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November 3, 2017

News & Notes

Capuano Students Extend Learning to New School Garden Beds

Students at the Capuano Early Childhood Center explored the school’s new garden beds last month, working with members of the Groundwork Somerville team to learn about plants and proper plant care. Students practiced being gentle with the new plants, “shaking hands” with fragrant herbs like basil and spearmint by pinching a leaf slightly and rubbing. Students also watered the beds lightly, and planted beans that have already begun to sprout. Pre-Kindergarten classes have been using the garden to connect to plant life cycles, part of the Massachusetts State Science Frameworks.

Highlander Football Team Highlighted on WCVB5’s “High 5 Program”

The Somerville High School football team was featured on Mike Lynch’s WCVB 5’s “High 5” program last week, for demonstrating incredible strength and compassion throughout the season on their way to an impressive record (currently 6-2), a first-place finish in their division, and a playoff spot. They face Watertown in a playoff game at Dilboy Stadium tonight at 7:00pm.

Celebrate Literacy with a StoryWalk in Somerville

November is National Literacy Month. Celebrate literacy with a StoryWalk at one of several parks throughout the city! Families can read, talk and walk together while enjoying a children’s story book hung along a fence at one of the following locations in Somerville:

  • Feast for 10 – Capuano Early Childhood Center Playground (150 Glen Street)
  • Sea Shapes – Capuano Early Childhood Center Playground (150 Glen Street)
  • Nuestro Autobus – Foss Park Playground (Broadway and McGrath Hwy.)
  • My Mother’s Sari – Cummings School Park (42 Prescott St.)
  • This is the Way We Go to School – Central Hill Park/Somerville Central Library (79 Highland Ave.)
  • Whoever You Are – Hodgkins-Curtin Park (Holland Street)

Building Bridges at the 13th Annual Scrapheap Showdown

How much weight will a bridge made of paper, tape and string hold? You’ll be amazed to see what Somerville students were able to do with a little creativity and lot of teamwork, at the Somerville Mathematics Funds’ 13th annual Scrapheap Showdown last week.

Learning through Adventure Programming

Somerville students from across the district are learning and growing through adventure programming, thanks to Waypoint Adventures and PEP grant funding from the U.S. Department of Education. Read more about the ways in which students are building important lifelong skills at:

Committee Work Supports District Vision

The Somerville Public Schools provides opportunities for parents/guardians and community members to get involved in committee work that supports our district vision. Below is a list of current district-led committees and contact information for each. Please let us know if you would like to get involved.

SFLC Community Leaders Resource Team. A multi-agency collaborative developed by the Somerville Family Learning Collaborative (SFLC) that connects Somerville outreach staff to resources, provides professional development, leadership training, and supports staff in working with a diverse community.  Contact is Nomi Davidson, (Targeted parent/guardian outreach by SFLC)

Somerville Early Childhood Advisory Council. The Somerville Early Childhood Advisory Council is a mechanism for developing collaborative relationships and partnerships that improve early childhood care and education in the community.  The council is a vehicle for assessing and responding to the needs of young children and their families through sharing of information, program planning, advocacy, and policy development. Nomi Davidson,

Somerville High School CTE Advisory. Advisory composed of District staff, community agencies and local businesses. Leo DeSimone,

Somerville Wellness Advisory Committee. The Somerville Wellness Advisory Committee meets bi-monthly throughout the school year and is responsible for developing and implementing the district’s Wellness Policy, ensuring that the policy and practices align with the district’s mission and vision and support the community’s overall commitment to wellness. Caitlin Kelly,

Farm to School Advisory Council. The Farm to School Advisory Council is responsible for ensuring that all aspects of the district’s Farm to School grant program are being implemented with integrity with the goal of improving the health of SPS students and families by increasing students’ consumption of healthy, locally sourced food and by promoting families’ knowledge of, and access, to such foods. Devon Byrne,

Somerville Special Education Parent Advisory Council. The mission of the Somerville Special Education Parent Advisory Council is to work for understanding of, respect for, and support of all children with disabilities in the community. Visit for more information. Rosey McDonough and Kim Rego, co-Chairs,

What's Happening  

Somerville Tradition 4th-8th Grade Boys Travel Basketball Try-outs

Try-outs for the Somerville Tradition Boys Travel Basketball program for boys in grades 4-8 are under way. Players interested in trying out should arrive 15 minutes prior to the tryout time. There is no fee to try out for a team. If a player is selected for a team, there is a fee of $50 per player. Each player selected for a team will receive a reversible game jersey. For more information, contact the Program Director, Darryl Goodridge at (617) 515-8506 or

Remaining try-out dates/times:

  • 4th Grade:          Monday, 11/6, 6:00-7:30pm       Wednesday, 11/8, 6:00-7:30pm
  • 5th Grade:          Monday, 11/6, 6:00-7:30pm       Wednesday, 11/8, 6:00-7:30pm
  • 6th Grade:          Monday, 11/6, 6:00-7:30pm       Wednesday, 11/8, 6:00-7:30pm
  • 7th Grade:          Monday, 11/6, 7:30-9:00pm       Wednesday, 11/8, 7:30-9:00pm
  • 8th Grade           Monday, 11/6, 7:30-9:00pm       Wednesday, 11/8, 7:30-9:00pm

Free Flu Shot Clinics Offered by Health and Human Services Department

The City of Somerville Health and Human Services Department is offering Free Flu Shot Clinics for anyone age 4 and up, with or without health insurance. There’s still time to get your flu vaccine. If you do have health insurance, please bring your Health Insurance Card (this includes Medicare). Upcoming clinics offered on:

  • Tuesday, Nov. 7th, 7:00-9:00am and 4:00-7:00pm at the East Somerville Community School (50 Cross St.)
  • Thursday, Nov. 9th, 3:30-6:00pm at the Cross Street Center (165 Broadway)
  • Sunday, Nov. 12th, 10:00am-2:00pm at St. Anthony’s Church (12 Properzi Way)
  • Thursday, Nov. 16th, 5:00-7:00pm at the City Hall Annex (50 Evergreen Ave.)

Lil Highlander Basketball Clinic – November 10th, 8:30am-12:30pm

Girls ages 4-13 are invited to a basketball clinic FREE for all future Highlanders. You’ll learn the fundamentals and have fun! The clinic takes place in the Somerville High School gymnasium (81 Highland Ave.) on Friday, November 10th, from 8:30am to 12:30pm. Questions? Contact Coach Freitas-Haley at (617) 625-6600, ext. 6854 or

“Give Thanks” Poetry Workshop for Kids @ the Somerville Central Library

Young writers ages 9-12 are invited to join for a fun, creative writing workshop on Tuesday, November 14th, 5:00-6:00pm at the Somerville Central Library (79 Highland Ave.). The workshop will be hosted by local Regina Hansen, PhD, who teaches writing at Boston University and has also taught writing to at-risk teens in the John Hancock/Boston Police Summer of Opportunity program. For more information, please contact Ann at or (617) 623-5000, ext. 2950.

Cyber Safety and Your Child – November 15th, 6:00-8:00pm

Parents and guardians of students in grades 5-8 are invited to a Cyber Safety workshop, to learn about what young people may be doing online and how to help your child stay safe. Workshop will include information on the district’s bullying investigation procedures, cell phone safety and sexting, popular websites and apps used by youth online, online predator safety, and prevention methods. Wednesday, November 15, 6:00-8:00pm at the Kennedy School Cafeteria (5 Cherry Street).

Fall School Committee Coordinated Office Hours

The Somerville School Committee invites you to share your thoughts about Somerville Public Schools at the Fall School Committee Coordinated Office Hours hosted throughout the city from November 11th - November 18th. The Somerville School Committee oversees the School District's finances, establishes District goals and policy, and invites you to let your voice inform their work. Hosted in all Wards, please join the one that best fits your schedule. Please contact Multilingual Services at 617-625-6600 x6958 if you are interested in participating but require interpretation.

  • November 11 (Sat) 10:00-11:00 am - Paula O’Sullivan and Carrie Normand, Diesel Cafe (257 Elm St.)
  • November 11 (Sat) 4:00-5:30 pm - Lee Palmer with Sen. Pat Jehlen and Rep. Denise Provost, Forge Bakery (626 Somerville Ave.) - Spanish available
  • November 12 (Sun) 10:00-noon - Laura Pitone with Alderman Mark Niedergang, Armory Cafe (91 Highland Ave.)
  • November 13 (Mon) 6:30-8:00 pm - Dan Futrell, Bloc 11 Cafe (11 Bow St.)
  • November 14 (Tue) 8:00-10:00 am - Laura Pitone with Alderman Mark Niedergang, Armory Cafe (91 Highland Ave.)
  • November 14 (Tue) 6:30-8:00 pm -  Andre Green with Rep. Christine Barber, Mystic Community Center (530 Mystic Ave.)
  • November 15 (Wed) 8:00-10:00 am - Steve Roix, Ola Cafe (112 Broadway)
  • November 15 (Wed) 7:00-8:00 pm - Carrie Normand and Paula O’Sullivan Angelina’s Pizza (230 Holland St.)
  • November 16 (Thu) 6:00-7:30 pm - Lee Palmer with Sen. Pat Jehlen, Forge Bakery (626 Somerville Ave.) - Spanish available
  • November 17 (Fri) 9:00-11:00 am - Andre Green with Rep. Christine Barber, Winter Hill Brewing Company (328 Broadway)
  • November 18 (Sat) 8:00-10:00 am - Dan Futrell, Bloc Cafe (11 Bow St.)
  • November 18 (Sat) 1:00-3:00 pm - Steve Roix and Lee Palmer, Dunkin Donuts (220 Broadway; corner of McGrath Highway) - Spanish available

Upcoming School & District Events

Visit our website at, and click on the "calendar" link at the top of the page for a complete list of all the activities happening at schools and in our District this month.

  • Friday, November 3: WSNS Grade 6 Field Trip to Biogen
  • Friday, November 3: Brown School Grade 3 Field Trip to Harvard Museum
  • Saturday, November 4, 6:30-11:00pm: Brown School Art & Soul Masquerade Fundraiser sponsored by the Brown School PTA, at Warehouse XI (Union Square)
  • Tuesday, November 7: Election Day - No School for Students; Professional Development Day for staff
  • Thursday, November 9: WSNS SMILE Field Trip to Wilson Farms
  • Thursday, November 9, 6:00pm: Healey Parent Involvement Night and Kids Movie Night, presented by Friends of Healey and the Healey PTA at the Healey School Library (5 Meacham Street)
  • Thursday, November 9, 6:00-8:00pm: Winter Hill Community Innovation School Parent-Teacher Conferences (115 Sycamore Street)
  • Friday, November 10: Veteran’s Day Holiday – all schools and district offices CLOSED
  • Monday, November 13, 7:00pm: Somerville SEPAC “The Special Organizer” Workshop at the Kennedy School Library (5 Cherry Street)
  • Tuesday, November 14: WSNS 8th Grade Field Trip to Moakley Courthouse
  • Tuesday, November 14, 6:00-8:00pm: East Somerville Community School Parent-Teacher Conferences (50 Cross Street)
  • Wednesday, November 15, 4:00-5:30pm: Healey School Site Council Meeting at the Healey School Library (5 Meacham Street)
  • Wednesday, November 15, 5:00-6:30pm: WSNS School Council Meeting (177 Powder House Blvd.)
  • Wednesday, November 15, 6:00-8:00pm: Cyber Safety and Your Child workshop at the Kennedy School Cafeteria (5 Cherry St.)
  • Wednesday, November 15, 6:00-8:00pm: Healey Parent-Teacher Conferences (5 Meacham Street)
  • Wednesday, November 15, 6:00-8:00pm: Next Wave/Full Circle Parent-Teacher Conferences (8 Bonair Street)
  • Thursday, November 16, 5:30-7:00pm: WSNS School-Giving Potluck Dinner (177 Powder House Blvd.)
  • Thursday, November 16, 6:00-8:00pm: Somerville High School Parent-Teacher Conferences (81 Highland Ave.)

Upcoming Somerville Family Learning Collaborative Workshops and Events

Find a complete list of SFLC events, services, and workshops at The Somerville Family Learning Collaborative offers a rich array of workshops, programs, and events to support students and families. SFLC calendars of monthly activities and events will be available October through June. Multilingual flyers will be distributed two weeks prior to all SFLC events. Here’s a snapshot of SFLC programs “by the numbers” in 2016-17.

  • Wednesday, November 8, 10:00-10:30am: SFLC Playgroup Family Talk Story Time at the Cummings School (42 Prescott Street). Celebrate Family Literacy Month at a drop-in Playgroup with a special story time featuring Children’s Librarian and Literacy Specialist Allen Kesten. Join the SFLC Family Talk Campaign – learn ways to make reading fun and how to engage your child in conversation about books.
  • Monday, November 13, 6:00-8:00pm: Preparing for Your IEP/504 Meeting Workshop at the Kennedy School Library (5 Cherry Street). Join the Somerville Special Education Parent Advisory Council (SSEPAC) and The Special Organizer™ for a presentation on organizational and data techniques for your IEP/504 meetings. Come and learn tips and tricks on how to effectively advocate for your child by getting organized. Pre-registration for this event required by emailing
  • Thursday, November 16, 5:00-7:00pm: SFLC Community Resource Clinic at the Cummings School (42 Prescott Street). Questions about community resources? Need legal consultation around immigration issues? Looking for childcare? Meet representatives from the SFLC, City of Somerville Health and Human Services, and SomerViva for information, resources and referrals. The SFLC Community Clothing Closet, a resource for free clothing for families in need, will be open and free books for families will be available.
  • Monday, November 20, 6:30-8:00pm: Transition and IEPs After Age 14, at the Somerville High School Library (81 Highland Avenue). Does your child/young adult have a vision for their life after high school? What will he/she need to get there? Join the Somerville Special Education Parent Advisory Council (SSEPAC) for a presentation by Johanne Pino from Massachusetts Advocates for Children on transitions and IEPs after age 14.

Upcoming School Committee Meetings

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

  • Monday, November 6, 6:00-7:00pm: Rules Management Subcommittee Meeting at the Aldermanic Chambers at City Hall (93 Highland Ave.)
  • Monday, November 6, 7:00pm: Regular School Committee Meeting at the Aldermanic Chambers at City Hall (93 Highland Ave.)
  • Wednesday, November 15, 6:30pm: Finance & Facilities Subcommittee Meeting at the Central Office Conference Room (8 Bonair St.)
  • Monday, November 20, 7:00pm: Regular School Committee Meeting at the Aldermanic Chambers at City Hall (93 Highland Ave.)

Community News & Events

Supporting Puerto Rico. Learn about Somerville’s three-phase donation drive to help victims of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. Visit

Somerville Parks & Recreation. Visit to learn all about current programming offered by Somerville Parks & Recreation, and register online today.

Harvard Museums. Enjoy several upcoming family-friendly events.

Somerville Youth Hockey - Learn to Skate/Play Hockey. Registration is open for the 2017-2018 season! For ages 3 and up. Programs start October 21st and run until late February 2018 at the Veterans Memorial Rink (570 Somerville Ave.) 8:00am Learn to Skate, 9:30am Learn to Play Hockey. Register online at Contact Dave Zraket at with any questions or requests for scholarships.

Multi-Media Mayhem at Arts at the Armory. This new, low-cost program is designed for youth 6-10 years old to engage in different artistic formats including visual, audial, and movement-based. High-quality workshops will take place every Thursday, 3:30-5:00pm starting October 12 through December 21 (excluding Nov. 23). Cost is $100 for the semester. Learn more at and to download an application.

Youth Arts Arise. This FREE program provides students opportunities to explore creativity in a wide range of artistic mediums. Workshop themes encourage positive self-expression by exploring different cultures and traditions, embracing diversity while simultaneously working toward a better understanding of individual identity. Fall 2017 sessions run October 10-December 20 (excluding Nov. 21 and 22), Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 3:30-5:00pm. Visit for more information or to download an application.

Makerspace Mondays @ SCATV. A drop-in media maker lab in which youth are trained on studio equipment through structured workshops that gradually become more youth-driven. Two separate program sessions are available: 3-5pm time block for youth in grades 3-6, and a 5-7pm time block for youth in grade 7 and up. Cost is $65 for the entire school year; students can attend as many sessions as they like. Registration is OPEN. Apply here. Questions? Contact Heather McCormack at or (617) 628-8826. Learn more about SCATV Youth Programming at:

Workshop Wednesdays @ SCATV. Workshop Wednesday classes teach specific media production skills, from audio and music production, to TV production, to stop motion animation and more! For youth 8 years and older regardless of ability or experience (except for the Media for Social Change class, which is for middle and high school students only). Several classes available. Cost is $200/session; financial assistance and full scholarship are available. Learn more about available classes, and register here. Questions? Contact Heather McCormack at or (617) 628-8826. Learn more about SCATV Youth Programming at:


Archive of this year's CONNECTIONS e-Newsletter: