SAVE THE DATE — Peirce Annual Mystery Dinner

SAVE THE DATE — Peirce Annual Mystery Dinner

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Mark your calendars now for another memorable night with Peirce parents!  The Mystery Dinner team will be working over the summer to plan a fun event.  As always, we are in need of a number of families to open their homes for dinner and for one family to host the dessert portion of the evening.  Please reach out if you are interested in either of these opportunities and we are happy to answer questions.

Thank You!  Christina Sliwa, Rebecca Anderson, Lauren Dictenberg


From the Principal- June 14, 2016

 Dear Peirce Families,

            It was wonderful to see so many of you at the Family Dance and Mural Unveiling on Friday evening.   Many thanks to Event Organizers Jen Goldberg and Dina Ciarimboli for planning the Dance, and thanks to Art Teacher Georgia Smith and Creative Arts and Sciences Chair Rachel Kesselman for making the mural project a reality for our community.  The mural looks absolutely beautiful on the side of our building, and it will bring happiness to the Peirce family for many years!  Thanks also to our custodian, Jose Filomeno, for all of his assistance with this project, including multiple trips to the roof to hang the tarp!  We are grateful to all of the parents who came in during Art classes and on Community Painting Saturdays to help the children paint.  Check out the Peirce Mural video!

The Family Dance and Mural Project are just two examples of the wonderful parts of Peirce life that would never happen without the support and energy of our PTO.   All Peirce families are members of our PTO, and I want to thank this year’s Board members for the excellent leadership they have provided.  This year’s Board members were:  Deb Allaire; Rebecca Anderson; Rob Bemis; Stacy Bernstein; Jess Black; Lisa Caperna; Suzanne Demeo; Patty Eagan; Rachel Kesselman; Sarah Kish; Michelle Lev; Jamie Lightfoot; Anna Mariani; Paula Minella; Susan O’Connor; Nicole Pachus; April Stein; and Rute Teixiera.  We appreciate all of their hard work!

At Town Meeting on Friday, we enjoyed presentations from our Kindergartners and First Graders, recognized students who received Core Value Certificates, and celebrated the experience of our mural project.  At the time of Town Meeting, all pledge sheets were not yet in for our Color Day Fun Run, so we have rescheduled the “Pie Mr. Chitty’s Face” event for the last day of school.  As pledge sheets continue to come in, it is clear that we will have a substantial donation for ComfortZone Camp.  Thanks to Paula Minella for organizing the collection, and thanks to PE Teacher Gary Nye for another outstanding Color Day. 

            Congratulations and thanks to all students who participated in our PTO’s Directory Cover Artwork Contest, and special congratulations to Third Grader Ella Pachus, whose submission was chosen for next year’s directory. 

            I am pleased to announce that Sarah Breen will be joining the Second Grade Team in September.  Sarah is currently a teacher at Parker Elementary School in New Bedford, where she has served as a Third Grade Teacher and an Interventionist in Second and Third Grades.  Sarah received her Undergraduate degree at Roger Williams University and her Master of Education in Reading at Boston University.  I am confident that Sarah will be a strong addition to our team.     

I hope that the summer vacation is a time of rest, relaxation, and laughter for your family.  It is a privilege to serve as your principal, and I welcome all feedback and suggestions as we plan for a successful new school year.  Best wishes to all of our families who are moving on and will not be back at Peirce.  We look forward to seeing the rest of you on September 6th

Please remember that  dismissal on Thursday, June 23rd, will be at 12:00 p.m.!

With Best Summer Wishes,

Mark Chitty


Progress Report Access:  Progress Reports will be available to parents through the ParentCONNECT web-based portal at noon on Tuesday, June 21st.

Class lists will be distributed via email on August 26thIt 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

Curriculum Night:  Curriculum Night for the 2016-17 School Year will be held on Tuesday evening, September 27th.


Summer Reminders from our School Nurse, Mandy Bass

Medication Pick-up: Parents of students who have medication stored in the health room should pick it up by the last day of school, June 23rd. All medication (pills, epi-pens, inhalers, etc.) not picked up will be discarded. Please plan ahead to pick medication up so it is not wasted! Medication may not be carried home by the student — it must be picked up by a parent. School nurses will not be available after June 23rd to return medication to families.

Medication Order Reminder: All medication orders expire at the end of the school year. If you are visiting your child’s health care provider during the summer, consider requesting a new medication order for your child. All medication, prescription or over-the-counter, requires an order. The Medication Permission Form and the Medication Policy are both available online at

West Nile Virus and Lyme Disease Prevention: Mosquito and tick-borne diseases like West Nile Virus and Lyme disease occur in Newton residents. Take steps to avoid getting sick!

  • Mosquito repellant not only works for mosquitoes, but helps repel ticks as well. Use a repellant with DEET, and follow label instructions for concentrations appropriate for children.
  • Avoid being outdoors during peak mosquito hours, particularly once West Nile Virus has been detected in the mosquito population.
  • Remove containers around your home (tires, kid pools, pots, tarps) that could allow mosquitoes to breed.
  • Check your body for ticks after being outdoors and remove them immediately to avoid disease transmission.


Shoo the flu! Seasonal influenza vaccine will be offered this fall during the school day to students and employees. Both the flu shot and the nasal spray flu vaccine will be available to all students in Kindergarten through grade 12, by parental consent only. Consent and screening forms will be posted at by mid-September, in preparation for the fall clinics. Insurance information will be requested, but all students are welcome to receive the vaccine at no charge.

The flu clinic date for Peirce will be Friday, October 7, 2016. Forms (available in Sept.) will be due to the school nurse by Wednesday, October 5, 2016. This schedule is confirmed unless the flu vaccine supply is delayed, in which case the school nurse will notify families of an alternative date once the vaccine arrives.

Have a happy and healthy summer!


From our ELL Teacher, Ms. Weiss:

Dear Peirce Families,

       In an effort to highlight our diversity and celebrate the benefits of multilingualism, I would like to encourage our students to read books in languages other than English this summer. I know some of your children may be doing this already and that is wonderful! This could also be a time to share a language that you know yourself through a simple book. Books are available in different languages at The Newton Free Library and Boston Public Libraries, The New England Mobile Book Fair, Shoenhofís in Cambridge and via online resources like

      By reading a book in another language, your child will get a prize from me in the Fall and will also be recognized during Town Meeting! Record the title of your book and include a short summary on an index card. Bilingual summaries would be a special treat!

Thanks so much and have a wonderful summer!

Mrs. Weiss



      The Newton Public Schools Staff Gifts and Solicitations Policy is updated and incorporates current Massachusetts Conflict of Interest Law M.G.L. c. 268A. This replaces the earlier 1991 policy.

      Newton Public Schools allows a group gift to an individual staff member only if the gift is identified as being from the entire class, the identity of the givers and the individual amounts are not disclosed to the recipient, and the gift does not exceed $150 per school year.  This differs from a gift for the classroom (*).

      Individual gifts of appreciation in the form of sentimental tokens are allowed.  Gifts of commercial value are not permitted.

      NPS allows and encourages giving to charitable organizations such as school PTO’s or the Newton Schools Foundation’s Honor Thy Teacher Program which honors staff while supporting our schools.

      For any questions about this policy and our procedures, please contact the Department of Human Resources.

          *Please see the Equity Policy for information on classroom gifts or donations

Still Need Volunteers for PTO 2016/17 – Deadline this Friday!


Huge thanks to those who have signed up to participate on the PTO next year. We have had a great response from the community and are very grateful for your support. 

While most of the volunteer roles have been secured for next school year, we have a few large holes to fill including:

  • Directory/Database Management (1 coordinator needed; position includes a Board Seat as well)
  • Teacher Appreciation Breakfast (3-4 committee members needed)
  • Gardening (3 committee members needed to share the load throughout the year)
  • Principal Coffee (1 coordinator needed)

We need your help! Click on the link below to review the details of each of these positions and to sign up:

Typically all volunteer roles are a two-year commitment. If you are unable to fulfill the two years, just let us know and we can make arrangements.

Thanks so much for your ongoing support! 

Honor Thy Teacher Program

Dear Parents,

As the school year comes to a close, you may be looking for a way to thank the special teachers and staff who have taught and nurtured your children this year.  Please consider participating in Newton Schools Foundation’s (NSF) Honor Thy Teacher, a great way to recognize our faculty while complying with the Newton Public Schools Gift Policy, and supporting our schools.

When you donate to Honor Thy Teacher, NSF will

  • Notify honored teachers and staff of your gift
  • Share honoree names with the Superintendent and principals
  • List all honored teachers and staff in a fall issues of the Newton TAB

The funds raised through Honor Thy Teacher will help NSF continue its mission to preserve Newton’s commitment to educational excellence.  This year NSF funding is supporting these innovative programs and initiatives:

  • Instrumental Music Enrichment for Elementary Students This three-year pilot program at Lincoln-Eliot Elementary School introduces low-income elementary school students to instrumental music by bringing in professional musicians to work alongside the elementary school music teacher by providing individualized instruction to students during ensemble rehearsals. 
  • Elementary Teacher Summer Writing Institute This summer professional development workshop provides teachers with new skills for implementing the Common Core-aligned writing curriculum to helps students become better writers for the information age.
  • Generation Citizen This pilot program at F.A. Day Middle School teaches students how to affect meaningful change in their communities by taking civic action.
  • The Calculus Project This program engages low-income and minority students in intensive summer classes and provides tutoring and mentoring throughout the school year to help them achieve in accelerated math courses as they progress through high school. 
  • Responsive Classroom This nationally used, research-and evidence-based approach to teaching, which is expanding to Newton’s middle schools, promotes positive behavior and helps students develop academic, social and emotional skills.
  • Science in Society This interdisciplinary science and history course at Newton North High School gives students a richer understanding of the relationship between science and society, while allowing them to investigate their own questions, conduct quality research, and create a professional presentation.
  • The DaVinci Program This three-year multidisciplinary curriculum at Newton South High School inspires students to examine life’s big questions through science, technology, engineering, arts and math.
  • AP United States History Summer Academy This summer program engages rising juniors of color with structured academic support to help them succeed in AP US History. 
  • Culturally Proficient Teaching The Culturally Proficient Teaching course helps teachers embrace the cluster model of grouping students of color in upper-level classes—a model that Newton North High School has adopted in order to help these students succeed.


The suggested donation to Honor Thy Teacher is $25 per teacher/staff member.  You can participate by clicking here. All donations are tax deductible.  For more information on Newton Schools Foundation, go to


Your gift will go a long way toward enhancing the quality of education in Newton.


Best wishes,

Mark Chitty

From the Principal- May 31, 2016

 Dear Peirce Families,

             I hope that all of you had a restful and enjoyable Memorial Day Weekend!  Summer weather has arrived, and we are looking forward to the Fifth Grade Variety Show, Visiting Day for new Kindergartners, Walk to School Day, and Color Day within the next week.  Please see the PTO’s Weekly Reminders email on Thursday to keep your calendar of events updated!

            Congratulations to our Fourth and Fifth Grade students and teachers Ted DeColo, Christen Fitts, and Tom Sheppard for a sensational Choral and Instrumental Concert on Tuesday evening!  Congratulations also to the following students who received Core Value Certificates at Town Meeting on Friday:  Francesca Azzoli, Alana Dukakis, Sydney Boucher, Sasha Boycko, Gabriella Curtin, Campbell Demont, Kathryn Fine, Jesse Forbes, Surya Gopal, David Hahm, Josh Kessler, Emmy Lev, Chloe Neal, Joey Potter, Eva Riesenburger, Juliana Rivera, Tommy Salem, Mariah Toone, Aiden Umina, and Sarah Wang.

Parent Coffee Date Change:  Our final Parent Coffee has been rescheduled to Friday, June 10th, 8:35-9:15 a.m. in the Art Room.

Progress Report Access:  Progress Reports will be available to parents through the ParentCONNECT web-based portal at noon on Tuesday, June 21st.    

Class lists will be distributed via email on August 26thIt 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

Curriculum Night:  Curriculum Night for the 2016-17 School Year will be held on Tuesday evening, September 27th.

 With Best Wishes,

Mark Chitty