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March 9, 2018

News & Notes

SHS Students Advance to Region IV Science & Engineering Fair

Forty (40) Somerville High School students representing 27 projects advanced to the 2018 MA Region IV Science and Engineering Fair, which will be hosted by Somerville High School this Saturday, March 10. The SHS Science Department held its annual SHS Science and Engineering Fair on March 1st. Projects receiving 1st place, 2nd place, 3rd place, and Honorable Mention awards advanced to the Region IV competition. Students spent weeks researching one topic and following the scientific method and/or engineering design process to investigate one question deeply in preparing for their science projects. This year’s SHS projects were judged by scientists and engineers from a number of partner organizations, including Boston Open Science Laboratory (BosLab), Brammer Bio, Sciomix, and Tufts University. The following projects advanced to this weekend’s Region IV competition, a precursor to the MA State Science & Engineering Fair which will be held at MIT in May:

1st Place Projects: Kevin Wen (The Effect of Acid Catalyst on Purity of Aspirin); MeiMei Collins & Thomas Pinto-Franco (Waving Hello to Our Future)

2nd Place Projects: Brittney Gedeon; Luca Duclos-Orsello & Gabriel Torres; Peter Novick & Julian Portelli & Erick Silva; Baster Ellard; Daniel Correa & Stephen Freitas

3rd Place Projects: Lucy Childs; Kajal Patel; Tayara Romero; Abriella Staggs; Alex Leite; Felix Brody & Elias Kern; Kristina Gurung & Simran Jeet

Honorable Mentions: Jill Hutchinson; Justin Booth; Era Haxhimali; Alina Kaur; Samuel Newman & Henry Zou & Ken Zou; Amy Ouyang; Emily Childs & Luke Goodnow-Russell; Maya Cooleybeck & Isabella Ferrari & Sylvie Hover; Robert McCarthy; Jackson Anderson & Maxwell Nadeau & Bishan Rai; Laura Clervil; Hamanpreet Kaur

Burlington Stores Donates $10,000 to East Somerville Community School

Burlington Stores, Inc., through its partnership with, is donating $10,000 to the East Somerville Community School in celebration of its new store at Assembly Square. Burlington Stores made a surprise presentation to the ESCS faculty on Wednesday afternoon. A representative from AdoptAClassroom contacted school administrators and helped to secure the donation for ESCS, which will provide new school supplies for each teacher’s classroom.

ESCS Principal, Dr. Holly Hatch, had the following to say about this generous donation: “On behalf of the East Somerville Community School, I want to thank Burlington Stores and for adopting our entire school, and for their commitment to supporting teachers and students. Our teachers were very excited to learn about this donation, and look forward to using the funds to enhance learning in our school and in their classrooms. We sincerely appreciate the support.”

Burlington will celebrate its Somerville store’s grand opening this weekend at Somerville’s Assembly Square Marketplace. Among the events are a Family Fun Day on Saturday, March 10th, from 10:00am-2:00pm that includes kids’ activities, gift card giveaways, and refreshments.

SPS Students and Educators Make Impressive Showing at MA Music Educators Conference

The Somerville Public Schools Music Department was well-represented at the 2018 MA Music Educators Association (MMEA) All-State Conference held last week at the Seaport Hotel/World Trade Center in Boston. Nearly 20 SPS students in grades 4-6 performed at the conference as part of the select All-State Treble Chorus. Under the direction of Dr. Janet Gallivan, an internationally celebrated chorus conductor, the Treble Chorus performed two concerts to a standing room only audience.

Will Houchin, Music Specialist at the Brown School and the Capuano Early Childhood Center, received the prestigious Young Music Educator Award from Berklee/Boston Conservatory of Music. Mr. Houchin was honored at a reception attended by more than 200 music educators from across the state. Somerville also had three SPS music faculty members present at the conference. Congratulations to all who participated in this conference!

SHS Student-Athletes to Compete at National Indoor Track & Field Meet

Congratulations to Somerville High School’s Phillips Magre, who won the 300M at the New England Indoor Track & Field Championships last weekend with a personal best time of 34.24. (Read more about his New England victory in this recent Somerville Journal article.) The SHS 4x200m relay team of Magre, Elijah Jeffreys, Bob McCarthy and Marcus Thomas finished fourth with a time of 1:30.89, just .15 seconds shy of the top finisher. This group of SHS student-athletes will be in New York City for the 2018 New Balance Nationals Indoor competition, which takes place March 9-11 at The Armory’s New Balance Track and Field Center. Visit for a complete schedule of events.

SHS Building Project Update

Preparation of the modular classrooms in front of Somerville High School continues, with interior and exterior work including some paving on the west side of the units in advance of the installation of an ADA ramp. Development of a comprehensive safety plan for the modular units is also under way. Classes will be held in the modular units immediately after April vacation. Demolition and abatement of the east classroom wing, and the start of Phase I construction is scheduled to begin immediately after the school year ends. Visit to learn more about this exciting building project and for continuing updates as the project gets under way.


What's Happening  

Pi Night – Friday, March 9, 6-8:30pm

Come celebrate all things π!  Join students, families, educators and volunteers for a fun evening of technology, arts, engineering and problem-solving Pi activities.  Open to all Grades 6-8 students, their families and siblings.  This year’s Pi Night takes place from 6:00-8:30pm on Friday, March 9th at the East Somerville Community School (50 Cross St.).  Volunteers arrive by 5:15pm for pizza and instructions. To participate in the π action, please contact Erica Dakin Voolich, President, Somerville Mathematics Fund: This event is sponsored by the Somerville Mathematics Fund, since 2000 celebrating and encouraging mathematics achievement in Somerville.

Somerville Public Schools Career Fair - March 10, 10am-1pm

The Somerville Public Schools hosts its second annual Career Fair on Saturday, March 10, 10:00am-1:00pm at the East Somerville Community School. Are you or someone you know interested in a career in education? Join us to learn more about career opportunities within the Somerville Public Schools. Meet administrators and staff from schools and departments throughout the district, and learn more about how you be part of this dynamic and diverse educational community!

MA Region IV Science & Engineering Fair - March 10, 1-3pm

The 2018 Massachusetts Region IV Science Fair, sponsored by the Tufts University, the Rotary Club of Somerville, DistriGas and the Somerville Public School District, will be held in the Somerville High School Field House on Saturday, March 10th. The six Regional Science Fairs serve as qualifying competitions for the Massachusetts State Science Fair, which will be held at MIT in May. Many Somerville High School students go on to compete in this fair Region IV Fair, and would love your support! Projects will be on display from 1:00-3:00pm, followed by an awards ceremony. Please contact Chris Angelli – – with any questions.

Registration Now Open for New SPS Middle School Track & Field Program

The Somerville Public Schools athletic department is excited to announce the launch of a new athletic program for students in grades 6-8. The interscholastic Track and Field team will give middle grades student-athletes a chance to learn what goes into competing on a high school team, while still having fun. The team will practice 2-3 days a week. Meets will run on Thursdays at locations across the north shore, including Dilboy Stadium. Travel will be provided for members of the team. The first day of practice will be on March 19, 2018 at Somerville High School. Medical Clearance will be held on March 12, 2018 (Girls Track & Field at 3:00pm; Boys Track & Field at 4:00pm). Please bring an insurance card and a copy of your physical on March 12. The physical must have been completed within the last year. To register for the program, go to:

SHS Career & Technical Education/Vocational Fair – March 24

The Somerville community is invited to learn more about Somerville High School’s Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs at the 2018 CTE/Vocational Fair. This free family event will take place on Saturday, March 24th, from 9:00am to 1:00pm at Somerville High School. Enter through the SHS Atrium, then enjoy a tour of the school’s CTE programs and an opportunity to participate in hands-on activities in the shops. CTE Ambassadors will be available to provide guided tours and answer questions. Current CTE students and faculty will also be available to demonstrate and answer questions.

Southern New England Regional Dual Language Conference – March 24

On Saturday, March 24, 2018, the East Somerville Community School will host the “Southern New England Regional Dual Language Conference,” sponsored by the Multistate Association for Bilingual Education (MABE). This conference draws together approximately 250 Dual Language educators from Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island to share current research and best practices in our field.  This year’s event offers Somerville an opportunity to showcase ESCS and the Unidos dual language English/Spanish program, one of the most established dual language programs in the state. This year’s conference theme is Making Connections between Assessment and Instruction. Conference is also open to parents/guardians and students. For more information and to register for the conference, visit

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, March 9, 6:00-8:30pm: Pi Night – A Celebration of all things π, at the East Somerville Community School (50 Cross St.)
  • Saturday, March 10, 10:00am-1:00pm: Somerville Public Schools Career Fair, at the East Somerville Community School (50 Cross St.)
  • Saturday, March 10, 12:00am-4:00pm: MA Region IV Science and Engineering Fair, at the Somerville High School Field House (81 Highland Ave.)
  • Tuesday, March 13, 7:00pm: El Sistema Somerville Spring Concert at the East Somerville Community School Auditorium (50 Cross St.)
  • Wednesday, March 14, 4:00-5:30pm: Healey School Site Council Meeting at the Healey School Library (5 Meacham St.)
  • Thursday, March 15, 3:00-4:30pm and 5:30-7:30pm: West Somerville Neighborhood School Parent-Teacher Conferences (177 Powder House Blvd.)
  • Tuesday, March 20: Brown School 5th Grade Field Trip to Commonwealth Museum in Boston
  • Wednesday, March 21, 8:30-10:30am: Brown School K-2 Assembly
  • Wednesday, March 21: Half Day Wednesday for PK-8 (PK students dismissed at 11:30am; K-8 dismissed at noon)
  • Wednesday, March 21: Spirit Day at the West Somerville Neighborhood School (177 Powder House Blvd.)
  • Wednesday, March 21, 5:00-6:00pm: WSNS School Council Meeting (177 Powder House Blvd.)
  • Thursday, March 22, 8:30am: Muffins with Maguire at the Brown School (201 Willow Ave.)
  • Thursday, March 22, 6:00-8:00pm: Serve & Inspire Volunteer Orientation at the East Somerville Community School (50 Cross St.)
  • Friday, March 23, 6:00-8:00pm: Western Family Dance at the West Somerville Neighborhood School (177 Powder House Blvd.)
  • Saturday, March 24, 9:00am-1:00pm: SHS Career & Technical Education/Vocational Fair at the Somerville High School Atrium (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.

March 10, 10:00am-2:00pm: Maple Syrup Boil Down Festival. 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. Join the fun on March 10 at the Community Growing Center (22 Vinal Avenue).

March 19, 6:30-8:00pm: ASPIRE: Autism Spectrum Disorders. Join the Somerville Special Education Parent Advisory Council for a presentation from ASPIRE on Autism Spectrum Disorders. Meet and connect with parents/guardians and other involved in the special education process. Event will take place at Kennedy School (5 Cherry Street).

March 22, 6:30-8:30pm: Serve and Inspire Volunteer Orientation. Join us for a volunteer orientation to learn about district schools and how SPS volunteers serve, inspire, and support student learning in our schools. For more information, please contact your school-based Volunteer Coordinator or Jen Capuano at (617) 629-5475 or Orientation will take place at the East Somerville Community School (50 Cross St.)

March 29, 6:00-8:00pm: Conozca sus Derechos (Know Your Rights). Do you know your rights as an immigrant? Do you have immigration-related questions or concerns? Come and learn how you can advocate for yourself and your children. This workshop is presented in Spanish by Patricia Montes, Executive Director, Centro Presente. Interpretation will be available. Workshop will take place 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

  • Wednesday, March 14, 6:30pm: Finance and Facilities Subcommittee Meeting at the Central Office Conference Room (8 Bonair St.)
  • Monday, March 19, 6:00-6:55pm: Educational Programs & Instruction Subcommittee Meeting at the BOA Committee Room at City Hall (93 Highland Ave.)
  • Monday, March 19, 7:00pm: Regular School Committee Meeting at the Aldermanic Chambers at City Hall (93 Highland Ave.); Agenda; Live Video Stream link

Community News & Events

Somerville Parks & Recreation. Visit to learn all about current programming offered by Somerville Parks & Recreation.

Somerville Little League Registration for 2018 Spring Season Now Open! Register now for Somerville Little League and enjoy a spring season of fun! Programs are available for kids ages 4-12, and run from April to June 2018. To get started, visit and click on REGISTER in the upper right corner. Scholarships are available for eligible applicants.

Maple Syrup Community Boil Down at the Somerville Community Growing Center. Groundwork Somerville invites you to join their annual maple syrup boil down festival on Saturday, March 10, from 10:00am to 1:00pm. This family friendly event is FREE! Groundwork Somerville will be boiling and tasting all the sap collected this year from sugar maples at Tufts, and serving up pancakes from Cuisine en Locale. There will also be live music, games, and GWS gear for sale!

Tufts Saturday Family and Children’s Concert Series. On Saturday, March 10th, from 1:00-2:00pm, the Tufts Jazz Orchestra presents a concert for families and children, under the direction of Joel LaRue Smith. FREE family event; no tickets required. Granoff Music Center at 20 Talbot Avenue in Somerville.

Somerville STEAM Social (S^3) Night!! A night out on Thursday, March 15, 6-8pm, for SPS staff, parents, & community members interested in learning about local STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) opportunities. Hear about current STEAM activities in Somerville schools. Share your ideas! Please note that this will be an adults only event. Greentown Labs, 444 Somerville Ave., Somerville. Sponsored by the Somerville Education Foundation. For up-to-date information, visit:  Q? Contact: Marian Berkowitz or

16th Annual Brian Higgins Foundation Trivia Night – March 22, 6:30pm. The Brian Higgins Foundation invites you to celebrate and participate in one of Somerville’s biggest community nights of the year, The Brian Higgins Foundation Trivia Night! This year’s event takes place on March 22nd, 6:30pm at the Tufts University Cousens Gym. The trivia portion, which is strictly for fun, consists of friendly competition between teams in various categories along with the MYSTERY BOOK. There will be a silent auction, a 50/50 drawing, and numerous raffles to win. A light dinner and cash bar will be available. $25 donation per person up to 10 people per table/team due by March 1st. For more information, visit or email

Amazing Archaeology Fair at Harvard. On Thursday, March 24, 1:00-4:00pm, Harvard archaeologists and students will bring history alive for families by presenting hands-on activities, sharing their research, and providing demonstrations of ancient and up-to-the-minute technologies. Join in colonial-era excavations using smartphones. Use a Google Cardboard viewer and “travel” via virtual reality with a tour guide to Egypt or Israel. Throw a handmade spear with a spear thrower (weather permitting). Talk to archaeologists about their work and their discoveries. Activities spread across both the Peabody and the Harvard Semitic Museums. Live music provided by THUD, The Harvard Undergraduate Drummers. Regular museum admission rates apply. Presented by Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology and Harvard Semitic Museum. Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology is located at 11 Divinity Avenue. Free event parking at 52 Oxford Street Garage. For more information about Peabody Museum events, visit

After-School Acting at the Armory. After-School Acting at the Armory is a new program that will run on Thursdays at 4:00pm from March 29-May 10. It is free to all local children ages 7-12 years old. Through vocal exercises, memory games, character exploration and more, participants will not only gain a deeper understanding of performance and theater, but also gain the skills needed for everyday life. Visit to learn more or to enroll your child in the program.

Greater Boston Raiders Flag Football. Registration is now open for the Greater Boston Raiders Flag Football, a new 5 on 5 non-contact youth football league coming to Dilboy Stadium this spring. Open to youth ages 4-14. League play starts April 8 and runs for six weeks. Cost is $100 for 6U Division/all other divisions are $110. Games will be played on Sundays at Dilboy Stadium. To register:

Youth Eye View Digital Photography Camp. Want to take your selfie game to the next level? Excited to move out of “auto” mode on your camera? Or just want to try something new this April Vacation? The Somerville Media Center invites youth ages 10-14 to join them in an adventure around the city developing DSLR photography skills while capturing natural landscapes, exploring urban environments, and perfecting professional portraits. Participants will also learn how to fine-tune their photography using photo editors like Photoshop, filters, and more to create their very own photo portfolio. The camp culminates with a community showcase featuring participants’ photos as Somerville Media Center’s in-house gallery exhibit! Scholarships are available. Learn more and register online at Questions? Please email Heather McCormack at


Archive of this year's CONNECTIONS e-Newsletter: