Black River Middle School

"A School to Watch"

December 2019

Senior Citizens Enjoy Festive Holiday Celebration at BRMS!

On Friday, December 6, BRMS hosted its annual holiday celebration for local senior citizens. Attendees were treated to a delicious meal, a dance party, a raffle, and party favors to take home! Eighth Grade Peer Leaders and Service Club members volunteered to set up and host the event. Students and seniors mingled and danced the night away! It was the perfect start to the holiday season for all who attended.
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BRMS Band Concert Celebrates in More than One Way!

On Thursday, December 5, BRMS celebrated its instrumental band program with festive music and a special announcement from Principal White.

In his opening remarks to the audience, Mr. White announced that Dr. Piascik had just been named the New Jersey state recipient of the "50 Directors Who Make a Difference" by The School Band and Orchestra (SBO) Magazine for 2019! Piascik was chosen from among hundreds of stunning and detailed nominations from every state. Please take a moment to read about his outstanding accomplishment at the following link: (scroll to page 30).

The celebratory mood continued as the Honors groups began playing with finesse and in a beautiful chamber setting. Additional highlights included many percussion instruments, brass, and woodwinds. Our Symphonic Band, Concert Band, and BRMS Chamber Orchestra also filled the audience's ears with joy, peace, and holiday spirit to the very end. Congratulations to the musicians for working hard to showcase their talent and for exhibiting the reason why Dr. Piascik was recognized for his leadership!

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BRMS Chorus Concert Inspires Holiday Cheer!

Voices rang out on Thursday, December 12, at the BRMS Chorus Concert! Selections were performed by the 6th Grade Chorus, the 7th and 8th Grade Chorus, and the Select Chorus. Mrs. Vespignani announced that due to the excellence of the 6th grade group, they would sing a total of five songs, which is more than any other previous 6th grade ensemble. Other highlights included Amanda Stern on percussion, Maddie Adinolfi on saxophone, Alyssa Mayhood and Jessica Pappas as narrators, and Ms. Vanderwall as accompanist. The performance culminated with a spirited rendition of Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree sung by all of the performers. It was a fantastic event!
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BRMS Library and PTO Sponsor a Book Swap!

The BRMS Library's Fall Book Swap was attended by over 60 students, a record number for this event! On Friday, November 22, participants traded their old books for someone else's. The students browsed the offerings, 'book talked' favorite titles, made recommendations to one another, and enjoyed light refreshments graciously provided by the PTO. Everyone left with at least one new book, and most students departed with multiple titles. Happy reading!
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Happy Feet Premiere at the BRMS Inspiration Cafe!

When people take the time to share their personal journeys, students become excited, hopeful, and fired up to pursue their own. At BRMS, we call it the Inspiration Cafe! On Friday, December 13, the cafe's season opener featured professional dancer Jaclyn Ford.

Ms. Ford grew up in Utah, where she began training in all styles of dance. She quickly moved into the professional dance world, becoming one of the world famous Radio City Rockettes. Although her credits include concert work, Off Broadway, theater and commercials, her biggest passion has become choreography and teaching.

The students had a wonderful time learning about Ms. Ford's career, and they embraced how she urged them to find a profession that uses their passion and love for life. She emphasized that the rewards are worth the work, drive, and resilience.

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The deadline for orders has been extended to January 3, 2020.

Guidance Corner

The BRMS school counselors would like to share with you the following newsletter filled with great advice for parents and tips for your children's wellness:

Middle Years Newsletter

Take a Moment to Watch and Be Thankful...

Seventh Grade Social Studies Teacher Mr. Cullen put together a brief video to remind everyone that it only takes a moment to reflect and be thankful. Click the image below to view it:

BRMS Students are Immersed in Life Skills at LifeTown!

Miss Yeager's class attended the first of three trips to LifeTown on Thursday, December 12. LifeTown's goal is to provide students with an immersive, real-world environment where they can practice critical life and job skills. A visit to the LifeTown Shoppes, a working indoor mini-city in Livingston, NJ, reinforces classroom lessons in a supportive and encouraging environment.

LifeTown was recently built and operates on donations. Companies such as Shoprite, Regal Bank, and Pearly Whites donated full-blown simulation shops where students can not only pay for services, but also work for money!

LifeTown and other programs like it help the world to become a better place where people of special abilities are seen for their unique skills and for the beauty they bring to the world. For more information or to become a volunteer, please visit

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Faculty Fun Facts at BRMS!

BRMS is a community. As such, this newsletter regularly features highlights about the people who make our school a special place. This time, please meet Media Specialist Mrs. Aaronson and STEM Teacher Mr. Gray. Did you know?

Mrs. Aaronson:

1. Won first place in a pie-baking contest.

2. Collects teapots from places she travels to.

3. Attended her first professional baseball game the night Reggie Jackson hit three home runs to help the Yankees win the World Series!

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Mr. Gray:

1. Enjoys collecting and repairing classic cars.

2. Has been a veterinary technician since he was in high school.

3. Likes traveling to historical sites and to Cape Cod.

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Coming Soon:

Jan. 1- SCHOOL CLOSED- Happy New Year!

Jan. 2- Welcome Back



Jan. 30- 8th Grade Orientation at West Morris Mendham HS, 7 p.m.

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