Category Archives: From the PTO

Let’s Welcome Our Teachers Back to Zervas!

We plan to welcome our teachers and staff back to Zervas the first week of school with a lawn full of signs of appreciation (i.e. Thanks for being a great teacher!, etc.).  We are asking for your help.  We’ll provide the blank lawn signs, you provide the creativity!  We will fill up the lawn with your messages on September 15, the night before school starts, and our teachers and staff will arrive on their first day to a huge display of gratitude. Please join us!   

Pick up a blank sign at Zervas between Tues. 9/8-Thurs. 9/10. Signs will be located in designated boxes under the overhang to the left of the main entrance door. Drop off completed signs in the designated box until Sunday, September 13.

PTO Volunteer Sign Up

We need your help this year!

This year may look different in almost every way, but now more than ever, we need help and support from our diverse and multi-talented Zervas parent community. Help us think creatively about our PTO initiatives during this extraordinary year and execute on these plans.  Fill out this volunteer form by September 16.

Safe Routes to School

Safe Routes to School (SRTS) works to promote walking, biking, and taking the bus to school through encouragement, education, infrastructure improvements, and safety enforcement. Our goal is to create a healthy community for everyone. We organize activities like Walk to School Days, Bike Safety Training and Heart Health Week, and meet on a monthly basis with a representation from the City of Newton, Newton Public Schools, Mayor’s Office, City Council, School Committee, Newton Police Department, and parent representatives from each public school.

Would you like to help us with one of these events or coordinate Walking School Buses or any new initiatives? We can always use more help – please reach out to the Zervas SRTS Coordinator, Hanneke deVlaam.

Spiritwear Fundraiser: Zervas Face Masks

Restock your face mask supply while supporting Zervas! We are selling children- and adult-sized masks in a variety of Zervas-themed designs. We are working with local merchant Rafi Nova to create our unique masks, as we strongly encourage the support of our local businesses during these difficult times. 

Don’t miss your chance to donate a mask to a Zervas staff member, as well! 
Buy four (4) or more masks and receive a 20% discount when you use the code ZEBRA at checkout.  Feel free to share the link to our store with grandparents, Zervas alumni, neighbors, and anyone else who might be interested in a face mask.  

Shop now at

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  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 

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