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Mason-Rice PTO Update 6/5/2020

Mason-Rice PTO Update 6/5/2020

Mason-Rice PTO Update 6/5/2020

From the PTO Co-Presidents

Dear MasonRice Families,
This is a difficult and challenging time and we recognize that many of us are in pain and dealing with a range of emotions from sadness, anger and frustration. The racially charged events happening in this country deeply affect members of our community – as fellow humans, they affect us all.
We all have a responsibility to be better. The letter from Principal Bultema shows how we can take an active role to being part of the solution.
“No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.” – Nelson Mandela
We wanted to make sure everyone saw the message from Principal Bultema and all the M-R teachers/staff when they picked up their belongings this week.  K – 1 pick up is today between 10:00 am – 12:00 pm.
HUGE CONGRATULATIONS to Ms. Morrall & Ms. Kass on their retirements this year!  We wish you all the best and will miss you next year.
We are very lucky to have an incredibly active PTO with so many people willing to give their time. Without your generosity and efforts, we simply could not sustain our amazing community. Please consider filling one of the open board positions available next year.  See below for additional details.
If you are interested in learning more or just want to see where you can have an impact, please contact us directly or email masonricepto@gmail.com. We are always looking for parents who’d like to get more involved in the PTO, and would welcome expressions of general interest or offers of specific skill sets!
You may have heard from room parents that the PTO board is going to use existing funds to give gift cards (within NPS’s guidelines) to K – 4 classroom teachers & aides on behalf of the parent community. Class of 2020 will be paying for all the 5th Grade teachers/aides gifts from the money they raised this year.
During this time of uncertainty for many, the PTO board felt it was appropriate to do this – changing the typical practice of asking parents to make monetary contributions towards year-end appreciation gifts. We would love you all to focus on creative ways to send virtual thanks to your classroom teachers instead.
As always, if any of you are struggling or need help in any way, please reach out in confidence to our principal, Jake Bultema, or to Susan Kass, our school social worker. There are PTO funds available to support our community, and would very much like to help families that find themselves in need at this time.
Our last PTO Board Meeting of this year, is June 12th at 8:30 am.  Please join us via zoom from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android with this link.
Or iPhone one-tap (US Toll): +13126266799,91830850127# or +16465588656,91830850127#
Or Telephone: Dial:  +1 312 626 6799 (US Toll) or +1 646 558 8656 (US Toll)
Meeting ID: 918 3085 0127
Password: 161151
Don’t forget to mark your calendars, Thursday, June 18th is the last day of school.
Best wishes,
Liz, Lucy & Leslie
PTO Co-Presidents

We Need You – PTO Positions Available

ASSISTANT TREASURER (DEPOSITS)
We are looking for a someone who will manage deposits to the bank account. This role requires taking checks to the bank and also transferring money from PayPal & Square for transactions during the year and keeping a spreadsheet of all checks/cash. Besides attending monthly PTO meetings, this job can be done from home and is flexible.
ROOM PARENT/LIBRARY COORDINATOR 
We looking for someone to organize and coordinate the Room Parents in the Fall. The purposes of this role are to 1) recruit volunteers to serve as room parents for all classroom teachers, 2) communicate to volunteers specific information about the role of a room parents, and 3) serve as a liaison between room parents, teachers, and PTO and send communications as needed. The current coordinator has all the materials and information to share. This role also works with the librarian to schedule class volunteers in the library. This role usually hosts a meeting in the Fall with the Room Parents to discuss expectations for the year.
SOCIAL MEDIA COORDINATOR
The Social Media Coordinator aids the VP of Communications, with specific responsibilities to include maintaining and updating the PTO Facebook page and all other social media accounts. This will be a new role and will work together to determine rules and guidelines
FAMILIES ORGANIZING FOR RACIAL JUSTICE (FORJ) COORDINATOR(S) 
We are looking for someone to re-launch MasonRice‘s FORJ team. FORJ is a coalition of families in and around Newton, MA who believe change starts at home and in our own communities. They aim to  generate understanding and curiosity about differences in our society, and work together towards racial equity. At this challenging time, we need the committee at MasonRice more than ever. Coordinators will have the freedom to develop the school based arm of the organization in conjunction with the city-wide group.
MASONRICE SPIRIT WEAR DESIGN & MERCHANDISING 
We are hoping to develop school spirit wear to help us feel connected while socially distant. We are looking for a graphic designer and/or someone interested in driving this initiative. Scope and goals to be developed in conjunction with the volunteer(s).
AT-LARGE BOARD MEMBER
We are looking for three voting At-Large Board Member for the 2020/2021 School Year. The voting at-large member is a two-year term.  Please let us know by Friday, June 5th at 5:00 pm if you’re interested.  If we have more than three people, we’ll pick names out of a hat and we’ll notify you either way on Saturday, June 6th.
The PTO Board meets monthly to review upcoming PTO initiatives including fundraisers and community events, allocate funds, discuss opportunities and issues and represent the parent perspective.
The only prerequisites to being an at-large board member are:
  • Being a member in the PTO (i.e., you will be a current parent or guardian at MasonRice during the next school year).
  • Having an interest in providing input on the running of the school community.
  • Actively participating in our monthly Board Meetings. They currently alternate between the third Thursday and the third Friday of every month in the After School room and are very child friendly.
  • Chairing and/or participating in one or more of our PTO events/initiatives to better understand how the PTO works. (We can help you get connected with the right opportunity. We have in-person opportunities and those that can be done from home.)

A+Magazine Deadline Extended to June 8

Thank you to all the students who have already submitted their work! We we would love to have everyone show off at least one submission in this year’s on-line version which will be made available to everyone IN COLOR and at NO COST! In addition to our usual sections of Arts & Literature, Sports, Pets (including pictures of pets), Music, Comics/Games/Puzzles, and Lifestyle (review of books/movies, recipes, lists, etc.), we will have a new section to include any reasonable material related to the COVID pandemic. Submissions for this new section could be excerpts from their personal pandemic journal, items created in support of first responders and healthcare workers, artwork supporting “Newton Together” or even letters written to residents of long-term care facilities.
Please send all submissions and any questions to masonriceaplus@gmail.com
We look forward to getting the Magazine out to everyone soon!
Thank you for your support!
Anand Dighe and Kim Kinaka

School Supply Ordering for Next Year

For the 2020-21 school year, MasonRice will be using the services of 1st Day School Supplies again. Please note that PTO has no information on how the school year will start in the Fall.  We all hope that our children will need supplies.
Given social distancing guidelines, school supply kits will be shipped to home this year.  We have worked with 1st Day to put a plan in place that allows you to do your back-to-school shopping risk free from the comfort and safety of your own home. You will receive the exact supplies your teacher requested including sanitizer and disinfectant wipes.
This program is not a fundraiser and the prices are competitive. It’s easy and convenient- order today!

ALL orders must be placed ONLINE by Tuesday, 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 shipping and payment information.
The kit will arrive at your house.  Please look out for communication in August about what to bring in on the 1st day of school.
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.

Outside Mason-Rice

5th GRADE PARENTS – BROWN PTO COMMUNITY MEETING FOR UPCOMING SCHOOL YEAR
All current 5th-grade families are invited to join the Brown Middle School PTO, on Monday, June 8 at 7:00 pm for a Zoom community meeting to discuss the upcoming school year and ways you can get involved. While there are still many unknowns, come meet current board members, hear about key initiatives and open PTO positions and discuss thoughts about how the PTO can best be supportive to parents, teachers and students during this unusual time. We look forward to hopefully seeing you there!
Brown PTO Co-presidents.
Will Adams, Sarah Dupré Healy & Teri Ginsburg
Call information:
Meeting ID: 821 2291 8503
Password: 9stsd2
2020 NEWTON SCHOOLS FOUNDATION HONOR THY TEACHER
If you are looking for a way to say “Thank You!” to your child’s teacher or other school support person as this extremely unusual school year comes to a close, please consider Newton Schools Foundations’ Honor Thy Teacher campaign. This program provides an opportunity for families to thank school personnel by giving a gift to the Newton Schools Foundation in their honor, while also complying with the Newton Public Schools’ teacher gift policy.
Newton Schools Foundation (NSF) is a non-profit organization that raises funds to enhance educational excellence throughout Newton’s public schools. Your gift will support NSF grants that go towards promising educational initiatives, professional development, and programs that close gaps in opportunity and achievement.
After receiving each donation, NSF will notify the honored teachers and staff of your gift, share the honoree names with the Superintendent and Principals, and list each of those honored on the NSF website and in the Newton TAB.
Look for a postcard arriving in your mail for NSF donation information.  You can also always make your tax-deductible donation on-line at www.newtonschoolsfoundation.org, or mail it to Newton Schools Foundation, P.O. Box 590020, Newton Centre, MA 02459. Please be sure to include the names of the teachers and/or staff that you are honoring.
THE NEWTON COVID-19 CARE FUND
The Newton COVID-19 Care Fund, established by many Newton community leaders, including Mayor Ruthanne Fuller, in partnership with United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley, will help families and individuals who have been financially impacted by this coronavirus pandemic.
The Newton COVID-19 Care Fund is designed to provide financial assistance to Newton residents, people who work in Newton, and families with children receiving childcare services in Newton or enrolled in Newton Public Schools who have been financially burdened by the pandemic. City of Newton First Responders who incur new childcare expenses or other expenses as a result of the crisis will also be eligible.
If you would like to donate or need help, please click here.
ZOOM OPEN HOUSE FOR 5th GRADE PARENTS – NEWTON HIGHLANDS AFTER-SCHOOL PROGRAM

The Highlands After-School Program, just for middle school children, is hosting Zoom Open Houses for interested families in May and June. Here’s the link for additional information on how to join: https://www.highlandsafter-schoolprogram.org/announcements

SPACE IS LIMITED! This is a terrific opportunity for parents learn more about the program as they plan for the upcoming school year. If you can’t make an Zoom meeting or would like more information contact: Rochelle Acker at 617-999-4617 or highlandsafterschool@gmail.com or visit our website: https://www.highlandsafter-schoolprogram.org


 
SPACE (SUMMER PROGRAM FOR ACADEMIC AND CREATIVE ENDEAVORS) CAMP
SPACE (Summer Program for Academic and Creative Endeavors) Camp, is a program run through the Newton Public Schools and has a long history of providing creative, fun, and engaging experiences for campers in Newton.
This year we decided to make SPACE Camp virtual. This was not an easy decision but we want to keep our campers, families, and staff safe. We know Virtual SPACE will continue to provide excellent and engaging programming for our campers. Our biggest hope is that Virtual SPACE can provide families with structure and stability for the month of July this year. You can find all the details about Virtual SPACE here.

Classifieds

SUMMER SCHOOL CHILDCARE
Hi, I’m Rebecca Longo, a former MasonRice student, graduating from Newton North High School this year. I am looking for a position providing in home child care for any family that needs it over the summer. I have lots of experience working with children of all ages as a counselor and at my temple. Willing to work 6-8 hours a day, 4-5 times a week. My preferred rate is $15-20/hour. I can be reached at becslongo@gmail.com. Thanks!

 

Jessica Hughes

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