Brown MS Weekly Update

Friday, Oct. 29, 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,

This coming week we have a special early release day on Tuesday, Nov. 2. Students will be released at 11:20. We will offer grab and go lunches for students to take as they leave the building. Many of our students use the time to spend with friends which is wonderful. Some go to Newton Center for lunch and others go to a friends house to play or hang out. I want to again ask for your help in reminding students that they must make arrangements for transportation to special locations and events. Our buses are for students who have bus passes for those particular buses only. It is important that students abide by this so that our buses are safe and not overcrowded. Please have a conversation with your child early this coming week if they have special plans to determine how they plan to get to their destination. Additionally, please remind them that being in the center of town is fun, but they are expected to treat store clerks and waitstaff with respect and courtesy.

After all this rain, I hope you are able to find some time to enjoy the outdoors on Sunday (which looks like better weather). I am excited to be traveling to see my son at college in upstate New York this weekend. While we talk frequently, it just isn't the same as being in person. We plan to hit the grocery store and help him stock up on his favorite foods for the last push of the semester. I imagine (hope) he is frantically cleaning his room before we arrive!

Enjoy the weekend!

Kim Lysaght, Principal

Big picture

Happy Diwali!

Diwali is India's biggest holiday of the year. The celebration is this coming week and gets its name from the row (avali) of clay lamps (deepa) that Indians light outside their homes to symbolize the inner light that protects from spiritual darkness. It is celebrated over 5 days. We wish all who are celebrating a happy holiday! If you would like to learn more about Diwali, click here.

Picture Retake Day - November 3.

Students who did not get a school picture or would like to have their school picture retaken will be able to do this on Wednesday, November 3.

MIdterm Reflection Form - Sent Home this Week

This week, students received a midterm reflection form from their teachers to help parents/guardians and students have a conversation about how things are going at school. Parents/guardians and students will log into students' Schoology accounts and review their progress. Students must share their password with parents and look at it together. The goal is to have a productive, reflective conversation about what is going well and what areas may need work. Students will set goals for the remainder of the term. We appreciate your help to make this a productive experience for the students. If you have not seen the form yet, please ask your child for it this weekend. You can also click on the image below for a link to the form.
Big picture

The Brown Ski and Snowboard Club is back!

We will travel to the Wachusett Mountain Ski Area on January 6, 13, 20, 27 and February 10, 17. We invite 7th and 8th grade students to participate and are limiting the club to 50 students.

Use this link to sign up and read other important information:

Families Organized for Racial Justice (FORJ) - new leaders & new meeting date!

We are glad to introduce to you the new FORJ at Brown Coordinators: Jingjing Hu and Rachel Pytel. Both are current FORJ at Brown members.

Jingjing, who will take over from IJ Anyanwu as Coordinator, has served as a Cultural Leader on the ELL Committee for 3 years. Rachel, who will take over from Kerry Prasad as 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.

We are planning our first meeting for Dec 7 at 7:30pm. Jingjing and Rachel will be in touch with more details and the zoom link as it gets closer.
Big picture

Brown Working Theatre - Back in Business!!

Brown Working Theatre is excited to announce that we will be putting on an in-person, cabaret-style musical review this year! An informational meeting for all interested students will be held on Thursday morning, November 4th at 7:45 am in the auditorium. Any students who are not able to attend this meeting can see Mrs. Cutler in room 130 for more information. Auditions will be held the week of November 15th and rehearsals will begin the week of December 6th. All announcements and information related to the show will be posted on the bulletin board outside the drama room.

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.

Understanding Depression in Tweens and Teens

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

Free Flu Clinics at Newton City Hall

In place of the school-based flu clinics this year, Newton Health and Human Services will be offering two free clinics at the City Hall War Memorial Auditorium (1000 Commonwealth Ave.) Dates and times are as follows:

Monday, November 8: 4:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.

Register at: (registration preferred, walk-ins welcome)

Questions? Call: 617-796-1420 or email

Please help - (Still) Remind your child of the following:

Big picture

COVID Communication

This week we had zero COVID cases - good news! More good news: the vaccine for children ages 5-11 is close to being available! 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). Please note, the consent is for all testing (rapid, test and stay and pool testing). Therefore, we recommend 7th and 8th grade parents also complete the consent in case there is a need. There is more information about the Covid testing program here.

If you have any questions, please click here to see Newton's Health and Safety Plan.

Big picture

Annual Gift Drive!

We are making preparations 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. It provides safe, affordable housing with support services and programs on site to confront the root causes of family homelessness and help provide social and economic mobility and long-term stability. This is an exciting event through which Brown MS Students provide families residing at the shelter with gifts to brighten the holiday season. As a result of the pandemic, homelessness in Boston has risen and the need is great.

We will share more information about the drive and how your child can participate in the coming weeks. On November 2 we will provide students with an introduction to the gift drive during our advisory block that morning. Stay tuned for more updates ahead.

This has been a Brown MS tradition for over 20 years, and I would like to extend a big thank you to Chaffe Toulmin (8th grade science) and Mary Radonich (ELL teacher) for leading the efforts to make this important community service project continue.

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.

Brown MS After School Enrichment Activities

Click here to see all the activities offered to Brown MS students after school. It is frequently updated with new activities, so be sure to keep checking.