Connections: A Newsletter from the Somerville Public Schools – March 14, 2014



Reminder: Somerville Public Schools & Offices will be OPEN on Monday, March 17th.

There are NO school holidays in March this year. Have a fun weekend. See you on Monday!
News & Notes

Celebrating National Agriculture Week with Literacy
The week of March 17 is National Agriculture Week. Winter Hill and Kennedy Schools are celebrating with an Agriculture Literacy Week funded through the Somerville Public Schools’ Farm to School project. Volunteers will visit 7 classrooms and read the book “Who Grew My Soup.” Join us in celebrating National Agriculture Week by reading a book about gardening, farming and food with your family!

Spanish 4 Honors Students Explore Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
Mrs. Olsen’s Spanish 4 Honors students at Somerville High School enjoyed a wonderful day exploring the amazing Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston this week. After spending several weeks studying the masters of Spanish art, 35 SHS students took a field trip to this local gem of a museum.

The museum was once the home of Isabella Stewart Gardner, an avid art collector. The intimate setting of seeing original Spanish and Italian art in Ms. Gardner’s home/museum provided for a very special way for students to experience the art that they had been studying.

Somerville Public Schools Students Celebrate Dr. Seuss Day
Students at schools throughout the District celebrated Dr. Seuss Day earlier this month by creating artwork, reading or listening to Dr. Seuss stories and bringing in their favorite Dr. Seuss works.

At the Capuano Early Childhood Center, children donned hand-made tall hats and were delighted to see their Principal decked out in a tall Red and White Hat.

Hilary Aberle Prepares for 2nd Boston Marathon Run
Hilary Aberle, Community Schools Afterschool Program Coordinator at the Healey School, is counting the days to this year’s Boston Marathon as she prepares for her second Boston Marathon run in as many years. While training for this year’s event with the same level of enthusiasm and practical approach to committing to such a lofty endeavor, a year of preparing for a race unexpectedly cut short has added a little extra fire to Hilary’s competitive spirit as she enters the final stages of a second year of training. “Last year was my first marathon attempt, and I figured if I was going to train for 26.2, it may as well be for Boston.” Hilary will have a second opportunity to cross the finish line of this prestigious event, after completing more than 25 miles last year before being stopped ½ a mile from the finish due to the tragic events at last year’s race. “The Boston Athletic Association gave runners who were stopped the opportunity to get a bib for 2014, so I took them up on it – especially since I didn’t get to experience what it’s like to run down Boylston St. and cross the finish line.” She’ll have that opportunity again this year, as she takes to the streets for an incredible and grueling 26.2-mile journey, running in support of Mass Mentoring Partnership (MMP) for the second straight year. Despite not being able to cross the finish line in 2013, Hilary was still able to raise more than $4,000 for MMP, and has pledged to raise another $1,000 for the organization this year. The experience of training for the world’s most respected 26.2-mile run, while at the same time supporting a cause she believes in, has been inspiring for her. “It was a great experience for me to learn about MMP, and also connect with people across the state (and country) who are so passionate about serving young people,” said Hilary. We look forward to celebrating with Hilary as she completes her inspiring journey.

What’s Happening

Friday, March 14: Pi Night
Students in grades 6-8 from throughout the District, and their families are reminded to join in celebrating Pi Night tonight, 6-7:30pm, at the East Somerville Community School. Tonight’s event, sponsored by the Somerville Mathematics Fund, will focus on pi, the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter, and will include various pi-related activity stations. Plenty of pie and pizza-pie will also be available. Join the fun!

Saturday, March 15: Region IV Science Fair
Somerville High School hosts the 38th annual Region IV Science Fair on Saturday, March 15th at the SHS Field House. An estimated 100 to 125 students representing 10 schools from metro north and west school districts will compete for an opportunity to advance to the Massachusetts State Science Fair at MIT in May. Forty-one students from Somerville High School qualified to participate at the 2014 Region IV Science Fair. Judging for the March 15 competition at Somerville High School will be from 9am to noon. More than 40 judges from local companies and colleges, including 17 from Tufts University, will judge Saturday’s regional entries. Exhibits will be open for public viewing from 1-3pm, and the Awards Ceremony is scheduled to take place from 3-4pm. Awards are given to the top 40 projects; the overall first- and second-place winners at Saturday’s event will receive a cash prize and entrance into the state science fair at MIT in May. Kenneth Allen claimed the highest placing by a Somerville student at last year’s Region IV event. His project involved testing different sail shapes for efficiency using a wind tunnel. Saturday’s event is sponsored by the Somerville Public Schools, Somerville Rotary Club, Tufts, and Distrigas. For more information, visit

Saturday, March 15: PARCC Experience for Parents/Guardians
The Somerville Teachers Association, Citizens for Public Schools, and the Somerville Family Learning Collaborative welcome parents and guardians to experience the PARCC test on Saturday, March 15, 9-11am at the East Somerville Community School. You can also experience the PARCC test online at

Thursday, March 20: 12th Annual Brian Higgins Foundation Trivia Night
Join the fun in memory of a special boy with a contagious smile, at the 12th Annual Brian Higgins Foundation Trivia Night, Thursday, March 20th, 6pm at Tufts University’s Cousens Gymnasium. 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

Saturday, March 22: SHS Center for Career & Technical Education Open House
Mark your calendars and plan to join us on Saturday, March 22nd, at Somerville High School from 9:00am-1:00pm, for an inside look at Somerville High School’s Career and Technical Education programs. The day’s events will include tours led by CTE Student Ambassadors, hands-on activities, and an opportunity to learn how Somerville High School’s CTE programs are preparing students for success beyond high school, using the latest technology and the most cutting-edge techniques.

Thursday, April 10: Regina Bertholdo to be Honored at YUM Celebration
Regina Bertholdo, Director of the Parent Information Center (PIC), will receive the second annual Intercultural City Award at the The Welcome Project’s 2014 YUM: A Taste of Immigrant City celebration. The celebration takes place on Thursday, April 10th starting at 7:00pm and will be held at the Arts at the Armory. Along with her leadership as Director of the Parent Information Center and as the Somerville Public Schools’ Homeless Liaison, Regina is also known throughout the community as a tireless advocate and champion for Somerville’s diverse immigrant community. The East Somerville Community School PTA received the first Intercultural City Award in 2013. The evening also includes the diverse tastes of 9 immigrant-run Somerville restaurants as well as healthy Shape Up Approved options, live music, a silent auction, and the opportunity to celebrate this year’s Intercultural City Award alongside friends. For more information about the YUM Celebration, visit

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.
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); science exhibits open for viewing from 1-3pm, Awards Ceremony from 4-5pm.
Monday, March 17th: First Day of Spring Sports
Tuesday, March 18th, 5:30-7:30pm: Kennedy Drama Club Fundraiser at the Potbelly Sandwich Shop (1 Porter Square, Cambridge)
Wednesday, March 19th: Healey School ELL Family Breakfast, at the Healey School (5 Meacham Street)
Wednesday, March 19th, at 6:30pm: 4th Annual Choral Festival
Wednesday, March 19th, from 6:30-8:00pm: A Series on the Middle School Years—Middle School Youth: Focus on Success, at the Argenziano School (290 Washington Street)
Friday, March 21st, from 6:00-8:00pm: Kennedy PTA Kids Nite Out (Grades K-3), at the Kennedy School (5 Cherry Street)
Friday, March 21st, from 6:30-8:30pm: Healey PTA School Dance – Grades 5 & 6, at the Healey School (5 Meacham Street)
Saturday, March 22nd, from 9:00am-1:00pm: SHS Center for Career & Technical Education Open House, at Somerville High School (81 Highland Avenue)

Upcoming School Committee Meetings
You can find the complete School Committee schedule, agendas and meeting minutes (as approved) online at
Monday, March 17th, at 7:00pm: Regular School Committee Meeting, in the Aldermen’s Chambers of Somerville City Hall (93 Highland Avenue)

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.
· 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.
· Thursday, March 20th, 6pm: 12th Annual Brian Higgins Foundation Trivia Night, at Tufts University’s Cousens Gym. For more information, visit or email
· Wednesday, March 26th, 6:00-9:00pm: 2014 Boys & Girls Clubs of Middlesex County Inspiration Celebration, at the Microsoft N.E.R.D. Center (1 Memorial Drive, Cambridge). Tickets are on sale for an inspiring event that includes interactive showcases of Clubhouse programs, food, drink, music, and celebration of club champions as well as this year’s club Youth of the Year winners. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit
· 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.”
· Friday, March 29th, 2:00-4:30pm: Dominican Carnival! at the Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology at Harvard University (11 Divinity Avenue, Cambridge). Parade begins at 2pm. Carnival participants learn more about the Dominican Republic through games, crafts, snacks, and soundtracked stories where the audience adds drama. For ages 4 and up.
· 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.
· Friday, April 4th, 7:00-11:00pm: Groundwork Somerville Fundraising Gala and Volunteer Appreciation event at Anthony’s, home of Cuisines en Locale. Enjoy live music by PJ Project, prizes and much more – all in the company of friends, while supporting a great community organization. Tickets are on sale now. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit
Saturday, April 12th, from 8:30am to 4:30pm: Youth Mental Health First Aid – A Community Training Open to the Public. Learn about risk factors and warning signs of a variety of mental health challenges common among adolescents. Learn how to assess for risk of suicide or harm, how to listen nonjudgmentally, give reassurance and information, encourage appropriate professional help, and encourage self-help and other support strategies. Location tbd. Registration required. $25 donation suggested. For more information, contact Patty Contente (617) 625-6600, x4325 or
· 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 24th: School Committee Meeting for Long Range Planning
· Monday, March 24th: Somerville High School College Admissions Panel
· Wednesday, March 26th – Friday, March 28th: Kennedy PTA/Scholastic Book Fair
· Friday, March 28th: Somerville High School Multicultural Fair
· Friday, March 28th: Teen Cookie Stamp Workshop – Part 1
· Wednesday, April 2nd: CyberSafety & Your Child
· Monday, April 7th: Managing Time and Energy with Children on the Autism Spectrum
· Thursday, April 10th: Career Fair at Somerville High School

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