Category Archives: From PTO Council

News from the Newton PTO Council

Do you want to improve sustainability in Newton schools?

Join School Connections, a group of parents, educators and students who are working together to promote sustainability in Newton schools.

If your school does not yet have a Green Team, School Connections can help you to establish one. Representatives of the group participate in discussions to improve food quality and sustainability in school cafeterias. They are also advocating for more in-depth climate science to be taught in our schools, as well as setting up textile recycling collection containers outside of each school building. All are welcome to participate and share experiences and ideas.

For more information contact schoolconnections@greennewton.org or visit www.schools.greennewton.org

February 13th,  3:45 – 5:00 pm
Third floor arc area of the Newton Free Library

Share the Road: Safety Reminders from Newton Safe Routes to School

Newton Safe Routes to School reminds families that pedestrian safety is a shared responsibility. All of our schools have high traffic volume in the morning and most children are pedestrians for part of their route to school, whether they walk from home, walk over from a nearby street (Park & Walk maps), walk to the bus stop, or walk from the Blue Zone.

The following guidelines are adapted from the National Safety Council. However your children get to school, put your phone down please and pay attention. #ShareTheRoad.

Sharing the Road with Young Pedestrians

  • Always stop for a school patrol officer or crossing guard in a crosswalk or intersection.
  • Sometimes young children need more time to cross the intersection than the light allows.
  • Don’t block the crosswalk when stopped at a red light or waiting to make a turn, forcing pedestrians to go around you; this could put them in the path of moving traffic.
  • Never pass a vehicle stopped for pedestrians.
  • Do not pull into driveways to turn around, especially near schools. You may not see a child on the sidewalk approaching on bike or on foot.
  • Be extra cautious when backing up.
  • Take extra care to look out for children in school zones, near playgrounds and parks, and in all residential areas. School Zone speed limits are 20 mph.
  • Don’t honk or rev your engine to scare a pedestrian, even if you have the right of way.
  • Always use extreme caution to avoid striking pedestrians wherever they may be, no matter who has the right of way

Sharing the Road with School Buses

  • If you’re driving behind a bus, allow a greater following distance than if you were driving behind a car. It will give you more time to stop once the lights start flashing.
  • It is illegal in all 50 states to pass a school bus that is stopped to load or unload children.
  • Never pass a bus from behind – or from either direction if you’re on an undivided road – if it is stopped to load or unload children
  • If the yellow or red lights are flashing and the stop arm is extended, traffic must stop
  • The area 10 feet around a school bus is the most dangerous for children; stop far enough back to allow them space to safely enter and exit the bus
  • Be alert; children often are unpredictable, and they tend to ignore hazards and take risks

Sharing the Road with Bicyclists

On most roads, bicyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as vehicles, but bikes can be hard to see. Children riding bikes create special problems for drivers because usually they are not able to properly determine traffic conditions. The most common cause of collision is a driver turning left in front of a bicyclist.

  • When passing a bicyclist, proceed in the same direction slowly, and leave 3 feet between your car and the cyclist.
  • When turning left and a bicyclist is approaching in the opposite direction, wait for the rider to pass.
  • If you’re turning right and a bicyclists is approaching from behind on the right, let the rider go through the intersection first, and always use your turn signals.
  • Watch for bike riders turning in front of you without looking or signaling; children especially have a tendency to do this.
  • Be extra vigilant in school zones and residential neighborhoods.
  • Watch for bikes coming from driveways or behind parked cars.
  • Check side mirrors before opening any door.

Reminders for Pedestrians

  • Whenever possible, walk on the sidewalk; if no sidewalk is available, walk facing traffic.
  • Follow the rules of the road, obeying all traffic signs and signals.
  • Cross streets at crosswalks.
  • If no crosswalk is available and your view is blocked, move to a place where you can see oncoming traffic.
  • Look left, right and left again before crossing the street, making eye contact with drivers of oncoming vehicles and wait until they wave you through.
  • Stay alert – avoid cell phone use and wearing headphones or earbuds.
  • Wear bright and/or reflective clothing, and use a flashlight at night.
  • Watch for cars entering or exiting driveways or backing up.

Rock it out this summer at The Conservatory at Highlands!

Registration is now open for the Summer Rock Bands! Join one or more of the week-long summer sessions. Ensembles arranged by age and experience. Register Here!

Some highlights include:

  • Students play favorite songs and/or perform vocals in their own bands
  • Recording sessions and music videos
  • Musical games
  • Kids stay cool indoors AND have time outside at the Newton Highlands playground
  • Students perform a concert on Friday at the end of each week-long session for friends and family!
  • Bands arranged based on age and experience
  • Pictures texted throughout the week sharing all the fun moments
  • For ages 6+

For more information and registration, visit http://www.highlandsconservatory.com or call 617-903-0944.

June 29th – August 23rd,  weekdays 9:00 am – 3:00 pm
The Conservatory at Highlands, 51 Winchester Street, Newton Highlands, 02461

A Night of Dialogue and Theater: FORJ presents True Story Theater

Join FORJ (Families Organizing for Racial Justice) for True Story Theater, an engaging and interactive event.

This will be an enlivening follow-up event to the city-wide MLK celebration on Monday. With the help of the True Story Theater , the group will further explore Newton’s 2020 theme of “Know Your Neighbor”. Come learn and connect as the theater troupe performs the spectrum of our lived experiences as residents of Newton – stories that delight and challenge us to think more deeply about what it means to live in neighborhoods that are truly inclusive.

All are welcome; Suggested ages -middle school and up. RSVP HERE: True Story Theater

January 23rd  7pm -9pm
Newton North High School Little Theater,  457 Walnut Street

For more info about the organizations involved visit these websites:
https://forjnewton.com/
http://harmonyfoundationnewton.org/
​http://www.newtonma.gov/gov/health/commissions/human_rights/default.asp

Just Think Expo on January 7th

The Just Think: Teens Making Smart Choices Expo is the place to be for parents/guardians and their teens.  The expo is a free, fun gathering of many non-profit organizations that support teens and families in Newton.