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February 8, 2023

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A Message from Interim Chief Personnel Director Karen Woods

We’ve officially entered the second half of the school year! I want to thank the Somerville Public Schools families and staff for engaging with several important hiring processes this school year. In addition to our ongoing hiring for educators and other critical district staff, we recently launched searches for principals at several schools, and of course the Superintendent Search is in its final stages. Your input is so important in shaping the future of these positions, so thank you! In this Connections newsletter, you will see information about student achievements, classroom work, and open positions at SPS. If you have time in your schedule for part-time work, consider applying to join the substitute teaching pool or team of crossing guards. I wish you and your family a happy February.


The Superintendent Search Needs You!

The School Committee is looking for community input on the three Superintendent Candidate Finalists. The three interview recordings will be available on Somerville EdTV for anyone who missed them. If you are able to meet a candidate or watch an interview, please provide feedback for the School Committee's review in English, Spanish, Portuguese, or Haitian Creole. School Committee members are also offering in-person and remote office hours to discuss the finalist candidates, which can be found on the Superintendent Search page


SPS Stories

2nd Grade Reading Event at the East

Second graders in Ms. Pires and Ms. Bolgatz's classrooms at the East Somerville Community School displayed their impressive reading skills last week. Parents, grandparents, guardians, and a few siblings visited students, and sat together at students' desks as students read aloud. Despite the frigid temperatures outside, the event was packed with families celebrating reading and learning.

ESCS family


Middle Graders Build Catapults at the Kennedy School

Kennedy School students in grades 7 and 8 designed catapults and are now deep into construction on their designs using raw materials. The project is part of a unit in technology/engineering that Mr. Sharp assigns annually in his science classes. Watch a video or read a blog post that includes the end-of-project competition that determines which team design launches a projectile the furthest.

Kennedy Students


SHS Student Musicians Honored by MMEA

In November each year, students in Band, Chorus, and Orchestra audition to participate in the Massachusetts Music Educators Association (MMEA) – Eastern District Music Festival. Four SHS students scored high enough to participate this year: Leila Smee (chosen for Orchestra), Ultraviolet Gates and Leo Ellsworth (chosen for Band), and Alice Gamache (chosen for Chorus). On Friday, January 6 and Saturday, January 7, they joined students from 30 cities and towns; they rehearsed with master clinicians and performed a beautiful yet challenging repertoire.

Two students made it through the next level of competition, qualifying to perform at the MMEA All-State Concert on March 4. Ultraviolet will play first clarinet and Alice will sing alto-2 at the concert. Supervisor of Music and Theatre Arts, Beverly J. Mosby says, “Somerville High School Music and Theatre Department is fortunate to have some of the most talented students in the vicinity." Pictured below are Leila, Ultraviolet, Alice, and Leo.

MMEA SHS Musicans


Somerville High School Student Publishes Article in Harvard International Review

SHS Junior, Ian Born, won a gold medal for his social science research paper as part of the Alpha Scholars program through Harvard International Review at Harvard University. Ian’s paper, “Success Factors for Desalination: Qualitative Case Studies of Desalination Around the World,” discusses the use of the desalination process as part of a multifaceted policy solution for water security by analyzing three successfully and three unsuccessfully implemented existing plants. His paper is now published on the Harvard International Review website.


Somerville High School Student Named National Merit Scholarship Commended Student

SHS Senior, Julian M. Bresler, was named a Commended Student in the competitive 2023 National Merit Scholarship Program. Each year, students are eligible to enter the National Merit Scholarship Program, a nationwide competition for recognition and awards conducted by National Merit Scholarship Corporation. The National Merit Scholarship Program chooses winners based on PSAT scores. Julian is one of 34,000 students nationwide to receive the Commended Student recognition from a pool of approximately 1.5 million entrants among the graduating class of 2023.


SHS Artists Recognized by Scholastic Arts & Writing 

Great job to our creative students who placed in the Scholastic Arts & Writing Competition. Art Winners: Natalie Covin won a Silver Key for Comic Art with "Grow As We Go." Leo Chiu won Honorable Mention for a Ceramics & Glass project "Celebrating Grandma's Art." Reeves Beckley won Honorable Mention for Photography in "unfocused." Writing Winners: Jack Granowetter won a Gold Key for Novel Writing in "Guardians." Sam Turin won a Silver Key in the Writing Awards for a dramatic script "Stewie's Adventures." Students were chosen from over 7,000 entries in the nation’s longest-running, most prestigious recognition program for creative teens.

SHS Students Win Crystal Growing Competition

Congratulations to the two Somerville High School teams who won 1st place in the Overall Crystal Growing Category (Jameer Perez Sinclair, Camden Pereira, and Brian Rodriguez) and the team that won the Quality Crystal Category (Sebestien Ungar, Lex Moulton, and Juan Gabriel Santos) in the annual 2022 U.S. Crystal Growing Competition! The SHS teams are students in Susan Schmidt's Chemistry 1 classes and grew crystals as a class project and laboratory experiment. Watch the prize announcements. To learn more about curriculum and class offerings at Somerville High School, check out the 2023-2034 Program of Studies.

Winning Crystals


Information for Families

Visit SHS for a Tour Today and Thursday!

Take a tour of Somerville High School! All community members are welcome. Tours begin with a 15-minute introductory message in the SHS auditorium, followed by a tour of the building and classroom visits. Wednesday, February 8 at 8:15 a.m. or Thursday, February 9 at 8:15 a.m. or 12:15 p.m. Call 617-625-6600 x611013 or visit the Somerville High School webpage for more information. 

SHS Open House Graphic


Video Introduction to Somerville High School

Check out a wonderful video introduction to Somerville High School. The video is used by counselors to share information with eighth graders as they begin the transition to high school in the fall. Thanks to SHS TV/Media Production teacher Daniel Cayarga for his work on the video, and for directing students who shot and edited some parts of the footage. 



Principal Searches at SHS and PK-8 Schools

Somerville High School, the East Somerville Community School, the Kennedy School, and the West Somerville Neighborhood School all currently have search processes ongoing for the role of Principal. Families should have received an initial email with information about how to engage with the search process. Please be sure to contact your school's front office if you have any questions. If you think someone in your network would be a good fit for one of the many open positions in Somerville, please share the Human Resources Department's job listings page.


Substitute Teachers Needed

Parents and guardians are encouraged to consider becoming a substitute teacher. You are not required to be licensed educators to substitute teach. The district provides training and professional development courses to support substitute teachers in all of our classrooms. To apply, please visit If you have any questions about this opportunity, please feel free to contact the Human Resources Department by emailing


Crossing Guards Needed

Would you like to help students safely walk back and forth to school? Become a crossing guard! Please apply through the City of Somerville website: If you have questions, please contact or call 617-625-6600 x3300. 


Community Feedback Sought for Existing Anti-Bullying Policy

Our Anti-Bullying Policy is going through a review process. Please read the SPS Anti-Bullying Policy (English, Spanish, Portuguese, Haitian Creole), then provide your feedback in the survey (English, Spanish, PortugueseHaitian Creole). Feedback will be collected from February 7 to March 1.


February Break

February break falls on February 20–24. There will be no school for students during that week. District offices will be closed Monday, February 20, for Presidents' Day.


Spring Sports Registration 

Don't miss registration for spring sports. Registration opens February 27. High School athletes must attend medical clearance events on March 14 or 15. Middle grades athletes must attend a medical clearance event on March 29. Visit the Athletics Department page to learn more.


Enrollment Is Ongoing for Prekindergarten and Kindergarten

If you have a child ready to start prekindergarten or kindergarten in the 2023–2024 school year, it's time to enroll! The priority school enrollment period lasts until February 24. Learn more about the online enrollment process on the Enrollment Office website. Multilingual Enrollment Office staff and School-based Family and Community Liaisons are ready to assist you. 


Girls Who Code Summer Programs

Girls Who Code invites current high school students who identify as girls or non-binary to apply to their summer programs, which run from June17–August 12. Students get priority consideration when they apply by Thursday, February 16, and other applications are due by Saturday, March 18. 


Somerville Public Schools Jobs


City of Somerville Jobs

Find the complete listing of City of Somerville Jobs, including Crossing Guard.