Connections: A Newsletter from the Somerville Public Schools – October 16, 2015

There’s a chill in the air as we head toward November. Enjoy the crisp New England weekends and evenings, and join us at one of the many events coming up in the next week or two. Check What’s Happening to learn more.

News & Notes


Three SHS Students Earn Commended Student Recognition in 2016 National Merit Scholarship Program

Somerville High School’s Lin Feng Collins, Anna Cooleybeck, and Kristie Lino have been named Commended Students in the 2016 National Merit Scholarship Program. They join about 34,000 students from around the nation who are being recognized for their exceptional academic promise after placing among the top five percent of more than 1.5 million students who entered the 2016 competition by taking the 2014 PSAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. Congratulations!



Somerville Symphony Orkestar’s Joel Edinberg to Host Music Workshop for Somerville High School Jazz Ensemble

On Monday, October 19, from 11am to noon, the Somerville High School Jazz Ensemble will take part in a music workshop hosted by Joel Edinberg of the Somerville Symphony Orkestar Band and contributing SPS faculty member Charlie McLaren. The workshop is made possible through a Somerville Arts Council LCC Fellowship award to Joel Edinberg this year for his work with the Somerville Symphony Orkestar, a group that blends Balkan and Klezmer music with Jazz and Funk. 
The workshop, a community benefit project that is part of the SAC LCC Fellowship award, will provide students in the SHS jazz ensemble the opportunity to learn about Mr. Edinberg’s work as a composer. Students will be taught about the theory behind his songwriting and improvisation, and will learn one of the Somerville Symphony Orkestar’s songs, arranged by Edinberg for this project.

PEP Talk – Build our Kids’ Success (BOKS)
October 14, 2015: It’s 7am at West Somerville Neighborhood School and “BOKS Kids” start to trickle in to make their 7:15am REEBOK designed fitness class. Mr. Y greets 14 students from the school ranging from grades 1-4. The stairway up to the gymnasium is used as part of the warm up and once in the gym, they go to Warm Up Drills. Then, they practice the Skill of the Week (e.g. Planks, Burpies, Curl Ups), participate in a Running Activity, and then a challenging game called BOKS Crawl. That is followed by a cool-down that the students have learned and perform on their own. 


After the cool-down, the BOKS Bits part of the class is where the teacher discusses a nutrition topic of the day. This week the topic was Breakfast; the discussion included how to decide which breakfast foods are healthy, what to look for on a nutrition label, and how fruit can be worked into your breakfast meal. Finally, all members of the class put their hands together in a circle and yell the BOKS cheer…BOKS ROCKS! BOKS ROCKS! BOKS ROCKS! Everyone leaves class with a smile on their face, energized and ready to learn! The school day hasn’t begun quite yet but much has already been accomplished.


This particular BOKS story happened to take place at the West Somerville Neighborhood School, but similar stories play out in schools throughout the District, with each adding their own special elements. At the Healey School, for example, students in the morning BOKS program get to work with a couple of 8th grade Healey students who are participating in the program as assistants. It’s a great way to connect younger students with mentors in their own school!



What’s Happening


Somerville Adult Learning

There’s no better time than now to learn something new or hone a skill! Sign up for a Somerville Adult Evening School course. Register in person at the SHS Main Office (81 Highland Ave.) Tuesday and Thursday nights from 6:00-8:00pm or online at Classes include Academic Recovery, Driver’s Ed, Sewing, Computers, Spanish, ESL, Real Estate License, Medical Interpretation, Zumba or Yoga. Call Evening School Principal Sophia Carafotes at (617) 628-2594. 


Mark your calendars for a FREE LECTURE on:

Estate Planning and Asset Protection for 55+

Tuesday, October 27, 2015 from 6:00 to 8:00pm

with Attorney Thomas Colonna

@ Somerville High School, 81 Highland Avenue

Bring a friend and your questions!

Also offering:

· Real Estate Sales Certification – Tuesday and Thursday, 6-9pm

· Yoga – Thursday, 7:15-8:15pm (5 classes for $30 or $7 walk-in)

· Spanish – Tuesday, 6:00-8:00pm

· Driver’s Ed – Tuesday and Thursday, 6-9pm


October 21 & 22: SCALE Orientations – Learn how to get your HiSET

SCALE’s Adult Basic Education (ABE) program teaches reading, writing and math skills in addition to providing the academic skills needed to take and pass the HiSET. Learn how to enroll in classes to get your HiSET by attending a SCALE orientation. Orientations will be held at 167 Holland Street in Somerville (02144), and are scheduled for:

· Wednesday, October 21, 2015 – 6:30 to 8:00pm

· Thursday, October 22, 2015 – 9:30 to 11:00am

Registration is required. Please call (617) 629-5500 to register.


October 22, 2015: Somerville High School College Fair

The Somerville High School Guidance Department hosts a College Fair on Thursday, October 22nd, from 6:30-8:00pm at the SHS Field House. All Somerville high school students and their families are invited to attend this event, and meet college admission representatives from around the country. 


October 23, 2015: Somerville Farm to School “Local Harvest Day”

In celebration of Food Day, we will be serving a local, sustainable meal for lunch. Enjoy baked sole, local butternut squash and local apples as we work towards a greener diet! All schools will be participating in this event. 


October 23, 2015: SCALE College Fair

Somerville Center for Adult Learning Experiences (SCALE) invites you to their College Fair on Friday, October 23rd, 2015 from 11:00am to 1:30pm. SCALE uses academic programming and guidance to provide adults with opportunities to achieve their goals in a supportive, diverse, welcoming learning community. The SCALE College Fair will be held in the Atrium at the SCALE offices (167 Holland Street). Learn more about SCALE at



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, October 16, 6:00-8:00pm: Kennedy Kids’ Nite Out K-6 at the Kennedy School (5 Cherry St.)

Friday, October 16, 6:30pm: Healey PTA K-4 Movie Night at the Healey School Library (5 Meacham St.)

Friday, October 16, 7:00pm: SHS Homecoming Football Game vs. Everett at Dilboy Stadium (110 Alewife Brook Pkwy.)

Saturday, October 17, 7:00-10:30pm: SHS Homecoming Dance at the Somerville High Atrium (81 Highland Ave.)

Monday, October 19: Healey School Picture Day (5 Meacham St.)

Tuesday, October 20: Healey Grade 4 Field Trip to the Tsongas Industrial History Center

Tuesday, October 20: Healey Grade 7 Field Trip to Harvard and MIT

Tuesday, October 20: West Somerville Neighborhood School Picture Day (177 Powderhouse Blvd.)

Tuesday, October 20, 3:00-4:00pm: ESCS PTA Executive Board Meeting at the East Somerville Community School PTA Room (50 Cross St.)

Tuesday, October 20, 3:00-4:00pm: Capuano School Council Meeting at the Capuano Early Childhood Center Conference Room (150 Glen St.)

Wednesday, October 21: Half-Day Wednesday (PK students dismissed at 11:30; K-8 students dismissed at noon)

Wednesday, October 21: WSNS PTA ‘Spirit Day’ Fundraiser at the West Somerville Neighborhood School (177 Powderhouse Blvd.)

Wednesday, October 21, 8:15am: Healey Grade 3 Family Breakfast at the Healey School (5 Meacham St.)

Wednesday, October 21, 8:30-9:30am: ESCS UNIDOS Parent Coffee at the East Somerville Community School Afterschool Room #165 (50 Cross St.)

Wednesday, October 21, 5:00-6:30pm: WSNS School Council Meeting at the West Somerville Neighborhood School Conference Room (177 Powderhouse Blvd.)

Wednesday, October 21, 5:30-7:00pm: ESCS School Improvement Council Meeting at the East Somerville Community School Library (50 Cross St.)

Wednesday, October 21, 7:00-8:00pm: El Sistema Concert at the East Somerville Community School Auditorium (50 Cross St.)

Thursday, October 22: Capuano Picture Day (150 Glen St.)

Thursday, October 22: Jumpstart Read for the Record at the Capuano Early Childhood Center (150 Glen St.)

Thursday, October 22, 6:30-8:00pm: SHS Fall College Fair at the Somerville High School Atrium/Field House (81 Highland Ave.)

Friday, October 23: Local Harvest Day – Somerville Farm to School Project at all District schools

Friday, October 23: ESCS Grades 7 & 8 Field Trip to the Boston Museum of Science

Friday, October 23, 6:00-8:00pm: WSNS PTA Harvest Festival Family Dance at the West Somerville Neighborhood School Cafeteria (177 Powderhouse Blvd.)

Saturday, October 24, 10:00am-1:00pm: Healey Garden Volunteer Work Day at the Healey School Garden (5 Meacham St.)



Upcoming Somerville Family Learning Collaborative Workshops and Events

Find a complete list of SFLC events and workshops, and register for upcoming workshops at

Visit to learn more about Somerville Parent-Child Playgroups for children ages birth to 5 years old, and Parent Support Groups.

Monday, October 26, 6:30-8:30pm: Special Education District Update at the Kennedy School (5 Cherry St.)

Wednesday, October 28, 8:30-9:30am: SFLC Charlas para Padres/Conversa com os Pais – A parenting conversation in Spanish and Portuguese, at the Capuano School (150 Glen St.)

Thursday, October 29, 6:00-7:00pm: Conozca al Superintendente/Conheca o Superintendente – A facilitated discussion with the Superintendent of Schools, Mary Skipper, held in Spanish and Portuguese with English interpretation available. At the East Somerville Community School (50 Cross St.)


Upcoming School Committee Meetings

Find the complete School Committee schedule, agendas and meeting minutes (as approved) online at

Monday, October 19, 7:00pm: Regular School Committee Meeting at the Board of Aldermen’s Chambers, City Hall (93 Highland Ave.)

Wednesday, October 21, 7:00pm: School Committee Meeting for Long Range Planning at the Central Office Conference Room (42 Cross St.)


Community News & Events

Saturday, October 17th, 11:00am to 3:30pm – Navigating Addiction – A Community Forum. The Alex Foster Foundation invites you to a free educational event for parents, adolescents, educators, and other professionals who are interested in learning more about addiction – covering topics from risk factors to prevention to dual diagnosis. Speakers include D. Peter Collins (C.A.S.P.A.R.), Dr. Hilary Connery (McLean Hospital), Dr. Brandon Bergman (MGH), Paul Kusiak, parent (BOD M.O.A.R.). A Special Session for Youth facilitated by Dr. John Teal and Dr. John Rodolico (McLean Hospital) will be offered. Event takes place at the East Somerville Community School (50 Cross Street) from 11:00 am to 3:30pm. For more information, visit

5th Annual Ten Minute Play Festival at the Arlington Children’s Theater this weekend, featuring performers ages 8-18. Performances are Friday, October 16 at 7:00pm; Saturday, October 17 at 2:00pm; and Sunday, October 18 at 2:00pm at the Arlington Masonic Temple located at 19 Academy Street in Arlington Center. Tickets are $10 and are available at the door or online at For more information, visit

Saturday, October 24th, 10:00am-1:00pm – Healey School Garden Work Day. Let’s Dig! Parents and members of the Healey community interested in being involved with the garden are invited to participate in a volunteer work day event at the Healey Garden on Saturday, October 24th. Help plan perennials, prune, weed, mulch, stain the shed and garden mural, and ready the garden beds for winter. For more information about the event and ways to engage students in the garden throughout the school year, contact Please wear work clothes and plan to get dirty! Kids welcome! Gloves, tools and materials will be provided.

Sunday, October 25, Tufts’ Annual Halloween on the Hill. The Tufts Leonard Carmichael Society invites students in grades K-2 to enjoy a day of fun at their annual Halloween on the Hill event, which takes place Sunday, October 25th, from 10:00am to 3:00pm at the Carmichael Hall. All children MUST be pre-registered to participate. Register online by Sunday, October 18th at, and please remember to print out a hard copy of the permission slip and bring it with you on the day of the event. In groups of no more than 15 guided by two Tufts students, children will tour a haunted house, see a fun-filled show, participate in Halloween-themed crafts, and more! Visit the website noted above for more information.

Sunday, November 1st, 12:00-4:00pm – Día de los Muertos/Day of the Dead Family Event. Families can enjoy hands-on activities, folk dance, live music, and craft demonstrations at this Día de los Muertos/Day of the Dead family event at the Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology (11 Divinity Avenue in Cambridge). Decorate a sugar skull, try a traditional snack, or design a message to place on the altar. Experience the customs that make this holiday a joyful celebration. Free with museum admission; sugar skull craft $5 extra. Visit for more information.

Fresh Local Produce at Somerville Mobile Farmers Markets: Check our website Calendar of Events for upcoming Mobile Farmers Markets on Fridays and Saturdays throughout Somerville. Anyone using SNAP or WIC receives a 50% discount, and a small portion of all full-price purchases supports produce for low-income families. For more information, contact Shape Up Somerville at (617) 625-6600, x4321. Schedule through October 24th:

· Fridays, 11:00am-12:30pm @ the Council on Aging (167 Holland St.)

· Fridays, 2:00-3:30pm @ the Winter Hill Community Innovation School (115 Sycamore St.)

· Saturdays, 11:00am-12:30pm @ the North Street Housing Development

· Saturdays, 1:00-3:00pm @ the Mystic Housing Development

SCATV Media and Video Classes. Hone your media production skills at SCATV! Upcoming classes include: Editing with Adobe Premier (Oct. 20, & 27, 7-9pm), and Intro to Studio Production (Oct. 21, 28 & Nov. 4, 7-9pm). Visit for more information.

Somerville Youth Hockey’s Learn to Skate (LTS) and Learn to Play Hockey (LTPH) Clinics. Rolling registration begins this Saturday, October 17th, at the Veterans Memorial Rink on Somerville Avenue, and will run every Saturday until early March. LTS begins at 8 a.m.; LTPH at 9:30 a.m. Cost is $90 for Somerville residents/$150 for non-residents. Make checks payable to Somerville Youth Hockey Association. All skaters must use hockey skates (no figure skates allowed) and wear a hockey helmet with face cage. Elbow and knee pads are also recommended. Questions? Please contact David Zraket at

Youth Arts Arise. Registration for the Youth Arts Arise free afterschool arts education fall program for students ages 11 to 19 is still open! Fall sessions are October 6th to December 8th; workshops run on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 3:30 to 5:00pm. Participants can explore creativity in a wide range of artistic mediums and disciplines. To learn more, visit

Expressive Explorers. This Arts at the Armory program is an eight week series of drop-in workshops on Thursdays from October 22nd to December 17th, 9:00 to 11:00 am. (We will skip the Thursday of Thanksgiving). The Expressive Explorers program will provide parents and their toddlers ages 18 months to 5 years the opportunity to express creativity through a wide range of hands-on art activities. Parents and toddlers can join the fun each week or just a few times, and drop in at their convenience anytime during each session. No registration is required. Suggested donation of $5. Visit for more info.


Looking Ahead

A look at some of the events/activities in the Somerville Public Schools that are taking place in the coming weeks.

Monday, October 26: Healey Grade 6 Field Trip to Biogen

Monday, October 26: Healey Grade 3 Field Trip to Plimouth Plantation

Monday, October 26: Special Education District Update

Monday-Friday, October 26-30: Healey Grades 5 & 6 Field Trip to Nature’s Classroom

Monday-Friday, October 26-30: Somerville Farm to School “School Garden Week”

Wednesday, October 28: WSNS Principal Coffee Hour

Wednesday, October 28: Healey Field Trip (Ms. Brown) to Public Library

Wednesday, October 28: Healey Fire Safety Assembly – Grades 1 & 2

Thursday, October 29: El Sistema Concert & Potluck, grades 3-5

Friday, October 30: Capuano Pajama Day

Friday, October 30: ESCS Harvest Book Character Parade

Friday, October 30: Kennedy School Kids’ Nite Out & Costume Party K-6

Saturday, October 31: SHS Winter Sport Online Registration CLOSES




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