Connections: A Newsletter from the Somerville Public Schools – October 30, 2014


Daylight savings time ends at 2:00 a.m. on Sunday, November 2nd; time to turn our clocks back 1 hour. Reminder that Tuesday, November 4th is a Professional Development Day – there is no school for students that day.
November 4th is also Election Day. Don’t forget to vote!

News & Notes

More than 100 Participate in Uplifting ‘Come to the Table!’ Event on October 23rd
More than 100 people from throughout Somerville enjoyed an incredible evening of food and fun at the 2014 “Come to the Table!” event last week. Families gathered at the Winter Hill Community Innovation School for food demos and tastings, information about food resources, an amazing dinner prepared by “Community Cooks,” and grocery bags full of organic vegetables for each family to take home. This free event was sponsored by the Somerville Food Security Coalition and the Somerville Family Learning Collaborative, with support from Tisch College at Tufts University. For more information about the Somerville Food Security Coalition, visit

Somerville 2014 ‘Hour of Code’
From December 8th to December 14th, more than 2,500 students from Somerville will join over 100 million kids across the world for the largest learning event in history! The ‘Hour of Code’ is an amazing event that gives students the opportunity to learn the basics of computer science. Software and computers are everywhere, and these basics help nurture creativity, problem-solving skills, and prepare students for any future career.

Somerville’s ‘Hour of Code’ event will be led by Somerville Public Schools’ library/media teachers and supported by dozens of volunteers (parents, community members, professionals, and technology partners). Join the adventure during Computer Science Education Week. Learn more about the event at Register to be a volunteer for the Somerville 2014 ‘Hour of Code’ at

Earth Science Students “Explore the Galaxy” at Boston’s Museum of Science
On Monday, October 20, 2014, Ms. Quigley’s Earth Science students explored the Museum of Science in Boston. Their trip included a visit to the Planetarium show, “Explore the Galaxy”, which ended up being an incredible hit among students. In fact, when asked what they had learned during the field trip, more than half of Ms. Quigley’s Earth Science students stated that they learned that red stars are cooler and larger than hotter and smaller blue stars. Here are some additional reflections from students on their recent experience at the Museum of Science:
· The “amount of socializing you do relates to the size of your amygdala.” — E.B.
· M.S. learned “the reasons why Pluto isn’t a planet.”
· “Light can be used to make objects appear solid.” – M.A.
· “I learned that ‘nano’ is everything, just on a smaller scale.” — N.V.

Students’ curiosity was piqued, and some of the excellent questions they asked included:
· “What would happen if earth lost its rotational movement?” — B.Saini
· “Would time exist without light?” — T.J.
· “What is science but an area of study filled with endless questions and curiosity?” – Z.M.

What’s Happening

Wednesday, November 5th: “Parents and Teachers as Partners”
In this Somerville Family Learning Collaborative (SFLC) workshop, meet with other Somerville families to discuss communicating with your child’s teachers about setting learning goals and how to support student success at home. The workshop is from 6:30-7:30pm at the Winter Hill Community Innovation School (115 Sycamore Street). Presenter: Meghan Bouchard, SFLC Program Liaison.

Adult Evening School Registration
From Zumba to Driver’s Ed, Somerville’s Adult Evening School offers you a chance to polish up on a skill or learn a new one. Visit for a list of current course offerings and to register. Classes meet at Somerville High School (81 Highland Ave.). Questions? Call Evening School Principal Sophia Carafotes at (617) 628-2594. Here’s a sample of what you can enjoy:
Classes that meet both Tuesday and Thursday nights:
· Drivers Ed – Register Thursday night, October 30 for $60, from 6-8 pm. Class meets 10 nights (Nov. 6, 13, 18, 20, Dec. 2, 4, 9, 11, 16, & 18). Hurry to register before next year when fees will go up.
Tuesday night classes:
· Introduction to Computers, 6:00-8:00 p.m. for 5 weeks, $90
Thursday night classes:
· ZUMBA 6:00-7:00 pm; $7 walk-in or 5 classes for $30
· YOGA 7:15-8:15 pm; $7 walk-in or 5 classes for $30 (bring a mat)
· Sewing 6-8:30 pm; $90 for 5 weeks or $165 for 10 weeks (bring a project or pattern)
· ESL 6:00-7:30 pm; $90 plus an additional fee for the textbook
Stay tuned for Holiday Gifts…………Give a gift of educational fun for everyone on your gift list!

SFLC Benefit Night
Join the Somerville Family Learning Collaborative (SFLC) for a Benefit Night at Flatbread Pizza on Tuesday, November 11th to help support SFLC playgroups and family events. A donation will be made with every purchase (dine-in and take-out) at Flatbread Pizza at Sacco’s Bowl Haven from 5:00pm until closing.

Save the Date – Saturday, November 15th: Early Childhood Fair – Family Literacy Celebration
Somerville families are invited to celebrate Family Literacy Month at the 2014 Early Childhood Fair – Family Literacy Celebration, which will be held on Saturday, November 15th, 10:00am to noon at the Arthur D. Healey School Gymnasium. More than 40 early education and care schools, programs, providers and other local community agencies will be on hand to share information and resources, and offer a variety of literacy activities. This is free early childhood family event. See you there!

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, October 31: Healey Grade 7/8 Field Trip to local colleges
Friday, October 31: Healey Lunchtime Concert, Juan Pedraza — Peruvian Salsa, at the Healey School Cafeteria (5 Meacham Street)
Friday, October 31: Winter Sports Online Registration Closes
Friday, October 31: ESCS 7th Grade Field Trip to Biogen IDEC (Weaver)
Friday, October 31: WSNS 6th Grade Field Trip to Museum of Science
Friday, October 31, 1:00-2:15pm: ESCS K-4 Harvest Book Character Parade from East Somerville Community School to Windsor House
Monday, November 3: ESCS 6th Grade Field Trip to Biogen IDEC (Caraballo and Spence)
Monday, November 3, 11:00am-1:00pm: A Tale of Two Apples at the Argenziano School (290 Washington Street)
Monday, November 3, 9:00-9:40am: ESCS Assembly: Energy Guys at the East Somerville Community School Auditorium (50 Cross Street)
Monday, November 3, 6:00pm: Movie Night at the Healey School Library (5 Meacham Street)
Tuesday, November 4: Professional Development Day – NO SCHOOL for STUDENTS
Wednesday, November 5, 1:45-2:15pm: NSTAR Assembly for Grades 3-5 at the West Somerville Neighborhood School (177 Powderhouse Blvd.)
Wednesday, November 5, 6:30-7:30pm: SFLC Workshop-Parents and Teachers as Partners, at the Winter Hill Community Innovation School (115 Sycamore Street)
Thursday, November 6, 8:15-9:15am: ESCS PTA Principal Roundtable, ESCS Afterschool Room – 165 (50 Cross St.)
Thursday, November 6, 6:00-7:00pm: ESCS PTA Principal Roundtable, ESCS Afterschool Room – 165 (50 Cross St.)
Friday, November 7: WSNS Leader of the Pack Hat Day and surprise treat for being a Level 1 school, at the West Somerville Neighborhood School (177 Powderhouse Blvd.)
Saturday, November 8: SAT Reasoning & SAT Subject Tests at Somerville High School (81 Highland Avenue)

Upcoming School Committee Meetings
Find the complete School Committee schedule, agendas and meeting minutes (as approved) online at
Monday, November 3, 6:00-7:00pm: Rules Management Subcommittee Meeting at the 3rd Floor Conference Room, Somerville City Hall (93 Highland Avenue)
Monday, November 3, 7:00pm: School Committee Meeting at the Board of Aldermen’s Chambers, Somerville City Hall (93 Highland Avenue)
Monday, November 10, 6:00pm: Finance & Facilities Subcommittee Meeting at the Central Office Conference Room (42 Cross Street)

Community News & Events
October 30, 2014, 5:30-9:00pm: ‘Capable Somerville 2014’. This unique event celebrates National Disability Employment Awareness Month with an advocacy and arts program featuring presentations by leading disability advocates, performances by talented poets with disabilities, and a demonstration of new technology that aids accessibility. The event, held at City Hall (93 Highland Avenue) will begin with presentations on living and working with a disability from 5:30 to 7:00pm, followed by slam poetry performances by four major figures in the New England slam scene, all individuals with disabilities. Admission is free and refreshments will be provided. Learn more at
October 30, 2014: Haunted Hall at City Hall. Halloween Fun at City Hall Concourse from 6 to 8 p.m. The family-friendly event will feature a costumed Halloween Stroll, safe Trick-or-Treating inside City Hall, games and activities, refreshments, a Haunted Walkway tour, and more. Young attendees are also invited to participate in the annual “Halloween Stroll,” relocated from the Community Path for this event, stepping off at 6:15 p.m. Costumes are encouraged for all ages, and all “haunted” elements will be appropriate for attendees of all ages. For more information, contact Jackie Rossetti at 617-625-6600 ext 2614, or
October 31 and November 1, 2014: Armory of Horror at Arts of the Armory. Family Day (November 1st) geared for kids, with special activities to celebrate Halloween in a cool and fun place. A special “lights on” backstage tour will show folks all the secrets lurking in the shadows and shed light on how a Haunted House is produced! The Armory of Horror will be open on October 31st and November 1st from 6pm to 10pm. Tickets are $20 for adults and $12 for kids. Family day is November 1st from noon to 4pm and tickets are $5!
Autism Waiver Program: November 7 through November 21, 2014
The Autism Division at the Department of Developmental Services will soon hold an open enrollment period for the Autism Waiver Program. This program, made possible through the use of federal/state funds, provides intensive in-home and ancillary supports for children under age nine with a diagnosis of autism. Children must also be on or able to obtain MassHealth Standard Insurance, which is at or below 150% of the Federal Poverty Level. The open enrollment period begins November 7th and ends November 21st. Applications are only accepted during this window. Please see the links below for more information. Translated applications are available as well on the Massachusetts Advocates for Children (MAC) website below.
Sunday, November 2, 2014, 12:00-4:00pm: Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) Family Event. Experience the customs that make this holiday a joyful celebration, at the Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology, 11 Divinity Avenue in Cambridge. Families can enjoy traditional snacks, folk dance, crafts, and music in museum galleries. Decorate a sugar skull, peruse folk art for sale, or design a message to place on an altar. Free parking available at the 52 Oxford Street Garage. Event is free with museum admission; sugar skull craft $5 extra. Day of the Dead Evening Celebration on Saturday, November 1st. Advance tickets required. For more information: (617) 496-1027 or
Thursday, November 6, 2014, 6:00-7:30pm: Restorative Justice. Learn how to support Somerville restorative justice efforts. Find out about current strategies in the community and share what you’re doing to get more support. Network opportunity with friendly restorative justice folks. Follow the Somerville Commissions work and events on Facebook at
Friday, November 7, 2014: Tufts Dance Program Presents ‘Dances at Noon’, from noon to 1:00pm in the Jackson Gym Dance Lab at 50 Talbot Avenue on the Medford/Somerville Campus. Join members of Boston’s professional dance community in shared performances, featuring new works and works-in-progress in an informal studio setting. Events include a post-performance discussion with the choreographers and dancers. This event is free and open to the public. Parking behind the Aidekman Arts Center – Cohen Lot (accessible via College Ave.)
Saturdays, November 8 and 22, 2014: Tufts Community Music Concerts. Tufts Community Music invites you to their November Community Music concerts for families and children ages 5 and up. Concerts will be held at Distler Hall in the Granoff Music Center on the Tufts University Campus (20 Talbot Ave.). For more information, visit, or call (617) 627-3679. Concerts are free and open to the public!
· Saturday, November 8, 1:00pm: Kiniwe With Attah Poku
· Saturday, November 22, 1:00pm: Seasons of the Year; Tufts University Wind Ensemble
Saturday, November 8, 2014, 10:00am to noon: Somerville Bulb Blitz. Join the City of Somerville for the fourth annual Somerville Bulb Blitz on Saturday, Nov. 8 and help prepare your neighborhood for a bright and colorful spring 2015! From 10 a.m. to noon, residents of all ages will gather at public spaces throughout the City to plant tulip and daffodil bulbs in anticipation of the 2015 spring season. Participants should bring their own tools (bulb planters, shovels, hoes, gloves, etc.). Since 2011, volunteers have planted more than 9,150 bulbs citywide. For more information, including locations, visit, or contact Luisa Oliveira at, or 617-625-6600 ext. 2529.
Sunday, November 9, 2014, 10:30am: Team Chase Run/Walk for Autism. 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
Arts at the Armory “Youth Arts Arise.” Free afterschool arts program for youth ages 11-19. Tuesdays, October 7-December 16, 3:30-5pm. Every Monday, 3:30-5:00pm starting November 3. Free, but advance registration is required. Registration forms available at or in person at 191 Highland Ave., Suite 1A. 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 started October 18, 2014 and runs until early March, 2015. Sign up at the Somerville Rink 8-10:30am on Saturday. $90 registration fee for LTS/LTPH. For more information, visit
Astronomy for Everyone: The Size & Scale of the Universe. The Somerville Public Library invites you to Star Tour 2014 on Thursday, December 4th, 7:00-8:30pm at the Central Library (79 Highland Ave.). Join Kevin Manning, astronomer, author, and former NASA consultant, for a spectacular indoor presentation, “Astronomy for Everyone: Size & Scale of the Universe.” Afterwards, weather permitting, participants will have an opportunity to view celestial objects in the night sky through a powerful telescope. For more information, visit:

Looking Ahead
A look at some of the events/activities in the Somerville Public Schools that are taking place in the coming weeks.
Monday, November 10: ESCS 6th Grade Field Trip to Biogen (Vozella and MacMartine)
Monday, November 10, A Tale of Two Apples at the Healey School
Monday, November 10: SPED PAC Business Meeting
Tuesday, November 11: Veteran’s Day: School Holiday
Wednesday, November 12: SHS School Improvement Council Meeting
Thursday, November 13: ESCS 6th Grade Field Trip to Biogen (Revert)
Thursday, November 13: ESCS Quarterly PTA Meeting
Friday, November 14: Brown PTA Swim Night
Saturday, November 15: Early Childhood Fair – Family Literacy Celebration

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