Category Archives: From the PTO

Bigelow PTO Fall meeting

Please join us for the Bigelow PTO Fall meeting this Thursday, October 1, at 7 pm with Principal Harrison, Superintendent David Fleishman and School Committee member (and Bigelow mom) Kathy Shields.

We hope you are able to join our Zoom meeting as we give a brief overview of the PTO.

Principal Todd Harrison will then spend a few minutes discussing the first weeks of school.

After that, we will have a Question and Answer session with Superintendent David Fleishman and Kathy Shields. If you would like to send questions in advance of the meeting, please click here.

Patty Summa, our school librarian, will also join us to talk about the One School, One Book, novel, “New Kid,” by Jerry Craft. She and Principal Harrison will chat about what Bigelow has planned for advisory activities around this wonderful book and the role that FORJ will play in leading discussions on racial equality.

We will send the Zoom link next week and we hope to see you there!

“New Kid” related Events

Bigelow will virtually host Jerry Craft (author of “New Kid” on November 4 at 10am as part of  the One School, One Book initiative. Details will follow.

in the meantime, the Newton Free Library is also hosting several events that might be of interest for our Bigelow readers and cartoonist enthusiasts and their families.

Draw Your Own Comics!
Wednesday, October 14th at 7 PM
Come have fun while drawing your own comics! In this workshop, students will play drawing games, generate ideas for their own characters, and start to write their own comic book stories. All levels of experience welcome! Workshop is run by Cathy G. Johnson, Providence-based writer and author of the graphic novel THE BREAKAWAYS! Registration required to receive the zoom link. For tweens in grades 5 to 8.

New Kid Trivia Night
Wednesday, October 21st at 7 PM
Use your “New Kid” knowledge to challenge your friends and family in a fun evening of trivia. Library staff will challenge players with questions from a variety of categories on Zoom. No restrictions on team size. One registration per team. The Zoom link will be sent out the day of the event. This event is kids, tweens, teens and their families.

New Kid Author Jerry Craft!
Wednesday, October 28th at 7 PM
Newbery Award and Coretta Scott King Award-winning author/illustrator Jerry Craft takes us behind the scenes of his bestselling graphic novel New Kid and the upcoming Class Act. Join us on Zoom as Jerry gives tweens and their families a look into his writing and drawing process. This event will be moderated by Morgan Harper, a Library Teacher at Peirce and Williams Elementary Schools. For 5th to 8th-graders and their families. Please use this google form to register for this event. We will send participants the Zoom link on the day of the event. This program is part of Overdue: Confronting Race and Racism in Newton, a city-wide read and series of events and conversations on race and racism.

Middle School Cohorts Added To Boys & Girls Club of Newton Out-of-School Program

Middle school students are invited to join the Boys & Girls Club of Newton Out-of-School Time Program For Fall 2020. Out-of-School Time accommodates Newton Public School’s full day remote schedule in place for the first few weeks for all students and aims to offer children a small, consistent group and a safe, clean workspace unique only to them in which they can complete their lessons.

For more details, or to reserve a spot for your middle school child to begin as early as Monday September 21st, click HERE.

Click HERE for a virtual tour of the Club and to see the Classrooms that will be in use.



Welcome Back!

Dear Bigelow Families,

We hope that this first week of school has gone well for you! We are looking forward to the new year and to sponsoring creatively both social and fundraising events to benefit our Bigelow community.

First up will be the 6th grade get-togethers over the weekends of September 26 and October 3! We will be sending a sign-up sheet for 6th graders on Monday, September 21st, so please look for that and sign up as soon as possible so that we can confirm plans with our generous host families! 

After that, we will have our Fall PTO meeting – stay tuned this week for more details.

As always, thank you for your support of the Bigelow PTO!

Best wishes,

Karen Markson
PTO President

Surveillance Viral Testing Pilot for Newton Public Schools Parent Survey

Dear Bigelow Community,

We are sharing the message below, at the request of a group of Newton scientists/physicians/parents who are engaged in the “Safer Teachers, Safer Students: Back-to-School SARs-CoV-2 testing collaborative”. You have a few more hours to fill this survey if you have not done so already.


Dear Families,

We are a group of scientists/physicians/parents who are engaged in the “Safer Teachers, Safer Students: Back-to-School SARs-CoV-2 testing collaborative.” This is a growing group of MA towns who are launching pilot programs to develop a comprehensive, coordinated infrastructure for surveillance (asymptomatic) viral testing of preK-12 staff/students.

We are seeking your input on a pilot viral testing program for Newton Public Schools. This survey is completely anonymous and will remain open until Midnight on 09/21/2020. To enable us to get accurate results, PLEASE submit ONLY ONE response per family. Thank you!


Safer Teachers, Safer Students: Back-to-School SARs-CoV-2 testing collaborative


Ergonomic Tips for Remote Learning

Original post from: UC Berkeley – Be Well At Work

When a student is provided with a laptop computer or other device, to aid in the learning process, there are some things to consider for reducing stresses to their body. Here are some good practices to follow so they do not develop bad habits now that can contribute to discomfort down the road.

Read full report here.

Things to Consider

  • Cognitive overload is reduced by changing positions frequently and building in play
    and physical movement time.
  • Creating a structured day helps develop a stimulating routine for younger students.
  • Using headphones can improve posture and focus but remember to keep the volume
    at 60% of the range to save the eardrums.
  • Protect the eyes by following the 20/20/20 rule – every 20 minutes look at something
    20 feet away for 20 seconds.

Does your child have an IEP or 504 Plan?

Then check out the Newton SEPAC (Special Education Parent Advisory Council) at We are a volunteer organization of parents of children with special needs from preschool through high school. We run an online Google Group – Newton SEPAC – where parents can ask other parents about special education programs, issues, policies, and resources. We also sponsor monthly informational meetings and work directly with the school administration regarding our children’s education.

We are also in need of a parent representative for Bigelow.

If you are interested in the position or would like more information about the SEPAC in general, please contact Liaison Coordinator Kim Gallaugher at

Racial justice activities at Bigelow: Your feedback is needed!

Your feedback is needed to inform & support racial justice activities at Bigelow!

Bigelow FORJ is a school-based chapter of Newton’s Families Organizing for Racial Justice (FORJ). We are a group of devoted parents and faculty committed to raising anti-racist children who acknowledge the pervasiveness of oppression and marginalization. We invite parents and children to engage in critical conversations that support questioning, interrogating, and dismantling white supremacy, including anti-Blackness and all forms of racial injustice.

As we begin to plan for learning this year, please help us understand your interest and needs by completing this brief survey, which includes activities around this year’s One School One Book, New Kid.


WE NEED TO HEAR FROM YOU; PLEASE RESPOND no later than September 23rd, 2020.

If you have questions or would like to join us in leading these efforts, please email us at THANK YOU!