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

It’s time to “spring forward” one hour! Daylight savings time starts this Sunday, March 8th, at 2:00am.

News & Notes

Somerville High School Science & Engineering Fair and Exhibition
Seventy-eight Somerville High School students representing 45 projects competed in this year’s Science & Engineering fair, hosted by the Somerville High School Science Department on Thursday, March 5, 2015. Students from every grade level work on a project for several months, which allows them to explore ideas and curiosities they have about a science topic of their choice. It also gives students an opportunity to apply the skills and knowledge of the scientific method and engineering design process that they have gained in their classes to an authentic scientific problem. Projects and presentations were judged by 19 judges from various universities and industries including Artisan’s Asylum, Beryllium, Biogen IDEC, Re-Seed, Sigma-Aldrich, and Tufts University. Students were also able to showcase their work and knowledge at the first-ever Science and Engineering Fair Exhibition Night, held that evening at Somerville High. Parents, teachers, and community members toured the projects and listened to students present their research and discuss their findings. Thank you to all those who came out to support our students!

The following projects earned awards for their originality, thoroughness, and contribution to the scientific community:
Christina Bissereth & Amber Theobald – Taste the Rainbow
Anmol Maini & Vladimir Porokhin & Kunjal Shrestha – Homemade Analog 7-Note Synthesizer

Ben Stevens – The Chemical Impact of Road De-Icers on the Structural Integrity of Concrete
Andrew Churchill & Alec Portelli – The Effect of the Geometry of a Torus on Wireless Transmission of Electricity
Mei Collins & Brittney Gedeon – From Farm to Cable

Lin Collins & Kaitlan Doherty – How Sleep Affects Teens
Nicole Gouveia & Sadia Islam – Extracting Casein and Lactose from Kefir Milk
Marisa Kelath – The Effect of Population on Natural Selection in a Computer Simulation
Nickolas Eliadis – Sugar Alternatives: How Do They Compare To Regular Sugar?
Joy Jarnagin – The Effect of Sound Frequencies on the Growth of E. coli
Anna Cooleybeck – The Effects of Sunscreen on pH
Anna Carton-Smith & Camille Hickey & Katia Mathews – Exploring Water Desalination
Jacob Margolin & Elliot Rippe & Arjun Singh – Troubles with Doubles?

Alice Egar, Shreyek Khadka & Navdeep Maini, James Macrokanis, Jordan Westlake, Connie Chan,
Marisol Abreu & Daniel Strauss, Younes Charane & Ethan Sweeting,
Samantha Fourtounis & Eleni Grams, Ella Sprick & Henry Sprick, Anup Shrestha & Shreyaj Shrestha, Anmol Bhargo & Ashutosh Bhargo, Michael Vaglica, Justin Berry & Fru Che & Donovan Palmer, Bennet Hazell & Nicolas Ragusa

While all of the projects reflect the students’ hard work and effort, only those projects earning the highest scores advance to the Region IV Science and Engineering Fair where they compete against other high school winners from all over northern Massachusetts for entry into the State Science and Engineering Fair held at MIT in May.

The Region IV Science and Engineering Fair will take place at Somerville High School on March 14th with a public viewing period from 1-3pm that day. Congratulations and good luck to these students as they advance to the next level of competition!

Full Circle’s Gabrielle Etienne Excels at State and New England Track Finals
Gabrielle Etienne, a junior at Full Circle and member of Somerville’s Varsity Girls’ Track Team, heaved a personal best of 40’0” at the New England Track Finals on Friday, February 27th to earn a 6th-place finish in the shot put event. She topped her previous personal record by more than 2 feet.

Gabby’s previous best of 37’8” came in a 4th-place finish at the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) State Finals held at the Reggie Lewis Center on Saturday, February 21st. Her personal best throw at the State meet took her from 7th place to 4th place, and qualified her for the New England Finals the following week.

Celebrating Dr. Seuss’ Birthday
The East Somerville Community School and schools across the district celebrated Dr. Seuss’ birthday in style. Younger students had visitors read Dr. Seuss books to them in their classrooms and older students were able to connect with this author in the library.

PEP Grant Update: Morning BOKS Program Kicks Off at Argenziano School
Several students at the Argenziano School are kicking off their mornings a little earlier this year, meeting up with schoolmates at the Argenziano BOKS program which started this year as part of the district’s Carol M. White Physical Education Program (PEP). About 25-35 students gather in the school gymnasium Mondays through Thursdays for free play from 7:15 to 7:25 am, then circle up to learn about and discuss the skill of the week. A fun warm-up, drills and games add to the morning activity, which concludes with a nutrition education piece before kids head to the cafeteria for a healthy breakfast.

The best part? According to Argenziano BOKS program leads Stephanie and Rebecca, it’s engaging students “…in physical activity which lifts their spirits, increases their appetite for a healthy breakfast, and helps them get ready to learn.” Sounds like the perfect start to a great day! To learn more about BOKS, visit

What’s Happening

Additional Kindergarten Registration Sessions – March 7 and 12, 2015
Kindergarten registration for the 2015-2016 school year is currently under way. The many weeks of snow this winter made it difficult for some families to register their children. Parents/Guardians who have not yet registered their children for Kindergarten are encouraged to attend one of the following two new Kindergarten registration sessions:
· Saturday, March 7, 8:00am to 2:00pm at the Parent Information Center (42 Prescott St.); or
· Thursday, March 12, 9:00am to 2:00pm at the Capuano Early Childhood Center (150 Glen St.).
Kindergarten registration is also ongoing at the Parent Information Center, Monday-Thursday from 8:00am to 4:00pm and Fridays from 10:00am to 4:00pm. Only complete registration packets received by Thursday, April 2nd will be included in the first batch of assignments. To learn more about the Kindergarten registration process and to download an application, visit, or call the Parent Information Center at (617) 629-5670.

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.

Pi Night at the Healey School – March 13, 2015 – 6:30-8:00pm
On Friday, March 13, 6th, 7th and 8th grade students from throughout the district and their families are invited to celebrate Family Math Night by joining the fun at Pi Night at the Healey School. This math event, sponsored by the Somerville Mathematics Fund, will focus on π (pi), the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter. There will be various pi-related activity stations where participants can win a delicious pie! There will also be pizza-pi for everyone, and everyone takes home a small pie. To assist in the ordering of pizzas and pies, please RSVP by Monday, March 9, 2015 and include the name of the student and number of family members attending. Questions? Email Mr. Jacques at, or leave a message at 857-829-1831.

Region IV Science Fair – March 14, 2015 – 9:00am-12:00pm
Somerville High School (SHS) hosts the 39th annual Region IV Science Fair on Saturday, March 14th, 9:00am to noon at the SHS Field House. Winners of local school fairs will compete at Region IV for an opportunity to advance to the Massachusetts State Science Fair at MIT in May. Judging for the March 14 competition at Somerville High School will be from 9am to noon. Exhibits will be open for public viewing from 1-3pm, and the Awards Ceremony is scheduled to take place from 3-4pm. Six Regional Science Fairs serve as qualifying competitions for the May state event.

SHS Career & Technical Education (CTE) Vocational Fair – March 21, 2015 – 9:00am-12:00pm
Learn about Somerville High School’s Center for Career and Technical Education programs at the 2015 CTE Vocational Fair on Saturday, March 21st. Guests will get an inside look at the CTE’s 13 trade programs, and have an opportunity to participate in hands-on activities. The day’s events include tours led by CTE Student Ambassadors. Somerville High School’s CTE programs are preparing students for success beyond high school, using the latest technology and the most cutting-edge techniques. Stop in on March 21st between 9:00am and noon to find out more. Free and open to the public.

Somerville Adult Evening School Courses
Tired of the snow? How about an exercise class? Give the gift of education — one for a friend, and one for you too. Please share with friends and family. Don’t delay!! Register today at: or in person at the Somerville High School Main Office (81 Highland Ave.), and take advantage of the following Melt Down Specials:
· Zumba Gold. Thursday nights, 6-7 pm: 5 classes $30, Walk-in’s $7 and $5 for seniors/students (Buy 2 friends this gift and yours is free!)
· YOGA. Thursdays, 7-8 pm: 5 classes $30, Walk in’s $7 & $5 for seniors/students (Buy 2 friends this gift, yours is free!)
· Intro to Computers. Tuesday nights, 6-8 pm, $165
· *ESL. Learn to speak English, Tuesday nights, 6-8 pm, $240 includes workbook
· *Spanish. Beginner classes in conversational Spanish.
· Driver’s Ed. Tuesday and Thursday nights from 6-9pm for 5 weeks beginning March 17 through April 16. Register next Tuesday or Thursday (March 10th or 12th) between 6:00 and 8:00pm. $60 initial registration fee
· Academic Online Recovery. Algebra, Biology, English, Geometry, History
· … and much more.
Classes meet only on Tuesday or Thursday nights from 6-9pm. For more information about Somerville Adult Evening School courses, call (617) 629-5250, or contact Principal Sophia Carafotes at or (617) 628-2594. (*ESL and Spanish Teachers needed. Please call 617-628-2594)

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, March 9, 8:45-9:45am: ESCS Grades 2-4 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, 8:30am: Kennedy Superintendent Awards at the Kennedy School Cafeteria (5 Cherry St.)
Tuesday, March 10, 1:30pm: Brown School Superintendent Awards (201 Willow Ave.)
Tuesday, March 10, 2:45-4:15pm: ESCS Parent/Guardian-Teacher Conferences (50 Cross St.)
Tuesday, March 10, 6:00-7:30pm: Brown School Council Meeting (201 Willow Ave.)
Thursday, March 12, 6:00-7:30pm: Brown School Family Heritage Night, held at the West Somerville Neighborhood School (177 Powderhouse Blvd.). Cultural event will include food, music, and dance from around the world.
Thursday, March 12, 6:00-7:30pm: Books for Bingo, K-3rd Grade at the East Somerville Community School Cafeteria (50 Cross St.)
Friday, March 13, 6:30-8:00pm: Pi Night at the Healey School (5 Meacham St.)

Upcoming Somerville Family Learning Collaborative Workshops and Events
Find a complete list of SFLC events and workshops, and register for upcoming workshops at
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.
Wednesday-Friday, March 18-20, 9:00-11:00am: Somerville Pre-Kindergarten Open Houses. Get an inside look at our SMILE and ECIP Programs at the Capuano School, and the SMILE classrooms at the Argenziano, Winter Hill, and West Somerville Neighborhood Schools. Registration for the SMILE Program begins on Saturday, March 21st at 10:00am at the Parent Information Center.
Thursday, March 26, 6:30pm at the East Somerville Community School (50 Cross St.): Cyber Safety – What Families Need to Know. Learn how parents/guardians can keep their children safe while benefiting from the limitless opportunities available on the internet for knowledge and social connection.
Monday, March 30, 6:30pm at the Kennedy School (5 Cherry St.): Transition Planning for Youth with Disabilities. Learn about transition planning and services required or youth ages 14-22 with disabilities, to help prepare students for further education, employment, independent living, and a transition to adult life. Presenter is Johanne Pino of the Massachusetts Advocates for Special Needs.

Upcoming School Committee Meetings
Find the complete School Committee schedule, agendas and meeting minutes (as approved) online at
Monday, March 16, 7:00pm: Regular School Committee Meeting at the Board of Aldermen’s Chambers, Somerville City Hall (93 Highland Avenue)
Tuesday, March 17, 7:00pm: Educational Programs and Instruction Subcommittee Meeting at the Central Office Conference Room (42 Cross Street)
Monday, March 30, 7:00pm: School Committee Meeting for Long Range Planning at the Central Office Conference Room (42 Cross Street)

Community News & Events
Youth Arts Arise: Spring registration for FREE art workshops for youth ages 11-19 at the Arts at the Armory is now open! Learn more and find out how to register at Workshops are Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 3:30-5:00pm April through June 2015 at the Arts at the Armory (191 Highland Ave.). The deadline to register for spring classes is March 24, 2015. Classes include filmmaking, painting, collage and much more! Questions? Contact or (617) 718-2191.
Somerville Little League: 2015 online registration is now open. Register today at *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
Read by the River Literacy Celebration – Sunday, March 8, 2015 from noon-3:00pm: Tufts Hillel’s annual Read by the River Literacy Celebration at the Tufts University Gantcher Center (161 College Ave.) is this Sunday. The 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.
Middle School Writers’ Den – March 2015 Schedule. All youth who love to write and are currently in 4th through 8th grades are invited to The Writer’s Den. The Middle School Writer’s Den will meet at the Somerville Public Library Central branch on Highland Avenue, on the following Wednesdays in March:
· March 11, 6:00-7:00pm (*Note that the library is presenting its Board Game Night at 7:00; all are welcome.)
· March 18, 6:00-7:15pm
· March 25, 6:00-7:15pm
At the Writer’s Den, writers meet informally to share their 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? Please contact Alan Ball, Coordinator, at with any questions regarding Writers’ Den.
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.

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 17: ESCS School Improvement Council Meeting
Tuesday, March 17: PTA Council Officers Meeting
Wednesday, March 18: Half-Day Wednesday (Pre-K dismissed at 11:30; K-8 dismissed at noon)
Wednesday, March 18: Unidos Parent Coffee at ESCS
Wednesday-Friday, March 18-20: Somerville Public Schools Pre-Kindergarten Open Houses
Friday, March 20: Brown School PTA Museum of Science Overnight
Friday, March 20: Argenziano Malian Drum and Dance Concert with Joh Camara
Saturday, March 21: Somerville High School Career and Technical Education (CTE)/Vocational Fair

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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