Brown MS Weekly Update

Friday, Jan. 21, 2022


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 past weekend brought to light again the need for us to choose community. This theme was repeated over and over in Newton's MLK Celebration on Monday morning. The message of that celebration coming on the heels of the horrific hostage event at a synogogue in Colleyville, Texas on Saturday was meaningful. Brown MS has many Jewish members of our community and we value them and stand with them as we firmly denounce this act of antisemitism. While such acts of hate continue to happen across our country, there are signs of hope and solidarity to turn towards from Colleyville - examples where people choose community. On their website Colleyville's Congregation Beth Israel states that part of their mission is Tikkun Olam (repair the world). Their Rabbi, Charlie Cytron-Walker, has worked to bring local religious leaders together to live together peaceful. This was evident when neighboring Muslim leaders spoke out in support of their Jewish brothers and sisters and in condemnation of the hateful event. (Colleyville Rabbi Taken Hostage is Friend of the Muslim Community)

While our nation continues to be filled with religious and racial strife, it is essential to highlight for our children examples of how we are stronger when we come together, learn about each other and understand the richness of all religions, races and cultures - when we choose community. On Monday, I sent a message to our faculty to pay close attention for students who may feel upset or frightened by the events of last weekend so we could provide support. If your child is struggling or worried, please reach out to a counselor, teacher or administrator.

I am continually thankful for the accepting and inclusive community we have here at Brown MS. It is clear to me that you also choose community and that makes all the difference!

Stay warm and enjoy the weekend,

Kim Lysaght, Principal

Some pictures from this week...

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COVID Communication

This week we had 11 individuals that tested positive. This marks a significant decrease in daily numbers and is good to see. Still, we remain vigilant about safety. We will continue to send notifications to any teams with a positive case daily and advise families and staff to actively monitor for/stay home if symptoms develop.

For more information: NPS COVID Case Count and Vaccination Rates.

Newton Medical Advisory Group Recommendation - January 5, 2022

The Newton Public Schools Medical Advisory Group met on January 5, 2022 to discuss the current COVID surge and any changes or adjustments that might be necessary given the higher case counts. Topics covered included masks, meals, testing, and meeting/activities. You can review the recommendations from the meeting here: Medical Advisory Group - January 5, 2022 Recommendation.

The School Committee held a meeting January 18, 202, to review the recommendations with two members of the Medical Advisory Group, Dr. Ashish Jha and Dr. Dori Zaleznik. A presentation summarizing the recommendations can be viewed here: January 18, 2022 Slide Presentation. A recording of the meeting can be viewed here: NewTV Recording of January 18, 2022 School Committee Meeting.

Students and masks:

Students and staff are still doing a great job with this! Please make sure students continue to bring an extra mask each day. We continue to recommend KN95 or N95 or double masking. For mask guidance from the Centers for Disease Control, please visit this link: CDC Mask guidance

Pool Testing:

This Monday we will resume our regular pool testing for 6th graders.

Providing Outdoor Options for Lunch:

Outdoor seating is available on the patio off of the cafeteria regardless of the weather. If you prefer to have your child eat outside, please send them with hat, gloves and coat. For students who choose to eat indoors, we encourage them to put their masks back on when they are not eating and to participate in “Laps at Lunch”. Encourage your children to bring a warm coat and dress for cold weather.

Covid Rapid Tests Available:

The federal government has made rapid tests available to all households. To order Covid tests click here.

Vaccine Booster Clinic - January 22, 2022

Newton HHS has again worked with the Holtzman Medical Group to organize a vaccine booster clinic for all eligible students. If your student has not yet received a booster and is eligible, we encourage you to “get boosted!”

Location: Newton North High School (457 Walnut St.)

Date: Saturday, January 22, 2022

Time: 9:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Eligibility: Anyone 12 and over who is eligible for a booster (or 1st or 2nd dose)

Vaccines: Pfizer (12+) and Moderna (18+) available.

Book Appointment:

Brown MS After School Enrichment Activities

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

Homework club after school - Tuesdays

Did you know there is a homework club every Tuesday afternoon from 3:00-4:00 at Brown? It is held in the library and is open to any student that would like a nice quiet place to get some work done. Students can drop in any Tuesday - no sign up required.

Taking Care of Chromebooks

We are noticing a large number of requests for replacement Chromebooks and would like to help students and families toubleshoot issues independently. Below is a video created by Angie Galbraith, our Instructional Technology Specialist. Please check it out if your children are having issues with their Chromebooks.

Additionally, please remind students to charge the Chromebooks each night before going to bed so they are able to use them at school the next day!

Three Troubleshooting Tips for Students

ELPAC Meeting - February 3, 2022

The English Learner Parent Advisory Council (ELPAC) will meet on Thursday, February 3 on Zoom from 6:30-8:00PM.

ELPAC supports ELL and former ELL families districtwide and collaborates with schools and the district to improve programming. ELPAC is also a way to meet other multilingual families and learn about community programs as well as ways to support your children. All families are welcome. Click the picture below for translated versions of the invitation.

February's meeting topics are:

  • Newton Free Library Resources (Presenter: Andrew Shapira, ELL and Literacy Coordinator at Newton Free Library)

  • ACCESS testing (Presenter: Allison Levit, Director of ELL Programs in NPS).

Interpretation will be provided with RSVP by January 31. Please RSVP here: The remaining meet dates this year are April 7 & June 2.

Brown FORJ Update

We are planning our next meeting on Wednesday January 26th from 7:30 - 8:30pm. Please rsvp here to receive the link.

If you have questions, comments or to join the mailing list, please contact us at

Building School Community Through Affinity Spaces: What They Are and What They Are Not

NNHS and NSHS are hosting Building School Community Through Affinity Spaces: What They Are and What They Are Not on Thursday Jan 27th at 7:00pm. RSVP here for the link.

The event will include:

- Learn from students, faculty members and administrators what affinity groups are

- Explore the history of affinity groups

- Hear how affinity groups function from a panel of school community members

Interactive Media Use & Youth Mental Health: Guidance for Parents of Students Across the Developmental Span

Jan 27, 2022 07:00 PM

The Newton Special Education Parent Advisory Council (SEPAC) is excited to partner with Boston Children’s Hospital’s Digital Wellness Lab to offer a comprehensive presentation on the relationship between children's and teens' media use and their mental health.

The Digital Wellness Lab's senior content strategist, Kristelle Lavallee Collins, will discuss the most recent research on the relationships between interactive media use and the well-being of children and adolescents. The presentation will also cover the latest science-based strategies parents and caregivers can employ to support children in developing a "healthy” relationship with technology and screen media.

For questions, contact We hope you will join us!

To register

Submit your questions in advance here:

Brown MS - Superintendent and School Committee Zoom Meeting - Feb. 16 at 7:00PM

We hope you can join our Superintendent, David Fleishman and members of the Newton School Committee on Wednesday, February 16 at 7:00 for a Zoom meeting. This is an oppotunity to hear from Dr. Fleishman and the committee on all things related to NPS. There will be opportunities to aks questions.

A zoom link will be provided as the date gets closer.

Interpretation for this meeting can be available. Please complete this Google form at least three days before the meeting if you require interpretation:

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Winter Weather and Snow Day Notifications

  • School closings or delays will be communicated via phone call, text message, email, social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram), website, and local television and radio stations.

  • To receive text messages, you must opt-in. To opt-in, please login to Aspen, navigate to the contact information section, and select “yes” for SMS messages in the drop-down box below your cell phone number.

  • Following a storm, many of our students will continue to walk to school. We have collaborated with Newton DPW to create maps showing sidewalks that will be plowed, ensuring safe routes to school. Please access the maps here.

NPS School Transfer Request 2022-2023

If you are planning on applying for a school transfer within Newton Public Schools (formerly "Out of Assigned District Requests", please click this link for information regarding the process.

School Calendar for the 2022-23 School Year

At their meeting on Monday, December 6, 2021, the Newton School Committee approved the calendar for the 2022-23 school year. You can find it here:

NPS School Calendar 2022-23 (PDF Document)

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.