Black River Middle School

"A School to Watch"

October 2019

8th Grade Peer Leaders Visit Camp Bernie

Eighth grade Peer Leaders traveled to Camp Bernie on October 4th for an offsite bonding experience. Students were challenged with a variety of ropes courses. The goal was to overcome the obstacles as well as the environmental factors. Students discovered their own individual resilience as they learned to rely on each other and to share pride in their mutual accomplishments!
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8th Grade Washington DC Letter Disseminated

Eighth grade parents should have received a letter from Mr. White with details on the annual trip to Washington, DC. The letter is also posted online at the following link:

It includes important information such as the trip dates and payment deadlines, as well as the required parent orientation meeting. If parents have any questions, please contact the trip coordinator, Ms. Lorusso, at

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BRMS Parent/Teacher Conference Forms Available

BRMS Parent/Teacher conferences will take place in early November. Parents who would like to request a time slot will find the conference information on the Electronic Backpack. Be sure to return the completed forms to your child's homeroom teacher for grades 7 and 8.

Educators from the Netherlands Visit BRMS

As a "School to Watch", Black River Middle School serves as a model for fellow middle school educators by opening its doors for visitation. It's an opportunity to share best practices and innovative programs that BRMS offers to its students. In fact, visitors come from all over the world, including a group of 10 from various school districts in the Netherlands who joined us on Tuesday, October 8. They observed students using technology in the classrooms, discussed the BRMS Advisory Program, and toured the building to gain insight on the excellence of our educational environment. In addition, Dr. Piascik and Mr. Pizzo did a presentation on their program entitled Inspiration Cafe, and Mr. White answered questions about the One School One Book initiative and its related activities including the Kick Off event and the charitable fundraising volunteer project. The visit was a great success with much collaboration and enjoyment of sharing ideas across cultures.
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Eighth Grade Student Wins Slam Dunk the Junk Art Contest!

Congratulations to Eighth Grader Luke Gargione who won the Slam Dunk the Junk art contest sponsored by the Morris County Municipal Utilities Authority and the New Jersey Clean Communities Council. Last spring, members of the BRMS Environmental Club were invited to create anti-litter posters for submission to the contest, and Luke was recently announced as the winner for Morris County! His artwork is featured on a recycling container. Great job Luke!
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BRMS Grooves!

Dr. Piascik had so many requests for instruction on hand drums such as the African Jembe that he decided to create a class called Black River Grooves! It's a monthly session designed as a drum circle where students learn some culture, language, improvisation, and techniques on the hand drums, shakers, and bells. Stay tuned for special performances of this lively new group at the winter and spring band concerts!
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7th Graders Participate in Mock Trial at Mendham Twp. MS

A three-day collaboration with Mendham Township Middle School (MTMS) brought together students from both schools for mock trials. BRMS seventh graders in Mr. Pizzo's ILA classes acted as jurors, while eighth graders in MTMS Language Arts Teacher Mrs. Cyr's classes enacted the trials. Mr. Pizzo's students selected a foreperson for each day, and the BRMS jury deliberated the verdicts which will be shared with Mrs. Cyr's students via Zoom video conferencing.
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BRMS Yearbooks On Sale Now!

BRMS yearbooks are officially on sale-- don't be left out! In addition, 8th grade parents can honor their middle school graduates with a Well-Wisher ad in the yearbook for even more memories! Visit Mrs. Smith's website for additional information:

The deadline for orders is January 1, 2020.

Guidance Corner

The BRMS Guidance Department recognized the Week of Respect from October 7-11. Students were challenged to take the following actions: give a sincere compliment to someone every day; show respect to their teachers, families, and the school building; do something to show respect to themselves; thank someone every day; and catch someone being kind and give them a 'shout out'.

Motivational posters and inspirational quotes that appeared on posters and the school-wide tv screens reminded everyone of how easy and fulfilling respect can be.

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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 two more of our newest faculty members, Mrs. Michelle Fortunato and Mrs. Dana Bulcavage. Did you know?

Mrs. Fortunato:

1. Raised two Seeing Eye dogs.

2. Played lacrosse in college.

3. Traveled to Barcelona and Rome last summer.

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Mrs. Bulcavage:

1. Worked at Disney when she was in college, so naturally it's her favorite vacation spot!

2. Enjoys swimming, arts and crafts, and playing board games.

3. Is a Philadelphia Eagles fan!

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Coming Soon:

Nov. 4-5-6- Early Dismissal 12:25 p.m.; Parent/Teacher Conferences


Nov. 12- Parent/Teacher Evening Conferences

Nov. 16- PTO Wizards Games

Nov. 19- Mandatory 8th Parent DC Trip Meeting, 6:30 p.m.

Nov. 27- Early Dismissal 12:25 p.m.

Nov. 28-29- Happy Thanksgiving!