Keep scrolling down for Stay Informed, Volunteer Opportunities, and Shopping to Make Money for Devo.
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.
Picture Day Rescheduled:
Due to last week’s rain, picture day is scheduled to take place THIS Thursday, October 30.
Registration is Open for Half Day Matinee
On each of the half days, movies will be shown from 12:30-2:30 for K-5th graders. Younger students (grades K-2) will be picked up from their classroom and escorted to the auditorium. Older students (grades 3-5) will go to the library. We are so happy to provide this service to the community again this year. A huge thank you goes out to the team of 6 parents that have organized this.
Click on the box at left for more info and to register.
Understanding Disabilities Program Needs Parent Volunteers!
The Understanding Disabilities Program (UDP) is a town-wide program for 4th graders to help them understand disabilities and to think about what it would be like to live with a disability. We strive to have the kids get the feeling of walking in another’s shoes which is a key to wisdom. Between the three of us (Andrea Brue, Pam Roberts, and Chris Mears) we have had 9 children go through this program. UDP gives parents a chance to volunteer — and see your child — in the classroom.
Volunteers will either run a hands-on activity for rotating groups of 10-12 students or they will usher a group of 10-12 from activity to activity (and help out with each of the activities).
Finally, we have guest speakers that can really let the kids know what their life is like. It’s a real treat to see the kids questions vary from kid priorities (What’s your favorite movie/sport/team/book?) to direct kid honesty (Do people stare at you on the street?). You can see the wheels turn and that’s cool.
Volunteers will spend about 90 minutes doing a training session at night at Devotion and then approximately 2 hours in the classroom with the kids.
The schedule is as follows:
- Vision Impairment: Training: 7 pm Monday, Nov 10. Classroom: 8-11 am Wednesday, Nov 12.
- Hearing Impairment: Training: 7 pm Monday, Nov 17. Classroom: 8-11 am Tuesday, Nov 18.
- Physical Disability: Training: 7 pm Monday, Dec 1. Classroom: 8-11 am Wednesday, Dec 3.
- Intellectual Disability: Training: 7 pm Monday, Dec 8. Classroom: 8-10 am Tuesday, Dec 9.
Annual Appeal 50% to Its $55,000 Goal!
What will you help Fund through the Annual Appeal?
- $10 will fund 6 books for a book group
- $20 will fund a fitness ball for P.E.
- $50 will fund 6 talk-and-listen sound phones
- $100 will fund gelatin monotypes for printmaking in Art
- $250 will fund a new teacher's classroom supplies
- $500 will fund a guest speaker
- $1000 will fund 2 buses for a grade's field trip
Give online at top right of this page or donate via check made out to Devotion School Alliance and take to the front office. If you have any questions about the Appeal, please send an email to email@example.com.
Appeal Donors Receive Warm Words of Appreciation
Two weeks ago, teachers received classroom supply gifts of $175 for returning teachers and $250 for new teachers. They are so appreciative to the Devotion families who donate so generously to the Annual Appeal:
- Dear PTO, I cannot thank you enough for the generous beginning-of-the-year stipend. It is always greatly appreciated! This year it allowed me to purchase bins so I could develop child-accessible math centers. Along with the bins, I was able to buy cardstock and laminate so I can make and duplicate math center games. I was also able to purchase a variety of books that support our anti-bullying curriculum, such as Zero, Spaghetti in a Hot Dog Bun, and Enemy Pie, as well as build my classroom library to support the diverse group of students and learners in my classroom. Finally I purchased a class set of math and reflection journals. You have made it possible for me to start the year with many wonderful resources and provide a welcoming, enriching environment for my students! Thank you, Amanda Beaupre
- Thank you so much for the generous money for classroom materials. It is extremely helpful and greatly appreciated. Thank you for your support of our work! Sincerely, Daniel Lipton
- Dear PTO, My sincere appreciation for the "back-to-school bucks." It has helped a lot in setting up my new classroom so far. 5W has some new headphones, flash drives, notebooks, and I'm scoping out a new easel. Many Thanks! Lis Wolfson
- Dear PTO, Thank you so much for the generous amount of money for us to utilize for the clinic. It will go toward making the clinic a safe, friendly and educational space for your children. Best, Heather McMullan and Jana Young
- Thank you for your generosity. Mireille Waas
- Gracias mil, PTO! Profe Morales
- Thanks so much for your help and support! Marilyn Yorgey Williams
- Thank you for your support! Barb Schiele
- Thank you so much, the funds are much appreciated, Ayala Bassett
- I truly appreciate the support from the PTO! It sets up a strong start to our year! Desiree Henrickson
- PTO support at Devo is awesome! Thank you so much! Jeremy Bloch
- Thanks for supporting us! Jen Jordan
- Thank you! Cathy Fisher-Mueller
- I want to thank the PTO for the very generous check. It is a huge help. Every August I visit Staples before school starts to pick up supplies for my students. Last weekend, I bought a new set of books for a book group that will start this week. I appreciate all that you do for the teachers and students at Devotion. Thank you again. Sincerely, Liz Gelotte
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, beginning on October 30. 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.
First Coupon Clipping Deadline Approaching
Turn in your Box Tops, Labels for Education and Tyson's A+ Coupons by October 29 for our first submission this year. Place them in the box in the lobby in an envelope or baggy with your student's name on it. The student with the largest donation will get a Halloween prize.
Submit to the Directory Cover Contest
Sharpen your pencils, kids, and pull out your paints and crayons: it’s time for the Directory Cover Contest! The winning entry will be featured on the cover of the 2014-15 school directory and seen by all Devotion families. So get creative and get your work to the front office by October 31. Questions? Contact Gillian Webster at email@example.com.
Cupcake Friday with a Halloween Theme!
Devotion's Junior Girl Scouts want YOU to visit them for a trick or treat after school (1:40 pm, in front of the school) on Friday, October 31. They'll have treats with a Halloween theme for just a $1 (tricks are free)!
DFL (Devotion Football League) is Underway
Every fall, 6th — 8th graders team up and play flag football Fridays after school, culminating in the SuperBowl on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. Come out and cheer them on. Also remember to pack a buck. The 8th graders are organizing to sell snacks and drinks to support their graduation activities.
Come “Rake It Up” and Get the Devotion Schoolyard Garden Ready For Winter!
The Devo Garden needs your help at “Fall Rake-It-Up” Day on Sunday, November 2, from 10 am - 12 pm. We need parents and kids to help rake up leaves to store for compost and covering the garden beds this winter, to set up our cold frame, and do other fall garden cleanup tasks. We’ll provide the rakes and other supplies, and coffee and hot chocolate to warm up the volunteers! No gardening experience is necessary. If you can help, please email DevotionGarden@gmail.com.
The Flu Vaccine Clinic at Devotion this year is scheduled for Sunday, November 9, from 11:00 am-2:00 pm.
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.
Box Tops for Education!
Welcome back everyone to the new 2014-2015 school year. I want to remind you that you can still earn money for Devo by clipping Box Tops. So if you were clipping Box Tops and Labels for Education during the summer, please continue to do so. I would also like to welcome the new Box Tops coordinator, Noa Vardi-Boros. She will be assisting me in counting your Box Tops and Labels for Education. We will also be coming up with new ideas for fun contests so please stay tuned for details. Please remember, you need to put your Box Tops and Labels for Education in a ziplock sandwich/snack bag or in an envelope with your child’s name and classroom written on the front, otherwise your child will not get credit during a contest. Please place them in the box or basket marked “Box Tops for Education” in front of the Main Office. Thank you again for your support. Keep on clipping! Misti Jaynes and Noa Vardi-Boros, Box Tops coordinators.
News from B-PEN
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month
Domestic violence is all over the news these days, with high profile cases like Ray Rice and Oscar Pistorius front and center. This creates an excellent opportunity for parents to talk with their children (of all ages) about healthy relationships. Visit B-PEN's web page on “Healthy Relationships and Sexuality” for tips, information and resources.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org (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:
- October 31, 2014
- December 23, 2014
- February 27, 3015
- 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 email@example.com.
The Devotion School Building Committee voted Friday, September 26 to support Option 1 as their preferred option for the Devotion School Renovation. They stated several caveats, such as "with further development" and "as a starting point."
- Architects will submit the preferred Option 1 to MSBA and will continue to develop it.
- The Building Committee is tentatively scheduled to meet again on November 17.
- The MSBA will meet and hopefully approve the project on November 19.
- The Building Committee will meet after the MSBA decision on December 8.
To be scheduled:
- A meeting with the Devotion community about phasing and transition, scheduled by Superintendent Lupini
- A meeting with SEPAC, scheduled by Selectwoman Dewitt
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com). 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
...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.
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: email@example.com.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.)