Connections: A Newsletter from the Somerville Public Schools – January 9, 2015


Happy New Year, everyone! We hope you had a safe and enjoyable December break. We’re quickly back in the swing of things,
and we look forward to seeing you at many of our upcoming school and district events, including the annual SHS Musical in February.

News & Notes

SPS Kindergarten Registration Kicks Off
Kindergarten registration at the Somerville Public Schools for the upcoming school year kicks off this month on Saturday, January 24, 2015. Information sessions are under way, and Kindergarten packets have been mailed or sent home via backpack. Packets have been sent home with all Pre-K students currently enrolled in the District as well as Somerville Head Start students. Families with age-eligible children who were born in Somerville have been mailed a packet. If you are considering registering your child in the Somerville Public Schools and do not fall into either of these categories, please contact the Parent Information Center at (617) 629-5671 to request a Kindergarten packet.

Visit the Kindergarten website at for additional information about the Kindergarten registration process, including a list of important dates and all registration materials. Contact the PIC at (617) 629-5671 with additional questions. We hope to see you in our schools soon!

Healey School Students Enjoy App-Smashing in December
Students in grades 6, 7 and 8 at the Healey School spent a few weeks in December during Library/Media studies App Smashing using iPads. App Smashing involves creating content on one app and enhancing it with a second app or more. During their App Smashing project, Healey students were able to demonstrate their knowledge of fiction and non-fiction genres while creating a product that facilitates identification of book titles of interest to support independent reading. Working with a partner, students selected and photographed book titles found in the Healey Library representing 12 different genres and created an album. Students then opened their photos in a different app that allowed them to label the photo with the appropriate genre. Their final products were slideshows that showcase book titles available in their school library. To learn more about App Smashing, visit

ESCS’s Britney Flores Selected for 2015 All-State Treble Chorus
Britney Flores, a fifth grade student at the East Somerville Community School, has been selected to sing in the 2015 All-State Treble Chorus. Britney will represent Somerville for the second year in a row as a member of this auditioned group of Grade 4-6 singers from all across the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The group will perform at the 2015 Massachusetts Music Educators Association (MMEA) All-State Concert, at the conclusion of the MMEA All-State Conference on March 21st at the Seaport Hotel/World Trade Center in Boston. The 2015 All-State Treble Chorus will be conducted by Judy Bowers, Professor of Choral Music Education at Florida State University. Congratulations, Britney!

Kennedy School Students Make the Connection through Art
Kennedy School’s new art teacher, Ms. Stiassni has been guiding students through enriching art projects that draw connections between the arts and social studies, language arts, math, and art history. Many of the students’ recent projects from every grade level are on display throughout the school. Current displays include the first grade’s “Self-Portraits” and “Vincent Van Gogh’s Sunflowers,” 2nd grade’s “Van Gogh Landscapes” and “Cezanne Still Life Pumpkins,” 3rd grade’s “Crazy Hair Day Self-Portraits,” 4th grade’s “Color Wheel Eyes,” 5th grade’s Surrealist Compositions,” 6th grade’s “Andy Warhol Shoes,” 7th grade’s “Interior Perspective Compositions,” and 8th grade’s “Mythical Creatures.” The following represents a selection of recent Kennedy artwork from each grade level:

Upcoming work includes: “Family Self-Portraits” and “Winter Trees” (K students), “Coil Pots” and “Color Wheel Ice Cream” (1st Grade), “Mondrian’s Abstractions” (2nd Grade), “Pinch Pot Turtles” (3rd Grade), “Perspective” (4th Grade), “Incan Masks” (5th Grade), “Chuck Close Self-Portraits” (6th Grade), “Cut Paper Illustrations” (7th Grade), and “Jackson Pollock’s Drip Painting” (8th Grade).

What’s Happening

Upcoming Winter Concerts
There’s more winter concert music coming up. If you want to catch a glimpse of December concerts, visit our Vimeo site ( to watch concert videos.
· Tuesday, January 13, 2015, 6:30-8:00 pm: Kennedy Grades 4-8 Winter Concert
· Thursday, January 22, 2015, 7:00 pm: City-wide Beginners’ Instrumental Concert @ the SHS Auditorium
· Friday, January 23, 2015, 9:15-10:00 am: Capuano Kindergarten Winter Concert

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. For ticket prices and information on SHS Musical sponsorship opportunities, visit
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 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.

Save the Date!
Sunday, January 25, 2-4pm: SHS College Goal/FAFSA Day, at the Somerville High School Cafeteria and Library
Monday, January 26, 6:30pm: Vacation Survival Guide for Children with Special Needs workshop, at the Kennedy Library
Wednesday, January 28, 6:30pm: Cyber-Safety Presentation for parents & guardians, at the ESCS Auditorium
Wednesday, January 28, 6:30-8:30pm: SHS College & Career Night, at Somerville High School

Upcoming School Events:
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, January 12, 6:00pm: Special Education PAC Business Meeting at the Kennedy School Library (5 Cherry St.)
Tuesday, January 13, 6:00-7:30pm: Friends of the Healey Community Meeting at the Healey School Library (5 Meacham St.)
Tuesday, January 13, 6:00-7:30pm: Brown School Council Meeting at the Brown School (201 Willow Ave.)
Tuesday, January 13, 6:30-8:00pm: Kennedy Grades 4-8 Winter Music Concert at the Kennedy School Cafeteria (5 Cherry St.)
Wednesday, January 14: Half-Day Wednesday (PreK students dismissed at 11:30; K-8 students dismissed at noon)
Monday, January 19: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day – NO SCHOOL

Upcoming Somerville Family Learning Collaborative Workshops and Events
Find a complete list of SFLC events and workshops, and register for upcoming workshops at
Wednesday, January 14: Parent/Guardian Leadership Institute Emerging and existing parent/guardian leaders will meet 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. 6:00-8:00pm at the Capuano Early Childhood Center (150 Glen Street).
January 21, 22, 23: Somerville Elementary 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, January 12, 6:00pm: Rules Management Subcommittee Meeting, at the Board of Aldermen’s Chambers, Somerville City Hall (93 Highland Avenue)
Monday, January 12, 7:00pm: School Committee Meeting, at the Board of Aldermen’s Chambers, Somerville City Hall (93 Highland Avenue)
Wednesday, January 14, 6:00pm: Finance & Facilities Subcommittee Meeting, at the Central Office Conference Room (50 Cross Street)
Wednesday, January 14, 7:00pm: Educational Programs and Instruction Subcommittee Meeting, at the Central Office Conference Room (50 Cross Street)

Community News & Events
Saturday 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. No futsal games scheduled for 12/27 or 1/3.
· 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.
Sunday, January 11: Somerville Recreation Fair
Come explore all that Somerville Recreation has to offer! Join us from 1:00-4:00pm on Sunday, January 11th, at the Somerville High School Gymnasium and Atrium for activities for all ages. Activities include: face painting, DJ, magician, bouncy house, balloon animals, arts & crafts, recreational games, and pre-school games. There will also be demonstrations by: Somerville Boxing Club, Mixed Martial Arts, Super Body Sculpt, Zumba, Parkour, and Recreation/Youth Sports Partners. (Snow date is Sunday, January 18, 2015)
Monday, January 19: “MLK Jr. Dreams by Song” Annual Celebration
This year’s Martin Luther King, Jr. celebration will feature MLK Jr. Dreams by Song. Join the celebration at 11:00 a.m. at the East Somerville Community School (50 Cross Street). Festivities will include light refreshments, musical performances by a number of Somerville groups including El Sistema Somerville, and student essayists from the Somerville Public Schools. Join us for this inspiring annual celebration!

Looking Ahead
A look at some of the events/activities in the Somerville Public Schools that are taking place in the coming weeks.
Monday, January 19: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day – NO SCHOOL
Tuesday, January 20: Brown School Council Meeting
Tuesday, January 20: Argenziano and Winter Hill School Improvement Plan Presentations
Tuesday, January 20: PTA Council Officers Meeting
Wednesday through Friday, January 21 to 23: Somerville Elementary School Open Houses
Thursday, January 22: ESCS, Capuano and Healey School Improvement Plan Presentations
Thursday, January 22: City-wide Beginners’ Instrumental Concert
Friday, January 23: ESCS 5th Grade Field Trip to Museum of Science
Friday, January 23: Capuano Kindergarten Winter Concert

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