Friday, August 9, 2019

Summer Update 8/9/2019

Hi all,

I'm back from vacation and back with another summer update for those of you who are wondering how things are going. 

  • All of Cabot School was moved out last week. 

  • On Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of this week, the moving company moved our supplies and furniture to Nevada St.  We are now officially moved in...

  • There's still lots of work to be done here...they are installing lockers on Saturday, patching holes and painting walls in some rooms, finishing renovation and A/C work, installing storage in classrooms, etc.   And we have TONS of unpacking to do!  Work will continue throughout the remainder of August.  You can see the work that has continued in a number of different areas in the photos below.

I'll be in touch soon with more details and my traditional summer letter.

Office Supply Room: old countertops and furniture have been dismantled/removed:


Staff Room/DAD Space - The wall partition has been completed and plumbing has been installed.   The wall intentionally only covers a portion of the space to allow for natural light to come in from the rear wall.  Cabinet installation is next for this space.

Screen Shot 2019-08-05 at 9.49.33 AM.pngScreen Shot 2019-08-05 at 9.47.32 AM.pngScreen Shot 2019-08-05 at 9.47.52 AM.png  

Seyferth:  Photos from inside the room and from the hallway:

Screen Shot 2019-08-05 at 9.52.30 AM.png     Screen Shot 2019-08-05 at 9.52.16 AM.png

     Literacy Space

Screen Shot 2019-08-05 at 9.54.33 AM.pngScreen Shot 2019-08-05 at 9.54.05 AM.png


Screen Shot 2019-08-05 at 9.56.03 AM.png

A/C Units - Many of the AC units have been installed in classrooms.  Not all of them are connected yet.  This work is ongoing.

Screen Shot 2019-08-05 at 9.57.46 AM.png

Kiln Room Door Installation (Chatfield)

Screen Shot 2019-08-05 at 9.59.38 AM.png

Sink/Plumbing Installation (Gower):

Screen Shot 2019-08-05 at 9.59.52 AM.png

Bus Loop

Screen Shot 2019-08-05 at 10.02.52 AM.pngScreen Shot 2019-08-05 at 10.03.04 AM.png

Friday, July 19, 2019

Renovation Update 7/19/19

Dear HM Families,

I'm posting another update on renovations.  Just an FYI...we are headed to South Carolina and then Tennessee and Kentucky from 7/21 - 8/4.  This will be the last post on any building updates until I get back...

Stay cool!



Air Conditioning:

  • I didn't mention this in the last post or show any photos, but A/C installation has been underway since school got out...

Bus Loop:  

  • The sidewalks are done and they will be paving the actual bus loop within the next couple of days.  



Sandison1.jpg        Sandison2.png

Literacy Space:


Staff Room/DAD:

View from the hallway:

Screen Shot 2019-07-19 at 10.33.16 AM.png       Screen Shot 2019-07-19 at 10.33.30 AM.png


View from the hallway:

Screen Shot 2019-07-19 at 10.34.55 AM.png

View from the inside:

Screen Shot 2019-07-19 at 10.34.42 AM.png

Monday, July 8, 2019

Nevada St. Summer Update 7/8/2019

Dear HM Families,

I hope summer is off to a good start for all of you! I've had a chance to get over to Nevada St. to see the work that's been going on, and wanted to post a few photos.  I'll keep you all posted as the work progresses.
The following are photos for the work on the first floor in the K room (Seyferth):

The Staff Room (front) and DAD Office (rear):


The Literacy space and new 2nd grade room (Sandison):



and the Bus Loop:
                                             Screen Shot 2019-07-01 at 9.10.48 PM.png

Monday, June 3, 2019

NewsNotes 6/3/2019

  1. Transportation/Traffic - Here’s an update from our evening meeting last week:
    • We shared the most updated crossing guard locations:
      • Nevada/Linwood
      • California/Nevada
      • Nevada/Walnut
      • Walnut/Watertown
      • Albemarle/North
    • We shared walking routes:
      • We will be observing key locations in September to make sure that the walking routes we’ve selected are indeed safe and practical. Please send any concerns to me via email and I will forward them to the traffic department.
    • We shared bus routes:
      • We are moving forward with two buses (Green Alligators and Purple Penguins) with several stops for each bus.    We are also in the process of taking input on these stops in hopes of adding 1-2 more for each route.  Again, if you have input, please send suggestions into me.
      • To apply for a free bus pass, please click the bus application link.  You should return the application directly to the school.  We will be sending applications home in backpacks as well.
    • We shared parking/traffic guidelines for the area around the Nevada St. location.
  2. GaGa Ball Pit - Over the past two weeks, contractors have been installing a permanent new Gaga Ball on the playground area at the Nevada St. location. This will be ready to go this summer!  If you don’t know what Gaga Ball is, click on this link for a short video:

END OF YEAR EVENTS - We have a number of events scheduled for the last couple of weeks…just wanted to offer a few highlights:
  • Art Show - On Tuesday, June 4th, students in grades 3-5 will have their artwork on display in the gym and in other areas of the building.  There will also be a few musical performances.  The show will run from 12:30-5:00.  We hope you can join us.
  • Musical Performances - Last week, 4th graders in the orchestra, band and chorus performed for both students and parents at two separate performances.  3rd graders (recorders) and 5th graders will do the same this week.  In all cases, the children have prepared for several months, practicing both independently and together as a group.  We are proud of the students for their commitment and dedication to their respective instruments.
  • 5th Grade Graduation - On Tuesday, June 11th, we will honor this year’s 5th grade class as they move on to their middle school experience.  This group holds the special distinction of being the last class to graduate from the current Horace Mann building.
  • Market Day - Students in 2nd grade will participate in an afternoon of crafts and market strategy using information they've learned about Ghana. 
  • Other grade level celebrations - Students will be sharing portions of the work they've accomplished this year.
  • End of Year Picnic - On Monday, June 17th, we will host one final picnic at the Horace Mann School on Watertown St.  This will be a time to get together as a community to share some food, have fun, and say farewell to the current space.

BILLY PEPICELLI RETIREMENT - I wanted to share that Billy Pepicelli, longtime Newton Custodian, has decided to retire at the end of this school year. Billy has spent the last 38 years working in various buildings in the city, and has earned the reputation as one of the most respected members of his profession. In his time at Horace Mann, Billy has always taken great pride in having a clean facility.  At any given moment during the day, you will find Billy cleaning windows or restrooms, responding to a teacher need, taking care of a spill, or working with contractors to repair something.  Billy is tremendously dedicated, is a great team player, and has been a caring and thoughtful member of our team.  There’s no doubt that Billy will be missed.  We wish him the best in his retirement.

NEWTON METCO WELCOME EVENT - The Newton METCO Family Welcome Event will be held at Angier Elementary School on Friday, June 7th, 2019, 6:30pm - 8:30pm.  This event is an opportunity for families and/or staff at your schools to meet the incoming families for SY 19-20.  We are sending the invite to your current Newton METCO families in the incoming grades at your school and to FORJ.  Please share the event to Newton residents through your weekly newsletter/annoucement from your school.  Here is the link for staff/families to register:
Password: newton

HONOR THY TEACHER PROGRAM - As the end of the school year approaches, you may be wondering how best to thank the special teachers and staff who have taught and nurtured your children since September. Please consider participating in Newton Schools Foundation’s (NSF) Honor Thy Teacher, which provides a way to simultaneously recognize our faculty and support our schools while also complying with the Newton Public Schools Gift Policy.
When you donate to Honor Thy Teacher, NSF will
  • Notify honored teachers and staff of your gift
  • Share honoree names with the Superintendent’s office and individual school principals
  • List all honored teachers and staff in a fall issue of the Newton TAB
  • STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math)
  • Environment and Sustainability
  • Leadership and Citizenship
  • Race and Achievement
  • Music and Arts
  • Literacy and Writing Instruction
  • Social/Emotional Learning; and
  • Global Travel and Learning.
The funds raised through Honor Thy Teacher focus onteachers’ professional development and new curricula and learning opportunities which collectively impact schoolchildren across all grade levels. This year NSF funding is supporting programs and initiatives which range the gamut of content areas, including:
Read about the programs NSF funds.
By donating to NSF, you are not only acknowledging teachers on a personal level but also providing rich professional development opportunities for them, and supplementing the existing enrichment opportunities that the district provides.
The suggested donation to Honor Thy Teacher is $25 per teacher/staff member. You can find out more information about the specific programs NSF supports online at, where you can also donate electronically.
Thank you for considering this opportunity to support Newton’s teachers.

Monday, May 13, 2019

NewsNotes 5/12/2019

May 12, 2019






In this issue:
  • From Principal Nardelli
  • Survey from the PTO
  • Save the date: End of year picnic!
  • School Kits-order now!
  • Volunteer next year!

From Principal Nardelli
Teacher Appreciation Week: Thank you to our wonderful PTO for your efforts to provide teachers with several special days last week.  The salads, treats, and snacks, were welcome and much needed throughout the week; the love and appreciation came through loud and clear.  The superhero theme was fun and inspiring and helped to promote a positive atmosphere.  Thank you from all of the staff at HM!

Ruby Bridges Visit: The following message is from the PTO:
"This past Friday, we were very fortunate to have a remarkable historical figure visit Horace Mann and speak for two hours with the 3rd, 4th and 5th grades. Ruby Bridges, the first African American student to integrate an elementary school in the South, led a memorable two-hour Q&A with the students about her experience.  A condition of her visit was that it not be publicized in advance. We were also asked to not record the event. In addition to Creative Arts & Sciences funding through your PTO donation, parents applied for and were awarded a grant through the Harmony Foundation in Newton in order to help bring Ms. Bridges to the school. Be sure to ask your child to share the message of Ruby Bridges' presentation!"
One added note from me...classrooms in grade 3, 4, and 5 all did a fair amount of preparation leading up to Ms. Bridges' visit. Classrooms had some hard conversations about segregation, the Civil Rights Movement, and about how we treat one another.  Because of this preparation, the students did an amazing job engaging with Ms. Bridges and thinking through the tremendous efforts that people engaged in to racially integrate the nation’s schools. I want to thank all of our teachers for taking the time to preview and prepare our students to talk about these important historical events.

Nevada St. Update -  Since I last wrote, we have made several changes to our crossing guard and busing plan.  Below is a very brief update.  I am working on a much more detailed update that I will send to all families prior to our meeting on May 30th.  I encourage as many of you to attend as possible.
Updated Crossing Guard Locations (please disregard any previous postings):
  • Crossing Guard Location 1: Nevada St./Linwood Ave
  • Crossing Guard Location 2: Nevada St./California St.
  • Crossing Guard Location 3: Watertown St./Walnut St.
  • Crossing Guard Location 4: Walnut St./Linwood Ave
  • Crossing Guard Location 5: Albemarle Rd./North St.
This plan will allow those people closes to Nevada St. to walk along a safe route. It will also provide busing for students in two areas that we feel are either the furthert away or the most at risk with regard to safety.
Please look for a more comprehensive explanation by next week.  You can review these materials in preparation for the meeting on May 30th.


Fitness for Life
Auburndale Cove
Friday, May 24

MCAS Schedule
3rd Grade Math - May 13th
5th Grade Science/Tech - May 15th and May 16th

Transportation Update Meeting
May 30, 6:30 p.m.

5th Grade Graduation
Tuesday, June 11, 1 p.m.

End of Year Picnic
Horace Mann Playground and fields
Monday, June 17
5:30-7:30 p.m.

Last Day of School
Tuesday, June 18
NOON dismissal

Visit the entire Horace Mann Calendar at

From the PTO

The End of Year Picnic will be on Monday, June 17.
(Weather Permitting)

5:30-7:30 p.m.
Enjoy games and music with DJ Mike Pride
Dessert from Cabot's Ice Cream

Bring your dinner and enjoy one last night with
friends before school ends.


Order your
School Supplies
for next year


Horace Mann is again working with SchoolKidz.Inc. to bring great school supplies into our school. Skip the back-to-school lines and have your child's school supplies delivered to his or her classroom on the first day of school— it couldn't be easier!

Teachers have put together lists of required school supplies. To order, either fill out the form that was sent home with your student or: 

1. Go to
2. Enter Account 32991
3. Fill in your child's name and grade
4. Add to cart and checkout

Kits will be delivered to your child's classroom on the first day of school. As always, ordering an extra kit for the classroom is much appreciated. Please note that teachers often choose to pool school supplies and your kit will be left in the classroom for distribution throughout the year as needed. 
If you choose not to use this great service, (why wouldn't you?)  remember to print out the list of required school supplies (click below)
The list can also be found on the Horace Mann Website.
Please bring your supplies to school on the first day. They will also be used by the class throughout the year.

The PTO is looking for some help next year!
There are several committees that need people to shadow the committee chairs and take over the role the following year. Please let us know if you can help!

*Understanding Our Differences
Both 4thand 5thgrade need someone to help run this awesome program about physical and intellectual disabilities. Training is included so you are totally prepared. You would help gather volunteers and book the guest speakers as well as facilitate the program which runs twice a year for two hours each time. This is a really valuable part of our curriculum and a great way to spend a few hours in the classroom.

*Fitness for Life
One of the best days of the year! This chair helps coordinate the parent volunteers, is in charge of ordering the food for the PTO BBQ and helps Mr. Tynes set up the Fitness Trail. Help be a part of this special day!

We want to know how we are doing!
Let us know what you think.
Please fill out this brief survey.  

The seven-member Executive Board of the PTO will be holding elections this June. (Board members will then elect officer positions in the fall.)  The board strives to promote the core values of Horace Mann, support the teachers and staff and encourage parent involvement in the Horace Mann Community. The board oversees the PTO budget, fundraising and educational events. We meet twice a month. If you are interested in bringing your energy, ideas and enthusiasm to this hard-working group, please submit your name for nomination to by Friday, May 17. If elections are needed we will post a list of candidates by May 20 and run elections the week of June 3, 2019. If you have any questions, please feel free to email our co-presidents, Adam Brown, or Jacqueline Freeman,

Horace Mann is moving to the Carr Building 
Horace Mann is scheduled to move to the Carr Building in September 2019.
We know there are many questions about what to expect with regards to the move, facility enhancement, technology and many other areas. In order to help us communicate accurate information, Mark Nardelli will answer your questions through regular updates via email and news notes. Please list any questions you have about the move below. Thank you!

Quick Links
Don't forget to use our rewards programs when you shop! Money raised goes towards the PTO. Thanks!
You can also pay your dues online if you haven't already. 

Monday, April 29, 2019

NewsNotes 4/29/2019

It's been a while since I've published NewsNotes, and there's a fair amount of material to catch up on...I hope everyone had a safe April break, and warm regards to those of you who celebrated Easter and/or Passover the past week or two. 

During the break, the Nardelli familiy ventured up to Bar Harbor, ME and spent a couple of days hiking in Acadia.  It was off season and some of the park was closed, but the weather was gorgeous and there was NO ONE there (for those of you who know I hate crowds...this was the best part).  Vincent was a trooper, hiking over 3 miles over rockey terrain on one day...mostly without any help. Not bad for a 3 year old.   This weekend, in addition to the talent show,  we also had Alora's communion celebration. We spent most of Saturday cleaning, cooking, and doing yard work, and all of Sunday entertaining family.   Needless to say, I was looking forward to coming back to work.

Sadly, amidst the joy and time with family, the news continues to remind us that not everyone is as fortunate as we have been.  The recent horrific events that have taken place in Sri Lanka and California, again force us to reflect on and wonder what's going on in the world.  I find it increasingly challenging to make sense of the hatred and bigotry that continues to threaten our daily existence.

Despite the prominence of terrible news, we continue to keep our minds busy with responsibilities and activities that will take us through the end of the school year, which is only a few weeks away.  You should know that we will be focusing on placement, spring data collection, purging and packing, field trips, end-of-year work displays and celebrations, and more.  Here are a few additional details that specific that are worth mentioning:

Staffing Update -  Speech pathologist Courtney Ravalese has joined the Horace Mann team to cover for Kristyn Stem, who is out on maternity leave.  Kristyn gave birth to Cameron Richard Evjy weighed in at 7lbs. 9ozs.  Both mom and baby are doing well! 

Nevada St. -

Construction Update - The 2nd floor wall relocation project was completed over the April break. This created a larger classroom space (Jason Harris’s room), and also our 2nd floor special ed working space.  The work really looks great.

Traffic/Busing Update - In April we held an information session for families about a possible busing and crossing guard plan for getting to Nevada St. in the fall.  Since that time we have come up with a second plan to consider as well.   As part of that process, we are conducting a survey to gather more information from families.  The survey went out to a selection of families based on address.  

We will use the information to make a final determination on bus routes and placement of crossing guards.  We will then have a second evening meeting for families on May 30th to share.  Here are some details I can share so far:

1) Regardless of the plan we choose, CROSSING GUARDS WILL BE PRESENT at Craft/Watertown St., Nevada/Linwood, and Nevada/California.

2) There will NOT BE CROSSING GUARDS at Albemarle/Watertown or Watertown/Walnut.

3) We are considering crossing guards in one of two other locations.  The decision about the placement of these crossing guards will determine final bus routes for families around these areas.
  • Location 1:  Linwood/Walnut  and Linwood/Craft
  • Location 2: Albemarle/North and Albemarle/Craft
At the May 30th meeting, we will also share arrival and dismissal plans, as well as blue zone and parking procedures.

Anxiety Article- I thought the following article offered an interesting perspective on helping families manage anxiety in children.

Talent Show - The talent show was a big success on Friday night.  We had magic tricks, kindergartners telling jokes, karate, a unicycle act, Chinese yo-yo experts, and a wide array of singing, dancing, and instrumental performances...over 40 acts in all!  It was truly a celebration of talent, hard work, perseverance, and inclusion.  Thanks to Melissa Meyerowitz and Adam Brown for organizing this effort, as well as to all of the parents who came to help out back stage.  Congratulations to all of our performers for sharing their special moment with the school community.

Newton Serves -  On Sunday, a large number of families came out to clean, pick up trash, spread mulch, and improve the grounds surrounding the school.  The effort was much needed…thanks to everyone who came out to help!  Thanks also to Ashley Sullivan and Kristy Moore for coordinating the cleanup.

Friday, May 3, 6-7:30 p.m.

Early Release Day
Thursday, May 9th 12:30 p.m.

MCAS Schedule
4th Grade Math - May 3rd and May 8th
5th Grade Math - May 6th and May 7th
3rd Grade Math - May 9th and May 13th

Visit the entire Horace Mann Calendar at

From the PTO
This Friday! Family Appreciation Night Bingo!
Hosted by the PTO. Board members will be available for questions and suggestions.
Snacks and Prizes!
Friday, May 3, 6-7:30 p.m., Horace Mann Gym
Free, but register here:

Help teachers prepare for move

We are looking for some parents to help teachers prepare for our September move. Some teachers are looking to begin purging on Tuesday, April 30, from 1-3 p.m. We need parents to help them in any way they need, including packing boxes and carrying them to a donation trailer. Please note that this is an ADULT only event. Please sign up to help here:

As the school year winds down, we have two ways planned to say "Thank You" to our wonderful teachers and staff. First, we will be celebrating National Teacher Appreciation Week next week, May 6th-May 10th.     
Please join the HM PTO by making this a remarkable week for our great teachers and staff.  
Everyday, the teachers and staff will be treated to a delicious surprise.
Any small, thoughtful gesture from your child, whether a homemade card or their teacher's favorite treat, would be a pleasant surprise.
We are also planning an end of the year staff lunch for the last day of school. We will send more information out about helping with this event in June. 
We are happy to accept donations for these events. Just click this link.

Missing something?
Items from the Lost and Found are on display in the hallway all week. Please stroll by and grab your lost items by Friday! Unclaimed items will be donated next week.

Horace Mann is moving to the Carr Building 
Horace Mann is scheduled to move to the Carr Building in September 2019.
We know there are many questions about what to expect with regards to the move, facility enhancement, technology and many other areas. In order to help us communicate accurate information, Mark Nardelli will answer your questions through regular updates via email and news notes. Please list any questions you have about the move below. Thank you!

Monday, April 1, 2019

Meeting Reminder


6:30 pm

Horace Mann School (DAD Space)

This Thursday, April 4th at 6:30 pm, we will host a meeting to talk about the proposed traffic and transportation options for families getting to the Nevada St. location next year.  We will have maps of the area, placement of crossing guards, bus routes and bus stops, information about the Boys and Girls Club, etc.  Regina Moody, transportation director for the schools, will be in attendance, as will Dawn Fleming, Newton police officer and member of the traffic division. 

We will have a brief presentation and time for questions....

Hope to see you there.

Mark Nardelli