Friday, December 21, 2018

NewsNotes 12/21/18

December 21, 2018

In this issue:

From Principal Nardelli
Seasons Greeting to the entire Horace Mann community.   If you have a moment to read, here's the latest from Horace Mann:

225 Nevada St. Move Update: I wanted to provide an update on our move and describe some of the things that have been happening in the days and weeks leading up to the break:

As I mentioned in a previous newsletter, we brought our entire staff to the school to visit classrooms and other spaces.  Teachers saw their tentative classroom assignments and got a chance to see other spaces as well. There are many positive elements and features of the new building:  it is bright, there are high ceilings and wide hallways, a beautiful cafeteria,  etc.

We have also noted some challenges that we need to address before we move in.  Below is a table of the challenges and the action steps we are taking to address them:

Classroom Size:

  • We have concerns about smaller square footage for several classrooms at Carr.  We are working with city planners to reconfigure some spaces. This means changing room assignments and doing construction projects.  We hope to enlarge classroom spaces for 5 classrooms.  The city is consulting with architects to create drawings that will need to be approved in January.
Allocating Space for All Necessary Spaces:
  • We need to find appropriate spaces for DAD, a book room, office supplies, and curriculum storage. Work with city planners to reconfigure so me spaces (see above).
  • Technology needs to be updated and renewed. We are doing in inventory of equipment in both schools and putting together a proposal for new technology that will be required. 

Miscellaneous: There are a variety of needs across the building that need to be update.  We will be looking to add sound dampening in specific locations, add additional lockers, add storage shelving, and add furnishings for a staff room, among other things.

January Assessments - During the month of January, we will conduct academic assessments in all grades for our students.  The assessments are timely, give us sense of where students are in reading and math, and help us to plan instruction and report on student progress for the early February report card.

Winter Break Article - I came across an article that I thought I would share with families this season.  Our staff are familiar with the sentiments in the article and we aim to do much of what is suggested here.  I thought it might give you all a sense of what school looks like in the weeks leading up to the break.   I also want to acknowledge the the holidays bring about different sentiments for our families, and for some, it isn't all wonderful:

Professional Development Update - If you want a sense of what we are talking about in our professional development sessions with staff, take some time over the break to check out the following two videos:The first is from the 80’s, and shows a classroom in Harlem taught a teacher named Ms. Toliver.  Her approach is a model for what we aim to achieve here at Horace Mann on so many levels: student engagement, inquiry and deductive learning, high expectations, family partnerships, and efficacy.  Here’s a link to the 26 minute video:

The second is a speech by Zaretta Hammond, author of the book Culturally Responsive Teaching and the Brain, which is the foundation of our PD work this year.  Dr. Hammond uses brain research to talk about how we need to adapt our approach in the classroom.  Much of what she says is reflected in the practices used by Ms. Toliver over 30 years ago.   This video is also about 23 minutes in length:

Wishing you all a safe and healthy December break.

Mark Nardelli

No School, December Recess
Monday, December 24-Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Important Dates for 2019
Social Night at the Paint Bar
Friday, January 11
Science Fair
Friday, January 25
Mystery Dinner
Saturday, March 2
Spring Auction
Saturday, March 23

Visit the entire Horace Mann Calendar at

From the PTO
The PTO would like to wish everyone a safe, peaceful winter break.
May the New Year be a good one! 

Thank you to all who donated to the Food Drive
The Social Action Committee helped load up the many boxes of food and supplies and delivered it to the Centre Street Food Pantry. Thank you for your generosity and for teaching our children by example.
We received 250 bags of food/supplies, over 60% of the school participated.  This translated to ...

10 boxes of cereal (150+ individual boxes of cereal)
14 boxes of snacks
22 boxes of baby supplies
13 boxes of soup (200+ cans of soup)
16 bosses of coffee and tea

Time to register for a night at 
The Paint Bar!
Friday, January 11 at 6:30 p.m.
Register here:

Mystery Dinner—Saturday, February 2, 2019—Calling all dinner hosts!

We are also looking for an Appetizer Host, please contact Liz Kleinerman or Tracy Kane for details.  Contact information listed below.

Our 2019 Mystery Dinner is Saturday, February 2nd and we need dinner hosts!!  Those of you who have been a part of the Mystery Dinner in previous years know how much fun it is.  It's a wonderful opportunity to catch up with old acquaintances, meet new friends, and connect with other HM parents; all while enjoying delicious food and supporting the school. Please consider opening your home for a dinner.  Dinner host deadline is Friday, December 14th.

For those who need more information, a quick snapshot of the night:

At 7pm on the evening of the event, you and the other attendees will gather at one large appetizer party,  where you will receive your mystery envelope revealing your dinner destination, host, and theme. At 8pm, everyone will proceed to their dinners,  we will all enjoy delicious food and get to know each other better. After dinner around 10pm, everyone will reconvene for dessert and coffee at a new (surprise) location.
Being a host entails opening up your home to anywhere from 4-10 people (or more if your house can accommodate) for dinner.  You decide the theme and the menu for your party to enjoy.  Past dinners have ranged from home-cooked Italian dinners to surf & turf to Indian cuisine.  It can be as creative and involved as you wish.  It does not need to be extravagant--the point is to enjoy a good meal and to have fun!  If you are interested or have questions, please email Liz Kleinerman ( or Tracy Kane ( with any questions.
Save the date, get your childcare lined up, and get ready for some fun!

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. 

Friday, December 7, 2018

Upcoming FORJ Meeting

Hello parents and caregivers!  Read some children's books - with your fellow parents and caregivers. 

Come to Horace Mann at 7pm Tuesday, December 11 for an adult discussion group to discuss the different immigrant and refugee experiences of kids and families - based on a range of current children's books. 

Our goal is to get better at talking about these themes with our children.

Our school discussion group builds on the mission of FORJ (Families Organizing forRacial Justice) and is for adults only.

Led by parents Lucia Panichella and Marisa Howe

Gift Ideas, Mr. Tynes Annual Play, and More!

Non-technology gift alternatives for the holiday season - Check out this list of recommendations from SCREENAGERS:

From Mr. Tynes -


The Cambridge Program for Individuals with Special Needs proudly presents:

Be Thankful for What You Got
An original play by David A. Tynes

Special Military Preview Saturday, December 8,  2018 at
This is a free show for all military veterans, active duty and their families.
All military, law enforcement and first responders are welcome.

Show Dates
Saturday, December 15th at 7:30pm
Sunday, December 16th at 4:30 pm

Admission: $10.00 at the door for both shows

Location: 680 Huron Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02138

Play Synopsis

Come and see these incredible actors perform in this four-act play.  Be Thankful for What You Got is designed to teach us all about life’s ups and downs and how love, duty, honor, perseverance, kindness and compassion can help us to understand that there is always a reason to be thankful.  The play is set to sounds of soul, country, rhythm and blues and folk music.

Join us as a young man struggles with addiction and watch, as a community that he sets out to hurt, comes together to rally and lift him up.

Journey with us back to the 60’s, as two young men travel two different paths. One risks his life and enlists in the Marines, heading off to Vietnam while the other uses his wealth and privilege to defer the draft; in the end becoming the most powerful man in the world.

Sit with us as we take you into the life of a young immigrant mother struggling to make ends meet, while others around her turn their biases and ridicule into empathy and understanding.

Finally, celebrate with us as we ring in the holiday season with a proud dad who was laid off after 20 years because the candy factory he worked at closed. Watch how he and his family celebrate the true meaning of the holidays.

Please click the link below to find out more about The Cambridge Program for Individuals with Special Needs.

The Cambridge Program is proud to be under the umbrella of The Department of Human Services.

Pre-School Opportunities

12/15/18    FREE     9:30 am
Storytime – Colonial Winter
Durant-Kenrick House
286 Waverley Ave, Newton
preschoolers and an adult
Story – The Mitten
Create cotton ball mittens

12/26/18   FREE      10:00 am
Storytime – Winter Hibernation
Jackson Homestead
527 Washington Street, Newton
preschoolers and adult
story – Over and Under the Snow
make wintry paperbag trees

Thursdays    FREE     11:00-11:45
Drop in Music Class - rhythm, songs, stories
preschoolers and adult
All Newton Music School
321 Chestnut St, West Newton

Music Program

children 0-3 and their caretakers
Wednesday Dec 12, Jan 9, 16, 23, 30
9:30am to 10:45am, at CPCF
Playspace, 150 Jackson Rd, Newton

Kids in the Know Playgroup
children ages 3-5 and their Adult, 
Tuesdays, Dec 11 & 18
3:00-4:30pm at CPCF Playspace,
150 Jackson Rd, Newton

From the Health Office

Warning Signs of Diabetes
A Collaboration between the Jordan Bennett Weiss Fund and the City of Newton Health Department

JBW Fund – PO Box 590223 Newton Centre MA 02459

Familiarize yourself with the warning signs / symptoms of diabetes. Sometimes the symptoms are very obvious, and other times they are not.  Early detection and knowledge of the warning signs is your greatest weapon against the disease and its complications!*

TYPE 1 DIABETES MELLITUS: These symptoms often occur suddenly and must receive immediate medical attention.
٭ Excessive thirst
٭ Frequent urination, sometimes exhibited by bedwetting
      (in large quantities)
٭ Sudden vision changes
٭ High amounts of sugar in the blood and/or urine   (A sweet, fruity odor may be   
      present in urine, on one’s breath/body.)
٭ Extreme hunger (increased appetite)
٭ Rapid or unexplained weight loss
٭ Fatigue (weak and tired)
٭ Irritability and mood changes
٭ Drowsiness, lethargy
٭ Nausea and/or vomiting
٭ Abdominal pain
٭ Rapid, hard breathing (heavy, labored)
٭ Confusion, Stupor, Unconsciousness

TYPE 2 DIABETES MELLITUS: These symptoms occur gradually, however, they must receive immediate medical attention.
٭ Blurred vision
٭ Tingling or numbness in the legs, feet or fingers
٭ Frequent infections of the skin
٭ Recurring skin, gum or urinary tract infections
٭ Darker patches of skin usually in neck folds
٭ Itching of skin and/or genitals
٭ Drowsiness
٭ Slow healing of cuts and bruises

*Please note:  Many of these symptoms can be related to illnesses that are not associated with diabetes, including the flu. Only a healthcare professional can provide appropriate diagnostic tests and treatments.

For more information, log onto , , or