Oak Hill PTO Notes -- September 17, 2019

Upcoming Events

This newsletter includes notices posted to the Oak Hill PTO website (http://oakhillpto.org) in the last week.


Notes from the PTO

Annual PTO Meeting | Thursday, September 12 at 8 PM

Please join us for our annual Oak Hill PTO meeting this Thursday, Sept. 12th, at 8 PM in the library, right after Curriculum Night. We will introduce the PTO leads, review this year’s budget, and discuss ways in which all families can get involved and support the school year-round.

Join Us Tomorrow for our Annual School Picnic!

Please join us tomorrowWednesday, September 4, from 6pm to 7:30pm for our annual school picnic, next to the softball field. Meet and reconnect with other Oak Hill families and staff, pickup some cool school swag and car magnets, and have some pizza on the PTO! 

Thank you for your donations for the Staff Appreciation Lunch!

Thank you to all the families who contributed food, supplies, and time to make last week’s Staff Appreciation Lunch a success. The Oak Hill staff appreciated the refreshments as they prepared to welcome our students back to school. A special note of thanks goes to Tamar Chamassian for organizing the overall event!

Volunteers Urgently Needed for Picture Day next Wed 9/11

VOLUNTEERS STILL URGENTLY NEEDED: Please sign up here if you’re able to volunteer next Wednesday 9/11.

Oak Hill School’s Picture Day is coming up this Wednesday, September 11th. The school is dependent on parent helpers for the day to go smoothly. Over 600 students plus an additional 100 staff will have their photo taken on this day. The process takes most of the morning, from 7:30 AM to 11 AM.

It would be helpful to have parent helpers at all times, to help the photographers, assist with names at the table, and to help keep the lines under control.

The school photography company gives money to the PTO – last year it was over $2,000 – and makes scholarship packages available to families. So having parent support is critical. Please sign up here if you’re able to volunteer.

FOOD DONATIONS NEEDED! Lunch for Oak Hill Staff on Thursday 8/29

Please consider donating a main dish for this week’s Mexican-themed fiesta lunch for our Oak Hill Middle School Teachers and Staff on Thursday, August 29th, from 11:30 to 1:00 in the school cafeteria.



Student MBTA Charlie Card Information

Student Charlie Cards (S-Cards) can be obtained for free at Oak Hill’s main office.  A student card is valid for one year, from Sept. 1st – Aug. 31st. It offers student discounts on the MBTA bus, subway, Ferries, and Commuter Rail, including a $30 monthly T pass (regular cost $90).

A monthly pass or up to $10 can be placed on the S-card. Funds can be deposited onto the card on board a bus, at a fare vending machine or at a subway station.

Real time tracking of the #52 bus is available at https://www.mbta.com/schedules/52/line  Scroll down to your stop to see when the bus will arrive.  The #52 bus stops on Wheeler Ave, in front of Oak Hill School.

Notes from Newton Public Schools

Letter from the Superintendent

Dear NPS Families,

I write to you to share information on the precautions we are taking in the Newton Public Schools related to EEE and West Nile Virus. Newton remains a LOW risk community in the state for both EEE and WNV. Given the LOW risk level, the Newton Health and Human Services Department advises precautions as listed in the attached fact sheet.

NPS has taken the following actions given the elevated risk levels in other parts of the state:

For more information, please visit:



We will continue to work closely with our partners in the Newton Health and Human Services Department to monitor the situation and will make adjustments as necessary. Newton HHS is working together with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and the East Middlesex Mosquito Control Project to assess the situation in our community. We will keep you updated as new information becomes available.


David Fleishman

FAQ Mosquitoes 9.10.19.pdf

Bus Transportation Update

Dear NPS Families,

The first two days of school have presented some significant challenges for our bus transportation. We apologize to those of you who have experienced delays, frustrations, and anxiety related to transportation on these first days of school.

Please know that we are receiving your voicemails and emails and will respond as soon as possible. There will be some delay in response given the extremely high volume of communications we are receiving. Our first priority is to resolve the issues related to bus routes so as to ensure your student’s timely transportation to and from school. Eastern Bus, our transportation vendor, has shared with us that the shortage of bus drivers is impacting operations. They are working diligently to get all drivers up to speed as soon as possible.

We know that many families have not received their bus passes and significant numbers of applications are still being submitted. All applications submitted prior to the August 16th deadline were processed, printed, and mailed. Please know that bus passes WILL NOT be checked until several weeks into the school year. This information has been communicated to all schools.

For families utilizing special education transportation, we are resolving issues on an individual basis as each student and ride is unique.

Given the significant construction projects in process throughout the City of Newton, additional bus delays may occur throughout the year. Because our buses operate on a tiered system (same buses are used for high school, middle school, elementary school), delays in one tier impact schools throughout the system.

Next year, we plan to implement changes to the registration process and timing to address the challenges we have experienced this year. Please look for additional information later this year.

We know this is a time of transition for all families. Lack of certainty in transportation makes that transition more difficult. Please know we are working hard to resolve these issues as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding and patience.


Liam Hurley, Assistant Superintendent/Chief Financial and Administrative Officer

Regina Moody, Director of Transportation

Letter from the Superintendent

Dear NPS Families,

I hope you have enjoyed the summer. It is a great pleasure to welcome both our returning families and those new to our schools.

The start of a school year is a wonderful time for anyone involved in education because it represents a new beginning. It is an opportunity to share our experience and our skills with new colleagues, new families, and new students. There is also a special excitement knowing how much we will learn from each other and from our students over the course of the year.

Summer is an important time for adult learning in Newton. We began this summer again with a powerful conference on race and achievement for Newton Educators. Among the many terrific sessions led by Newton faculty and staff, were workshops on Culturally Responsive Teaching and the Brain and Tackling Implicit Bias. We are committed to creating welcoming and inclusive classrooms and school communities, and we will continue this work with faculty and staff, as well as students throughout the year.

After a year of careful planning, we are proud to finally offer full-day kindergarten in the Newton Public Schools. Our kindergarten teams, support staff, and administrators have worked over the course of this spring and summer to develop a schedule for our kindergarteners that balances academic learning with age-appropriate social and emotional structures and activities.

In our continuous effort to personalize learning and leverage the use of technology, this year we are expanding our 1:1 initiative to grades 9-11 at both high schools. Students will receive a Chromebook for academic work both in school and at home. We will continue to support our faculty in incorporating best practices for technology use in their classrooms.

While academic achievement is a hallmark of the Newton Public Schools, we are just as firmly committed to the physical and social/emotional health of our students. We seek to work in partnership with you in supporting students as they navigate the pre-K – 12 years. To that end, last year we hosted a well-attended community forum on vaping, the most recent health epidemic to impact our youth. We will continue to address this issue through our health curriculum and through our school support systems. It is our plan this year to host another community forum on a topic that is relevant, timely, and useful to you as parents and caregivers. We look forward to this opportunity and will share more information once it is available.

We continue to achieve milestones on our long-term strategic plan for our school buildings. Our Cabot students will begin the year in their renovated and expanded facility. Horace Mann students will start the year in their new, permanent home at 225 Nevada St. We will continue to keep you apprised of progress as we strive to renovate and update our buildings.

One of the most important parts of my job is to be in our schools on a regular basis working with staff and students. Together with School Committee members, and working closely with our PTOs, I will again visit each of our 22 schools to speak with you about district initiatives and listen to your ideas, questions, and concerns. In addition, I will use my superintendent newsletter and social media to share more with you about all the good work happening in our district. Be sure to follow the Newton Public Schools on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

As I enter my tenth year as superintendent of the Newton Public Schools, I know how important your support is to the success and well-being of our students. Please accept my best wishes for a wonderful school year.

David Fleishman

For a video message, please follow this link: https://youtu.be/RiMFrrp9MAQ

Community Notes

Learn about a proposed health regulation at the Public Listening session

A public health regulation is proposed to restrict sales of electronic cigarettes to adult-only (21+) stores. A public listening session regarding this draft regulation will be held in early October. Learn more here: www.tinyurl.com/NewtonEcigs

October 3rd, 7:00 – 9:000 pm
City Council Chambers, Newton City Hall, 1000 Commonwealth Avenue

Outbreak of Serious Vaping Related Lung Illness

Public health officials are currently investigating a multistate outbreak of severe pulmonary disease associated with e-cigarette and marijuana vaping devices.

Newton Health and Human Services strongly urges residents to consider not using any e-cigarette or vaping products until more information has been determined. And we continue to encourage parents to speak with your children about never using any vape products.

Please click here for more information and to read the entire advisory. http://www.newtonma.gov/gov/health_n_human_services/public/tobacco_and_e_cigarettes.asp

Newton’s Top Chefs Cook for a Great Cause: Tickets on Sale NOW

Tickets are ON SALE NOW for Newton Food Pantry ‘s Newton’s Community Table (NCT) fundraiser. NCT is a unique event where guests can experience the tastes of some of Newton’s best restaurants and feel good knowing that all proceeds will go to benefit our community.

Please visit www.foodfornewton.com for details and tickets. This event will sell out quickly, so purchase your ticket today!

October 17th, 6:30-9:30 pm
The Windsor Club

For additional information see Newton’s Community Table

Sign up for the NewtonSTEM newsletter

NewtonSTEM.org publishes a weekly newsletter of announcements about Science/Tech/Engineering/Math relevant to Newton students, parents, teachers, and community volunteers.

Sign up for the weekly email here http://newtonstem.org/email-list/, and you can unsubscribe at any time. Now in its ninth year, NewtonSTEM is a clearinghouse for information about STEM achievements, events, opportunities, and resources, both in and outside of school, specifically relevant to Newton.

For more information — or to submit announcements — email info@newtonstem.org.

Newton Resource & Transition Fair

Need to start planning for life after high school for your student with special needs, but not sure how? Attend “Take the Next Step: The College & Career Resource & Transition Fair”.

Check out exhibitors from colleges, postsecondary training programs, government and the private sector – and a special presentation by legal, financial and educational transition experts. For more information, check out the event flyer here: bit.ly/Oct17FairFlyer

To register click here  bit.ly/DATransitionFair

October 17th, 6:00 – 8:00 pm
Dearborn Academy Gymnasium Building, 575 Washington Street., Newton

Cosponsored by Newton’s Dearborn Academy & the USA 500 Club’s Special Needs Consortium.

Free webinar about navigating insurance for mental health treatments

Families for Depression Awareness is releasing their free “What Families Need to Know About Mental Health and Insurance” webinar  In this webinar, you’ll learn ways to help your loved one navigate insurance and pay for mental health treatment. Family caregivers and expert presenters will discuss important considerations for choosing a health insurance plan, ways to overcome insurers’ barriers to care like prior authorization and inadequate networks, and what is need to appeal insurance decisions.

This program is designed for family caregivers and adults concerned about paying for a loved one’s treatment. Please share this email with anyone who may find the information helpful. Register today to receive the recorded webinar to be released October 23rd, 12:00 pm. After the webinar, complete an online evaluation to receive a copy of the “Coping with Stress” brochure!

Please do not hesitate to reach out to Arielle Cohen at 781-890-0220 or
ari@familyaware.org if you have any questions about this upcoming program.


Research Study on Stress, Depression, and the Teen Brain

Researchers at McLean Hospital are recruiting female teens between the ages of 14-18
who are currently feeling depressed or down as well as female teens who are not feeling
depressed/down. Your teen can earn up to $100.00 and receive a picture of her brain.

The research is investigating factors that make some teens better able to cope with stressful experiences and what makes some teens more vulnerable to experiencing depression. By participating, you and your child can help them better understand, prevent, and treat adolescent depression.

Teens will answer questions about their thoughts and feelings. Teens will also undergo an fMRI brain scan. Parent permission is required for teens under 18.

For more information, please contact Emily Belleau at 617-855-4245 or

Yoga and Meditation for Children

Nurturing the body, mind, and heart in 8 Tuesday sessions. For ages 7-10.

This class will offer children a joyful yoga and meditation experience. Children will develop a practice that engages the body through yoga poses, balance, strength, and flexibility. Partner and group activities, movement, and games will encourage awareness of the body, cooperation, and support for one another. Breath work  and short meditations will invite children to experience a sense of calm and connection. Confidence, self-esteem, concentration, a strong mind/body connection, and a sense of freedom and joy are just a few of the many benefits of yoga meditation practice.

This class is taught by Michelle Bissanti.* To register, visit thebcccp.com or contact Michelle directly at michelle@heartseedwisdompractices.com

Cost $136.00
September 17th – November 12th (excluding November 5th)
The Boston Center for Contemplative Practice
796 Beacon Street, Newton Centre



Michellehasbeenanelementaryeducatorandayogaandmeditationteacherinbothpublicandprivateelementary schoolsforover20years. You can learn more about Michelle and her work at https://www.heartseedwisdompractices.com

Openings for September 2020 preschool

Newton South Preschool, a public preschool program, is currently accepting applications for September of 2020.

The preschool is a child development lab school and is part of the Family and Consumer Sciences Department at Newton South High School. In addition to providing high quality early education and care, the program serves as an internship site for high school students who are taking early childhood courses.

The program serves children 2.9-5 years old from 7:00 am-5:00 pm and follows the Newton Public Schools calendar. Full day and half day options are available.

The teachers hold M.Ed.’s in Early Childhood and are licensed by the MA Department of and Secondary Education. The program is accredited by NAEYC (the National Association for the Education of Young Children).

Please contact Kevin Lenane if you are interested in enrolling or would like a tour at  kevin_lenane@newton.k12.ma.us or 617-559-6533. For more information, visit the website http://newtonsouthpreschoolprogram.weebly.com/

Free Diversity Children’s Books

For the 7th year, FREE Diversity Children’s Books are being offered through Multicultural Children’s Book Day!

If you have a love of diversity in children’s literature and are willing to share on your social media platforms such as Facebook (Pages only), Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, or YouTube, sign up here: http://bit.ly/2A2xIxd