Category Archives: Community Notes

Burr Online Auction

The Burr Elementary School online auction runs from January 19th at 9:00 pm to  January 26th at 9:00 pm.

Check out the auction to bid on great camps, restaurants, gift certificates, an African Safari, Disney parkhopper tickets, and many, many more amazing items! Thank you for your support of Burr School!

Troop for Girls within the Boy Scouts Information session

Starting in February of 2019, the iconic program of the Boy Scouts of America will be welcoming young women ages 11-17. For 100+ years the BSA program has focused on providing youth with opportunities for adventure, leadership training, service to communities and personal growth. Please come to learn more and get involved. Questions? Contact Barb Bower at

Scouts BSA TROOP FOR GIRLS Information Session
January 27th, 7:00 – 8:00 pm
Union Church of Waban, 14 Collins Road

Free Yoga and Mindfulness for Kids and Tweens in January

Looking for a winter activity for you child or pre-teen? Try a Yoga and Mindfulness Class this month, all January classes are open to try for free for new students.

Wednesdays with Tracy Affonso – now through February 27th
K – 2: 3:30 – 4:15 pm
Grades 3 – 5: 4:30 – 5:30 pm

Thursdays with Amy Hrobak – now through February 27
Grades 6 – 8: 4:00 – 5:00 pm

For questions please email Liz Padula at Register at

Artemis Yoga, 639 Mt. Auburn Street, Watertown

About Kids love learning yoga. From stretching in poses to relaxing with soft bolsters, they simply enjoy how yoga makes them feel. Adding in a bit of mindfulness with breath work and self-care, this class is a wonderful option for today’s busy kids. Tailored by the age group, these classes are led by two experienced educators and yoga teachers, Tracy Affonso who taught in Newton Public School for many years as a beloved teacher at Bowen and Amy Hrobak who is a licensed clinical social worker, has worked as a Middle School Counselor for many years and has as a special focus on adolescence in her private practice.

Little League Registration open

Registration for the 2019 Newton Little League Spring Season is now available on the league’s website Newton Little League serves players who reside within or attend private or public schools within the boundaries of Ward, Underwood, Lincoln-Eliot, Horace Mann, Peirce, Cabot, Burr, Franklin, Williams elementary schools, and provides programs for players ages 4 through 12.

Programs for younger players are based on school grade, and teams are put together based on elementary school and friend requests: T-Ball (Pre-K), Rookie (Kindergarten), Farm (grade 1) and Single A (grade 2). In the programs for older players, teams are put together with more of a focus on competitive balance: AA (grades 3-4), AAA (grades 4-6) and Majors (ages 10-12). There is also a Challenger division for students with special needs who wish to enjoy the game of baseball. All players interested in playing in the 2019 AAA division must attend an evaluation session and complete registration prior to the evaluation date. AAA evaluations will be held on  January 26th. This event will also serve as the Majors Division makeup evaluation for players who were unable to attend tryouts in the fall. AA evaluations will be held on  February 2nd. The location for both events is the Newton North High School SOA.

Please contact with any questions.

Laura Holt – Holt College Advisor

Looking for help with the college admissions process? Not sure where to visit or apply? Need assistance drafting essays or preparing compelling applications? Laura can help! She offers a decade of admissions experience and enjoys partnering with students (and their parents) to find best fit schools.

Please contact Laura at or 617-335-7345 for a free consultation. For information, visit

Writing tutor available

Emerson College senior offering essay and creative writing review/proofreading/writing assistance for middle and high school students. Based out of Boston and Newton. National Merit Semi-Finalist, proficient in English writing, grammar, and sentence structure. Emerson College GPA 3.85. Winner of 2016 and 2018 one act plays in the Emerson New Fest New Works Festival.

Contact Samuel Fidler via email at or cell phone at 617-515-7689.  Reasonable rates beginning at $25 .00/ hour.

Writing classes available

Advantage Writing provides rigorous writing instruction with honest feedback in a laid-back, red-pen-free environment. The workshops are designed to help middle and high school students build skills to communicate effectively and elegantly in writing. Their workshops demystify the basics of writing and guide students through practical strategies that will take their writing to the next level.

The Basics class focuses on key elements of effective expository prose: thesis construction and development, structuring and supporting an argument, crafting purposeful introductions and conclusions, and writing strong topic sentences. The Grammar & Vocabulary class focuses on the nuts and bolts of writing: active and passive verbs, subject and verb agreement, punctuation basics (comma versus semicolon versus colon), and pronoun use.

Advantage Writing welcomes all levels of writers and are committed to working with students at any stage in their writing process. More information, including instructor bios, can be found on the website. Check out the flyer here: Flyer

For any and all questions please email or call 617-680-7337.

Check out JCC Summer camps

Spend the summer with JCC Greater Boston! Whether you love to sing and dance at Camp Kaleidoscope, learn important swimming skills at Camp Grossman, sleep under the stars at Camp Kingswood or hone your skills at Specialty Camps – an exciting summer awaits. Enjoy an unforgettable summer with JCC Greater Boston filled with land & water sports, outdoor adventures, visual arts, performing arts and Jewish culture. Can’t make it? Register online using the brand new portal. Learn more at

Open House on February 3rd, 2:00 – 4:00 pm at the Leventhal-Sidman Center to meet senior staff from all of the camps.

School Committee Update

Dear Friends,

Happy New Year!

This update is for the 1/14/2019 Newton School Committee meeting:

First, Did you know that the School Committee includes terrific student representatives from both high schools?  Please check out the bio for our 2018 – 2019 student representatives.

Superintendent Update

  • Starting in the Fall of 2019, the NPS IT department will be rolling out a Gmail platform to replace the current First Class System used by NPS staff.
  • Oak Hill Middle School has started a Girls Who Code group. So far the group has had a huge turnout with over 50 young women joining mini-lessons on Friday afternoons.

New Business

  • Mary Eich, Assistant Superintendent for Teaching and Learning, was joined by Jennifer Shore, Curriculum Coordinator for K-8 Mathematics, to present an Elementary Math Update.  This included a deep history of math curriculum and a detailed look at the year-long decision making process that led to the adoption of the “Investigations 3” math program in our elementary schools. This historical review was accompanied by a presentation demonstrating how “Investigations 3” works, why it was chosen, and how NPS will be tracking its success.
  • Members of the Equity Committee, including PTO Council Co-President Christine Dutt and School Committee Member Kathy Shields, presented a brief update on the activities of the Equity Committee.  Originally the committee had a goal of presenting a final recommendation to the School Committee about the possibility of pooling some PTO funds by April of 2019.  However, they have requested more time in order to thoroughly collect public feedback.  We will receive an update in April.
  • School Committee member Margaret Albright presented suggested revision to two policies: Public Comment and Naming Schools.  Members of the School Committee suggested further editing.

Consent Agenda

Next Meeting

January 28 at 7:00 p.m.: Elementary Principal Update, Enrollment Planning and Class Size Report, Mid-Year Superintendent Assessment, Mid-Year SC Calendar Review, EDCO Update

We hope you 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 at


The Newton School Committee