Connections: A Newsletter from the Somerville Public Schools – March 20, 2015

Happy Spring (officially, anyway)! Celebrate the inevitable arrival of spring,
albeit a little later than we were hoping, by stopping in at the
CTE Vocational Fair at SHS on Saturday, March 21st between 9 a.m. and noon. Learn more under What’s Happening in this issue of CONNECTIONS.

News & Notes

Region IV Science Fair Results
Somerville High School students made an impressive showing at the Region IV Science & Engineering Fair held this past weekend at Somerville High School. Somerville hosted 157 students from 15 high schools throughout the Region. Students from Somerville, Acton-Boxboro, Andover, Chelsea, Everett, Hamilton-Wenham, Lexington, Medford, Methuen, Newburyport, Phillips Academy Andover, Pioneer Charter I, Pioneer Charter II, Revere, and Swampscott went head-to-head for a chance to advance to the Massachusetts State Fair at MIT next month. Students presented their research and findings to judges from leading STEM industries and universities.

Eleven projects from Somerville High students advanced to the MA State Science Engineering Fair, which will be held on May 1st and 2nd at MIT. Among Somerville’s top finishers was senior Connie Chan who tied for first place with her project titled “Post translational modification on bacterial collagen: Hydroxylation of Recombinant Collagen from S. Pyogenes.” She tied with Lexington High School’s Danny Lu and Michael Yang (An Exploration in the Application of Robotic Manipulators with Novel Control Mechanisms).

Connie will not only compete at the MA State Fair, but will also advance directly to the International Science and Engineering Fair, which will be held from May 10-15 in Pittsburgh, PA. Congratulations to all SHS participants and to the following students who advanced to the state competition.

Connie Chan
Post translational modification on bacterial collagen: Hydroxylation of Recombinant Collagen from S. pyogenes
Christina Bissereth & Amber Theobald
Taste the Rainbow
Joy Jarnagin
A Comparative Study Using Sound Frequency and Ampicillin to Inhibit E. Coli Growth
Nickolas Eliadis
Sugar Alternatives: How Do They Compare To Regular Sugar?
Vladimir Porokhin & Kunjal Shrestha & Anmol Shrestha
Homemade 7 – Note Analog Synthesizer
Andrew Churchill & Alec Portelli
Electric Geometry
Ethan Sweeting & Younes Charane
The Science of Soot
Alice Egar
Do mismatches between flu vaccines and circulating flu strains influence vaccine effectiveness?
Lin Feng Collins & Kaitlan Doherty
From Farm to Cable
Sadia Islam & Nicole Gouveia
Extracting Casein & Lactose from Kefir Milk
Daniel Strauss & Marisol Abreu
Can “Zero Calories” Be Trusted?

2015 City-Wide Swim Meet
Students from around the City enjoyed a day of friendly competition at the 2015 City-Wide Meet early this month. The Brown School came away with the “Most Participants” award. The Brown School also claimed the Grades 1-5 team title, and Argenziano claimed the Grades 6-8 award. Congratulations on a fantastic event! Following is a list of all event winners:
· 100y Freestyle Relay, Grades 1-5: 1st Kennedy, 2nd Healey, 3rd Brown
· 25y Freestyle, Grades 1-5: 1st Tenzin Gaesar, Kennedy; 2nd Susie Buckley, Brown; 3rd Ava Hardy, Kennedy
· 50y Freestyle, Grades 6-8: 1st Gleidson Desousa, Argenziano; 2nd Sylvia Hover, West Somerville; 3rd Shivani Bousal, West Somerville
· 25y Backstroke, Grades 1-5: 1st Anuj Dutt, Brown; 2nd Ava Hardy, Kennedy; 3rd Maksim Zaitsau, Brown
· 50y Backstroke, Grades 6-8: 1st Jonathan Cabral, Argenziano
· 25y Breaststroke, Grades 1-5: 1st Tenzin Gaesar, Kennedy; 2nd Galen Carter, Brown; 3rd Susie Buckley, Brown
· 50y Breaststroke, Grades 6-8: 1st Sylvia Hover, West Somerville
· 25y Butterfly, Grades 1-5: 1st Galen Carter, Brown; 2nd Anuj Dutt, Brown; 3rd Ariyeh Weissman-Bonnet, Brown
· 50y Breaststroke, Grades 6-8: 1st Isabella Jalai, Kennedy
· 100y Individual Medley, Grades 6-8: 1st Gleidson Desousa, Argenziano
· 100y Medley Relay: 1st Brown, 2nd Kennedy, 3nd East Somerville

What’s Happening

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.

Workshop: Raising Moral and Happy Children – March 24, 2015 – 6:30pm
How can we raise children who are both happy and moral? What are the key moral qualities we need to develop in kids, and how can we as parents and teachers develop them? Learn concrete practices at the heart of being an effective moral mentor. Presenter: Richard Weissbourd, Harvard School of Education and the Making Caring Common Project. Tuesday, March 24th, 6:30pm at the Healey School (5 Meacham Street).

Cyber Safety: What Families Need to Know – March 26, 2015 – 6:30pm
Learn how parents and guardians can keep their children safe while benefitting from the limitless opportunities available on the internet for knowledge and social connection. Presenters are: Rich Melillo, Director of Student Services for the Somerville Public Schools; Scott Whalen, Somerville Police Department, Cyber Forensics Unit; Cory Mashburn, Director, Somerville Office of Prevention; Charlie LaFauci, Supervisor of Library/Media Instruction, Somerville Public Schools.

DEI 19th Annual Pancake Breakfast – March 28, 2015 – 8:30-10:30am
The Duhamel Education Initiative (DEI) invites you to its annual spring fundraiser, the 19th Annual Pancake Breakfast, Saturday, March 28, 2015 at the First Church Somerville (89 College Avenue). Each year, the Pancake Breakfast has proven to be a great social affair whose proceeds support a number of special programs for Somerville Public Schools students; suggested donations are $10 for adults, $9 for seniors and $5 for children 10 and under. The Pancake Breakfast also offers an opportunity to meet and sample the excellent culinary skills of Somerville’s School Committee. Breakfast will be prepared and served by School Committee members. Reservations for this event are not required. Stop in and bring family and friends! For information about this and other DEI events, and ways you can support the Duhamel Education Initiative, visit

Week of the Young Child Celebration – April 14, 2015 – 10:00-11:00am
Join us in celebrating young children! Somerville Public Schools, SomerPromise and Somerville Family Learning Collaborative will be hosting a “Week of the Young Child” celebration from 10-11am on Tuesday, April 14 at Somerville’s City Hall (93 Highland Avenue). The morning will include fun activities for young children, a fire truck, music, a proclamation reading, and much more! Stay tuned for more information in next week’s CONNECTIONS, and mark your calendars to join us for a great celebration.

Best Buddies Annual Banquet – April 14, 2015 – 6:00pm
Are you interested in learning more about and supporting an outstanding program? The Somerville High School Best Buddies Chapter organizes activities that foster friendships between student volunteers and students who are developmentally challenged. This year, the peer buddies and buddies have enjoyed many activities together including apple picking, pumpkin decorating, a Thanksgiving lunch, and a Christmas Trolley Tour, among others. Best Buddies’ biggest fundraiser of the year is the Best Buddies Annual Banquet. All the proceeds from this event help fund the activities that the buddies and peer buddies do together throughout each school year. This year, the Banquet will be held on Tuesday, April 14th in the Highlander Café. Consider supporting an outstanding program by attending the Banquet or making a contribution to the Somerville High School Best Buddies Chapter. A delicious Highlander Café dinner awaits you. Dinner menu includes garden salad, homemade rolls, chicken parmesan, and dessert. Cost is $15/person, and the evening will also include raffles and more.

Somerville Adult Evening School Courses
Spring into action with a great evening school course! Please share with friends and family. Register today at: or in person at the Somerville High School Main Office (81 Highland Ave.). Course information and cost are available online. Select from a wide range of courses including: Zumba Gold, Yoga, Introduction to Computers, ESL, Spanish, Driver’s Ed, Academic Online Recovery, and 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.

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.
Saturday, March 21, 9:00am-noon: Career and Technical Education (CTE) Vocational Fair at the Somerville High School Atrium and CTE shops (81 Highland Ave.)
Tuesday, March 24, 6:00-7:30pm: Friends of the Healey Community Meeting & Presentation: Raising Moral and Happy Children, at the Healey School Library (5 Meacham St.). Open to everyone.
Friday, March 27, 5:00-9:00pm: ESCS 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament Fundraiser at the East Somerville Community School Gymnasium (50 Cross St.)
Tuesday-Thursday, March 31-April 2: WHCIS 5th Grade Trip to Nature’s Classroom
Thursday, April 2, 8:15-9:30am: ESCS PTA/Principal Roundtable at the East Somerville Community School After School Room (50 Cross St.)
Thursday, April 2, 6:00-7:00pm: ESCS PTA/Principal Roundtable at the East Somerville Community School After School Room (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
Tuesday, March 24, 6:30-8:00pm at the Kennedy School Library (5 Cherry St.): Vacation Survival Tips for Children with Special Needs. Even for adults traveling on their own, taking a trip can be anxiety-provoking. When a family is traveling and one or more members have a disability, the anxiety is even greater. Join us for an interactive talk and a chance to build your own survival guide suited to your family’s needs, including a checklist for traveling with students with disabilities that should make your trips easier. For more information or RSVP, contact Debby Higgins, PAC Coordinator at or at (617) 625-6600, x6829.
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 30, 7:00pm: School Committee Meeting for Long Range Planning at the Central Office Conference Room (42 Cross Street)
Wednesday, April 1, 7:00pm: Finance & Facilities Subcommittee Meeting at the Central Office Conference Room (42 Cross Street)
Monday, April 6, 6:00-6:55pm: Rules Management Subcommittee Meeting at the Board of Aldermen’s Chambers, Somerville City Hall (93 Highland Avenue)
Monday, April 6, 7:00pm: Regular School Committee Meeting at the Board of Aldermen’s Chambers, Somerville City Hall (93 Highland Avenue)
Community News & Events
Somerville Youth Softball – Online Registration Now Open; In-Person Registration Continues; Tryouts March 22, 2:00pm. Somerville Youth Softball—Fastpitch Softball league for girls 6-18 year old. In-person registration at Edgerly Education Center Gymnasium on Friday, March 20, 6:30-8:30pm, or register online at Tryouts are this Sunday, March 22nd, beginning at 2pm at the Somerville High School Field House. All players must attend tryouts.
March 23 & 30, 2015 – Mystic Learning Center Celebrates National Nutrition Month with “Bite into a Healthy Lifestyle” sessions: Somerville’s Mystic Learning Center (MLC) will be celebrating National Nutrition Month by promoting activities that foster healthy habits. Acclaimed vegan enthusiast Betsy Bragg and her staff will be providing demonstrations on healthy vegan raw recipes on Monday, March 23, from 6:00-8:00pm. Then on Monday, March 30, from 6:00-9:00pm, MLC’s own Nicole Bukowski, a nutritionist and exercise instructor, will provide an informative presentation titled “Eat This, Not That.” The presentation will be followed by an exercise session. All sessions are open to anyone 13 years of age or older. Refreshments and child care will be provided by the MLC staff during the sessions. Visit to learn about the Mystic Learning Center. To learn more about National Nutrition Month, visit
Youth Arts Arise – Spring Registration Deadline is March 24, 2015: Sign up for FREE art workshops for youth ages 11-19 at the Arts at the Armory. Spring registration is open, but don’t delay signing up for this great program. 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.
March 25 – Middle School Writers’ Den: All youth who love to write and are currently in 4th through 8th grades are invited to The Writer’s Den at the Somerville Public Library Central branch on Highland Avenue. 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. Pack a pencil or pen, a notebook or a pad, and bring a short completed piece of writing. Poetry, fiction, nonfiction, school newspaper reporting – what’s your interest? Contact Alan Ball, Coordinator, at with questions.
March 21, 2015 at 7:00pm – Guns ‘n Hoses 11th Annual Hockey Game: Support Somerville Youth Hockey! Come on down to the Somerville Rink and watch Somerville’s Police and Firefighters compete on the ice. A $5.00 donation is suggested. All monies raised will be donated to Somerville Youth Hockey. See you there!!
March 24, 2015 at 6:30pm – Raising Moral and Happy Children: How can we raise children who are both happy and moral? What are the key moral qualities we need to develop in kids, and how can we as parents and teachers develop them? Learn concrete practices at the heart of being an effective moral mentor. Presenter: Richard Weissbourd, Harvard School of Education and the Making Caring Common Project. Workshop begins at 6:30pm at the Healey School (5 Meacham Street.)
March 27, 2015 from 5:00-9:00pm – ESCS 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament Fundraiser at the East Somerville Community School Gymnasium. Enjoy a 3-on-3 basketball tournament, pizza, raffles, and more at this annual fundraising event.
March 28, 2015 from 6:00-10:00pm – Wig and ‘Stache Bash: Line up a babysitter, wear a wig and/or mustache, and join the fun at the Wig and ‘Stache Bash at Cuisine en Locale (156 Highland Ave.) in Somerville. Proceeds from this fundraiser will support off-site learning programs for the Healey School. Food from local vendors and restaurants will be served. This is a 21+ event. Dinner and drinks starting at 6pm, ‘wig out dance party with DJ’ starting at 7pm. Tickets are $25 in advance/$30 at the door. Advance tickets can be purchased at
March 31, 2015 from 6:00-8:00pm – Youth Arts Arise Fall Showcase Exhibition: Arts at the Armory invites you to join them in supporting Somerville’s talented artists at the Youth Arts Arise Fall Showcase Exhibition. Celebrate the achievements of young artists! Their projects will be on display for friends and family to enjoy. Refreshments will be available. Tuesday, March 31st, 6-8pm at the Arts at the Armory (191 Highland Ave.)
April 2015 – Somerville for Access Financial Education (SAFE) Class: Somerville Community Corporation (SCC) is offering a four-week financial education class designed to help participants navigate their financial lives more successfully. The class will be held on April 1, 2, 8, 9, 15, 16 and 23rd (Wednesdays and Thursdays from 6:15-9:00pm at SCC, located at 337 Somerville Avenue (2nd floor). Participants must (1) live, work or study in Somerville; (2) attend all seven class sessions, as well as two counseling sessions with SCC staff; and (3) meet specific income guidelines. Pre-registration is required. For more information and to register, contact Shannon Erb at (617) 776-5931, x238 or
April 14, 2015 from 5:00pm to close @ Flatbread Pizza – Capuano Benefit Fundraiser. Join us for the Capuano benefit night at Flatbread Pizza in Davis Square from 5pm-close on Tuesday, April 14. Bring your family, and invite your friends! Flatbread will donate a proceed of all pizza sales to the Capuano Early Childhood Center and the Capuano PTA. We will also have raffles and baked goods for purchase! We hope to see you there! *Take-out pizza orders that evening will also benefit the Capuano.* All funds raised will go to support ongoing programming including the school’s field day, Curious Creatures (a traveling exotic animal show), spring field trips (so all kids can participate), and a teacher/staff appreciation luncheon in June.
Somerville Little League: 2015 online registration is now open. Register today at
Internet Essential: Comcast’s Internet Essentials provides eligible families with low-cost broadband service for $9.95 a month plus tax; the option to purchase an Internet-ready computer for under $150; and multiple options to access free digital literacy training in print, online and in-person. At least one child must be eligible to participate in the National School Lunch Program in order for a family to be eligible. For more information or to apply for the program, visit or call 1-855-846-8376. Para información en español sobre Internet Básico, visite o llame al 1-855-765-6995.

Looking Ahead
A look at some of the events/activities in the Somerville Public Schools that are taking place in the coming weeks.
Saturday, March 28: Wig and ‘Stache Bash Healey Fundraiser
Monday, March 30: Workshop – Transition Planning, Ages 14-22
Monday, March 30: School Committee for Long Range Planning
Wednesday, April 1: School Committee Finance & Facilities Subcommittee Meeting
Thursday, April 2: K Registration deadline for 1st batch assignments
Thursday, April 2: ESCS PTA/Principal Roundtables

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