Superintendent's Update

March 25, 2022

UPDATE: COVID-19 Mitigation Strategies

As a reminder, PSB is continuing to enforce various protocols to keep our community safe and healthy amidst the pandemic. Over the past week, PSB has seen an increase in COVID-19 cases at three school sites. Individuals in the grade levels and classrooms affected have been encouraged to wear masks for 10 days after their initial exposure, as well as participate in at-home testing AND the weekly surveillance testing. We have also directed custodians to complete additional rounds of disinfection at the exposure sites.


In consultation with the Brookline Department of Public Health, PSB has revised its current COVID-19 mitigation strategies to now include strongly encouraging individuals to wear a mask while attending any large indoor, community events and gatherings (e.g. Athletics, Performances, etc.) regardless of vaccination status. Masks will continue to be available for everyone throughout the school day and at all PSB locations and events. Any changes and updates to our protocols can be found on www.brookline.k12.ma.us/covid-19.

Autism Awareness Day is next Saturday, April 2nd

PSB is excited to honor Autism Awareness Day next week to celebrate unity, support, and understanding for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Internationally recognized on April 2nd every year, World Autism Awareness Day was established by the United Nations to raise awareness about people with ASD throughout the world. In alignment with our beliefs to see every student by face and name, we invite our community to move beyond awareness and promote the acceptance of all individuals with disabilities, including learning differences and developmental disabilities. We encourage all PSB community members to wear blue on Friday, April 1, and to participate in various events and activities hosted by our school and community.


In addition to our community recognition of Autism Acceptance Month, you may find the following resources regarding Autism helpful and informative:


Spotlight on Excellence: Pierce Partners Mentoring Program

PSB Spotlight on Excellence - March 24, 2022
This week’s Spotlight on Excellence features the Pierce Partners mentoring program! This mentorship program strives to empower and enrich the educational experience of Black/African-American and Latinx students at Pierce through relationships built on trust, communication, and continuity. Currently, 43 Pierce students are mentored through the program, from 4th grade through 8th grade. Students meet every week with their mentors and participate in a wide range of activities to build community, such as playing indoor and outdoor games and attending musical and drama performances. It was an honor to present the Spotlight on Excellence award to Pierce Partners for their work creating and maintaining a culture of care at Pierce School. Please click here for more information about the program.

BHS Newspaper receives a Silver Crown award for Digital News

Congratulations to The Sagamore (www.thesagonline.com), the student newspaper of Brookline High School, on receiving a 2022 Silver Crown Award for Digital News! Each year, members of the Columbia Scholastic Press Association honor top student publications around the United States. Winners are selected in a head-to-head comparison of their overall excellence in design, photography, concept, coverage, and writing; over 800 publications were judged this year. In their review, the CSPA made note of the Sagamore's “service to and focus on its readers” in referencing the website’s clear navigation and ease of access, as well as their diverse selection of stories and coverage that allow “students’ and readers’ voices to be clearly heard.” Click here to hear two of the Sagamore's editors-in-chief, Charlotte Dresser and Rosa Caramazza (BHS '22) talk about this recognition from the virtual award ceremony last week.

Outside our Classrooms...

With the support of a Brookline Education Foundation grant, the PSB Health and Wellness department has been able to begin a snowshoeing program! Students in K-12 have had a wonderful opportunity in their physical education classes to learn a lifelong skill that would increase their access to outdoor activities and connections with the natural world.

School Improvement Plan (SIP) Presentations Continue

In our March 4 newsletter, PSB announced that each school will be presenting an update on their School Improvement Plan (SIP) at a school committee meeting in March. SIPs are created by the school’s staff, parents/guardians, and administrators to identify the priority work for their school community. The SIP is also an important document that aligns school goals and planning with that of PSB’s initiatives in creating a collaborative approach to our community’s growth.


Lawrence, Ridley, Runkle, BEEP, and Brookline High Schools presented their SIPs at the School Committee meeting on Thursday, March 3, while Baker, Driscoll, Heath, Lincoln, and Pierce presented their plans at the School Committee Meeting on Thursday, March 24. You can review the video presentations made to the School Committee using the links below. Full SIPs are also being posted on the Teaching and Learning page of the district website.


Equity and SEL (Social Emotional Learning) Minute

As we continue to work to build an anti-racist, anti-bias community where everyone feels an authentic sense of belonging, we want to recognize that caring and protecting each others’ hearts, identities, and choices are core to this work. Who we protect is influenced by our “universe of obligation,” or the people "toward whom obligations are owed, to whom rules apply, and whose injuries call for amend." For us, this represents the people who we actively respect and whose rights we actively protect.


As adults who work with children, it is critical that we continuously expand their universe of obligation or the people to whom they feel an authentic responsibility to care for, respect, and protect. Fundamental to this work is having children understand that although differences between individuals exist (and should be appreciated and honored), all people have similar needs, feelings, and wants. And all people experience harm when they are excluded when their rights are not protected, and when their strengths and assets are not valued.


In consciously modeling this for children, we must give space to allow them to share their feelings, thoughts, and concerns, whatever those are. As we listen to students, we also want to support them in accessing their inherent ability to effectively communicate with adults about what they need now, and tomorrow, to make our community more affirming.


“In the flush of love's light, we dare be brave. And suddenly we see that love costs all we are, and will ever be. Yet it is only love which sets us free.” ~ Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Upcoming Events

Show or Tell? Languages of Love in Asian American Families

Thursday, March 31st, 2:30-3:30pm

This is an online event.

The Public Library of Brookline is hosting a virtual program on Thursday, March 31 discussing the ways our community can build belonging for students of color, and in particular, our Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) students. Join Dr. Stephen Chen, a professor of psychology at Wellesley College, to explore how immigrant parents “translate” their language of affection for their children. You can sign up for the program here.


PSB educators and families may also wish to participate in a series of three virtual professional development sessions with Dr. Josephine Kim, a lecturer at Harvard University. These sessions are wonderful opportunities for us to learn and think together about ways to support and elevate our Asian students, families, and colleagues. If you are interested, please contact mindy_paulo@psbma.org or jenee_uttaro@psbma.org with any questions.

Camerata Choir and Advanced Chamber Orchestra Perform Vivaldi's Gloria!

Wednesday, April 6th, 7:30pm

66 Tappan Street

Brookline, MA

Under the direction of Michael Driscoll and Nina Bishop, Brookline High School's Camerata Choir and Advanced Chamber Orchestra perform Vivaldi’s beloved and dramatic Gloria in D. Antonio Vivaldi, a priest, music teacher, and virtuoso violinist, composed his Gloria in Venice for high school-aged music students at an orphanage for girls, where he spent most of his career and composed many works for performance by the girls’ orchestra. This performance, originally scheduled to be performed in March 2020, features soloists from the choir. Tickets are $5 can be purchased online at www.brooklinefopa.org. For more information, please email: Michael_Driscoll@psbma.org

BHS Innovation Fund Spring Gala-Rama

Thursday, April 28th, 6:45pm

115 Greenough Street

Brookline, MA

Every year, the Brookline High School Innovation Fund hosts a fundraiser to support academic innovation at BHS. This year’s event will be hosted at the new STEM building on Thursday, April 28, and will include an auction of gifts and tours of the new facility. The innovation fund asks for your help in investing in creative ways of teaching and learning, inspiring students and future leaders, and making an impact on the academic environment for all students. Click on this link to register for the event.

Important Dates for April 2022
  • Wednesday, April 6 - Early Dismissal for Parent-Teacher Conferences (K-12): K-12 students will be dismissed at 12:40 p.m.

  • Thursday, April 14 - Early Dismissal for Parent-Teacher Conferences (K-6): K-6 students will be dismissed at 12:40 p.m.

  • Friday, April 15 to Friday, April 22 - Schools Closed for Good Friday + April Vacation: In observance of Patriots' Day, district offices will also be closed on Monday, April 18. Students and staff return to school on Monday, April 25.

  • Thursday, April 28 - Early Dismissal for Parent-Teacher Conferences (K-6): K-6 students will be dismissed at 12:40 p.m.