WEEK AHEAD: Abington Celebrates Christmas; new officers; school board discusses a book; junior class auction; meeting schedule

Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving Day! We’re on to Christmas.

(Except for CVS, which has already put out the Valentine’s Day candy. Probably.)

The week after turkey day means Abington Celebrates is sponsoring a weekend full of activities. The fun starts Friday night with an Ugly Sweater Party Murder Mystery, continues Saturday with festivities at Island Grove, and wraps up Sunday with a Christmas Concert. Plus other events.

But there are a whole bunch of other activities this week to help people get into the festive spirit.


The Abington Police Department is steadily rebuilding its numbers after internal acrimony and compensation disputes drove a startling number of officers to leave for greener pastures earlier this decade. Selectmen tonight will formally meet the newest Abington officers: Andrew Rezendes, Sean Flannery, Robert Gervasi, and Ryan Francis, all of whom recently graduated from the Northern Essex Community College police academy. Officer Ray Emery was introduced back in March. The new officers push the total number of officers in uniform to 22. Traditionally, the department has been funded for between 28 and 30 total uniformed personnel.


The school committee at its meeting Tuesday will again discuss a controversial book after a parent formally challenged its presence in the high school library. The board heard testimony at its October meeting around ‘This Book Is Gay,’ which discusses LGBTQ relationships in frank and irreverent, and according to some, offensive and dangerous, terms. At that time nobody had challenged the book as required under district policy. Instead, the school board evoked a state law that gives the board the ability to consider removing classroom materials at its next meeting (which is on Tuesday). The school policy requires the superintendent to create a review committee consisting of a teacher competent in the area of the content covered by the material but not involved in the use of the material in question; administrators, directors, and supervisors appropriate to the level and/or subject for which the material is used; a library media specialist; a member of the School Committee; a member of the community not involved in the challenge of the material. That committee has met, reviewed the book, and provided its recommendation. That recommendation was not made public ahead of the meeting. The American Library Association said ‘This Book is Gay’ was one of the most challenged books of 2021.


The annual auction, which is typically the junior class’ largest fundraising event, is this Thursday from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. There will be dozens of prizes available through the live and silent auction, as well as goodies for sale. The event will take place at the High School.


Auditions for the spring musical, Carrie, will be held on Monday, Dec. 5, and Wednesday, Dec. 7 from 6 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. Auditions are open to any eligible student. No prior performing experience is required. Students will need to sing and dance as part of the audition regardless of the size of the role you may be interested in.  Any student who cannot attend on Monday can come on Wednesday, but students are not required to be at both dates unless scheduled for a call back on Wednesday.  Show dates are March 9-11 and rehearsals will be Monday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings beginning January 4th.



Board of Selectmen, 6:30 p.m., Town Hall. Agenda includes meeting the town’s newest police officers, discussion on what to do with the former Center and North schools, finalizing the purchase of land off Orchard Lane, and an update with Veterans Services Agent Adam Gunn.


School Committee, 7 p.m., Middle/High School Library. Agenda includes a discussion about ‘This Book Is Gay,’ a public hearing on school choice, a review of the district’s MCAS scores, and a report from the athletic director.


Open Space Committee, 5:30 p.m., Town Hall. Agenda includes identifiying other land available for open space, marking existing open space with signs, asking the planning board about requiring developments to dedicate part of their projects for open space.


Charter Review Commission, 6 p.m., Town Hall. Agenda includes review of potential changes to the town charter.

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