Connections: A Newsletter from the Somerville Public Schools – April 3, 2015


Enjoy books, music, and pizza in the next few days, while at the same time supporting student learning.

See Community News & Events for upcoming fundraisers to support students at the Healey, Argenziano and Capuano schools.

News & Notes

Kennedy Middle Grades Students Design, Build, Showcase Catapults
Under the direction of middle grades Science teacher, Anthony Sharp, the 7th and 8th grade students at the Kennedy School designed and built catapults as part of their Technology/Engineering Science unit. Students began working on their projects shortly after the holiday break, and showcased their final products in March with some friendly competition.
Working in groups of 4, students designed their catapults then created orthographic projections of their designs. They built their very own catapults from scratch using raw materials, and prepared to test them in a bean bag launching competition. The project ended in the Kennedy School Gymnasium where students from other grades were invited to watch the competition for best catapult. Through this project, students learned the basics of measurement, the safe and proper use of tools, and how to apply the engineering design process to a creative design. Students demonstrated great effort, teamwork, attention to safety, and creativity in completing their projects. A video of the entire project is available at

CTE Teacher/Trainer Helps SHS Students Earn 30-hour OSHA Certification
Under the training of Somerville High School Career and Technical Education (CTE) Teacher Mario Sousa, six SHS Carpentry students earned a 30-hour OSHA credential, an extremely valuable credential to have when entering the employment field. The group pictured at right (one student who completed the training is not pictured) is the first SHS class to earn this 30-hour OSHA card in-house. Mr. Sousa completed a two-course training last summer at Keene State in New Hampshire, to become a 30-hour OSHA “train the trainer” instructor. The training was funded by a Perkins grant awarded earlier this year to the SHS CTE program. Congratulations to all the students on this outstanding accomplishment.

Argenziano Fourth Grade Student Earns 2nd Place in MWRA Poster Contest
Maya Jaugust, a fourth grade student at the Argenziano School, loves science. Last week, she learned that she had been selected as the 2nd-place winner in the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority’s (MWRA) Annual Poster Contest. Contest winners will be recognized at a special ceremony in May at the Deer Island Treatment Plan.

Maya’s winning entry was one of 1,873 posters received by the MWRA this year. The contest involved creating a poster “showing a person or people doing their job in the water or waste-water field as it is related to Science, Technology, Engineering or Math.” Seven winners in each of 3 categories were selected (K-2, 3-5 and 6-8).

More information about MWRA’s School Program is available at:

Congratulations, Maya!

“Kid Chefs” Invited to Participate in Fourth Annual Healthy Lunchtime Challenge
Does your 8- to 12-year-old love to cook and eat healthy? Here’s a great opportunity for them to showcase their culinary skills for a chance to attend a Kids’ “State Dinner” at the White House this summer. Recipes are due by April 30th. To learn more, visit:

Food, Fun and Friendships at the DEI Annual Pancake Breakfast
Members of the Somerville community enjoyed a morning of fun along with some delicious pancakes at the Duhamel Education Initiative’s 19th Annual Pancake Breakfast last Saturday. Somerville School Committee members and District Administrators were also joined by incoming Somerville Superintendent Mary Skipper (pictured below at right with current Superintendent Tony Pierantozzi) as the morning’s chefs, flipping and serving pancakes for a great cause. Judging by the smiles on attendees’ faces, the event provided plenty of food, fun and friendship to kick off the weekend. More photos of this great community event are available at The DEI Pancake Breakfast is one of several annual fundraising events by the Duhamel Education Initiative. Funds raised go toward supporting innovative programs in Somerville Public Schools classrooms. To learn more about DEI, visit

What’s Happening

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 SHS 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. Questions? Contact

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.
Tuesday, April 7, 6:00-7:30pm: Wildcat Chat – Summer Learning, Summer Fun, at the Winter Hill Community Innovation School (115 Sycamore St.)
Wednesday, April 8: CALENDAR CHANGE – Full Day for All Students
Wednesday, April 8, 6:30-8:30pm: SHS School Improvement Council Meeting at the SHS Library (81 Highland Ave.)
Thursday, April 9: ESCS 6th Grade Field Trip (Caraballo and Revert), to Otis Museum
Thursday, April 9, 8:30am-12:30pm: SHS NACAC College Fair Field Trip to Boston
Thursday, April 9, 6:30pm: SHS National Honor Society Induction Ceremony at the Somerville High School Auditorium (81 Highland Ave.)
Friday, April 10, during lunch: PEP/Farm to School Taste Test at the Argenziano Cafeteria (290 Washington St.)
Friday, April 10: ESCS 6th Grade Field Trip (Spence and Vozella), to Otis Museum
Friday, April 10, 7:00-11:00pm: SHS Junior/Sophomore Gala at the Somerville High Field House (81 Highland Ave.)
Monday, April 13, 6:00pm: Special Education PAC Business Meeting at the Kennedy School Library (5 Cherry 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, April 7, 6:00-7:30pm at the Winter Hill Community Innovation School (115 Sycamore St.): Wildcat Chat – Summer Learning, Summer Fun. Need resources for summer learning opportunities? Join Adjustment Counselor Jennifer Miller, Tara Stead, Counselor Educator at Winter Hill Community Innovation School, and SFLC Family and Community Liaisons at this month’s Wildcat Chat to discuss summer learning and recreational opportunities for school-aged children.
Tuesday, April 14, 10:00-11:00am at Somerville City Hall (93 Highland Ave.): Week of the Young Child. Join the Mayor, Somerville’s Early Education and Care community and the National Association of Young Children in celebration of Somerville’s youngest learners. For more information about the Week of the Young Child, please visit
Wednesday, April 15, 7:00-9:00pm at Somerville High School (81 Highland Ave.): After the Acceptance Night. Join other Somerville High School families to learn about what comes after your child’s college acceptance.

Upcoming School Committee Meetings
Find the complete School Committee schedule, agendas and meeting minutes (as approved) online at
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)
Monday, April 13, 7:00pm: Educational Programs and Instruction Subcommittee Meeting at the Central Office Conference Room (42 Cross Street)
Monday, April 27, 7:00pm: Regular School Committee Meeting at the Board of Aldermen’s Chambers, Somerville City Hall (93 Highland Avenue)

Community News & Events
Healey School Porter Square Books Fundraiser – April 11 – 5:00-7:00pm. The annual Healey School Porter Square Books fundraiser will be held on Saturday, 4/11 from 5-7 pm. Porter Square Books will be donating 20% of all purchases during that time (INCLUDING GIFT CARDS – think birthdays and holidays) to the Friends of Healey. There will also be a donation table so you can donate student-requested books directly to the school library. Activities for kids will be offered and Emily Rocha, Healey School Librarian, will be available to offer recommendations. If you are not able to attend, you can purchase books online through the Porter Square Books website that evening. Any purchases made between 5:00 and 7:00pm with “Healey School” typed in the comments section will also get the 20% donation. Questions? Please email Hope to see you at Porter Square Books on April 11th!
Argenziano Community Concert – April 12, 2015 – 2:00-4:00pm. Join us for an afternoon of fun and music at the Argenziano School’s Community Concert on Sunday, April 12, from 2- 4:00 p.m. in the school cafeteria. Proceeds from the event support the Argenziano’s Musician in Residence program and its Heritage Night Celebration.
· 2:00 p.m. Concept Artists Dance Troupe (with the Boston Mobile Dance Company); performance and demo – all are invited to participate (
· 2:45 p.m. Argenziano Junior Chorus
· 3:15 p.m. Second Line Social Aid & Pleasure Society Brass Band – this is a great band to dance to, march, have a parade, etc.!
There will be snacks and drinks, and the Argenziano art teacher will be organizing art activities and musical instrument-making activities. Suggested donation is $10 for adults, $5 per child, $20 maximum per family.
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.
Wild Tales – Free After-school Theater Program. Children ages 5-13 are invited to participate in Wild Tales, a free community-based theater program for children in Somerville. Now in its 6th year and funded by the Somerville Arts Council, the program offers children aged 5-13 the opportunity to practice theater, music, dance and art skills while rehearsing and performing an original musical play each spring. This spring, the program features Shape Up Somerville. The show will be presented at the Somerville Public Library Main branch on Saturday, June 13th at 2:00pm. Wild Tales meets on Wednesday afternoons from 3:45-4:45pm in the Community Room at the Mystic Housing Building, 530 Mystic Avenue. For more information, contact Liza Kitchell (
Mayor’s Summer Jobs Program – Application Deadline April 24, 2015. The Mayor’s Summer Jobs Program is now accepting applications for summer 2015. More than 100 Somerville teens will be selected to participate in the annual job program which pairs young job seekers with opportunities within City departments as well as with private business partners in Somerville. Applications are now available at the Personnel Department in City Hall, and will be accepted until 12:30 p.m. on Friday, April 24. Eligible students must be Somerville residents, enrolled in high school, and at least 16 years of age. All applicants will be called for an interview during the week of April 27 – May 1, and selected youth must complete an orientation prior to the beginning of the program. Summer jobs require approximately 20 hours per week, though actual schedules will vary by employer. If you have any questions or would like additional information, contact Director of Human Services, Nancy Bacci, at 617-625-6600 ext. 2250 or
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
Somerville Arts Council “Art in the Garden” Summer Program – Registration Period March 17-April 30, 2015.
Art in the Garden is a summer art and nature program coordinated by the Somerville Arts Council for ages 6-11. Each week, we explore a specific theme through fine arts, gardening, nature exploration and field trips. Program begins on July 6. Due to high demand for this program, this year you may only register for up to four weeks, but may receive less. Our goal remains to make this program accessible to many families regardless of income. For Somerville residents only, this program is held at the beautiful Community Growing Center at Vinal Avenue (b/w Summer and Highland). The program takes place on Monday through Thursday, from 9:00 to 3:00. Registration period/deadline: March 17 to April 30. Questions? Call the Somerville Arts Council at (617) 625-6600, x2985. To learn more about Art in the Garden, visit
Somerville Arts Council “Musical Theater Camp” – Registration Deadline April 30, 2015. Working from the success of our Art in the Garden program, this summer we are offering a three-week, full day, summer camp that is focused on musical theater. Your child, aged 8 to 13, will shine on stage at the Armory in this exciting production of Disney’s The Little Mermaid Jr. This 60-minute, Young Performer’s edition of the 2008 Broadway production will bring your performer on an adventure in a magical underwater kingdom and up to grand castles as they portray the range of characters, both human and animal. The program will be held in the wonderful Arts at the Armory and take place from July 13- 31, 2015, 9:00am- 4:30pm. Drop off begins at 8:30; pick up no later than 5:00 p.m. Registration deadline: April 20. Questions? Call the Somerville Arts Council at (617) 625-6600, x2985. To learn more about Musical Theater Camp, visit

Looking Ahead
A look at some of the events/activities in the Somerville Public Schools that are taking place in the coming weeks.
Monday, April 13: Special Education PAC Business Meeting
Tuesday, April 14: Week of the Young Child 2015
Tuesday, April 14: Brown School Council Meeting
Tuesday, April 14: PTA Full Council Meeting
Wednesday, April 15: Taste Test at the Kennedy School
Wednesday, April 15: SHS After the Acceptance Night
Thursday, April 16: Next Wave/Full Circle Parent/Guardian Conferences
Monday-Friday, April 20-24: April Vacation (includes Patriots’ Day)

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



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