Author Archives: Bigelow PTO

2021 Newton METCO Scholarship Equity and Excellence Annual Fund Campaign

Today marks the official launch of the 2021 Newton METCO Scholarship Equity and Excellence Annual Fund Campaign. This coming June, 34 Newton METCO Seniors will graduate from Newton North and Newton South High Schools. As they stand at the horizon of new opportunities, we want each and every one of our Newton METCO seniors to know they have the tangible support of their Boston-Newton communities.

The members of Class of 2021 have faced unprecedented times as the pandemic exacerbates educational and economic disparities, and experiences of racial injustice continue to have a significant impact on the students, their families, and our communities.

Now in existence for over 35 years, the Newton METCO Community Scholarship Fund (NMCSF) provides financial assistance to deserving METCO seniors seeking to pursue a college educationAs we seek to support our graduates, let us draw inspiration from the spoken words of Amanda Gorman, First National Youth Poet Laureate, on Inauguration Day, 2021:

The new dawn blooms as we free it
For there is always light,
if only we’re brave enough to see it
If only we’re brave enough to be it

Please join us in donating to the scholarship fund today, and be a light of equity, justice, and opportunities for our Newton METCO graduates.

With gratitude,

The Members of the Newton METCO Scholarship Fund Committee

Please donate by mail:
Newton METCO Community Scholarship Fund
P.O. Box 600053, Newtonville, MA 02460

We are not accepting online donations at this time. Thank you.

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!

Crossing Guard and Bus Driver Appreciation, Friday June 11th

On Friday, June 11th, we will show our crossing guards and bus and van drivers how much we appreciate their help getting to school safely. They have been with us through the pandemic, shifting schedules multiple times and keeping us safe throughout.

Please help your child make a thank you note and give it on your way to school on Friday, June 11th to your crossing guard or write a note to your bus driver. Your note can be simple: “Thanks for helping me get to school safely!” You can also print out a card to decorate. They will appreciate it so much!

Newton Safe Routes to School will organize celebrations with pre-packaged snacks and drinks and Safety Superhero buttons at both the van yard and the bus yard for the 130 bus/van drivers, and will distribute flowers and buttons to the 56 crossing guards spread across the City.

2021 Math and Science MCAS

Reminder from Todd Harrison, Bigelow Principal:

Tuesday, June 8: Math MCAS test

Thursday, June 10: Science/Technology/Engineering MCAS test (grade 8 only)

This year, each MCAS test will consist of one session. The expected length of a session is 1.5-2.5 hours, but students have the full school day to complete the test, until 2:50pm, if needed.

These assessments are important. They will provide you with feedback on your child’s progress, and they will give us valuable information about each student, groups of students, and the effectiveness of our curricula, instruction, and programs.

Our emphasis with all students is on individual progress.  We do not want them to feel undo stress about the assessments; at the same time we want them to take the assessments seriously and strive to do their best work.

We want all of the students to approach these assessments in a positive and confident frame of mind. Your help makes a huge difference. Here are a few tips:

  • Words of encouragement to your child are especially helpful before the assessments and on the day of it.

  • Please make sure your child gets a good night’s sleep prior to each test, a healthy breakfast on the morning of each test, and arrives to school on time.

  • Please make sure your child’s laptop is charged overnight before each test. Here is a computer checklist.

  • Bringing a water bottle is also recommended.

Thank you for your assistance in helping your child do their best.

Proposed slate for 2021-2022 PTO Board

Please review the proposed slate for the 2021-2022 school year that will be presented for a vote at the Annual PTO meeting, Thursday, June 10 at 7pm. Board members are approved at the Annual Meeting via a vote of present PTO members. Committee chairs are appointed (not subject to vote).

If you are interested in joining the board in any capacity – sharing an executive  position or chairing a committee – please contact us @ We are always grateful for parents and guardians who volunteer their time and really make a difference for the PTO!

Executive Board

President – Gabriela Kroszynski 
 – May Chen
Treasurer – Linda Gillespie
Secretary  – Sukanya Ghosh

Committee Chairs

Directory – Sarah K. Lenz and Heather Thiessen Philbrook
Communications – Gwen Hautefeuille
CAS – Caryn Izhar
Teacher Appreciation – Susan St. Pierre, Karen Yee, and Charlene Gillespie
Ten Tables – Julie Landesman
Big Night
– Julie Landesman
METCO Liaison – Jeanne Choe-Arrieta
POPs (Band) – Sarah Hirzel
SEPAC Liaison – Brigette LaMarche
Newton Schools Foundation Liaison – Julie Kane

Open positions here.

Class of 2021 Celebrations

We hope ALL 8th graders and families will join the celebrations for the Class of 2021!!! They sure deserve it! If you have not signed up yet, please do it now!

  • 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 (please contact Gabriela Kroszynski if your child has special dietary needs). Transportation to and from the wharf is parents’ responsibility; carpools are encouraged. THE PTO can help with organizing them. Just let us know.SIGN UP NOW!
    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 any questions or concerns, please email Gabriela Kroszynski, 8th Grade Activities Chair.

Summer Reading & One School, One Book Program

Every year, the Newton Public Schools partner with the Newton Free Library to develop book lists for summer reading. These are books NPS librarians and staff, together with our City librarians, believe would be age-appropriate, meaningful, and enjoyable books for students to read over the summer. Here are the booklists linked below:

1st – 5th Grades: 2021 Newton Free Library Summer Reading Lists–Going into First through Going into Fifth

6th Grade: 2021 Newton Free Library–Going Into Sixth Summer Reading List

6th – 8th Grades: 2021 Newton Public Schools Grades 6-8 Summer Reading Lists
Visit the Summer Reading page on the Bigelow Library website to view book covers and read summaries for all the suggested books.

Bigelow will be requiring all students to read From the Desk of Zoe Washington by Janae Marks as part of our One School, One Book Program.  Students will get the book before the end of the year. The goal of Bigelow’s One School, One Book Program is to create a more inclusive community through participation in a common reading experience as a whole school. Through discussion and advisory activities, staff and students will share a common experience of reading and learning together.


Bus Transportation for the 2021-22 School Year

Registration for bus transportation for the 2021-22 school year will open the week of June 14. You will receive an email when the registration portal officially opens. Please note the following:

  • You MUST register by Saturday, July 31.
  • On July 31, the portal will close to allow adequate time for NPS staff to review bus registrations and make seat assignments.
  • Registration details, as well as additional transportation information, can be found on this webpage:

The Bulldog: A Literary Magazine

Did you know that Bigelow has a literary magazine?

The Bulldog is Bigelow Middle School’s own literature and arts magazine that encourages students to share the work they are proud of. It is made up of a group of students who enjoy reading and writing, and believe that others should have the opportunity to share this joy.

Mission Statement: As Bigelow’s only Literary Magazine, The Bulldog strives to spread student achievements in writing for the school community to read and enjoy. We hope that our magazine inspires students at Bigelow to write and share their work for our community to see.

Goals: As a Literary Magazine, we encourage more students to share their work, whether it is artwork, photography, poems, or short stories.