Brown MS Weekly Update

Friday, Nov. 12, 2021


To translate this news letter, click on the newsletter and select the word "translate" at the top right hand side under Accessibility. Select the language from the drop down menu.

Dear Brown MS Community,

I hope many of you were able to enjoy the day yesterday as we celebrated Veteran's Day. Some of our advisories collected candy and wrote thank you notes to veterans for their service. This is annually organized by Kate Daoust, one of our 6th grade teachers - a big thank you to her!

This year is proving to be both fulfilling and challenging for parents, students and teachers. I am sure you have been hearing in the news that a number of schools in the area and the country are struggling with student behavior. Some of the reports are truly alarming and remind me that while we are back to "normal", the impacts of the pandemic continue. After over a year communicating with others mostly through Zoom, Facetime or social media, students are relearning how to be together again. For some, they are still trying to build up their stamina for a more stimulating environment. For others, they are relearning how to be a friend or manage a social group.

While their social maturity is a bit behind, we can help them to develop the necessary social skills over the course of this school year. We need to be patient with ourselves and with them because this will take time. Teachers are working to explicitly teach expectations and empathy in both advisory and in their classes. We continue to use the Bear Beliefs (see below) as our guiding principles and remind them of these frequently. Parents can provide quality time for their children to socialize with others through activities or sports. Additionally, being a good listener and spending quality time with them (even when they act like they don't want to) will help them to know they are supported and loved.

What we are seeing at Brown is that students are truly happy to be back with each other and their teachers. I am incredibly grateful that our students are in the building - finally together daily. The hard work ahead is well worth it.

Enjoy the weekend!

Kim Lysaght, Principal

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National Native American Heritage Month! - Newton FORJ Meeting Next week

FORJ Newton November Meeting is happening Wednesday, November 17th, at 7:30PM!!!

November is National Native American Heritage Month. This month is a time to celebrate rich and diverse cultures, traditions, and histories and to acknowledge the important contributions of Native people. Heritage Month is also an opportune time to educate the general public about tribes, to raise a general awareness about the unique challenges Native people have faced both historically and in the present, and the ways in which tribal citizens have worked to conquer these challenges. Please use this month to reflect, engage, and learn around Native American history and culture.

FORJ Newton will be hosting the November citywide meeting on Wednesday, November 17th, at 7:30PM! All are welcome to join. This month, we will be focusing on the importance of Native American heritage month and how we can better support the advancement of equity for Native American communities in newton and beyond.

Please mark your calendars. This meeting will occur during zoom, so we hope you can join us. This event is primarily for leaders of the school groups, but everyone is welcome to attend! If you would like to join this meeting, sign up here and you will receive the zoom information to join. If you have any questions, feel free to email

Brown Middle School's Families Organized for Racial Justice (FORJ) - Meeting Dec. 7 at 7:30

We are glad to introduce to you the new FORJ at Brown Coordinators: Jingjing Hu and Rachel Pytel. Jingjing will be the FORJ Coordinator and has served as a Cultural Leader on the ELL Committee for 3 years. Rachel, who will be our Clerk, has been an active member of Countryside FORJ for 4 years. Thanks to both of them for taking on this leadership role.

FORJ is an organic organization that evolves to meet the needs of the community. We believe the organization needs new leaders on a regular basis so as to stay limber and agile. FORJ is a community-building organization - the more people who take on leadership roles, the stronger the community will become and the better the group can embrace all the experiences, perspectives, skills, creativity and compassion of this wonderful and vibrant community.

Jingjing and Rachel will be in touch with more details and the zoom link as it gets closer.

Please discuss our cell phone expectations with your child.

During the pandemic students became accustomed to having their cellphones accessible at all times. We are finding that many students are distracting themselves with their cell phones during the school day. Please see below and have a conversation about their use of cell phones.
Brown MS After School Enrichment Activities

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

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Update from Brown Working Theatre!

The informational meeting for BWT’s cabaret is being this Monday morning, November 15th at 7:45AM in the auditorium. All interested students are encouraged to attend. In addition to performers, we have roles for stage crew and students who are interested in working on lights and sound. Any students who are not able to attend this meeting can see Mrs. Cutler in room 130 for more information. Auditions will now take place the week of December 6th. More information to follow!

Please note: Normally, the policy of Brown Working Theater is to include all students who want to be involved in the show. This year, due to Covid restrictions, we will unfortunately be limited in the number of students that we can accept. Other opportunities, including Brown’s annual spring play, will be made available for any students who are not able to participate in the cabaret this year.

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Brown Middle School Important Winter Athletics Information (2021-2022)

Please click this link for information regarding winter sports (boys and girls basketball) at Brown MS.

Ski club is full!

However, there is a waitlist. Please email Michele Shin at with your child's name to get on the waitlist.

Covid-19 Vaccine Clinic for Children Ages 5-11

Holtzman Medical Group, in partnership with the City of Newton HHS & Newton Public Schools, will hold COVID-19 vaccine clinics open to anyone 5-11 years old. You do not need to live in Newton in order for your child to attend.

All children must be accompanied by an adult to their appointments. In addition, all minors must have a parent or legally authorized representative complete the consent form (found on the registration page) and bring it to their appointment. If you cannot print this form, they will also have them available on site. Dates for the clinic are Sat., Nov. 13 and Sun., Nov. 14, from 9:00 -5:00 at Newton North High School Cafeteria and at Oak Hill Middle School Cafeteria. Click HERE to register.

Second dose clinics in Newton will be held on Saturday, Dec. 4 and Sunday, Dec. 5 at the same locations. Your child will be scheduled for their second dose on site.

COVID Communication

This week (3rd in a row!) we had zero COVID cases. Information on districtwide COVID cases and vaccination rates can be found on the Newton Health and Human Services website here: NPS COVID Case Count and Vaccination Rates.

Reminder: Monday is pool testing day for 6th graders whose families have consented into our Covid testing program. You can still consent by logging into Aspen and signing the consent form. (Aspen Login Link and instructions). There is more information about the Covid testing program here.
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Annual Gift Drive!

We continue to prepare for our annual gift drive to benefit the families at the Brookview House in Dorchester. (Brookview House is a multi-service, nonprofit organization for women, children and youth experiencing homelessness.) Brown MS Students provide families residing at the shelter gifts to brighten the holiday season. Please be on the lookout for information regarding how you can participate.

Understanding Depression in Tweens and Teens - Thurs., Nov. 18

Please click the picture below for information on a free virtual workshop for parents and caregivers.

Winter 2021 Artificial Intelligence Project Course by MIT Graduate Students

Inspirit AI is a 25-hour enrichment program that introduces middle and high school students to fundamental artificial intelligence concepts to work through socially impactful projects in areas including art, healthcare, education, and more. Developed and taught by a team of graduate students from Stanford and MIT, students receive a personalized, interdisciplinary learning experience with a student-instructor ratio of 5:1, and custom curriculum appropriate for complete beginners to more advanced students. Applications for the Winter and Spring programs are now open and due November 15th. For our middle school programs, you can find our flyer here and our MS application here. Please contact Program Manager, Aidan Goltra at or call us at +1 (240) 226-1366.

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.