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Foundation names star teachers, raises $29,808 for public schools

Rebecca Hawk 90 2019
Rebecca Hawk, Gibbs

Kent Werst 90 2019
Kent Werst, AHS

Two in Arlington have been named Star Teachers of the Year by the Arlington Education Foundation

They are Rebecca Hawk, English language arts, at the Gibbs School, and Kent Werst, mathematics, at Arlington High School.

For 19 years, the foundation has recognized the high quality of Arlington’s public school teachers with its star-teacher appreciation program. It gives an opportunity to recognize and honor teachers by making a donation to the foundation in a teacher’s names.

This school year, 1,286 star certificates were awarded, recognizing teachers and staff in every school across the district and raising a record $29,808 for the foundation.

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Measuring Thompson's green efforts: Zero gets an A, state awards

Zero-waste assembly: Thompson Green Team state demands
for state leaders, voters.

When do Thompson School students rate a grade A? When they shoot for zero -- that is, participate in a Zero Waste Week, which included a zero-waste assembly.

Here's what happened: After Principal Karen Donato's introduction, Rep. Sean Garballey presented the awards to Thompson community. In addition to environmental awards in May, Thompson's Green Team was among 17 that won the grand prize "Environmental Eagles" and were awarded “Garbage is My Bag” assembly next September.

A fifth grader named Gael presented the "Thompson Green Team Demands for MA leaders and voters" to protect our planet and climate. The Green Team club presented a zero-waste skit, and everyone simulated a rain storm.

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AHS class of '19 says farewell to the 'old school'

oldschool speech 325 6119Joe Dalton addresses the 2019 Arlington High School graduation, as the 'old school' looms.

The expected second-to-last class to graduate from the 1914 Arlington High School -- 325 strong -- said farewell under milky skies on Saturday, June 1, at Peirce Field.

Student speeches noted the expectation, depending on a June 11 vote, with whimsy and nostalgia at the 153rd commencement.

Principal Matt Janger cited history -- a photo in his office showing the graduation in 1866, when the town was still part of West Cambridge -- and reality: He called the school "crumbling everything." He referred to commencement as part of the process of leaving home. Read the full text >>

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Students shine at AHS: Awards, scholarships for 2019

UPDATED, June 2: Take time out from often-roiled discussion about the upcoming vote to rebuild Arlington High School, if only for this weekend, to offer praise where it is due -- to AHS seniors receiving scholarships and awards.
ahs awards 19

These honors, bestowed Thursday, May 30, reflect on the best that the school has to offer. In the words of author C.S. Lewis: “There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind.”

See the listing here >>  

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Let's just start over with AHS rebuild, citizen group says

Current AHS; inset, Carl Wagner
The columned entrance to Arlington High School as it looks today; inset, Carl Wagner.

The effort to have the lengthy process to rebuild Arlington High School start over continues, even as the state has approved substantial funds for the project and a June ballot question looms.

Resident Carl Wagner, who has been raising questions about the massive project since last July and who started a citizen group to support that effort, calls for a "better project in several years time."

If approved, the current project forecasts a new high school opening by 2024.

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$887K from state aims to improve students' walk to Stratton

Arlington has received a state award of $887,622 to pay for safe roadway crossings near the Stratton School.

stratton pride

The proposed project aims to provide a fully accessible walking route with safe roadway crossings for children and others walking to Stratton along Hemlock Street between Brattle Street and Dickson Avenue and Dickson between Hemlock and Pheasant Avenue.

The award from the state Department of Transportation will fund the estimated project cost via the Safe Routes to School program. 

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Final AHS rebuild forum before June vote draws 55

AHS students created this video for the "inside story."

UPDATED, May 24: With a vote on the largest construction project in town history just weeks away, an estimated 55 people turned out at Town Hall on Tuesday, May 21, to hear updates about rebuilding Arlington High School.

Following a 55-minute presentation from four speakers, 12 in the audience asked questions. Only two speakers could be described as bordering on critical. Those identified as clearly opposing the $290.8 million, four-year project, with $86 million coming from the state, did not show up. If they did, they offered no comments.

Among those favor the project, Ted Peluso asked about the 12-percent contingency. The cushion, to be used to pay for unexpected issues, is estimated at $30 million. He asked, referring to the state agency controlling the project: "Does the MSBA reduce the town's share," if the amount is not used?

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On-the-move bear removed after Stratton opening delayed

UPDATED: The bear that roamed through Arlington early Friday, May 16, and may have crossed Mass. Ave. in its travels, has been removed from town after it was tranquilized in the Morningside area and climbed down a tree from a height of 35 feet.

At a 1 p.m. news conference at the town police headquarters, Christine Bongiorno, head of town health and human services, told media representatives that a bear siting in town is a "rare event." She said bears have recently been seen recently in Bedford and Lexington.

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Thompson, town schools go green, and state awards efforts

Thompson and Ottoson students are amon those in front of the State HouseThompson and Ottoson students are among those in front of the State House.

Environmental work by students in the Arlington public schools, continuing in recent years, has drawn honors from the state.

The 25th annual Secretary’s Awards for Excellence in Energy and Environmental Education have gone to Rachel Oliveri, the schools' sustainability coordinator, for Arlington Green Teams in grades K-12, and students at the Thompson Elementary School.

At a State House ceremony May 6, Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Kathleen Theoharides honored 32 energy and environmental education programs at Massachusetts schools and nonprofits. 

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Education foundation awards $15K in grants to public schools

aef logo 2018

The Arlington Education Foundation (AEF) has completed its spring grants cycle and has awarded a total of $15,450 in two grant categories, Innovations in Education and the Continuing Scholar Award.

“I’m extremely pleased that we were able to award grants at each public-school level this spring -- elementary, middle and the high school. The variety of subjects and disciplines covered illustrates the creativity and dedication of our educators. We are very proud to support these programs and are eager to see the positive impact they will have on our schools,” Ann Pirone, AEF president, said in a news release.

Innovations in Education grants support innovative teaching and learning in classrooms throughout the district. This spring seven such grants were awarded:

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Arlington awarded substantial grant for AHS rebuild

Feb. 1, 2019, front-entry design HMFHFeb. 1, 2019, front-entry design by HMFH.

UPDATED, April 30: Rebuilding plans for Arlington High School moved forward Wednesday, April 10, as the state School Building Authority (MSBA) voted to approve a grant of as much as $83,472,654 for a project to replace the current facility on the existing site.

The school-building committee report to Town Meeting (p. 13) later reported the amount at $86 million, because the amount announced April 10 did not include $2.4 million in contingencies.

One of the next steps is for the district and the MSBA to enter into a project funding agreement, which will detail the project’s scope and budget, along with the conditions under which the district will receive its MSBA grant.

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TRACK: AHS runners shine at New Balance Indoor Nationals in NYC

Principal Matt JangerJanger

UPDATED, March 17: Arlington High School Principal Matt Janger reported March 17 that AHS boys' track members "put on a terrific showing" in the recent New Balance Indoor Nationals in New York City.

Seeded 10th overall in the distance medley relay, Friday evening, March 8, saw Jeff Candell ‘19 (1200m: 3:12), Roger Buckley ‘19 (400m: 51.3), Miles Harrison ‘20 (800m: 2:03) and Ryan Oosting '19 (1600m: 4:06) set a new school record and earned All-America status, placing sixth overall in 10:14.15.

This race featured a new national record by the winner, London Valley, Va. This performance also qualified the team for the New Balance National Outdoor Championships in Greensboro, N.C.

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75 from AHS add voices near State House to climate awareness

ahs strike 400 031719Headed to a strike are, from left, Annie Schoonmaker, Sarah von Schack, Alma Olsen, Theo Rosen and Cat Harris. / Lena Goodnow photo

As many as 500 students from greater Boston -- including an estimated 75 from Arlington High School -- rallied in front of the State House on Friday, March 15, demanding tough action to combat climate change.

The local protest, called the Youth Climate Strike, was part of a coordinated effort that sparked rallies throughout Massachusetts and in more than 100 countries, from the South Pacific to the Arctic Circle.


Members of the Young Progressives and Sustainability clubs at Arlington High School missed school but said taking action was worth it.

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Sustainability of AHS rebuild discussed

AHS projectBrucie Moulton of Sustainable Arlington reports that a meeting has been scheduled to discuss sustainable-design features of the rebuilt Arlington High School on Wednesday, March 13, from 7 to 8:30 p.m., in the School Committee Room, sixth floor, AHS. 

"We know there's a lot of concern about the proposed design for the new Arlington High School," she wrote to the Arlington email list. "Sustainable design features improve the long-term functioning of the building, the health and well-being of those who will use it, and the cost of operating it."

Sustainable Arlington is the host for AHS Building Committee members to discuss the project informally and answer your questions. Ryan Katofsky chairs the building committee's Sustainability Subcommittee, and is a longtime Sustainable Arlington member.

Read more ...

February Citizen of the Month at AHS: Sofia Gollobin

Principal Matt JangerJanger

The Student Council is proud to present the Arlington High School Citizen of the Month for January -- Sofia Gollobin.

Matthew Janger, AHS principal, wrote March 4:

The Student Council is proud to announce Sofia Gollobin as Arlington High School’s February Citizen of the Month. Sofia was nominated by her peers for countless reasons. She is known by her classmates to be “a kind to everyone.”

We want to thank her for creating a wonderful sense of community and bringing joy to everyone around her, for taking spending countless hours of dedication giving back to her school community, for friendliness to all her peers, and just being a person who is “always helping people she doesn’t know”! Classmates say she “always has a smile on her face.”

Read more ...

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Don Seltzer For town housing, move beyond critique to solutions
24 January 2022
Grant, up until your final snide comment I am in general agreement with you. Impact of new housing upon public school enrollment is highly dependent on the type of housing. And that is why I fault t...
Grant Cook For town housing, move beyond critique to solutions
24 January 2022
I will point out Don that your own math around school enrollment that really don't justify the hyperbole of claiming that a new elementary is around the corner. Your calculation around housing units ...
Steve Berczuk For town housing, move beyond critique to solutions
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Also: I was reacting to the comment that I made an incorrect "accusation" which I take seriously. Looking at the two articles again, my "facts straight" comment was about this sentence "This draft rep...

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