From the Principal June 19th, 2017

Dear Peirce Families,

Many Thanks to Mr. Nye and all of the parent volunteers for another fantastic Color Day last Tuesday.  Although it was very hot, everyone had a wonderful time.  Keep sending in those Fun Run donations with the goal of a pie in the face for the principal on Friday!

At our June Town Meeting last Friday, our Kindergartners taught us how to treat each other respectfully with the book Do Unto Otters, and we also said goodbye to our beloved retirees Mrs. Bass, Mrs. DePasquale, Mrs. DeSantis, and Mrs. Houston-Carr and our Librarian Ms. Lightfoot, who are all leaving us at the end of this school year.  Two Fifth Grade volunteers spoke about each of these wonderful educators, and our PTO Tri-Presidents presented each one of them with a “Memory Jar” filled with quotes from past and present Peirce families about the impact she had on their lives.  Many Thanks to all of you who participated by sending in thoughts and memories for this project.  We have been greatly blessed to have these five exceptional women in our school community, and we wish them the best in their next adventures.

While the retirees may still be forming their plans for next chapters, our Fifth Graders know exactly where Ms. Lightfoot will be next year.  Although we are sad to lose her at Peirce, Day Middle School is lucky to gain her as their new full-time Librarian!  As our students move on to Day, they are glad to know Ms. Lightfoot is going with them.  As the Newton Public Schools K-12 Libraries reorganize for next year, we are also glad that she can make this positive career move.

I am pleased to announce that Stephanie Golas, currently our Instructional Technology Specialist, will be our new Librarian at Peirce.  Ms. Golas is already a familiar face in our school, and we are glad that she can remain a part of our team in this new role.

I am also pleased to announce that Trisha Carey will be the new Executive Assistant for Peirce School after Mrs. DeSantis’ retirement.  Mrs. DeSantis has managed the school office with technical skill and personal warmth for 23 years, and she will be sorely missed.  Mrs. Carey, who currently works at Williams School in Newton, comes to the position after 17 years as an executive assistant in corporate settings.  We are glad that she can join our team.

As we close out another successful school year, I want to send a special Thank You to our amazing PTO Executive Board.  Each one of the board’s members works tirelessly to organize community events, manage fundraising campaigns, schedule and coordinate Creative Arts and Science presentations for the students, lead Social Action Projects, and help teachers acquire the materials they need to give our children an exceptional education.  Specifically, I would like to thank:

Tri-Presidents Suzanne Demeo, Sarah Kish, and April Stein

Treasurer Anna Mariani

Co-Secretaries Alex Ozerkis and Patty Eagan

Creative Arts & Sciences Chairpersons Nancy Ghabai and Karen Ghiron

Directory/Database Manager Valerie Davisson

Fundraising Chairperson Rebecca Anderson

METCO Representative  Rute Teixiera

Social Action Chairpersons Paula Minella and Lisa Caperna

Website/Communications Manager Rob Bemis

Members-at-Large Stacy Bernstein, Prachi Samudra, Liz Seeley, and Jackie Taylor

I look forward to providing additional staffing updates in August. Our school office will be closed July 3rd-August 18th.  If you need assistance during that time, please email me at [email protected] or contact the Office of Elementary Education at 617-559-6105 for general district questions. Class Lists will be sent home through email on Friday, August 25th.

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

With best summer wishes,

Mark Chitty

From Fifth Grade Parent Volunteer Rachel Kesselman:  Thank you to the Fifth Grade class on two new gifts that were given recently to the Peirce community. The first is Peirce’s very own Little Free Library. If you’re not familiar with what a Little Free Library is, here is a link to a web site with more detail and a short video.  Basically, a Little Free Library is a “take a book, return a book” free book exchange.  Anyone may take a book or bring a book to share. The Fifth Grade class was inspired by the mission of the little libraries – to build community, spark creativity and inspire reading – and felt it would be a perfect fit for the Peirce community and something students will be able to enjoy for many years to come!  At the dedication ceremony on Friday, the Fifth Grade students officially opened the Peirce Little Free Library by filling it with favorite books read during their years at Peirce. Encourage your children to take a look inside and find a book that interests them.

In addition to the Little Free Library, the Fifth Grade class is also working to create an Outdoor Classroom with logs donated by the City of Newton. The Outdoor Classroom will be a cluster of logs, used as stools, for students to sit on so that teachers can use the space throughout the year to hold class outside. Studies show the many benefits students gain when learning outside and getting exposure to sunlight and fresh air during the school day, including decreased stress, and increased focus, attention and mood. The Outdoor Class will be completed before the end of the school year.

Progress Report Access:  Progress Reports will be available to parents online at noon on Wednesday, June 21st.

Class lists will be distributed via email on August 25thIt 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 [email protected].

Curriculum Night:  Curriculum Night for the 2017-18 School Year will be held on Tuesday evening, September 26th.


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.

Summer Reminders from the School Nurse

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 23. 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 an adult. School nurses will not be available after June 23 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. The flu shot (no FluMist again this year, based on current recommendations) will be available to all students in Kindergarten through grade 12, by parental consent only. Consent and screening forms will be posted at by early 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 Elementary School will be Friday, October 6, 2017. Forms (available in Sept.) will be due to the school nurse by Wednesday, October 4, 2017. 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!