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

It’s Inclusive Schools Week!

Join us in celebrating Inclusive Schools Week December 2nd-6th. 

Inclusive Schools Week celebrates the progress that schools have made in providing a supportive and quality education to an increasingly diverse student population, including students who are marginalized due to disability, gender, socio-economic status, cultural heritage, language preference, and other factors. The Zervas school will take this week to acknowledge and celebrate the wonderfully welcoming community we are and continue to work to be.

Some History:  In 1990, Newton Public Schools established the Neighborhood Inclusion Program, designed to integrate students with significant special needs in the neighborhood schools. Since that time, students with a wide range of disabilities have had the opportunity to be members of typical classrooms and to advance with their classmates through the grades. In order to make this possible, it has been important to provide the appropriate supports. An Inclusion Facilitator is assigned to Zervas to work with classroom teachers, adapting the curriculum and developing plans to promote the success of all the students in their classrooms. Additionally, each student may receive the support of a classroom assistant, as well as services from other specialists as required by the student’s individualized education plan. 

The Zervas school also has a STRIDE Program (Structured Teaching through Research and Intensive Developmental Experiences), a city-wide specialized program for students with autism. The goal of the program is to increase the student’s independence and skill level across domain areas (academics, social, communication, daily living, leisure, gross and fine motor.) Each STRIDE student and their full-time aid is part of a classroom at Zervas. STRIDE students are integrated into their daily classroom schedules as appropriate and grouped separately with other STRIDE students for special services and education. We feel very fortunate to have this program in our school.

Throughout this week, Zervas students will engage in inclusion-related activities and lessons. Our teachers and staff will gather for an all-school luncheon to celebrate the work they do to foster this school community. And many will participate in a professional development program on Race and Equity. We encourage you to ask your student about how they are inclusive and check out the Inclusive Schools Network website for more information and activities you can do at home.

PTO Principal Coffee: Rescheduled to Tues, Dec 10th @ 8:30am

Due to today’s snow day school closure, our PTO Coffee planned for this morning has been rescheduled to next Tuesday. Please join us next Tuesday, December 10th, 8:30–9:30am in the Cafetorium for our December PTO Coffee with Dr. Beck.

The topic of this informative presentation and discussion will be:
Understanding and Supporting Your Child’s Literacy Development with Zervas literacy specialist, Anne Bauer.

Newton has a new Sidewalk Shoveling Rule

Let’s help keep the route to school walk-able all winter!

The new sidewalk shoveling rules are in effect. The City Council passed an ordinance earlier this year that requires residential property owners to clear their sidewalk within 24 hours of a storm’s end (unless conditions warrant more time). If you fail to clear the snow and the city receives a complaint, you face a written warning for the first offense, and a $50 fine for second and subsequent offenses. The Department of Public Works is responsible for enforcement through calls and reports to our 311 system.

Click here to learn about how to use Newton’s 311 system.

If you want to learn more about Zervas’ Safe Routes to School Committee, email

Special Education Inclusion/STRIDE Coffee: Thurs, Dec 19th

Special Education Inclusion/STRIDE Coffee

Please join us on Thursday, December 19th at 8:20am in the Cafetorium for coffee and community. The goal of this gathering will be to provide an opportunity for families to connect with each other and the school’s outstanding special education team and also to learn about the different learning experiences for our students at Zervas. 

PTO Principal Coffee: Tues, Dec 3rd @ 8:30am

Please join us next Tuesday for our December PTO Coffee with Dr. Beck.
Tuesday, December 3rd, 8:30–9:30am in the Cafetorium.

The topic will be a focus on understanding you student’s literacy development with literacy specialist, Anne Bauer.

Cookies Needed! Holiday Cookie Swap For the Zervas Staff: Wed, Dec 4th

Help show our appreciation for Zervas teachers and staff by participating in the annual Holiday Cookie Swap on Wednesday, December 4th. We have 100+ Zervas staff that look forward to this every year so we need a lot of cookies!! You can make one of your family favorites or pick up something from your go-to bakery.

If you would like to contribute a batch or two of cookies or special treats, please contact Brandy Blakely (

Please bring the cookies to the Staff Lounge (Room 109) on Wednesday morning, December 4th.

Shop at AmazonSmile to Benefit the Zervas PTO

Is Cyber Monday your thing? When you shop for the holidays at, AmazonSmile donates to the Zervas School Parent-Teacher Organization!

November is National Diabetes Month

November is National Diabetes Month
Become familiar with the warning signs of diabetes. Knowledge is an important weapon against this disease and its complications.

Warning Signs of Type 1 Diabetes
These symptoms can occur suddenly and must receive immediate medical attention. 

  • Excessive thirst 
  • Frequent urination sometimes exhibited by bedwetting (in large quantities)
  • Blurry vision
  • Extreme hunger
  • Unexplained weight loss even though eating and feeling hungry
  • Sweet, fruity odor on breath
  • Abdominal pain
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Fatigue 
  • Drowsiness, lethargy
  • Irritability/mood changes
  • Rapid, heavy breathing
  • Confusion, Stupor
  • Unconsciousness

Many of these symptoms can be related to illnesses that are not associated with diabetes. This should be discussed with a health care provider. 

Type 1 diabetes, once known as juvenile diabetes or insulin-dependent diabetes, is a chronic condition in which the pancreas produces little or no insulin. Insulin is a hormone needed to allow sugar (glucose) to enter cells to produce energy.  Different factors, including genetics and some viruses, may contribute to type 1 diabetes. Although type 1 diabetes usually appears during childhood or adolescence, it can develop in adults. Despite active research, type 1 diabetes has no cure. Treatment focuses on managing blood sugar levels with insulin, diet and lifestyle to prevent complications.

Jordan Weiss, a nine-year old from Newton, Massachusetts, passed away in 2003 from complications related to undiagnosed Type 1 Diabetes. To honor Jordan’s memory, the JBW Fund was established by his family to foster awareness and education of the warning signs of diabetes.  Sometimes the signs are obvious and sometimes the signs are subtle, limited and attributed to another illness. The latter was the case for Jordan.

Familiarizing yourself with the warning signs could help save a life. For more information, talk to your school nurse or visit:

Social Action: Food Drive – Collections Ends Tomorrow!

Let’s Pack the Pantry! We are so excited for Zervas’ Annual Food Drive to support Centre Street Food Pantry, a local food pantry in Newton Center. Tomorrow is the last day to bring in your donations!

We’re focused on non-perishable Hot or Hearty Breakfast items (oatmeals, granola, pancake mix, cereals etc) however you can donate just about any non-perishable food item. Please double check expiration dates before donating.

Bins will be located at the school entrance from November 6th-20th.

Thank you for your support! Visit to learn more about Centre Street Food Pantry. Email Karen Kipman of our Social Action Committee with any questions.

Thanksgiving Walk & Roll to School Day is this Friday

The annual Zervas Thanksgiving Walk & Roll to School Day is Friday, November 22 during arrival. Children decorate a paper feather and bring it to school. The templates should have gone home last week in your child’s home school folder. If you need another one you can print it here.

We still need a few more volunteers to help tape the feathers to turkeys during the event – email Jenn Martin at if you can help from 8:15-8:30 a.m. this Friday.