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 PTOHannahSchool@gmail.com

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 doe.mass.edu.

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. 

Let's Win the Doodle for Google Contest

Every year, Google holds a nationwide contest to find the best Google Doodle, those illustrations of the Google logo that appear at the top of the search page, drawn by a kid.

The winner gets their drawing posted on Google’s search page for one day, along with some other pretty sweet prizes including a $30,000 college scholarship and a trip to Google headquarters. Entry is free. Deadline is March 18.

This year’s judges are Teacher of the Year Mandy Manning, Jimmy Fallon, and Kermit the Frog.

This year’s theme is “When I grow up, I hope…” The rest is up to the kid.

Find out everything you need to know and get doodling!

Hannah Night At Fenway Park

Join classmates, teachers, families, and friends for a night of fun at Fenway Park. The Hannah Elementary School PTO has secured a block of tickets for the May 15th game. Get your seats now and cheer on the World Champion Boston Red Sox alongside the Hannah community.

Red Sox v. Rockies
Wednesday, May 15 at 7:10 p.m.
Seats are Bleacher 35 and cost $21 per person.
Deadline to order tickets: Feb 8

Please send any questions to ptohannahschool@gmail.com. We hope you can join us!

Get Your Polar Plunge On

Nothing beats jumping into the icy ocean on Superbowl Sunday while raising money for charity with your friends cheering and others watching in awestruck horror. Yes, you too can be part of this spectacular tradition.

Join the 2019 Hannah Schooners Polar Plunge team!  

Please check out our Hannah Schooners Team Page — and join in the friendly competition with the other Beverly Schools!  Help us have a great showing at Lynch Park on Super Bowl Sunday — and meet (or exceed!) our goal of raising $2,100 in support of the fine work of the North Shore CDC, Lifebridge and Riverhouse. Consider joining the team for the plunge or donating.  

Polar Plunge
Sunday, February 3
Lynch Park, Ober St., Beverly
Registration 11 a.m. - Plunge 12:30 p.m.
Post-Plunge Party at Beverly High School Cafeteria

For more information or with questions, please contact Hannah team captain Lizzie Dobkowski at ebdobkowski@mac.com.

Parent Resources: Technology In The Classroom

The January 8th PTO meeting featured a thorough and engaging presentation on the different technologies currently in use in Hannah classrooms.

Per the Massachusetts Digital Learning and Computer Science Frameworks, digital literacy and computer science knowledge, reasoning, and skills are essential both to prepare students for civic efficacy in the 21st century and to prepare and inspire a much larger and more diverse number of students to pursue the innovation and creative careers of the future.

Below are the various tools that were described and discussed.

Lexia: Provides differentiated literacy instruction which targets specific student needs. The Lexia Core 5 program is used primarily with students in grades K-2 at Hannah. Students utilize the program for 20 minutes a day as part of their literacy stations in the classroom.

ST Math (a.k.a. Jiji): A personalized learning platform which presents students with puzzles which require critical thinking and visual problem solving. Students in grades K-4 utilize the ST Math program for 20 minutes a day as part of their independent math stations. Teachers extend the puzzles in offline Puzzle Talks which explore the concepts within a puzzle and the strategies used to solve them.

See Saw: A digital portfolio that collects students’ digital and physical work in one place. Everything is organized, making assessment and conferences easier. Built-in tools make it easy for students to capture their learning, reflect, and develop new skills. See Saw also allows parents to communicatewith and see what’s going on in your classroom, building a strong school-home community. Learn more about See Saw here.

Read Naturally Live Lab: This research based intervention takes place 30 minutes per day in a morning lab setting to support students with phonics, comprehension, vocabulary and fluency. Students are invited to participate in the lab based on DIBELS progress monitoring.

Digital Citizenship: Students are taught the importance of being a responsible digital citizen, including understanding digital footprint, cyberbullying, and how to engage positively. More information at Cyberwise.

Google (incl. Google Slides and Google Classroom): A personal folder of work throughout a student’s time in Beverly.

The presentation deck can be found here.

Beverly Public Schools policies around digital resources live here.

If you’d like more information or have questions, please contact ptohannahschool@gmail.com.