Author Archives: Bigelow PTO

Last chance to complete the Wellesley Social Media Parent Survey

Wellesley College needs more parents to participate in the Social Media Parent Survey they are conducting to study social media behavior among middle schoolers. The survey should take 20-30 minutes to complete, and all respondents are entered into a raffle for Amazon gift cards. Plus, Wellesley College will give a $1 donation to the PTO for each parent who takes the survey.

Please, complete the survey by Friday, January 5, 2018.

The link to the survey is here.

Here is a link to the letter from them with more information about this parent survey.

Thanks for your help with this important project — Bigelow is eager to learn more about how best to help young people manage social media, and parent participation is key. More about the survey here.


Nursing notes: e-cigarettes

From Sue Schy, Bigelow School Nurse

They’re disguised to look like a permanent marker or a flash drive. They come in flavors like mango, vanilla cupcake, strawberry margarita and pina colada. They’re electronic cigarettes – also known as e-cigarettes, vape pens, e-hookah, e-juice, e-smoke and more. Using them is vaping, “juuling,” or e-smoking.

We want students and families to have the information they need to talk about preventing and stopping this unhealthy behavior. A 2016 report from the U.S. Surgeon General says:

  • E-cigarettes contain harmful ingredients including nicotine, which can cause addiction and can harm the developing brain.
  • The effects of nicotine exposure during youth and young adulthood can be long-lasting and can include lower impulse control and mood disorders.
  • The nicotine in e-cigarettes and other tobacco products can prime young brains for addiction to other drugs, such as cocaine and methamphetamine.
  • Even e-cigarettes that don’t contain nicotine can be harmful because the vapor contains flavorings such as diacetyl, a chemical linked to serious lung disease; volatile organic compounds such as benzene, which is found in car exhaust; and heavy metals.

In Newton, a city ordinance passed in 2014 prohibited use of e-cigarettes anywhere the state’s workplace smoking law applies – restaurants, businesses and schools. The ordinance also prohibits Newton retailers from selling flavored products, and requires individuals buying cigarettes and e-cigarettes to be at least 21 years old. We know young people sometimes get these products from older friends or family members, or order them online.

You may have seen or heard that the Newton high school principals sent a letter to families about e-cigarettes. If you missed it, it’s posted on the School Health website, along with other helpful information about talking with kids about e-cigarettes:

Information adapted from and

Big Night 2018: planning has started

Please consider participating in the planning of the Big Night, the Bigelow PTO’s biggest social and fundraising event of the year. We need all the help we can get from our amazing community to make our Big Night 2018 a big success!

The first planning committee meeting of 2018 will take place on Monday, January 8th.

We will be discussing ways parents can help and volunteer, how to get silent auction items donations, and food donations for the evening.

Please contact committee chairperson, Meredith Andrews, at  or if you would like to be involved. Thank you in advance for your support of this event.

And be on the lookout in the new year for the Big Night 2018: Bigelow-on-the-Charles packet. This will have information about the fun night the planning committee is organizing for the Bigelow (adult) community. Included will be information about tickets, silent auction donations and more.

The PTO Board is very grateful to Meredith Andrews for chairing the event this year!

Newton Free Library Gift List

From Patty Summa, Bigelow Librarian

Dear Parents,

Below is a link to the Newton Free Library Gift List that was created for students and families interested in purchasing books during this holiday season. The link brings user to the Bigelow Library page with all the books and their summaries. Please feel free to share with all the Bigelow families.

Link to the Newton Free Library Gift List

Thank you!

Patty Summa
Bigelow Librarian

Thanks to your support, we raised for the school!

Thank you to all that had dinner at New Ginza on November 22nd. The Bigelow Community came out in full force and it was a busy night at the restaurant. Almost $400 was raised for the PTO!
And thanks to the big turn out at the Warrior’s rink, we had 150 Bigelow people and made $750.
All the money raised for the PTO goes towards the school and our students. Please see here.

Geography Bee 2018

The Geography Bee is coming soon. All students will take the qualifying quiz in homebase next Wednesday, December 20.  The top students on this qualifying quiz may then take another quiz to determine the finalists for the school championship, which will be on Jan. 30.

Thank you to all that came out for the First Bigelow Skate Night!

We had an enormous turnout! In fact it was the Warrior Ice Arena’s busiest Rock-n-Skate night ever!
Great fun was had by skaters and families in the beautiful, new skating arena. Kudos to all the first timers on the ice! Families – thank you for your patience for those that got stuck in the long line. Thank you to Principal Harrison, Mr. Yerardi, Mr. Eckstrom, Mr. Brown and Mr. Trunk for joining us on the ice!

Wellesley Social Media Parent Survey

Message from the Principal

Dear Parents,

As part of our partnership with Wellesley College this fall to study the use of social media by middle school students, the researchers from Wellesley College have developed a survey for parents on this topic.  If you haven’t already done so, we encourage you participate in this survey.

Here is a link to the letter from them with more information about this parent survey.

The survey should take 20-30 minutes to complete, and all respondents are entered into a raffle for Amazon gift cards.  The link to the survey is here.

As mentioned in their attached letter, the researchers are interested in learning more about how parents manage their child’s use of social technology, such as smartphones, instagram, and online games, as well as your own use of these resources. Even if your child does not use social media yet, they would like to hear from you. Because they are seeking to understand how social media use is related to psychosocial and physical health, the survey also includes questions about your child’s behaviors, such as sleep, dating and sexuality, drug use, etc.  The survey asks for your child’s name so that they can link your responses with your child’s, but all information is kept confidential.

Thanks for your help with this important project–we are eager to learn more about how best to help young people manage this powerful phenomena!

Link to the survey: