Brown MS Weekly Update

Friday, Nov. 19, 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.

The Benefits of Giving

Dear Brown MS Community,

As we approach the week of Thanksgiving, I am reminded of how thankful I am to be part of this Brown MS community. I see examples of people supporting each other multiple times each day at school. Teachers, secretaries, custodians, counselors, specialists, bus drivers and administrators all demonstrate their love for this community by connecting with students and each other in the hallways, the classrooms, the offices, at advisory, on the bus and via technology. Parents volunteer in multiple ways to provide Brown with resources and special events. Our students demonstrate care for our community and each other both socially and academically. On Tuesday of this week our advisories will be discussing what they are thankful for. I encourage you to share your thanks with others this season - it feels good!

A special part of Brown MS that I am thankful for is the collective way we work together to give to others. One of our community service events, our annual gift drive, will be taking place in the coming weeks. Our homebase teachers will be speaking with students about providing gifts for the Brookview House in Dorchester. This has been part of the Brown experience annually for over 20 years. In addition to helping others, we help ourselves when we give. In an article from Psychology Today, Eva Ritvo writes:

Humans are social animals, so it is no surprise that we are wired to help one another. In our complex modern society, there are many ways to give and the good news is that we now understand that both the giver and receiver benefit from the relationship. Neuroscience has demonstrated that giving is a powerful pathway for creating more personal joy and improving overall health.

Please talk with your child about getting involved in some way - be it our gift drive or another - taking care of others is a win-win.

I will not be sending a weekly update next week since it is a short one. We are hosting Thanksgiving dinner at our house on Thursday and then taking some time to unwind. My son will be home from college and my family is looking forward to having some quality time together. (Although my daughter is not thrilled about having to share a bathroom again...) I wish you and your family a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday!

Kim Lysaght, Principal

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Parent conferences

Int the coming week we will be sending out information regarding parent-teacher conferences. Dates for the conferences are on Wednesday afternoons Dec. 8 & 22 and Jan. 12 and 26. Be on the lookout for an email with more information.
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Bus Evacuation and Safety

This week and next we are focusing on bus safety. We held our bus evacuation drills today in the morning and students were taught the proper procedure for exiting the back of the bus in case of emergency. Next week in advisory we will be discussing bus safety and behavioral expectations for the bus.

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. For those that are using cell phones during the school day (texting, playing games, snapchatting, etc.), we will be taking them away and keeping them in the main office until the end of the day.

How Parents Can Help Themselves, and Their Children, Feel Okay Again

With all the stress that the past 20 months has brought to us, we as care givers, may find ourselves feeling overwhelmed. This article written by Phyllis Fagel, a Day MS and Newton North graduate, is worth a read!
Brown MS After School Enrichment Activities

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

Update from Brown Working Theatre

All materials for students who are interested in being part of BWT’s Cabaret production this year are posted on the bulletin board outside the drama room (134) as well as on our BWT Schoology page. (Access code: GH6Z-H8M4-BD44S) Auditions for students interested in performing in the show will take place on Monday, December 6 and Tuesday, December 7 after school. Sign-up sheets for audition slots are posted on the drama board. The deadline to sign up for an audition slot is Wednesday, December 1st. Students interested in working on stage crew, lights, or sound should fill out a “Behind the Scenes” application and return it to Ms. Cohen in room 206 or Mrs. Cutler in room 130 by Wednesday, November 24th. Please email Mrs. Cutler ( with any questions.

Winter running

Winter Running is an enrichment activity that aims to keep runners active in the winter months between the cross country and track and field seasons. It is informal in that there is no competition; it is simply just running to maintain fitness. Winter Running will begin on Monday, November 29th and will meet Mondays and Thursdays after school until 4:00 pm. In order to participate, families can email Alyssa Cantwell ( with their child's name to sign up and pay the enrichment fee here. If you have additional questions about enrichment activities, please feel free to reach out to Katrina Antonellis (, our Enrichment and Athletics Coordinator.

For 6th graders interested in participating in track and field in the spring, there is an attendance requirement. 6th grade students must attend at least 80% of the winter running sessions in order to be invited to participate in track and field. You can view the 6th grade participation policy here.

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.

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.

COVID Communication

This week we had zero COVID cases for a 4th week in a row!

There will be no weekly COVID testing during Thanksgiving week. This decision is based upon the following guidance from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE.)

DESE recommends that pooled testing programs are only run when the school is able to complete the entire pooled testing process from the initial pooled test through the completion of all needed follow-up tests.

Because we cannot complete the entire process, we will not conduct testing next week. Testing will resume the following week (November 29th.) You can visit the NPS webpage for up-to-date testing information. Here is the webpage: NPS COVID Testing Webpage.

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Planning to Apply to Private School?

If you are planning to apply to private school and are in need of recommenations, Brown MS has a description of our guidelines for a smooth application process. Please click here to learn more.

Newton Community Education Middle School Speech Team

Congratulations to our Brown MS students that participated in the Turkey Talk Tournament. It was a festival with three rounds of competition. (Final rounds will begin in the December “Welcome to Winter” Tournament on December 12th.

MMSSL’s held10 different regular events of public speaking: Declamation, Demonstration, Duo, Children’s Literature, Free Verse/Poetry, Prose, Dramatic Performance, Storytelling and Impromptu Speaking.

Brown students who participated were: Stephen Wang, Michael Nguyen, Aylin Liang, Jayden Kersh, Lefan Wang, Zach Gao, Vincent Rong and Ria Santhanam. All did a fantastic job and Ria, Zach and Aylin earned first place in one of their events. It was a great day of presenting and learning all around. Well Done All!

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.