PTA Weekly Newsletter February 8, 2019

February 8, 2019 Issue 

In this issue:

Dates to put in the Calendar

Monday February 11 PTA Board Meeting (9 am)
8th Grade Parent Forum, Community Center, Rm 139 (9 am)

Wednesday February 13 8th Grade Parent Forum, LHS Science Auditorium (7 pm)

February 18-22 Schools closed (February vacation)

Announcements from Diamond PTA

Youth Substance Use: What Parents Need to Know 

  • When: Thursday, February 28, 7 pm

  • Where: LHS, Commons 2

  • Co-sponsored by: LHS PTO, Clarke PTO, and Diamond PTA

Parents of 6-12th graders are invited to this important session led by LPD School Resource Officer Kristina Hankins and Lexington Public Schools Prevention Specialist Kristie Demirev, LICSW. Parents will have the opportunity to hear about current trends in youth substance use (including vaping, marijuana, and alcohol); review recent data; understand the science behind the developing brain and the impact of substances; and learn strategies for talking with their children. LHS students will also be in attendance to facilitate Q&A with parents. This will be an interactive session, and all are welcome. The "Hidden in Plain Sight" display of a mock teen bedroom will also be set up starting at 6:30 for parents to walk through to help them understand common household items that could be an indication of substance use by their teen.

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Upcoming Diamond and LPS Events

Parents/Guardians of Grade 8 Students: Class of 2023 Events

  • February 11, 9-10:30 am: 8th Grade Parent Forum at the Lexington Community Center (39 Marrett Road, Rm 139)

  • February 13, 7-9 pm 8th Grade Parent Forum in the LHS Science Auditorium (enter the school via the main entrance off Worthen Road, then follow signs)

  • February 26 and February 28: LHS Presentation to Diamond MS Students (in school)

For more information on events at LHS:

8th Grade Parent Forum: This Q&A forum is an opportunity for 8th grade parents to learn about the transition to high school from a panel of experienced LHS parents.  Bring your questions about classes, schedules, sports, music groups, clubs, community service, lockers, homework, and whatever else you are wondering about high school! The morning and evening sessions will have the same format: attend whichever one is most convenient for you.

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Social Communication Strategies with Beverly Montgomery

  • When: Tuesday, February 12, 7 pm

  • Where: Community Center, Rm 242

Do you know a child or teen who struggles with knowing what to say, who to say it to, and when to say it? Are their reactions too big or emotions out of control? Is getting out the door a constant struggle? If so, join us for this seminar where you will learn practical strategies for building these skills and more. Participants will gain a better understanding of the role of executive functioning in social-emotional learning. 

About Beverly:
Beverly Montgomery, M.S., CCC-SLP, earned her Master’s Degree in Speech-Language Pathology from Boston University where she specialized in pragmatic and narrative language. After spending more than 9 years in the Lexington Public Schools she founded Lex Communicate in 2011. Beverly developed a team-based model which is a collaborative, therapeutic relationship between herself, other providers, schools and, most importantly, the family. Inspired by her opportunity to work with executive functioning expert Sarah Ward, she specializes in combining social communication and executive functioning treatment and has advanced training in these areas.

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LexSEPAC/SEPTA Special Education Resource Fair

  • When: Saturday, March 2, 10 am - 1 pm

  • Where: Community Center

Please join Lexington SEPAC/SEPTA for the second annual Special Needs Resource Fair. Come meet therapists, recreational organizations, nonprofits, support groups, and other providers who serve families and children with special needs. Child care will be available.  For more information about the fair and other special needs programming, please visit us.

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Save the Date: 5th Annual Lexington Parent Academy

  • When: Saturday, March 23, 9:30 am – 2:30 pm

  • Where: Lexington’s Community Center

Designed to educate and empower parents and caregivers to manage the changing demands of parenting in today’s world, this is a free event for all interested parents and community members.  A list of presenters will available soon.  Please contact Julie Fenn, Assistant Coordinator of PE, Health and Wellness with any questions:jfenn@lexingtonma.org.

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Fourth Annual Diamond STEAM Fair 2019

  • When: Wednesday, March 27, 6-7:30pm (awards 7:30-8pm)

  • Where: Diamond Cafeteria

  • Register: Use QR code on the flyers and mini cards, or go to the website and select STEAM FAIR

  • Registration deadline: March 10

Who can participate? All Diamond students can participate, either as individuals or in a team.
Is this a Science Fair?  A STEAM fair is similar to a science fair, but is open to even more project topics. Steamis an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math.  Projects at past fairs have included a variety of topics: poetry, a homemade beverage dispenser, an intro to fencing, human impact on coral reefs, optical illusions, DNA models, optimizing a glider, the best tasting cookie, slime, ultimate artwork, origami, clay figures, black holes, bottle rockets, Flint Michigan water crisis, music compositions, and more.
Can I use a project I created for something else? Yes! If you have created a poem, composed music, or created artwork, you can share it at the steamfair.  If you were on a robotics team, you can bring in your robot.  If you participated in the Science Olympiad you can bring in your project. If you have a project for a class in school, you can bring it.  You can create a project specifically for thesteamfairon a topic that interests you, or you can use a project you created that you would like to share with others at the fair.
Do I have to make a poster?  No, it's not required.
Are there awards?  Awards will be determined in multiple categories by impartial members of the community, in addition to a "People's Choice" award to be determined by visitors at the fair.
Questions? Email stemdiamond@gmail.com

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Parents Supporting Parents of Children with Special Needs in Lexington Public Schools

SEPAC meets regularly with LPS administration to be the voice of our parent community. Advising on concerns and opportunities. Our goal is to give all children safe and equitable opportunities in Special Education and to help fellow parents. Whether your child is on an IEP, a 504 plan, or you are interested in learning about the special education process, SEPAC is here to support, educate and connect. We are here for all parents to look for resources, find support, and stay informed.
We invite all parents and community members to follow us on Facebook and Twitter, and visit our web site.

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LexSEPTA / SEPAC Events: Winter / Spring 2019

Link to events:  https://lexsepta.org/events-2/.  To register for a speaker event:  click on event, registration button appears at bottom of description.

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Diamond Performing Arts Calendar

FOLMADS is proud to present the listing of Diamond Performing Arts Events for the next couple of months.  The full calendar can be found at: http://www.folmads.org/.

Diamond Performing Arts Calendar of Events 2018-2019DateEvent DescriptionTimeLocationWed, Feb 27Winter Orchestra Concert - All 5th Grade Strings, All Town Orchestra, Clarke and Diamond 7th Grade Combined Orchestra, LHS Repertoire Orchestra7:30pmLHS GymnasiumThu, Mar 7 - Sun Mar 10Diamond Middle School Musical Production "Annie"7:30pm
11amDiamond Middle School

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Community Announcements

Overcoming Unconscious Bias Workshop, Feb 11 or Feb 23

  • When: Monday, February 11, 6:30 - 8:30 pm or February 23, 10 am - 12 pm

  • Where: Cary Library (large meeting room)

  • RegisterCary LIbrary Calendar

All of us harbor unconscious biases, even those of us with positive intentions. The good news is that training can help us recognize our biases, challenge them, and replace them with inclusive practices. Doing so can create a more just and welcoming environment for all. This training covers all types of biases. It is suitable for adults and motivated teens. Sponsored by LexPride and Cary Memorial Library.  This event is free, but space is limited.

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Gal Project, Feb 11 and Feb 25

  • When: Monday February 11 and 25, 6–7 pm

  • Where: Cary Library

  • RegisterCary Library

Through exploring debate, public speaking, and quiz bowl activities, the Gal Project seeks to empower girls in Grades 6-8 to develop critical thinking skills, teamwork, and self-confidence.  The next session will cover science bowl/quiz bowl competitions, and the girls will get the opportunity to try them out and ask questions!
The Gal Project is led by Jyothsna Bolleddula, a junior at LHS, who developed the program at the MIT Leadership Training Institute and through a Disney Be Inspired grant.  Ms.  Bolleddula has experience working with middle school students and has also been involved with Model UN, debate teams, quiz bowl and student government.

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The Legacy of the Massachusetts 54th Regiment, Feb 12

  • When: Tuesday February 12, 7 pm

  • Where: Cary Library, Living Room

  • Sponsored by: Association of Black Citizens of Lexington (ABCL) and Cary Memorial Library

  • Register: Cary Library Calendar

The Robert Gould Shaw and Massachusetts 54th Regiment Memorial was dedicated on May 30, 1897 and has been considered one of the nation’s greatest monuments. This talk will consider the history the monument represents and the significance of the monument to Boston and the United States. The speaker will be Robert Bellinger.

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Training Active Bystanders for Children, Feb 22

  • When: Friday, February 22, 10am - 12 pm (Grades 4-6) or 2 - 4 pm (Grades 7-10)

  • Where: Cary Library (large meeting room)

  • Recommended: Grades 4-6 or Grades 7-10

  • RegisterLibrary online calendar (sign up opens on February 11 at 7 pm)

If you witness a harmful situation, you have a choice to make. Do you do something? What do you do? This program helps you recognize when you are a bystander, how you can interrupt harm, and how you can encourage others to help as well.  These sessions are free, but space is limited. 

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Special Education at Minuteman High School, Feb 25

  • When: Monday, February 25, 6 - 7.30pm

  • Where: Community Center

We are finding that a lot of people within the community aren’t aware of everything Minuteman offers students.  Did you know that almost 50% of Minuteman students receive support through an IEP? Did you also know that Minuteman earned a 2018 National Blue Ribbon Award?  Representatives from Minuteman will explain Minuteman’s educational model, the opportunities and services available, and how students apply for admission. The goal is to help families understand all of their options for high school in order make informed decisions about their future. See you there!

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Kindergarten Connection

Will your child be starting Kindergarten in Lexington Public Schools in Fall 2019?  LexFUN! invites you to join Kindergarten Connection to help ease the transition.  Connecting you and your child to other children entering Kindergarten at YOUR Lexington elementary school before school actually starts!  By signing up for Kindergarten Connection you will benefit from

  • LexFUN! Kindergarten Connection Parents Forum, March 28, 2019 at 7pm, St. Brigid’s Church, Keilty Hall - your chance to ask seasoned parents questions relating to your school

  • LexFUN! Kindergarten Connection Playdate, sign-up by April 22, 2019 for playdates in May and June - your child can make friends in an informal setting with other children in your school

  • LexFUN! Kindergarten All-School Playdate, Sunday, August 25, 2019, at your school - your child plays with their future classmates while parents connect

To sign up, visit https://lexfun.org/kc.  LexFUN! is the preschool PTA for parents with children aged 5 and under in Lexington.

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Lexington Ski Club

For almost fifty years the Lexington Ski Club has catered to avid snow sport families.  Members enjoy comfortable accommodations at our lodge located in the White Mountains, prepared hot meals during ski season, and after ski activities such as board games and ping pong.  If your family likes to ski or snowboard and appreciates cooperative living, the Lexington Ski Club might be for you.  Currently, we are accepting applications for new members.  For additional information, please contact Joe Scholl at jpscholl4@gmail.comor 781-891-1832 or visit our website.

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Quick Links

  • Looking for an announcement you saw last week? Recent Weekly Announcements are posted at the William Diamond Middle School PTA website: http://www.diamondpta.org/weekly/