Category: From the PTO

Principal’s Update

Memorial Spaulding Families,

We had a wonderful All School meeting on Monday morning in order to roll out our new school rules. Thanks to our students and staff for coming up with our new behavioral guidelines.  “Be Kind, Try Your Very Best and Take Good Care of Everything Around You”.  In the coming weeks we will be emphasizing our new rules in various  ways throughout the school.

Integrating the Arts Morning is coming up on December 1st.  This is an opportunity for you to get into your child’s classroom and explore how we are integrating the arts into all academic curriculum.  Friday, December 1st @ 8:30am.  We are hoping to have an adult (parent, relative, neighbor, family friend) at this event for each child in our school.  If you – as a parent – cannot attend, please find someone who can come to be with your child.  

Thanksgiving is upon us.  Ms. Rapa will conduct our very first “Harvest Assembly” tomorrow (Wednesday) morning.

I wish you a wonderful Thanksgiving break, filled with gratitude and joy.

Integrating the Arts Morning- December 1

Come to Integrating the Arts Morning on December 1 where you will be able to have a firsthand experience with your child’s class as you learn through the arts! Memorial Spaulding is proud to be an arts integrated school where teachers strive to integrate the arts to engage students in writing, reading, science, social studies, math and more.

Join our art teacher, Alexandra Etscovitz in the auditorium at 8:30 as she will share how arts integration has blossomed at our school, and then from 8:45-9:15, you will be welcomed into your child’s classroom to learn through the arts!

Superintendent’s Forum: Living in a Smartphone World: What does it mean for students, families, and educators?

Please save the date for a special superintendent’s forum entitled: “Living in a Smartphone World: What does it mean for students, families, and educators?” Inspired by the Atlantic Monthly piece entitled “Have smartphones destroyed a generation?” (, the forum will provide information and resources on the impact of technology and social media, as well as the opportunity to discuss the role of educators and families in navigating this space.

Forum details are as follows:

When: Wednesday, Dec. 6th
Time: 7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Where: Newton South Auditorium

The panel discussion will be hosted by Boston Globe writer Beth Teitell and include both Newton educators and experts from outside the district. Please RSVP here:

I hope to see you there.

David Fleishman

The Book Fair is Next Week!

The Memorial Spaulding Book Fair will take place next week (11/14-11/16). There will be a special PJ & ice-cream party the evening of 11/15 from 6:00-8:00. Students will be visiting with their classes during school. Flyers have already come home to help you plan.  Parents are also invited to shop Monday and Wednesday from 3:00-4:00  and Tuesday from 12:00-1:00.

This is a great opportunity to support the school since the money raised goes right back to our school’s library, which our kids use every day to learn and to be inspired! Plus BOOKS ROCK and you can get some holiday shopping done early.

Please volunteer. There is nothing like seeing a smile on your child’s face when you are pitching in to make their school experience special. No amount of time volunteering is too short; we welcome all parents to join in, including our busy working parents, and have short time-slots at various times throughout the day and night to accommodate any schedule.

**VOLUNTEERS ARE NEEDED ON THESE DATES (please check with Francie in front office that you have a current CORI)
11/9 [set up]
11/14 to 11/16 [during school hours to help the children find books, restock & tidy up]
11/15 [during evening to work the book fair so parents can shop while kids enjoy a PJ & ice-cream read-along party in the gym]
Please check out the Sign Up Genius link below with specific times to volunteer!

Circle Round

You may love listening to podcasts and audio stories but have you ever seen one recorded right in front of you? Join WBUR and the Boston Jewish Film Festival on Sunday, November 12th for a live recording of Circle Round, our storytelling podcast for kids and the young at heart. Hear great stories, dance along to live music and learn the secrets behind the podcast’s sound effects in this celebration of the traditional storytelling. An event for the entire family to enjoy!

About Circle Round:
Created by Memorial-Spaulding parent and producer Jessica Alpert, Circle Round is a storytelling podcast for kids ages 4 to 10. Created and produced by parents of young children, Circle Round tells carefully-selected folktales from around the world. Stories are adapted for today’s families into 10 to 20 minute diverse episodes that delve into topics such as kindness, persistence and generosity. Notable voices from the stage and screen bring these stories to life with the help of narrator and veteran public radio host/reporter Rebecca Sheir. Eric Shimelonis, composer for the stage and screen, creates original music for each story.

Click here to purchase tickets. Use the code BOOKFEST for $2 off your tickets. Children ages5 and under receive free admission. Co-presented with Jewish Arts Collaborative.

Event Date Location:
Sunday, November 12th at 2:30pm
Coolidge Corner Theatre 290 Harvard Street, Brookline, MA

Annual ASK donation campaign

Our annual ASK drive is under way, and we request donations for the PTO to help support community-building and enrichment programs for all our children. The Memorial Spaulding PTO is entirely run by volunteers and funded via donations and enrichment programs. We suggest a donation of $50 per child, but encourage families to donate any amount they are comfortable with, whether more or less. Every little bit helps us to fund wonderful enriching events like Creative Arts and Sciences (“CASC”) which brings hands-on learning into the classrooms; fun community building events like the Halloween dance and International Fest; beautification efforts for our school where our kids spend most of their days and even projects like the new playground!

A few things to know about ASK:

  • It is a one-time donation request.  Donating once-per-family per year ensures that all the events our kids and families look forward to can take place as planned. It also helps avoid the need for labor intensive fundraisers like bake sales or wrapping paper sales, and makes sure that all your money goes toward the most valuable things – enrichment for our kids and community.
  • It is tax deductible.  The Memorial Spaulding PTO is a 501(c)(3) registered non-profit, so all donations are tax deductible. (Don’t forget to check if your employer has a matching gift program, too.)
  • Free tickets to Mystery Dinner!   Every donation (regardless of amount) qualifies you for two tickets ($50 value) to Mystery Dinner, a fun night out for parents to relax and reconnect with each other. This adult-only event is a lively occasion –parents meet for appetizers and then the mystery of where they eat dinner and dessert is revealed!

Because of your contributions, the PTO can fund programs for the school, including technology updates, in-class enrichment programs, classroom supplies, mini-grants for teacher programs and training, and social events that bring our community together. Please help us keep these programs running by donating any amount today. Our goal is 100% participation from M-S families, regardless of amount.

If you have have already donated this year, THANK YOU! And thank you to all those who volunteer their time to help make school and classroom events successful. It truly takes a village, and a Memorial-Spaulding we have a great one!


Rebika Shaw Bendayan, Joanna Mitri and Crista Martinez Padua

PTO Co-presidents 2017-18


Please plan to attend the Memorial Spaulding Mystery Dinner on Saturday, November 11, 2017 at 6pm. 

What is Mystery Dinner?
This is a fun adult only event intended for everyone to connect with new and old friends – all in the spirit of enhancing community friendships. Each family that has donated to the PTO ASK Fund (regardless of amount) is given two free tickets to this event. This is a great way to kick off the year meeting new families who just moved here or getting know the parents in your child(ren)’s classroom in a festive and relaxed environment.
Why is it a Mystery?
The day before Mystery Dinner, you will receive an email revealing the first mystery, the address of the house for appetizers and mingling.  This portion lasts about an hour; then the address of your dinner hosts will be revealed. 
Volunteers needed
Mystery Dinner Hosts needed to welcome 3 – 5 couples into their home for dinner and dessert. Please consider cooking your favorite meal or order from your favorite take out restaurant. Your dinner can be as simple or as elaborate as you wish it to be. Sign up here: http://www.signupgenius. com/go/20f0c49aca62ea0fc1-myst ery1
Please register today! We are excited to see you November 11th!
Karly Salim, Katy Karon, Terra Lafranchi – Mystery Dinner Co-Chairs 

Social Committee

Would you like to see more social events for your kids? Would you like to meet your children’s parents and build relationships across the community? Then please consider joining the newly created Memorial Spaulding Social Committee! As a SC member, you would work with other fellow parents to organize events for your child’s classroom, for their grade or, if you are up to the challenge, for our entire school.

Our goal is to recruit 2-3 Social Committee members per classroom who would be willing to set up play dates in the park, organize group activities on early release days (examples: trips to trampoline parks, hike in the woods, trip to a movie theater, museums, zoo, apple picking, ice skating) or host/organize events for fellow parents (paint nite, escape the room, bowling, wine/cheese, etc.)

Please use the link below for SignupGenius:!/showSignUp/5080a48a8a822a64-social/26844906

Parent/Child Fashion Club

Designed for adults and beginner-intermediate level sewing students ages 6-11, Parent & Child Fashion Club is a perfect fit for the adult/child duo who:
– are looking for an expressive, creative activity to explore together
– exhibit unique and interesting fashion sense
– have a passion for design
– enjoy adding their personal flair to clothing and accessories

In this five week club, members will try their hand at designing, constructing, and embellishing their own garments. This will include sketching ideas, learning garment construction techniques (including taking measurements, cutting their own pieces, putting together basic skirts and shirts, etc.), and exploring embellishment concepts to give their creations some self-expression. The culmination of Fashion Club will leave each student with several garments and accessories, regardless of their sewing skills at the beginning! This club is intended for parents and students to spend time together learning, growing, and creating!

Parent & Child Fashion Club will meet Saturdays 12:30-2:30pm, on 11/4, 11/11, 11/18, 12/2, and 12/16.
You can register at the following link: products/parent-child-fashion- club

2nd Meeting Families Organizing for Racial Justice

The school-wide group FORJ (Families Organizing for Racial Justice) will hold its second meeting of a new district initiative for Newton families interested in advancing discussions around race, culture and identity in our schools. The meeting will be held Thursday, November 9th 7:30-9pm at Angier Elementary School.

Everyone is welcome, even if you were not able to come to the first meeting in October. This meeting will offer parents and guardians an opportunity to meet with others from their children’s schools who want to work on strengthening our communities and increasing conversations about race and racism in our society.

Please RSVP here:

If you have questions, please email Amy Behrens, the parent coach and diversity educator who is coordinating these efforts, at