PTO Notes 06-20-21

Jun 20, 2021 | News

We wish our Mason-Rice community a happy, healthy, safe, and memorable summer. To our graduating families, best of luck! Your graduates have a wonderful foundation to take them forward in life. To others, we look forward to seeing you all in September–in person!


In This Edition

New & Upcoming

5th Grade Graduation

We wish our 5th Graders the best of luck on their next steps to middle school!

After a year of change that included zigging and zagging and turning on a moment’s notice, the 5th graders got a graduation ceremony to send them off in style.

The graduation was all outdoors and involved cheers from beloved MR teachers and staff, a special certificate ceremony from Principal Bultema, and a chance to capture it all in pictures with the Mason Rice Mountain Lion Mascot. Good luck on your next adventure, Mountain Lions!

Volunteer(s) Needed! M-R Directory Team

The Directory Team helps administer the PTO’s online directory–a tool that nearly everyone utilizes and is the heart center of our ability to stay connected as a community. As we head into the summer months and prepare for next year, we are seeking 1-2 volunteers for this team.

Directory Team members work remotely always. What is required of Directory Team members?

  • learn how to use the MTK application and help end users do the same
  • manage user accounts
  • managing the mail lists (e.g., resolving issues like, “why don’t I get a newsletter for my grade?”)
  • general troubleshooting of user issues/challenges

To volunteer or to learn more, email the Directory Team today.

Garden Volunteers Needed!

Please sign up to help with the Mason-Rice garden over the summer. You don’t need a green thumb, just a love of being outside and willingness to play in the dirt.  Volunteers are responsible for 1 week of weeding and watering.  It is a great family activity; plus, you can take home any flowers and herbs in bloom during your week! If you’d like to volunteer, please sign up here.

Honoring and Thanking our Teachers

Thank you to all the Parent Reps who organized and collected contributions for the teachers’ year-end class gifts.

For those who still wish to show their appreciation, you may consider making a donation through the Newton Schools Foundation in the teacher’s honor. Details can be found on NSF’s website.

As always, individual gifts of appreciation in the form of sentimental tokens are welcomed and encouraged. Gifts of commercial value are not permitted.

Juneteenth Celebrations

Juneteenth Celebrations, Sunday, June 20th at the Hyde Playground, Newton Highlands

Everyone is invited to commemorate and celebrate Juneteenth at Newton’s first Juneteenth Weekend Celebration.

Happening NOW! Today, Sunday, June 20th from 12-4 pm, the FORJ NNHS (Families Organizing for Racial Justice at Newton North High School) is hosting a fun family Juneteenth event at the same venue. Entertainment will include dance performances, a DJ and fun activities for kids. Bring a blanket to picnic with your family and enjoy Caribbean American food from the Fresh Food Generations food truck and ice cream from Tipping Cow. Have fun shopping at the Juneteenth market featuring products and services offered by local Black entrepreneurs, and take some time to appreciate art by Newton students of color. The rain date for the family event is Sunday June 27th.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Congratulations to the Mason-Rice Green Team!

Mason-Rice Green Team, an initiative of the Mason-Rice PTO with the support of Principal Bultema, was selected again as a recipient of multiple awards for its environmental education work during the 2019-20 and 2020-21 school year. For its work last year on lunchroom composting and additional in-person and virtual programming, the Green Team recently received the state’s Excellence in Energy and Environmental Education Award and the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection’s Green Team prize

Thank you and congratulations to Mason-Rice parents and Green Team leadership Wendy Sheu and Barbara Nestle, former Mason-Rice parent Heather Friedman, Mason-Rice alumnus Kate Esbenshade, Principal Bultema and all of the incredible Mason-Rice students who participated in the Green Team.

We are excited to continue and expand this important work at Mason-Rice in the 2021-22 school year. If you are interested in co-leading or learning more about the Green Team, please contact Wendy Sheu this summer!

Reminders & Updates

Order Your 2021-2022 School Supplies

For the 2021-2022 school year, Mason-Rice will be using the services of 1st Day School Supplies again.

This program is not a fundraiser, and the prices are competitive. It’s easy and convenient – order today!

ALL orders must be placed ONLINE by Thursday, July 1.

  • Just click here, enter the school zip code 02459, and select Mason-Rice.
  • Choose your kit for your child’s grade next year.
  • Enter your child’s name and Add to Cart.
  • Complete the shipping and payment information.
  • The kit will arrive at your house. Please look out for communication in August about what to bring in on the 1st day of school.

If you have any questions about ordering, please contact Sylvia Eng. Our PTO willingly supports those families who might benefit from a scholarship for school supplies. Please contact Jake Bultema for assistance.

Families are also welcome to purchase their own supplies. Click here to see the supply list for each grade level.  

NPS Calendar Reminders

Tuesday, June 22: Last day of school for students.

As a reminder, you can always access NPS’ calendar, updated regularly, 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.

Shop with These Partners and a Portion of the Sale will be Donated to the Mason-Rice PTO!

Year-Round Promotion from Mabel's Labels

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

Year-Round Promotion from minted

Enjoy 20% off Minted cards & gifts throughout the year when use unique promo code [see e-mailed 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.

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!

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

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