CONNECTIONS: A Newsletter from the Somerville Public Schools

News & Notes

Celebrating National School Breakfast Week
This week the Winter Hill Community Innovation School (WHCIS) celebrated
National School Breakfast Week (NSBW) 2014. A featured breakfast item was discussed each day. On Monday students learned about the health benefits of eating whole grains, Tuesday’s lesson was on fruit, on Wednesday the students learned about yogurt, and on Thursday students learned about the health benefits of drinking milk. Throughout the week students also took part in the “School Breakfast in 2014” Art Contest which entailed having students draw what they think school breakfast will look like in the future. To wrap up NSBW 2014, students enjoyed a breakfast of waffles and strawberries with the School Principal and learned about the health and academic benefits of eating school breakfast every day. (pictured in photo is Kindergarten student, Wellington Couto-Martins)

Somerville High School Students Advance to Region IV Science Fair
Forty-one Somerville High School students advanced to the 2014 Region IV Science Fair after posting top finishes at the Somerville High School Science Fair this week. These students will compete against representatives from seven other Region IV Districts, for an opportunity to advance to the Massachusetts Science Fair, which will be held at MIT in May. The 2014 Somerville High School Science Fair winners advancing to the Region IV competition are:
· 1st Place: Nickolas Eliadis & Nicole Gouveia; Ariela Esmurria & Joy Jarnagin
· 2nd Place: Christina Bissereth & Amber Theobald; Sadia Islam; Kenneth Allen; Naomi Gutierrez, Gabe Logounov & Ethan Sweeting
· 3rd Place: Ravneet Kaur & Vanna Loue; Brigid Long & Molly Swanton; Marisol Abreu & Kate Churchill; Anna Carton-Smith & Katia Mathews; Brenda Nguyen; Jake Margolin & Gabi Mathews & Arjun Singh
· Honorable Mention: Marisa Kelath; Andrew Churchill; Justin Berry; Emmaleigh DaSilva & Samantha Fourtounis; LeighAnn Nguyen & Neha Amatya & Christian Santos; Andre Dangi & Aaron Form; Naomi Rafal; Pamela Lalaj; Kasandra Kakles & Tahisha Louis; Bianca Aires & Catherine Marquez & Jennifer Oliveira; Connie Chan

Healey School Students Ease Back from February Break with ‘Read-in’ Event
Students in Ms. Adams’ fifth grade class at the Arthur D. Healey School had a chance to wear their pajamas and bring sleeping bags to school in an effort to ease back into the school routine after their February break, with what’s become an annual and much-anticipated tradition — the “Read-In”. Students enjoyed vegetable soup, found a good book, and snuck away to their favorite classroom corner to read.

Students Participate in All-City Swim Meet at the Kennedy Pool
Somerville Public Schools students from around the District gathered at the Kennedy Pool last weekend for a fun afternoon in a friendly competition. Every student who participated in the All-City Swim Meet received an event t-shirt. The event is open to all students in grades 1-8. Congratulations to the Healey School for earning the Participation Award for the most participants in this year’s annual event. Healey also garnered the Grades 1-5 Overall Champions team trophy, while the Argenziano School won the Grades 6-8 Overall Champions team title. Congratulations to all the participants!

Recently in the News
Strategies for Children, a Massachusetts organization focused on early childhood education and opportunities for children during the critical birth through third grade years, highlighted Somerville’s innovative Universal Kindergarten Readiness proposal on Eye on Early Education. Read the March 4th article by Alyssa Haywoode at

Somerville High School alum and former SHS cross country co-captain, Meg Rabinowitz is preparing to run in her first Boston Marathon this April. Read about her journey at:

What’s Happening

Sunday, March 9: Tufts’ Annual Read by the River Literacy Carnival
Tufts University’s annual Read by the River literacy carnival, sponsored by Tufts Hillel, will be held Sunday, March 9 from noon to 3pm at the Tufts University Gantcher Family Sports and Convocation Center. Enjoy food, fun, games, and a story from a “mystery Patriots player.” For more information, visit the 2014 Read by the River Facebook event page at

Wednesday, March 12: “Improbable Scholars” Talk by Author David L. Kirp
In his compelling book about how one of New Jersey’s lowest-achieving school systems became a “poster child for educational reform,” David L. Kirp, a Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkley, describes a universal approach that builds on existing strengths and a belief in public schools as the place for students to succeed. Join us for a talk from author David L. Kirp about the strategies that helped turn around the Union City, New Jersey school system, detailed in his book “Improbable Scholars: The Rebirth of a Great American School System and a Strategy for America’s Schools.” The talk takes place at the East Somerville Community School Auditorium (50 Cross Street) from 7:00-8:30pm on Wednesday, March 12th. For more information, visit our Facebook “Improbable Scholars Event” page.

Friday, March 14: Celebrating Pi Night
Students in grades 6-8 from throughout the District, and their families are invited to join in celebrating Pi Night on Friday, March 14, 2014, sponsored by the Somerville Mathematics Fund. This annual Family Night event will be held at the East Somerville Community School this year, from 6 to 7:30p.m. The evening’s events will focus on , the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter, and will include various pi-related activity stations where participants can win a delicious pie! Pizza-pie will also be available for everyone and everyone gets to take home a small pie. Any student/family planning to attend is asked to let the student’s Math teacher know or email the following information to Mr. Scott Weaver at indicating that you will be attending Pi Night on Friday, March 14:
· Student Name
· Number of family members attending (including the student)
· Can an adult in the family volunteer to arrive at 5:30 and help at a pi-station (no expertise needed)? Indicate YES or NO
· Volunteer email
Questions about Pi Night? Email Mr. Weaver or leave a message for him at (857) 829-1831.

Saturday, March 15: PARCC Experience for Parents/Guardians
The Somerville Family Learning Collaborative, Somerville Teachers Association and Citizens for Public Schools welcome parents and guardians to experience the PARCC test on Saturday, March 15, 9-11am at the East Somerville Community School, located at 50 Cross Street. You can also experience the PARCC test online at For more information, contact the SFLC at (617) 629-5476 or visit

Saturday, March 15: Regional Science Fair
Somerville High School hosts the 38th annual Region IV Science Fair on Saturday, March 15th at the SHS Field House. The event is sponsored by the Somerville Public Schools, Somerville Rotary Club, Tufts University, and Distrigas. More than 150 students from metro north and west school districts which includes Andover, Everett, Hamilton-Wenham, Lexington, Medford, Methuen, Revere and Somerville will compete for an opportunity to advance to the Massachusetts State Science Fair at MIT in May. Judging for the March 15 competition at Somerville High School will be from 9am to noon. Exhibits will be open for public viewing from 1-3pm, and the Awards Ceremony is scheduled to take place from 3-4pm. Six Regional Science Fairs serve as qualifying competitions for the May state event. For more information about the Region IV Science Fair, visit

Big News for Young Writers
As we all know, April is National Poetry Month. To get ready, Kid! multimedia magazine (free online: has proclaimed that March is Write Poetry Month. Kid! encourages all writers of poetry in grades K-8 to gather up and select poems they have written recently, finish any that aren’t finished, and write new ones during the month of March and submit them as soon as they are ready to for posting on Kid!’s 2nd annual poetry wall. As last year, Kid! will ask readers to select their favorites. They’ll send out more news at Questions may be sent to Fiction Writers: Please let us see your work. We are looking for a few good stories to share with our enormous audience.

Middle School Writers’ Den, after school creative writing for students in grades 5-8, will be held Wednesday, March 12, 2014, 12:30 to 3:30 PM at the Somerville Central Library auditorium, Highland Ave., Somerville. Free and open to all interested students in this age group. Welcome again, any and all students in grades 5 through 8 (or of corresponding ages) who love to write and are active writers. We will meet informally to share our work, learn some tips and discuss publishing possibilities. Please bring a short completed piece of writing. There will be writing and discussion of writing. Poetry, fiction, nonfiction, school newspaper, whatever your interest. Alan Ball / 617-636-9033 /

This week in the schools:
Visit your child’s school website,, and click on the “calendar of events” link at the top of the page for a complete list of all the activities happening at school this month.
Monday, March 10th, from 8:30am-1:30pm: ESCS Field Trip to Otis Museum (Vozella, Spence, Mahoney)
Monday, March 10th, from 6:00-7:30pm: Healey Community Meeting, at the Healey School (5 Meacham Street)
Tuesday, March 11th, from 2:45-4:15pm: Brown School Council Meeting, at the Brown School (201 Willow Avenue)
Tuesday, March 11th, from 3:00-5:00pm: Kennedy School Improvement Council Meeting, at the Kennedy School (5 Cherry Street)
Tuesday, March 11th, from 5:30-7:00pm: ESCS School Improvement Council Meeting, at the East Somerville Community School (50 Cross Street)
Wednesday, March 12th: HALF-DAY WEDNESDAY (Pre-K student dismissal at 11:30; K-8 at noon)
Wednesday, March 12th: WSNS Pajama Day, at the West Somerville Neighborhood School (177 Powderhouse Boulevard)
Wednesday, March 12th, from 4:00-10:00pm: WSNS Kelly’s Roast Beef Night, at Kelly’s Roast Beef (Wellington Circle)
Wednesday, March 12th, from 6:30-8:30pm: SHS School Improvement Council Meeting, at Somerville High School (81 Highland Avenue)
Wednesday, March 12th, from 7:00-8:30pm: Improbable Scholars Talk with David L. Kirp, at the East Somerville Community School (50 Cross Street)
Thursday, March 13th, from 8:30-9:30am: Kennedy PTA/Parent Liaison Coffee Hour, at the Kennedy School (5 Cherry Street)
Thursday, March 13th, from 5:30-7:00pm: Financial Literacy Workshop, at the East Somerville Community School (50 Cross Street)
Friday, March 14th: Healey Grade 7 Field Trip to the Boston Museum of Science
Friday, March 14th, from 4:30-5:30pm: ESCS Middle Grades Information Night & Tours, at the East Somerville Community School (50 Cross Street)
Friday, March 14th, from 6:00-7:30pm: District-Wide Pi Night, at the East Somerville Community School (50 Cross Street)
Saturday, March 15th: Region IV Science Fair, in the SHS Field House (81 Highland Avenue); exhibits open for viewing from 1-3pm, Awards Ceremony from 4-5pm.

Upcoming School Committee Meetings
You can find the complete School Committee schedule, agendas and meeting minutes (as approved) online at
Tuesday, March 11th, at 7:00pm: Educational Programs and Instruction Subcommittee Meeting, in the Central Office Conference Room (42 Cross Street)

Community Events
· Saturday Homework Help for Teens at the Somerville Public Library: FREE math, science and writing support at the Somerville Public Library (SPL) Central Branch. Saturdays, 1:00-2:30pm in the SPL Teen Room. No appointment is necessary. Teens just need to bring your work.
· Saturday, March 8, 2014, 1:00pm: Kiniwe with Nani Agbeli; Tufts African Music Ensemble, at the Distler Performance Hall in the Granoff Music Center (Tufts University). FREE and open to the public.
· Saturday, March 8, 2014, 6:30pm: Head on out to Veteran’s Memorial Rink (570 Somerville Avenue) for a Charity Hockey Game between our own Somerville Fire Department and NYPD. $5 donation requested. Proceeds benefit the Somerville Youth Hockey Association.
· Wednesday, March 19, 2014, 6:00-8:00pm: 25th Anniversary celebration of the Somerville Commission for Women. Free event at the East Somerville Community School. SWC Tables, Reception, Award, Fine Refreshments. For more information, email or call (617) 625-6600, x2400.
· Saturdays through March 29, 2014, 9:30am-2pm: Somerville Winter Farmers Market, at the Center for the Arts at the Armory (191 Highland Avenue). Bus routes 88 and 90.
· Somerville Little League Registration: Saturday, March 8th, 2-3:30pm at the Tufts/SLL Baseball Clinic (Cousens Gym, 161 College Avenue) Get ready for baseball! Somerville Little League invites you to join the fun. Register in person on March 8, or register online at Questions? Call (617) 849-8478 or email For more information:
· Thursday, March 20th, 6pm: 12th Annual Brian Higgins Foundation Trivia Night, at Tufts University’s Cousens Gym. Save the date! For more information, visit or email $25 donation per person; up to 10 people per table/team. Light dinner provided by Kelly’s Roast Beef and dessert by Somerville High School Culinary Arts. Stay connected by “liking” BHF at
· Friday, March 29th, noon-1:00pm: Tufts Dances at Noon, at the Jackson Gym Dance Lab on the Tufts University campus (50 Talbot Avenue); parking behind the Aidekman Arts Center – Cohen Lot (accessible via College Avenue). This event is FREE and open to the public. This second in a two-part series of dances features “Anjali Nath & Shefali Jain, Ana Isabel Kielson, and Anna Myer & Dancers.”
· B.R.A.I.N. Day at Boston University: The Boston University Undergraduate Neuroscience Program invites all students in grades 1-12, along with their parents and teachers to celebrate Brain Awareness Week 2014 with a day of free interactive activities. Saturday, March 29, 10am to 1pm at the SAC Gym (One University Road). Follow BU Brain Day on Facebook ( for more information.
· 2014 Tufts Kids’ Day. Registration is now open for the annual Tufts Kids’ Day event, scheduled for Saturday, April 19 this year. Kids Day is an annual event sponsored by the Leonard Carmichael Society, a community service organization at Tufts. Now in its 51st year, the event is organized to provide local children in grades K-3 with a day of learning and fun, including carnival rides, a chemistry show, and a magic show. For more information and registration details, visit

Looking Ahead
Check our online Calendar of events ( for more information.
· Monday, March 17: First Day of Spring Sports
· Monday, March 17: Regular School Committee Meeting
· Wednesday, March 19: Healey ELL Family Breakfast
· Wednesday, March 19: 4th Annual Choral Festival
· Wednesday, March 19: A Series on the Middle School Years – Middle School Youth: Focus on Success
· Thursday, March 20: 12th Annual Brian Higgins Foundation Trivia Night
· Friday, March 21: Kennedy PTA Kids Nite Out (Grades K-3)
· Friday, March 21: Healey PTA Grade 5/6 School Dance
· Saturday, March 22: SHS Center for Career & Technical Education Open House

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Susana Hernandez Morgan
Coordinator of Grant Writing & Information
Somerville Public Schools
42 Cross Street
Somerville, MA 02145
Internal office extension: 6013

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