Connections: A Newsletter from the Somerville Public Schools – January 16, 2015


Somerville’s annual MLK Day Ceremony takes place Monday, January 19, 11 a.m. at the East Somerville Community
School Auditorium. Stop by for a celebration that includes inspiring performances by local groups and student essayists. Monday
is a school holiday – all schools and district offices will be closed in observance of national Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

News & Notes

Three SHS Seniors Earn Posse Scholarship Awards
Graduating Somerville High School seniors Catherine Nakato, Saragrace Magre, and Connie Chan celebrated with fellow Posse Foundation Scholarship award winners throughout the Commonwealth last week at the Posse Scholarship Awards Ceremony held at the Copley Hotel in Boston. Posse is a four year, full-tuition scholarship program. Posse Boston partners with six colleges/universities – Union College, Bucknell University, Denison University, Bryn Mawr College, Centre College, & Hamilton College.

Students selected for Posse scholarship awards have demonstrated exceptional leadership abilities and a strong motivation to succeed. Catherine Nakato and Saragrace Magre have committed to attend Union College. Connie Chan has committed to Bryn Mawr College as part of the STEM Posse program for students going on to STEM careers. U.S. Attorney for the District of Massachusetts, Carmen Ortiz spoke at the event as well as Boston Mayor Marty Walsh. Each of the six Posse Boston partner colleges sent representatives to award full-tuition scholarships to 60 students from the Boston area.

Open Houses Set for January 21, 22, 23
Somerville K-8 School Open Houses will take place January 21st, 22nd, and 23rd from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Stop in at any K-8 school for an opportunity to learn more about our schools. During your visit, you’ll get a first-hand look at the school’s classroom environment, have an opportunity to meet school staff members and parents/guardians of students currently attending that school, ask questions about the school and specific programs at each school, and take a tour of the building. You can stop in at each school directly, or if you prefer, begin your Open House tours at the Parent Information Center (42 Prescott Street) for coffee hour from 9-10 a.m., then begin your school tours with a group of parents and guardians. We look forward to welcoming you in our schools.

Students from Argenziano, Brown, and Winter Hill Schools Selected for 2015 All-State Treble Chorus
Seven students from the Argenziano, Brown and Winter Hill schools were selected to sing in the 2015 All-State Treble Chorus, which is an auditioned group of Grade 4-6 singers from all across the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. They will be joined by Britney Flores from the East Somerville Community School, whose selection to this chorus for the second consecutive year was announced last week. The All-State Treble Chorus will perform in Boston as part of the Massachusetts Music Educators Association (MMEA) All-State Conference on March 21st at the Seaport Hotel/World Trade Center. The Argenziano students are Marisa Lopez – Grade 5, Tatiana Pineda – Grade 5, and Theresa Romano – Grade 4; Brown School students are Jasmine Fridman – Grade 6, Mary Duffy – Grade 6 and Katja Szturma – Grade 4; the Winter Hill student is Amelia Keenan, Grade 6. Tatiana Pineda and Britney Flores will be performing in the All-State Treble Chorus for the second year. Congratulations to all of these students!

SHS Health Careers, Early Education Seniors Visit Strongwater Farm
Earlier this week, 20 Somerville High School (SHS) Health Careers and Early Education seniors joined their instructors Laurie Foley and Suzanne Antoine, as well as CTE Director Leo DeSimone, on a visit to Strongwater Farm in Tewksbury. Strongwater Farm is a Therapeutic Equestrian Center that caters to children and adults through equine-assisted activities and therapies.

Students had the opportunity to meet the staff and interact with some of the horses. They learned about the various assisted activities and therapies offered, and the kinds of patients that might benefit from this type of program. Several of the students also assisted with taking vitals on two of the horses. Participating students describe their experience at the Therapeutic Equestrian Center in this article:

Students’ visit and exploration of the therapeutic services at Strongwater Farm supported core curriculum requirements of their respective programs. For Child Development students, that included:
· establish and maintain a safe learning environment and applying developmentally appropriate supervision,
· establish and maintain a healthy learning environment and communicating children’s unusual or atypical behaviors and physical symptoms to staff,
· facilitate the advancement of cognitive competencies,
· identify cognitive development milestones, and
· document children’s cognitive development and readiness for new learning opportunities.

For Health Careers students, the visit demonstrated and supported the following curriculum requirements:
· identify alternative settings in which healthcare is provided,
· assist a client with cognitive impairments,
· describe forms, symptoms and causes of cognitive impairment,
· describe behavior interventions used in caring for a cognitive-impaired client, and
· demonstrate use of adaptive devices and assistive equipment.

Ten lucky SHS students will have an opportunity to return on a weekly basis for an internship program starting in February.

SHS College & Career Night Slated for January 28, 2015
College & Career Night at Somerville High School will be held on Wednesday, January 28, 2015 from 6:30-8:30pm. Registration begins at 6:00pm. All Somerville High 10th and 11th grade students and their families are encouraged to attend to learn more about preparing for college and career success. For more information, visit

City Seeks Input on Website Redesign
The City is seeking community input on your use the City of Somerville website, to kick off the coming full redesign of the site. Community members are being asked to take a quick survey which covers questions such as how site visitors use the site, features they would like to see, and issues with the current site that they would like to see addressed. The survey is available online through Monday, Feb. 2, at, and will also be distributed via the Council on Aging, the Disabilities Commission and the City’s SomerViva immigrant outreach program. For more information, visit

What’s Happening

MLK Celebration to be held at East Somerville Community School on January 19
Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone, the Somerville Office of Commissions, and the Somerville Public Schools (SPS) invite you to the annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration. The event will be held at 11 a.m. at the East Somerville Community School (ESCS) on Monday, January 19. The 2015 event, titled “Music: Our MLK Jr. Dream by Song” will feature SPS student essayists and performances by a number of local groups including the SHS World Percussion Ensemble, El Sistema Somerville, MLK Jr. Somerville Interfaith Choir, SheBoom, the Center for Arabic Culture Children’s Choir, and the SHS Dance Club. Somerville’s first-ever Poet Laureate, Nicole Terez Dutton, will make her first official appearance at this event. The Third Annual “Day of Service” will be held in conjunction with the MLK Day event. The American Red Cross will host a blood drive, with a mobile unit stationed outside of the ESCS on January 19th from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Please call 1-800-733-2767 or visit to make an appointment. Attendees are also encouraged to bring non-perishable food items for the event’s Food Drive for local food pantries as part of the Day of Service.

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.
· Wednesday, January 21, 6:30-8:00pm: Kennedy Grades 4-8 Winter Concert @ the Kennedy School Cafeteria
· Thursday, January 22, 7:00 pm: City-wide Beginners’ Instrumental Concert @ the SHS Auditorium
· Friday, January 23, 9:15-10:00 am: Capuano Kindergarten Winter Concert

Somerville High School “Aida” Musical Tickets on Sale
Tickets are still 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. Adapted from the four-time TONY award-winning hit, Elton John and Tim Rice’s Aida School Edition is an epic tale of love, loyalty and betrayal chronicling the love triangle between Aida, a Nubian princess stolen from her country, Amneris, an Egyptian princess, and Radames, the soldier they both love. With an unforgettable score featuring soaring ballads and rousing choral numbers, Aida is a modern crowd-pleaser that embraces multicultural casting and exuberant dancing, staging, and amazing singing. Aida will be a great experience for the whole family!

For tickets and show information, please visit All performances will take place in the beautiful, refurbished SHS Auditorium, 81 Highland Avenue.
· Thursday, February 5, 2015 at 7:00 PM
· Friday, February 6, 2015 at 7:00 PM
· Saturday, February 7, 2015 at 2:00 PM

Purchase your tickets in advance and save! Ticket prices are:
· Adult: $10 advance purchase / $12 at the door,
· Students (PK-12 and any young child not in school requiring their own seat): $8 advance purchase / $10 at the door,
· Senior Citizens: $8 advance purchase / $10 at the door.
Tickets can be purchased in advance by mailing a check to Rosemary Sears at Somerville High School (81 Highland Avenue, Somerville, MA 02143) or by visiting (convenience fee applies to online ticket purchases). Make checks payable to SHS Performing Arts.

School Improvement Plan Presentations
School Improvement Plan presentations begin next week. Please join us.
· Tuesday, January 20th, 6:30pm: Argenziano School, at the Winter Hill School Library (115 Sycamore)
· Tuesday, January 20th, 7:30pm: Winter Hill Community Innovation School, at the WHCIS Library (115 Sycamore)
· Thursday, January 22nd, 6:30pm: East Somerville Community School, at the Capuano Center (150 Glen Street)
· Thursday, January 22nd, 7:30pm: Capuano Early Childhood Center, at the Capuano Center (150 Glen Street)
· Thursday, January 22nd, 8:30pm: Healey School, at the Capuano Center (150 Glen Street)
· Tuesday, January 27th, 6:30pm: Next Wave/Full Circle, at the Somerville High School Library (81 Highland Ave.)
· Tuesday, January 27th, 7:30pm: Somerville High School, at the SHS Library (81 Highland Ave.)
· Thursday, January 29th, 6:30pm: West Somerville Neighborhood School, at the WSNS (177 Powderhouse Blvd.)
· Thursday, January 29th, 7:30pm: Kennedy School, at the WSNS (177 Powderhouse Blvd.)
· Thursday, January 29th, 8:30pm: Brown School, at the WSNS (177 Powderhouse Blvd.)

Somerville Adult Evening School Classes
Give the gift of education or treat yourself to an adult evening class. Choose from a wide selection of great classes to keep you healthy, active, and learning. Register now and take advantage of a 10% discount. Register online at our Somerville Adult Evening School Registration site, or contact Sophia Carafotes ( for on-site registration times and more information.

Classes meet Tuesday and/or Thursday nights, from 6-9pm. Classes run from 5-10 weeks and cost between $25-$165. Discounts are available for small groups. Contact Sophia ( for more information. Choose from Zumba or Yoga classes (Thursday evenings for as low as $5 per class), Sewing, ESL, Driver’s Ed, Real Estate, Academic Recovery, Foreign Languages, Cake Decorating, and more.

Adult evening classes are a great way to connect with friends or make new ones. Hope to see you soon!

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 19: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day – NO SCHOOL
Tuesday, January 20, 2:45-4:15pm: Brown School Council Meeting at the Brown School (201 Willow Ave.)
Tuesday, January 20, 6:30pm: Argenziano School Improvement Plan Presentation at the Winter Hill School Library (115 Sycamore Street)
Tuesday, January 20, 7:30pm: Winter Hill School Improvement Plan Presentation at the Winter Hill School Library (115 Sycamore Street)
Tuesday, January 20, 7:00pm: PTA Council Officers Meeting at the East Somerville Community School (50 Cross St.)
Wednesday-Friday, January 21-23, 8:30am-1:30pm: Somerville Elementary School Open Houses
Wednesday, January 21, 6:30-8:00pm: Kennedy Grades 4-8 Winter Concert at the Kennedy Cafeteria (5 Cherry St.)
Thursday, January 22, 6:30pm: ESCS School Improvement Plan Presentation at the Capuano (150 Glen Street)
Thursday, January 22, 7:30pm: Capuano School Improvement Plan Presentation at the Capuano (150 Glen Street)
Thursday, January 22, 8:30pm: Healey School Improvement Plan Presentation at the Capuano Center (150 Glen)
Thursday, January 22, 7:00pm: City-wide Beginners’ Instrumental Concert at the SHS Auditorium (81 Highland Ave.)
Friday, January 23: ESCS Grade 5 Field Trip to Boston Museum of Science
Friday, January 23, 10:00am: Capuano Kindergarten Winter Concert at the Capuano Center (150 Glen Street)
Friday, January 23: Healey Grade 7/8 Trip to Somerville Theater
Sunday, January 25, 2:00-4:00pm: SHS College Goal/FAFSA Day at the SHS Cafeteria & Library (81 Highland Ave.)
Monday, January 26, 6:30pm: Vacation Survival Guide for Children with Special Needs workshop at the Kennedy School Library (5 Cherry Street)

Upcoming Somerville Family Learning Collaborative Workshops and Events
Find a complete list of SFLC events and workshops, and register for upcoming workshops at
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 19, 6:00pm: State of the City Address at the Somerville City Hall (93 Highland Avenue)
Tuesday, January 20, 6:30-8:30pm: School Improvement Plan Presentations (Argenziano and Winter Hill) at the Winter Hill School Library (115 Sycamore Street)
Thursday, January 22, 6:30-9:30pm: School Improvement Plan Presentations (ESCS, Capuano, Healey) at the Capuano Early Childhood Center (150 Glen Street)
Monday, January 26, 7:00pm: Regular School Committee Meeting at the Board of Aldermen’s Chambers, Somerville City Hall (93 Highland Avenue)

Community News & Events
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, 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 26: Vacation Survival Guide for Children with Special Needs – workshop
Tuesday, January 27: Brown School Council Meeting
Tuesday, January 27: ESCS Unidos Information Session for Prospective Unidos Parents/Guardians
Tuesday, January 27: School Improvement Plan Presentations (NW/FC and SHS)
Tuesday, January 27: Healey School Parent Information Night
Wednesday, January 28: Cyber-Safety Training for Parents/Guardians
Wednesday, January 28: SHS College & Career Night
Thursday, January 29: School Improvement Plan Presentations (WSNS, Kennedy, Brown)
Friday, January 30: Lunch Time Concert at the Healey School
Friday, January 30: Healey Grade 7/8 Dance

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

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