Brown MS Weekly Update
April 1, 2022
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,
Tonight marks the beginning of Ramadan, an important holiday event for millions of Muslims around the world. The month is a time for fasting, focusing on faith and performing generous acts. To all of our families observing Ramadan, I wish you Ramadan Mubarak! (Have a blessed Ramadan!)
It has been a long week, and I am sorry to say that we have not been successful in determining how the swastika was scratched into the 8th grade desk on Tuesday. We will continue to work on this, and I will update you with any information going forward. Today in our 8th grade classes, a Holocaust survivor spoke to all of our 8th graders via zoom. After his presentation, the students were able to submit and ask questions. I want to thank Becky Cohen and all of the 8th grade social studies and ELA teachers for being instrumental in making this event happen. Students were truly moved by what they learned.
As I said above, the week was long. We distributed report cards, started MCAS with our 6th graders and restarted outdoor lunch (see picture above). Next week will also be a long one with MCAS happing on various days for all students. All of us, students and staff, are feeling fatigued at this time of year. The reality is this is the first "regular" full year of school we have experienced since 2018-2019, and for many, stamina is an issue. It is my hope that this weekend will provide rest and rejuvenation for all of us!
On a personal note, my son turns 21 today - my April Fools gift from 2001!! I am having a hard time grappling with the fact that time has passed so quickly. We plan to go visit him at college this weekend to celebrate. I hope you all find something to celebrate as well. Enjoy the weekend!
Kim Lysaght, Principal
P.S. For those of you wondering how the prom dress shopping went - she has not said yes to the dress yet. She knows the style and the color she wants, so there is progress. We will continue the search...
Learning about Ramadan
Many of our students and their families will be celebrating Ramadan beginning tonight. Here is a slide presentation that our advisories will view this coming week that we will use to teach students about Ramadan. Thank you to one of our 6th grade parents for sharing it!
For our students who are observing Ramadan, and may be fasting during the day, if they would like to have an alternate space to spend lunch, they are welcome to go to Ms. Messina's room (138) or the library with Ms. Q-M. If there are students who would like a space to do prayers, we will also find a private space for them to do that. Please reach out to the main office if you have questions.
We had our first day of MCAS with our 6th graders today. As we continue with our testing schedule, please help your children get a full night's rest and to eat a healthy breakfast. The testing sessions are long and being well rested and fed helps them keep their stamina. Also, we need you to help us make sure students are charging their chromebooks over night. Here is a document with what you can do to help prepare.
Our dates for our MCAS testing are as follows:
- 6th Grade:
- ELA: April 1 & 4
- Math: May 13 & 16
- 7th Grade:
- ELA: April 7 & 8
- Math: May 3 & 4
- 8th Grade:
- ELA: April 5 & 6
- Math: May 9 & 10
- Science/Tech Engineering: May 17
Report cards were sent home this week. Please be on the lookout for the blue paper report card in your child's backpack. Students may see some lower grades on their second term report card. This can be due to an increase in complexity of material as the year goes on. Students should reflect on their teachers' comments. They provide valuable information about what is going well and what areas they could work on. We ask that you discuss both grades and teacher comments with your child, sign the bottom portion and return it to their homebase teacher.
Social Media Parent/Guardian Survey
Our School Council, made up of parents, faculty and students, have put together a survey for middle school parents regarding social media & phones. We would appreciate you taking this survey to give us more insight about how we can work as a community to help keep students safe as they begin to use social media. So far 25 people have responded. Please consider taking the time to complete this.
We have plans to have a presentation for parents later this spring with a presenter from the Middlesex Partnership for Youth. More information and specific dates to follow.
Brown MS Annual Newton Food Pantry Drive!
As a school community, we are collecting non-perishable food items and toiletries for people in need. Students learned about the food drive during a 30 minute advisory lesson last week. Donations for the Newton Food Pantry are being collected from Monday 4/4 - Monday 4/11 in advisory. Donations will be delivered to the food pantry on the afternoon of Monday 4/11.
Sixth graders are leading the effort by going to 7th and 8th grade advisories to drum up enthusiasm and donation commitments. This is one of our annual community service events. Please consider talking with your child about how they can participate.
Items that the pantry needs the most are listed below. Please note: items should be unopened and within the expiration date, and no glass please!
Cereal: 12 – 16 oz., brand names preferred
Hearty soup: meat, bean, veggie; broth
White tuna in water
Shampoo: 12 – 16 oz.
Toothpaste (full size)
Soap and body wash (full size)
Unified Basketball Team Closes Their Season
Our Unified Basketball team had their final away game yesterday. Thank you to all the players and the coaches for an amazing season!
5th Grade Family Information
This is a reminder to 5th grade families that we need your child's choice of world language for scheduling purposes. Please click here to complete the choice form. The form will ask for your first, second and third choice of a world language. Please click here for an overview of our world language program. We do our best to give students their first choice as much as possible within the constraints of class size. The form also gives you an opportunity to sign your child up for our optional band, orchestra or chorus electives.
This week we had 3 individuals that tested positive. 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 their test kits either today (Friday) or 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.
On the NPS COVID Testing Data Dashboard, you can review the percentage of students who have opted into testing, as well as the results of the weekly testing. The data dashboard can be found here: COVID Testing Data Dashboard and on our website here: COVID Testing Webpage. For information on COVID cases and vaccination rates in the Newton Public Schools, please visit this page on the City of Newton Website: Newton HHS COVID Data.
CAS AUTHORFEST 2022
Creative Arts & Sciences AuthorFest is coming! On April 12, authors and illustrators that presented to K-8 students all over Newton will be gathering at the Cabot Elementary School library for a book sale and signing, meet and greet, between 3:15 - 5:30 PM. The event is open to the public. Newtonville Books will be on hand with a selection of books for sale that students can get signed.
Newtonville Books is taking pre-orders of books between now and March 21. If you want to purchase a book in advance, go to: www.newtonvillebooks.com/npsauthorfest
CAS AuthorFest is made possible by parent contributions to the PTO, a generous grant from the Newton Schools Foundation, with additional support from The Village Bank, and Harmony Foundation.