PHA Family Newsletter 10.5.2023
Your Source for PreK-12 School Updates
October 5, 2023
Like the fall season, the new school year marks the beginning of turning over new, vibrant, bright leaves and a fresh start. We’ve excitedly started this school year with clear priorities around teaching and learning with new K-3 reading and math curricula, a new principal at the Upper Elementary Campus, a new Middle School program, a newly renovated third floor at the Middle School, and an abundance of new opportunities for High School/Collegiate Institute students including an Early College program with Bunker Hill Community College & the Franklin Cummings Institute.
During this new school year, we’ve spent 25 days working with students, developing their academic and social-emotional learning skills, juxtaposed to a positive learning culture across the grades. To that end, they are settling into our inclusive community, developing a sense of belonging, and rekindling old and building new relationships with one another and faculty and staff. Our faculty and staff have begun to assess our students’ knowledge and design effective learning plans to move their learning forward continually. As you might imagine, many of our students have set their own hopes and dreams for this new school year. As such, we invite you to lean in and partner with us to ensure that your child(ren)’s learning journey this school year is successful.
We THANK YOU in advance for supporting the teaching and learning of your child(ren) and look forward to sharing with you more ways you might help this year.
This fall, we’re planting the seeds of excellence and excitedly anticipating a bountiful harvest as we watch our students develop and grow over the next 150+ school days. In this family newsletter, we share a snapshot of the fruits of our labor that have come to bear this fall!
Angela F. Allen Ph.D.
Head of School / CEO
- 10/09/23: ALL Schools Closed: Indigenous People's Day
- 10/10/23: ALL Schools Closed: Professional Development Day
- 10/11/23: 5th Grade Coffee with the Teachers 7:15-8:10am (Franklin)
- 10/13/23: PK-3 Picture Day (Webster)
- 10/13/23: 4-6 Picture Day (Franklin)
- 10/18/23: 6th Grade Coffee with the Teachers 7:15-8:10am (Franklin)
- 10/20/23: 7-12 Picture Day (Essex)
- 10/21/23: Fall Fest
- 10/26/23: Grades 7-12 Curriculum Night 5:30-7pm (Essex)
- 11/16/23: Thrive Thursday Dinner 5:30-7:00 PM (Webster)
Honors and Achievements
College Board’s National Recognition Programs: National African American Recognition Award (NAARA)
Join us in celebrating PHA senior Tamar Etienne who earned academic honors from College Board’s National Recognition Programs! Tamar received the National African American Recognition Award (NAARA). The National Recognition Programs honor the strong academic achievements of underrepresented students and and help them stand out to colleges.
Highlights From The Campuses
Early Childhood Campus
Each week at our Early Childhood Campus, a student is recognized for showing the Bee values of Be Safe, Be Kind, Be Your Best. Students learn of this recognition when they hear their names over the Friday morning announcements. The Bee of the Week is honored in the classroom with a bee logo to color and add to the classroom hive and a certificate is sent home to their family.
PreK Fun with Friends!
Our youngest learners have been enjoying the beautiful fall weather and making new friends in PreK!
Upper Elementary Campus
On the first day of school, our Upper Elementary campus welcomed Principal Dr. Tia Lights, and Vice Principal Nerecesa Pires to the Crew!!!
The new library/media center is open at the Middle School. The space has been a buzz of activity including DEAR (Drop Everything And Read), independent student work, small meetings, and small group work. Our Media Lab with green screen is being set up and a recording studio is in the works!
Want to help name our newly redesigned space? Use this Google form to suggest a name.
High School/Collegiate Institute
9th Grade Biology Class
Recently, during the pH Lab in the 9th Grade Biology class, the students tested the pH level of 9 different solutions, using litmus paper to identify the makeup of the samples.
Junior Achievement of Boston's Entrepreneurship and Design Thinking Challenge at Bentley University.
Last Friday, September 29th, 14 of our seniors attended the Junior Achievement of Boston's Entrepreneurship and Design Thinking Challenge at Bentley University.
Students worked in groups, mentored by Bentley students to research and propose a solution to a local problem. The problem, set on the day, was Sustainable Transportation - identifying the need and proposing a solution to a problem with transportation in the Greater Boston area.
Our PHA team 'Ride and Recycle' focused on their experiences with the MBTA, and how the MBTA could use their existing resources to improve their systems, and were recognised as the event winners as their solution clearly addressed the set problem, and considered the sustainability of implementing the solution, not just how the solution would lead to improvements in sustainability.
The team of Allison, Nael, Brianana, Byssainthe and Christina (photo below) each received a $100 gift card prize! Congratulations to the PHA Team!
Middle School and High School Enrichment Fair
Last month, two enrichment fairs were held at our Middle School and High School campuses. Students were able to walk around and meet different organizations offering a variety of programs, internships, and job opportunities.
Thank you to our partners at the Alberta V. Scott Leadership Academy, Cambridge Housing Authority, Tutoring Plus, Teen Empowerment, Museum of Science, Planned Parenthood, GirlsLEAP, Mosaic Action, Cambridge Art Center, Books of Hope, ACE Mentors, Biobuilders, MindsMatter, Science Club for Girls, the Welcome Project, the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, Tufts University School of Medicine, City of Somerville, the Somerville Public Library, and the Bouldering Project.
We’ll be holding another enrichment fair in late winter, early spring for summer opportunities!
Support PHA Fall Athletics
PHA's Fall Athletics season is in full swing! Come out and show your support for our girls volleyball, boys & girls soccer, and cross-country teams!
Check out the full calendar of events on our website: https://www.phacs.org/apps/events/2023/10/?id=5
Message From the PHA Nursing Team
Hello PHA Families!
We hope you are enjoying this wonderful autumn weather. There are some items of concern that require your attention as we are moving into cooler weather and more time spent indoors.
As you know, COVID-19 remains a reality. Although no testing programs exist at school, we urge you to keep some rapid Covid tests in your home. Free tests are now available by signing up here.
If your child tests positive, please communicate that to your school nurse. I am enclosing the PHA COVID guidelines here.
Finally, please make every attempt to get your healthy child to school each day…on time. We know that absenteeism poses a significant risk to student success. The following quote was recently printed in a leading education journal:
“We also know a lot about the negative consequences of poor attendance: attendance is the number one predictor of academic achievement. Chronic absenteeism can seriously impact students, such as the inability to master basic grade-level skills, reduced access to food and counseling resources, and significantly higher dropout rates. Students who drop out of school are more likely to enter the criminal justice system.”
Our students deserve the best education we can possibly give them.
Thank you for your attention.
The PHA Nursing Team
Nurse Contact Information
Message from Michelle Doyle, Meals Program Director
Happy Fall from the Meals Team!
Breakfast and Lunch continue to be FREE for all students.
For the first time, the Meals Team has been preparing all cold meals in our own kitchens! Early Childhood and Upper Elementary kitchens received renovations and equipment this summer allows us to do this. These cold meals are also delivered to our Middle/High School campus.
This September, we already served over 7,500 lunches and 3,400 breakfasts to our students! Almost half of those lunches were made right in our own kitchens! Our colorful yogurt parfaits, seasonal salads, and sunbutter & jelly sandwiches are made with love by our staff. We are so happy that our students are enjoying them!
More information about the breakfast and lunch programs, as well as the monthly menu, can be found at https://www.phacs.org/apps/pages/meals-program.
Lastly, if your student has an allergy and will be eating with us at school, please reach out so that we can work together to make sure your student's needs are met. We continue to be a peanut and tree-nut free kitchen.
As always, you can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
-Michelle Doyle, MS MPH
PHA Meals Director
Announcement from PHA IT Director, Osiris Gonzalez
ClassVR is here! Learn more below:
STEAM Saturday for Grades K-8
The Fall STEAM Saturday will take place on Saturday October 14th, October 21st, October 28th, November 4th between the hours of 9 AM and 12 PM at our High School campus (54 Essex St). With questions or for more information, please contact Kim Le at KLe@phacs.org!
Middle School Girls' LEAP
Girls' LEAP is coming to PHA! We’ll be starting an afterschool program for 7th and 8th grade girls and gender expansive youth from 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm on Thursday afternoons starting on October 13th, 2023.
Girls' LEAP works to interrupt the cycle of violence by teaching youth that they have a right to be safe and by providing them the tools and skills to protect themselves, both emotionally and physically. Their mission is to teach students to amplify their voices, find their courage, and discover critical life and self defense skills, so they can thrive in the face of challenging situations.
The program is free to students and their families. If you are interested, please contact Kim Le at KLe@phacs.org (Experiential Opportunities Manager at PHA) or Gina Varamo at email@example.com (Program Director for GirlsLEAP).
Join the Governor's Youth Advisory Council
Governor Healey recently announced the creation of The Governor's Youth Advisory Council. This council will give young people from across the Commonwealth the opportunity to advise the Healey-Driscoll Administration on innovative solutions to some of the critical issues we face today such as climate, education, mental health, gun violence, housing, and more.
In order to have this council truly embody today’s youth, they are looking for balanced representation on the Council based on age, gender, ethnicity, geography, and a variety of other factors that make up the diversity of the Commonwealth. Applicants must be between the ages of 16-21 years old to be eligible for this council. Check out the flyer or website for more information! Applications due October 14th.
Teem Empowerment of Somerville is Hiring
Teen Empowerment is hiring students aged 14 - 19. Their center seeks to employ, train, and empower youth to, in collaboration with adults, create peace, equity, and justice. Check out the flyer and website to learn more!
Museum of Science is celebrating Hispanic and Latinx Heritage Month
The Museum of Science is celebrating Hispanic and Latinx Heritage Month with two full days of fun science and cultural offerings in English and Spanish! Listen to community stories, explore scientific phenomena with featured scientists, participate in family activities, enjoy performances by Boston-area groups, and experience enlightening live presentations.
Saturday, October 14 and Sunday, October 15 | 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
Visit: www.mos.org/public-events/hispanic-latinx-heritage-month for a complete list of events.
To join us with free admission, just redeem Promo Code HLHM23: online at mos.org. You may also call Science Central at 617- 723-2500 (daily, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.), or visit the Museum box office. (Note that there could be wait times with phone and in-person options.)
Presented in partnership with El Mundo Boston.
Supporting Teen Well-Being in a Tech-Filled World: A Conversation with U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy
October 13, 12:00–1:15 p.m. ET
Longfellow Hall, 13 Appian Way, Cambridge, MA
The Askwith Education Forum welcomes U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy for a conversation about how families and educators can help young people build and sustain their digital well-being. Register for in-person attendance. (Also streaming online.)
PHA Fall Fest
Join us for PHA Fall Fest on Saturday, October 21st from 12-2pm at the Early Childhood Campus! Enjoy games, food, and arts & crafts with the PreK-12 community! Fun for the whole PHAmily!
PHA Thrive Market
Pick up free grocery items while picking up your students! The markets will be held on the last Tuesday of each month, 3-4pm in the school yard or cafeteria at the Upper Elementary campus.
- October 31, 2023
- November 28, 2023
- December 19, 2023
- January 30, 2024
- February 27, 2024
- March 26, 2024
- April 30, 2024
- May 28, 2024
PHA Thrive Thursday Dinners
All PHA community members are invited to share a free, delicious hot dinner each month! Check out the dates below: