Black River Middle School

"A School to Watch"

September 2018

Rhythmic Togetherness: The BRMS Choral Program

Singing is an expression of self and an outlet for sharing a common joy. The BRMS Choral Program encourages all students to find their voice and to come together to celebrate through song.

Choral Director Kathleen Vespignani offers three grade-level choruses as well as an audition-only Select Chorus. She encourages guys and gals in all grades to give it a try, even if they have no prior experience. Participants learn not only about how to emote their individual vocal instruments but also how to become confident, proficient members of a creative group.

Chorus practice takes place during the morning Enrichment Period. Students learn a variety of selections including holiday, Broadway, contemporary, oldies, and everything in between!

The experience of making music together is a triumph for the performers as much as it is an enlightening event for its listeners. Music is a bond that we all share, and it is the heartbeat of BRMS! Our choruses work hard to prepare for several recitals throughout the year including the winter and spring concerts, the sixth grade performance for the Chester 50+ Club, and the "Music in the Parks" competition.

Participation in the arts through the BRMS Choral Program is a cohesive experience that offers students an opportunity to make new friends and to learn the value of a common goal. Our singers quickly realize that music is a practice that truly makes a beautiful difference!

A BRMS Chorus Performance

Welcome to BRMS Sports!

Athletes who play for Black River Middle School's sports teams strive to give their best on the field as well as in the classroom. For this reason, students and parents are expected to adhere to the Code of Conduct that each family commits to at the start of the season. In this way, we hope that our student-athletes represent their teams and town with class, both in the hallways and when we travel to other schools.

Some things to remember:

While some schedule changes may occasionally be relayed on the morning announcements, it's more likely that such occurrences will happen later in the day. Typically, decisions about practice and game cancellations are made at 1 p.m. and then subsequently posted to the BRMS athletic web page no later than 1:30 p.m. If the practice/game will go on as scheduled, then no change will be reflected on the web page. To access the BRMS athletic page, visit:

Most coaches use the Remind App to notify parents of changes to the schedule. If you do not know how to get these text messages on your phone, please reach out to the coach. If the coach uses another form of contact (such as email), check that source after 1 p.m. on game/practice days.

Pick up from athletic events takes place behind the school where the gym doors are located. Please make every effort to arrange for pick up at the time your coach has specified. Unforeseen events happen, but please be courteous to your coaches, who may have other obligations after sports.

Upon return from an away game/meet, your coach will require that you sign out your child at pick up. If you are taking another child home, he/she must show the coach a note with parent permission that you specifically are permitted to pick up.

Thanks for taking the time to become familiar with our athletic procedures, and we look forward to a successful season for all Black River teams!

Kevin Cullen and Andrew Gray,

BRMS Co-Athletic Directors

The BRMS 2017-2018 Championship Teams!

Faculty Fun Facts at BRMS!

BRMS is a community. As such, this newsletter will regularly feature highlights about the people who make our school a special place. This time, please meet two of our newest members, Guidance Counselor Michelle Elberty and Guidance Secretary Kimberly Vanderwall. Did you know?

Mrs. Elberty:

1. Enjoys rock climbing and hiking, especially in Vermont.

2. Is studying to become a Licensed Professional Counselor in the community setting.

3. Traveled to Alaska last summer and went zip lining in a rain forest in Ketchikan.

Mrs. Elberty

Ms. Vanderwall:

1. Played second base for her middle school softball team as well as being a cheerleader.

2. Has a master's degree from Columbia University in Piano Pedagogy.

3. Is a piano teacher.

Ms. Vanderwall

The BRMS Guidance Corner...

Here are some updates and tips from our Guidance Counselors, Mrs. Azzara and Mrs. Elberty:

  • The Guidance Department recognized National Suicide Prevention Week from September 9-15, 2018. In addition to decorating the school with positive quotes and images, the counselors read wellness tips each day during morning announcements.

  • In honor of the Week of Respect from October 1-5, BRMS will have an assembly on October 9th featuring guest speaker and performer, Mykee Fowlin.

  • To celebrate Red Ribbon Week (Drug-Free America) on October 23-31, there will be a special vaping assembly for students on October 23, followed by a parent presentation on October 24 at 7 p.m.

  • The BRMS Club Fair will occur during all lunch periods on Friday, October 5. The Club Fair is an opportunity for students to learn about the numerous after-school activities open to all. BRMS has many diverse offerings where students can come together with their peers to have fun!

  • The eighth grade girls were invited to participate in Pfizer's Business Technology for Girls (BT4G) event on October 18. The event raises awareness for women in Information Technology careers.

  • A wellness tip from the counselors: Reach out when you need it! Asking for help is not a sign of weakness. Talking to someone who cares can give you perspective and the support to overcome your challenges.

Coming Soon:

October 5- Club Fair during Lunch Periods

October 8- NO SCHOOL

October 12- 8th Grade Peer Leader Trip

October 18- BT4G Pfizer Event for 8th Grade Girls

October 24- Parent Presentation on Vaping, 7 p.m.