By Jane Keller Gordon, Contributing Writer
Marlborough – Every morning at the Advanced Math and Science Academy (AMSA) in Marlborough, a rock ‘n’ roll “song of the day” blasts from loud speakers for three minutes when school starts at 8:05 a.m. Executive Director Dr. Anders Lewis and Principal Ellen Linzey are boosting this charter’s school spirit by bringing back this tradition, as well as others, and instituting new ones for the 467 students in middle school and 525 in high school.
Now, AMSA has student announcements, spirit days, and community meetings. Lewis and Linzey, a dynamic pair, are also building school enthusiasm through their humorous YouTube videos.
The school uniforms – a deep blue polo shirt or sweater with the AMSA logo – might also increase school spirit.
“This uniform really makes sense,” Lewis said. “It takes away conversations about who is wearing what.”
“We’re an excellent academic institution, but Dr. Lewis and I believe that here, it’s all about love. We love our AMSA community,” Linzey said.
“You can’t have academic success unless kids feel love, support and respect. That’s our goal,” Lewis added.
Lewis knows the school well. He joined the faculty of AMSA when it opened in 2005.
Before his January 2017 appointment as executive director, Lewis was head of the history department, a position that he still holds.
Academic success is something that AMSA has achieved, year after year.
U.S. News and World Report in 2017 ranked AMSA second in the state for public high schools. The school also is consistently in the top three in the state on the grade 10 English language arts and math tests. By graduation, 90 percent of students have taken at least one Advanced Placement (AP) class, according to Linzey.
Students are admitted by a lottery, with preference given first to those from Marlborough, Clinton, Hudson and Maynard.
The application deadline for the 2018-2019 school year is Friday, Jan. 12, 2018. A parent information night will be held at AMSA Tuesday, Nov. 7, at 6 p.m.
The school’s huge waiting list is a reflection of its success and uniqueness.
“There are lots of reasons why students apply to AMSA,” Linzey said. “Some love math and science and others want to get into a good college.”
“We believe that every student can excel at AMSA. We have lots of math and science classes, but we also have great humanities classes, sports, and a music program,” Lewis commented. “There’s also a French club, robotics and great math teams.”
Regardless of background and ability, everyone can excel at AMSA, according to Lewis.
He said that the “advanced” in the school’s name means that they believe each student can learn at an advanced level.
“We have high expectations for ourselves and our students,” he said. “We will fight tooth and nail for all our kids.”
In sixth grade, AMSA offers seven levels of math. Sixth-graders are also provided an opportunity to excel in science by taking classes in biology, chemistry, physics and earth science. This early exposure to science allows students to accelerate once they enter high school, which offers college prep, honors, and AP classes.
AMSA offers high school students a variety of courses, including Shakespeare, CAD, multivariable/vector calculus, French, Spanish and Latin.
The school is located at 201 Forest St., Marlborough. For more information call 508-597-2400 or visit www.amsacs.org.