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, and the World Culture Festival.
We do not yet know what enrichment will look like for the 2020-21 school year. It may be possible to hold some activities online, but the details are not yet clear. The Enrichment Working Group, which includes Enrichment committee chairs and PTO board members, is currently brainstorming enrichment possibilities for this year. If you have suggestions, or if you would like to join the Enrichment Working Group, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
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. In a normal year, 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 weeks during the late winter/early spring, parents with scientific, engineering, technology, math, art, or other professional skills are invited to come into their children’s classrooms and teach a short program on their area of expertise or knowledge. Information on how to participate in STEAM week will be posted in the Mason-Rice Notes and communicated via room parents.
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, but was published digitally in 2020. Further details, including calls for parent editors and student submissions, will appear in the Mason-Rice Notes in the spring.
World Culture Festival
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, with the next scheduled for Spring 2022.