Category Archives: From the PTO

Zervas Online Auction: March 5-11

Looking for a good deal on summer camp? Or fun date nights, birthday parties or fitness classes? Mark your calendar for the Zervas Online Auction March 5-11. 

Proceeds will benefit the programs paid for the by the Zervas PTO, including classroom activities like Creative Arts and Science and Understanding Our Differences, and community-building activities like family game night and the family picnics.

Dynamic Diversity Night is Thursday, March 1

Join us in the Zervas cafetorium for a special age-appropriate refugee-focused evening with stories, games and songs. The PTO will provide pizza at 6:15 p.m. and the event goes until 7:45 p.m. This event is open to all Zervas families, including grandparents and younger and older siblings.

Screening for incoming Zervas Kindergarteners

Do you have a child who will start Kindergarten in Fall 2018? If so, please call the main office at 617-559-6760 to set up your child’s Kindergarten Screening appointment in early March.

“Reducing Anxiety in Kids” talk

Former Zervas staff member  Jessica Minahan, M.Ed, BCBA, will speak on Reducing Anxiety in Kids Wednesday, February 28, 2018 at 7:00PM in Newton North High School Auditorium. Sponsored by Newton SEPAC and Newton Public Schools; the event is free of charge.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) reports that one in four thirteen-eighteen year olds has had an anxiety disorder in their lifetime. Without intervention, these children are at risk for poor performance, diminished learning, and social/behavior problems in school. Understanding the role anxiety plays in a student’s behavior is crucial and using preventive strategies are key to successful intervention. Effective behavior plans for these students must avoid the reward and punishment-based consequences from traditional behavior methods and focus instead on the use of preventive strategies and on explicitly teaching coping skills, self-monitoring, and alternative responses. Easy to implement preventive tools, strategies, and interventions for reducing anxiety, increasing self-regulation, executive functioning, and self-monitoring will be discussed.

Bio: Jessica Minahan, MEd, BCBA, is a board-certified behavior analyst and special educator and a consultant to schools nationwide ( Jessica has over seventeen years of experience supporting students who exhibit challenging behavior in urban public school systems. She is a blogger on The Huffington Post, as well as the author of The Behavior Code: A Practical Guide to Understanding and Teaching the Most Challenging Students, with Nancy Rappaport (Harvard Education Press, 2012) and author of The Behavior Code Companion: Strategies, Tools, and Interventions for Supporting Students with Anxiety-Related or Oppositional Behaviors (Harvard Education Press, 2014).

Parent Coffee this Friday, Feb 2

Stop by the PTO parent coffee in the cafetorium after dropping off your child this Friday, February 2 to chat with other parents. We’ll have coffee and pastries. 8:30-9:30 a.m.

The schedule for the remaining parent and principal coffees is:

  • Friday, March 2, 8:30-9:30 a.m., Principal Coffee. Special Q&A with Dr. Beck, Superintendent Fleishman and several School Committee members.
  • Friday, April 6, 8:30-9:30 a.m., Parent Coffee. Discussion with parent coach and Zervas parent Cindy Kaplan on the art of holding and creating boundaries with our children to create more connection and intimacy between ourselves and our children.
  • Friday, May 4, 8:30-9:15 a.m., Principal Coffee. Topic TBD.
  • Friday, June 8, 8:30-9:30 a.m., Volunteer Appreciation Breakfast/PTO meeting.

Library Birthday Book Drive

Zervas has a beautiful new school and new library this year and we want to fill it with new books!  You can donate a book to the Zervas library in honor of your child’s birthday or other special event. It’s simple and quick, and donations come right to the library, ready to be checked out by our Zervas readers. Click here to check it out.

Volunteer in your child’s library class

Volunteer in the library during your child’s 30-minute library time-slot. Parents help students check in, check out, re-shelve and organize the books. The library class schedule is on the Zervas library website under the “Sign-up” tab.

Zervas librarian Ms. Kinney is offering more training sessions this winter. Trainings will last approximately 20 minutes and take place at the library on the second floor. You must email Ms. Kinney at to sign up to be trained.

Monday 1/29, 2/5, 2/12 at 2:40 pm
Wednesday 1/31, 2/7 at 8:30 am

In addition to being trained, your Massachusetts CORI and SORI checks also must be on file with the front office. Please stop by to see Anne Hadley to complete the paperwork if you haven’t already done so. CORI/SORI checks are valid for three years.

Kick-Off for PTO Cultural Dinner Planning: Friday, 2/2/18 at 8:00 AM Zervas Library

Please come join us for the planning kick-off meeting for the Zervas PTO’s Family Cultural Dinner next Friday morning (2/2/18) at 8:00 AM in the Zervas Library! You can bring your kids with you if they can play or read quietly while we meet.

Our annual PTO Cultural Dinner on Wednesday, April 11th celebrates the many unique cultures that make up the Zervas community while bringing about a sense of unity.  The dinner will start with a potluck meal followed by lively entertainment.  We would love to hear your creative ideas about how to make this event a continued success!

We are looking for parents who would like to help out in small and big ways. Please RSVP to if you would like to participate, even if you can’t attend this first meeting. Please write “Cultural Dinner” in the subject heading. This is a great way to meet other parents while planning a fairly easy event. We will only have a few meetings, so the time commitment is low and the satisfaction you will experience is high.  🙂 Join us!

TOMORROW – Zervas Family Game Night!

This Wednesday, January 24, join Zervas families for the second annual Zervas Family Game Night! Eureka, a local game store, will provide loads of family-friendly games and puzzles for all to enjoy. Eureka will also have their “pop-up” store with some of their more popular games for sale.

  • 6-6:30 p.m. Pizza, fruit, veggies and desserts will be served in the Zervas lobby while Eureka sets up. Parents, please keep your children in the lobby as the rest of the school will be off limits. At 6:30 we will stop serving food so come early enough to grab a bite to eat!
  • 6:30-7:30 p.m. Games and puzzles in the cafetorium for families to play with their children.

Students who attend will receive a homework pass for the evening.  Please contact Ginna Martin ( or Peter Malagodi ( if you have questions about the event.  We hope to see you there!


Zervas Family Game Night! Wednesday, January 24th, 6:00-7:30pm

The Zervas PTO would like to invite your whole family to come to Game Night, where Eureka! will provide loads of family-friendly games and puzzles for all to enjoy in the Zervas Cafetorium.  This is a perfect opportunity for families to get together!  Pizza, fruit, veggies and desserts will be provided by the PTO.  Students who attend will receive a homework pass for the evening.  Please contact Ginna Martin ( or Peter Malagodi ( if you have questions about the event.  We hope to see you there!