Brown MS Weekly Update

Friday, Feb. 11, 2022

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February 11, 2022


Dear Brown MS Community,


It has been a long and difficult week, and I am glad to say it is Friday. This time of year can be draining and we are all feeling fatigued. I recognize the communications I sent out earlier this week are difficult to read, and add to that fatigue for all of us. So, today I would like to focus on the positive. There are many wonderful things to celebrate each day around us. The temperatures have given us a little warmth the past 2 days, the daylight hours are increasing and the covid numbers are decreasing! We have been successful at keeping school open all year and our students are together - getting the socialization they missed last year. Their eyes show their smiles as they greet each other in the hallways. They are building relationships with their teachers and learning new and important things each day. They are grappling with difficult topics respectfully and developing empathy along the way. While we can't deny the difficulties we all face, we can celebrate our community and continue to support each other. Thank you to all of you who sent kind messages this week. Your words got me through!


I plan to spend a good portion of tomorrow outside with the promise of one more warm(ish) day. My dog, Cletus, will be thrilled to have a day to play outside without getting covered in snow (see his picture below during last week's snowday). Wishing you a peaceful weekend.



Best,

Kim Lysaght, Principal

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Midyear Progress Reports

Over the course of this week and next our team teachers will be sending home mid-year progress reports for their students. The reports focus on student skills and social emotional skills. They provide students (and families) with feedback on what they are doing well and where they need to grow. Students are asked to reflect on the feedback with their families and come up with some action steps for the second half of the year. The most important part of this process is the conversations that students have with their teachers and with their families. Please be sure to inquire about this so that students can really spend time reflecting with you.
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Cabaret This Coming Week

Our Cabaret cast and crew are ready to go! The show goes up this Tuesday and Wednesday, February 15 and 16. We want to send a big thank you to the staff who are making this all possible - Elana Cutler, Judi Pava, Diane Pollard, Becky Cohen, Robin Miller, Devon Nelson, Elizabeth Messina, Jeremy Goldberg and our own Peter Tordo (who has come back from retirement to assist with sets and backstage)! We are blessed to have such a dedicated group of adults helping to make this production a success. The students sound fantastic and are having a blast! It warms my heart each afternoon to hear them rehearsing in the auditorium. To the cast and crew: Break a leg!!

Black History Month

Our advisories will be engaging in activities during the month of February that celebrate influential individuals in the black community . Our 6th grade advisories will be creating posters about influential black individuals that will be on display for all students to learn about these important role models. In our 7th grade wing, our teachers are highlighting black individuals who have made an impact in math and science. Two of them are pictured below with many more posted in the hallway.
Brown MS After School Enrichment Activities

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

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Lost and Found!!! (See picture above)

Our lost and found is very full and we will be donating items to Good Will over vacation. If your children are missing a jacket, hat, glove, water bottle, hoodie, etc. please have them check the lost and found this coming week before the items are donated!
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COVID Communication

This week we had only 3 individuals 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 do their test on Tuesday morning. The kits that were passed out this past Monday have 2 tests in them, so use the second one this coming Tuesday.


  • All families need to “opt-in” to this new testing program.

    • Access the Opt-in form through Aspen parent/guardian account: Aspen

    • Follow these instructions (link) once you are logged into Aspen


  • An at-home rapid antigen test kits will be distributed at school every other Monday. Each kit contains 2 tests.


  • Take the test on TUESDAY morning each week.




IMPORTANT!! If your student is within 90 days of a COVID infection, they should NOT test. DESE program guidance indicates that any student within 90 days of a COVID infection should not participate in this weekly at-home rapid antigen test for asymptomatic individuals.


Here is an FAQ that you can read to help with questions you may have.

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 brownforj@gmail.com. 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.

Brown MS - Superintendent and School Committee Zoom Meeting - Feb. 16 at 7:00PM

We hope you can join our Superintendent, David Fleishman and members of the Newton School Committee on Wednesday, February 16 at 7:00 for a Zoom meeting. This is an oppotunity to hear from Dr. Fleishman and the committee on all things related to NPS. There will be opportunities to aks questions.


A zoom link will be provided as the date gets closer.


Interpretation for this meeting can be available. Please complete this Google form at least three days before the meeting if you require interpretation: https://forms.gle/daA8qQjm61BJDocD7.

Urban Improv Coming to Brown!

We recently earned a co-sponsored grant from the Newton Schools Foundation and METCO to have Urban Improv come to Brown in the spring.


Urban Improv's Rehearsal for Life uses improv theater to give kids a chance to practice reacting to prejudice, bullying and other tough subjects. Actors work with the school to tailor the program to the issues most relevant for that school. They conduct an improv workshop with each team so every student will have the chance to participate. Exact dates and more details will be forthcoming.

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Middle School Matters - Community Forum - Thursday, March 3, 2022

Please join us for an informative community forum with guest speaker Phyllis Fagell. Ms. Fagell is a licensed clinical professional counselor, certified professional school counselor, journalist, and author of the best-selling book “Middle School Matters: The 10 Key Skills Kids Need to Thrive in Middle School and Beyond—and How Parents Can Help.She is also a Ward, Day and North grad! This will be a terrific night filled with important information and dialogue, including how families can help their students navigate through the pandemic. You can take a sneak peek at her work on her website.


Here is the Zoom link for this virtual forum:

https://newton-k12-ma-us.zoom.us/j/88476468856

Meeting ID: 884 7646 8856

Passcode: 090547

One tap mobile: +16465588656,,88476468856#,,,,*090547# US (New York): +13017158592,,88476468856#,,,,*090547# US (Washington DC)

Please RSVP to the forum using this form. You can login without an RSVP, but it is helpful for us to have a general sense of attendance to plan accordingly. Here is the RSVP form:

RSVP to Middle School Matters

More details on the forum can be found on the NPS website here: https://www.newton.k12.ma.us/Page/3988

Parenting and (Still) Fostering Resilience Event

Student Services/SEPAC/NWH are pleased to announce an upcoming event on

Parenting and (Still) Fostering Resilience through Covid-19. This event will

be held on March 30, 2022, 7-8 p.m.


Click this link for more details or contact Katie Donnino donninok@newton.k12.ma.us


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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 (PDF Document)

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.