April 5, 2023
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Somerville Public Schools has a lot of great work going on at each of our schools and we want to keep up the momentum. Each year, we invite SPS students, families, and staff to complete a survey called Conditions for Learning. The data we collect will help inform decision-making at the school and district levels as we work toward setting long-term, meaningful goals that continue to improve student learning as well as improving school and district climate and culture in SPS. It takes about 15 minutes. If you have not already done so, please take the Conditions for Learning Survey for Families. Happy Spring!
Middle Grades Journalists at the Kennedy
Step behind the scenes in Somerville's newest publication, the Kennedy Chronicle. Student-written articles delve into important questions like, What is Somerville's favorite pizza? Their inaugural issue of the Kennedy Chronicle has a circulation of over 400 printed copies, thanks to the hard work of students and generous contributions from local businesses. Read the online version of the newspaper. Read more in a blog post about the Kennedy Chronicle.
Culinary Arts Students Bring Their Heritage to the Classroom
Sophomores and Juniors in the Culinary Arts program at Somerville High School shared their favorite family foods in a recent Heritage Recipe Project. Students could choose to prepare their recipe at home, in the Culinary Arts kitchen, or even during their presentations. They spoke in front of students and their teachers about the cultural context of the recipe, how to prepare it, and then portioned samples of their dish to share. Pictured below are a student who prepared two Haitian au gratin pastas, one with ground beef and one with ham, and a second student who prepared a Brazilian flan. Culinary Arts Teacher David Ginivisian said about the project, “it looks like you are going to find the differences between projects but, ultimately, students see all the similarities between cuisines.”
SHS Art Student Receive 2023 MAEA Recognitions in Juried Exhibit
Five Somerville High School student artists were accepted into the 2023 Massachusetts Art Education Association (MAEA) Recognitions Juried Exhibition. They are Hayley Machado for Ceramics (Teacher Taylor Byrne), Reeves Beckley for Photography (Teacher Jessica Howard), and Caden Yarberry, for Sculpture (Teacher Jessica Howard). Two of the five students were also accepted for the 2023 MAEA Recognition Awards. They are Leo Chiu, who won the Virginia M. Diani Adams Memorial Award with a prize of $300 for Ceramics (Teacher Taylor Byrne) and Jane Paradis, who won the Davis Publications Media Category Award in Fashion (Teacher Jessica Howard). View the complete exhibit at the Web Gallery to see these artists' incredible work.
SHS Scores Big at the Regional SkillsUSA Competition
Congratulations to the students who represented our Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs at the SkillsUSA competition on Wednesday, March 1st. Our outstanding CTE students had one of our best showings yet. Students won 13 medals, including 9 Gold and Silver winners who will advance to the State Competition this month. SkillsUSA is one of the state’s largest student organizations serving more than 34,000 students, teachers, and administrators within 51 high school and college programs. During competitions, students compete against the best in their technical program area from across the state. Gold medal winners are Daniel Campos and Mashruf Mahin (Additive Manufacturing), Julian Zielinksi (Architectural Drafting), Michaela Hurley (Cosmetology, Under 500 Hours) and Gricelda Mendez (Graphic Communications). Silver Medal winners are Finlay Cooke (Advertising Design), Sharon Kaur (Architectural Drafting), Kimberly Fuentes Landaverde (Dental Assisting), and Elle Gys (Technical Drafting). Bronze Medal winners are Hayley Machado (Architectural Drafting), Anthony Loder (Automotive Service Technology), Karine De Jesus (Dental Assisting), and Kylie Gorman (Medical Math). Thank you to the wonderful team of CTE Educators for teaching this team of talented Somerville High School students.
Two SHS Students Are History Gold Medal Finalists
Two Somerville High School juniors won Gold Medals at the Massachusetts Regional Showcase for National History Day Competition. Adwoa Ampene won in the Senior Individual Exhibit category with her work "Nobody's Free Until Everybody's Free: How Fannie Lou Hamer United Women." Ruthanna Kern won in the Senior Individual Performance category for her piece "Broken: The Treaties of Fort Laramie and the Myth of the Frontier." They both competed in the state-level finals last weekend, where Ruthanna won a Gold Medal. She will advance to the national level of competition in June in Washington, D.C. Adwoa and Ruthanna put in many hours of hard work and late nights to compete at this level. Thank you to their advisor, History Teacher Adda Santos.
Congratulations MSSADA Athletic Trainer of the Year
The 48th Annual Massachusetts Secondary Schools Athletic Directors Association (MSSADA) Conference awarded Athletic Trainer of the Year to our very own Michelle Kelly!
SPS Teacher Highlighted by International Professional Organization
Kennedy School and Next Wave / Full Circle ESL specialist Adriane Cioppa says she works to make her students "feel respected and appreciated because they need to feel safe in order to be open to learning." Learn more about her work in Somerville Public Schools in the WIDA article. WIDA is an international organization that provides language development resources to educators who support the academic success of multilingual learners.
SPS Staff to Speak at State Conference
Speaking of our amazing educators and staff, several of our Multilingual Learner Education (MLE) Department staff will speak at the Massachusetts Partnerships for Youth Inc. Hybrid Conference –Supporting Immigrants in the School and in the Community. Speakers include Emily Blitz, MLE Department Chair at Somerville High School, Matt Clements, MLE Adjustment Counselor at SHS, and Yahaira-Maria Frier, Assistant Principal for the Elm Community at SHS. The conference explores school and community-based strategies for engaging immigrant youth and families.
World Language Teachers to Present in Spain
Argenziano Spanish teacher Paola Prada, Kennedy Spanish teacher Valerie Salicrup, and World Languages Department Supervisor Lisa Machnik have been invited to present on the topic “Growth Mindset in the World Language Classroom: How to Get Students to See and Map out Their Path to Proficiency” this June in Salamanca, Spain at The American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese (AATSP) Conference.
Information for Families
Provide feedback about the Superintendent Candidates
If you met a superintendent candidate or watched an interview, the Somerville School Committee wants your feedback. Visit the Superintendent Search page to find resumes, interview recordings, and more information about each candidate. Fill out the Superintendent Search Feedback Form before Thursday (tomorrow) April 6, 2023 in English, Spanish, Portuguese, or Haitian Creole in order to give your feedback to the School Committee. You can also attend office hours to talk to School Committee members directly.
Are you or is anyone you know interested in talking with other parents about parenting? Two moderated groups meet weekly at the Somerville Family Learning Collaborative to do just that. On Thursdays from 1:00-2:30p.m., parents are invited to meet up with families of babies birth to 15 months at the Edgerly Building, 8 Bonair Street. Parents of children birth to 10 years are invited to meet up virtually from 4:00–5:30p.m. every Thursday. Find out more and register at the SFLC Playgroups and Parent Support webpage.
Summer Jobs for Teens
The City of Somerville invites students enrolled in high school who are age 14 years and older to apply for summer jobs in the 2023 Mayor's Summer Jobs Program. Students will work approximately 20 hours per week for six weeks starting in July with participating City departments, like the Parks and Recreation Department and Somerville Public Libraries, or for local businesses. Find the application and more information on the website: somervillema.gov/summerjobs
2023 Week of the Young Child
Families are invited to join the Somerville Week of the Young Child celebration on April 12 from 5:30–7:00 p.m. in front of Somerville High School, 81 Highland Avenue. Enjoy story time, music, and a book giveaway and grab a slice of pizza. Learn more.
Sonrisa, the bilingual pre-kindergarten classroom located at the Arthur D. Healey School, is looking for four-year-old students from families who speak Spanish as their native language. Learn more in this video about Sonrisa, then talk to the Enrollment Office about enrolling your student in Sonrisa.
Friday, April 7 is a Vacation Day
Schools and district offices will be closed on Friday, April 7th. We look forward to welcoming students back on Monday, April 10th.
Tufts Community Sports Weekend
Tufts University's Community Sports Weekend (April 22nd and April 23rd) is an opportunity for the community to spend a fun a time on campus with student-athletes. The event is free and families can visit whatever activities interest them. A full schedule and map of all the offered activities will be sent via email before the event. Registration link.