Columbus Elementary School News Archive

Legoland Giraffe to be Renamed in Honor of Gio Maggiore

Tuesday, May 23rd, 2017

On Wednesday, May 31, LEGOLAND® Discovery Center Boston will host a ceremony to rename “Tessie” the large LEGO Giraffe outside of their building to “Gio” in honor of Giovanni Maggiore, the Medford six-year-old who passed away in April after battling congenital heart problems. Gio was a student at the Brooks while his mom is a teacher at the Columbus School.

We’d like to invite all of you to come join us for this special ceremony. LEGOLAND® Discovery Center Boston’s Master Model Builder Megan Amaral will be on hand to present the family with a special gift.

WHEN: Wednesday, May 31 at 3:00 pm

WHERE: LEGOLAND® Discovery Center Boston
Outside by LEGO Giraffe
598 Assembly Row, Somerville

Tessie to Gio the Giraffe

Speech, Language, and Hearing Department Launches Website

Wednesday, May 17th, 2017

Check out!

Our Speech, Language, and Hearing Department staff have worked very hard to put together this site, which has the following goals:

  • To educate parents, guardians and caregivers
  • To give tips to build communication skills at home
  • To answer frequently asked questions
  • To provide a list of department staff members

K-1 Transition Meeting June 6th

Tuesday, May 16th, 2017

Date: Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Time: 6:30 PM

Place: Medford High School Library

Please join Assistant Superintendent Diane Caldwell and first grade teacher Susan Renaud for an informational meeting regarding your child’s transition from kindergarten to first grade.

Limited child care is available. Please contact the Medford Family Network at 781-393-2106 by Friday, June 2nd.

welcome to 1st grade

Columbus Students Get Caught Reading! Updated

Thursday, May 11th, 2017

In Ms. Ogonosky & Ms. Moreys’ classes

In Mr. Plati’s class

Preschool Registration

Tuesday, May 9th, 2017

Three options:
McGlynn Preschool
Make Way for Kids
Medford Early Education Program (MEEP)

McGlynn Preschool Registration May 1-12

An inclusive preschool program for children with and without disabilities

September 2017 – June 2018

Full school-day program!


A LOTTERY SYSTEM WILL BE EMPLOYED IF DEMAND EXCEEDS SPACE. The lottery will be held on May 16 @ 10 A.M. in the Early Childhood/Afterschool Office.


  • Monday: 8:30 A.M. – 2:30 P.M.
  • Tuesday: 8:30 A.M. – 2:30 P.M.
  • Wednesday: 8:30 A.M. – 1:30 P.M.
  • Thursday: 8:30 A.M. – 2:30 P.M.
  • Friday: 8:30 A.M. – 2:30 P.M.
  • This is a five-day a week school year program.


$778.00/Month –Families may be eligible for scholarship assistance available through a sliding fee scale based on income and family size.

Click here to find out more about our FACTS online payment plan.

Eligibility: Child must be 4-years-old by August 31, 2017.

Application: Download the application- Microsoft Word or PDF

Questions: Cheryl Alpers @ 781.393.2102 or

If an Interpreter to translate this information is necessary, please call ELL office at 781-393-2348.

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

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

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

This program is subject to state appropriation of funds. This program is partially funded through a grant from the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care.

Make Way for Kids Preschool

We are truly a unique preschool experience. The preschool program is a learning lab for vocational and high school students. They are involved with assisting the preschoolers as well as developing and executing developmentally age appropriate curriculum that is always supervised by the two teachers.

The preschoolers enjoy exploring through the classroom learning areas with their peers and big buddies. Our preschool time is filled with various activities such as free choice time, organized circle time, arts & craft, snack time and gross motor time, and many other fun and exciting activities to explore.

A.M. class meets on Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Your child must be 3 years old by August 31. Ages served 3-5 if not eligible for Kindergarten.

If you would like to set up an appointment, please contact Ms. Michele Farquharson at 781-393-2210 or email at

Medford Early Education Program

The MEEP programs are located at Medford High School, and the Brooks, Columbus, and Roberts Elementary Schools. The Medford Public Schools Early Education Program (MEEP) recognizes the primary goal of early childhood education is to promote independence, self-confidence, self-esteem, and an enthusiasm for learning. These qualities are essential to future educational success.

MEEP is designed to provide children with a safe, secure and nurturing environment in which children can learn about themselves, each other, and the world around them. The curriculum utilizes a developmental approach based on well-established principles of development. It addresses the whole child in areas including the development of cognition, communication, language, social interaction, play skills, motor abilities, and self-help skills. Children are encouraged and taught to make choices among a range of activities, especially those that are based on their own interests and experiences.

The daily schedule is intended to balance indoor and outdoor periods, active and quiet times, and individual, small group, and whole group activities. The curriculum offers children opportunities for experience with paint, clay, water, sand, blocks, puzzles, a wide variety of manipulatives, music, movement, books, dramatic play, and cooking to name a few.

A major component of the preschool program is to help children develop positive self-esteem and an enjoyment of learning. Much emphasis is placed on the child’s capacity to develop and enjoy friendships, to begin to learn to resolve conflicts, and to learn respect for the feeling, ideas, and differences of others. The program values each child’s unique abilities and facilitates development at a pace and level consistent with each child’s ability.

MEEP is an integrated preschool setting that serves children who are ages 3 through 5 and not yet eligible for kindergarten. There are up to 15 children in each class. Eight children are developing typically and 7 have been identified with special needs. Each class has a teacher, at least 2 other staff members, and therapists. Some classrooms also have high school interns.

Program Options for 2017-2018 School Year

Morning Program
Brooks and Medford High School
5 days/week 9:00 to 11:15
Tuition per month: $292.50

Afternoon Program
Brooks, Medford High, and Roberts
4 days/week 11:50 to 2:05 (M. T. Th. F.)
Tuition per month: $234.00

Columbus Elementary School*
5 days/9:00 to 1:00
Tuition per month: $520.00
*Children must be 4 years old by 8/31/17
Brooks Elementary School*
Brooks Elementary School*
5 days/9:00 to 2:05 (Wed. to 1:00)
Tuition per month: $650.00
*Children must be 4 years old by 8/31/17

Contact Denise Rogier for MEEP applications: 781-393-2155 x4218, 781-393-2177 x3150, or via email at or download the application. Drop-off or mail the application to the Roberts Elementary School, 35 Court Street, Medford, MA 02155, ATTN: MEEP/Ms. Rogier.

Application deadline is May 26, 2017 at 2:00 PM. We are not responsible for lost or misdirected mail. If there are more applicants than openings in any of the programs as of the deadline, MEEP will hold a lottery on May 30, 2017. Siblings/multiples are counted as individuals in lotteries. Application deadline to be entered into any needed lotteries is May 26, 2017 at 2:00 PM. Applications received after the May 26, 2017 deadline will be considered on a space available basis.

When you are accepted in the MEEP program a letter will be sent to you offering placement in one of the classrooms. Bring this letter to the Parent Information Center at Medford High School when you register.

To consider the registration process complete and be eligible to attend MEEP:

1. The child must be registered and medically cleared through the Parent Information Center at Medford High School.

2. Registration in the FACTS Management System should be completed

3. The Tuition Agreement received

4. The $50.00 registration fee received

5. The first month’s tuition received

For more information about MEEP, contact Cheryl Maiocco:, 781-393-2166, or 781-960-3274.

Bus of the Month

Tuesday, May 9th, 2017

Winner: Bus #15!
Driver: Junior Cabe

Columbus bus of the month

Nutrition Nuggets

Tuesday, May 9th, 2017
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In Memory of Gio Maggiore

Tuesday, May 2nd, 2017

The Columbus placed hearts in the trees to remember Gio Maggiore. He remains always in our hearts.

Conduct and Citizenship Award Winners

Tuesday, May 2nd, 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 April 2017:

KINDERGARTEN: Maria Clara Damascena, Ethan Dong, Shayla Dooley, and Guilherme Godinho.

GRADE ONE: Nayla Caristhene, Isabelle De Souza-Vieira, Kayo Leandro, and Jake Slonimsky.

GRADE TWO: Emily Huang, and Nathan Quinn.

GRADE THREE: Zayla Astacio, Marine Beauchemin, Lucia Cytacki, and Leana Cruz.

GRADE FOUR: Declan Flaherty and Jossira Kouyate.

GRADE FIVE: Bodour Belayachi, Danelle Jeune Elan, Bobbi Kalaw, and Emma Kiley.

Columbus Conduct and Citizenship award winners April 2017

Works of Wonder

Tuesday, May 2nd, 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.

April – Works Of Wonder Award Winners:

Kindergarten: Richard Bernado, Ethan Dong, Calvin Exantus, Mikayla Fiote, Sidney Gelin, Logan MacLean, and Jayce Woodson.

First Grade: Orion Atwell, Bentley Bond, Keanan Crott, Emily Gomez-Pimentel, Finnia Laurent, Thayrone Medeiros, Adam Mokhtar, Gabriella Seide, and Alaina Souza.

Second Grade: Abby Charlton, Kevin Ferreira, Mia Paredes, and Angelo Volpe.

Third Grade: Eliot Anglese, Zayla Astacio, Farah Belayachi, and Devin Seaburg.

Fourth Grade: Anthony Barbosa, Maya Berrouet, Regina Franco-Castillo, David Maior, Jeremy Morris, Ryan Pottinger, Santana Russell, and Aiden Welch.

Fifth Grade: Danelle Jeune-Elan, Emily Keats, Ryleigh Mulvihill, Sofia Perez, Matthew Ruseau, Aine Sheehan, and Landon Welch.

Staff & Community Members: Ms. Chernoble, Mrs. Crott, Mrs. Karapetian, Ms. Kruczkowski, Mr. Loud, Mrs. McDonald, Mr. Mazaka, Mrs. O’Connell, Ms. Rossi, Mr. Ruseau, Ms. Vincent’s class, and Mrs. Witherell.

Medford Community Schools Summer Fun Program Grades K-6

Monday, May 1st, 2017

Medford Community Schools is offering their popular summer vacation camp at the Medford High School with Director Anthony Petrelis and staff.

Your child will participate in a number of activities from sports, games, arts & crafts, movies, swimming, and much more!


Doors Open/Drop-Off at 7:30 am
Doors Close/Pick-Up at 4:30 pm

RATE $145.00 per week

Week 1: June 26 – June 30
Week 2: July 3 –7– ( July 4th closed)
Week 3: July 10 – 14
Week 4: July 17 -21
Week 5: July 24 -28
Week 6: July 30 – Aug 4
Week 7: Aug 7 – 11
Week 8: Aug 14 – 18

***Breakfast is provided everyday and Pizza Day is every Friday for lunch***

Please bring:
Sandals (for pool only)
Bathing Suit
Water bottle
Any medications – to be given by licensed EMT

May Newsletter

Monday, May 1st, 2017
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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

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

Building Bridges to Kindergarten: A Presentation for Parents/Guardians

Friday, March 17th, 2017

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

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.