In this issue

School Committee Update
Mar 21, 2018 12:26 pm | Newton PTO Council

Dear Friends,

We, your Newton School Committee, are writing to provide you with an update on the happenings within the School Committee.

This update is for the SC meeting which occurred on 03/19/2018:

This meeting was the first in several meetings aimed at reviewing the Superintendent’s Proposed 2018 – 2019 budget. A helpful tool to use when looking over the budget book is the Superintendent’s Budget Presentation. According to the presentation, the goals of the budget proposal are:

“To continue the forward momentum toward achieving key system goals and preserve the programs and supports we have built over the last several years, while addressing growing high school enrollment, our largest elementary and middle schools, and the increasing social and emotional needs of students.”

There are no major cuts, and the budget proposal supports some program improvements.

Please note, we will have a public hearing at 6:30pm on April 2nd and look forward to hearing your thoughts. You are also welcome to speak at public comment Monday, March 26th.

Here are some key takeaways from the March 19th meeting:

  • Assistant Principal positions are being added to Franklin, Mason-Rice and Angier.
  • Reduction of 2 elementary classrooms/teachers based on enrollment declines. Class sizes will not increase.
  • Addition of 0.5 Full Time Employee (FTE) at Day (Student Services administrator) and 0.5 FTE at Oak Hill (teacher)
  • Five full-time teachers are being added to our High Schools due to enrollment increases.
  • An additional 0.5 FTE math coach and purchase of materials to support the rollout of the new elementary math curriculum, Investigations 3.0, to all grade levels.
  • One-time funds are being used to purchase 1,000 Chromebooks to be added to the current high school supply.

Upcoming Budget Meetings:
March 22 @7:00 p.m.: Special School Committee Meeting, Budget Review: Student Services and Non-Instructional Areas
March 26 @7:00 p.m.: Regular School Committee Meeting, Straw Vote: FY19 School Budget
April 2 @6:30 p.m.: Public Hearing, Discussion: 2018-19 School Budget
April 9, @7:00 p.m.: Regular School Committee Meeting, Discussion and Vote: FY19 Budget

We hope you have found this summary useful. You can access all School Committee meeting documents via the NPS website ( Additionally, if you are interested in watching an SC meeting from home or a recorded meeting, you can obtain access via

As always, we are eager to answer any questions or discuss any concerns you may have. Please feel free to contact us via the information below.

The Newton School Committee

Urban Search and Rescue Robotics Challenge
Mar 18, 2018 11:58 am | Newton PTO Council

Urban Search & Rescue is a robotics challenge based on real-life scenarios involving
search-and-rescue robots. The event challenges competitors to engineer a robot which can
navigate a unique obstacle course to locate and remove an object within a specified time,
using heavy-duty, aircraft-grade aluminum elements, powerful drive motors, and wireless

For 11th and 12th graders. Online registration is required. Presented by the Massachusetts Army National Guard.

Druker Auditorium at the Newton Free Library
March 22nd, 4:00 – 8:00 pm

Newton Women Artists in the Spotlight
Mar 18, 2018 11:54 am | Newton PTO Council

You’re invited to an eclectic evening celebrating Women’s History Month. Enjoy a Renaissance comedy play co-written and performed by Chiara Durazzini, a short film from Bosnia-Herzegovina directed by Sanja Zdjelar, and Israeli artisanal pastries from Galit’s Treats! Laugh, cry, and break some bread (and pastries) together!

Free Admission and Free Refreshments! Everyone is welcome (not recommended for  younger than 6 years).

March 25th, 5:00 pm
Newton City Hall, War Memorial Auditorium

Newton Heartbreak Hill Road Race & Walk
Mar 18, 2018 11:10 am | Newton PTO Council

If you are ready for winter to be over, start dusting off those running (or walking) shoes! The 26th annual Heartbreak Hill Road Race and Family Walk is a perfect way to shake off some of that cabin fever! Just one mile, up and down famed Heartbreak Hill! Every runner receives an official digital-clock time, a race medallion, goody bag and a free ticket to the pre-race pasta party at Newton City Hall on Saturday, April 14th.

The 1st, 2nd & 3rd place runners in each category win a trophy! The first 500 registrations receive a free t-shirt. There are free activities for kids organized by the Lasell College Special Events students.

Not a runner? Everyone can walk the course at 11:30. Registration is easy at $10.00 child/$12.00 adult.

April 15th, Newton City Hall

What’s Happening at the Y – Good Friday programs, swim try outs and more
Mar 18, 2018 10:56 am | Newton PTO Council

Try the Y!

The Y is free and open to all on Mondays throughout March. Just stop by 276 Church
Street with a valid ID, and they’ll waive the regular guest fees.

Registration for Late Spring Programs

Registration for Late Spring Programs opens March 26th for Y members and April 2nd for the community. Programs begin the week of April 23rd. Some highlights include:

  • NFL Flag Football League for grades 1-7. Participants will learn new skills and try different positions while playing 6 versus 6 flag football on the Y’s turf field. Sign up as an individual or create a team with friends.
  • Climbing Club for ages 7-12. Learn the fundamentals of climbing with a focus on teamwork as participants learn climbing terminology, how to back up a belay, foot technique and more.
  • Swim Lessons for all ages. Summer is right around the corner. Are you and your family ready? Start young in one of our infant or toddler swim classes and build your child’s confidence in and around water.

Visit to register online or stop by the Y’s Welcome Center at 276 Church Street, Newton.

School Holiday Programs on March 30th

The West Suburban YMCA is offering full day and half day program options on Good Friday.

  • Child Care Department – A well-rounded program that includes time for floor games, arts and crafts, snack, lunch and the option to swim. For more information or to sign up for this program, contact Director of Youth and Teen Programs, Jeremy Smith, at 617-244-6050 x3068.
  • Sports Department – For kids who like to be active and moving all day, sign up for the Y’s Good Friday Sports Program. Activities include Soccer, Basketball, Baseball, Floor Hockey, Flag Football, Capture the Flag, Battleship and more. For more information or to sign up for this program, contact Assistant Sports Director, Ray Isales, at 617-244-6050 x3131

Blue Waves Swim Try Outs

The Blue Waves Swim Team at the West Suburban YMCA is a nationally ranked competitive swim team for ages 6-17. All new swimmers looking to join the Blue Waves Swim Team for the Spring/Summer Long Course Season are required to try out. Try outs will be held April 3rd – 5th and swimmers must pre-register for a try out slot ($5 for members / $10 for non-members). Try out registration is available online at or by calling 617-244-6050 x3086.

What’s Happening at the Y – Summer Camps and Programs
Mar 18, 2018 10:50 am | Newton PTO Council

Sign Up for Summer Camps!

All summer long, the West Suburban YMCA keeps kids engaged and safe with camp
programs. They inspire kids to work and play together, creating friendships that can last a
lifetime, and make sure all kids feel welcome and comfortable being themselves.
Registration is currently open for all WSYMCA summer camps! Sign up with a $100 deposit per session.

Day Camps – Weekly sessions, Monday-Friday, 9:00 am – 4:00 pm. Daily Swim lessons are included and extended care is available both in the morning and afternoon.

Camp Chickami is a traditional outdoor camp located in Wayland welcoming boys and girls ages 6-15. Bus transportation is available from the West Suburban YMCA and stops throughout Newton.

Camp Pikati, located at the West Suburban YMCA, welcomes kids between the ages of 3-15
years with a half-day option for our youngest campers (ages 3-4). Pikati campers enjoy weekly themes in the traditional camp program, or they can participate in Pikati Sports Camp.

Overnight Camp – Camp Frank A. Day is located in East Brookfield and welcomes boys and girls ages 7-15. Spanning 52 acres, Camp Frank A. Day has direct lake access with a beachfront, athletic fields, modern cabins, basketball courts, climbing towers and all the
facilities needed to run a fun and safe summer camp.

For more information on summer camps contact, or call 617-244-
6050 x3008.

Summer Sessions from the YCCA (Ages 12 and up)

Summer Sessions is a one-of-a-kind collaborative summer music program where participants write and record their own songs over the course of two weeks.

Participants will build and improve upon the creative skills of songwriting, filming, audio
engineering, video editing, production, and instrumental or vocal performance while creating a complete, professional project featured on Spotify!

Session 1: July 2nd – 13th
Session 2: July 16th – 27th
Session 3: July 30th – August 10th
Session 4: August 13th – 24th

For more information, contact Kevin O’Connell at or 617-244-6050

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 the Membership Department at 617-244-6050 x3653 for financial assistance with membership or program participation.

Congregation Dorshei Tzedek Religious School Open House
Mar 18, 2018 10:44 am | Newton PTO Council

Prospective families are invited to an Open House at a Sunday morning Jewish learning community. Join at 9:30 for z’man rishon, where everyone comes together for a weekly assembly. When the students go to class, there will be time to meet with the school director and hear about the outline of the program. After that, a parent volunteer will take you on a tour of the school so you can see the learning in action. Childcare will be provided upon request.

To sign up to participate, please contact our Director of Congregational Learning, Rabbi Shahar Colt – For more information on the West Newton congregation, please visit

April 29th, 9:30 – 11:30 am
Jewish Community Day School, 57 Stanley Avenue, Watertown

Opera Camp: How to Create an Opera
Mar 17, 2018 02:27 pm | Newton PTO Council

VOICES Boston and Boston Lyric Opera are offering Opera Camp to singers entering 3rd-6th grade in the 2018-2019 school year.

Learn the process of creating an opera and try each step along the way! In the spirit of Boston Lyric Opera’s commitment to new works and BLO Education’s use of the Music! Words! Opera! curriculum, they want to hear youth voices. Through this hands-on opera day camp, facilitated and coached by experienced educators, youth will create an original opera “pitch” to present to BLO staff, including a sample of original music, story, libretto, staging and design concepts. For more information, contact Kalee at

Cost: $600 per student. $100 deposit to register
Registration Deadline: May 1st
Register by following this link:

Camp dates July 30th – August 3rd, 9:30 am – 4:30 pm

Ride for Food 2018!
Mar 17, 2018 12:20 pm | Newton PTO Council

Join the Newton Food Pantry team participating in the Ride for Food! On September 23rd, their first ever team will be participating in this annual ride that supports food pantries, community farms and food rescue organizations and they need your help.

Why ride?

The NFP numbers demonstrate the need. They serve over 750 Newton residents each month and that number has been rising. There has been a 16% rise in the average number of households served in 2017.

Total Bags Distributed in 2017 = 16,381 (37% increase). $10,000+ matters. As an independent fully volunteer-run organization, every chance to raise significant amounts of money matters. Expand our community. Develop new friendships and deepen your own commitment to this effort to respond to food insecurity in our city.

How can you help?

  • By joining the team!
  • By volunteering to help with the ride.
  • By donating to NFP team members!

How do you sign up?

Sign up by contacting Lisa Tieszen at or 617-875-9047.

Contact Us


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

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The information provided in Newton Community Notes is sent as a service to the Bigelow Community. Publication of an item as part of the Community Notes does not reflect an endorsement for what is offered. These items are not vetted, and it is the reader’s responsibility to check references and verify legitimacy. All information presented is deemed accurate at the time of posting and is subject to change.