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

Mason-Rice Notes 09/28/18

Mason-Rice Notes 09/28/18

Mason-Rice Notes 09/28/18

From the Principal

Dear Mason-Rice Families,
What a tremendous turnout we had at our Back-to-School Night this Tuesday, September 25 despite the rainy weather! Thank you very much to all of you who were able to attend. Our teachers worked diligently to provide insightful presentations to share with you how they will be supporting your child socially, emotionally, and academically in the year ahead. Thank you very much to our PTO who helped to coordinate our refreshments in the gymnasium, as well as our PTO Presidents, Leslie Ziarko Valera, Will Adams, and Jas Rai for their informative presentation. In addition, thank you to Maureen Oates for putting together such a valuable video about the proper use of our Blue Zone. The evening also presented a great opportunity for me to share our school’s collective goals for the coming year around Social and Emotional Learning, Academic Excellence, and Educational Equity. Please click on the link below to find my presentation in its entirety, which includes our five core values (C.A.R.E.S.). We encourage you to support our work at school around these core values by using some of the same language with your child at home.
This Thursday, September 27 the weather cooperated nicely for Picture Day. Students were showcasing their magnificent smiles as they made their way towards our garden for their pictures. Thank you to Leslie Ziarko Valera for coordinating this event, as well as all of our parent volunteers who helped this to go smoothly.

This Thursday, September 27 was also our first Early Release of the year. All of our work during these afternoons throughout our school year will be focused upon Educational Equity, one of our three school goals for the year. Our Courageous Conversations team led our staff in a professional development experience focused upon what a Courageous Conversation is. Using an article

entitled, “Beginning Courageous Conversations About Race” by Glen Singleton and Cyndie Hays we explored the four agreements of these conversations: Stay Engaged, Speak Your Truth, Expect to Experience Discomfort, and Expect and Accept Non-Closure. It was an engaging afternoon.
I wish you all a wonderful weekend.
Jake Bultema

From the PTO Co-Presidents

Dear Parents,
Thank you to everyone who attended our Back to School Night this week.  We hope you found it informative and are motivated to volunteer as we have generally been low on volunteer signups of late.
If you were unable to attend Back to School Night, we encourage you to review the PTO co-Presidents’ presentation here.  We encourage all parents and caregivers to watch the Blue Zone video as the morning after we witnessed several parents/caregivers engaging in the dangerous behaviors highlighted in the Blue Zone video (click here to watch again).
We’d like to thank all the volunteers who helped organize and execute one of our busiest events of the year, corralling and cracking hundreds of smiles for the annual school picture day.
Today we are kicking off Parent Dues Week.  We are currently only 25% of the way to our goal of $40K – and hope to be greater than 50% by next Friday. We realize parents have many obligations and we ask that you give at any level you’re comfortable – our goal is 100% participation.  As a guide we generally spend $168 per student on various supplemental support from PTO funds (technology, field trips, creative arts and science programs).  Please make a conscious effort to submit your dues this week so we don’t have to repeat this message week after week.  You can drop off a check labeled “Dues” in the “Treasury” letterbox in the lobby or pay online using PayPal on our website.
See below for important upcoming dates and volunteer opportunities, a strong and involved parent community contributes to a successful school.
Thanks you for your time and cooperation!
Jas Rai, Leslie Ziarko Valera & Will Adams
PTO Co-Presidents

Key Dates and Upcoming Events

TODAY, 8-9AM – Friday Morning Drop-In on the Mason-Rice playground – all invited

MONDAY, 10/1 – Kindergarten A First Full Day
THURSDAY, 10/4 – Kindergarten B First Full Day
                        Mason-Rice Fall Parent Social – 7-10pm (details below)
FRIDAY, 10/5 – Walk and Bike to School Day
MONDAY, 10/8 – Columbus Day – No School

School Council

We look forward to electing one parent representative to the Mason-Rice School Council for a two-year term. The School Council is an elected body made up of Principal Bultema, Assistant Principal Addleman, three staff members, the three PTO co-presidents, two parents and two community members. Meeting a minimum of 4 times per year (often in the late afternoon), the purpose of the School Council is to assist and advise our principal on many issues affecting the school. School Council is a great opportunity to work collaboratively and support Jake during his first years as principal.
Click here to learn more about the School Council.  Interested candidates should submit a brief statement electronically to masonricepto@gmail.com

explaining their background and reasons for wanting to serve by

5pm on Wednesday, October 3. (Your statement can be very concise. See previous statements here.)  If there is more than one candidate, an election will be held during early October. Please contact us at masonricepto@gmail.com

with any questions.

Safe Routes to School


Friday, October 5, 2018 is our first 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 stickers and surprises to hand out.  We hope to get volunteers to hand them out at each door, starting around 8:10am. Please contact Barbara Nestle (Nesbarb@gmail.com) and tell her which door you are willing to help at.  If we don’t get enough volunteers, we will distribute the stickers in the front of the school.

From the PTO

The MR Parent Social Committee is hosting a weekly Friday Morning Playground Drop-In from 8-9am at the MR playground every Friday. This is a fun way to catch up with old friends and meet new parents as we take advantage of the great weather.  We hope you’ll join us!  There will be coffee!  See you on the playground this morning!
Join your fellow Mason-Rice parents for the first lunch meet-up of the 2018-19 school year next Friday September 28th at 11:45 AM. Whether you are a parent running the house or work from home (just that day or all the time), join us for a social lunch at O’Hara’s Food & Spirits (Newton Highlands). RSVP here.  We’ll organize this lunch once a month (generally the last Friday of each month) and we’ll change the location monthly (your suggestions welcome).
Please join us on Thursday evening October 4th (7-10pm) at Mason-Rice’s Fall Parent Social.  Louisa and Ryan Sylvia are graciously opening their home at 21 Orient Ave to host this event, along with their neighbors, Chris Burns and Stephanie Nitzschke and Matt and Aliza Schneller.  Bring your favorite drinking cup and catch up with old friends and meet new parents!  This event is adults only, so book your sitter!  Please sign up here Mason Rice Fall Parent Social  to bring a food/drink item and/or help set up/cleanup.  Hope to see you there!

BRING IN YOUR BOX TOPS FOR EDUCATION! Each year, Mason-Rice participates in the Box Tops for Education program to help raise funds for our

school. Each Box Top is worth $.10 and we collect about 5,000 Box Tops each year. Please help us raise hundreds of dollars for the school by clipping your Box Tops. Here’s all you have to do: Find a Box Top on a product, kids are great at this (cereals, snacks, ziploc storage bags, etc)! Clip it. Drop it in the collection box any time during the year. The collection box is located in the front lobby by the PTO bulletin board. You are also welcome to drop any “bonus” Box Tops you may have. A volunteer will collect, count and submit them. You can also download the app, sign up and we can earn additional points for Box Tops in addition to any you turn in. Any questions, contact Katy Anderson. Thanks from The Shopping Team!

Outside of Mason-Rice


Newton’s One-to-One Program, our very own “Big Brother/Sister Program” has been matching wonderful high schoolers with children in grades one through five for over 30 years.
If you think your elementary aged child would benefit from a mentor in their life and you can you commit 2.5 hours each week to have your child meet with a high school mentor from November to May please contact us. Click HERE for the application.
To get more information, please contact Rebecca Young, Program Coordinator, at rebecca_young@newton.k12.ma.us or 617-315-8733.


Hi! My name is Rebecca, I am a Mason Rice alum and currently a Junior at Newton South High School. I have been babysitting for 4 years, and I am currently working in the preschool at NSHS. I have experience with kids age 1-12. I am available most weekends and some weekdays. You can contact me at 339-221-6231 or at rmwebb84@gmail.com.

Jessica Hughes



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