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June 13, 2019

News & Notes

Celebrating the Class of 2019 Graduates

Among the many celebrations in the last few weeks were a number of graduation ceremonies as students from across the district prepare for the next phase of their journeys. 282 Somerville High School graduates crossed the stage at Dilboy Stadium on June 3rd to accept their diplomas. You can read all about the SHS graduation ceremony in this recent Somerville Journal article: Full Circle’s graduation ceremony took place at the Armory on June 5th, where four Full Circle graduates crossed the stage to accept their diplomas. On Wednesday, June 12th, the Somerville Center for Adult Learning Experiences (SCALE) celebrated the presentation of ELL Awards, HiSET Certificates, and ADP Diplomas at a moving ceremony held at the East Somerville Community School Auditorium. Congratulations to all the Somerville Public Schools Class of 2019 graduates! We wish you continued success wherever your journey may take you.

Students Get Ready for Dog Days of Summer and Reading!

by Jen Capuano, SPS Volunteer Program Coordinator

Arthur D. Healey School students are getting ready for their summer reading, and excited to share their personalized bookmarks—courtesy of Therapy Dog Team and Reading Partner volunteers Linda and her West Highland Terrier, Posy. Healey Educator Alison Bougas was delighted to have Linda and Posy visit her classroom throughout this school year, working with students in becoming joyful, eager, and confident readers. “Our Therapy Dog Team, Linda and Posy, are amazing,” says Bougas. “Linda is incredibly professional and great with the students. Their being in our room this year helped several students be more calm and content.”     

Asked if they’d like return visits next school year, Bougas says she’d be thrilled for them to continue, “especially since we loop students [keeping same teacher and classmates], and both Posy and Linda have built such strong relationships with the students.” 

For therapy dog volunteer Linda Magram, the experience was equally rewarding. “My time with 3rd grade students and teachers at Healey School has been wonderful,” Magram says. “What an incredible group of children—funny, curious, clever, wise, loving, and appreciative. It has been an absolute joy getting to know them and an honor to spend time with them every week. I have enjoyed every aspect of this experience—from our initial meeting to the first time I signed in at the Healey School office, all the way to today when Posy and I got to hear several students’ playground presentations—very impressive. [Teacher] Allison Bougas has been terrific—it is quite obvious what a gifted teacher she is. I enjoyed spending time in her classroom, and volunteering in teachers’ Julia Hermann and Ben Garton’s classrooms. The Healey School is a special community, and we felt that from the moment we arrived.”

Linda and Posy are on board for returning to the Healey School next year to work with the same students. Somerville Public Schools welcomes trained and certified therapy dogs to serve in classrooms and with school counselors once a week or bimonthly. This school year, 13 volunteer therapy dog teams served regularly with Somerville Public Schools. Most SPS teams are trained and certified through Dog B.O.N.E.S. Therapy Dogs of Massachusetts (Dogs Building Opportunities for Nurturing and Emotional Support), a statewide organization providing intensive therapy dog team training workshops for qualified teams.

For more information about volunteering—with or without a therapy animal, this summer or this fall, visit or call 617-629-5475.

Join our Community in Addressing Summer Learning Loss

Please join the Somerville Education Foundation and Somerville Chamber of Commerce in funding scholarships to expand access to quality summer programs:

Donate to the SEF summer learning campaign or send Tax-exempt charitable contributions to:

Somerville Education Foundation, Inc.

17 Kidder Avenue, Somerville, MA 02144

Thanks to SEF 2019 Summer Learning Campaign donors, the following community groups have received grants:

  • $7,065 for 40 3-week scholarships through the Center for Arts at the Armory
  • $6,500 for 10 summer camp scholarships through Parts and Crafts
  • $8,886 for 4 55-day scholarship slots through the Mystic Learning Center
  • $6,000 for 20 summer camp scholarships through Somerville Media Center

2019 Somerville Education Foundation Donors:

First All-City Middle School’s Shrek the Musical Highlighted Themes of Friendship, Acceptance

The Highlander Theatre Company presented its very first all-city middle school musical Shrek Jr. on Friday and Saturday June 7th and 8th at the SHS Auditorium. More than 30 middle school students from across the district performed, built sets and costumes, blocked lights, worked the sound board, and had the opportunity to work alongside 13 more seasoned high school drama students. It was the end of an exciting production season of works that emphasized inclusivity and partnerships.

What's Happening  

Somerville Adults Invited to Make Music this Summer!

You've probably started planning your kids' summer activities, but are you doing anything exciting? The Somerville Public Schools Music Department invites parents and community members to join their summer music programming. Have you ever thought about learning a string instrument, playing the trombone, or singing in a chorus? All programs last two weeks and cost residents only $80 per week. Visit the web page to learn more:

Summer Programs in Somerville and Surrounding Area

Starting July 1, 2019 enjoy FREE breakfast and lunch prepared by Somerville's award-winning Food and Nutrition Services Department, available all summer for youth under the age of 19. The meals are provided by Somerville Public Schools Food and Nutrition Services Department and by the Somerville Recreation Department. Here's a list of dates, times, and locations where you can enjoy a nutritious meal this summer: Also, take a look at the 2019 Fresh and Fun flyer to learn more about other free meal and reduced cost food options available in our community.

Somerville Public Schools’ Reading Specialists have created a Summer Reading list of outstanding children’s literature chosen for students entering grades 1-8. These are suggestions, but children may select any title that matches their interests and their reading level, including books written in their native language. The suggested summer reading list as well as Somerville Public Library hours and locations can be found at this link.

Visit the Somerville Family Learning Collaborative website ( and the Somerville Hub ( for resources for families on summer camps, summer programs, and recreational opportunities across the City. And check out the Somerville Recreation Department’s many summer program and activity options for kids and adults at

Somerville High School Building Project

Watch the new Somerville High School taking shape, from the comfort of your home! Visit to access the construction camera feed and to stay up-to-date on this project.

Upcoming School Committee Meetings:

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

  • Monday, June 17, 6:00-7:00pm: Education Programs and Instruction Subcommittee Meeting at the Central Office Main Conference Room (8 Bonair St., 2nd floor)
  • Monday, June 17, 7:00-8:30pm: Regular School Committee Meeting at the Central Office Main Conference Room (8 Bonair St., 2nd floor)
  • Wednesday, June 19, 7:00-8:00pm: Finance and Facilities Meeting of the Whole at the Central Office Main Conference Room (8 Bonair St., 2nd floor)

Upcoming Somerville Family Learning Collaborative Workshops and Events:

Find a complete list of SFLC events and workshops at

SFLC June Drop-in Playgroups at the Cummings School, 42 Prescott St. (*No Registration Necessary)

Discover and Learn Drop-in Playgroups for children birth-5 years old (must be accompanied by an adult):

  • Tuesdays, Yellow Door, 3:00-4:30pm: June 4, 11, 18, 25
  • Thursdays, Yellow Door, 10:00-11:30am: June 6, 13, 20, 27

Climb and Create Drop-in Playgroups for children ages 2-5 years old (must be accompanied by an adult):

  • Wednesdays, Pink Door, 10:00-11:30am: June 5, 12, 19, 26

Looking Ahead:

Visit the Somerville Hub ( and the Somerville Family Learning Collaborative ( websites this summer to learn about many of the summer and family programs available throughout Somerville and in the surrounding area.


Community News & Events

Joe’s Jazz & Blues Festival. Join the Somerville Arts Council and the Somerville Flea for a perfect summer day on June 15, while supporting local businesses and artists in Ball Square. The annual Joe’s Jazz & Blues Festival is from noon to 6:00pm, followed by the Somerville Arts Council’s Night Market from 5:00 to 10:00pm. Joe’s Jazz & Blues Festival is a free, all-day, outdoor event in beautiful Powderhouse Park (a.k.a. Nathan Tufts Park). The Somerville High School Jazz Band will kick off the concert at noon. For more information visit  Questions? Contact Special Events Manager Nina Eichner at 617-625-6600 ext. 2998

Summer Solstice Celebration 2019. On the longest day of the year, explore the world and have fun at the Harvard Museums of Science & Culture's Summer Solstice Celebration. From 5:00–9:00 pm, enjoy free admission to four museums: the Harvard Museum of Natural History, the Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology, the Collection of Historical Scientific Instruments, and the Harvard Semitic Museum. Learn more about this fun free family event open to the public at:

Somerville Parks & Recreation. Visit to learn all about the Somerville Parks & Recreation Department’s current programming. Register today for a variety of programs including:

  • Somertime Day Program Summer 2019. A Summer Youth Program for Somerville children 5-13 years old, which is designed to create a structured, fun and safe environment for children in the City of Somerville during their summer school vacation. The program is held at the West Somerville Neighborhood School (177 Powder House Blvd.) and is held Monday-Friday, 8:30am to 4:30pm. To register and learn more, visit
  • Toddler Soccer Summer Sessions. Children ages 2-5 years old will be introduced to soccer principles such as using your feet, dribbling, shooting, and receiving. Through fun games, positive reinforcement, respect, teamwork, and fitness, this high-energy program will provide fundamental soccer skills. This program is run by Instructor Coach John Teves. Programs will run on Wednesdays and Thursdays from July 10 to August 15 at Founders Memorial Skating Rink Turf Facility. To learn more and to register for this program, visit:

City & District Employment Opportunities

Consider joining a winning team! Current city and district opportunities include:

  • Junior Clerk Traffic and Parking, Traffic and Parking Dept., City of Somerville
  • Principal Clerk II (Licensing), City Clerk Dept., City of Somerville
  • Athletic Field Working Foreman, Parks and Recreation Dept., City of Somerville
  • Director of Capital Projects, Capital Projects and Planning Dept., City of Somerville

Visit for a complete listing of current open positions in the City of Somerville.

  • Intermittent Substitute Teachers, SCALE Adult Education Program, Somerville Public Schools
  • Anticipated – Grades 6-8 Autism Teacher, Winter Hill School, Somerville Public Schools
  • Anticipated – Lead Teacher, Somerville Childcare Center, Somerville Public Schools
  • Anticipated – Counselor Educator, West Somerville Neighborhood School, Somerville Public Schools

Visit for a complete listing of current open positions in the Somerville Public Schools.


Archive of this year's CONNECTIONS e-Newsletter: