Brown MS Weekly Update

Friday, Jan. 14, 2022


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Dear Brown MS Community,

This Monday we celebrate The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his legacy. This past week all of our advisory groups spent time learning about his mission and discussing how they too can work to end racism and make the world a better place. Each advisory watched videos geared towards their specific age group and shared their ideas and impressions. I would like to extend a huge thank you to our advisory planning committee who create lessons, fun activities, social justice discussions and mindfulness lessons for our morning advisories. They are Emily Tuohey, Spanish teacher, Kate Mullen & Wendy Krizter, (ELA teachers), Alyssa Cantwell (Special Education Teacher) and Jen Carlisle (Social Studies teacher).

We hope that you are able to partake in something to honor MLK's legacy this weekend. I have included information below about Newton's 54th Annual Martin Luther King Celebration on Monday morning below. If you are unable to join that, perhaps consider clicking this link to see other activities in the Boston area. (Dr. King lived in Boston for part of his life. It is where he met his wife, Coretta Scott King, and earned his Theology degree at Boston University.). Regardless of what you do this weekend, I encourage you to take some time to talk with your children about what Dr. King's mission and message mean to them.

I wish you all a safe and healthy weekend. Stay warm tomorrow! I plan to cheer on the Patriots from my couch with a warm blanket.

Hope to virtually see many of you on Monday morning at the MLK zoom celebration!


Kim Lysaght, Principal

Newton's MLK Celebration - Monday, Jan. 17 at 9:30AM

All are welcome to join the community book read of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community? This is the theme of Newton’s 54th Annual Martin Luther King Day Celebration on Monday, Jan. 17 at 9:30 a.m. at Newton North High School. The book is available at the Newton Free Library or you can read the Guided Study here.

The Martin Luther King Day Celebration will be on zoom and pre-registration is required. Find more info about how to register to attend here.

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Tenacity Challenge!

The Tenacity Challenge is an academic competition for 7th and 8th grade Hispanic/Latino(a) and Black/African American students from middle schools across Massachusetts. The middle school Tenacity Challenge will consist of three events focused on the themes of leadership, empowerment, and tenacity. Please visit for more information.

The team will prepare for the following three events:

Leadership Action Project

The leadership project focuses on the Tenacity team organizing with other students to mobilize change within the school community.

Math Quiz Bowl Challenge

Math quiz bowl teams will consist of 3 members. Questions will be drawn from pre-algebra, algebra, and geometry.

Global Voices Literary Analysis

Students will engage in the study of one or more books and then compose or create a response.

The Tenacity Challenge team will meet during one or two extensions each week. We may, on occasion, ask students to meet before or after school.

The competition will take place on March 12, 2022 at The John Glenn Middle School in Bedford, MA. Please click this link if your child would like to join the Brown Tenacity Team.

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COVID Communication

This week we had 46 individuals that tested positive and were in school during some portion of this past week. While this number is very high, the daily number of cases has been on a decline. 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.

The main NPS COVID website has been updated to include the most recent district COVID information, the new guidance from DESE on isolation and quarantine, and included mask and daily health assessment information. You can find it by clicking here.

Students and masks:

Students continue to abide by our expectation of wearing masks over their noses and under their chins. Teachers consistently remind those that struggle with this. They are doing a terrific job! Please make sure they continue to bring an extra mask each day when theirs breaks. We continue to recommend KN95 or N95 or double masking.

Pool Testing:

As you know, our regular pool testing for 6th graders is on Mondays. Given that school is not in session on Monday, there will be no pooled testing. This is true for any schools across the district that regularly test on Mondays.

As previously shared, when there is no school on your testing day, your student will test on the same day the following week. We have had families reach out to us asking if the schools who miss Monday can be tested later in the week. Unfortunately, the staffing and scheduling just will not allow us to change the schedule for next week.

We completely understand that this is disappointing and anxiety producing given the dramatic rise in the number of COVID cases in our community over the past several days. However, please remember that the majority of cases we have identified in schools this year have come from our symptomatic testing and our Test and Stay program for close contacts. Monitoring your child for symptoms and keeping them home when sick, masking appropriately, and getting vaccinated are the most effective ways to reduce the introduction of COVID into our school communities.

We will resume our regular schedule of pooled testing next week. Thank you for your patience and your understanding as we navigate these logistics.

Providing Outdoor Options for Lunch:

Outdoor seating will continue to be available on the patio off of the cafeteria no matter the weather. If you would prefer to have your child eat outside, please send them with the proper winter clothing gear; students may store their winter clothing in their locker during the rest of the school day.

For students who choose to eat indoors, we are encouraging all students to put their masks back on when they are not eating and to participate in “Laps at Lunch”. This means that students are eating indoors for a shorter amount of time and then go outside to walk and socialize with their friends as they walk the sidewalks around our school’s driveway. Encourage your children to bring a warm coat and dress for cold weather.

Brown Faculty:

The faculty are taking precautions to keep healthy and continue to attend to our students. During this week, we averaged a faculty absence rate of about 5-10% which is an improvement over last week.

iReady Winter Assessment

This month your child will participate in the winter administration of the i-Ready Diagnostic reading assessment. This is a formative assessment of reading skills that we began in 2019 district wide. Given the many obstacles to teaching and learning during the COVID-19 pandemic, it is more important than ever to have a clear sense of students’ strengths and challenges as readers. This winter administration will provide important data about students’ growth as readers since the fall as well as ongoing recommendations for instructional strategies targeted to students’ areas of need. Please connect with your child’s ELA teacher if you would like to discuss your child’s performance on the assessment and do not hesitate to reach out to me with additional questions.

Brown MS After School Enrichment Activities

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

Homework club after school - Tuesdays

Did you know there is a homework club every Tuesday afternoon from 3:00-4:00 at Brown? It is held in the library and is open to any student that would like a nice quiet place to get some work done. Students can drop in any Tuesday - no sign up required.

Brown FORJ Update

We are planning our next meeting on Wednesday January 26th 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

Interactive Media Use & Youth Mental Health: Guidance for Parents of Students Across the Developmental Span

Jan 27, 2022 07:00 PM

The Newton Special Education Parent Advisory Council (SEPAC) is excited to partner with Boston Children’s Hospital’s Digital Wellness Lab to offer a comprehensive presentation on the relationship between children's and teens' media use and their mental health.

The Digital Wellness Lab's senior content strategist, Kristelle Lavallee Collins, will discuss the most recent research on the relationships between interactive media use and the well-being of children and adolescents. The presentation will also cover the latest science-based strategies parents and caregivers can employ to support children in developing a "healthy” relationship with technology and screen media.

For questions, contact We hope you will join us!

To register

Submit your questions in advance here:

Brown MS - Superintendent and School Committee Zoom Meeting - Feb. 16 at 7:00PM

We hope you can join our Superintendent, David Fleishman and members of the Newton School Committee on Wednesday, February 16 at 7:00 for a Zoom meeting. This is an oppotunity to hear from Dr. Fleishman and the committee on all things related to NPS. There will be opportunities to aks questions.

A zoom link will be provided as the date gets closer.

Interpretation for this meeting can be available. Please complete this Google form at least three days before the meeting if you require interpretation:

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Winter Weather and Snow Day Notifications

  • School closings or delays will be communicated via phone call, text message, email, social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram), website, and local television and radio stations.

  • To receive text messages, you must opt-in. To opt-in, please login to Aspen, navigate to the contact information section, and select “yes” for SMS messages in the drop-down box below your cell phone number.

  • Following a storm, many of our students will continue to walk to school. We have collaborated with Newton DPW to create maps showing sidewalks that will be plowed, ensuring safe routes to school. Please access the maps here.

NPS School Transfer Request 2022-2023

If you are planning on applying for a school transfer within Newton Public Schools (formerly "Out of Assigned District Requests", please click this link for information regarding the process.

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.