Greeting from the Countryside PTO! We hope this site will be a “one stop shop” for any Countryside information that families could want/need. Here are a few quick links you may find useful:

Countryside News


The Countryside PTO is dedicated to enriching the Countryside community through a variety of events and programs. Some examples include mini-grants for our teachers, equipment purchases for our classrooms, and community building events for our families. To learn more, check out the Annual Fund brochure sent home in your child’s folder on Friday. Please note that a successful Annual Fund minimizes the need for smaller fundraisers throughout the year.

We are blown away that after our first week we are already at 46% of our fundraising goal. Thank you so much to all who have already donated! While the cost is $150 per student to run our programs and events for the year, please donate what you can. We appreciate that every family has different circumstances and no donation is too large or too small to make a difference. The deadline to donate is October 31, however all families who donate by October 7 will receive a Countryside car magnet! 

You can donate to the Annual fund by Check, Venmo, Paypal or Credit Card here.  or scan the url on the right of this site. If you choose to make an electronic payment, please remember to either make a note of your name and children(s) names when entering the Venmo/PayPal transaction. Donations are tax-deductible and we need to be able to identify donors in order to provide you with a receipt. Please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions!

Got costumes in your closet?
Trade them at our Countryside Costume Swap for something “new” to wear this year!
When: Wednesday, October 12 from 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. AND 
Friday, October 14 from 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Where: Countryside Playground or Cafetorium Hallway in inclement weather
You do not need to donate a costume to get a costume! However, if you would like to donate a gently used costume, we ask that costumes be on hangers and labeled with the size and what the costume is (ex. Poppy, size M). Please place all loose parts and accessories in a zip top bag. You can either send the costume to school with your child to put in the bin, or you can bring it to the Swap. Please reach out to us with any questions!

Still confused about how school lunch works this year? Here’s a quick summary:

If your child needs a lunch, they get a card. For the younger grades, there is an adult to help them find their cards. 
1st meal – FREE
1st meal plus milk – FREE
ONLY milk – $0.40 via MySchoolBucks
2nd meal – $5.25 via MySchool Bucks

Funds added to your child’s MySchoolBucks will never expire. If there is no money in the account, it will carry a negative balance until it is paid. There are no a la carte items at the elementary level. The menu is here (type Newton in the search field and select Newton Elementary), and also linked on our website for your weekly reference. Please note that due to supply chain issues, the menu may deviate from what is posted. 

Burr FORJ invites all FORJ chapters to a meeting on Tuesday, October 11 at 7:30 p.m. to talk about the proposed zoning changes to Newton Village Centers and the public feedback tool that closes on October 16. We will be joined by City Councilor Deb Crossley, who chairs the Zoning and Planning Committee (ZAP). There’s so much great information about these proposed changes and how they would help encourage the development of more affordable housing around our village centers. All are welcome! The more the better! Register Here.  

It’s always important to be prepared in the event of an emergency. This year our school Safety Day will be on Wednesday, October 12. As a school, we will practice our district’s emergency procedures and protocols both inside and outside of the building. This will include having students practice “shelter-in-place” and “lockdown” for when we want to keep everyone safe inside their learning spaces. We will also practice how to respond if we need to quickly and safely evacuate to our alternative site, Brown Middle School. Through coordination with both the Newton Police Department and Brown, staff will lead the children to the middle school through a prescribed walking route. For more information please click here


Save the Date! Saturday, October 29! We will be holding our traditional Halloween Party including DJ, games and concessions for all students at Countryside. Doors will open at 5:30 P.M. for grades K-2 until 7:00 P.M.. From 7:00 P.M. until 8:30 P.M., we welcome grades 3-5 to enjoy the festivities.  Please note this is not a drop off event!
If you are interested in joining the planning committee, reach out to Sue Johnston and Barbara Mauger

Get ready for another great session of BOKS, the before-school fitness program offered at Countryside. BOKS (Building Our Kids’ Success) is a Reebok initiative that provides children with the opportunity to increase their daily physical activity and be better prepared to learn throughout the day. BOKS will run on Mondays and Fridays from 7:30-8:10 a.m., and the fall session will start on September 30 and run through December 16. Registration will be limited to 30 children and is open to all grade levels. Registration costs $35 for the first child and $15 for each additional child. Register online and bring a check to the first day, made out to the Countryside PTO. Please contact John McEachern for more information.

Back by popular demand, the adults-only Countryside Mystery Dinner returns on Saturday, November 12! Join fellow Countryside parents for delicious food and drinks at this fun twist on a progressive dinner party. Wondering how it works? All participants start at the same location for cocktails and appetizers. After cocktail hour, guests will receive an envelope revealing their dinner location. Following dinner, all guests reconvene at a single dessert home. Be on the lookout for an invitation in your child’s folder and in the weekly PTO Update email.

We’re looking for multiple dinner hosts and you don’t have to do it alone! Why not team up with a friend to help with the evening? You are free to serve whatever you like. It can be fancy or simple, the goal is to get people together and to build community. If you are interested in helping in any way, please contact Barbara Mauger

The PTO is preparing the annual Countryside Directory. This year, we will still provide the printed/paper directory but will offer this as an “opt-in” option with the default being the electronic directory. Please complete the very brief form here, indicating your preference. Thank you!


Our 5th grade co-taught classroom is still in urgent need of at least 1 room parent. It’s truly one of the best ways to get acquainted, stay connected, and directly impact your child’s experience at Countryside. Ideally, each class will have 3 volunteers, and since you work as a team, it’s a fun opportunity to work with a friend! Sign up here.

Are you looking for a way to get involved with the Countryside PTO? Look no further! We have the following positions open for this year:

  • FORJ Representative
  • Mystery Dinner
  • Parent Party Committee
  • Turkey Donation
  • METCO Liaison
  • Countryside Musical

Please click here for more detailed descriptions, or check out the website for details about ALL PTO positions that need to be filled each year. Email the co-presidents to volunteer!