Wellesley Public Schools snowstorm plan

Dear WPS Community,

In light of the impending storm that will begin to affect our area as early as tonight, I have several announcements to share:

1) All WPS buildings will be closed at 5pm today (January 26th.) Any evening activities slated to run beyond that time will be rescheduled.

2) The Wellesley Public Schools will be closed all day on Tuesday, January 27th. This includes all classes and after-school and evening activities. No WPS staff should report on Tuesday.

3) We will monitor conditions throughout the day on Tuesday and make a determination if schools can be opened on Wednesday. I encourage parents to plan accordingly in the event that schools remain closed.

Whether you prefer to be out in the snow tomorrow or hunkered down inside with a good book or board games, please be safe.

Best regards,

Dr. David Lussier


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Wellesley dump closed Tuesday due to storm

Wellesley RDF recyclablesThe Wellesley Recycling & Disposal Facility will be closed on Tuesday Jan 27 due to the impending storm. Check for other town closings and updates here.

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Former Wellesley ABC student blogs for Huffington Post


Wellesley is known as a town that takes its public schools seriously. Residents consistently put their money where their property taxes are by voting in overrides, while dedicated PTO volunteers organize auctions and fairs to cover needs that the budget doesn’t.

In addition to educating and fundraising for the town’s kids who live here full-time, minus summers on the Cape, of course, residents (through private donations unrelated to the town’s taxes) and Wellesley College fund the Wellesley A Better Chance (ABC) program. For 42 years here, the program has been on its mission to provide academically talented and promising young women of color from underserved communities that better chance through an education at Wellesley High School.

Vanessa Martir, a 1993 graduate of Wellesley High School and the ABC program, not to mention Columbia University, took that better chance seriously and as a Huffington Post blogger gives Wellesley a mention in her latest post, Writers of Color Need Something More.

Brace yourselves. It’s not 100% complimentary.

The New York City resident recalls that overall, she found the experience of being an ABC student in Wellesley incredibly difficult. When she hit the halls of WHS, she says, “Everything I was was labeled too loud and too much.”  The Latina student was called “Rosie” because actress Rosie Perez starred in the then-current movie Do the Right Thing, and Martir’s classmates wanted to hear her “tawk”, something she refers to as one of countless microaggressions she faced at school. Challenging as it was, Martir remembers her time in town as one of the defining experiences of her life, and that she would recommend the program to women of color, including her own daughter.

English Department teacher Brooks Goddard, who retired in 2000, may have helped save the day.  Martir says, “…he handed me Julia Alvarez’s How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents. I ate that book up in two days and read it again at least five times.” She marks that event as the first time she read a book by an author that looked like her. And it would be great to report that from there on in there was no stopping the girl, but microaggressions at Wellesley turned into macroaggressions elsewhere, and let’s just go ahead and get all Oprah and say that what didn’t kill her made her stronger. And has likely made for rich fodder for her upcoming memoir called Relentless.

Huffington Post blogger is actually just Martir’s sideline.  Her day job is at VONA Voices, which runs writing workshops for writers of color. She credits the program, which she attended as a writer before eventually accepting a position there, for helping her find her own writing voice at a time when she was having trouble believing in herself and her stories.

Wellesley served as an incubator for some of those stories as Martir passed through town on her way to a life as a writer, educator, dreamer, and bad-ass, all goals stated explicitly between the lines of ABC’s mission statement, a program that, at its core, is “…committed to fostering the achievement of each student’s academic, personal, and community-oriented goals…”

That’s seems to be pretty much how Martir is living her life, Wellesley-provided warts and all.

Check out Martir’s personal blog here. Like all the best blogs, it runs on a WordPress platform.


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Kids’ program in Wellesley focuses on history of food

The Wellesley Historical Society, in partnership with the Wellesley Community Center, will be offering the next “Winter Wednesday” children’s program on Wednesday, January 28, from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. This is a drop-in program, so families can come and go as their schedules allow. The topic for January 28 will be “Food: the Old Ways.”

Participants will learn about how New Englanders got their food before there were supermarkets. What has changed and what has stayed the same?  Was food healthier years ago? If so, can we go back to the “old way” and change the way we consume food now? Participants will make their own butter in a way similar to how it would have been made in the 1700s!

This program is free and open to the public and will take place in the Hoffman Room at the Wellesley Community Center, 219 Washington Street in Wellesley. For more information call (781) 235-6690 or email [email protected]. A complete schedule of “Winter Wednesdays” is available at www.wellesleyhistoricalsociety.org. This program is supported in part by a grant from the Wellesley Cultural Council, a local agency that is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

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Name drop: Alexander Graham Bell used to live in Wellesley

Alexander graham bellAs attention is called to the  first commercial transcontinental phone call made 100 years ago today by Alexander Graham Bell to his assistant Thomas Watson, a reminder that Bell once lived in Wellesley.

Bell lived on the property now housing the Waterstone senior living complex in Lower Falls.

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Wellesley don’t need no stinkin’ blizzard to build snowmen and snowwomen

@danahallschool snowman in #Wellesley #winter

A photo posted by theswellesleyreport (@theswellesleyreport) on

MORE Wellesley Storm action

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Adopt a Wellesley fire hydrant

hydrant mapAs the Department of Public Works (DPW) mobilizes for the first significant winter storm of 2015, the DPW and Wellesley Fire-Rescue Department are asking for your assistance in clearing fire hydrants of snow in your neighborhood. There are over 1,400 hydrants in Wellesley and each one is potentially vital in the event of an emergency.


Go here to adopt a hydrant.

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Sustainable Wellesley is greener than thou


Sustainable Wellesley, a volunteer organization that is all about recycling, living without pesticides, and moving toward clean energy, has a good-looking updated website.  The group, whose mission is to engage the residents, businesses, and the Town of Wellesley in the actions required for sustainability, encourages big and small changes on a road toward increasing energy efficiency and reducing waste and pollution.

We were poking around on their website, trying to pick up some tips on making our “historic” home perhaps a bit more airtight, or at least finding the gumption to dig deep within ourselves to maybe turn out the lights as we left the room, and we were not disappointed. There’s is information as small-scale as consolidating car trips, to as big-picture as installing solar panels on your home’s roof.

A major interest of the group is, of course, the town’s Recyling and Disposal Facility. To that end, the group invited Gordon Martin, Superintendent of the RDF, to serve as guest editor for an article about recycling newspapers. Thanks to the efforts of Martin and the entire crew toiling away down there at the Wellesley/Needham line,  and the good sorting and hauling-to-the-dump habits of Wellesley residents, the Town’s general fund was made $608,577 richer in fiscal year 2014.

One way this was achieved was through paper recycling.  Once you read about how your recycling efforts really do matter to the town, you’ll never be able to toss your recyclables into the trash compactor again. Not without guilt, anyway.

Check out the Superintendent’s breakdown of how it all happens:

Did You Know……… over 2,000 years ago, the Chinese discovered that a thin, wet layer of interlocking fibers becomes paper when it dries. The first papermaking materials consisted of fibers from rags, the bark of trees, plants and grasses such as hemp, bamboo, jute and straw.

Most paper and paper products manufactured today use fibers derived from wood, primarily from conifers such as spruce, fir, pine, and hemlock and some deciduous trees such as birch, oak and aspen.

When newspaper fibers are recycled for the first time, the individual fibers are long. Every time newspaper is recycled, the fibers break down and become shorter and shorter. The problem is that short fibers, even when they are interlocked with other short fibers, make the final product weak and unstable. The answer to this problem is to introduce long fibers into the mix.

Americans have been recycling paper for only three hundred years. Foreign paper makers have been recycling paper for two thousand years. This means that America’s recycled paper fibers are in great demand and foreign buyers are willing to pay a higher price for it. The RDF sells a significant amount of paper to worldwide markets because of the higher price paid to the Town.

It’s important to note, the RDF’s success starts with Wellesley residents. Your efforts make it possible for the RDF to sell good quality material at the highest global price. The estimated added revenue from the sale of exported sales is approximately $60,000 per year. Total sales revenue in FY 2014 was $380,544 and $608,577 was deposited into the Town’s General Fund.

Be sure to take a few moments and separate all your recyclables. Don’t throw them in the trash compactors. Remember, trees have to be cut down to make new paper products and for every ton of paper that is recycled, 17 trees will be saved. That equates to Wellesley residents saving over 60,000 trees last year.

For more information call Gordon Martin, Superintendent of the Recycling and Disposal Facility at 781-235-7600 ext 3340 or e-mail him at [email protected].

-Guest editor Gordon Martin

Also of interest:

Composting service seeks to worm its way into Wellesley


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  • Upcoming Wellesley Fundraisers

    Upcoming Wellesley Fundraisers