Connections: A Newsletter from the Somerville Public Schools – April 10, 2015


Join us in celebrating The Week of the Young Child next week. See “What’s Happening” for more information about a special event.

News & Notes

Family Workshops Promote Healthy Eating and Fun Family Fitness Activities
Families across Somerville have been exploring a variety of fun family fitness activities and learning about healthy eating through a series of “Healthy Bodies, Healthy Minds” workshops offered as a collaboration between the Somerville Physical Education Program (PEP), and Community Schools. The final in a series of four “Healthy Bodies, Healthy Minds” workshops will take place on Wednesday, May 6th from 5:00 to 6:30pm at the West Somerville Neighborhood School. The event is open to all Somerville students and their families, and includes a free dinner and an opportunity to try out fun family fitness activities.
More than 200 students and their families have participated in the first three of the four workshops, which have included sharing in a free dinner, and learning about healthy eating while also trying out some fun family fitness activities. Among the tastier learning opportunities presented has been a healthy eating demonstration by the Smart Cookies Cooking Club offered at the first workshop held at the East Somerville Community School (ESCS) in February. Cooking Club students prepared granola using whole grains and then made granola cookies, which they then distributed to the guests.
Families have also tried Parkour, a holistic training discipline that involves running, jumping, vaulting and rolling to move across a surface as efficiently as possible. Many participants have also enjoyed Capoeria, a Brazilian martial art that combines dance, acrobatics and music, as well as yoga and Zumba, a dance fitness program that uses Latin and international music. To keep heart rates up and put a smile on everyone’s face, participants sampled a playful activity from the SPARK curriculum, a new physical education program integrated into all Somerville elementary schools thanks to the support of the Physical Education Program (PEP) grant the district was awarded last year by the U.S. Department of Education.

WSNS Students Experience Being Principal/Assistant Principal for the Day
On April 8th, two West Somerville Neighborhood School (WSNS) students became Principal and Assistant Principal for the Day. Makaila Witham, a third grade student in Mr. Hughes’ class was the Principal for the day, working alongside Principal Davis. Katie Iacomini, a fifth-grade student in Mr. Burch’s class, was the day’s Assistant Principal working alongside Mrs. Baker.
The girls gained an understanding of the many aspects of a school administrator’s daily responsibilities, experiencing a variety of administrative work. They visited classrooms, answered questions, worked in the supply closet, interacted with students, greeted students at the beginning of the day, read to kindergarten students, and met with the Superintendent of Schools, Tony Pierantozzi. The girls enjoyed interviewing Superintendent Pierantozzi and asked some questions about his current job, as well as his first.
What was your Superintendent like when you were in school? The Superintendent shared that he never met his Superintendent. He did, however, know the Assistant Superintendent at his school because the Assistant Superintendent was the dad of one of his friends.
What is your favorite thing about being Superintendent? The Superintendent answered that meeting students and their families was a special part of his job. He enjoys making visits to schools and talking with students about their future. He enjoys attending events where he gets to meet lots of people. He also meets with Principals, Assistant Principals and Teachers to see how things are going and to hear about the projects students are working on. As the Chief Academic Officer (CAO) he works with all of the staff to support and encourage our students to show progress in their studies.
How long have you been Superintendent and what was your first job? The Superintendent responded that he has been working 16 years as a Superintendent, 10 of those years have been in Somerville. His first job was as a newspaper carrier. He delivered newspapers after school to about 75 customers, and then did his homework. He delivered the newspapers on his bike, and noted that the newspapers were delivered in all kinds of weather.
The Superintendent talked to the girls about their future plans and offered excellent advice – Get a good education!!
Makaila and Katie ended an exciting day by enjoying ice cream with their classes, a great way to end a full day of school administrative duties.

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. 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. Cost is $15/person, and the evening will also include raffles and more. Questions? Contact

Free Math MCAS Tutoring During April Vacation – April 21-23, 2015
Free Math MCAS Tutoring for high school students will be offered during April vacation. Tutoring will be held at the Somerville High School Library (81 Highland Avenue) on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, April 21-23, from 9AM-noon. All SPS high school students who will be taking the math MCAS in May are invited to attend.

Introduction to Competitive Swimming – April 27 to May 20, 2015
“Introduction to Competitive Swimming” starts later this month. This 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 class gives students a good progression each day to develop strength and endurance while learning a new competitive stroke. Students must be able to swim 2 lengths of the pool using any of the strokes listed above in order to enroll in the program. 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, April 10, 7:00-11:00pm: SHS Junior/Sophomore Gala at the Somerville High Field House (81 Highland Ave.)
Tuesday, April 14, 2:45-4:15pm: Brown School Council Meeting at Edgerly Building, Ms. Seward’s Office, Room 215
Tuesday, April 14, 7:00pm: PTA Full Council Meeting at the West Somerville Neighborhood School (177 Powderhouse Blvd.)
Wednesday, April 15: Healey Grades 5 and 6 Science Fair at the Healey School (5 Meacham St.)
Wednesday, April 15, during lunch: PEP “Farm to School” Taste Test at the Kennedy School Cafeteria (5 Cherry St.)
Wednesday, April 15, 1:00-3:00pm: Annual Choral Festival Master Class and sharing session for students, at the Somerville High School Auditorium (81 Highland Ave.)
Wednesday, April 15, 4:00pm: Healey School Site Council Meeting at the Healey School Library (5 Meacham St.)
Wednesday, April 15, 7:00-9:00pm: “After the Acceptance” Night at the Somerville High School Library (81 Highland Ave.)
Thursday, April 16: Healey Grades 7 and 8 Science Fair at the Healey School (5 Meacham St.)
Thursday, April 16, 6:30-8:30pm: Healey Middle School Trivia Night at the Healey School (5 Meacham St.)
Monday-Friday, April 20-24: April Vacation (Includes Patriots Day) – NO SCHOOL
Tuesday-Thursday, April 21-23, 9:00am-noon: FREE Math MCAS Tutoring for all SPS high school students who will be taking the MCAS in May, at the Somerville High School Library (81 Highland Ave.)

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 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 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)
Monday, May 4, 6:00-6:55pm: Rules Management Subcommittee Meeting at the Board of Aldermen’s Chambers, Somerville City Hall (93 Highland Avenue)
Monday, May 4, 7:00pm: Regular School Committee Meeting at the Board of Aldermen’s Chambers, Somerville City Hall (93 Highland Avenue)
Wednesday, May 6, 7:00pm: Finance & Facilities Subcommittee Meeting at the Central Office Conference Room (42 Cross Street)

Community News & Events

Healey School Porter Square Books Fundraiser – April 11 – 5:00-7:00pm. 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. Books can also be purchased 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 generate the 20% donation. Questions? Please email
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.
Jump with Joe! – Mayor’s Fitness Challenge – April 15 – 7:00-8:00pm. As part of the 2015 Mayor’s Fitness Challenge, join Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone from 7:00-8:00pm at Sky Zone Jump (69 Norman St., Everett) for an hour of jumping fun!
Tufts Literacy Corps Literacy and the Arts Summer Program – Tuition Assistance Application by April 17. The program offers focused, one-on-one tutoring in the context of a fun summer day. For children who have completed grades 1-4. Program runs August 3-21, 2015 and will be held at the Evelyn G. Pitcher Curriculum Resource Lab at the Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Study and Human Development. $1,025/three-week session. To register or obtain more information about the program, visit the Tufts Literacy Corps website at
6th Annual Shape Up Somerville/Recreation Road Race – April 19 – 10:30am. The 6th Annual Road Race begins at 10:30am at the Somerville High School concourse (81 Highland Avenue). The day begins with a one-mile children’s Fun Run, includes a 5K race and walk, and concludes with a celebration for runners at Casey’s Grill at 173 Broadway. Registration is open to all community members at a price of $5 for youth under age 10, and $20 for adults. Applications are available at and For additional information, contact the Somerville Recreation Department at (617) 625-6600, ext. 2980.
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 for students in grades 1-8. 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 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 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-Friday, April 20-24: April Vacation (includes Patriots’ Day)
Monday, April 27: Regular School Committee Meeting
Tuesday, April 28: ESCS School Improvement Council Meeting
Tuesday, April 28: Winter Hill Community Innovation School Parent/Guardian Conferences
Tuesday, April 28: Next Wave/Full Circle Parent/Guardian Conferences
Wednesday, April 29: “I am a Brain Builder” Parent/Guardian Workshop
Wednesday, April 29: SHS Parent/Guardian Conferences
Thursday, April 30: Friends of the Healey Community Meeting
Thursday, April 30: Healey Parent/Guardian Conferences
Thursday, April 30: Brown School Family Math Night
Thursday, April 30: Somerville High School Spring Concert
Tuesday, May 5th: Kennedy Parent/Guardian Conferences
Tuesday, May 5th: 3rd Annual World Language Awards Night
Wednesday, May 6th: Argenziano Parent/Guardian Conferences
Wednesday, May 6th: CTE Vocational Senior Awards Banquet
Thursday, May 7th: West Somerville Neighborhood School Parent/Guardian Conferences
Thursday, May 7th: Spring String Fling
Friday, May 8th: Somerville High School Senior Prom

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