PTO Announcements


Clarke Spirit Wear On Sale !

15“How to Raise an Adult” Community Discussion, 3-5pm, LHS
18 – METCO Event – confirm with organizer
19 – Parent Forum: Get to Know your New School 8:45am, Clarke Cafeteria Details »
20 – Apollo and Curiosity Teams sponsored breakfast (Sign-up Here)
23 – “How to Raise an Adult” Community Discussion, 7-9pm, Estabrook School Details »
24 – Parent Forum: Get to Know your New School, 7:30pm, Clarke Cafeteria Details »
25 – Nov 07 Magazine Drive
26 – “How to Raise an Adult” Community Discussion, 9-11am, Cary Memorial Library Details »

Help us fund Clarke Teacher Teams at the LEF Trivia Bee coming up Nov 07th Details »
Save The Date! Dec 1-8 The Clarke Book Fair PTO Fundraiser is coming! Details »

We are also seeking volunteers to help coordinate this year’s Clarke Night Out, which will take place on March 16. I hear from the our VP of Fundraising Jennifer Veils and the CNO Chair Hope Klebenov that it will be the best and most fun night you ever had. Help us make it even more fun by volunteering.  Please contact Jennifer at at or Hope at, if you are interested in volunteering.

Parent Forum: Get to Know your New School:
Morning session: Thursday, Oct. 19, 8:45-10 am in the Clarke cafeteria; OR
Evening session: Tuesday, Oct. 24, 7:30-8:30 pm in the Clarke cafeteria
You have questions: we have answers! How does lunch work at Clarke? What is WIN block? How is the new LPS homework policy being implemented in middle school? How can students become involved in after-school clubs? Who should students and parents contact when they need help? These informative Q&A sessions with principal Anna Monaco are especially for parents who are new to Clarke (returning parents are also welcome). Come ready to ask questions! The morning and evening sessions will have the same format: attend whichever one is best for you.

Clarke Magazine Drive – The Magazine Drive is one of the fundraisers that helps fund the PTO budget.  It will kick off on October 25th and students will be coming home with a packet of information, including how to order online (which we are highly encouraging parents to do this year).  Please note that when you go to the online store you will view the selection of magazines and  a wide variety of other items to purchase.  Free shipping is included when purchasing $60 or more online. The last date to turn in orders is November 7th. We will need some parent volunteers to help make this a successful fundraiser. Ways to volunteer are:

  • Help with processing orders on November 1st and 7th from 9-10 in the main office.
  • Help students redeem tickets at the Prize table on November 2nd and 9th during the lunch period (11:00-1:00).  We will need four parents on each of these days to help work the Prize table.   (Hint to new middle school parents – working the prize table is one of the very few ways to see students in their native environment. Don’t miss it!)

If you would like to volunteer on any of these days, please sign up at If you have any questions about the magazine drive, please contact Wendy Bertsekas at or Kathleen Lenihan at

Clarke Spirit Wear is here! Order Here »
The Clarke PTO is offering Hooded Sweatshirts, Plaid Flannel Pants, Long and Short Sleeve T-shirts and MORE!  Children and adult sizes. New this year: Beanies, Scarves, and Clarke BLANKETS! Look for samples and flyers at the Back to School Nights this week!
NOTE: The Clarke School Store is only open ONE TIME in the school year and items will not be available again until next fall 2018, so please order now. Order deadline is Friday, October 29th(11:59pm). There are no late orders.

Community Discussions of “How to Raise an Adult” by Julie Lythcott-Haimes The Lexington Community Coalition, Lexington Public Schools, and Lexington PTO/PTAs are sponsoring community discussions of the book “How to Raise an Adult” by Julie Lythcott-Haims.  As a former Dean of Freshmen and Undergraduate Advising at Stanford University and a parent herself, Lythcott-Haims talks about the life skills children need for future success and, particularly, the role of parenting in allowing children to develop the independence, resilience, and resourcefulness necessary for success in life.

Community members and parents with children of all ages – toddlers through adolescence – are encouraged to attend any of the three book discussions:

Sunday Oct. 15, 3–5 pm.  Lexington High School Library, Room 151
Monday Oct. 23, 7–9 pm.  Estabrook School Cafeteria, 117 Grove Street
Thursday Oct. 26, 9–11 am.  Cary Memorial Library, Large Meeting Room

These will be community conversations about issues raised in the book. At what age should children do their own laundry? What skills are required to be successful? What’s the right balance of our own involvement in our children’s lives with their need to develop independence? When are we doing “too much”? Is what we do as parents helping or hurting our children’s ability to thrive in college, in careers, and as adults?

You are encouraged to read the book, but feel free to attend the discussions even if you have not.  If you are pressed for time, consider listening to the author’s Ted Talks on-line on YouTube or at julie_lythcott_haims_how_to_ raise_successful_kids_without_ over_parenting

LEF Trivia Bee Four teams of Clarke faculty are signed up to compete in the LEF Trivia Bee! Clarke PTA is sponsoring two teams, please help cover the cost for the other 2 teams. Registration fees fund teacher-initiated grants to bring innovation into the classrooms.

Clarke 2017 LEF Trivia Bee Teams:
Wanna Bees: Danielle Paddol, Joanna Gagnon, Elizabeth Denham
Colony Collapse Disorder: Mark Waldeck, Audra Alexander, Kenny Laxague
Taking Care of Buzzness: Bryan Rotundo, John Goodwin, Rob Licciardello
Beeee-ast Mode: Gavin McDonogue, Jonathan Schechner, Dane Despres

Any donation amount will help cover the team fee $375 each (We need $750). 
Send a check made out to Jonas Clarke Middle School PTO. 17 Stedman Rd., Lexington, MA 02421
On Envelope: C/O Tricia Weisberg
Include a note, or write in the comment line on the check “For Trivia Bee”
Thank you!

Hurricane Harvey Relief 

Thank you from Principal Monaco – We are overwhelmed by your generosity. Jonas Clarke Middle School and the Clarke PTO would like to thank you for your incredible support for the Fred Roberts Middle School in Texas, a community severely impacted by Hurricane Harvey. Thanks to you, Clarke has collected over $5,500 in online, gift card and cash donations.

Quote from Principal Thomas who received the funds: “I am humbled by the generosity that your school community has demonstrated. The story that Clarke Middle School wrote is amazing. What your community has done for us will be forged in our story forever. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for being willing to help. Because of your school community’s kind donation, our school is planning to support three feeder schools that were also hit hard.”

An excerpt from a newsletter that Principal Thomas wrote to his staff:

Dear Roberts,
What does the word abracadabra mean? We have all heard this word before when a stage magician pulls a rabbit out of a hat. The reason I am going here is because I have been seeing some serious magic happening in our school. The origin of the word abracadabra is Aramaic from the word avra kadavra, meaning “it will be created in my words.” In the Hebrew language, the phrase translates more accurately as, “it came to pass as it was spoken.” Roberts Family, our spoken words and actions echo throughout our building, but also in the hearts of others.

I want to share with you a few spoken words (abracadabra), which resulted in pure magic….

Jonas Clarke Middle School, under the leadership of Anna Monaco in the great state of Massachusetts, raised over $5000 to support our students and their families. I cannot say enough about the fine people of Lexington. This money will now also allow us to help two of our feeder schools. With the collection of many $10 Walmart gift cards, Clark Middle School will help several families with the immediate essentials.

Pictures from Fred Roberts Middle School are below:

Click here to see events and activities in and around town that may be of interest to middle school students and their families.