Author Archives: Bigelow PTO

Keep up to date with the happenings at Bigelow  

Our primary source of communication with families is through email. Throughout the year we send important information related to PTO events and activities. Our notices and newsletters will provide you with important dates, messages from the Principal, EEE activities/club sign up and other information needed to navigate the school year. You can register as many emails as you would like.

PTO Notes are sent to your email weekly on Sunday evenings with current events and other timely information. The PTO also sends weekly Community Notes every Wednesday as a service to our community. You can always check out our website to find out what is happening at Bigelow and for more information.

Please click here to update your email preferences or sign up to the list.

Summer Message from the Health Office

From the Health Office

Think about taking time this summer to share stories. Do your kids know how their parents met? The story of when they were born? Where their grandparents grew up?

Summertime often means less scheduled days, visits with extended family members and perhaps a family vacation. This time of longer days opens the door to opportunities to tell stories. And telling these stories just may make a difference in your child’s health and well-being.

The Newton school nurses strive to develop skills, programs and ways to better meet the health needs of students. During a program this year, the importance and protective benefit of effective relationships between children and their families emerged as a focus.

The group decided to share the “Do You Know?” (DYK) scale that’s a part of an Emory University study by Marshall Duke, Amber Lazarus and Robyn Fivush that indicates “children who score high on the DYK scale are associated with higher levels of self-esteem, an internal locus of control (belief that an individual can influence events and their outcomes), better family functioning, lower levels of anxiety, fewer behavioral problems, and better chances for good outcomes if faced with educational or emotional/behavioral difficulties.”

The study doesn’t mean that sitting down with your child and rattling off the answers to all these questions is the solution. “It is not knowledge of these specific facts that is important; it is the process of families sharing stories about their lives that is important,” the authors wrote.

In their research, the authors found that often these stories are shared by mothers and grandmothers during family dinners, family vacations and holidays. “Other data indicated that these very same regular family dinners, yearly vacations, and holiday celebrations occur more frequently in families that have high levels of cohesiveness and that they contribute to the development of a strong sense of what we have called the intergenerational self. It is this intergenerational self and the personal strength and moral guidance that seem to derive from it that are associated with increased resilience, better adjustment, and improved chances of good clinical and educational outcomes.”

So the school nurses challenge all families to share a story this summer whether you’re in the car on the way to camp, sitting around a campfire, or gathering for a meal after work. Below are a few more questions to get you started. The full list, and links to articles, is on our website, and perhaps you can think of more stories on your own.

Do you know how your parents met?  Do you know which person in your family of origin you look most like?  Do you know some of the jobs that your parents had when they were young? Do you know the source of your name?

Sue Schy

Article reference: Duke, M.P., Lazarus, A., & Fivush, R. (2008).  Knowledge of family history as a clinically useful index of psychological well-being and prognosis:  A brief report.  Psychotherapy Theory, Research, Practice, Training, 45, 268-272

Calling all 7th and 6th grade parents and friends!

Chaperones needed for 8th grade dance

It is a tradition at Bigelow for 7th grade parents and guardians (6th grade parents are welcome as well) to chaperone the 8th grade year-end dance.

This year the dance will be on Thursday, June 22nd, from 7-10 in the Bigelow Cafeteria.

We have two shifts available (7-8:30 pm and 8:30-10 pm) and need four people per shift. If you are interested in volunteering please sign up here or email Magda Duchnowska at

We have a couple folks already signed up but need more!

Thank you.

Snacks and decorations for 8th Grade festivities

Dear 8th Grade Parents and Guardians,

Next week we will all gather to watch our 8th graders move on from Bigelow and on to high school, and later that evening, the students will gather for the 8th grade dance.

In order to make the day celebratory, we have planned the traditional refreshments after the ceremony, and also there will be refreshments and decorations for the dance.

In the hopes of simplifying this process among the 8th grade families, instead of asking many people to each purchase a small amount, this week the committee has done all of the purchasing of snacks and decorations to make the day festive and fun for the kids. Instead of bringing anything on Thursday, we hope you will consider making a donation for these efforts so that we may share the cost of these activities among the community.

We welcome gifts of all sizes, from $5 and up. Please click here to make a donation, and when you make your gift, please make a note it is for 8th grade graduation.

Also, in preparation for the dance we are soliciting volunteer-parents that can help at 10 pm on June 22th, after the dance has closed, with the clean-up of the Bigelow Gym. Main activities will include removing decorations and getting the Gym ready for regular daily activities (assume less than 1 hour of clean-up needed). Please forward your availability to

With many thanks for helping out! As always, our kids need us! So please sign up for this and/or other activities that will occur around graduation!

Thank you so much for considering a donation! If we don’t see you on Thursday, have a wonderful summer.


8th Grade Graduation Committee

ps – If you have any questions, please e-mail Jessica Gilmartin at

Host families needed for Chinese exchange program

From the Newton Public Schools Global Education Programs

Newton’s Chinese exchange program is urgently in need of host famillies for three high-school aged Chinese exchange students and two adult Chinese exchange teachers this fall. Please help us out! Families of middle school students have hosted before with great success. Students are fifteen years old, have excellent English, and are excited to take part in American family life. They enroll in classes at Newton North or South for the duration of their hosting dates (September 2, 2017 to January 13, 2018). Prior host families have enjoyed the experience and said this is an amazing opportunity to learn about Chinese culture while sharing their own culture and traditions. Please note that federal law prohibits us from offering financial compensation to host families.

If interested, please email Global Programs Manager Samantha Mandel at for more information.

Back-to-School Supply Kit available through June 30th

Back by popular demand! We will be using the convenient services of Staples SchoolKidz, Inc. and their Teacher Tailored® back-to-school supply kit program again this year!

Staples SchoolKidz, Inc. offers brand name items, chosen by the teachers and is exactly what is on your child’s supply list. The brand names include, but are not limited to, Crayola®, Fiskars®, Elmer’s® and Staples®. Best of all, the entire package comes in a reusable personalized kit.

We are offering this program as a service to the students and parents of our school and hope this makes your transition or return to Bigelow Middle School easier. We believe this is a wonderful program for purchasing your child’s exact school supplies and encourage you to take advantage of this offer. Why fight long lines and stress of trying to find every single requested item on your child’s supply list? All of the shopping is done for you!

This program will save you time, allowing more summer vacation time, making “back-to-school time” less hectic and more enjoyable for both students and parents. We believe you will find the pricing to be very reasonable. All kits will be delivered to the school and can be picked up on Tuesday, August 29th – details to follow Due to problems at the warehouse, the kits will be available the first week of school.

Complete supply lists for next year can be found on the Bigelow website if you prefer to purchase them on your own: 

If you have any questions, please email us at

Download attached letter.