Connections: A Newsletter from the Somerville Public Schools – February 6, 2015

Somerville High School’s production of AIDA continues tonight and tomorrow afternoon. Catch this amazing adaptation of the four-time
Tony award-winning hit by Elton John and Tim Rice. See details under ‘What’s Happening’ below.

News & Notes
SHS Culinary Arts Students Excel at Future Chefs Event
On Saturday, January 24, 2015, five Somerville High School (SHS) Culinary Arts students competed at the Future Chefs Career Exploration Day at Quincy High School. The SHS team, under the guidance of Chef Instructor Jeffrey S. Stuart, competed against teams from Quincy, Everett, and Boston. Students were required to prep, prepare and plate three different courses. The theme was “healthy alternative/fast food.” The SHS team had an outstanding showing, earning three awards: Best Oral Presentation, Truest to the Theme, and Leadership.

Capuano Students Study Winter Animals & Weather
during Chilly January
Students at the Capuano were busy exploring the wonders of winter in the warmth of their classrooms last month. Ms. Mayer’s class studied winter animals and weather, learning about animals that thrive in the cold winter weather. Students talked about penguins and different types of bears, and experimented with real and fake snow. They stayed warm and active by going on indoor shape hunts, burrowing through tunnels like rabbits, and learning how to use hula hoops and stilts. They also made snowmen in snow globes, decorated their own snowman, and wrote stories about their snowman’s magical night-time adventures. Mrs. Jones’ class had fun making snowmen indoors using real snow! Students donned gloves to keep their hands warm, and crafted their snowmen at their classroom water table. They used buttons, Popsicle sticks, carrots, ribbons and a hat to decorate their frosty creation.

Thanks to Janet for sharing this photo during the most recent snowstorm.

Stay Connected with SCALE on Social Media
The Somerville Center for Adult Learning Experiences (SCALE) provides education to adult learners. SCALE offers Adult Basic Education — Reading, Writing, and Math — with paths toward an Adult Diploma or HiSET completion. SCALE also teaches English to English Language Learners coming from a wide array of international backgrounds. Stay connected with this incredible Somerville resource through Facebook and Twitter. You can connect with SCALE at: and (@ScaleTales).

World Language Department Video
Find out more about Somerville High School’s World Language program options by watching this video featuring SHS students and staff.

2015-2016 School-Year Calendar
Like to plan ahead? The 2015-2016 district school year calendar was approved by the Somerville School Committee on January 12, 2015. View and download the calendar at

Request for Survey Participation by Spanish-Speaking Parents/Guardians
Solicitud de Participación de Padres/Tutores que Hablan Español en Encuesta
Padres/Tutores de estudiantes de las escuelas públicas de Somerville son invitados a participar en una encuesta. Esta encuesta es para que podamos saber y entender la relación que existe entre los padres de familia y la escuela de sus hijos. Todas las respuestas son anónimas y no se evaluaran individualmente. Gracias por considerar participar en esta encuesta. Su ayuda es apreciada.

What’s Happening
Somerville High School “Aida” Musical
Somerville High School’s production of Aida is under way. Tickets are still available for the two remaining performances of this Elton John/ Tim Rice collaboration this weekend. 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. All performances are in the beautiful SHS Auditorium, 81 Highland Avenue. Tickets are available at the door for: $12 for Adults; $10 for Students (PK-12 and any young child not in school requiring their own seat), and Senior Citizens.
· Friday, February 6, 2015 at 7:00 PM
· Saturday, February 7, 2015 at 2:00 PM

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 (Thursdays for as low as $5 per class), Sewing, ESL, Driver’s Ed, Real Estate, Academic Recovery, Foreign Languages, Cake Decorating, and more.

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.
Friday, February 6, 7:00pm: SHS Musical – AIDA at the Somerville High School Auditorium (81 Highland Ave.)
Friday, February 6, 7:00-9:00pm: Brown School PTA Tropical Dance at the Argenziano School (290 Washington St.)
Friday, February 6, 6:00-8:00pm: Kids Nite Out – Grades K-6 at the Kennedy School (5 Cherry St.)
Saturday, February 7, 2:00pm: SHS Musical – AIDA at the Somerville High School Auditorium (81 Highland Ave.)
Monday, February 9, 8:30am: Healey Student of the Quarter Presentations at the Healey Cafeteria (5 Meacham St.)
Monday, February 9, 6:00pm: Special Education PAC Business Meeting at the Kennedy School Library (5 Cherry St.)
Monday-Friday, February 9-13: Hero Week at the Kennedy School (5 Cherry St.)
Tuesday, February 10, 7:00-8:30pm: El Sistema Somerville Valentine’s Day Soiree at the East Somerville Community School (50 Cross St.)
Tuesday, February 10, 2:45-4:15pm: Kennedy School Parent/Guardian Conferences (5 Cherry St.)
Tuesday, February 10, 2:45-4:15pm: Brown School Council Meeting at the Brown School (201 Willow)
Wednesday, February 11, 8:45-9:30am: ESCS African-American History Assembly, Grades 2-4, at the ESCS Auditorium (50 Cross St.)
Wednesday, February 11, 2:35-4:00pm: Snowflake Festival at the Kennedy Cafeteria and Gymnasium (5 Cherry St.)
Wednesday, February 11, 2:45-4:15pm: East Somerville Community School Parent/Guardian Conferences (50 Cross St.)
Wednesday, February 11, 3:00-4:30pm: Somerville High School Parent/Guardian Conferences (81 Highland Ave.)
Wednesday, February 11, 4:30-5:00pm: Somerville High School Advanced Placement (AP) Information Session at the SHS Library (81 Highland Ave.)
Wednesday, February 11, 4:30-6:00pm: SHS Athletic Forum for Parents/Guardians and Athletes at the Somerville High School Library (81 Highland Ave.)
Wednesday, February 11, 6:00-7:00pm: ESCS UNIDOS Prospective Parent Information Session at the ESCS Library (50 Cross St.)
Wednesday, February 11, 6:30-8:30pm: SHS School Improvement Council Meeting at the Somerville High School Library (81 Highland Ave.)
Thursday, February 12: Dress Like a “Hero” Day at the Kennedy School (5 Cherry St.)
Thursday, February 12, 2:45-4:15pm and 5:00-6:30pm: Capuano Early Childhood Center Parent/Guardian Conferences (150 Glen St.)
Thursday, February 12, 2:45-4:15pm: West Somerville Neighborhood School Parent/Guardian Conferences (177 Powderhouse Blvd.)
Thursday, February 12, 6:00-8:00pm: Grades 6-8 Valentine Dance at the Kennedy School Cafeteria (5 Cherry St.)
Friday, February 13: Brown School Junior Achievement in a Day for Grades 1-5 (201 Willow Ave.)
Friday, February 13, 9:00-9:45am: ESCS African-American History Assembly (Grades K-1) at the ESCS Auditorium (50 Cross St.)
Monday-Friday, February 16-20: February Vacation (Includes Presidents’ 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
Monday, February 23, 6:30pm, Kennedy School Library (5 Cherry St.): Transition Planning for Ages 14-22. Learn about transition planning and services required for youth ages 14-22 with disabilities, to help prepare students for further education, employment, independent living and a transition to adult life. Presenter: Johanne Pino, Mass Advocates for Special Needs.
Wednesday, February 25, 8:30-9:30am, at the Capuano Center (150 Glen St.): Charlas para Padres/Converso com o Pais. Join SFLC staff members Fernanda Villar of the Parent Child Home Visiting Program and Maura Mendoza – Capuano Family and Community Liaison, and fellow Somerville parents for a parenting conversation in Spanish and Portuguese.
Wednesday, February 25, 6:30-8:00pm, at the East Somerville Community School (50 Cross St.): Volunteer Training – Supporting Balanced Literacy. Supporting students’ early reading skills in the classroom and at home. Presenter: Alex Hershey, Instructional English Language Arts Coach, SPS. For more information and to register:, 617-629-5475.

Upcoming School Committee Meetings
Find the complete School Committee schedule, agendas and meeting minutes (as approved) online at
Monday, February 9, 7:00pm: Educational Program and Instruction Subcommittee Meeting at the Central Office Conference Room (42 Cross St.)
Monday, February 23, 7:00pm: Regular School Committee Meeting at the Board of Aldermen’s Chambers, Somerville City Hall (93 Highland Avenue)

Community News & Events
Middle School Writers’ Den – Wednesdays, February 11, 18 & 25 from 6:00-7:00pm:
Are you in 4th through 8th grade, or of corresponding age? Do you love to write? Join us at our middle school Writers’ Den 6:00-7:00pm at the central Somerville Public Library. At the Writers’ Den, writers meet informally to share our work, workshop ideas, learn some tips, hear reading for writers, and participate in publishing. There always is writing and discussion of writing. Please pack a pencil or a pen, a notebook or a pad, and also bring a short completed piece of writing. Poetry, fiction, nonfiction, school newspaper reporting – what’s your interest?
Arts at the Armory’s Youth Arts Arise – Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 3:30-5:00pm: Space is available for the Arts at the Armory’s winter semester free arts education program, Youth Arts Arise for youth ages 11-15. Youth Arts Arise offers a broad range of artistic workshops in a variety of mediums. Upcoming workshops include Family Flag, where students will learn how to express large and specific ideas into simple shapes using paper and fabric while communicating what they love about their family’s traditions and culture; Visual Language of Film workshop allows participants to learn techniques of film making and create their own short film; and Primary Portraits teaches participants techniques in portraiture and color theory, which they will use to create larger than life self-portraits. To learn more or to sign up, visit Click on “Learn” and select “Youth Arts Arise.” Or, email us at
Read by the River Literacy Celebration – Sunday, March 8, 2015 from noon-3:00pm: Tufts Hillel invites families to its annual Read by the River Literacy Celebration on Sunday, March 8, from 12-3 at Gantcher Center on the Tufts University campus (161 College Ave.). This event for children in grades K-5 (and their parents/guardians) will include free books, reading, carnival rides, movie passes, face painting, and more. Parent/guardian must attend with their child. Supported by the New England Patriots Foundation. Mark your calendars for a great event!
Youth Summit – Thursday, March 19, 2015 from 5:00-8:30pm: The Youth Summit will bring together youth leaders, youth workers, and others from the communities of Somerville, Arlington, Belmont, Cambridge, Waltham and Watertown, who are invested in creating impact for positive change around youth issues. The evening includes food, music, resources, solutions, best practices, building connections, and prizes. 5-8:30pm at the Dante Alighieri Italian Cultural Center (41 Hampshire Street in Cambridge). For information, contact Heang Ly ( Co-sponsored by CHNA 17 and Teen Empowerment.
Registration Open for Girls STEM Statewide Summit. A one-day summit for girls in grades 8-12 who love STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math). One-day summit to be held at Regis College in Weston, MA on Sunday, June 14, 2015 from 8:15am to 4:15pm (lunch included). Enrollment fee: $55. Register at For more information, call Jr.Tech at (617) 512-1794 or (774) 994-2097.

Looking Ahead
A look at some of the events/activities in the Somerville Public Schools that are taking place in the coming weeks.
Monday-Friday, February 16-20: February Vacation (includes Presidents’ Day)
Monday, February 23: Friends of the Healey Community Meeting
Tuesday, February 24: Winter Hill Community Innovation School Parent/Guardian Conferences
Wednesday, February 25: ESCS African-American History Assembly, Grades 5-8
Wednesday, February 25: Argenziano Parent/Guardian Conferences
Thursday, February 26: Healey School Parent/Guardian Conferences
Thursday, February 26: ESCS PTA Meeting
Thursday, February 26: Brown School PTA Business Meeting and Literacy Night

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