Connections: A Newsletter from the Somerville Public Schools – March 21, 2014

Spring has sprung—for the time being at least! Enjoy the warmer weather this weekend, and make plans to stop in at
the Career & Technical Education Fair at SHS, 9am-noon on Saturday.
News & Notes

Students Showcase Projects at Local, Regional Science Fairs
Somerville High School students in grades 9-12 worked on their science projects for months in preparation for the SHS Science Fair on Thursday, March 6, 2014, and for an opportunity to test their scientific theories at the Region IV Science Fair nine days later. In the end, 41 Somerville students advanced to last week’s Region IV competition held at Somerville High, including the teams of Nickolas Eliadis/Nicole Gouveia and Ariela Esmurria/Joy Jarnagin who earned first-place honors at the SHS fair.

The 38th annual Region IV Science Fair took place on Saturday, March 15th in the Field House at Somerville High School. More than 150 students representing 95 projects from 12 schools participated in the fair. The first place prize, which includes an all-expense paid trip to the 2014 International Science and Engineering Fair in Los Angeles, went to Mark Landergan of Newburyport High School. Seventeen students from Somerville High, who worked on ten unique projects, placed in the fair and earned entry into the Massachusetts State Science and Engineering Fair, which will be held at MIT on May 1-3, 2014. The highest scoring Somerville High School project at the Region IV Fair was “Use of GFP to Measure Glucose” by Sadia Islam. Sadia earned a special $250 award from Tufts University, which was presented to her by Dr. Christopher Swan, Associate Dean for Undergraduate Curriculum Development in the School of Engineering and Associate Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering from Tufts University.

The Region IV Science Fair Committee thanks all students, parents, sponsors, judges, and teachers who participated in and contributed to the fair!

Four SHS Students Named ‘Commended Students’ in 2014 National Merit Scholar Program
Somerville High School students Gabriel S. Lagounov, Robert Bingham, Miles W. Bain and Celine Lessard-Brandt earned “Commended Student” recognition in the 2014 National Merit Scholarship Program. They are among 34,000 Commended Students throughout the United States recognized by the National Merit Scholarship Program after having placed among the top 5% of more than 1.5 million students who entered the 2014 competition by taking the 2012 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®).

Plenty of Fun and Learning at Annual Pi Night Celebration
Approximately 350 middle grades students, parents/guardians, teachers and volunteers enjoyed an active evening of exploring, estimating, guessing and testing fun mathematical concepts at the 2014 Pi Night Celebration held at the East Somerville Community School last Friday (3.14). Read all about this annual celebration, sponsored by the Somerville Mathematics Fund, at

Student-run Café features Delicious Menu Options
Did you know you can get a delicious lunch at Somerville High School? The Highlander Café sells a full lunch menu at a restaurant run by Culinary Arts students from the Career and Technical Education program. The Café is open Wednesday through Friday afternoons. Expect dishes like Scallops del Rey and delicious desserts made by the Baking students. If you can’t make it to the restaurant, order frozen soups or frozen dinners to take with you for an easy dinner in with the family. Get a first-hand look at this and other outstanding Career and Technical Education programs at the CTE Open House Saturday (3/22), 9a-noon at Somerville High School.
Healey Kindergarten Service Learning Project
Healey School’s Kindergarten classes participated in the “Pennies for Patients” program to benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. After collecting coins for 4 weeks, the Kindergarten students raised $514.75 to support Healey families affected by these diseases. Children in some of the upper grades also collected coins in support of this effort, while the Winter Hill Bank counted the change for the Kindergarten class without imposing a service charge, ensuring that all their hard work went for direct services.

Students Showcase Work at Youth Art Month 2014
Art students from East Somerville Community School under the direction of art teacher, Ms. Huffman, are representing their school and community in this year’s Youth Art Month exhibit at the State Transportation Building. The young ESCS artists with work on display are: Kira Guardia (grade 5), Mariana Marcelino and Roger Marquez (grade 6), Magdalena Tutter (grade 3) and Sylvia Jenkins (grade 2). Artwork from students in grades K-12 from across the Commonwealth has been selected for display. The multi-media exhibit is sponsored by the Massachusetts Art Education Association (MAEA) in conjunction with Youth Art Month, a national celebration that emphasizes the value of art education for all children and encourages support for quality art programs in Massachusetts schools. The Youth Art Month exhibit will be on display at the State Transportation Building, 10 Park Plaza (2nd floor) in downtown Boston and is open to the public weekdays, 9-5 from March 10 through April 25th (closed Patriots Day). Admission is free.

Volunteers Matter at Somerville Public Schools
Are you an aspiring or current Somerville Public Schools Volunteer? Your commitment to our school community is valuable and we’re hoping you will help us show that Volunteers Matter! If you are a weekly volunteer serving as a tutor, homework helper, or providing academic support we want to know! Please self-register on our new volunteer system and help us recognize the great work you’re doing. If you’re interested in joining a great team of volunteers, you can get started here as well. It’s quick and easy!
Active SPS Volunteer will also be asked to log in your volunteer service hours. It takes just 5 minutes to help demonstrate that Volunteers Matter. Thank you for making a positive difference in the lives of Somerville students. For more information about volunteering at the Somerville Public Schools, visit

What’s Happening

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-noon, 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, March 27: Volunteer Orientation for Spring and Summer Volunteers
Spring into action and come learn about spring and summer volunteer opportunities with the Somerville Public Schools at this fun orientation on Thursday, March 27th, 6-7pm at the Parent Information Center (42 Prescott). Volunteers are key partners in our students’ success. Please consider joining us by sharing your time and talents in support of Somerville students. For more information about volunteer opportunities at SPS, visit

Wed., April 2: The Middle School Years – How does a Parent deal with the Changes?
Join us for the final of a 4-part series on The Middle School Years. How does a parent deal with the changes during the middle school years? Hear what Somerville Public Schools’ Jill Charney, School Adjustment Counselor and Jacqueline Brown have to share. Wednesday, April 2nd, 5:30-7:30pm at the Winter Hill Community Innovation School.

Wednesday, April 2: Cybersafety & Your Child
Learn about your child’s cyber activity and how to keep them safe at this important workshop on Wednesday, April 2nd, from 6:00-8:00pm, at the Kennedy School (5 Cherry Street). Learn what your child is able to do online, on their cell phones and laptops and how you can monitor their cyber activity. Pizza and salad will be served from 6:00-6:30pm. Presented by: Rich Melillo, SPS Director of Student Services; Charles LaFauci, SPS Supervisor of Library/Media; Sgt. Scott Whelan, Cyber Forensics, Somerville Police Department; and Cory Mashburn, Director-Office of Prevention, City of Somerville.

Monday, April 7: Autism Awareness Month
Join the discussion on “Managing Time and Energy with Children on the Autism Spectrum” at a Parent/Guardian Discussion Group on Monday, April 7th, 6:30-7:30pm at the Kennedy School Library (5 Cherry Street). Introduction to the evening’s discussion will be by Mary DiGuardia, BCBA, Assistant Director of Special Education. Discussion Moderators will be Home Trainers Kristen Hough and Mackenzie Poulos. Home schedules and routines including leisure time activities will be discussed. Childcare is available and will be provided by Kathleen Houghton, Special Education Recreation Specialist. RSVP by April 3 if you plan on attending and if you will need childcare to: Debby Higgins, SPED PAC Coordinator, (617) 625-6600 x6829 or Please send questions about Home Schedule & Routines and Leisure Time Activities that you would like addressed at the meeting to Debby Higgins. The SPS SPED PAC has assisted in the arrangements for this evening.

Thursday, April 10: Somerville High School Career Fair
Somerville High School students will have an opportunity to learn about various career options at the Somerville High School Career Fair on Thursday, April 10th, 9-11 a.m. at the SHS Atrium. Students will have a chance to interact with business representatives as they proceed from table to table, learning about the skills organizations are looking for in prospective employees, while they explore their career interests. The current slate of businesses participating in the fair represent industries ranging from restaurant, retail and hospitality to electrical, engineering, non-profit services, and much more. For more information about this career fair, contact Russell Chudnofsky, Career Counselor at Somerville High School, at (617) 625-6600, x6176.

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 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-noon: SHS Center for Career & Technical Education Vocational Fair, at Somerville High School (81 Highland Avenue)
Monday, March 24th, from 7:00-9:00pm: SHS College Admissions Panel, in the Somerville High School Library (81 Highland Avenue)
Wednesday, March 26th-Monday, March 31st: Kennedy PTA/Scholastic Book Fair, at the Kennedy School (5 Cherry Street)
Wednesday, March 26th: Argenziano 8th Grade Trip to Biogen Idec
Wednesday, March 26th, from 3:00-4:00pm: Argenziano School Council Meeting, at the Argenziano Conference Room (290 Washington)
Thursday, March 27th: Healey School Grade 8 Field Trip to MIT & Peabody Museums
Thursday, March 27th, from 6:00-7:00pm: Argenziano Parent Math Night, at the Argenziano Cafeteria (290 Washington)
Thursday, March 27th, from 6:00-7:00pm: Volunteer Orientation for Spring and Summer Volunteers, at the Parent Information Center (42 Prescott Street)
Friday, March 28th: Somerville High School Multicultural Fair (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 24th, at 7:00pm: School Committee Meeting for Long Range Planning, in the Central Office Conference Room (42 Cross Street)
Wednesday, March 26th, at 7:00pm: School Committee Meeting for Finance & Facilities, 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.
· 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.
· 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 28th, 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 28th, from 3:00-5:00pm: Teen Cookie Stamp Workshop – Part 1: Teens: Come design and sculpt your own clay cookie stamp in this Mudflat Studio workshop funded by the Somerville Arts Council, free at the Somerville Public Library! Spots are limited to the first 30 teens to show (no registration required).
Once the cookie stamps have been fired, return on Friday, April 4th to collect your cookie stamp and stamp, bake, and exchange cookies.
· Saturday, 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.
· Saturday, March 29th, 10:00am to 4:00pm: Sponsr.Us Ignite, at the Harvard University School of Engineering and Applied Sciences’ Maxwell Dworkin Building. Free one-day conference for high school students interested in learning how to launch their own initiatives and turn their ideas into reality. Students will learn how to launch and improve their own initiatives, participate in hands-on small-group workshops, and hear and learn from industry leaders and experts. For more information and to register, visit
· 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
· Sunday, April 13th, starting at 10:30 a.m.: 5th Annual Shape Up Somerville / Recreation 5K Road Race. Race starts and ends at the Somerville High School concourse, 93 Highland Avenue. The day will begin with a 1-mile children’s “Fun Run” at 10:30 a.m., followed by a 5K adult race & walk at 11:00 a.m. Registration is open to all community members at a price of $5 for youth under age 10 and $20 for adults. Price includes a commemorative t-shirt, refreshments and a celebration immediately following the adult race. A celebration will be held for any interested runners at Casey’s, located at 173 Broadway, Somerville, MA 02145. Register at, or stop by City Hall or the Recreation Department (19 Walnut Street) for printed applications. Checks should be made payable to Somerville Youth and Recreation Foundation (SYRF), and can be mailed or delivered to Somerville Recreation, 19 Walnut Street, Somerville, MA 02143.
Top male and female finishers in each category will receive awards. For additional information, call the Somerville Recreation Department at 617-625-6600 ext. 2980.
· 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 31st: Kennedy Scholastic Book Fair
· Monday, March 31st: Somerville Special Education PAC Meeting
· Tuesday, April 1st: Rotary Readers at the Argenziano
· Wednesday, April 2nd: The Middle School Years: How Does a Parent Deal with the Changes?
· Wednesday, April 2nd: Cybersafety & Your Child
· Wednesday, April 2nd: 1st Annual Band Festival
· Thursday, April 3rd: National Honor Society Inductions
· Thursday, April 3rd: Argenziano Family Math Night PreK-3
· Friday, April 4th: Teen Cookie Stamp Workshop – Part 2
· Friday, April 4th: Junior/Sophomore Gala
· Saturday, April 5th: 14th Annual Rabies Clinic
· Saturday, April 5th: Friends of the Healey Porter Square Books Fundraiser

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.