Click or keep scrolling down for Stay Informed, Thank Yous, Volunteer Opportunities, and Shopping to Make Money for Devo.
New Student Meet-and-Greet
Our Annual New Student Meet-and-Greet for K-6th graders will be Monday, August 31, at 9 am in the Devotion Library. If you are new to our community, please join us for a chance to meet the administration and some parents and get a tour of Devotion.
Parents' Survival Guide for Summer
As we come to the end of the academic year, the busy, ordered structure of school slides into the lazy days of summer. Kids feel looser and parents often relax the rules as vacation mode kicks in. But with more free time and fewer consequences, summer can also be the riskiest time of the year for middle and high school kids. From drug/alcohol experimentation to sexual activity, risky behavior tends to rise with the temperatures, and research shows that young people with unsupervised hours are three times more likely to engage in risky behavior and use marijuana, alcohol and other drugs. B-PEN offers these ideas for keeping adolescents safe this summer while enjoying vacation fun in the sun…
- Summertime Activity Tips
- Guidelines for a Safe Summer
- Brookline Recreation Department
- Brookline Teen Center
From the Nurses
Click here to download a letter about seasonal allergies/asthma from Tricia Laham, the nursing supervisor.
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.
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/.
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 School Budget for FY16 has been released:
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 Arden Reamer (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 Pam Roberts or Arden Reamer (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.
Thank you so much for the book donation to our classroom, 5W. We are very happy with them and we love reading them. Again thank you so much! From, 5W
Box Tops Contest Update
Congratulations to the winners of the Box Tops Winter Contest. You have all done a great job collecting Box Tops. This period's collection totaled $157! The winners will be notified in the next week or two and be soon given their prize. Thank you all for your hard work and your continued support. Through Box Tops, we have earned $2,100 this school year. Please stay tuned for our last Box Tops contest and the end-of-the-year Popsicle Party. Thanks again and Keep on Clipping! Your Box Tops Coordinators, Noa Vardi-Boros and Misti Jaynes
Books for the Devo Library
A huge thank you goes out to our community for supporting Devo's library! During last week's non-fiction book drive, Devo families exceeded the goal and donated 120 books!
Thank you to everyone who uses a Target credit card and has chosen Devotion as the beneficiary of their education donation program. Target sent Devotion PTO a check for $311 for 2014. If you're interested in joining, go to Target.com/TCOE.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 with the Devotion Garden! From helping us get organized, obtaining compost buckets and new locks, and planning the tasks, to our hardy volunteers who, last fall, enjoyed a brisk morning 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.
- 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.
Postersmith prints posters on fabric for researchers and teachers. Click on the logo at right to order through the special offer link and get a 5% discount on your order. Plus, we will match this 5% and make a donation to the Devotion School.
Sopico, an online marketplace for kid’s activities, helps parents find amazing programs for their children. We are so excited about making life easier for Devotion parents! Signing up for an account on Sopico takes less than a minute and is free. Sopico will donate $5 to Devo's PTO for every parent who signs up and references Devotion School during sign up. Also, until April 30 new parents who sign up get $25 toward a purchase on Sopico. Find out more: click here to view/download a flyer, or check out the website: www.sopico.com.
Earn Money for Devo by Donating Outgrown Clothes
Devotion is registered with Schoola.com, a company that accepts used clothing and sells it on their website, donating up to 40% of the sales price to Devotion. Request a bag at schoola.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.)