PTO Newsletter – June 10th, 2021

School Calendar
Friday, June 11th – Spring Fling Outdoor Family Night
Thursday, June 17th – 5th Grade Graduation
Friday, June 18th – Juneteenth Observed – NO SCHOOL
Tuesday, June 22nd – Last Day of School!

Letter From the Principal 

Dear Underwood Families:As I reflect on this past year, I realize how much we have accomplished together. What a difference a year makes! I thank the Underwood Community for the tremendous support you have given to me in my first year as principal in Newton, which happened to also coincide with being the most unusual year of my career. I have felt privileged to work among so many wonderful people. I begin by saluting every member of the Underwood staff who are thoughtful, caring, and collaborative professionals.
No day is ever the same in an elementary school, and this year made it all the more unique. This is a dynamic staff with exceptional strengths and talents with a common bond–their love and commitment to children. I thank our Underwood parents and caregivers for entrusting your children to me, especially as we navigated a whole new model of education due to the pandemic. What an interesting way it was to begin my tenure as principal and all of you made me feel welcomed! Truth be told, I felt I was able to learn so much about what the community values and got to know many people quickly. I regret that I was unable to get to know some others as much as I would have liked due to students being in two different learning models (hybrid/in-person and DLA). Underwood is truly a wonderful community of learners and you have been most supportive of all of the changes we experienced throughout the school year.
I have been fortunate to work with your outstanding PTO leaders, Amy Davis and Laura Goldworm, and a host of other PTO members. I have observed first hand their strong commitment to the Underwood School, the faculty, parents and children. They are outstanding leaders who are strong advocates for children and families, and rallied community members to show support and appreciation for the Underwood faculty and staff as well as to families. As the end of the school year approaches, I look forward to sharing special moments together and am excited about what next year will bring. Have a wonderful summer!

Much love,
Suzie 🙂

Letter From the PTO President

Dear Underwood Families,

We made it! It is overwhelming to think how much uncertainty, change and flexibility went into this school year, but here we are in the final two weeks of school. Thank you for everything you did for Underwood throughout this year, from volunteering your time to attending events to supporting fundraisers. Your engagement is what makes the Underwood community so special and YOU showed up even amidst the chaos of this year.

It was heart-warming to see so many families out on the playground enjoying our Taco Tuesday food truck night. It was a beautiful evening and a hugely successful event we hope to repeat next year! T

his past Friday we gathered again for a fabulous night of music and merriment at the We are “Back”yard Concert featuring Will Dailey. It was the perfect way to return to in-person adult social events and made us so excited for more of these opportunities next school year!

A special thank you to 3rd grade parent Will for generously donating his talent and time on behalf of Underwood and to the Goldworms and Luethys for hosting.

(Thanks to another talented Underwood parent, photographer Jared Leeds, for snapping this photo during the concert!)

 Now it is the kids’ turn to celebrate and be together! We are so excited to see many of you tomorrow at the Spring Fling from 5-8pm at Underwood Playground! We will have a children’s DJ, Bubble Barge, and lawn games including 9 Square in the Air. For refreshments there will be pizza by the slice, snacks, and drinks available for purchase, along with an ice cream truck. Thank you to Katie Williams for organizing the entertainment for this event!

Finally, congratulations to our 5th Grade students and families as they move on to Bigelow next year! The Class of ‘21 has left a lasting legacy at Underwood, and you will only be a block away, so please come back and visit!

Enjoy the summer!

All our best, 
Amy Davis and Laura Goldworm
PTO Co-Presidents

Staff Spotlight

What a crazy and exciting year this has been! Through remote, hybrid and in-person experiences, our students have worked very hard this year to hone their skills in literacy. According to research, students who do not read over the summer can lose as much as 20% of their reading skills and strategies – the equivalent of 2 months of school! One way to prevent such reading loss is to continue to read over the summer. Everyday, encourage your child to try to read something – a book, a recipe, a menu, a magazine, a newspaper. Options to read are everywhere and every word counts! 

The Newton Public Library, along with the Newton Public School library teachers, have worked together to create a list of suggested titles for each grade level. You may find the link for these guides here

We encourage students to take a picture of themselves reading a favorite book this summer. You may choose to send these pictures to me at or children may choose to bring in their pictures at the beginning of the school year. If you are looking for other ways to support summer reading, check out this site. We can’t wait to see all of our little Underwood Owls reading this summer! 

Happy reading!
Stacey Faneuil Mann
Underwood and District Wide News

DLA Materials

It is now time to begin material returns instead of pickups. We need your help!! Literacy teams need to have time to inventory materials before the end of the year in order to replenish classrooms over the summer. Here you will find a list by grade of what needs to be returned. Returns this week to your Home School, Thursday-Friday, June 10-11 in a bag labeled with the student’s name and grade and the teacher’s name:All literacy books (independent and guided)Fundations tiles (K-3) with magnetic board (K-3)Library booksReturns to your Home School on Tuesday, June 22nd:Charged devices and cords, as well as the other non-consumable materials.Library booksWe wish you a great summer!!!

Device Return! 
Prior to the last day of school, we will collect devices and chargers from all students. Students will not be permitted to keep devices throughout the summer. You will soon receive information from your child’s classroom teacher about the specific date for collection. If your child’s device is damaged in any way, please let the teacher know and share a brief summary of any issues.

 Moving on Ceremony (5th Grade Graduation)
: Thursday, June 17, 2021
Time:  12:45pm (Families are invited to arrive no earlier than 12:30 to get settled and find seats!)
Where:  Underwood Parking Lot
Who:  5th Grade Families All 5th grade families are invited to come and celebrate their students’ success. Dr. Talukdar will share a message with students, students will receive diplomas, students will sing their Moving On Ceremony song, and there will be a presentation of the class gifts. Younger siblings (who are at Underwood) are invited as well and can join you for the ceremony if you choose.

NOTE: Due to space limitations and our commitment to maintaining safety, we kindly ask that only those family members living within the home attend the ceremony (i.e. parents and siblings ONLY). Mask guidance: Effective May 29, for outdoor graduations only, attendees and staff are not required to wear masks and are encouraged to distance from individuals not in their household as feasible. Attendees are encouraged to wear face coverings if they are not vaccinated.

FUEL Program Ongoing Food Donations 

Thank you to everyone who has been making contributions! 

The Underwood PTO is collecting food donations on an ongoing basis to benefit the FUEL Program, which distributes a weekly bag of food to Newton families, including those in the Underwood community. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the program is not able to work with its typical corporate sponsors and is currently solely dependent on community donations. We invite Underwood families to support our neighbors and fellow Newton residents by contributing non perishable items for distribution. 

Click here to find the list of accepted items (please do not drop off any items not listed)

Parent volunteers Nicole Peterson and Diane Martel collect donations of the above items at 34 Eldredge Street (blue house directly across the street from the school) or 14 Shornecliffe Road on the front porch. For the month of June we are encouraging each grade to bring a specific item to ensure a variety of donations – see below. Please direct any questions to Nicole at

June Donations

Kindergarten – Macaroni and cheese, Beans, preferably bagged (black, pinto, etc.), and Peanut butter (18oz)
1st Grade – Marinara sauce (24oz, preferably in plastic) and Soup, hearty (10-15oz each)
2nd Grade – Chicken (canned 12.5oz) and Tuna (canned)
3rd Grade – Cereal (10-12oz) or cereal bars, and Crackers (10-15oz box)
4th Grade – Fruit (individual cups), Applesauce (individual cups or squeeze portions), and Fruit (15 oz cans of pineapple, fruit cocktail, pears, peaches or oranges)
5th Grade – Pasta (1 lb of any type, box or bag) and Rice (1 or 2 lb bag or box)