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

Mason-Rice Notes 6/14/19

Mason-Rice Notes 6/14/19

Mason-Rice Notes 6/14/19

From the Principal

Dear Families,
Next Tuesday, June 18 will mark the closing of a successful 2018-19 school year. As a staff, we are extremely thankful to partner with such an incredible parent community that goes above and beyond to support our students and school. Thank you to all our families for your unwavering willingness to assist and help our school to have such a tremendous year. A special thank you to our PTO presidents Will Adams, Leslie Ziarko Valera, and Jas Rai for all of their hours of hard work and dedication to lead this group, as well as our entire PTO for all of your efforts to ensure our students had such incredible experiences throughout the year.
This Monday, June 11 the weather was terrific to celebrate our annual Fun Run and Family Picnic. It was great to see so many students having fun, whether it be participating in the run or cheering on and encouraging their classmates as they ran. Thank you to Rob Swint and Shawn Konary for organizing the Fun Run, as well as the many parent volunteers who helped this run to be successful. In addition, the slushes were a big hit, as well as our annual A+ magazine, which students were rushing to purchase. Thank you to Kim Kinaka and Anand Dighe for leading our A+ magazine committee for a second year, all of our parent volunteers who supported in putting this magazine together, and all of our students for your fabulous entries.
This Wednesday, June 12 our kindergarten students performed beautifully at our Kindergarten Concert. Thank you very much to our music teacher, Ms. McIntosh, accompanist Ms. Ross, and our kindergarten teachers, Ms. London, Ms. Pratt, and Ms. Turgeon, for all of your hard work to prepare our kindergarten students for this event. Our kindergarteners have grown so much throughout the year and are more than ready to be first grade leaders in our school this coming September.
This week has also provided opportunities for many of our families to get into classrooms to see some of the outstanding work their children have engaged in over the course of the year through our Work Shares. It was rewarding to be able to travel to several classes and listen to your children as they shared the work they were most proud of.
This upcoming Monday, June 17 will be a special day as we celebrate and honor an amazing group of students at our Fifth Grade Graduation. Thank you to all of our MasonRice staff for the countless hours of teaching and learning they have provided over the years to help shape these students to be ready for their next educational transition. Thank you also to our Graduation Committee, and our chairs, Carol Ann McAuliffe Delmonico and Jess Poscover specifically, for all of your work behind the scenes to prepare for this memorable day for everyone.
In closing I wish you all a wonderful summer. May it provide a moment to slow down and enjoy time with both family and friends. I look forward to continuing our fruitful work together in the coming year.
Jake Bultema

From the PTO Co-Presidents

Dear MasonRice Families,
Wow what a busy week we just had and thanks to all that helped organize all of the events.  Only two days left until we end this school year and start summer fun.
It was great to see so many at the Fun Run on Monday.  Thanks to Rob Swint and Shawn Konary for organizing the run and all that volunteered to help them. Thanks to Eleni Firkusny, Michele Niepel and Scott Michalman for organizing the delicious food and slush for the picnic and for the Class of 2020 parents and children who helped with distributing food and slushes.
On Tuesday we also had Kindergarten Club and it was great to have many of the incoming Kindergartners come visit MasonRice, meet some older students, and take a tour.  Thanks to Martine Bennett, Danielle Boudreau, Liz Bouvier and Sara Orenstein for organizing this.
This past Wednesday, our Kindergarteners celebrated with their spring concert and class party with family and friends.  They had a wonderful and beautiful day to celebrate!
This year’s edition of A+ Magazine was a huge hit and sold out in the first week! Thanks again to Anand Dighe and Kim Kinaka for co-chairing the magazine.  Also, a big thank you to the parent and student editors and all the contributing artists, authors, puzzle masters and jokesters.
Today, our fourth graders will take part in a Bike Safety program organized very graciously by Ms. Nohmy and Shawn Fitzgibbons and supported by many other 4th grade parents who supervised the rides and tuned up students’ bikes.  Thank you for keeping our children safe on the streets and sidewalks of Newton!
We try to thank all those that organize events just after they happen in our weekly letter.  We also want to thank those that do a job week after week and especially want to say a big thank you to those that get this letter and the Notes out each Friday keeping all of us well informed — Maureen Oates, Carrie Tamm and David Jellinek — and to Jessica Hughes who updates masonrice.org with the Notes content.
Another role that requires a year-long commitment is that of Room Parent, and we know the Room Parents are extra busy this time of year helping organize end of year class picnics and gifts for the teachers.  Thanks to our amazing Room Parent Coordinator, Amanda Mahajan, and all of the room parents across MasonRice for all you do.  The 2018-2019 room parents were Zeynep Aksehirli, Mayssam Ali, Katy Anderson, Lara Bethke, Danielle Boudreau, Liz Bouvier, Candace Cavalier, Denise Dandrea, Sharon Dinsmore, Shawn Fitzgibbons, Karen Flood, Heather Friedman, Jessica Hughes, Laura Kay Hughes, Liza Hunter, Jon Hurwitz, Cathy Jones, Justine Kelley, Shawn Konary, Lucy Mermagen, Melinda Michalman, Barbara Nestle, Michele Niepel, Sirimon Parker, Jessica Poscover, Sarah Preis, Erica Rai, Joe Riggs, Ruth Sakakeeny, Marci Shyavitz, Joelle Tomb, Sharon Topper, Eliana Vidan, Randy Watnick, Louisa West, Jenny Wismer, Kate Wissel, Jay Wood, Shana Zandman, Xiaoguang Zhen, and Leslie Ziarko Valera. During this next week, please take a moment to thank your child’s room parents for their support throughout the year.
And a thank you to the following Committee Chairs and Board Members who also work throughout the school year and haven’t been thanked yet:
  • John Gaines and Patrick Song, our co-Treasurers
  • Ruth Sakakeeny, our Vice President, Classroom, Teacher & School Support
  • Rebecca Diamonstein, our buddy family liaison for new families entering MR after Kindergarten.
  • Martine Bennett, Jenny Evans, Jess Johnson & Lucy Mermagen for organizing the Creative Arts and Science Program that the PTO funds for all classrooms.
  • Amy Cobaugh and Jay Wood for organizing the Musical Mornings at the Star Assemblies.
  • Yasmeen Kazimi for coordinating our online shopping initiatives including Minted, Tea Collection and Amazon Affiliates.
  • Inna Adler & Sylvia Eng for running the school supply program.
  • Rebecca Diamonstein, Sarah Fogelman, Sarah Housman and Shana Zandman for being this year’s Kindergarten liaisons.
  • Carrie Tamm for organizing the Late Arrivals and the following parent volunteers who greet students with a smile: Jill Coppedge, Rebecca Diamonstein, Jenny Evans, Shawn Fitzgibbons, Kate Langan, Anne-Marie Oliphant, Kate Wissel and Jenny Wismer.
  • Vera Tarbayeva for organizing all of the food we had at school events this year with the most recent being this morning’s Parent Appreciation Breakfast.
  • Katy Anderson for counting our Box Tops.
  • Katy Anderson & Lauren Engel for their organization and upkeep of the Lost and Found.
  • Heather Friedman for keeping us green and running the Green Team.
Of course, that list can never capture all of the parents who have contributed their time, energy and financial support this year.  To celebrate all the amazing contributions by parents at and for MasonRice, there will be a Parent Appreciation Breakfast today at drop-off.  We hope all parents can join us!
And remember, if you want to get more involved in the PTO, please get in touch with one of our PTO Presidents for the coming year, Liz Bouvier, Lucy Mermagen and Leslie Ziarko Valera.
The deadline to order next year’s school supplies is Sunday, June 30. DON’T WAIT TO ORDER!!!  See below for more details.
In a newly found tradition. we’ll be celebrating the last day of school with (free and yummy) shaved ice treats at the front of school.
We hope all have a great last week of school and have a wonderful summer!
All the best,
Will Adams, Jas Rai & Leslie Ziarko Valera
PTO co-Presidents

Key Dates & Upcoming Events

FRIDAY, 6/14 – Parent Appreciation Breakfast @8:30am on the Playground

FRIDAY, 6/14 – Grade 4 Bike Safety
MONDAY, 6/17 – Fifth Grade Graduation, 1:30pm
SUNDAY, 6/30 – Last Day to Order School Supplies.  Don’t delay.  Order now!
ONGOING:  Friday Morning Drop-In at the playground – 8am @ the Playground

It’s Time to Order School Supplies!

For the 2019-20 school year, MasonRice will be using the services of 1st Day School Supplies again. Please note that this program is not a fundraiser and the prices are competitive. In just a few clicks, you will get the exact supplies your teacher requested without the hassle and aggravation that comes with shopping last minute at big box retailers. It’s easy and convenient- order today!
ALL orders must be placed ONLINE by Sunday, June 30.
– Just CLICK HERE, enter the school zip code 02459 and select MasonRice.
– Choose your kit(s) for your child(s) grade(s) next year.
– Enter your child’s name and Add to Cart.
– Complete the payment information.
All supplies will ship directly to the school the week of August 26, 2019. Place your order today, relax and enjoy the summer!!
If you have any questions about ordering, please contact Inna Adler or Sylvia Eng. Our PTO willingly supports those families who might benefit from a scholarship for school supplies. Please contact Jake Bultema (jacob_bultema@newton.k12.ma.us) for assistance.

Fun Run Winners

Congratulations to all the students that completed the Fun Run on Monday! We drew names from everyone that participated, and the following students won a free ice cream cone, donated by J.P. Licks.
J.P. Licks free cone certificates will be delivered to the winners in their classrooms this morning.
Winners – JP Licks Free Cone
5th Grade
Felipe Abagge – Hyder
Joshua Freedman – Liu
Oliver Helmling – Hyder
Zachary Housman – Liu
Edward Hughes – Mahoney
Annabel Kohler – Lencer
4th Grade
Penelope Fang – Huselton
Owen Gregoricus/Lindsay – Sauve
Rebecca Lanciani – Page
Matthew McAdam – Hempton
Aleena Parker – Huselton
Yuhan Vera Zhao – Sauve
3rd Grade
Yoshimi Collier – Ceglia
Charlotte Counts – Morrall
Siobhan French – Morrall
John Garcia – Atkinson
Ari Goodman – Atkinson
Laura Hu – Kelleher
2nd Grade
Luka Anchyshkin – Ramgren
Kyle Hancock – Thayer
Yaseen Shakur – Jones
Charlotte Squire – Ramgren
Richard Stearns – Jones
Maya Zandman – Thayer
1st Grade
Samuel Barbalat – Flynn
Kira Dighe – Flynn
Annabel Goldman – Devaney
Orla Hickey – Flynn
Henry Murphy – Devaney
Hayes Howet
Danielle Anderson – Turgeon
Ada Chace – London
Aaryav Gohil – Pratt
George Konary – Pratt
Lina Liu – London
Cindy Cai

From the PTO

It’s the last lunch social meet-up of the school year! We had great turn out in May. Let’s do it again TODAY at 1 PM at Baramor on Union Street. RSVP here:

Garden Volunteers Still Needed for Last 2 Weeks of Summer
Thanks to the families who have signed up to take care of our garden this summer. We still need 2 families to volunteer during the last 2 weeks. These weeks are when the garden is in its glory! Veggies will be ripe and herbs and flowers will be plentiful. Garden duty is pretty simple–it involves watering, weeding and deadheading flowers. Use the link below to sign up for a week. After you do you’ll get an email with the names of the other volunteers, a schedule and detailed instructions.
If you have questions contact Nancy Nelson.

Many thanks and Happy (almost) Summer!

Thank you to all the MasonRice “buddies” and volunteers who made this years KinderClub a great success. We had over 40 incoming Kindergartners join us this year for a story, snack and tour of their new school!  Thank you to all who helped make them feel welcome!

Creative Arts & Sciences

On Monday, Mike Francis and his StarLab planetarium came to the 4th grade! Each class was presented with stories of how constellations got their names, how to recognize planets in the sky, and what stars of different ages look like. Inside the planetarium the students were shown what the current night sky looks like and what it would look like over the next 24 hour period. If you have a 4th grader, ask them how Ursa Major (or the Great Bear) got its name!

Outside of Mason-Rice

Join us!  The upcoming fall 2019 season begins on September 8th at the recently renovated Daly Field on Nonantum Road. Games take less than one hour and are held on Sundays between 12 and 3 pm. All games are coached, professionally refereed and scored. Registration guarantees each player 8 games, including playoffs. Divisions are available for kids grades K – 10. Register with the coupon code SCHOOL, and NAFFL will donate $10 to MasonRice , and you will receive $10 off your registration. More information can be found on our website and on the attached flyer. https://www.newtonareaflagfootball.com/

Planning for Arts & Culture in Newton – Please take a brief survey
The City of Newton is currently undertaking a 7-month planning process to create a Comprehensive Arts & Cultural Plan for the City.The plan, entitled Create Newton, will identify all of Newton’s arts and cultural assets – from our buildings and non-profits, to the events and festivals we host, to the local traditions and initiatives in our villages and neighborhoods. We will explore how arts and cultural goals and interests are aligned with our businesses, recreational opportunities, and commercial districts, and identify goals, set out recommendations, and seek opportunities to collaborate and expand our pool of funding.
Input from parents, and children 12 years and older, who enjoy Newton’s arts and cultural events is greatly valued.  Please take 10 minutes to complete this anonymous survey to assist in the planning process:
(Please note that the survey is best taken on your computer and not on your smart phone or smaller device.)
Thank you for your time and input!
Newton’s Community Design for Arts & Culture Committee


The spring Girls on the Run club would like you to know that they are raising money to help save Arctic and Antarctic animals that are in need due to climate change and pollution. To help our cause, you can donate money to the penguin donation box at the front of the school! All money will be sent to the World Wildlife Fund. Also, you can help out by walking, biking, or running to school so you don’t pollute the environment. Thank you!
As the eldest of 6 kids, I am well-versed in entertaining younger children and keeping them safe. Skilled in negotiating activities other than Screen Time. I have significant experience with children ages 5-10 years old. Going rate is $10 per hour – however significantly naughty children I will leave with a puppy and an espresso…Please email Charlie for more information!
* Straight A – Brown Middle School Student * With a specialty focus in Math, I am more than happy to assist your child in other subjects, including Reading, English, Science, Music, and organizational skills. Please email  Charlie for more information!
MasonRice alumni family is renting their classic beach cottage in Westport, MA with panoramic ocean views of Cuttyhunk and Buzzards Bay. Sleeps 6 with queen bedroom, two twins, and separate guest cottage with double bed and full bath. $1750/week. Details + photos: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1NxfM3Ys1ZSE88GGsLkW_z-n7Zl8iufjc  Questions? cindysachs@gmail.com / 617-244-0508
4BR house in MR district available for rent ~August 1. Two car garage and great yard. Please call or email Alexandra Ananth, 646-298-6008, alexandraananth@yahoo.com.
Hi! My name is Talia Raffel and I’m a rising junior at Newton South High School. I’m 16 years old and have been babysitting for 5 years. I also have CIT experiences and first aid and CPR training. I love doing crafts and being creative. I have a flexible summer schedule and can be available most of the time. My email is Talia.babysits@gmail.com, please contact me if you are interested! References available upon request.
Looking for Jewish education and after-school care for your kindergarten through 5th grade child? Kesher Newton is a unique Jewish after-school program for grades K-5 that provides excellent experiential education in Jewish history, culture, ethics and Modern Hebrew in a joyful, “camp-like” atmosphere. We are a pluralistic Jewish community that is welcoming to all. Spots still available for Fall 2019. Fantastic middle school program for grades 6-8 also available. You can learn more at www.keshernewton.org.  For more info, contact Ilana: ilana@keshernewton.org.

Jessica Hughes



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