149 Pleasant Street
Newton Centre, MA. 02459
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Mason-Rice Notes 6/7/19

Mason-Rice Notes 6/7/19

Mason-Rice Notes 6/7/19

From the Principal

Dear Families,
We are sprinting towards the finish line with just seven school days remaining after today.
This past week we had an array of Grade 4 and 5 Spring Concerts (two during the day at MR, and two in the evening at Brown Middle School).  These performances were incredible, as we had the opportunity to listen to our fourth and fifth grade bands, our fourth and fifth grade string orchestras, as well as our fourth and fifth grade choruses. Thank you to our band directors, Ms. McIntosh and Mr. Sheppard, our string orchestra director, Ms. Bergantino, our chorus director, Ms. McIntosh, our accompanist, Ms. Ross, all of our fourth and fifth grade students, as well as a few from other grades for all of your hard work and dedication to putting on such spectacular shows.
On Thursday, May 30,  in the evening at Newton South High School, we had five of our staff members each recognized by the Newton SEPAC (Special Education Parent Advisory Council) with an award for their exceptional work with students receiving special education services.  Congratulations to Emily Atkinson, Becky Brooker, Marcela Sahindis, Jeff Torch, and Michael Zeiser!  It was a great evening.
This past Friday, May 31 our MasonRice Green Team walked to City Hall to be share the meaningful work the group has been engaging in through the course of the year with our mayor, Ruthanne Fuller.  It was extremely rewarding to join them for this memorable experience.
On Tuesday, June 4 we had an incredible Field Day.  The weather was ideal as all of our students engaged in an array of collaborative games and events.  It was great to have the opportunity to run around to different activities and see our students working together, encouraging one another, and practicing genuine sportsmanship.  Concluding the day with music that got all of us dancing and celebrating was a fitting end. Thank you to Ms. Nohmy for all of her hard work to organize this special event, Nick Grossman and Jonathan Allen for all of your support and leadership coordinating,  as well as all of our parent volunteers who helped our many games to run so smoothly.  In addition, many thanks to our PTO for the fantastic MasonRice Mountain Lions sweatbands for all of us to wear on this fantastic day!
Our teachers have been diligently working to complete end-of-year assessments with your children to help inform them as they prepare report cards to showcase your child(ren)’s academic, social, and emotional growth through the course of our entire school year.  Families will be provided access to report cards online on Monday, June 17.
I look forward to seeing you all at our Fun Run this upcoming Monday, June 10.
I wish you all a wonderful weekend.
Jake Bultema

From the PTO C0-Presidents

Dear Families,
7 days of school left and counting!  Summer break is quickly approaching, but we have much to enjoy before the last day of school.  Please make sure to double-check the MasonRice PTO calendar and check the dates on our new board in front of the school.
We’ve had a very busy week.  Last Saturday, our 5th graders held their annual car wash and raised over $1,000 in support of a great cause, Cradles to Crayons!  Thank you to all the hardworking 5th graders, to all our community members and a special thanks to the committee chairs, Joe Riggs and Janelle Phillips.
On Monday, our community took a moment to express our gratitude and appreciation for our crossing guards and bus drivers by creating cards and passing along heartfelt thanks for all their hard work in keeping our children safe.  Thank you to Barb Nestle for coordinating this event and also for all her hard work during the year organizing our Safe Routes To School events.

Please join us for our last Walk and Roll to School Day, next Wednesday, June 12.
On Tuesday, MasonRice held another fantastic Field Day.  Kids from every grade participated in friendly, competitive events and the weather couldn’t have been better!  Ms. Nohmy sends a very BIG thank you to all the parent volunteers and coordinators.  We also want to thank Nick Grossman and Jonathan Allen for leading the charge this year and all the parent volunteers for their efforts to make sure Field Day was a success.  And finally, thank you to our PTO for providing the VERY popular and stylish MasonRice headbands for ALL our children.  Special thanks to Leslie Ziarko Valera for all her hard work in making sure we had them in time!
Last night, MasonRice parents gathered to celebrate the close of another great year in the company of old and new friends. We want to thank Dan and Sarah Housman for hosting our last Parent Social event of the year.  Lastly, we want to thank our Parent Social Committee Chairs, Jess Poscover and Liz Bouvier for coordinating so many great opportunities throughout the year for parents to come together and enjoy our wonderful community.  This year Jess graduates out of MasonRice, so we want to wish her and her family all the best in the future!  Thank you!
We look forward to seeing everyone on Monday, June 10 for our annual MasonRice Fun Run (rain date Friday, June 14). Come and cheer for the kids as each grade races around the school field, and stay for a picnic to catch up with friends before school lets out for the summer.  A+ Magazine is hot off the press and will be on sale during the Fun Run (and daily at pick-up) for $10.
Enjoy the weekend!
Leslie Ziarko Valera, Jas Rai & Will Adams
PTO co-Presidents

Key Dates & Upcoming Events

MONDAY, 6/10 – Fun Run & Family Picnic 5:00pm-7:30pm
TUESDAY, 6/11 – Teacher/Staff Luncheon by K, G1 & G2 Parents
WEDNESDAY, 6/12 – Walk & Roll To School Day
WEDNESDAY, 6/12 – Kindergarten Concert 9:00am-10:00am
THURSDAY, 6/13 – PTO Board Meeting 8:35am-10:00am in Afterschool room
FRIDAY, 6/14 – Grade 4 Bike Safety
FRIDAY, 6/14 – RAIN DATE – Fun Run & Family Picnic
MONDAY, 6/17 – Fifth Grade Graduation, 1:30pm
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.

From the PTO

Mark your calendars for the Annual Fun Run & Family Picnic on Monday, June 10, 2019 from 5:00pm – 7:00pm (rain date Friday, June 14).
This well-attended celebration begins with a Fun Run for all MasonRice students and continues as an evening of relaxed outdoor play and picnic dining coordinated by the current 4th grade parents to raise funds for next year’s 5th grade activities and graduation. It’s a great way to celebrate spring and spend time with friends. Don’t miss this fun evening!
You can help the fundraising efforts for next year’s 5th grade class in a couple of ways:
  1. Purchase slushies at the picnic. Always a favorite for both students and parents, these refreshing slushies are only $2 each, and all proceeds benefit the class of 2020.  Please bring cash!
  2. 4th Grade Parents: Volunteer with set up, clean up, handing out the food orders, and serving the slush. Please sign up HERE to help out.
Contact Michele Niepel (Wooter93@gmail.com) or Eleni Firkusny (espheeris@hotmail.com) with any questions. Thank you in advance for your support!
Volunteers Needed! The Fun Run and Family Picnic is approaching fast, and we need volunteers! The Fun Run starts at 5:30pm with students starting to gather around 5:15pm. Students will run a course around the school grounds with their grade, and all runners will be entered into a raffle by grade for the opportunity to win JP Licks gift cards. Sign up here (https://www.signupgenius.com/go/5080E4EAAAE2AAA8-mason3) to help organize runners and monitor the Fun Run course.
NOTE: This is a different sign-up from food sales and clean-up – this is just the race. Contact Rob Swint or Shawn Konary with any questions.
The A+ magazine is here! MasonRice‘s annual publication is full of student stories, poems, drawings, comics, puzzles, sports, interviews, and jokes. It will be for sale at the Fun Run as well as after school for the rest of the week until sold out. Get your copy on Monday!
We have several spots remaining for K, G1 & G2 parents to contribute to the Teacher/Staff Luncheon taking place during the staff meeting on Tuesday, June 11. We will also need a few volunteers to help set-up and clean-up. Please see the sign-up genius page for more information and to volunteer:  https://www.signupgenius.com/go/10C0C4AABAD2FA46-masonrice2
June 12 is our last walk and roll to school day – the bus counts too! Please join our growing community in taking the chance to walk to school or park nearby and walk thru the park. Participants will be rewarded with stickers. Thanks again all for a great school year with more and more kids walking/biking, a new walking school bus and great participation in our events. Please remember to turn off your engine when waiting near the school and keep our kids and environment healthy. Best summer wishes, your SRTS team!
Bike safety is fast approaching and we’re looking forward to this day as the Newton Police Department comes to our school to educate 4th grade students on how to be safe while riding a bike.  If you could check your child’s bike for some basic safety requirements before coming to school for the ride, that would be great as we will not have time to do this before the ride.  Checking for properly inflated tires, working brakes, bike seats should be at an appropriate height for your child and helmets should fit snugly.  You should be receiving more information regarding this event in the following weeks.  In the meantime, if you have any questions please feel free to contact Ms. Nohmy at bethann_nohmy@newton.k12.ma.us.
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 4 families to volunteer for 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 families who made donations to the MasonRice Book Drive. We collected over 850 books for More Than Words (MTW), a non-profit organization in Waltham (www.mtwyouth.org). Didn’t have a chance to go through your books at home? You can still donate via the several MTW collection boxes around Newton, including Trader Joe’s on Washington Street

and the Newton Recycling Depot on Rumford Avenue.
Is your child already going gaga for GaGa Ball?  Not sure what we are talking about?!? Pictured below is the newest addition to the MasonRice Playgound: our very own GaGa Ball Pit!  Click here to learn the rules and how to play.  Thank you to Stephanie Lapham at Newton Parks  & Recreation as well as Brian Storey, Mike Flood, Jay Wood, Scott Michalman, John Squire, Joe Aiello, Liza Harris, Vera Tarbaieva, Ima Jonsdottir and other parents and kids who helped put it together. A special thank you to National Lumber on Needham Street for donating the lumber.
For our fabulous Fools Folly 80’s event please see link below for pictures.  Thanks to Sophie Hajjar and Emily Sant for taking these photos!

Outside of Mason-Rice

Last chance to sign up for the Newton Highlands Village Day 5K on June 9 at 10am! Sign up online by tonight at 5pm or in person from 8-9:30am on Sunday morning at the Hyde Center in Newton Highlands. Register online by clicking this link: villageday5k.racewire.com.  T-shirts will be distributed to the first 250 registered runners on a size-available basis. Register soon to make sure we have a t-shirt for you!  Contact Maureen Oates at villageday5k@gmail.com if you have any questions. And once you run, stay for Village Day in the Highlands starting at 11am with all sorts of great activities — from bands to food to free inflatables and more.


Girls on the Run is seeking parent volunteers to coach our Fall season. This commitment would involve supporting the girls at practice, communicating with parents, and leading group activities with the help of your fellow coaches. Please contact Emily Discenza if you are interested!
WHO: We serve 4th and 5th grade girls; we would especially like help from 4th and 5th grade parents.
WHAT: Girls on the Run is a non-profit that supports the physical, emotional, & social development of young girls– we engage in discussion, games, reflection, and of course, running!
WHEN: Practices twice per week, 3-4:30pm (weekdays TBD based on volunteer availability). The Fall season runs for 10 weeks starting in late September.
WHERE: MasonRice Elementary; season culminates in a celebratory 5K off-campus.
Now is the time to register for a Newton Parks and Recreation summer camp! Check out the programs at www.newtonma.gov/gov/parks and click on Camps. You can register online at www.activityreg.com or call 617-796-1500 for more information. These programs still have openings:
  • Kids Korner ages 3 – 5.  A great introduction to summer camp. Located at the Burr Park Community Center.
  • Albemarle Acres grades 1 – 6.  Group activities and swimming at Gath Pool. Located at the Horace Mann School.
  • Centre Acres grades 1 – 6. Group activities and swimming at Crystal Lake. Located at the Newton Centre Hut.
  • Outdoor Adventure grades 2 – 6.  Outdoor discovery and canoeing. Located at Nahanton Park on the Charles River.
  • Thundercat Sports ages 7 – 12. Learn the skills to play a variety of different sports each day. Located at Pellegrini Park.
  • Specialty Camp at Peirce School grades 2 – 8.  Specialty weeks that are still open include Ultimate Frisbee (grades 2-8), Puppet Lab (grades 3-8), Beyond Beginner Chess (grades 2-8), Mad Science (grades 2-6), or Science Robotics (grades 2-6). Located at Peirce School.
  • Acres in the Falls grades 5 – 8. Choice activities with field trips and swimming at Crystal Lake. Located at the Brigham House.
  • Counselor in Training Programs grades 8 – 11. Participate in a 2 or 3 week session to develop your camp counselor skills. Programs are available at several of our camp sites.
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!
I’m a Mason Rice graduate soon to be a rising seventh grader at Brown. I am looking for after school and weekend babysitting, Mother’s helper or birthday party assistance jobs. I love kids and I’m on the Newton Bluefish swim team. Please email Noa for more information: Noaswims@gmail.com.


Jessica Hughes



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