In this issue

Letter from the Superintendent
Oct 02, 2018 12:00 pm | Newton PTO Council

September 17, 2018

Dear Newton Community:

For the past seven years, the Newton Public Schools have been the target of outside groups claiming anti-Israel bias in our history curriculum. These baseless claims, often reliant upon materials and documents taken out of context, are misleading and only serve to denigrate the hard work and professionalism of our skilled and dedicated faculty.

In recent months, the attacks have grown increasingly and unjustly personal. Our history teachers have been singled out, harassed and subjected to harsh and unfair criticism in the media and online. As a result, there is growing concern among our faculty about teaching controversial topics. Should these attacks continue, we worry it will jeopardize our ability to expose students to diverse opinions and to teach them about controversial issues that require open minds and critical thought.

We stand behind our faculty members, who are guided by the mission and values of the Newton Public Schools and their professional judgment. Whether it is the history of the Middle East or contemporary American politics, they are committed to engaging students around complex and challenging issues in a responsible, intellectual and balanced way.

In every class, our teachers work to ensure that students learn to separate fact from opinion, discern between different points of view, challenge their own thinking and that of their peers, and develop evidence-based opinions through study and the testing of ideas. They also provide space for students to actively listen, particularly to those voices in the minority – whether it be political, racial, ethnic, religious, or gender.

As always, we encourage our families to bring any questions about curriculum to their child’s teacher or department head. Information and teaching materials are always available to families and our administrators and faculty are happy to discuss them. For more information on teaching controversial topics in the Newton Public Schools, please visit our Frequently Asked Questions on our website.


David Fleishman
Superintendent of Schools

Hamilton Ticket raffle
Sep 30, 2018 11:04 am | Newton PTO Council

Understanding Our Differences (UOD), the leader in disability awareness education, is sponsoring an exciting raffle to raise needed funds. Enter the raffle for a chance to win a pair of tickets to see the popular and critically acclaimed show Hamilton: An American Musical at the Boston Opera House in November.

See the UOD website for complete details about this exciting opportunity:

UOD is embarking on a project to raise funds to support digitizing the curriculum, so the critical goal of fostering inclusion for people of all abilities can be shared around the state, the country, and even the world!

Mayor’s Update
Sep 30, 2018 09:04 am | Newton PTO Council

We need your help.

The City of Newton’s recycling contains 18 percent contamination. Contractually, the City is required to have a contamination rate of less than 10 percent. As a result, the City was charged $6,120 in fines last month and we have paid $65,611 in fines so far in 2018. This is a direct impact Newton is facing due to the global recycling markets downturn you may have heard about this year.

The City of Newton is embarking on a focused initiative to educate our residents and lower our contamination rate. We received a grant from the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection to fund a robust education campaign, help us inspect what’s in the recycling carts and to communicate that information to residents.

Beginning next week, on Monday, October 1, we will be performing curbside inspections of residential recycling carts. Contaminated carts will first receive a warning and specific feedback on what issue was found.

If, after a warning is issued, a cart is found to again contain contamination, it will not be collected that week. A tag indicating the issue found will be left on the cart handle and we will also send a follow up letter. Once the issue has been corrected, the cart will be collected the following week.

We know that recycling has become increasingly complex in recent years and that our education efforts have not been effective in keeping up with this growing complexity.

Contamination in our recycling typically comes in two forms:

1)     Materials that belong in the green cart but are not prepared correctly. For example, contamination occurs when there is still food in a plastic container or a half-filled bottle of juice. Containers should be empty and clean (just a quick rinse) before being placed in the green cart.

2)     Materials that do not belong in the green cart. The most common contaminant is plastic bags. Other contaminants include other plastic film (such as the wrap around a case of bottled water), food, liquids, textiles, toys and electronics.

The only materials that belong in the green cart are empty bottles, jars, and containers made of metal, plastic and glass from the kitchen, laundry and bath, and paper and flattened cardboard.

We believe deeply in diverting waste whenever possible to lessen our environmental footprint. But, unless you are absolutely certain that something is recyclable in the green cart, put it in the trash instead. Think – “When in doubt, throw it out!”
I know it will be difficult for you if we reject your cart because of contaminated materials and we don’t pick it up for a week.

For more information about how to recycle correctly, check out the mobile Recycle Right Newton app or get information here. Thanks for your help and your commitment to a more sustainable Newton.


Boys & Girls Club after school program and more
Sep 29, 2018 09:14 pm | Newton PTO Council

With many After School programs in Newton at capacity, the Club never turns away any family regarding membership. They serve over 730 members throughout the school year with many contemporary programs and services that exemplify a commitment to serving our community and youth.

The Club also has a licensed After School program called Curiosity Club. This program serves children in grades K-2 with a STEAM curriculum framework.  Fall 2018 programs include 3D printing classes, Sewing, Russian School of Math, Word Wizards, Science Adventures, and much more!  Additionally, the Club offers in-house transportation to the following schools: Cabot, Lincoln Eliot, Franklin, and Burr. The Club was the first youth organization to partner with Sheprd transportation with special Club rates for those who sign-up.

Please check out John M. Barry Boys & Girls Club at or call 617-630-2066 for more information.

Newton Girls Basketball registration
Sep 29, 2018 09:05 pm | Newton PTO Council

Newton Girls Basketball Association, NGBA, is a recreational league for Newton girls with fun for beginners and experienced players alike! Registration for the NGBA 2018-2019 season will open October 2nd.

Newton Turkey Trot registration is open
Sep 29, 2018 08:53 pm | Newton PTO Council

Registration for the 5th annual Newton Turkey Trot for the Newton Food Pantry is now open!  Register early before the prices increase and to be guaranteed an awesome T-shirt!   Details, registration and volunteer info at

Sign up soon, this race will sell out! All proceeds from the race go to the Newton Food Pantry.

November 17th, 9:00 am,  Kids 1 mile fun run, 8:30 am

Newton CPC October 9th Public Hearing
Sep 29, 2018 08:44 pm | Newton PTO Council

The Community Preservation Committee’s next meeting agenda includes a public hearing on $3.25 million of CPA funding to expand affordable senior housing at Golda Meir House on Stanton Avenue,  Auburndale. The program website includes the full agenda and pre-meeting packet, as well as the full funding proposal.

For assistance, contact Alice Ingerson or 617-796-1144.

October 9th, 7;00 pm
City Hall, Room 204

Postsecondary and College Success for Students with Learning Differences
Sep 29, 2018 08:37 pm | Newton PTO Council

What comes after high school for students with learning differences or disabilities? If you’ve had an IEP or 504 plan, you may be wondering about that. Come learn about services and accommodations for students in college/post-secondary settings, and how best to prepare for success.  You’ll discuss fostering independence, metacognition, and self-advocacy skills; and applicable laws such as the Americans with Disabilities Act, 504 of the Rehab Act, and the concept of “reasonable accommodations” in post-secondary settings.

Parents/guardians will learn how to assist students in the transition to college/post-secondary environments, including determining what to expect, how to prepare for the next step in an academic career, and what questions to ask the College or University Disability Services Office.

$35.00 Register at or by calling 617-559-6999.

October 25th, 7:00 – 9:00 pm
Newton North High School

Stand Strong, Stand Tall Girls Empowerment Program
Sep 29, 2018 08:35 pm | Newton PTO Council

Artemis Girls Stand Strong, Stand Tall guides girls ages 10-13  to seek their own true voice with yoga, mindfulness, breathwork, creative expression and self-reflection. When girls feel confident about their bodies, their self-worth and their intelligence and they have practiced how to handle self-doubt and adolescent stresses, they have an opportunity to go into the world and fully express themselves — as girls, as women, as humans.

Artemis Girls Stand Strong, Stand Tall creates a safe space for girls to build strength of body, mind and spirit while developing the skills of communication and self-respect to empower and inspire girls. Classes include weekly yoga and mindfulness, group collaboration and games and independent thinking coupled with an art, journal or other creative activity centered on themes such as:

  • Body Confidence and Self-Respect
  • Stress & Self-Care
  • Emotional Awareness
  • Identity & Labels
  • Honest, Healthy Friendships & Social Stamina

The program meets weekly in a 90 minute session on six Fridays and is co-taught by Amy Hrobak and Tracy Affonso, both experienced school educators and youth yoga and mindfulness instructors.  Fee: $150.00.

To learn more or to register, click here. Please call 617-393-3590 or email if you have any questions.

October 12th – November 16th, 4:00 – 5:30 pm
Artemis Yoga, 639 Mt. Auburn Street, Watertown

Upcoming Events at Historic Newton
Sep 29, 2018 08:34 pm | Newton PTO Council

Learn about the many plants in Newton, and how the Kenrick family brought new ones to America. You’ll hear a reading of  The Night Gardener by Terry and Eric Fan and preschoolers and their caregivers will create their own tissue paper topiary. For a complete schedule of ongoing Storytime events, visit
October 3rd, 10:00 am
Durant Kenrick House and Grounds, 286 Waverley Avenue
Admission: Free
Information: 617-641-9142

Everyone is invited to enjoy free admission to the museums.
October 6th and October 7th, 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Jackson Homestead and Museum, 527 Washington Street, and the Durant-Kenrick House and Grounds, 286 Waverley Avenue
Admission: Free
Information: 617-796-1450

Where do trees come from, and how do they grow? Read Because of an Acorn by Lola and Adam Schaefer, and preschoolers and their caregivers will get the chance to make their own autumn-themed whirligigs. For a complete schedule of ongoing Storytime events, go to
October 20th, 9:30 am
Jackson Homestead and Museum
Admission: Free
Information: 617-796-1450

Come celebrate Halloween with fun-filled activities! We will read The Roll-Away Pumpkin by Junia Wonders, and preschoolers and their caregivers will create their own pumpkin and jack-o-lantern artwork with apple stamps. For a complete schedule of ongoing Storytime events, go to
October 31, 10:00 am
Durant-Kenrick House and Grounds
Admission: Free
Information: 617-641-9142

As you make the rounds with children on Halloween night, please stop by the Jackson Homestead and Museum for treats and free museum admission tickets that may be used throughout the fall. Enjoy trick-or-treatingat the historic home that is part of the neighborhood!
October 31, 4:30-6:30 pm
Jackson Homestead and Museum, 527 Washington Street
Admission: Free
Information: 617-796-1450

What’s Happening at the Y
Sep 29, 2018 07:30 pm | Newton PTO Council

Registration is open for YBA-Youth Basketball Leagues
YBA League is a fun league for boys and girls ages 4-12 to learn and play basketball. The league runs on Saturdays, November 17th – February 9th and is separated into four age groups: Mini (ages 4-5), Biddy (ages 6-7), Rookie (ages 8-9) and Collegiate (ages 10-12). For more information and to register visit or call 617-244-6050.

Kids Night Out
Parents, drop off your kids for a fun Friday night with the Y’s staff. There will be pizza for dinner and staff will keep the children entertained with games, swimming, movies and sports. $25 per child for Y members and $30 for the community. A 20% discount is offered per child for those with two or more children. Go out for the night and take advantage of this low-cost alternative to hiring a babysitter.
October 5th, 6:00 – 10:00 pm

Poetry Night
Organized by Barbara Helfogtt-Hyett of Poemworks, the event begins with readings by two local poets. Then 10-12 guests participate in the Open Mic portion of evening to share their own written work. This event is free and open to the public. For more information, visit
October 5th, 7:00 – 9:00 pm

Family Fun Night
Bring the whole family to the Y for some family fun time. Featuring arts & crafts, bouncy house, games and more! FREE and open to all. Family Fun Nights are generously sponsored by the Belmont Savings Bank Foundation and occur on the second Tuesday of every month.
October 9th, 6:00 – 7:00 pm

Community Flu Clinic (for ages 18+) – Tuesday,
Don’t let the flu tackle you! Get your seasonal flu shot at the West Suburban YMCA. This clinic is free and put on by staff from Newton-Wellesley Hospital. No appointment needed. The clinic will be in the Y’s Rec Center room on the basement level. Open to the community, must be age 18+.
October 16th, 10:00 am – 1:00 pm

Angino Fall Festival – Sunday,
Celebrate the season with an afternoon of family fun! Stop by the West Suburban YMCA for pumpkin decorating, train rides, live music, rock climbing wall, face painting, bouncy house and more! This event is free to attend and open to the community. Sponsored by the Angino Family.
October 21st, 1:00-3:00 pm

Preschool Openings Available
The Y’s Preschool Center for Youth Development is licensed by the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care and provides a year-round, high quality early education experience for children 2.9 years to 5 years old. The program features a safe teacher-child ratio, a large, bright and open classroom with secure entrance, a weekly 30-minute swim lesson, and access to the Y’s outdoor playground, turf field and full gymnasium. For more information, or contact Kim Benzan at

Work at the Y: The West Suburban YMCA is hiring for a variety of full-time and part-time positions in child care and youth development, human resources, aquatics, fitness and more. Great benefits, FREE membership and professional development opportunities. Please contact Laura Snow, Director of Human Resources, at or visit

Financial Assistance is always available for Y Memberships and Programs
The West Suburban YMCA is a non-profit charitable organization and it is our mission to never turn anyone away due to their inability to pay. Please contact our Membership Department at 617-244-6050 x3653 for financial assistance with membership or program participation.

Chinese Tutor available
Sep 29, 2018 07:28 pm | Newton PTO Council

Private, in home tutoring for all levels by a tutor with years of experience. Please contact Stella at or 617-512-3827

Community music school
Sep 29, 2018 07:21 pm | Newton PTO Council

Looking for private music lessons for your child? – All Newton Music School is a premier non-profit community music school located right in your neighborhood. The faculty have degrees from Juilliard, New England Conservatory, The Boston Conservatory, Berklee College of Music and more!

Request lessons for you or your child at or by phone 617- 527-4553.

Piano Lessons
Sep 29, 2018 07:18 pm | Newton PTO Council

Local piano teacher Donna Gross Javel has few spaces available on Tuesdays in Waltham for students of all ages and levels.  Piano lessons can include studies in sight-reading, theory, improvisation, composition, piano duets and trios, and of course solo repertoire.  She offers five workshops and two recitals during the academic year and will also provide additional opportunities for those students who wish to participate in additional recitals, festivals and/or competitions.  As a teacher, Donna is particularly interested in teaching the ‘Whole Child’. Her main focus is to give each child the ‘Gift of Music’  so that they can enjoy a lifetime of music. For more information, visit

Contact Donna Gross Javel at 781-354-0170 or


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Bigelow Middle School PTO
42 Vernon St.
Newton, MA 02458

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