Columbus Elementary School News Archive

Columbus School Council Survey

Thursday, April 27th, 2017

Dear Columbus Families,

It’s that time again….time to respond to the Columbus School Council Survey for ALL Columbus School families. Please respond to the questions posed by the Columbus School Council about your child’s education and their time spent at the Columbus School. Your responses will help improve the quality of learning for all of our children. The survey can be found at this link:

If you do not have access to a computer you can take the survey while at the Columbus on April 28th during the PTO Family Movie Night, June 1st during the Family Science Night, or June 13th during Family Literacy Night. The computer lab will be available for this purpose. You can find a teacher to direct you to a computer within the school. Survey closes on JUNE 16th.


Kathleen Kay, Principal, Columbus Elementary School

Medford Student Name Finalist for Giraffe Calf Name

Wednesday, April 26th, 2017

Gio Maggiore

Gio Maggiore’s name made the top 10 list of names for April’s calf! Thank you to those who have already helped! The second round of voting has begun and will last UNTIL April 30th.

The Columbus School is collecting any amount you would like to donate until Friday, April 28th. We will use these funds to place votes for GIO as April’s calf new name. You can also vote on your own if you’d like.

As you may know, Gio was an awesome little boy who passed away at age 6 after a lifelong, courageous battle with a serious congenital heart defect and heterotaxy. He underwent countless medical procedures, including multiple open heart surgeries, but if you hadn’t been educated on his condition, you would never have guessed the incredible challenges this boy faced throughout his short life. He entered so many rooms with a smile on his face. He loved playing with his friends and teachers, painting (especially mixing colors), dancing, running, jumping, and visiting his mom on the fourth floor when he earned all of his smiley faces. Gio could make one laugh on the worst days. He always wanted a hug, kiss, and nose rub goodbye. Gio’s first and favorite pacifier had a giraffe attached, he was a giraffe for Halloween, and that April’s calf was born at the same time Gio was being laid to rest. He loved being the center of attention and having a famous giraffe named after him would be such an amazing way to honor his life.

March Bus of the Month

Wednesday, April 5th, 2017

Bus # 15, driver Junior Cabe. These students worked hard all month to be Responsible, Respectful, and Safe each day to and from school. Thank you Bus # 15 students and Mr. Cabe!

March 2017 bus of the month

Conduct and Citizenship Award Winners

Wednesday, April 5th, 2017

Each month the teachers at Columbus Elementary School choose one child in their classroom to win the Conduct and Citizenship Award. The child chosen has given their best effort each day to be Responsible, Respectful, and Safe. Here are some examples of what the student needs to accomplish to meet the award criteria:

1. Obey the school rules;
2. Obey the classroom rules;
3. Arrive to school on time;
4. Come to school prepared to work;
5. Looking out for the welfare of others.

The following children received this award in the month of March 2017:

KINDERGARTEN: Dylan Amero, Michelle DeSimone, Mikayla Fiote, and Ahylana Welch

GRADE ONE: Athena Arvanites, Orion Atwell, Pedro Faronny, and Tylah McCaffrey

GRADE TWO: Viola Clark and Kauan Souza

GRADE THREE: Patricia Castillo, Budom Ezeani, and Sophia Simao

GRADE FOUR: Jennifer Flores-Castillo, Roodjina Loreno, and Ngawang Phunkhang

GRADE FIVE: Christina Charles, Sophia D’Amelio, Bryan DeSa, and Gideon Keane

Conduct and citizenship award winners March 2017

Works of Wonder

Wednesday, April 5th, 2017

Columbus Elementary School is awarding students, staff, and families each week for performing works of wonder throughout the school day. Our Columbus community constantly performs deeds that make another say, “WOW!”

We want to recognize these wonderful works therefore each week certain children, staff, and even family members will receive a “Works of Wonder – W.O.W.” certificate and pencil. Be sure to congratulate them for the recognized deeds.

March – Works Of Wonder Award Winners:

Kindergarten: Delilah Atwell, Joseph Calo, Sarah Carbone, Aaron Charles, Isabelle Fishbein, Davis Freimark, Leah Hershkowitz, Eloise Johnson, Pedro Mateus, Eduardo Martins, Sienna Mattull, Amari Pitterson, George Redd, Lotte Ribisel, Kevin Ronayne, and Samuel Santos.

First Grade: Arthur Jean-Baptiste, Henry Goncalves, Finna Laurent, Kayo Leandro, Giada Martiniello, Talia Mustone, Lucas Pabst, and Alaina Sousa.

Second Grade: Hannah Blauch, Torre Ciccia, Ernaud Exantus, Jovy Guevara, Samuel Hurtado-Angarita, Lily Kiley, Jasmine Penaloza-Zaveleta, Nathan Quinn, Maria Sacchetti, and Kauan Souza.

Third Grade: Idalia Alas, Leana Cruz, Emily DeMattia, Marckeylla Laurent, Carlos Loredo, Dean Peppe, Devin Seaburg, and Jarod Stroscio.

Fourth Grade: Charles Clark, Harlan Doeg, Jocelyn Dufour, Erik Lambert, Sylvia Valdez-Melgar, and Jayden Wright.

Fifth Grade: Magerson Bazile, Raphael Beauchemin, Bodour Belayachi, Elijah Buelto, Christina Charles, Daniel Cupertino, Mia Davis, Tenzin Dhesel, Henrique Faira, Angel Grandos, Kendra Jean-Rene, Bobbi Kalaw, Emily Keats, Lucy Kossuth, Kaleigh Laidlaw, Lorkens Lubrenat, Ethan McKnight, Mia Moretti, Ryleigh Mulvihill, Ruth Nakitende, Sofia Perez, Austin Price, Joshua Scully, Alistair Smith, Elaina Szymanski, Victoria Tolomio, Nathan Towle, Violet Virusso, William Waple, Landon Welch, and Pedro Zeferino.

Staff & Community Members: Ms. Carvalho, Mr. Loud, Mrs. Melo, Mrs. Ross, and Mrs Sherman-Hudson.

2017-2018 Afterschool Program Registration- Updated

Friday, March 24th, 2017

Afterschool Pre-Registration and Payment Procedures for School Year 2017-18

Please click here to download the pre-registration form (PDF)

Happy Spring! Afterschool enrollment for School Year 2017-18 for new afterschool families begins April 3, 2017. Paperwork can be mailed or dropped off at the afterschool program or afterschool office (Medford High School). No FAXES or EMAILS will be accepted.

Do I need to pay a registration fee? All families are required to pay a yearly $50 non-refundable registration fee if your child(ren) will be enrolled in the Medford Public Schools Afterschool Programs. NOTE: You will need to pay the $50 fee at the time of registration for each Medford Public Schools program that uses the FACTS payment system but your first payment will be credited $50 if you enroll in more than one program. Afterschool families receiving vouchers do not pay a registration fee.

Do I pay a deposit? Deposits will only be required if a family has a voucher. The deposit will be due by August 21, 2017 along with an eligible voucher if one is not on file.

How will I pay my monthly tuition payments? All tuition payments for families not receiving a voucher will be made using FACTS Tuition Online Payments.

What are all the Enrollment Steps for families NOT receiving vouchers? The process is as follows: (1) Return Pre-registration form along with a check or money order for $50. (2) Register/reregister with FACTS (if you do not have a voucher) by July 1, 2017 and determine payment date. If you already have a customer number you will keep that number. (3) Be sure your first payment for August’s/ September’s tuition is made by August 21, 2017. (4) Return your Enrollment Contract for School Year 2017-18 by August 21, 2017. The Enrollment Contract for School Year 2017-18 will be mailed/emailed beginning the week of July 31. The Enrollment Contract can be scanned, mailed or FAXED (781-393-2123) to the afterschool office.

What are all the Enrollment Steps for families receiving vouchers? The process is as follows: (1) Return Pre-registration form. (2) Confirm by August 21 that the Afterschool Office has a current voucher on file for the start of School Year 2017-18. (3) Pay invoice (minimum payment: deposit plus one week’s tuition). (4) Return your Enrollment Contract for School Year 2017-18 by August 21, 2017. The Enrollment Contract for School Year 2017-18 will be mailed/emailed along with an invoice beginning the week of July 31. The Enrollment Contract can be scanned, mailed or FAXED (781-393-2123) to the afterschool office. Please note that we will no longer accept cash. Payment must be in the form of a personal check, bank check, or money order. If you wish to make online payments, please contact Cheryl Alpers (781-393-2102).

What if I want to add/change days after I register? Families may make a schedule change effective October 1. (The adding of days is based on program availability.) All requests must be in writing (email is acceptable). Note procedure: We require a two-week written notice to drop days with schedule changes only going into effect the first of the month. October 1 is the first month of allowable schedule changes.

When does afterschool start? Afterschool starts on August 29, the first day of school for children in Grades 1-5. Afterschool starts on September 6, the first day of school for children entering kindergarten.

Financial Assistance remains limited. If you would like to be considered for scholarship assistance, please contact Cheryl Alpers at We will contact you in July to complete paperwork and discuss eligibility.

Thank you for following these guidelines. For families not receiving a voucher your Pre-registration is official when paperwork and the registration fee are returned and you have completed the FACTS registration process by July 1. For families receiving a voucher your Pre-registration is official when paperwork and an active voucher are on file. (Note: You will only receive notice if you have been placed on a wait list.)

Please click here to download the pre-registration form (PDF)

2017-2018 Before School Program Registration

Thursday, March 23rd, 2017

Registration for new Before School program students begins Monday, April 3, 2017.

Please bring completed registration form to the Assistant Superintendent’s office at Medford High School, 489 Winthrop Street between 8 am and 12 pm or 1 pm and 4 pm, Monday through Friday.

The Medford Public Schools’ Before-School Program is available to assist working parents & guardians with early drop off for students in grades K-5 at the four elementary schools. The program runs from 7:30 AM until the start of the school day.

Enrollment is offered on a first come, first served basis.

$127.30 per month for 5 days a week
$95.50 per month for 3 days a week

Spring Street Sweeping April 10 through April 28

Thursday, March 23rd, 2017

Please note that the City of Medford will be conducting its annual spring street sweeping Monday, April 10 through Friday, April 28.

There is no parking between 8:00 A.M to 6:00 P.M. during street sweeping in the designated zone. All vehicles within the designated zone MUST remain off of the roadway between the hours of 8:00 A.M to 6:00 P.M. while street sweeping is taking place.

The complete schedule and street listing is available here.

In particular, the following dates and locations affect our schools:

Tuesday, April 11, 2017 (near Columbus Elementary and Curtis Tufts)
From Union Street to Henry Street from Main Street to Mystic Ave., all streets within these boundaries

Wednesday, April 19, 2017 (near Roberts Elementary)
From Central Ave. to Fellsway West (including Salem Street), Forest Street to Cypress Road, and all streets within these boundaries

Monday, April 24 (near Medford High School)
Winthrop Street to High Street to Playstead Road, and all streets within these boundaries

Thursday, April 27, 2017 (near Brooks Elementary)
From High Street to Winthrop Rotary to Mystic Valley Parkway to Arlington Line, and all streets within these boundaries

Full sweeping schedule and details available here

Building Bridges to Kindergarten: A Presentation for Parents/Guardians

Friday, March 17th, 2017

This presentation includes information for parents/guardians of incoming kindergarten students.

Kindergarten Registration Information for 2017/18 School Year

Wednesday, February 1st, 2017

Kindergarten Registration for the School Year 2017/2018

Kindergarten Enrollment is for children who will be five (5) years of age – by August 31, 2017.

All registrations must be submitted in person at the Parent Information Center, no exceptions.

Please note: Registration forms will not be mailed out; all forms can be downloaded below.


Parent Information Center located in the main lobby at Medford High School, 489 Winthrop Street


Beginning Monday, March 6, 2017:
Parent Information Center Hours
7:00 AM-3:00 PM

Extended hours:
Tuesday, March 7 & Wednesday, April 12, 2017
3:00 PM-6:30 PM

April vacation:
Tuesday, April 18 & Wednesday, April 19, 2017
8:00 AM-12:00 PM

Early registration is recommended to ensure placement in your neighborhood school.

Parent or Legal Guardian must bring the following:

1. Registration Forms- download here (PDF)

2. Proof of Residency
a. 2 current utility bills (i.e. water, gas, electric, mortgage statement or lease) in Parent or Legal Guardian’s name OR
b. Notarized Residency Affidavit (download here) signed by the home owner and and two current utility bills in the name of the person with whom you are residing.

3. Student’s Birth Certificate

4. 4. Student’s immunization record, a physical exam within one year, lead test results, tuberculosis test results or tuberculosis risk assessment, and vision screening with stereopsis. All incoming kindergarten students must be medically cleared before the start of school.

5. Photo Identification of Parent or Legal Guardian. Legal Guardians will have to provide a Caregiver Authorization Affidavit. (Available at the Parent Information Center)

6. For Special Education students: please provide district with Individualized Education Program (IEP).

Registrations will not be processed unless all of the required documents (listed above) are received.

All students are assigned to their proximity zone/geographical zone school. The School Assignment by Street listing can be found here. Parents who wish to send their child to a school outside their proximity zone may fill out a choice selection form at the time of registration. Choice assignments are granted based on space availability, sibling preference and diversity plan guidelines. If requests are approved, parents will be notified at the end of August. Transportation to a non-proximity zone school is the parent’s responsibility.

Registration forms for our Before School and Afterschool programs will be available for new families beginning Monday, April 3, 2017. Space availability is on a first come, first serve basis. A child must be registered with the Medford Public Schools in order to register for Before and Afterschool programs.

Non-English or limited English speaking students will be assessed by the ELL staff.

If an Interpreter is needed to interpret this information, please call the ELL office at 781-393-2348.

– Casa necessite de um Interprete para traduzir esta informacao, por favor contactar o escritorio de ELL no numero: 781-393-2348 (Portuguese)

-Si un Interprete es necesitado para tradusir esta informacion, por favor contacta la officina de ELL en numero: 781-393-2348 (Spanish)

-Si w bezwen yon Entèprèt pou tradui enfòmasyon sa a pou wou, souple rele biwo ELL nan nimewo sa a: 781-393-2348 (Haitian-Creole)

Spring MCAS Testing Dates

Friday, January 13th, 2017

English Language Arts

  • Monday, April 3rd – Grade 5 ELA
  • Tuesday, April 4th – computer-based testing (CBT) Grade 4 ELA
  • Wednesday, April 5th – Grade 5 ELA
  • Thursday, April 6th – CBT Grade 4 ELA
  • Friday, April 7th – CBT Grade 4 ELA
  • Tuesday, April 11th – Grade 5 ELA
  • Tuesday, April 25th – Grade 3 ELA
  • Wednesday, April 26th – Grade 3 ELA
  • Thursday, April 27th – Grade 3 ELA


  • Monday, May 1st – Grade 5 MATH
  • Tuesday, May 2nd – Grade 5 MATH
  • Friday, May 5th – CBT Grade 4 MATH
  • Tuesday, May 9th – CBT Grade 4 MATH
  • Thursday, May 11th – Grade 3 MATH
  • Friday, May 12th – Grade 3 MATH

Science, Engineering & Technology

  • Thursday, May 18th – Grade 5 SCIENCE
  • Friday, May 19th – Grade 5 SCIENCE

Columbus 2016 DESE School Report Card

Monday, December 12th, 2016

Dear Parent or Guardian:

We are pleased to enclose an overview of the Columbus School’s “report card.” Report cards answer important questions about a school’s overall performance and contain specific information about student enrollment and teacher qualifications, student achievement, accountability, how a school is performing relative to other schools in the district and the state, and the progress made toward narrowing proficiency gaps for different groups of students.

In this report you will find the following important information about our school:

Student enrollment and teacher quality: This section of the report card provides information about the students and teachers in our school as compared to the district and the state. If your child attends a school that receives federal Title I funds, you also have the right to request the following information about the qualifications of your child’s classroom teachers:

– Whether your child’s teacher is licensed in the grade levels and subject areas they teach;
– Whether your child’s teacher is teaching under an emergency license or waiver;
– The college degree and major of your child’s teacher;
– Whether your child is provided services by paraprofessionals and, if so, their qualifications.

Assessment results: This section of the report shows how our students are performing on the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS) for 5th Grade Science and Technology and Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) tests as compared to the district and the state. Because we took PARCC last year, the school was held harmless.

School and district accountability information: This section of the report contains three important pieces of information:

– Accountability and Assistance Levels: Schools and districts are placed into one of five accountability and assistance levels (1-5), with the highest performing in Level 1 and lowest performing in Level 5. Our school has been placed into Level 2. One school in the district increased their scores and so we are no longer Level 3.

– School Percentiles: A school percentile between 1 and 99 is reported for most schools. This number shows the overall performance of our school relative to other schools that serve the same or similar grades. Our school percentile is 14. This means that our school is performing higher than 14 percent of the elementary schools in the state.

– Progress and Performance Index (PPI): The PPI is a number that indicates our school’s progress toward narrowing proficiency gaps, or, in other words, helping all students reach proficiency and be prepared for success after high school. Massachusetts has set a goal of reducing proficiency gaps by half between the years 2011 and 2017. For a group of students to be considered to be making sufficient progress toward narrowing proficiency gaps, its cumulative PPI must be 75 or higher. The Columbus PPI did not meet target.

To improve student achievement in our school, we are conducting MOCK MCAS 2.0 sessions three times per year at all grade levels – 3 through 5, Tuft’s tutors for grades 2 and 3, Mystic Valley Elder Care Services to offer support in the classroom, the support of a Math Coach, practice with Open Response type assessment questions, implementation of Response to Invention blocks, instructing students to reply to all assessment questions with best estimates, and differentiated instruction; to name a few instructional strategies.

We encourage you to become involved in helping us improve our school. Some of the ways you can become involved are:

– Encouraging your child’s learning at home;
– Attending parent-teacher meetings and other special meetings;
– Serving as a volunteer in our school or district;
– Encouraging other parents to become involved.

For the full report card visit For more information about our school’s report card or to request information about the qualifications of your child’s classroom teachers, please feel free to contact us at 781.393.2177 or


Kathleen Kay

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‘Little Free Library’ Now Available! Updated Mar. 7

Friday, December 2nd, 2016

Update- click here to see how it was built!

The Columbus Elementary School recently installed a “Little Free Library.”

Mr. Eric Handler, the husband of one of the Columbus’ special education teachers, Mrs. Shannon Handler, enlisted Ms. Kara Rossi and a few of her fifth grade students in working together on this project, which will be featured in the future on PBS!

Mr. Handler worked together with his Design Squad Kids and the Columbus School to install their handiwork. (The full video production will be completed in about two months.) The students had a great time and worked really well together. Mr. Handler was very impressed and happy with their work on such a cold day.

According to the description from the Little Free Library website, “a Little Free Library is a ‘take a book, return a book’ free book exchange. They come in many shapes and sizes, but the most common version is a small wooden box of books. Anyone may take a book or bring a book to share.”

Ms. Rossi is very excited to be the steward for the Columbus Little Free Library. The Columbus Elementary School’s Little Free Library is officially registered and has a beautiful plaque with their registered Charter Number.

The entire Columbus community is invited to visit and use the library. There are some books in there now but it is their hope that community members will make donations to the box when they take a book to read… Basically, they ask that, “Give one and get one!”

For over two years, Ms. Rossi has wanted to get this project off the ground. With the help of Mr. Handler and his work in television production, the Columbus was able to acquire the Little Free Library at no cost to the school.

“We are grateful to see the idea of Ms. Rossi and Mr. Handler come to fruition so seemlessly AND to be able to offer this wonderful service to our neighborhood and community,” said Principal Kathleen Kay.

Little Free Library

Pictured left to right – Ms. Kara Rossi, Raphael Beauchemin, Lindsey Quinn, Henrique Faria, Emma Kiley, and the Design Squad Kids – Miles and Kaeleen.

Little free library

This is Eric Handler from PBS. He worked with Design Kids Team from his company to create the Little Free Library you see in the photo. Ms. Rossi and some fifth grade kids helped install it on November 27th. The other woman in this picture is his wife, Mrs. Shannon Handler, a special education teacher at the Columbus.

School Year 2016-17 Bus Routes- Updated Jan. 11

Wednesday, August 17th, 2016
  1. Please be 10 minutes early to your morning pickup location. Buses tend to run a little behind the first days of school and will settle into a timely routine in 2-3 weeks.
  2. Afternoon runs tend to run behind as well the first 2-3 weeks.
  3. Be respectful of the personal property that abuts the bus stop.
  4. No “boom boxes” will be allowed on the buses.
  5. If transporting musical instruments on the bus, check with the driver as to where they should be placed. Space is tight as each bus has a large number of riders.
  6. Bus riders in grades kindergarten through second grade must be met by a parent/guardian/or designated other. If not, they will be returned to school and must be picked up there.
  7. Bus riders in grades kindergarten through second grade will be provided (at school) a bus tag that must remain on their backpack for the duration of the school year.
  8. Please see your school’s handbook for bus riding rules.
  9. Only student bus riders may board the bus. Parents/guardians/designated others must wait curbside.

Questions? Please email

Thank you!

– Medford Public Schools

School Year 2016-17 Bus Routes
As of Jan. 11, 2017

Starting times are indicated for the first stop of each bus route. Plan on roughly 5 minutes between every stop on the route.

2016-17 School Calendar- Updated Mar. 13

Monday, August 8th, 2016

School Holidays

The following is a list of NO SCHOOL DAYS this year:

  • Monday, October 10, 2016 – Columbus Day
  • Tuesday, November 8, 2016 – Election Day/Professional Development Day for Teachers/Staff
  • Friday, November 11, 2016 – Veterans Day
  • Thursday, November 24 & Friday, November 25, 2016 – Thanksgiving Holiday
  • Monday, December 26 – January 2, 2017 – Winter Recess (school resumes January 3, 2017)
  • Monday, January 16, 2017 – Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
  • Monday, February 20 – 24, 2017 – Winter Vacation (school resumes Monday, February 27, 2017)
  • Monday, March 13, 2017- Staff professional development day
  • Friday, April 14, 2017 – Good Friday
  • Monday, April 17 – 21, 2017 – Spring Vacation (school resumes Monday, April 24, 2017)
  • Monday, May 29, 2017 – Memorial Day

Tentatively, the last scheduled day of school, including (5) snow days, would be June 21, 2017.

Elementary Schools are in session from 8:40 AM – 2:35 PM

Middle Schools are in session from 8:00 AM – 2:20 PM

Medford High School is in session from 7:40 AM – 2:18 PM

Medford Vocational Technical High School is in session from 7:40 AM – 2:18 PM

Master Events Calendar

School Calendar

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2017-2018 Calendar (next year)

Ongoing Textile Recycling Fundraiser

Friday, September 18th, 2015
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