Underwood Updates – 1/3/23

Upcoming Events
1/16 – Martin Luther King Jr. Day – No School
2/2 – Early Release Day
2/3 – Un-Prom @ the Newton ElksView Calendar 
The Underwood Un-Prom is 2/3/23
Calling all grown-ups – don’t miss the first Un(derwood) Prom fundraising event!

Join your fellow Underwood Community adults for a super-fun evening of music, dancing, and optional prom-wear. Dress theme is “Decades”, pick your favorite: 50’s 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, 90’s, 00’s, & today!

Wish you wore Molly Ringwald’s poufy sleeves or Olivia Newton John’s leather jacket? Now’s your chance! 

Looking for an excuse to dust off your letterman’s jacket? Done! 

Still fit into your prom tux or dress? Even better! 

Dreaming of wearing an old bridesmaids dress? This is the night! 

Prefer casual? You’re in! 

Who: Underwood Community Grown-ups
What: A very fun night of music, drinks, dancing, a silent auction and more!
Where: Elks Lodge, 429 Centre St (above C&N Pizza)
When: Friday, February 3rd 7-11pm
Cost: $50 per person donation (cash bar)
RSVP: https://bit.ly/unprom2023
Underwood School Council – Deadline Extended

Are You Interested in joining the Underwood School Council?The School Council is a great way to get involved with important decisions that affect our children. Mandated by state law, the Council serves as an advisory board to the principal. Members include the principal, 2 faculty/staff and 2 parent/guardian representatives, and a community member. School Council provides a forum to discuss and advise the principal on issues that arise throughout the year, including programmatic matters; the school improvement plan; safety and building maintenance issues; and other relevant topics.

During the 2022-23 school year, we will meet 3-4 times through June.The Underwood School Council is a separate entity from the PTO. School Council focuses on programmatic, operational, and budgetary issues, while the PTO provides social and community support and curriculum enhancement activities. Parents/guardians are elected for 2- or 3-year terms to School Council. In NPS, we recommend staggered terms to avoid complete council turnover. For our newly constituted School Council, I recommend members be assigned either a 2 or 3 year term (this can be determined via interest or by drawing names, etc).

We are looking to fill 2 spots for parent/guardian representatives. 

If you would like to be a candidate for School Council, please write a short description of your background, why you are interested in the position, and how you would make a difference to Underwood. Candidate statements should be e-mailed to underwoodpto@gmail.com.

Statements of interested candidates will be shared with the Underwood Community and the School Council election will be held shortly after December 13th. The election will be conducted through an on-line survey and/or paper ballot.
If you are considering running for School Council and have questions, please talk with Suzie Talukdar (Underwood Principal) or your PTO Chairs for more information.
Underwood/Ward Working Group – Seeking 1 Parent!
As previously presented, both Ward and Underwood occupy buildings that are nearly 100 years old and both schools are experiencing enrollment decline that is impacting the educational experience of students. The Mayor has allocated $100,000 in ARPA funds to move this initiative forward. A consultant will be hired to help us address facility, educational, and enrollment challenges at Ward and Underwood elementary schools. The process to select a consultant will be a Qualifications Based Selection through the city’s Designer Selection Committee as required by City ordinance. The Request for Qualifications (RFQ) will be advertised through the City’s Purchasing Department as part of our standard process.

A working group will be established to provide feedback and information to the consultant. The working group will review and discuss options and will make recommendations to the School Committee for consideration based on their review and community feedback. The working group will meet approximately monthly during the day. Other stakeholders within the City and Schools will be consulted as needed, and parent and community meetings will be held. The intent is to complete the Consultant selection process over the next few months and to complete the work described within the scope of services by December 2023.

The Underwood/Ward Working Group will include:
the Principal from each school, 
1 teacher/staff from each school, 
1 parent from each school, 
2 to 3 members from the NPS Business, Finance and Planning team, 
1 School Committee member, and 
1 member from the City Public Buildings Department. 

If you would like to be part of the Underwood/Ward Working Group, please write a short description of why you are interested in representing the Underwood parent community and how you would make a difference to the working group.  Candidate statements should be e-mailed to underwoodpto@gmail.com and talukdars@newton.k12.m.us 
Service Stars Discounted Sessions
The Service Stars afterschool program is offering a half-price trial class option any Thursday afternoon in January!  If you’ve been interested in trying our afterschool program, this is a great chance to check it out!  They have flexible drop-off times to fit your schedule and great projects to choose from:

Thursday January 5th – Decorate and stuff duffel bags for kids in foster care
Thursday January 12th – Assemble Friendship Baskets for refugee families
Thursday January 19th – Make “plarn” – yarn out of plastic bags
Thursday January 26th – Cook lasagna for local families in need

Drop-off times:

3:00 – Snack/Recess
3:30 – Team Building
4:00 – Lesson
4:30 – Service Project
Program ends at 5:30.  

Location:  75 Vernon St.  Newton Corner
Ages:  Grades K-8
Trail Class Price:  $20

Invite friends and choose an afternoon to join us!  Here is the link to register.
Note: This update will be published weekly throughout the school year on Tuesdays. It will include information and events  as they are submitted by Underwood Principal Suzie Talukdar, PTO Co-Presidents Maggie Ellit and Margaret Silva, PTO members, Event Chairs, and the school staff. It will also include a school calendar, and school and district-wide news. Please visit underwoodschoolpto.org to keep up with the latest news. For questions, email underwoodpto@gmail.com.