Black River Middle School

"A School to Watch"

December 2018

BRMS Rocks the Instrumental Program!

Some of the best memories and experiences in school happen when students work together as friends toward a common goal. The BRMS Instrumental Music Program is geared to promote the beauty of music through the power of friendship and camaraderie.

The BRMS Instrumental Program is one of the best in the state. It offers musicians of all levels a challenging, balanced, fun opportunity to increase their skills and to grow their passion for music.

Director Dr. Kenneth Piascik has established large and small performance ensembles and a thorough lesson program to develop well-rounded individuals in three main areas: affective, cognitive, and psychomotor. During the school day, musicians can participate in large ensemble bands and small group lessons aimed at the development of performance skills, theory, history, creativity, leadership, verbal and written expression, and the overall enjoyment of making music.

Students may choose to further challenge themselves in several before-school and after-school groups. There's a rocking "Encore" jazz band as well as honor music ensembles, online electronic classes, a string program, and district honor ensembles. For more information, check out Dr. Piascik's website at

Of course, the culmination of the hard work and dedication of our band members is the opportunity to play for appreciative audiences, which they did at the annual Holiday Concert on December 6. Upcoming events include performances of the District Band, the Spring Concert, and the "Music in the Parks" competition.

The Chester community's strong support of the arts is a source of pride at BRMS and a fundamental value that greatly benefits the overall success of our students.

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BRMS Drama Club is in Full Swing!

The BRMS Drama Club has grown from a small family to a large village! According to the director, Mrs. Aiello, over 100 students participate in all aspects of the musical stage production. This year, the play will be Disney's Beauty and the Beast.

In addition to featuring the talented singers, actors, and dancers attending BRMS, the show would not go on without the technical and artistic abilities of the the stage crew members who are the backbone of the production. The goal of the entire cast and crew is to create a piece of art filled with precious memories.

Since students from all three grades participate in Drama Club, communication is disseminated via Mrs. Aiello's Drama Club Classroom web page. Every Saturday, she posts the rehearsal schedule for the upcoming week, along with additional messages and updates. Of course, it's imperative that all members check it carefully. In addition, parents are welcome to view the schedule. To do so, go to Click on the "+" sign on the top-right gray bar, and enter the following code: vccuei. If parents have trouble logging in, they should ask their children for assistance.

Students involved in Drama Club make a huge commitment of time and effort, but they reap many rewards that extend far beyond their thespian endeavors.

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BRMS Students Swap Books for the Love of Reading!

On Friday, December 7, over 30 enthusiastic BRMS students attended Mrs. Aaronson's annual book swap. Participants came to browse, mingle, and trade their books for someone else's. As they "shopped," their love of reading was evident. Students could be heard saying, "Have you read this?" "Is this one good?" "What's this book about?" In all, over 70 books were swapped while students socialized and enjoyed light refreshments graciously provided by the PTO. After securing her choices, one student summed up the event's success by asking, "Can we do this every month?"
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Faculty Fun Facts at BRMS!

BRMS is a community. As such, this newsletter regularly features highlights about the people who make our school a special place. This time, please meet Sixth Grade Teacher Jean Gilbert and Nurse Anne Pape. Did you know?

Mrs. Gilbert:

1. Loves dogs, especially Basset Hounds.

2. Enjoys horse back riding.

3. Has assisted with the training of monkeys for the disabled.

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Mrs. Pape:

1. Is a die hard Clemson and Rutgers fan.

2. Is a Marvel movie enthusiast who usually sees the franchise films on premiere day.

3. Has been in the same Christmas Cookie Exchange group for 18 years!

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Seniors Celebrate the Holidays at BRMS!

The BRMS Senior Citizen Holiday Dinner Dance took place on December 7. Student volunteers from the Service Club and the Peer Leader program mingled with the guests, served them dinner, and danced with them. Entertainment was provided by the Irish Step Dancers, and a DJ kept the oldies and holiday tunes playing throughout the event. Fifty local senior citizens attended this year, and everyone seemed to enjoy their time with our students. The planners for the evening included Mrs. Elberty, Mrs. Connahan, Mrs. Mullen, and Mrs. Werner. Everyone looks forward to next year's celebration!
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The BRMS Guidance Corner: Calling all Career Professionals!

Are you passionate about your career? Would you be interested in sharing that passion with the students at BRMS? If you answered yes to both questions, the BRMS Guidance Department would love to invite you to speak at the annual Career Day on the morning of March 8, 2019!

Mrs. Azzara and Mrs. Elberty plan to feature approximately 25 careers this year, and they'd love to add you to the list. Please contact them at 908-879-6363 for more information or to sign up as a presenter. Thank you for sharing your talents with our students!

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Coming Soon:

Dec. 24-31- Happy Holidays!

January 1- Happy New Year!