Thompson School News : June 10, 2019

Save the Date
June 11, Tuesday – 3rd Grade Field Trip – Jason Russell House June 11, Tuesday – Town-wide Vote June 12, Wednesday – Field Day (rain date June 17) June 12, Wednesday – PTO meeting, 7 – 9 pm June 13, Thursday – Kindergarten – 4th Grade Enrichment – Author Jason Chin June 13, Thursday – 5th Grade Field Trip – Urban Air June 13, Thursday – Family Picnic (rain date June 14) June 13 and 14, Thursday and Friday – 3rd Grade Field Trip – Jason Russell House June 14, Friday – Spirit Day: Beach Day June 14, Friday – 1st Grade Field Trip – Courthouse June 14, Friday – Kindergarten Last Day of School June 17, Monday – 4th Grade Field Trip – MOS Lewis and Clark Movie June 17 and 18, Monday and Tuesday – Incoming Kindergarten Screening June 19, Wednesday – Last Day of School Grades 1-5 – 11:30 dismissal June 19, Wednesday – 5th Grade Clap-Out!
School Calendar Click here for Thompson’s Google Calendar to get school holidays, early release days, and PTO events on your own calendar. Click here for a printable version of this month’s calendar. The Arlington Public School Calendar is @
Principal’s Message
Dear Thompson Families,

Well, here we are—the last full week of the 2018-2019 school year! This time of year is so crazy busy for so many of us, for so many reasons. Personally, we are in the throes of AAU basketball, town baseball, birthdays, graduations, etc. Every weekend is chock-full of events with family and friends, coupled with late nights trying to get everything done to close out the year.

Even during the craziness that this time of year brings, I remind myself how important it is to reflect on both the challenges and successes of the year. Our main focus of the year has been on the social and emotional well-being of our students. Our bi-monthly themes, read-alouds, and activities have served as ways to continually bring our school community together. Our students have been practicing mindfulness, using strategies to self-regulate, and accessing calming break spaces if needed throughout the building.  

Our student-led efforts to advocate for change to support the environment have resulted in systemic changes in the district, and our all-school efforts have been recognized at the state level. We continue to build upon that success and have begun improvements outside of the building, as well.  It’s amazing what 560 staff and students can do!

Our academic efforts K-5 have also brought us great pride and success. As reflected in our MCAS scores, we were 1 of only 2 elementary schools that met their achievement target. Our approach with intervention practices and specialized instruction, support services for English Language Learners, and level of engagement and high achievement within the classroom have all contributed to our success. Our commitment and dedication from our staff continues to be like none other. If you are a Thompson student and family, you are with the best of the best!

And speaking of the best of the best…ALL OF YOU! Your support of our students, staff, and community is like none other. Our events, enrichments, and staff appreciation are successful because of your energy, volunteerism, and support. Thank you to those who have been an integral part of the planning and follow-through to make each event a success!

As for challenges—how can we improve the drop-off and pickup situation??? No, really! Ha ha ha! A work in progress….

As I close out my 5th year (really?!!) as Principal of Thompson School, I take great pride in all that we have accomplished. I remain grateful to work with such an amazing staff, student body, and parent community. I look forward to our continued success and partnership. It takes a village, and ours is STRONG!

If you need to contact me or the school during the summer months, we will have hours Tuesday-Thursday 9 am – 2 pm most weeks. You can always call or email, as well.

I wish you all a wonderful summer spending time doing the things you love with those you love!

With love and appreciation,

PTO Letter
Dear Thompson Families,

Every year come June, it feels as if the school year went by in the blink of an eye. And yet as I write the final PTO update for this school year, it was an action-packed year with field trips, workshops, and community events!

During the 2018-2019 school year, the PTO spent approximately 75% of its budget, or about $50,000, on enrichment programs and direct classroom support. Thanks to the generous donations of the Thompson community, our enrichment budget was the largest to date. This larger budget helped fund 17 grade-level in-school programs, 15 field trips, 4 author visits, and 4 all-school enrichment programs! Of these, 15 were new enrichment activities that our students enjoyed. Thanks to the enrichment team for planning and orchestrating these programs!

The new $2,000 Classroom Grant Fund supported teacher and staff proposals, including the Art-in-a-Bag program (launching in September 2019), the Second Step anti-bullying curriculum, and classroom tools for kindergarten and 3rd grade.

The PTO also provided comprehensive scholarships to every student who requested financial assistance. Through this program, an average of 50 students received assistance for PTO school and community events, including Picture Day, Book Fair, International Festival, and the Ice Skating party.

Congratulations to our Green Team students, parents, and teachers for their inspiring work on sustainability issues. Their efforts were recognized by the MA Secretary’s award for Excellence in Energy and Environmental Education.

The 18 community events organized this year were made possible by the leadership, enthusiasm, and effort of many parent volunteers. Thank you to the PTO board, the fundraising team, the enrichment committee, communications team, room parents, event co-chairs, and volunteers for generously contributing their time. Thank you also to the teachers, staff, Mrs. Donato, and Vicki. We cannot do what we do without their continued support.

We are grateful to the many local businesses that supported the Thompson PTO through the Arlington Community Card or with donations to our events.

Congratulations to all the 5th graders and their families as they set forth into middle school. We have several 5th grade parents who were active PTO members and will soon become Thompson alumni. A special shout-out to Carolyn Schneyer, Sarah Stockwell, Cristin Bagnall, Fiona Ehring, and Lisa Blankespoor, who have worn many hats—formally and informally—during their time at Thompson.

As we look ahead to the next school year, the PTO is looking for input from our growing community.  Please take a few minutes to fill out this short survey to help plan for the 2019-2020 school year.

In the upcoming school year, we will have the new 2019-2020 Arlington Community Card and the Direct Donation Drive. These two drives accounted for nearly 70% of the PTO’s annual budget this year. Please look for the Arlington Community Card, which will be launched on Town Day, Sept. 14th. Stop by to pick up yours or help at the Town Day booth for an hour. Keep an eye out for details in the September newsletter on how you can support these initiatives.

Lastly, reflecting on my two-year term as PTO co-president, I appreciate how much this role has allowed me to get to know so many wonderful parents and staff. I feel grateful to be part of this incredible community. I am thrilled to announce that Christy Macinta-Murphy and Ashley Lorenz will take charge as the new PTO co-presidents. Please join me in lending your support to Christy and Ashley as they take on their leadership role in the PTO.

Have a wonderful summer, and see you in September!

Nandana Mewada
PTO Spotlight
Thompson Family Picnic Save the date!  The annual family picnic is coming: Thursday, June 13th from 5-8pm (rain date June 14th).
Pack a picnic dinner, grab your chairs and blankets and come join the fun! Pizza, popcorn and frozen treats will be available for purchase.   
Knucklebones will be back with their gaga pit and games, plus all the usual activities: dunk tank, bouncy houses and musical cakes.

As always, we will need A LOT of volunteers to pull all of this off!  Consider volunteering for a short shift selling concessions, helping with an activity or donating a cake.  Sign up to help here:  
Thompson News & Events
The Dentist Is Coming September 12th and 13th (next school year)! Return your form to the school nurse before the end of the school year. Please contact Nurse Christina or Vicki if you need a form.
Thompson Garden Update The Pollinator Garden that has been evolving in front of the cafeteria now has a design! Check out the garden plan and plant list. Carmen Henriquez has donated her landscape crew, Nauak Able Hands, to install the seating area on June 15. We’re looking for volunteers and donations for planting. Please contact Leah Broder at
Thompson Diversity and Inclusion Group
One aim of the Thompson Diversity and Inclusion Group (DIG) is to share resources and local events that support courageous parents as they talk to their kids about diversity and inclusion.

Over the summer, consider purposefully exposing your kids to the diversity of peoples by visiting our local playgrounds. Hang out at our very own Thompson playground, or the nearby Dugger Park (West Medford), Dilboy Pool (Somerville) or Danehy Park (Cambridge). Have courageous conversations with your kid(s) about what you see and experience by using the concept of “windows and mirrors”. Based on what you saw and experienced, what reflected or mirrored your identity?  What about the people you saw or interacted with was new, or provided a window to learn about differences among people? Here’s more about the concept of “windows and mirrors”:

Want to get involved? Join us at
Volunteer Opportunities
Field Day Is June 12 The annual Field Day is set for Wednesday, June 12, this year! All students will get together to participate in traditional outdoor summer games. We will need parent volunteers to help set up, help the teachers supervise the kids, and keep them together eating their lunch outside while the teachers go inside the school to have lunch. If you have time to spare that day, please sign up here: Field Day 2019
Help Welcome Incoming K Parents We are looking for some current Thompson parents to help us welcome our incoming Kindergarten families during their screening on 6/17 and 6/18. Please sign up here for a short shift. The Kindergarten teachers really appreciate your time!
Community News & Events
At the end of the school year (date TBD) Arlington EATS will host an abundant pop-up pantry with staples and produce to help with the first few weeks of summer vacation. We will have summer lunches at 2 locations: at Thompson, Mondays through Thursdays from 12 – 1 pm, from July 8 until August 15 and at Robbins Library Community Room on Fridays from July 12 until August 16 from 12 – 1 pm.

On June 1, the Arlington EATS Market moved to Saint John’s Church (74 Pleasant Street, Arlington). We’ll be there for approximately two years while 117 Broadway undergoes redevelopment for an affordable housing project, which will include a new and improved Market!
Cambridge Children’s Chorus Auditions Now accepting new singers age 4 through 8th grade for September. No experience or preparation necessary. Auditions will be held on Thursday, June 13, 3:15 – 6 pm, or by appointment, at St. John the Evangelist, 2254 Mass. Ave., North Cambridge. To schedule an audition, please contact Wendy Silverberg, Director of Early Childhood Education: 617-869-8848 or Cambridge Children’s Chorus is a division of Boston City Singers.
SEPAC Update The next SEPAC business meeting is scheduled for June 11th, 7 pm at the Gibbs Media Center, 41 Foster Street, Arlington.   We will stay after the meeting for a social.  Please come and meet other sped parents!

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