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Education foundation announces $8,800 for teachers

The Arlington Education Foundation (AEF) funded in October its first round of Continuing Scholar Awards for the 2018-2019 school year. The award is designed to give teachers opportunities to explore their own interests and expand their professional and personal development.

AEF logo

The following teachers and school staff are AEF’s most recent Continuing Scholar Award recipients:

  • Dallin School teachers, Michelle Crowley, Lianne Dusek and Ruby Liu will attend the Social Emotional Artistic Learning (SEAL) winter retreat, in Essex, Mass.
  • Pierce Elementary School first grade teacher, Elena Haro, will participate in a Responsive Classroom course entitled ”Responding to Misbehavior.”

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Led by youth, all ages rally for climate-change awareness



Video by Gibbs sixth grader Gael, who said: "I shouldn't have to stand up here defending my future, but I am."
Thompson Green Team a key organizer

Forty students, parents and grandparents from Thompson, Hardy, Stratton, Gibbs, Ottoson, Arlington High School, Minuteman High and First Parish Unitarian Universalist participated in the first of a series of climate rallies on Friday, Oct. 25.

Thompson Green Team who was the key organizer for this first rally marched in costume from Thompson school to the evening rush-hour rally.

First Parish, at Mass. Ave. and Pleasant, is the host for the monthly youth-led, adult-supported rallies on the front law. Others are scheduled for 5 to 6 p.m. Friday, Nov. 8 and Dec. 13.

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Town may get $2M more under 'historic' Student Opportunity Act

Dave RogersRogers

Sean GarballeyGarballey

Arlington's House delegation has joined colleagues in unanimously passing the Student Opportunity Act, legislation they called “historic.”

Estimates, accounting for inflation, show that up to $2.2 billion will be invested in school districts. Early analysis projects that Arlington may receive more than $2 million more in next year’s budget for Chapter 70 funding than if future rates were decided via the status quo.

Voting Oct. 23 were Reps. Sean Garballey (D-Arlington) and David Rogers (D-Cambridge). State Sen. Cindy F. Friedman (D-Arlington) recorded her vote when the Senate bill passed unanimously on Oct. 3.

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Anti-Semitic graffiti at Ottoson not swastikas, Bodie says

UPDATED, Oct. 9: Anti-Semitic graffiti found in a bathroom last Friday at the Ottoson Middle School has led to undisclosed steps against students involved.

apd logo

An Oct. 7 statement from schools' Superintendent Kathleen Bodie and Ottoson Middle School Principal Brian Meringer described what officials found as the anti-Semitic graffiti and a meme.

Asked by YourArlington to detail the graffiti further, Bodie wrote Oct. 9: "What I can say is that it was not swastikas. But, in the interest of the students involved, I cannot give you the exact graffiti language."

Capt. Richard Flynn, Arlington police representative, declined to comment and referred questions to Bodie.

"The district will not be releasing information about the students that have been found responsible and the consequences they will be facing," it said.

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Vote deadline passes for new Arlington High School 'A'

Principal explains reasons for change, discounts Native American claim

Principal Matt Janger

 UPDATED, Aug. 23: The public is voting for a newly designed "A" logo for Arlington High School, and some are unhappy with the change and have asked for more background..

More than 900 responded to a survey of options earlier this summer, Principal Matt Janger announced, and the competition is down to three finalists. The current logo is at left; see the three options here >>

Please only vote once. The last day to vote is Sunday, Sept. 8.

Following 133 comments on the Arlington List Facebook group on Aug. 22, the site's administrator turned off comments. They continued on the MA Residents' group

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Public schools open: Find out about new staff

Arlington High School, rebuild design, February 2019

As the town's public school reopen Tuesday, Sept. 3, consider the first-day-of-school information listed on the schools' website. Some important dates:

Sept. 4, 5: Kindergarten: Half the class attends full day.

Sept. 6: All kindergarten students attend full day.

Sept. 9: Menotomy: First day of school for preschool students.

Next, take a look at the names of new teachers and administrators provided by Robert Spiegel, director of human resources:

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Where AHS graduates are headed this fall

Arlington High School, rebuild design, February 2019Arlington High School rebuild design from February, as Class of 2019 headed for graduation.

UPDATED, Aug. 29: As the new school year approaches, let's take a look at the Class of 2019: A recent Arlington High School guidance report, highlighted by Select Board member Stephen W. DeCourcey at the end of the board's August meeting, offered these notes.

Applications to two- and four-year colleges have increased, with students applying to a wide variety of colleges and holding their own against high demographics and exceptionally stringent competition for admission slots.

"We are in awe of the three students whose highest-level achievement earned acceptance to three of the eight Ivy League schools," the guidance report says, "and the 10 students who challenged themselves to a new learning experience in countries throughout the world.

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AHS student club studies peer vaping with $4,000 grant

Arlington Youth Health and Safety Coalition Director Karen Koretsky has announced that the Arlington High School's 84 Club received a grant to study vaping in their community and school. 

town seal

The 84 Club works to educate their peers about the tactics used by big tobacco companies to target youth. The $4,000 grant was awarded by Health Resource in Action, which manages the 84 movement for the Boston Public Health Department. 

The grant allowed the club's students to map tobacco retailers in Arlington and survey their peers to understand vaping use and perceptions within Arlington's schools. As part of their research, students used the addresses of Arlington vape retailers to create a map of the locations on the BatchGeo.com. Students were able to see which locations were closest to schools, public parks and playgrounds. They also visited these retailers to create a "photovoice" project that combines photographs and narratives to document their perceptions. 

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Consigli chosen to manage construction of new AHS

Projects include those in Winchester, Methuen; all bidders listed

UPDATED: The Town of Arlington has selected Consigli Construction Co. Inc. as the construction manager for the new Arlington High School, the largest construction project in town history.

Chosen unanimously by the Arlington High School Building Committee, Consigli was selected for its expertise in construction of K-12 educational buildings as well as the team’s innovative phasing approach and proactive plan to provide the town with maximum value for the established budget, a July 11 town news release says.

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Public schools' paraprofessionals ratify first contract

The newly unionized education paraprofessionals have ratified their first contract negotiated between the Arlington Education Association and Arlington School Committee. The committee approved the contract June 13.

AEA logo

“This is an important step toward establishing the professional respect and better working conditions that teaching assistants and other education support staff deserve,”union organizer and bargaining chair Susan Soares, a teaching assistant at Stratton Elementary School, said in a June 20 news release.

Schools' Superintendent Kathleen Bodie said that the paraprofessionals are crucial to maintaining the quality of the education available in the district.

“This agreement will help Arlington attract and retain the best possible candidates for the positions in our schools,” she said.

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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.

Read more ...

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