of literacy closets, three years of the Virtual High School program at NHS, and the purchase of new photo and technology equipment for Newburyport students.

"It was a wonderful event again," Superintendent Kevin Lyons said. "It was a great crowd, with great costumes. Over $20,000 was raised, and in this economy, that's pretty darn good."

The Spelling Bee provides an opportunity for members of the community to match their spelling skills against city leaders, neighbors and colleagues while raising money for local kids.


Lyons recently recognized Newburyport High School students who placed second in the country in the nationally organized Real World Design Challenge held last month at the Smithsonian Aeronautics Institute in Washington, D.C.

Aside from the nine team members who developed an aerodynamic aircraft wing that reduced drag and decreased the carbon footprint of commercial aircraft, Lyons also gave kudos to the company that has provided technological study opportunities like this one to the school district.

"We have a business partner — Parametric Technology Corporation, and Newburyport is their flagship in terms of their whole international training program," Lyons said. "The program (students) use is the parametric pro engineer, and is provided to Newburyport at no cost."

Parametric is providing engineering software to students as young as grade 4 and provides support and training as well, Lyons said.


The school district has actively begun searching for a replacement for departing Edward Molin Upper Elementary School Principal Dave Archambault.

The application process and screening period has already begun and will be overseen by Assistant Superintendent Deirdre Farrell. Farrell is planning to assemble a team of parents who will help to sift through the candidates and bring forth for consideration the best candidates for the job.

The district has set a May 31 goal for hiring Archambault's replacement, Lyons said.

"We're all going to miss Dave," Lyons said. "He's really done everything he possibly could do to get a new school off to a wonderful start. He's been a great colleague, and he will be missed."

Archambault will begin work at Ipswich's Doyon Elementary School on July 1, 2009.


The Brown School officially kicked off its Green Team effort yesterday, with an assembly that promoted the districtwide efforts to reduce, reuse and recycle renewable waste. The program is being facilitated by city recycling coordinator Molly Ettenborough, along with Amy Roberts, Stephanie Walsh, Dianna Ouellette and Suzanne Simon.


Parents of kindergarten students are reminded that the Brown School Carnival will be held this Thursday night from 5 to 7 in the school gymnasium. All are welcome to come out and bring their siblings and family members as well.

The Newburyport Elementary School PTO meeting will be tomorrow at 7 p.m. in the Bresnahan School cafeteria. Baby-sitting is available on request.

The Rupert A. Nock Middle School Special Education Council will meet on Thursday in the school library.


If your spring plans include a landscaping overhaul or a redesign of your home's open space, MSI Landscaping is offering a portion of all their sales to the PTO, which directly benefits children's programs locally. Sprinkler maintenance, mulch deliveries and a variety of other paving and irrigation services are offered. Contact 978-363-1500 to find out more.


Display Boards are available for students participating in the Molin Upper Elementary Science Fair coming up on May 1. Setup day is scheduled for the evening of April 30 at Hope Church.

Correspondent Lynne Hendricks covers Newburyport schools for The Daily News.