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March 15, 2019

News & Notes

“Making Our Way to Resilience” – Kennedy School, Lesley STEAM, Beautiful Stuff Project Partner on SXSW Presentation

Kennedy School staff recently presented an exciting panel called “Making Our Way to Resilience” at the prestigious 2019 SXSWedu Conference in Austin, Texas. The discussion focused on the importance of ‘making’ for students who have experienced trauma and how to develop resilience and experience success through ‘making’ in an academic setting. As part of the discussion, audience members participated in a hands-on maker project they could bring back to their classrooms. Presenting were Kennedy School Principal Mark Hurrie and Kennedy 6th Grade Teacher Lindsey Tosches, who is also the Makerspace Coordinator and STEAM/Innovation Specialist. Joining them were Lesley University Assistant Professor and Director of Lesley STEAM Learning Lab Susan Cusack, Lesley University Associate Dean Patricia Crain de Galarce, and Marina Seevak, founder of the local non-profit, the Beautiful Stuff Project. Lesley University STEAM Learning Lab has been an on-going partner with SPS supporting the development of the Kennedy School makerspace and related integrated curriculum.

Afterwards, Education Week interviewed Kennedy Principal Mark Hurrie about improvements to the overall learning climate at the Kennedy School. In addition to a maker mindset, teachers and staff at the Kennedy developed mindfulness programming to reduce stress and improve learning conditions. Read the interview: Learn more about the Kennedy Makerspace at:

Somerville Awarded CPPI Funds to Expand Preschool Access and Quality through Community Partnerships

Somerville was recently one of only six communities in the Commonwealth to be awarded a Commonwealth Preschool Partnership Initiative (CPPI) grant from the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care (EEC). Somerville was awarded a nearly $1.5 million multi-year grant to expand access and align and improve quality of its local early education system through strategic partnerships between the school district and EEC-licensed early education programs in Somerville. Somerville was awarded just over $283,000 during the first period of the grant (through June 30, 2019), and is slated to receive just over $600,000 for each of the next two years pending project state funding availability.

Read all about this exciting community initiative in this recent press release: Somerville Awarded Commonwealth Preschool Partnership Initiative Funding.

Somerville Public Schools Celebrates Pi Night on 3/14

More than 200 SPS students from grades 7 and 8, parents, volunteers, and mathematics teachers from across the district celebrated Pi Night at the Healey School cafetorium Thursday evening. Student volunteers from the high school’s Community Service Club, whose advisor is Kara Carpenter, helped coordinate hands-on math activities at more than 15 stations. Activities included drawing cardioids and nephroids, measuring diameters of circles from food container lids, and calculating candy quantities in irregularly-shaped containers. During the event (round) pizza was served, and at the end of the night every student was given a small pie from Table Talk Pies to take home.

Pi Day is an annual, international celebration of the mathematical constant π. Pi Day is observed on March 14 since 3, 1, and 4 are the first three significant digits of π. This was the 16th year the Somerville Mathematics Fund and its founder and president, Erica Voolich, have organized and sponsored Pi Night in the Somerville Public Schools. For more information about the Somerville Mathematics Fund, visit

Brown School Family STEAM Night

On Thursday, March 7, the Brown School celebrated its Family STEAM Night. The event brought more than 150 of the school’s parents and students to the school for an evening of hands-on learning fun. Almost every classroom and the library were transformed into innovation hubs run by parent volunteers. Workshops included “Find the DNA Hidden in Strawberries,” “Math Jeopardy!,” and “Jump Around and Code with Splat Mats.” There was also the opportunity to engineer a dream playground and build marble roller coasters out of recycled materials. The Beautiful Stuff Project coordinated an activity creating treasure boxes, and there was also a workshop on how to build a flashlight. Principal Shawn Maguire worked as the evening’s announcer, and over 22 parent volunteers helped to make this an event they hope to bring to the Brown School annually.

What's Happening  

Save the Date! SHS CTE Fair – Saturday, March 16, 9:00am-12:00pm

Want to learn more about how Somerville High School Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs connect students to authentic learning experiences? Stop by the annual SHS CTE Fair this Saturday, between 9:00am and 12:00pm at the SHS Atrium to find out about the many CTE programs SHS offers, and to learn from students themselves about their work in the programs and with industry partners. This is a free family event, so gather up the kids and stop by for a fun morning of learning and exploring. You will have an opportunity to see student projects, and try your hand at creating some of your own work. Everyone is welcome to come and learn about Somerville’s innovative CTE programs. Visit the CTE website at to learn more about each of the programs we offer.

Bridge Closures to Support Green Line Extension Begin March 22

Bridge closures throughout Somerville to support the Green Line Extension are scheduled to begin on March 22nd. Learn more about the scheduled bridge closures and detours at: Anyone interested can sign up to receive a weekly email outlining upcoming construction citywide at Somerville residents are also encouraged to enroll in the City’s alert system at to ensure they are notified prior to major detours or disruptive construction activity in their neighborhood.

Somerville Seeking Youth Members for City’s Urban Forestry Committee

Somerville teen residents between the ages of 14 and 17 with an interest in environmental issues, gardening, agriculture, ecology, and other related fields are encouraged to apply for two open positions on the City’s Urban Forestry Committee. Members of the Urban Forestry Committee work with City staff on a variety of issues related to the City’s more than 12,000 public trees and shrubs, including maintenance, protecting existing trees and shrubs, updating the City’s tree inventory, and teaching the public about urban forestry. The committee meets on the third Thursday of each month from 6 to 8 p.m. To apply, send a letter or email explaining why you would like to volunteer for the Urban Forestry Committee to Senior Urban Forestry and Landscape Planner Dr. Vanessa Boukili ( or 93 Highland Ave., Somerville, MA 02143) by Tuesday, March 26. Please also include your contact information.

DEI Annual Pancake Breakfast – Saturday, March 30, 8:30-10:30am

The Duhamel Education Initiative (DEI) hosts its 23rd Annual Pancake Breakfast spring fundraiser on Saturday, March 30, from 8:30-10:30am at the First Church Somerville (89 College Avenue). Funds from this annual fun family event support drop-out prevention as well as new and innovative programs in the Somerville Public Schools. The entire family is invited to join the fun and enjoy a delicious pancake breakfast prepared and served by members of the Somerville School Committee. Suggested donation is $10 for adults, $9 for senior citizens, $5 for children, or $25 for a family. Reservations are not necessary. In case of questionable weather, contact Doris McDaniel (857-205-8374) or Larry Siraco (617) 447-1529 to confirm that the breakfast will be taking place. If you are unable to attend but would like to make a contribution, a check made payable to “The Duhamel Education Initiative” may be sent to: The Duhamel Education Initiative; P.O. Box 440113; Somerville, MA 02144.

Upcoming School & District Events:

Visit and click on the “calendar” link at the top of the page for a list of upcoming activities in our schools and in our District this month.

  • Friday, March 15: Somerville High School Sophomore/Junior Semi-formal at the Arts at the Armory in Somerville
  • Saturday, March 16, 9:00am-12:00pm: Somerville High School Career and Technical Education (CTE) Fair at the SHS Atrium (81 Highland Ave.)
  • Monday, March 18: First day of Spring Sports at Somerville High School
  • Monday, March 18, 6:00-6:30pm: Healey School Improvement Plan Presentation to the School Committee, at the City Council Chambers, City Hall (93 Highland Ave.)
  • Monday, March 18, 6:30-7:00pm: Argenziano School Improvement Plan Presentation to the School Committee, at the City Council Chambers, City Hall (93 Highland Ave.)
  • Tuesday, March 19, 5:30-7:00pm: ESCS School Council Meeting (50 Cross St.)
  • Wednesday, March 20: Half-Day Wednesday for PK-8 (pre-K dismissal at 11:30am; K-8 dismissal at noon)
  • Thursday, March 21, 7:00pm: Highlander Theatre Company production of Silent Sky, at the Somerville High School Auditorium (81 Highland Ave.)
  • Frida, March 22, 6:00-8:00pm: Brown School Talent Show at Cohen Auditorium at Tufts University
  • Friday, March 22, 7:00pm: Highlander Theatre Company production of Silent Sky, at the Somerville High School Auditorium (81 Highland Ave.)
  • Monday, March 25, 6:30-9:00pm: Somerville SEPAC Anti-Bullying Presentation by Massachusetts Advocates for Children, at the East Somerville Community School cafeteria (50 Cross St.)
  • Wednesday, March 27, 6:00-8:00pm: SHS School Improvement Council Meeting at the Somerville High School library (81 Highland Ave.)

Upcoming School Committee Meetings:

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

  • Monday, March 18, 6:00-7:00pm: Educational Programs and Instruction Subcommittee Meeting at the City Council Chambers, City Hall (93 Highland Ave.); Healey School Improvement Presentation from 6:00-6:30pm; Argenziano School Improvement Presentation from 6:30-7:00pm
  • Monday, March 18, 7:00-8:30pm: Regular School Committee Meeting at the City Council Chambers, City Hall (93 Highland Ave.)
  • Wednesday, March 27, 7:00-8:00pm: School Committee Meeting for Long Range Planning, 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

Maple Syrup Boil Down Festival – Saturday, March 16, 10:00am-1:00pm @ South Street Farm (198 South St.)

Watch and learn as sap from local trees is boiled down into pure maple syrup over a warm fire. Family-friendly activities, taste tests, hot cocoa, music and more! Hosted by Groundwork Somerville.

Serve and Inspire Volunteer Orientation – Thursday, March 21, 6:00-8:00pm @ the Cummings Bldg. (42 Prescott St.)

Join us to learn how you can connect, engage and inspire student engagement, learning and enrichment in Somerville Public Schools.

SSEPAC Anti-Bullying Presentation – Monday, March 25, 6:30-8:30pm @ East Somerville Community School

Join the Somerville Special Education Parent Advisory Council for a workshop on the Massachusetts Anti-Bullying Law. The workshop will also focus on school-wide efforts to create safe and supportive school environments for students with disabilities and provisions that require IEP Teams to address the bullying of students with disabilities.

SFLC Community Resource and Legal Clinic – Thursday, March 28, 5:00-7:00pm @ Cummings Building, Room 12

Meet representatives from the SFLC, Somerville Health and Human Services, and SomerViva for information and resources related to immigration and other family needs, or make an appointment for a free legal consultation with representatives from the Harvard Immigration and Refugee Clinical Program. For a legal consultation appointment, email or call 617-625-6600 x6958. The SFLC Community Clothing Closet, a resource offering free clothing for families in need, will be open.

Looking Ahead:

  • Monday, March 25, 6:30-9:00pm: Somerville SEPAC Anti-Bullying Presentation by Massachusetts Advocates for Children, at the East Somerville Community School cafeteria (50 Cross St.)
  • Wednesday, March 27: WSNS 5th Grade Trip to Museum of Science
  • Wednesday, March 27, 6:00-8:00pm: SHS School Improvement Council Meeting at the Somerville High School library (81 Highland Ave.)
  • Friday, March 29, 1:45-2:30pm: WSNS Kindergarten Math in the Café event at the West Somerville Neighborhood School Cafeteria (177 Powder House Blvd.)
  • Wednesday, April 3: Half-Day Wednesday for PK-8 (pre-K dismissal at 11:30am; K-8 dismissal at noon)
  • Wednesday, April 3, 5:00-6:30pm: WSNS School Council Meeting (177 Powder House Blvd.)
  • Thursday, April 4, 6:00pm: National Honor Society Induction Ceremony at the Somerville High School Auditorium (81 Highland Ave.)
  • Friday, April 5: Brown School PTA Museum of Science Overnight off-site learning experience
  • Friday, April 5, 8:00am: Cramer Coffee Collab at the Healey School (5 Meacham St.)
  • Tuesday, April 9, 5:30-7:00pm: Argenziano School Site Council Meeting (290 Washington St.)
  • Tuesday, April 9, 6:00-7:30pm: Next Wave/Full Circle Parent-Teacher Conferences (8 Bonair St.)
  • Wednesday, April 10, 4:00-5:30pm: Healey School Site Council Meeting at the Healey School Library (5 Meacham St.)
  • Wednesday, April 10, 6:00-7:30pm: Healey Parent-Teacher Conferences (5 Meacham St.)
  • Thursday, April 11, 6:00-7:30pm: Winter Hill Parent-Teacher Conferences (115 Sycamore St.)
  • Thursday, April 11, 6:30-9:00pm: Somerville High School Spring Concert at the SHS Auditorium (81 Highland Ave.)
  • Thursday, April 11, 7:00-8:30pm: SFLC Sharing our Stories meeting at the Cummings Bldg. (42 Prescott St.)
  • Friday, April 12: WSNS Middle School Band Trip
  • Monday-Friday, April 15-19: April Vacation (includes Patriots Day and Good Friday)

Community News & Events

Lead Paint Safe Somerville. Renters! Funding is available to make your home lead-paint safe. Lead paint can be dangerous, especially for kids. Landlords may receive a three year, forgivable loan to address lead-paint hazards in their rental units. Income restrictions apply. City staff can help discuss the program with your landlord. Learn how the City can help make your home lead-paint safe by visiting or calling 617-625-6600 ext. 2584. Translation services are available.

National Grid Community Initiative. The Mass Save Program can help Somerville property owners and tenants save on energy and maintenance costs, increase the home’s comfort and value, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Offers include at least 75% off approved insulation improvements, rebates up to $1,600 per ton for qualifying air source heat pumps, and 0% interest financing through the Mass Save HEAT Loan. Meanwhile, if 230 households complete no-cost Home Energy Assessments, the City can receive a grant for future energy initiatives. Eversource and National Grid customers may call 855-891-9899 or visit to get started. Translation services are available.

Debate Spaces, a local non-profit that provides mentorship and training to debate teams at public middle schools, will be running two day-long debate academies for middle schoolers (6th-8thgraders) on Saturday, March 30th and Saturday, April 27th, 10 a.m.-3:30 p.m., at Suffolk University, 20 Somerset St, Room 265. Attend one or both and find out what debate is all about. Through debate activities, students become more confident public speakers and learn to make powerful arguments. Pizza is included. Students will have fun and get to know kids from all over the Boston area. To enroll, sign up at   $20/day (, scholarships available. Have questions? Email:

Greater Boston North Shore Flag Football. Get in the game with flag football! Registration for North Shore Flag Football is open! Registration deadline is March 8!! Visit to register. Call 978-338-4108 or email if you have questions. Games are played Sunday mornings and the season starts April 7. One game and one practice per week with a minimum of 7 weeks of games. To learn more, visit

Somerville Parks & Recreation. Registration for Girls Spring Softball is now open. Home games played at Trum Field and Foss Park. Visit for more information and to register. Visit to learn all about the Somerville Parks & Recreation Department’s current programming.

March is Write Poetry Month. Writer’s Den and Happening publications including Kid!, sps7.8, 12!, and the AFAS Journal are sponsoring the annual online Poetry Wall in April, which features students’ original poetry. Students are invited to write poetry, or gather poems together that they have have written this year and submit them to for posting on the April Poetry Wall. Further publication in print is possible for poems selected by Writer’s Den poetry editors. Name, school, and grade should be on all submissions. Contact Alan Ball at for inquiries. To learn more, visit

City & District Employment Opportunities

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

  • Wire Inspector, Inspectional Services Dept., City of Somerville
  • SHMEO Catch Basin Cleaner, Water and Sewer Dept., City of Somerville
  • Director of Parks & Recreation Operations, Parks & Recreation Department, City of Somerville

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

  • Temporary Grades 7/8 Special Education Inclusion Specialist/Resource Room Teacher, Special Education Dept.
  • 2019 Summer Adventure Camp Positions, Somerville Community Schools Afterschool Program
  • 2019 Special Education Summer School Program, Special Education Department

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


Archive of this year's CONNECTIONS e-Newsletter: