Connections: A Newsletter from the Somerville Public Schools – May 1, 2015


The sounds of spring are everywhere! Join us for the Spring String Fling Thursday night, 7pm at the SHS Field House.

News & Notes

SHS Freshmen Accepted to Harvard’s Crimson Summer Academy
Kelven Polite and Aya El Hassan, freshmen at Somerville High School, will be spending their next three summers attending Harvard as part of a group of 30 high-achieving high school freshmen from Somerville, Boston and Cambridge accepted to Harvard’s Crimson Summer Academy. The 30 Crimson Scholars will spend the next three summers attending classes, participating in projects, field trips and cultural events, and attending lectures presented by faculty members at Harvard. They will get the full college experience by living on campus during a portion of each summer. Crimson Scholars receive full financial support for room, board, and tuition, along with an annual summer stipend. Students who successfully complete the program are also awarded a $3,000 scholarship for use at a college or university of their choice. Visit to learn more about the Harvard Crimson Summer Academy.

Somerville Farm to School Empowering Mindful Eaters
The Somerville Farm to School Project is empowering students across the District to become “mindful eaters” with fun and engaging nutrition education experiences. Students at several schools in the District recently tried out pepper strips dipped in a veggie yogurt dip in taste tests held during the lunch period. Learn about some of the things we’re doing to encourage healthy eating choices by visiting the Somerville Farm to School blog at

Full Circle Students Showcase Carpentry Design Skills at Furniture Trust Eco-Carpentry Challenge

Earlier this year, the Full Circle Design and Build class participated in the Furniture Trust Eco-Carpentry Challenge. Students used their carpentry design skills and creativity to “up-cycle” old office furniture into something new and useful. They showcased their final projects alongside other vocational and alternative schools at an exhibit in Boston.

Congratulations on a great project!

Resources to Support Friends and Families from Nepal
The Nepal earthquakes have had a devastating impact on Nepal and on families around the world. Somerville held a candlelight vigil earlier this week in honor of the Nepalese community. We have compiled some resources to help families in supporting their children who may have been impacted by this tragic occurrence, including a list of agencies who are reported to send at least 80% of donation to direct aid. Resources are available at

Somerville High School Students Visit Greentown Labs
Earlier this year, a group of female students from AP Physics, Honors Physics, and Honors Engineering classes visited Greentown Labs in Somerville with Ms. Miller, Ms. Kessler, and Ms. Woods. Greentown Labs is home to more than 50 clean-tech start-ups and provides access to the space, resources, and funding the startups need to thrive.

The experience was designed to give the students an opportunity to learn what a career in the industry may be like, and to inspire young women to pursue a career in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). The students took a tour of the lab spaces and attended a women’s question-and-answer panel about being a woman in the male-dominated engineering and technology sector. To learn more about Greentown Labs, visit

What’s Happening

3rd Annual World Language Awards Night – Tuesday, May 5, 2015
Students from throughout the District will be recognized at this annual World Language event to be held in the Somerville High School Auditorium. The event starts at 6:30pm.

CTE Vocational Senior Awards Banquet – Wednesday, May 6, 2015
Somerville High School seniors in the Career and Technical Education program will be recognized at this annual event to be held at the Somerville High School Atrium and Field House. The event begins at 6:30pm.

Healthy Bodies, Healthy Minds Workshop – Wednesday, May 6, 2015
Somerville families are invited to join us for the fourth and final workshop of the year in a series focused on student learning and family fitness. The event takes place at the West Somerville Neighborhood School (177 Powderhouse Blvd.). Sponsored by Somerville’s Physical Education Program (PEP) and Somerville Community Schools.

WSNS Mosaic Mural Unveiling – Thursday, May 7, 2015
Join the celebration of the unveiling of “A World of Culture and Learning,” a mosaic mural created by West Somerville Neighborhood School students in grades 3-8, under the supervision of David Fichter and WSNS Art Teacher, Mrs. McLelland. The celebration begins at 5:00 p.m. at the front entrance to the West Somerville Neighborhood School (177 Powderhouse Blvd.). See you there!

Spring String Fling – Thursday, May 7, 2015
Join us for a musical celebration at the annual Spring String Fling, scheduled to be held at the Somerville High School Field House on Thursday, May 7th. String students from around the District will be performing at this free musical event. The concert begins at 7:00pm.

Somerville Adult Evening School Courses
Register for an adult evening course 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.
SCALE Adult Basic Education Orientation – June 9 & 10, 2015
Join the Somerville Center for Adult Learning Experiences (SCALE) during its Adult Basic Education Orientation, to prepare for the HiSET. The following orientations are scheduled and will be held at 167 Holland Street in Somerville:
· Tuesday morning, June 9, 2015 – 9:00 am to 10:30 am
· Wednesday evening, June 10, 2015 – 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm
Please call (617) 629-5500 to register.

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, May 2, 8:30am-12:00pm: School Calendar Make-up Day for Brown School students at the Brown School (201 Willow Ave.)
Tuesday, May 5, 6:30pm: Kennedy School Parent/Guardian Conferences (5 Cherry Street)
Tuesday, May 5, 6:30pm: 3rd Annual World Language Awards Night at the Somerville High School Auditorium (81 Highland Avenue)
Wednesday, May 6: CALENDAR CHANGE – Full Day of School for All Students
Wednesday, May 6, 6:00-7:30pm: Argenziano Parent/Guardian Conferences (290 Washington Street)
Wednesday, May 6, 6:30pm: CTE Vocational Senior Awards Banquet at the Somerville High School Atrium and Field House (81 Highland Avenue)
Thursday, May 7, 8:15-9:30am: ESCS PTA/Principal Roundtable Discussion at the East Somerville Community School Afterschool Room (50 Cross Street)
Thursday, May 7, 8:30-10:00am: ESCS K Unidos Field Trip to Symphony Park
Thursday, May 7, 5:00-6:00pm: Mosaic Mural Unveiling at the West Somerville Neighborhood School (177 Powderhouse Blvd.)
Thursday, May 7, 6:00pm: Special Education Report Parent/Guardian Forum at the Kennedy School (5 Cherry Street)
Thursday, May 7, 6:00-7:30pm: West Somerville Neighborhood School Parent/Guardian Conferences (177 Powderhouse Blvd.)
Thursday, May 7, 6:00-7:00pm: ESCS PTA/Principal Roundtable Discussion at the East Somerville Community School Afterschool Room (50 Cross Street)
Thursday, May 7, 7:00pm: Spring String Fling at the Somerville High School Field House (81 Highland Avenue)
Friday, May 8: Somerville High School Senior Prom
Monday, May 11, 6:00pm: Special Education PAC Business Meeting at the Kennedy School Library (5 Cherry Street)

Upcoming Somerville Family Learning Collaborative Workshops and Events
Find a complete list of SFLC events and workshops, and register for upcoming workshops at
Wednesday, May 6, 5:00-6:30pm at the West Somerville Neighborhood School (177 Powderhouse Blvd.): Healthy Bodies, Healthy Minds Workshop. Join us for the final 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.
Monday, May 18, 6:00-8:30pm at the Somerville High School Auditorium (81 Highland Ave.): Early College Planning Seminar. Learn about planning, saving and paying for college. How much should families save for college and when is a good time to start saving? Will savings affect financial aid? Find the information you need to create a college financial plan for your family. Presented by Massachusetts Educational Financing Authority (MEFA).
Thursday, May 21, 9:00am-12:00pm at the Cummings School (42 Prescott St.): Help Me Grow. Help Me Grow Somerville offers resources and strategies for families on how to be their child’s first teacher, and referral to supportive services for children who may need extra help.

Upcoming School Committee Meetings
Find the complete School Committee schedule, agendas and meeting minutes (as approved) online at
Monday, May 4, 7:00pm: Regular School Committee Meeting at the Board of Aldermen’s Chambers, Somerville City Hall (93 Highland Avenue)
Thursday, May 7, 7:00pm: School Committee Meeting for Finance & Facilities at the Central Office Conference Room (42 Cross Street)

Community News & Events
All-City Middle School Band “Shake Fundraiser”. Throughout the entire month of May, Potbelly Sandwich Shop in Porter Square (820 Somerville Ave.) will donate 50 cents from the sale of each “Cookie Collision Shake” to benefit the Somerville All-City Middle School Band. Stop by for a delicious treat and support middle grades band members from schools throughout Somerville!
Somerville Recreation Spring & Summer Guide. Download the Somerville Recreational 2015 Spring & Summer Guide ( to make plans for fun and active spring and summer seasons. For more information about Somerville Recreation, visit
Somerville Rocks! Somerville Rocks! is a community-wide youth talent show for Somerville youth ages 12 and older. Auditions will be held on Friday, May 1st from 2:45 to 4:30pm in the Somerville High School band room. The show will be held on Friday, May 22nd in the SHS Auditorium. Admission to the show is free. For more information, contact (617) 625-6600, x2616.
LGBTQ Family Day Celebration. The Somerville Office of Commissions and LGBTQ Liaison Andra Oshinsky invite all community members to join the City of Somerville in celebrating International Family Equality Day (IFED) on May 3, 2015. For the first time, Somerville will join in the annual event with LGBTQ family organizations from around the world to increase the international visibility of LGBTQ families. Somerville’s event is being held in partnership with The Rainbow Initiative and Family Equality Council. The celebration takes place from 2 to 5 p.m. in Seven Hills Park in Davis Square, and is free of charge. Family-friendly activities will include live music, arts & crafts, games, food trucks, a photo booth, and more. Families are encouraged to bring blankets and enjoy an afternoon of celebration and community building. Visit for more info.
Taco Tuesday – Celebrate Cinco de Mayo. Bring your family and friends for a great night out. Eat at La Brasa (124 Broadway in Somerville) between 5:00pm and 10:00pm on Tuesday, May 5th, and a portion of the proceeds go toward scholarships for Somerville High School students through the Somerville PTA Council Scholarship Fund. For more information about La Brasa, visit
Somerville Sunsetters 2015 Auditions. Talented, energetic, musical teens ages 12-18 are invited to audition for Somerville Sunsetters 2015. Auditions will be held Thursday, May 7th, 5-7pm in the City Cable Studio located beneath the Somerville High School Library. Please arrive prepared with a song to sing. iPod hook-up and a CD player will be provided. This is a paid position that requires a strong commitment. The group meets four times a week in May and June for required 2-hour rehearsals, and performs 45-minute shows four nights a week throughout the summer until August 12th. For more information, contact Jimmy Del Ponte at (617) 625-6600, ext. 2616 or via email at
Ninth Annual Youth Peace Conference. On Saturday, May 9, 12:30-5:00pm, the Center for Teen Empowerment hosts the Ninth Annual Youth Peace Conference at Somerville High School (81 Highland Avenue). The Conference will feature a stage presentation using the arts that addresses the root causes of issues that youth are currently facing. Through youth-led performances that will include skits, music, spoken word, rap and speeches, the Youth Peace Conference will explore how youth, adults, police, politicians, and community organizations can work together for a more peaceful community.
41st Annual Somerville PTA Scholarship Dinner Dance. Join the fun on Friday, May 15th at the 41st Annual PTA Dinner Dance at Anthony’s in Malden. Tickets are $38 apiece, with proceeds benefiting the Somerville PTA Scholarship Fund. The Dinner Dance Social Hour begins at 6:00pm, dinner at 7:00pm, followed by the awards ceremony and dancing. Tickets may be purchased at any SPS school’s PTA office, or by contacting Leah at Deadline to purchase tickets has been extended to May 7, 2015.
Somerville Kiwanis Bike Safety Day. Register for the May 16th Bike Safety Day hosted by the Somerville Kiwanis Club, and a chance to win a new bike and other great prizes! Registration is limited to the first 150 students; applications must be returned to the child’s teacher. The event will be held at the Argenziano School (290 Washington St.) on Saturday, May 16, from 9:00am to noon. Children must be accompanied by an adult and all bikes must be in working order. The day will include free bike inspection, free helmets and reflectors, free bike safety pamphlets and information, free & fun bicycle obstacle courses, and free refreshments. Additional special events include: finger printing kit and bike registration provided by the Somerville Police Department, Somerville Fire Department, face painting, music, and more. Contact David Blumsack with questions at (617) 776-7645.

Looking Ahead
A look at some of the events/activities in the Somerville Public Schools that are taking place in the coming weeks.
Monday, May 11: Special Education PAC Business Meeting
Tuesday, May 12: ESCS Parent/Guardian Conferences
Tuesday, May 12: Brown School Council Meeting
Tuesday, May 12: SHS STEM Awards Night
Wednesday, May 13: SHS School Improvement Council Meeting
Wednesday, May 13: Somerville Public Schools FY2016 Budget Hearing
Thursday, May 14: Brown School Parent/Guardian Conferences
Thursday, May 14: All-City Middle School Spring Concert
Friday, May 15: 41st Annual PTA Scholarship Dinner Dance
Monday, May 18: SHS Early College Planning Seminar
Monday, May 18: Massachusetts School Choice Public Hearing
Monday, May 18: Regular School Committee Meeting

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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