There will be NO SCHOOL Tuesday and Wednesday, January 27 and 28. Keep warm!
Caldecott Night at Devo
Snow date is next week, Thursday, February 5
Each year, the American Library Association awards the prestigious Caldecott medal to the best picture book of the year. As part of our library program, Devotion students in grades K-3 are learning about the picture book evaluation process and reviewing the top contenders for this year's medal. On Thursday, February 5, grades K-3 students and their families are invited to come to the Devotion library, anytime between 5-7 pm, to take one last look at the “Caldecott Contenders” and place their vote for the best picture book of 2014! Please RSVP by Friday, January 23 by filling out this slip and giving it to your classroom teacher.
Celebrity Series Tickets for Only $10!
Order Deadline is Friday, February 6, 1:40pm
There are exciting performances by world renowned artists included in the Celebrity Series’ Take Your Seat program for Spring 2015, including annual favorites Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater (note that Ailey shows are in March this season), Renee Fleming, Brian Brooks and Wendy Whelan, Christian McBride Trio, Stephen Hough, Kurt Elling, and many more. The Terence Blanchard Quintet/Ravi Coltrane Quartet has been added to the program since Devo’s fall ordering window. For the full schedule of events and ordering instructions, click here to download the information. If you have questions, contact Carrie Staff at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A group of BHS Students (and Devo Alums) are hosting a book drive for a school in Roxbury that has virtually no library. Please bring your gently used K-8 books to the box outside the library Monday, January 26 through Friday, February 13! Thank you for supporting the Timilty Middle School’s community and their literacy!
Summer Camps Auction Launched
Interested in learning about and bidding to win great Summer Camps? Prepare now for summer and check out our sixth annual online Camps Auction (the only “Camps Only Auction”). There are more than 100 accredited top-notch camps to choose from, including overnight camps, day camps, specialty camps (music, performance, etc.) and Sports Camps. Bidders are guaranteed the camp spot they win in the auction. Some camps are offering multiple spots, providing a great opportunity to bid for siblings or friends. Bidders often save money off the full value of the camp so not only does the school benefit but bidders often save significant money on their camps. You will receive emails throughout the auction and you can go directly to the auction through the email, or you can visit the website anytime at www.biddingforgood.com/devo.
In the past couple of years, our Camps Auctions, together with the Spring Carnivale and Spring Auction (coming in late March), funded the new pilot of Chromebooks for the 7th & 8th grades, 10 new Smart Boards in classrooms (3/4 of classrooms now have boards because of these events), our iPad pilot, and new pianos for the school. This year's proceeds will continue to go toward other major funding needs that would not be possible without the auctions and the Carnivale.
Please contact Cindy Tungate at email@example.com with any questions on bidding. Bidding is open to all so please tell your family and friends.
Art Room Seeking Immediate Donations of Old/Gently Worn Shoes for Drawing Project
(Sandals, boots, sneakers, etc.) We will need them for 3-4 weeks, but will not be altering them, so if you would like to have them returned after the project is over, please write your name on a piece of tape and stick it to the bottom of the shoes. Donations can be dropped off to Ms. Em in the art room.
Reminder of school policy: Students must be supervised by an adult to remain at Devotion after school. Options after school for those with a second hour class: 1. leave school at dismissal time and return in one hour for your class, 2. for third grade and up: homework center (except Fridays), 3. for fourth grade and up: school library (certain hours), 4. if your child is registered for a second hour class in DASEP, you may contact DASEP to sign them up for the Care Hour (Mondays-Fridays). Please email: firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Devotion Building Project Public Forum
This community meeting will take place in the Devo Auditorium on Thursday, January 29 at 7:00 pm.
Devo Annual Crafts & Services Fair
Wednesday, February 11, 5-7 pm in the cafeteria
Support Devo student crafters and entrepreneurs, buy gifts for Valentine’s Day, eat delicious treats, and have fun! Registration forms are available in the main office and are due on Monday, February 9. Don’t miss out! QUESTIONS? Contact Karen Levy at email@example.com. Half of the proceeds from this event will go to the Brookline Food Pantry.
Kindergarten 2015-2016 Announcement
The Kindergarten Registration Sessions at Devotion School are scheduled for Tuesday, February 10 and Wednesday, February 11 from 8:15-10:15. Please click here to view or download information about registering your child.
SEPAC Special Events
The New England Center for Children® (NECC®) is offering a Parent Education Series - Act Relative to Insurance Coverage for Autism (ARICA) for family members of children with autism. The presentations include topics of interest and importance towards the goal of helping participants better understand, advocate, and care for their family member with ASD and their families as a whole. In addition to the presentation, each session will have time allocated for questions and answers. All sessions are free and open to the public. Pre-registration is encouraged as space is limited. Click here to find out more info and register.
- Tuesday, February 24, 7:00-9:00 pm, presenter: Beth Bellone, MS, CCC-SLP, BCBA: Understanding and Addressing Sleep Problems of Children with Autism
- Tuesday, March 24, 7:00-9:00 pm, presenter: Sandy Jin, PhD, BCBA-D: I Did It Myself! How to Determine Key Life Skills for Children with ASD to Learn
- Tuesday, April 14, 7:00-9:00 pm, presenter: Julie Weiss, MSEd, BCBA: Preventing and Reducing Challenging Behavior
- Saturday, May 16, presenter: William Holcomb, PhD, BCBA-D: Why Children with Special Needs Behave the Way They Do: The ABC’s of Motivation and Reinforcement
- Tuesday, June 9, 7:00-9:00 pm, presenter: Rick Graff, PhD, BCBA-D
15th Annual Devo Science Fair
The 15th Annual Devo Science Fair is Saturday, March 14 in the Devo Cafeteria. The theme of this year’s fair is “Science of the Seas.” Click on the Octopus at the top right hand column on this page for more information. Registration forms are due by February 27. Forms can be submitted online at http://tinyurl.com/devo-sci or can be found in the library and turned in at the main office. Please note you DO NOT need to know the title of your project to register. Also, your project can be on any topic that you are curious about — not just our oceans. Reserve your space today! What’s your curiosity?
Volunteer For The Devo Science Fair & Expo 2015
It's that time of year again! 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 might be able to join the organizational meetings or you are just available to help on the day of the event, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Box Tops and Labels for Education
The Box Top$ coordinators want to wish you a Happy New Year 2015! Now that our children are back to school from the winter break, we would like to remind you of an easy way to help support and earn money for Devotion. You can collect Box Tops and Labels for Education. Just clip them out of your groceries that you use every day. You can go to www.boxtops4education.com, and www.labelsforeducation.com to check out all the participating products. You can also print the collector sheet here or go to the Box Tops website and print out one of the sheets they have to place your Box Tops on. Once you clip them out put them in a Ziploc bag or in an envelope with your child’s name on it and child’s classroom, so that your child can be entered into the first Box Top$ contest for 2015.
If you have any questions please feel free to email the Box Tops coordinators: Misti Jaynes at email@example.com or Noa Vardy-Boros at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for your support and participation.
Follow Devo on Twitter
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.
TOWNWIDE Band/Jazz Band Spring Concert
Monday, May 18, 6:30 pm, Lincoln School Auditorium
Students should report to the music room at 6:15. Dress is white tops/black bottoms, or as close to that as you can. Please email Mr. Stone (email@example.com) with any questions or concerns.
Brookline’s Wellness Committee Launches Website
Did you know that since 2007, The Public Schools of Brookline’s Wellness Committee has been committed to examining and supporting a variety of programs addressing student health? The committee, which meets four times a year, comprises school, community, and health representatives as well as students and parents, all invested in addressing a range of youth-serving initiatives in areas of nutrition, fitness/recreation, mental health, chemical health, teen dating violence, and climate change awareness. Check out the committee’s newly launched website, www.BrooklineWellness.weebly.com for a wealth of information.
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 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:
- 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 email@example.com.
Check out the Renovation tab at the top of this page to find the latest information.
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.
Understanding Our Differences (formerly UDP) Seeks Program Review Committee Participants
The Brookline Schools will conduct an overview of the UOD program this semester. The purpose of the review is to gain clarity and a shared understanding of the purpose and goals of Brookline’s UOD, evaluate how well we are reaching these goals and determine what actions may be taken to better meet these goals. Participant availability to the following dates is required; Friday, January 30, February 13, March 13, April 10, May 1 and June TBD. All meeting times set for 8:15 - 10:00 am at Town Hall. If you are interested in being considered for the committee, please email UOD Coordinator, Elizabeth Myska at Elizabeth_Myska@brookline.k12.ma.us no later than Tuesday, January 27. Please provide your name and contact information, elementary school your child(ren) attend, grades of your children and whether you’ve had any experience with UOD either as a parent volunteer, liaison or guest speaker.
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.
Devo Night at Brookline Booksmith
Thanks to everyone who came out to shop at Brookline Booksmith on Devo Night, and thanks especially to our wonderful local bookstore for supporting Devotion by donating 10% of the evening's sales ($813) to our PTO! Thanks also to Daniel Lipton and his class for providing such delightful entertainment. If anyone would like to take over this fun event next year, please write to Lisa (whose youngest is headed to BHS) to find out more: email@example.com.
Thank you to every family who donated to the Annual Appeal. Below are notes from teachers and staff:
During the grant process, Devo's school nurses asked for an automatic blood pressure cuff, metal lice combs, stress balls, hand washing posters, purell, Acquaphor and Eurcerin. Thanks to the generosity of donors to the Annual Appeal, we were able to grant all their requests and they send their appreciation: Dear PTO — Thank you so much! We really appreciate this, and all your support for the Devo community! — Best, Heather and Jana
Dear PTO — Thank you very much for the $175 check for classroom supplies. I used this money for: books, stationary supplies (cardstock for making games and publishing books, organizational supplies, individual white boards, dry erase markers), contact paper, and a schedule pocket chart. These are all things I would have paid for myself, and I am glad not to! Thank you for all that you do. — Nancy Frane, 2F
Thanks so much for approving the grant requests for 2R students! As a first year teacher at Devotion it is so wonderful to have a parent community so actively involved in providing students and classrooms with much needed materials. Thanks so much! — Caitlin Rogers, 2R
“Thank you so much for being so generous with the grants!” — Danial Lipton, 2L
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 firstname.lastname@example.org and Sharon at email@example.com. Thanks to Elise Jacobson, SEPAC representative grades 6-8 and transition planning to OLS for middle schoolers. Elise may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 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 email@example.com. (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 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.)