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


Enjoy a delicious pancake breakfast served by members of the Somerville School Committee, this Saturday at the Duhamel Education

Initiative’s (DEI) 19th Annual Pancake Breakfast! See “What’s Happening” below for details.

News & Notes

2014-2015 School Year Calendar Changes to Make Up Snow Days Approved
The following 2014-2015 School Year calendar changes to make up the 9 missed school days due to snow-related issues were approved on Thursday evening, March 26, 2015. In addition to the added school days, two previously scheduled Half Days* early in the spring have been shifted to later in the school year and will now be full days. All changes are noted below.
· Friday, April 3rd, originally a scheduled holiday, will now be an Early Release Day for all students. (pre-K dismissed at 11:30, K-8 at 12:00, High School at 11:33).
· *Wednesday, April 8, originally a scheduled Half-Day Wednesday for Pre-K to 8 students, will now be a full school day for all students.
· *Wednesday, May 6, originally a scheduled Half-Day Wednesday for Pre-K to 8 students, will now be a full school day for all students.
· Thursday, June 18 – will now be a full day for all students.
· Friday, June 19 – will be a full school day for all students.
· Monday, June 22 – will be a full school day for all students.
· Tuesday, June 23 – will be a full school day for all students.
· Wednesday, June 24 – will be a full school day for all students.
· Thursday, June 25 – will be a full school day for all students.
· *Friday, June 26 – will be an Early Release Day for Pre-K to 8 students (pre-K dismissed at 11:30, K-8 at 12:00), and a full day for high school students.
· *Monday, June 29 – will be an Early Release Day for Pre-K to 8 students (pre-K dismissed at 11:30, K-8 at 12:00), and a full day for high school students.
· Tuesday, June 30 – will be an Early Release Day for all students (pre-K dismissed at 11:30, K-8 at 12:00, High School at 11:33)
The last day of the 2014-2015 school year for all Somerville Public Schools students will be Tuesday, June 30, 2015.
**Please note that the 3 additional make-up days for Brown School students are still under negotiation.

Somerville’s Food Literacy Pop-up Workshop Earns Farm to Institution New England (FINE) “School Recipes for Success” Award
Our very own Farm to School and Somerville Family Learning Collaborative Pop-Up Events, titled “Raising a Reader – Food Literacy Workshop” were recognized earlier this month by the Farm to Institution New England (FINE). Somerville’s Farm to School event earned a runner-up award in the FINE School Recipes for Success contest. Read all about it at the Somerville Farm to School blog, For a complete list of the winners and to learn more about Farm to Institution New England, visit

8 Students Represent Somerville at Massachusetts All-State Treble Chorus Concert
Eight students from throughout the District represented the Somerville Public Schools at the Massachusetts All-State Treble Chorus concert on Saturday, March 21st. The All-State Treble Chorus is an auditioned chorus of singers in grades 4, 5, and 6 from all over Massachusetts. The chorus had the opportunity to work with Judy Bowers, Professor of Choral Music Education at Florida State University.

The Somerville students were Amelia Keenan (Winter Hill, grade 6), Marisa Lopez (Argenziano, grade 5), Tatiana Pineda (Argenziano, grade 5), Theresa Romano (Argenziano, grade 4), Britney Flores (East Somerville Community School, grade 5), Katja Szturma (Brown School, grade 4), Mary Duffy (Brown School, grade 6), and Jasmine Fridman (Brown School, grade 6). Congratulations to these students for their outstanding work!

Creating a “rich, challenging and joyful environment” in pre-K Classrooms
In a recent TNTP (The New Teacher Project) blog post, Somerville Public Schools Early Childhood Coach, Catherine Tighe, writes about “academic standards in action” in Pre-K classrooms. Read what this former SPS Kindergarten teacher and current early childhood coach has to say about how skilled pre-K educators “…create a rich, challenging and joyful environment for exploration and learning” at

Student-Created Videos Highlight Somerville High School Programs
Somerville High School TV/Media Arts students created a series of short videos highlighting some of Somerville High School’s programs. Learn more by watching their videos.
· CTE Culinary Arts Program:
· CTE Health Careers Program:
· CTE Drafting Program:
· CTE Automotive Program:
· SHS Art Club:
· SHS Drama Club:
· SHS Fashion Club:

ESCS Students Enjoy Annual Books for Bingo Event
Students in Grades K-3 at the East Somerville Community School (ESCS) and their families enjoyed an evening of bingo and books earlier this month at the school’s annual Books for Bingo event. The event has been held for more than 20 years and gives students an opportunity to go home with a favorite book.

Hundreds of books have been given away through this event. The event is sponsored by the PTA and School Council, with outstanding support from teacher volunteers. Thanks to all the volunteers for coordinating a great literacy event.

What’s Happening

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 DEI, 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 by Mayor Curtatone, a social story about City Hall, and more! Learn more about this event at, and plan to join us.

Best Buddies Annual Banquet – April 14, 2015 – 6:00pm
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’s Banquet will be held 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.

Introduction to Competitive Swimming – April 27 to May 20, 2015
“Introduction to Competitive Swimming” is a free program available to all Somerville Public Schools students in grades 3-8. Classes will be on Mondays and Wednesdays from 3:00-4:00pm starting April 27 and ending May 20, 2015. This program is based around the 4 competitive swim strokes – freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke and butterfly. The first day of training will be developing and understanding a good freestyle swim stroke, along with showing how to do starts and turns. Each day forward will introduce the next swimming stroke in the order listed above, while reviewing the previous day’s stroke, starts and turns. The class gives students a good progression each day to develop strength and endurance while learning a new competitive stroke. In order to participate in the program, students must be able to swim 2 lengths of the pool using any of the strokes listed above. Participants must provide their own bathing suit, goggles, swimming cap (or hair pulled back into a pony tail), and towel. Register your student by calling the Kennedy Pool at (617) 629-5445 or emailing Kennedy Pool Director, Rich Cheney at

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.
Friday, March 27, 5:00-9:00pm: ESCS 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament Fundraiser at the East Somerville Community School Gymnasium (50 Cross St.)
Friday, March 27, 6:00-7:30pm: Brown School PTA Gym Night at the Winter Hill Community Innovation School (115 Sycamore St.)
Tuesday-Thursday, March 31-April 2: WHCIS 5th Grade Trip to Nature’s Classroom
Wednesday, April 1, during lunch: PEP Farm to School Taste Test at the Winter Hill Community Innovation School Cafeteria (115 Sycamore St.)
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, 5:30-7:30pm: Brown School Heritage Night Potluck
Thursday, April 2, 6:00-7:00pm: ESCS PTA/Principal Roundtable at the East Somerville Community School After School Room (50 Cross St.)
Friday, April 3: CALENDAR CHANGE – Early Release Day of School for all students (pre-K dismissal at 11:30, K-8 dismissal at 12:00, High School dismissal at 11:33)
Tuesday, April 7, 6:00-7:30pm: Wildcat Chat – Summer Learning, Summer Fun, at the Winter Hill Community Innovation School (115 Sycamore St.)

Upcoming Somerville Family Learning Collaborative Workshops and Events
Find a complete list of SFLC events and workshops, and register for upcoming workshops at
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.
Wednesday, April 1, 5:00-6:30pm at the East Somerville Community School (50 Cross St.): Healthy Bodies, Healthy Minds. Join us for a fun and energetic evening at the third in a series of four workshops focused on student learning and family fitness. Sponsored in collaboration with Somerville’s Physical Education Program (PEP) and Somerville Community Schools.

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
March 28, 2015 from 10:00am-1:00pm – Mayor’s Fitness Challenge Kickoff: The 6th annual Somerville Mayor’s Fitness Challenge kicks off on Saturday with a family-friendly event featuring fun physical activities, healthy food tasting, health and wellness information, and free Fitness Goody Bags for participants. The four-week challenge runs through April 25 and offers both a Team Fitness Challenge as well as a non-competitive “Lifestyle Pledge,” with rewards for participants ranging from better health to discounts at local businesses. More information available at or by contacting Gregory Jenkins, at (617) 625-6600 x2985 or
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 30, 2015 – Mystic Learning Center Celebrates National Nutrition Month with “Bite into a Healthy Lifestyle” session: Somerville’s Mystic Learning Center (MLC) will be celebrating National Nutrition Month by promoting activities that foster healthy habits. 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. The session is 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.
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 2, 2015 at 7:30pm – Skate with Mayor Joe (Mayor’s Fitness Challenge): Join Mayor Joe Curtatone for an hour of skating at the Veterans Memorial Ice Rink (570 Somerville Avenue).
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.
April 20-24 – Arts at the Armory April Vacation Literary Arts Series. From April 20-24, the Center for Arts at the Armory is offering a week-long series in the Literary Arts. Participants in grades 1-8 are invited to come in from 9 am to 4 pm and stay for one day, a few, or for all five! Participants will learn creative writing skills in a fun and imaginative way with plenty of age-appropriate games, activities, and visual art aides. The week will start off with Writing Short Stories on Monday followed by Creating Characters and Setting (Tuesday), Film and Play Writing (Wednesday), Slam Poetry (Thursday), and ending the week with Comedy Writing (Friday). The series offers young artists a chance to create original work and to improve their writing skills in a fun and creative environment that fosters individual expression. Registration is online at
$200 for the week or $50/day with options available for sliding scale and/or scholarships. Questions? Contact
Somerville Little League: 2015 online registration is open. Register today at

Looking Ahead
A look at some of the events/activities in the Somerville Public Schools that are taking place in the coming weeks.
Tuesday, April 7: Wildcat Chat – Summer Learning, Summer Fun
Wednesday, April 8: SHS School Improvement Council Meeting
Thursday, April 9: ESCS 6th Grade Field Trip to Otis Museum
Thursday, April 9: SHS NACAC College Fair Field Trip
Thursday, April 9: SHS National Honor Society Induction Ceremony
Friday, April 10: Taste Test at the Argenziano
Friday, April 10: ESCS 6th Grade Field Trip to Otis Museum
Friday, April 10: SHS Junior/Sophomore Gala

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Include date, time and name of event, along with any additional pertinent information. Or, submit your event to

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