Connections: A Newsletter from the Somerville Public Schools – October 17, 2014


A couple of unexpected ‘summer’ days may lead to a beautiful weekend, just in time for Somerville’s final SomerStreets event of the year – Monster Mashed Up on Sunday. Also mark your calendars for El Sistema’s annual Harvest Concert Tuesday night, Somerville High School’s College Fair on Wednesday, and the Highlanders’ Football Homecoming Game next Friday.

News & Notes

Somerville High School Hosts 20th Annual College Fair
Somerville High School’s Guidance and College and Career Readiness staffs invite all high school students to the 20th Annual Somerville High School College Fair, scheduled for Wednesday, October 22, 2014, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the SHS Field House (81 Highland Avenue). Admissions representatives from more than 60 colleges from around the country will be on hand to provide information to students and parents/guardians. This annual event offers students a great opportunity to learn more about the admissions process, school culture, and degree programs offered by a variety of local and national colleges and universities in a centralized location. All high school students are encouraged to attend!

Harvest Concert, ‘Musicians with a Mission,’ and a Very Special Performance
El Sistema Somerville’s first concert of the 2014-2015 season, the annual El Sistema Harvest Concert, takes place on Tuesday, October 21st at 7:00pm in the East Somerville Community School Auditorium. Works to be performed by El Sistema Somerville students, mentors, community ensemble and faculty include fiddle, fun, and folk pieces to celebrate the harvest season. (Harvest Concert Flier by El Sistema Somerville violist, Zia Halawa.)

On Saturday, September 20th, two El Sistema Somerville students performed with the Longy Side-by-Side orchestra at Bard College, in honor of Maestro José Antonio Abreu. During the event, Maestro Abreu was awarded an honorary doctorate and addressed the students with caring, inspiring remarks.

Thanks to funding support from the Mifflin Memorial Fund, El Sistema Somerville is launching “Musicians with a Mission,” an initiative that places skilled professional musicians with outstanding young student musicians for weekly private lessons. All El Sistema Somerville students are eligible to participate in the program, which will serve an estimated 20 students who will be selected through an audition process that evaluates merit, need, and work ethic. El Sistema Somerville will accept applications and hire ten professional musicians to provide weekly private lessons throughout the 2014-2015 school year. Interested musicians are invited to send a letter of inquiry by November 1, 2014 to Diane Cline at

SPS Volunteer Spotlight: SHS Students Serve at SFLC Donations Center
Five hard-working Somerville High School students spent their day off from school last Friday volunteering at the Somerville Family Learning Collaborative. Students LeighAnn Nguyen, Connie Chan, Mandeep Kaur, Camille Chan and Joanne Simon organized coats, clothing, books and toys for the donations center at the SFLC. Donations will go to Somerville families in need this winter. Special thanks to Tania Buonopane, SHS Community Service Club Director, and Regina Bertholdo, Director of the Parent Information Center for making this meaningful service opportunity possible. Students in the after school SHS Community Service Club gain valuable community service learning experience through their work and service with local organizations. To share a community service opportunity, email: or call 617.629.5475. Visit for a listing of service projects that support our schools and community.

Somerville Adult Evening School Opportunities
Registration for Somerville Adult Evening School classes is under way. Don’t delay. Register online at, or in person at Somerville High School Main Office (81 Highland Avenue) on Tuesday and Thursday nights only, 6-9pm. For more information, contact Evening School Principal Sophia Carafotes at (617) 628-2594 or Sign up now for:
· Zumba for FREE @ Somerville High School Thursday, October 23rd, 6-7 pm. If you like this class, join us for 5 classes for $30; Walk-ins: $7/class and $5 for seniors/students;
· YOGA, Thursday nights, 7-8 pm, 5 classes $30; Walk-ins: $7/class & $5 for seniors/ students
· Sewing, Thursday nights, 6-8:30 pm, $165 for 10 weeks, bring a project or clothes needing repair
· English as a Second Language (ESL), Thursday nights, 6-8 pm, $240 includes workbook
· Intro to Computers, Tuesday nights, 6-8 pm, $165
· Driver’s Ed Class, Tuesday and Thursday nights, 6-9 pm; 5 weeks $60 initial registration fee
· Academic Online Recovery: Algebra, Biology, English, Geometry, History

Current Health Alerts
Enterovirus D68: Every year, millions of children across the country experience health problems caused by one of various enterovirus infections, showing symptoms that can include coughing, sneezing, and fever. This year, Enterovirus D-68, has also been associated with severe respiratory illness. Below are some resources from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to help you learn more about EV-D68, and how to keep your child from getting and spreading this virus.
· Web Feature , “What Parents Need to Know About Enterovirus D68”
· Fact sheet for parents , “What Parents Need to Know about Enterovirus D68”
· General questions and answers for the public
· Infographic: Keep Your Child from Getting and Spreading Enterovirus D68

Ebola: Find out the facts about Ebola in the documents below, “Facts about Ebola” and “Ebola Public Health Advisory,” from the CDC and the Massachusetts Department of Health. To learn more about this and other Health Advisories from the Massachusetts Department of Health, visit:
· Facts about Ebola
· Ebola Public Health Advisory

What’s Happening

Sunday, October 19: Monster Mashed Up
Somerville’s final SomerStreets event of 2014 takes place from noon to 4:00 p.m. along Somerville Avenue from Washington to Lowell Streets. The annual Monster Mashed-Up @ SomerStreets includes a costume parade, power tool pumpkin carving by artists, Oktoberfest, Milk Row Cemetery tours, live entertainment, a craft fair and other great family activities. The event is free and open to residents of all ages. Visit for more info.

Get rid of old costumes and pick up a new Halloween look this Sunday at the Take a Costume, Leave a Costume table at Monster Masked Up at SomerStreets. Stop by the table near Conway Park to leave your old, but still in good shape costumes behind and to look through what others have dropped off. You can also get on board the M.U.S.C.R.A.T. Storytelling bus at this year’s Monster Mashed Up and take part in phase one of what will be an ongoing, citywide oral history project. Somerville Cable Access Television (SCATV) is teaming up with the Somerville Arts Council to gather stories about Union Square and Somerville Ave., then and now, from noon to 2:30 p.m. Stories will be shared with the public via videos that will air on SCATV and will be available as short videos on SCATV and SAC websites. For more information please contact Erica Jones SCATV, at

Thursday, October 23: Somerville Food Security Coalition Presents “Come to the Table!”
The Somerville Food Security Coalition invites you to join the Somerville community from 5-7pm on October 23rd at the Winter Hill Community Innovation School (115 Sycamore Street, Somerville) for an evening of food and fun! This Food Day celebration will include food demos and tastings, activities for all ages including raffles and awesome prizes, information about food resources in our community, and more. Take home a bag of food. A light meal will be served. This is a FREE event, sponsored by: Somerville Family Learning Collaborative, Somerville Health Foundation, Somerville Public Schools Food & Nutrition Services, Somerville Public Schools PEP Grant, and Tisch College at Tufts University. For more information about the Somerville Food Security Coalition, visit For more information about this event, or to volunteer, contact Kira at

Saturday, October 25: SYSL Invites You to Celebrate the SHS Soccer Program
Celebrate the Somerville High School Soccer program with SYSL (Somerville Youth Soccer League) on October 25th. Join SYSL at Dilboy Stadium on Saturday, October 25th for tailgating and bagels at 11:00 am. SHS Boys Soccer plays Cambridge Rindge and Latin at noon. There will be a half-time competition.

Thursday, October 23: SHS PTSA Texas Roadhouse Fundraiser
The Somerville High School PTSA invites you to a “Dine In” Fundraiser Night to support Somerville High School programs. A percentage of your dine-in check will be donated to the SHS PTSA. Don’t forget to bring this flyer, good from 3:30 to 10:30pm on Thursday, October 23rd.

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, October 20: Healey School Picture Day (5 Meacham Street)
Monday, October 20, 6:00-7:30pm: Friends of Healey Community Meeting at the Healey School (5 Meacham St.)
Tuesday, October 21, 5:30-7:00pm: ESCS School Improvement Council Meeting at the East Somerville Community School Library (50 Cross Street)
Tuesday, October 21, 6:00-7:00pm: Parents Nite Out PTA Fitness Fundraiser at the Kennedy School (5 Cherry St.)
Tuesday, October 21, 7:00pm: El Sistema Harvest Concert at the East Somerville Community School Auditorium (50 Cross Street)
Wednesday, October 22, 6:30-8:30pm: Somerville High School College Fair at the SHS Field House (81 Highland)
Wednesday, October 22, 6:00-7:00pm: Grades 4 & 5 Parent Grade Level Meetings at the Kennedy School Library (5 Cherry Street)
Wednesday, October 22, 7:00-8:00pm: Grades 6, 7 & 8 Parent Grade Level Meetings at the Kennedy School Library (5 Cherry Street)
Thursday, October 23, 5:00-6:00pm: Volunteer Orientation at the Somerville Family Learning Collaborative (Cummings Building, 42 Prescott Street)
Thursday, October 23, 5:00-7:00pm: Come to the Table! Community Event at the Winter Hill Community Innovation School (115 Sycamore Street)
Friday, October 24: National Food Day Celebration
Friday, October 24: ESCS 8th Grade visit to Somerville High School
Friday, October 24, 6:00-8:00pm: Kids Nite Out – Grades K-4 at the Kennedy School Cafeteria (5 Cherry Street)
Friday, October 24, 7:00pm: El Sistema Somerville Presents Arunagiri Perumaale, a free concert of modern Indian Classical music at the East Somerville Community School Auditorium (50 Cross Street)
Friday, October 24, 7:00pm: Somerville High School Homecoming Football Game vs. Medford, at Dilboy Stadium (300 Alewife Brook Parkway)
Saturday, October 25: ACT Testing at Somerville High School (81 Highland Avenue)
Saturday, October 25, 7:00-10:30pm: Highlander Homecoming Dance at the Somerville High School Atrium (81 Highland Avenue)

Upcoming School Committee Meetings
Find the complete School Committee schedule, agendas and meeting minutes (as approved) online at
Monday, October 20, 7:00pm: School Committee Meeting at the Board of Aldermen’s Chambers, Somerville City Hall (93 Highland Avenue)
Monday, October 27, 7:00pm: School Committee Meeting for Personnel at the Central Office Conference Room (42 Cross Street)
Monday, October 27, 7:30pm: School Committee Meeting for Long Range Planning at the Central Office Conference Room (42 Cross Street)

Community News & Events
Saturday, October 25, 2014: Tufts University’s Halloween on the Hill, offered by the Tufts Leonard Carmichael Society. Annual celebration for Somerville and Medford students in grades K-2 held on the Tufts University campus from 10:00am to 3:00pm; registration starts at 9:30am. All students must pre-register by Sunday, October 19th, in order to participate. To register your child, go to and click on the “Halloween on the Hill” tab under Programs. Students will tour a haunted house, watch a fun-filled show, participate in Halloween-themed crafts, and more. Snacks, but not a full lunch, will be provided; please send your child with a bag lunch. While most activities will take place indoors, children will be outside. Please make sure your child has appropriate outerwear.
Poetry October: for Poets & other wondering people. Friends of the Somerville Public Library presents a program for middle school writers and artists. This workshop series for middle school students will be held at the Central branch of the Somerville Public Library (Highland Avenue). All 5th through 8th grade students are welcome. Please bring poems. Email to sign up, or drop in. Wednesday evenings, 6:00-7:15pm on October 8, 15, 22, and 29, 2014. Offered by Kid! Multimedia Magazine (
Arts at the Armory “Youth Arts Arise.” Arts at the Armory is offering a free afterschool arts program for youth ages 11-19. Local artist instructors will lead workshops in a wide range of disciplines in visual and performing arts. Fall semester runs from October 7-December 16, every Tuesday from 3:30-5pm. An additional workshop will be offered every Monday from 3:30-5:00pm starting November 3. The program is free but advance registration is required. Registration forms available at or in person at 191 Highland Avenue, Suite 1A. Older youth have the opportunity to earn a stipend of $16 per workshop to assist the artist instructors. Contact Bridget Galway, or (617) 718-2191, for more information.
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
Team Chase Run/Walk for Autism. Sunday, November 9, 2014 at 10:30am. Race begins and ends at the East End Grille on Broadway & Glen Street in Somerville. Supporting the Team Chase 5K Run/Walk for Autism supports research, autism awareness and advocating for the needs of individuals with autism. Enjoy a fun-filled day walk, run, food, drinks, and a live band while supporting a great cause. Register online ($35 pre-registration fee for the 5K Run and Walk; $40 for late or race-day registration) at Pre-race packet pickup on November 8, from 1-3pm at the East End Grille; race-day pickup at 9:00am.

Looking Ahead
A look at some of the events/activities in the Somerville Public Schools that are taking place in the coming weeks.
Monday, October 27: ESCS 8th Grade visit to Somerville High School
Monday, October 27, 6:30pm: SEPAC District Update, Kennedy School Library
Tuesday, October 28: ESCS 8th Grade visit to Somerville High School
Wednesday, October 29: Half-Day Wednesday (Pre-K 11:30 dismissal; K-8 noon dismissal)
Wednesday, October 29: The Marshmallow Challenge at the Kennedy School
Thursday, October 30: East Somerville Community School Picture Day
Friday, October 31: SHS Winter Sports Online Registration Closes
Friday, October 31: ESCS Harvest Book Character Parade, K-4


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