New & Upcoming

A Message About the COVID Surge

Given the current surge, the PTO strongly encourages all parents to watch the recent presentation to the Newton School Committee by Dr. Ashish Jha and Dr. Dori Zaleznik from the Medical Advisory Group. Some parts of the presentation worth highlighting:

  • 18m10s: How should vaccinated individuals manage an exposure at home (e.g., someone in your home tests positive. What does that mean for the rest of the family?)
  • 52m37s and 1h05m41s: Clarifying the tradeoff between PCR, asymptomatic pooled testing, and at-home, symptomatic antigen testing.
  • 1h2m10s: Do you have to be symptomatic for an antigen test’s results to be reliable?

We ask everyone to continue conducting the Daily Health Check each morning before school and DO NOT send your children to school if they present symptoms. And continue to always monitor for symptoms.

At-home tests and high-quality masks are expensive! We encourage all families to partake in the free at-home tests that are available here. And if your family would benefit from financial assistance to purchase additional masks or at-home antigen kits, please reach out to Principal Bultema who can release funds from the PTO-funded Principal Discretionary Fund (PDF) to support your family with this or other financial burdens. Names of recipients are kept confidential with Principal Bultema.

Mason-Rice Online Auction is Open

When: Now until Sunday, January 30 at 10 p.m.

Bid on amazing items hereListings include:

  • Teacher Experiences: each class teacher is sponsoring one
  • T-shirt decorating with the Specialists, become Principal or Vice-Principal for a day
  • Bid for extra recess for your entire Mason-Rice class
  • Local kids classes – music, dance, martial arts, gym, crafts…
  • Fantastic summer camp deals
  • Mason-Rice Only events/items: An Artful Night at the Gallery hosted by Joelle, Back to the 80’s Party at the Housmans, portraits by Sam Zhao, behind-the-scenes tour of the New England Aquarium, deliveries of pancakes, scones, Korean Kimbap, sausage rolls, crepes, challah, a coffee subscription, and many more exciting offerings!
  • Gift cards to local restaurants, groceries, gyms, and shops
  • Sporting tickets to the New England Patriots, U.S. Open Women’s Tennis Final in Flushing N.Y., and USGA Men’s Open at The Country Club, just to name a few!

Get your bids in soon and support our school and the local community!

Questions? Please contact the auction team

A conversation with Superintendent David Fleishman and members of the School Committee

When: Monday, January 31 from 8:30 to 9:15 a.m.

The Mason-Rice community is encouraged to attend the next Principal Coffee on January 31, when David Fleishman and members of the School Committee will be available to share updates from the school district. Join here and listen and/or ask questions. 

Interpretation for this meeting can be available. Please complete this Google form at least three days before the meeting if you require interpretation.

Meeting Link: here 

Meeting ID: 898 2807 9185

Passcode: [see emailed notes]

Newton Food Pantry Winter Gear Drive

As a way to help families in need during the winter months, the Teen Ambassador Program (TAP) of the Newton Food Pantry is running a donation drive. They are looking for winter gear for children and adults. Please bring *new* socks, hats, and hand warmers, and new or gently used mittens, gloves, and scarves. Donation boxes will be outside the front doors to the main office at drop off and dismissal through January 31.

Reminders & Updates

Newton Community Food Drive update

Thank you to everyone who donated to the Newton Community Food Drive last week. We donated over 100 items that were distributed to three local food pantries. Thank you Mason-Rice! 

January 27: SEPAC Special Event

What: Interactive Media Use and Youth Mental Health: Guidance for Parents Across the Developmental Span

When: Thursday, January 27 at 7 p.m.

The Newton Special Education Parent Advisory Council (SEPAC) is excited to partner with Boston Children’s Hospital’s Digital Wellness Lab to offer a comprehensive presentation on the relationship between children’s and teens’ media use and their mental health. The Digital Wellness Lab’s senior content strategist, Kristelle Lavallee Collins, will discuss the most recent research on the relationships between interactive media use and the well-being of children and adolescents. The presentation will also cover the latest science-based strategies parents and caregivers can employ to support children in developing a healthy” relationship with technology and screen media.


Interested? Click here to register. Questions? Click here.

Upcoming Important M-R Dates

  • 1/20-1/30: Mason Rice Online Auction
  • 1/21: PTO Board Meeting @ 8:30 a.m.
  • 1/27: SEPAC Special Event
  • 1/31: Principal Coffee
  • Now through 1/31: Winter Gear Drive

Access NPS’ calendar here.
Access Mason-Rice’s PTO calendar here.

Support the Businesses that Support Us

Your usual shopping can support PTO-funded activities (such as teacher classroom allowances, appreciation lunches, and curriculum-enhancing programming for all our students). Last year, the Mason-Rice community shopped with our partners and raised nearly $1500 while participation in our Spring '21 Restaurant Series raised an additional $1100

Note that these programs/partnerships, below, run year-round!

  1. Go to Mabel's Labels homepage and click "Support a Fundraiser"
  2. Type and select "Mason-Rice Elementary School PTO"  in the menu
  3. Shop your order and check-out as usual
  4. Mabel's Labels will automatically donate 20% of the order back to the PTO

Enjoy 20% off Minted cards & gifts with promo code [see e-mailed PTO Notes]. 15% of each order will be donated back to the PTO.

Select 'Mason-Rice PTO' with AmazonSmile and the PTO Benefits from Your Everyday Purchases. Set it up once and never again!

#1: Select Mason-Rice as Your AmazonSmile Charity-of-Choice

  1. Visit AmazonSmile and sign in with your credentials.
  2. Choose and select Mason-Rice Elementary School PTO as the charitable organization to receive donations.
  3. Start all of your Amazon shopping at the Smile homepage, versus The shopping experience is the exact same, but your purchases will qualify for Smile commissions to the PTO.

#2: Turn On AmazonSmile on Your Amazon Shopping app

  1. Make sure you're signed up for AmazonSmile in web browser.
  2. Open the Amazon Shopping app and find “Settings” in the main menu (☰).
  3. Tap on “AmazonSmile” (under "Programs & Features") and follow the on-screen instructions to turn on AmazonSmile in the app.
  4. Shop as usual!

(Hot Tip: Anyone can participate, so be sure to share with grandparents and other friends/family!)

Stay in touch. Stay informed. Get involved!