Thursday, February 28, 2019

2018-2019 DESE Report Card for Horace Mann

February 28th, 2019
Dear Horace Mann Families:
Every year, each public school and school district in Massachusetts receives a report card. Just as your child’s report card shows how s/he is doing in different subjects, the school’s report card is designed to show families how our school performs in different areas. A link to our school’s report card is available at
The report card includes multiple measures of a school’s performance – more than just MCAS scores. It represents a new way of looking at school performance, by providing information on student achievement, teacher qualifications, student learning opportunities, and more. 
Report cards are designed to be useful tools for everyone connected to our school. Families can use the information to have meaningful conversations with us about what the school is doing well and where there is room for improvement. Community and education leaders can use the information to better understand how to support students and our school.
You will notice on our report card that we had strong growth in our MCAS scores from the previous year.  Notably, we were one of 52 schools in the state recognized for our growth scores.  Despite this, we are continuously striving to improve outcomes for all students, both on standardized test scores, and in our daily work with children.   We are continuing to employ a variety of systems and practices that we believe will help all of our students achieve at a high level.  These include:
  • A commitment to differentiated instruction in all academic areas.
  • A tiered system of academic interventions in our early literacy programming, including Title 1 services.
  • Establishment of a positive school-wide culture that embraces diversity, inclusion, kindness, compassion, and a growth mindset.
  • A commitment to becoming a more culturally responsive school that ensures equitable access to pedagogy, curriculum, and school-wide practices that are reflective of the diverse cultures that we welcome into our community.

Finally, if your child attends a school that receives federal Title I funds, you also have the right to request the following information about the qualifications of your child’s classroom teachers:
·      Whether your child’s teacher is licensed in the grade levels and subject areas they teach,
·      Whether your child’s teacher is teaching under an emergency license or waiver,
·      The college degree and major of your child’s teacher, and
·      Whether your child is provided services by paraprofessionals and, if so, their qualifications.

If you have questions about our school’s report card, would like to become involved in school improvement activities, or would like to request information about the qualifications of your child’s classroom teacher, please contact  To see our district’s report card or to search for other schools’ report cards, visit

Mark Nardelli

Sunday, February 24, 2019

NewsNotes 2/24/19

February 24, 2019

In this issue:

From Principal Nardelli

Dear HM Families, 

I hope you all had a good week off.  The Nardelli’s had a busy but resftul week.  Prior to the break, my wife Christine took Alora to a gymnastics competition in Orlando, Florida, where she competed against gymnasts from around the country.  The rest of us (me, Eliana (16), Julia (14), and Vincent (3)), stayed home.  We tried to keep busy locally…ice skating, attending the Lunar New Year in Chinatown,  LegoLand, board games, indoor play-spaces, and lots of playtime in the snow.  I attached a few photos... I know that for me I am trying to stave off the stress that I feel coming around a number of things...the big school move, a tough flu season, a busy March schedule at home and at work, etc. I hope everyone at your home is healthy and perhaps not quite so busy...


Nevada St. Update

Getting to and From the Nevada St. Location - I’ve met with city reps several times during the month of February to discuss upcoming plans for getting to and from the Nevada St. Building.  At this point, we have a draft plan for two items:

  • Busing, crosswalks, and crossing guards - There will be a combination of busing and walking options for next year.  The draft will be shared at an HM community meeting on the evening of Thursday, April 2nd at 6:30 pm.  This is a tentative date, but will be confirmed soon.

  • Blue zone, staff parking, traffic patterns - This will be shared later this spring, along with new procedures for arrival and dismissal.

Nevada St. Open House - We are offering families a chance to see our new home on Saturday, March 30th from 9:00am-12:00 pm.  We will have a reception area set up in the cafeteria, and self guided tours of the building.  All are welcome.

Parent/Teacher Conferences - The second round of conferences will be coming up in a couple of weeks. The window will run from mid-March through early April.  Please be on the lookout soon for an opportunity to schedule a conversation with your child’s teacher.

Horace Mann Annual Report Card - Every year, each public school and school district in Massachusetts receives a report card. Just as your child’s report card shows how they are doing in different subjects, the school’s report card is designed to show families how our school is doing in different areas. A link to our school’s report card is available at

FORJ Discussion Group - Parents and caregivers are invited to come to Horace Mann on Tuesday, March 5th at 7pm to learn more about Haiti, past and present; our local Haitian community; and ways to support children and families with Haitian heritage.  

Through our focus on this country and culture, we expect to cultivate deeper understanding and appreciation of many other countries and cultures that are currently marginalized.  As always, our goal is that by increasing our own knowledge, we can be better navigate conversations with our children about racial justice.

Though it is not required, if you have time, please listen to the TED Talk The Danger of the Single Story in advance - https//
Our school discussion group builds on the mission of FORJ (Families Organizing for Racial Justice) and is for adults only. Childcare is not available.

This discussion will be led by parents Renande Loayza and Kate Carpenter Bernier.
Please reach out to parent organizer Cedar Pruitt at with any questions. Hope to see you there!

Spring 2019 ELA and Math MCAS Dates – The district has developed a tentative MCAS schedule for each school to ensure that the technology department can provide technical support during testing days. MCAS for all three grades will be computer based this year. Please find below the testing dates assigned to specific grades for each subject: 
  • 3rd Grade English Language Arts 4/24 & 4/26
  • 3rd Grade Math 5/10 & 5/13
  • 4th Grade English Language Arts 4/11& 4/12
  • 4th Grade Math 5/3 & 5/9
  • 5th Grade English Language Arts 4/22 & 4/25
  • 5th Grade Math 5/6 & 5/7
  • 5th Grade Science 5/15 and 5/16


FORJ Meeting

Tuesday, March 5, 7 p.m.

Spring Auction

Saturday, March 23

225 Nevada St. Open House

Saturday, March 30th

9:00 am - 12:00 pm

Nevada St. Transportation and Traffic Meeting with HM Community

Thursday, April 4th

6:30 pm

Visit the entire Horace Mann Calendar at

From the PTO

Thanks so much to 4th & 5th Grade Social Action Committee for participating in the Horace Mann volunteer event at Cradles to Crayons Giving Factory on February 6th.
In addition to bringing the coats collected during the December coat drive, we sorted clothes that will help 189 children and put together 47 outfit sets!

Looking forward to future volunteer events!

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. 

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

School Committee/Superintendent visit with the Horace Mann Community and PTO


A reminder that on Wednesday, February 6th at 6:30pm, Horace Mann will host a meeting for all families to hear about the latest citywide news and to talk about issues relevant to Horace Mann. This will include conversation about our move to 225 Nevada St.

All are welcome and we encourage parents and caregivers to attend. This is an adult only event.

Early Release Wednesday

Dear Horace Mann Families,

A reminder that Wednesday, February 6th is and EARLY RELEASE for ALL STUDENTS.  Children will be dismissed at 12:30.  

Also, a Happy New Year to all of you celebrating the lunar new year!
Thank you,

Mark Nardelli

NewsNotes 1/20/2019

Reflections on MLK Jr. Day -  Each year at this time, schools and cities across the country take time to reflect on the life and contributions of Martin Luther King Jr.  While we do spend time as a school talking about Martin Luther King Jr. and his efforts to promote equality for all, we truly believe that the values he stood for are things we need to work on every day.   As such, we devote time throughout the year at each grade level (and whole school meetings) to talk to our students about equality, fairness, diversity, courage, civic duty, empathy, and treating people with kindness.  
On occasion, I also try to bridge the work we do at school with the opportunity to have similar conversations at home.  I came across an article that might help families at home talk about Dr. King's  life and his contributions to society.  The following link has information, video clips, and tips for families with children of all ages.  I hope you find it useful - 

Peek Week - Last week, Mr. Tynes invited families and friends to all 36 sessions of his sessions demonstrating the skills and fitness levels of the students who have been participating in our annual 6 week gymnastics unit.  Students showed balance, upper body strength, flexibility, core strength, a willingness to take risks, and more.  Thank you to Mr. Tynes for teaching students about healthy living and encouraging good exercise habits. Support from the families in attending the sessions was tremendous throughout the week.  Thank you for your support!

Geography Bee Finals - The following 10 students were finalists in this year's HM geography final:  Rowan Hood, Alaun Howell, Elia Chiacchierarelli, Kyle Dewing, Willa Gaebler, Aaron Knaian, Richard Lu, Harry Wilson, and Ivan Luptak.  The finalists were  selected after participating in a series of classroom geography contests that involved both oral and written responses to knowledge about geography around the globe.  This year's Horace Mann champion is Rowan Hood.  Congratulations to Rowan as he moves on to try to qualify for the nationwide competition later this winter and spring. 

School Committee/Superintendent visit with the Horace Mann Community and PTO - 
On Wednesday February 6th at 6:30pm, Horace Mann will host a meeting for all families to hear about the latest citywide news and to talk about issues relevant to Horace Mann.  All are welcome and we encourage parents and caregivers to attend.  This is an adult only event.

Nevada St. Update - I met with the facility planners last week for an hour and we talked about the following topics:
  • Construction/Renovation - All of the design proposals were accepted as feasible.  This includes all of the room modifications, addition of a storage room on the 2nd floor, plumbing, etc. Architects are still working on the final designs. Once designs are complete, the hope is to start a portion of the work during the current school year.
  • Interior Design - We've begun work with a designer around the new staff room space, school wide storage, lockers, hallway storage, etc.  
  • Traffic - Discussions have begun on traffic flows, drop-off and pickup procedures, placement of crossing guards, creation of a bus lane, and more.  Meetings for this will continue through the spring.
  • Technology - An additional $100k is being requested for new technology purchases for the Nevada St. building.

Kindergarten Registration Information -  We are beginning to work on Kindergarten screening for the 2019-2020 school year.  If you have a child who will be 5 years old on or before August 31, 2019, please contact Mrs. Mariano in the school office at 617-559-9510 so that she can gather your child’s information for our Kindergarten list. 

Citywide PTO Funding Conversation -  The Equity Working Group has been tasked with considering the feasibility of pooling PTO funds to achieve a more equitable distribution of resources among the schools. As part of exploring this, in the next several weeks the working group will be sending out surveys to the community and holding focus groups of elementary school parents/guardians to solicit feedback.  The working group is looking to get a small sample of folks from across all of the elementary schools to participate in the focus groups.  
Details of the focus group meeting are as follows:  

Thursday, February 7, 9:00-10:00am, Ed Center, Rooms TBD - Burr, Bowen, Franklin, Horace Mann, Lincoln-Eliot, Memorial Spaulding, Underwood   
If you are interested in participating, please email me at

Co-Parenting Tech Time - The following article talks offers advice for helping adults work together to support technology rules at home:

Monday, February 4, 2019

NewsNotes 1/6/2019

Happy New Year and welcome to 2019!

The Nardelli family had an enjoyable break, spending some of our time in Bourne with cousins to celebrate Christmas (see image below), and a couple of days in Connecticut with my wife Christine's family.  We also spent some time volunteering at our local church, went to a movie, the Museum of Science, and did a scavenger hunt in Boston.  We now turn our attention to the winter activity season:  Eliana (almost 16) is participating on the Medfield High Gymnastics team and has a small role in the theater production;  Julia (turning 14) is playing indoor soccer and taking a volleyball clinic; Alora (8) is fully into gymnastics and playing basketball once a week, and Vincent (3) is mostly getting lugged around to all of these events. 
Nevada St. Building Update - A tentative renovation design plan and work timeline is ready for review.  We are trying to schedule a time to meet this week with the project managers. I'll provide a more detailed update when I see the design plans and have a better sense of the work that will be done.

Winter School Health Newsletter - The school nurses are seeing the usual uptick in winter illness – colds, stomach bugs and fevers. It remains important for families to keep sick kids at home, in accordance with school policy. Students cannot return to school until they are fever-free for at least 24 hours, without medication like Tylenol, Advil or Motrin. These guidelines are also good common sense for adults in the workplace. The checklist below can help families determine when to stay home and when to return to school or work.
Along with the symptoms mentioned on the checklist, here are additional symptoms to stay home with:
  • Communicable disease diagnosis
  • A cold in the active stages – coughing, sneezing, nasal drainage
  • A sore throat and/or swollen neck glands
  • Vomiting or diarrhea in the past 24 hours
  • Acute pain that requires relief by narcotic medication
  • An undiagnosed rash or skin eruption
  • Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap.
  • Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Be sure to lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
  • Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice.
  • Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
  • Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them
The Newton school nurses monitor illness in the schools and are available for any questions or concerns. It’s important to notify the school nurse of any diagnosed condition such as influenza or strep throat. It may seem elementary, but in conjunction with a flu vaccine, thorough handwashing is the best way to prevent all kinds of illness including the flu.
How to wash your hands:
If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers can quickly reduce the number of germs on hands in some situations, but sanitizers do not eliminate all types of germs and might not remove harmful chemicals.
Flu vaccination for all people age 6 months and older continues to be recommended. It’s not too late get a flu shot. Call 617-796-1420 to make an appointment for vaccination with the public health nurse at City Hall.
Some information adapted from and

Community Partnerships for Children & Families
CPCF has a new playgroup leader, Nicki Ramshaw. She is wonderfully engaging and brings great energy to our groups.  Here are the offerings:

Inclusive playgroup for children ages infant-3 years and their adult.
Wednesdays, Jan 2, 9, 16, 23, 30
(through mid-June), 9:30am to 10:45am, at CPCF Playspace

STEM interactive playgroup for children ages 3-5 and their adult.
Tuesdays, Jan 8, 15, 22, 29, (through May), 3:15 to 4:45, at CPCF Playspace

Grandparents Support Group
Tuesday, Jan 8, 6:00 to 7:30pm, Newton Public Library, Room A

CPCF Council Meeting
Thursday, Jan 24, 3:15,  Open to all interested. CPCF building