Underwood PTO Fundraising Events!

Hello Underwood Parents, 

We have aspirational fundraising goals for the 2020-2021 school year as we increase our support of our classroom teachers and local families. We hope you can join us at our upcoming events!

Virtual Cooking Class with Renown Chef – This Saturday 10/17, Limited Spots Remaining!

We invite you to join your fellow Underwood Families for a fun and exciting cooking class via Zoom. We will be learning how to make a mushroom risotto and chicken marsala worthy of the North End! The cost is $85 per family and all proceeds will benefit the Underwood community. 

Sign up here for a delicious evening with our community!

The menu can be tailored to meet nearly every dietary restriction. No mushrooms, no problem! Chef Joe will be sending out a customized shopping list ahead of dinner. 

We have just a couple of spots available, so please sign up by tomorrow, Thursday October 15.

Annual Fun Run! Halloween, Saturday, 10/31

The Underwood Fun Run is back!!! It will look a little different this year as the event will not be held during the school day. Our little runners will run their own virtual race in their own time on Halloween Day. Run at the time that suits your family, where you want! All of the run proceeds will go back to the Underwood school and community. Why on Halloween day? Because we thought it would be a fun way to celebrate Halloween, be outside and active while wearing our costumes (and face masks)! All while supporting our Underwood Community!

We will once again have t-shirts in order to celebrate the students’ accomplishment! 
The first step is to visit the website here and create a personalized fundraising page for your child. Please contact us at underwoodpto@gmail.com with questions.

Thank you!
Your Underwood PTO

Upcoming Underwood PTO Events

Hello Underwood Families!

We’ve got some awesome upcoming events for you! Please mark your calendar and join us! 
Playground Meet Ups : 10/1 – 10/13
Safe Routes to School
Walk & Roll to School Week: 10/5-10/9
FORJ Events: 10/14 & 10/27
Underwood Fundraiser – Virtual Culinary Event: 10/17
Underwood Fundraiser – Bertuccis: 11/5

Playground Meet Ups

Thank you to everyone who has been able to join our playground meet ups! We’ve made some date corrections and added new dates for Mrs. Tucker and Miss Cipolla’s cohorts. 
 Thursday 10/1 – Mrs. White’s 2nd Grade – Cohort A 4-5pm, Cohort B 5-6pm
Friday 10/2 – Ms. Melanson’s 3rd Grade – Cohort A 4-5pm, Cohort B 5-6pmpm
Monday 10/5 – Ms. Hull’s 4th Grade – Cohort A 4-5pm, Cohort B 5-6pm
Tuesday 10/6 – Ms. Bardin’s 4th Grade Cohort A 4-5pm, Cohort B 5-6pm
Wednesday 10/7 – Ms. Castodio’s 5th Grade Cohort A 4-5pm, Cohort B 5-6pm
Thursday 10/8 – Ms. Murphy’s 5th Grade Cohort A 4-5pm, Cohort B 5-6pm
Friday 10/9 – Mrs. Tucker’s 1st Grade Cohort A 4-5pm, Cohort B 5-6pm
Tuesday 10/13 – Ms. Cipolla’s 1st Grade Cohort A 4-5pm, 2nd Grade Cohort B 5-6pm

Safe Routes to School Walk & Roll to School Week 10/5-10/9

Newton is celebrating Walk & Roll to School Week! Find a way that works for your family and educational mode — pick a day and walk or roll to school or around your home or neighborhood. If you’re looking for a “walking carpool” or “walking school bus” with other Underwood families- keep an eye out in the morning for other walking families. Also, the Underwood PTO directory lets you search by street if you need to find contact information.

Join with Massachusetts Safe Routes to School and participate in Bingo and color a sneaker to hang in your window after you complete your stroll. Download the activity booklet at www.newtonsaferoutes.org

Newton Safe Routes to School promotes walking, biking, and taking the bus to school through encouragement, education, infrastructure improvements, and safety enforcement. Our goal is to create a healthy community for everyone. Over the summer, representatives from many Newton schools worked with the city Transportation Department to identify safety concerns on walking and biking routes. You can contact the city with any concerns or pass them
along to Underwood’s rep, Alex Rolfe <arolfe@alum.mit.edu>.

FORJ (Families Organizing for Racial Justice) Events

Please join us at these upcoming FORJ events: 

Wednesday, October 14th 7pm-8pm –  How to Run Constructive Conversations on Race 
Come learn more about District Highlight Initiative: Constructive Conversations on Race and what it entails to run a group. Visit the FORJ Newton website for event details.

Thursday, October 27th 7pm-8pm – Raising Antiracist Kids Panel 
About the Raising Anti-racist Kids event: Join us for the first in a multi-part educational series on being an anti-racist. Cosponsored by FORJ (Families Organizing for Racial Justice), Harmony Foundation and Newton Human Rights CommissionPanelists include: David . Fleishman, Superintendent of Schools (moderator), Ellie Axe, Director, Story Starters, Michele Leong, Newton North High School Office of Human Rights, Kathy Lopes, Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Newton Public Schools, and Dr. Henry Turner, Principal, Newton North High School. Register Here.

Underwood Fundraiser – Virtual Culinary Event – Saturday 10/17

Please join us for an evening of fun with local Boston Chef Joe! Participants will learn how to make Mushroom Risotto worthy of the North End! Each step of the process will be demonstrated in great detail and you will then get to repeat it yourself using the ingredients and utensils specified, tailored to your specific dietary needs. Glasses of wine are very much recommended!
Cost is $85 per family plus ingredients.  

Date: Saturday, 10/17/2020
Time: 6:30pm – 8:30pm EDT
Location: Your kitchen via Zoom
Register here today!

Underwood Fundraiser: Bertuccis – Online or On Site – Thursday 11/5

On Thursday November 5th, Underwood will receive 15% of all proceeds for meals purchased with code 124-400-170 at Bertuccis.com or present this flier at ANY Bertuccis restaurant between 11:00am and 10:00pm. Please share with your family and friends!

Thank you for your continued support! We look forward to seeing you!

Your Underwood PTO

Picture Day @ Underwood 2020

Dear Underwood Families,

I hope each one of you enjoyed the long weekend and, if you were observing the holiday, I hope you had an easy and meaningful fast. I am writing to share information with all families about Picture Day 2020 at the Underwood School. 

Coffee Pond will be taking school portraits of Underwood students in the Distance Learning Academy on Thursday, October 8th and Tuesday, October 13th outside Underwood after school from 3:30-4:30pm. Please click here to sign your child(ren) up for a 10 minute time slot. Please arrive as close to your chosen time as possible to limit the number of people gathered.

Coffee Pond has introduced online ordering and a new barcode scanning system to eliminate the need to pass paper between individuals. Please order your photos at https://www.coffeepond.com/ in advance of your child’s picture day. Coffee Pond’s Covid-19 Safety Measures and Online Ordering Instructions are attached.

You do not have to order photos to have your child’s portrait taken. We encourage as many families as possible to have their child’s picture taken, as these are the pictures used for their profiles in Aspen and used internally at the school. In addition, Coffee Pond archives grade level photos (K-5) for each graduating class to use in its 5th grade yearbook. It’s a great way to look back at the students over the years!

Class photos will not be taken this year for students in either learning model due to social distancing measures. 

Please contact Lacey Rochford with any questions at rochfordl@newton.k12.ma.us.

Thank you,


Dr. Sujan S. Talukdar


Underwood Elementary School 

Newton Public Schools






DLA Sign Up

Face Masks and Directory Update

We hope you’re all doing well and hanging in there as you navigate the return to school. We have a few updates to share with you this week:

PTO Face Mask Fundraiser
We have procured Underwood custom face masks for kids from the local retailer Rafi Nova. The masks are adjustable to fit your child’s face and come in three colors: purple, grey, and blue. Our first batch is in limited quantities, so please check them out today!

PTO Directory: Please Update Your Family Information
Including your family’s updated information in this year’s directory is more important than ever, as NPS will no longer be providing class lists due to privacy laws. Membership Toolkit will be a way for families in the Hybrid Model and Distance Learning Academy to connect with each other and have a list of classmates across Underwood.

Once you have updated your information, you will have access to the school-wide directory of families that have opted-in to share their information with other Underwood families. Note: No directory information will be shared externally. 

Here’s what you need to do:

  • Go to https://underwoodschoolpto.membershiptoolkit.com.
  • Note: New this year is a request for your child’s anticipated high school graduation year. This allows for easier management as your child moves through Newton Public Schools. For reference, anticipation graduation years for incoming grades are as follows:
    • Kindergarten – Class of 2033
    • First Grade – Class of 2032
    • Second Grade – Class of 2031
    • Third Grade – Class of 2030
    • Fourth Grade – Class of 2029
    • Fifth Grade – Class of 2028

Returning families:

  1. Log-in
  2. Select Register>>Log In
  3. Follow Step 1 – Family Information to update your student information for the 2020-2021 academic year
  4. Follow Step 2 – Directory Publish Preferences to update your privacy options

New families:

  1. Select “Create Account”, then select Register>>Log In
  2. Fill in your first and last names, email address, and password information.
  3. Click Verify my email and then check your email for a link to complete the process. 
    1. NOTE: The link expires in 2 hours. If you do not receive the email, check your spam or junk folders.
  4. Once you have verified your email address, log back in and finish the registration process. 
  5. Once your account has been created:
    • Complete the Parent/Family and Student Information
    • Complete the Directory/Publish Preferences.

Please contact us with any questions: Underwoodpto@gmail.com. (Note – we do not have the ability to reset your password in MyMembershipToolkit.)

Thank you, 
Your PTO 

Room Parent/Guardian Volunteers Needed

Welcome to an unusual school year!  I’m your PTO Room Parent Coordinator, and have also been a room parent every year my kids have been at Underwood! (This year my son, Kai, will be in 4th grade and my daughter Juju just moved on to Bigelow.)

I’d like to welcome back all returning families, welcome new Underwood families, and explain how room parenting this year will look different from past years.

Room Parenting During the 2020-21 Academic Year

This year, so much has changed, and the Room Parent role has shifted accordingly.  The Cohort and DLA structure has required us to make changes to the specifics of the room parent role: Most importantly, the focus this year will be on communication and community.   Please read below to understand more about the specific room parent roles under each model.

Room Parenting within the Hybrid Model (Cohorts A,B, & C)

  • We will need at least one room parent for every teacher (Fucarile, Tucker, Cipolla, White, Melanson, Hull, Bardin, Castodio, Murphy), but we welcome more!!  If you’re interested and would like to get involved, we would love to have you on board!!
  • Room parents will still act as a liaison between their teacher, the PTO, and a group of families (it’s still TBD whether the group of families will be determined by cohort, teacher, grade, etc.).  Because of the increased physical distance between us this year, we are hoping to use the room parent role to increase, in whatever ways possible, the sense of cohesion and community among our families.  Many room parents from the past have also done this, but the idea this year is to encourage participation in events and activities; reach out to specific parents/guardians who may seem like a good fit for a particular project; help arrange socially distanced small-group gatherings of children outdoors or socially distanced/zoom gatherings of adults; reach out to see if teachers need extra help, etc.  

Room Parenting within theDLA (Distance Learning Academy) 

  • We will need at least one room parent per grade for the DLAbut, as with the Hybrid model, we welcome more!!  If you’re interested and would like to get involved, please let me know!!
  • Because of the structure of the DLA model, DLA room parents will not have a liaison to a specific teacher.   We are currently investigating whether DLA room parents may have a staff liaison, but this is still uncertain.  You will always be able to communicate directly with me with any questions and concerns throughout the academic year.
  • Because of the physical distance built into the DLA model, the role of the DLA room parents this year will be primarily to build and maintain community and communication among Underwood DLA families.  Each DLA room parent will be responsible for communicating with families in their particular grade.  The idea is to encourage participation in events and activities; reach out to specific parents/guardians who may seem like a good fit for a particular project; help arrange socially distanced small-group gatherings of children outdoors or socially distanced/zoom gatherings of adults; or any other creative idea you might have.

For Room Parents in Both Models 

  • Because this is our first year using the Hybrid and DLA models, our current goals and visions for room parenting are aspirational.   We’ll have to see what teachers/families/our kids actually need as the year progresses and adapt accordingly.  Please know that we hugely appreciate your willingness to consider participating during this unprecedented year.  
  • If you have any questions about being a room parent in either model, don’t hesitate to contact me!  I’d love to hear from you!

All the best,

Jen Gistrak


You may have heard the PTO is expanding our classroom volunteer program to include two new roles this year. These opportunities are great ways to become involved in your child’s classroom and meet other parents, whether you’re a stay-at-home or working parent.

Families Organizing for Racial Justice (FORJ) Class Liaison – FORJ is a group of Newton families helping our children learn about issues of power and inequality and how to stand up for racial justice. The FORJ Class Liaison(s) works with Underwood FORJ leaders to promote and organize events around racial justice in our community. FORJ Class Liaisons can bring forward class specific ideas and for execution at a school-wide level. To learn more about FORJ, visit https://forjnewton.com/about/. Contact Erika Holmberg at FORJatUnderwood@gmail.com

FUEL Program Class Liaison – The FUEL Program is an ongoing food drive to provide weekend food for students who rely on breakfasts and lunches at school during the week. The FUEL Class Liaison(s) periodically organizes donations of non-perishable food from families in their child’s classroom. Contact Nicole Peterson at nmprairie@gmail.com

Upcoming Events – September 2020

Hello Underwood Families!

We hope you’re all settling in to your new school routines. We have a few upcoming events to share with you:

Virtual PTO Meeting

Tomorrow – Tuesday, September 29th at 7:00pm

Join our first PTO Meeting of the school year to learn more about what the PTO does, what to expect for the upcoming year, and how you can get involved!

We will also be raffling off this amazing Fall Date Night gift basket: wool blanket, wine glasses and a bottle of Underwood Pino Noir.


Meeting ID: 394 141 2138

Passcode: 310918

Playground Meetups!

We’re kicking off a series of playground meetups by Cohort and Grade. DLA students are welcome to join either grade cohort! 

Tuesday 9/29 – Mrs. Tucker’s 1st Grade – Cohort A 4-5pm, Cohort B 5-6pm
Wednesday 9/30 – Ms. Cippola’s 1st Grade – Cohort A 4-5, Cohort B 5-6pm
Thursday 10/1 – Mrs. White’s 2nd Grade – Cohort A 4-5pm, Cohort B 5-6pm
Friday 10/2 – Ms. Melanson’s 3rd Grade – Cohort A 4-5pm, Cohort B 5-6pm
Monday 10/4 – Ms. Hull’s 4th Grade – Cohort A 4-5pm, Cohort B 5-6pm
Tuesday 10/5 – Ms. Bardin’s 4th Grade Cohort A 4-5pm, Cohort B 5-6pm
Wednesday 10/6 – Ms. Castodio’s 5th Grade Cohort A 4-5pm, Cohort B 5-6pm
Thursday 10/7 – Ms. Murphy’s 5th Grade Cohort A 4-5pm, Cohort B 5-6pm

We hope to see you there!

New School Year Information – 2020-2021

Welcome back to school! We hope your family had a happy and healthy summer and is excited to be back at Underwood for what will be a year like no other. We are truly looking forward to working with you and getting to know you this year through our roles with the PTO Board.

Please take a few minutes to read through this Welcome Packet with information about the following: 

As Underwood parents or guardians, you are all automatically members of the PTO! Your willingness to participate and volunteer as you are able, given your unique family and work commitments, is paramount to the success, strength, and energy of our PTO and community. Our PTO Board and Committees are comprised of volunteers working throughout the year to organize and execute a wide range of fundraisers, community building opportunities, and enrichment programming and we are so appreciative of every minute the parent community at Underwood dedicates to our school. 

This year will require all of us to re-imagine the Underwood experience, as many of our beloved events will need to be re-thought in light of safety and social distancing. As a PTO Board we have been hard at work brainstorming fundraising and community building events for this new landscape and we hope you will be as excited as we are about what we have in the works! 

The PTO touches nearly every aspect of the Underwood experience and our fundraising efforts provide essential financial support for:

  • Allocations for teachers, specialists, and the Principal to spend directly on what our students and classrooms need most;
  • Updates to the school library;
  • School-wide technology purchases necessary to meet city and state standards;
  • Enrichment Programming by grade level including Understanding Our Differences (UOD), Creative Arts and Sciences (CASC), and Child Assault Prevention Program (CAPP);
  • Community building events;
  • Community support of families in need. 

We fund these important initiatives through a combination of fundraisers and Annual Fund donations from families. Our Annual Fund campaign is ongoing throughout the year, and we encourage families to participate if they are able. Donations can be made via Paypal at underwoodschoolpto.org/donate, via Venmo at @underwoodpto, or checks can be made to the “Underwood PTO” mailed to us at 101 Vernon Street, Newton, MA 02458. Gifts of any size are welcome and our collective support makes a difference to the experience of our students at Underwood! 

You can also support the PTO every time you do everyday shopping on Amazon by ordering through Amazon Smile. Visit Amazon Smile to direct 0.5% of your purchase to the Underwood School PTO at no extra cost to you. Note: Only purchases made via smile.amazon.com are eligible for credit. 

Underwood Merchandise

Underwood Merchandise is here! We now have even more options for your students to show their Owl pride! Underwood merchandise is available for purchase through local business All Sports Wear in Newton Highlands. Visit our online Underwood store for your “back to school” uniform of  pajamas, face masks, and hoodies perfect for remote, distanced, and outdoor learning! All proceeds benefit the PTO.

Our first batch of Underwood tie dye masks sold out in just a few days! Thank you for your support! If you missed out and are still interested in purchasing a mask please email us at underwoodpto@gmail.com so we can gauge demand for a second order. 

Principal Talukdar Updates

We hope many of you were able to virtually meet our new Principal, Dr. Suzie Talukdar, during her two recent presentations to parents and caregivers. We are sharing the slides for those presentations below for anyone who was not able to attend. While the Information Session was geared toward families in the Hybrid Model, it may be useful for all members of the community to see the procedures in place at school this year.

Principal Talukdar also wanted to provide an update that in a recent change, Grab and Go Lunches will only be available at the end of the school day for the limited number of students remaining at Underwood until 3pm. For all others, Grab and Go meals will continue to be provided M-F from 10am-12pm at Newton North and Newton South High Schools at no cost.

Upcoming Events

Virtual PTO Meeting – Tuesday, October 29th at 7:00pm

Join our first PTO Meeting of the school year to learn more about what the PTO does, what to expect for the upcoming year, and how you can get involved! We will also be raffling off a surprise fall-themed prize to one lucky attendee! Agenda to follow.


Meeting ID: 394 141 2138; Passcode: 310918

Virtual Cooking Class – Saturday, October 17th

Join other Underwood parents for a festive evening of Italian cooking and community from the comfort of your own kitchen! Details and sign-up information to follow. 

Halloween Fun Run – October 31st Weekend

We are bringing back our Underwood Fun Run in a socially distanced format. This will be a fantastic community fundraiser and an opportunity to bring together all Underwood families across learning models. Stay tuned for more information. Costumes encouraged, masks required!

Classroom Volunteer Opportunities

The PTO is expanding our classroom volunteer program to include two new roles this year in addition to our long standing Room Parent role: a FORJ (Families Organizing for Racial Justice) Liaison and a FUEL Program Liaison. Click here to learn more about these roles and how to volunteer! These opportunities are great ways to become involved in your child’s classroom and meet other parents, whether you’re a stay-at-home OR working parent, especially this year as everything will be done virtually. 

We will also be seeking Room Parents for each grade of Underwood students attending the Distance Learning Academy. These volunteers will be essential in communicating with families in the DLA about community events at Underwood and organizing opportunities for connection amongst those students who share Underwood as their home school.

Underwood Directory via Membership Toolkit

The Underwood PTO uses Membership Toolkit to maintain its online directory of students, families, and faculty. This year our directory will be more important than ever, as NPS will not be sharing classroom student information due to privacy laws. You should have received instructions for both returning and new families from the PTO on September 15th. 

Please be sure to register if you are a new Underwood family or update your family’s information so that others in our community can connect with you and find families in their child’s classroom and grade. Families may choose to keep some information private. If you have a change of information any time within the school year, please log in and edit your account. Please get in touch with us anytime at underwoodpto@gmail.com with any issues.

Absence/Tardy Call Back System

If your child will be absent or tardy, please call 617-559-9680 before 8:25 AM on the day of the absence, if you have not already notified the school. Please refer to this Call Back System Flyer or print to hang by your phone for easy access.

Building The Underwood Community

The PTO communicates frequently with you via email and monthly Newsletters so that you are kept informed and reminded of important school events. You can also connect with Underwood and stay updated this year in the following ways:

Please tag us or share your photos of your online learning and other activities in the community. 

The goal of all of our communications is to help you navigate the school year and to help build the strongest community possible. Please do not hesitate to contact us at underwoodpto@gmail.com with any questions you might have as the year progresses. 


Your PTO Board

Amy Davis and Laura Goldworm – Co-Presidents

John Papoutsis – Treasurer

Katie Graves Williams – VP of Fundraising

Kerry Curran – VP of Communications

Mariel Ortega – VP Community Building

Kate Luethy – Secretary

Crislin Waldman – DLA Liaison

Erika Holmberg – Officer at Large 

Joanne Wang – Newsletter Editor 

Letter from the PTO Co-Presidents

Hello Underwood Families,

As the school year comes to a close, we would like to acknowledge and thank the teachers, staff, volunteers and parents that have come together and really stepped up to help our students through this very uncertain time. Your participation and support now and throughout the school year is what makes the Underwood community such a special one! 

Thank You Principal Harold
We would also like to send a heartfelt thank you and well wishes to Principal Elaine Harold as she transitions out of her role as interim principal at Underwood. Her leadership, hard work, and commitment to the Underwood staff, teachers, students, and families throughout the school year and particularly during this uncertain time is very much appreciated. If time allows, please show your appreciation before June 18th. 

  • Email (from you and/or your student): Snap a photo of your student holding a drawing or letter by your student and email it to Principal Harold with a note of appreciation from you or your student.

Thank You Teachers + Staff
The Underwood teachers and staff have continued to work extremely hard during this uncertain time. Please consider sending your student’s teacher an email note of thanks before the school year ends. 

2020-2021 Underwood PTO Board Members 
We would like to introduce you to your 2020-2021 PTO Board Members. These dedicated nine volunteers will lead you through the next school year as we welcome new Principal Suzie Talukdar and continue to navigate the current public health situation together. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out. 

  • Co-President: Laura Goldworm + Amy Davis
  • Treasurer: John Papoutsis
  • Secretary: Kate Luethy
  • VP Community Building: Mariel Ortega
  • VP Fundraising: Joel Kamm + Katie Williams
  • VP Communications: Kerry Curran
  • Officer-at-large: Erika Holmberg

Finally, it has been a great pleasure for us to lead the PTO this school year. We wish everyone a wonderful and safe summer!

All our best,
Anne-Marie Gravel & Jen Tsuda
PTO Co-Presidents / underwoodpto@gmail.com

Nurse Carrie’s Home Health Room Videos

Video #7 - School Year Finale

Check out the "finale" of Nurse Carrie and her student puppets as they talk about how to be safe and healthy and also have fun this summer.

I pay a special tribute at the end to our 5th grade graduates who started as kindergartners my first year at Underwood 6 years ago.

Thank you all for your positive feedback and support of these videos. I hope to make more in the future. I don't know what school will look like in September but I am crossing my fingers that we will be able to be safely together in some capacity.

Please reach out to me anytime if you have any questions, concerns or just want to give me updates about your kids. I will be checking my email semi-regularly and would love to hear from you.

Have a safe, healthy, and peaceful summer.

~Nurse Carrie

Take Care of Yourself, Take Care of Others

Hello Underwood parents/guardians,

This letter is from Deb Youngblood, the Newton Health Commissioner. It is a list of mental health and substance abuse resources for families.

Have a safe, healthy and peaceful week. ~Nurse Carrie

Video #6 - Appreciation and Activities

In this week’s Tabletop Video (#6) Nurse Carrie talks about “appreciation” during Teacher and Nurse Appreciation week and the puppets share activities they enjoy to give students new creative ideas. It ends with a unique (rough around the edges) thank you to teachers and a tribute to moms.

On another note, I want to say how much I love making these videos and am so thrilled when I hear that the kids and families enjoy them. As much as I would love to continue to create weekly Tabletop Videos, I will need to take a pause in order to attend to other remote school nurse responsibilities. I plan to make a couple of more videos before the school year ends and will send an email notification as soon as the next one is complete.

In the meantime, please encourage your kids to write and mail letters to any or all of the puppets and they will write back and include a coloring page.

Address is Nurse Carrie Gately, 316 Franklin St. Newton, MA 02458.

May 4, 2020 - Nurse Call Hours

Hello to My Wonderful Underwood Families.

The Health and Human Services Dept is sending this letter to let you know that I will have "call hours" from 9-12 Tuesdays and Fridays. Please read the letter for details but know that I am available beyond those hours to give you a call back if you request it - we will work out a time that is convenient for you.

Thanks so much and I look forward to talking with you.

~Nurse Carrie

Video #5 with Peggy Pig

Join Nurse Carrie and Peggy Pig this week. In today's Tabletop Video, Nurse Carrie teaches first aid when Peggy Pig hurts her arm; Peety learns about X-Ray technology, and at the end I suggest students write to my puppets and they will write back.

As I mention in the video, students can mail a letter to any of the puppet friends to:
Nurse Carrie Gately, 316 Franklin St., Newton, MA 02458

The puppets will write them back :). After you watch the video, feel free to email Nurse Carrie and tell her what you liked about it. Please send any ideas for other health topics you would like to learn about.

Video #4 with Peety Pup, Harriet Hedgehog, Peggy Pig and Eddie Eagle 

Join Nurse Carrie, Peety Pup, Harriet Hedgehog, Peggy Pig, and Eddie Eagle this week. In this episode, Nurse Carrie talks about their unique traits and shares something unique about being human. The video ends with a few great jokes with Nurse Carrie's puppet helpers!

After you watch the video, feel free to email Nurse Carrie and tell her what you liked about it. Please send any ideas for other health topics you would like to learn about. We hope you enjoy learning from Peety Pup, Harriet Hedgehog, Peggy Pig, and Eddie Eagle this week :).

Video #3 with Peety Pup, Harriet Hedgehog and Peggy Pig - Learn about Cavities

Join Nurse Carrie, Peety Pup, Harriet Hedgehog and Peggy Pig this week. In this episode, Nurse Carrie will give us a white board lesson on cavities and you and your student can take a fun quiz with Peety Pup, Harriet Hedgehog and Peggy Pig. The video ends with a catchy song performed by Nurse Carrie's puppet helpers!

After you watch the video, feel free to email Nurse Carrie and tell her what you liked about it. Please send any ideas for other health topics you would like to learn about. We hope you enjoy learning from Peety Pup, Harriet Hedgehog, and Peggy Pig this week :). 

Video #2 with Peety Pup and Harriet Hedgehog

Join Nurse Carrie and Peety Pup this week and find out how to help Harriet Hedgehog who is upset. In this week's episode, you and your student will learn about the feeling "worry" and will be able to answer the following questions: 

  1. When we are worried or upset about something, we often feel sick in what part of our body?
  2. What is one way to help our body and brain relax?
  3. Is it okay and normal to feel worried?

After you watch the video, feel free to email Nurse Carrie and tell her what you liked about it. Please send any ideas for other health topics you would like to learn about. We hope you enjoy learning from Peety Pup and Harriet Hedgehog this week :). 

Video #1: Nurse Carrie takes care of Peety Pup

Announcing Nurse Carrie's Home Health Room Videos. To stay connected, Nurse Carrie will make a video every Friday and send it to you. The videos will also be updated on this website and posted on Facebook. Each video will take place on Nurse Carrie's tabletop Home Health Room. She will teach a mini health lesson while taking care of a student puppet.

Video #1: Nurse Carrie takes care of Peety Pup. Join Nurse Carrie this week as she takes care of the student puppet "Peety Pup". Through this skit, Nurse Carrie and Peety Pup will answer the following questions:

  1. What number on the thermometer means that you have a fever?
  2. Why do kids sometimes get fevers?
  3. How can you help your body when you have a fever?

After you watch the video, feel free to email Nurse Carrie and tell her what you liked about it. Please send any ideas for other health topics you would like to learn about. We hope you enjoy learning from Peety Pup :). 


Dear Underwood Families,

Usually I like to say “Greetings from the Underwood Health Room!” but now I will say, “Greetings from my house to yours!”

I hope you are all staying healthy and finding ways to keep busy and productive as you navigate a “new normal.”  As we all know, kids will feel okay if they feel their caregivers are okay so it is important to be positive and reassure them that things will get back to normal eventually.

Please tell your kids that Nurse Carrie says, “Hi… I miss you all!”  Tell them that I want them to wash their hands (using soap and water and scrubbing for 20 seconds) every time they come in from being outside the house and every time they eat or use the bathroom😊.  Tell them I suggest they play cards and board games, to draw, build a tent with blankets and furniture, create something out of an old box, make sock puppets, and go outside for a walk (but stay 6 feet apart from people outside their family). And of course, read:)

I want to emphasize that it is important to take social distancing seriously to stop the spread of this virus.  The public health doctors are very clear that every single small social contact helps perpetuate this virus exponentially and every single small avoided social contact helps stymie it exponentially.

This article by Asaf Bitton, a doctor and public health expert, explains it very well: 

Also if you go to the Newton Health and Human Services website, they have an amazing Covid- 19 FAQ section at the bottom of the home page which they update frequently: 

If students want to contact me by email please tell them to write and I will write them back. I will be checking my email every day: gatelyca@newton.k12.ma.us.

Parents, feel free to reach out by email with any questions or concerns. You can tell me a time that is convenient to call you and I will call you back.

Thank you for all you are doing to care for your kids and for each other. We are all in this together and need to stay upbeat, kind, patient, and united.


Nurse Carrie

A Note to the Underwood Community

Dear Underwood Community,

The Underwood PTO would like to acknowledge the sadness, anger, and fear many may feel after watching the injustice surrounding the death of Mr. Floyd and the subsequent unrest throughout our country.

Our school expectations are to take care of ourselves, others, and the environment. Part of “taking care” is recognizing and speaking up when we, others, and the environment are being treated unjustly. Many of our students have been learning about being an upstander – about recognizing when something is wrong, and acting to make it right.  Below are a few resources to help Underwood families as they think about how to be upstanders in this time.  

FORJ City-Wide Meeting: Symptoms of COVID-19 and Racism in our Community
All members of the Underwood community are invited to join Newton Families Organizing for Racial Justice (FORJ) at their city-wide meeting on June 10th. 

  • Date/Time: Wednesday June 10th @ 7:30-8:30 PM
  • RSVP: Zoom password required please RSVP HERE
  • FORJ Website:Visit the FORJ website to sign up for our newsletter and receive more information about this and other upcoming meetings. Email FORJatUnderwood@gmail.com if you are interested in joining Underwood’s chapter of FORJ.

Additional Resources about Racism
Below is an abbreviated list of additional resources for talking about racism with your children:

  • Embrace Race: This website includes webinars, articles, and toolkits designed to help parents and children be brave about race.
  • Books for Littles: Engaging children’s picture books to discuss hard topics. There are links to additional resources and toolkits written specifically for families with school-aged children.
  • Dottir Press Books: A selection of books to support families as they speak about racism are free until June 19th.  
  • FORJ Resources: A collection of relevant books, articles, and information.
  • Wee The People Boston: A great resource for activities and workshops in the Boston area. 

Letters from Community Leaders

We look forward to when we can all be together again. This fall we plan to hold our Cultural Fair again, where we celebrate the wonderful diversity of our school community. In the meantime, the Underwood Community Cookbook was launched last month as a way to virtually celebrate Underwood’s diversity.

We hope these resources and links provide you and your families with information to empower hope and change. For more information please reach out to Underwood FORJ Committee. 

Best regards,
The Underwood FORJ Committee and PTO

Reading & Writing Tips

Join Mrs. Stacey Mann, Underwood's Literacy Specialist, to hear her top three tips for parents on how to keep students motivated in reading and writing. Please email her at faneuils@newton.k12.ma.us if you have any questions.

Teacher Appreciation Week

The Underwood teachers and staff have been working extremely hard in this transition to distance learning. If time allows, please consider one of the following ways to show your appreciation:

  1. Zoom Meeting: Have your student draw a picture or write a short note to their teacher(s) and hold it up during their whole class Zoom meeting next week.
  2. Email (from you and/or your student): Snap a photo of your student holding a drawing or letter by your student and email it to your teacher(s) with a note of appreciation from you or your student.
  3. NPS Social Media: Please join us to say thank you to all NPS teachers by submitting a thank you card, photo or video. Use this form to submit your creation and look for it on our social media channels next week!
  4. Newton Schools Foundation Honor Thy Teacher: Over these past weeks, many parents have developed a deep appreciation for the job that our teachers do each day. If you are looking for a way to express that appreciation during Teacher Appreciation Week or after, here is a way to say thank you.
    • By donating to Newton Schools Foundation’s Honor Thy Teacher program in the name of one or more of your children’s teachers, you can show your appreciation for them AND support your children’s schools. NSF will notify each teacher honored of your gift and share their names with Principals and the Superintendent. A list of honored teachers will appear on the NSF website and in the Newton TAB.
    • Your tax-deductible donation will go towards funding NSF grants for promising educational initiatives, professional development, and programs that close gaps in opportunity and achievement. In furtherance of those goals, in recent weeks NSF directed its resources toward the challenges of COVID-19 with a $85,500 grant for the Newton Public Schools to purchase 300 Chromebooks for students needing access to online learning during school closures.
    • It’s easy to donate online (http://www.newtonschoolsfoundation.org/honor-thy-teacher), or you can mail your donation to Newton Schools Foundation, P.O. Box 590020, Newton Centre, MA 02459. Please be sure to include the names of the teachers and/or staff that you are honoring.
    • To find out more about the programs NSF funds, visit our website at (http://www.newtonschoolsfoundation.org/programs-we-fund).