Columbus Elementary School News Archive

Columbus Students Try Field Hockey!

Wednesday, November 22nd, 2017

Students at the Columbus Elementary School are getting to experience the oldest stick and ball sport. Recently, Rachel Perry, Supervisor of Physical Education/Health & Athletics, provided all four elementary schools with field hockey sticks and balls as a way to introduce the students to the sport. During physical education classes students have practiced field hockey fundamentals such as dribbling and passing. Pictured are students from Ms. Cogbill’s fourth grade class.

field hockey

Superintendent Belson’s Statement On Succession Plan For A New School Superintendent

Wednesday, November 22nd, 2017

Superintendent Belson delivered the following statement during the November 20, 2017 School Committee (watch here):

“In June 2016, the Medford School Committee approved a succession plan for the position of Superintendent of Schools. A copy of that plan is attached to this report/recommendation. While it is within your discretion to keep, modify, and/or change the plan, it is a fundamental blueprint to begin the processes of succession and transition.

It has been my privilege and honor to be an educator in the Medford Public Schools for fifty years and to serve as your Superintendent of Schools for twenty-three years. I have greatly benefitted from the high quality and diligence of the professionals, support staff, school committee members and citizens who have worked with me throughout my career. I am eternally grateful to them for making my tenure and responsibilities as productive and rewarding as reasonably possible.

I have been very fortunate to have seen former students become teachers, administrators, and staff in our schools. I have had the experience of enrolling the children and grandchildren of former students.

While no one does significant work alone, I have had the opportunity to build new schools, establish a full range of programs, and acquire hundreds of millions in grants for our community and school district. Understandably, there is always room for improvement, but much has been done and more will be done in the months ahead. No one gets to finish everything, but we have put a lot in place that will be a solid foundation for the future.

Therefore, I am herein informing the Medford School Committee that it is my intention to retire from the position of Superintendent of the Medford Public Schools at the completion of my contract on June 30, 2018. This decision has been made without reference to any governmental change and/or issues that are in our community. It is simply the right period for me to spend more time with my family and to pursue special causes and interests that have not been possible given the schedule and work responsibility of an active School Superintendent.

It is my intent and plan to be fully engaged in the months ahead as your Superintendent. We have a lot of positive opportunities ahead of us and I will do everything possible to optimize and achieve our goals. Furthermore, I will be fully committed to ensuring a smooth and effective transition to new senior leadership.

It has been an honor and privilege to have served as Superintendent for the last 23 years. I am grateful to all.”

The School Committee commented after his remarks:

Mayor Stephanie Burke – “Mr. Superintendent, you have served this school system for over 50 years, with great pride and respect. I want to personally thank you for staying on during my first term as Mayor to help me adjust to the Chairman’s position. If you have any school question at all, you would get your answer from Roy. You will be greatly missed!”

Ann Marie Cugno – “Thank you Superintendent Belson. I speak out of respect for your dedication and devotion to the Medford School System. Roy is looked upon as a leader in education throughout the state. Most Superintendents stay in a district 3 years. We are very, very lucky to have had you for as long as we have.”

Paulette Van der Kloot – “Mr. Superintendent, you are an exceptional leader, unparalleled in your service. You work late into the night and on weekends. You are available to us at anytime of the day or night, or even if you are away at a conference or on vacation. You always return our calls. You respond to us immediately. You are compassionate leader as well, always ready to assist staff in their time of need. You have been a pioneer in this community, pushing the importance of early childhood education and the establishment of the Medford Family Network. A remarkable leader, you will be dearly missed.”

Kathy Kreatz – “Mr. Superintendent, you are a great leader who I am fortunate to have had guide me in my first term of office. You are always accessible to us and to the parents. Your retirement is bittersweet for me. I wish you nothing but the best.”

Robert Emmet Skerry, Jr. – “You have had a long run, a great run and dedicated 50 years of life to education. Medford is a better place because of you educationally. You are a master at the budget and always keep the needs of the children front and center. Don’t be a stranger.”

Mea Mustone – “Mr. Superintendent, I extend my congratulations and wish you well in your retirement.”

Erin DiBenedetto – “Mr. Superintendent, the blue and white run through your veins. You are leaving on a high note. Congratulations and best wishes.”

“Giving Thanks: A Celebration of Cultures”

Monday, November 20th, 2017

View photos

View Medford Transcript story

Columbus Elementary School’s PTO hosted its third annual “Giving Thanks: A Celebration of Cultures” night November 16 2017.

The event celebrates the diversity of the school’s students through a variety of activities, such as learning to say “hello” and “goodbye” in different languages spoken by Columbus families, exploring the School Library’s growing non-English and bilingual book collection, and performances and activities that help children explore other culture and countries. Families provided desserts from around the world and displayed or wore traditional clothing.

The night featured cultural performances that took families around the world. Emmanuel Lerbout performed a traditional Haitian slave freedom song and encouraged children to join him on drums. Emily Goldstein, Jean Charles Zurawicki, and Jaanvil Sant, Tufts University Bhangra Dancers, wowed the crowd with an energetic Indian dance display. The evening was brought to a joyful conclusion with performance of the music and dancing of Mali, West Africa by Columbus parent Balla Kouyate and family.

Other activities for students and families included making origami paper cranes, putting a leaf on the gratitude tree, learning calligraphy, creating African masks, and coloring mandalas. There was a community art project, where children decorated an individual puzzle piece to be fit together with others under the banner “we are all connected, everyone fits in here,” a very popular glitter tattoo station, and a quiet space for creating fall artwork. Rounding out the night, Boston Chai Party were on hand to demonstrate how to make authentic chai tea and offer samples.

Raffle prizes included an 8-week course from Dance Caliente, a Keurig coffee machine, movie passes, gifts cards to Wegmans, Harrows Chicken Pies, and Edible Arrangements, a Lego set, and candy samples from around the world.

Social studies and cultural projects from several grades were on display for students and families to view and School Committee members Paulette Van der Kloot and Kathy Kreatz, and School Committee Member Elect Paul Ruseau were in attendance

The event also served as the kickoff to the school’s winter “Giving Back” drive. This year, the school is collecting winter gear (coats, hats, scarves, gloves) for children, to be distributed to families at the Columbus and other Medford Schools who are in need. This drive will be continuing until December 14th and contributions are welcome from the general public. If you would like to help, please email the PTO at

If you would like more information about or to make a donation to support the Bilingual Book Collection, please contact Amanda Fowler at

Dinner for the event was provided by local restaurants: Harrows Chicken Pies, Raso’s Bar & Grille, Flatbread Company, Chicken and Rice Guys, Alamo, Oasis Brazilian Restaurant, May’s Café, La Cascia’s Bakery, Salvatore’s, Texas Roadhouse, Boston Chai Party, Zam Zam, Regina’s Pizzeria, Bertucci’s and Kelly’s Roast Beef.

Nutrition Nuggets Newsletters

Thursday, November 16th, 2017

Jingle Bell Walk/Run Nov. 25th

Monday, November 13th, 2017

Jingle Bell Run/Walk Registration (to benefit all Medford Schools)- be sure when registering to include the school, team, or club you wish to benefit. See more here or Download registration form (PDF)

Modell’s Coupon – good now through December 7 and can be used multiple times and even on sale items (especially Black Friday!); 5% of sales with the coupon will go directly to Medford Schools. Kids- get your wish list together! Download coupon (PDF)

PTO November Newsletter

Monday, November 6th, 2017

Click to view newsletter

Bus of the Month

Monday, November 6th, 2017

Congratulations to Bus #16 for being responsible, respectful, and safe to and from school each day. Keep up the great work! The driver is Mike Denis.

columbus bus of the month october 2017

Conduct and Citizenship Award Winners

Friday, November 3rd, 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 October 2017:

KINDERGARTEN: Krystlynn Anderson, Khayri Antoine, Jovienne LaFleur, and Wantony Pessoa

GRADE ONE: Mikayla Fiote, Paola Flores-Castillo, Naomi Nascimento, and Amalia Weyant

GRADE TWO: Isabelle De Sousa-Vieira and Lennox Lafleur

GRADE THREE: Kate Fowler, Sara Perez, Gianna Stroscio, and Alexander Vainqueur

GRADE FOUR: Farah Belayachi, Jayden Burns, and Julia Sheehan

GRADE FIVE: Charles Clark

conduct and citizenship award winners

Works of Wonder

Friday, November 3rd, 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.

October – Works Of Wonder Award Winners:

Kindergarten: Ryan Accede, Georgianna Alves, David Bernstein, Neleh Burke, Lily Camelo, Olivia Cruz, Lily Dutkiewicz, Jibriel Elyazidi, Olivia Farrell, Lizeth Hernandez-Hernandez, Krystal Merida, Jacob LeClair, Quinn Monagle, Michael Pagano, Preston Reid, Gianna Riviecco, Noah Roberts, Ben Slonimsky, Pablio Sousa, and Eli St. Cyr

First Grade: Mikayla Fiote, Paul Giurleo, Devin Janeiro, Marcos Lopes, Logan MacLean, Shay McFeely, Lilliana Meyer, Naomi Nascimento, Kevin Ronayne, Salvatore Tello, Lushadeson Thermidor, and Delany Warren

Second Grade: Abrielle Cartolano, Isabelle De Sousa-Vieira, Paulo Gomes-Sousa, Lucille Haas, Arthur Jean-Baptiste, Finnia Laurent, Joshua Luma, Giada Martiniello, Talia Mustone, and Robert Vasques

Third Grade: Tayshawn Beaute, Naila Carrasquillo, Torre Ciccia, Lilly Copithorne, Ryan Daley, Kayla Dos Santos, Jason Feraco, Emily Haung, Sthefany Moreira, Sara Perez, Nathan Quinn, Owyn Ward-Lightsey, and Jazlynn Wojciechowski

Fourth Grade: Lycia Cytacki, Sofia Davis, Raphael De Jesus, Faith Ellerbee, Robert Jank, Jason Landaverde, Eva Sommer, Mason Sullivan, and Xeni Ververis

Fifth Grade: Noureldin Edeb, Anthony Gulinello, Hailey Hernandez, Talyanna Laurent, Alex Lombardo, Roodjina Lorena, David Maior, Mariah Mattull, Luann Oliveria, Ian Pinto, Santanna Russell, Gabryl Santos, and Jennifer Soirilus

Staff & Community Members: Superintendent Belson, Mayor Burke, Assistant Superintendent Caldwell, Mrs. Marie Cassidy, Ms. Chernoble, Mr. Ciampi, Mr. Rocco Cieri, Mrs. Donahue, Mr. Drinkwater, Mr. Geehan, Ms. Graham, Mrs. Shelly Gross, Mrs. Kathy Kreatz, Ms. Lepore, Mr. Mazaka, Mrs. McDonald, Mrs. Mea Mustone, Mrs. O’Donohue, Officer O’Keefe, Ms. Olsen, Mrs. Power, Mrs. Regan, Dr. Bernadette Ricciardelli, Mrs. Rockwell, Ms. Russell, Ms. Sam Sednek, Mrs. Sheehan, Miss Sullivan, and Mrs. Leslie Trotta

November Newsletter

Tuesday, October 31st, 2017
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Street Parking Affected by Fall Street Sweeping Nov. 13 – Dec. 5

Friday, October 27th, 2017

Attention any staff who park on Medford’s side streets and/or who live in Medford:

The City of Medford is doing its annual fall street sweeping November 13 through December 5. Those dates could change if we have inclement weather; please be sure to check the schedule for updates (link below).

Parking will be allowed on the major arteries during the fall sweeping schedule. There is NO PARKING on the designated side street while sweeping is taking place between 8:00 AM and 6:00 PM; cars can return once the sweeping has been completed. Cars that remain parked on the streets designated for that day will be ticketed.

Brooks area- Tuesday, Nov. 21 (Allston) & Tuesday, Nov. 28 (Auburn & Prescott)

Columbus area- Tuesday, Nov. 14 (East Albion & Hicks)

Roberts area- Friday, Nov. 17 (Court & Tainter)

See the full schedule and street listing on the city website.

No School Days in November

Friday, October 27th, 2017


Tuesday, November 7
City-wide election and staff professional development day

Friday, November 10
Veterans Day

Thursday, November 23 & Friday, November 24
Thanksgiving recess

Parents’ Guide to MCAS 2017

Wednesday, October 25th, 2017

The guide is available on the Massachusetts Department of Education website

Medford Special Education PAC Events

Monday, September 25th, 2017

September 13, 2017 Welcome Back to School!
Back to school social and update. Keep an eye out for monthly “Coffee with the Principals” hosted by the SEPAC at your school

October 11, 2017 Let’s Get Organized
Join us as we learn great tips for organizing all that IEP and 504 elated paperwork. We’ll have supplies and snacks!

November 8, 2017
Basic Rights in Special Education

What are your rights when it comes to the IEP and 504? What are procedural safeguards? Where do you go for problem resolutions?

December 13, 2017
Celebrate the Winter Solstice!

Join us for a winter wonderland of meeting other families, socializing and having fun. Perhaps special guests will be in attendance.

January 10, 2017
General Meeting followed by Turning 3 Transition

Meet other parents of children with special needs and join us for our Turning 3 workshop – transitioning into the school system.

February 14, 2017
Meet representatives from the Department of Education (DESE)

Network and socialize with representatives from several DESE departments.

March 14, 2017
Executive Functioning

What is Executive Functioning? How can my child be more organized?

April 11, 2017
Create a Financial Plan

Learn how to plan for your child’s future.

May 9, 2017
SEPAC Elections and Self Care

Come vote for your SEPAC representative and join us for chair massages, manicures, self-care tips and socializing.

June 13, 2017
Family Picnic

Join us for a family picnic in the park

Events topics subject to change – Please check online at

All events take place at the Andrews Middle School (3000 Mystic Valley Parkway) unless otherwise noted

Free “Science on Saturday” Program at MIT for K-12 Students

Thursday, September 14th, 2017

Science on Saturday website

Program flier

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Bus Schedule 2017-18- Updated Oct. 24th

Monday, August 21st, 2017

There will be no bus stop changes until further notice as of the 9-18-17 update to provide a routine schedule and consistent route for all.

School Year 2017-18 Bus Routes
As of October 24, 2017

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

School Year 2017-2018 Transportation Routes

  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

2017-2018 School Calendar- Updated Jun. 30th

Monday, June 26th, 2017

Master Events Calendar

School Holidays (no school)

Monday, October 9- Columbus Day

Tuesday, November 7- City Election & Teacher Professional Dev. Day

Friday, November 10- Veterans Day

Thursday, November 23 – Friday, November 24- Thanksgiving Recess

Friday, December 22 – Monday, January 1- Winter Break

Monday, January 15, 2017- Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Monday, February 19 – Friday, February 23- February Vacation

Monday, March 12- Teacher Professional Development Day

Friday, March 30- Good Friday

Monday, April 16 – Friday, April 20- April Vacation

Monday, May 28- Memorial Day

School Calendar

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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

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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