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Tenney Principal's Message

We are busy learning and growing!

posted Apr 2, 2018, 5:37 PM by Mary Beth Donovan-Grassi

March was filled with snow and good things at the Tenney. We honored people who changed the world, talked about the weather, learned how to save lives, thought about the value of water and  got ready for MCAS.

Here is a look at what we accomplished:

  • Seventeen Tenney staff members took part in an after- school CPR course Jeff Osgood who directs our Health and Wellness programs was the instructor.

  • The 8th grade hosted an MCAS Rally that had an Olympic theme. And if that is not enough inspiration, our JNHS decorated classroom doors with quotes about the value of hard work.

  • Channel 4 meteorologist Pam Gardner met with our third graders to talk about the thing we love to talk about - weather!!!! Our students  were featured in a video on WBZ -TV, thanks to Mrs. Toner.

  • The Grade 4 team  held its second annual Biography Fair. About 200 family members attended. Our students dressed in character  - as Martin Luther King, Emily Dickinson, Johnny Appleseed - and talked about their lives.

  • The Grade 5 team hosted Hands on History for their students. Our kids got a look at life during the Revolutionary War Era.

  • Tenney mom Emily Kaminsky introduced  Lindsey Andrews, author of  the children’s book, I Walk for Water, to our Grade 2 students. Ms. Andrews Skyped with us, reading her book aloud. Ms. Norman coordinated the visit which supported the students’ geography studies.

  • Mrs. Morin’s Grade 5 students celebrated World Water Day. They dressed in blue and made informational posters to share with lower school students. Her students ask, “Did you know the average person wastes 4 liters of water when they leave the water running while brushing their teeth?"

  • Our Grade 7 team  went to Quarrybrook Science Center for hands on learning and  a bit of snowshoeing.

  • Ms.  Beauchemin  our media teacher and some devoted volunteers made our annual Scholastic Book Fair  a success!

  • Some of our lower school classes  had a visit from Johnny the K.  He rocked the house with messages about good character and the value of education.

  • Mrs. Devendorf helped  her sixth graders think about  their futures. Every month, she invites an adult to speak about his/her job and what it takes to do that job!  This month’s guest: Officer Gardner

Coming up:

April 11:Academic Bowl at the Tenney, 3 pm

Bingo Night, 5 pm

April 25, 26: Tenney Drama Club presents Flat Stanley Jr., 7 pm

Welcome March!

posted Mar 9, 2018, 4:54 PM by Mary Beth Donovan-Grassi

February was a short month filled with learning at the Tenney!  We:

  • Celebrated our second annual Kindness Week. Each day featured something different and gave students and opportunity to contribute a bit of goodness to our school and community. Students said thank you to our community heroes, dressing up as first responders. We wrote Valentines to our school, donated to the food pantry, passed out carnations and our students kept track of  the good they did.

  • The 30th annual Mama Tenney Dinner drew 200 guests for a night of pasta, community and fun. Our Peer Leaders and Student Council members served up the food, about 20 staff members plated the food and our friends at Starchey’s donated all the food.  Families of active and past military members were honored and after enjoying the meal, guests visited the Wall of Honor. The wall features pictures of our Tenney family who serve in the military.

  • Marked 100 days of school. Kindergarten students created special shirts and posters decorated with 100 items, continued to 100 and walked a red carpet. Some of our older students and their teachers dressed as their future 100-year old selves.

  • Enjoyed our new lower school gym floor. The floor features lines for track and of course, our Tenney tiger logo. We are so lucky to have the support of Ranger Club.

Coming up:

March 6: Meteorologist Pam Gardner meets with Grade 3.

March 7: Academic Bowl, Timony Grammar School, 5:30 pm

March 8: Mr. Bolduc, Mrs. Barnhart, Mrs. Peluso hosts an evening of Eureka Math and Newela for their Grade 5 parents, 5:30 to 6:30 pm.

March 8: PTO Meeting, 7 pm.

March 28 : Class photos,

MCAS Dates  English/Language Arts

April 3, 4: Grades 3 and

April 5, 6: Grades 7 and 8

April 10, 11: Grades 5 and 6

April 16-21 April vacation


May 1, 2: Grades 5 and 6

May 3, 4: Grades 7 and 8

May 8, 9: Grades 3 and 4


May 16-17: Grades 5 and 8  

We have MCAS dates!

posted Mar 4, 2018, 3:01 PM by Mary Beth Donovan-Grassi   [ updated Mar 4, 2018, 3:03 PM ]

Dear Parents and Guardians,

Our MCAS testing is just around the corner and our testing dates have been set.  Here they are:

English/Language Arts

April 3, 4: Grades 3 and 4

April 5, 6: Grades 7 and 8

April 10, 11: Grades 5 and 6

April 16-21 April vacation


May 1, 2: Grades 5 and 6

May 3, 4: Grades 7 and 8

May 8, 9: Grades 3 and 4


May 16-17: Grades 5 and 8  

(These are the only grades taking the science test)

I hope you will take a moment to put these dates on your calendar and make sure your child is in school, relaxed and well-rested on his/her testing days,  The testing “window” established by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education is very specific. More importantly, the information we get from your child’s testing results help us identify the content areas we need to address in the classroom, plan intervention and  shape how we teach.

Or fabulous PTO is one again providing a free breakfast to every child on testing days. Lucky us to have an organization that supports our  students so generously!

As always, if you have any questions, please contact me at 978-722-9026, ext, 4414

Best wishes,

Mary Beth Donovan

Supervising Principal

Estimados Padres y Tutores,

Nuestra prueba de MCAS está a la vuelta de la esquina y nuestras fechas de la prueba han sido establecidas.  Aquí están:

Inglés/Artes del Lenguaje

Abril 3, 4: Grados 3 y 4

Abril 5, 6: Grados 7 y 8

Abril 10, 11: Grados 5 y 6

Abril 16-21 Vacaciones de Abril


Mayo 1, 2: Grados 5 y 6

Mayo 3, 4: Grados 7 y 8

Mayo 8, 9: Grados 3 y 4


Mayo 16-17: Grados 5 y 8  

(Estos son los únicos grados que tomarán la prueba de ciencia)

Espero que se tome un momento para poner estas fechas en su calendario y asegurarse de que su hijo esté en la escuela, relajado y bien descansado en sus días de prueba. La “ventana” de pruebas establecida por el Departamento de Educación Primaria y secundaria de Massachusetts es muy específica. Más importante, la información que recibimos de los resultados de las pruebas de su hijo nos ayuda a identificar las áreas de contendió que necesitamos abordar en el salón de clase, planear la intervención y dar forma a cómo enseñamos.

Nuestro fabuloso PTO proporcionará otra vez un desayuno gratuito a cada niño en los días de prueba.  ¡Afortunados nosotros de tener una organización que apoye a nuestros estudiantes tan generosamente!

Como siempre, si usted tiene alguna pregunta, por favor de ponerse en contacto conmigo al 978-722-9026, ext., 4414.

Mejores Deseos,

Mary Beth Donovan

Principal Supervisora

Mark your calendar with these MCAS dates

posted Mar 4, 2018, 2:53 PM by Mary Beth Donovan-Grassi


Starting of 2018 Learning!

posted Feb 5, 2018, 5:33 PM by Mary Beth Donovan-Grassi

Tenney staff and students started the new year with a focus on hands-on learning and fun. Here is a quick look at some of the events at our school at the start of the 2018:

  • Our Geography Bee was a success! Our first place winner is 7th grader Andrew Le, runner-up is 8th grader Patrick Donovan and third place is 6th grader Luke Polomoscanik.  Marian Magnan, sixth grade teacher,  organized the event.

  • Kindergarten teachers Sheena Courage and Lisa Feole- Pickett held a sledding “lesson” for their students.  The teachers knew  the students could use support as they wrote about their favorite moment and decided that having a universal experience would enhance  the writing process.  They enlisted the aid of parents, custodial staff, and other members of the kindergarten team. The result was some fun and most importantly some well-written, detail-rich essays from our youngest writers.

  • Tim Vermette from the Methuen Garden Club visited  the Tenney to help Doug Patten, eighth grade teacher and his class create plant cuttings and learn about the growth process. We are grateful to Mr. Vermette for his generous donation of time and supplies with the 8th grade students.

  • Guidance counselor Ted Shields led the creation of awesome ROCKS poster in our lower school cafeteria comprised of  Tenney Blue tickets.

  • Paula Simone, upper school associate principal,  was the quizmaster at  the district’s first Academic Bowl  competition at the CGS. Our seventh and eighth grade teams had fun. represented us well and will compete again in March.  

  • Corey the Dribbler came to the Tenney put on a great show with the focus on respect and the power of education.  Mrs. Morin coordinated the event.

Coming up:

Feb. 12-16: Kindness Week

Feb: 16: Bowling League

            Pamela Gardner, Meteorologist Visit, Grade 3, Auditorium.

            Grade 8 Field Trip to Quarrybrook Experiential Education Center

            Mama Tenney Dinner, Upper School Cafeteria, 5-7:30 pm


Hello 2018!

posted Jan 7, 2018, 10:05 AM by Mary Beth Donovan-Grassi

We closed 2017 with opportunity to learn, grow and support one another.  We celebrated together, too.  Here is a quick look at some of the Tenney happenings that closed out  2017:

  • Our Giving Tree project which has been organized for several years by teacher Dawn Patterson supported 100 Tenney families. Staff and students “adopted” families who needed some extra help during the holiday season.  

  • The Fourth Annual Light the Night brought about 400 folks to our campus. We illuminated the giant tree at our Upper School entrance and then invited everyone inside to tour their students’ classrooms and pick out a book to take home, courtesy of our Tenney staff.  Our fabulous PTO sponsors this event every year.

  • We hosted assemblies to recognize our students in December and celebrate the holidays.  Upper School students and staff faced off in an epic  trivia contest. Each grade of our lower school staff took a turn with a performance. We were  happy to see so many parents in attendance.

  • Our Lower School students kindergarten team joined forces with staff at the Nevins Memorial Library to introduce some of our younger students to  library services and get their library cards. Some of our seventh grade students are participating in a book club hosted by Young Adult Librarian Amy Fowler who also coordinates our Tenney Rocks the Nevins Summer Program. We love our partnership with the library.

  • Our second grade team welcomed parents to a Eureka Math Open House.

  • Our Girls on the Run, led by teacher Sarah Hudon completing a a 5k race.

  • Teacher parents conferences were well- attended.

  • Our staff hosted a variety of events for the adults in our Tenney family, including a kissing ball -making craft might, ugly sweater day and a special treats luncheon.

The New Year is shaping up to be a busy one. Upcoming events include:

Jan  9: Upper School Geography Bee

Jan. 10: ACCESS Testing begins

Jan. 17: PTO meeting, 7 pm, staff room

Jan 19: Corey The Dribbler meets with 5th & 6th graders  The former Harlem Globetrotter  and Guinness Book record holder will talk about respect, the value of education and anti-bullying.

We are busy learning - and celebrating

posted Dec 7, 2017, 6:06 AM by Mary Beth Donovan-Grassi

Tenney Rocks!

November was a busy month at the Tenney.

Our students had opportunities to learn outside the classroom:

  • Upper School students visited  Quarrybrook Science Center,

  • Seventh graders  went to the Museum of Fine Arts, exploring the Egyptian Arts Gallery.

  • Our 8th graders enjoyed a day at the House of Blues and discovered how music reflects the history of a people.

Our students and staff joined community celebrations and supported those in need:

  • Junior National Honor Society, Peer Leaders and National Honor Society students marched in the town’s Veterans Day Parade.

  • Our Peer Leaders helped place the flags on veterans’ graves at the Elmwood Cemetery.

  • Almost 100 students and staff marched in the Methuen Santa Parade. Our two floats were inspired by the theme: “A Minion Reasons Tenney Rocks.”

  • Led by our guidance department, our school assembled 60 turkey dinners for our families who needed a bit of support on Thanksgiving.

  • Our Peer Leaders are hosting their annual coat drive.

  • The Tenney Giving Tree Christmas Program will provide gifts and a Christmas Dinner to families in need of support during the holiday season

Our families came to learn and support:

  • The annual Museum Walk on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, drew more than 300 guests who viewed student work on display in our hallways.Parents and guardians were invited to respond to student work.

  • Our second grade team hosted a Eureka Math Open House to offer information, support and resources for parents.

We look forward to these activities in December:

Dec: 7: Upper School Band Concert, 7 pm

Dec 13; Choral Concert, 7 pm.

Dec 14 and 15: Parent Conferences

Dec. 18-23: Spirit Week

November News - Lots of It!

posted Nov 7, 2017, 1:05 PM by Mary Beth Donovan-Grassi

The Tenney has been a busy place this fall. Here is a look at what we have been doing:

Our students have engaged in all sorts of learning opportunities. For example:

  • Parents and family joined students in the third  grade for a pumpkin carving class that featured math problems.

  • Our fifth graders got  rave reviews at Quarrybrook Science Center.  The students explored the world, turning over logs to find frogs, examining ecosystems and impressing the staff there with their respect and enthusiasm. (Eighth grade visits on Nov. 8.)

  • The Museum of Science met with our second and third graders for classroom-based science experiments.

  • The eighth grade had an Opportunity Day. Their teachers held conferences with students to review grades, work  and  talk strategies for success. Students who  met all academic expectations were treated to a movie while their colleagues caught up on their studies with teacher support.

  • During Red Ribbon Week, SAAD students and the folks who run our Backpack Program collaborated to sponsor a Spirit Week.   We packed the shelves with food for our families in need and talked about making good decisions.

Our staff enjoyed professional and social opportunities/ For example:

  • At our October staff meeting,  several teachers hosted seminars for colleagues that ranged from how to collect data on Google Docs, the Mindful Classroom and Teaching with Poverty in Mind.  In November, staff led vertical-team discussions that included sharing good teaching strategies.

  • Staff gathered for an evening of crafts, creating Halloween wreaths. In December, we plan a night to celebrate the holidays and create kissing balls.

  • Teachers share why the reason why they teach every Monday. The reasons (#whyIteach) are also posted each Monday on our Tenney Twitter feed.

Our families have been part of our fun and learning:

  • Our Monster Bash was one of the best-attended parties to date. Thanks PTO!

  • Art teachers Marcia Mucci and Carol Liccardi showed families and staff how to create great decorations for our Tenney PTO Festival of Trees entry and our Santa Parade float.

  • Seventh and eighth grade families learned how to plan for high school  hosted by Ms. Simone, Upper School principal and Ms. Crocker of our guidance staff.

  • Sales of our Tenney Gear have been strong. Money raised helps support our PBIS programs. Parent Eleni Varitimos organizes this great fundraiser.

Coming up:

Nov. 16: Grade 7 Field Trip to Museum of FIne Arts, Egyptian Galleries

Nov. 18: Methuen Santa Parade. Tenney Band, Students Against Destructive Decisions, Student Council, Peer Leaders, Girls on the Run and Junior National Honor Society will march. Our PTO  is inspiring us!

Nov. 22:  Upper School Museum Walk  9 am. Student work will be on display.

Nov. 30: Grade 6 Field Trip to Quarrybrook Science Center

October Update

posted Oct 13, 2017, 4:29 AM by Mary Beth Donovan-Grassi

We have built our routines for learning at the Tenney as we enter  our second month of school. Here is a look at what is happening at our school:

Our staff is sharing good teaching ideas.

  • At our October staff meeting teachers hosted seminars  for one another, sharing what strategies work in their own respective classrooms. Topics included Collecting Data Using Google, The Mindful Minute, Teaching with Poverty in Mind and more. A special thank you to the teachers who offered to share their  great ideas.  They included Elizabeth Fulks, Dana Gastich, Kathy Bodenrader, Karen Zucker, John Lagnese, Doug Patten, Jen Lucier, Becky Devendorf, Jessica Hogan, Ashley Chester and Dawn Patterson.

  • Every Monday, we tweet out a reminder of why we so  love Mondays at the Tenney. The tweets feature our staff and the reasons why they teach. Please follow us on Twitter at TenneyGrammar@MPS_Tenney.

  • Our staff gathered for a craft night led by our SEA Carrie Ingrassia. We made Halloween wreaths to hang on our doors. Craft nights have become a tradition  with our staff.

Our students are learning about safety:

  • We held our first ALICE and fire drills. Both went well

  • More than 24 classrooms met with our new School Safety Officer David Gardner to review how students can be responsible for their own safety.

Our parents are getting involved:

  • Dozens of  parents signed up for CORI review at our Open Houses, bringing the total of parents who can legally chaperone to the 650+ mark. Thanks to Mrs. Sweeney, principal clerk for organizing.

  • Our first PTO meeting was well-attended and on Oct. 6, the Yankee Candle fundraiser concludes.  At the meeting, the PTO members talked about upcoming events like the Monster Bash,  Light the Night and more.

And finally, here are some important dates to put on your calendar:

  • Oct. 9: Columbus Day, no school.

  • Oct. 11: Bus evacuation practice

  • Oct. 12: Picture Day

  • Oct. 13: Quarrybrook Experiential Education Field Trip, grade 8

  • Oct. 20: Monster Bash sponsored by our fabulous PTO

  • Oct. 19: PTO Meeting 7 pm, Staff lounge

  • Oct. 25: Museum of Science Engineering Activity, Grade 2

  • Oct. 27: Early Release Day, 11:15 upper school dismissal, 11:45 lower school

As always if you have any questions or concerns, please contact me at or at 978-722-9026 x 4414.

Mary Beth Donovan

Supervising Principal

Welcome September!

posted Sep 18, 2017, 10:35 AM by Mary Beth Donovan-Grassi   [ updated Sep 18, 2017, 10:36 AM ]

Sept. 1, 2017

We are off to a good start at the Tenney! As we enter the second week of school, our students are settling into the routines established by teachers so learning can happen without disruption or distraction.  A special thank you to our Tenney families for partnering with us to keep our children safe especially during drop off and pick-up times. We hope to keep the traffic lines moving and the start and end of every day calm and happy for all our Tenney family.

Here is a quick look at the start of the school year:

  • Staff celebrated our first day together with the second annual Tenney BBQ. The admin team manned the grill and in between meetings and setting up rooms, the  entire staff sat down to enjoy some time together and pose for a big “family”portrait.

  • Our first fire drill, held the third day of school was a success. Our students were were recognized for their respect for the process, school safety and speed. Our entire building emptied in record time,  just over three minutes. Teachers practiced with their students in advance to establish routines.

  • Our new School Safety Officer David Gardner has been meeting with classes to introduce himself and review safety rules.

  • Our Back Pack Program, which provides food to students and families who may need extra help over the weekend, is about to get started, thanks to the volunteer work and generosity of our staff.

  • The Tenney Grammar School stands for Respect, Ownership, Cooperation, Kindness and Safety.  This is why Tenney ROCKS.  In an effort to spread the kindness so often experienced inside, the Tenney is bringing it outside to a Kindness ROCKS Garden. Gardens like this can be found across the nation.  Colorfully painted rocks with images and messages of kindness are on display to visit, add to or even take in a moment of need.  Staff has started the movement at Tenney and want students, family, friends and community members to help spread kindness and watch it grow.   Teachers have already started to create some of the kindness rocks. Liz Fulks, our health  teacher is coordinating,

  • We look forward to working with our new cafeteria monitors.  The addition of these positions will help with supervision  of meals.

  • We marked events of 9/11 with time to reflect in both upper and lower schools, an encouragement to all students to do a good deed that day and a beautiful display of American flags put together by Ms. Wyman. We kept in our thoughts the Tenney families who lost loved ones that day and those who risked all to help.

And finally, we look forward to the first meeting of our fabulous PTO. It is set for Sept. 21 in our staff lounge at 7 pm.

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