New & Upcoming

Appreciating our Teachers with Bagels & Goodies

On Friday, April 16th, the PTO provided a breakfast spread for our Mason-Rice teachers and staff as a thank you for their ongoing commitment, flexibility, and adaptability. This is one of many events the PTO has hosted this year for our wonderful teaching and staff including, most recently, breakfast by Rosenfeld’s Bagels (earlier in April) and treats from Galit’s Treats (in March).

Mark your calendars for Teacher Appreciation Week: May 3rd-7th as the PTO is planning for a more substantial recognition event! We are looking forward to honoring our teachers and staff efforts this year.

* DLA teachers who aren’t in the building are sent gift cards when they’re not able to enjoy our in-school events. We appreciate them too!

NewtonSERVES: Volunteers Needed for Spring Clean Up

Mason-Rice is ready for a good spring cleanup! Volunteer with NewtonSERVES on Sunday, May 2 for socially-distanced outdoor projects to keep our school grounds looking beautiful.

The event will run from 9a – 4p, but, to maintain manageable numbers, we ask that you please sign up for a time slot via the SignUpGenius link. Only one sign up per family required. Upon arrival, tasks and work areas will be assigned. Projects include preparing the school garden, trimming branches, spreading mulch, sweeping walkways, weeding, and more.

As a city sponsored event, Newton Community Pride has t-shirts for the first 30 volunteers that sign up! To qualify, please also register and sign forms via the NewtonSERVES website. For this signup, please include all family members participating and t-shirt sizes.

To ensure a safe and successful event, masks, appropriate social distancing, and protective gloves are required while on school property.

If you are unable to volunteer but would still like to help, we could use some tools! See SignUpGenius for details.

Thank you for helping us maintain Mason-Rice!

You’re Invited: Covid Memorial Tree Ceremony

The 4C Tree team led by Green Newton’s Youth Group, is planting trees to create a beautiful memorial for those who died of Covid and to care for the Earth. Since the main tree dedication ceremony will take place in front of Mason-Rice, we would like to invite Mason-Rice students to come before the dedication to help partake in the tree plantings.This will be on May 1st around 1pm and the short dedication portion will be at 2pm. We would like to get a head count, so please fill out this Google form if you and your family are interested in coming.

PRE-ORDER TODAY for your May 11th “Taco Tuesday” pick-up with Naco Taco Food Truck at Mason-Rice!

The PTO is thrilled to host a “Taco Tuesday” Fundraising event with locally-owned Naco Taco’s food truck! The COVID-friendly event is pre-orders only and you pre-select your pick-up time to allow for social distancing and minimal wait times. 15% of the orders will be donated back to the PTO! (hint: similar events have sold-out the truck so pre-order ASAP to get your preferred time slots!) PRE-ORDER here.

Volunteer Opportunities at Brown Middle School

A message from the Brown Middle School PTO:

Attention current and incoming Brown Middle School Parents!

As we look ahead to the 2021-2022 school year, we hope you will consider becoming involved as a parent volunteer at Brown!

Please find a list of volunteer roles here, and we invite you to sign up to volunteer at Brown on our sign up genius.

We also welcome you to reach out by email to discuss ways you would like to become involved as a middle school parent at Brown!

Looking forward to working together!


Introducing Fresh Air Fridays

From City councilor Alicia Bowman:

Newton Safe Routes to School Task Force has been a strong voice for making Newton more walkable and bikeable for families across Newton for more than thirteen years. When Theresa Fitzpatrick and I started SRTS, we wanted to support families and give them more choices on how their kids got to school and to make Newton a place where many more kids walked to school, to friends’ houses and beyond. I am proud of what was accomplished, building a strong team of people from across the city working towards a common goal.

Do something good for yourself and the environment. 
Walk, roll, bike or take the bus or other public transit. #FreshAirFridays

Reminders & Updates

Sign Up & Keep Our Community Healthy

Will you help us keep our students and staff safe? NPS STRONGLY ENCOURAGES families whose students are participating in in-person learning to enroll their student(s) in the COVID-19 testing program. Testing is one of the best ways we have to quickly identify infection and reduce the possibility of in-school transmission. Testing began at Mason-Rice last week, but it’s not too late to join! 

Here are 3 reasons to enroll:

  1. It’s easy to sign up! Complete the Consent Form in the Aspen portal for your child to participate (here’s the link!). 
  2. It’s painless to administer! This is NOT the “touch your brain” swab! This is a sample taken from the front of your nose with a Q-tip like swab. It’s super-fast and painless. Students are sent home on Monday with an at-home test kit. They swab their nose on Tuesday morning and return the test to school that morning. Easy peasy!
  3. It makes a difference! The more students who participate, the better data NPS has on infection rates in our community. This means NPS can quickly identify infection, reduce the risk of in school transmission, limit quarantines, and keep our schools, athletics and other important activities open for the rest of the year!.
  4. Bonus reason: This testing program is FREE to all families! 

Note: Once you enroll, it may take a week for your child to receive their first Monday kit.

Also note: The asymptomatic pooled testing, detailed here, is a separate consent process from giving consent for Nurse Becky to administer a rapid Covid test in school should your child becomes symptomatic at school.

Thank you all for doing your part to keep our kids, teachers, and community safe!

FORJ: An Invitation to Join the Discussion on Racial Justice

Mason-Rice FORJ has had a successful year thus far! We’ve held monthly meetings, grown our listserve to 30 interested parents and attended city-wide workshops.  We’ve focused our energy on learning, listening, and connecting this year. We want to invite anyone who is interested in continuing this work and being part of connecting these conversations to action within our Mason-Rice community come to our upcoming meeting: Thursday, April 29th at 7:30-9:30pm.

Zoom: ID 883 2079 1344

Passcode: [see e-mailed PTO Notes]

As we close this year, we are seeking new leadership! If you are interested in thinking through our meeting agendas and connecting with other Mason-Rice parents to support our community to talk about race and racism, please email Janelle Phillips.

A+ Literary Magazine is Looking for Submissions

A+ Magazine is an annual publication that showcases original works by current Mason-Rice students, including stories, poems, drawings, comics, puzzles, jokes, photos, interviews, reviews and more! All submissions are welcome!! This year, A+ Magazine will be published online and in full color, accessible to all Mason-Rice families at no charge! Click here to see to see last year’s A+ Magazine.

How to submit your work: Email submissions to A+ Magazine. Artwork or photos should be in jpeg format. Be sure to include student’s name and grade with submission.

Also, all 4th and 5th grade students are invited to submit artwork for the magazine’s cover! The parent editors will determine the final cover, but all cover entries will be included in full size and in full color in the issue. 

Parents are expected to review all of their child’s submissions to assure appropriateness of content, being mindful that the audience includes kindergarteners, parents, grandparents, teachers, and family friends of many backgrounds. Students are representing Mason-Rice through their work.

Submission deadline: Friday, May 14th. 

Questions? Email the A+ Magazine team.

Parent Volunteers STILL Needed: Calling all STEAMers!

The STEAM team is planning an end-of-year, STEAM-inspired outdoor family fun day that will be held on a weekend in June, and we’d love your help in planning it! We don’t know what the activities will be yet, but we are envisioning an event with multiple stations, multiple time slots (to meet COVID-protocols), and lots of fun. 

We need more parent volunteers! Can you help? Please reach out to Sharon Topper or Molly Perencevich. Ideas welcome!

Join Us! Mason-Rice SEPAC

We encourage families with children supported by an IEP or 504 to join the Newton Special Education Parent Advisory Council (Newton SEPAC), an all-volunteer organization of parents of children with disabilities in the preschool, elementary school, middle school, high school, and in private schools who meet to ask questions and share knowledge about special education programs, issues, policies, regulations, and resources. We maintain an online discussion group and meet monthly online. If you are interested please reach out to Lindsay MacAuley Friedberg for more information.

Buy Your Spiritwear for Spring!

The Mason-Rice Spirit Store is still open!

T-Shirts @ $15: We have t-shirts in two styles: navy with the Mason-Rice logo in color on the front or heather blue with the Mason-Rice logo on the back. Available sizes include: 

  • Kids sizes S, M, L
  • Adult sizes S, M, L 

Sweatshirts @ $30: We also still have some hoodies available. Sizes include: 

  • Kids size L
  • Adult sizes XS, S, and M

To purchase, email Katie Gaines. All proceeds go to the Mason-Rice Fifth Grade Graduation Fund.

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.

NPS Calendar Reminders

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.

Support the Businesses that Support Us

Give Back: Business of the Week

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.

GLŌ Medical Aesthetics was started by three moms. Our goal was to provide solution-based procedures for skin and body.

Mention Mason-Rice and receive 20% off any facial now thru May 31.

1251 Centre St, Newton

Year-Round Promotion Benefitting the PTO

We are excited to announce a new, year-round fundraising promotion from Mabel’s Labels just in time for more in-person school days, spring sports, and summer camps! Just follow these simple steps and Mabel’s Labels will donate 20% of sales from your order to the PTO!

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!

Minted Promotion Now Available All Year!

We are excited to announce that Minted’s holiday promotion will now be offered year-round! Enjoy 20% off Minted cards & gifts throughout the year when use unique promo code [see e-mailed PTO Notes] at checkout, and 15% of each order will be donated back to the PTO.

Disclaimer: this is a special code created exclusively for fundraising for M-R PTO community and is not meant to be shared publicly with coupon or deal sites.

Are you signed up with Amazon Smile?

The PTO hopes everyone in our community will use Amazon Smile, a ‘set-and-sail’ opportunity that allows Amazon members to select a nonprofit that will receive ongoing donations. Once the nonprofit (Mason-Rice Elementary School PTO) is set in the membership profile, it doesn’t need to be updated ever again!

To sign up for AmazonSmile:

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.

To turn on AmazonSmile in the 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 at usual!

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