Connections: A Newsletter from the Somerville Public Schools – May 23, 2014

All Somerville Public Schools and Offices will be CLOSED on Monday, May 26th, in observance of Memorial Day. We hope you have a great weekend and remember those who gave the ultimate sacrifice while serving and protecting our country!

News & Notes
Marcelo Brociner Honored at School Committee Meeting
Somerville High School senior, Marcelo Brociner (pictured here with his father), was recognized by the School Committee at their May 19 meeting, for his exceptional work as the School Committee Student Representative.
Marcelo has been a standout student-athlete and has demonstrated exceptional academic and student leadership skills during his time at SHS. He was captain of the Highlander Varsity Soccer team, which advanced to the MIAA State Division I Championship title game, and was also captain of the SHS Indoor and Outdoor Track teams. He was a Greater Boston League All-Star in Soccer and Track. Marcelo is a member of the Somerville High School National Honor Society.

School Gardens Take Shape as Spring Season Unfolds

The Winter Hill Garden is shaping up nicely! There are plantings of summer squash, zucchini, cucumber and lettuce and an herb bed with parsley, dill and cilantro. Next up: tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, basil and flowers. A kindergarten class recently added sweet peas to the garden, and an afterschool garden club will help maintain and harvest the veggies.
An indoor seedling garden was also recently planted at the Winter Hill School as part of the District’s Farm to School (F2S) program, thanks to a F2S Planning Grant from the USDA. SPS and Groundwork Somerville (GWS) have been busy working with school administrators and teachers to develop outdoor learning opportunities utilizing the school gardens. Fourth grade students will be piloting the GWS Farm to School curriculum in June and will also participate in planting in the garden. Community volunteers and Garden clubs help maintain and keep school gardens a vital part of Somerville students’ learning experiences.
For information on how you can get involved in supporting Somerville School Gardens, contact Karyn Novakowski, Farm to School Project Director, at

Arts Honor Society Holds First Annual Induction Ceremony
Nineteen Somerville High School students made up the first contingent of students to be inducted into the SHS Arts Honor Society earlier this month, in a celebration that included the unveiling of a mural painted by the students, depicting the history of Somerville High School. Students inducted were required to demonstrate leadership, dedication to the arts, a commitment to community service, and overall academic excellence in order to be considered. Congratulations to the following students for comprising the first group of SHS Arts Honor Society inductees:
Seniors: Rachael Berry, Kervinson Exilus, Shianne Harrington, Taylor Machado, Nicole Monolo, David Nwachuku, Aliana Oppedisano, Charlotte Schofield, Anusha Sherchan, Alexandra Wood, Karen Yanes, Francesca Zimmerman;
Juniors: Nifashe Enatah, Eliza Forrest, Alba Haxhimali, Ravneet Kaur, Elizabeth Mooney, Brenda Nguyen, Shreyaj Shrestha

SHS Students Preparing for College and Career
Read about how Somerville High School students in the Center for Career and Technical Education are getting college and career ready, thanks to the support of great community partners like Tufts University. The SHS Dental Assisting Program was highlighted in this recent article in Tufts Dental Medicine, a magazine of the Tufts University Dental Alumni Association.

Stand Up, Speak Out Leadership Day
The annual Stand Up, Speak Out (SUSO) Leadership Day for middle school students was held on Friday, May 2nd at Somerville High School. Facilitated by Mickey Corso and Brian Connelly of the Quaglia Institute for Student Aspirations and led by a dozen students from Somerville High School’s Culture Committee, 75 students from the District’s K-8 schools participated in a variety of workshops and activities centered on leadership, team building and values clarification. Accompanied by an Aspiration adviser from each school, the students played games, attended workshops and compared notes about their year-long student voice activities. Stand Up, Speak Out once again served as a fun and exciting capstone activity for the year’s aspirations projects.

SPS Volunteers Matter
Are you a Volunteer with Somerville Public Schools? Thank you for serving and for supporting our students and staff this year! We sincerely appreciate your time and commitment, and hope you can offer us just a little more of your time to help demonstrate how volunteers impact student learning. We now have 168 Volunteers in our VolunteerMatters database, but you must log in your hours for every session to be counted!
If you are a Volunteer providing academic support (tutor, homework helper, reader, including before and after school tutors) and have not registered in VolunteerMatters, please visit: and see Apply Online to register on our volunteer system. Here is why we’re asking you to do this:
· To provide accurate information about volunteers and how they serve in our schools;

· To help us determine how volunteers impact student learning and performance;

· To help us identify gaps where volunteers could further support student learning and enrichment;

· To help us better communicate with volunteers, provide volunteers with updates about their impact, share training resources, and extend our appreciation!

We are grateful for each and every volunteer who served this school year. Whether you served on a PTA or school council, read with a student, tutored, helped with a field trip, fundraised, or shared a skill or passion, your engagement helps our students thrive. Schools are now planning their Volunteer Appreciation Events. Please check in with your School’s Volunteer Coordinator or main offices to learn about your school’s event. We hope to see you there!

Help prevent summer learning loss and volunteer with Somerville Public Schools this summer. Come read, tutor, play math games, play music, and have fun learning with a student. To learn more, join us at:
SPS Summer Volunteer Orientation
Thursday, June 19, 6:00pm-7:00pm at the Parent Information Center, 42 Prescott Street, Somerville, MA 02143
RSVP: or 617-629-5475.
Visit for ways you can serve and inspire.

What’s Happening

Thursday, May 29th: SFLC PAC End-of-Year Family Picnic
Families are invited to the Somerville Family Learning Collaborative PAC End-of-Year Family Picnic on Thursday, May 29th, 5:30-7pm at the Argenziano School Playground and Cafeteria. Bring dinner for your family and plan to spend a fun evening enjoying family-friendly activities in the company of friends and neighbors. Bring a blanket or beach chairs to sit outside, or enjoy your family picnic meal in the school cafeteria. For more information: (617) 625-6600, x6966.

Sunday, June 1st: Duhamel Education Initiative Annual Walk
The Duhamel Education Initiative (DEI) invites all willing walkers to join them in supporting the Somerville Public Schools by participating in the DEI Annual Walk on Sunday, June 1, 2014, at Davis Square (near J.P. Licks). The walk kicks off at noon. All students walking are invited to make a poster (on any size poster board) pertaining to Education to carry during the walk. All students walking with a poster will receive a surprise grab bag. Posters will be collected for judging after the walk, and all posters will be displayed at the DEI’s annual Fall Supper. Poster winners will receive an invitation to the Supper and an award. Questions? Please contact Doris McDaniel at (617) 623-3168. For more information about DEI, visit

Saturday, June 7th: Healey School PTA Carnival – Open to All Somerville Schools
The Healey School PTA will be holding a Carnival from 12-4pm on Saturday, June 7, 2014, in the back lot of the Healey School (5 Meacham Street). Rain date is Sunday, June 8, 2014. Students from all Somerville schools are invited to join the fun, which includes a bounce house, music, games/prizes, and more (no rides). Open Air Circus will offer a How to Walk on Stilts workshop from 1-3pm. Come on down and bring your family and friends for a fun-filled day!

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, May 26th: NO SCHOOL in Observance of Memorial Day
Tuesday, May 27th: Healey Grade 3 Field Trip to Harvard Museum of History
Wednesday, May 28th, at 9:00am: Healey School K-2 Spring Concert, at the Healey School (5 Meacham Street); Parent Coffee 8:30-9:00am before the concert
Wednesday, May 28th, from 9:30am-1:30pm: ESCS Garden Planting Day, at the East Somerville Community School (50 Cross Street)
Wednesday, May 28th: Healey Grade 6 Field Trip to Otis House
Wednesday, May 28th: Brown School Red Sox Night
Wednesday, May 28th, at 6:30pm: SHS Scholarship Awards Night, at the East Somerville Community School Auditorium (50 Cross Street)
Wednesday, May 28th, 6:30-8:00pm: Argenziano PTA/Parent Aspirations Meeting, at the Argenziano School Cafeteria (290 Washington Street)
Thursday, May 29th: Healey Grades 1 & 6 Field Trip to Mystic River
Thursday, May 29th, at 9:00am: WSNS Annual Spring Concert, at the West Somerville Neighborhood School (177 Powderhouse Boulevard)
Thursday, May 29th, 2:45-3:30pm: Somerville Pride Flag Raising 2014, in front of Somerville High School and Somerville City Hall
Thursday, May 29th, 5:30-7:00pm: SFLC End of the Year Picnic/Concert, at the Cummings School (42 Prescott Street)
Friday, May 30th, at 8:10am: Healey Class Breakfast – Ms. Flores
Friday, May 30th: Healey Lunch-time Concert – Linda Viens

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