Connections: A Newsletter from the Somerville Public Schools – May 22, 2015


Reminder: All Schools and district offices will be closed on Monday, May 25th for Memorial Day. The Somerville Memorial Day Parade will be held Sunday, May 24th and starts at 1:00pm at the City Hall/SHS Concourse. See Community Notes below for more information.

News & Notes

SHS Social Studies Teacher Awarded “Aieta Promising Teacher Award”
Somerville High School Social Studies Teacher Cynthia Massillon has been awarded the Massachusetts Council for the Social Studies (MCSS) “Aieta Promising Teacher Award.” According to the MCSS, “the Promising Teacher Award is presented annually to a social studies teacher, new to the profession, who has made an impact on his/her students, colleagues and/or the community during their first five years of teaching.” Ms. Massillon is being recognized for her tireless efforts at Somerville High School, where she teaches US History II and AP World History. The enrollment in AP World History has doubled since Ms. Massillon took over the class a few years ago. Ms. Masillon has also demonstrated a real talent for finding resources and for adapting and designing learning experiences that help students develop both traditional and historical literacy skills.

Outside of the classroom, Ms. Masillon works tirelessly to provide enriching extra-curricular activities for students. In past years she has helped run the Haitian Club and the Junior Statesman Association club. She also piloted the Harvard Model Congress program and Somerville’s participation in the Boston Debate League. This year Ms. Masillon started a “Girls’ Club” which is designed to empower young women. She brings in speakers who address issues facing women today, and provides leadership development and awareness activities. The Girl’s Club already has an active, diverse membership of more than 25 girls. Ms. Masillon has earned the admiration of students; last year she was awarded the title “Best Role Model” by the senior class. Ms. Masillon was formally recognized by the MCSS at a banquet on May 20th, and will be featured as a presenter at the 2016 MCSS conference. Congratulations, Ms. Masillon!

Healey School Students Participate in 12th Annual ‘Save Our Homes Walk’
Students in Ms. Madden’s 7th grade Social Studies class at the Arthur D. Healey School capped off their Middle Grades service learning project recently by participating in the “Save Our Homes Walk” to Prevent Homelessness, sponsored by the Somerville Community Corporation (SCC) and the Somerville Homeless Coalition. The annual fundraising event took place on Sunday, May 17th. Funds raised from the walk help support families in need with expenses related to helping secure stable housing. The event exceeded its fundraising goal of $30,000 with an estimated $38,000 raised.

Ms. Madden’s class has been studying homelessness for their Middle Grades project. The project is designed to have groups of students work together on a long-term interdisciplinary technology project that addresses a current local or world issue.

Somerville High’s Rosalie Jacobs Awarded Environmental Scholarship
Conserve School in Land O’Lakes, Wisconsin, announced this week that Somerville High School student Rosalie Jacobs has been awarded a Lowenstine Honors Scholarship to attend Conserve School for the spring of 2016. The scholarship is valued at more than $25,000, and is awarded on a competitive basis to students who demonstrate academic achievement, character, and a commitment to environmental stewardship. Rosalie will join a group of sixty high school students who share a love of outdoors and an interest in studying and conserving the environment. The mission of Conserve School is to inspire young adults to environmental stewardship. The School has been nationally recognized as a U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon School. Rosalie will spend the spring of 2016 at Conserve School, then will return to Somerville High School. Visit to learn more about the School.

Capuano Caterpillars Learn about GO Foods
A recent trip to Stop and Shop gave the Capuano Caterpillar Class a chance to explore the grocery store’s many departments and learn about foods that give you energy. Students braved a rainy day for an opportunity to get an inside look at how a grocery store operates. The day’s adventures included the opportunity touch a lobster in the Seafood Department, watch how ground beef and meatballs are made during a visit to the Meat Department, and venture into the back of a trailer to find out how food gets from the supplier to the store.

ESCS Eighth Grade Student Winner in StoriesLive®-5 Competition
Grace Liotti, an eighth grade student at the East Somerville Community School, was one of 14 winners in the 2015 StoriesLive®-5 competition sponsored by MassMouth ( earlier this month. The StoriesLive® program offered students an opportunity to compete in a “Story Slam” through a live performance by sharing a story from their personal experience. Approximately 40 stories were presented in the Greater Boston Slam.

Students, Volunteers Recognized at 2nd Annual SHS STEM Awards Night
The Somerville High School 2nd Annual STEM Awards Night highlighted the outstanding work of 130 SHS students and STEM community volunteers and partners who have played a critical role in supporting student achievement. SHS Math, Science, and Architectural Design Teachers and event MC’s Marie Foreman (Math Dept. Chair) and Karen Woods (Science Dept. Chair) recognized the outstanding achievement, effort, progress, and commitment of students with a number of different awards.

SHS Class of 2010 graduates Mahima Karki and Arogya Khadka returned to Somerville High as the event’s guest speakers, offering current SHS students words of encouragement and support with their personal stories of success. Awards presented included: STEM Scholars, STEM Passion, STEM Service Awards, STEM Partners, New England Math League Awards, Science & Engineering Fair Awards, Excellence in MCAS, Excellence in CAD Technology, STEM Club MVPs, National Honor Societies, and Class Awards. The 2014-2015 STEM Scholars are Vladimir Porokhin (Math) and Maxwell Freitas (Science). In addition to the 130 students receiving awards that evening, the following STEM Partners were also recognized for their outstanding commitment to SHS youth:
Biogen – Ms. Tracy Callahan & Mr. Alazar Ayele
Mr. Bob Chen
Ms. Elizabeth Dray
Ms. Simone Feldman
Ms. Grace Hall
Ms. Connie Hirsch
Ms. Sela Kenen
Mr. Joe Leva
Mr. Mike Reppucci
Mr. Stu Soloway
Ms. Priyanka Suresh
Tufts University – Ms. Karen O’Hagan, Mr. Matthew Fierman, Dr. Candice Etson
Mr. Jeff Willebrand

2nd Annual SHS STEM Awards Student Award Recipients:
Manogya Acharya, Mirian Aguilar, Neha Amatya, Haley Aronson, Youssef Atti, Henry Augustin, Kelly Bardales, Eduardo Barrera, Rhedise Bass, Christina Bissereth, Claude Blanc, Nicole Carney, Camille Chan, Connie Chan, Fru Che, Andrew Churchill, Lin Collins, Mei Mei Collins, Alexandra Colon, Anna Cooleybeck, Meliza Cortez, Stacy Dang, Doreen Darko, Carla DaSilva, Grazielle DaSilva, Thomas DeFarias, Alexi Delcid Rodriguez, Bianca Desert, Enea Dodi, Kaitlan Doherty, Diana Dominguez, Dessources Domond, Alice Egar, Nickolas Eliadis, Jesica Flores, Maxwell Freitas, Ramon Fuentes Hercules, Cristian Garcia, Melissa Gay, Tsering Gesar, Shubham Goel, Nicole Gouveia, Alan Guardado Ramirez, Taylor Hamilton, Shayna Harrington, Alba Haxhimali, Marvin Hercules, Nhu Hoang, John Iacovino, Sadia Islam, Rosalie Jacobs, Tyler Jacques, Kalvin Janik, Joy Jarnagin, Rose Gardite Jean Baptiste, Timothy Joo, Michael Jordan, Kristjan Jorgo, Gedeline Joseph, Ravneet Kaur, Marisa Kelath, Anoush Khan, Emerson Klemz, Gary Lam, Richard Lavey, Julian Layton, Graham Lessard-Brandt, Larissa Levasseur, Tenzin Lhadon, Damon Li, Kristie Lino, Briana Lino, Vanna Loue,
Navdeep Maini, Anmol Maini, Jacob Margolin, Jose Martinez, Jonatan Martinez, Yaffrey Martinez Montenegro, Beatriz Martins, Gabrielle Mathews, Katia Mathews, Jenni Matthews, Heidi Mejia Perez, Hugo Menjivar, Anthony Miele, Jeewelynhell Montina, Nolwen Moulot, Brenda Nguyen, Mohamed Niman, Kaniz Nishu, Emily Kate O’Brien, Liam O’Keefe, Gianluca Oppedisano, Raquel Oppedisano, Donovan Palmer, Gabe Parreira, Falandia Paul, Mario Pena, Alejandro Perez, Douglas Perez, Zhanae Phillips, Jennefer Pierre, Isaiaz Pinto Castillo, Kelven Polite, Vladimir Porokhin, Alec Portelli, Wendy Portillo Ramirez, Lipasha Pradhan, Sparsha Pun, William Quan, Marisa Rafal, Naomi Rafal, Nicolas Ragusa, Ruby Raut, Cristina Ribeiro, Elliot Rippe, Karen Rivera Martinez, Pedro Rodrigues, Taylor Ryan, Erika Sanabria, Isaac Saron, Kunjal Shrestha, Shreyaj Shrestha, Arjun Singh, Belal Sohel, Elvis Solares,
Jeffrey Solis Mejia, Ella Sprick, Henry Sprick, Daniel Strauss, Ethan Sweeting,
Michael Vaglica, Lisa Weedon, Jordan Westlake, Shantwan Wilder, Brianna Williams, Jiahui Zhao.

What’s Happening

“Welcome to Kindergarten” Parent Information Night: 6:00pm – Wednesday, May 27, 2015
This event is for parents and guardians of incoming Kindergarteners, and will take place at the Capuano Early Childhood Center (150 Glen Street) from 6:00-7:30pm. Families will have an opportunity to meet other families, find out what students and parents/guardians should expect on the first day of school, and learn about helping their student through this transition period. Refreshments will be provided. For more information, call the Parent Information Center at (617) 625-6600, x6962.

SHS Annual Scholarship Awards Night: 7:00pm – 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 journeys. Refreshments will be available immediately following the ceremony, in the Highlander Café.

Somerville School Day Games Special Olympics – 9:30am – June 4, 2015
Enjoy the spring weather and help celebrate great sportsmanship at the Somerville School Day Games Special Olympics event on Thursday, June 4th. This annual event will take place from 9:30am to 1:00pm. Join us to cheer on students from throughout the City.

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.
Friday, May 22: Somerville High School Multicultural Fair
Monday, May 25: MEMORIAL DAY HOLIDAY – All Schools and District Offices Closed
Tuesday, May 26, 9:00am: ESCS Memorial Day Assembly, Grades K-1, at the East Somerville Community School Auditorium (50 Cross St.)
Wednesday, May 27, 8:30-9:30am: Límites, Disciplina y Desarrollo Positivo del Niño (a workshop in Spanish to provide tips on how to set limits and use healthy discipline to communicate more effectively with your child), at the Healey School (5 Meacham St.)
Wednesday, May 27, 9:15-10:30am: Argenziano School Memorial Day Concert (290 Washington St.)
Wednesday, May 27, 10:00am: ESCS Memorial Day Assembly, Grades 5-8 at the East Somerville Community School Auditorium (50 Cross St.)
Wednesday, May 27, 6:00-7:30pm: “Welcome to Kindergarten” Parent Information Night (for parents/guardians of incoming SPS kindergarten students), at the Capuano Early Childhood Center (150 Glen St.)
Wednesday, May 27, 7:00pm: SHS Scholarship Awards Night at the Somerville High School Auditorium (81 Highland Ave.)
Thursday, May 28, 5:30-8:00pm: Argenziano School Heritage Night (290 Washington St.)
Thursday, May 28, 6:00pm: SHS Music Awards Night at Somerville High School (81 Highland Ave.)
Thursday, May 28, 6:00-7:00pm: ESCS PTA Meeting/El Sistema Performance at the East Somerville Community School Auditorium (50 Cross St.)
Friday, May 29, 9:00am: SHS Class Day at the Somerville High School Auditorium (81 Highland Ave.)
Friday, May 29, 9:15-10:45am: Winter Hill Spring Concert at the Winter Hill Community Innovation School (115 Sycamore St.)
Friday, May 29, 6:00-8:00pm: Brown School PTA Business Meeting and Family Game Night (201 Willow Ave.)
Monday, June 1: Somerville High School Graduation

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 27, 8:30-9:30am: Límites, Disciplina y Desarrollo Positivo del Niño (a workshop in Spanish to provide tips on how to set limits and use healthy discipline to communicate more effectively with your child). Workshop takes place at the Arthur D. Healey School (5 Meacham Street)
Wednesday, May 27, 6:00-7:30pm: “Welcome to Kindergarten” Parent Information Night. This event is for parents/guardians of incoming Kindergarteners in the Somerville Public Schools, and will take place at the Capuano Early Childhood Center (150 Glen Street).
Friday, June 5, 4:30-7:30pm: Boston Children’s Museum Visit for Incoming Kindergarteners. This is a special free event for incoming SPS Kindergarten students and their parents or guardians, to celebrate and prepare for their students’ transition to Kindergarten.
Wednesday, June 10, 9:00-11:00am: Kindergarten Transition Day for incoming Kindergarten students, in Kindergarten classrooms throughout the District.

Upcoming School Committee Meetings
Find the complete School Committee schedule, agendas and meeting minutes (as approved) online at
Tuesday, May 26, 7:30pm: School Committee Meeting for Finance & Facilities at the Central Office Conference Room (42 Cross Street)
Wednesday, June 3, 7:00pm: Finance & Facilities Subcommittee Meeting at the Central Office Conference Room (42 Cross Street)
Monday, June 8, 6:00-6:55pm: Rules Management Subcommittee Meeting at the Board of Aldermen’s Chambers, Somerville City Hall (93 Highland Avenue)
Monday, June 8, 7:00pm: Regular School Committee Meeting at the Board of Aldermen’s Chambers, City Hall (93 Highland Avenue)

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 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.
Somerville Memorial Day Parade & Ceremony. Somerville’s Memorial Day Parade and corresponding ceremonies are set for Sunday, May 24th, and will include more family-friendly events than ever before. The parade begins at the City Hall/SHS concourse at 1:00pm and travels along Highland Avenue to the Veteran’s Memorial Cemetery in Teele Square. For more information about this event, visit
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) to raise the Pride flag in honor of LGBTQ Pride Month and LGBTQ Youth Pride. The ceremony takes place on the City Hall concourse, 93 Highland Ave. The event is open to the public. Community members are invited to join in celebrating the diversity that makes Somerville great.
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:
· 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” (

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