New & Upcoming

At-Home Antigen Test Opt-in

The Newton Public Schools is shifting its testing strategy away from pooled testing (PCR) and toward at-home weekly rapid antigen tests. This new weekly at-home rapid antigen test is for ALL students PreK-12+ (vaccinated and unvaccinated).

We expect the new testing program to be implemented the week of February 7, 2022. Below is specific information you will need in order for your student to participate in the new at-home testing program:

  • All families need to “opt-in” to this new testing program. The previous consent form will NOT apply.
    • Access the Opt-in form through Aspen parent/guardian account: Aspen
    • Follow these instructions once you are logged into Aspen
  • An at-home rapid antigen tests kit will be distributed at school every other week. Each kit will contain two tests.
  • NPS recommends that all families conduct a rapid test on TUESDAY of each week.
  • Here are printed instructions for conducting the test at home. Here is a video tutorial on conducting the test. Translations are included.
  • Here is a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document with answers to your most common questions.

All testing information can be found on our website here: NPS COVID Testing Webpage.

Mason-Rice Auction Fundraiser

Last Chance Tickets
We still have a limited number of tickets to the following parent-donated events. Email us for your last chance to grab them!

  •  I Like to Move It, Move It! Soccer Edition with the Camargos and the Smiths
  • Family Capture the Flag! hosted by Anna Hitchner, Geoff Ebeling, and the Stearns
  • Baseball Hitting and Throwing Clinic hosted by M-R Dads
  • Pickup Basketball with Principal Jake Bultema
  • Annual Louisiana Surf and Turf at the Hooper’s House
  • Parent’s Night Out Barbeque Party at the home of Kate and Jeff Cook
  • Craft Beer & NCAA Basketball hosted by the Songs (3 tickets only!)

Attention Winning Bidders

If you are a winning bidder, you will receive your item in one of the following ways:

  1. Electronic gift certificates and vouchers:  An email will be sent to you by Sunday, February 6th. Be sure to check your spam/junk mail folder!
  2. Parent-donated items, events, parties/experiences OR one of the teacher experiences:  You will receive an email directly from the host/donor. You do not need to pick anything up.
  3. Physical items (gift cards, small items, gift baskets, etc.): You have been notified by email that you have a physical item to pick up at one of the options below:
  • Mason-Rice (front):
    – Mon. Feb. 7th, 8-8:30am
    – Tue. Feb. 8th, 2:45-3:30pm
  • 138 Lake Ave, Newton (porch door):
    – Sat. Feb. 12th, 2-4pm

Mason-Rice Spiritwear – Now Available Online!

Still need your cozy fleece-lined pom pom hats or some new M-R gear? Order online at the link below!
In-person pop-up tables will also be around:

  • at drop-off on Mon, Feb. 7th
  • at pick-up on Tues, Feb. 8th
  • front porch pick-up (fellow M-R family) on Sat, Feb. 12th 2-4pm @ 138 Lake Ave, Newton

Come on by and grab some gear!

Upcoming M-R FORJ Meeting – Mon. Feb 7

When: Monday, February 7, 7:30pm (via zoom)
 
FORJ (Families Organizing for Racial Justice) will be discussing how they can support the Mason-Rice community and activities for the year. If you are interested in learning more about FORJ or attending the meeting, please email Molly Perencevich or Janelle Phillips.

Reminders & Updates

Recap: 1/31 zoom coffee with Superintendent Fleishman, Assist. Superintendent (Elem. Ed) Ayesha Farag, & School Committee members Kathy Shields and Cove Davis

Thank you to all the parents who joined Mason-Rice’s zoom meeting earlier this week. With gratitude to those who submitted thoughtful questions in advance, we were able to get input and updates from the administration and members of the school committee on topics including:

  1. Concerns over the list of necessary capital improvements required at M-R and how/when these might be addressed and resolved.
  2. When/how the district will make up for the day of learning loss (1/10/22) due to the heating coil break and subsequent flooding.
  3. With a retracting school population, what are the potentially negative implications for staffing and overall resourcing going forward?
  4. How NPS may better address the vandalism happening by outside parties to the building and grounds.
  5. Changes in the curriculum including concerns about choice time and less overall flexibility for teachers to respond to the needs of students.
  6. The leadership gap left by the recent resignation of NPS’s Asst. Superintendent of Student Services, Beth Fitzmaurice.

For anyone hoping to learn more about the responses to these topics, we strongly encourage you to reach out to the PTO leadership or attend our board meetings (next meeting: Thursday, 2/17 at 7:30p, zoom).

Winter Walk, Roll, Bike & Bus to School Day!

Thank you to everyone who helped us celebrate Winter Walk, Roll, Bike & Bus to School Day! A special thank you to Liz Bouvier, Annie Madden, Sarah Deighton, Ben Bixby, and our enthusiastic Mountain Lion!

Musical Mornings

There are still opportunities available for Grades K-2 performers on February 16th and March 16th. Sign up today!  All Grades 3-5 slots have been filled. Click HERE.

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

Upcoming Important M-R Dates

  • 2/7: FORJ Meeting
  • 2/17: PTO Board Meeting
  • 2/21-2/25: Winter Vacation Days
  • 3/10: 5th Grade Brown Parent Night
  • 3/24: Early Dismissal @12:10pm

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 Amazon.com 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 amazon.com. 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!