Keep scrolling down for Stay Informed, Volunteer Opportunities, and Shopping to Make Money for Devo.
Devo's Junior Troop will sell Girl Scout Cookies after school on Wednesday, December 17 on the front patio. Grab a bag of box of your favorites — Thin mints? Caramel Delights? Peanut butter patties? — $1/bag, $4/box.
Show Your Devo Pride!
DEVOWEAR will be BACK ON SALE December 16-18. PERFECT for holiday gifts! Does YOUR teacher have a Devo sweatshirt? Are grandparents proudly sporting Devo t-shirts? Does your car have a magnet?? It's fun, it's fashionable, it's the perfect gift. For you, and everyone on your list! DevoWear. December 16-18, 8:00 am in the Main Lobby. See you there!
Basketball @ Devo
Important! Payment deadline, if your child makes the team, is January 5. There is a $100 fee to play.
Open Discussions with the Brookline School Committee
The School Committee and the public will meet once more this year to discuss topics determined by the participants. This is a great opportunity to share your ideas and concerns: Monday, December 22, 7:30-8:30 am, Town Hall, Room 111.
- First day of Winter classes — January 12
- Registration for Winter term will take place during the second half of December
Follow Devo on Twitter:
@DevoSchool — Our vice-principal, Ms. Buller, created a Devo Twitter account! Follow Devo and stay abreast of all the great activities buzzing around our school.
The Yearbook wants them! Please email pictures from fieldtrips, class activities, or other Devotion events to email@example.com.
OLS Principal Announces Office Hours at Devo
Monica Crowley, principal of next year's grade 7-8 at OLS, is excited about the opportunity to meet with parents. She will be holding office hours in the principal's office on Thursday mornings from 7:30-9:00 am. Please email, call, or drop in to speak with Linda (firstname.lastname@example.org; 617.879.4400) in the front office and sign up for a 15-minute meeting. Ms. Crowley hopes to meet with as many parents as possible as the year progresses, and looks forward to hearing your ideas and concerns about the pending move to the Old Lincoln School.
Save the Date
The Devo Science Fair will take place Saturday, March 14.
The Buzz Around E-Cigarettes
Somewhere around middle school, curious kids are often likely to try their first cigarette. Now that electronic cigarettes are becoming the rage, there are even more opportunities for trying that first puff. The battery-powered vaporizers, which heat up a liquid (with or without nicotine) to create a fine mist rather than smoke, are easily available to all ages at convenience stores and gas stations, and the contents of these flavored liquids are almost entirely unregulated. Parents, the Town of Brookline Health Department, and students themselves are concerned. Check out the buzz about e-cigs and what’s being done to address the issue in this column from the latest Brookline TAB. And for more information on e-cigs, check out the Tobacco page at www.B-PEN.org.
Notes from the Nurse
Just a reminder that flu season is upon us. If you and your child(ren) haven't gotten the flu vaccine, now is the time! We will send more information about additional clinics that will be held in Brookline soon. Please take this opportunity also to remind your child to wash his or her hands often, and sneeze and cough into their sleeves, to help stop the spread of germs. Click on the image at right to learn more.
Devotion Discussion on Facebook
Devotion has its own parent-run Facebook group page, with more than 120 members already, for any Devotion-related questions, concerns and discussions (including the renovation): https://www.facebook.com/groups/542205932541890/. It is an "open" group, so anyone can see what's posted and anyone who wants to join will be approved within a few hours. For legal reasons, this will not be a formal PTO means of communication, rather a tool for parent-to-parent communication.
For questions, contact Carey Goldberg at email@example.com (and thank her for creating and monitoring this page).
For broader, town-wide school-system issues, there's a lively discussion on Facebook titled "Public Discussion of Brookline's Plans to Create a New School." You can find it here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/BrooklineNewSchool/.
Lost & Found
Don't forget to check our Lost & Found if your child is missing something! The Lost & Found closet is located in the main hallway, next to the glass display case. Smaller items, such as jewelry, keys, glasses and phones are kept in a small basket in the Main Office. Lunch boxes and bottles are in the cafeteria. To keep the Lost & Found tidy, unclaimed items will be donated to a local charity on the following dates:
- December 23, 2014
- February 27, 2015
- April 30, 2015
- June 19, 2015
All Volunteer Parents Need To Fill Out CORI Forms
If you plan to attend a field trip or volunteer with students in the school this year, you must have a CORI form on file with the front office. Download the form here, fill it out, and give it to Linda in the Main Office (this form is also available from the principal's page). Present her with your photo ID and she'll take care of the rest. CORI clearance lasts 3 years.
Monday Update Submission Deadline
If you have a school-related event or announcement that you would like to included in the Monday Update electronic newsletter that is emailed to all Devo parents, the weekly submission deadline is Thursday at midnight. Please understand that late submissions may be deferred until the following week. Send to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Devotion Building Committee met on Monday, December 2.
Tony Guigli, the Project Manager, reported back on the findings from the subsurface exploration that took place on November 29 and 30. Borings and test pits into the ground were done at various points around the school. The only "discovery" of note was an old heating pipe, long unused, that runs across the school grounds. Apparently, it used to connect the two buildings that were on either side of the main building.
The architects presented the latest version of the design. While acknowledging that it is still a work in progress, the committee was pleased that things are moving in the right direction. One notable change is a dedicated office for the after-school program management. The latest plans may be accessed via the Renovation page/Town website:
12-1-2014 Architect Presentation to the Committee (Schematic Design Update)
The two working committees have been firmed up. I (Pam) will meet with the open space group, while your other parent rep, Sadhna Brown, will sit on the architectural subcommittee.
Below are scheduled future meetings, which are subject to change. All meetings will be at Town Hall at 8:00 am:
- December 16
- January 5
- January 22
Respectfully submitted, Pam Roberts
Frequently Asked Questions, generated with the help of Devo’s expert parent reps on the Building Committee, Pam Roberts and Sadhna Brown (thank you...)
Why is Devotion being renovated?
The Devotion renovation has been under discussion since 2003, but was bumped several times in favor of other more pressing school projects. Because enrollments have increased, Devotion must be expanded to accommodate the growing student body. It’s also clearly in need of improvement, from plumbing to climate control to accessibility. Presently, Devotion is in the final stages of planning in partnership with the Massachusetts School Building Authority. School buildings are scheduled for renovation in the Town Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) that is approved annually at Town Meeting.
What is the history of the school building?
The first school on the site was built in 1891 and named after Edward Devotion, Jr., who made a bequest to the Town for a school. The present school building consists of a central section from 1913; one wing built in the 1950s and another wing built in the 1970s. The 1913 Devotion School has historical significance because President John F. Kennedy was a student there. There has been almost no renovation to the building since 1970 with the exception of carving out more classrooms to house the burgeoning population of the school.
The Devotion House, facing Harvard Street in front of the school, was the home (built c. 1750) of one of the founding families of Brookline. It is a museum operated by the Brookline Historical Society and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and cannot be moved.
What can we expect in terms of renovation options?
It’s clear the 1950s wing and the 1970s wing will be demolished. For more detail, please come to the meetings.
When will we have an opportunity to look at the plans?
Plans were presented at the September 10 community meeting. The architects presented three different possible designs for renovating and expanding Devotion.
If you didn't make the meeting, the plans can be accessed through the Town’s website (The Devotion School Building Committee site is here). Bear in mind that the project is so big and complex that there are multiple volumes. The committee site is continually updated with minutes and drawings from the School Building Committee’s meetings.
You can always send an email with your questions or comments to either of the parent representatives Sadhna Brown or Pam Roberts (email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org). They will forward your thoughts to the entire Devotion Building committee.
What’s the timeline?
The three options presented on the 10th of September will go to cost estimators. The Building committee is charged with voting a preferred design. With cost estimates in hand and taking into consideration feedback from the community, members will vote on their preferred option on September 26. The package will then be submitted to the Mass. School Building Authority for their November meeting. If approved, we then begin the schematic design phase. This phase continues to refine the preferred design. We will have a design and cost estimates that will again be submitted to the MSBA for their March 2015 meeting. The current plan is to begin construction in the fall of Sept. 2016.
Will Devotion students be going to the Old Lincoln School beginning in Sept of 2015?
Yes, but that’s not because of construction; that’s because Devotion runs out of space, with burgeoning classes rising through the grades.
If I can’t make it to the meetings, how can I get informed and offer feedback?
Drawings are on the Town website here). See the following paragraph for ways to offer feedback.
Who are the Parent Representatives on the Committee?
If you write to us with feedback, we’ll forward your thoughts to the Building Committee, or you can write directly to Tony Guigli, Project Manager, at email@example.com.
How much will all this cost?
At this point, the Town Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) has approximately $100 million budgeted for this project. The money comes partly from the State and partly from the Town. In order to access State money, the project has to comply with all requirements of the MSBA. The majority of the funding for the school will be from taxpayers in Brookline, who will be asked to support an increase in property taxes through a vote to override the limits of Proposition 2 ½ in May 2015.
My children are young enough that they’re certain to be at Devotion during whatever construction takes place. What will be the process for my concerns about that?
Until we select a design, we won’t know anything about the expected phasing of the construction process, so we just can’t anticipate those details yet. But please rest assured that Brookline schools have dealt with these issues before and take them very seriously. Also, please know that the Building Committee is genuinely devoted to the wellbeing of Devotion students.
DEVO Science Fair 2015
It's that time of year again — time to plan the 2015 DEVO Science Fair & Expo. Many hands are required to coordinate the event and to host a great day for our children. If you are a DOER and would be able to help with this year’s event, please let us know! Whether you're able to join the organizational meetings or just available to help on the day of the event, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Math Specialists Need a POW Poster Designer
Would you like a creative outlet, and support Devotion School at the same time? The Math Specialists are looking for someone to make the poster for the Problem of the Week. You would receive a new problem every 2 weeks, and make a poster to display on the bulletin board next to the main office. If you are interested or have more questions, please contact Julie Boss at email@example.com.
The Devotion Schoolyard Garden Needs Your Help!
We are looking for a few parent volunteers to help keep our garden up and running this spring and in years to come. No gardening experience necessary!
- Garden Committee PTO Liaison: Attend after school garden committee meetings (less than 1/month); assist with planning the future of the garden; connect with the PTO to place announcements in the weekly update, ensure continued funding, etc.
- Special Event Planner: Co-coordinate a fall “rake it up” day, probably a Saturday morning. (We have one volunteer, Laura Staich. She would love a partner!)
- “Eyes and Hands On the Garden” Person: Visit the garden after school and on weekends; reset things (like plant markers) when they’ve gone amuck.
- In-School Volunteers — Training available! Assist teachers during planned activities in the garden, working with small groups. We have an intern who can teach you gardening skills after school.
DSA Seeking Parents Interested in Leadership Role
The Devotion School Alliance (also known as the PTO) will need to replace at least 2 directors next year. With the upcoming renovation, it is more important than ever to have strong parent leadership. Community is one of the key elements that makes Devotion special. With the right leadership, we can maintain a sense of community and continuity for our children. Please consider taking on this rewarding and important role! Contact us with any questions: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you so much to everyone for helping get the Devotion Garden ready for winter! From helping us get organized, obtaining compost buckets and new locks, and planning the tasks to our hardy volunteers who enjoyed a brisk fall morning yesterday raking up leaves, chopping up cornstalks, cleaning beds, harvesting and spreading compost, setting up the cold frame and more. And special thanks to our student volunteers Hayden, Taylor, Lucas, Audrey, Sam, and Julia — we really appreciate your help! Thanks again, Beth, Maya, Laura, Lauren, and the Garden Committee
Thank you to parents who have stepped up to help out this year:
- Thanks to New Devo SEPAC Liaisons Phil Ruedi and Sharon Forman. Phil and Sharon will be representing parents in grades K-5. Parents having any questions, concerns, comments, etc. are urged to contact them. Phil may be reached at email@example.com and Sharon at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks to Elise Jacobson, SEPAC representative grades 6-8 and transition planning to OLS for middle schoolers. Elise may be reached at email@example.com.
- Thank you to Gillian Webster who is going to put together a printed directory this year, for all of you adults and students who enjoy having an in-hand version.
- A big thank you goes out to Shwujen You, a 1st grade parent, who will be taking care of the Lost and Found.
- Many thanks to Boriana Primova, who has volunteered to manage the Devotion calendar. If you know of an event or activity that you think would be helpful for parents to have on the school calendar, please send her an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. (If you didn't know there was an online calendar, check it out at the calendar tab at the top of this page.)
- A big thank you to Carol Reyes, who has volunteered to take the lead on the yearbook committee this year. You'll hear from her soon about what help she needs and where to send pictures you snap from events throughout the year.
- Many thanks to Andrew Siedlecki who will help coordinate events.
- Thanks to all the Room Parents who have already offered their time.
- Elise Jacobson, Leslie Beau, and Alison Rosenthal who organized the Back-to-School Welcome Coffees.
Tyson's Project A+
Devo is signed up for Tyson’s Project A+. Like Box Tops and Labels for Education, there is a label on the packaging that you clip and turn into the box in the labby. Each coupon is worth 24 cents. So if you buy Tyson’s products, clip, save and turn them in. It all adds up!
Stop & Shop A+ Rewards Program Gives $900 to Devo!
Thank you to everyone who has their Stop and Shop card registered with the A+ Program to benefit Devotion. They sent us a check this week for $900 for last year’s participation! If you haven’t registered your card, please go to the following link and take advantage of this opportunity: http://www.stopandshop.com/aplus/register-card/?_requestid=629676.
When You Shop at Shaws/Star Markets, Devo Makes Money!
If you haven’t done so already download the EcoApp and every time you use reusable bags, just scan the EcoApp at checkout and get money for Devo. If 100 parents shop with reusable bags each week it could eliminate the need for 100,000 plastic bags and earn Devo around $4,000. Please help!
Brookline's plastic bag ban = a new way to generate Dollars for Devo!
MY ECO is working with the town of Brookline to educate and encourage residents to reuse bags by donating money to the schools for every reused bag. Check out this article on Brookline Patch.com. Download the MyEco app onto your smartphone today. Questions? Contact email@example.com.
Can't Find It Locally? Shop Amazon to Support Devo!
When making Amazon purchases, start your shopping via the Devotion School website to support our school! No special password or registration is required, just click the Amazon logo and shop as usual. Last year we raised $3,014 simply by people starting to shop through the Devotion School link. A percentage of all purchases is returned to the school — your cost stays the same. Click the Amazon logo at right or here to begin your shopping. Please share the link http://tinyurl.com/devopto with friends and family!
Got a Target Red Card?
Target donates 1% of purchases made using their credit card to participating schools. If you have a Target Red Card, click on the logo at right to register it at Target.com and start earning money for Devo!
Go to Land’s End for Devo-logo Gear
Looking for shirts, backpacks, lunchboxes or other Land’s End merchandise AND you want the Devo logo on them? We’ve set up an online store, click the Land's End logo to start your shopping. (This is a service, it does not make money for Devotion.)