Brown MS Weekly Update

Friday, Dec. 10, 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,

You may be aware of some concerning issues that have arisen lately for some of my fellow principals in Newton. An article in the Boston Globe (linked here) today shares the story and the responses from Superintendent Fleishman and Mayor Fuller.

It is distressing to me that my colleagues are experiencing this level of hatred and racism, and I put my full support behind them. We also have affinity groups here at Brown MS. Our students have asked for these groups and find them to be supportive and special places where they can truly be themselves. The Monday after the Rittenhouse verdict we also provided places for students who wanted to process the verdict. Some students met with a counselor and discussed the verdict and were able to ask questions. This is what education is all about - responding to what is happening and giving students a place to process, ask questions and support one another.

Please know that we continue to be committed to being antiracist educators in Newton. As a school system we have our NPS Statement of Values and Commitment to Equity as a foundation for the work we do each day. We appreciate the support so many have shown. Our Families Organized for Racial Justice (FORJ) in conjunction with the FORJ groups at Oak Hill, Day and Bigelow shared this message with me earlier today and asked that I share it with you.

We are committed to working tirelessly to ensure that we propel our community forward into an antiracist future.

Wishing you a peaceful weekend,

Kim Lysaght, Principal

Counseling Department Focused on Stress Management

Big picture

Parent Teacher Conferences - Sign ups are now open

We began Parent-Teacher Conferences this week. Conferences continue to run at various times from now until the end of January. All of the conferences are on Zoom until January 1st, 2022. After January 1st, we will be using Google Meet.

We ask that you only schedule one conference with one pair of team teachers per student to ensure that every family is able to meet a pair of team teachers. We also encourage you to explore conferences with world language teachers, physical education teachers, and FAA teachers (music, art, drama).

If you have not signed up, there may still be some spaces available. Click on the website link below and follow the prompts to sign up for a conference. Please direct questions to Assistant Principal, Julian Turner at

Brown MS After School Enrichment Activities

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

ELPAC Parent Meeting

Newton's English Language Parent Advisory Council (ELPAC) will hold a Zoom meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 14 from 6:30 - 8:00 on Zoom. Please click here for a link to the invitation in multiple languages.

COVID Communication

This week we had 3 covid cases for which we did contact tracing. All close contacts were directly contacted by our school nurse. 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.

This Monday we will again be testing 6th graders whose families have consented into our weekly Covid testing program. If you have not done so already, please log into Aspen to sign the consent form. (Aspen Login Link) and follow these instructions .

The NPS Medical Advisory Group met on Tuesday, November 9, 2021 to evaluate current data and provide recommendations on current health and safety protocols. Below you will find links to their most recent recommendation, as well as the updated health and safety plan.

School Council

Our Brown Middle School Council for the 2021-2022 school year will be meeting prior to vacation to discuss our goals and focus for the year. This year we are including students on the council to make sure their voices are heard in our discussions.

Members are:

Kim Lysaght, Principal

Xiaoguang Zhen, Parent

Chip Franklin, Parent

Joelle Tomb Zakak, Parent

Michele Shin, Parent and School Counselor

Jackie Ehrhardt, Speech Language Pathologist

Gillian VanDelft, METCO counselor

Maddie Adler, 6th grader

Emma Song, 6th grader

London Edwards, 7th grader

James Garrett, 7th grader

Riya Raghavan, 8th grader

Thomas Connelly, 8th grader

Big picture

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.

Big picture

School Calendar for the 2022-23 School Year

At their meeting on Monday, December 6, 2021, the Newton School Committee approved the calendar for the 2022-23 school year. You can find it here:

NPS School Calendar 2022-23 (Link to PDF Document)

Planning to Apply to Private School?

If you are planning to apply to private school and are in need of recommenations, Brown MS has a description of our guidelines for a smooth application process. Please click here to learn more.

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.

Big picture