The Amesbury Elementary School fourth-grade Newspaper Club, under the direction of Bruce McBrien, the school's technology teacher, went to the high school to videotape its news broadcast for the year.
Working with Russ Munroe, district audio-visual coordinator, the students took some of the news stories they had collected during the year and crafted them into a script, which they read. The new studio includes state-of-the art teleprompters, just like real TV stations. Students are looking forward to the video being broadcast on cable access television soon.
Students at AES are taking assignments to the next level by integrating technology into their academic lessons.
Students in Cathy Jackson's class worked in groups of three to research a U.S. region and read facts about that region into the computer to make podcasts. The students also made posters about U.S. regions, which the whole fourth grade is doing a unit on. To view the posters or listen to podcasts, visit Jackson's Web page at www.amesburyma.gov under grade 4 teachers.
Second-graders at AES have been engaging in many learning activities for their unit on space, including building their own electronic slide shows of the planets in computer class. Students are learning more about objects in the sky, deepening their understanding of the sun as a source of light and heat, as well as building on their understanding of the changes in the earth and sky.
Last week, Ellen Elliot and Cathy Patten took their students to the Museum of Science as part of their science unit on space. They visited the planetarium to see the show "Secrets of the Sky," which is a lighthearted musical program, intended to spark students' interest in astronomical phenomena.
Kindergartners at AES are going to Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary this week for a Signs of Spring walk. Students will learn skills of observation at Massachusetts Audubon's largest sanctuary, just down the road in Topsfield. The Audubon's goal for school programs is to "encourage an awareness of and sense of connection to the natural world by using hands-on, inquiry-based teaching techniques."
Two weeks ago, Amesbury High School freshmen participated in a writing assessment similar to what they will see next year on the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System exam. Students were scored holistically by members of the AHS staff against the state standards. The following students received the highest scores in the class and will be presented certificates in June at an awards gathering: Abby Craven, Nate Clark, Andrew Conant, Sam Kelcourse, Noah Kligerman, Zach Martin, Phillip Morrison, Keith Murray, Hannah Schalck, Lily Terzis, Troy Wise and Karyssa Youngs.
An MCAS preparation program for freshmen, sophomores and juniors will take place during April vacation. The state requires students to score at least proficient to graduate. These classes are provided free of charge through an Academic Support Grant from the state. Any grade 9, 10, or 11 students wanting to reach proficiency on the MCAS or prepare for the May math testing should contact AHS guidance or Roy Hamond.
Yearbook adviser Barbara Leary and the 2009 editors have selected juniors Colleen Brockmyre, Rebecca Crochiere and Roxanne Griffith to be next year's yearbook editors-in-chief.
Salem State will be offering juniors and seniors at AHS a free Introduction to Criminal Justice college course, which will run on Tuesdays and Thursday from 6 to 9 p.m. from May 19 to June 25. This is an opportunity for high school students to earn three college credits at no cost. If interested, students should contact Kevin Dodier in the Guidance Center.
Interact Club members will be serving at Our Neighbors' Table tomorrow and are also planning to do the Walk for Hunger on May 3, along with the Peer Leaders. AHS students are invited to join the groups in the Walk for Hunger.
This year, 14 AHS students applied for the 2009 Rotary Youth Leadership program. Jim Babbin, RYLA chairman, was impressed with all the applicants and their interviewing skills. Rose Mirandi, Meaghan Sydlowski, Allyssa Deorocki, James Abare and Emily Shirshac were selected to attend the weekend-long program in May.
Amesbury Middle School sixth-graders will celebrate their annual Greek Festival on Thursday from 9:30 a.m. to 2:15 p.m. Students have been learning about ancient Greece's culture and history for the past month. Students have been working in groups set up as Greek city states. The city states will be competing in athletic and academic events, performing plays about ancient Greek myths and finishing the day with a banquet, where they will try some Greek foods.
AMS will be having spring pictures taken on Friday beginning at 8 a.m. Students should have received an envelope from Hockmeyer Studios last week concerning spring picture day. Only the students who are ordering will be photographed that day. Students are asked to enclose the payment and order in the envelope and return it to school on picture day. If a new order form is needed, please contact the AMS office at 978-388-0515.
The AMS Game Club scheduled for today will be moved to Thursday; and the Game Club scheduled for April 28 will be moved to April 29.
There will be no Homework Club tomorrow due to an AMS staff meeting.
Important dates coming up:
Tomorrow — AMS students will receive third quarter report cards; students have now begun the fourth academic term.
Tomorrow — AHS All-Sports Boosters Club's fundraiser at Flatbread Co. from 5 to 9 p.m.
Thursday through Saturday — AMS Drama Club presents its spring musical, "Little Shop of Horrors."
Thursday — Student of the Quarter breakfast at 8:15 a.m. in the AMS cafeteria.
Thursday — AMS sixth grade's Greek Festival begins at 9:30 a.m. in the performance center; Greek feast at 1:30 p.m. in the cafeteria.
Thursday — CES fourth-graders' annual Wax Museum at 10 a.m. for the school community; 7 p.m. for families.
Thursday and Friday — CES kindergarten classes will be visiting the Parker Wildlife Refuge for the Feathered Friends program.
Through Friday — The sophomore class is sponsoring a spring perennial fundraiser.
Saturday — Cleanup for the Woodland Nature Trail behind AES. Meet in the AES parking lot at 8 a.m.
April 20 through 24 — April vacation.
April 27 through 29 — Kindergarten registration; parents can call 978-388-3659 to make an appointment for screening. There will be no school for current kindergartners on these three days.
Throughout April — "My Perspective," photographs by AHS junior Becca Donohue at the Unity on the River Gallery, 58 Macy St. Hours Wednesday and Thursday 6 to 9 p.m. and Sunday 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Through May 2 — The 11th annual Amesbury High School Student Art Show at the Provident Bank in Market square.
Liz King covers Amesbury schools for The Daily News. She can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 978-462-6666, ext. 3230.