Connections: A Newsletter from the Somerville Public Schools – November 14, 2014



Join us on Saturday for the 2014 Early Childhood Fair – Family Literacy Celebration. Healey School Gymnasium
from 10am to noon. Bring lots of smiles and a sense of adventure!

News & Notes

Early Childhood Fair – Family Literacy Celebration Happens this Saturday
Somerville families are invited to join their neighbors, make new friends, and celebrate Family Literacy Month this Saturday, November 15th, at the 2014 Early Childhood Fair – Family Literacy Celebration. The event takes place at the Arthur D. Healey School Gymnasium from 10:00 a.m. to noon. Families can learn about a wide range of community resources available to Somerville families with young children, explore books with their children, partake in fun family literacy activities, and meet other parents and friends in the neighborhood. Activities will include arts and crafts, reading activities, ‘Make a Book,’ and even a chance to learn about sea and other creatures. There will be great hands-on activities for everyone. Curious George will be an important part of the day’s events, making his 4th appearance at this annual literacy celebration. Fun activities for children birth to 6 years old will be offered by early education providers and community agencies. Join the fun!

Don’t Forget – Somerville ‘Hour of Code’ is Coming
More than 2,500 students from Somerville will join millions of 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 from December 8th through December 12th, during Computer Science Education Week, 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. Register to be a volunteer for this event at Learn more about the ‘Hour of Code’ at

SHS Graduation Seniors Earn John and Abigail Adams Scholarship Awards
Eighty-four Somerville High School seniors, the largest percentage of SHS graduating seniors in a single class (29%), got an early start to their college journeys by earning John and Abigail Adams Scholarship Program awards. Students were notified earlier this fall of their selection for full scholarship tuition waivers by the Department of Education, to attend a participating Massachusetts public institution of higher education.

Recipients of a John and Abigail Adams Scholarship award are eligible for a non-need based tuition waiver to one of 27 participating public institutions of higher education in Massachusetts. A list of those institutions is available on the Department of Education website at The award covers the undergraduate tuition rate at the participating institution. Award recipients must enroll full-time in a participating public college or university in order to receive the award, and must maintain a GPA of 3.0 and annually complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for continuing eligibility.

Students must meet certain requirements in order to be eligible for a John and Abigail Adams Scholarship award, including scoring in the Advanced category in either the Mathematics or English Language Arts grade 10 MCAS test and scoring in the Proficient or Advanced category on the second subject. Students must also have a combined MCAS score in Math and ELA that ranks in the District’s top 25%. Visit the for additional eligibility and other information about the John & Abigail Adams Scholarship.

Congratulations to the following SHS seniors, 2015 John and Abigail Adams Scholarship award recipients:
Bianca Aires, Kathlyn Almeida, Isabella Andrade, Michael Andrick, Gongga Baerde, Joao Baptista, Eduardo Barrera, Patrick Boland, Elizabeth Bransfield, Nicole Carney, Tiffany Castro, Connie Chan, Sophina Clough, Isadora Coimbra, Leonardo DaSilva, Grecia de la Gala, Milton Diaz, Nina DiNatale, Kaitlan Doherty, Nifashe Enatah, Carlos Ferreira, Cody Fitzgerald, Eliza Jane Forrest, Pamela Fourtounis, Maxwell Freitas, Nicole Gouveia, Naomi Gutierrez, Alba Haxhimali, Marianne Henriksen, Andy Henriquez, Delmy Hernandez, John Iacovino, Sadia Islam, Tyler Jacques, Kalvin Janik, Terence Jeremie, Sung-Jim Joo, Cathrina Jorge, Ravneet Kaur, Jamie Keegan, Kevin Kriesen, Oneda Lalaj, Gary Lam, Julian Layton, Jonathan Lentini, Graham Lessard-Brandt, Damon Li, Briana Lino, Vanna Loue, Saragrace Magre, Jacob Margolin, Monica Marroquin Argueta, Jonatan Martinez, Gabrielle Mathews, Jennifer Matthews, Rebecca Moffett, Elizabeth Mooney, Osvaldo Moreno, Nicole Mulone, Felipe Neto, Brenda Nguyen, Ryan Nolan, Emily Kate O’Brien, Kayla O’Regan, Vladimir Porokhin, Daniel Portillo, Graciela Portillo-Pena, Lipasha Pradhan, Sparsha Pun, Marisa Rafal, Elliot Rippe, Giovanni Rivera, Laurie Salvato-Sousa, Isaac Saron, Nicole Sentner, Anup Shrestha, Kunjal Shrestha, Austin Silvestri, Arjun Singh, Elizabeth Sousa, Ethan Sweeting, Bruno Urils, Arlin Varela, and Hayley Williams.

What’s Happening

Monday, November 17: Somerville High School Auditorium Reopening Ceremony
Join Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone, Superintendent of Schools Tony Pierantozzi, Somerville High School Headmaster John Oteri, and members of the Board of Aldermen and School Committee on Monday, November 17, at 6 p.m. for the reopening ceremony of the Centennial Auditorium at Somerville High School. The brief ceremony on Monday will include a short speaking program, and entertainment by the Somerville High School Orchestra, Drumline, and Chorus.

Tuesday, November 18: Strategies to Prevent Bullying of Students with Disabilities
Learn about the Massachusetts Anti-Bullying Law, school efforts to create safe and supportive school environments, and new requirements for IEP teams. Presenter: Johanne Pino, Massachusetts Advocates for Special Needs. Tuesday, November 18, 6:30pm at the Kennedy School Library (5 Cherry Street).

Wed. & Thursday, Nov. 19 & 20: SCALE Adult Basic Education (ABE) Program Orientation
SCALE’s basic education program teaches reading, writing and math skills in addition to providing the academic skills needed to take and pass the HiSET. SCALE has scheduled the following two ABE dates:
· Wednesday, November 19 , 2014, 6:30pm to 8:00pm
· Thursday, November 20, 2014, 9:00am to 11:00am
Both Orientations will be held at 167 Holland Street in Somerville, Ma 02144.
Registration Required. Please call (617) 629-5500 to register.

Happening Now: Next Wave/Full Circle Holiday Wreath Fundraiser
It’s that time again! Next Wave/Full Circle is selling beautiful 14” balsam wreaths with red velvet bows for just $15 apiece. All money raised through this annual fundraising event goes directly to fund student activities, field trips, and incentives for Next Wave’s and Full Circle’s reward system. Contact Agnes Gallant ( to place your order, or if you have any questions about this fundraiser. Make checks payable to “Next Wave/Full Circle” and send c/o Agnes Gallant at Next Wave/Full Circle, 8 Bonair Street, Somerville MA 02145.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014: Middle School Student Publishing Workshop
Kid! multimedia magazine presents a publishing workshop for middle school writers. Are you a middle school student (around 10-14 years old) who writes? Do you think some of it is “good enough” to be shared by publishing it? Kid! magazine is interested in helping (and has helped) kids to publish their poetry, fiction, nonfiction and magazine features, both literary and popular. The Middle School Student Publishing Workshop will be held Wednesday, November 19, 2014 and/or Thursday, December 11, 2014 from 6-8pm at the Somerville Public Library (Central Library) on Highland Avenue. Please bring copies of your work. To submit your writing, bring both hard copy and a thumb drive with your work in an e-file for download. If you are unable to do both, then bring one or the other. Talented illustration artists are welcome as well – please bring copies of your work to submit, or samples of your work if you are interested in an illustration assignment. Check out Kid! at

Ongoing: Adult Evening School Registration
Polish up on a skill or learn a new one with a Somerville Adult Evening School course. For a list of current course offerings and to register, visit Classes meet at Somerville High School (81 Highland Ave.). Questions? Call Evening School Principal Sophia Carafotes at (617) 628-2594. Enjoy Zumba, Yoga, Sewing, English as a Second Language, Introduction to Computers, and much more!

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, November 17: Fire Safety – Grades 1 & 2, West Somerville Neighborhood School (177 Powderhouse Blvd.)
Monday-Friday, November 17-21: ESCS PTA Scholastic Book Fair, East Somerville Community School (50 Cross St.)
Monday, November 17, 11:00am-1:00pm: A Tale of Two Apples Farm to School taste test event at the East Somerville Community School Cafeteria (50 Cross Street)
Monday, November 17, 6:00-7:30pm: Kennedy School Parent/Guardian Conference (5 Cherry Street)
Tuesday, November 18, 5:30-7:00pm: School Improvement Council Meeting at the East Somerville Community School (50 Cross Street)
Tuesday, November 18, 6:00-7:30pm: Argenziano School Parent/Guardian Conferences (290 Washington Street)
Tuesday, November 18, 6:30pm: Strategies to Prevent Bullying of Students with Disabilities at the Kennedy School Library (5 Cherry Street)
Tuesday, November 18, 7:00pm: PTA Council Full Council Meeting, Capuano Early Childhood Center (150 Glen St.)
Wednesday, November 19: Mudflats Visits Grade K at the West Somerville Neighborhood School (177 Powderhouse Blvd.)
Wednesday, November 19, 6:00-7:30pm: Next Wave/Full Circle Parent/Guardian Conferences (8 Bonair Street)
Wednesday, November 19, 6:00-7:30pm: Winter Hill Community Innovation School Parent/Guardian Conferences (115 Sycamore Street)
Wednesday, November 19, 6:00-8:30pm: SCALE Adult Basic Education Program Orientation (167 Holland)
Wednesday, November 19, 7:00-8:30pm: Somerville High School Parent/Guardian Conferences (81 Highland Ave.)
Thursday, November 20, 9:00-11:00am: SCALE Adult Basic Education Program Orientation (167 Holland)
Thursday, November 20, 6:00-7:30pm: Healey School Parent/Guardian Conferences (5 Meacham Street)
Thursday, November 20, 6:00-7:30pm: Friends of the Healey Community Meeting at the Healey School Library (5 Meacham Street)

Upcoming School Committee Meetings
Find the complete School Committee schedule, agendas and meeting minutes (as approved) online at
Monday, November 17, 7:00pm: School Committee Meeting at the Board of Aldermen’s Chambers, Somerville City Hall (93 Highland Avenue)
Wednesday, November 19, 7:00pm: School Committee Meeting for Personnel – Superintendent Search, Central Office Conference Room (42 Cross Street)
Thursday, November 20, 7:00pm: Educational Programs and Instruction Subcommittee Meeting, Central Office Conference Room (42 Cross Street)

Community News & Events
Autism Waiver Program: Now through November 21, 2014
Open enrollment period for the Autism Waiver Program. This programprovides 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. Open enrollment through Nov. 21. Please see the links below for more information. Translated applications are available as well on the Massachusetts Advocates for Children (MAC) website below.
Saturday, November 22, 2014: Tufts Community Music Concert, “Seasons of the Year: Tufts University Wind Ensemble”. November Community Music concert for families and children ages 5 and up. Concert 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!
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 branch (79 Highland Avenue). Join Kevin Manning, astronomer, author, and former NASA consultant, for a spectacular indoor presentation, “Astronomy for Everyone: Size & Scale of the Universe.” Weather permitting, participants will also have a chance to view celestial objects in the night sky through a powerful telescope. Click here for more information.
SYSL Now Registering for Spring Season
Somerville Youth Soccer League (SYSL) is now accepting player registrations for their Spring 2015 Soccer Season. Register online and register early 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, November 24: A Tale of Two Applies at the Kennedy School
Tuesday, November 25: Brown School Council Meeting
Tuesday, November 25: East Somerville Community School Parent/Guardian Conferences
Wednesday, November 26: Half Day for All Students
Wednesday, November 26: SHS Freshmen College Experience Panel
Thursday, November 27: THANKSGIVING RECESS – All Schools and District Offices Closed
Thursday, November 27: Highlander Thanksgiving Football Game vs. Cambridge Rindge and Latin
Friday, November 28: THANKSGIVING RECESS – All Schools and District Offices Closed
Saturday, November 29: SHS Crafts Fair sponsored by the Track PAC

Have something to share with the community? Send information to: to share your event.
Include date, time and name of event, along with any additional pertinent information.

Susana Hernandez Morgan
Coordinator of Grant Writing & Information
Somerville Public Schools
42 Cross Street
Somerville, MA 02145
Internal office extension: 6013

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