From the Principal
Happy New Year! I hope that you all had a wonderful December break and have had a fruitful start to 2019. Despite the short week back, it has been great to get the chance to reconnect with many of you in the mornings at drop off and pick up. I have also really enjoyed the opportunity to reconnect with your children as I visited classrooms, crossed paths in the hallways, or greeted them in the morning.
The week before our December break it was terrific to see our staff and students taking part in our Spirit Week as a way to celebrate all of the hard work and fun we’ve had through our first four months of the school year. Also, the week before our break we had an outstanding Gr. K-2 C.A.R.E.S. Assembly on Tuesday, December 18. I am looking forward to our next C.A.R.E.S. Assembly (Gr. 3-5) that will be taking place this upcoming Tuesday, January 8.
As we approach the midway point of our school year, which is difficult to believe, our teachers have begun diligently working to complete mid-year assessments with your children to help inform them as they prepare report cards to showcase their academic, social, and emotional growth. Families will be provided access to report cards online on Thursday, January 31.
I wish you all a wonderful weekend and look forward to the full week ahead next week.
From the PTO Co-Presidents
We hope all had a wonderful and restful school vacation and Happy New Year!
Later this month we have the 2nd largest of the 5 fundraisers we do this school year – our online auction runs from January 18 – 28. Thanks to the over 15 families who have contributed an item or event to the auction thus far. Our most popular auction items have been parent-hosted parties and experiences. Not only do these adult-only events bring in much needed funds, they also provide a great opportunity to get to know other Mason-Rice parents and have fun! Past events have included a Belgian Beerfest, Dodge Ball, Tacos & Tequila Night, Moms Movie Night, and Wine Tasting. If you’d like to host an event, need help thinking through a potential idea, or have any questions, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. (Note that we will limit the bidders for your event to Mason-Rice parents only.) To learn more about the Mason-Rice online auction, click here
or visit: http://masonrice.org/
* Please note we are low on volunteers and parent events this year and need our community to step up and be creative as you always do. See further down for additional details and how you can participate to assist the auction in various ways.
The 2nd annual MR Trivia Night, back by popular demand, is right around the corner on this Monday January 7. It’ll be a Mason-Rice adults-only event with fun categories, including Newton and M-R trivia questions. No need to form teams – we will form them at the event. Sign up here
so we can get a head count.
Please mark January 30 at 7pm in the Centre at Mason-Rice in your calendars as an important date to discuss the Newton Public School Equity Policy changes and new limits for the upcoming 2019-20 school year. For those of you unfamiliar with the Equity Policy, equity items in the PTO budget including funding for Creative Arts & Sciences, library books, support for teachers to set up their classrooms, assistance with the buses for field trips and technology among other things. In an effort to minimize the gap in the levels of funding at Newton elementary schools, new limits will go into effect in September 2019.
Members of the NPS Equity Committee and School Committee Representative, Ruth Goldman, will be on hand to present the details and rationale of the new policy.
Some Mason-Rice parents have heard rumors and inaccurate information regarding the Equity Policy changes, and the January 30 meeting will serve to provide facts, answer questions and address concerns. If you want a more in-depth understanding of the priorities for the district related to equity as well as knowledge of how the PTOs fund initiatives, we encourage you to have at least one member of your household attend and learn more about the Equity Policy and how it will impact our community. It will also be an opportunity for you to interact first hand with the stakeholders and decision makers.
Last but not least, please join us as we give Timo Helenius a big shout out and THANK YOU for all his hard work and dedication to the 4th grade bike safety program. He has put in countless hours organizing volunteers for this program and participating himself in the execution of this program for the past 6 years. He has chosen to step down as the bike safety liaison this year, he will be greatly missed! We wish you the best Timo!! Thanks for all your help!
This leaves us to fill the position of the 4th grade Bike Safety Liaison. The program takes place in late spring. The liaison works closely with the physical education teacher(s) and typically 4th grade parents within the community. If you are interested, please see physical education teacher, Beth Ann Nohmy or email her at BethAnn_Nohmy@newton.k12.ma.us
Jas Rai, Leslie Ziarko Valera & Will Adams
Key Dates & Upcoming Events
1/7 – 2nd Annual Trivia Night (details below)
1/9 – Brown Middle School Special Ed Transition Meeting (details below)
1/21 – Martin Luther King Day – No School
1/2 – 2/4 – Cradles to Crayons Donation Drive
2/9 – Cradles to Crayons Volunteer Shift
2/9 – Annual M-R Mystery Dinner
3/11-3/15 – STEAM Week
Please Note: **FRIDAY MORNING DROP-IN CHANGE IN LOCATION! Our regular Friday Morning Drop-In has moved indoors to CENTRAL Cafe and Restaurant (761 Beacon) starting at 8:30am every Friday for the winter months. Hope to see you there!****
From the PTO
CONTRIBUTE TO THE ONLINE AUCTION!
The online auction
is just a few weeks away and we need your help!
DONATE A PARENT EVENT
By far the auction’s most popular items, not only do these events and parties bring in much needed funds, they also provide a great opportunity to get together with other Mason-Rice parents and have fun! Past events have included art classes, Dodge Ball, Tacos & Tequila Night, cooking classes, Moms Movie Night, and wine tasting. If you’d like to host an event, need help thinking through a potential idea, or have any questions, email us at email@example.com.
DONATE AN ITEM
Are you a business owner? Donate a service, product, or gift card! Have a vacation home? Donate a weekend stay! Have season tickets? Donate tickets for a game or show! Have a gift card you are not going to use? Donate it to the auction. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We would love to get a few more volunteers to help follow up with potential donors. Most of this help involves emailing local businesses we have already sent a solicitation letter to. Sign up to volunteer here .
We appreciate any help you can give to make this another successful auction year to support all the PTO does! Learn more about the auction here: http://masonrice.org/auction/
MASON-RICE PARENTS TRIVIA NIGHT – 1/7
Back by popular demand, Mason-Rice’s 2nd Annual Parent Trivia Night will be Monday January 7 at 7:30pm! Put your thinking caps on and come on down to the lower level of Union Street. This is a Mason-Rice parents (adult only) event, organized and emcee’d by your fellow MR parents! There is no cost to attend this event, but food and drink are available to purchase. There is no need to form teams ahead of time, as we can form teams at the event! For more info and to RSVP for a head count: 2nd Annual MR Parent Trivia Night.
CRADLES TO CRAYONS – DONATION DRIVE NOW THROUGH 2/4 AND VOLUNTEER SHIFT 2/9
Please join fellow Mason-Rice families for a volunteer shift at Cradles to Crayons (C2C) on Saturday, February 9 from 10am – 12pm. (Arrive at 9:45am). All children ages 5+ are welcome to volunteer. Please sign up at www.signupgenius.com/go/5080e4eada82aa75-cradles
. If your plans change, update the sign-up so other families can join us.
The C2C shelves are bare in January so it’s a great time to go through your closets, attic, basement, and/or garage to find new or like-new children’s items to donate. Then put your toy, shoe and clothing donations in the C2C box in the M-R lobby by 2/4 or if you are volunteering, bring them with you to C2C on 2/9. You can learn more about their most needed items here. If you have any questions, please email Marci Shyavitz at email@example.com. Thanks!
PARENT SOCIAL COMMITTEE UPDATE: MYSTERY DINNER HOST SIGNUP!
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 have an APPETIZER host!
We are currently looking for the following volunteers:
Please contact Jess Poscover (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Liz Bouvier (email@example.com) if you have any questions.
MASON-RICE PARENTS STEAM WEEK – MARCH 11-15
During this week, caregivers and parents are invited to come into the classroom and present on any topic related to Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts or Mathematics. Signup will open soon. We encourage caregivers to create hands-on presentations and to coordinate with teachers to ensure that topics are age and classroom appropriate. Caregivers, we encourage you to begin thinking about the STEAM topic you’d like to present in your child’s classroom and please mark these dates in your diary. Contact STEAM week committee — Aedin Culhane
and Sharon Topper
— for more information.
GIRLS ON THE RUN
Girls on the Run is seeking parent volunteers for the Spring Season! Our registration deadline is looming and we need more adult support in order to run this fantastic program at Mason-Rice. GOTR is an after school program that promotes healthy living and helps girls build confidence and self-respect through a curriculum of interactive games, social-emotional discussions, and of course, running! We meet twice each week from March to May, and our season culminates in a celebratory 5K off-campus. The parent volunteer commitment would involve providing healthy snacks for 15 girls and attending at least one practice per week (3-4:30PM, specific days TBD based on volunteer preferences). Parents are welcome to run with the girls, but this is not required- there are plenty of other ways to help out, and your presence alone is valuable! Please reach out to Emily Discenza (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you are interested.
Outside of Mason-Rice
PLANNING FOR THE MIDDLE SCHOOL TRANSITION FOR STUDENTS RECEIVING SPECIAL EDUCATION SERVICES – 1/9
6:30-7:30 PM at Brown Middle School Library
125 Meadowbrook Road, Newton, MA 02459
Hosted by the Brown Middle School Student Services Department in partnership with Brown SEPAC Representative, Kim Gallaugher.
We enthusiastically invite all families of current 5th grade students receiving special education services at Angier, Countryside, Mason-Rice, and Williams Elementary Schools for a discussion about the middle school transition process. Topics will include: general information about Brown, a description of the types of programs and supports at Brown, and an overview of the transition process, inclusive of the transition meeting. Jana daSilva, Assistant Principal for Student Services will lead the discussion and answer any questions you may have.
NEWTON SOUTHEAST LITTLE LEAGUE SPRING 2019 REGISTRATION NOW OPEN!
Registration for all divisions (T-ball through Majors) is now open for students who reside within or attend private or public schools within the public school district boundaries of Memorial-Spaulding, Mason-Rice, Bowen, Angier, Countryside and Zervas. Children who attend one of these schools but live out of district may participate in NSELL’s program under Little League’s 2019 rules without a waiver.
T ball: ages 5-6 (pre-K and K)
Farm: ages 7 and 8 (one division for age 7/1st grade and one division for age 8/2nd grade)
AA: age 9 (3rd grade)
AAA: ages 10-11 (4-5th grade)
Majors: ages 10-12 (4th-6th grade) are eligible (selection by draft)
Majors Registration Ends January 15th!!!
All other divisions (except T ball) open through Feb 15th
T ball accepts registrations through April
We are offering a $30 early bird discount for T-ball for players registered before February 1, 2018.
SIGN UP FOR NEWTON YOUTH LACROSSE!
Sign ups for Newton Youth Lacrosse spring session for grades 1-8 are taking place through February 1. Register early to be guaranteed a spot by clicking this link
or going to newtonyouthlacrosse.com
. Questions about registration, coaching and volunteer opportunities can be directed to email@example.com.
Registration is also available for the Newton Lacrosse Indoor Program offered by Newton’s Parks and Rec Department starting this Sunday. It is a GREAT opportunity for new players to learn the game as well as experienced players to improve their skills. Held every Sunday at the Newton North High School SOA, the clinic begins January 6 and runs for six weeks. Grades 2-5 is from 3-4:30pm and Grades 6-8 is from 4:30-6pm. A registration form for winter lax is here
. Winter lax questions should be directed to Coach Bussy Adam at firstname.lastname@example.org.