April 1, 2022
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April marks the arrival of a new month and the arrival of Spring! In addition to Autism Acceptance Month, today also brings the observation of Ramadan for our families of the Muslim faith. Ramadan, along with Eid al-Adha in July and Eid al-Fitr in May, is one of the most important holidays in the Muslim calendar. While traditionally observed by Muslims around the world as a month of prayer, fasting, and community, Ramadan is also celebrated in many different ways around the globe to mark the special occasion, from Iftar gatherings (Iftar - the opening of one’s fast), to household decorations and traditional foods, to mark its arrival. This year, Ramadan begins on April 1 and ends on Sunday, May 1.
We encourage PSB students and families to consider many resources available online to illustrate how and why Ramadan is observed. Keep in mind that practices may vary depending on culture, so our students and families are the best sources of information about their Ramadan traditions. Here are a couple of articles that give a general overview:
In addition, for educators, we are sharing Ramadan 2022 which offers options for supporting our students during this important time of year.
Finally, if your student(s) is/are fasting for Ramadan, please reach out to your school staff so that we are aware and can support you and your family throughout this time. We wish all of our students and families who are celebrating, “Eid Saeed” and “Eid Mubarak.”
UPDATE: COVID-19 Mitigation Strategies
The School Health Services department has updated our COVID-19 and Mask protocols in response to the recent uptick in cases we have seen within our schools. As of today, the district will now require rather than strongly suggest individuals wear a mask in certain specific scenarios. These scenarios include:
Individuals returning from COVID-19 isolation, prior to day 10, through day 10;
Fully vaccinated individuals who have an at-home close contact, for a period of 5 days;
Individuals feeling unwell or displaying COVID-19 symptoms, regardless of vaccination status, should remain home. Those who have tested negative for COVID-19 and been cleared for school but still have minor residual symptoms are required to wear a mask while symptoms persist. More information on these changes can be found here.
Please be advised that the last day of school for the 2021-2022 school year - for all schools except Driscoll School* - is Thursday, June 23, 2022. Students will be dismissed at noon. As you may recall, all PSB schools were closed on January 3, January 7, and February 4.
*Because Driscoll School was also closed on December 17, the last day of school at Driscoll is Friday, June 24.
Click here for the official last day of school announcement that has additional details, including links to the revised school calendars and information about 8th grade graduation dates. Please note that on both June 23 and June 24 cafeteria lunches will not be scheduled, but grab-and-go lunches will be available at dismissal.
Statement from the Brookline School Committee
Last week, the Brookline School Committee reiterated its commitment to foster a school environment of safety, respect, and dignity. Over the next few weeks, the committee will explore ways to address not only overt forms of racism, bigotry, discrimination, and harassment but also microaggressions and implicit bias - including the establishment of a subcommittee on diversity and inclusion as well as creating a district-wide policy on anti-hate speech and iconography. The statement can be read in its entirety here.
PSB Leadership Announcements
- Pierce: I am pleased to announce that, following a thorough search process, Ms. Jamie Yadoff has been appointed principal of Pierce School. Ms. Yadoff’s leadership skills and commitment to Pierce School were evident throughout all phases of the interview process, and Pierce staff, parents, and guardians noted her collaborative style and strong work ethic. Ms. Yadoff joined the Pierce community in 2005 as a middle school English, Social Studies, and Health teacher, transitioned to Vice Principal in 2018 and, since July 1, 2021 has been serving as Interim Principal. Click here to read the letter that was shared with Pierce staff and families announcing the appointment.
Brookline Early Education Program: BEEP Principal Dr. Regina Watts has announced her retirement from the Public Schools of Brookline, effective July 29, 2022. Dr. Watts has been an integral member of the early education program in Brookline since 1989, serving with distinction as School Psychologist and Education Team Facilitator, and recently as BEEP Coordinator and Principal. We will genuinely miss her commitment to excellence and spirit of collegiality, and we wish her the very best as she transitions into retirement.
I am pleased to announce that I have selected Ms. Margaret Eberhardt, BEEP Coordinator, to serve as Interim Principal for the 2022-2023 school year. We are fortunate to have such a talented early education leader among our ranks who can lead BEEP during this period of transition. Please click here to read the letter shared with the BEEP community earlier today.
GreenZine Brookline Blog: Winter Issue!
The BHS GreenZine team is pleased to present its Winter Issue! GreenZine Brookline is a blog that highlights environmental and climate change writing and illustrations by PSB's K-12 students. GreenZine Brookline is collectively run by Brookline educators and offers students, staff, and the Brookline Schools community a forum for news, opinion, and creative expression about climate change, outdoor education, and the environment. The group also highlights the excellent climate action being done - as well as the need for more work to be done - by students, staff, and parents in our school community.
GreenZine offers K-12 students a platform to amplify their voices and passion to catalyze a conversation about climate change and outdoor education in our schools so that our students will be more resilient and prepared to lead in a climate-disrupted world. Folks who are interested in contributing can visit the site or contact email@example.com.
Upcoming BHS Performing Arts Events
- BHS Camerata Choir and Advanced Chamber Orchestra Perform Vivaldi's Gloria! - Wednesday, April 6, 7:30 p.m. Under the direction of Michael Driscoll and Nina Bishop, Brookline High School's Camerata Choir and Advanced Chamber Orchestra perform Vivaldi’s beloved and dramatic Gloria in D. Antonio Vivaldi, a priest, music teacher, and virtuoso violinist, composed his Gloria in Venice for high school-aged music students at an orphanage for girls, where he spent most of his career and composed many works for performance by the girls’ orchestra. This performance, originally scheduled to be performed in March 2020, features soloists from the choir. For more information, please email Michael_Driscoll@psbma.org.
- BHS Music Collective's Spring Concert - Thursday, April 7, 7:30 p.m., and Friday, April 8, 7:30 p.m. The Music Collective, BHS's jazz band, performs arrangements of John Coltrane, Grant Green, MF DOOM, RH Factor, Originals, and more. Don't miss this fun, club-style performance! For more information, please email Carolyn_Castellano@psbma.org.
More information for both events can be found on the Brookline Friends of Performing Arts (FOPA) website.
Families may be interested in the virtual event Teens and Screens: Finding Balance in the New Normal on Wednesday, April 6, from 7:00 - 8:00 p.m. This forum addresses how families can establish healthy but realistic goals for navigating our busy digital lives. Led by pediatrician Dr. Michael Rich (The Mediatrician) and hosted by the Brookline Parent Education Network (B-PEN), the presentation will include a panel of experts and student Peer Leaders sharing concrete advice and strategies for talking about screen time, content, context, and the health risks of overuse. Register for the event here.