Connections: A Newsletter from the Somerville Public Schools

It’s almost time for warm apple cider, as the weather turns cooler and the days get shorter.
If your schedule allows you to enjoy lunch in Somerville, consider stopping by Somerville High School’s Highlander Café starting Wednesday for a delicious meal prepared by SHS Culinary Arts students. Read more in this issue of Connections.
News & Notes

Kennedy School Garden Blossoms Under Community Care
Read all about the great Farm to School success story at the Kennedy School in this Somerville Farm to School post by Emily Leadholm, Kennedy School parent.

Middle Grades Community Schools Afterschool Program Starts October 6th
The middle grades Community Schools afterschool program will begin on Monday, October 6th at the Winter Hill Community Innovation School. All middle grades students in the District are invited to consider being part of a great afterschool community of peers. Students are able to participate in Enrichment Clubs designed for their specific age group, and which include service learning and skill-building activities. Homework help and academic tutorial assistance (based on student need) are also part of the middle grades afterschool program. Activity Club options might include Sports Combo, Science Challenge, Rock Climbing, Fencing, Real Robotics, and more. For more information and to download an application for the afterschool program, visit, or call the Community Schools office at (617) 625-6600, x6097.

Somerville High School Guidance Department Hosts “Post High School Night”
The Somerville High School Guidance Department invites SHS seniors and families to attend:

Somerville High School’s Post High School Night
Wednesday, September 24, 2014
7:00 pm — SHS School Library
Please join us to hear information about the following topics:
-Resources to help your student navigate the post-secondary process
-Options for after high school (2-yr/vocational program, 4-yr colleges)
-Student/Family Roles and Responsibilities
-Naviance and the Common Application
-Financial Aid – brief overview

Please mark your calendars for our Financial Aid Night on December 10th, 7pm at SHS.

SHS Highlander Café Opens September 24th
Somerville High School’s Highlander Café will open for business starting Wednesday, September 24th. The Café will be open for lunch throughout the school year on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays from 11:00am-1:00pm. The menu, geared around the state’s Culinary Arts curriculum frameworks, will feature items consistent with current industry trends and that reflect students’ backgrounds. Typically, the menu will feature an appetizer, two soup and two salad options, a specialty sandwich, and three entrees. The Café menu will change every two weeks, providing students the opportunity to obtain skills within each competency while offering customers a chance to sample a wide range of meal options. The first menu of the 2014-2015 season will include classic French Onion soup, wild mushroom and rice soup, Caesar salad, garden salad, buffalo chicken wrap, chicken parmesan with house made (fresh) pasta, house made rolls for the angus burgers, and more. Join us for a delicious meal at a great price.

Superintendent Search Update – Schedule of School Committee Neighborhood Meetings
Members of the Somerville School Committee will hold neighborhood meetings throughout the City over the next two weeks. The main topic of these one-on-one and small-group gatherings is the Superintendent Search Process currently under way, although other topics can be discussed. The meeting schedule is:
· Saturday, September 20th from 9:00 – 10:30 a.m. at Hodgkins Park with School Committee members Carrie Normand and Paul Bockelman.
· Sunday, September 21st from 9:00 – 10:30 a.m. at Albion Park (rain location is 46 Rogers Avenue) with School Committee member Laura Pitone.
· Sunday, September 21st from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at The Biscuit at 406 Washington Street with School Committee member Dan Futrell.
· Sunday, September 21st from 4:00 – 5:00 p.m. at Blessing of the Bay Boathouse with School Committee member Christine Rafal.
· Tuesday, September 23rd from 11:00 a.m. – noon in the Community Room of the Chatham Building at Clarendon Hills with School Committee member Carrie Normand.
· Wednesday, September 24th from 8:30 – 10:00 a.m. at Armory Café at 191 Highland Avenue with School Committee member Laura Pitone.
· Saturday, September 27th from 1:30 – 3:00 p.m. at Chuckie Harris Park with School Committee member Steve Roix. Interpretation will be available in Spanish.
· Sunday, September 28th from 3:00 – 4:30 p.m. at Bloc 11 with School Committee member Adam Sweeting.
· Thursday, October 2nd from 7:30 – 9:00 a.m. at Diesel Café with School Committee member Paul Bockelman.

Input is also being solicited through an online survey, available through September 22nd at: Somerville Superintendent Search Survey.

The Superintendent search process was initiated earlier this week with three search consultants from Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates meeting with dozens of groups and more than 100 people over two full days to solicit input in preparation for development of a Superintendent leadership profile. Three open public meetings were held with one being conducted in Spanish. Information gathered from these meetings and the survey will be used by the consultants to formulate a leadership profile that will be used to recruit qualified candidates for this position. The School Committee will discuss the details of this leadership profile document at its meeting on Thursday, October 2nd at 7:00 p.m. at 42 Cross Street. This meeting is open to the public.

Somerville High School Cafeteria Kitchen Re-opens
Earlier this week, Somerville High School students enjoyed lunch prepared in their newly renovated cafeteria kitchen for the first time since late October of 2012, when damage from Superstorm Sandy shut down the school’s kitchen operations and the school auditorium.

After nearly 2 years of temporary kitchen operations, the Somerville High School Cafeteria is finally operating at full capacity. Work on the school auditorium, which sustained significant damage, is progressing well. Repairs to the auditorium are expected to be completed in the next few weeks.

What’s Happening

Somerville Adult Evening School Registration
Register online for fall Adult Evening School classes at the Somerville Evening School’s new online registration site. (Credit card payments accepted online.) Choose from more than 50 courses, including a 5-week Driver’s Ed course which meets both Tuesday and Thursday nights. Classes begin September 23, 2014, run for 10 weeks, and will meet on Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 6-9pm. Course fees vary, up to $165. Select from a wide range of course offerings, including Ballroom Dancing, Zumba, Sewing, Choral Workshop Jewelry Making, Computers, Culinary, How to Manage Multi-Family Homes, beginner Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Greek, French and English as a Second Language (ESL), The Art of Medical Interpretation, and much more. Questions? Contact Principal Sophia Carafotes at 617-628-2594, visit

DEI 19th Annual Fundraising Supper
The Duhamel Education Initiative hosts its 19th Annual Fundraising Supper on Saturday, September 27, 2014 at 6pm. DEI invites you to join them at the First Church Congregational (89 College Avenue in West Somerville) for a pasta and meatball supper (meat-free alternatives will also be available), and an opportunity to see friends, make new friends, and learn about DEI’s recent accomplishments. Supper will be brought to you courtesy of the Somerville Aldermen, who will be cooking and serving that evening. Ticket donations are $30 per family, $12 adults, $9 seniors, and $6 children. Due to limited seating, reservations are requested by September 20, 2014. Funds raised by DEI support Somerville Public Schools students through their Mini-Grant program for SPS teachers. For more information about this event and about the Duhamel Education Initiative, visit

Upcoming SPS Volunteer Training — Supporting Literacy
Join us for our next training, “Supporting Literacy” on: Wednesday, October 8, 6:00pm-8:00pm at the Argenziano School (290 Washington Street). Learn specific techniques for supporting balanced literacy in the classroom and at home. Strategies for decoding text, developing fluency, supporting reading comprehension, and ways volunteers can support writing will be shared. With Alex Hershey, Instructional English Language Arts Coach, SPS.

This training is open to all new and returning SPS Volunteers, parents and guardians. Interpreters will be available.
To RSVP: or 617.629.5475. To learn more about Somerville Public Schools volunteer opportunities, 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.
Monday, September 22: Healey School Community Gathering (starting at 5:00pm) and Open House (Welcome at 6:15pm), at the Healey School on 5 Meacham Street
Tuesday, September 23, 8:15-9:15am: Brown School PTA New Parent Breakfast (201 Willow Street)
Tuesday, September 23, 2:45-4:15pm: Brown School Council Meeting (201 Willow Street)
Tuesday, September 23, 5:30-7:00pm: ESCS School Improvement Council Meeting at the East Somerville Community School Library (50 Cross Street)
Tuesday, September 23, 6:00-7:30pm: Kennedy School Open House (5 Cherry Street)
Wednesday, September 24, 7:00pm: SHS Seniors’ Post High School Planning Night at the Somerville High School Library (81 Highland Avenue)

Upcoming School Committee Meetings
Find the complete School Committee schedule, agendas and meeting minutes (as approved) online at
Monday, September 22, 7:00pm: School Committee Meeting at the Board of Aldermen’s Chambers, Somerville City Hall (93 Highland Avenue)

Community News & Events
Sunday, September 21, 2:00-4:30pm: Somerville Historic Preservation Commission Union Square Walking Tour. “Union Square: An Intermixing of Industry, Immigration and Innovation.” The tour is free and will step off from Somerville High School, 81 Highland Ave., and include interior tours of the historic St. Anthony’s Church and the new Greentown Labs. Reception at Machu Picchu Restaurant following the tour. Rain date is Sunday, September 28. For more information, contact Brandon Wilson at or (617) 625-6600, x2532.
Saturday, September 27, at 6:00pm: DEI 19th Annual Fundraising Supper. Pasta and Meatball Supper (meat-free alternatives will also be offered), prepared and served by Somerville Aldermen. Ticket donations are $30 per family, $12 adults, $9 seniors, $6 children. First Church Congregational (89 College Avenue, Somerville). Reservations requested. For more information, visit
Sunday, October 5, 11:00am to 3:00pm: Twelfth Annual Tufts Community Day, co-sponsored with the Cities of Somerville and Medford. You’re invited to a day of family fun, performances, BBQ, crafts, and more! All events, including lunch, are FREE. The day’s events will include arts, learning across Tufts, music and dance performances, and community resources. Event will be held On the Green at the top of the hill. Free parking in the garage at 419 Boston Avenue.
Sunday, October 5, 5:30pm to 9:30pm: Feed Your Soul, Nourish Your Community. A benefit party for Hearty Meals for All (HMFA) to be held at Arts at the Armory (191 Highland Avenue). Advance tickets are $20 general/$15 students; $25 general/$20 students at the door. Hearty Meals for All, a Somerville-based non-profit community meal program providing free locally-sourced meals to anyone in need in the community, invites you to celebrate and support your community at this benefit event which will include live music, raffle prizes, craft beer & cocktails, hors d’ouvres and a dance party. Visit for more information.
Arts at the Armory “Youth Arts Arise.” Arts at the Armory is offering a free afterschool arts program for youth ages 11-14. If your child is interested in art, this is a great opportunity for them to learn and explore their creativity in a wide range of artistic mediums. Fall semester runs from October 7-December 16, every Tuesday from 3:30-5pm. The program is free but advance registration is required. Registration forms are available at or in person at 191 Highland Avenue, Suite 1A. Registration deadline is September 23. For more information, contact Bridget Galway, or (617) 718-2191.
Somerville Youth Hockey Registration. Learn to Skate (LTS)/Learn to Play Hockey (LTPH) for ages 4 and up begins October 18, 2014 and runs until early March, 2015. Sign up at the Somerville Rink Mondays and Wednesdays from 6:30-7:30pm until the program begins, then on or after October 18th, from 8-10:30am on Saturdays. $90 registration fee for LTS/LTPH. For more information, visit
Gilman Street Bridge Construction Pedestrian Detours. As part of the Gilman Street Bridge construction, some sidewalks will be closed starting Monday, September 8, 2014 through late next year. Information on sidewalk closings and detours can be found at:

Looking Ahead
A look at some of the events/activities in the Somerville Public Schools that are taking place in the coming weeks.
Monday, September 29, Brown School Picture Day
Wednesday, October 1, Half-Day Wednesday
Thursday, October 2, Corn-Shucking Day, District-wide
Thursday, October 2, ESCS PTA Principal Roundtables
Thursday, October 2, 6:00-7:30pm: Capuano Early Childhood Center Open House

Have something to share with the community? Visit to share your event
with the more than 5,000 people who get this mailing nearly every week!

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