Thompson School News : June 25, 2018

Save The Date

* New *

  • June 25, Monday – Last Day of School, 11:30 AM Dismissal
  • Sept 4, Tuesday – First Day of School
  • Sept 4, Tuesday – Open House Kindergarten
  • Sept 5, Wednesday – 1/2 of Kindergarten Class all Day
  • Sept 6, Thursday – 1/2 of Kindergarten Class all Day
  • Sept 7, Friday – All School, including Kindergarten, Full Day of School
  • Sept 7, Friday – Welcome Back Breakfast | Coffee
  • Sept 11, Tuesday – PTO Meeting
  • Sept 15, Saturday – Town Day

School Calendar

Click 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 Update

Dear Thompson Families,

Believe it or not, here we are – the end of the 2017-2018 School Year! Congratulations to all of us – We Made It!

People often ask me what am I looking forward to this summer and if I get vacation time, etc. My answer always includes how happy I am that I don’t have to do the “crazy mom thing” in the morning – get everybody up & out, without losing it on my kids as I drop off at Dallin and Ottoson, and screech in to Thompson!

The other answer is, that for the most part, I will be working during the summer – the best days to stop by if you need anything are Tuesday-Thursday, and Vicki and/or I will be there between 9:00-2:00.

I would also like to say a huge THANK YOU to our staff, students, parents, PTO, after school programs, and the many, many people involved that make Thompson School such an amazing place! While we say farewell to our 80+ fifth graders, we welcome over 100 new students in K-5 for the 2018-2019 school year. Now that our addition is complete, and the modulars will be removed, I look forward to the Fall when we will be “just us” and settle in to our new normal.

As we head out for the summer I wanted to share a few staffing updates with you:

Ms. Daley will be moving from 5th Grade to 4th Grade
TBD in Grade 5

We bid a fond farewell and say thank you to:

Ms. Makrianis, who has resigned her position as Library TA.
Ms. Becker, who has resigned her position as Music Teacher and Chorus Instructor

We also say a big thank you and goodbye to the following Teaching Assistants:
Mr. Ryan, Ms. Jie Jie, Ms. Quarrell, Ms. Richa, Ms. Blais, and Ms. T.

Students will be coming home with their Progress Reports and supply lists for their next year’s grade. Please note that Teacher Assignments will be mailed home in early August, with a welcome letter from the teacher, and more specific list if necessary.

I continue to reflect on how grateful I am to be a part of the Thompson School Community. We have SO much to be proud of, and have really had an impact not only at our school, but in the way the District is approaching and addressing topics of great importance. I am thankful to have such a dedicated, supportive staff and parent community.

I hope each and every family spends some quality time doing things that bring you joy this summer! Take the time to enjoy the sunshine, the sounds of the season, and each other.

See you around town,


PTO Update

Here we are at the end of another successful school year with the last newsletter for 2017-2018. The final three months of the school year feel like a marathon at sprinting speed. For the PTO, April through June are among the busiest times of the year with 18 enrichment programs, 2 all-school programs, and 8 community events!

Expenditure 2017 - 2018For the 2017-2018, the PTO’s approximately $60,000 budget helped fund 28 grade-level field trips, 2 author visits, 4 all-school enrichment programs, and 20 community events. With a larger budget, we were able to bring in several new enrichment programs including a trip to the Farrington Nature Linc for 2nd Grade, a Wampanoag Cultural workshop and presentation to 3rd Grade, and field trips for 4th Grade to the Museum of Fine Arts and Habitat. All school programs highlights included a cultural presentation called Arabiqa, author workshops by Jessica Garrett and Nora Dooley, an anti-bullying program by Improv Boston, a Hip Hop presentation by Illstyle and Peace, and the “One Day’ Community Sing at the School Picnic.

Community event highlights included the Welcome Back Breakfast in fall, followed by the Book Fair, Literacy Night, Holiday Drive, and Winter Parent’s Party in winter, Game Night and the Science EXPLO in early spring, and the beloved year-end Family picnic.

As the cliché goes, many hands make light work, and that certainly holds true for all the PTO was able to do this year. None of the events would have been possible without the leadership, enthusiasm, and help of the multitude of parents who volunteered their time and skills. Thank you to the PTO board, the fundraising team, the enrichment committee, communications team, room parents, event co-chairs and volunteers who helped with tasks big and small. We want to give a special shout out to Maf Terry, enrichment lead extraordinaire and director of many Thompson Drama plays, who after 9 years as a PTO member, will be “graduating” from Thompson. Maf, we will miss your energy, creativity, and can-and-will-do attitude!

Thank you also to the teachers, Mrs. Donato, Vicki, and the staff for their continued support of the PTO.

As we look ahead to the next school year, the PTO has a few open board positions. Please take a few minutes to fill out the survey and help us plan for 2018-2019.

The fall is the time for the PTO’s two primary fundraisers. The 2018-2019 Arlington Community Card will be launched on Town Day on Saturday, September 15th, and the Direct Donation Drive will start in October. Both these drives accounted for approximately 73% of the PTO annual budget this year. Keep an eye out for additional details on how you can support these initiatives.

Last but not least, congratulations to all the 5th graders and their families as they set forth into middle school. We also look forward to welcoming the new kindergarten class, which is shaping up to be the largest incoming kindergarten class to date at Thompson!

Have a wonderful summer!
Diana and Nandana
(PTO Co-Presidents)

Thompson News & Events

A Message from the Library

As the school year draws to a close, I am aiming to get as many books returned as possible. Notices with specific titles for overdue books will go home in a couple of weeks, but until then, please check your homes for any extra library books! Getting everything back means the library will be organized and full for the next school year. Any questions or concerns can be directed to me, Miss Mak, at Best, and happy almost summer!

Thompson Trees Need You!

TreeWe need to fill the tree bags with water twice a week throughout the summer.  This is a team effort, and we need your help!  If you would like to learn more or get involved, please contact Phil Tedesco at


Incoming Kindergarteners

If you have an incoming Kindergartener at Thompson, join the Facebook group “Thompson Kindergarten 2018- 2019” to connect with other parents.

Summer Meet-ups

  • Sunday, July 15, 9:30am @ Waldo Park
  • Saturday, July 28, 4:00pm @ Waldo Park
  • Saturday, August 11, 9:30am @ Thompson Playground
  • Sunday, August 26, 4:00pm @ Spy Pond

Green Team News

Congratulations to our graduating awesome change makers!

Enjoy your summer in nature and with family!

I hope some of you will accept Ms. Dichter’s 2 graders’ challenge of having a Strawless Summer.  Don’t forget to visit our Green Team display in the Fox Library up through July 6th.

Please contact Elizabeth at if you want to attend a summer Green Team meeting or submit a Green Team Bikeway Haiku!
Please contact Fiona at if your family wants to be involved with the garden this summer.

Message from Rachel Oliveri, Sustainability Coordinator

Thank you all for your good and hard work teaching, learning from, and inspiring our students to care for the planet!

If you have or know of any rising 5th and 6th graders who might be interested in the environmental camp Charlotte Milan and I are running from July 9-13th, please forward them this information:

Youth Environmental Leadership Program starts July 9

From July 9-13 EarthCore members will traverse Town, explore our waterways and natural areas. We’ll undertake experiments and service learning projects.
Under the supervision of the Recycling Coordinator and School Sustainability Coordinator, re-see your Town from the perspective of an environmentalist, a scientist, a designer, and a leader.

Find out more @

Register @

Enjoy the summer and I look forward to working with your teams in the fall!


SSummer Opportunities

Mark your calendars with these grant opportunities, workshops, conferences, and more!

  • June 27 – Northeast Resource Recovery Association (NRRA) Webinar: Indoor Air Quality and Green Cleaning. This workshop explores indoor air quality hazards for school building occupants such as cleaning chemicals, varnishes, maintenance issues, and improper storage of art/science/voc tech chemicals and discusses how green cleaning practices can significantly improve school health.
  • June 28 – Massachusetts Agriculture in the Classroom presents “Family-Owned Dairy Farms – the History, the Satisfaction, and the Challenges.” Learn about what it is like to grow up on a dairy farm, what careers are available, and whether you can incorporate dairy lessons into your curriculum.
  • July 8-21 – Sustainable Development & Social Entrepreneurship Session at the Yale Young Global Scholars Program. This program is focused on exploring innovative solutions to the greatest challenges facing the international community today, and aims to prepare students to tackle problems related to particular areas of interest, including global health, international development, environmental sustainability, and gender equality.
  • July 9-13 – Museum Institute for Teaching Science (MITS) Summer Professional Development Institute for the Cape Cod Region (middle and high school educators), MetroWest Region (for grades 3-8 educators), Berkshire Region (for grades 3-8 educators), and Central Region (for grades 3-8 educators).
  • July 15 – Captain Planet Foundation: ecoSolution Grants
    The Captain Planet Foundation supports educational programs that enable youth to understand and appreciate our world by getting involved in hands-on projects to improve the environment. The Foundation provides ecoSolution Grants to innovative programs that inspire youth to participate in community service through environmental stewardship activities. Public schools and nonprofit organizations are eligible to apply for grants of $500 to $2,500. Priority is given to projects with matching funds or in-kind support. The final application deadline for 2018 is July 15. Online application guidelines are available on the Foundation’s website.
  • July 16-20 – Museum Institute for Teaching Science Summer Professional Development Institute for the North Shore Region (for grades 3-8 educators) and Southeast Region (for grades 3-8 educators).
  • July 17 – Massachusetts Agriculture in the Classroom presents “Growing for Others and Improving Your Garden.” Learn about field trip opportunities for your class, hands-on gardening activities, and food issues and hunger in Massachusetts.

Volunteer Opportunities

The Thompson PTO has many volunteer needs both small and big. If you’re looking for a way to give back to Thompson, here’s a list of ways you can help.

Town Day Community Card Sales – Saturday Sept 15th

Town Day is where we launch, and sell the majority of, our Community Cards each year. Current town day record = 1000 cards! We will need ~75 volunteers throughout the day in 1 hour shifts between 8:00 AM and 4:00PM. No ‘sales’ experience necessary! If you can work a cash box or carry a sign, you are good to go. This is a great way to get to know other parents, and kids are welcome to join you during your shift if they are capable – nobody can resist those cute faces.

The signup is ready, get your preferred time slot today! https://tinyurl/townday2018

For more about the card, visit

Help Throughout the Year

To check all current volunteer opportunities:


Attention 5th Grade Parents!

GO-PTO, the parent-school partnership for the Gibbs and Ottoson Middle Schools, seeks new board members to serve in the 2018/19 school year. Parents of rising 6th graders are especially needed; no previous PTO experience is necessary. The board generally meets once a month, and related duties can take up a few hours a month; there are also other volunteer opportunities for non-board members.

This is a great way to get to know the principals and teachers and stay involved in your child’s education. Anyone who is interested should contact GO-PTO via e-mail at

Summer Public Speaking Program

Smart Kid Looking for a Challenge? This summer, the Lumos Young Speakers Program is running a public speaking and debate program for students grade 4-6. This program will take place in July and will run 9am-4pm, Monday to Friday (1-week) in Lexington, MA.

Your child will love Lumos’s friendly instructors and fun activities as they learn about:

  • Speaking Confidence
  • Impromptu Speaking
  • Debate Basics
  • Argumentation and Reasoning

Right now you can use the code COMMUNITY to get $125 off. Email or call 617-901-4564 with any questions. To register, go to

Connect with Us

Thompson PTO Board

Nandana Mewada, Co-President
Diana Trudell, Co-President
Yael Beals, Vice-President
Danielle Gottesman, Communications Chair

If you have news to share with the community, please email by Thursday at 12 noon to be included in the next newsletter.

Please note that we will only include news from the Thompson School and Town of Arlington. Announcements of interest to the Thompson community from other non-profit organizations may be included at our discretion.

Thompson School News : May 14, 2018

Save The Date

* New *

  • May 14, Monday – Incoming Kindergarten Orientation, 9 AM
  • May 15, 22, 29 – Thompson Tuesdays at Not Your Average Joe’s
  • May 15 and 17 – Math MCAS Grade 3
  • May 16, Wednesday – Field Trip, Grade 5
  • May 18, Friday – All Town 5th Grade Dance
  • May 22, Tuesday – Incoming Kindergarten Visit, 1:30-2:30 PM
  • May 21 and 22 – Science MCAS Grade 5
  • May 24, Thursday – In School 3rd Grade Enrichment
  • May 25, Friday – Field Trip Grade 3
  • May 25, Friday – Spirit Day – Red, White and Blue
  • May 28, Monday – No School
  • May 29, Tuesday – All School Enrichment: “One Day Song”
  • May 30 and 31 – Field Trip Grade 3
  • May 31 Thursday – Thompson Art Show
  • June 7, Friday 5 PM to 8 PM – Thompson Picnic

School Calendar

Click 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.

Principal Update

“We must find time to stop and thank the people who make a difference in our lives.”
– John F. Kennedy

Dear Thompson Families,

I wanted to take a moment to thank you on behalf of myself and the entire staff here at Thompson for an amazing couple of weeks! From the Community Drive, to Nurse, Principal, and Administrative Assistant Appreciation Days, and last week’s Teacher Appreciation festivities, we are so grateful to all of you for making it so wonderful. A special shout out to Judy Hu and Melissa Kenard for all of their time, energy, and organization!

Hard to believe, but there’s ONLY 30 more school days left in the 2017-2018 school year! In these days, there is a tremendous amount of learning, enrichment, field trips, fun filled activities, and celebrations to be a part of!

See you soon,


Highlight of the Week

Not Your Average Joe’s

Not Your Average Joe'sThompson Tuesdays in May at Not Your Average Joe’s!

Eat or get take-out at NYAJ’s on any Tuesday in May, mention Thompson when paying the bill, and 15% of your check will go to the PTO Enrichment Fund! You can use your Community Card to save yourself 10% too – SAVE and GIVE at the same time! Excludes alcohol. Arlington location only.

Thompson News & Events

Thompson’s Art Night

Please save the date for Thompson’s Art Night on Thursday, May 31st from 6:00-7:30pm. All student’s will have artwork on display and there will be artmaking activities for the entire family.

Students have been practicing with art media, learning new techniques, finding inspiration from other artists and reflecting on their artmaking processes since September to prepare for this show. We hope you will join us to spend some time talking with your student about their artwork and to view all of the creations coming from Thompson’s Art Studio.

This year, the art teachers have switched to a Teaching for Artistic Behavior (TAB) model. This philosophy focuses on student choice. Students generate their own ideas and work to solve visual problems. For more information on this philosophy, please visit:

We look forward to seeing you there!

Deb Campagna and Melody Wolfe Thomas

Book Release by Thompson’s Own 4th Grade Teacher Sarah Marie Jette!

Ms. Jette’s first book, What the Wind Can Tell You, will be released on May 15th. Ms. Jette will host a reading and signing on Saturday, May 19th at the Robbins Library from 1pm-3pm.

To pre-order the book or for additional information:

The book will also be available at the Book Rack for purchase.

Green Team News

Congratulations to Thompson for collecting 775 lbs of textiles (1.59 lbs/student) in the All-School Textile Recycling Competition. Peirce won the competition with 1,160lbs of textiles donated, or 3.84 lbs per student.

All the schools together collected over 7,200 lbs of textiles, now diverted from the waste stream and able to be put to good use as reusable clothing, household insulation, car seat stuffing, and wiping cloths! Remember that you can bring your donated textiles to the collection bin outside the school year round. Bay State Textiles gives money back to the Arlington Public Schools for the amount we collect (close to $400 during this competition week and $1,190 so far this year)!

First Grade Update

The first grade had a beautiful, peacock-filled day at the Franklin Park Zoo on Friday, May 11. Highlights included red pandas, giraffes, and animal-themed playgrounds.

Thompson Community Sing

Family Folk ChoraleChris Eastburn, the artistic director of the multigenerational Family Folk Chorale, will teach Thompson students and staff Matisyahu’s hopeful and uplifting song, “One Day,” on the mornings of May 29th and June 5th.

All parents are invited to attend the June 5th 8:40 am rehearsal and join the Community Sing of “One Day” at the annual PTO picnic Thursday June 7th. Link to “One Day” is here.

Please contact Elizabeth Rocco at if you want to help with the Thompson Community Sing project.

Community Collection Drive Update

“Thompson CARES” is our motto for a good reason. Our first ever Community Collection Drive was a HUGE success. Thanks to everyone who contributed to fulfilling our Teacher wishlists.

For our beloved children, we collected enrichment opportunities (e.g. Legos, Magnatiles, chess sets, games, knitting supplies, diverse books), group play activities (e.g. recess balls, sidewalk chalk and bubbles, etc), and furniture that provides comfortable learning (e.g. lap desks, cozy pillows, yoga balls). For our beloved teachers we supported their day to day needs (e.g. laminator, document camera, poster board, gridded paper, art materials, classroom supplies). And this only highlights a small portion of what was collected!

One teacher said, “I feel like I won the lottery; and I never win anything!” Not here. As a Thompson community, we all win. On behalf of our teachers, thank you.

-PTO, Spirit Team

Volunteer Opportunities

The Thompson PTO has many volunteer needs both small and big. If you’re looking for a way to give back to Thompson, here’s a list of ways you can help.

Join the Community Card Team!

Planning is already underway for 2018-19! This is Thompson’s second biggest fundraiser, bringing in $16K+ annually for School Enrichment. We confirm our promotional and selling strategies now, so that we can relax over the summer and hit the ground running right when school starts in September. We need your help!

To get in the loop, email one of the co-chairs:

  • Ashley Lorenz (K,3,5) at
  • Gaggi DeStefanis (3)
  • Christy Murphy (K)

For more details about the Community Card, go here.

Help Throughout the Year

To check all current volunteer opportunities:


The 20th annual Read to Ride Program

The Read to Ride Program, sponsored by Dependable Cleaners, is kicking off this week! We welcome students at Thompson School to enter to win a bicycle and other prizes by reading each week during summer vacation. It’s a great way to encourage children to read. To date, more than 70,000 books have been read! Click here for an entry form with rules.

Arlington Children’s Theater Presents

Gulliver’s Travels features a talented cast of 43 ACTors ages 7-12 from seven local towns. Performances will be held on Thursday, May 17 at 7 PM, Friday, May 18 at 7 PM, Saturday, May 19 at 10 AM, 2 PM and 7 PM, and Sunday, May 20 at 3 PM at the Masonic Temple, 19 Academy St, Arlington, MA 02476.

Tickets are $10.00 and available online at or at the door.

Arlington Scoopermania

You are invited to Arlington’s fourth annual Scoopermania, all-you-can-eat ice cream festival, which will be held on May 19th from 1-5 PM on the Jefferson Cutter House Lawn (611 Mass. Ave). Entry to the ice cream buffet will cost $5 per person, and all proceeds will go to the Jimmy Fund for cancer research and treatment. All are welcome to attend! Thank you for your support, and we hope to see you there!

See Arlington Scoopermania 2018 Flyer.

All-Town 5th Grade Dance!

Friday May 18th 6-8PM

Ed Burns Arena, 422 Summer Street

Put on annually by the Arlington Rec, this event is a special time for graduating 5th graders to celebrate with old friends, and meet new ones as they get ready to enter Gibbs.

  • DJ, pizza for sale, photo booth and more!
  • $5 in advance, $7 at the door. 5th graders ONLY.

Go here for advance ticketing and further details.

Attend The Bear Fair!

44th Annual Bishop School Bear Fair

Saturday May 19th 10AM-3PM (rain date Sun May 20th)

25 Columbia Road, Arlington

No actual ‘bears’, but lots of fun carnival activities for kids of all ages.

Open to all.  A great way to spend a May Saturday!

Connect with Us


Nandana Mewada, Co-President
Diana Trudell, Co-President
Yael Beals, Vice-President
Danielle Gottesman, Communications Chair

If you have news to share with the community, please email by Thursday at 12 noon to be included in the next newsletter.

Please note that we will only include news from the Thompson School and Town of Arlington. Announcements of interest to the Thompson community from other non-profit organizations may be included at our discretion.