The latest announcements from the Principal and the PTO...

Znotes Policy

Znotes Policy: Please submit all Zervas announcements by Sunday for distribution on Tuesday. Email zmail@zervaspto.org with your announcement.

Send city-wide Community announcements to all Newton elementary schools by emailing newsletters@newtonptocouncil.org.

It’s not too late to sign up to become a Zervas Pal!

Do you remember your first year at Zervas? Do you remember meeting other new families at a playground playdate?

As a current family at Zervas, we invite you to join us as we launch the Zervas Pal or “Z-Pal” Program to help welcome incoming families to Zervas.  Our hope for this program is to help welcome new families and ensure a smooth transition to Zervas. In a year when many things are uncertain, we hope this new endeavor will help our new families feel connected to our community.

As a Z-Pal family, you will be paired with 1-2 new families that best match your child/ren’s grade, to the best of our ability. While we have new families in all grades, we expect most new families in this program will be incoming Kindergarten families.

Sign up and receive a match in early August

If you have questions or suggestions, contact us at newfamily@zervaspto.org.  This is a new program so don’t be shy if you have any ideas for the program or questions.  Thank you in advance for your help!

Upcoming Families Organizing for Racial Justice (FORJ) Events

As the summer goes on, we’d like to share some upcoming opportunities to continue to engage in conversations about race and racism hosted by our local community.

UPCOMING JULY FORJ MEETING: “How To Talk About Race With Your Children”
with Mike Feldstein and Daniel Arroyo 
Wednesday, July 29th from 7 – 8: 15 pm, with optional meeting time to further connect from 8:15-8:30pm 
RSVP HERE 

Discussing race with our children is critical.  But how do we do this in a constructive, age-appropriate way? How do we answer their questions when we aren’t sure what to say?  How do we talk about racist incidents in Newton, the news, and the METCO program? 

Mike Feldstein, beloved 5th grade teacher at Horace Mann and 25-year veteran of talking about race, and Daniel Arroyo, incredible METCO counselor at Oak Hill, Bowen, Memorial-Spaulding, and Zervas will lead us in an engaging and interactive session. They will provide insights, guidance, and opportunities to discuss specific situations. This session will be relevant for adults dealing with kids of all ages.  Please come to learn and commune with other folks in the same position.  

Mike and Daniel would love to hear your questions in advance.  Maybe you’ve had a situation you weren’t sure how to handle?  Or a question from your child that you didn’t know how to address?  Please submit your question on the RSVP form.

Stamped:Racism, Anti-Racism and You: A Remix Book Club
Wed, Aug 5, 20205:00 PM  Wed, Aug 26, 20206:30 PM
Hosted by FORJ youth and parents 

The Stamped book club came about after parents and kids from Newton to as far as Miami said that they want a place to discuss race issues and the climate of white supremacy in this country.  Madeline McNeely and Kate Carpenter got together to make this happen. Kate asked Akim Jocelyn, a rising senior at Newton South High School, to serve as our lead facilitator with a handful of other teens as small group facilitators depending on the # of registrations.


A Conversation with Ibram X. Kendi
Wednesday, August 12th, 6:30-8pm
Hosted by the Newton Public Library
Cosponsored by FORJ, The Harmony Foundation, and the Newton Human Rights Commission

Join us for a virtual conversation with Ibram X. Kendi followed by a panel discussion about Race and Racism in Newton. We encourage you to read Dr. Kendi’s book, How to Be an Antiracist. It is part of the Overdue: Confronting Race and Racism in Newton city-wide read which will include a series of events and conversations about race and racism. The book is available from the Newton Free Library in print, eBook, and eAudiobook formats.

Register (required) here. The information on how to join the session will be sent prior to the program. 

Raising Antiracist Kids
Tuesday, August 25, 7-8pm
Hosted by the Newton Public Library
Cosponsored by FORJ, The Harmony Foundation, and the Newton Human Rights Commission


Join us for the first in a multi-part educational series on being an anti-racist. This program is part of Overdue: Confronting Race and Racism in Newton, a city-wide read and series of events and conversations on race and racism. The panelists will be:

  • Ellie Axe, Director, Story Starters
  • Michele Leong, Newton North High School Office of Human Rights 
  • Kathy Lopes, Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Newton Public Schools
  • Dr. Henry Turner, Principal, Newton North High School
  • Dr. David A. Fleishman, Superintendent of Schools will moderate

Register here. An email with a link for the webinar will be sent out prior to the event.

Congratulations to our Zervas 5th Grade Graduates!

Congratulations to our Zervas 5th grade graduates! You have had quite the adventure at Zervas: You started in the old school, attended Zervas at Carr, moved back to the new building at Beethoven and finished your Zervas career at home. It was memorable to say the least! We wish you all the best of luck as you move on to middle school. Please come back to visit!

Zervas PTO: Looking Ahead to 2020-2021

What a year this has been! Thank you to all of our parents, students and volunteers for your participation in activities that took place in person and out of school.

While we would typically have a nearly full calendar of events for the 2020-2021 school year at this time, we are awaiting guidance from the state and NPS to figure out how we will be able to continue to best build our Zervas community and support our amazing teachers.

We promise to send you up to date information as soon as we have it. Ass always, we welcome your suggestions and feedback on how we can make next year a great one. Have a great summer!

ZCC: Follow up from Conversation about Race and Racism

The ZCC hosted a Zoom last week about talking to children about race.  We are grateful to everyone who was able to be a part of this conversation and hope to be able to continue this work together.  We have put together an evolving list of some helpful resources that you can find here.  If you are interested in staying in touch with ZCC, joining a book club, or joining a podcast club, please let us know through this form

Social Action: Thank you for your donations!

Thank you, Zervas families, for your donations of grocery items and paper bags. Thanks to your generosity, Zervas families donated about 60 bags filled with groceries to Centre Street Food Pantry last week, and about 500 paper bags to the Newton Food Pantry. A huge thank you to the Zervas Social Action Committee for organizing this great drive, and to Tanya Ianiello and Maggie Schmidt for delivering the groceries and bags.

60 bags packed and ready to go to the Centre Street Food Pantry
500 grocery bags ready to be dropped off at the Newton Food Pantry

Building Our Zervas Library

After checking in and putting away over 850 books returned by Zervas students, Ms. Kinney is moving on to choosing even more great titles for our Zervas library. In particular, she is working to add books that support the important themes of our times: inclusion, diversity, racial justice and upstanders. These books illustrate the welcoming and supportive community we want to emphasize at Zervas. 

Ms. Kinney is also working with all the Elementary Library teachers in Newton to compile a Black Lives Matter/Courageous Conversations recommended book list. In Ms. Kinney’s words, “I am making sure Zervas owns every single one.” 

A reminder that you can access the Zervas library website all summer!

Zervas Walks: Tues, Jun 16 Bike Safety Zoom

We invite Zervas 3rd-5th graders to a (virtual) bike safety training session hosted by Newton Free Library and Massachusetts Safe Routes to School. It’s wonderful to see so many kids and families on bikes and this is a good time to review helmet fit and bike safety. You will learn some tips to make sure you and your bike are ready for a full summer of biking in your neighborhood. Kids should bring their helmets to the session if they can, and family members of all ages are welcome to watch

Pre-registration is necessary for this event.  One registration per zoom account.  The day before the program you will receive a reminder email with the zoom link along with any further instructions. Here’s the direct link to register: https://newtonfreelibrary.libcal.com/event/6788542along. 

Bike Safety Session@ Newton Free Library via Zoom Tuesday, June 16, 2020, 4:30-5:15pm

Do you want to help promote safe biking and walking in Newton and the Zervas neighborhood?? The Zervas Walks/Safe Routes to School Committee is always looking for new members. Email zervaswalks@gmail.com if you are interested in helping for this coming year. There are many roles –  organizing walk/bike to school days, helping with bike and pedestrian safety training, and working with the Newton Safe Routes to School Task Force on safety improvements on routes to Zervas.  

Zervas Adult Virtual Trivia Night: Wed, June 10 @ 9pm

Did you enjoy the first-ever Zervas Family Trivia Night?  Did you think it would be even better if your kids were in bed sleeping? Well, you’re in luck! Quizmaster Allan Telio has agreed to put together the first-ever Zervas After Dark Trivia night for adults. It will be like the first trivia night but with fewer questions about Legos and a chance to interact with other adults. 

When: Wednesday, June 10th, 9 PM
Why? Because you deserve a night of fun 
Where: A Zoom meeting. It will be like work but fun. 

Please find the Zoom link in your Tuesday, 6/9 Zmail PTO Email.

ZCC: Conversation about Race and Racism, Thurs, Jun 11 @ 7pm

Dear Zervas community,

Back in January, ZCC hosted a Dynamic Diversity night focused on the question: “How do we talk to children about race?” Right now, as the issues of racism and anti-Black violence consume our national consciousness, we understand that parents/caregivers may be looking for more support than ever on how to engage in more active anti-racist conversation and action with their children.

On Thursday June 11th at 7pm, ZCC will host a Zoom call to help parents/caregivers think about these issues and make a plan. We will be discussing two resources:

We encourage everyone to watch/listen/read these resources before the Zoom. We’ll brainstorm and discuss resources for supporting children. We will share examples of conversations we have had with children about race, and collectively strategize for more on-going conversations with children about race and racism.

Please join us by RSVPing here. This Zoom call is intended for any and all Zervas community adults.  

Please find the Zoom link in your Tuesday, 6/9 Zmail PTO Email.