In this issue

Parent Forum: Transgender Youth and Gender Identity 
Apr 10, 2018 02:25 pm | Newton PTO Council

April 12th, 7 PM – 8:30 PM, Newton North High School, Little Theater

Do you wonder how to understand and support transgender and/or gender non-conforming youth in our community? Catie Curtis, Program Manager from Greater Boston PFLAG, will kick-off this workshop by discussing the terrain of terminology used to describe the spectrum of gender identities and the challenges faced by transgender people. Next, a panel of transgender individuals and family members of gender-nonconforming youth will share their journeys, the struggles they have faced, the ways their families have been strengthened and the types of support they have found to be most helpful. The panel discussion will conclude with a Q & A with an opportunity to ask questions, clarify common misperceptions, and to reflect on how we can be better allies without judgement or alienation. All are welcome!

Empty Bowls to benefit the Centre Street Food Pantry
Apr 08, 2018 03:21 pm | Newton PTO Council

Help fight hunger in our community by joining us for Empty Bowls. For a $10.00 donation to the Centre Street Food Pantry, guests receive a handmade bowl of their choice, soup, bread and dessert while listening to live local music.

April 13th, 5:00 – 8:00 pm
Lasell College’s Dewitt Hall, 80 Maple Street, Newton

How to talk to your kids about consent
Apr 08, 2018 03:19 pm | Newton PTO Council

Join Boston Globe Spotlight Team journalist Sacha Pfeiffer and panelists Jenn Abelson, Jaclyn Friedman, Casey Corcoran, and Chessy Prout in a discussion about tactics for talking to your kids about consent. For more information, visit This will be an appropriate event for teens.

April 10th, 6:30 pm (doors at 6:00 pm)
CIC Boston, 50 Milk Street, Boston
Lighthouse Room, 20th Floor

SAT Subject Test Prep
Apr 08, 2018 03:14 pm | Newton PTO Council

Let NCE help you prepare for the SAT II Subject Tests in Chemistry and Biology. In the Chemistry Review class you’ll review the major topics covered on the SAT Chemistry subject test, including thermodynamics, electrochemistry, kinetics, equilibrium, and nuclear and organic chemistry, which students may not have encountered in class. Calculators are not permitted for this test, so they’ll incorporate estimation into the test-taking strategies.

In the Biology Review class instructors will distill the major themes taught in the year-long high school class and cover the following topics: basic biochemistry, cell structure and function, cellular transport, energy in living systems, cell reproduction, genetics, evolution, ecology, and major groups of living organisms.

For more information on these classes, and the other college test prep programs in SAT/ACT Prep and college essay writing, visit or call 617-559-6999.

Chemistry Review: four Tuesdays, May 1st – 22nd , 7:00 – 9:00 pm at Newton North Biology Review: four Wednesdays, May 2nd – 23rd, 7:00 – 9:00 pm at Newton South

Navigating the Student-Athlete College Search and Recruiting Process
Apr 08, 2018 03:13 pm | Newton PTO Council

If you’re a student-athlete approaching the college application process, you may be experiencing some stress. The college selection and recruiting process starts much earlier for you and can be complex and time-consuming. Instructor Nick Michael of Odyssey College Search, is here to tell you that there is a college for every student-athlete who wants to earn a college degree while playing his or her favorite sport.

Come to an overview of the college search and recruiting process and learn to successfully navigate the maze of issues facing the student-athlete. Find out what college coaches and admissions officers are looking for, and how to get their attention. You’ll leave with action steps for each year of college. To learn more or to register visit or call 617-559-6999.

Two-session program, May 1st and May 3rd, 7:00 – 9:00 pm
Newton North High School

Two Massachusetts Moms Say No to College Debt for Kids
Apr 08, 2018 03:12 pm | Newton PTO Council

Last summer two friends were chatting about how expensive college tuition is these days and the impending mounds of debt their collective six kids were most likely going to
be faced with.

They decided plan the first ever Massachusetts Strategic Scholarship Bootcamp. Kerry Strollo, mom and event co-organizer said “This is about educating parents that you don’t have to sit idly by and just hope something down the line will work out financially for your kids. This is about early success planning so you (and your kiddos) are not panicked when they are a senior in High School on how they, or you, will afford college. Who knew kids in 7th and 8th grade can start to obtain and stockpile scholarships, and High Schoolers can earn so much they pay for their college education and then receive overpayments for living expenses after college? I didn’t, and we have 4 kids! As soon as I learned this I wanted to shout it from the mountain tops.”  Strollo added, “There are tips, techniques, and a path to finding the scholarships, however it starts with putting together a plan of action. This Bootcamp is designed to help you craft that plan for success.”

Rosette Cataldo, mom and event co-organizer looks at it though a different lens.  “I watch my kids, albeit great students, wasting time every day on the internet, Fort Nite, YouTube, Netflix…you name it. These kids must use their devices and brains for a better purpose.  I want to educate my children on how to make the internet a gold mine that works for them, their future and not just a time suck.”

This event is all about educating local parents and students at the same time and getting them aligned to work together with a plan so that the family isn’t crippled with debt. This investment in your child’s future is $49.00 per person.  Students are encouraged to join their parents. For more info please visit

The Strategic Scholarship Bootcamp will be held:
May 1st, 7:00 – 9:00 pm Marriott Hotel, Newton

Harness the power of social media for positive change
Apr 08, 2018 03:05 pm | Newton PTO Council

Want your middle-schooler using social media in positive, empowering ways?
Here to help is Mediagirls, a nonprofit that teaches middle-school girls how to discover their self-worth and harness the power of media for positive change!

Check out their upcoming #realmediagirl workshop. The 3-hour workshop will be taught by a team of inspiring Boston University students who serve on the MEDIAGIRLS Leadership Council. Participants will learn to think critically about undermining media messages, define their self-worth, and create empowering and positive content for girls using Instagram and other platforms. Space is limited so register quickly at

May 12th, 9:00 am – 12:00 noon
Wellesley Free Library, 530 Washington Street, Wellesley

Book Launch party
Apr 08, 2018 03:00 pm | Newton PTO Council

Please join the book launch party of How To Coach Girls, by Newton moms, Mia Wenjen and Alison Foley. Did you know that 70% of all kids quit organized sports by the age of 13, with girls quitting at 6x the rate of boys?

Alison Foley, Boston College’s Women’s Head Soccer Coach, and Mia Wenjen, parenting blogger at, help coaches — both parent volunteer and professional — crack the code of how to keep girls in sports.

May 11th,  5:00 pm
Artemis Yoga, 639 M. Auburn Street.

Artemis Yoga is owned by Newton mom, Liz Padula.

Happier Now talk
Apr 08, 2018 02:53 pm | Newton PTO Council

Please join a evening with Happier founder and TED Talk speaker, Nataly Kogan. Nataly will share her game-changing strategies and insights on how you can live a happier life. She will talk about her new book, Happier Now, and about her time volunteering at the SEGA girls school in Tanzania, Africa.

Books will be available for purchase at the event. Reception to follow. Presented by Nurturing Minds, Purchase tickets at the event website For email inquiries please contact

May 15th,  7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Mosesian Center for the Arts, 321 Arsenal Street, Watertown

Preschool registration open
Apr 08, 2018 02:47 pm | Newton PTO Council

The Rockwell Preschool at Lasell College is currently accepting applications for the 2018-19 school year. Rockwell has a half-day morning preschool and transition kindergarten and will be offering a full day, full year program as well as flexible extended day hours until 6:00 starting in September, 2018.

Conveniently located on the Lasell College campus near the junction of routes 16 and 30 at 70 Studio Road, Auburndale. Please contact Kathleen Rudnicki at 617-243-2355 or for more information or to schedule a tour.

College Consultant available
Apr 08, 2018 02:46 pm | Newton PTO Council

Are you thinking about the college admission process but don’t know where to begin?

Are you feeling overwhelmed by all of the complex (and sometimes conflicting) information on college admission?

Are you wishing your family wasn’t fighting over college application issues?

If you answered “Yes!” to any of these questions, an independent, comprehensive college consultant can help. Maruta Vitols guides families through every aspect of the college admission application process, from thinking about possible careers/majors to creating a college list to comparing award letters. She’s uniqely qualified, having experienced elite college admissions from the perspectives of faculty, staff, and student. Maruta is also a graduate of Newton South (Class of 1994), and a lifelong resident of Newton.

Check out for more information, and contact her at to schedule a free consultation. 🙂 Maruta Z. Vitols, Ph.D.

School Committee Update
Apr 05, 2018 10:36 am | Newton PTO Council

Dear Friends,

This update is for the 03/26/2018 and 04/02/2018 Newton School Committee meetings, as well as additional information about recent program open houses:

1). At both 3/26 and 4/2 meetings, the main topic was the 2018-2019 proposed budget. The question and answer periods were relatively short as we had covered quite a bit of ground at our previous budget meetings (see previous newsletters). The meeting ended with a unanimous straw vote supporting the budget proposal.

2). At the 3/26 meeting we discussed a draft revision of the policy: Alcohol, Tobacco and Drug Use for Students. The impetus for the new draft was the new requirement for SBIRT (Screening, Brief Intervention, Referral to Treatment) screening. SBIRT is an evidence-based practice used to identify, reduce, and prevent problematic use, abuse, and dependence on alcohol and illicit drugs This is a verbal screening for students in grades 7 and 9. A number of revisions were suggested and a final draft will be proposed at an upcoming meeting.

3). School Committee Members were invited to a open houses at Central High School located at 100 Walnut Street and the Harbor Program on the campus of Newton South High School. The facilities for both programs are in renovated spaces as of September 2018. Directors and faculty of both programs discussed how the renovated spaces have made a positive impact on addressing student needs. Central High School, as described by the NPS website, is a small, highly structured, therapeutic setting with a behavior management system built into the school day. The Harbor Program, previously known as the High School Stabilization Program, is a short term program for students in crisis. This program allows students to continue their courses of study with additional clinical supports.

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 very happy to answer any questions or discuss any concerns you may have. Please feel free to contact us via the email address below.


Newton School Committee


Contact Us


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

Add us to your address book

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.