Published in the August 24, 2016 edition

KINDERGARTEN TEACHERS, from left, Emily Bonanno, Maria Ferullo and Lisa Ternullo sort through school supplies while getting their Summer Street School classrooms ready for the first day of school on Aug. 31. (Dan Tomasello Photo)

KINDERGARTEN TEACHERS, from left, Emily Bonanno, Maria Ferullo and Lisa Ternullo sort through school supplies while getting their Summer Street School classrooms ready for the first day of school on Aug. 31. (Dan Tomasello Photo)


LYNNFIELD — The days of staying up late and sleeping in during the week are going to end for local students when a new school year begins next week.

The lazy days of summer will be ending for Lynnfield children on Wednesday, Aug. 31, when students in grades 1-12 return to the classroom. The first day of school for preschool and kindergarten students is Friday, Sept. 2. School officials, teachers and staff members are headed into the home stretch and are making sure everything is ready to rock and roll for students’ return next week.

School administrators have spent the final days of summer setting their agendas and teachers are working to get their classrooms ready for the 2016-2017 school year. Additionally, custodians are making a final push to make sure each of the town’s four schools is in pristine condition when students return.

“I have never been more excited about the start of a school year,” said Superintendent of Schools Jane Tremblay in an e-mail sent to the Villager. “We have put so many things into place to help our teachers and students have a year filled with opportunity. There is much to look forward to as we open our doors next week.”

School schedule

School hours for the school year are as follows:

• Lynnfield Middle School: 7:40 a.m.-2 p.m.

• Lynnfield High School: 7:50 a.m.-2:26 p.m.

• Huckleberry Hill School: 8:20 a.m.-2:30 p.m.

• Summer Street School: 8:50 a.m.-3 p.m.

• Preschool morning session: 8-11 a.m.

• Preschool afternoon session: 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.

A year of change

The upcoming school year will feature several changes.

Former High School Assistant Principal Kevin Cyr was tapped to become the school district’s director of teaching and learning last spring, a position Tremblay created as part of the school department’s fiscal year 2017 budget.

Over the course of the summer, Cyr has been working to familiarize himself with his new job and has been undertaking several different initiatives including adjusting the teacher evaluation system.

“I am looking forward to working with Kevin Cyr in his new capacity as director of teaching and learning,” said Tremblay. “We have an intentional, well thought out plan for classroom visits at every level, working directly with teachers on their practice.”

In the wake of Cyr’s departure from LHS, the high school has welcomed new Assistant Principal Brian Bates to the fold. Bates worked as Lawrence High School’s Ninth Grade Academy school director from June 2015-June 2016, and worked in the Lawrence school system for 10 years. Before working in education, Bates was a television journalist.

In addition to the changes taking place at the high school, Lynnfield Middle School is welcoming a new assistant principal as well. Tom Sallee has succeeded former Middle School Assistant Principal Richele Shankland, who bid farewell to LMS after 16 years to become principal of the Parker Middle School in Reading.

Sallee served as an eighth grade world history teacher at Wilson Middle School in Natick from 2005-2016 and served as that middle school’s social studies curriculum leader for grades 5-8 for five years.

Cyr has been working with Bates and Sallee to get them up to speed. The three school officials will each be presenting an entry plan to the School Committee in September.

In addition to the school system’s administrator changes, Tremblay said teachers have developed a long-range plan for professional development days. She said the changes were made possible “thanks to a group of dedicated teachers and administrators who worked diligently during the summer institute in June.”

“A comprehensive overview will be rolled out during their faculty meetings on Tuesday and to the School Committee during September,” Tremblay continued. “The district strategy has been reviewed and revised. It supports the school improvement plans and SMART Goals.”


In addition to the changes at the secondary schools, the town’s two elementary schools will experience some changes this year.

As part of the FY’17 school budget, voters at April Town Meeting approved Tremblay’s proposal to include a tuition-free full day kindergarten program at the two elementary schools. Tremblay incorporated the tuition-free full day K proposal into the school budget as part of an effort to develop programming for kindergartners, address students’ social-emotional needs and comply with a growing number of kindergarten standards established by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE).

“Our new tuition-free full day kindergarten classrooms will give our youngest learners equal access to a high quality education across the district,” said Tremblay.

In addition to the full day kindergarten program, the upcoming school year will mark the second year preschool students attend Summer Street School.

Huckleberry Hill School will be establishing a new social emotional program this year. The goal is included in Huckleberry Hill’s school improvement plan.

“We are excited to implement a new social and emotional learning (SEL) program to enhance our character program, Huckleberry Heroes, this year,” said Bemiss in an e-mail sent to the Villager. “The goal is to provide our students with the knowledge, skills and language to navigate challenging social situations, understand and manage personal wellness and demonstrate respect and care for others. By promoting and nurturing social and emotional awareness and skills for learning, we will further improve our school environment and the individual success of our students.”

As part of Summer Street School’s improvement plan, the elementary school has established a goal seeking to expand and improve the elementary schools’ inclusive practices by having general education and special education teachers work together to “provide greater access” to all students.

The two elementary schools will be working to implement two district-wide improvement goals as well. The elementary schools will be implementing the Understanding By Design framework and looking to improve vocabulary instruction.

Middle school

In addition to welcoming Sallee to LMS, the middle school is working on several different initiatives this year.

The middle school’s top priority for this year is having students improve on the MCAS exam. Students in grades 5-8 take the English language arts and math exam each spring. Fifth and eighth graders also take the MCAS science exam. Middle School Principal Stephen Ralston said recently the middle school will be working to prepare students for the MCAS 2.0 exam, which will be formally unveiled next spring.

Additionally, the middle school will be looking to improve vocabulary instruction and expand the use of the Understanding By Design framework.

High school

Bates’ arrival at LHS will mark a huge change for both students and staff after Cyr served as LHS’ assistant principal for eight years. In addition to familiarizing Bates with the high school, LHS officials and teachers will be working to implement both school and district-wide initiatives.

The high school is looking to expand its internship program this year, which was piloted last year. High School Principal Bob Cleary said recently the pilot internship program was well received by nine students last year, which prompted high school officials to expand the program this year.

Students who are accepted into the internship program will be able to intern at local businesses and participate in programs inside of the high school such as the Student Help Desk, Maker Space and academic help centers.

According to the high school improvement plan, LHS will be creating a webpage about the internship program. High school teachers will be advertising and recruiting prospective seniors for the program. The Internship Committee will be meeting with students to give an overview of the program’s protocols and procedures.

The Internship Committee will also be tasked with reviewing, amending and accepting student internships. Students enrolled in the program will be required to give presentations about their experiences to the Internship Committee. The high school will also be creating an exhibit for the community to review the program.

Additionally, the high school will be implementing the district-wide vocabulary and Understanding By Design goals this year.