Category Archives: From the PTO

Bigelow Distance Learning Plan Materials Available Online

A recording of the Parent Information Session given by Mr. Harrison via Google Meet on 4/5/20 and the power-points shared at the meeting are now available online. Please find the links below and in the Bigelow website.

Please have your children watch the 3-part “Mr Harrison’s Message” screencasts this morning:

Distance Learning: April 5 Parent Meeting on Google.Meet

TONIGHT: Meetings for parents on the new distance learning plan at Bigelow that begins Monday, April 6. Norms for this large gathering: Video Conferencing Etiquette

Sunday, April 5, 7:00-8:00pm
Clusters 6A, 6B, and 7C:

Sunday, April 5, 8:15-9:15pm 
Clusters 7D, 8E, and 8F:

Materials that I will be presented tonight:

Please record any questions you have after the meeting in the Bigelow Parent Meeting Parking Lot, and you will receive a response emailed to you: Parent Meeting Parking Lot

Tonight’s sessions are for parents only. Students will view “Mr Harrison’s Message,” a 3-part screencast of the student powerpoint, on Monday morning.

Message from Mr. Harrison: Bigelow version 3.0

Dear Parents,

I hope you and your family are doing well. We are now ready to launch Bigelow version 3.0!  This version of online schooling is complete with a schedule of directed learning activities and daily office hours. Thank you for your patience as we built this new version from scratch.

I invite all parents to a meeting on on, Sunday, April 5, to learn more about this new distance learning plan. There are two sessions:

Both sessions will cover the same material.  I will do a screencast with some background information about the plan, and then share with you a 3 part “Mr. Harrison’s Message.” This three part screencast and a follow-up survey will be emailed to all students on Monday morning for their viewing.

If you can’t attend your cluster’s meeting time, you may join another time.  We are trying to balance the size of the meetings as much as possible.  Due to size limits, this session is for parents only.  Students will view “Mr Harrison’s Message” on Monday morning.

Please mute your microphone when you join the google.meeting and enter all questions in the chat list.  After the screencasts are shown, Assistant Principals Courtney Rau-Rogers and Lucas Mogensen will moderate the chat list and ask your questions aloud for all to hear. In addition, we will record the meeting, and post it on the Bigelow website afterwards.

In the spirit of growth mindset, the plan is not perfect yet. There will inevitably be some bumps along the way as we get technology and pedagogy to sync.  Nevertheless, we are moving onward–Bigelow 3.0 or bust! Hope you can virtually join me tomorrow evening.

Best regards,


8th Grade NYC Trip Update

Dear Eighth Grade Parents,

I  am reaching out to you with an update regarding our New York City trip with EF in June.  In response to health concerns there and everywhere, we  are NOT going on this field trip as originally planned. Thank you for your patience while we worked out the best refund options possible for you. The options provided by EF Explore America are the following:

  1. Receive a Future Travel Voucher in the amount of all monies paid to EF, including non-refundable fees such as the program fee and insurance. Travel vouchers may be used to travel on any EF Tours or Language Schools program through September 30, 2022.  They are transferable at the face value of the voucher to  an immediate family member or through a private transaction with another traveler at Bigelow in the future at no extra cost. You can learn more about Future Travel Voucher redemption options and review Future Travel Voucher FAQs to answer your immediate questions. When we plan the trip again next year, as we expect to do, you may re-sell this voucher to another Bigelow family.
  2. Or you may redeem this voucher for a cash refund of all monies paid less 25% of the Program Fee ($174.75). You have until September 29, 2022 to make a decision of whether you want to redeem the voucher for cash, so EF encourages you to wait and see. It usually takes at least 4 weeks to receive the refund.

You will not need to call the EF Traveler Support line to receive your voucher or refund; you will receive an email from them with your electronic voucher,  including instructions should you opt to cash it in for a refund.

This same information will be live on your EF Explore America online account if you log in at Please note: the website will reference a cancellation fee of $250 instead of the $174.75.  That is just due to the fact that EF’s cancellation policy terms changed for groups who had to cancel due to COVID-19.

Believe me, this was a disappointing decision to make. I am sorry the 8th graders will miss this opportunity at this time in their lives.  But of course, keeping them healthy and safe is more important.  These are extraordinary times. I appreciate your patience, flexibility, and understanding as we’ve worked through this with EF.

Best regards, Todd

Message from Nurse Schy

Video Message from Nurse Schy

Video Message from Nurse Schy

Nurse Petry and I have been working hard at our attempt at virtual communication with your children.  We’ve missed them all and would love to check-in with them in person.  We’ve created two chat rooms on Wednesday and Thursday starting April 8 for them to come to us with a question, a comment, or just to say hello. We’ll be there at the appointed time waiting for them.  Parents, if you have a specific question or concern, please either call or text Sue at (617) 564-1008, email her, or request a private chat.

Wednesday: : Let’s chat (with Bigelow’s nurse)
Time: Apr 8, 2020 02:00 PM
Every week on Wed: 04/08, 04/15, 04/22, 04/29
Join Zoom Meeting HERE
Meeting ID: 308 421 596
Password: 183680
Thursday:  Let’s chat (with Bigelow’s nurse)
Time: Apr 9, 2020 02:00 PM
Every week on Thu: 04/09, 04/16, 04/23, 04/30
Join Zoom Meeting HERE
Meeting ID: 206 459 263
Password: 990033

Keep washing those hands and I hope to see you all soon.

Nurse Schy:

Superintendent Update: NPS Distance Learning Plan – 4.2.20

Dear NPS Families,

[In this message] you will find details of our distance-learning plan, which will move into its next phase on Monday, April 6th. We know that our families have been anxious for a more structured schedule that re-engages students in learning, reconnects them to their school community, and provides clear direction and support. We appreciate your patience and understanding as we have embarked upon the challenge of moving a large organization centered upon in-person connection to a distance learning environment.  Continue reading….

Translated versions are provided through Google Translate and may contain awkward phrasing and structure.

NPS Calendar Update

Currently, school is closed until May 4th. As we know, the situation is continuing to evolve. We will keep you informed should this date change.

NPS will be closed on Friday, April 10th for Good Friday, as previously scheduled.

April vacation is cancelled. We will observe Patriot’s Day on Monday, April 20th and then continue our distance-learning plan for the remainder of the week. 

Because we will be holding school during April vacation, the official last day of school for students will now be Thursday, June 18th. This proposal follows guidance from DESE of a 185-day school year.

Newton COVID-19 Care Fund is Open

The Newton COVID-19 Care Fund is designed to provide financial assistance to Newton residents, people who work in Newton, and families with children receiving childcare services in Newton or enrolled in Newton Public Schools who have been financially burdened by the pandemic. City of Newton First Responders who incur new childcare expenses or other expenses as a result of the crisis are also eligible.

The funding is available for basic needs, including rent/mortgage, childcare, health care, utilities, or other immediate needs. The application asks for documentation of the need and also of the change in income in the home. Please apply; so many people here in Newton have had and are anticipated to have significant setbacks due to the pandemic. The people reviewing the applications at Family ACCESS – want to make this fund as accessible as possible.

  • More information and apply for assistance here.
  • More information and donate here.
  • More opportunities to get some help and/or to make a donation, click here.

Family Illnesses

The goal of social distancing is to slow down the spread of COVID-19 and keep everyone as healthy as possible.  If you, or someone you have direct contact with, become ill and require testing for COVID-19, please reach out to Ruth Hoshino, the Director of School Health Services,