Thompson School News : June 4, 2018

Save The Date

* New *

  • June 4, Monday, 7-9 PM – AHS Building Project Forum, Town Hall
  • June 5, Tuesday, 8:40 AM to 9:20 AM – One Day Community Sing Rehearsal
  • June 6 & 7 – Field Trip, 2nd Grade
  • June 6, 7, 12, & 13 – Field Trip, 3rd Grade
  • June 7, Thursday 5 PM to 8 PM – Thompson Picnic
  • June 12, Tuesday or June 15, Friday – Kindergarten Screening 20 min appointments
  • June 13, Wednesday – 5th Grade Enrichment, Wingmasters
  • June 13, Wednesday – All-School Enrichment Illstyle & Peace Productions
  • June 13, Wednesday, 7-9 PM – Last PTO Meeting of 2017-2018 school year
  • June 14, Thursday – Field Day (Rain date June 21st)
  • June 18, Monday – Colonial Day Activities, 3rd Grade
  • June 19, Tuesday – Celebration of Learning, 5th Grade
  • June 20, Wednesday – Field Trip, 5th Grade
  • June 25, Monday – Last Day of School, 11:30 AM Dismissal

School Calendar

Click http://tinyurl.com/ndp8spb 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.

Highlight of the Month

PicnicSave the date! The annual school picnic is coming!

Thursday June 7th from 5-8pm. (Rain date Friday, June 8th)

New this year the PTO is adding a Playspace by Knucklebones! There will still be the traditional favorites: Cake Walk, Dunk Tank and Bouncy Houses as well. And this year’s even will include a special Community Sing of the song “One Day.”

What’s for dinner? This year you can pre-order a picnic dinner from the Fuller Cup, purchase pizza at the picnic or plan to bring your own food.

As always we will need a number of volunteers to pull all of this off! Consider volunteering for a short shift selling concessions, helping with an activity or donating a cake.

You can sign-up here: https://tinyurl.com/ThompsonPicnic18

Thompson News & Events

School Council 2018-2019

We are delighted to introduce the three parents who will join the Thompson School Council for the next school year. The school council comprises of the Principal, equal number of parents and teachers, and a community member. For the school year 2018-2019, Maureen McCarty, Kate Mayers, and Anthony Fernandez will serve as parent representatives. Here are their brief bios.

Maureen McCarty

I feel so fortunate that my family and I are a part of the Thompson community and would be excited and honored to serve on the Thompson School Council.

I have worked professionally as an elementary school teacher and as an art museum educator. I taught first grade at a diverse, neighborhood public school in Milton using a number of the same curriculums now taught at Thompson School, including Reader’s and Writer’s Workshop, TERC Investigations, Responsive Classroom, and Discovering Justice. As an art educator at several museums (including the MFA and the DeCordova), I worked with various groups of young children encouraging discussions inspired by works of art. I am now the mother of four – two who are currently at Thompson (Greta in 1st Grade and Julian in Kindergarten) and two future Thompson School students (Francis, 4 years old, and Edie, 1 year old). My family will have at least one of our kids in the Thompson School for the next decade!

I will bring all of my commitment to the continued success of Thompson School and my experience as a mom, teacher, and art educator to representing all of our families on the School Council.

Kate Mayers

My name is Kate Mayers and I have a Thompson kindergartner this year. I’m interested in serving on the School Council. I started my career as a high school English teacher and have also taught math, science and GED prep classes. I am now a social worker and I teach and do field advising at Simmons in the Masters of Social Work program. In my advising role, I visit Simmons students who are doing internships in the Arlington Public Schools – so I have had the opportunity to hear about the learning going on at Dallin, Brackett, Ottoson, and the high school. In addition, I see therapy clients in a group practice.

I’m a lifelong advocate for public education, and I have a deep understanding of the challenges that kids and families face. I know it can be difficult for schools to meet all kids where they are and help them reach their educational goals – and I love how committed the Thompson community is to helping all kids succeed. I will be on the lookout for ways that I can help support the community and the school, and I think that serving on the School Council might be a place where my skills could be useful.

Anthony Fernandez

As an educator, I am eager to be involved in the strategic planning process and the goal setting discussions that will impact the educational experience of all of our children. I have gained a perspective on the overall educational philosophy of the school having experienced it through my older son, who is getting ready for his transition to the Gibbs after 5 years at Thompson. In addition, I have developed an understanding of the challenges and opportunities that exist within the school, as well as the resources that currently exist (infrastructure, personnel, and parent engagement) and those needed to strengthen and enhance both the curricular and extracurricular opportunities for Thompson students. As the parent of a student who at times requires additional support, I value the emphasis of the school district on social and emotional learning and am interested in how this is incorporated into the daily learning experiences of the students. As such, I feel that I can make meaningful contributions to the School Council that draw upon all of these experiences.

I have been an involved member of the Thompson community for 5 years and I currently have two sons, Lucas (5th grade) and Toby (1st grade), at the school and in the after-school program. I have volunteered in many ways from helping in the library to leading students in science experiments in and out of the classroom. I am an Associate Professor of Chemistry & Biochemistry at Merrimack College and during my almost 18 years at the college have spent a great deal of time focusing not only on my discipline, but also on how pedagogy influences the educational experiences of students and how to effectively incorporate technology into the classroom. For the past year-and-a-half, I have also been working with the Arlington Vision 2020 Education Task Group to facilitate a dialogue about how success is defined in our educational system and what values should guide our district as priorities are set and resources are allocated.

For all of the reasons noted previously, I would be honored to be one of the parent members of the Thompson School Council.

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 amakrianis@arlington.k12.ma.us. Best, and happy almost summer!

Green Team News

Green TeamThe MA Department of Environmental Protection has awarded Thompson School the “Environmental Eagles” Certificate of Recognition, 470 bookmarks about waste reduction, a gift certificate to a garden supply store for our school garden and classrooms awards for Ms. Caplin’s 1st grade, Ms. Dichter’s 2nd grade, Ms. Armstrong’s and Ms. Jette’s 4th grade classes for their participation in Green Team curriculum in preparation for Science Explo this winter. Their Green Team projects will be on display in the Fox Library this month.

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 to 9:30 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 egrocco@gmail.com if you want to help with the Thompson Community Sing project.

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.

Picnic – June 7th

The Picnic is coming up this Thursday! We still need a lot of volunteer help to make it happen.   Consider volunteering for a short shift selling concessions, helping with an activity or donating a cake.

You can sign-up here : https://tinyurl.com/ThompsonPicnic18

Field Day – June 14th

The annual Field Day is set for Thursday June 14th this year! The whole school will get together to participate in traditional outdoor summer games. We will need parent volunteers to help Ms. Brayfield to set up, help the teachers to 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:

https://tinyurl.com/ThompsonFieldDay18

Kindergarten Screenings – Tues. June 12th & Friday June 15th

Volunteers needed during the afternoon time slots to welcome and assist families when they arrive for their Kindergarten screening.

https://www.signupgenius.com/go/20f0a4da4af2da64-help1

Help Throughout the Year

To check all current volunteer opportunities: http://tinyurl.com/ThompsonPTOVolunteers

Community

Arlington EATS

Arlington EATSCommunity Meal Has Been Redesigned And Rescheduled

On June 14, many of our community members will be with their families and friends celebrating the end of Ramadan. Arlington EATS has made the decision not to hold a Community Dinner on June 14, in recognition of this.

Instead, we will hold a robust Pop-Up Pantry on Thursday, June 21, from 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM. The usual array of proteins, produce, eggs, milk and pantry items will be available, in addition to a number of other items that will help families get stocked up for the summer break.

Please remember to bring your reusable shopping bags.

We look forward to seeing you!

2018 FOX FESTIVAL

The 3rd annual Fox Festival Parade will kick off the Feast of the East in Capitol Square on Saturday, June 16 at noon. Please join us – this participatory parade was started to celebrate the Fox Library, community, creativity, and Arlington wildlife.

Make a mask, banner or puppet inspired by local birds and animals in a free workshop with artists Sara Peattie, Kari Percival and Greg Cook. Or make your own costume, flag, or signs inspired by the theme of nature and animals at home with family and friends.

WORKSHOP SCHEDULE

Wednesdays At The Fox Library With Sara Peattie (With Pizza!)

  • Wednesday May 30, 3 to 6 pm
  • Wednesday June 6, 3 to 7 pm
  • Wednesday June 13, 3 to 6 pm
  • PLUS one Saturday at the Fox, June 9, 11;30 am to 2:30 pm
Porchfest Workshop Wtih Kari Percival And Greg Cook

Saturday, June 9, noon to 5 pm at Porchfest HQ – Whittemore Park in Arlington Center (where Pleasant Street intersects with Mass. Avenue)

PARADE SCHEDULE

Gather at 11:45 at the Fox Library, 175 Mass Avenue. The Parade starts at noon and will be led by the wonderful Second Line Social Aid & Pleasure Society Brass Band!

Support North Union Playground!

Recess, before school, after school, weekends, summertime, meet-ups, play dates and more. We all use this playground, and it needs our help!

We are organizing a friends group to advocate for and work to improve the playground at North Union park adjacent to Thompson School. If you would like to get involved, share your ideas or learn more, please email Phil Tedesco at philip.tedesco@gmail.com.

5th Grade Social

Friday, June 8th
6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Ed Burns Arena, 422 Summer Street

Come celebrate with old friends and meet new friends!
Click HERE for details and to purchase tickets.

Arlington High School Building Project Forum : Design Feedback

Monday, June 4th, 7-9 PM, Arlington Town Hall

Get up to speed with the AHS Building Project and let the Building Committee know what you think.

The Building Committee will be submitting the Preferred Schematic Design Option for the new/rebuilt high school in July and is seeking community input.

At this Forum

  • HMFH Architects will present more details about the four design options
  • MSBA process and decisions to-date will be reviewed
  • The Building Committee will outline criteria for choosing the preferred design
  • Feedback will be gathered for future Building Committee decisions

Can’t attend? A forum recap and feedback form will be available by June 7th on the www.ahsbuilding.org web site.

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 ThompsonPTOevents@gmail.com 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 : April 23, 2018

Save The Date

* New *

  • April 23 – 27, Earth Week Activities at school
  • April 24, Tuesday, Yoga 4th Grade
  • April 25, Wednesday, Administrative Professionals Day – Ms. Vicki
  • April 26, Thursday, Yoga 5th Grade
  • April 27, Friday, Spirit Day: Wacky Socks
  • April 27, Friday, 3rd Grade Trip to Plimoth Plantation
  • April 27, Friday, Yoga 5th Grade
  • April 30, Monday, Grade 3-5 Enrichment, ImprovBoston Anti-Bullying workshop (rescheduled)
  • May 1 – 31, Tuesdays, Not Your Average Joe’s Fundraising Event
  • May 1, Tuesday, Yoga 4th Grade
  • May 3 & 4, Thursday & Friday, Yoga 5th Grade
  • May 9, Wednesday, PTO Meeting – Parents Only, 6-8 PM

School Calendar

Click http://tinyurl.com/ndp8spb for Thompson’s Google Calendar to get school holidays, early release days, and PTO events on your own calendar. Click http://tinyurl.com/y7u5k2on for a printable version of this month’s calendar.

Principal’s Update

Dear Thompson Families,

Happy Spring! I think I can finally say that after the fabulous weather these last couple of days. There’s nothing better than being outside, in the sunshine, watching kids play. One of my favorite sights to see is so many families and friends playing and talking after school on the playground. There’s so much value in those moments – and fostering our community is one of them.

Baseball season has officially kicked off in our house, and with that will come driving from field to field, dinner on the run, and me helping to “coach” from the sidelines! I’m sure I will be crossing paths with many of you on those evenings.

On another note, I’d like to ask the parent community for some support. Over the past few weeks I have seen an increase in some challenging and concerning behaviors in many grade levels. With our students having access to technology – YouTube, Gaming Systems with game Chat enabled, and messaging – I have seen more and more incidents of students “trash talking” to each other, making aggressive statements that they may or may not fully comprehend, and challenges to the authority of our lunch and recess staff. Please continue to have frank conversations with your children about the importance of being respectful of themselves, each other, and all adults that work at Thompson School. I appreciate your support!

With the end of April break comes the craziness that is the last two months of the school year. We continue with MCAS in the month of May, PTO sponsored Field Trips are happening at every grade level, Staff Appreciation Week, Field Day, and the Family Picnic to name a few! We are also looking ahead to next year and will be sending out our Parent Input Form for Class Placement in 2018-2019. We also begin the events that will welcome our newest students, while saying goodbye to our oldest. Please mark your calendars – the 5th Grade Celebration of Learning will be June 19th.

At this time of year, I also like to ask for families who know that they will not be returning to Thompson for the next school year to please email Vicki at vrose@arlington.k12.ma.us. This will help us plan accordingly for class sections and sizes. At this time, we already have 80+ students registered for Kindergarten and 8-10 new registrations for the other grades. Thank goodness we have our addition!

I hope you and your families had a wonderful week, and the transition back will be smooth for all of us. These next 45 school days will fly by…be sure to hold on tight and enjoy the ride!

See you on the field,

Karen

Highlight of the Week

Thompson Green Team

Earth Week April 22nd-27th

April 23rd-27th- All-Schools Textile Recycling Competition

All Schools will be competing to collect the most textiles during the competition week and to win a prize and town recognition! Can Thompson match or collect more than the 272.6 lbs of textiles donated last year? Drop off your textiles (all old, worn, torn clothes, shoes, bedding, stuffed animals, etc) to the Bay State Textiles collection bin outside your school.

April 23rd-After school Green Team 5th Grader meeting
April 25th- Zero Waste Assembly 9:30 am

including skits and speeches about the 4th graders’ “Strawless Campaign” and 5th graders’ “Zero Waste Campaign”!

April 26th- Zero Waste Day

Parents please pack a zero waste snack and lunch with your students! Zero waste lunch= lunchbox with reusable containers and silverware and a water bottle. No disposable straws, juice boxes, plastic bags, food cups or snack bags ideally. More information on how waste free lunches save money: http://www.wastefreelunches.org/what-is-a-waste-free-lunch-program.html#what-does-it-look-like?

April 23rd-27th – Parent volunteer class opportunities!

Sign up to read books on Earth Day themes in K-1 classrooms! Featured book is “One Plastic Bag”at http://oneplasticbag.com/. Books will be available at the front desk.
Sign up to help with trash clean up with 2nd grade classes!
Sign up to help the 4th and 5th graders with their Zero Waste Assembly!

More information about textile recycling:

  • https://www.mass.gov/guides/massdep-textile-recovery
  • https://www.smartasn.org/SMARTASN/assets/File/resources/SMARTInfographTextileRecycling.pdf
  • https://www.smartasn.org/SMARTASN/assets/File/resources/SMARTDoubleLifeofRecycledTextiles.pdf

For questions about the textile recycling competition, you can contact Rachel Oliveri, School Sustainability Coordinator, at roliveri@arlington.k12.ma.us.

Goods News! Arlington Garden Club is awarding $200 toward the Thompson school garden revival. Contact Fiona Ehring at fionaehring@gmail.com if you are interested in helping with the garden.

If you have any questions about the Thompson Green Team, contact Elizabeth Grace Rocco @ egrocco@gmail.com.

Thompson News & Events

Community Collection Drive​

We are piloting a mid-year Community Collection Drive to help equip our teachers with materials they need for their classrooms. Our goal is to make this a Thompson Community effort so families can contribute new or gently used items. (Specific teachers were not listed because donations will be shared.)

Run or walk a 5k and support Thompson PTO

The 5K run/walk, Cause + Event Boston, is coming back to Arlington on Sunday, May 13 (Mother’s Day) at 8:00 am.

C+E Boston is a fun, family-oriented event that celebrates health and wellness, the spirit of philanthropy among the runners, and the work of the nonprofits in our community. This race is unique – at least 50% of each runners’ registration fee is donated to their charity of choice. You can select the Thompson PTO or your favorite charity.

Over the past three years, Cause + Event has donated almost $1000 to the Thompson PTO as a part of the $60,000 donated to participants’ selected charities. This is the goal race for the FitGirls program so there will 250+ 4th and 5th grade girls running the 5K including 45 from Thompson!

Register today at www.causeandeventboston2018.racewire.com, and do it soon, last year the race sold out a month early!

You can learn more about the race at the Cause + Event Boston website. Questions? Feel free to contact Sara Wilkinson @swilkie49@hotmail.com.

The Thompson School Council Needs You!​

Thompson School Logo

For the 2018-2019 school year, we will be electing a new School Council. The School Council is a separate body from the PTO. If you are interested in becoming a School Council Member please email nmewada@gmail.com and diana_lutz@yahoo.com a brief bio and a statement of interest. The PTO will hold elections after the spring break.

The Thompson​ School Council is a representative, school-based committee composed of the principal, parents, teachers, and community members. School Councils were established by the Massachusetts Education Reform Act to improve and provide support for public schools. The School Council acts under the supervision of the Arlington School Committee.

The School Council members are elected and is comprised of equal numbers of parents and teachers. This year, we will hold an election for 2 Parent Representatives. We will meet once a month in the afternoon or early evening. Meetings of the Council are public, and all interested members of the ​Thompson community may attend.

The School Council is charged with planning, goal setting, and budgeting for improvements at ​Thompson​. Specific responsibilities of the School Council include:

  • Adopting educational goals for the school that are consistent with local educational policies and statewide student performance standards
  • Identifying the educational needs of students attending the school
  • Formulating a school improvement plan.

Not Your Average Joe’s

Not Your Average Joe'sComing in May! Thompson Tuesdays 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 – a win-win!

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 Annual Picnic Team

Spring is here and with it, one of our favorite events of the year – the school picnic. In addition to the dunk tank, bounce houses and of course the cake walk we are adding some activities this year and could use your ideas and help to make this the best picnic yet! Join the team!

Contact: Kate Murphy, thompsonschoolvolunteers@gmail.com

Teacher Appreciation Week

Teacher Appreciation Week is coming! The week of May 7th through May 11th teachers will once again enjoy a Tuesday luncheon, a Thursday breakfast plus a few additional surprises… watch for a sign-up genius to help out that week coming your way in the next few days.

Join the Community Card Team!

Believe it or not planning begins NOW for the 2018-19 This is Thompson’s second biggest fundraiser each year, bringing in $16K+ annually for School Enrichment.

Spring to-do’s include:

  • get contracts signed
  • confirm our advertising plans
  • start planning for Town Day and beginning of new school year sales

The Team is looking for:

  • task-rabbits
  • brain-stormers
  • AND a 3rd Co-Chair (shadow for a year and poise themselves to take over for Gaggi in 2020)

Whether you’re totally ready to take something on, have some good ideas to pass on, or are just curious about what’s involved before committing to anything, please email the co-chairs:

  • Ashley Lorenz (K,3,5) at ashley.e.lorenz@gmail.com
  • Gaggi DeStefanis (3) gaggi@rcn.com.

Help Throughout the Year

To check all current volunteer opportunities: http://tinyurl.com/ThompsonPTOVolunteers

Community

Arlington EATS NEEDS YOUR HELP!

Arlington EATSThe School Snack Program is growing by the day, and our kids are making good use of it. Students are encouraged to snack on fruit, which is generously supplied through our community partner, Food Link. However, the rest of the snacks offered are purchased. Helping us continue to offer this program and meet growing demands is as easy as adding another item or two to your grocery list and dropping it off in one of our marked bins.

For more information about our School Snack Program and a list of approved snacks, here’s our School Snack Program Fact Sheet. We appreciate your support!

Dallin Auction

Looking for a fun evening out? Come to the Dallin Elementary School Auction at Town Hall on Friday, April 27th, 7-11pm. We have so many great auction items this year. Beverages and bidding all to benefit the Dallin PTO. Always a great evening! You can purchase tickets online HERE or by mailing in a check with the ticket form available on http://dallinpto.org/ . Questions about the event can be directed to: DallinSchoolAuction@gmail.com

Grandparents Support Group

The Town of Arlington offers a Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Support Group which now meets on the second Wednesday of each month from noon to 1:30 at the AYCC offices in the Whittemore-Robbins House behind the Robbins Library. Prospective members should email LAugust@town.arlington.ma.us or call the Council on Aging, 781-316-3410, for a short telephone interview before attending the group.

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 ThompsonPTOevents@gmail.com 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 : April 9, 2018

Save The Date

* New *

  • April 9, Monday – All Town Band Concert
  • April 11, Wednesday – PTO Meeting – Parents only, 6-8 PM
  • April 12, Thursday – Arlington EATS Community Dinner, 6-7 PM
  • April 16, 17, 18, 19, 20 – No School
  • April 22, Sunday 11:50 AM to 1:50 PM – Thompson Skating Party @ Rink
  • April 27, Friday, Spirit Day: Wacky Socks
  • April 27, Friday, 3rd Grade Trip to Plimoth Plantation

School Calendar

Click http://tinyurl.com/ndp8spb for Thompson’s Google Calendar to get school holidays, early release days, and PTO events on your own calendar. Click http://tinyurl.com/y7u5k2on for a printable version of this month’s calendar.

PTO Update

Happy Spring to one and all! Dare we say winter is finally over? Here is a recap of events for January through March.

Kindergartners enjoyed a Kidstock Creative Theater performance teaching them about diversity and inclusion, while our 1st graders learned about weather from the Discovery Museum’s traveling program. Second graders visited the Japan House and tried their hand at Suminagashi. With a partial grant from the Mass Cultural Council, our 4th graders visited the Museum of Fine Arts to learn about Greek art. The 5th grade hosted the States of Matter program from the Museum of Science.

All school enrichment programs included Experiments to Gross you Out, a demonstration by Jessica Garrett, where she talked about gross science. Grades K-2 had an opportunity to attend an assembly led by local author and storyteller Norah Dooly, and 2nd grade participated in a storytelling workshop with Ms. Dooley. Thank you to the teachers for their support in making these activities happen and to the entire Enrichment Team for organizing them.

Between January and March, the PTO spent approximately $6,800 on enrichment activities. The success of our fall Direct Donation Drive, the sale of the Arlington Community Card, and other smaller fundraising efforts, allow us to support existing programs and to continue to explore new and innovative ones.

Our community events continue to be popular among families and we have seen our attendance numbers grow. The new year kicked off with the beloved parent only Winter Party. You know the party is a success when the fire marshal has to kick you out of Town Hall because the music and dancing would not stop! We held our first PTO-sponsored Arlington EATS community meal and were reminded of how powerful sharing a meal together can be. Despite a stormy and rainy night, Game Night saw a big turnout thanks to the enthusiasm of the kids and parents who braved the weather.

The showcase event of the year, the Science EXPLO, highlighted not just the level of interest the kids have in learning about science, but the amazing scientific parent community at our school. With 5 hours of science immersion activities the event was a big hit. We are grateful for all the volunteers who made this event happen including all the parent exhibitors who spent their Saturday showing our kids how cool science can be. None of these events would have happened without an amazing group of parents stepping up and taking charge. Thanks to the event chairs Ashley Lorenz, Gaggi DeStefanis, Jodi Auerbach, John Levins, Shauna Pellauer, Stacey Inhat, Chris Pacheco, Yael Beals, and Kate Murphy.

Although the Thompson Drama Project is not a PTO event, we want to recognize the tremendous effort and talent of all the actors who participated and the enthusiasm of the parents who made it all possible. Congratulations to the Thompson Drama Project team for another year of outstanding performances!

What’s coming next you ask? As the weather gets warmer, we get even busier!

Looking ahead to the final three months of this school year: Kindergartners will visit Wingaersheek Beach and learn about tide pools, while 1st Grade visits the Discovery Museum, the Franklin Park Zoo and a new program with “Discovering Justice.” Second Grade will go to see “Stuart Little” at Wheelock Family Theater. Third grade’s social studies curriculum will have them learn about colonial times with a visit to Plimoth Plantation, Jason Russell House and the Royal House Museum. They will also attend a program led by the First Light Foundation on Wampanoag culture. Fourth Graders will watch an IMAX movie at the Museum of Science on Lewis and Clark and 5th Grade will visit the Old South Meeting House, learn about birds of prey and visit George’s Island as their final Thompson field trip.

In addition, grades 3 to 5 will attend an ImprovBoston Workshop on anti-bullying, while 4th and 5th graders will participate in Yoga sessions during the MCAS season in April and May.

We will wrap up the year with the Skating Party on Sunday, April 22nd and the Family Picnic on Thursday, June 7th.

During this time, the PTO will recruit for its 2018-2019 open positions. If you are curious about a PTO role or know that you would like to be part of the PTO board, please reach out to us. As you can see, the PTO is growing and needs your participation to continue to offer Thompson students these amazing opportunities.

Nandana Mewada
Diana Trudell
PTO Co-presidents

Thompson News & Events

Ice Skating Party

Sunday, April 22nd, 11:50 am – 1:50 pm

Join your friends at the Thompson Skating Party! Sunday, April 22nd from 11:50 am to 1:50 pm at the Ed Burns Arena. Bring your own helmet and skates or rent them for $5/pair. Pizza and drinks will be available for sale. Entry to the event will be $3 per skater. Please note, the paper calendar incorrectly lists the event on Saturday, April 21st.

Run or walk a 5k and support Thompson PTO

The 5K run/walk, Cause + Event Boston, is coming back to Arlington on Sunday, May 13 (Mother’s Day) at 8:00 am.

C+E Boston is a fun, family-oriented event that celebrates health and wellness, the spirit of philanthropy among the runners, and the work of the nonprofits in our community. This race is unique – at least 50% of each runners’ registration fee is donated to their charity of choice. You can select the Thompson PTO or your favorite charity.

Over the past three years, Cause + Event has donated almost $1000 to the Thompson PTO as a part of the $60,000 donated to participants’ selected charities. This is the goal race for the FitGirls program so there will 250+ 4th and 5th grade girls running the 5K including 45 from Thompson!

Register today at www.causeandeventboston2018.racewire.com, and do it soon, last year the race sold out a month early!

You can learn more about the race at the Cause + Event Boston website. Questions? Feel free to contact Sara Wilkinson @swilkie49@hotmail.com.

The Thompson School Council Needs You!​

Thompson School Logo

For the 2018-2019 school year, we will be electing a new School Council. The School Council is a separate body from the PTO. If you are interested in becoming a School Council Member please email nmewada@gmail.com and diana_lutz@yahoo.com a brief bio and a statement of interest. The PTO will hold elections after the spring break.

The Thompson​ School Council is a representative, school-based committee composed of the principal, parents, teachers, and community members. School Councils were established by the Massachusetts Education Reform Act to improve and provide support for public schools. The School Council acts under the supervision of the Arlington School Committee.

The School Council members are elected and is comprised of equal numbers of parents and teachers. This year, we will hold an election for 2 Parent Representatives. We will meet once a month in the afternoon or early evening. Meetings of the Council are public, and all interested members of the ​Thompson community may attend.

The School Council is charged with planning, goal setting, and budgeting for improvements at ​Thompson​. Specific responsibilities of the School Council include:

  • Adopting educational goals for the school that are consistent with local educational policies and statewide student performance standards
  • Identifying the educational needs of students attending the school
  • Formulating a school improvement plan.

First Grade Discoverers!

The 1st grade toured the newly renovated Discovery Museum in Acton on Friday, April 6. They explored Discovery Woods and the new treehouse, saw STEAM principles at work in the Air Play, Sound Gallery, and Water Gallery exhibits, and created in the da Vinci Workshop.

Community

Arlington EATS NEEDS YOUR HELP!

Arlington EATSThe School Snack Program is growing by the day, and our kids are making good use of it. Students are encouraged to snack on fruit, which is generously supplied through our community partner, Food Link. However, the rest of the snacks offered are purchased. Helping us continue to offer this program and meet growing demands is as easy as adding another item or two to your grocery list and dropping it off in one of our marked bins.

For more information about our School Snack Program and a list of approved snacks, here’s our School Snack Program Fact Sheet. We appreciate your support!

SEPAC

SEPACThis month, Kristin DeFrancisco & Stephanie Greiner will discuss the Gibbs during the Special Education Parent Advisory Council meeting.

When: Tuesday, April 10th, 7 p.m.

Where: Ottoson Media Center (Library)

Donations for Book Sale at the Robbins

Book and media donations are needed for the Friends of the Robbins Library’s annual Children and Young Adult Book Sale on Saturday, April 21st from 9:00 to 2:00 pm in the Robbins Library Community Room. Donations can be dropped off at the Robbins Library now. Look for the big blue bin near the Circulation Desk of the Robbins. Support Arlington’s libraries by purchasing children’s and teen books, movies, and music at the sale. There will be craft activities to keep children occupied as parents search for books.

School Librarian Information & Advocacy

Wednesday, April 11, 6:30 PM @ Robbins Library Community Room

School Librarians 2018 04 11 aFind out what school librarians do and how we can get them back into Arlington Public Schools at this information session open to all.

School librarians teach research skills, safety online, digital citizenship, and information communication skills. They are essential partners for teachers.

School Librarians 2018 04 11 bSchool library programs staffed by qualified school librarians have a positive impact on student academic achievement.

See School Library Advocacy Fact Sheet 2018 04

Dallin Auction

Looking for a fun evening out? Come to the Dallin Elementary School Auction at Town Hall on Friday, April 27th, 7-11pm. We have so many great auction items this year. Beverages and bidding all to benefit the Dallin PTO. Always a great evening! You can purchase tickets online HERE or by mailing in a check with the ticket form available on http://dallinpto.org/ . Questions about the event can be directed to: DallinSchoolAuction@gmail.com

Grandparents Support Group

The Town of Arlington offers a Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Support Group which now meets on the second Wednesday of each month from noon to 1:30 at the AYCC offices in the Whittemore-Robbins House behind the Robbins Library. Prospective members should email LAugust@town.arlington.ma.us or call the Council on Aging, 781-316-3410, for a short telephone interview before attending the group.

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 Annual Picnic Team

Spring is here and with it, one of our favorite events of the year – the school picnic. In addition to the dunk tank, bounce houses and of course the cake walk we are adding some activities this year and could use your ideas and help to make this the best picnic yet! Join the team!

Contact: Kate Murphy, thompsonschoolvolunteers@gmail.com

Ice Skating Party

A few volunteers are needed to help with set-up, clean-up and concessions at the party. Could be a great excuse to attend but not have to lace-up skates!

Sign-Up Here: http://www.signupgenius.com/go/4090f49adad2aa0f49-thompson9

School Library Needs Help!

Help out at the Thompson Library! Miss Mak is looking for volunteers to help with book shelving and library upkeep on Thursday afternoons and Friday mornings. Please email amakrianis@arlington.k12.ma.us if you’re interested or have any questions!

Help Throughout the Year

To check all current volunteer opportunities: http://tinyurl.com/ThompsonPTOVolunteers

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 ThompsonPTOevents@gmail.com 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.

PTO Meeting Minutes – Jan. 10, 2018

Principal

Karen Donato

Teacher’s Rep

None

PTO Board

Co-presidents: Diana Trudell & Nandana Mewada
Vice-President: Yael Beals
Co-treasurers: Sara Wilkinson & Carolyn Schneyer
Co-secretaries: Emily Gauthier & Fiona Ehring
Fundraising: Juliet Moir
Arlington Community Card: Ashley Lorenz & Gaggi DeStefanis
Enrichment: Maf Terry & Tonja Bishop
Communications: Danielle Gottesman
Spirit & Appreciation: Judy Hu & Melissa Crowley
Room Parents: Sarah Gupta
Volunteers: Kate Murphy

Thompson Community

Diana Trudell, Carolyn Schneyer

Introductions – All

Minutes approval – All

School updates: Principal – Ms. Donato

  • Moved into new space, some things remain to be done
  • Kids and teachers feeling good in their new classrooms
  • Working on pest (mice) issues on main floor
  • Dealing with snow/ice, parking issues
    • A concern was raised that no path was cleared from the Everett St. park entrance to the pineapple entrance.
    • Another concern, should we have indoor arrival in cases of excess snow? Also, how to communicate indoor arrival to parents. What are the criteria for indoor arrival?
  • School budget discussions, presentation to School Committee tomorrow (1/11)
    • Special request for an additional social worker to be in place before need becomes critical. This request will be prioritized over a request for another fourth grade teacher.
    • Adding full-time Kindergarten assistants.
  • Sarah Burd Guest Speaker- NANDANA
    • Sara Burd will speak in the multi-purpose room on 12/31/18 at 7:00pm- topics will include social and emotional direction for the school district.
  • PTO Sponsoring an Arlington EATS Community Meal (2/8)- DIANA
    • PTO presence to better get to know members of our in need population.
    • Recommend sponsoring a meal, $750 donation
      • Volunteers
      • Set-up
      • Serving
      • Eating
      • Clean-up
    • Usually serve 80-100 people
    • 2nd Thursday of each month
    • Half of the attendees are part of the Thompson community
    • Volunteers are encouraged to share in the meal (if desired, a donation may be made to defray the cost of the meal)
    • Send out a flyer/email asking for volunteers to sponsor the event and contributions
    • Decision made to go forward with this
  • Twinkie- SARA W.
    • Mrs. Foley’s 3rd grade class is requesting reimbursement for a vet bill to check out a tumor.
    • Decision made to go forward with this
    • Note: This is not a regular thing, don’t want to set a precedent.
  • School Council election (March- April for 2018-2019)
    • Regular meetings are not occuring because of scheduling issues. Morning meetings are not possible for some members.
    • Usual focus is advocating for building renovation/ improvement. There have not been any big issues to discuss so far this year.
    • Need new elections for new reps. PTO should handle the election process. (Look into how it was done in the past)
    • The council should also have a community rep.
      School council vets school improvement plans

      • School improvement plan is based on a district plan,
      • set goals in different areas and how to accomplish those goals
    • Enrichment
  • Grants- MEGHAN
    • YEAH!!! We got a grant! $595 4th Grade MFA field trip from the MA Cultural Council. Include mention of this in the newsletter.
    • Working on Bruins Foundation Grant to promote physical activity
      • Fit Girls
      • Yoga
    • It would be helpful to meet early in the year to make plans regarding grants
    • S.T.E.M. Grant 2.5K
      • Rolling quarterly applications
    • Need some ideas
  • Photos- If identifiable, need to check with the office before publishing
  • Enrichment 2018- MAF AND TONJA
    • Norah Dooley for K-2 storytelling, with focus on diversity/ tolerance. Including workshops for the 2nd grade
    • Improv Boston Anti-bullying program for grades 3-5
    • Kidstock for Kindergarteners
    • 1st grade weather program
    • Check on 3-D printing in the past
  • Communications: DANIELLE & RICH
    • Newsletter-
      • tweaking format for email version
      • Paper version monthly
      • emails go out via Mailchimp which collects data regarding how often the email is opened, read and or clicked through.
      • Last Winter the numbers were at about ⅓ opened, trended down after a while.
      • After email is sent, the newsletter is posted to the Thompson website, used to be auto fed to Twitter and Facebook. Due to parental protest regarding personal info being too public, it is now only on the website.
      • Revisit in one year, suggestions for changes/ improvements to the newsletter at that time.
        • Is Monday AM the best time to send it out?
        • Deadline for content is Thursday, editing and compiling typically happens over the weekend.
        • Possible to experiment with timing and get feedback via Mailchimp. Effort vs. reward?
        • Should use a consistent style for the newsletter, makes it easier to input content
          • This can be tabled for a smaller group discussion.
        • Link to newsletter should be tweeted/ posted on Facebook
        • PTO Google calendar is great!
    • Website
      • On WordPress platform
      • Goals
        • Keep costs down (now hosted on Amazon, free)
        • Secure: https
        • Simple and clean for easy maintenance
      • How to use it
        • Resource for incoming Kindergarten parents
        • Mirrors info in newsletter *need to update content- please take a look and give feedback on what needs to be done
      • Shopping cart tool- now using paypal (better option?)
      • Work on optimizing for mobile as well as computer. Multiple platforms make this a significant undertaking.
      • Decision that optimizing for mobile is a high priority.
  • Debrief:
    • Community Card Fall Sales- ASHLEY, GAGGI
      • Total sold is approx. 1600 out of 2000 printed (some were given away to new families)
      • 61% Town Day, 13% Family sales, 20% Book Rack, Other +/- 16% (School events, farmers market, etc.)
      • Spirit Wear- JUDY, MELISSA
        • Everything distributed, but still many to give away. (esp.Magnets)
        • For Next Time; possibly make smaller sizes available
        • Next Spirit Wear sale in 2 years, (same time frame as previous sale)
      • Holiday Help- DIANA
        • 2 families with 7 kids
        • Next year, possible request for gift cards for new families
      • Book Fair- DIANA
        • $2200 commission, $100 GF Book Rack, Ms Mak’s & Reading specialists list fulfilled. $1088 Sponsorship collected ($742 Spiritwear, $286 Book fair – covering 40 kids) $60.34 remaining.
      • Helena’s- DIANA – Very low attendance, consider doing it less frequently or at a different time of year. (Ie. just before Winter Party)
  • Winter Parent’s Party 1/27 Gaggi DeStefanis & Ashley Lorenz
    • Need volunteers for set-up/clean-up
    • Invites for teachers this week
    • Flyers next week
      • Paypal
      • cash/check
      • Sponsorship option
    • Room parent email next week
    • Email graphics via Karen
    • Reach out to alumni parents
    • Advertise via Arlington Family Connection and Arlington Parents List, Invite future Thompson parents
  • Game Night 3/2 Diana Trudell & Shauna Pellauer
    • Seeking volunteers
  • Science Explo. 3/17 Yael Beals & Chris Pacheco
    • Send email via room parents
    • Set up meeting for those interested in helping
  • Upcoming PTO meetings- Wednesday, February 14 from 7 to 9 pm, Thompson Library.

PTO Meeting Minutes – Nov. 27, 2017

Decisions

  • Winter Party Proposal Update
    1/27
    Price based on choice of caterer and venue. Budget to be clarified by next meeting.
  • Science Explo Date will be 3/17
    Food, donations from families or vendors? Check with Arlington eats regarding current regulations.
  • December Meeting will be 12/15 @ 8:15am
  • Calendar
    Game Night 3/2/18

General

Spending Guidelines

  • Examples: laminator, Ms. Foley’s proposal
  • As the PTO grows, how are spending guidelines to be created?
  • AEF process as an example, broad approach
  • Create a proposal form,
  • Possible criteria;
  • Ties to curriculum
  • Innovative
  • Not politically motivated
  • Supporting families in need
  • Must apply to at least one grade
  • Promotes learning ( ie. wobble seats)
  • Enrichment guidelines
  • ? how do you think this meets the needs of the Thompson community?
  • Analysis, Working backwards to evaluate. Send feedback forms to Teacher (and Parent volunteers?) for field trips and enrichment activities
  • Other ideas: Create a line item in the annual budget with a set allocation.
  • If the teacher stipend were increased ($250?) would this minmize requests?
  • Create a wishlist for specific classroom items.
  • Verify that the requested item is not covered by the school/ town budget.
  • Teacher feedback, online survey.
  • Fund mini grants in the spring of 2018.
  • Voting protocol

Cyber attacks

  • PSA @ the beginning of each school year to promote awareness.
  • Are there easy protective measures that could be put in place? Check in with Hardy PTO

School Council

  • PTO runs the school council election. There is a conflict of scheduling and the members have not been able to meet, are reelections nesc? Do the members want to continue? Two members have children who will be graduating so changeover will happen next year anyway. Would a council parent like to
    attend the next PTO meeting?

Status of our In need community

  • : Discussion; Mtg with Ms. Donato, guidelines, Spirit Wear. What else can we do to make it more efficient?
  • Extra money for shirts, where is it used? Books? Surplus items to be sold, given away, added to raffle baskets? Book vouchers @ the book fair or from a list?
  • Communicate to event chairs that need in the moment will be answered with a yes.

Enrichment

  • Nandana & Maf: Big Picture framework: How do we decide this program over another? So we do any activity teachers suggest or do we have a say? Continue designing the protocol: feedback form (Jessica), end of the year discussion with teachers, proposal for any new programs.
  • How to make the process streamlined.
  • In the future, teacher surveys after events. What works one year may not work the next.
  • As grades gain or change teachers how can enrichment events be communicated between teachers.
  • Can we have a repository of information, times to schedule, contact numbers etc.
  • How to incorporate 3D printer into an enrichment curriculum? Science Explo?

Communications

Following up with thank yous and newsletter posts

Spirit & Appreciations

  • Spirit Wear Wrap up- How to handle the surplus?
    Extra money for shirts, where is it used? Books? Surplus items to be sold, given away, added to raffle baskets?
  • How is approval handled? Easiest way to communicate? CC Karen with a request to respond, place a notice in the teachers room.
  • Spirit days
    Pineapple day? (Wait for spirit wear to be in.)
    Community meeting “Wear a Crown”
    Staff appreciation days each year?
    Each grade could write thank you notes to specific members of staff. Cafeteria workers, nurse etc.