New & Upcoming

Deadline Friday: School-Wide Art Project!

The PTO hopes all students will create Monochromatic Self Portraits as part of our school-wide art project. (Students already received a white paper square with instructions.)
This is not an activity that will take place over Zoom or during Art class; this is a project for students to do at home. The final collection will become a permanent installation in the school and we want all students and faculty to be a part of it so we need 100% participation.
Here is a video with instructions and with some self-portrait inspiration.
If you have questions, please email Ms. Discenza or the PTO
The deadline to submit portraits is Friday, March 26th. To turn in artwork, students can:
  1. Bring it to the Mason Rice office.
  2. Hybrid students can give it to their classroom teacher.
  3. Place it in a ziplock back and drop it off in the mailbox at 32 Lakewood Road.
If you are not able to do any of the above please reach out to Rebecca Diamondstein to arrange alternatives.

Volunteers Needed! Calling all Scientists, Technologists, Engineers, Artists & Mathematicians!

In a usual year, Mason-Rice PTO organize curriculum enrichment events related to Science, Technology, Engineering, (liberal) Arts, and Mathematics (STEAM). The aim of these events is to teach our children about innovation, to give them a chance to think critically, and to use engineering or technology in creative approaches to real world problems. In recent years, we have held a Science Fair, STEAM presentations from parents, and even a STEAM-focused activity day. Due to social distancing requirements, none of these events will be possible in their usual format this year. We hope to organize either an outdoor or a virtual STEAM event this year to help keep STEAM front of mind for our children. 
Parents, if you work in a STEAM-related field, and/or have enthusiasm for engineering or technology, innovation and problem solving, we would love your help in planning the event. We will have an initial planning zoom meeting this Thursday, March 25, at 7.30pm. Please join us, or email Sharon Topper, if you are interested in helping plan this event but cannot make the meeting. Zoom info to follow.

Sending Love, and Local Treats, to our Staff

This past Friday, March 19, the PTO was honored to provide a breakfast for Mason-Rice teachers and staff. A spread of delicious treats from Galit’s Treats (in Newton Centre) was set up in the Center for our hard-working staff to enjoy. We are delighted to hear it was appreciated!
*Staff members who work remotely were sent a gift card to Starbucks.

CAS AuthorFest Updates

Last week: Jerry Craft, Newbery Medal-winning author of New Kid and Class Act, visited the 5th graders. Jerry talked about his journey to becoming a cartoonist and how he was inspired to develop stories that reflected his experiences as a child and young adult of color. It was a fantastic presentation and Jerry answered many insightful questions from students. 
In preparation for a visit from Eric Velasquez, 4th grade room parents held a successful book discussion group on Monday, March 15. Many questions for the author have been already submitted by the 4th graders. 
Next week:
  • Wednesday, March 31: 2nd graders will host Vita Murrow, author of Power to the Princess and High Five to the Hero.
  • Note to all grades: Questions for each author can be submitted in advance through our AuthorFest portal (so all children get a chance to be heard). 
Coming soon: April 7th: 1st grade will host Brian Lies.

Lunch Bunch Dates

Ms. Becker’s drop in lunch bunches for DLA & Hybrid students are a great way for our students to connect! Dates and links for upcoming Lunch Bunches are below.

Remember: Lunch bunches are entirely optional, so no need to sign up in advance; just drop in!

Ms. Becker’s drop in lunch bunches for DLA & Hybrid students are a great way for our students to connect! Dates and links for upcoming Lunch Bunches are below.
Remember: Lunch bunches are entirely optional, so no need to sign up in advance; just drop in!

Grades K & 1

Cohort A: Thursday, March 25
12:35 – 1:05pm and 1:25 – 1:55pm

Grade 3

Monday, March 22
1:25 – 1:55pm

(See emailed notes for links)

Grade 2

Cohort A: Friday, March 26
1:25 – 1:55pm

Grades 4 & 5

Tuesday, March 23
1:25 – 1:55pm

Recap: Last Friday’s PTO Board Meeting

The PTO board met this past Friday. To learn about the topics we discussed, we encourage everyone to review a summary of the meeting notes. You can find them here.
The next PTO Board Meeting will be Thursday, April 15th at 7:30PM (via Zoom). As always, we encourage everyone to join!

Reminders & Updates

Spring Tea School Days, March 15-23

It’s time for the Spring Tea School Days promotion offered by Tea Collection, a globally-inspired children’s clothing company! From Monday, March 15, through Tuesday, March 23, 2021, feel free to use our special promo code [see e-mailed PTO Notes] for 15% off for you and 15% donated back to Mason-Rice PTO when you shop at!
Disclaimer: this is a special code created exclusively for fundraising for M-R PTO community through, and is not meant to be shared publicly with coupon or deal sites.

Calendar Reminders: Early Release and Juneteenth

Monday, April 5 & Thursday, April 8: Students will be dismissed at 12:30pm to provide time for elementary school conferences.
Friday, June 18: The City of Newton is observing Juneteenth on Friday, June 18. The Newton Public Schools will be doing the same to observe this important day in our history with no school on this day.
Tuesday, June 22: Last day of school for students.

Green Team News: Participate in the 4C Tree Project!

Right now, 4C Tree is preparing to plant 170 trees across Newton this spring, including five trees in front of Mason-Rice. We are only $6,000 away from the end of April fund-raising goal of $45,000, and every $10 makes a difference. Read more about the project and make a donation here.

Free: Breakfast and Lunch for Families

For the 2020-2021 academic year, FREE breakfast and lunch is available for ALL students. There are grab-n-go options for in-person pick-up or separate pick-up locations at the high schools for virtual learners. 
See the City of Newton’s website for updated information on pickup locations and other important updates.

Support the Businesses that Support Us

Give Back Business

Mason-Rice’s annual online auction is usually the PTO’s biggest fundraiser. This year, because of the pandemic, we are not hosting the auction. Instead, in each week’s Notes, we are spotlighting the amazing businesses that have generously supported our auction year after year. We hope that now, during their time of need, you will consider patronizing those who have consistently supported our PTO.
Don’t forget to support the previously-spotlighted businesses! You can find them in the past Notes on our PTO webpage.

Dr. Renée Moran Medical Aesthetics

Dr. Renée Moran is a Board-Certified Anesthesiologist and sub-specializes as an Interventional Pain Medicine Physician. Dr. Moran has been treating patients with chronic migraine headaches with Botox injections for over seven years. She developed a passion for facial aesthetics and received her certification in cosmetic neurotoxins, dermal fillers, and microneedling. Dr. Moran is highly trained and skilled in procedures and injections which allows her to produce “natural” results and enhance one’s own beauty. The entire team at Dr. Moran Medical Aesthethics is committed to educating clients on services that will best suit their needs. They are happy to announce that they have now added a few holistic wellness services to our spa as well! 
Dr. Moran loves being part of Newton and enjoys building new relationships with neighbors and community members.

Stay in touch. Stay informed. Get involved!

At home or in school, we are Mason-Rice Together!

Mason-Rice Elementary School PTO
149 Pleasant Street
Newton Centre, MA 02459