Underwood Updates – 2/2/23

Upcoming Events

  • 02/03 – UnProm!; 7 p.m. @ The Elks (429 Centre Street Newton MA 02458)
  • 02/05- Underwood Goes to Boston; 2-3 p.m. @ Kelly Outdoor Rink and 3-5 p.m.@ Spontaneous Celebrations
  • 02/08 – NPS Budget Forum with Kathleen Smith, J.D., Interim Superintendent; 7 p.m. @ Newton North or Live Streamed
  • 02/16 – Community Conversations at Underwood: Let’s Talk About Race (Advantages & Disadvantages); 7 pm (Zoom)
  • 02/20-02/24 Winter Recess
  • 03/03 – Meeting with Acting Superintendent Kathleen Smith and the School Committee; 7 p.m. @ Underwood

From the Desk of Principal Talukdar

Dear Underwood Families:

Recently, I have felt deeply saddened by yet another heartbreaking tragedy in our nation. As you are likely all too aware, the video of Tyre Nichol’s killing was made public this past weekend. Tyre Nichols was severely beaten by police officers after a traffic stop and died three days afterwards from the injuries he sustained. The week before, the nation also experienced heartbreak following news of yet another mass shooting during a celebration in California on the eve of Lunar New Year– a holiday celebrated by over 1.5 billion people across the globe that signals a new beginning for many, mainly focused around good fortune, happiness and health.

The constant violence we encounter through the news and media images can take a heavy toll on all of us, and I recognize it has the potential to show up in our lives in any number of ways. Though I am unsure whether students are even aware of these horrific events or whether they will bring them up while in school, please know that teachers have been provided with resources they may find helpful to support members of our community. 

What we see happening in our nation reminds me of the responsibility we share in developing racial and cultural awareness. By doing so, we are able to interact in more meaningful ways, build respect and empathy for others, and celebrate the similarities and differences of those around us. Through awareness and understanding, we equip ourselves to see more clearly the injustices that plague our community and ultimately become empowered to seek change.

As we begin Black History Month in February, all NPS teachers and students are encouraged to celebrate and honor the history, culture and contributions of African Americans in their classrooms and school communities. Feel free to talk with your child/ren about what they are learning!

As we look ahead, Underwood families and friends are invited to join an upcoming PTO event on February 16, 2023 at 7pm entitled Community Conversations at Underwood: Let’s Talk About Race (Advantages & Disadvantages) where we will discuss what is important to know as we strive to become antiracists. At Underwood School, I am delighted that we find many ways throughout the entire year to celebrate who we are with the intention of effectively preparing students and ourselves for the world they live in. I am enthusiastic about partnering with you all in this important work.


Dr. Suzie Talukdar


Letter from the Co-Presidents

Dear Underwood Families,

Welcome to February.  We would like to begin this letter by reiterating Dr. Talukdar’s comments about the distressing news lately including the release of the video of Tyre Nichol’s killing and the mass shooting in Monterey Park on the eve of the Lunar New Year.  The Underwood PTO supports the mission of building a community of respect and empathy at our school based on awareness, understanding, and celebration of our individual differences and similarities.  Dr. Talukdar will be presenting at our virtual event on February 16, 2023 at 7pm: Community Conversations at Underwood: Let’s Talk About Race (Advantages & Disadvantages).  We encourage you to attend and bring your questions.

Since our last letter to you in early December, the Underwood PTO has been working toward our goal of building community and supporting one another.  Returning to December, we are thrilled to announce that we had a record year for our virtual gingerbread house event with fifty-seven entries!  Our esteemed judges (Lacey Grimm and Dr. Talukdar) were so overwhelmed with all of the students’ wonderful entries that we increased the prizes from three to nine!  Thank you so much to everyone who participated.  It is truly heartwarming to us to see so many families coming together to enjoy one of our community building events.

Also in December, the Underwood PTO provided 20 gift cards of $100 each to support families in our school community during the holiday season.   We were able to provide this direct support to families thanks to your participation in our membership and giving day drives. Thank you.

Turning to the spring, we are looking forward to a busy agenda– beginning this weekend with our inaugural UnProm at the Elks on Friday evening! If you have not RSVP’d to UnProm, it is not too late:  https://bit.ly/unprom2023 We will have music, drinks, dancing, and a fabulous silent auction.  All Underwood parents and guardians as well as Underwood Staff are invited.  We hope you will join us.  Please feel free to email underwoodpto@gmail.com with any questions.

Following UnProm, on Sunday afternoon we will be hosting a family event, Underwood Goes to Boston, aimed at strengthening community ties between families living in Newton and Boston.  We hope you will join us for ice skating followed by Valentine’s Day craft making. See additional detail and RSVP here:  https://forms.gle/BmaB6yFB6MqVfqwA9 

Finally, please consider attending the NPS budget forum on Wednesday, February 8th, at 7:00 pm in the Newton North Auditorium (457 Walnut St.) (also live streamed on NewTV).  This presentation will include information on the proposed operational override and its impact on the FY24 budget.

For more information about the purpose of the override and its impact should it pass or fail after the Special Election on March 14th, you can follow this link: Override | City of Newton, MA (newtonma.gov).

Best wishes,

Margaret Silva and Maggie Elitt
PTO Co-Presidents

Un-Prom Fundraiser is TOMORROW (Friday 2/3)

The first Un(derwood) Prom Fundraiser (21+) is Friday, February 3rd at the nearby Newton Elks Club. 

This event truly as something for everyone! There will be a silent auction for amazing prizes (see below), a DJ playing very danceable music and taking your requests, a photo booth, a retro candy bar, and actual bar with reasonably priced drinks.

While the weather might be cold the dance floor will be on fire!

The silent action features items including: 

A Taste of Newton – $410 Value – Gift cards from local favorites including Branch Line, Baramor, Mochiko Hawaiian, and more!

Boston Celtics vs. Indiana Pacers Tickets – $500 Value – Exclusive seats located in the Garden Society section, include a private entrance, in-seat service, and garage parking.

Barre, Brunch, and Bellinis – $200 Value – Spend a day at barre class, followed up by a meal at Buttonwood, and DIY bellinis.

Nails and Namaste in Newtonville – $245 Value – Start your day (or 30 days in a row!) with a yoga class at Down Under before treating yourself to a baked good or sandwich at Great Harvest followed by a manicure at Nail It!

Botox Treatment – $900 maximum value – Considering Botox? Dr. Neelam Vashi, a board-certified dermatologist and Director of the Boston University Cosmetic and Laser Center, is there for you!


All-School Outing is SUNDAY – 2/5

Community Conversations with Dr. Talukar: 
Let’s Talk About Race – Advantages and Disadvantages