February 7, 2024
A Message from Superintendent Carmona
February is Black History Month and it marks an opportunity for us as a community to celebrate the innumerable contributions that black people have had in our past, present and future as a nation. Such contributions go beyond the glory of the Harlem Renaissance and the promise of the civil rights movement, but impact every aspect of our society as we know it. As a school community, it is also an opportunity for us to acknowledge the centuries of structural racism and inequities that have been baked into our current educational system, dating back to policies that forbid Black people who were enslaved from learning to read, encouraged Jim Crow segregation, and promoted the school to prison pipeline. The fact remains that we are not starting at square one. One thing
I have appreciated about Somerville Public School’s equity policy is that it names and confronts the legacy of institutional racism that results in achievement and opportunity gaps. Given this, a collective commitment on all of our parts is required in order to dismantle policies and practices that have led to inequities along racial lines, whether they be socio-economic or academic. Some commitments include, a commitment to incorporating the experiences of all of our students in our curriculum, a commitment to staff diversification, and a commitment for us as an SPS community to see every single student, irrespective of their race and background, as able to achieve at a high level, so long as we provide the necessary scaffolds for all students to thrive. It is within this context that we celebrate Black History Month.
— Superintendent Carmona
Student and Staff Stories
Important Feedback from you!
Over the past few months, Superintendent Carmona has been collecting feedback from students, families, and staff about Somerville Public Schools as part of his Entry Plan. Along with a survey, made available in several languages, the superintendent met with stakeholder focus groups, as shown in the photo below at the Healey School. Thank you to everyone who was able to participate! Your feedback will be critical in developing a Strategic Plan for the district, which will be shared later this spring.
Talented SHS Musicians Honored
Three Somerville High School students represented SHS at the annual Massachusetts Music Educators Association – Eastern District Music Festival. After a comprehensive audition process, Kai Deshima (Piano), Anya Miller (Soprano), and Eclipse Felix (Bass) performed at Milton High School for the MMEA Eastern District Festival. Congratulations #SHSHighlanders! In addition, Eclipse Felix has been recommended to audition for All-State Chorus.
New Anti-Bullying Poster Campaign at SHS
Somerville High School students in the Graphic Communications program collaborated with members of the Student Services Department to create an exciting new anti-bullying poster campaign. There are two poster designs, both of which are available in English, Spanish, Portuguese, and Haitian Creole. The poster provides clear guidelines for reporting an incident of bullying and a QR code to the anonymous reporting form on the SPS Student Services website. Learn about the Graphic Communications program (part of the Center for Career and Technical Education at SHS) or Student Services at their respective webpages. Look for the posters around the school!
Art / Music / Photography Collide at SHS
At Somerville High School, three teachers teamed up to give their students an unforgettable class in November. World percussion students inspired art students as they painted and student photographers documented the event. Read the district blog post about the event.
Healey School Second Grade
A moment in Ms. Theolian's second grade classroom as students work diligently together on their projects at the Healey School. The group in the back is working with Ms. Theolian on verbs. Learn more about all our schools, including the Healey School, by visiting our Schools Overview page.
Yoga for East Somerville Community School Prekindergarten
Thank you SPS volunteer, certified yoga instructor, and ESCS parent, Emily Sullivan, for stopping by the East to give prekindergarten students a fun experience. She taught yoga in the gym to Somerville's cutest group of yogis.
SHS SENIOR SPEAKS to WBUR ABOUT COLLEGE APPLICATION PROCESS
Listen to a short radio show featuring Somerville High School senior Agustin talk about how he and his Mom will decide where he goes to college in the fall, and how a delay in the federal financial aid form is impacting their decision. There will be an extra few weeks of suspense for seniors due to a miscalculation in the Federal Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form.
Activities and Resources for Families and Students
SHS Open Houses Tomorrow. Thursday, February 8, 2024, from 8:15 – 10:00 a.m. or 12:15 – 2:00 p.m. Families with students in middle grades classes may want to stop by for a presentation followed by a student-led tour of Somerville High School. Visit the Somerville High School website for more information.
2024–2025 School Year Calendar. Available now. Find the new calendar in English on the SPS website. Translated versions will be available soon. The first day of the 2024–2025 school year for grades 1–12 is August 28, 2024. The first day of school for students in grades PK and K is September 3, 2024. Beginning in the fall of 2024, PK–8 students will be released early every Wednesday. Learn more.
All City Musical Middle School Production. Attend a virtual information session on Thursday, February 8 at 6:00 p.m. SPS students in grades 6–8, and their families, are invited to learn more about joining the cast and crew of the annual middle school musical production. For more information and to register, please visit the website: https://www.highlandertheatre.org/allcitymusical
Enrollment for Prekindergarten and Kindergarten Students. Enroll before February 23, 2024 to give your child the best chance at getting your first choice of school. This enrollment period is for students going in to prekindergarten and kindergarten, who will be four or five years old this fall. Please start the enrollment process by visiting the Enrollment Office website.
Power of Parenting [TM]. Enroll now! If you have a child between 3 and 8 years old, you are invited to register for the Power of Parenting Program. Learn more.
SFLC Playgroups. Enroll now. The SFLC, our family engagement department, is offering free playgroups in several languages and at locations across the city for Somerville parents and guardians of young children. Please visit the SFLC Playgroups website to learn more and to register.
Free February Break Activities. February 19–23. Find free local activities through the Highland Street organization. Also, check out Somerville Public Libraries (or any of the regional libraries) for events, free museum passes, and more.