Author Archives: Newton PTO Council

Inclusive Summer Day Camp – Music That Matters – Registration Open

Plugged In’s Music That Matters Summer Day Camp.  Music That Matters includes band class, songwriting, recording a song, music video, workshops, offsite events, and performance opportunities. Each session ends with a benefit concert that raises money for a charitable organization chosen by the students themselves. Students are grouped in bands by age, skill level and musical interest.

Ages: 11-18
Hours: 9:00-3:00 (extended day available)
Session 1:  July 11-22
Session 2: July 25 – August 5

Plugged In is a unique, inclusive nonprofit youth rock band program in Needham where young musicians of all levels and needs are welcome. More information and online registration can be found at www.pluggedinband.org.

School Committee Resolution on FY23 Budget

On Thursday, March 31, 2022, the School Committee passed a resolution expressing our concern that the proposed FY23 budget, including 4 million dollars worth of cuts to balance the budget with the allocation of funding provided by the City, will have a serious negative impact on the students of Newton.  

The text of the resolution is as follows:

“Because this is a critical time in the lives of our Newton students as we are emerging from two pandemic years, the 4 million dollars worth of cuts in the proposed FY23 budget to reach the allocation are too deep and too painful.  We do not believe we can shift 4 million dollars of cuts from other areas of the budget that would make them less painful – shifting cuts would just cause different pain, but deep pain nonetheless.  Therefore, the School Committee resolves that the current budget allocation of $262,070,208 is not enough to run the schools without serious negative impacts on our kids.”

The resolution passed 8-0-1, with Mayor Fuller abstaining.

The School Committee is hosting office hours this Sunday, April 3, 2022 from 7:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. Please login via Zoom using the following login information:Join Zoom Meeting
https://newton-k12-ma-us.zoom.us/j/81283294592

Meeting ID: 812 8329 4592
Passcode: 449186

One tap mobile
+13126266799,,81283294592#,,,,*449186# US (Chicago)
+16465588656,,81283294592#,,,,*449186# US (New York)

Please note that the entire School Committee will not be present and attending members may be limited in their responses given the constraints of Massachusetts Open Meeting Law.

If you wish to submit a question in advance, please use this form: School Committee Office Hours Registration and Questions Form

Please note that we will hold a Public Hearing on Monday, April 4th and all members of the public wishing to make a statement regarding the budget will be heard.  If you wish to speak at this public hearing, please fill out the form linked below with your name and address.  The form will close at 6:00 pm on April 4, 2022.

Form – Request to Speak at Public Hearing on the FY23 Budget

There will be an opportunity to sign up in “real time” during the meeting by using the “raise your hand” feature on Zoom. Speakers will be called in the order in which they signed up, first come-first speak, followed by those who raise their hand during the meeting, or at the discretion of the Chair.

Ultimate Frisbee for Elementary, Middle and High School

There’s now an Ultimate Frisbee BUDA program for nearly every age group (sorry, toddlers!) in Newton. Programs meet on Sundays, and we will be returning to Newton North this season. Note that the 6-8 program will also have a recommended practice session one evening per week.

All programs will run from April 24 to June 19, 2022. There will be no formal program on Memorial Day Weekend, May 29.

Contact Burt Granofsky, BUDA Newton Youth Ultimate, if you have any questions: burt.granofsky@buda.org

Nonprofit Youth Rock Band Program – Spring Session begins February 28

The Plugged In Band Program Spring Session begins February 28 (both in person and virtual).  Plugged In is a nonprofit youth rock band program in Needham where young musicians of all levels and needs are welcome. Students are grouped by age, skill level and musical interest.  I am emailing you in the event you know of any youth ages 8-18 who could benefit from participation in this unique, non-competitive and fun music program. More information and online registration can be found at www.pluggedinband.org.

Spring programming includes in person or online Band Classes, Songwriting and Production, Intro to Digital Audio Production, Creating Music with Coding, Livestreaming 101 and Amped Up: Planning a Youth Music Festival (more details below). 

Plugged In combines music education, philanthropy and diversity in a creative and collaborative environment where students gain music education, self-esteem, connection and community and are prepared for a life of civic participation in an inclusive society.

Newton SEPAC & DECE: Special Education and Civil Rights Review

The Newton SEPAC, in collaboration with the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, will be hosting a parent orientation to learn about the upcoming Special Education and Civil Rights Review* happening in our district. 

Join us Tuesday, Feb 15, 7:00PM for this live presentation + Q&A, followed immediately by our Open Board Meeting (Agenda). 
DESE & NPS at 7PM: https://stream.lexikeet.com/newtonNon-English speakers can select a translated language (Chinese, Spanish, or Russian). Ask questions using the chat tool, and they will be answered live. Questions typed in other languages will be translated for the panelists. The session will be recorded in all 4 languages and posted publicly.

Open Board Mtg at 8:15PM: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84359553994Then click to join important Newton special ed discussions.

*Read about how parents can be involved in the DESE review process.

Orienteering in Newton

Newton Parks and Recreation is teaming up with New England Orienteering Club to offer an introduction to orienteering training for beginners at Auburndale Park in Newton, MA.  The training will take place on Saturday, March 26th between 10:00 am and 1:00 pm and will include 30-45 minute training sessions for small groups.  Participants will then be able to head out on their own or as a small group to try any of the 5 courses that will be set up.     

In addition to the one day training event, we will also be hosting a Bring Your Own Map event for people who already know how to do orienteering.  5 different courses will be set up (including a white-beginner, yellow-advanced beginner, and 3 sprint-intermediate courses all ranging from 1.3 km – 3.7 km) and people will be able to do the courses anytime between March 26th – April 3rd.  

Registration for both events is free for New England Orienteering Club members, or $10.00 per person/family.  Organized groups have a special rate of $20.00 per group + $2.00 per person (so a group of 10 people would be $40.00 total) but must register in advance.  This rate is the same for the introduction training or the Bring Your Own Map event.   

For more information about both the Introduction to Orienteering event on March 26th and the Bring Your Own Map Event running March 26th – April 3rd at Auburndale Park in Newton, please go to the New England Orienteering Club website under the schedule tab https://www.newenglandorienteering.org/events-schedule 

and click on the appropriate link.   

Please let me know if you have any questions.  I look forward to being able to offer more orienteering programs in Newton. 

Channon Ames 

617-796-1529 

Music Lessons at The Conservatory at Highlands! 

Winter is in full swing and nothing makes the winter months fly by like playing music! If you’re starting a new instrument, or looking to develop your skills as a musician, The Conservatory is here to help. Locally owned and operated in Newton Highlands. 
Students beginning new instruments in school benefit greatly from private instruction. 
Our teachers are experienced, patient, kind and supportive. We help musicians of any age reach their goals. 

Sign Up/Inquire Here (no commitment necessary)   

(Trouble with link? Copy and Paste: https://forms.gle/WmHpoURxZoSNT6ZK6 in your browser)

or call/text/e-mail: 617-903-0944  

info@highlandsconservatory.com

The Conservatory offers music lessons on almost all instruments, including: piano, voice, violin, viola, cello, guitar, drums, bass, saxophone, flute, clarinet, trombone, baritone, oboe, ukulele, and even harmonica! Sign up for parent/student lessons, or record in our state-of-the-art recording studio with audio production lessons and more!

more info:

www.highlandsconservatory.com

The Conservatory at Highlands is locally owned and operated and offers a 21st-century music education that is equally inclusive and challenging taught by the best musicians in Boston. The Conservatory is your community music school, where we can all learn and develop the craft of music together. 

51 Winchester Street, Newton Highlands.

Feel free to e-mail info@highlandsconservatory.com with any questions.

Upcoming Program for Senior parents from Youth Services

College Acceptance & Financial Award Review – “How to make the best decision for you.”  (Flyer attached)

  • The final workshop of our College Financing series titled, “College Acceptance & Financial Award Review,” will be held on Thursday, February 17 from 6:30-8:00 p.m. via Zoom webinar.   The workshop will be facilitated by MassBay Community College in partnership with the Village Bank.  It is highly recommended that the young person attends with their parent/caregiver.   
  • Pre-registration required, CLICK HERE: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_quWo-lbIRHmei9nv71PR-g

Please reach out if you have any questions!

Meg

Meghan Murtagh, M.Ed (she/her/hers)

Asst. Director of Youth Services

City of Newton Health & Human Services Department

617-796-1436

mmurtagh@newtonma.gov

Interactive Media Use & Youth Mental Health: Guidance for Parents of Students Across the Developmental Span

Description. The Newton Special Education Parent Advisory Council (SEPAC) is excited to partner with Boston Children’s Hospital’s Digital Wellness Lab to offer a comprehensive presentation on the relationship between children’s and teens’ media use and their mental health. 

The Digital Wellness Lab’s senior content strategist, Kristelle Lavallee Collins, will discuss the most recent research on the relationships between interactive media use and the well-being of children and adolescents. The presentation will also cover the latest science-based strategies parents and caregivers can employ to support children in developing a “healthy” relationship with technology and screen media. 

For questions, contact info@NewtonSEPAC.org. We hope you will join us!

Date/Time. Jan 27, 2022 07:00 PM


Register. https://bostonchildrens.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_jYYsTQrKQNq6Voan9rvqwA

Questions. Submit your questions in advance here:
https://survey.alchemer.com/s3/6642281/Newton-SEPAC-Digital-Wellness-Lab-Presentation

Centre Street Food Pantry Kids’ Club

The Centre Street Food Pantry is introducing a new initiative to bolster our Kids Club program and we are hoping that the elementary schools in Newton can help make this program a success. Some of your schools have already contributed to this program and we really appreciate your participation!


As some of you know, we distribute around 100 Kids Club bags to families with children under 18 each time the Pantry is open. In an effort to better manage the influx of bags, we are recruiting schools, churches, temples and other local organizations to commit to contributing a minimum of 30 bags for a specific week. Your school can do this as often or a little as you choose. Some schools recruit a specific grade to participate; others make it a school-wide event.  It would be most helpful if bags could be dropped off on Mondays, as our distribution day is Tuesday. Of course, we can accommodate you any time if Mondays are not convenient.


The bags should be doubled bagged with handles and contain: 


1 jar jam/jelly
2 boxes mac n’ cheese
1 box of cereal
1 six-pack of applesauce or fruit cups
2 packs of cereal/granola bars 
1 large bag of pretzels/chips


The items are also listed on our website. If your school  is interested in participating in this great project, please sign up here.
Deborah Elliott will get back to you to confirm drop-off date and answer any questions. You can also contact her directly at kidsclub@centrestfoodpantry.org.