Brown MS Weekly Update

Friday, Oct. 8, 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,

As we move into the middle of October, the temperature is beginning to drop. We will continue to have lunch outdoors as much as possible, so I encourage you to help your children dress accordingly. Dressing in layers is always a good idea.

This weekend there is much going on in the area. There is no school on Monday, so I hope our students are able to engage in some of the terrific events that are happening!

Newton is celebrating Indigenous People's Day on Monday, October 11 from noon-5pm, at Albemarle Park. Please click on the picture below for more details. The outdoor event will have over 40 artists, performers, speakers, vendors, and community organizations. It is open, accessible, and welcoming to all residents of Newton and neighboring towns.

In addition, the Boston Marathon is back and running through Newton on Monday! It is so great to have this tradition back again. I hope you have the opportunity to cheer on the runners, many who are running to support worthy causes.

Enjoy the weekend!

Kim Lysaght, Principal

Brown MS After School Enrichment Activities

Click here to see all the activities offered to Brown MS students after school. It is frequently updated with new activities, so be sure to keep checking.

COVID Communication

This past week we had 1 positive COVID case at Brown. All close contacts have already been directly contacted by our school nurse, so if you have not been notified by her, then your child is not considered a close contact.

I also sent emails to families of students who were in classrooms with an individual that tested positive. These emails are just informational, and do not mean the student was a close contact.

Our test and stay program for students who are close contacts is up and running.

  • Test and Stay (Close contact testing): This protocol will be used to test unvaccinated asymptomatic individuals who have been identified as close contacts. It is designed to allow close contacts to stay in school vs. quarantining at home and missing school. It is a daily rapid test performed for at least five days following exposure by the school nurse or other qualified health professional.

Please consider opting into our testing programs if you have not already. Simply log into Aspen to sign the consent form. (Aspen Login Link.) Please follow these instructions for accessing and signing the consent form.

If you would like to learn more about the Covid testing program, please click here for our NPS webpage on Covid testing.

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

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All students have had their Chromebooks for a while now and those that needed repairs have been addressed. Moving forward we will be holding students accountable for device damages ("at-fault" damages such as cracked screens, missing keys, and liquid damage).

If you have not already, you can still enroll in the optional Chromebook Repair Fund. Click here for more information.

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How you can help regarding social media

Social media is something many of our students use. We realize some parents may not allow students to use social media while others do. If your child does use social media such as Instagram, Tik Tok, Snapchat, Discord or gaming apps, pay close attention to what they are watching. Do some research on apps that they are downloading and make sure you know how they work and what your kids are sharing about themselves and with whom. Make sure they set their privacy settings to prevent those they don’t know from accessing their information or location.

As a special request, if your child is familiar with TikTok, they may be aware of a new trend called Devious Licks. It is a challenge put out by someone on TikTok to do unacceptable behaviors such as vandalism of bathrooms at schools. This past month we have seen an uptick in bathrooms being littered with paper towels shoved down toilets and graffiti. There are apparently challenges for each month and some are very troubling. Middle schoolers are at an age where they don’t always make the best choices. The consequences for some of the behaviors set out in these challenges are serious. Please talk to your children about making wise choices and listening to their conscience before doing anything that is destructive, harmful or hurtful. We appreciate your support in this.

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Professional Development

This past week our teachers met in what we call "Vertical Teams" to discuss their goals for student progress. Vertical Teams are teachers of the same subject area across all three grade levels (6-8). These teams will meet frequently throughout the year to focus on student learning and how best to support students. The meetings will allow them time to work together on creating a cohesive middle school experience in their subject area. Above is our math department pictured at their meeting.

In addition, our teachers met with subject-alike colleagues from across the district on Thursday for their early release professional day. These meetings happen a number of times over the course of the year and provide teachers an opportunity to collaborate and dig deeper into their specific curriculum.

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month

HHS is partnering with REACH, The Second Step, Newton-Wellesley Hospital, and Jewish Families and Children Services to learn about abuse, how to assist someone in a controlling relationship and where to find resources. Click above for more info.

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.