Connections: A Newsletter from the Somerville Public Schools – December 19, 2014


Winter Recess starts next week. All schools will be closed December 24th through January 2nd. We look forward to welcoming
students back to class on Monday, January 5th. Have a great holiday and a restful break. See you in 2015!

News & Notes

‘Eye on Education’ Highlights SHS Students at Biogen Idec Community Lab
Did you see our very own Somerville High School students on CBS’ Eye on Education last week? WBZ-TV’s Paula Ebben reported on a class field trip to the Biogen Idec Community Lab in Cambridge, where students experimented on proteins in tissues samples. “Biogen has definitely ….let me experience what life would be as a scientist,” said one high school senior. Watch the video online at

Columbus District Leaders Visit Somerville
On Monday, December 15, representatives from Columbus, Ohio visited Somerville and met with SPS district and school administrators to get a glimpse of some of the educational initiatives in our district. While the visit was part of the group’s overall improvement strategy, the focus was on Somerville’s approach to advancing early education initiatives and developing a city-wide universal kindergarten readiness strategy. The group toured the Capuano Early Childhood Center and East Somerville Community School.

Somerville Hour of Code – by the Numbers
Computers and tablets were humming with programming activity in classrooms and school libraries throughout the District last week, as nearly every student in the district participated in the 2014 Somerville Hour of Code event. An estimated 4,600 Somerville Public Schools students learned the basics of computer science during Computer Science Week (December 8-14), each logging at least one hour of computer coding during the week.

District library/media teachers and more than 100 volunteers worked with students throughout the week-long event. Somerville’s 4,600+ students joined more than 81 million students world-wide who have tried at least one hour of code so far this year, and that number is growing daily. The coding adventure will continue in library/media centers throughout the district. For more information about Hour of Code, visit

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:
· 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
· Tuesday, January 13, 2015, 6:30-8:00 pm: Kennedy Grades 4-8 Winter Concert
· Friday, January 23, 2015, 9:15-10:00 am: Capuano Kindergarten Winter Concert

Final Weekend – Holiday Trees, Wreaths for Sale at Next Wave/Full Circle Tree Lot
There’s still time to get your holiday trees and wreaths at the Next Wave/Full Circle tree lot at Foss Park. Net proceeds from this annual fundraising 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. Watch this video about the Next Wave/Full Circle Tree Lot @ Foss Park to learn more.

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.

Somerville High School Art Club 2015 Calendars for Sale
The Somerville High School Art Club has assembled a 2015 calendar showcasing the outstanding visual arts courses offered at SHS. The calendar highlights student work in a wide variety of media, created through the Somerville High School course offerings. Calendars are available for purchase for just $10 apiece. Funds raised from calendar sales will be used to fund Art Club projects, activities, and events.

You can order your calendars by emailing Art Club Advisor, Sean Bianchi (, and dropping off or mailing your payment by check at the Somerville High School main office (81 Highland Avenue). Please include the following with your order: your name, telephone number or email where you can be reached, number of calendars you are ordering. Calendars will be printed after payment is received. Make checks payable to: City of Somerville, and include Art Club in the memo section.

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 after December 31st.
Tickets can be purchased by mailing a check (payable to SHS Performing Arts) to:
Somerville High School
Attention: Rosemary Sears, SHS Musical Producer
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. 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. 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

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 Ave). 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

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