PEDP January Newsletter 2018

Are you keeping warm?? Valentino and I have taken some quiet walks in this frigid weather—all of our friends, it seems, are fair weather walkers! I even saw someone dog sledding behind my house on the rail trail this week.

Ready to turn the page on 2017?! We ended the year with some really terrific events. The Minnows put on a spectacular show one evening to the music of some great boy bands and girl groups. It really was impressive—loved the costumes, too! Our Holiday Craft Fair was an enormous success. The fair raised nearly $3000 for the school in Puerto Rico and our two “penny” jars added over $300 more. We are grateful for all your support. Three of us (two staff and a parent) will be traveling down to Puerto Rico mid-January to bring our donation of supplies in person. Very exciting.

Now, we look forward to the happenings of the upcoming month …


Our theme this month will be Hawaii.


There are no field trips scheduled for this month.


SKI/SNOWBOARD PROGRAM IS CANCELLED TOMORROW DUE TO THE EXTREME COLD. The first day is now scheduled for Tuesday, January 9th. There will be a make-up session held on February 13th. Always stay tuned to your e-mail for news of any cancellations.


Rehearsals for “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” will begin on Monday, January 8th. This is going to be a really fun production. We have a lot of talent in this group!


This month, we will begin scheduling conferences with all interested parents. We are required by our licensing agency to do an annual progress report for each child and we like to go over these with you in person. We’ll be sending info out this week about how to sign up for your conference.


It is still uncertain as to whether or not we will be running during the February and/or April vacation weeks. Please let us know (if you have not already) if you think you would have need of this service. We will be making a decision very soon.

MINNOWS MESSAGE from Kim Ryan, Minnows Coordinator

Early Minnows

The Early Minnows learned a lot about the Ice Age in December.  We read about how Emperor penguins might have survived through the ice age and about the many animals that are now extinct.  With the cold weather coming, it is only fitting for our next theme to be Hawaii!  Think luaus, coconuts, volcanoes and SPAM!

We have noticed quite a few children without the proper clothing to go outside.  The Early Minnows go outside every day, weather permitting.  Please make sure they have the required items:  Warm coat, hat, gloves/mittens.  When snow is on the ground they also need boots and snow pants.

Late Minnows

The K/1 Review was a great success! Thank you to all of you who came to support our youngest fish!  Their hard work paid off and many said they would like to do it again!

Our new home base will be in the Treehouse (the art room) from January through March.  This means it may take a little longer for the Minnows to arrive at the dismissal area.

Skiing also begins this month.  We have 5 first graders participating in this fun program!

Parent conferences will be starting soon, be on the lookout for information on how to sign up.

Starting in January, take a look in the PEDP hallway, where Miss Deb will be putting a “spotlight” on our first grade Minnows!

We are excited to start a new year with this great group of Minnows!  We wish a healthy and happy 2018 to you all.

 Contact me anytime at with questions or concerns about your child or the Minnow Program.

BARRACUDA BUZZ from Joanne Malouf, Barracudas Coordinator

December was a busy month for the Barracudas.  It began with the Craft Fair where our third graders were excited to work for the first time.  They asked questions about their assignments and took them very seriously.  Next up, the auditions for Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.  We have nineteen Barracudas participating in the show this year.  Activities last month included cookie decorating, snowman snowflake making and snowball wreath creating.  We also began taking care of our mascot, Bob the Barracuda.  Bob has traveled to different activities with many of the children.  We are in the process of building Bob’s history, which will be chronicled in a mini book about Bob.  This will be one of our team projects for January.  We began the process on a Thursday in December but had to cut the activity short.  We will continue the process and add discussions about respect and what respect looks like, sounds like and feels like.  Respect and the lack of it toward teachers and peers is an ongoing issue that we continue to work on with the kids.

Explorers Trip Program – The Explorers took a trip to the New Art Center in Newtonville. They made a pinch pot or a creation of their choice from clay and received a tour of the current exhibit of Newton artists.  One large piece that interested the kids was a tent type sculpture that was knitted out of old jeans and clothing.  The artist used two large sticks to knit the structure.  She created this piece because she wanted a place to go to be comforted.  It was hung from the ceiling and really was pretty cool to see.  Another piece the children had fun looking at was a painting titled “Raining Cats and Dogs”.  The title says it all.  The kids were asked to think about what certain cats or dogs may be thinking.  They had some great answers.   The trip program will be taking time off due to the ski/snowboard program. The next trip will be February 27th.

Contact me anytime at with questions or concerns about your child or the Barracuda Program.

 SHARK TALES from Rachel Bastarache, Sharks Coordinator

New year, new home base for the Sharks! We are excited to be swimming into the Clubhouse. Even though everyone was super busy during the month of December, it seemed to fly by in the blink of an eye. From the Craft Fair to clubs, the Sharks were extremely busy. The Clubs were all a big success from creating awesome sock puppets with Mr. Sean to learning new cards games with Ms. Kathy, and painting some amazing four-season paintings with Ms. Rachel.

As we swim into January, on Mondays, the Sharks will join the Barracudas and start practicing for this year’s musical “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory”.  Tuesdays, they will be off to Nashoba for some Skiing and Snowboarding. Wednesdays, they will have the chance to do some cooking with Mr. Sean. Thursdays, they can choose to do a project and learn some exciting and interesting facts about Hawaii. Sounds like a great way to kick off the new year!

Looking forward to seeing what 2018 has in store for all the Sharks as we swim into this new year!

Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns. You can email me any time at


  • When school is canceled due to inclement weather, PEDP is also canceled.
  • When Newton Public Schools declares a one- or two-hour delay, the Early Birds Program will not run on that day.


January 15th – Martin Luther King, Jr. Day