Category Archives: From the PTO

2022-2023 Staff Cuts Update

For the 2022-2023 school year, Bigelow is expecting the following cuts due to decreased enrollment: 

  • 2.0 Grade 6 teachers
  • 0.5 PE teachers
  • 1.0 Literacy Lab teacher
  • 0.25 Fine arts teacher (position is being combined with other existing fine arts FTE)
  • 0.35 World Language Teacher

 In addition to the reductions above, Bigelow has never had a math interventionist or specialist to help support our students who need extra math support, a position the teachers have been advocating to receive for years. This is such an inequity considering the other three middle schools have been able to establish some form of a math interventionist/math lab teacher for a few years now. 

The cuts happening for the 2022-2023 school year will continue to have an impact on student learning in the subsequent years at Bigelow. Bigelow enrollment decline is larger than at any of the other middle schools (see table of project enrollment for Newton Public Schools for FY2022 – FY2027 below). Bigelow may be the smallest of the four middle schools, but we have mighty needs. These needs of our students are currently not being met and cutting positions and funding will only put our students at larger risk for falling behind socially, emotionally and academically. 

We are asking members of the community to write emails and make phone calls to the school committee, city counselors, the mayor and the superintendent to start the process of redistricting so that our small school doesn’t become smaller. 

Contact information for:

Silent Disco Party – Friday June 17

Music! Headphones! Friends! Fun! Come one, come all to Bigelow FIRST Silent Disco Headphone Party on Friday, 6/17, afterschool until 4:15pm. Students will have the option to select which genre of music they listen to through their headphones, and can enjoy a fun & creative experience.

For $10, students will receive event admission, headphones, and snacks. Tickets are now on sale at the Bigelow Front Office during lunch.

Yearbook Ordering Details

Deadline: Friday, May 27th

Price: $ 25

Option # 1: We encourage ordering online!

Order online:  Bigelow’s ID Code: 1945922 

Not sure if you’ve already ordered?  Click here to view your order history for the 2021-2022 school year.

Option # 2: If you cannot order online you can bring a check or cash to the school.

Check payable to: Bigelow Middle School

Memo: Student’s First & Last Name, Grade

Checks/cash must be received by May 27th.

COVID Infection Levels and Mask Recommendation

From Newton Public Schools:

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website, Middlesex County, along with most of Massachusetts, is now in the “high” community level for COVID-19. You can access current Newton-specific COVID data on the Newton HHS website:

City of Newton COVID Case Data

Newton Public Schools COVID Case Data

Given the increase in cases in our community, the Newton Public Schools STRONGLY recommends students and staff wear a mask. A well-fitting mask is very effective in reducing the transmission of COVID.

For reference, when a community level is “high,” the CDC recommends the following:

  • Wear a well-fitting mask indoors in public, regardless of vaccination status (including in K-12 schools and other indoor community settings).
  • Stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccines and boosters.
  • Follow CDC recommendations for isolation and quarantine, including getting tested if you are exposed to COVID-19 or have symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Maintain improved ventilation throughout indoor spaces when possible.
  • If you are at high risk for severe illness, consider taking additional precautions.

Newton Public Schools will continue to notify families of COVID cases using our regular frequency of notification (based upon grade levels.) Families should use this data to assess their own level of risk based upon their family’s circumstances.

COVID Testing

  • You can still opt-in to the at-home COVID rapid antigen testing program. Opt-in through your Aspen parent/guardian account: Aspen. Follow these instructions once you are logged in.

Isolation and Quarantine Reminders

  • If you test positive for COVID, you must isolate for a minimum of 5 days after symptom onset (or a positive test if asymptomatic). Return to school is based on time and symptom resolution. Individuals must wear a well-fitting mask on days 6-10 at all times following a COVID infection, unless eating, drinking, or outside.
  • The CDC and MA DPH state that individuals exposed to a positive COVID case should mask for 10 days following exposure, REGARDLESS OF VACCINATION STATUS. A rapid antigen or PCR test on Day 5 is recommended.

Volunteers needed for 2022-23 School Year

Bigelow PTO depends on the generosity and energy of parent/guardian volunteers to help keep our community informed, connected, and strong. Can you help? Please consider the excellent opportunities below!  

Have questions or want to volunteer? Please contact

  • Communications/Website – OPEN. The volunteer manages the PTO email, updates the PTO website (WordPress) and sends newsletters (Mailchimp). Training can be done in May-June for a smooth transition.
  • Auction Committee Co-Chairs – Julie Landesman & OPEN. Training is possible anytime in June.
  • Creative Arts & Sciences – OPEN
  • Back to School Picnic – OPEN
  • 6th Grade Potluck – OPEN
  • 8th Grade Activities – OPEN
  • Teacher Appreciation – Ron Farrar & Suriya Ziblatt
  • Scholarship Fund – OPEN
  • Nominating Committee – OPEN
  • PoPS (Parents of Performing Students) – OPEN (orchestra)

Learn more about the positions here.

Annual SEPAC Awards nominations

Dear All,

The Special Education Parent Advisory Council (SEPAC) is pleased to announce that the annual SEPAC Awards nominations are open from today, May 2 through Tuesday, May 17. Nominees will be notified virtually again this year, and here is how the process works:

  • Families will submit nominations using the Google Nomination Form:
  • Each nominee will receive the text of the nomination in an email
  • The email to each nominee also will include messages of thanks from Mayor Fuller, Superintendent Fleishman, the School Committee, and the SEPAC Board
  • Each nominee will receive a printed award and a small gift that will be dropped off at their school or location in early June
  • We will send each Principal a list of the nominees from their schools

For those new to Newton SEPAC, the annual SEPAC Awards are a way to honor Newton Public Schools (NPS) and Out of District (ODD) staff who have gone the extra mile to support our special education students. Nominees span a wide range of staff, including teachers, aides, BTs, therapists, bus drivers, crossing guards, administrators, other support staff, etc. All nominees receive an award. The SEPAC Awards were held in person pre-pandemic, and will be virtual again in 2022.

Feel free to pass this message onto families who may not be on this Google Group. 

Please contact the SEPAC Board with any questions at:
Thank you so much for your participation!
2021-2022 SEPAC BoardSuzanne Buchko, Jessi Champion, Erin Kelly-Makol, Jenny Klein-Sosa, Helen Scarr, Eliza Spaulding

Newton Serve Day

Thank you to the many volunteers who helped reinvigorate the green areas around Bigelow on Newton Serves day. Bigelow students, Bigelow parents, Newton Covenant Church and community members worked together on a sunny and bright day. Purple and white flowers are now shining all around the school and new baby plants have been placed, Bigelow students will witness them grow bigger over the years.

It was a fun day!
Thank you,

Sarah and Giulia

Bigelow Drama presents… Alice in Wonderland!

Tickets are on sale for Bigelow’s first spring musical in over 3 years, Alice in Wonderland! Performances are THIS WEEK:

  • Thursday May 12, 7pm
  • Friday May 13, 7pm
  • Saturday May 14, 3pm and 7pm

The show runs about 90 minutes and is suitable for all ages. Bring your whole family! Tickets for students will be on sale at lunches all this week. Question? Email Olivia Moriarty at

Bigelow Big Night Auction

Thank you again to all of you who played a part in our spring fundraiser! Please connect with Alexia  Giannakopoulos ( for your winnings if you have not yet done so.

Those generous parents looking to connect with teachers for those teacher donated items will be hearing from Mrs. Raso this week.

Any other questions or concerns, please reach out to Auctria with any further questions.