The PTO supports many programs that enrich the student experience at Mason-Rice. Included in the enrichment pillar are Creative Arts and Sciences, Understanding Our Differences, the 5th Grade Committee, and several events/activities with an academic focus: the Science Fair, STEAM week, Musical Mornings, A+ Magazine, the World Culture Festival, and the Book Fair.
Creative Arts & Sciences
Creative Arts and Sciences (CAS) is a city-wide program that brings high-quality, curriculum-related enrichment programs to Newton elementary and middle schools. CAS programs are completely funded by the PTO of each individual school. At Mason-Rice, CAS typically constitutes the largest line item in the PTO budget. We fund roughly 20 programs per year for grades K–5, including an annual all-school Concert Series. Past CAS presentations have covered a variety of subject areas, such as Fine Art, Dance, English Language Arts, History and Social Sciences, Multicultural Studies, Music, Life and Physical Sciences, and Theater. Click here to learn more.
Understanding Our Differences (UOD)
Understanding Our Differences (UOD) is a nonprofit organization working in partnership with the Newton Public Schools to provide a unique and creative disability awareness program for elementary school children in grades 3–5. The program promotes inclusion, understanding, and acceptance of people with disabilities and individual differences at our schools and in our community. This program allows children to ask questions in a safe space and to understand what it is like to have a disability through hands on activities. In each school, the program is led by parent volunteers. Learn more about the school program and at-home activities.
Fifth Grade Experience
Fifth Grade is an amazing year at Mason-Rice. We encourage all Fifth Grade parents and students to play a role in graduation year activities and fundraisers! In a typical year, the Fifth Grade runs several fundraisers, such as the Fun Run/Picnic, the Election Day Bake Sale, the Halloween Haunted House, and T-shirt sales. In previous years, 5th grade activities have included a talent show, social action initiative car wash, Yearbook, Class video, Class gift, Teacher gifts, Graduation ceremony, and Kid graduation party.
Each year, Mason-Rice students create more than 50 exhibits to present at the Mason-Rice Science Fair. The goal is to make it exciting for kids, easy on parents and fun for everyone.
Musical Mornings is a chance for students to perform in a friendly, informal setting for classmates at the beginning of Principal Star assemblies. Online signups are sent out at the beginning of the year with more information.
For two days in March, parents with science, engineering, technology, arts, or math backgrounds lead hands-on programming for all students.
A+ Magazine is the annual Mason-Rice Student Literary Magazine. Each year, fourth and fifth grade students, with help from parents, put together A+ Magazine. The student editors select the themes, edit the content, and market and sell the magazine. NOTE: Articles for the magazine are solicited from Mason-Rice students in ALL grades. The magazine is typically sold before and during the Spring Picnic. Further details, including calls for parent editors and student submissions, will appear in the Mason-Rice Notes in the spring.
The Mason-Rice World Culture Festival celebrates the diversity of our school community, which usually includes families from over 35 countries. Filled with delicious food, engaging displays, and inspiring performances, the World Cultures Festival brings to life the history and cultures of the many countries represented in the Mason-Rice community. This wonderful festival is celebrated every two years.
Our amazing community event, the Book Fair, is a great opportunity for our children to explore new books and a great way for parents to contribute to the PTO through volunteering.