Category Archives: From the PTO

Reminder: Newton Public Schools Staff Gift Policy

This December, the PTO would like to remind families of the Newton Public Schools Staff Gift Policy. The full policy can be found here.

Gifts to an individual staff member from a family should be in the form of a “sentimental token”, such as something handmade or hand-baked, and not have commercial value. Most room parents use class dues to purchase a gift or gift card for the classroom teacher(s) from the whole class in both December and June.

Other options to honor your child’s teacher or other Zervas staff include a donation in their name to the Newton Schools Foundation or donating a book in their honor through the Zervas Library Gift Book Drive.

Thank you from the teachers

Zervas teachers and staff pass along their thanks to all the families who brought in cookies for the annual cookie swap last week!

The cookie swap was preceded by a PTO-hosted staff lunch as part of Inclusive Schools Week, a week both to celebrate the progress that schools have made in providing a supportive and quality education to an increasingly diverse student population, and to discuss what else needs to be done in order to ensure that Newton continues to improve its ability to successfully educate all children. The teachers thank the Zervas community for the lunch.

Zervas Toys for Tots Collection – last week!

Want to give a gift to a child in need around the holidays?  Donate a toy to Toys for Tots, a holiday toy drive sponsored by the Marine Corps Reserve.  Toys for Tots accepts new, unwrapped toys for newborns through age 12.  They are especially in need of for toys for children in the 0-2 and 9-12 range; they prefer not to accept realistic looking toy weapons.  Toys are distributed to families in our community around the holidays.

There is a donation bin outside the main office through December 13th.  Contact Tanya Ianniello tianniello@gmail.com or Jackie Washington jackielee617@gmail.com with any questions.

 

Library Gift Book Drive

The Zervas Library Winter Gift Book Drive is open through December!  Please consider donating a book in honor of a teacher, staff, family member, friend.  Each book donated will contain a bookplate with a personal dedication honoring the person of your choice.  If you would like to see one of your favorite books added to the wishlist, please reach out to Becky Kinney (rebecca_kinney@newton.k12.ma.us) or Chris Detjen (cmdetjen@yahoo.com).

Click here to donate a book: https://www.btsb.com/sosl/zervaselementaryschool7

 

Amazon Smile

A reminder that the PTO is using Amazon Smile for fundraising.

If you are an Amazon shopper, please change your Amazon page to Amazon Smile and select Zervas as your charity to donate to Zervas each time you shop! It is easy and free!

Follow the steps below for the first time only. Then bookmark the smile.amazon page and remember to go to that page instead of the regular Amazon page for future visits. If you forget and fill up a shopping cart on the regular Amazon site, you can switch to the Amazon Smile site at any point before your purchase is confirmed and Amazon Smile will recognize your shopping cart.

After following these steps once, Amazon will automatically remember your charity and donate to Zervas each time to shop using the smile.amazon page!
1. Go to www.smile.amazon.com next time you are shopping on Amazon.
2. In the “Your Account” drop down on the top right, select “Change Your Charity.”
3. Where it says “Pick Your Own Charitable Organization,” type in “Zervas.”
4. Select “Zervas School Parent-Teacher Organization.”
5. Add smile.amazon.com to your bookmark or favorites menu.
6. Always use the www.smile.amazon.com page when shopping Amazon instead of www.amazon.com

Any questions? Email us at pto@zervaspto.org.

Library Gift Book Drive

The Zervas Library Winter Gift Book Drive is now open!  Please consider donating a book in honor of a teacher, staff, family member, friend.  Each book donated will contain a bookplate with a personal dedication honoring the person of your choice.  If you would like to see one of your favorite books added to the wishlist, please reach out to Becky Kinney (rebecca_kinney@newton.k12.ma.us) or Chris Detjen (cmdetjen@yahoo.com).

Click here to donate a book: https://www.btsb.com/sosl/zervaselementaryschool7

 

Co-Presidents Newsletter December 2018

December 2018

Dear Zervas Families,

We hope you had a nice and long Thanksgiving break.  Wherever you traveled or however you celebrated, we hope you found some time to eat good food and enjoy kind company.  The Zervas PTO is thankful for our outstanding community.  Each year brings a new opportunity for us to foster a warm and welcoming school, and, as we reflect on the fall months now behind us, we love seeing the community that 2018-2019 has become.

Before we get too far into the letter, we want to encourage all you home bakers and food shoppers to heat up your ovens or run to your local bakery and donate a batch of cookies or favorite holiday treats to our very popular Zervas Teachers Cookie SwapContact Sanskriti Singh if you plan to contribute.  All treats should be delivered to the first-floor staff lounge Wednesday morning, December 5th.

I want to say a huge thank you to Merrill Barnes and our Kindergarten Soccer Team: Tara Karyanis, Matt Feiner, & Santhi Gollapalli.  Their efforts often go unnoticed so today we will highlight the work they do.  Started in 1993, Kindergarten Soccer is a Zervas PTO volunteer-run program that is a big fundraiser for us.  It takes hours of work to lead and manage this busy community program.  This year Merrill is finishing up a two-year tenure as coordinator and we cannot thank her enough for her tireless energy and steady organization.  Thank you to the whole team for a great 2018!

We are grateful for our big roster of Room and Grade Parents who have been busy coordinating teacher appreciation events, keeping classrooms in the know about things happening in the rooms, and getting the parents together for social events. There are too many of you to list but please know we are seeing your efforts. Thank you to PTO board member, Freddy Hinck, for keeping this group well-organized.

We hope you caught one of the Variety Shows organized by Darlene Nedeljkovic and music teacher, Ken Mignone. We are always impressed by the bravery and talent of the young performers. Thank you, Ken and Darlene, for making these nights run smoothly.

Thank you to all of you who came out for Dynamic Diversity Night.  It was a nice evening filled with engaging conversations and good fun.  Amy Behrens and Kim Hermesch, we thank you for taking the lead on this community-building event and also thank the rest of the Dynamic Diversity team: Delia Cheung Hom, Elisa Derby,  Valerie Graf, Kristin Hovis, Ben Mahnke, Serena Toh, principal Diana Beck, teachers Harriet Howell, Chris O’Rourke, and Maggie Williamson, and music teacher Ken Mignone for providing microphones.

Inclusive Schools Week is coming up December 3rd-7th.  It is a time that our school will come together to learn more about inclusion and celebrate our dynamic community.  In honor of the week, our entire Zervas staff will be invited to a PTO-hosted lunch on the 5th, to provide them with an opportunity to eat and come together as a group.

You have until Thursday, December 13th to donate a new, unwrapped toy for a child (newborn to age 12) in need. Thank you to our Social Action Committee, Tanya Ianniello and Jackie Washington, for organizing this drive for Toys for Tots. Toys for children ages 0-2 and 9-12 are especially needed, and you can drop them off in bin outside the office in the Zervas lobby.  Jackie and Tanya also coordinated the UNICEF collection for Halloween which raised $876 for UNICEF’s emergency relief work.

Class are starting to organize holiday gifts for the teachers and aides using the class dues collected at the beginning of the year. If you would like to acknowledge your student’s teacher individually, consider participating in the Zervas Library Winter Gift Book Drive. You can purchase a title selected by librarian Rebecca Kinney, and then donate it to the library in honor of a teacher or staff member.  Ms. Kinney will create a bookplate to put inside the cover acknowledging the Zervas staff member of your choice.

And don’t forget to add Zervas as your Amazon Smile recipient if you are shopping online this season! There are instructions on our website for how to do it.

If you have any questions or suggestions, do not hesitate to contact us at pto@zervaspto.org.

We wish you a wonderful December.

Jenn Martin & Maggie Schmidt
PTO Co-Presidents

 

 

 

Zervas Toys for Tots Collection

Want to give a gift to a child in need around the holidays?  Donate a toy to Toys for Tots, a holiday toy drive sponsored by the Marine Corps Reserve.  Toys for Tots accepts new, unwrapped toys for newborns through age 12.  They are especially in need of for toys for children in the 0-2 and 9-12 range; they prefer not to accept realistic looking toy weapons.  Toys are distributed to families in our community around the holidays.

There will be a donation bin outside the main office through December 13th.  Contact Tanya Ianniello tianniello@gmail.com or Jackie Washington jackielee617@gmail.com with any questions.

 

Family event – Dynamic Diversity Night – November 29

Join us in the Zervas cafetorium for Dynamic Diversity Night this Thursday, November 29th from 6:15-8:00 p.m.

Dynamic Diversity Night is a great way to meet new people and feel more connected to the Zervas community.  This event is open to all Zervas families, including grandparents and younger and older siblings. Adults, come prepared to participate as well.

Homework passes for 1 subject will be available for students at Zervas.

Organized by the Zervas Community Connections Committee.
Pizza, drinks, and dessert will be served at 6:15pm – Pizza $1/slice
followed by our dynamic activity.

The evening will feature a creative activity designed to stimulate sharing and discussion. Come engage in dynamic conversations and have fun with fellow Zervas families! You’ll make new friends and deepen older friendships. 

PLEASE RSVP so we have enough pizza and materials!

RSVP HEREhttps://goo.gl/forms/PNZgfdc2cekxlYvl2

Questions? Email Kim Hermesch at kimberlyhermesch@gmail.com or Amy Behrens at amycbehrens@gmail.com

We look forward to a fun evening with you! 

 

Principal Coffee, Friday, November 30. Special Topic: Homework Practices

Join Dr. Beck for a Principal Coffee on November 30 (note the new date) at 8:30 a.m. in the cafetorium. She will discuss elements of Zervas Homework Expectations as well as provide strategies, activities, and tips for helping with your child’s language arts and math homework.

The PTO will provide coffee and treats. We hope to see you there!