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Head of School

Family Newsletter 

Your Source for PHA
School Updates
December 22, 2020
Season's Greetings PHAmilies,

This has been an incredibly difficult and different school year with the intersection of COVID-19 and school. At PHA, we reimagined school this year with our wraparound services program and a remote learning model whereas we put everyone’s safety first, students at the center, and balanced both academic and social and emotional learning.  
During the past 10 months, some of us have lost family and friends to COVID-19 -- your PHAmily, extends a heartfelt virtual hug to you and your loved ones. At PHA, we’re undeniably ready to put this most challenging year of 2020 behind us and bring in 2021 -- a year of more peace and joy! In 2021, we intend to further enhance learning and lives as we actualize our mission for every PHA child. Meanwhile, we’re wishing you and your loved ones the safest, brightest, and happiest holiday season. Hope is on the horizon!
All the best,

Angela F. Allen
Head of School / CEO
Family Updates

Please remember that by law the Flu vaccine is required for all students this year by December 31. If you have not already done so, please ensure that your child receives the flu shot before December 31, 2020. All students regardless of whether they will learn remotely or in a hybrid model are required to get the flu shot.

You can make an appointment with your child’s pediatrician to receive the flu shot and many pharmacies such as Target, CVS, Walgreens, and Walmart, are offering free flu shots if you cannot obtain one from your physician in time to meet the December 31 deadline. Check your local pharmacy for availability and appointment requirements.


PLEASE SHARE YOUR SNAPSHOTS of our students learning from home by emailing!  Grades K-3, we’d LOVE to see your fancy festive outfits next Wednesday for the PHAncy PHestive Reading Extravaganza!

NEW! SIGN UP FOR REMIND to ensure the best communication with PHA (Grades 4-12).  Click here:  We will email you soon with details.

TUESDAY, 12/22, 6:00 PM: FRANKLIN UPPER ELEMENTARY FAMILY FORUM (Grades 4-6): Monthly Franklin campus meet-up with Principals & families. Click here to attend:  

WEDNESDAY, 12/23, 9:00 AM: BUSY BEE ASSEMBLY + PHANCY FESTIVE READING EXTRAVAGANZA (Grades K-3): Welcome the winter break by dressing fancy and celebrating storytelling with your kids. Find details on SeeSaw or ask your teacher.

EVERY WEDNESDAY, 5:30 PM: PARENT & FAMILY FAB HOUR (Grades K-12)  Click here to attend:  See our 2021 Special FAB Hour schedule and stay up to date on meeting notes and recordings here:


FREE PHA Meals Programs!

All meals need to be ordered for the month of January.  The window to order your meals will be open December 12 - 27, 2020.  Unfortunately, if you do not order during this time, we will be unable to provide meals to you.

If you find you that need help placing your order do not hesitate to call Stefani Pettit, Director of Meal Program Services at (617)284-7831 or email

Ordering PHA Meals:
Please follow these instructions to order your meals. Going forward we will only be able to offer meals to families who place orders in advance. 

1. Fill out your free & reduced meals form:

2. Order meals a month at a time using the link:  The order window for January meals opens December 12th - December 27th, during this time you will be able to order meals for your students. 

Please watch our tutorial video that provides step-by-step instructions:

Enrichment Opportunities and Winter Wonder Activities
Engage with the Museum of Science at #MOSatHome and more. Science never stops. And neither does the Museum of Science! Tune into a variety of daily live stream and webinar content for kids and parents…featuring dinosaurs, space, live animals, and much more!
Somerville Arts Council presents: The Illuminations Tour: December 12th - January 1st

Time to light things up Somerville -and take self-guided tours, while supporting local businesses. Even though, we will not be conducting our traditional trolley tours this winter, the bright spirit of Somerville will shine on. So whether you're a business or a resident, time to deck the halls and plug things in!  We have created a digital map so folks can take a "deconstructed tour" on their own time, supporting local businesses as they go. So, as a participant or tour goer, let's celebrate the folk artistry and creativity of residents and businesses that transform their spaces and yards with lights, ornaments, and shrines of devotion and fantasy.

First Night Boston 2021 will be an entirely virtual event. Hosted on this webpage and in partnership with NBC10 Boston, NECN, and Telemundo Boston, an array of musical and artistic performances, drop-ins from well-known New Englanders, and short tributes to our front-line workers will air on New Year’s Eve, and New Year’s Day. Through social media, the public is invited to share their resolutions and hopes for 2021 using #Together21. Here is the link to the schedule of the virtual events.   

Gingerbread Playdough Recipe

An easy gingerbread playdough recipe!
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time5 mins
Total Time10 mins
Keyword: gingerbread playdough, gingerbread playdough recipe


  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 2 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp ginger
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla


  • Mix the flour, salt and cream of tartar and whisk well. 
  • Add in the ginger and cinnamon and whisk well. 
  • In a pan or pot, add the water, oil and vanilla and mix.
  • Slowly add in the dry ingredients (flour, salt, cream of tartar, cinnamon, ginger) to the pot and mix well. Cook on low to medium heat.
  • Because of the cinnamon, this playdough takes a little longer to come together and cook. Keep mixing well and spread out in the pan if possible so that the salt mixes well with the water to dissolve. Do not continuously stir while cooking. Let it sit for a few seconds before mixing and flipping the dough in the pot. The dough is done when it starts to form a ball and looks fully cooked. Take off the heat and let cool. 
  • Knead for 10 minutes to make the dough smooth.


The perfect sugar cookies, every single time!
prep time: 25 MINS
cook time: 10 MINS
total time: 35 MINS
Servings: 24 cookies (may vary depending on your cookie cutter size)


  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup salted butter, room temperature
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 Eggs


  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cream cheese, softened
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 tablespoons milk


  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or using a hand mixer, cream the butter and sugar. About 2 minutes. Add eggs and vanilla. Mix until combined. Add the flour and baking powder. Mix until combined. 
  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface (keep dough about 1/4" thick, or thicker if that's what you prefer). Use cookie cutters to cut into your desired shapes. Place on greased cookie sheet (you can also use parchment paper or a silicon baking mat). 
  • Bake at 350°F for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool on pan for 5 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Frost cookies. 


  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or using a hand mixer, cream the cream cheese and butter. About 1 minute. Add the powdered sugar, vanilla, and milk. * Mix until it forms a thick frosting. 
Photo Highlights
PHA Early Childhood Campus students working hard @Home. 
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We love to share photos of our students with the PHAmily. Please continue to send us pictures of your children learning at home, exercising, doing arts and craft projects, and spending time outdoors.

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