Brown MS Weekly Update

Friday, Sept. 10, 2021

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Welcome back to school!

Yesterday we welcomed all of our students back into the building. There was enormous excitement in the air and while we couldn't see their actual smiles under their masks, our students and teachers were smiling with their eyes all day long!


As you can see from this newsletter, I am trying a new format that is much fancier than my prior weekly updates. I hope you find it helpful and easy to navigate! It includes contact information at the bottom as well as information about hours of school and the calendar. If you have feedback regarding communications (what you would like to see) please let me know.


Tomorrow marks the 20 year anniversary of September 11th. It seems hard to believe that two decades have passed, as that day is a vivid memory for many of us. Yet our students were still years from being born that day and do not have the memories we do. Today during morning announcements we kept a moment of silence in honor of all who were impacted that day. It is important that we remember all who helped, all who died and especially the bravery of the people who were first responders, some who gave their own lives to save others.


Next week is a four day week because there is no school on Thursday for the observance of Yom Kippur. Many of our community members will be fasting for this holiday. We wish all our Jewish community members tzome kal (an easy fast)!


Wishing you a good weekend!


Kim Lysaght, Principal

Front Lobby Display

Our art teachers, Shoshana Rosen and Jeremy Goldberg (both former Brown MS students) put up this display to welcome everyone to the new school year.
Our art teachers, Shoshana Rosen and Jeremy Goldberg (both former Brown Middle School students) put up this display in the front lobby to welcome back all of our students.

Brown Middle School Enrichment Opportunities

A variety of after school enrichment clubs will be offered after school on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays 3:00 – 4:05 PM (exceptions in some clubs). Students can sign up by emailing the advisor of the club. Once signed up, information will be given (where to meet, etc…). Club offerings change throughout the school year and from year to year depending on student interest and staffing. Some clubs will run throughout the entire school year while others will be offered during a specific time frame. A listing of clubs offered (link below)will be updated monthly on the Brown website (Student Activities tab). At times a club may be canceled for the day and this will be communicated to the students via email by the advisor of the club.

Safety protocols will be put in place and students must follow all guidelines. Guidelines are as follows:

  1. Students sign in with enrichment advisor

  2. Number of participants is limited (in some cases)

  3. Students can take the 4:15 bus if they regularly take a bus, ride or walk home, or a parent must pick up the child at the designated times

  4. Students meet enrichment advisor in designated location

    1. Student stays with that advisor/activity the entire time

    2. Student must wear a mask if indoors

    3. Student must use hand sanitizer upon arrival (hand sanitizer will be provided)

Brown Enrichment Club Offerings 2021-2022

Middle School Activities Fee and Form

The middle school student activity fee covers all school sponsored extracurricular activities within the middle schools not including athletics. The fee is set at $60.00 per student per year. The annual fee allows a student to participate in an unlimited number of after school enrichment activities.

Please click here to read about fee payments and financial assistance.

Please click here to make a fee payment of $60.

If you have any questions, please contact the enrichment advisor directly or our after school athletic/enrichment director Katrina Antonellis via email at antonellisk@newton.k12.ma.us

Covid Testing Program - Register here!

Consent forms for the NPS COVID testing program are now available in Aspen. You ARE REQUIRED to provide consent for your student to be tested. Please log into Aspen to sign the consent form. Here is the Aspen Login Link. Please follow these instructions for accessing and signing the consent form.


While we are still working to finalize testing implementation with the state contractor, CIC Health, testing could begin as soon as Monday, September 13 for those who have opted-in.


Here are the details on the state-sponsored multi-tiered COVID testing program administered by CIC Health:


  • Symptomatic Testing: This protocol (a rapid test), will be used for students and staff who develop symptoms while at school.

  • Test and Stay (Close contact testing): This protocol (a rapid test) will be used to test unvaccinated asymptomatic individuals who have been identified as close contacts following possible exposure at school. This test will allow your student to stay in school if exposed to COVID while at school. Students will NOT be required to stay home and quarantine unless they are exhibiting symptoms.

  • Routine (Weekly) COVID Pooled Testing: This protocol (anterior nasal swab) will be used for all individuals who opt-in to participate in the weekly COVID testing program.


Having trouble logging into Aspen? Email: aspen@newton.k12.ma.us

Important Fall Athletics Information

  1. If your child wants to participate in a fall sport, they must be registered on FamilyID. Registration Document here. Registration closes on September 12 @ 7:00pm. Registration is complete when you get confirmation from FamilyID

  2. Fall sports will begin on Monday, September 13th @ 3:00 pm

  3. Varsity sports for 7th & 8th meets everyday except Wednesdays

    1. 6th grade Cross Country will begin on Tuesday, September 14th and will meet on Tuesdays and Thursdays

  4. There will only be a 4:15 late bus. There will be no late bus for after practices or games. Arrangements must be made for athletes to be picked up by 5:00pm on practice days and on game days.

  5. Games/Meets will be limited to playing Newton only. Competing against Oak Hill, Bigelow and Day Middle Schools

  6. Newton Public Schools Middle School Athletics Covid Protocols - Please read this Important COVID document

  7. COVID Health Assessment Form will be sent by Katrina Antonellis to all athletes every morning and must be completed by 1:00pm. It will not be sent to parents.

Sports and Theater Requirements

Please Note:

The Newton Public Schools is requiring that student participants in interscholastic athletics and extracurricular theater be vaccinated OR participate in weekly surveillance testing.


Please complete this vaccination verification form if your child is vaccinated and plans to participate in sports or theater this year.


If you/your student is not yet vaccinated, we strongly encourage you to get vaccinated as soon as possible. Vaccination is our individual and community’s best protection against Covid-19. Below are dates for two vaccinations clinics available to you.

COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic!

Newton North High School

Location: Cafeteria

Saturday September 11, 8am - 12pm

Saturday October 2, 8am - 12pm

North Sign Up Link:

https://tinyurl.com/NEWTONNORTHVAX


Newton South High School

Location: Gymnasium

Saturday September 11, 8am - 12pm

Saturday October 2, 8am - 12pm

South Sign Up Link:

https://tinyurl.com/NEWTONSOUTHVAX


Clinics are open to anyone over age 12.

Anyone under the age of 18 needs to be accompanied by an adult or have the state's consent form filled out which is available here.

Big picture

Chromebooks!

This year we are excited to continue with the expanded 1 Device 1 Student (1:1) program begun during the past year. Each student will be assigned a Chromebook to use both in school and at home.

The goal is to provide consistent technology access for student learning. Devices are a learning tool just like all of the other materials we provide for the classroom environment. As part of the use of technology in the classroom we also instruct students on the Newton Public Schools Student Technology and Online Acceptable Use Guidelines.


We plan to distribute Chromebooks this coming week during school starting with 8th graders on Monday.


Here is what you need to do:


  1. Complete the Chromebook Loan Agreement form available in the Aspen Family Portal. Printable and translated versions of the Chromebook Loan Agreement are also available.
  2. Families are responsible for accidental damages to devices. We are offering an optional Repair Fund ($25) that will cover the cost of any accidental damages incurred throughout the year. This takes the place of the third party insurance model available to high school families in the past. Those that still have active policies with Worth Avenue insurance will continue through the end of the policy term.
  3. We encourage you to put limits on student use of the device when at home including setting rules / coming to an agreement with your child on where, when, and for what purposes the device can be used when at home.
  4. Make sure your child gets in the habit of charging the Chromebook each night.
  5. In order for Chromebooks to work, they do need access to the internet. The devices do have web filtering in place when signed in with an NPS account.



Finally, our Student and Family Technology Resources page contains information you may find useful including some guides on using iPads and Chromebooks, and in particular a Use and Care Guide for Chromebooks.

Information regarding Newton Special Education Parent Advisory Council (SEPAC)

We are a volunteer organization of parents of children with special needs from

preschool through high school. We run an online forum where parents can ask each

other about special education programs, issues, policies and resources both within and

outside of the public school system. We work directly with the school administration

regarding our children's special education through our school liaisons, meetings with

the Assistant Superintendent of Student Services and by attending Newton School

Committee meetings.


We hold monthly board meetings that are open to all parents - dates

links are listed on our website NewtonSEPAC.org under the Meetings tab. In the

meantime, you can join our "Newton SEPAC" Google Group by clicking on the link

on our website. On this online forum, you can post any questions or concerns about

anything related to your child with special needs. We also use this group to publicize

local/online presentations and conferences as well as DESE policy updates.


Other ways to contact the SEPAC:

Email: Info@NewtonSEPAC.org

Facebook: Newton Special Education Parents - SEPAC


Next SEPAC Open Board Meeting: Tuesday September 21 at 7:00pm

Find the Meeting Agenda and Zoom link on newtonpac.org under the Meetings tab


SEPAC at Brown

As the SEPAC Liaison for Brown Middle School, I also host monthly Zoom sessions for

parents. This is an opportunity for parents whose children are receiving special

education services at Brown to share their experiences and concerns. You can also

contact me directly for more information about the SEPAC or with any questions or

concerns about your child: Kim Gallaugher - momofiggy@hotmail.com or cell 857-800-

3644


First Brown Parent Zoom meeting: Thursday September 23 at 7:30pm

Kim Gallaugher is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Time: Sep 23, 2021 07:30 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/7967420402

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.