Author Archives: Newton PTO Council

Underwood Spring Online Auction

The Underwood Elementary School PTO is holding a HUGE auction fundraiser with fantastic items donated by many local organizations. You’ll find auction items from restaurants, retailers, gyms, spas and salons, hotels, classes, activity providers, museums, theaters, and much more! There’s something for all ages, interests and budget.


April 4th, 8:00 am – April 9th, 9:00 pm
Auction Link:

Zervas Online Auction

Grab a great deal at the Zervas Online Auction!

Need a night out? Bid on a gift card to Grill 23, The Beehive or the Cambridge Brewing Company.

Want to fulfill your goal to exercise more in 2018? Scoop up some classes at Barry’s Boot Camp, Pure Barre or Soul Cycle.

How about a summer camp for the kids? Check out the offerings for LINX camps, Camp Chickami or Dexter Southfield summer camps, among many others.

Grab a great deal, and support your local Newton Zervas Elementary School! Opening March 5th and running through March 12th, check out the amazing offerings at

Best viewed on desktop, laptop or tablet but if viewing on a phone, click on “View standard version of site” on the bottom for a more user-friendly browsing experience and fun pics!

Newton CPC Public Hearing

The main agenda item for the next CPC meeting is a PUBLIC HEARING on proposed revisions to the funding guidelines in Newton’s Community Preservation Plan, including:

  • the percentage of funding targeted for each CPA-eligible resource (affordable housing, historic resources, open space/outdoor recreation land)
  • principles for prioritizing projects that are CPA-appropriate as well as CPA-eligible
  • expectations for matching, non-CPA funds in different project categories

The proposed revisions have been online since November 2017 from the program’s home web page,, and from its Guidelines & Forms page. If you wish to comment on these guidelines but cannot attend the hearing, please contact Alice Ingerson at or 617.796.1144.

March 13th, 7:00 pm
City Hall Room 211

Private Art Lessons

Personal, in-home art lessons that are unique to your child, based on exactly what they want to learn! For ages K-12. $50.00/hour
Lessons range from:

  • Painting – abstract and observational, techniques and concepts acrylics, oils, watercolors, ink
  • Drawing – figure drawing, still life, experimental
  • Multimedia – paper, bookmaking, collage, stamp carving and printing
  • Sculpture – clay, fiber, embroidery, metals, lost wax casting, jewelry, wire working, resin encasing
  • Crafts – sustainable/recycled art, weaving, stenciling, flower pressing and casting, candle making
  • Art History – discussions about artists and movements to help expand students’ understanding of their own work

Students will produce a body of work they are proud of and will have opportunities to show and present work, create artist statements and become confident in their artwork.  Lessons and projects grow and change depending on each student and their own ideas and exploration at Stephanie Rae Private Art Lessons, LLC.

For photos of student work and more info about Stephanie, please visit Contact Stephanie at


Mediagirls, an eight-week program for 6th-8th grade girls, will run at the Brookline Teen Center. Participants learn to challenge pop-culture messages aimed at girls; engage in thoughtful discussions about current media trends, make new friends in Brookline, and write inspiring content for girls using social media.

Space is limited to 12, so sign up quickly. Visit to learn more and register.

Wednesdays,  3:30 – 5:00 pm, starting March 21st

Girls Leadership and Empowerment Opportunity

Girls Take Charge is a hands on leadership and empowerment program to help girls to become stronger self-advocates and values based team leaders. In the past 11 years this national award winning program has inspired and educated over 6,000 girls.

Girls Take Charge will take place at Simmons College this summer! Girls Take Charge is open to girls who are current 6th – 8th graders.

More information can be found at and on this flyer.

Spanish Tutor

Tutor available for all levels, all language skills: grammar, writing, reading
comprehension, study of Spanish language literature. Why struggle? Enjoy learning Spanish!  Contact Libby Sands at or 617- 256-4780.

  • Fluent in Spanish
  • Several years teaching experience
  • Massachusetts licensed/certified
  • BA Latin American Studies: Brown University
  • MA Teaching: Boston College
  • CAES School Leadership/Administration: Boston College
  • Flexible scheduling in Newton

Letter from the Superintendent

Dear Newton Community,

I write to you with great sadness as our nation faces yet another tragedy in our school buildings. Our hearts go out to our fellow educators and all the students and families in Parkland, Florida. It is incomprehensible that these tragedies continue to occur and an important reminder that we must be prepared.

The Newton Public Schools have many systems in place to ensure that our schools are safe. Research demonstrates that some of the most important safety work we do is the support of the social and emotional health of our students. We know that it is most important for students to feel connected to their school community and supported by their peers, teachers, and other trusted adults. When we create connections and support, faculty and staff can more effectively address student needs or concerns when they arise. Some of the social and emotional initiatives we have in place include:

  • Signs of Suicide (SOS) curriculum and screenings of 7th, 9th, and 11th grade students
  • School connectedness surveys now conducted regularly at all levels
  • Responsive school/home and other social/emotional support programs
  • Anti-bullying programs and reporting system
  • Mental health professionals, including psychologists, counselors, or social workers in all buildings
  • Close partnerships with City of Newton Health and Human Services department and outside agencies

In addition to the social and emotional efforts, we do have robust safety and security systems and protocols in place to create secure buildings. We work very closely with our city partners on prevention, preparedness and response to a wide range of scenarios. In addition, we are currently working with an outside security expert to revise all our emergency protocols, which are aligned with current best practices in school safety and Massachusetts state guidelines. We expect these new protocols to be finalized this spring and implemented next fall.

The following is a list of some (not all) of the current systems we have in place in our district and our schools:

  • District-wide safety team that meets regularly to review, assess, and modify safety and crisis response protocols and procedures. The team is comprised of district, mental health, fire, police, and health department personnel
  • Building-based crisis teams focused on crisis prevention, preparedness and response at the school level
  • Close partnership with police and fire departments to ensure rapid and coordinated emergency response
  • Regular practice of emergency procedures, including lockdowns and shelter-in-place protocols
  • Emergency radios in all schools with direct connection to first responders

In light of the Florida tragedy, all of our district and building-based teams will be thoroughly reviewing safety procedures at their next meeting. In addition, Newton North and Newton South are identifying ways in which they can make security enhancements. We engage in this work knowing that these buildings were designed to be open campus environments in accordance with our educational philosophy. In doing so, we will be looking at procedures used at our neighboring high schools that also maintain an open campus.

We will continue to be vigilant in implementing our social and emotional support programs as well as reviewing and modifying our safety and security procedures and protocols. It is important that we partner with you in this endeavor and ask that if you see anything that is a safety concern, please do not hesitate to contact a teacher, counselor, or administrator.

Thank you for your understanding and support during these troubling times.

David Fleishman

The buzz is…the Newton Spelling Bee is back!

The fun and educational Spelling Bee for Newton elementary school children in grades 1 – 5 is back for its 11th year! If you haven’t already signed up, there are five dates for the Bees, with multiple grade sessions on each day, March 26th, 27th, April 2nd, 3rd & 9th.

Each grade session is a separate Bee with a first and second place prize donated by Learning Express. Every speller receives a goody bag to celebrate their hard work. There are just a few spots left! Please register on line at Cost is $10.00 per entry.