November 18, 2022
The communication below provides important information from the Public Schools of Brookline.
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On most Fridays during the school year, the Office of the Superintendent will send an update to the community highlighting some of the excellent work being done by our educators and school leaders. The update will also include important announcements from the district’s central office. These newsletters will be posted on the PSB website (www.brookline.k12.ma.us/supt-updates).
REMINDER: Planning for Safe Holidays with Family and Friends
Earlier this week, the PSB Student Health Services Team shared some strategies to keep in mind as we approach the holiday season. It is important for all of us to take precautionary measures to ensure a safe gathering with friends and family as we celebrate Thanksgiving and Winter Break. This includes taking additional precautions with individuals who have significant health concerns, paying attention to COVID-19 and flu-like symptoms, and utilizing protections such as masking and testing.
All students and staff may elect to pick up rapid antigen at-home test kits leading up to Thanksgiving break on Wednesday, November 23. PSB will send 2 boxes of test kits for every child in pre-K through 8th grade. Test kits will be available for all BHS students to pick up outside of the health offices at both 22 Tappan Street and 115 Greenough, as well as other locations throughout the BHS campus. Test kits are also available for all staff.
We recommend that students and staff test on Sunday night, November 27, after the Thanksgiving break, or any time that your child is symptomatic. Please stay home and email your school nurse if your child tests positive. Staff should email the school nurse as well as their Supervisor and put the absence in Aesop. Please note that the test kits we distribute have a 6-month extension to the expiration date, in most cases going through the end of January 2023. More information can be found here.
Finally, there are still about 80 spots left for the Flu Vaccine Clinic tomorrow (Saturday, November 19) at the Ruffin Ridley School (345 Harvard Street) from 12:00 - 3:00 p.m. You can sign up for an appointment here: https://home.color.com/vaccine/register/brookline?calendar=5acbaf2f-e182-4315-9dd3-9491f441bd78
Spotlight on Excellence: Heath School Student Affinity Spaces
At the November 10 School Committee meeting, we turned the spotlight on excellence toward several student affinity groups at Heath School. Respect for human difference is a core value of the Public Schools of Brookline, and we are grateful that the Heath community has championed this important value through initiatives such as the Rainbow Club, Gender and Sexuality Alliance (GSA), METCO Connections, Asian-American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Affinity Group, and African-American and Latino Young Scholars.
We were extremely fortunate to have Heath School principal Dr. Asa Sevelius, students Ishara Bhimani, Meredith Richardson, and Sofi Ugalde, and educators Karen Shashoua, Tatiana Beckwith, and Christin Wheeler, join the meeting to share insights on fostering connection and belonging. As they explained in their own words, these groups not only provide Heath students and staff a safe space to learn more about the members of their community, they also provide individuals with an opportunity to express themselves and share their own personal journeys with others. You can see the spotlight in its entirety here.
ICYMI: PSB Educators Participate in the district-wide PD Day
Over 1,600 educators from across the district participated in our annual district-wide professional development day on Tuesday, November 8. This year’s focus was on creating anti-racist and equitable practices in our work, including participation in a 21-Day Challenge to cultivate racial equity habits. We want to thank our keynote speaker, Debby Irving, for showing us how we can cultivate aspects of change and social justice in our own lives - as well as our colleagues for their enthusiasm for this workshop and leading the breakout discussion groups with their peers throughout the day.
BEEP to Kindergarten Information Sessions
Our youngest learners are ready to enter school! In anticipation of the class of 2036, the Office of Registration and Enrollment (ORE) will be holding two Zoom information sessions about the registration process on Tuesday, December 13, and Monday, January 12. This is a great opportunity for parents, guardians, and caregivers to learn more about PSB, the registration process, school options, application deadlines, and connect with other rising K families. A special session will be held specifically for current BEEP families on Wednesday, December 7.
These sessions are open to the general public, so please feel free to pass this invitation along to your neighbors and any interested families! You may RSVP for either session here. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the ORE team at email@example.com.
Inside the Art Room: Metal Embossing and Relief Structure with Pierce School
Students in third grade at Pierce learned about metal embossing and relief sculpture! They talked about the differences between Relief and Sculpture in the round. Then they explored new techniques and materials (embossing, working with metal) to create a Fall leaf. In this process, they were able to use new materials, and solve challenges created by working with metal and creating a raised surface. The final artwork is a wonderful art piece showcasing the beauty of fall and the wonderful exploration of new materials!
See more artwork from Pierce through Mrs. Black's Weebly page here: https://mrsblackart.weebly.com/
PSB Receives Book Donations for National Adoption Month
PSB is pleased to announce a generous contribution of books from author and PSB parent/guardian/caregiver Linda Katherine Cutting to raise adoption and diversity awareness in celebration of National Adoption Month. Ms. Cutting’s new book, A is for Always, was written at the request of her adopted daughter in celebration of the joys (and challenges) of adoption. With its gentle rhymes and lovely illustrations, A is for Always launched in August 2022 at the Brookline Booksmith and quickly made its way to be #1 in Amazon's new releases of children’s books in three categories: adoption, ABC’s, and stepfamilies.
Last week, Ms. Cutting and her children Hannah (BHS Class of 2023) and Luke (BHS Class of 2019) toured around the Brookline community, dropping off donations of the book to the Driscoll School library, the Public Libraries of Brookline at Brookline Village and Putterham, as well as at Brookline Town Hall. Over 90 copies of A is for Always have been given to the PSB and PBL libraries, with all of our K-2 classrooms each having a copy.
Ms. Cutting and A is for Always illustrator Leonie Little-Lex also invites Brookline families to attend a meet-and-greet event at the Public Library of Brookline at Brookline Village on Monday, November 21 at 3:00 p.m. We want to thank Ms. Cutting and Ms. Little-Lex for their generous work and contributions to our community!
Update from our Counseling and Guidance Department
November's Family Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) Newsletter
Each month, PSB families will receive a newsletter that provides updates on the social-emotional work that is happening in schools and strategies you can use with your child(ren) to support their social-emotional development. The November 2022 newsletter focuses on supporting student academic confidence and can be found here.
Update from the PSB Social Studies Department
PSB is currently seeking input from families to ensure the district's social studies curriculum is aligned to equitable and culturally responsive pedagogy and Massachusetts content standards. A culturally responsive pedagogy includes "using the cultural characteristic, experiences, and perspectives of ethnically diverse students as conduits for teaching them more effectively" (Geneva Gay, Culturally Responsive Teaching: Theory, Research, and Practice).
We request your participation in this survey below. Your answers to the following questions will help inform future discussions of curriculum and instructional materials. Please note that your participation is voluntary. All responses are anonymous and confidential.
Please complete the survey linked here (https://newteachercenter.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_4IAlYgWcYBUbs9g) by Thursday, December 22. You can contact firstname.lastname@example.org for translations and technical support on this survey.
Upcoming Performing Arts Events at BHS
- Micsgiving Open Mic Night - Sunday, November 27
An annual BHS Thanksgiving tradition hosted by the Friends of Performing Arts (FoPA), Micsgiving gives BHS students an opportunity to perform for their peers in a lively atmosphere.
- Revisions - Saturday, December 3
This variety show features student-led works of drama, dance, music, and many other talents! Performances will be held in the BHS Dance Studio at 3:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Mark Your Calendars!
Transgender Day of Remembrance: Sunday, November 20
The Transgender Day of Remembrance has been observed annually (from its inception) on November 20 as a day to memorialize those who have been killed as a result of transphobia or anti-transgender hatred. The day was founded to draw attention to the continued violence endured by transgender people.
National Day of Mourning: Thursday, November 24 In conjunction with Thanksgiving, the National Day of Mourning is an annual demonstration to protest the myths and stigmas of the holiday - particularly associated with Native Americans and indigenous tribes and groups.
Thanksgiving*: Thursday, November 24 and Friday, November 25 (Schools and District Offices Closed)
Thanksgiving is a traditional American holiday celebration where families gather to give thanks for their blessings. The celebration often culminates with a large festive dinner. Community sports and parades also contribute to the overall culture of the Thanksgiving celebration.
*Please note that some families may not have access to traditional festivities and dinners; Students and staff may also not always be spending this time with their families.
First Light Holiday Celebration 2022!
Thu, Dec 1, 2022, 05:00 PM
First Light Holiday Celebration: This annual Brookline tradition is a family-friendly event to usher in the winter holidays, hosted in our town's neighborhoods where participating businesses are located. Visit businesses to enjoy live entertainment, giveaways, and fun activities. Get up-to-date information here: https://discoverbrookline.com/happening-now-in-brookline/
Brookline Arts Center Open House
Sun, Dec 4, 2022, 01:00 PM
86 Monmouth Street, Brookline, MA, USA
(Media credits: A. Black, D. Carter, M. Chan, S. Conroy, D. Finnegan, D. Irving, D. Miller, A. Truschel, L. West, Brookline Arts Center, Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation)