Superintendent's Update

February 11, 2022

Greetings PSB community,


In light of National School Counseling Week, I want to highlight the work of the PSB guidance team and the tremendous work they have done for our students, staff, and families. In Brookline, this work begins long before their first day at school. A guidance counselor is one of the first members of the community a new student and family will meet upon their arrival, and this continuum of support extends to, through, and beyond their education journey.


For the 2021-22 school year, PSB has also made the social-emotional health and well-being of our community a priority. We are grateful that our work in this area has been well-received by students, families, and staff alike. Learning how to validate our emotions, stay present, and practice self-care are important skills that can support us outside of the classroom.


If you haven’t already, I encourage you to reflect on how someone at PSB has been able to support you in the past few months, and send them a quick message of thanks. It may help make your day just as much as theirs!


Sincerely,


Linus J. Guillory Jr., PhD

Superintendent

UPDATE: COVID-19 Mitigation Strategies

On Wednesday, February 9, the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education announced that they will not renew the statewide mandate requiring all individuals to wear masks and facial coverings in schools. As with all COVID-19 policies in the Town of Brookline, we will be working with our local health department to determine any appropriate changes and next steps. At their meeting on Thursday, February 10, the Brookline Advisory Council on Public Health voted to accept the Public Health Commissioner’s recommendation that the Town’s mask mandate remain in place until the week of March 15. At that time, public health data will be evaluated, including community trends for the weeks following the February vacation period.


Please note that, as of this time, the requirement that everyone wears a mask in all town and school buildings remains in place.


PSB will also be hosting another COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic on Tuesday, February 15, from 6:00 - 8:00 p.m. at the Ridley School. All PSB staff, families, students, and community members ages 5 or older may sign-up. Individuals may also receive their booster dose at this clinic should they be eligible. You may also elect to receive a COVID-19 vaccine at the Trustman Building at 15 Egmont Street on Thursday, February 17, from 3:30 - 7:00 p.m. Click on this link to sign up for either clinic.

FY2023 Budget Update

In yesterday’s school committee meeting, the Brookline School Committee officially voted to move forward with the preliminary budget set forth on January 21. Currently, PSB’s preliminary budget is $130,619,874 and the Town of Brookline’s allocation is at $124,817,362. The School Committee is committed to working with the Superintendent, Select Board, and Town Administrator to align these numbers through the identification of additional revenues and efficiencies. You can review yesterday’s presentation in its entirety here.
School Committee Meeting - February 10, 2022

Middle School Program Review

The Office of Teaching & Learning is pleased to announce that we are in the early stages of reviewing our middle school model. In this review, we aim to highlight effective components of our current system and to better understand areas for improvement so that every student is fully supported and prepared for future success. Our goal is to clearly define PSB’s middle school model and the types of experiences students and families can expect from grades 6 through 8.


This review will include examining how our educators, students, and families experience middle school including academic programming, non-academic opportunities, time on learning, elective choices, and high school preparation. While the process is still being finalized, we will ensure that there are multiple opportunities for student, staff, family, and community input throughout the review process. PSB is committed to a collaborative and transparent process that engages a wide range of constituents. More information will follow over the next coming weeks.

BHS Athletics Now Allowing Fan Attendance

A reminder that earlier this week, the BHS athletics department began allowing BHS students and parents/caregivers of players from both teams to attend indoor home sporting events. Students are expected to bring their current BHS ID as proof of attendance. We are excited to bring fans back to our basketball and ice hockey games slated for this weekend - check out the full schedule of events here!

Upcoming BHS Performing Arts Events

Please join the performing arts community on Tuesday, February 15 for the BHS Chamber Music Festival. Beginning at 7:30 p.m., come to the Roberts/Dubbs Auditorium to hear all 100 students from Concert Orchestra, String Orchestra, and Advanced Chamber Orchestra performing in large and small ensembles. The program will run for about 90 minutes. Tickets are $5 at the door and are free for K-8 students (cash/check only). Visit brooklinefopa.org to purchase tickets!

In Our Classrooms this Week...

Community Updates

Town of Brookline Disparity Report: In November 2020 Town Meeting voted for the Town of Brookline to prepare a Report on the Disparities within the Brookline community. A working group of the Office of Diversity, Inclusion, and Community Relations (DICR), the Commission of DICR, and community members were tasked with collaborating with other Town Departments and community organizations to prepare a Report on ways to repair the Disparities in Brookline. The report has now been published and includes key perspectives from PSB. You can more about the finding here.

The Disparity Report Working Group would also like to announce that they are holding two virtual Disparity Report Community Forums in advance of review of the Town Budget and warrant articles for the Spring Town Meeting in May 2022 to share the findings with the public. Please register using the links below:


Brookline Housing Production Plan: The Town of Brookline Department of Planning and Community Development encourage all residents and community members to complete a survey for the Town’s Housing Production Plan update. Participation in this survey will inform housing policy decisions and housing priorities for the next five years. The survey will be available until Friday, February 18, 2022: The link to the survey can be found here. You can also learn more about the Housing Production Plan at the second community forum on Wednesday, February 23, 2022, from 7:00 - 9:00 p.m. Register for the virtual meeting here.