Category Archives: From the PTO

Last Bigelow Notes of 2020/2021

Dear Bigelow families,

In our last Bigelow Notes of the 2020/2021 school year, we would like to thank all of you for your tremendous support and generosity over this past year. During a most tricky year, we were still able to host events and meetings to bring together our wonderful community. A special thank you to all our volunteers who worked tirelessly to make sure that PTO sponsored events were successful. In particular, we would like to thank the following parents:

Megan Flynn (School Directory), Caryn Izhar (Creative Arts & Sciences), Gabriela Kroszynski (6th Grade Potluck and 8th Grade Activities), Alexia Giannakopoulos (Big Night), Julie Landesman (Big Night and Bigelow FORJ), Ruth Somers (Big Night), Susan St. Pierre, Karen Yee and Charlene Gillespie (Teacher Appreciation), Krista Chavez (PoPS), Danielle Ahite-De Medeiros, Davena Jackson, Madeline McNeely, Margo Michaels,  Ruth Hertzman-Miller, Becca Schulman Havemeyer (Bigelow FORJ), Sarah Hirzel (Safe Routes to School ), Joana Canedo (Safe Routes to School, Green Newton School Connections & Communications/Website) and Gwen Hautefeuille (Communications/Website)

We wish you the very best for a very restful and happy summer, and hope you come back to Bigelow with batteries recharged! Next year is full of promise and opportunity, and we hope you will get involved in the PTO to support our kids and community! Look for information over the summer for upcoming events and ways to be a part of the PTO. For those of you leaving Bigelow, we wish you all the best and hope our paths cross at Newton North.

And we wish much success to the incoming PTO Board: Gabriela Kroszynski (President), May Chen (Vice President), Linda Gillespie (Treasurer) and Sukanya Ghosh (Secretary).

Thank you again and Happy Summer!

Karen Markson and the PTO Board

A Bulldog Sendoff for Todd Harrison

This past Tuesday night the PTO held a farewell celebration for Mr. Harrison, who is retiring after 25 years of extraordinary and tireless service to the Bigelow community. Over 150 people, parents and students alike, came by to wish Mr. Harrison well.

We shared with Mr. Harrison our gift of the “Todd Harrison Bigelow Cares” fund, seeded with $5,000, from both the PTO and a family donation. This fund will go towards helping Bigelow students and families who are in need, and will honor Mr. Harrison’s commitment and belief that all students deserve the same wonderful middle school experience.

Thank you again, Mr. Harrison, for being a devoted and caring principal. You will be very missed!

Bigelow Summer Reading: From the Desk of Zoe Washington by Janae Marks

Bigelow will read From the Desk of Zoe Washington by Janae Marks this summer as our One School, One Book community read. To learn more about the book, a playlist of songs from the book, a fun recipe, and other interesting things related to the book and author, go to the Bigelow Library One School, One Book Page. All grades will complete a summer reading handout that will be used in advisory when we return in the fall. It can be printed out and completed by hand or copied and completed as a google document. This handout can also be found on the One School, One Book Page. All current 6th and 7th graders received their books in advisory last week and current 5th graders will receive theirs on Monday. Stay tuned for more information later this summer about this program!

Bus Registration

From Newton Public Schools:

The online bus registration portal is now OPEN. It will be open until Saturday, July 31st.

You MUST register by July 31st to secure your student’s seat on the bus. Similar to this year, students will receive bus seat assignments and will be required to have a bus pass in order to ride the bus.


  • Registration for a bus pass will be online ONLY (just like this past year.)
  • NPS uses MySchoolBucks as its online registration portal.
  • You can access registration directly via MySchoolBucks at: You will be asked to log into your account or create a new account.
  • You will find additional registration information here:
  • Paper packets WILL NOT be mailed in the summer.


  • June 16th – July 31st – bus registration portal is open 
  • August 1st – registration portal will close to review bus registrations and make seat assignments.
  • August 30th – Bus passes are available to print via the Aspen portal.


  • To determine your bus fee, please visit this webpage:
  • You will be able to pay the bus fee in installments over the course of the year using e-check, Visa, Mastercard, and Discover.
  • You may apply for financial assistance via this Google Form
  • Please note that the School Committee voted to remove all credit card transaction fees for families.

Bus Pass Access

  • In late August, you will access your bus pass electronically through Aspen so that it can be printed at home or stored on a smartphone (for secondary students.)
  • Bus passes will include a seat assignment for morning and a seat assignment for afternoon. Please note that these seat assignments may be different for the morning and the afternoon.
  • All students must have a bus pass and seat assignment to ride the bus.

Summer Reminders from the School Nurse

A message from Sue Schy, RN, MSN, Bigelow School Nurse

This has been a challenging year for everyone. Hopefully you and your family can take time this summer to relax and rejuvenate.

Here are a few health reminders:

  • COVID-19 Vaccine: The Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is authorized for people ages 12 and up. People 18 and older can get any currently authorized COVID-19 vaccine. You can find an available appointment at You can find more information about COVID-19 vaccines here.
  • COVID-19 Safety: Although most COVID-19-related restrictions have been lifted in the state of MA, some restrictions are still in place. Be sure to pay attention to the current COVID-19 mask requirements and travel recommendations. Individual businesses may also have their own COVID-19 measures in place. You should still watch out for symptoms of COVID-19, especially if you’ve been around someone who is sick. If you have symptoms of COVID-19, you should get tested and stay home and away from others.
  • Medication Pick-up: Parents of students who have medication stored in the health room should pick it up by the last day of school, June 22. All medication (pills, epi-pens, inhalers, etc.) not picked up will be discarded. Please plan to pick medication up so it is not wasted! Medication may not be carried home by the student — it must be picked up by an adult. School nurses will not be available after June 22 to return medication to families.
  • Medication Order Reminder: All medication orders expire at the end of the school year. If you are visiting your child’s health care provider during the summer, consider requesting a new medication order for your child. All medication, prescription or over the counter, requires an order by a health care provider. The Medication Permission Form and the Medication Policy are both available online at
  • West Nile Virus, Eastern Equine Encephalitis, and Lyme Disease Prevention:Take steps to avoid getting sick!

– Mosquito repellant not only works for mosquitoes but helps repel ticks as well. Use a repellant with DEET and follow label instructions for concentrations appropriate for children.
– Avoid being outdoors during peak mosquito hours, particularly once West Nile Virus has been detected in the mosquito population.
– Remove containers around your home (tires, kid pools, pots, tarps) that could allow mosquitoes to breed.
– Check your body for ticks after being outdoors and remove them immediately to avoid disease transmission.

  • Shoo the flu! Influenza Vaccination
    Newton HHS has not yet finalized school-based flu clinic plans for Fall 2021 due to the pandemic. Families should take advantage of any opportunity they have to get their child a flu vaccine. Information about possible school-located flu clinics for the fall will be communicated once plans are confirmed.

Have a happy and healthy summer!

Join us in celebrating Todd Harrison’s retirement on June 22

Dear Bigelow Families,

The PTO would like to invite you to an open house on Tuesday, June 22, 7-9 pm, at the home of Karen and Larry Markson, to celebrate our wonderful and beloved principal, Todd Harrison, who is retiring this year after 25 years at Bigelow. This will be a casual event open to you and your families so that you can come by and say thank you to Mr. Harrison for his years of dedication and devotion to the Bigelow community.

Feel free to stop by for as much time as you would like, whether it’s 10 minutes or the whole time! Light refreshments will be served and we will present our PTO gift to him.

The Markson home is at 150 Hunnewell Ave, Newton, MA 02458.

We hope you can join us!

The Bigelow PTO

Class of 2021 Celebrations on Monday 21

We hope ALL 8th graders and families will join the celebrations for the Class of 2021!!! They sure deserve it!

  • Step Up Day: Wednesday, June 16. More information here
  • Class of 2021 “moving on” ceremony: Monday, June 21, outdoors in Burr Park.The tentative time of the ceremony is 9:00-10:15am. More information here.
  • Afternoon Activities: Monday, June 21,  12:30-2:50pm. An afternoon of indoor and outdoor activities, such as yearbook signing, an 8E vs 8F “Turkey Bowl” flag football game, ping pong on the new tables purchased as a class gift by the PTO, and more.
  • Cruise Celebration for Students: Monday, June 21 Boston Harbor on the Odyssey, from 6-9 pm. The PTO is organizing a special outing for 8th graders on a Boston Harbor cruise boat to cap off this special day. Dinner will be served and a DJ will provide music. Transportation to and from the wharf is parents’ responsibility; carpools are encouraged. 
    Here is all the information you need:
  • 8th grade gift to the school: Class of 2021 gave 2 ping pong tables, along with balls and paddles, which will be used in the gym. They arrived at school this week. Photos to come!

Our goal is to make this a very memorable celebration for the class of 2021 and we look forward to seeing you soon! 

If you have last minute questions or concerns, please email Gabriela Kroszynski, 8th Grade Activities Chair.

Summer Grab ‘n Go Meals for Newton Families

Free meals are available to all Newton families through the summer. Pick up times and locations are as follows:

Locations: Newton North High School and Newton South High School

Days: Mondays and Wednesdays

Times: 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

*Please note that summer holidays may impact service delivery.