Principal’s Letter

Dear Zervas Families,

It is hard to believe that the end of the year is upon us! Students and teachers are busy with many different activities and projects. As we navigate through these busy days, there are several items I would like to notify you about:

Zervas Parent Volunteer Appreciation Coffee: You’re invited to the 1st Annual Zervas Parent Volunteer Appreciation Coffee. This event will take place on Friday, June 14, 8:30-9:00 a.m. in the gym. Hosted by the Zervas teachers, this new tradition allows us to show our appreciation to all the volunteers who have supported our school this year. Please feel free to stop by, even for just a few minutes!

The General PTO Meeting will follow the Volunteer Appreciation Coffee and will be held
9:00-10:00 am in the gym. At this meeting, PTO Board Members for the 2013-2014 school year will be nominated and elected. We hope to see you there!

2013-2014 Staffing: We are blessed with having a very dedicated and accomplished teaching staff at Zervas; each with a wealth of skills and determination to allow all students to succeed. Given the changes in the number of sections we will have of each grade next year, we will have the following staffing changes.

Classroom Teachers:
3 sections of Kindergarten: Karen Joe-Yen, Harriet Hurworth, Julia Torres
3 sections of Grade One: Lisa McLellan, Maggie Williamson, Beth Bernier
2 sections of Grade Two: Jen Gorman, Kelly Fater/Kate Gacicia*
3 sections of Grade Three: Kathleen Eakin**, Alicia Arkin, Jen Toran
2 sections of Grade Four: Chris O’Rourke, Judd West
3 sections of Grade Five: Mike Stern, Sam Bergquist**, Rebecca Deeks/Paula Hayward*

* In grades 2 and 5 we will have job share partnerships. Kelly Fater and Kate Gacicia will job share a Second Grade classroom. We are looking forward to this partnership as Kate Gacicia taught second grade for several years prior to moving to 5th grade where she has been for the past 3 years. Kate and Kelly are in the planning stages with this partnership and will be actively collaborating to make this a successful year for students and families in 2nd grade. In 5th grade, we welcome Paula Hayward to Zervas who will job share with Rebecca Deeks. For the past 10 years, Paula has worked in job share situations in several Newton schools as a Third Grade or Fifth Grade classroom teacher. Paula and Rebecca have already met several times and are also working collaboratively to create a vibrant and successful educational experience for our fifth graders.

**We are excited about having co-taught classrooms in third grade and fifth grade next year. A co-taught classroom is one with a general education and special education teacher collaborate or team-teach in order to support students’ needs. Parents in these classes will continue to receive information as we move forward.

Special Education Teachers:
Anne Zernicke – Learning Center Special Education teacher
Kathie Lasky – Grade 3 Special Education teacher in the co-taught class
Julie Riley – Grade 5 Special Education teacher in the co-taught class
Katie Lindley – Inclusion Facilitator

In addition to these staff members, we will have our same Specialists for Library, Art, PE and Music, Math and Literacy Coaches, and Mental Health Staff. Currently, the system is hiring a new position entitled “Team Specialists” for each school. This person will oversee the special education process and procedures at the school level. At Zervas, we are pleased to welcome Dr. Anna Lassoff to this role.

Confidentiality Reminder: In this season of field trips, class activities, and many other opportunities for parents to volunteer, we ask that everyone remain mindful of confidentiality as it relates to observation of children in the school. We welcome parent volunteers with the expectation that students’ names, personal information, and observations about students’ performance in the classroom will not be discussed with others. We appreciate everyone’s help in keeping our school as emotionally and physically safe as possible for everyone.

Progress Reports: Progress Reports will be available to parents through the ParentCONNECT web-based portal on Monday, June 24. Please take the time to review these and celebrate all that your child has accomplished this year!

Please be aware that class lists will be distributed via email on August 23. It is essential that we have your current email address for effective distribution. If you need to edit the address on file, please send it to

Planning Ahead for 2013-2014:
Curriculum Night: 9/17
Early Release Dates for Next Year: 10/3, 10/31, 12/5, 2/5 (Wednesday), 3/13, and 5/1
Conference Windows: 10/22-11/5; 3/11-3/21

As I near the end of my first year at Zervas School, I would like to thank each and every one of you for your warm welcome, your encouraging support, and your trust in my work. I have so enjoyed becoming a part of the Zervas School Community and look forward to continuing our collaboration next year.


Diana Beck

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