Reminders Before School Starts

Here are a few reminders from your friendly neighborhood PTO.

New Families Welcome Breakfast
PTO to host its annual welcome breakfast for families new to Hannah Elementary… kindergarten and beyond!

Wednesday, August 28, 7:30-9 a.m.
Hannah Elementary 41 Brimbal Ave. Beverly, MA 01915

  • Welcome from Principal Montevecchi

  • Introduction to Hannah from the PTO

  • Light Continental Breakfast

  • Meet other new families

  • Guided tours of the the school

Volunteer opportunities are available.

Welcome Back Picnic
A picnic party for the Hannah Community hosted by the PTO to ring in the school year. Pack a picnic dinner and come meet up with Hannah friends old and new!

Wednesday, August 28, 5-7 p.m.
Hannah Elementary Ball Field (next to the school) 41 Brimbal Ave. Beverly, MA 01915

Stay in touch!

Time is running out to order school supplies

Time is running out to order school supplies from our School Tool Box fundraiser.  Shipping is approx. 8-10 business days for supplies to ship direct to your home.  Order now and enjoy the rest of your summer.

School Tool Box is an online service that allows families to buy exactly the supplies their school's teachers need, with just a couple clicks. Check out the cool Hannah-specific contents in, for example, a second grade box, an art box, or a math box.

Shopping with School Tool Box is optional but that it helps support the Hannah PTO, makes life easier, and supports children in need. 

Let's Get It Started: Announcements From Your PTO

We hope your summer has been relaxing and memorable! As we wind down and think about going back to school, the Hannah PTO wanted to reach out with some important announcements.

1. We're throwing a party and want you to come!

Welcome Back Picnic
Wednesday, August 28, 4:30-6:30 p.m. 

Hannah Baseball Field, 41 Brimbal Ave., Beverly, MA 01915
Our end-of-the-year party at Lynch Park was such a success, we thought we'd try it again, but at Hannah. Bring your family, a blanket, a picnic, and meet new and old friends. Interested in helping out at this event or upcoming events? Email us.

2. We have a new PTO board.

Co-Presidents | Rosie Cooke Campbell & Anna Michalski
Co-Vice Presidents | Molly Regan & Melissa Thunberg
Treasurer | Lindsay Ducharme 
Co-Communications Directors | Cat Warren & Lizzie Dobkowski 
Room Parent Coordinator | Britta Panda 
Beverly Citywide PTO Representative | Eva Oliveria 
Arts & Entertainment Director | Julie Flowers
Hospitality Director | Amy Benjamin

3. Our website is undergoing some awesome construction. 

Stay tuned for a better homepage, a district-wide calendar, and handmade merchandise.

4. Our monthly meetings schedule is set!

Tuesday, September 10, 7 p.m. (same night as Slushie Social & Bike Rodeo at Hannah)
Tuesday, October 8, 6:30 p.m.
Wednesday, November 13, 6:30 p.m.
Tuesday, December 10, 6:30 p.m.
Tuesday, January 14, 6:30 p.m.
Wednesday, February 12, 6:30 p.m.
Tuesday, March 10, 6:30 p.m.
Tuesday, April 14, 6:30 p.m.
Wednesday, May 13, 6:30 p.m.
Tuesday, June 9, 6:30 p.m.

And if you're still reading, here's some of the events for the year:

New Families Breakfast, Wednesday 8/28 | Hannah
Kindergarten Orientation, Tuesday 9/3 | Hannah
Slushie Social & Bike Rodeo, Tuesday 9/10 | Hannah
Hannah Curriculum Night, Thursday 9/19 | Hannah
MomBall Softball Tournament 9/20-9/22 | Harry Ball Field, Beverly
Fall Frolic Fundraiser to benefit Beverly Elementary Schools, Sunday 10/6 | Lynch Park
Hannah Fall Festival (date to be announced) 

Whoa, that was a lot! Thanks for hanging in there. Let's make 2019-20 the best ever.

Get Out The Vote: PTO Positions Available

We want to hear from you! PTO Nominations for 2019-2020 are due no later than Friday, June 7, 2019. All board positions will be voted on at final PTO meeting of school year, Tuesday, June 11, 2019.

As members of the Hannah School community, each family is invited to nominate individuals to serve as officers of the Parent Teacher Organization (PTO). Research shows that when parents get involved, children do better in school. So volunteer as a PTO board member for 2019-2020 school year! If you or someone you know is interested in serving on the PTO please nominate them using this form. If you have any questions, please contact

The following are the job descriptions for all PTO positions:

Co-Presidents: The President(s) preside at all PTO meetings. The President shall appoint standing and ad hoc committees and non-executive officers and liaison persons throughout the year when necessary, and shall perform all other duties pertaining to the Office. The President(s) shall serve as liaison of the Hannah PTO to the Principal, the Beverly School Committee and the community.

Vice Presidents: The Vice President(s) assist in the planning of meetings of the Hannah PTO, fundraising and community events, act as liaison to committee chairs as appointed by the President(s), and shall perform all other duties appropriate to the office. The Vice President oversees all publicity and notification to the media of Hannah events. They are responsible for running two fundraisers (one in Fall and one in Spring).

Treasurer: The Treasurer receives all monies of the Hannah PTO and make all authorized disbursements. The Treasurer keeps accurate accounts of PTO funds and prepares a monthly Treasurer's report, copies of which are available to Hannah PTO members. The Treasurer shall also be responsible for distribution of cash boxes and change for cash boxes at all Hannah PTO events that require a cash box and shall make timely deposits of money from these Hannah PTO events into the appropriate account.

Secretary: The Secretary is responsible for the accurate recording of all minutes of meetings with the Executive Board and the PTO Membership, and makes the minutes available for distribution (via written or electronic means). The Secretary shall take care of all correspondence necessary for the conduct of PTO business, as well as all meeting notices and their distribution.

Communications Director: The Communications Director shall be responsible for all newsletters quarterly on the behalf of the PTO and help with communication to parents via social media outlets and continually update/design bulletin board in the front foyer of Hannah. Keep in close communication with Sandwich board coordinator to promote events. They will maintain communication with the principal on outgoing PTO news and information.

Technology Director: Coordinate with all board officers and update the website accordingly. Also responsible for updating google calendar. Assist in technology related questions.

City Wide PTO: Represent Hannah at city-wide meetings, report back to executive board on city-wide issues and events, organize city-wide event. The Citywide PTO Council is a group of representatives from all Beverly schools. The Council meets on a monthly basis to exchange ideas and information relating to safety, education, and cultural enrichment.

Arts & Enrichment Coordinator: Responsible for the selection and booking of programs to take place during the school day as well as adiign in coordination of field trips. Programs selected should solicit input from the Principal and Teachers. Programs should support the curriculum. Each grade should receive at least one specific program.

Hospitality: Coordinate new family breakfast in August. Work with committee coordinators to provide refreshments at PTO events and organize and promote all bake sales. Responsible for organizing refreshments for kindergarten screening in spring and ongoing replenishing of water and snacks to school nurse throughout the year.

Room Parent Coordinator: Coordinate room parents and be a central source of answers for all room parents. Assist with updating MySchoolAnywhere directory by coordinating parents to update their classroom students teacher assignment.

Q&A: Everything You Need to Know About MCAS

MCAS testing begins for some grades next week. But what is this test? What does it measure? And why does it matter? We asked Principal Gabrielle Montevecchi to take us through MCAS 101 for Parents. Check out her responses to our questions below. The Massachusetts Department of Education also offers a handy MCAS Guide for Parents.

What is the MCAS test? Where did it come from?

MCAS is the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System which was originally developed in 1993. In grades 3 and 4 students take the English Language Arts and Math Assessments. This test was designed to insure that we hold consistently high standards throughout the grades in our Massachusetts public schools.

What is the goal of the MCAS? What does it seek to measure?

MCAS measures mastery of the learning standards at each grade level.

What do high or low MCAS scores mean for my kid?

We remind parents that MCAS is just one pieces of data and that your child’s performance at that grade level is measured by a variety of data points such as benchmark and unit assessments which are given throughout the year as well as in class performance. Your child’s classroom teacher is the best one to talk to if you have concerns about their individual performance.

What do high or low MCAS scores mean for our school?

The results of our MCAS testing help to guide the instructional practice in the building. MCAS results help us understand how our curriculum is preparing students toward the mastery of the standards. We are able to identify performance trends, examine the needs of students and develop goals for instructional focus.

What kind of questions does the MCAS feature?

Students will encounter both short answer and open response questions. The questions that are posed on the MCAS are very similar to their unit benchmark assessments. Throughout the year in grades 3 and 4 the students are working to respond to questions which require them to read and respond to questions related to a text as well as use their understanding of mathematical concepts to solve and answer questions. You may view samples of MCAS questions at

What can we do to prepare?

The best preparation that parents can provide is to insure that your child gets plenty of rest, eats well and is on time for school during the testing days. We ask that parents provide positive encouragement for children to “show what they know”. Testng situations can make some children feel a bit nervous and this is normal. Let your child know that they will have all the time they need to take the test that day and that their work is not timed. Above all we tell the children “Don’t stress, just do your best.”

What happens during the actual test-taking? What can my child expect?

There are two sections to each subject area test and we break this up over four days. All students take the test on a computer. On testing days the children will begin testing by about 8:30am. Mr. Wood distributes the computers to all classrooms and checks attendance. The classroom teachers provide the directions to begin the testing. The classroom teacher remains in the classroom during the whole session.

Is opting out an option? What is the impact (if any) on my kid's record? What is the impact (if any) of opting out on my school?

Opting out is not an option. State and federal law requires that all students who are enrolled in the tested grades and who are educated with public funds participate in MCAS testing. When families refuse testing the school’s participation rate is adversely affected and our overall state rating can be negatively impacted.

From an educator's perspective, what is the value of the MCAS?

I value to results of the MCAS testing to measure how we are preparing our students toward mastery of the state learning standards. As a school we analyze the MCAS data and compare the performance of students on MCAS to their performance on our district assessments and overall classroom performance. This process is known as triangulation and it helps us understand what children are taking away from the learning experiences we are providing at Hannah. As a school community we are continually reflecting on our work and refining our practice in order to provide excellent learning outcomes for all students.

If you have MCAS questions for Principal Montevecchi, please reach out to her directly or email the PTO and we’ll do our best to get you an answer.

4/4 for the Fourth

Why wait for Cinco de Mayo when you can chow down some tacos, quesadillas or chicken fingers and a margarita in support of our fabulous 4th grade on Cuatro De Abril.

This Thursday, April 4th, we’ll be running a Hannah School dining fundraiser at Acapulcos in the Cummings Center on Elliott St. for the benefit of this year’s 4th grade class!

10% of all proceeds for the day will be donated to Hannah school in support of 4th grade initiatives such as Express Yourself, Project Adventure, and year end “graduation” celebrations.

Dine any time during the day and just reference this Hannah School fundraiser when you order. Spread the word too - anyone in town can help us out! Enjoy a night off from cooking, maybe you’ll even be serenaded, not to mention they make a mean table side guacamole!

Dinner Anywhere in the World: A Winner's Story

Last year's winning ticket for the first annual Dinner Anywhere in the World raffle belonged to Hannah parent Willie Young. We caught up with him recently to hear about his trip.

"We will be happy to share our journey to Singapore when we actually take it!" Willie said. 

The Youngs will finally redeem their prize in June.

From  Willie:

"We are flying there, staying two nights in a hotel, and then staying with a college friend to extend the visit to about a week total, not counting travel time. So, it is possible to extend the trip, even though the prize pays for two nights of lodging."

"We're going there to explore lots of different types of cuisine, especially the 'hawker' culture, in the food stalls, and experience a very multicultural and tropical city life. As a religion professor, I'm really interested to see the ways that Buddhism, Islam, Hinduism, and Christianity have all intersected in the city's life. And, Melissa and I read the Kevin Kwan books (Crazy Rich Asians), which further made us want to go."

"We also considered doing a shorter trip to Rome or Paris, or perhaps to Tokyo, but the chance to go to Singapore was too much of a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity."

"We were truly shocked that we won the prize. It has been a lot of fun thinking about this and planning it. My dad has been asking everyone for the last year what they would do if they won it. It's a fun thing to imagine, and even more fun to get to realize it!"

With one week left to sell tickets, we hope this story inspires you!  

Hooray for Health: Connecting Families to Farms

Happy National Nutrition Month!

Throughout March, Hannah Elementary will be celebrating National Nutrition Month in the classroom and cafeteria. Registered Dietitian (and Hannah mom) Abigail Sykes, School Nurse Lisa Carey, and P.E. teacher Roberta Brown are teaming up to run the fun, hands-on health and nutrition education program, Hooray for Health, for all grades. In the program, we will talk about how “eating the rainbow,” or eating fruits and vegetables of all colors, and other nutrient dense foods gives our bodies the fuel it needs to perform its best. Students will also take a tour around the body and learn how different body systems work.

The Hannah cafeteria is joining the fun by offering new fruits and vegetables throughout the month of March and providing samples of new side dishes. Students have the opportunity to try the sides and vote on their favorite. The winner will be incorporated into future school menus.

On Thursday, March 7th at 7pm, parents and caregivers can join a conversation about food systems and local food with an event hosted by Farmers to You, a year-round online farmers market. Farmers to You founder Greg Georgaklis and Christine Lazor of Butterworks Farm will lead the discussion. It is sure to be a fun, engaging evening. We hope a lot Hannah parents can join us!

This month is a fantastic time to try something new with your child. For example, you could make a chart to see how many fruits and vegetables of every color your family can eat this month. The possibilities are endless and whatever you decide to do, have fun with it. Let’s help show our children that eating the rainbow can be fun, delicious, and nutritious! 

The Hooray for Health program is supported and partially funded by a generous grant from the Beverly Education Foundation and the Hannah PTO.