Tag Archives: O’Maley Innovation Middle School

Farewell Reunion from 6-8PM June 7 retirement tribute for Albina Papows, Mrs. Reis, at the AMAZING Gloucester High School preschool program!

SAVE THE DATE. Farewell Reunion. Retirement tribute. June 7th. 6-8PM. Gloucester Preschool at the High School.

The unusual and innovative preschool at Gloucester High School meshes the education of Gloucester public high school students with a class of 4 year old preschoolers. These two age groups don’t usually interact. How does it work? Albina Papows, that’s how, for forty years.

Albina Papows is a visionary educator.

Along with Mrs. Papows and Mrs. Reis, there were eight to ten high school seniors selected as full-time “student teachers.” Another fifty or so high school students enrolled in 1 to 3 periods a day throughout the week. The high school student teachers were assigned to teams that alternated amazingly coordinated and extensive curriculum…weekly.

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photo: sample weekly news

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below photo: “…this was Allie’s activity. She gave us bee like toys and there were flowers, we made out of paper with bowls in the middle of the room which were filled with glitter nectar and we took the bee toys (which we had decorated) and we put glue on them and then we flew from flower to flower scooping the glitter nectar pollen from the bowls in the flower.”

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Papows designed two classrooms with an access passage between them. This clever hall is a threshold, constructed with a line of cubby lockers along one wall and an immense window along the opposite wall. The “glazing” was actually a two-way observation mirror for viewing into the preschool classroom.

photo: doorway into the cubby entrance to the preschool (Mrs. Papows leaning down to speak to each student as they head out for the day). High school students turned right to enter the high school classroom.

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The program was woven into the high school environment fluidly and effectively. The preschoolers went on “field trips” to the foreign language rooms, the auto mechanic trade rooms, and the library.  Special holidays and events were teaching opportunities and fun. On Thanksgiving, the preschool program prepared not one but three turkeys with full accompanying sides, all cooked and prepared as much ahead with the preschoolers. I am sure Mrs. Papows and Mrs. Reis needed to give up much of their predawn hours to prepare not only for the preschoolers, but for all those hungry high school students! The Gloucester H.S. Preschool teachers and student teachers volunteered their time in the community. I will never forget when they created activities and collected toys and treats for a friend of my sons, a 5 year old little boy stricken with cancer and in a hospital for years awaiting a bone marrow match. They walked at the American Cancer Society Relay for Life and to raise awareness for the “swab to save a life” bone marrow campaign that the little boy needed. Today he is thriving and cancer free.

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On weekends the high school students sent home their school projects which were serious work on their end and magical custom hand made activities and games for our kids.

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I have to thank John and Alexandra, Alexandra’s Bread, for steering my family to this incredible preschool resource.  Upon their recommendation, I made an appointment to visit the program and was immediately bowled over by seeing so many engaged and vibrant young adults–male and female– with so much energy and hope in their faces all directed at these lucky little preschoolers. I vividly recall my mother–who had a long career in education and extensive experience with teacher evaluations– putting her hands on my shoulder to grab my attention when she visited the class for the first time.

“Do you understand how remarkable it is that Mrs. Papows can switch her style back and forth each and every day teaching preschoolers and high school students like that?!  They require completely different skills, approaches and handling!” Ok maybe not ‘handling’.

Ah, no, I didn’t. Her comments did bring back my sons’ first day of school when I experienced Mrs. Papows’ quick social intelligence and observation skills.  She leaned down to study my sons, identical twins, and would not let them pass until she knew them. She did it so fast, I thought,  is she one of those super recognizer people, the ones I’ve read about that are so adept at facial recognition and reading people?

I came to believe that this impressive preschool program was so good that it was clearly a terrific opportunity for Gloucester to reveal an outstanding teaching model. Maybe it could inspire other programs or be replicated across other school systems? So I wrote letters and made phone calls to successive superintendents and principals, some contacts, and a few local and national media outlets about this hidden jewel, urging them to please, please keep Gloucester High School and this inspirational model program in mind and share it. What a great teacher story! What great high school students! At the time, national attention was focused elsewhere.  Forget the preschool and kindergarten at the 92nd Street Y and other private preschools in New York City: here was a local public school facing some economic challenges offering work at a high caliber.

When my kids went to elementary school, there were more great teachers. I thought it would be nice to have a Staff Shine box on the Gloucester Public School and city website. There would be no hesitation which teacher I would write about first.

Now my kids are at O’Maley Innovation and are learning from excellent middle school teachers. When the Honor Roll is published, the list is filled with former Gloucester High School preschool students. Thank you Gloucester preschool at the High School, all the former high school student teachers, Mrs. Reis and especially Mrs. Papows!

Please share the “Farewell Reunion” news so that former students and preschoolers can join in! SAVE THE DATE. Farewell Reunion. June 7th. 6-8PM. Gloucester Preschool at the High School.

Musician Carlos Menezes- one of world’s greatest middle school band teachers!

O’Maley bands and choruses killing it. Great job Gloucester!

And no wonder. Listen to this teacher and share: Carlos Menezes delivers an awesome introduction inspired by his students and the extraordinary Charles Allan Winter WPA-era mural at City Hall.

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Packed and happy house

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O’Maley Academy benefit Thursday May 4th: dine and enjoy the Drama Club’s medley of Broadway music and theater!

Mike Springer photograph for Gloucester Daily Times “Olivia Heasley rehearses a scene in “Be Our Guest” a musical revue at O’Maley Middle School…Dinner and drama: Performance meal to benefit  O’Maley Academy 18 (after school) clubs” 

  • Tickets: $10 adults, $5 kids and seniors, $20 per family, includes dinner and medley of Broadway musicals and drama
  • Date: Thursday May 4, 2017
  • Time: 6PM
  • Where: O’Maley
  • O’Maley Drama Club O’Maley Academy

 

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O’MALEY INNOVATION SIXTH GRADE BUTTERFLY GARDEN A SMASHING SUCCESS!!!

Plant and They Will Come!

The proof is in the caterpillars!

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2nd Instar Black Swallowtail Caterpillar ~ Willa Brosnihan Photo

Monday I had the great joy of being given the grand tour of the O’Maley Innovation School Butterfly Garden recently installed by Mrs. McGrath’s sixth grade class. We first had a screening of my film Life Story of the Black Swallowtail Butterfly and then went out to the garden to see the very same caterpillars!

The garden hits all the right notes with caterpillar food plants and colorful nectar-rich, butterfly attracting flowers. With the bed dug entirely by the students (you can see by the surrounding beds that the soil must have been incredibly compacted), prepped, and all planting done by the kids it is truly a fabulous accomplishment. You’ll see amazingly adorned handmade and beautifully painted informational signs and butterfly baths.

The garden was made possible though an award winning project created by students Emma Duckworth, Willa Brosnihan, and Kelsey Lowthers. For more information see the Awesome Gloucester Foundation O’Maley Butterfly Garden project page here .

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Emma Duckworth Photo

Emma, Willa Kelsey Butterfly Garden ©Kim Smith 2015

Project creators Emma, Willa, and Kelsey

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Hand painted water dish for butterflies and birds. 

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O'Maley Sixth Grade Butterflyy Gardeners ©Kim Smith 2015

See More Photos Here

Read more

Alice in Wonderland Jr. at the O’Maley Innovation Middle School

Martin DelVecchio submits-

The O’Maley Acadamy Drama Club is putting on another fabulous show.  This year it’s Alice in Wonderland Jr. 

Four shows remain:
Sunday, March 22nd at 1:00p (Cast X)

Friday, March 27th at 7:00p (Cast Y)

Saturday, March 28th at 1:00p (Cast X)

Sunday, March 29th at 1:00p (Cast Y)

Here are some more photos:
Cast X:  https://www.flickr.com/photos/martindelvecchio/sets/72157651412124176/

Cast Y:  https://www.flickr.com/photos/martindelvecchio/sets/72157651418013386/

Nichole’s Picks of the Weekend 3/21 + 3/22

SPRING!

Not that it feels that way ;(

Pick #1

Thanks to Paul Morrison you may have already heard about this…but it is totally worth repeating!

Paul did a post about it just yesterday!

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We have always loved the school plays at O’Maley and I’m confident that this will be no exception!

Pick #2  

Sugar Shack Saturdays @ Appleton Farms

Spring is coming and the sap is running! Experience the time-honored tradition of maple sugaring with Sugar Shack Saturdays at Appleton Farms. Spend the morning or afternoon with us and see how we turn sap into sweet syrup. Start by getting creative with some maple themed crafts in the Appleton Old House. Then get outside and explore our very own sugar shack! Learn how we tap our trees every spring, see the evaporator in action, and even taste some of our syrup! We will end back inside with some delicious snacks, including Appleton Farms cheese and a maple treat, while we read a sugaring story!

Morning Session: 10:30AM-12PM
Afternoon Session: 1:30-3PM

Recommended for ages 8 and under but everyone is welcome! Space is limited. Please contact crouillard@ttor.org or 978.356.5728 x18 for registration.

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Pick #3

This is a little less traditional, but I’ve been meaning to let you know about it for quite some time.

A fantastic on-line computer coding site for kids brought to you by MIT

Check out SCRATCH here!

Scratch is a programming language and an online community where children can program and share interactive media such as stories, games, and animation with people from all over the world. As children create with Scratch, they learn to think creatively, work collaboratively, and reason systematically. Scratch is designed and maintained by the Lifelong Kindergarten group at the MIT Media Lab.

For more listings check out our friends at North Shore Kid

If This Video Doesn’t Make You Proud of O’Maley Innovation Middle School Then You’ve Got Zero Heart

See this is the kinda thing that brings a school together like nothing else.  Whichever school administrator greenlighted this deserves like a thousand percent raise and I’m not even joking.  You can’t put a pricetag on how much this type of thing will do for school and community spirit.,

Frickin billiant!!!!

The O’Maley Innovation Middle School community recently came together to create a lipdub video of our SAILS theme song “Brave!”

O’Maley Innovation Middle School Food Drive for Open Door Food Pantry

Food Drive for Open Door Food Pantry

O’Maley Innovation Middle School students participated in an all-school food drive for the Open Door Food Pantry for two weeks prior to Thanksgiving. Over 1400 pounds of items were gathered to help families in need. The O’Maley SAILS program (Service, Integrity, Acceptance, Leadership, Success) emphasizes Service in our community and this year’s annual food drive was a wonderful opportunity for students to put the school community’s values into practice. It was a great success!

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O’Maley Innovation Middle School – New Pledge

O’Maley Innovative Middle School SAILS on with Pledge!

Oct. 1, the entire O’Maley community gathered in the auditorium for our first SAILS assembly of the school year. Rick Doucette, YMCA Executive Director and SAILS Community member volunteer, acted as Master of Ceremonies. Rick had the honor of revealing to all gathered the O’Maley pledge and led us all in the Pledges’ first public reading. Principal Deb Lucey was the first to sign and Rick followed as our first community member. After the assembly students returned to homerooms where each classroom has a poster of the pledge. Students were then asked to sign on!

The O’Maley community is now engaged with sharing the pledge with others and inviting them to sign on in support. On Oct. 9, while visiting our school Dr. Safier enthusiastically added his signature to our pledge while a group of 6th graders looked on with pride.

Last Spring, as part of the O’Maley School’s SAILS initiative, the whole school participated in an all school writing prompt. The prompt asked students to take a look at examples of pledges and then discuss what it means to make a pledge and commit yourself to it. Next the students were asked to make a list of what they think should be included in an O’Maley pledge.

The responses from the writing prompt were then given to a group of student editors, made up from volunteers from each grade, who then took on the task of narrowing down the broad categories and reworking these down to a manageable number reflecting values expressed by students that they would like to see in a pledge.

The final Pledge draft was presented and accepted. The beauty of the Pledge as written by the student editors needed no further work. The pledge speaks to all and ask of each what is theirs to give.

Supt. Safier signing our new PledgeO'Maley Innovation Middle School's New PledgeRick Doucette at an O'Maley Innovation Middle School Assembly