Category Archives: From the PTO

8th grade parent night at Newton North

Parents/guardians of 8th graders and their 8th grade students are invited to attend a special introductory evening at Newton North on Thursday, February 28. The schedule is as follows: 

  • 5:00-7:00 p.m. Open House
  • 7:-7:30 p.m. Welcome
  • 7:40-9:00 p.m. Panel discussions

Prep for course selection: Making the Most of Your High School Years set for February 27, 7:00 p.m.
Will you have a student at North in 2019-20? Join the PTSO and Newton North experts for a discussion of how to help your teen get the most out of his or her Newton North experience on Wednesday, February 27, 7:00-8:30 p.m., Film Lecture Hall. Topics will include course selection and the course registration process; teen development; and academic, social and emotional balance. See who is speaking at

From the Nurse’s office – HPV Vaccine

HPV vaccine facts from the School Nurse

The HPV vaccine protects against cancers caused by human papillomavirus (HPV) infection. HPV is a very common virus; nearly 80 million people—about one in four—are currently infected in the United States. About 14 million people, including teens, become infected with HPV each year.

Most people with HPV never develop symptoms or health problems. Most HPV infections (9 out of 10) go away by themselves within two years. But, sometimes, HPV infections will last longer, and can cause certain cancers and other diseases. HPV infection can cause:

  • cancers of the cervix, vagina, and vulva in women;
  • cancers of the penis in men; and
  • cancers of the anus and back of the throat, including the base of the tongue and tonsils (oropharynx), in both women and men.

Every year in the United States, HPV causes 33,700 cancers in men and women. HPV vaccination can prevent most of the cancers (about 31,200) from ever developing.

HPV is transmitted through intimate skin-to-skin contact. You can get HPV by having vaginal, anal, or oral sex with someone who has the virus. 

All kids who are 11 or 12 years old should get two shots of HPV vaccine six to twelve months apart. Adolescents who receive their two shots less than five months apart will require a third dose of HPV vaccine.

If your teen hasn’t gotten the vaccine yet, talk to their doctor or nurse about getting it for them as soon as possible. 

HPV vaccination has been studied very carefully and continues to be monitored by CDC and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). No serious safety concerns have been linked to HPV vaccination. The most common side effects reported after HPV vaccination are mild. They include pain and redness in the area of the arm where the shot was given, fever, dizziness, and nausea. Adapted from:

If you have questions about the HPV vaccine, contact Nurse Schy: 

Auditorium Renovation

Have you noticed how tidy our auditorium seems this winter?  Did you attend your child’s concert in what seemed like a much larger venue last month?  If so, then you are enjoying the first steps in a school wide effort to improve our precious community resource – the Bigelow Auditorium.

This shared space is constantly in use as both a performing arts venue and a classroom. It hosts grade level assemblies, CASC presentations, Band, Orchestra, Chorus, city wide singing groups, in-school Drama class, after school Drama club, parent meetings and more.  

As of January 2019, the improvements below have been completed:

  1. A large storage container was bought and installed behind the theater to store large set pieces and seldom used props out of the auditorium, and to clear the hallways of such items as ping pong tables and boxes of extra books
  2. Pest extermination was completed
  3. Crumbling steps outside emergency exits were repaired
  4. Ripped and damaged stage curtains were replaced and rigging was brought up to safety code
  5. Spotlights were purchased (thanks to the PoPS) that will be in use for the upcoming Shrek musical

And there is much more to come. In conjunction with NPS, we hope to improve the safety and functionality of the space even further. A few of the items on our wish list: new tech booth, safety lighting in the aisles, improved acoustics, updated stage lighting, stronger overhead lighting in the audience area, fresh paint, and new carpet.

All these improvements, as well as future upgrades, are possible thanks to the planning, coordination and advocacy of the Bigelow Committee for the Improvement of the Auditorium as well as your generous financial support to the Bigelow PTO and the Parents of Performing Arts Students (PoPS).

Thank you!

Big Night Planning Meeting is rescheduled for Feb 26

Dear Bigelow Community,

Due to the snow storm, the Big Night Planning Meeting is canceled tonight.

We will continue our planning for Big Night, the biggest fundraiser for the Bigelow community, after the break, on Tuesday, Feb 26th at 7:30pm, at the home of Karen Markson, at 150 Hunnewell Ave.

We cannot plan this event without your help. We need volunteers to fill many roles, both before the event and the night of the event.  We are looking for folks to help with everything from soliciting businesses to donate items for the silent auction to arriving early at the Cambridge Boat Club before the event to help decorate.

We ask for your participation so we can make this a successful fundraiser for the Bigelow community. Please join us and see how you can help!

Thank you for making the Appreciation Luncheon a success!

The teachers and staff at Bigelow enjoyed a wonderful lunch last Wednesday.

A warm thank you to all that contributed with your time, financial support and delectable food to the Teacher and Staff Appreciation Luncheon. A special thanks to Siobhan and Mike Wheeler for providing music to the celebration. Another Big thanks to Miriam Alandydy and Andrea Hemment for leading this effort for us.

And to all of you:

Alexandra Novina, Anna Casajuana, Anne Yang, Aoife O’Dwyer, Beth Hicks, Cindy Henry, Deb Orourke, Debra Byer, Emilie Tucker, Gabriela Kroszynski, Gershona Fein, Giulia Monti Guarnieri, Holly Georgiadis, Janet Rickershauser, Jenn Goldberg, Jennifer Murphy, Joana Canedo, Judy Kelly, Judy Stern, Karl Schmidt, Krista Chavez, Kristie Mattioli, Linda Gillespie, Lisa Camesano, Lisa Kirby, Margaret Murphy Smith, Megan Flynn, Megan Flynn, Meredith Andrews, nissanai sonauta, Qi Guan, Rachel Laurence, Rachel Zoob-Hill, Rebecca Schulman, Roberta Laredo, Sandra Kelley, Shana Smythe, Sharon Sender, Shital Gandhi, Tatiana Zlateva, Tere Carmona, Tracey Wolfsdorf, Tripti Thomas-Travers, Violeta Prisacari, Wendy Chow, Wendy Kritzer, Yanming Wu.

Cleaned dishware can be picked up in the Main Office. 

Join us at the Big Night Planning Meeting!

We will be meeting again on Tuesday, February 12, 7:30-8:30 p.m, at the home of Karen Markson, at 150 Hunnewell Ave.  We will continue our planning for Big Night, the biggest fundraiser for the Bigelow community, held this year on Saturday, March 30, 7:30-10:30 pm.
We cannot plan this event without your help. We need volunteers to fill many roles, both before the event and the night of the event.  We are looking for folks to help with everything from soliciting businesses to donate items for the silent auction to arriving early at the Cambridge Boat Club before the event to help decorate.
We ask for your participation so we can make this a successful fundraiser for the Bigelow community. Please join us and see how you can help!

Karen Markson and the Bigelow Big Night Committee

Wednesday: Appreciation Luncheon

The Bigelow Teacher and Staff Appreciation Luncheon will be this Wednesday, February 6th, at the Library.

Please remember to drop off all items at the teacher’s lunchroom at Bigelow no later than 10:30 AM on Wednesday (perishables can be placed in the refrigerator there). 

YOU CAN STILL SIGN UP to donate or volunteer by clicking HERE.

  • It is most helpful if items are brought in disposable containers.
  • We ESPECIALLY need volunteers to help set up and break down. Set up is at 10:30am and clean up is at 2:30pm.

For more information or if you have any questions, please contact the Teacher Appreciation Chairs, Miriam Alandydy ( or Andrea Hemment (

Thank you again for helping us show our appreciation for our teachers and staff.

Congratulations to Bigelow Geography Bee champion

Congratulations to Bigelow Geography Bee champion Kiran and to all the students who participated in the competition on 01/29/2019! A special thank you to Newton Mayor Ruthanne Fuller for moderating this year’s Bee.

“I had a terrific time moderating the Bigelow Middle School’s annual Geography Bee along with Principal Todd Harrison on Tuesday morning. The school band played “We are the Champions” as the finalists walked-in. Take a look.”

New England Camp Fair – Sunday 2/10

The New England Camp Fair will hold its 4th annual event on Sunday, February 10, 2019 at Underwood  School from 11:30am – 2:30pm. Sponsored by the Underwood PTO, the Camp Fair is FREE and open to the public, and brings together camps serving kids ages 5-14.

Bring your camper(s) and engage with staff from 20+ premier day and sleepaway camps from Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine, and Connecticut. Participating camps run the gamut, including traditional day and overnight camps, sports camps, theater camps, computer camps, fencing camps, arts camps, as well as many other themed camps. 

Visit for a complete list of camps attending.

Parking and refreshments are also free! If you have any questions, feel free contacting the Underwood PTO at

Big Night 2019 – Auction Items Needed

We are excited about Big Night, Bigelow-On-The-Charles, on March 30, 2019, 7:30-10:30 pm, at the Cambridge Boat Club! 

Planning is well underway and we are actively seeking donations for our silent auction. Your support and help is so critical to making this event successful and being able to reach our goal of 60 donated items.

Gift cards for restaurants, spa services, sporting event tickets, weekends at a vacation home, etc. are all great ideas for our auction. And whether it is your family that is donating or a business, we cannot thank you enough for your generosity.

Donated items are due by March 10, 2019, and we appreciate receiving auction items as soon as possible!

Below you will find a link for a printable business solicitation letter and donation form. Please contact committee chairperson, Karen Markson, at or if you have any questions. Thank you so much for your support of the Bigelow community’s biggest fundraiser of the year!

Download business solicitation letter here.