Thompson School News : December 18, 2017

In This Issue

  • Save the Date | School Calendar
  • PTO Update
  • Thompson News and Events
  • Community
  • Volunteer Opportunities
  • Connect with Us

Save The Date

* New *

  • December 22 – Spirit Day, Wear Pajamas to School
  • December 23 – January 1 – Winter Break – No School
  • January 27 – Thompson Winter Parents Party

School Calendar

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

PTO Update

Dear Families,

Here we are, a couple of weeks away from celebrating the beginning of 2018, and it still feels like the school year just began. With the school addition finally open and Thompson at its largest student numbers, we are finally at-a steady course ahead.

Fall and early winter months are not just busy for the kids and staff at school, but for the PTO as well. Fall marks the beginning of our major fundraising drives – the sale of the Arlington Community Card and the Direct Donation Drive. On a beautiful sunny Town Day we launched this year’s Arlington Community Card and sold 991 cards. Throughout the fall, Thompson parents took on the task of selling cards to families, friends and neighbors during our Fall Parent Sales and we await anxiously to hear how we did! Arlington Community Cards will continue selling at our partner stores The Book Rack and Menotomy Beer and Wine; as well as online at During the month of October, the Direct Donation Drive raised $29,046 with a record 274 families participating. With these two main fundraising efforts now closed, you can continue to support the PTO throughout the year when shopping on Amazon by clicking on the Amazon icon on the PTO website.

Over 60% of the raised funds will be used to pay for all enrichment activities at Thompson. Between September and December a few grades enjoyed their first field trip of the year: Kindergarteners adventured to the Pumpkin Patch and 4th graders explored ecosystems at Habitat, Mass Audubon. All grades enjoyed a special performance by Arabiqa, an Arabic musical and cultural performance. All Classroom Teachers and Specialists received annual stipends from the PTO to help with expenses such as books and materials.

During the first semester of the school year, the PTO organized several community events: Movie Night, Picture Day, Literacy Night and the Book Fair. Our second Spirit Wear Sale also had a record number of participants who now walk the hallways of the school proudly wearing our pineapple symbol.

Starting this year, the PTO is formalizing a sponsorship program to support families who need financial assistance. We introduced this new effort during the Spirit Wear Sale and the generosity of our community never ceases to amaze us! We raised over $1,000 in such funds which provided support for students during the Spirit Wear Sale and the Book Fair.

Looking ahead at the 1st quarter of 2018, there are several fun activities planned. Grades 1, 2 and 4 have field trips to the Discovery Museum, the Japan House at the Children’s Museum and the MFA, respectively. Our much anticipated parent-only Winter Party will be in January with a new look and feel at Town Hall. March brings us Game Night and our biennial favorite, the Science Explo!

Finally, none of these events would be possible without a large group of parent volunteers. Thank you to the dedicated PTO Board, the Enrichment Team, the Room Parents, Event Chairs and every volunteer who dedicated an hour or several weeks to making our ideas come to life. We will continue to need your involvement during 2018. Please sign up to help when you can. We all do this for the kiddos after all!

Please continue to reach out to us if you have questions or suggestions. Happy holidays and best wishes for the new year!

Diana and Nandana
PTO Co-presidents

Thompson News & Events

Fifth Grade Science Camp Recap

Science CampThe words came bubbling out as soon as we hit the car: “Mom, do we have any quartz?”
“I don’t know. Why?”
“I need 2 pieces! Because hitting or rubbing 2 pieces of quartz together causes electric charges and creates light called triboluminescence. It’s awesome!”

Conversations like this were had in cars and homes throughout Thompson Fifth grade families as students returned home from Alton Jones Environmental Education Center in W. Greenwich, Rhode Island. After 4 days and 3 nights of engaging and immersive exploration, kids were tired, but enthusiastic about science made tangible.

A quick survey of favorite things about science camp highlights the wide range of experiences at Alton Jones:
“I liked the night hike. That was my favorite.”
“Outdoor skills (fire and emergency shelter building) were the best.”
“I liked that everyone (field teachers) knew my name. And aquatic ecology!”
“The campfire songs and stories. The jokes were bad, but that was funny.”
“Sleeping in the cabin. I didn’t think I was going to make it through the first night, and I did all three without freaking out!”
“I learned that you can light flour on fire! You can’t compress it, though. There has to be a lot of oxygen between the flour particles.”

Thanks to the talented and knowledgeable Alton Jones staff, the hardy Thompson 5th grade teachers and intrepid parent chaperones, the kids were outdoors all day developing a greater appreciation of the wonder of the natural world and built independent living skills.

Thompson Drama Project

Theater 00

Hello Third, Fourth, and Fifth grade parents, It’s time to sign up for the Thompson Drama Project. Our three wonderful directors, Maf, Gaggi, and Ziza, will be back for another year! Our 3 plays will begin rehearsals the week of January 8. Auditions will be on Thursday Jan 4th and Friday Jan 5th after school in the Music Room. All actors who audition will receive a part – the auditions are for casting purposes. To sign your child up for an audition slot – click here. Prior to the audition, you must fill out a registration form for your child – click here. Please be sure to read the Ground Rules – click here. Mark your calendars – performances will be April 5th and 6th! Please let us know if you have any questions at

Lise White and Karen Roth LoRusso

Literacy Night & Book Fair Were a Success!

Literacy Night 2017 12 aThe Thompson community enjoyed a week of Literacy driven activities. Students and parents visited the Book Fair in the school’s library making wish lists and purchases from the wide variety of books offered by local bookstore The Book Rack. On Tuesday, December 12th, we held our first graphic-novel themed Literacy Night. Students engaged in a lively illustration workshop led by parent and illustrator Adam Lane. Current librarian Ms. Mak and former-librarian Liza Halley gave book readings to an attentive crowd while parents and students perused numerous amazing graphic-novel submissions by our own students.

Literacy Night 2017 12 bThank you to all the students who submitted their work, the volunteers who helped with the event, and a special thank you to Adam Lane, Liza Halley and Ms. Mak and Mike at The Book Rack for their time and efforts!

Community Card Update

Community Card 2017 2018Family Sales concluded on Friday December 8th. We still have a few returns that haven’t been turned in yet. Soon as we have those we will announce our tallies!

On that note, we still only have a few hundred cards left for sale. As always, tell folks to get them while they last! Cards can be purchased anytime at The Book Rack, Menotomy Beer and Wine, or


Follow us at @ArlCommCard on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and like/comment on any posts that inspire you.

Any questions? Contact

Thompson Winter Parents’ Party! – Saturday January 27th

SnowFlake 00The annual Thompson Winter Parents Party will be held at the beautiful and historic Arlington Town Hall. There will be a DJ, dancing, a social lounge for chilling out and recharging tired feet, and some raffle items! This is the one kid-free Thompson event each year where just us parents get to have some fun. After winter break, be on the lookout for a formal invitation coming home in your child’s backpack, as well as some areas the committee will need help with both on the day of the event as well as the weeks leading up to it.


Arlington High School Building Project

Arlington High School 00As many of you know, the town is beginning the process with the state to rebuild/renovate Arlington High School. One of the AHS Building Committee’s top goals is open communication and they have created numerous ways for residents to learn about the project and get engaged during this lengthy and complex process.

If you don’t find what you are looking for in any of these places, you can also email the committee. The project is currently in the Feasibility Phase and HMFH Architects has been selected as the Project Designer.

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.

Winter Parent’s Party – Jan 27th

Interested in helping with planning the Winter Parent’s Party?

The party is moving venues this year, and as always there are many tasks (both large and small) that the planning committee needs help with, from running errands for supplies in the weeks approaching to helping set up on the day of the event.

Contact: Kate Murphy at

Calling All Science Enthusiasts: Science Explo March 17th

Are you a professional in a scientific field or just a lover of all things science related? We need volunteers to set up and run interactive tables at the Explo in March! Let us know if you’re interested. Contact: Yael Beals at

Help Throughout the Year

To check all current volunteer opportunities:

Connect with Us


Nandana Mewada, Co-President (Mom to Eshaan, 3rd)
Diana Trudell, Co-President (Mom to Matilda, 4rd and Joaquin, 1st)
Yael Beals, Vice-President (Mom to Annabella, 2nd)
Carolyn Schneyer, Co-Treasurer (Mom to Leah, 4th)
Sara Wilkinson, Co-Treasurer (Mom to Ezra, 4th, and Amelia, 1st)
Emily Gauthier, Co-Secretary (Mom to Sophia, 5th)
Fiona Ehring, Co-Secretary (Mom to Emma, 4th and Elise, K)
Danielle Gottesman, Communications Chair (Mom to Oliver, 3rd, and Penny, 1st)
Melissa Crowley, Spirit and Appreciation Co-Chair (Mom to Joseph, 1st)
Judy Hu, Spirit & Appreciation Co-Chair (Mom to Sofia, 1st)
Sarah Gupta, Room-Parent Chair (Mom to Norah, 3rd, and Meena, 1st)
Juliet Moir, Fundraising Chair (Mom to Jack, 5th, and Eva, 2nd)
Maf Terry, Enrichment Co-Chair (Mom to John, 5th)
Tonja Bishop, Enrichment Co-Chair (Mom to Ellen, 2nd and Neil, K)
Ashley Lorenz, Community Card Chair (Mom to Oliver, 5th, Melanie, 3rd, and Peter, K)
Gaggi DeStefanis, Community Card Chair (Mom to Sofia, 3rd)

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.