The latest announcements from the Principal, PTO, and NPS...

9-12-14 Brown Bear Report

Greetings Brown Families:
A warm welcome to our new families and welcome back to our returning ones!  There is already a hint of a cool fall breeze in the air, but the PTO is just heating up to get ready for the upcoming school year. There are a few KEY DATES to be aware of as we finish out September and head into October, please be sure to mark your calendars today. To keep you updated, here are a few recaps while you were all vacationing over the summer:

  • Bulk Supply Program: Thank you to all the families that participated this year.  We continue to improve the program to make it easier and more cost effective for families be a part of it.  Of those families that participated, they saved an average of 43% on their student’s school supplies.  Thank you to all the teachers that worked with the PTO to come up with a grade-wide supply list which helped streamline the ordering process.
  • Best of Brown:  There are many ways that the PTO can help improve our students’ experience in Middle School. Making minor improvements to the space at Brown is just one of those ways that we as a PTO community can help. New this year is the “Best of Brown,” a way for the PTO to direct funds to a specific project. This year, we are focusing on improving the outdoor ‘patio’ space near the cafeteria. Parts of the Bulk Supply Program’s proceeds are being directed to this project. We are happy to report that we have $4,645 in our “Best of Brown” fund to dedicate to improving that space for our students and faculty. If you would like to get involved in the project, please email us at brownpto@brownpto.org

BIG THANKS:
For helping organize and distributing the Bulk Supplies, a big thank you goes out to Louisa Barnes, Christopher Fitzpatrick, Rebecca Harder, Abby Matthews, and their parents, as well as Danielle Hatem. Many hands made light work and it was appreciated.
Anabel Cable for working tirelessly over the summer to pull together our Brown Directory to help keep us all connected.
Tina Scioletti and Robin Healey, both part of our e-communications team. Helping us get out blasts and updating our website are key to helping to keep our parent community in the know.

We have much more to share with you in upcoming newsletters!

If you have questions, concerns or ideas for the Brown PTO, please contact us at brownpto@brownpto.org.  We welcome your feedback and support and look forward to a great school year!
Warm regards,

Warm regards,
Molly Owen-Kiritsy and Theresa Fitzpatrick
Brown PTO Co-Presidents
brownpto@brownpto.org
www.brownpto.org

SUPPORT BROWN THROUGH YOUR PTO!

Each year, the Brown PTO works with our principal, John Jordan, to identify areas in need of improvement throughout our school. Over the past years, we have upgraded our computer lab, added reading spaces and books to our library, and renovated community spaces. We also fund the Creative Arts and Science programs, and sponsor the PAC Run, Faculty Foul-Ups, as well as provide subsidies for field trips and school fees. All these improvements and activities enrich our school and create a fuller learning experience for our students.

We ask each family to make a tax-deductible contribution of $50 to ensure we can continue to address the needs of our school. We understand the economy makes it difficult for some to contribute, so we kindly ask you to give as much as you are able.

Every family that contributes to the PTO, regardless of dollar amount, will receive a school directory at the Back-to-School Night on September 23. Please click here to make a donation.

MARK YOUR CALENDARS

Brown Back to School Night*
Brown Cafeteria
 :
Tuesday, September 23
6-7pm, Parent Welcome
6:45pm, Principal John Jordan Welcome /Updates
7-8:45pm, Program begins (head to your student’s classes)
*parents only

Parent Visit (Brown Middle School in session:**)
Each morning between 8:45 and 10am
Tuesday, September 30, Grade 7
Wednesday, October 1, Grade 6
Friday, October 3, Grade 8
**Please note that you are welcome to visit on any of the three dates.  We have identified grade levels for mornings that students are in their “team” classes.  It is strongly suggested that you check with your child about their schedule for the day you intend to visit.  We hope you will be able to join us for this observational opportunity. Parents are observers in the classroom.  If you have questions for the teacher, please take them offline so as to not disrupt the class in session.

Get Ready for the Musical!
The Brown Working Theater group will be holding auditions for this year’s musical (which will be announced to students today!) on Monday, September 29, Tuesday, September 30, Tuesday, October 2, and Wednesday, October 3, from 3-5pm in the Auditorium. Additional information will be forthcoming shortly, including great opportunities for students who are interested in trying their hand at different aspects of stagecraft. Parents are encouraged to become involved as well! Click here to find out more about playing your own role in this great production.

ANNOUNCEMENTS
Keep connected with what is happening in and around Brown by

  • Brown PTO website, www.brownpto.org.
  • Daily Announcements
  • Click here to register for your Brown Directory and support your school.

You can also update your Brown Directory information, if you have not already: directory@brownpto.org.

Brown Quicklinks

Daily Announcements
EEE Activities
Music and Theater
Sports Announcements
School Website
PTO Website
Contact the Principal
Contact the PTO

Upcoming Events

Tuesday, Sep 27, 6-8:45pm
Back-to-School Parent-Teacher Night
Tuesday, Sep 30, 8:45-10am
Grade 7 Parent Visit
Wednesday, Oct 1, 8:45-10am
Grade 6 Parent Visit
Friday, Oct 3, 8:45-10am
Grade 8 Parent Visit

9-8-14 First Friday Letter

September 8, 2014

Dear Parents and Guardians,

As we begin the second week of school, I have been most impressed by how quickly our 744 students have settled into the daily routines of middle school, focused on learning. As I visit classes, I am delighted and inspired by the hard work and effective efforts of both students and teachers engaged in exciting and meaningful learning experiences.

I would like to acknowledge and thank our PTO presidents Theresa Fitzpatrick and Molly Owen-Kiritsy; along with the sixth grade teachers for creating a warm welcome to our sixth grade students on Thursday, August 28. For our families who have newly arrived to Newton, please contact directory@brownpto.org, to be sure that you are included in on our school directory and receive all PTO electronic mailings.

Please plan to join us for “Brown Back-to-School Night” on Tuesday, September 23, from 6:30 to 8:45 p.m. We look forward to sharing with you the many and varied opportunities that your child(ren) experience here at school. On Monday, September 22 your child will bring home a copy of his/her schedule for you to follow on Tuesday evening. Our Back-to-School Night will begin at 6:30 p.m. We invite all parents to join us in the cafeteria for welcoming remarks, an opportunity to meet new friends, and an overview of the evening. At 7:00 p.m., parents should report to their child’s first-period class. As the evening progresses, parents will be able to visit each of their child’s classes. Teachers will share with you their goals, information on their program, and an overview of the curriculum. It is our hope that all parents will attend this important evening event and become better acquainted with the teachers and programs here at Brown Middle School. Please note that the schedule for the evening does not provide time to discuss the progress of individual students.

All parents are invited to visit Brown Middle School in session on the following mornings between 8:45 and 10:00 a.m.:

Tues., September 30 (grade 7);

Wed., October 1 (grade 6); or

Fri., October 3 (grade 8)

Please note that you are welcome to visit on any of the three dates. We have identified grade levels in parenthesis for mornings that students are in their “team” classes. It is strongly suggested that you check with your child about their schedule for the day you intend to visit. We hope you will be able to join us.

It has been another busy summer at Brown. There have been several summer programs for students as well as basketball camps held at Brown during July and early August. Our custodians did a fantastic job, working hard to complete summer cleaning, classroom moves and getting the building looking good for opening day. We also have several improvement projects in progress. Over the past several weeks, contractors have been working to remove the old 1956 lockers in the physical education locker rooms and installing new lockers. I also want to take this opportunity to remind you about the front entry buzzer security system. The buzzer system will be in operation from 8:45 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. All visitors need to use the “buzzer” located to the left of the main entrance area. Visitors will be asked for their name and the purpose of their business. Visitors will then be directed to report to the main office to sign in and receive a visitor’s badge. Visitors are expected return to the office before leaving the building to sign out and return their visitor’s badge. Thank you for your cooperation and support with the implementation of this new system.

Brown Music Ensembles: Our music ensembles meet during ”extension” periods in the schedule. During this next six-day cycle, students interested in participating in Band, Chorus and Orchestra will their regular meeting times. I am excited to share news that this year, Mr. Matt Bailey Adams will direct our vocal ensembles (6th grade chorus and combined 7th/8th grade chorus) and Ms. Laurie Wadsworth will direct our instrumental ensembles (6th grade band, combined 7th/8th grade band and Brown orchestra).

2014 MCAS Results: Later this month, you will be receiving individual student results from spring 2014 MCAS testing. In mid-August, we received the preliminary results of the 2014 MCAS testing and began data analysis. The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has posted the MCAS – Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System: Release of Spring 2014 Test Items on their website, www.doe.mass.edu. Included in the Release of Spring 2014 Test Items is a scoring guide to open-response questions, and for each guide, a sample of student work at each score point. Taken together, the questions, scoring guides, and sample student work provide a picture of the expectations for student performance on the MCAS tests. There is also information on school and district MCAS results from previous years. Over the next several weeks, we will continue to further analyze the various data on student performance. In particular, we are committed to giving all students’ access to a rigorous curriculum and exposure to all of the topics included on the MCAS tests.

The MCAS Parent Reports will include growth model data. This is the third year this information has been provided, and I recommend the online tutorial geared specifically to address frequently asked questions. The tutorial is in PowerPoint format with audio, but requires no special software to use. The tutorial “Understanding Growth on the MCAS Parent Report” is posted at http://www.doe.mass.edu/mcas/growth/tutorial2.html. I will be writing to all of you with information about the PARCC assessment, which will be administered in place of MCAS testing during this school year.

Sincerely,

John F. Jordan

Principal

8-14-14 Class List and Team Color Announcement

John Jordan will be sending out a blast on August 20. It will inform parents to sign into ParentConnect to find out class list and team color.

8-14-14 Looking Forward to the New School Year

August 2014

Dear Brown families,

We hope you are all enjoying your summer and taking time to reconnect and relax.

As you continue to enjoy the last weeks of vacation and plan for the upcoming school year, we wanted to highlight some key dates.

Thursday, August 28, 9-9:45am
6th Grade/New Families Open House

Thursday, August 28, 9:30-10am
School Supplies Pick-Up*

Tuesday, September 2
First Day of School

Tuesday, September 23, 6–8pm
Back-to-School Parent-Teacher Night

Thursday, December 11, 7:30pm
Band and Chorus Winter Concert

Thursday, January 29, 7pm
String-O-Rama String Orchestra Concert

Tuesday, February 10 and Wednesday, February 11
School Musical

Thursday, May 28, 7:30pm
Band and Chorus Spring Concert

Monday, June 1, 7pm
String-A-Mania String Orchestra Concert

*If you pre-ordered supplies through the Bulk Supply Program, your supplies will be available for pick-up in the Brown cafeteria on Thursday, August 28, between 9:30 and 10am. If you cannot make that time, remaining supplies will be distributed to the students who ordered them on the first day of school. No further action is needed. Please contact Theresa Fitzpatrick if you have any questions.

Volunteer Opportunities:

  • School Supply Distribution: Help is needed to organize the packaged school supplies on Wednesday, August 27 (time flexible) in preparation for distribution on Thursday, August 28, during the Open House.
  • Back-to-School Parent-Teacher Night: We need volunteers to coordinate some light snacks, help set up and provide logistical support on the night.
  • Brown Bear Coordinators: Two volunteers are needed to head up our Brown Wear initiative and be available to sell merchandise during the Back-to-School Parent-Teacher Night and other school events.
  • E-communications:  Help keep us all in the loop. Our e-communications team is looking for more volunteers to help send school-wide email communications, produce the bi-weekly Brown Bear Report, keep the PTO website up-to-date, and reach out to faculty for updates on important information that needs to be shared with parent community, This is a great role for volunteers who prefer to work from home.

These are just a few of the many opportunities for parents and guardians to take an active role supporting the Brown community. Please contact brownpto@brownpto.orgif you are interested in these specific opportunities or if you would like to become involved in other ways.

We look forward to a great year! Feel free to contact us with questions, concerns or suggestions.

Best,

Molly Owen-Kiritsy
Theresa Fitzpatrick
PTO Co-Presidents

5-9-14 Brown Bear Report

Greetings Brown Families:

Hold on tight, there are only 29 days left of school. Time does fly when you are having fun! These remaining days will be filled to the brim with learning, activities and fun. Please ensure you read all the calendar entries.

Planning PTO sponsored events for the Brown Middle School community takes the efforts of many. We are already planning for next school year and need your help. If you would like to get involved in the PTO, please let us know. There are opportunities to fit anyone’s schedule and talents.

Here is a list of some of the PTO Committees where help is needed. If you would like to see a complete list of all the PTO Committees that are currently active at Brown, please click here: http://brownpto.org/your-ptoabout/committees/ . Your help is needed and appreciated to help build our community spirit. What committee do you want to be a part of?
Box Tops for Education
Brown Wear
8th Grade Year-End Activities
Fall Fund Drive
Hospitality
E-Communications
School Supply Kits

Many more events are coming this Spring – the AIDS Walk, concerts, the book fair, and the 8th grade Moving On Ceremony, to name a few – so keep reading your Brown Bear Report to find out all the details.

We are always open to new ideas and suggestions. We look forward to hearing from you.

Warm regards,
Molly Owen-Kiritsy and Theresa Fitzpatrick
Brown PTO Co-Presidents
brownpto@brownpto.org
www.brownpto.org

Mark Your Calendars
Staff Appreciation Dessert: Tuesday, May 20
Please help us THANK our teachers and faculty by contributing a tasty dessert to our last formal staff appreciation event. We will be hosting a dessert reception for all of our deserving teachers and school staff on the afternoon of May 20, and are asking families to donate items to make this a great event. Click the link to share some sweets.www.SignUpGenius.com/go/20F0D4CAFA622AA8-staff1/12164783. If you have any questions, please contact Felice Scheff or Nancy Braudis.

School Supply Kits: Ordering starts week of May 12
School supplies will again, this year, be ordered in bulk for your convenience. Starting next week, a communication will be sent out with all the details on how you can order supplies for your Brown student for the 2014-2015 school year. Supplies will be available for your student to pick up on the first day of school in September. Those that order supplies will have a box waiting for them, labeled with their name and grade. This is a cost-effective and environmentally helpful way to order supplies for your students. Be on the lookout for a PTO blast on school supply ordering next week. Any questions contact Theresa Fitzpatrick.

Brown Book Fair: Tuesday, May 27 – Friday, May 30
The Book Fair will be up and running in the halls at Brown Middle School from Tuesday, May 27 through Friday, May 30. We need your help! Please consider volunteering your time to work a shift at the fair: http://www2.mysignup.com/cgi-bin/view.cgi?datafile=brownbookfair. You can buy the all-grade read for incoming Grade 8 (The Boy Who Dared, by Susan Campbell Bartoletti) and the all-school book for Newton South (Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell) at the fair this year, as well as many of the Brown librarians’ suggested summer reads for middle-school students. This list, which is being prepared now in collaboration with the Newton Public Free Library, will be available in the coming weeks, so please keep an eye out for it. Something new this year: an online ordering option. Beginning May 26 and ending June 6, you will be able to order all of the books we offer at the fair online. Books will be delivered to Brown. Please stay tuned for more information on how to access the online book fair. The Brown PTO benefits equally from the Book Fair and its online component, so please support our fundraising efforts; you will be putting some great summer reads in your student’s hands at the same time! Any questions, please contact Susan Kern.
Click here for the summer reading flyers for incoming grades:
6th Grade Flyer
7th Grade Flyer
8th Grade Flyer

Spring Concerts: Tuesday, May 27 and Thursday, May 29, at 7:30pm
Our Spring Concerts will be held on two evenings:Tuesday, May 27 (vocal performing groups & string orchestra) and Thursday, May 29 (band & instrumental ensembles). Both performances begin at 7:30pm.

8th Grade Newton South Sports Night: Wednesday, May 21, at 6:30pm
There will be an “Eighth Grade Sports Night” held onWednesday, May 21 at 6:30pm
in the Field House at Newton South High School. This will be the time for students to meet coaches and sign up for sports. This is an important meeting, because many of the fall sports begin at the end of the August. Eighth grade students and their families are encouraged to attend this event.

AIDS Walk: Sunday, June 1, 8am-12 noon
It’s time to dust off your walking shoes and join the Brown Bears at the 29th annual AIDS Walk on Sunday, June 1. Brown Middle School will continue our proud tradition of being the largest team to walk 10K in support of AIDS Action Committee! Information on registration and T-shirt orders has already been sent home with your child this month. Last year, we raised over $30,000 for AIDS Action Committee Boston. Should you have any questions about this year’s walk, please contact our AIDS Walk Team Captains – Health teacher Elizabeth Messina and Teal team teacher Sarah Hildebrand.

Step-up Day: Friday, June 13
The incoming sixth grade students will be visiting Brown on Friday, June 13. Our present sixth grade students will be dismissed at 11:30am on that day. Seventh gradestudents will follow their regular schedules and eighth grade students will visit Newton North or Newton South. If you have any questions about next year’s program, please contact your child’s school guidance counselor.

Eight Grade End of Year Celebration: Thursday, June 19, 7-9pm
This celebration for all eighth grade students will take place in the Brown Middle School Gym. More details will be sent to the eight grade parents.

Moving On Ceremony: Friday, June 20, 8:30-9:30am
Our “Moving On” Ceremony for eighth grade students (and their families) will be
held on Friday, June 20 at 8:30am in the Newton South High School field house.

Last Day of School: Friday June 20 at 11:30am
The Newton School Committee voted to establish the last day of school for students
as Friday, June 20. Dismissal will be at 11:30am.

Acappelooza V: May 16 – Tickets On Sale Now!
Join us on Friday, May 16 from 7:30-9:30pm in the Newton South High School Auditorium for Acappelooza V: a family-friendly a cappella concert. Featuring professional vocal band Cadence, Union College Eliphalets, plus Newton North’s Forte and Newton South’s Newtones. General admission tickets are $12, premium seating is $20. Proceeds benefit the Countryside PTO. Tickets can be purchased at www.seatyourself.biz/countrysidepto.

5-2-14 First Friday Letter

Brown Middle School
First Friday Letter
May 2, 2014

Dear Parents and Guardians,

We are quickly approaching the mid-point of the last term. Mid-term feedback reports will be sent home with students during the week of May 12. We ask that you please review the mid-term feedback reports with your child and send back a signed copy to your child’s teacher.

This year, the week of May 5 – 9 marks Teacher Appreciation Week. I would like to publicly thank each of our teachers for the excellent work that they do on behalf of students at Brown. Our teachers are very talented and outstanding at what they do. Please remember that School Policy does not permit teachers to accept personal gifts from parents or students. If you would like to recognize or thank your teachers a card, note, or email is suggested as an appropriate gesture. You may also want to make a contribution the Brown Middle School PTO to support our school community.

National School Nurse Day is May 7. This day of recognition has been set aside since 1972 to foster a better understanding of the role of school nurses in the educational setting. This specialized practice advances the wellbeing, academic success and life-long achievements of students. National School Nurse Day is celebrated on the Wednesday within National Nurses Week, May 5 – 12, ending on the birthday of Florence Nightingale, the founder of nursing. Thank you to Lucy Boyer, our school nurse for all that you do for each of us here at Brown.

As we begin the process of organizing student placement on teams for the upcoming 2014-2015 school year, it is important to verify enrollment. If your child(ren) in sixth or seventh grade will not be returning to Brown in September, please notify our student services office at 617-559-6907. Thank you for your cooperation. If you have any questions regarding this request, please do not hesitate to call me at 617-559-6900.

MCAS testing: Massachusetts statewide assessment testing begins again during the weeks of May 5 – 21. The Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS) will be administered to all students in grades six, seven and eight in the area of mathematics. Students in grade 8 will also participate in Science
and Technology/Engineering testing. The MCAS tests are designed to be untimed; the recommended length of each test session is 45 – 60 minutes. Let’s hope the weather is cool. All sessions will take place in the morning. The best preparation is a good night’s sleep and healthy breakfast. Listed below is the schedule for the upcoming testing dates:
MCAS 2014 – Math & Sci./Tech Testing Dates
Grade Session Date Blocks
6 Math 1 Thurs., 5/8 F & G (8:30-10:30)
6 Math 2 Fri., 5/9 D & F (8:30–10:30)
7 Math 1 Thurs., 5/15 G & A (8:30-10:30)
7 Math 2 Fri., 5/16 F & G (8:30-10:10)
8 Math 1 Mon. 5/5 B & C (8:30-10:30)
8 Math 2 Tues., 5/6 A & B (8:30-10:30)
8 Sci/Tech 1 Mon. 5/12 C & D (8:30 – 10:30)
8 Sci/Tech 2 Tues. 5/13 B & C (8:30 – 10:10)
The Massachusetts Department of Education web site: http://www.doe.mass.edu/mcas/ has loads of information including the MCAS test items from every year all the way back to 1998.

Spring Sports & Triple E Activities: There is an ambitious schedule during the month of May for the baseball, lacrosse, softball, and track & field teams. We hope to see you on the sidelines! This year, the last day for Triple E activities will be on Friday, June 6.

Spring Play: There will be one evening performance of our “Spring Play” under the direction of Ms. Miller (drama teacher). Please mark your calendar for Wednesday, May 7 at 7:00 p.m.in the Brown auditorium.

No School: School will be closed on Monday, May 26 in observance of Memorial Day.

Spring Concerts: Our Spring Concerts will be held on two evenings: Tues., May 27 (vocal performing groups & string orchestra) and Thurs., May 29 (band & instrumental ensembles) both performances begin at 7:30 p.m.

Brown Book Fair: This year’s Brown Book Fair will be held May 27 – 30. In addition to great summer books, the fair will feature a variety of book gift baskets, which make terrific presents for the end of the school year. Also, at the fair, students will be given the opportunity to fill out book wish lists, which will be emailed home. Parents can then send their child to school with a check or money for book purchases.

NSHS Sports Night: There will be an “Eighth Grade Sports Night” held on Wednesday, May 21 at 6:30p.m. in the Field House at Newton South High School. This will be the time for students to meet coaches and sign-up for sports. This is an important meeting, because many of the fall sports begin at the end of the
August. Eighth grade students and their families are encouraged to attend this event.

AIDS Walk: It’s time to dust off your walking shoes and join the Brown Bears at the 29th annual AIDS Walk on Sunday, June 1. Brown Middle School will continue our proud tradition of being the largest team to walk 10K in support of AIDS Action Committee! Last year, we raised over $30,000 for AIDS Action Committee Boston. Information on registration and T-shirt orders was sent home with your child, should you have any questions about this years walk, please contact our AIDS Walk Team Captains Elizabeth Messina and Sarah Hildebrand.

Step-up Day: On Friday, June 13, fifth grade students will be visiting Brown. Our present sixth grade students will be dismissed at 11:30 a.m. on that day. Seventh grade students will follow their regular schedules and eighth grade students will visit Newton North or Newton South. If you have any questions about next year’s program, please contact your child’s school guidance counselor. Moving On Ceremony: Our “Moving On” Ceremony for eighth grade students (and their families) will be held on Friday, June 20 at 8:30 a.m. in the Newton South High School field house.

Last Day of School: The Newton School Committee voted to establish the last day of school for students as Friday, June 20, 2014. Dismissal will be at 11:30 a.m.

Thank you,
John F. Jordan

4-11-14 Brown Bear Report

Greetings Brown Families:

Finally, we can say Happy Spring!

Huge thank-yous go out to several folks for coordinating new and exciting projects at Brown this past month.

On April 1, under the leadership of 8th grade English teacher Becky Cohen and parent Anabel Cable, The Giving Project Potluck Dinner was launched. Approximately 70 staff, students and family came together over a delicious and bountiful potluck dinner to learn about some of the many charities supported by our students and faculty at Brown, and to raise money for these organizations. In total, $1,167 was raised by our community! The following 5 organizations will all receive a portion of the monies donated: Inner City Weightlifting, Giving Change Inc., Project Giving Kids, WAGLY, and Waypoint Adventures. Many thanks not only to Becky and Anabel for spearheading this endeavor, but also to all the 8th graders who were amazing at setting up and running the whole evening. Folks were inspired by the outstanding presentations and we can only hope this event will continue to grow in the future!

Second, kudos to 8th graders Khyla Turner and Adi Shneorson and their leadership team, along with Student Government advisors Greg Lamothe and Courtney Paull, for organizing an incredibly successful clothing drive, “Project Collect”. In less than one week, 17 large bagswere filled with clothing that will be donated to Cradles to Crayons. The students worked hard and dedicated lots of time and manpower to make sure this was successful. Students placed bins not only at Brown, but also at Oak Hill , Angier, and Countryside. See the picture below. Thanks also to all of the Brown families who donated bags of clothing – we couldn’t have done it without your support!

Lastly, all families should have received an email from Principal John Jordan earlier this week reminding parents that second term grades are now available for viewing through the ParentCONNECT Parent Portal: https://parentconnect.newton.k12.ma.us/. Once you have logged in, you can download the Report Card by going to “Academics” on the left hand side, and selecting “Term Grades,” which will give you your student’s grades. By clicking on “Report,” also under the “Academics” tab, you will be able to read teachers’ comments. Please be sure to access both grades and comments for your student. If you do not remember your password, please use the “Forget your password?” link at the bottom of the log-in page. If you have any technical issues or questions, please email parentconnect@newton.k12.ma.us, or contact Betsy Woodman, Secretary of Guidance at 617-559-6907 for assistance.

Many more events are coming this Spring – the AIDS Walk, 8th grade trip to Canobie Lake Park and Moving On Ceremony, etc., so keep reading your Brown Bear Report and as always, feel free to write us with any suggestions or questions.

Warm regards,
Molly Owen-Kiritsy and Theresa Fitzpatrick
Brown PTO Co-Presidents
brownpto@brownpto.org
www.brownpto.org

Mark Your Calendars
Spring Vacation
School will be closed on Friday, April 18, “Good Friday” and there will be no school the week of April 21-25. School will reopen the morning of Monday, April 28.

Spring Playwriting Festival, Wednesday, May 7
There will be one evening performance of our Spring Playwriting Festival under the direction of our drama teacher Ms. Miller. Please mark your calendar for Wednesday, May 7, at 7pm in the auditorium!

AIDS Walk, Sunday, June 1
It’s time to dust off your walking shoes and join the Brown Bears at the 29th annual AIDS Walk on Sunday, June 1. Brown Middle School will continue our proud tradition of being the largest team to walk 10K in support of AIDS Action Committee! Information on registration and T-shirt orders will be sent home with your child this month. Last year, we raised over $30,000 for AIDS Action Committee Boston. There will be a kick-off informational meeting on Monday, April 28 from 12 noon to 1pm in the auditorium for everyone interested in participating. Should you have any questions about this year’s walk, please contact our AIDS Walk Team Captains – Health teacherElizabeth Messina and Teal team teacher Sarah Hildebrand.

Brown Book Fair
This year’s Book Fair will be held the week of May 26. Students will be able to purchase books during the day from Tuesday, April 27 to Friday, April 29. The Book Fair will also be open during the music concerts on the evenings of Tuesday, April 27 and Thursday, April 29. More details coming soon……

Last day of school!
Students’ last day of school this year will be Friday, June 20 and it will be a half day for all.

Announcements
Creative Arts & Science Update
What are the scientific definitions of conduction, convection and radiation? Can you explain thermal equilibrium? If you’re not sure of the answers, ask your 6th grader. On Thursday, April 10, Brown’s Creative Arts and Sciences Committee sponsored the Museum of Science’s Traveling Program “Cryogenics, Heat and Temperature,” which was presented to all 6th grade students. Katie, the Museum of Science Educator (along with help from a few Brown students), conducted several exciting experiments that demonstrated the differences between “conductors and insulators.” While watching a live rose flower freeze and easily crumble after being immersed in liquid nitrogen, students learned about temperature and heat flow. Ask your student about the “melted penny” experiment and why the “black paper” caught fire. This and all Creative Arts and Sciences programs are made possible by funding from your generous contributions to the Brown PTO. Thank you!

Essay Contest!
Does your son or daughter love to write? If so, read on. Open to all 6th graders in the Newton:
Topic: Why bookstores are important to you. All essays must be type-written and double-spaced (handwritten essays will not be accepted). Each entrant needs to include his or her email and phone number. The essay should be no less than 200 words and no more than 250 words. By submitting an essay, the entrant agrees to have their essay posted on the New England Mobile Book Fair’s website and Facebook page. With consent by the entrant and his/her legal guardian(s), their name will accompany the posted essay. Essays must be received by the New England Mobile Book Fair by Friday, May 9, and may be submitted via mail to: 82-84 Needham Street, Newton Highlands, MA 02461, or via email to fran.nembf@gmail.com. The winner of the contest will be decided by the staff of the New England Mobile Book Fair and announced no later than Friday, May 30. The winner will receive a $25 gift certificate, and two runners-up will each receive a $10 gift certificate. For additional information, please refer to the New England Mobile Book Fair’s website: www.nebookfair.com.

4-4-14 First Friday Letter

Brown Middle School
First Friday Letter
April 4, 2014

Dear Parents and Guardians,

April is Autism Awareness Month, and I want to acknowledge our ABA program here at Brown servicing students with autism spectrum disorders. Our program here at Brown began ten years ago. The Brown ABA program has an extraordinarily talented staff that includes: Inclusion Facilitator, Emily Snow; with support from nine behavior therapists. The students in the Brown ABA program have continued to exhibit some great skills throughout this school year; including participating in an adaptive physical education class, completing jobs within the school community, producing some beautiful and creative artwork, and working with peers in the Brown Peer Buddies program on a variety of activities.

Report Cards: On Monday afternoon, April 7 we will send you an email message to remind you about accessing your child’s second term report card on the Newton Public Schools Parent Portal. If you need assistance, please contact Betsy Woodman at 617-559-6907 in our Student Services Office. Mid-term
progress reports for the third term will be going home with students during the week of May 12.

Spring Sports: Our 7th and 8th grade track & field, softball, baseball, and lacrosse teams will begin practicing over the next few days and will have their scheduled games and meets beginning after April vacation.

MCAS testing: Massachusetts statewide assessment testing begins again during the weeks of May 6 – 21. The Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS) will be administered to all students in grades six, seven and eight in the area of mathematics. Students in grade 8 will also participate in Science and Technology/Engineering testing. The MCAS tests are designed to be untimed; the recommended length of each test session is 45 – 60 minutes. Let’s hope the weather is cool. All sessions will take place in the morning. The best preparation is a good night’s sleep and healthy breakfast. Listed below is the schedule for the upcoming testing dates: MCAS 2013 – Math & Sci./Tech Testing Dates
Grade Session Date Blocks
6 Math 1 Thurs., 5/8 F & G (8:30-10:30)
6 Math 2 Fri., 5/9 D & F (8:30–10:30)
7 Math 1 Thurs., 5/15 G & A (8:30-10:30)
7 Math 2 Fri., 5/16 F & G (8:30-10:10)
8 Math 1 Mon. 5/5 B & C (8:30-10:30)
8 Math 2 Tues., 5/6 A & B (8:30-10:30)
8 Sci/Tech 1 Mon. 5/12 C & D (8:30 – 10:30)
8 Sci/Tech 2 Tues. 5/13 B & C (8:30 – 10:10)
The Massachusetts Department of Education web site: http://www.doe.mass.edu/mcas/ has loads of information including the MCAS test items from every year all the way back to 1998.

Spring Vacation: School will be closed on Friday, April 18, “Good Friday,” and there will be no school the week of April 21 – 25. School will reopen the morning of Monday, April 28.

Spring Play: There will be one evening performance of our “Spring Play” under the direction of Ms. Miller (drama teacher). Please mark your calendar for Wednesday, May 7 at 7:00 p.m.in the Brown auditorium.

AIDS Walk: It’s time to dust off your walking shoes and join the Brown Bears at the 29th annual AIDS Walk on Sunday, June 1. Brown Middle School will continue our proud tradition of being the largest team to walk 10K in support of AIDS Action Committee! Information on registration and T-shirt orders will be sent home with your child this month. Last year, we raised over $30,000 for AIDS Action Committee Boston. There will be a kick-off informational meeting on Monday, April 28 from 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. in the auditorium for everyone interested in participating. Should you have any questions about this years walk,
please contact our AIDS Walk Team Captains Elizabeth Messina and Sarah Hildebrand.

Warm weather: As the warm weather approaches, we ask that you please support our expectations for appropriate dress at school. Spaghetti straps/tank tops, bare midriffs, low cut pants, and bare feet are not appropriate dress for school. In the event that your child is not dressed appropriately, please know that we will contact you. We appreciate your support in reminding your child of these expectations. Looking ahead to June: Our “Moving On” Ceremony for eighth grade students (and their families) will be held on Friday, June 20 at 8:30 a.m. in the Newton South High School field house.

John F. Jordan

3-28-14 Brown Bear Report

Greetings Brown Families:
Mother Nature seems to want to keep us in winter clothes just a little longer. That has not stopped the budding spirit of our Brown Community. What spirit and enthusiasm grew in the Brown gym as faculty and students took to the courts for the annual Faculty Foul Ups.

Thanks to Katrina Antonellis, Master of Ceremonies and creative talent behind the enhanced 2014 Faculty Fouls Ups. It was an exciting afternoon watching as all grades and teams participated, faculty alongside their students. It was a close match up in the final round with Blue, Indigo and Yellow teams competing for the win. BLUE persevered and pulled ahead to win the 2014 Faculty Foul Ups. What will happen next year?

The team effort went beyond the courts and a big Faculty Foul Up thank you goes out to Michelle Levy and Debbi Kim, Co Chairs who coordinated the behind the scenes efforts. Martha Lawler, was the Master of the Bake Sale, which brought in over $200. Thanks, again to all the volunteers, faculty and students who helped make 2014 Faculty Foul Ups a great success.

Many more great events are coming up for our Brown Community.

Enjoy these first frosty days of spring.

Warm regards,
Molly Owen-Kiritsy and Theresa Fitzpatrick
Brown PTO Co-Presidents
brownpto@brownpto.org
www.brownpto.org

Mark Your Calendars
School Dance Firday March 28, from 6:30-8:30pm
The student government is hosting their spring school dance on Friday, March 28. We invite all students from all grades to come and have a great time. Tickets will be on sale and must be purchased in advance at $5 a ticket. The dance will be from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm. We look forward to seeing your child there to enjoy the Brown community and have a safe place to spend time with their friends.

8th Grade Giving Project Potluck on Tuesday, April 1, from 6-to 8pm
Looking for a fun and easy way to give back? The 8th grade is organizing a Giving Project Potluck on Tuesday, April 1, from 6 to 8pm in the Brown cafeteria, and all Brown families are invited to participate. Read on to find out what it’s all about, and sign up if you’d like to join in.

How does it work? Members of the Brown Community nominated non-profit organizations that they support and would like us to support, too. 5 finalists were chosen. Now families get to come together over a great potluck meal to learn about and raise funds for those organizations. Click here to read about all the great organizations that were nominated, and get inspired! If you have any questions, please contact Becky Cohen or Anabel Cable.

Second Term Grades
The second term ends on Friday, March 28. We will send you an important email message in early April detailing how to access your child’s report card electronically through the secure Parent Portal.

Music Showcase
Our 8th annual Brown Music Showcase Concert will take place on Thursday, April 3, at 7:30pm, in the auditorium. The evening concert will be organized by Ms. Wadsworth and is intended to provide an opportunity for students to share their musical talents. All instrumentalists and vocalists are invited to audition either as soloists or in small ensembles. Please have your child speak to Ms. Wadsworth to set up an audition time.

Spring Vacation
School will be closed on Friday, April 18, “Good Friday,” and there will be no school the week of April 21 – 25. School will reopen the morning of Monday, April 28.
Announcements

Creative Arts & Science Update
Perseus and Medusa, presented by the Tanglewood Marionettes, came to Brown for the 7th Grade. Here is what they experienced: “Take a trip back in time to the dawn of civilization, to an ancient world of gods, goddesses, prophecies, and heroes. In this masterful production, you will accompany Perseus through personal trials and glorious quests. A lavish show featuring beautiful handcrafted marionettes, scrolling sets, exotic music, and much more. The ancient world has never been so accessible”
Project 351
This year we sent two 8th graders to the state house to partake in a statewide community giving project. The students met the Governor and learned what it was all about to be leaders in community outreach and ways to give back to their community. The students are now taking part in a statewide project to collect clothing; new and gently used. The clothing drive will happen March 31 through April 4. Students will be collecting clothing during school and will be stationed in the school lobby from 3 to 8pm every night that week. The students are excited about taking part in such a widespread state initiative for helping those in need.

Calling all Photographers
Pictures are needed for the yearbook. If you have taken photos at Brown school events, please contact Courtney Paull, Yearbook Advisor courtney_paull@newton.k12.ma.us .

3-14-2014 Brown Bear Report

Greetings Brown Families,

Did you catch Brown’s spectacular production of “The Sound of Music” last weekend? We know many of you did, as the auditorium was packed both nights with folks who were thoroughly impressed with our talented students. A huge thank you to directors Judi Pava and new music teacher, Kristen Smith, and stage manager Bill Sheppard, along with their army of teachers, parents and students who made this show come to life. It really was a treat for those of us in the audience!

Now that we’ve cheered for our talented singers and actors here at Brown, come and show your support to our brave faculty in the zany Faculty Foul-Ups, to be held Thursday, March 20, right after school in the gym. Come and cheer for your favorite teachers – some who are athletic and some who are just plain good sports as they shoot foul shots. Parents, we need your help to make this all happen! Please sign up if you can: http://www.signupgenius.com/go/10C0B4EACAA28A64-faculty. We also need kids to help at the associated Bake Sale. All attendees will be able to catch the 4:15pm late bus home!  Hope to see you at this fun annual Brown event. Questions? Contact coordinators Debbie Kim or Michelle Levy.

Lastly, in March there will be a school-wide “Spring Fling” dance on Friday, March 28. Sponsored by the student government, all students from all grades are invited to come and have fun! Tickets will be on sale beginning March 17, and are $5.00. The dance will be from 6:30-8:30 pm. 

As always if you have any suggestions or questions don’t hesitate to contact us!

Warm regards, 
Theresa Fitzpatrick and Molly Owen-Kiritsy
Brown PTO Co-Presidents
brownpto@brownpto.org

MARK YOUR CALENDARS

MCAS Testing Dates  
Once again this year, the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS) will be administered to all students at grades six, seven, and eight. Students at these grades will be participating in various forms of the Massachusetts statewide assessment testing. Listed below is the schedule for the upcoming school year:                                     
Grade 6  
ELA (English Language Arts) Reading Comprehension, Friday, March 21
ELA (testing sessions on two days), Friday, March 28
Mathematics, May 5 – 20 (specific dates TBA)
Grade 7  
ELA  Composition, Tuesday, March 18
ELA Reading Comprehension, Thursday, March 20
ELA (testing sessions on three days), Tuesday, March 25
Mathematics, May 5–20 (specific dates TBA)
Grade 8  
ELA Reading Comprehension, Monday, March 24
ELA (testing sessions on two days), Wednesday, March 26
Mathematics, May 5–20 (specific dates TBA)
Science and Technology/Engineering, May 6–20 (specific dates TBA)

8th Grade Giving Project Potluck: Tuesday, April 1, 6-8pm
The 8th grade community is organizing a potluck dinner to explore and support their students’ favorite causes!  Students have submitted nominations for their causes, which will be collated and shared with the school community next week, so that everyone has a chance to read about the organizations our students would like to support. Then we will be collecting donations and organizing a potluck where students can make presentations about their causes. Everyone who comes to the potluck will bring a dish and a donation, and get 3 pennies in return. Then they enjoy a great meal, and listen to presentations from the students about their causes. Each cause presented will have a jar. After the presentations, everyone present will donate their pennies to the jar/jars of their choice. The pennies for each cause will be tallied, and the total amount of real donations received will be divided up amongst the charities accordingly. (Hey, this is a great math project, too!) Look out for more information next week.  8th grade families who would like to sign up for the potluck, please click here. If you have any questions, please email Becky Cohen or Anabel Cable.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Second Term Grades
Second term ends on March 28. An email will go home to all parents in early April detailing how to access your child’s report card electronically through the secure Parent Portal.

Spring Sports at Brown
Please check out the school website regarding what students need in order to try out for spring sports. Forms are due to coaches by March 28. Spring sports begin the week of March 31. (brown.newton.k12.ma.us/sports)

Note From Nurse Lucy Boyle
Please click here and take a moment to read a note from our school nurse regarding communication of your child’s health needs.

Supporting our Teens and Promoting Healthy Dating Relationships, Monday, April 7 at 7pm at NSHS

Join Malcolm Astley, father of the late Lauren Astley, and a panel discussion with representatives from REACH, Journey to Safety, BARCC, and Kim Coney, NSHS School Resource Officer, on Monday, April 7 from 7-8:30pm in the Seasholes Auditorium at Newton South. This event is sponsored by Newton South High School,  REACH, JF&CS Journey to Safety, BARCC, The Second Step and the Newton-Wellesley Hospital.

DID YOU KNOW?

Engineers Teaching Algebra Program for our 8th Graders

Over the past two weeks, the Engineers Teaching Algebra program came to each 8th grade math class.  Mr. Mark Love, a civil engineer, taught the students how to apply algebra to improve traffic flow at an intersection with a traffic signal.  This interactive program engaged the students, encouraged creative problem solving, and showed them practical applications of the algebra concepts that they are learning. Ask your student about how they solved the traffic problem.

This and all Creative Arts and Sciences programs are made possible by funding from your generous contributions to the Brown PTO.  Thank you!