Connections: A Newsletter from the Somerville Public Schools – November 6, 2015


News & Notes


SHS Students Learn About Cosmic Light and More at Museum of Science

Somerville High School Astronomy students explored the Museum of Science in Boston last month, learning about ‘Alien Superstructures,’ radio waves, and much more. Read what students had to say about what they learned.

“Almost everything we know about the universe is by studying light.” — N.S.

 “I learned about what the ‘Alien Superstructure’ might be.” — T.P-F.

A.M. learned that “radio waves can travel really far distances, and that’s why we can stay in touch with spacecraft.”

“The sun is not going to become a supernova since it doesn’t have enough mass.” –S.H.

Nine students also described their knowledge of Jupiter’s red spot shrinking because the storm is dying.




PEP Talk – Waypoint Adventure Programming

Two classrooms at the Kennedy School had the opportunity to take part in some exciting adventures through the Waypoint Adventure program this past month. Waypoint’s mission is to help youth and adults with disabilities discover their purpose, talents and strengths through the transforming power of adventure. Both classrooms participated in team-building sessions prior to the adventures, during which students defined “teamwork” and engaged in a team-building activity that required them to put teamwork into practice.
After the team-building session, Ms. Sweeney’s class ventured into the Fells to partake in a rock climbing adventure that provided them with the opportunity to work as a team to overcome challenges as they climbed. Earlier this week, Ms. Berkowitz’s class took to the woods and went on a long hike that culminated at Wright’s Tower where the group enjoyed lunch at a site overlooking the Boston skyline. Both programs were a huge success, and students and teachers are excited about future possible adventures with Waypoint, moving into the winter and spring months!
The PEP grant supports adventure programming and more to foster a culture of health and wellness in the Somerville community. Learn more about Somerville PEP and ways in which you and your family can stay healthy and active year-round by visiting The PEP program is funded through a grant from the U.S. Department of Education.



Empowering Mindful Eaters

Find out why we celebrate Farm to School Month and learn how to build your own salad, in the latest newsletter from the Somerville Food & Nutrition Services Department ( 


What’s Happening


Stroll through a StoryWalk in Somerville during Family Literacy Month!

StoryWalks are out in Somerville! All month, StoryWalks will be available in outdoor locations across the city. Take a walk and read a story – a fun way for families, caregivers and educators to encourage outdoor activity, while at the same time promoting literacy for young children. Here’s where you can enjoy a fun and inspiring StoryWalk in November:

· Capuano Early Childhood Center (150 Glen Street)

· Cummings School (42 Prescott Street)

· Central Hill Park/Somerville Central Library (79 Highland Avenue)

· Hodgkins-Curtin Park (Holland Street)


Somerville Early Childhood Literacy Fair

Save the Date! Somerville’s ‘oh-so-fun-and-popular’ Early Childhood Literacy Fair will take place on Saturday, November 21st, from 10:00am to noon at the Healey School Gymnasium (5 Meacham St.). This FREE family event, sponsored by the Somerville Family Learning Collaborative (SFLC) and SomerPromise, offers families information about the many resources available to Somerville families with young children. The event will include opportunities for families to explore books with their children, participate in a wide variety of family literacy activities, arts and crafts, and enjoy presentations by local museums. The theme of this year’s event is Health and Wellness, so be on the look-out for our visiting veggies! Hope to see you there.


Somerville 2015 ‘Hour of Code’ – Sign up to Be Part of a Great Experience!

Now’s the time to sign up to be part of Somerville’s 2015 Hour of Code event! Between December 7th and December 13th students will have the opportunity to learn the basics of computer science. Software and computers are everywhere, and these basics help nurture creativity, problem-solving skills, and prepare our students for any future career. We hope you join us. You don’t need to be a computer expert to volunteer. In fact, last year we had volunteers from some of the best technology companies on the planet–Google, Microsoft, Oracle, Uber, and Amazon working alongside parents and other community partners. To be a part of this event, register to volunteer at Get more information on the ‘Hour of Code’ at


Next Wave/Full Circle Holiday Wreath Fundraiser

It’s that time of year again! Next Wave/Full Circle students are selling beautiful 14” balsam wreaths with red velvet bows for $15.00 apiece. Orders will be delivered to schools the first week in December. All money raised goes directly to fund student activities, field trips, and incentives for the school’s reward system. Contact Agnes Gallant at to order your wreath or if you have any questions about this annual event. Checks can be made payable to “Next Wave/Full Circle” and sent to Agnes Gallant at 8 Bonair St., Somerville MA 02145.



Upcoming School & District 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, November 9, 6:00-7:30pm: Healthy Bodies, Healthy Minds Workshop at the Mystic Learning Center (530 Mystic Ave.)

Tuesday, November 10, 8:30-9:30am: ESCS PTA/Principal Roundtable at the East Somerville Community School Afterschool Room, #165 (50 Cross St.)

Tuesday, November 10, 3:00-4:00pm: Capuano School Improvement Council Meeting at the Capuano Conference Room (150 Glen St.)

Tuesday, November 10, 6:00-8:00pm: WSNS Cultural Heritage Night Potluck at the West Somerville Neighborhood School (177 Powderhouse Blvd.)

Tuesday, November 10, 6:00-7:00pm: ESCS PTA/Principal Roundtable at the East Somerville Community School Afterschool Room, #165 (50 Cross St.)

Wednesday, November 11: School Holiday – Veteran’s Day – All Schools and District Offices Closed

Thursday, November 12, 5:30-7:30pm: Serve & Inspire Volunteer Orientation at the Cummings School building (42 Prescott St.)

Thursday, November 12, 6:00-7:00pm: Meet the Superintendent/Rankontre Sipèentandan an at the West Somerville Neighborhood School (177 Powderhouse Blvd.)

Thursday, November 12, 6:00-7:00pm: SFLC Parent Chat – Toys, TV and other Technology at the Cummings School building, Room 14 (42 Prescott St.)

Friday, November 13, 3:00-4:00pm: ESCS Quarterly PTA Meeting at the East Somerville Community School Auditorium (50 Cross St.)

Friday, November 13: Healey 6th Grade Science Classes Field Trip to the Mystic

Friday, November 13, 8:10am: Kindergarten Family Literacy Breakfast at the Healey School (5 Meacham St.)

Friday, November 13, 6:00pm: Healey Grades 5/6 PTA-sponsored Movie Night at the Healey Library

Friday, November 13, 6:00-9:00pm: Healey Grades 7/8 Dance at the Healey School Cafeteria

Monday, November 16: Healey PTA-sponsored Book Fair begins at the Healey School Science Lab

Monday, November 16, 6:00-8:00pm: Next Wave/Full Circle Parent-Teacher Conferences (8 Bonair 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, November 9, 6:00-7:30pm: Healthy Bodies, Healthy Minds – Join the SFLC and the Mystic Learning Center for the first in a series of workshops focused on student learning and family fitness. Sponsored in partnership with Somerville’s Physical Education Program (PEP).

Thursday, November 12, 6:00-7:00pm: Meet the Superintendent/Rankontre Sipèentandan an – Join us at the West Somerville Neighborhood School (177 Powderhouse Blvd.) for an opportunity to speak with Superintendent Mary Skipper. A facilitated discussion will be held in English and Haitian Creole. Interpretation is available upon request.


Upcoming School Committee Meetings

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

Tuesday, November 10, 6:00pm: Finance & Facilities Subcommittee Meeting at the Central Office Conference Room (42 Cross St.)

Tuesday, November 10, 7:00pm: Educational Programs and Instruction Subcommittee Meeting at the Central Office Conference Room (42 Cross St.)

Monday, November 16, 7:00pm: Regular School Committee Meeting at the Board of Aldermen’s Chambers, City Hall (93 Highland Ave.)

Tuesday, November 17, 7:00pm: Rules Management Subcommittee Meeting at the Central Office Conference Room (42 Cross St.)


Community News & Events

Spring Bulb Blitz 2015 – November 7th. Join the City of Somerville for the fifth annual Somerville Bulb Blitz on Saturday, November 7, from 10 a.m. to noon, and help prepare your neighborhood for a bright and colorful spring 2016! Residents are invited to join City staff to plant bulbs that will bloom in Spring 2016. Since the Bulb Blitz began in 2011, residents have planted more than 12,300 bulbs citywide! Participants should bring their own tools (bulb planters, shovels, hoes, gloves, etc.). To sign up, visit For more information or with questions, contact Luisa Oliveira at

It’s Not Magic, It’s Science! – November 7th. FREE STEM activities for girls this Saturday, November 7th; recommended for ages 10+. For details, visit Celebrating Women in Science, at MIT Museum, 265 Mass Ave, Cambridge: Every March and November, the MIT Museum celebrates women in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields. Visitors can expect to explore, build, create and investigate with MIT faculty, students, and volunteers throughout the day. Girls’ Day themes have included robotics, physics, making and fabricating. This event is recommended for ages 10+. Hands-on activities, informal talks and demonstrations are free with museum admission.

MasterChef Junior is Now Casting! MasterChef is looking for talented young home cooks in America, ages 8-13 (as of April 1, 2016) for an upcoming casting call in Boston! The casting call will be Saturday, Nov. 14, 2015, 9am to 5pm at the Hyatt Regency on 1 Ave. de Lafayette. Minors attending an Open Call MUST be accompanied by an adult guardian at all times. To apply and learn more, visit

Drug and Alcohol Awareness Event – November 15th. Stop by the Somerville Armory (191 Highland Avenue) on Sunday, November 15th, for an inspiring, informative, and fun fundraising event that can have a tremendously positive impact on the Somerville community. The Drug and Alcohol Awareness fundraiser takes place from 2:00-8:00pm on the 15th, and will include resource tables with information from treatment and detox centers and support groups. The afternoon/evening event will also include music by a DJ, The Wildfire Band, our own Matt Ganem the Poet, a variety of speakers, a buffet, raffles and more for a donation of $15.00. Proceeds from the event will benefit 3 scholarships to area youth, and will also support continuing education to adults and children about drug and alcohol awareness, as well as SOA (Somerville Overcoming Addiction) education and future events. Please stop by for an inspiring event.

SHS Class of 1980 Reunion – November 21st. The Somerville High School Class of 1980 will hold its 35-year Reunion on Saturday, November 21st at the Montvale Plaza in Stoneham, MA. This casual-attire event will be held from 7:00 to 11:00pm and will include light fare, a cash bar, and a DJ. Cost is $35 per person. No tickets will be sold at the door. Please make checks payable to “SHS Class of 1980” and mail to: Kathy Florentino, 99 Ten Hills Road, Somerville MA 02145. Questions? Call Kathy at (617) 718-1901.

Somerville Youth Hockey’s Learn to Skate (LTS) and Learn to Play Hockey (LTPH) Clinics. Rolling registration at the Veterans Memorial Rink on Somerville Avenue runs 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

The Skating Club of Boston Skating Academy invites you to learn to skate at the Somerville Campus. Classes available for anyone ages 4 through adults, and are held at the Founders Memorial Arena located at 570 Somerville Avenue. Somerville classes available Saturdays and Tuesdays. Learn more and register at

Expressive Explorers. This Arts at the Armory program is an 8-week series of drop-in workshops on Thursdays from October 22nd to December 17th, 9:00 to 11:00 am (except Thanksgiving). Parents and toddlers ages 18 months to 5 years can express creativity through a wide range of hands-on art activities. Join the fun each week or just a few times, and drop in at your 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, November 16: Next Wave/Full Circle Parent-Teacher Conferences

Tuesday, November 17: Healey Community Council Meeting

Tuesday, November 17: ESCS School Improvement Council Meeting

Tuesday, November 17: Kennedy School Parent-Teacher Conferences

Wednesday, November 18: Healey School Site Council Meeting

Wednesday, November 18: WSNS Principal Coffee Hour

Wednesday, November 18: WSNS School Council Meeting

Wednesday, November 18: Brown School Parent-Teacher Conferences

Wednesday, November 18: Somerville High School Parent-Teacher Conferences

Thursday, November 19: Argenziano Parent-Teacher Conferences

Thursday, November 19: ESCS PTA General Membership Meeting

Monday, November 23: Building the Bridge – Parents and Teachers as Allies workshop

Monday, November 23: Winter Hill Parent-Teacher Conferences

Monday, November 23: Executive Function Workshop




Have something to share with the community? Send information to to share an event. Please note that we look for events and programs that support youth development. Include date, time and name of event, along with any additional pertinent information. Or, submit your event to

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