Principal’s Letter

Dear Zervas Families,

Usually, at this point in the year, we have a fairly clear idea of classroom configurations and staffing for the following year.  However, this year there are a few unresolved issues which have resulted in delays in making some final decisions about next year.  One still unresolved issue is how many kindergartens we will have next year.  At this point we have 46 registered students for next year’s kindergarten classes.  However, there are several students who we are fairly certain will be coming who have not yet registered and there are a few requests from families who live in other Newton school districts to have their children enroll in K at Zervas next year.  I continue to feel  positive that we will have sufficient numbers for three K classrooms, but we will not be assigned a third K class until there are more confirmed registered students and the decisions are made about the out of district requests.  A final decision is not likely to be made until the beginning of June.  At that time we will then determine who will be teaching what grade.  We have also not worked out all the details for our expected co-taught classrooms at fourth and fifth grade.  I apologize for all of this uncertainty, and will let you know as soon decisions are made.

This past Friday our fourth graders took part in our annual bike safety program. Safety Officer Gourdeau from the Newton Police came and educated our students on bike safety through a classroom presentation and an  instructional  bike ride through the Zervas neighborhood.  Our fourth graders (and current fifth graders) can now ride their bikes and scooters to school on their own with their parents permission and if they are wearing a helmet.  Younger students can ride bikes and scooters to school if they are accompanied by their parents and are wearing a helmet.  It is legal to ride on the sidewalk, (except in commercial areas) but please be careful as you get closer to school.  If there are a lot of pedestrians, please walk your bike.  Now that the weather is getting nicer, consider walking or riding bikes to school every day.  It is healthy and makes the blue zone safer for everyone if there are fewer vehicles using it.

At the end of this month all of our classes will simultaneously spend a week or so focusing on the natural environment.  As mentioned in an earlier principal’s letter, this is a result of a discussion begun in a Zervas School Council meeting focusing on ways to increase creative and critical thinking in our classroom curriculum through project based learning.    Planned projects in our classrooms include research reports, three dimensional dioramas, Rube Goldberg machines, classrooms turned into various habitats, student made movies about the environment, etc.  We will share these projects on May 29th between 6:30 and 8:00 pm.  That evening will be designed for you to visit the various classrooms on your own schedule, so come anytime during the 6:30 to 8:00 pm time, depending upon your evening sports and dinner schedules.  And speaking of the Zervas School Council, there will be two parent openings on the council next year.  There will be an election to fill the open positions in June. Please consider running for one of these spots.  More information will be coming in a future Zervas Notes.

 Diana Beck, the new Zervas principal, will be visiting Zervas a few times before the end of the school so that she can become familiar with the staff and some of our routines.  She is hoping to stop by the Zervas Fair this Saturday with her two sons, so give her a friendly welcome when you see her.  She begins her tenure at Zervas on July 1, so wait until then to ask her technical questions.  It takes a lot of people to make the Fair run smoothly, so please sign up to volunteer right away.  I hope to see you there.


 Steve Griffin

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