Zervas Notes -- April 25, 2018




Upcoming Events





Notes from the Principal



Notes from the Co-Presidents

Co-Presidents Letter April 2018

Dear Zervas Parents,

All right, who’s ready for spring?!? I can’t believe that it snowed on April 2nd. I am ready to see green instead of white. Speaking of green, we wanted to communicate some information about how the PTO raises and spends money. Please take a minute to read this as we know there are some misconceptions about the PTO’s fundraising efforts and spending.

We are in the fortunate financial position this school year of having a brand new school with minimal needs as well as accumulated funds from several years of successful fundraising.  So while it seems fiscally irresponsible to have a budget that allowed for spending almost twice as much as we aimed to fundraise, this will not become an on-going practice.  It was suggested and approved at the PTO General Meeting on October 11, 2017, that the financial strategy for this academic school year was to spend available PTO funds while many of the families responsible for the fundraising are still at Zervas. We are on track to meet both expenses ($122,000) and revenues ($62,000). Going forward, the PTO will budget expenditures to match fundraising goals.

Much of our funding goes to curricular support such as Creative Arts and Science, Understanding Our Differences, the CAP program, and teacher mini-grants. We were also able to fully fund monthly family events like Family Picnics, the Halloween dance, Game night, Cultural night, Movie night, and Dynamic Diversity nights — events which help make the Zervas community unique. This year we were also able to purchase classroom supplies for teachers and fund regular teacher appreciation events from meals in August, October, and December to monthly recognition for our teacher’s dedication spearheaded by Grade and Room Parents. 

The major fundraisers of the PTO are Kindergarten Soccer ($27,000), the Teacher Raffle last December (which raised $3,000), the Zervas Online Auction in March (which raised $20,000) and the Community Events auctioned off at the Spring Fling on April 28 (with a goal to raise at least $14,000). Check out these pie charts for more information.

Leading the way in raising funds for next school year was our Online Auction Team made up of Stephen Davenport, Jessica Davis, Craig Kapilow, and Justine Mikulis. They worked tirelessly to organize the logistics of the Online Auction. Helping them with soliciting donations were Kristen Beaupre, Sera Miller, Tara Karyanis and Tim D’Souza. The Zervas children, parents, and teachers send you all very sincere thanks! Amazing work.

We have another great team working to raise both funds and fun at the first annual Spring Fling, aka the 2018 Kentucky Zerby. Get your tickets here for the Saturday, April 28th  Zerby party, starting at 7 p.m. at Zervas. Usually an Auction party is the culminating event at the end of a week of online bidding. This year, that Auction party has been separated from most of the bidding and transformed into the Zerby, the themed party for this year’s Spring Fling. It will be a fabulous, adults-only party with a delicious dinner, festive drinks, a fun DJ, and opportunities to bid on Community Events like dinner parties and parents’ nights out, which are only available to the Zervas community. If you would like to offer up a Community Event for bid, please reach out to Wendy Feiner at wfeiner@gmail.com. Come reconnect with friends or make new ones. It will be a blast!

There are three terrific Zervas events planned for the next two weeks. After two snow delays, Zervas Movie Night is finally here on Wednesday, April 4th from 6:30-8:00 p.m. Bring your dinner or eat before you come; popcorn and fruit snacks will be served. We will be showing Pixar shorts.

Our next PTO Parent Coffee will be held on Friday, April 6th from 8:30-9:30 a.m. in the Zervas Cafetorium with Family Coach and Zervas parent Cindy Kaplan who will lead a discussion on What does it really mean to set clear boundaries with our children? Come learn the two essential ingredients to setting and holding effective boundaries with our kids and feeling good about it.

Family Cultural Dinner is Wednesday, April 11th from 6:15-8:00 p.m. Join us as we celebrate the many unique cultures that make up the Zervas community with friends, food, and traditional Chinese acrobatics!  Burritos will be provided by the PTO, and we hope you will also bring a side dish that represents your cultural heritage or a favorite dish for your family.  Please bring serving utensils as well as a print out of ingredients.  Water, plates, and eating utensils will be provided. Even if you can’t bring a side dish, we would love to see you!

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

Thank you,

Alicia Collins & Jenn Martin
PTO Co-Presidents




Notes from Zervas

In the Name of Love: Newton Family Singers rock the Music of U2

Let out your inner Rock Star and come belt along with Newton Family Singers as they perform anthems of passion and justice by Irish superstars U2! Sunday, May 6th, at 4pm at the Ellsworth Theatre of Pine Manor College, 400 Heath Street, Chestnut Hill (free parking available on campus – please come early to park). To benefit the Newton Food Pantry, we’re collecting food donations and holding a raffle. This kid-friendly rock concert is the perfect way to share your love of U2 with your whole family!

Tickets for the show (Adults $10/children $8) can be purchased at Tickets for the show (Adults $10/children $8) can be purchased online at http://www.newtonfamilysingers.org/events.html.

Questions? Email us at admin@newtonfamilysingers.org.

The Newton Family Singers is an intergenerational family chorus that brings together families and friends of all ages to sing American folk music.  Family-friendly, live music!


Series in Mindfulness Meditation at the Waban Library Center

May 8, 15 and 22 at 8:00 pm
Waban Library Center 1608 Beacon Street Waban, MA

Prof. Christina Hardway leads this Mindfulness Meditation workshop at the Waban Library Center. We will practice a variety of meditation techniques and learn ways to incorporate mindfulness into daily life. Students will learn several mindfulness exercises including: Awareness of Breath, Mindfulness of Eating, Walking Meditation, and Open Awareness Meditation. The course will include practice, discussion and brief, take-home reading and writing assignments.

$140 fee includes three 75-minute sessions May 8, 15 and 22 at 8:00 pm. The course is open to any adult who would like to learn more about mindfulness and meditation. The required text book is “Wherever You Go, There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life” by Jon Kabat Zinn.

Mail checks to the Waban Library Center, P.O. Box 6, Waban, MA 02468. Or payable online at: www.wabanlibrarycenter.org, by PayPal.

Christina Hardway regularly teaches mindfulness workshops. She is an Associate Professor of Psychology at Merrimack College, and Chair of the Psychology Department. For any questions about signing up for the class please contact Alice Jacobs at: alicedjacobs@gmail.com

Find us at: www.wabanlibrarycenter.org, facebook and twitter.


Zerby is this Saturday – early bird ticket price extended!

Ladies and Gentlemen! We are coming down the home stretch… the Kentucky Zerby is only a few days away, and you can bet it will be a great time!

The Early Bird ticket price is extended through April 26, so it’s not too late and purchase your tickets today at  www.biddingforgood.com/zervas

Also, a sneak peek of our amazing community events that you can bid on at the auction are now online- check your calendars and come ready to bid! www.biddingforgood.com/zervas (left-hand side of the page under “adult parties”)

If you can’t make it to the Spring Fling but want to contribute or participate, we have options for you! Log on to  www.biddingforgood.com/zervas :

Sponsor a Teacher: Purchase a ticket to sponsor one of our wonderful teachers/Zervas staff to attend this event for free!

Absentee Bid on Community Events: Click on “Order Tickets” and select “Absentee Bidding” to place your absentee bid on one of the community events! Someone from the auction committee will check in with you before the event for your bid list.

Saturday April 28
7:00-11:00pm
Zervas Elementary Cafetorium

There will be a Kentucky Derby inspired theme dinner, signature cocktails as well as non-boozy options at the open bar, and a DJ with dancing as well as plenty of opportunity to mix and mingle. Bid on the amazing community events hosted by Zervas parents including dinners, parties, ladies nights, gents nights, and more. All proceeds from community event bids support our school curriculum, enrichment activities, and community events.

This is an adults-only event. Derby hats and festive spring attire is encouraged, but completely optional. Zervas teachers and staff will be judging and awarding prizes for best derby hats/attire!

Giddy Up!

Have more questions? See our FAQs or email pto@zervaspto.org


Volunteer Opportunity for the Kentucky Zerby!

We are still looking for a volunteers to help set up and decorate the Zervas Cafetorium for the Kentucky Zerby Spring Fling on Saturday, April 28th. This is a great way to help out, even if you can’t attend the event. Come and meet some new people or grab a friend and help us to make this event look amazing!  Time slots are 2-4 p.m. and 4-6 p.m.

Sign up here to help.


In the Name of Love: Newton Family Singers rock the Music of U2

Let out your inner Rock Star and come belt along with Newton Family Singers as they perform anthems of passion and justice by Irish superstars U2! Sunday, May 6th, at 4pm at the Ellsworth Theatre of Pine Manor College, 400 Heath Street, Chestnut Hill (free parking available on campus – please come early to park). To benefit the Newton Food Pantry, we’re collecting food donations and holding a raffle. This kid-friendly rock concert is the perfect way to share your love of U2 with your whole family!

Tickets for the show (Adults $10/children $8) can be purchased at Tickets for the show (Adults $10/children $8) can be purchased online at http://www.newtonfamilysingers.org/events.html.

Questions? Email us at admin@newtonfamilysingers.org.

The Newton Family Singers is an intergenerational family chorus that brings together families and friends of all ages to sing American folk music.  Family-friendly, live music!


Series in Mindfulness Meditation at the Waban Library Center

May 8, 15 and 22 at 8:00 pm
Waban Library Center 1608 Beacon Street Waban, MA

Prof. Christina Hardway leads this Mindfulness Meditation workshop at the Waban Library Center. We will practice a variety of meditation techniques and learn ways to incorporate mindfulness into daily life. Students will learn several mindfulness exercises including: Awareness of Breath, Mindfulness of Eating, Walking Meditation, and Open Awareness Meditation. The course will include practice, discussion and brief, take-home reading and writing assignments.

$140 fee includes three 75-minute sessions May 8, 15 and 22 at 8:00 pm. The course is open to any adult who would like to learn more about mindfulness and meditation. The required text book is “Wherever You Go, There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life” by Jon Kabat Zinn.

Mail checks to the Waban Library Center, P.O. Box 6, Waban, MA 02468. Or payable online at: www.wabanlibrarycenter.org, by PayPal.

Christina Hardway regularly teaches mindfulness workshops. She is an Associate Professor of Psychology at Merrimack College, and Chair of the Psychology Department. For any questions about signing up for the class please contact Alice Jacobs at: alicedjacobs@gmail.com

Find us at: www.wabanlibrarycenter.org, facebook and twitter.


Tutor Available

My name is Maya and I am available to tutor on weekdays after school. I am a soon to be graduate from Lesley University with a Master’s in Elementary Education (1-6) and Moderate Disabilities (K-8). I work at Angier Elementary School as a Teaching Assistant in second grade and have worked in the Newton Public Schools for the past three years. My experience working with children in schools ranges from preschool through 8th grade. I have strong reading, writing, and math skills as well as a keen ability to adapt to individual student needs. I also have experience working with students who need support with executive functioning type skills. I believe in using a multi-sensory approach that involves games and other engaging activities. Please feel free to contact me by email at maya_swartz@newton.k12.ma.us to learn more about how I can support your child.


Walk and Bike to School Day – Friday, May 4

Join students across the city, state, and country for Walk/Bike to School Day on Friday, May 4. If you need to drive, park a few blocks away and walk over to the school, or park at Cold Spring Park and walk over. All students will get stickers as they arrive.


Volunteer Opportunity for the Kentucky Zerby!

We are looking for a volunteers to help set up and decorate the Zervas Cafetorium for the Kentucky Zerby Spring Fling on Saturday, April 28th. This is a great way to help out, even if you can’t attend the event. Come and meet some new people or grab a friend and help us to make this event look amazing! Sign up here to help.


Family Cultural Night: Wednesday, April 11

Family Cultural Night: Dinner and Lively Entertainment!
Wednesday, April 11th from 6:15-8:00 PM
Zervas Cafetorium

It’s here! You won’t want to miss Family Cultural Night this Wednesday. Celebrate the many unique cultures that make up the Zervas community with friends, food, and traditional Chinese acrobatics!  We will eat dinner together and then witness astounding feats by Li Liu including hand balancing, plate spinning, artistic cycling, foot juggling, and ribbon dancing. Students will get a glimpse of Chinese culture and learn phrases in Li Liu’s native Mandarin during this interactive performance.

The PTO will provide burritos for dinner and we encourage you to bring side dishes that represent your cultural heritage or a favorite dish for your family. Please bring serving utensils as well as a print-out of ingredients in case of allergies. NOTE: Bringing a dish is not a requirement! We would love to see you there no matter what. Also, feel free to represent your cultural heritage through dress or accessories.  Your cultural heritage may reflect your religious, ethnic, national or regional (within U.S.) identity.  Water, plates, and eating utensils will be provided.

Everyone is encouraged to come share, learn, connect, and have fun through this event, which is hosted by the Zervas Community Connections (ZCC) Committee.  We look forward to seeing you and your family! Questions? Email pto@zervaspto.org.




Notes from the Newton Public Schools



Community Notes

Newton Kids PMC Bike Ride on May 20

Newton Kids PMC Ride on May 20

The Newton Kids PMC Ride is back and better than ever! Get your bike ready to roll for this fantastic event on Sunday, May 20, 2018. Rider and volunteer check-in begins at 8 AM.  Two-wheeled riders will zoom around a one-mile loop on Wells Avenue in Newton as many times as they can from 9-10 AM. The 3-wheeled and balance bike crowd will tear it up on a separate tot course. Be sure to stick around for the POST-RIDE PARTY starting at 10 AM. There will be food, face painting, bike decorating, raffles, and more.  This is a great way to get kids involved in raising money for an amazing cause. All proceeds go towards cancer research and patient support at the Jimmy Fund and Dana Farber Cancer Center.

Click here to register: http://www.kids.pmc.org/newton.aspx

Too old to ride but want to support the event? We need you to VOLUNTEER: http://www.kids.pmc.org/newton/register-to-volunteer.aspx


Help the LigerBots Get to the Detroit World Championship

The LigerBots, Newton’s combined North and South high school FIRST Robotics
Competition (FRC) team, have qualified for the FIRST Robotics World Championship in
Detroit from April 25th – 28th. The LigerBots’ ranked 24th out of 209 New England teams at the finish of the New England District Championship, and won two awards at district level events, earning the right to join 400 other FRC teams from around the world in Detroit.

The team now has only days to arrange for hotels and bus transportation to Detroit, and is undertaking a short-term fundraising drive to make sure that every LigerBot who wants to go with them has the chance to make the trip. First they need $5,000 for the competition registration fee, and are then hoping they can fundraise the $15,000 for a bus (2 days each way to Detroit).

If you’d like to help out, please visit https://ligerbots.org/sponsor, message the team on Facebook, or if you are a corporate sponsor, email sponsor-relations@ligerbots.org .


Use Less, Green the Rest

Mothers Out Front Newton is part of a powerful grassroots movement working for a livable future for all children. This campaign calls for a just transition from fossil fuels and for clean renewable energy.

Use Less, Green the Rest is a free presentation and discussion that shows how we can reduce our household carbon footprint by conserving energy and switching to “green energy.” Together we can make a difference.  Please contact Tish Upton at tishg.upton@gmail.com or Diane Becker at dibeck2ster@gmail.com to schedule a program for your friends and neighbors, group or organization.


Gas Leaks and Our Health

Please join a panel discussion describing how gas leaks damage human and tree
health and about organized efforts to protect our families and communities at the local and state level.

Newton has almost 600 unrepaired gas leaks from the pipelines under our streets. This gas is methane, a potent heat-trapping greenhouse gas. It can be explosive, kills our trees and contributes to air pollution. Most of our gas is “fracked gas” that is extracted in a process using more than 1000 chemicals. The utility companies add the cost of the lost gas to ratepayers’ bills.

Panelists include Newton residents Curtis Norgaard, Nathan Phillips, Ann Berwick and Mothers out Front leader Zeyneb Magavi. National Grid has been invited to send a representative.

April 23rd, 7:00 pm
Newton Main Library, 330 Homer Street, Newton


Art Exhibition

The Newton After School Association, in celebration of National After School Week, will display a collection of posters showcasing the wonderful work that school aged childcare programs are doing in Newton.

The exhibition is in the main lobby area of Newton City Hall from April 23rd – May 2nd.

There will be an open reception on Monday, April 23rd from 6:00 – 7:00 pm. Please stop by!


Your Opportunity to Comment on scenarios for adjusting school boundary lines

The Newton Public School district wants to make sure that all community members know that the final opportunity for public input on changes to student school assignments (adjustment of boundary lines) is on Wednesday, April 25th.

The schools that may be impacted by these changes are Cabot, Horace Mann, Franklin, Peirce, Burr, and Underwood. Changes to student school assignments only impact students entering the Newton Public Schools for the first time. Students currently enrolled and siblings of those currently enrolled are not impacted.

More information can be found here: https://goo.gl/4r6QNx

April 25th, 6:30 pm
The Education Center, 100 Walnut Street, Newton


3 Short Sessions to More Sustainable Living and Lower Bills

Sign up for Green Newton’s Green Lifestyle Course: 3 Short Sessions to More Sustainable Living and Lower Bills.

In the Green Lifestyles course, participants will learn how to reduce their use of energy (at
home and in transportation), water, waste and toxins, and be a more eco-friendly consumer. They will also discover new strategies for cutting their energy and water bills. Each class will be composed of 5 to 8 individuals or households.

Session Dates*:
Course 1: May 1st, May 8th, May 29th, 7:30 – 9:00 pm
Course 2: April 26th, May 10th, May 24th, 7:30 – 9:00 pm

*Participants who have scheduling conflicts can attend one of the other class’s meetings.

Session Components: Sessions will be part didactic and part participatory.

Materials:  The teacher will provide participants with a PowerPoint presentation and a
document that covers green lifestyle practices.

Requirements:  After the first meeting, participants will be encouraged to implement several small practices in their lives and consider at least one larger project. They will discuss their findings during parts of meetings 2 and 3.

Cost – Green Newton members: free. Non-members: $25.00, includes a complementary Green Newton membership. Bring a snack to share at one or two of the meetings.

To register or ask questions, contact Dan: dan_ruben@usa.net or 617-527-7950.

Dan Ruben will teach the class. He’s the Chairman of the Board for Green Newton. Dan has facilitated over 30 Household Eco-Teams and Low Carbon Diet Teams, and helped over 200 households live more sustainably. He trained the trainers of Low Carbon Diet Teams. In his own life, Dan has reduced his fossil fuel use by over 80%.

As a professional, Dan is the president of Boston Green Tourism, an organization that
educates hoteliers about reducing their properties’ use of fossil fuel, water, waste and toxins. Previously, he led an organization that brought environmental best practices to the 2004 Democratic National Convention in Boston.


Waban Village Day and Family Fun Run – Sunday, May 20th

Waban Village Day and Family Fun Run – Sunday, May 20th

Be sure to mark your calendars for the 14th annual Waban Village Day which will be taking place on Sunday, May 20th from 10:30am-2:30pm. Village Day will be kicked off by the 13th annual Family Fun Run at 10:00am!  Racers of all ages are encouraged to participate, including children who are allowed to ride bikes and scooters along the 3.1 mile race course.  All racers must check-in at the Fun Run table in Waban Square between 9:00-9:30am.  The registration fee is $20/individual or $50/family (up to 4 members) and includes the race day T-shirt(s), which will be made from cooling performance fabric again this year!  In order to be guaranteed a race day T-shirt, you must pre-register for the Fun Run no later than Wednesday, May 2nd.  

For those who have pre-registered, you will be able to pick up your race day T-shirts and race numbers at the Fun Run table the morning of the event.  Day of race registration will also be allowed, but please be aware that race day T-shirts may not be available to those who do not pre-register.

Following the Fun Run families can enjoy entertainment from students from Waban’s newest neighbors, the Suzuki Music School, headliners The Rocky Nook String Band, and local favorites, the Newton Family Singers.  Village Day also offers amusement rides and games for kids of all ages.  Throughout the afternoon you can also stop by the Waban Pizza Tent for fresh slices of pizza from local favorite, Stone L’Oven and sweet treats from the Cool Cow Ice Cream Truck. Folks can also browse the booths of the vendors who will be selling handmade crafts, jewelry and gifts.  We hope to see you there!


In the Name of Love: Newton Family Singers rock the Music of U2

Let out your inner Rock Star and come belt along with Newton Family Singers as they
perform anthems of passion and justice by Irish superstars U2!  To benefit the Newton Food Pantry, they’re collecting food donations and holding a raffle. This kid-friendly rock concert is the perfect way to share your love of U2 with your whole family!

Tickets for the show (Adults $10.00/children $8.00) can be purchased online at
http://www.newtonfamilysingers.org/events.html. For questions pleae email admin@newtonfamilysingers.org.

May 6th,  4:00 pm
Ellsworth Theatre of Pine Manor College, 400 Heath Street, Chestnut Hill
(free parking available on campus – please come early to park).

The Newton Family Singers is an intergenerational family chorus that brings together families and friends of all ages to sing American folk music.

Family-friendly, live music!


Harlem Rockets comedy basketball show/game

The Newton South High School Booster Club is hosting a fun-filled basketball comedy show and game. The Harlem Rockets incorporate the audience, especially children, into the show and are always available to meet the fans and give autographs after the show.

In this special event to raise money for the Newton South Booster Club, the “Teacher’s Nets,” a talented team of Newton’s finest educators, has graciously agreed to face the Harlem Rockets. Tickets for this fun-filled event can be purchased online at a discount up to the night of the event. Tickets will be available at the door on May 19th, subject to availability.

Children, students, seniors are $8.00 in advance, $10.00 at the door
Adults are $12.00 in advance, $15.00 at the door
VIP tickets are $30.00, $50.00 at the door (subject to availability)

To purchase tickets and get more information about the event, click on this link: http://buytickets.at/newtonsouthhighschoolboosterclub/162780

May 19th, 6:30 – 8:30 pm
Newton South High School