Brown MS Weekly Update
March 4, 2022
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Dear Brown MS Community,
The news of the world this week has been unsettling and I want to extend our care and support to all of our families with loved ones in Ukraine. Our teachers and counselors have been paying close attention to provide support for any students who may be concerned about the attacks on Ukraine. Students are at different places in their awareness and they may be getting information from social media or other sources. Sometimes the information can be confusing, scary, or just downright inaccurate. Here are some resources for talking to your children. The first is aimed at parents and the second for teachers, but both contain valuable advice.
- How to Talk with Kids about Ukraine (New York Times)
- How to Talk with Students about the Russia Ukraine War: 5 Teaching Tips (Education Week)
If your child is demonstrating signs of anxiety, or if your child has loved ones in Ukraine and you feel they need some extra support, please reach out to the teachers or counselors. We are here to help.
While the news has been heavy, overall the atmosphere at school felt positive and productive this week. Students seemed well rested and happy to be together after vacation. Teachers were reenergized as well. Everyone is happy to see the daylight hours increasing each day as we head for spring.
Things at the Lysaght household are productive as well. My daughter recently committed to Elon University class of 2026. (Time has really flown by!) My plan for this weekend is to celebrate her good fortune by making her favorite dinner and to welcome my son home for spring break by stocking the refrigerator and paying for a much needed haircut. Enjoy your weekend!
Kim Lysaght, Principal
School Committee to Vote on Mask Optional on Monday Night
As you read in Dr. Fleishman's earlier communication, the Newton School Committee took a straw vote and voted unanimously to move to a mask optional policy. This coming Monday they will hold their official vote regarding mask wearing at schools. In preparation for this I will be sharing a video with all students on Monday morning during advisory regarding this change which will go into effect on Tuesday, March 8.
Please know that my message to students will be that each of us has choice and that wearing or not wearing a mask is up to the individual. Because we always work to make sure everyone feels a sense of belonging here, we will respect the choices of others regarding the wearing or not wearing of masks. I will remind students that we must be kind to each other (a Bear Belief!) and allow everyone to do what works best for them. Teachers will reinforce this message with students each day.
More details regarding mask wearing in other venues (buses, auditorium, chorus, etc.) will be forthcoming as the School Committee works through these decisions.
Middle School Matters with Phyllis Fagell
On Thursday, March 3 NPS hosted a forum called Middle School Matters for all families of middle school aged students. It was well attended and provided a wealth of information. If you were unable to make it to the zoom meeting, a recording of the forum is now up on our NPS webpage at https://www.newton.k12.ma.us/Page/3988. It will be available for viewing until March 11.
March is Women's History Month!
International Women's Month is March! In our advisories students are learning about why there is such a month and some of the changes that have taken place in the world regarding women's rights. Our students will learn about influential women who are shaping the world both today and in the past.
Classrooms in action this week
Brown Middle School Important Spring Athletics Information (2022)
Our Varsity sports for the spring season are Boys & Girls Lacrosse, Baseball, Softball and Track (running events only).
Our Varsity Sports Programs are for 7th and 8th grade only.
Track for 6th Grade is by Invitation Only. Information will be sent to parents of athletes who are eligible to participate separately. (Policy on Website)
If your child wants to try-out for one of our varsity spring sports, 2 requirements must be completed.
- Students must be registered on FamilyID. Registration Document is HERE. REGISTRATION CLOSES MARCH 30, 2022
- A Physical on file with the school nurse (must be up to date)
Registration on FamilyID closes on MARCH 30 @ 7:00 pm. Registration is complete when you get confirmation from FamilyID only.
Spring sports will begin on Monday, April 4 @ 3:00 pm - 5:00pm.
Spring Sports Commitment is:
- 4 days a weeks: Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays
- Time is 3:00-5:00 (Game days are usually longer)
- Season is from April 4, 2022 - June 3, 2022
- Players cannot leave early or miss practices and/or games to play on another team, we expect athletes to fully commit to the Brown team.
- There will only be a 4:15 late bus. There will not be a late bus for after practices or games. Arrangements must be made for athletes to be picked up by 5:00pm on practice days and picked up on game days.
Email Coaches directly if you have any questions.
- Boys Lacrosse - Jeffrey Primeau (email@example.com)
- Girls Lacrosse - Beverly Woods (Woodsb@newton.k12.ma.us)
- Softball - Meredith Crowe (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Baseball - Brian Adams (email@example.com)
- Track - Michele Shin (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Game schedule is TBD.
Coaches will be sending out emails before the start of the season using the emails on file from FamilyID registration.
NSHS 8th Grade Parent Information Session
March marks the beginning of planning for the transition from middle school to high school. The faculty and staff at Newton South are excited to welcome the Class of 2026 into their community! They invite 8th graders and their parents/guardians to Newton South High School, in-person, on Wednesday, March 9 at 6:30pm. Families will have an opportunity to learn about the academic programs, support services, and extracurricular opportunities at Newton South in workshop sessions led by school administrators, teachers, and students. This meeting is the first step in the registration and transition process. You can visit their school website (www.newton.k12.ma.us/nshs) where you will find a wealth of information about life at Newton South, including the FY22 Program of Studies. Click here for the official flyer about the parent information session.
Another date to remember is 8th Grade Sports Information Night on Wednesday, March 16 at 6:30 in the NSHS Field House. Students will have an opportunity to meet representatives from the athletic teams at Newton South and learn what it means to be a Newton South athlete. Click here for the official flyer for the sports night.
Brown's FORJ (Families Organized for Racial Justice) Update
The next Brown FORJ meeting will be Wednesday, March 9 at 7pm. Please register here for the zoom link. We hope you can join us for two topics and some special guests:
- Our 7th grade English teachers will give a presentation about cultivating diverse libraries, their work to continually improve books available to Brown students and their recent PTO mini-grant
- We will take a look at the newly-updated NPS non-discrimination protocol, which includes how students, parents or staff can report incidents and how the incidents will be investigated and communicated.
Please contact us with questions or to join the mailing list at email@example.com.
School Report Card
Every year, each public school and school district in Massachusetts receives a report card. Just as your child’s report card shows how they are doing in different subjects, the school’s report card is designed to show families how our school is doing in different areas. A link to our school’s report card is available here -2021 School Report Card - Charles E Brown Middle.
The report card includes multiple measures of a school’s performance – more than just MCAS scores. It represents a new way of looking at school performance, by providing information on student achievement, teacher qualifications, student learning opportunities, and more.
Report cards are designed to be useful tools for everyone connected to our school. Families can use the information to have meaningful conversations with us about what the school is doing well and where there is room for improvement. Community and education leaders can use the information to better understand how to support students and our school.
If you have questions about our school’s report card, would like to become involved in school improvement activities, or would like to request information about the qualifications of your child’s classroom teacher, please contact the principal. To see our district’s report card or to search for other schools’ report cards, visit reportcards.doe.mass.edu.
(Click the title above for the full flyer.)
Creative Arts & Sciences is pleased to announce the return of
CAS AuthorFest on April 12.* We’re bringing a wide variety of
authors and illustrators to our elementary and middle schools
to engage students in grades K-8 in the writing and illustrating
process — from idea to published work.
We’re planning AuthorFest as an in-person event. We’ll adjust
our plans as needed when NPS Covid protocol for this spring
is made available.
*Look for announcements from your PTO for dates and specific times for presentations.
This week we again had only 1 individual that tested positive. We will continue to send notifications to any teams with a positive case daily and advise families and staff to actively monitor for/stay home if symptoms develop. For more information: NPS COVID Case Count and Vaccination Rates.
Please make sure to mark your calendar to remind yourself that all students opting into the Covid testing should take their test on Tuesday morning. Students will receive a new test kit package on Monday.
All families need to “opt-in” to the testing program.
Only positive results need to be reported to the school. You will complete the Form - Positive Result from At-Home Rapid Antigen Test - State Program to report a positive result. Nurses will provide follow up information to families, including the date for return to school, following a positive test.
Brown MS FORJ meeting - Wednesday, March 9 at 7:00PM
The FORJ (Families Organized for Racial Justice) leadership everyone to know that FORJ is a resource to support parents with concerns about the recent events at Brown. Both the history and current practice of anti-semtitism are highly interwoven with other types of racism and bigotry.
Parents can always reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. The next FORJ meeting is planned for Wednesday, March 9 at 7pm. They will have a presentation from the 7th grade English teachers about their work to curate a diverse library and their recent PTO mini-grant. If parents have concerns or ideas or needs in the meantime, please get in touch with the FORJ leaders, Rachel Pytel and Jingjing Hu.