Connections: A Newsletter from the Somerville Public Schools – December 12, 2014

More amazing musical performances are coming up this week. Please join us!

News & Notes

WSNS Fifth Grade Explorers Lead Parents on a ‘Walk Back in History’
On December 5 at the West Somerville Neighborhood School, parents of Ms. Carafotes’ 5th grade Social Studies classes were led by their students on a walk back in history. Students wore period costumes depicting their chosen explorer and presented Explorer PowerPoint Presentations that contained videos and interesting facts of their famous early North American Explorers. This interdisciplinary project presented students with an opportunity to combine research, writing, media, presentation, and communications skills to take their guests on a world-wide adventure. Students’ presentations included information about the early life of their chosen explorer, information and maps of the routes the explorer traveled, how their explorations were sponsored, what discoveries they made, and other interesting facts about the explorer students unearthed during their research.

The adage that “it takes a village to raise a child” proved to be especially true with this project, which required the support of parents, teachers and students collaborating to create excellent work. Mr. Burch, Mr. Scrima, Mrs. Linehan, and Mrs. Scimemi, all helped with proofreading; School Librarians, Ms. Magil and Ms. Seeberg assisted students with hyperlinking video into their presentations; Mr. O’Connor assisted with providing extra computer time for students to complete their projects. Fourth grade students are being invited to view some of the projects to gain an understanding of what this fifth-grade project entails. Other classes can view the free-hand drawings by students of the explorers and the routes they traveled; drawings are posted on the third floor lockers. Next up for WSNS Grade 5 is a visit to The Commonwealth Museum in January to further their studies in history.

Somerville Hour of Code 2014: Learning the Basics of Coding Proves Fun for Everyone
Thousands of students across the District participated in Somerville’s Hour of Code this week. By the end of the school day today, nearly every student in the District will have participated in an Hour of Code during Computer Science Education Week (December 8-12), thanks to a fantastic volunteer corps working with SPS Library/Media teachers. On Wednesday, Mayor Curtatone and Superintendent Pierantozzi had an opportunity to learn how to code alongside East Somerville Community Schools students. More than 100 volunteers have been part of this great experience. To learn more about Hour of Code, visit

School Committee Selects Mary Skipper as Somerville’s Next Superintendent
In a unanimous vote on Monday evening, December 8, the Somerville School Committee selected Mrs. Mary Skipper as Somerville’s next Superintendent of Schools. Mrs. Skipper currently serves as the Network Superintendent for High Schools for the Boston Public Schools (BPS), where she oversees the district’s 34 high schools serving a student population of 19,500. During her career at BPS, she was the founding headmaster of TechBoston Academy, and has also served as BPS’ Assistant Academic Superintendent for pilot Schools, and Technology Project Manager within the Office of Instructional Technology. She will succeed Superintendent Tony Pierantozzi, who is retiring in July 2015 after 10 years of distinguished service in the Somerville Public Schools (SPS). Learn more about Mrs. Skipper and her selection as SPS’s next Superintendent of Schools at:

What’s Happening

Upcoming School Winter Concerts
Don’t miss your children’s music winter performances. Check the online Calendar of Events ( for winter concert dates, times and locations! Coming up:
· Wednesday, December 17, 2014, 9:15 am: Winter Hill Community Innovation School Winter Concert
· Wednesday, December 17, 2014, 6:00 pm: Kennedy School K-3 Winter Concert
· Thursday, December 18, 2014, 7:00 pm: Somerville High School Winter Concert
· Friday, December 19, 2014, 8:45 am: West Somerville Neighborhood School Winter Concert
· Friday, December 19, 2014, 9:15 am: Healey School Winter Concert
· Monday, December 22, 2014, 6:30 pm: Brown School Winter Concert, at the SHS Auditorium
· Tuesday, December 23, 2014, 9:15 am: Argenziano School Winter Concert

3rd Annual Community in Harmony Concert
The Somerville Public Schools and El Sistema Somerville invite you to an evening of harmony on Monday, December 15, 2014 at the East Somerville Community School Auditorium (50 Cross Street). The 3rd Annual Community in Harmony Concert will feature Somerville musicians of all ages. Doors open at 6:30pm with a Prelude.

Holiday Trees and Wreaths for Sale at Next Wave/Full Circle Tree Lot at Foss Park
It’s that time of year again. The annual Next Wave/Full Circle Holiday Trees and Wreaths Sale is under way at Foss Park. Net proceeds from this annual event benefit the Next Wave/Full Circle Student Activities Fund. Students staff the tree lot (with supervision from their teachers/counselors) and learn valuable work skills.

The lot is open through December 22nd.
Hours vary:
· Afterschool from 4:00 PM through 8:00 PM
· Weekends from 10:00 AM through 8:00 PM.

Watch this video about the Next Full/Full Circle Tree Lot @ Foss Park to learn more.

Somerville High School “Aida” Musical Tickets on Sale
Tickets are available for the Somerville High School production of “Aida.” Three performances of this Elton John/ Tim Rice collaboration are scheduled for February 2015 at Somerville High School’s newly renovated Centennial Auditorium. Performances are at 7:00 PM on February 5th and 6th, and 2:00 PM on February 7th. Ticket prices through December 31, 2014 are: $8.00 for adults, $6 for any PK-12th grade student and any young child not in school who requires his/her own seat; and $6 for senior citizens. Ticket prices will increase to $12 after December 31st.
To purchase tickets, mail a check (payable to SHS Performing Arts) to:
Rosemary Sears
SHS Musical Producer
Somerville High School
81 Highland Avenue
Somerville, MA 02143
Discounted tickets are also available this month through A $1.50/ticket convenience fee is added to online purchases. Theater tickets make great gifts. Pay for your tickets by December 31st, and you’ll pay last year’s prices! Tickets will be mailed out in January. Be sure to indicate the number of Adult, Youth and Senior Citizen tickets you’re ordering on your check. Please contact Rosemary Sears, Producer, at with any questions about this year’s musical production or for ticket purchase information. For information on SHS Musical sponsorship opportunities, visit

Just in Time for the Holidays: Gift Giving Special-10% off All Adult Evening School Classes
Give the gift of education and save! For a list of current Adult Evening School course offerings and to register, visit Classes meet Tuesday and Thursday nights at Somerville High School (81 Highland Avenue). Questions? Call Evening School Principal Sophia Carafotes at (617) 628-2594. Current specials include:
· Zumba Gold: Thursday nights, 6-7pm for the mature; 5 classes for $30; walk-ins $7, $5 for seniors and students; buy this gift for 4 friends, and yours is FREE
· YOGA: Thursday nights, 7-8pm; 5 classes for $30; walk-ins $7, $5 for seniors and students; buy this gift for 4 friends, and yours is FREE
· Sewing: Thursday nights, 6-8:30pm; 10 weeks for $165; bring a project or clothes needing repair
· English as a Second Language (ESL): Learn to speak English; Thursday nights, 6-8pm; $240 includes workbook
· Intro to Computers: Tuesday nights, 6-8pm; $165
· Driver’s Ed Class: Tuesday and Thursday nights, 6-9pm; 5 weeks; $60 initial registration fee
· Real Estate: 40 hours; 6-9pm Tuesday and Thursday nights; $240 includes workbook
· Academic Online Recovery: Algebra, Biology, English, Geometry, History
· Foreign Languages: Beginner classes in conversational: French, Greek, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish
· House and Home: Furniture Making and Basic Home Repairs
· Art and Self Expression: Acrylic Painting, Ballroom Dancing, Cake Decorating, Culinary Arts, Flower Arrangement, Jewelry Making, Knitting, Water Color Painting, Guitar and Afro Blues, Photography
· Much more….Don’t delay! Sign up for classes today.

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, December 15: Holiday Gift Shop at the Winter Hill Community Innovation School (115 Sycamore Street)
Monday, December 15, 6:00-7:30pm: Friends of the Healey Community Meeting at the Healey School Library (5 Meacham Street)
Monday, December 15, 7:00pm: 3rd Annual Community in Harmony Concert at the East Somerville Community School Auditorium (50 Cross Street). Doors open at 6:30pm for a prelude. Concert begins at 7:00pm.
Tuesday, December 16, 5:30-7:00pm: ESCS School Improvement Council Meeting at the East Somerville Community School Library (50 Cross Street).
Tuesday, December 16, 6:00-7:30pm: Brown School Council Meeting (201 Willow Avenue)
Tuesday, December 16, 6:30pm: PTA Council Holiday Celebration at the Healey School (5 Meacham St.)
Wednesday, December 17, 9:15am: WHCIS Grades K-5 Winter Concert at the Winter Hill Community Innovation School Gymnasium (115 Sycamore Street)
Wednesday, December 17, 6:30-7:45pm: Kennedy K-3 Winter Concert at the Kennedy School Cafeteria (5 Cherry St)
Thursday, December 18: WHCIS Grade 8 Field Trip to Frog Pond
Thursday, December 18, 7:00 pm: Somerville High School Winter Concert at the SHS Auditorium (81 Highland Ave.)
Friday, December 19, 8:45am: WSNS Winter Concert at the West Somerville Neighborhood School Cafeteria (177 Powderhouse Blvd.)
Friday, December 19, 9:15am: Healey Winter Concert at the Healey School Cafeteria (5 Meacham St.)
Monday, December 22, 6:30pm: Brown School Winter Concert at the Somerville High School Auditorium (81 Highland Ave.)
Tuesday, December 23: Hat Day at the Winter Hill Community Innovation School
Tuesday, December 23, 9:15-10:45am: Argenziano Winter Concert at the Argenziano School Cafeteria (290 Washington St.)
Wednesday-Friday, December 24 to January 2: Winter Recess

Upcoming Somerville Family Learning Collaborative Workshops and Events
Find a complete list of SFLC events and workshops, and register for upcoming workshops at
Thursday, January 8: Help Me Grow Resources and strategies for families on how to be their child’s first teacher, and referral to supportive services for children who may need extra help. 9:00am-12:00pm at the Cummings School building (42 Prescott Street).
Thursday, January 8: Parent/Guardian Leadership Institute Emerging and existing parent/guardian leaders are invited to share best practices and learn together about family engagement work in our schools. Keynote: Magda Rodriguez, FUSE Manager (Families United with Schools for Education) from Families First. 6:30-8:00pm at the Capuano Early Childhood Center (150 Glen Street).
January 21, 22, 23: Somerville Elementary School Open Houses at all SPS elementary schools. Tour a school, meet the principal, talk to the SFLC Family and Community Liaisons and to other parents. Kindergarten registration begins on Saturday, January 24, 2015 at the Parent Information Center (42 Prescott St.)

Upcoming School Committee Meetings
Find the complete School Committee schedule, agendas and meeting minutes (as approved) online at
Monday, December 15, 7:00pm: School Committee Meeting at the Board of Aldermen’s Chambers, Somerville City Hall (93 Highland Avenue)
Wednesday, December 17, 6:00-7:00pm: School Committee Meeting for Personnel at the Central Office Conference Room (42 Cross Street)

Community News & Events
City of Somerville Holiday Events. Somerville’s popular and festive holiday celebrations return, including the Somerville Arts Council’s Illuminations Tours on Saturday, December 13th. Tours depart from the City Hall concourse beginning at 4:30pm and take attendees aboard trolleys across the city to discover some of the most brightly decorated homes for the holiday season. The ceremonial Menorah lighting is at 5:30pm on December 16th, in honor of the first day of Hanukkah. Click here for more information about these events.
Monday, December 15: SCC Job Readiness Event. 3:30-6:30pm at the Mystic Learning Center (530 Mystic Avenue #103, Somerville). During this Job Readiness Event, the First Source Program will enroll you in a talent bank that employers will use to identify future hires. You will also participate in a workshop to be a more successful job seeker. Call now to reserve your spot: Jorge Colón (617) 776-5931, x232.
Wednesday, December 17: Girl Scouts Information Session. Learn what being a Girl Scout means at this informational session from 5:30-7:30pm at the Somerville Public Library (79 Highland Avenue). Girls in grades K-3 are invited to attend! Adult caregivers will have an opportunity to meet Somerville Girl Scout volunteers and ask questions about how to get involved. To learn more, visit Contact Kate Deming, (617) 352-0147 or at if you have any questions.
Monday, December 22: Youth Arts Arise Fall Showcase Exhibition. Celebrate the achievements of young artists at the Youth Arts Arise Fall Showcase Exhibition, 6-8pm at Arts at the Armory on December 22nd. Youth projects will be on display for friends and family to enjoy. Refreshments will be available.
Youth Arts Arise Workshops! Free art workshops on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, January-March 2015 from 3:30-5:00pm. Classes include filmmaking, collage, and much more! Registration is per semester for all workshops. More information and registration forms are available at Questions? Contact or (617) 718-2191.
Indoor Soccer Clinic at the Somerville High School Gymnasium
This clinic, sponsored by Somerville Recreation and SHS Girls’ Varsity Coach Tony Arias, is designed specifically to improve a player’s individual skill—ball control, dribbling, passing, and scoring in a fun learning environment. Clinic runs Saturdays from 4:00-5:30pm December 13, 2014 to February 14, 2015 (no clinics scheduled for 12/27 or 1/3). For U6, U8, & U10 Girls and Boys. Cost: $50.00 (payable to Somerville Recreation Department).
Contact the Somerville Recreation Dept. (617-625-6600, x2980) for more information regarding this program.
Futsal Pick-up Games at the Somerville High School Gymnasium
Pick-up games, sponsored by Somerville Recreation and Somerville Youth Soccer League (SYSL), will be organized each Saturday based on age and gender (assuming sufficient turnout to charter teams). Volunteer coaches are needed – no prior futsal experience is required. Somerville Rec and SYSL will review game rules with coaches on the first Saturday.
· Saturdays 5:30-6:30 PM (U10 Boys)
· Saturdays 6:30-7:30 PM (U10 & U12 Girls)
· Saturdays 7:30-8:30 PM (U12 Boys)
Players must arrive 15 minutes before their scheduled time so that coaches can organize teams.
No futsal games scheduled for 12/27 or 1/3.
Community Immunization Clinic
A free community vaccination clinic for adults will be held on Wednesday, January 7, 2015 from 8:00am-7:00pm at 6 Kensington Avenue in Somerville, hosted by Smiles By Rosie Family Dentistry in cooperation with Rite Aid Pharmacy. Several health and community organizations will also be available. Snacks and soft drinks will be provided. Vaccinations for persons aged 18 and up. Spanish and Portuguese interpreters will be present. Vaccinations available include: Flu, TDAP, Hep A and B, HPV, Shingles, MMR, HiB, Chicken Pox, Meningitis, and Pneumonia. For more information, please email or call (617) 623-2100. Most vaccinations are covered by health insurance. Please bring your insurance card. This is a FREE event, but registration is strongly encouraged to ensure sufficient supplies and to reserve a time. Registration is available in English at, in Spanish at, and in Portuguese at
Sharewood Project – A Free Healthcare Organization. The Sharewood Project offers free healthcare services to individuals and families in need of accessible health care. Services include clinical, case management, laboratory, and other care. More information is available under “Health Resources” 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, December 22: Brown School Winter Concert
Tuesday, December 23: WHCIS Hat Day
Tuesday, December 23: Argenziano School Winter Concert
Wednesday-Friday, December 24-January 2: WINTER RECESS

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. Or, submit your event to

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


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.