Connections: A Newsletter from the Somerville Public Schools


Join Somerville students next week in a medley of musical celebrations. El Sistema Somerville’s 3rd Annual Spring Benefit Concert
is Tuesday night, 7pm at ESCS. Then stop in at the SHS Auditorium at 7pm on Thursday and Friday nights. Enjoy the SHS Evening of Song
on Thursday and rock out with Somerville Rocks! on Friday.

News & Notes

Full Circle Students Attend Empowering Girls Conference
On April 14th, Next Wave/Full Circle High School Principal Margaret DePasquale accompanied Full Circle female students to the Empowering Girls Conference “I’m Worth More,” sponsored by Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan and the Middlesex Partnerships for Youth. The event was held at Nashoba Valley Technical High School in Westford, Mass.

This year’s conference focused on a variety of confidence-building and empowering topics, bringing together high school students from across the state to hear from compelling speakers and learn through interactive presentations. The topics offered at the 2015 conference included Paving Your Own Path, The Power of Positivity, Recognizing Healthy Relationships, Healthy Inside and Out, and Girls Empowering Girls.

Full Circle students were impressed to learn that District Attorney Ryan is from Somerville and were excited to have the opportunity to meet her and take a photo with her. (Pictured from Left to Right in the photo above: Mikayla Arenella, Melissa Lanzieri, Taylor Corning, District Attorney Marian Ryan, Christine Benjamin, Margaret DePasquale, Gabby Etienne, Amber West.) To learn more about this and other events and services offered by the Middlesex Partnerships for Youth, visit

NECN Features Somerville Mosaic Mural Unveilings
Watch NECN’s Center Stage story “Mosaic Mural Creation” featuring locally-based artist David Fichter and the work that he and students at the Healey and West Somerville Neighborhood Schools did to create stunning mosaic murals for outdoor display at their respective schools.

“Empowering Teachers using Agile Curriculum”
Code for America’s Garret Jacobs explains how Somerville Public Schools is empowering teachers with data to create an agile curriculum. Read all about it at

Healey School Students Showcase Scientific Knowledge at Science Fair
Students in Grades 4 through 8 at the Arthur D. Healey School used the scientific method to research a topic of interest, then presented their scientific knowledge at this year’s science fair. They designed experiments around their hypotheses, identifying independent and dependent variables, then drew and presented their conclusions at the fair. Congratulations to all the participants and the following students with winning entries.
4th Grade Winners
1st Place: Jonathan Chan, Simon Cheung, AJ Carey-Marujo, Nick Milonopoulos, Yanellis Borgos-Abreu
2nd Place: Aidan Piltman, Carly McMann, RJ Pierre, Jose Estrella, David Didier, Michaela Edwards,
Ellie Churchill, Ryann Mack;
3rd Place: Loralei Rhinehart, Owen Carr, James Kurth, Leann McGrath
Honorable Mention: Jalen Klett, Mohammed Miajee, Akeem Deen, Julian Delmonico, Kayala Nayak, Dale Bakoian, Phoebe Milhous, Thanimul Chowdhury
5th Grade Winners
1st Place: Amine Atti;
2nd Place: Andrew Da Costa;
3rd Place: Stephanya Estrella, Jesiah Concepcion
Honorable Mentions: Gianna Amari, Boris Vira, Leslie Montiel-Dubon
6th Grade Winners
1st Place: Maille McMahon;
2nd Place: Joshua Da Costa;
3rd Place: Justin Millette
Honorable Mention: Jasleen Kaur, Abriella Staggs, Stella Jacobs, Alena Thalput, Naomi Carr
7th Grade Winners
1st Place: Alex leite, Anika Nayak;
2nd Place: Lola Vira, Sam Hook, Peter Novick, Victor Souza
3rd Place: Felix Brody, Laura Clervil, Daniel Pena, Juan Moran Lopez, Brian Chan
Honorable Mentions: Julian Portelli, Hailey Willard, Yenifer Velasquez, Angie Mejia
8th Grade Winners
1st place: Jackson Anderson;
2nd Place: Nick Capuano, Henry Shugrue, Dominique Matthews, Madison Mack
3rd Place: Dylan Zraket, Yahaira Aguilon Maldonado
Honorable Mentions: Kemy Osit, Gurpreet Kaur, Jessica Pleitez Molina, Kenia Arbaiza, Kemissa Osit, Emily Murphy

Leadership Day at the Winter Hill Community Innovation School
The Winter Hill Community Innovation School held their 2nd Annual Leadership Day on Thursday April 30th. Community and local leaders shared stories with middle school students of their journeys to professional success and details about daily life in their respective careers. The 2015 Winter Hill Leadership Day featured several wonderful presenters from the Somerville community and surrounding areas, including a representative from NEADS (Dogs for Deaf and Disabled Americans), IBM, the Somerville Police Department, and the President of Teamsters Local 25.

Kennedy School Debate Team Wins Debate Mate Boston Cup
For the second consecutive year, Somerville’s Kennedy School Debate Mate club won the Debate Mate Boston Cup. The Kennedy School team took top honors at the April 17th Boston event, competing against hundreds of Boston-area middle school students. Students participated in several rounds of debate on known and unknown topics.

The Kennedy Debate Mate team will hold an exhibition round for parents and families of team members later this month at the Kennedy School.

Argenziano Sixth Graders ‘Black Out Bullying’
With the support of Principal O’Brien, Redirect Counselor Liz McKinney, Counselor Educator Jackie Brown, Adjustment Counselor Deb Frydman, and the 6th grade teachers, the Argenziano School implemented a bullying training for 6th grade students that focused on RESPECT and being a good BYSTANDER.

This 6th grade Initiative at the Argenziano set the tone for the 6th grade students to begin to recognize their leadership role at the school for next year and to continue to develop the existing positive school culture.

The “Black Out Bullying” training program consisted of the following:

· Ms. McKinney presented students with a series of Bullying Training short films, “Glass in the FACE.”
· District Director of Student services, Rich Melillo, then presented a lesson on RESPECT, with the theme being we “do not have a bullying problem, we have a respect problem.”
· Under the guidance of Mediation Coordinator Alice Comack, student representatives from the Somerville High School Mediation Program performed 4 role-playing scenarios, focusing on “bystander training.”
· As a show of solidarity, students and adult program participants elected to wear the color BLACK as a symbol to BLACK OUT BULLYING!
The 6th grade team met the next day for a follow-up session to review the acquired skills and to celebrate. Alice Comack and Rich Melillo have been conducting RESPECT & BYSTANDER TRAINING targeting middle grades students in Somerville schools for the past two years.

Registration Open for District Summer Music Camps
The Somerville Wind Camp 2015 and Somerville String Camp 2015 are registering for their summer camp programs. Both camp programs will be held at the Kennedy School (5 Cherry Street) during the weeks of July 13-24. The Somerville Wind Camp is open to wind or percussion students who have played for at least one school year. The Somerville String Camp is open to violin, viola, cello and bass players of all ages, including beginners aged 7 and older. For more information about these Summer Music Camps, visit Contact Rosemary Sears at with questions regarding the Wind Camp. Email enquiries regarding the String Camp to

What’s Happening

Early College Planning Seminar: Monday, May 18, 2015
All families with students in grades 6-9 are invited to attend an Early College Planning Seminar on Monday, May 18th to learn more about planning, saving and paying for college. The event, presented by MEFA (Massachusetts Educational Financial Authority), begins at 6:00pm and will be held at the Somerville High School Auditorium. Stop in to find the information you need to create a college financial plan for your family.

Help Me Grow – Somerville: Thursday, May 21, 2015
Do you have questions about how your young child is learning or developing skills? The Somerville Family Learning Collaborative offers a FREE program to help families answer these types of questions. Help Me Grow – Somerville offers:
· FREE developmental screening checklists for families to fill out on children between the ages of 1 month and 5 years using the “Ages and Stages” system
· Resources and strategies to offer families ideas on how to be their child’s first teacher
· Referral to supportive services for children who might need extra help.
To get more information or a copy of the correct checklist for your child, call (617) 625-6600 x6966 or email Or, visit us on Thursday, May 21st, 9:00am to noon at the Cummings School (42 Prescott St.).

SHS Annual Scholarship Awards Night: Wednesday, May 27, 2015
Join us at the Somerville High School Auditorium on Wednesday, May 27th, for Somerville High School’s annual Scholarship Awards Night. The event begins at 7:00pm. Help us celebrate SHS seniors preparing for the next step in their educational pathways. Refreshments will be available immediately following the ceremony, in the Highlander Café.

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.
Monday, May 18, 6:00pm: Early College Planning Seminar at Somerville High School (81 Highland Avenue)
Tuesday, May 19, 3:30pm: National Art Honor Society Induction Ceremony at the SHS Library (81 Highland Ave.)
Tuesday, May 19, 5:30-7:00pm: ESCS School Improvement Council Meeting at the ESCS Library (50 Cross St.)
Tuesday, May 19, 6:00-7:30pm: Friends of the Healey Community Meeting at the Healey Library (5 Meacham St.)
Tuesday, May 19, 7:00pm: El Sistema Somerville’s 3rd Annual Spring Benefit Concert – A Night at the Movies, at the ESCS Auditorium; doors open at 6:30pm (50 Cross Street)
Tuesday, May 19, 6:30-8:00pm: Benjamin Brown School Spring Concert at the Somerville High School Auditorium (81 Highland Ave.)
Tuesday, May 19, 7:00pm: PTA Council Officers Meeting at the Kennedy School (5 Cherry St.)
Tuesday, May 19, 7:00pm: SHS Highlander Awards Night at the Somerville High Field House (81 Highland Ave.)
Wednesday, May 20: CALENDAR UPDATE – Half Day Wednesday for all PK-8 students, except students at the Brown School. PK dismissal at 11:30am; K-8 dismissal at noon; FULL DAY for Brown School students.
Thursday, May 21, 9:00am-noon: Help Me Grow at the Cummings School (42 Prescott St.)
Thursday, May 21, 5:30-6:30pm: Summer Volunteer Orientation at the Cummings School (42 Prescott St.)
Thursday, May 21, 7:00pm: SHS Evening of Song – Chorus and Guitar, at the SHS Auditorium (81 Highland Ave.)
Friday, May 22: Somerville High School Multicultural Fair
Monday, May 25: MEMORIAL DAY HOLIDAY – All Schools and District Offices Closed

Upcoming Somerville Family Learning Collaborative Workshops and Events
Find a complete list of SFLC events and workshops, and register for upcoming workshops at
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.
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 18, 6:00-6:40pm: Rules Management Subcommittee Meeting at the Board of Aldermen’s Chambers, Somerville City Hall (93 Highland Avenue)
Monday, May 18, 6:45-6:55pm: Mass School Choice Public Hearing at the Board of Aldermen’s Chambers, Somerville City Hall (93 Highland Avenue)
Monday, May 18, 7:00pm: Regular School Committee Meeting at the Board of Aldermen’s Chambers, Somerville City Hall (93 Highland Avenue)
Tuesday, May 19, 7:00pm: Educational Programs and Instruction Subcommittee Meeting at the Central Office Conference Room (42 Cross Street)
Wednesday, May 20, 7:00pm: School Committee Meeting for Finance & Facilities at the Central Office Conference Room (42 Cross Street)

Community News & Events
12th Annual Walk to Prevent Homelessness in Somerville: The 12th Annual Walk to Prevent Homelessness in Somerville takes place this Sunday, May 17th. Registration begins at 1:30pm at Somerville High School. The walk begins at 2:00pm. To learn more and obtain a pledge form, visit
Healey School & Community Flatbread Fundraiser: The Healey School is holding its annual Flatbread Pizza and Plant Sale fundraising event on Tuesday, May 19th from 5:00-10:00pm. Proceeds support offsite learning and enrichment programs for all Healey students. Also for sale will be seedlings and perennials raised by Healey School students, staff, and families. They include tomatoes, peppers, gourds, basil, cilantro, lemon cucumber, and edible flowers. Plants are reasonably-priced and are hyper-locally grown.
Kennedy School Orange Leaf Fundraiser: Enjoy a delicious treat at Orange Leaf in Davis Square on Tuesday, May 19th from noon-9:00pm, and help support Kennedy School students. A portion of all sales during that time will be donated to the Kennedy School.
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 Rocks! Somerville Youth Arts Coordinator, Jimmy Del Ponte, announces the 2015 Somerville Rocks! youth talent show, to be held on Friday, May 22nd at 7:00pm in the Somerville High School Auditorium. Somerville Rocks! is an opportunity for Somerville youth, ages 12 and older, to polish performance art and talents with twice-weekly rehearsals with performer and musician Jimmy Del Ponte. Somerville youth bands, soloists, comedians, and other talented young residents will showcase their work on May 22nd. Admission is free. For more information, contact Jimmy Del Ponte at (617) 625-6600, ext. 2616 or
LGBTQ Flag Raising on SHS Concourse May 27, 2:45 p.m. Join Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone and the Somerville High School Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) on May 27th to raise the Pride flag in honor of LGBTQ Pride Month and LGBTQ Youth Pride. The ceremony will take place on the City Hall concourse, 93 Highland Ave. The event is open to the public, and community members are invited to join in celebrating LGBTQ youth and the diversity that makes Somerville great. For more information about the GSA and other LGBT programming, events and information, contact, or 617-625-6600 ext 2400.
SCC Financial Education Class. Over the course of 4 weeks, participants will gain important information and skills to help them navigate their financial lives more successfully. The class (offered in English) will meet on Wednesday and Thursday mornings from 9:15 a.m. to noon. Graduates will receive a $200 stipend to get them started on a successful financial path! The class will be open to people who live and/or work in Somerville. Class dates are June 3, 4, 10, 11, 17, 18 and 24. Refreshments and childcare offered (childcare must be requested in advance). Pre-registration is required. To make an appointment to register, please contact Shannon Erb at 617-776-5931 x238 or as soon as possible.
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
Puppet Palooza 2015: The Somerville Arts Council invites you to a puppetry extravaganza in East Somerville this summer. Puppet Palooza is a collaboration between the Somerville Arts Council and East Somerville Main Streets as part of the This is East programming–an event series designed to bring the art of puppetry to east Somerville in unexpected places. Great for kids and adults and 100% free. To learn more and for a complete schedule, visit the Puppet Series link at:
· Wednesday, May 20, 6:00pm at Connexion (149 Broadway): Fay Dupras presents: “The Red Ball Rescue” (
· Tuesday, May 26, 6:00pm (rain date: May 27) at Glen Park at the Capuano School (150 Glen Street): Galapagos Puppets presents: “Badger Meets the Fairies” (
· Monday, June 1, 6:00pm at Connexion (149 Broadway): MagPie Puppets presents: “Eeyore’s Birthday” (
· Tuesday, June 9, 6:00pm (rain date: June 11) at Chuckie Harris Park (3-17 Cross Street): Eathworm Pie Puppet Theater presents: “Live Story Hive” (
· Tuesday, June 16, 6:00pm (rain date: June 17) at Glen Park at the Capuano School (150 Glen Street): Puppet Showplace Theatre presents: Puppet Playtime – “BUGS!” (
Registration for Youth Arts Arise and Arts Discover Camps: Registration for The Center for Arts at the Armory’s summer programs is now open! The Youth Arts Arise summer session (FREE) will run from July 6-10 from 9:30am-3:30pm with two workshops each day for children ages 11-19. The morning session will explore monotype printmaking and the afternoon session will explore 3D found art. To register, download and fill out this form and email it back to or drop it off in person at the Armory.
Arts Discover Camp will run from August 3rd-7th from 9:00-4:00pm for children ages 5-10. Arts Discover Camp is a sliding-scale arts education program that offers multi-disciplinary artistic workshops encouraging campers to investigate different art media through a wide variety of topics each day! Email or call (617) 718-2191 to request a registration form, and for more information. Visit to learn more about the Armory’s Summer 2015 program.

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 25: MEMORIAL DAY – No School
Tuesday, May 26: School Committee Meeting for Finance & Facilities
Wednesday, May 27: Límites, Disciplina y Desarrollo Positivo del Niño (a workshop in Spanish)
Wednesday, May 27: Argenziano Memorial Day Concert
Wednesday, May 27: Welcome to Kindergarten Parent Information Night
Wednesday, May 27: SHS Scholarship Awards Night
Thursday, May 28: Argenziano Heritage Night
Thursday, May 28: SHS Music Awards Night
Thursday, May 28: ESCS PTA Meeting/El Sistema Performance
Friday, May 29: SHS Class Day
Friday, May 29: Winter Hill Spring Concert
Friday, May 29: Brown PTA Business Meeting and Family Game Night
Sunday, May 31: Fall Sports Registration Opens

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