Category Archives: From the Principal

Three Upcoming Events

June 12, 2014

Dear Oak Hill Families,

Here is some essential information about three upcoming events:

1. Step Up Day – TOMORROW – June 13
2. Field Day – Tuesday, June 17 (Rain date June 18)
3. Eighth Grade Celebration of Success Ceremony, Friday, June 20


1) Step Up Day – Friday, June 13

Here is the schedule for tomorrow; if you have any questions, please contact our office 617 559-9200.

Early Release – adjusted schedule – 11:30 dismissal for Gr. 7 only
Period 1 8:00 to 8:30
Period 2 8:32 to 9:02
Period 3 9:04 to 9:34
Period 4 9:36 to 10:06
Period 5 10:08 to 10:38
Period 6 10:40 to 11:10
Extension 11:12 to 11:30

• 11:05-11:30 Grade 7 eat lunch in OH cafeteria (11:30am dismissal for Gr. 7 Students only)

• 11:30-11:55 Grade 6 eats lunch and then 12:00-2:30 students with 7th grade teachers for 7th Grade Step Up

• 11:40-11:55 Grade 5 welcome in auditorium; 12:00-12:40pm lunch and then Step Up activities until 2:20pm

• Grade 8 to South, including lunch: 11:15 – 1:30, with team teachers ’til 2:30 (11:15 depart from Oak Hill)

2) Field Day – Tuesday, June 17 (Rain date June 18)

Students do not follow a typical day 6 schedule; they do not attend any of their regularly scheduled classes. Field day is an all-day event, and every student participates. Students will report to their Panther Homeroom for attendance; please make sure they arrive on time. There is no morning basketball before school, to allow for set up of the fields and the gym.

What to bring:
Many of the field day events are outdoors. The weather could be warm and sunny.

Students are encouraged to apply sunblock before coming to school. There will be sunblock available with the nurse, as well. Hats and sunglasses are allowed. Students should wear sneakers to school, as well as proper attire for being outdoors and active.

Keeping hydrated:
There will be several water stations in the field. Students are encouraged to bring a disposable water bottle, with their name on it.

All teams are assigned a color for the day:
6-2 & Mr. Hunt’s community group: Gray
6-3 & Ms. Leary’s community group: Light blue
6-4 & Mr. Lyons’ community group: Making tie-dye shirts
6-5 & Dr. Herman-Davis’ community group: Black
7-1: Green
7-2: Maroon & Gold (school colors)
7-3: Neon colors
8-1: Navy Blue
8-2: Red

If you have any questions, please contact the office or email Mr. Drinan.

3) Eighth Grade Celebration of Success Ceremony, Friday, June 20

The 8th Grade Celebration of Success ceremony will begin promptly at 9:00 on Friday, June 20 in the Oak Hill gymnasium. This ceremony is an exciting opportunity to acknowledge the hard work that students have done over their three years at Oak Hill.

We are requesting your help with upcoming Oak Hill June events! Step-Up Day, Field Day, Moving on Ceremony & More!

May 27, 2014

Dear Oak Hill Families, 

I am asking for your help in supporting a couple of important events that are coming up in June including Step-Up Day, Field Day and Eighth Grade Moving on Ceremony. Thank you for emailing or me directly (

Step-Up Day, Friday, June 13

  • The 5th graders will be visiting Oak Hill from 11:30-2:20pm.
  • Our current 6th grade students will “Step Up” to 7th grade to learn about the 7th grade experience with the usual 2:30 dismissal.
  • 7th grade students will be dismissed at 11:30 a.m.; school buses will be available.
  • 8th grade students will visit Newton North or Newton South with the usual 2:30 dismissal.
  • If you have any questions about next year’s program, please contact your child’s school guidance counselor at 617-559-9210
  • More specific information regarding Step-Up Day will be coming out this week.

Please see the attached letter for more details

December Update

Dear Oak Hill Families,

As we head into the winter vacation, I would like to give a few more updates (in the following posts). This Friday is a regular 2:30pm dismissal and we will see you back in school on Thursday, January 2nd.

I hope you enjoy a restful vacation with your family and Happy New Year!


Oak Hill MCAS School Report Card

We are proud to share the results of our school’s MCAS report card. Please see the attachments of the MCAS Introduction Letter and the School Report Card Overview.

Oak Hill Geography Bee

For the 26th year, the National Geographic Society is holding the National Geographic Bee for students in the fourth through eighth grades in thousands of schools across the United States and in the five U.S. territories, as well as in Department of Defense Dependents Schools around the world.  The classroom level of the National Geographic Bee will be held in early January in the social studies classes.  The winner from each class will compete against the other classroom-level winners from his or her grade-level in January.  The three grade-level winners will then compete for the school championship and advance to the next level of competition, a written examination to determine state competitors.  All school winners are eligible to win the national championship and its first prize, a $50,000 college scholarship, at the national competition May 19-21, 2014 in Washington, D.C.

Paul Lyons, the 6-1 English and Social Science teacher, oversees our school’s Geography Bee. There will be three grade-level Bee winners and then we will have a competition between the grade-level finalists to determine who represents the school for the state competition.

Staff Update: Mr. Yee is off to China!

The Newton-Jingshan Exchange is the oldest exchange of its type in the country.  Mr. Yee and other NPS staff will be taking eight students from Newton South and North High Schools to the Jingshan School in Beijing China for a semester of language, culture, and academic exchange.  This exchange program will begin on January 27 and continue through the spring.

During Mr. Yee’s absence, Dr. Bercaw, an Oak Hill Eighth Grade U.S. History teacher will take over as the assistant principal.  Dr. Bercaw is a certified K-12 administrator in Massachusetts, Tennessee and Illinois. Dr. Bercaw in his role as history teacher will be replaced by Mr. Mihalich. Mr. Mihalich has been a teaching assistant in Dr. Bercaw’s history classroom for the past several years including this year. He is working closely with Dr. Bercaw to ensure a smooth transition. Mr. Mihalich graduated from Boston University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Social Studies Education and he is currently working toward his Master of Arts in History at the University of Massachusetts in Boston. 

Also, Ms. Sack will take over as the 6-4 math/science teacher for Ms. Sullivan who is retiring. Ms. Sack will join our staff on January 2.

Support for families

As we come closer to our first extended holiday time off, it is possible that students may need emergency mental health services during that time.  Riverside Community Care is NPS’ mental health agency partner.  Please utilize this emergency resource if necessary:
Riverside Community Care
24 hour Emergency Services Program

Safe Schools Update, PTO Coffee Summary and December Events

Dear Oak Hill Families,

Please click the links for a brief summary of the Safe Schools Day work from Thursday and a summary of some of the issues discussed during the PTO Coffee  held on November 15th.

Winter Concert Season is here!  Please come out with your family to support our students who have diligently practiced and rehearsed together throughout the fall. Mr. Miller and Mr. Cutler will be leading their students through diverse and entertaining programs!  Below is a brief description of Oak Hill’s school performances and events coming up in December.  Hope you get to enjoy the fun!


Monday, 12/9        Grades 6/7/8 Winter Concert Choirs at 7:30pm (Oak Hill Auditorium) Tuesday, 12/10     String Orchestra Only Performance at 7:30pm (Brown Auditorium) Wednesday, 12/11 Teens and Social Media Use: A Community Workshop for Parents of                                        Middle School Students at 7pm (F.A. Day Auditorium) For more                                                information, see below.
Thursday, 12/12   Grades 6/7/8 Winter Concert Bands at 7:30pm (Oak Hill Auditorium)

Teen and Social Media Use: A Community Workshop for Parents of Middle School Students

The Day PTO has extended an invitation to all Newton Public Middle Schools’ parents to an important discussion for this Wednesday, December 11 at 7:00pm in the F. A. Day Auditorium.

This event will bring experts and the community together to discuss many of the concerns parents and teens have about media use. We will bring research evidence and practical advice to bear on understanding questions like: What realistic risks may teens face with their media use? How can teens benefit most from digital media? How can parents create and enforce appropriate boundaries for their teens’ media use to best balance risks and opportunities? We will conclude with a half hour for parents to mix and mingle and compare strategies and experiences. Parents from all of the Newton middle schools are welcome.

Parent/Guardian Visiting Days, October 2013

Dear Oak Hill Families:

You are cordially invited to visit Oak Hill Middle School while in session on the following mornings, Periods 1 and 2:

Grade 6: Tuesday, Oct. 22 (Day 4), 8:00 – 9:45 a.m.

Grade 7: Monday, Oct. 28 (Day 2), 8:00 – 9:45 a.m.

Grade 8: Thursday, Oct. 24 (Day 6), 8:00 – 9:45 a.m.

We have identified mornings when students by grade level are in their “team” classes (Eng., Continue reading

Important information from the Principal

Dear Oak Hill Families,

Thank you for the tremendous support you have provided our school community over the last few days. The staff has been very appreciative of the emails and kind show of support for Sean and his family. We wanted to let you know that a funeral mass to celebrate the life of Katherine (Katie) Stack will be held on Sunday, October 25th, at 3:00 PM at The First Baptist Church in Newton Centre, at the corner of Beacon and Centre streets. The address is 848 Beacon Street.

Should your child/children want to attend the service, we highly encourage you to go with them. These can be very emotional events for our students and your presence is extremely important. We also ask you to think about opening your home this weekend to students in order to create a safe place for children to gather.

If you have a concern or want to share information regarding your child, please contact your child’s guidance counselor and we will work together to provide the necessary supports.

Thank you,