Harmony Grove Elementary School

A Global Academy


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¿Necesita traducción? Desde una computadora o portátil, haga clic en "Translate" (Traducir) en el cuadro negro. Desde un teléfono celular o tableta, haga clic en el icono de Accesibilidad en la parte inferior de la pantalla y después haga clic en "Translate" (Traducir).

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169 Leland St.

Framingham, MA 01702



Follow us on Instagram, Facebook & Twitter @HarmonyGroveFPS

Week of December 13, 2021 newsletter

COVID-19 Safety Protocols

Unfortunately, COVID-19 cases are rising in Massachusetts and in Framingham. We are seeing this trend at our school too. At our virtual Community Gathering meeting on 12/6/21 we reviewed our COVID-19 Safety Protocols and you can view the presentation here.

Some important reminders:

  • MASKS must be worn by everyone inside the building!
  • Wash our hands whenever possible and sanitize frequently
  • Clean/wipe down our areas after use

Please be sure to complete the consent form below so your child can participate in the weekly Pooled Testing program. Also, if you consent to Pooled Testing for your child and they are a close contact to someone with COVID-19 but they test negative, then they can remain in school rather than quarantine at home.

FPS Testing Consent Online Form

SY 21-22 Consent Forms




Does your child need a desk at home?

Thanks to a generous donation from the Desk Mates program, 50 students at Harmony Grove will receive a free wooden desk with a bookshelf and some books! A form will be sent home with all students this week to be returned to your child's teacher if you are interested. We will let you know if you are one of the first 50 forms received and when your desk will be available for pick-up at the school in December or January.

Desk dimensions: 18” deep x 24” wide

Two desk height options: 26" or 30"

Bookshelf on top is 11” taller than the desk

Some desks are painted and some desks have a natural wood finish.

Thank you to our community partners, Volunteer Ventures MA Inc (VVMA) and Greater Boston Jewish Coalition for Literacy (GBJCL) who have funded this donation and built all of the desks!

December Character Traits of the Month = Cooperation & Inquirer

Buzzing with Questions!

Students are learning about the inquisitive mind of Charles Henry Turner, a famous African American entomologist (insect scientist) through the book of the month to learn about being an inquirer. Pictured below, 3rd and 5th grade students show their thinking and wondering about the book through the Take Note thinking routine. In this thinking routine, they take note about the questions:

  1. What is the most important point?
  2. What are you finding challenging, puzzling, or difficult to understand?
  3. What question would you most like to discuss?
  4. What is something you found interesting?

Leticia (5th grade, room 219) summarized the most important point as "The more you wonder, the more you learn!"

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Inquiry into erosion prevention

2nd graders enjoyed an Engineering Design Challenge this week where they showed both of the character traits of the month- cooperation and being an inquirer! They worked with a partner to plan and build a design that would prevent soil from eroding during a rain storm. Students had many different designs that were tested, including using rocks, wood (popsicle sticks), metal (aluminum foil), plastic (legos), and planting/growing grass. They were reflective about which IB Learner Profile attributes they demonstrated during this challenge, what worked well, and what they would improve.

Inquirers in Portuguese World Language class

In Portuguese class with Ms. Austin, students are reading various Portuguese books about being curious and asking questions. They are learning how to ask questions in Portuguese.

The students in 4th and 5th grade enjoyed exploring a "Technology Museum" where they compared examples of old technology with the technology we use today. They were inquirers as they identified the different types of technology in the museum and wondered about the different uses of the technology.

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Kindergarten "How We Express Ourselves" IB Unit

In the "How We Express Ourselves" IB Unit, Kindergarteners are exploring the central idea of how "People celebrate in different ways around the world." They are making connections in reading, writing, math, art and social studies as they learn about different cultural celebrations. They love the artifacts to explore in the display pictured below that has prompted a lot of inquiry!
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We see you, Harmony Grove artists!!

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Information coming soon about Harmony Grove school apparel fundraiser!

Congratulations to Gusthavo Oliveira (5th grade student) who was the winner of the school-wide competition for his cool design of our mascot Wolfie to go on our new school apparel!!!!

We are working with a sweatshirt company to design our school's new Harmony Grove apparel using Gusthavo's Wolfie design. We hope to have order forms ready to distribute for this fundraiser soon, so that we can order tshirts, long sleeved shirts, and sweatshirts to raise money for our school and to show our school spirit!

Check out Lost & Found for your missing belongings!

Our Lost & Found is growing quickly with students' missing belongings. We have lots of lunchboxes, sweatshirts, and other items that have been found around the school. Please remind your children to look in the Lost & Found to claim anything that belongs to them. We would like to reunite all items with their owners as soon as possible!

Winter coat donation for Harmony Grove students

Thank you to Exelon Power Corporation for their annual donation of winter coats through Operation Warm. The coats were distributed to families in need throughout the week last week. With the help of teachers and support staff we were able to identify our most needy families who could benefit from a warm winter coat for their children. There are still a few coats still left. If you feel your child could use a coat, please send a note in with them to his/her teacher and we will try to find a coat that fits. Thank you so much!

COVID-19 vaccinations for children ages 5-11

On Saturday 11/20/21, Harmony Grove hosted a pediatric vaccine clinic sponsored by MetroWest Pharmacy, Framingham Public Schools, and the City of Framingham. Click here to read the Framingham Source article about the successful clinic where 510 vaccines were administered to children ages 5-11!

Dear Parents and Guardians,
The FDA and CDC recommended COVID-19 vaccinations for children ages 5 to 11 years old. We’d like to provide you with current information and resources on vaccination and, now that the vaccine has been approved for this younger age group, we encourage you to have your child vaccinated to protect themselves, your family, and the school community.

While COVID-19 is generally less serious for school-age children than for older adults, children can become infected, and some may get very sick or suffer serious complications. Children can spread COVID-19 to others. Fortunately, the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine has now been approved for individuals ages 5 and up. The COVID-19 vaccine has been shown to be safe and effective against infection, serious illness, hospitalization, and death. Over 70 percent of Massachusetts youth ages 12-17 have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Getting your child vaccinated will help limit COVID-19 spread in our school and community, and it can help keep your child and their schoolmates in school.

Please speak to your child’s doctor about their plans to administer the vaccine and raise any questions or concerns you have about the vaccine and your child.

There are hundreds of vaccination sites across the state that have indicated their willingness to vaccinate children 5 and up. Many accept walk-in appointments, including CVS and Walgreens pharmacies, Market Basket and other grocery chains, and community health centers. More information on these sites, as well as safety information and helpful questions and answers, are all available at www.mass.gov/covidvaccine.

As a reminder:

  • The COVID vaccine is free for all, and no ID or insurance is needed to be vaccinated;

  • You can get vaccinated even if you are undocumented. Getting a vaccine will not impact your or your family’s immigration status. The Public Charge rule does NOT apply to getting the vaccine.

Getting your family vaccinated is the best way to protect yourself and your loved ones. We appreciate your help to keep all of our students, faculty, staff, and volunteers, as well as our community, safe and healthy this fall and all year long.

Margaret R. Cooke

Acting Commissioner

Massachusetts Department of Public Health

Jeffrey C. Riley


Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education

COVID safety- pooled testing

FPS Smore of COVID19 Reminders & Updates

We encourage all students and staff to participate in our weekly COVID testing program.

Information on the testing program including the online consent form was included in the Smore the district sent on Friday August 27th and is summarized below.

Letter to families explaining the testing program: Testing Overview English; Testing Overview Spanish; Testing Overview Portuguese

All families must complete a new consent form to participate in the testing program this year.

Below is some additional information on the testing program:

  • The testing program will include Routine COVID Safety Checks (weekly pooled testing) and the Test and Stay Quarantine Protocol

  • All students must have a new signed consent to participate this year

  • There is no cost to participate

  • Participation is voluntary but highly encouraged for both unvaccinated and vaccinated students

  • Participation is required for students in after school extracurricular sports, marching band, jazz band, chorus and theatre performances

  • To learn more about the testing program, families can visit the district COVID website

  • If families have questions regarding the COVID testing program, they can contact the FPS Call Center at (508) 782-6633 or email COVID@framingham.k12.ma.us

Information from our Virtual Community Gatherings

Community Gathering Meetings are held the first Monday of every month 6:00pm - 7:00pm (on Google Meet for now): October 4th, November 1st, December 6th, January 10th (second Monday that month!), February 7th, March 7th, April 4th, May 2nd, June 6th

Every month our Community Gathering meeting will focus on different topics to help you support your family and your children’s education. Interpretation will be provided.

Click here to view the information presented to families at the October 4th virtual meeting (including information about our IB program, our services for families provided by our Wrap Around Coordinator, and ways that Jewish Family Services can support families)

Click here to view the information presented to families at the November 1st virtual meeting (including information about our school library, COVID safety protocols, and how/why families can log into the Aspen X2 website)

Click here to view the information presented to families at the December 6th virtual meeting (including information about winter jackets, Desk Mates donations, the sweatshirt design competition, and COVID safety protocols)

We are looking for parents to help plan future Community Gathering meetings and to volunteer to help lead the Harmony Grove PTO. Click here to learn more about the officer positions of PTO

What is a Parent Teacher Organization (PTO)?

The role of the PTO is to help our school become a stronger community where families, students and teachers can connect and help to make the school a better place.

We are also looking for parents who are interested in serving on our School Council. A school council is a representative, school building-based committee composed of the principal, parents, teachers, and community members, required to be established by each school.

Email our Interim Principal, Juliana Kessler Marcos, at jkessler@framingham.k12.ma.us if you are interested in helping our school by being a PTO officer and/or School Council representative!

Read to a Child program

What is The Read Aloud Mentoring Program (RAMP)?

Read to a Child’s Read Aloud Mentoring Program partners an adult mentor with a child for a

rewarding read aloud experience. Mentors read to students once a week during lunch time. The program will be virtual due to COVID precautions at the start of the school year.

Research shows that reading aloud to children is the single most important activity for eventual success in reading, a key factor for success in school, work, and life. Learn more about Read to a Child’s programs at www.readtoachild.org.

Who participates in this program?

Students in grades 1-4 who are recommended by a teacher and who have permission by their family participate in this program. Mentors undergo a criminal background check and are recruited, trained, and supervised by a Read to a Child staff member. When possible, students can continue with their same mentor from 1st through 4th grade.

When did this program begin this year?

The program began in late November and is held on Mondays and Tuesdays during lunch time in room 102. Many students were recommended to join the program this year and we hope to find adult mentors for all of the new students as soon as possible.

Have you met our new administrators at Harmony Grove?

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Pictured from left to right:

  • Juliana Kessler Marcos (Principal)
  • Amy Burritt (Assistant Principal)
  • Andrew Keough (Administrative Coach)

Join the Harmony Grove Walking School Bus!

The Harmony Grove Walking School Bus is a great success so far! Thank you to our fabulous PE teacher, Ms. Duffy, for organizing this opportunity for our school community. Thank you to our dedicated and caring teachers who volunteer to walk with our students each morning!

Click here to see the WGBH news story featuring our Walking School Bus!!

Did you see the WCVB newsstory about it? Click here to watch it!

Click here for the Metrowest Daily News article about our Walking School Bus

There are 3 walking school bus routes for Harmony Grove students. Look for a Harmony Grove teacher wearing a yellow vest and holding a sign!

There are SO many benefits to a walking school bus such as:

  • less traffic around the building

  • easier for parents with little ones at home

  • less anxiety/problems walking to school

  • safety in numbers

  • opportunities for 4th/5th graders to show leadership

  • growing community, etc

If you would like your child to walk to school on the Harmony Grove Walking School Bus, here are the routes and the pick up times are noted on the photo below:

Red Route: Walk with Blue Route and cross at 2ndstreet, go up Marian and down Beaver Park to link back up with the Blue Route at 2nd Street to then cross at the flashing crosswalk across Kendall Ave

Blue Route: Walk with Red Route and cross at 2ndstreet, go up 2nd Street, loop around Beaver Terrace, and come back down 2nd to link back up with the Red Route, then cross at the flashing crosswalk across Kendall Ave

Yellow Route: Walk down Leland and loop through Weld Street

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Celebrating our new name!

We are so glad that many students, families, and community partners could attend our Renaming Celebration on Saturday August 28th! It was a wonderful event to honor the historic occasion of the renaming of our school and a fun way to come together as a school community to start this school year!

All Harmony Grove students who attended the event received a free backpack with school supplies, a souvenir t-shirt, a car magnet, and a card with their classroom teacher’s name for the upcoming school year. We have distributed those materials to any students who could not attend the event as well and will give those materials to any new students who join our school community.

Check out these great short videos by Access Framingham about the event:

Highlights from the Renaming Celebration video

Backpack distribution by JFS at the Renaming Celebration video

Here are some newspaper articles about the event:

The Metrowest Daily News article

Framingham Source article

Click here for the Renaming Harmony Grove newsletter and to learn more about the story behind our school's new name.

Have you heard our beautiful new school song yet???!!! Click here to listen to the song "Our Harmony," written and performed by our music teachers Jade Espina and Matt Zettler.

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Land Acknowledgement & call to action

The City of Framingham is part of the ancestral homelands of the Nipmuc, the Fresh Water People. We acknowledge and honor the traditions of all people indigenous to what is currently known as the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the Nipmuc as well as the Pennacook, Pocumtuck, Mahican, Massachusett, Nauset, and Wampanoag.

We call on all members of Harmony Grove Elementary School- A Global Academy to learn more about the history, culture, and traditions of the Nipmuc Nation and indigenous peoples who have lived on this land for thousands of years.

Click here for a video of Andre Gaines StrongBearHeart from the Nipmuc Nation leading the community in a traditional dance at the Indigenous Peoples' Day Ceremony

Let's come together as a school community as leaders to "stand up to hate and spread love" and to promote our IB mission to "create a better and more peaceful world!"

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About Harmony Grove Elementary School - A Global Academy

The school was established in 1928 as Woodrow Wilson School and renamed Harmony Grove Elementary School- A Global Academy in 2021. In June 2015, the school became an authorized International Baccalaureate Primary Years Program (IB PYP) World School. It is one of four IB PYP schools in Massachusetts and part of a network of about 2,000 IB PYP schools in over 110 countries. IB PYP schools share a common philosophy – a commitment to high quality, challenging, international education. Learning experiences focus on the development of the whole child as an inquirer and a life-long learner. The school values international-mindedness and students strive to demonstrate the IB Learner Profile every day. The Elementary School offers three strands of general education and language development in Portuguese and English through Dual Language Education, Transitional Bilingual Education, and English Immersion with Portuguese as a World Language.