Author Archives: Bigelow PTO

Message from Principal Harrison

For students: watch video

(Video date: 03/30/20)

For Parents

(Message date: 03/29/20, updated 03/31/20)

Dear Bigelow Parents,

Thank you for your patience and understanding as we all adjust to new circumstances.

My colleagues and I across the district have been hearing a range of feedback from families that reflects the wide variety of circumstances they are facing. This feedback is useful as it informs our plan going forward for the extended school closure. We know our plan must include an acknowledgment and respect for the diversity of situations our families are experiencing, including the time and resources they have available to them.

While we learned last Wednesday of Governor Baker’s declaration to keep schools closed until May 4, we had already been planning for a longer closure. Our planning process was outlined in David Fleishman’s March 22nd email to the community.

By the end of this week, you can expect from us a structured plan that includes opportunities to connect with teachers and classmates as well as content specific work. This schedule will include the opportunity to connect with adults and peers, and to practice, process, and reflect on skills and learning.

In preparation for the rollout of this plan, we have been working rapidly on the following:

Practice – Our teachers and staff have been reaching out to students with technology tools to see what works best in a distance learning environment. Practicing with technology tools, both for connection and learning, allows us to understand what will work in our second phase of school closure. Bigelow teachers and teachers throughout the district have been trying different approaches, but they are all still operating under the same guidance originally laid out by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

Collaboration – Committees at each level (elementary, middle, and high) have been collaborating to develop a school and system-wide approach to the next phase of online learning. At the district level, we continue to collaborate with our neighboring districts, including Brookline, Needham, and Wellesley, who have developed plans similar to our own. We will continue to do so in the coming days, as well as working to interpret guidance from the DESE.

Technology deployment – As a public school district, it is essential that we ensure that all of our students have access to the learning that can occur. One aspect of this is access to a device. We are continuing to identify families who need a device and delivering it to them.

I have been impressed by the response of students and teachers to this new changing and challenging environment. Several teachers hosted office hours using on a trial basis last week, and reported how valuable it was to re-connect with their students and to hear from them how they are doing, both in general and as well as on their online learning activities.

We will be back in touch with you soon with our updated plan to support learning during this extended school closure.

In the meantime, our current plan with online enrichment learning activities will continue. You and your children will be receiving a new round of emails with learning activities for this week. The clusters will send out their recommended online activities on Monday or Tuesday morning, the world language teachers will email their activities on Wednesday morning, and the FAA/PE teachers will communicate theirs on Thursday morning. I hope that this new schedule will help smooth the flow of work in your household. Please encourage your student to choose from these offerings to continue their work at home this week. This will serve them well as we ramp-up for the next phase of our distance learning plan.



Stay informed about Covid-19 in Newton

Confirmed COVID-19 Cases in Newton are updated daily

Mayor Fuller’s Email Updates

Newton COVID-19 Care Fund

Newton-Wellesley Hospital COVID-19 Fund

Newton Public Schools COVID-19 District Info

COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions

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Feeling Sick?

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Mental Health Resources


Bigelow Families Support Network

We hope all the members of our wonderful Bigelow community are doing well and are staying healthy. As a reminder, please feel free to contact us should you need help due to the impact of COVID-19 on you or your family.

Please fill out this form if you are looking for assistance OR if you are able to offer help. (Note that all information is only visible to the PTO Board)

Bigelow Families Support Network Form

If you would like to speak with someone instead of answering this form, please reach out!
Text or call: (617) 631-0625

Take care and stay healthy!

Newton STEM resources

Provided by Newton STEM. Sign up for the Newton STEM newsletter HERE

Climate Education Survey for Teachers

Green Newton School Connections is advocating for more Climate Education in Newton schools.

We invite all NPS teachers, from grades K-12, from every subject area, to answer this 5-minute survey. We hope to better understand what is already being taught in the district and what can be done to strengthen climate literacy and justice for our students.

Please spread the word, ask colleagues and teachers to respond. Thank you!

Climate Education Survey Link:

Hello From Your School Nurse!

I hope you and your children are all staying healthy and finding new routines that keep you busy and allow time to take care of yourself. These difficult times can bring feelings of uncertainty, fear and worry that can be expressed in many ways. Parents can help their children by staying positive and reassuring them that adults are working hard to help things get back to normal.

Here are a few important public health reminders:

  • Stay home as much as possible but try to get outside for walks or exercise with people from your household.
  • Avoid play dates and group sports activities.
  • Encourage kids to connect with their friends by phone, text, video chat, etc.
  • Wash your hands and clean high-touch surfaces frequently.
  • If someone becomes sick, call their healthcare provider for next steps.

Here are a few links that may be helpful for your family:

  • is updated regularly with links to the mayor’s updates, financial resource information, mental health resources, hotline numbers and much more.
  • Newton Public Schools COVID-19 page with food pickup info, learning resources, how to talk with kids about COVID-19 and much more.

I am working remotely and am very interested in staying in touch. I’m available by email or phone to help you. The best way to contact me is by email at

If you would like to talk directly on the phone, we can arrange a time by emailing me at with a few times that would work for you and the phone number you want me to call. Please know that when I call, it will come as a blocked phone number. I look forward to connecting with you.

Stay well and stay in touch.

Sue Schy, RN

Bigelow International Food Network

Bigelow International Food Network is a space for Bigelow students, families, and staff to share their cultural backgrounds and experiences through storytelling and the common language of food. If you would like to add your own family’s recipe, click HERE.

“Food may not be the answer to world peace, but it’s a start.”
Anthony Bourdain

Thank you from the International Food Network Team!
Deanna Hoffman, Christine Langlois, Jordanna L’Esperance, Carolina Verdaguer

Yard Sign Contest: “Distracted Driving”

4th Annual Yard Sign Design Contest Distracted Driving February 25, 2020 – May 1st, 2020 (deadline extended due to COVID-19)

Given Governor Baker’s recent signing of the Hands-Free Driving Bill , the Safe Routes to School Yard Sign Contest theme will be “Distracted Driving.”. Click here for complete contest information as well as entry submission.

The Massachusetts Safe Routes to School (SRTS) Program’s Yard Sign Design Contest is a way for students to use their creativity to help promote safe roads for cyclists and pedestrians in their communities. Students create and submit a design for a yard sign that brings awareness to distracted driving, focus their designs on eliminating distracted driving, especially in and around school zones.