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October 9, 2020

News & Notes

SHS Senior Silas Booth Named National Merit Scholarship Semifinalist

Somerville High School senior Silas Booth is a semifinalist in the 2021 National Merit® Scholarship Program. Silas is among approximately 16,000 semifinalists who have the opportunity to continue to advance in this year’s competition, vying for more than $30 million in National Merit Scholarships which will be offered next spring. Students selected as Finalists will be notified in February, and Merit Scholarship® award-winners will be notified starting in March through mid-June. More than 1.5 million juniors entered this year’s NMSC competition by taking the 2019 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®). The 16,000 pool of semifinalists represents less than 1% of U.S. high school seniors and includes the highest-scoring entrants. Congratulations, Silas!

CTE Drafting Students Participate in Sasaki Foundation Summer SEED Program

Two Somerville High School drafting students participated in an innovative six-week summer internship program that allowed them to explore the world of design. Sabiha Miahjee (Class of 2021) and Rajan Raut (Class of 2020) participated in the 2020 Sasaki Foundation Summer SEED (Summer Exploratory Experience in Design) Program. Sabiha and Rajan documented and designed an outdoor community/learning space at the Cummings School, working with design mentors from Sasaki throughout the six-week program to learn about different elements of design and incorporate them into their own projects. Learn more about this summer’s SEED Program in this blog post. Credit to the Sasaki Foundation, American Student Assistance, and Sasaki Associates for the images.


What's Happening  


Indigenous Peoples’ Day – October 12, 2020

In observance of Indigenous Peoples’ Day, there will be no classes and all district offices will be closed for business on Monday, October 12th. Please also note that there will be no meals distribution on Monday. Classes and meals distribution will resume on Tuesday, October 13th as scheduled. This Smithsonian article offers Five Ideas for Celebrating Indigenous Peoples’ Day: Have a safe and enjoyable long weekend. 

Teen Empowerment Hiring Youth for Fall 2020

Teen Empowerment is looking for Somerville youth ages 13-21 to join their team of youth organizers. Learn more about Teen Empowerment at Sign up for an interview this month at

Facebook Live Playgroups – October 13 to December 17, 2020

Somerville parents and caregivers with young children can join a Literacy Playgroup (Tuesdays 10am) and a STEM Playgroup (Thursdays 3pm) on Facebook Live ( and/or register for a Zoom Preschool Playgroup for 3-5 year olds (Wednesdays 11am). We also invite you to Save the Date for a Parents Meet & Greet on October 29, 7:00-8:00 pm via Zoom to meet and connect with other Somerville parents of young children and exchange ideas about things to do in your neighborhood! Registration required. Interpretation available upon request. For questions or to register, please email or call 617-625-6600 x6990.

SFLC In This Together and New Parents Support Groups

In This Together is a support group for families with young children who would like to connect with other parents, share ideas, frustrations, and resources, especially in these chaotic, confusing times with COVID-19 stress. Open to all parents of toddlers and young children, the group meets Thursdays from 4:00-5:30pm. This group is open to Somerville and non-Somerville residents for the 2020-2021 school year. The New Parents support group meets Fridays, 1:00-2:30pm and is for expectant parents and parents of babies from Birth - 15 months old. Talking with others who are going through similar experiences can help. Support groups are facilitated by Amy Bamforth, MS (ED.), LICSW, Early Childhood Specialist at the SFLC. Please email for the Zoom link to join.

Community News & Events

Flu Clinics. The Somerville Health and Human Services Department is offering FREE Flu Clinics this fall, using an online pre-registration system for appointments. Due to COVID-19, this year’s clinics will be held outdoors with a walk-up or drive-thru model to maintain safety for Somerville residents and flu clinic staff. As a reminder, please wear a face covering when coming to receive a vaccination. While there is no charge for vaccinations, attendees are asked to bring an insurance card if available, including Medicaid cards. Visit for up-to-date locations and other flu clinic information, and to make an appointment.

SomerSocial. Students looking for something fun to do online when the school day ends are invited to connect with friends and some of their favorite local providers virtually for a variety of fun and interactive activities! Somerville's Out of School Time Network announces SomerSocial - a FREE online youth program available to Somerville youth in grades K-8, every afternoon Monday-Friday.  Sign up for parkour lessons, nature club, animation workshops, crafting, theater and more facilitated by a variety of local providers - including Parts and Crafts, Somerville Media Center, Parkour Generations, Farrington Nature Linc, and the Beautiful Stuff Project. Register now!

Debate Spaces. Debate Spaces, a local, Harvard-affiliated non-profit, is offering fully-interactive, fun, virtual debate workshops for Somerville students (grades 5-8). No debate experience is required. Sessions will take place once a month on Saturdays (September through May) from 1-4 pm. The two best former debaters in the U.S. run the sessions. To register and get more information, visit, or email Register for nine sessions at $15 per Academy or $20 for an individual session. Scholarships are available upon request.

Harvard Museum Virtual Events and Digital Content. Harvard Museums of Science and Culture invite you to explore a variety of virtual programs, exhibits, and classes including:

Just for Fun

Honk!, a Festival of Activist Street Bands, has gone online for 2020. Check out its schedule, workshops, and videos here. For more great #JustforFun activities, visit:

City & District Employment Opportunities

Consider joining a winning team! Current city and district opportunities include:

  • Information Technology Project Manager, Information Technology Dept., City of Somerville
  • Inclusionary Housing Specialist, OSPCD-Housing, City of Somerville
  • Administrative Assistant, OSPCD, City of Somerville
  • Legislative Liaison, Mayor’s Office, City of Somerville

Visit for a complete listing of current open positions in the City of Somerville.

  • K-12 Supervisor of Music, Somerville Public Schools
  • FT Lead Teachers, Afterschool Program – Community Schools, Somerville Public Schools
  • Speech and Language Pathologist – Special Education Dept., Somerville Public Schools
  • Coordinator of Autism Programming  - Special Education Dept., Somerville Public Schools

Visit for a complete listing of current open positions in the Somerville Public Schools.


Connections Newsletter: October 9, 2020