Keep scrolling down for Stay Informed, Volunteer Opportunities, and Shopping to Make Money for Devo.
DevoDrama Fall 2014: Auditions and Classes
DevoDrama welcomes you back with a great fall program for 5th-8th graders. It will include a 6th -7th Grade Play and three 10-week classes, including Lights Camera Action!, Try Out Your Voice, and Stagecraft. Classes are held Tuesdays and Thursdays 2:40-4:10 pm and start September 30 and October 2.
Our play is Snow White and the Seven Robbers, and auditions are Tuesday and Thursday, September 30 and October 2 from 5:00-7:00 pm in the auditorium. Come to our Parent Meeting on Thursday, October 2 at 6:30 pm in auditorium to hear more about the rehearsal and performance schedule.
Registration begins TODAY! Your child is coming home with a DevoDrama flier and registration form. Fill out the form, write a check to “Devotion School Alliance”, and drop off at the Main Office. Fliers and registration forms are also available in Main Office and on PTO bulletin board in the front lobby or you can download here: flier and form. Contact Isabel Giraud with questions about the program or scholarships at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 617.935.4696.
Devotion’s Annual Appeal Begins October 1
The school year is off to a great start, and the most meaningful back-to-school supply for your student is a donation to Devotion’s Annual Appeal. This is one investment that will strengthen their education and enrich their life at school every day. Dozens of school essentials rely on funds raised by the Appeal, including: field trips, the Devo Garden, books, the Math League, the Drama Program, author visits, classroom supplies, The Devo Buzz, the Science Fair, musical instruments, playground equipment, the online directory, the website, aid for students at risk and much more.
Look out for more information to come home with your children this week and make your tax-deductible gift to the Devotion Annual Appeal.
Ready to donate now? Write a check to the Devotion School Alliance and send it to the school. To donate online, click on the leaves on the upper right corner. With a goal of $55,000, this is our largest fundraiser of the year.
Thank you for your dedication to Devotion.
Cross Country at Devo
The remaining 5th-8th grade Cross Country practices are on October 2, and October 9 from 2:30-3:15 with Mr. Sennott and Ms. Nixon. The one mile Cross Country Race is at Larz Anderson Park on Thursday, October 16 (rain date October 17) from 9:00 am-12:00 pm.
September Superintendent Meeting with Parent Leaders
At the monthly meeting with parent leaders, Bill Lupini and Peter Rowe (Superintendent and Deputy Superintendent, respectively) shared a report about how the school system will still be underfunded even after the Override Study Committee’s recommended property tax increase. They will be presenting this information to the school committee on October 2 and to the Selectmen on October 7. Both of these meetings are open to the public and community members are encouraged to attend. Meeting notes are posted in the right hand column of the DSA page (here).
Brookline School Committee Meeting
The next meeting of the School Committee will be on Thursday, October 2 at 6:00 pm in the James F. Walsh School Committee Room, 5th Floor Town Hall, 333 Washington Street. All School Committee meetings are open to the public, unless otherwise noted. A complete docket for the meeting can be found here.
Celebrity Series Tickets for Only $10!
Order Deadline is Friday October 3, 1:40 pm
Devo is once again participating in the Celebrity Series’ Take Your Seat program which this year includes annual favorites Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and What Makes it Great? with Rob Kapilow, as well as Itzhak Perlman, Regina Carter, Juilliard String Quartet, Christian McBride Trio, Renee Fleming, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra and many more.
Please note that this year, you can order tickets now for any performance from October through May. There will be a second opportunity to order tickets in January, but some popular events sell out, so if you can plan ahead for the spring, you may want to order now. For more information, a link to the full schedule of events, and ordering instructions, click here . If you have questions, contact Carrie Staff at email@example.com.
Food On Wheels Collection Begins
Every Fall, the Brookline schools join forces to restock the Brookline Food Pantry. Collection bins will be set up at several school entrances from Friday, October 3 to Sunday, October 19. The Food Pantry had their biggest two months ever, with over 1100 households visiting, in July and August. They need soups, pasta and marinades, toiletries, oatmeal, cereals, canned fruits and vegetables.
On Sunday October 19 at 1 pm, meet at Devotion with wagons, strollers, shopping carts or backpacks and parade with fellow Devo do-gooders to the food pantry. Questions? Contact Lisa Ting firstname.lastname@example.org.
Brookline Car-Free School Day
All schools in Brookline participate in the International Walk-to-School Day on October 8. All students who don't ride in a car to school that morning can get a stamp upon entering the building. It's a nice acknowledgement of what our students do most days anyway!
Please Join Us! K-3 Games Night
Wednesday October 22, 5:30-7:30 pm in the Devotion library
Gather with friends, classmates, and Eureka! Puzzles to play some old favorite games and discover some new treasures! There will be pizza and drinks for sale. Feed the family and play a game! Please contact Jen Ziefert (email@example.com) with any questions or if you want to volunteer to help out at the event. See you there!
The Flu Vaccine Clinic at Devotion this year is scheduled for Sunday, November 9, from 11:00 am-2:00 pm.
DFL (Devotion Football League) is Underway
Every fall, 6th — 8th graders team up and play flag football Fridays after school, culminating in the SuperBowl on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. Come out and cheer them on. Also remember to pack a buck. The 8th graders are organizing to sell snacks and drinks to support their graduation activities.
Box Tops for Education!
Welcome back everyone to the new 2014-2015 school year. I want to remind you that you can still earn money for Devo by clipping Box Tops. So if you were clipping Box Tops and Labels for Education during the summer, please continue to do so. I would also like to welcome the new Box Tops coordinator, Noa Vardi-Boros. She will be assisting me in counting your Box Tops and Labels for Education. We will also be coming up with new ideas for fun contests so please stay tuned for details. Please remember, you need to put your Box Tops and Labels for Education in a ziplock sandwich/snack bag or in an envelope with your child’s name and classroom written on the front, otherwise your child will not get credit during a contest. Please place them in the box or basket marked “Box Tops for Education” in front of the Main Office. Thank you again for your support. Keep on clipping! Misti Jaynes and Noa Vardi-Boros, Box Tops coordinators.
Back to School Nights, PTO meetings, sports team start-ups — as you get to know other parents, this is an excellent time to consider starting a Parent Network, and B-PEN can help. Parent Networks can be as simple as a few friends meeting casually for coffee in someone’s kitchen or as structured as an open grade-level parent meeting with an expert speaker — or anything in between. These informal gatherings can offer ways to share information and help establish community standards regarding common adolescent concerns. Check out B-PEN’s Parent Networks page for tips, meeting guidelines, icebreaker topics and discussion guides.
News From B-PEN (Brookline Parent Education Network)
As each new school year gets underway, kids have the opportunity to reinvent themselves. They are a year older than last September and facing new classes, new classmates, new teachers, maybe a new look, a new attitude. All these changes represent a fresh beginning and a new developmental milestone, but with these changes come new expectations and challenges — for you and your kids. B-PEN (Brookline Parent Education Network) can help with useful advice for parents on how to navigate these challenges. Check out the wealth of information on B-PEN’s new “TRANSITIONS” page, including setting appropriate limits and parent-to-parent tips, at www.B-PEN.org.
Notes from the Nurse
In planning for the coming school year, please keep in mind that if you have a child entering kindergarten, fourth or seventh grade, we ask for a new physical exam to be kept on file in the clinic. Physical exams, updated immunizations, and medications can be brought to the clinic the first week of school in September. Thank you!
Devotion Discussion on Facebook
Devotion has its own parent-run Facebook group page, with more than 120 members already, for any Devotion-related questions, concerns and discussions (including the renovation): https://www.facebook.com/groups/542205932541890/. It is an "open" group, so anyone can see what's posted and anyone who wants to join will be approved within a few hours. For legal reasons, this will not be a formal PTO means of communication, rather a tool for parent-to-parent communication.
For questions, contact Carey Goldberg at firstname.lastname@example.org (and thank her for creating and monitoring this page).
For broader, town-wide school-system issues, there's a lively discussion on Facebook titled "Public Discussion of Brookline's Plans to Create a New School." You can find it here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/BrooklineNewSchool/.
Lost & Found
Don't forget to check our Lost & Found if your child is missing something! The Lost & Found closet is located in the main hallway, next to the glass display case. Smaller items, such as jewelry, keys, glasses and phones are kept in a small basket in the Main Office. Lunch boxes and bottles are in the cafeteria. To keep the Lost & Found tidy, unclaimed items will be donated to a local charity on the following dates:
- October 31, 2014
- December 23, 2014
- February 27, 3015
- April 30, 2015
- June 19, 2015
All Volunteer Parents Need To Fill Out CORI Forms
If you plan to attend a field trip or volunteer with students in the school this year, you must have a CORI form on file with the front office. Download the form here, fill it out, and give it to Linda in the Main Office (this form is also available from the principal's page). Present her with your photo ID and she'll take care of the rest. CORI clearance lasts 3 years.
The Devotion School Building Committee voted Friday, September 26 to support Option 1 as their preferred option for the Devotion School Renovation. They stated several caveats, such as "with further development" and "as a starting point."
- Architects will submit the preferred Option 1 to MSBA and will continue to develop it.
- The Building Committee is tentatively scheduled to meet again on November 17.
- The MSBA will meet and hopefully approve the project on November 19.
- The Building Committee will meet after the MSBA decision on December 8.
To be scheduled:
- A meeting with the Devotion community about phasing and transition, scheduled by Superintendent Lupini
- A meeting with SEPAC, scheduled by Selectwoman Dewitt
Frequently Asked Questions, generated with the help of Devo’s expert parent reps on the Building Committee, Pam Roberts and Sadhna Brown (thank you...)
Why is Devotion being renovated?
The Devotion renovation has been under discussion since 2003, but was bumped several times in favor of other more pressing school projects. Because enrollments have increased, Devotion must be expanded to accommodate the growing student body. It’s also clearly in need of improvement, from plumbing to climate control to accessibility. Presently, Devotion is in the final stages of planning in partnership with the Massachusetts School Building Authority. School buildings are scheduled for renovation in the Town Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) that is approved annually at Town Meeting.
What is the history of the school building?
The first school on the site was built in 1891 and named after Edward Devotion, Jr., who made a bequest to the Town for a school. The present school building consists of a central section from 1913; one wing built in the 1950s and another wing built in the 1970s. The 1913 Devotion School has historical significance because President John F. Kennedy was a student there. There has been almost no renovation to the building since 1970 with the exception of carving out more classrooms to house the burgeoning population of the school.
The Devotion House, facing Harvard Street in front of the school, was the home (built c. 1750) of one of the founding families of Brookline. It is a museum operated by the Brookline Historical Society and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and cannot be moved.
What can we expect in terms of renovation options?
It’s clear the 1950s wing and the 1970s wing will be demolished. For more detail, please come to the meetings.
When will we have an opportunity to look at the plans?
Plans were presented at the September 10 community meeting. The architects presented three different possible designs for renovating and expanding Devotion.
If you didn't make the meeting, the plans can be accessed through the Town’s website (The Devotion School Building Committee site is here). Bear in mind that the project is so big and complex that there are multiple volumes. The committee site is continually updated with minutes and drawings from the School Building Committee’s meetings.
You can always send an email with your questions or comments to either of the parent representatives Sadhna Brown or Pam Roberts (email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org). They will forward your thoughts to the entire Devotion Building committee.
What’s the timeline?
The three options presented on the 10th of September will go to cost estimators. The Building committee is charged with voting a preferred design. With cost estimates in hand and taking into consideration feedback from the community, members will vote on their preferred option on September 26. The package will then be submitted to the Mass. School Building Authority for their November meeting. If approved, we then begin the schematic design phase. This phase continues to refine the preferred design. We will have a design and cost estimates that will again be submitted to the MSBA for their March 2015 meeting. The current plan is to begin construction in the fall of Sept. 2016.
Will Devotion students be going to the Old Lincoln School beginning in Sept of 2015?
Yes, but that’s not because of construction; that’s because Devotion runs out of space, with burgeoning classes rising through the grades.
If I can’t make it to the meetings, how can I get informed and offer feedback?
Drawings are on the Town website here). See the following paragraph for ways to offer feedback.
Who are the Parent Representatives on the Committee?
If you write to us with feedback, we’ll forward your thoughts to the Building Committee, or you can write directly to Tony Guigli, Project Manager, at email@example.com.
How much will all this cost?
At this point, the Town Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) has approximately $100 million budgeted for this project. The money comes partly from the State and partly from the Town. In order to access State money, the project has to comply with all requirements of the MSBA. The majority of the funding for the school will be from taxpayers in Brookline, who will be asked to support an increase in property taxes through a vote to override the limits of Proposition 2 ½ in May 2015.
My children are young enough that they’re certain to be at Devotion during whatever construction takes place. What will be the process for my concerns about that?
Until we select a design, we won’t know anything about the expected phasing of the construction process, so we just can’t anticipate those details yet. But please rest assured that Brookline schools have dealt with these issues before and take them very seriously. Also, please know that the Building Committee is genuinely devoted to the wellbeing of Devotion students.
...to parents who have stepped up to help out this year:
- Thank you to Gillian Webster who is going to put together a printed directory this year, for all of you adults and students who enjoy having an in-hand version.
- A big thank you goes out to Shwujen You, a 1st grade parent, who will be taking care of the Lost and Found.
- Many thanks to Boriana Primova, who has volunteered to manage the Devotion calendar. If you know of an event or activity that you think would be helpful for parents to have on the school calendar, please send her an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. (If you didn't know there was an online calendar, check it out at the calendar tab at the top of this page.)
- A big thank you to Carol Reyes, who has volunteered to take the lead on the yearbook committee this year. You'll hear from her soon about what help she needs and where to send pictures you snap from events throughout the year.
- Many thanks to Andrew Siedlecki who will help coordinate events.
- Thanks to all the Room Parents who have already offered their time.
- Elise Jacobson, Leslie Beau, and Alison Rosenthal who organized the Back-to-School Welcome Coffees.
The Devotion Schoolyard Garden Needs Your Help!
We are looking for a few parent volunteers to help keep our garden up and running this spring and in years to come. No gardening experience necessary!
- Garden Committee PTO Liaison: Attend after school garden committee meetings (less than 1/month); assist with planning the future of the garden; connect with the PTO to place announcements in the weekly update, ensure continued funding, etc.
- Special Event Planner: Co-coordinate a fall “rake it up” day, probably a Saturday morning. (We have one volunteer, Laura Staich. She would love a partner!)
- “Eyes and Hands On the Garden” Person: Visit the garden after school and on weekends; reset things (like plant markers) when they’ve gone amuck.
- In-School Volunteers — Training available! Assist teachers during planned activities in the garden, working with small groups. We have an intern who can teach you gardening skills after school.
Half Day Matinee Seeks Volunteers
There are nearly 200 Devo students who need childcare during the 8 half-days when parent-teacher conferences take place in the Fall and Spring. We need 5 more parent volunteers to plan and run the program this year. Thank you to Sarav Narayanan, who has agreed to help with K-1. Please email email@example.com. It takes a village. If you are able, please make this happen for everyone.
DSA Seeking Parents Interested in Leadership Role
The Devotion School Alliance (also known as the PTO) will need to replace at least 2 directors next year. With the upcoming renovation, it is more important than ever to have strong parent leadership. Community is one of the key elements that makes Devotion special. With the right leadership, we can maintain a sense of community and continuity for our children. Please consider taking on this rewarding and important role! Contact us with any questions: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tyson's Project A+
Devo is signed up for Tyson’s Project A+. Like Box Tops and Labels for Education, there is a label on the packaging that you clip and turn into the box in the labby. Each coupon is worth 24 cents. So if you buy Tyson’s products, clip, save and turn them in. It all adds up!
When You Shop at Shaws/Star Markets, Devo Makes Money!
If you haven’t done so already download the EcoApp and every time you use reusable bags, just scan the EcoApp at checkout and get money for Devo. If 100 parents shop with reusable bags each week it could eliminate the need for 100,000 plastic bags and earn Devo around $4,000. Please help!
Brookline's plastic bag ban = a new way to generate Dollars for Devo!
MY ECO is working with the town of Brookline to educate and encourage residents to reuse bags by donating money to the schools for every reused bag. Check out this article on Brookline Patch.com. Download the MyEco app onto your smartphone today. Questions? Contact email@example.com.
Can't Find It Locally? Shop Amazon to Support Devo!
When making Amazon purchases, start your shopping via the Devotion School website to support our school! No special password or registration is required, just click the Amazon logo and shop as usual. Last year we raised $3,014 simply by people starting to shop through the Devotion School link. A percentage of all purchases is returned to the school — your cost stays the same. Click the Amazon logo at right or here to begin your shopping. Please share the link http://tinyurl.com/devopto with friends and family!
Got a Target Red Card?
Target donates 1% of purchases made using their credit card to participating schools. If you have a Target Red Card, click on the logo at right to register it at Target.com and start earning money for Devo!
Go to Land’s End for Devo-logo Gear
Looking for shirts, backpacks, lunchboxes or other Land’s End merchandise AND you want the Devo logo on them? We’ve set up an online store, click the Land's End logo to start your shopping. (This is a service, it does not make money for Devotion.)