Brown MS Weekly Update

Friday, Dec. 3, 2021


To translate this news letter, click on the newsletter and select the word "translate" at the top right hand side under Accessibility. Select the language from the drop down menu.

Dear Brown MS Community,

I hope that you all enjoyed last weekend and the Thanksgiving holiday. I know many families were finally able to reunite this year and be with loved ones they have not seen for a long time. While we are still not at a place that is "normal", it did feel great to have family at my house for the holiday.

This coming week begins parent teacher conferences. There is a description of how to sign up below. These conferences are a great opportunity to hear specifics about how your child is doing and for you to share with teachers what works best for your child. The conferences will all be virtual this year which will hopefully make it easy for everyone to take part.

Watching the news lately and seeing the increase in covid cases is discouraging. Here at Brown we continue to implement our safety measures of mask wearing and hand-washing. Please continue to do a heath self-check each morning and if your child is showing symptoms, please have them stay home. Also, please be sure to send your child with an extra mask each day in case theirs becomes soiled. Now that there are vaccines for ages 5-11, I again encourage you to sign your child up for a vaccine. I also encourage you to get yourself a booster six months after your vaccination. These measures will help to keep each of us safe.

Wishing all who are celebrating a continued Happy Hanukkah! Enjoy the weekend!

Kim Lysaght, Principal

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Parent Teacher Conferences - Sign ups are now open

We will begin Parent-Teacher Conferences next week on Wednesday, December 8th, 2021. The last day of conferences will be on Wednesday, January 26th, 2022. All of the conferences will be on Zoom until January 1st, 2022. After January 1st, we will be using Google Meet.

We ask that you only schedule one conference with one pair of team teachers per student to ensure that every family is able to meet a pair of team teachers. We also encourage you to explore conferences with world language teachers, physical education teachers, and FAA teachers (music, art, drama). All you need to do is click on the website link below and follow the prompts to sign up for a conference. Consult with your child about the names of their teachers and then go onto the link below to sign up. Please direct questions to Assistant Principal, Julian Turner at

Our Front Lobby is an Art Museum!

Hat's off to Art teachers, Jeremy Goldberg and Shoshana Rosen, for a fantastic display of first quarter art work in our front lobby!
Brown MS After School Enrichment Activities

NEW ACTIVITIES - click above to see a full listing of all after school activities.

The Bear's Hour - a 6th grade digital literary magazine.

Some of our 6th graders have worked with ELA teacher Diane Pollard, to create this literary magagzine by 6th graders and for 6th graders. In their first issue, students wrote scary tales for the month of October. For their second issue, they focused on giving Thanks and yummy recipes for Thanksgiving. Click here to see it.

Planning to Apply to Private School?

If you are planning to apply to private school and are in need of recommenations, Brown MS has a description of our guidelines for a smooth application process. Please click here to learn more.
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COVID Communication

This week we had 2 covid cases for which we did contact tracing. All close contacts were directly contacted by our school nurse. Information on districtwide COVID cases and vaccination rates can be found on the Newton Health and Human Services website here: NPS COVID Case Count and Vaccination Rates.

This Monday we will again be testing 6th graders whose families have consented into our weekly Covid testing program. If you have not done so already, please log into Aspen to sign the consent form. (Aspen Login Link) and follow these instructions . Please note, the consent if for all testing (rapid, test and stay and pool testing). Therefore we recommend 7th and 8th grade parents also complete the consent in case there is a need. There is more information about the Covid testing program here.

If you have any questions, please click here to see Newton's Health and Safety Plan.

Update from Brown MS's FORJ Committee

The past two months have given us a lot to think about. We've seen Kyle Rittenhouse acquitted while protesters are charged with felonies. We held our breath during the trial for Ahmuad Arbery's killers. There have been racial incidents at Brown, South and other Newton Schools.

We acknowledge that families within the Brown community are experiencing all of these very differently, with families of color bearing a high emotional weight. With this in mind, we invite you to attend a listening circle with FORJ at Brown on Dec 8. This will be a facilitated session where members can share thoughts, feelings and stories in order to build community understanding and support healing. It is an opportunity for members of our community to share how recent events are impacting them and an opportunity to listen and learn.

Please note that the date of our meeting was changed to avoid a conflict with a citywide FORJ meeting mentioned above. We hope that you will join us on Wednesday, Dec 8 from 7:30 - 8:30pm. Please RSVP here to receive the link

If you have questions, comments or to join the mailing list, please contact us at

The Intersection of Race and Class: How Systemic Racism and Economic Disadvantage Collide Right Here in Our Own Backyards.

Newton's citywide Families Organized for Racial Justice (FORJ) will be hosting their December citywide meeting on Tuesday, December 7th, at 6:30PM. All are welcome to join!

This month's conversation is called The Intersection of Race and Class: How Systemic Racism and Economic Disadvantage Collide Right Here in Our Own Backyards.

We will be focusing on the intersection of race and class, and how it manifests in Newton. Our panel of speakers include:

- Aubrey Conquergood, Executive Director of Cradles to Crayons Boston
- Ranjani Paradise, Co-Founder and Board Member of Newton Neighbors
- Regina Wu, President of the Newton Food Pantry

Please mark your calendars for this important conversation! This meeting will occur during zoom, so we hope you can join us. If you would like to join this meeting, sign up here and you will receive the zoom information to join. If you have any questions, feel free to email

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Reporting Absences

To report a student absence call: 617-559-6980

Need to Update your Information in Aspen?

The Annual Student Information Update is available on Aspen. Please update your information. Directions for families can be found here.

Calendar and School Hours

School Hours:

8:20AM - 2:50PM - Mon., Tues., Thurs., Fri.

8:20 AM - 2:05PM - Wed.

Click here for the NPS school calendar.

Click here for the Brown Middle School 6-day rotation calendar with early release days and days of the cycle.