Connections: A Newsletter from the Somerville Public Schools – February 27, 2015

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Think warm summer months, and stop in at the 2015 Summer Camps and Activities Fair on Wednesday, March 4th, to learn about
local summer options for your kids. Learn more about this event under What’s Happening.

News & Notes

SHS Students Take Center Stage at Skills USA District Competition
Somerville High School students Isaac Saron and Anthony Araujo-Amaral led a contingent of 28 SHS students representing various Career and Technical Education programs in an impressive showing at the 2015 Skills USA District Competition earlier this week. Isaac nabbed a gold medal with the winning entry in Architectural Drafting, while Anthony earned a bronze medal for his Advertising Design entry. It was only the second year that Somerville High School has participated in this event. SHS students competed against students from 10 other schools.

Mrs. Taremi’s Amazing Kindergarten Artists
Kindergarten students in Mrs. Taremi’s class at the Argenziano have been experimenting with cut and paste. They created cut-outs in Henry Matisse’s style and integrated the elements of art: lines, shapes, colors, textures. Students also created snow people, a 3-D form experimenting with model clay. Here is a glimpse at some of their latest work.

Argenziano Students Win “Best Educational System” Award at New England Regional Future City Competition
A group of 7th and 8th grade students from the Argenziano School competed in the New England regional Future City Competition at Northeastern University on January 30. It was the second year science teacher Michael Coughlin took a team to the New England competition. The Future City Competition is a national, project-based learning experience where middle school students imagine, design, and build cities of the future. Students work as a team with an educator and engineer mentor to plan cities using SimCity™ software; research and write solutions to an engineering problem; build tabletop scale models with recycled materials; and present their ideas before judges.

This year’s challenge—Feeding Future Cities—asked students to design a futuristic urban farm environment to grow enough of one vegetable crop and one protein crop to feed their citizens. Argenziano students designed a city focused on growing amaranth – a spinach-like green – and chicken within their city limits. The city was located on the Mediterranean island of Sicily 130 years in the future. The students built the city with a sustainable vision and made an engineering and agricultural university the centerpiece. Recognizing the group’s focus on education, the Northeastern University judges presented the team with the “Best Education System” award. The Argenziano students thoroughly enjoyed the competition and look forward to an even stronger showing next year.

Somerville PEP Grant Project Supports Commitment to Student Health/Wellness
Youth throughout Somerville are beginning to reap the benefits of a three-year Carol M. White Physical Education Program (PEP) Grant as activities, workshops, and new initiatives take hold in the program’s first year. Under the guidance of PEP Project Director Caitlin Kelly and SPARK Curriculum Coordinator Kate Cremens-Basbas, and working in partnership with SomerPromise and other partners, the foundation has been set for a number of exciting initiatives designed to enhance students’ opportunities to be physically active, and gain an appreciation for healthy lifestyles. Stay tuned for more specific details of PEP Grant projects in our schools and throughout the community in upcoming issues of CONNECTIONS. You’ll hear about the introduction of SPARK, a new physical education curriculum being introduced at every SPS K-8 school and at school and community after-school programs, the BOKS before-school program, a series of upcoming workshops called Healthy Bodies, Healthy Minds (including one on March 11th from 5:30-7:00pm at the West Somerville Neighborhood School), adventure programming, nutrition education, and much more!

Mindfulness, Social Emotional Learning, and Snow Drifts in the Latest SEE Blog
Learn more about how being mindful can help us regroup as we prepare for whatever comes next, and catch a glimpse of a beautiful snow drift at the East Somerville Community School courtyard. You’ll find this in the latest Somerville Early Education blog post at http://somervilleearlyeducation.blogspot.com/. Subscribe to the blog to make sure you don’t miss a post, and to stay current on Somerville early education programs, activities, trends and issues.

What’s Happening

“Green Eggs and Ham” Breakfast – March 3, 2015 – during regular breakfast hours
In recognition of Dr. Seuss Day, on Tuesday, March 3rd, students at the Argenziano, East Somerville, Healey, Kennedy, West Somerville, Brown, and Capuano schools can enjoy a special “green eggs and ham” breakfast during regular school breakfast hours. Delicious!

Special Education Focus Group for Parents/Guardians – March 3, 2015 – 4:15pm
Somerville Public Schools (SPS) has hired the Public Consulting Group (PCG) to complete an in-depth study of Somerville’s Special Education Department. PCG representatives will be spending four days visiting our schools next week to learn about our schools and the programs we offer. PCG has requested that we arrange interviews with select staff and community members in order to get a full picture of the Special Education Department and its work, and to make recommendations for program improvements. A parent focus group, open to all SPS parents, is being held Tuesday March 3rd at 4:15pm at the Somerville High School Highlander Café. Please join us.

Summer Camps and Activities Fair – March 4, 2015 – 5:30-7:00pm
Drop in at the Healey School on Wednesday March 4th, from 5:30-7:00pm for the annual SFLC Summer Camps and Activities Fair. Learn about summer camps, recreational activities and programs, and summer learning opportunities. Local agencies will be on hand to share information and answer questions. Free and open to all Somerville families.

SHS Science and Engineering Fair Exhibition Night – March 5, 2015 – 4:30-6:00pm
Somerville High School hosts its first “SHS Science and Engineering Fair Exhibition Night” on Thursday, March 5th, from 4:30-6:00pm. Students of every grade level and their families, parents/guardians, teachers, and community members are all invited to stop in to view the projects and hear students give their presentations. Science National Honor Society members will escort guests to the check-in and exhibition area. Guests will have an opportunity to move through three science classrooms and view the exhibits at their leisure. SHS Science teachers will be on hand to answer questions. Light refreshments will be available. Stop by to see first-hand the great work that Somerville High students are doing.

Flash Back Friday – March 6, 2015 – 7:00-11:00pm
Do you still have that poodle skirt? Maybe bell bottoms and platform shoes? What about those ripped jeans or hammer pants? Here’s your chance to break them out, take a journey back in time and dance the night away to songs from the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s and 90’s! The Somerville PTA Council Dinner Dance Committee invites you to join them on Friday, March 6, from 7:00-11:00pm at the City Club (20 Innerbelt Road in Somerville) for an adults-only fundraiser to benefit The Somerville PTA Scholarship Dinner Dance. The evening includes a cash bar, raffle tickets, 50/50, and plenty of dancing. Tickets are $15. For tickets, email Kristine Vallery at afaspta@yahoo.com.

City-Wide Swim Meet – March 7, 2015 – 12:00-4:00pm
It’s time for Somerville’s Annual City-Wide Swim Meet at the Kennedy Pool! Students, if you haven’t already done so there’s still time to sign up to swim for your school. Every team member gets a t-shirt; winning teams will host a trophy at their school. Choose up to 2 strokes (crawl stroke, backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly), and sign up by: (1) stopping in at the Kennedy Pool, (2) calling 617-629-5445, (3) online at www.somerville.k12.ma.us/pool (click on the City-Wide Swim link on the left), or (4) talking to your school’s physical education teacher about the event. Students in grades 1-5 entering the Elementary Competition must be able to swim one (1) length of the big pool (25 yards). Students in grades 6-8 competing in the Middle School division must be able to swim 2 lengths of the big pool (50 yards). Practice at the Kennedy Pool during family swim, Mondays through Thursdays from 6:15-7:30pm and Saturdays from 1:00-3:30pm.

Maple Syrup Boil Down Festival – March 7, 2015 – 10:00am-2:00pm
Watch and learn as sap from local trees is boiled down into pure maple syrup over a warm fire. The festival includes family-friendly activities, taste tests, hot cocoa, music, and more! Hosted by Groundwork Somerville at the Community Growing Center (22 Vinal Avenue). Bundle up and enjoy a great annual Somerville event.

Healthy Bodies, Healthy Minds – March 11, 2015 – 5:00-6:30pm
Join us for a family workshop focused on student learning and family fitness! The workshop takes place at the West Somerville Neighborhood School (177 Powderhouse Blvd.) and is open to all Somerville families. A light supper will be served from 5:00-5:30pm (registration required), followed by Family Fitness and Learning Activities from 5:30-6:30pm. For more information, please call: 617-629-5476 or 617-625-6600 x6449. Sponsored in collaboration with the Somerville Public Schools Physical Education Program (PEP) Grant and Somerville Community Schools.

Upcoming School Events:
Visit your child’s school website, http://www.somerville.k12.ma.us/schools, 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 27, 6:30-8:30pm: Kennedy Grade 6-8 Valentine’s Day Dance at the Kennedy School (5 Cherry St.)
Friday, February 27, 6:30-9:30pm: Healey Grade 7/8 Dance at the Healey School (5 Meacham St.)
Tuesday, March 3: “Green Eggs and Ham” Breakfast on Dr. Seuss Day, at the Argenziano, East Somerville, Healey, Kennedy, West Somerville, Brown and Capuano schools
Tuesday, March 3: Dr. Seuss Day Celebration at the East Somerville Community School (50 Cross St.)
Tuesday, March 3, 8:45am: Superintendent Awards at the West Somerville Neighborhood School (177 Powderhouse Blvd.)
Tuesday, March 3, 2:45-4:15pm: Argenziano Parent/Guardian-Teacher Conferences (290 Washington St.)
Tuesday, March 3, 6:30pm: Wildcat Chat – Weekly Meal Planning on a Budget – at the Winter Hill Community Innovation School, Room 206 (115 Sycamore)
Wednesday, March 4: Half-Day Wednesday (PreK dismissal at 11:30; K-8 dismissal at noon)
Wednesday, March 4, 5:00pm: WSNS School Council Meeting at the West Somerville Neighborhood School Conference Room (177 Powderhouse Blvd.)
Thursday, March 5, 8:15am and 6:00pm: PTA/Principal Roundtable – Bullying and Positive Climate, at the East Somerville Community School After School Room (50 Cross St.)
Thursday, March 5, 8:30am: Superintendent Awards at the Healey School (5 Meacham St.)
Thursday, March 5, 2:45-4:00pm: Snowflake Festival at the Kennedy School Cafeteria/Gymnasium (5 Cherry St.)
Thursday, March 5, 4:30-6:00pm: SHS Science and Engineering Fair Exhibition at Somerville High School (81 Highland Ave.)
Friday, March 6, 10:00-11:00am: ESCS Grades 5-8 African-American History Month Assembly at the East Somerville Community School Auditorium (50 Cross St.)
Monday, March 9, 2:45-4:15pm and 5:00-6:00pm: Capuano Parent/Guardian-Teacher Conferences (150 Glen St.)
Monday, March 9, 6:00pm: Special Education PAC Business Meeting at the Kennedy Library (5 Cherry St.)
Tuesday, March 10, 2:45-4:15pm: ESCS Parent/Guardian-Teacher Conferences (50 Cross St.)

Upcoming Somerville Family Learning Collaborative Workshops and Events
Find a complete list of SFLC events and workshops, and register for upcoming workshops at http://www.somerville.k12.ma.us/families/workshops.
Wednesday, March 4, 5:30-7:00pm, Healey School (5 Meacham St.): Summer Camps and Activities Fair. Learn about summer camps, recreational activities and programs, and summer learning opportunities. Local agencies will be on hand to share information and answer questions. Free and open to all Somerville families.
Saturday, March 7, 10:00am-2:00pm, at the Community Growing Center (22 Vinal Ave.): Maple Syrup Boil Down Festival. Watch and learn as sap from local trees is boiled down into pure maple syrup over a warm fire. Family-friendly activities, taste tests, hot cocoa, music, and more! Hosted by Groundwork Somerville.
Wednesday, March 11, 5:00-6:30pm, at the West Somerville Neighborhood School (177 Powderhouse Blvd.): Healthy Bodies, Healthy Minds. A family workshop focused on student learning and family fitness. A light supper will be served from 5:00-5:30pm (registration required), followed by Family Fitness and Learning Activities from 5:30-6:30. For more information, call: 617-629-5476 or 617-625-6600 x6449.

Upcoming School Committee Meetings
Find the complete School Committee schedule, agendas and meeting minutes (as approved) online at http://www.somerville.k12.ma.us/school_committee.
Monday, March 2, 6:00-6:55pm: Rules Management Subcommittee Meeting at the Board of Aldermen’s Chambers, Somerville City Hall (93 Highland Avenue)
Monday, March 2, 7:00pm: Regular School Committee Meeting at the Board of Aldermen’s Chambers, Somerville City Hall (93 Highland Avenue)
Wednesday, March 4, 7:00pm: Finance & Facilities Subcommittee Meeting at the Central Office Conference Room (42 Cross Street)

Community News & Events
Somerville Little League: 2015 online registration is now open. Register today at www.somervillelittleleague.org. *Major/Minor league registration is discounted by $25 until March 7.
SLL is hosting two important events the weekend of March 7th and 8th:
· SLL/Tufts Baseball Clinic Day: Work on your baseball skills with some of the Tufts baseball coaches and players! Somerville Little League and the Tufts University Baseball Program welcome all baseball players registered with SLL for the 2015 season to a free one-day baseball clinic on Saturday, March 7th, 2-4pm at the Steve Tisch Sports and Fitness Center & Cousens Complex (161 College Ave., Medford)
· Player Evaluation Day: Sunday, March 8th, 12-3pm at the Somerville High School Gymnasium (81 Highland Ave.). Attendance at Player Evaluation Day is required for: (1) new players to SLL wanting to play in the Minors or Majors, (2) players moving from Farm to Minors or from Minors to Majors, and (3) players unsure whether to play in the Minors or Majors. Evaluations are NOT required for T-ball, Farm League and players remaining in the same league as last season. Register your child in SLL online, or in person at either event.
Tufts Concert Choir on Broadway – Saturday, March 7, 2015, 1:00pm: Tufts Community Music presents a concert for families and children ages 5 and up. FREE and open to the public! Distler Hall, Granoff Music Center, Tufts University (20 Talbot Ave., Medford). Call 617-627-3679 or visit http://as.tufts.edu/music/musiccenter.
Read by the River Literacy Celebration – Sunday, March 8, 2015 from noon-3:00pm: Families with children in grades K-5 are invited to Tufts Hillel’s annual Read by the River Literacy Celebration at the 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. Event supported by the New England Patriots Foundation. Mark your calendars for a fun literacy celebration.
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 (heang@teenempowerment.org). 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 www.juniortech.org. 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.
Tuesday, March 10: Superintendent Awards at the Kennedy School
Tuesday, March 10: Superintendent Awards at the Brown School
Tuesday, March 10: Brown School Council Meeting
Thursday, March 12: Brown School Heritage Night Pot Luck
Thursday, March 12: ESCS Books for Bingo, K-3rd grade
Friday, March 13: Pi Night at the Healey
Wednesday-Friday, March 18-20: Somerville Public Schools Pre-Kindergarten Open Houses
Saturday, March 21: Somerville High School Career and Technical Education (CTE)/Vocational Fair

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Have something to share with the community? Send information to connections@k12.somerville.ma.us to share your event.
Include date, time and name of event, along with any additional pertinent information. Or, submit your event to www.somerville.k12.ma.us/events.

Susana Hernandez Morgan
Coordinator of Grant Writing & Information
Somerville Public Schools
42 Cross Street
Somerville, MA 02145
617.629.5221
Internal office extension: 6013
www.somerville.k12.ma.us
@SvilleSchools

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