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May 2, 2024

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Welcome to May

There has been an extraordinarily high level of enthusiasm from staff, students, and families to take a deep look at middle grades in Somerville Public Schools. As my team develops a Strategic Plan for SPS, using the data and feedback you provided, one exciting opportunity for growth that was revealed was our offerings for middle grade students. I invite you to read more about middle grades in my Superintendent Monthly Memo.

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoy the beautiful spring weather. - Superintendent Carmona


Student and Staff Stories

Brown School Principal Maguire Retires

Beloved Brown School principal Shawn Maguire announced his plan to retire at the end of the school year after nine years in the position. In his own words, "I have experienced so many career highlights and treasured memories in my time at the Brown School. It truly is a special community made up of kind, supportive families and staff. My years as your principal have been an honor for me. I would like to take the time to thank you all personally for making my tenure here so special. I wish the Brown School nothing but the best moving forward and know that our students have bright futures ahead. Although my retirement is bittersweet for me, I am excited to see what the future brings." We wish him the best of luck in this next phase. We will miss you, Principal Maguire! 

Principal Maguire stands between the two Red Sox mascots on the field at Fenway Park


Congratulations SkillsUSA winners!

Congratulations to the 14 Career and Technical Education (CTE) students who took part in the SkillsUSA state competition last weekend by winning medals in the regional competition. Students prepared for hours in the classroom ahead of the event and three Somerville High School juniors won medals! Elle Gys won a Bronze Medal in Technical Drafting, Hayley Machado won a Silver Medal in Technical Drafting, and Sam Ryan won a Gold Medal in Advertising Design. Sam has been invited to compete at the National Competition, as part of Team Massachusetts. Thank you to all the CTE instructors for supporting their students in preparation and a special thanks goes to the SkillsUSA staff advisors Dan Bendel, Rich McElroy, and Amy Corregio for bringing the students to this two day event. Go Highlanders! 

14 students who competed in the SkillsUSA state tournament stand in front of a school van


Eye-popping Results for carpentry fundraiser

In the next step of the partnership between the Bruins Foundation, Bosch, and Somerville High School CTE, carpentry students designed and built furniture that was sold at auction during the April 28 Bruins game. Our skilled carpentry students reimagined Bruins hockey sticks into an Adirondack chair, two drinks caddies, and a side table. 44 bids were placed and the winning bid was a whopping $6549! This money will go toward our CTE programs. Congratulations students and thank you to Bosch Power Tools and Accessories and the Boston Bruins Foundation! Special thanks to Assistant Principal and Director of Career and Technical Education James Hachey and the Carpentry team for their leadership.

Adirondack chair made out of Bruins hockey sticks, two drinks caddies, and a side table.


A Delicious New Breakfast at SHS

Food and Nutrition Services Department (FNSD) staff at Somerville High School have been selling out of their popular new breakfast menu item -- overnight oats. FNSD successfully increased the number of high school students who start their day with a healthy breakfast. Served on Tuesdays and Fridays in the cafeteria, overnight oats are a mix of oats, Greek yogurt, chia seeds, ground cinnamon, brown sugar, and milk, and are topped with fresh strawberry, blueberry and banana, or mango and shredded coconut. FNSD regularly develops and tests new recipes, including vegan and international foods that reflect the taste of the students.

Photo of three overnight oat options


Studying Early Education at Somerville High School

Hands-on work in care settings starts right away for students in the Early Education Program, part of the Career and Technical Education Department at Somerville High School. Students benefit from experiences in diverse childcare settings, study for professional certifications, and develop their own teaching curriculum. Learn more about this program and its amazing students in the most recent district blog.

Early education student working with three preschool children


WSNS Honors Women's History Month

Students at the West Somerville Neighborhood School honored Women's History month in March by researching prominent American Black women, then presenting their information through door decorating projects.

Women's History door decorating project example


Belle of the Ball invites students to shop 

25 Somerville High School seniors joined SHS staff Nehemie St Louis, Nayi Padilla, and Eline Santana on a trip to the annual Belle of the Ball event at the Hynes Convention Center, where students shopped from a wide selection of donated prom dresses for free! Thank you to Caring Partners, Inc and to corporate sponsors Anton's Cleaner's, Jordan's Furniture, and Enterprise Bank for making this event possible. Additionally, Ms. Padilla says there are several dozen new donated dresses in the SHS 'prom closet' for staff to distribute. 

Student and staff member look through prom dresses at Belle of the Ball event


Supporting the guaranteed Basic Income Initiative 

Read a story in Tufts Daily about the Somerville basic income pilot program, which highlights some of the great work that the Office of Basic Needs and Housing Support Services is doing with City of Somerville departments. The city is rolling out a one-year guaranteed basic income pilot program in Somerville that starts this summer. The Basic Needs office is part of the Somerville Family Learning Collaborative, the family engagement and support department of the Somerville Public Schools.


Events in May

Next week is National Teacher Appreciation Week, which we celebrate from May 6 - May 10. Through the Entry Planning process, we gathered consistent data. Students expressed a joy in learning and a feeling that their teachers adapt to their needs, while families celebrate the expertise and quality of the educators teaching their children. We are lucky to have a group of dedicated and innovative educators teaching our students. Thank you Somerville Public Schools educators!

Additionally, April 24 was Administrative Assistant Appreciation Day. Our administrative assistants are the glue that hold our offices together and the heartbeat of our schools. Thank you to all our administrative assistants!

Another key to the health and well-being of our students are our school-based nursing staff. They provide needed medical care and guidance, and mental health supports for our students. May 8 is National School Nurse Day. Thank you to our school nursing team for keeping our students safe!

Speaking of wellness, May is Mental Health Awareness Month. Students are encouraged to look around their schools for posters about mental health (like the image below), listen to morning announcements for activity suggestions to support their mental health, and look out for staff and adults wearing green ribbons to support mental health awareness. Everyone is invited to wear green on May 24 to highlight mental health awareness. As always, students struggling with mental health issues are encouraged to connect with their school counselor to find resources. Thank you to the Student Services Department for coordinating this campaign.

Green background poster with the text "Reminder you deserve love care and support" with a graphic


Information, Activities, and Resources

This information is for families and students. All activities are free, unless otherwise noted.

Digital Wellness Day. May 6. This is an opportunity to explore your family's approach to digital media consumption through a wellness lens. Check out the menu of daily suggestions practices, put together by Somerville youth in a collaborative project between the City and Schools. Visit the SPS Wellness page to find some resources around general wellness as well as digital wellness.

Free Food Markets. May 7. All Somerville Public Schools families are welcome. Please bring your own bags. Food will be distributed while supplies last. 

  • 2:00-4:00 p.m. at West Somerville Neighborhood School (outdoors at 177 Powderhouse Blvd)
  • 2:45-4:45 p.m. at East Somerville Community School (indoors entering through Glen St door). 

Somerville High School Dance Performances. May 9, 5:00 p.m. and May 10, 7:00 p.m. in the Somerville High School Auditorium. Reserve tickets by paying what you can.

Cambridge-Somerville Asian Festival. May 10 and 11. Asian arts, music, and food are offered at this family-friendly event to celebrate diverse Asian cultures. This program is run by several local organizations as well as the Dear Asian Youth (DAY) Club of Somerville High School. Learn more

2024 Spring Concert and Art Exhibition. Thursday, May 16 at Somerville High School. Art Exhibit opens at 5:00 and the Concert begins at 6:00 p.m. Enjoy music performed by the Somerville High School Chorus, Orchestra, Band, World Percussion Ensemble, Jazz Band, and Guitar Class. Artwork from current High School art students and select 7th and 8th grade students will be on display. All staff, family, and friends of the Somerville Public Schools community are invited to join us for an evening celebrating the arts! 

Summer Success Program for Rising 9th Graders. Students interested in getting a head start in learning about life as a Somerville High School students should sign up for one of the free two-week Summer Success sessions. Learn more and sign up.

Summer programming. Visit the Out of School Time webpage to learn about a wide gamut of summer programming options available for your child. Some programming is free and some fee-based.

Intra-District Enrollment. Families who are interested in the intra-district transfer process can review this webpage for more information and a timeline. Email or call 617-629-5670 with any questions.

No School on Memorial Day. May 27. Schools and district offices will be closed.

Somerville Memorial Day Parade. May 27. Starts at 11:00 a.m. in Davis Square and proceeds west on Holland Street.

Early Release Wednesdays start next year. Starting in fall 2024, students in grades PK-8 will be released early on every Wednesdays. The Wednesday school day will end at noon for prekindergarten and at 1:00 p.m. for grades K-8. Learn more about this schedule change on our website.