Author Archives: Bigelow PTO

Get-togethers for 6th graders

The Bigelow PTO is excited to organize and host multiple get-togethers for 6th graders over the next few weeks so kids have a chance to meet with some of their peers in person.

Due to COVID19 restrictions, our plan is to have groups of no more than 10 kids (masked and socially distanced) in gatherings in the back yards of 6th grade families in the evenings and during the weekends between Monday, September 21st and Friday, October 12th. They would run for about an hour and our goal is for kids to get to know each other through conversation and structured ice breaker games. Due to kids wearing masks at all times, we will not be able to serve any food or drinks, unfortunately. For those families unable to attend in person, we will also be hosting a Zoom event during one of the evenings for kids to get to know one another outside of school.

Please email Amy McPherson at with answers to the following 3 questions by Friday, September 18th:

  • Are you willing to host in your backyard no more than 10 kids for about an hour during the next few weeks?
  • Are you willing to volunteer to help lead ice breaker games during at least one get-together? We would like to have no more than two adults at a time at each event.
  • Would you plan on having your child(ren) attend one of these events? – Please provide the name(s) of your child(ren).

Once we know approximately how many children will attend and how many hosts we have we will contact you again with further information.

Pick-up of learning materials

Parents are invited to stop by the gym entrance in the parking lot behind Bigelow on September 14 or September 15 to pick up learning materials for their students, including short stories for English, a health and wellness packet, art supplies (if you take art the first quarter), and more.

  • Monday, September 14, from 12pm to 3pm
  • Tuesday, September 15, from 12pm to 3pm

These materials are available for self-serve pick-up. Teachers not in meetings may assist in their distribution.

Grade 6 parents may also pick-up materials if they were not able to attend the parade on September 11.

School Supply lists

Here are links to school supply list for each grade. Please remember you don’t need to buy everything new. The PTO invites you to think about school supplies in a sustainable way.  Let’s practice with our children the three Rs of sustainability – Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.

This is a great opportunity to embrace our sustainable values with our children and show them how they can personally take climate action. You will note that you can really reduce the purchase of new supplies because a lot can be reused. And we can all celebrate how much energy, water, resources and money we will have saved in our community! More information here.

Parent Information Sessions about the New School Year

Parent Information Sessions about the New School Year will be held on Thursday, Sept 10.

  • Grade 6: 4:30-6:00pm
  • Grade 7&8: 7:00-8:30 pm

These zoom meetings will review the many changes that we will be implementing this year to keep students and staff safe and healthy. They will cover topics such as the remote schedule, safety procedures in the building, technology resources, and more. Because of the amount of information shared, they are intended for parents and guardians; similar information will be introduced to students gradually when classes begin.

Zoom links will be sent for the meetings next week. The meetings will be recorded if you are not able to attend.

Grade 6 Welcome Parade

6th Grade students and parents are invited to a first-ever, drive-thru “welcome parade” in the parking lot behind Bigelow on Friday, Sept 11, from 2pm-3:30pm.

  • Meet their teachers at a safe social distance from their cars
  • Pick up learning materials for the new school year
  • Enjoy a treat.

Materials can also be picked up on Monday (9/14) and Tuesday (9/15), from 12pm-3pm.

Bigelow Cohort and Cluster Assignments

Cohort Assignments will be posted in Aspen next Wednesday, Sep 9. Please be in the lookout for an email from the Newton Public School about how to look up your child’s cohort assignment. The information will indicate:

  • Hybrid A (Mondays and Tuesdays)
  • Hybrid B (Thursdays and Fridays)
  • Hybrid C (All days depending upon your child’s ELL schedule or IEP)
  • Distance

Hybrid C students will begin attending classes in-person at Bigelow on September 16. Hybrid A and B will start the year online and then attend classes on their designated days in-person when the hybrid model begins in mid-November. Distance learning only students will learn online all year.

Changes to these assignments are very difficult due to the complexity of pairing siblings and balancing class sizes across numerous schools and grade levels. We will consider requests but cannot make any promises. There may also be a delay of 3-4 weeks before any changes can take effect in order to adjust staffing

Cluster/homebase assignments posted in Aspen on Friday, Sep 11. Parents will receive an email when the cluster/homebases are posted. These are the official assignments. (Earlier this summer, Aspen was open momentarily, and some students were able to see unofficial assignments.).

If your child feels disappointed in their assignment, please share optimism with them about it and the new school year. Your attitude can go a long way in helping them approach the many challenges and changes of this new year with a positive, growth mindset manner. Changes to these assignments are not possible, due to the intricate process of assigning students by hand and balancing cohorts, classes, and clusters.

Students and Parents Contact with Advisors

Students – Similar to our graduation card campaign last June, all students will receive a postcard from their advisors by next Friday, Sept. 11.

Parents – Advisors will contact parents of their advisory students by Tuesday, September 15, to introduce themselves and learn more about your child’s readiness for the new year.

Family Technology Survey

An email was sent to all families last Monday for a survey link to indicate your need for a technology device for this school year. All families in grades PreK-9 must complete this survey. If you did not receive it, please email: If you did not receive it, please check your spam folder.

If you haven’t completed the survey please do so asap at the link below for each child. Laptop devices on loan will be distributed from a central location initially.