Education Notebook

COURTESY PHOTO.Students of Ms. Meehan's first grade class at Shawsheen Elementary School wear lab coats and goggles during science class to make them feel like real scientists. The lab coats and goggles were graciously donated by parents. 

Decoding Dyslexia at SEPAC meeting

Parents and educators are encouraged to join the Andover Special Education Parent Advisory Council and Decoding Dyslexia of Massachusetts for an informational presentation on the learning disorder on Tuesday, Dec. 9, at 7 p.m. in the Andover High School library, 80 Shawsheen Road.

Those who think dyslexia only affects a few people, that all kids who struggle with reading are not smart or that dyslexia only means seeing words backwards may be surprised to learn the facts surrounding the disorder, organizers say.

The presentation will begin with a screening of “Embracing Dyslexia,” followed by a question-and-answer session with professionals Bonnie M. Haley, an Orton-Gillingham-certified practitioner of The National Society of Creative Dyslexics, and Melody O’Neil, M.S. Ed, associate director of admission at Landmark School in Beverly. 

Admission is free. For more information, find Andover SEPAC at or Decoding Dyslexia at

MATHCOUNTS volunteers needed

Volunteers and sponsors are being sought to support MATHCOUNTS, a national math enrichment program for students in grades six to eight.

Since 1982, MATHCOUNTS has benefited more than five million middle school students in the U.S., including thousands from Massachusetts. More than 800 students representing more than 100 Massachusetts schools, including some in Andover, will participate in the program next year when Massachusetts hosts the 2015 National MATHCOUNTS Competition for the first time in May.

Students are preparing now for chapter competitions in January and February, leading to the state competition in March, which will determine the teams and individuals who will represent the state at the nationals. Students compete as individuals and as part of four-person teams. 

To learn more about sponsoring the nonprofit program, visit and or contact MATHCOUNTS state coordinator John J. Hayden, P.E., at


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