149 Pleasant Street
Newton Centre, MA. 02459
Late Arrival/Absence

Mason-Rice Notes 11/16/18

From the Principal

Dear Families,
The past few weeks brought many great events to our school community that included our Bake Sale, Book Fair, and Pajama Party Read Aloud. Many thanks to our PTO and all families who helped to support these yearly traditions to both flourish and thrive this year. I enjoyed the opportunity to share our Bookmark Contest Winners and Honorable Mentions, as well as the random entry winners from our 160 entrants each day of the Book Fair, as part of our Morning Announcements. Being able to travel the Book Fair and make recommendations for students was also really rewarding, as there were so many great book choices for all levels of readers. Closing out our reading themed week by sharing some of my favorite stories, like Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax, with students and families as part of our Pajama Party Read Aloud provided a meaningful way for literacy to bring us all together.
As I mentioned in a letter I shared with our community earlier in the week, this week we had our first C.A.R.E.S. assembly. It was wonderful to gather our third, fourth, and fifth graders together to celebrate and recognize, with specificity, the academic and social/emotional skills that they have been showcasing as they relate to our school rules and core values. Watching your children genuinely encourage and applaud their classmates as I read these extremely thoughtfully written C.A.R.E.S. awards by their teachers was really a remarkable sight. I look forward to kicking off our first C.A.R.E.S. assembly with our kindergarten, first, and second graders on Tuesday, November 27.
With colder weather fast approaching I would like to remind us how critical it is for everyone to follow all Blue Zone rules. You can visit our PTO‘s website with the following link to view important components about the Blue Zone, including an extremely informative video that was shared at our Back-to-School Night: http://masonrice.org/the-blue-zone/. It is a collective effort of all of us working together to help to ensure the safety of everyone in our MasonRice community.

I would also like to remind everyone that our next Principal Coffee is on Thursday, November 29 from 8:30-9:15 in our Centre. I look forward to connecting with those of you who are able to join.
Lastly, I wish you all a wonderful weekend and a safe upcoming Thanksgiving Break. This time of year is always a great time to reflect upon those things that we are grateful for. I am so incredibly thankful to work with such a dedicated and supportive school community.
Jake Bultema

From the PTO Presidents

Dear Parents,
During this time of Thanksgiving, we want to share with all of you our appreciation for your help given, time shared, and contributions made this school year.  Thank you to the 183 families that have helped raise $41,803.  We are so grateful to have met our goal prior to Thanksgiving break!
In the same spirit of generosity…it is a MasonRice tradition to support the annual Gift of Giving campaign during the holiday season.  There are still mittens available and gift cards needed to support families.  Please see the Gift of Giving team in front of the school at pick-up today or check out the Sign Up Genius below to select a family.
Also, this year we are offering a 15% discount and 15% back to MasonRice through Minted.com.  Please see below for the promo code and additional details.
Reminder today is Thanksgiving Walk to School Day! Please join us in walking or biking to school this today and pre-celebrate Thanksgiving with stickers and other rewards!  It’s supposed to be a rainy morning (and instrument day), so if you can’t walk the whole way, park a few blocks away and walk part of the way.  Having your child take the bus counts as well!  A big thank you to Barbara Nestle for coordinating this event.

The next Lunch Bunch (formerly HOWLS) gathering will be at 4 Spoons Thai Restaurant in Newton Center on Nov 30.  Come meet some of your fellow parents, home-workers, home-makers and come enjoy a tasty lunch and socialize during the lunch hour.  See below to signup and additional details.
Please remember school closes at Noon on Wednesday, November 21 for Thanksgiving break.  There is no school on Thursday or Friday of next week and we will not have the MasonRice Notes.
Have a wonderful weekend and a safe holiday next week.  As always, send us an email if you have questions, suggestions or comments.
Take care,
Jas Rai, Will Adams & Leslie Ziarko Valera
PTO co-Presidents

Key Dates & Upcoming Events

FRIDAY, 11/16 -TODAY!- Thanksgiving Walk to School Day
                    PTO Board Meeting @ 8:40am
TUESDAY, 11/13 – FRIDAY, 11/30 – Gift of Giving
WEDNESDAY, 11/21 – Early Release at 12:00PM (Please note the earlier time)
THURSDAY, 11/22 – FRIDAY, 11/23 – Thanksgiving Break – No School
THURSDAY, 11/29 – Principal Coffee at 8:45AM

Please Note:  Friday Morning Drop-Ins take place every Friday on the MasonRice playground weather-permitting.  All are invited.  Please put it in your calendars as a standing meeting and attend whenever you can!

Creative Arts and Sciences

Creative Arts & Sciences brought Blacksnake and Traveling Medicine Dog to each third grade class on Wednesday. Blacksnake and Traveling Medicine Dog engaged our third graders in a wonderful hands-on exploration of Native American life. By teaching the students that “the best way to learn about a new culture is to learn about their things,” Blacksnake and Traveling Medicine Man provided each student with the opportunity to choose a special object from their collection to learn more about it or to ask a question about Native American Life. This resulted in an incredible day full of discussion and song!
From the PTO

Thank you to all who have so kindly signed up to fulfill a needy child’s wish list for the Gift of Giving. We still have about 40 mittens to distribute.  Come to the table by the flag pole TODAY at pick-up to grab a mitten!  Any remaining mittens will be added to the online sign up this weekend.

To help with additional wish list items, we are also collecting gift cards, as well as new, unwrapped toys, crafts, and art supplies that can be used to supplement gift lists as needed. Here are the details:

  • Sign up to purchase and donate gifts cards at https://www.signupgenius.com/go/10c0b4aa8a62babfc1-gift.
  • Gift cards should be dropped off or delivered by mail by Sunday, December 2 to The Wood/Hancock House, 26 Park Lane, 02459.
  • Toys, art supplies, etc. can be left on the front porch at 26 Park Lane, or dropped in the box labeled for Gift of Giving in the front lobby at MasonRice by Sunday, December 2.

To learn more about the Gift of Giving, review the flyer here.  Please contact Jay Wood (jayfwood@verizon.net) or Michele Niepel (michele@niepel.com) with any questions.

TODAY is Thanksgiving Walk and Bike to School Day! The bus counts too! Please join us in supporting the growth of our community. If you must drive, please consider parking a block or two from the school to walk part of the way and help reduce traffic congestion. For those who participate, we will have Thanksgiving surprises to hand out at the main door.
Extra Extra – Read all about the Online Book Fair!
You can still shop online NOW through Wednesday, November 28th at www.scholastic.com/bf/masonrice. Your order will be delivered within 5-7 business days (with no shipping costs) directly to MasonRice and we will get them to your child. This is a great way to get a jumpstart on holiday shopping and Mason Rice will earn “Scholastic dollars” on 50 percent of online sales. These Dollars can be used to purchase future classroom and library books. If you have already taken advantage of The Book Fair in The Centre this week, please know that it is a huge success thanks to the great MasonRice Community participation. TRULY – Thank you!
We are also thrilled to report that Project Hope, the family shelter in Boston will receive $213 from your donations raised during the Book Fair. These funds will be used to buy books for their Library.  Thank you again, to parents, teachers and kids, for your donations and participation in the The Book Fair in The Centre this month!


Planning holiday cards and gifts? During the month of November, if you buy cards or other holiday items through www.minted.com, you’ll get 15% off and MasonRice will receive 15% of the purchase price as a donation when you use the code: FUNDRAISEMASONRICE. Happy online shopping!


Join your fellow Mason Rice parents for lunch on Friday November 30th at Four Spoons on Beacon Street. This is for anyone in the area that wants to socialize and get out of the house or office. RSVP here.
The 7th Annual M-R Mystery Dinner (an adult-only event) will be held Saturday evening February 9, 2019.  All attendees meet at one home for appetizers and drinks from 6:00-7:30PM.  Then we all break into small pre-assigned groups for dinner at various homes from 7:30-9:30PM.  Finally, we all come back together for dessert at 9:30PM at another home.
We are currently looking for the following volunteers:
ONE volunteer to open their home for the APPETIZER portion of the evening, ONE volunteer to open their home for the DESSERT portion of the evening, and MULTIPLE volunteers to host the DINNER part of the evening.   We will open up signups for attendees in January.  For more details, and to sign up to host, click here: Mason Rice 7th Annual Mystery Dinner- Appetizer/Dessert/Dinner Hosts Signup 2/9/19
Please contact Jess Poscover (jesskatz@yahoo.com) or Liz Bouvier (lizbouvier@hotmail.com) if you have any questions.
The retake day for individual pictures and the All 5th Grade Picture will be Thursday, December 13. If you would like to retake your child’s picture, please return the proof to your child’s teacher by Wednesday, 12/12 and email Leslie at laziark@gmail.com so she can add their name to the list. If your child was absent on picture day, their name should already be on the list to have their picture taken.

Getting Ready for Winter

Items collected from Countryside Elementary School during the Winter Gear Drive will be available in 1st floor modular hallway from Friday morning 11/16 – Wednesday afternoon 11/21. If you are a family in need of winter clothes or know of a family in-need, please stop by to take a look. Any remaining clothing will be donated to NuDay Syria after Thanksgiving. Please contact Kate Wissel (katewissel@yahoo.comwith any questions.
Should your family need support as we enter the winter months, purchasing warm clothes, coats or boots or helping meet a holiday gift need for your child, please do not hesitate to contact Principal Bultema. Our efforts will be coordinated through Susan Kass, our MasonRice Social Worker, and all will be kept strictly confidential.
Now that cold weather is here, please take a moment to label ALL off your child’s winter clothing – coats, boots, mittens, hats, sweatshirts, etc. This is the only way that you will be notified about an item of your child’s in the Lost & Found. If your child is missing any item, we strongly encourage you to check out the Lost & Found near the Centre at pick-up. Unlabeled items will be washed and donated at the end of each month.


Hi! My name is Simone and I am a Junior at Newton South, as well as a MasonRice alum. I am available for occasional babysitting jobs in the Newton area on Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings. I am CPR certified and I have been babysitting for three years. My rate is $15. If you’re interested, please contact me at simone.izzy.klein@gmail.com or (617) 678-4838.


Jessica Hughes



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