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

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!

 

Faculty Foul-Ups, Thursday, March 20, 3pm

GET READY FOR FACULTY FOUL-UPS AT BROWN!!

Faculty Foul-Ups is a fun, (some would say goofy), event in which both teachers and students participate. It takes place after school on THURSDAY, March 20.

But this year, there is a NEW TWIST! The teachers from each of the teams will be joined by students from their team to see how many free throws they can shoot in 5 MINUTES!!

Students, SHOW YOUR TEAM SPIRIT!
Come cheer on the teachers and classmates from your team!!

The student who comes closest to guessing the total number of points each team scores WITHOUT going over, will win a JP Licks gift card!  Parent volunteers will be at lunch earlier that week to record students’ guesses.

But wait…  there’s more!!! This year, the team with the highest score from each grade in the first round will move onto a shootout  in the championship round!

PARENTS- we need your help!!!  
We need VOLUNTEERS to help count baskets on the day of the event, and to help with the Bake Sale! We need DONATIONS of food, drink & gift cards for both the Bake Sale and Faculty Foul-ups! Baked goods can be brought to school that morning.

Please sign up if you can:
http://www.signupgenius.com/go/10C0B4EACAA28A64-faculty

Thank you all so much for your support- GO TEAM!!!!!
Please let us know if you have any questions.

3-7-2014 First Friday Letter

March 7, 2014

Dear Parents and Guardians,

An important value here at Brown Middle School is school-wide participation in our annual community service learning projects.  Each year in March/April, our sixth grade students and teachers lead a school-wide “canned food drive” with donations made to the Newton Food Pantry.  This year, canned food items will be collected in early April.  We will share more specifics later in March.

Science on Saturday:  The next “Science on Saturday” in Cambridge will be a chemistry show on March 8. MIT’s ClubChem, which has previously given chemistry shows for a number of school groups, will conduct fun chemistry demonstrations on stage, with the assistance of student volunteers from the audience. ClubChem will also set up several activity booths where students can do different hands-on chemistry experiments before and after the main show.  Students are welcome to attend at 10:00 a.m. on March 8th in MIT’s Kresge Auditorium, 48 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge.

Spring Ahead:  Daylight Saving Time begins this weekend on Sunday, March 9.  Yes, once again this spring the date is several weeks earlier then in previous years!  Don’t forget to move the clocks ahead one hour.

Speaker Series:  A Lecture Series for Parents of Teens, “Calm, Cool, & Connected” on Monday, March 10, 7:00 p.m., Druker Auditorium – Newton Free Library.  Susan Swick, MD, Chief, Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Newton-Wellesley Hospital and Jennifer O’Leary, MA, Director of Youth Services, City of Newton will present on How do I know when my child is at risk? And what do I do about it? I want my teen to feel connected and I want to know what resources I can access in my community.

Early Release Day:  On Thursday, March 13, all middle students will be dismissed at 11:30 a.m. for system-wide professional development workshops for teachers and staff.  Lunch will be served at school before dismissal.  On that afternoon, teachers will continue the important work of the Common Core Standards by content area department.  Several departments will be meeting with colleagues from grades 6 – 12.  Collaborative functioning focused on student achievement is one of the goals of our professional development.

FY15 Budget:  At the Newton School Committee meeting scheduled for Thursday, March 13, Dr. David Fleishman, Superintendent of Schools will share the Superintendent’s FY15 Budget Presentation at 7:00 p.m., Education Center, 100 Walnut Street, Newtonville.

MCAS Testing:  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         Tests                                                          Dates                          

            Grade 6      ELA Reading Comprehension                       Fri., March 21

                              (ELA testing sessions on two days)             Fri., March 28

                              Mathematics                                              May 5 – 20 (specific dates TBA)

 

            Grade 7      ELA (English Language Arts) Composition   Tues., March 18

                              ELA Reading Comprehension                       Thurs., March 20

                              (ELA testing sessions on three days)          Tues., March 25

                              Mathematics                                              May 5 – 20 (specific dates TBA)

 

            Grade 8      ELA Reading Comprehension                       Mon., March 24

                              (ELA testing sessions on two days)             Wed., March 26

                              Mathematics                                              May 5 – 20 (specific dates TBA)

                              Science and Technology/Engineering          May 6 – 20 (specific dates TBA)

Additional information regarding MCAS assessments, schedule and test items are available at the Massachusetts Department of Elementary & Secondary Education web site: http://www.doe.mass.edu/mcas/

Faculty Foul-Ups:  Shortly after the “winter vacation” teachers and staff at Brown will begin practicing their foul shots in anticipation of the Faculty Foul-Ups fundraiser on Thursday, March 20.  Please plan to join us and cheer on our courageous and enthusiastic faculty.

Spring Sports:  Our “spring sports season” will begin in several weeks. There will be more specific informational meeting for each of the sports next week.  There is also important information on the Brown website regarding what students need in order to tryout.

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.

School Dance The student government is hosting their spring school dance on Friday March 28th.  We invite all students from all grades to come and have a great time.  Tickets will be on sale starting March 17th 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. 

Project 351 This year we sent 2 eight 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 31st through April 4th.  Students will be collecting clothing during school and will be stationed in the school lobby from 3-8 pm every night that week.  The students are excited about taking part in such a widespread state initiative for helping those in need.

Music Showcase: Our 8th annual Brown Music Showcase Concert will take place on Thursday, April 3 at 7:30 p.m. 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.

Sincerely,

John F. Jordan

2-28-2014 Brown Bear Report

Welcome Back Brown Families, 

Now that we are all refreshed and recharged to get through the rest of this winter, there is a lot to do at Brown and for our community.  

There will be an informational meeting at Newton South next week to help our 8th graders with their transition to High School. Our thespians are perfecting their parts for the school musical, The Sound of Music. 

There are still plenty of opportunities for this school year to get involved and help out. We hope we see you at one of the many upcoming events at our school.  

As always, please feel free to contact us with any questions or suggestions. 

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

MARK YOUR CALENDARS

Reminder for 8th Grade Parents- High School Course Registration meeting Wednesday, March 5,  from 7-9pm at Newton South High School.  

Reminder for 8th Grade Parents- High School Course Registration meeting Wednesday, March 5,  from 7-9pm at Newton South High School.  

These meetings will initiate the process of transition into ninth grade.  You will have an opportunity to learn about the high school’s academic program, the course registration process, school activities, as well as the orientation process that has been designed to support your child(ren) as they move into a new school at the end of this year.
Brown’s Musical Production of “The Sound of Music” Thursday, March 6; and Friday, March 7.  Our halls are alive with anticipation of the upcoming all-school musical production of ”The Sound of Music.”  Cast and crew are working diligently to perfect their songs, memorize their lines, and finalize their dance steps. Performances will take place on Thursday, March 6 and Friday, March 7 in the Brown auditorium for what promises to be two incredible performances of the classic movie musical.  Tickets are $10 and are on sale now. See you at the show!

Faculty Foul Ups will be coming on Thursday, March 20.  If you would like to volunteer to help, please contact:
Debbie Kim at  dikim@boston.cbs.com or
Michelle Levy  at mlevy@brand-strat.com

HELP NEEDED!

Calling All 8th Grade Parents

It seems like just yesterday our 8th graders arrived at Brown, and yet we are now gearing up for their graduation from middle school! It is a tradition at Brown to have a graduation ceremony (date TBD) and a ‘party’ for the students on a day before the graduation (date TBD). The PTO is looking for a parent (or two) to help coordinate the 8th grade party which takes place at Brown. Please let Molly or Theresa know if you are interested.  brownpto@brownpto.org

ANNOUNCEMENTS

EEE activities after school in the gym starting first week of March. Any 6th, 7th or 8th grader is welcome to play Floor Hockey on Wednesdays and Indoor Soccer on Thursdays in the gym after school from 3 to 4:10pm. Students are then able to catch the 4:15pm late bus.
Katrina Antonellis Katrina_antonellis@newton.k12.ma.us
Phys. Ed. Department Chairperson
Triple E/ Athletic Director

8th grade Parents and Students- Thursday, March 6, from 5 to 6:45pm Career/Vocational Technical Education Open House. All 8th grade students and parents are invited to the CVTE Open House at Newton North High School on Thursday, March 6, from 5 to 6:45 pm. For information about course content please visit the website at http://www.newton.k12.ma.us/careerteched.

Note from the Nurse
The Postural Screening Program will be take place during the week of March 3. Please feel free to contact the school nurse with any questions about postural screening. Lucy Boyer, R.N., School Nurse  lucy_boyer@newton.k12.ma.us or 559-6906. 

DID YOU KNOW?

Note from our Brown Teachers
Many students come to class in February and March without paper, pencils, pens, etc. It might be nice for a parental check in to do some backpack “Spring cleaning.”

 
Bulk School Supply Program will again be offered to all current Brown families and incoming Brown families. It will be a great way to save money, time, energy and the environment. Stay tuned for more details. If you would like to help please contact Theresa Fitzpatrick at  tabilel@yahoo.com.

Brown Book Fair – Plans are under way to have our annual Brown Book Fair.  The Book Team is coordinating with another book vendor to bring even more current and exciting books to our students.  Keep reading the BBR to find out more details.
If you would like to help, please contact Susan Kern at kernfamily6@gmail.com.

8th Grade Giving Project Potluck
Tuesday, April 1, 6pm
Remember that nominations for the Giving Project Potluck are due by Monday, March 3! 
Students (working individually or as a group) may nominate a cause by submitting an outline of a presentation explaining why they support this particular cause and why they think we should, too. All the submissions will be published in a review document and shared with the entire 8th grade community, so that everyone will have a chance to learn about your cause!  Please submit your nominations  to Ms. Cohen. rebecca_cohen@newton.k12.ma.us If you would like to be a part of the Nominations Committee which will meet on Wednesday, March 19, to discuss the nominations and narrow them down to 8 finalists, please contact Becky Cohen. The committee will include students, parents or guardians and faculty members.

If your cause is selected as one of the final 8, you will be asked to prepare a 5-minute presentation to be delivered at the potluck on April 1. 
 
All 8th grade families are invited to join us at the potluck! Bring a dinner dish and a donation, and enjoy an evening of great food, friendship and fundraising for our students’ favorite causes!

 

2-14-2014 Brown Bear Report

Greetings Brown Families:

As we know, it’s been a very sad and stressful few weeks here in Newton. When tragedies happen with our young people, as parents, we ALL feel it. We can’t help but feel incredible sadness, not only for the family affected, but also for our whole  community. 

While last Thursday brought great sadness with it, last Thursday evening proved to be a time to come together at the Annual Parents Winter Social. Many thanks to the Social Committee of Martha Lawler, Christina Brooks, Lisa D’Ambrosio and Charlotte DuHamel for providing us with an evening of mingling, cocktails, snacks and the opportunity to get to know one another. It was also great having our Principal John Jordan there to share new initiatives at Brown designed at creating smaller supportive communities for our students to feel more connected both with each other and with the adults in the building. Thanks to all the parents who came out last Thursday for the Social!

On a different note, were you aware that this week is Anti-Bullying week at Brown, sponsored and organized by the Student Government? Ask your son or daughter about the multi-media presentation on anti-bullying that all students saw on Wednesday, February 12, and what the PLEDGE is all about. This presentation was funded in part by your generous donations to the Brown PTO. 

Before you head off on vacation, please take a moment to read through this issue of the Brown Bear Report. There are lots of things that you won’t want to miss: new EEE activities, Sound of Music info,  Bear Clause articles and more!
As always, please feel free to contact us with any questions or suggestions. 
Warm Regards,
Theresa Fitzpatrick and Molly Owen-Kiritsy
Brown PTO Co-Presidents
brownpto@brownpto.org

MARK YOUR CALENDARS

8th Grade Parents High School Course Registration Meeting, Wednesday, March 5, 7-9pm, at Newton South High School  

Parents of eighth grade students are invited to meet with Joel Stembridge (principal) and members of the Newton South High School faculty and staff on Wednesday, March 5, from 7-9pm at Newton South.  The evening’s program will begin at 7pm, but if you would like to learn about exciting clubs and activities offered at Newton South, please meet in the Field House from 6:30-7pm, where Newton South students will be available to showcase and answer your questions about our clubs and activities. If your child will be attending Newton North High School, there will be a meeting onThursday, March 6, with Jennifer Price (principal) and members of the Newton North High School faculty and staff from 7-9pm. at Newton North. These meetings will initiate the process of transition into ninth grade.  You will have an opportunity to learn about the high school’s academic program, the course registration process and school activities, as well as the orientation process that has been designed to support your child(ren) as they move into a new school at the end of this year.

Brown Musical: “The Sound of Music,” Thursday, March 6 and Friday,March 7, at 7:30pm
Our halls are alive with anticipation of the upcoming all-school musical production of “The Sound of Music.”  Cast and crew are working diligently to perfect their songs, memorize their lines, and finalize their dance steps. Show your support by placing a salutation in the program, or become a sponsor by placing an ad or message. Do you have a black graduation gown we could borrow? Or an old-fashioned suitcase or rucksack? If so, please email Anabel Cable. Performances will take place on Thursday, March 6 and Friday, March 7, in the Brown auditorium for what promises to be two incredible performances of “The Sound of Music.” Tickets are $10.00 and will be available for purchase beginning Monday, February 24. See you at the show!

ANNOUNCEMENTS

EEE activities after school in the gym starting first week of March.
Any 6th, 7th or 8th grader is welcome to play Floor Hockey on Wednesdays and Indoor Soccer on Thursdays

in the gym after school from 3-4:10pm. Students are then able to catch the 4:15 late bus. 

Questions? Contact Katrina Antonellis, Triple E/ Athletic Director.

Check out new articles in Brown’s online newspaper “The Bear Clause”.  
Read some new provocative opinion/editorial pieces from the 8th grade English classes. More pieces are coming after the February vacation! (https://sites.google.com/a/newton.k12.ma.us/beartrax/).

8th grade parents and students:Career/Vocational Technical Education Open House, Thursday, March 6, 5-6:45pm. 
All 8th grade students and parents are invited to the CVTE Open House at Newton North High School on Thursday, March 6, from 5-6:45pm. For information about course content please visit the website at http://www.newton.k12.ma.us/careerteched.

DID YOU KNOW?

We have a huge mass of things left at Brown every day - sweatshirts, coats, shorts, lunchboxes and water bottles to name just a few! At the end of every month Brown parent Emily Gelbert has generously offered her time and energy to pick up left items and donate them to charity. So, please, right after February break, remind your son or daughter to check the huge pile on the tables near the gym. Anything left after February 28 will be donated.  Thanks for your assistance here!

 

2-7-2014 First Friday Letter

Dear Parents and Guardians,

The school year seems to be flying by!  Next week, mid-term feedback reports will be going home with all students.  We ask that you please review the mid-term feedback report(s) with your child.  The mid-term feedback reports provide an opportunity to have a conversation with your child about their progress this school year.  The second term ends on Friday, March 28.

Winter Vacation:  School will close at the end of the day on Friday, February 14 and will reopen the morning of Monday, February 24.

Our Musical Production:  Our halls are alive with anticipation of the upcoming all-school musical production of “The Sound of Music.”  Cast and crew are working diligently to perfect their songs, memorize their lines, and finalize their dance steps. Performances will take place on Thursday, March 6 and Friday, March 7 in the Brown auditorium for what promises to be two incredible performances of “The Sound of Music.”  Tickets are $10.00 and will be available for purchase beginning Monday, February 24. See you at the show!

FY15 Budget:  At the Newton School Committee meeting scheduled for Monday, March 3, Dr. David Fleishman, Superintendent of Schools will share the Superintendent’s FY14 Budget Presentation at 7:00 p.m. (location to be announced).

High School Course RegistrationLater this month, our eighth grade students will be receiving registration materials from either Newton North or Newton South High Schools.  Their teachers will make recommendations for the courses they will take.  Please look carefully at your child’s registration sheet and the high school course catalog so that you may decide if the recommended course is appropriate for your child.  If you have any questions, please contact your child’s subject teacher and/or guidance counselor.

Parents of eighth grade students are invited to meet with Joel Stembridge (principal) and members of the Newton South High School faculty and staff on Wednesday, March 5 from 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. at Newton South.  The evening’s program will begin at 7:00 p.m., but if you would like to learn about exciting clubs and activities offered at Newton South, please join meet in the Field House from 6:30-7:00, where Newton South students will be available to showcase and answer your questions about our clubs and activities.  If your child will be attending Newton North High School, there will be a meeting on Thursday, March 6 with Jennifer Price (principal) and members of the Newton North High School faculty and staff from 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. at Newton North.  These meetings will initiate the process of transition into ninth grade.  You will have an opportunity to learn about the high school’s academic program, the course registration process, school activities, as well as the orientation process that has been designed to support your child(ren) as they move into a new school at the end of this year.

Spring Ahead:  Daylight Saving Time begins on Sunday, March 9.  Yes, once again this spring it is several weeks earlier then in previous years!  Don’t forget to move the clocks ahead one hour.

MCAS Testing:  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         Tests                                                          Dates                          

      Grade 6      ELA Reading Comprehension                       Fri., March 21

                        (ELA testing sessions on two days)             Fri., March 28

                        Mathematics                                              May 5 – 20 (specific dates TBA)

 

      Grade 7      ELA (English Language Arts) Composition   Tues., March 18

                        ELA Reading Comprehension                       Thurs., March 20

                        (ELA testing sessions on three days)          Tues., March 25

                        Mathematics                                              May 5 – 20 (specific dates TBA)

 

      Grade 8      ELA Reading Comprehension                       Mon., March 24

                        (ELA testing sessions on two days)             Wed., March 26

                        Mathematics                                              May 5 – 20 (specific dates TBA)

                        Science and Technology/Engineering          May 6 – 20 (specific dates TBA)

Additional information regarding MCAS assessments, schedule and test items are available at the Massachusetts Department of Elementary & Secondary Education web site: http://www.doe.mass.edu/mcas/

John F. Jordan

1-24-2014 Brown Bear Report

Greetings Brown Families:

While Mother Nature is keeping busy with snowy and chilly winter weather, the PTO is busy generating some heat. 
Plans are in motion for the Annual Parents’ Winter Social to be held this year on Thursday, February 6, from 6-9 pm. This is a fun, low key evening where you can meet and socialize with other Brown parents while enjoying beer, wine and appetizers. Principal John Jordan will be present to greet parents and answer any questions you may have about middle school life. The event is held at the Waban Library Center. Admission is $10/person in advance or $15/person at the door. Please click here to RSVP. Please contact Martha Lawler if you would be willing to provide an appetizer or dessert.  We hope you will join us! 

Brown held its annual Geography Bee last week, and we are happy to share the results of this great community event.  The school champion is Kiran Maypole and the runner-up is Jordan Carey. Kiran will take the test to qualify for the Massachusetts State Championship.  

The following students were the individual team winners:
Orange: Katherine Wagner
Yellow:  Anshul Sukhlecha
Red: Lanie McLeod
Green:  Kiran Maypole
Blue: Jordan Carey
Teal: Rafi Dinh
Indigo: Aidan Hitchens
Violet: John Regan
Maroon: Matthew Huller

Congratulations to ALL the winners! Thank you to the teachers, Sam McGraw and Richard Allsbrook (co-Chairs of the Social Studies Department) for coordinating this wonderful event.  

Have you ever noticed the somewhat “drab” cement patio right outside of the cafeteria? After lunch, kids love to migrate out there to socialize, but there aren’t any benches or tables. We’re seeking the talents of a landscape architect within our midst that could help us plan and create a much more inviting space for our students. If this is your area of expertise, or if you would like to be a part of this discussion as we embark on this project, please let us know.

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

MARK YOUR CALENDARS
Teacher Appreciation Luncheon on Wednesday, February 5. If you would like to help, please click here to sign up to contribute something to show our thanks to our teachers for all they do! 
Early Release Day on Wednesday, February 5. All middle school students will be dismissed at 11:30 am for system-wide professional development workshops for teachers and staff. Lunch will be served at school before dismissal. 
“The Sound of Music” on Thursday, March 6, and Friday, March 7, 7:30 pm in the auditorium.

We hope you can join us for this very special production! The cast, crew and production team are hard at work putting a spectacular show together for you. Tickets will go on sale shortly, and will be available through the school office. If you’d like to show your support, how about placing a salutation or an ad in the program? If you’re crafty, maybe you’d like to help with costumes? Click here to find out how you can help and be a patron of the arts at Brown!

HELP NEEDED!
Calling All 8th Grade Parents

It seems like just yesterday our 8th graders arrived at Brown, and yet we are now gearing up for their graduation from middle school!  It is a tradition at Brown to have a graduation ceremony (date TBD) and a ‘party’ for the students on a day before the graduation (date TBD).  The PTO is looking for a parent (or two) to help coordinate the 8th grade party (which takes place at Brown). Please let Molly or Theresa know if you are interested.  brownpto@brownpto.org

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Teen Summer Program Expo

Newton South High School is again hosting the annual Teen Summer Program Expo on Monday, February 3, from  5:30 pm to 8 pm, in the cafeteria. Admission is free. If your teenager needs an enriching and rewarding summer experience, don’t miss this great opportunity to meet personally with directors of more than 80 of the best summer programs in both the U.S. and abroad.  For more information contact laura@campsourcenetwork.com, or call 617-244-3316.  Snow date will be Tuesday, February 4.

DID YOU KNOW?
Student Absences:

When your student is going to be out of school, it is important that you report the absence to the office before 8:30 am.  Please call 617-559-6980 each day your child is absent from school. If the school does not hear from you, they will call you. If a student is absent, upon return the student must bring a note from home signed by a parent or guardian, giving the reason for absence.  

Student Lateness to School:

Students arriving after 8:30 am will be marked tardy by their first period teacher and given the appropriate consequences. If they arrive later than 8:30 am they should report directly to the office for a pass.  Repeated lateness will result in detention and parents will be notified. 

 

1-10-2014 Brown Bear Report

Greetings Brown Families:

Welcome back! We hope you all had a relaxing and restorative vacation spent with family and friends. In this week’s Brown Bear Report we’d like to highlight both an upcoming event and some new technology that is being purchased because of the support of your donation to the Brown PTO. 
 
In these cold winter months it is so easy and tempting to stay indoors in the evenings, after a busy day at work or shuttling kids to a million activities. However, we’d love for any and all interested Brown parents to join us for the Annual Parents Winter Social to be held this year on Thursday, February 6, from 6-9 pm. This is a fun, low key evening where you can meet and socialize with other Brown parents while enjoying beer, wine and appetizers. Come for any or all of the evening, whatever works with your schedule. Principal John Jordan will be present to greet parents and answer any questions you may have about middle school life. The event is held at the Waban Library Center, 1608 Beacon Street, Waban, MA 02468. Admission is $10/person in advance or $15/person at the door. RSVP by mailing your payment to Martha Lawler at 3 Bowdoin Street, Newton Highlands, MA  02461. Please contact Martha Lawler (lawlermm@gmail.com) if you would be willing to provide an appetizer or dessert. We hope you will join us! It promises to be a fun evening, and you will walk away having met some new friends.
 
Because of the generous support of the Brown PTO we recently were able to approve a request for the purchase of 5 new iPADS and cases for the Brown teachers’ use.  The school currently has a cart of 25 iPads, and additional iPads were needed for classroom projects. Thanks to all of you who participated in the annual fund drive or the holiday gift drive and made these purchases possible.
 
Best wishes to you and your families for a wonderful start to 2014!

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

MARK YOUR CALENDARS
 

Teacher Appreciation Luncheon
Wednesday, February 5 
Look for upcoming email blasts and please sign up to contribute something to show our thanks to our teachers for all they do!
The School Musical – The Sound of Music
Thursday, March 6, (snow date Friday, March 7) and Friday, March 7 (snow date Saturday, March 8), in the auditorium.
Please attend and show support to all of our students who have been working so hard rehearsing for what promises to be two great performances of the the beloved “Sound of Music”.

HELP NEEDED!
 

Patio Face-lift!!

Have you ever noticed the somewhat “drab” cement patio right outside of the cafeteria? After lunch, kids love to migrate out there to socialize, but there aren’t any benches or tables. We’re seeking the talents of a landscape architect within our midst who could help us plan and create a much more inviting space for our kids. If this is your area of expertise, or if you would like to be a part of this discussion as we embark on this project, please contact the PTO presidents at brownpto@brownpto.org. We’d love your input!

ANNOUNCEMENTS
 

National Anthem Auditions
Calling all interested singers! If your son/daughter is interested in auditioning to sing the National Anthem at the Brown Geography Bee, please sign up outside room 139 (Red Team hallway). Auditions will begin tomorrow morning at 7:45am in the auditorium. Auditions will be held Friday morning from 7:45-8:20am this week and next week. Please contact Ms.Wulff if you have questions.

 

Yearbooks

Have you ordered your child’s yearbook yet? Last year they sold out, so get yours now! The cost of the yearbook is $28, and it may be purchased online through Jostens. Any questions, please contact our yearbook advisor, Ms. Courtney Paull.

 

Teen Summer Program Expo

Newton South High School is once again hosting the annual Teen Summer Program Expo on Monday, February 3, from  5:30 pm to 8 pm, in the cafeteria. Admission is free. If your teenager needs an enriching and rewarding summer experience, don’t miss this great opportunity to meet personally with directors of more than 80 of the best summer programs in both the U.S. and abroad.  There is a wide variety of programs in locations all over the world and at every budget level, including academic enrichment, adventure travel, community service, environmental and ecology, internships, intensive sport instruction, language immersion, arts/theatre/music, college prep and gap year programs.  The Expo can help you efficiently cut through the overwhelming amount of information online and make an informed decision about programming, safety, and supervision.  Bring friends if your kids want to find a program together!  For more information contact laura@campsourcenetwork.com, or call 617-244-3316.  Snow date will be Tuesday, February 4.

 

1-6-2014 First Friday Letter

Brown Middle School
First Friday Letter
January 6, 2013

Dear Parents and Guardians,

MCAS Testing: 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 Tests Dates
Grade 6 ELA Reading Comprehension March 17 – 31 (specific dates TBA)
(ELA testing sessions on two days)
Mathematics May 5 – 20 (specific dates TBA)

Grade 7 ELA (English Language Arts) Composition Tues., March 18
ELA Reading Comprehension March 17 – 31 (specific dates TBA)
(ELA testing sessions on three days)
Mathematics May 5 – 20 (specific dates TBA)

Grade 8 ELA Reading Comprehension March 17 – 31 (specific dates TBA)
(ELA testing sessions on two days)
Mathematics May 5 – 20 (specific dates TBA)
Science and Technology/Engineering May 6 – 20 (specific dates TBA)

Additional information regarding MCAS assessments, schedule and test items are available at the Massachusetts Department of Elementary & Secondary Education web site: http://www.doe.mass.edu/mcas/

Martin Luther King Celebration: Newton’s 46th Annual Community Celebration in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. will be held on Monday, January 20, 9:30 a.m. at The Second Church in Newton United Church of Christ, 60 Highland Street, West Newton. Among the featured speakers will be Newton’s Mayor Setti Warren and Newton Public Schools Superintendent Dr. David Fleishman. There will be musical selections performed by the Newton All City Chorus Treble Singers and Troubadours. School will not be in session on January 20.

Early Release Day: On Wednesday, February 5, all middle students will be dismissed at 11:30 a.m. for system-wide professional development workshops for teachers and staff. Lunch will be served at school before dismissal.

Triple E: The boys’ and girls’ basketball teams begin their schedule of games this week. Both teams generally play on the same day, but at opposite locations. Many of our students are already involved in Triple E activities. If your child is not, please encourage her/him to explore the possibilities!

Our Musical Production: The cast and crew members have begun rehearsals for our all-school musical production of “The Sound of Music.” We hope you will plan to join us on Thursday, March 6, 2014 and Friday, March 7, 2014 in the Brown auditorium for what promises to be two incredible performances of “The Sound of Music.”

Winter Vacation: School will close at the end of the day on Friday, February 14 and will reopen the morning of Monday, February 24.

Sincerely,
John F. Jordan

12-13-2013 Brown Bear Report

Greetings Brown Families;

Winter is in full swing with our first snow fall of the season.  The First Term is completed and our students are already a week into their second term!  Remember that all report cards are electronic and will be available on December 16 after 1pm via the Parent Portal.  

Winter Break is right around the corner, it begins with the last day of school on Friday, December 20 at 3pm and we return on Thursday, January 2, 2014.  Before we pack up and head out of town, or wherever your vacation plans takes you, remember that Monday, December 17, is the first day of Parent Teacher Conferences.  The conferences will continue in January starting on Tuesday, January 7.  

Thank you to all the parents and students who help make our Holiday Fundraiser such a success. Brown raised $2,100 that will be used for additional educational enrichment programs.  

Brown had four top selling students, we would like to congratulate: William Carlysle, Jasmin Rotem, Sage Winkler and Rebecca Bojar.  Thank you for helping to support your school.  Happy Holidays!

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

MARK YOUR CALENDARS

Parent Teacher Conferences  
Tuesday, December 17
Tuesday, January 7, 14, 21, 28

Parent Winter Social, Thursday, February 6, 6-9pm
Please join fellow Brown parents and Principal Jordan for an evening of mingling, drinks and food on Thursday, February 6, from 6 to 9pm, at the Waban Library Center, 1608 Beacon Street. Tickets are $10/person in advance and $15 at the door. Please contact Martha Lawler if you would like to help.

The School Musical – The Sound of Music
Thursday, March 6 (snow date Friday, March 7)
Friday, March 7 (snow date Saturday, March 8)

ANNOUNCEMENTS
Safe Routes To School Update
Winter is fast approaching. We’ve even had some snow already! Newton Safe Routes to School would like to remind Newton homeowners and businesses to please keep sidewalk clear of snow and ice so our children can safely walk to their schools and bus stops. Keeping everyone walking safely on the sidewalks is especially important during these cold days of winter and it makes driving easier too! Parents who have concerns about uncleared sidewalks can report the problems to the City of Newton through the 311 system by phone or online through the city’s website: newtonma.gov.

Parents who drop off or pick up, please remember that there is a NO IDLING LAW. You are not allowed to have your car running for more than 5 minutes, especially in a school zone.  Police take notice and you will be fined. Did you know that idling your car for 5 to 10 minutes uses as much fuel as it takes to drive five miles? 

From the School Nurse
Please click here to read the December Newsletter from School Nurse Lucy Boyer, with advice on how to stay healthy this cold and flu season. 

Creative Arts & Sciences 2013-2014
Brown’s Creative Arts and Sciences Committee (CASC) brings exciting curricular-related enrichment programs to all students:

Fall programs:
Klezmer Conservatory, all school concert (held in October)  
Theatre Espresso, Uprising on King Street: Boston Massacre, 8th grade
Winter programs:
MLK Amazing Grace, 6th grade
Potato Hill Poetry with Andrew Green, 7th grade
Engineers Teaching Algebra with Mark Love, 8th grade
Spring programs:
Museum of Science, Cryogenics, Heat and Temperature, 6th grade
Chariots of The Sun, 6th grade
Tanglewood Marionettes, Perseus and Medusa, 7th grade

On Wednesday, December 11, Creative Arts and Sciences sponsored the 8th grade program “Uprising on King Street: The Boston Massacre.”  Performed by Theatre Espresso, this dramatic production presented the series of events that lead up to the Boston Massacre of March 5, 1770, and reenacted the trial of Captain Preston, a British officer on duty that night. During this engaging and interactive program, students served as the jury and determined the “fate” of Captain Preston. Exercising their critical thinking skills, 8th graders asked probing questions of the attorneys and the defendant to help them decide Preston’s guilt or innocence.  Ask your 8th grader what the jury decided.

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

Brown Holiday Fundraiser Update
If you didn’t have a chance to order magazines or buy gift items back in October you can still do so online throughout the school year.
Please following these instructions:

1. Go to www.gaschoolstore.com
2. Click on “Shop Now” under the “Parents and Students” tab
3. Enter Brown accountt  #2637072
4. Place order and check out. 
Brown receives 40-50% profit on each order placed. Any questions, please contact the Brown PTO Presidents at brownpto@brownpto.org.

Bear Clause ~It ‘bears’ repeating…
Our literacy specialist/coach Diane Pollard recently launched a very exciting new online publication “Bear Clause Student e-Newsletter” to celebrate and showcase different forms of student writing. Please visit the Bear Clause website and encourage your child to contact Ms. Pollard to submit their work. 

Lost and Found
Before the December recess, please remember to check the “lost and found” for misplaced items. We have lots of clothing in our “lost and found.” There are jackets, jeans, sweatshirts, shirts, sweatpants, as well as, eyeglasses, notebooks and other school-related items. Lost and found items are placed on tables located near the gymnasium entrance.

Daily Announcements on the Brown website  
Before you pick up the phone and call the main office with a question, get in the habit of checking the daily announcements.  What is the new FAA rotation? What is the Winter Sports schedule? All of this information can be found in the daily announcements!

Yearbooks
Have you ordered your child’s yearbook yet? Last year they sold out so get yours NOW! The cost of the yearbook is $28.00 and may be purchased online through Jostens. Any questions pls contact Ms. Courtney Paull, yearbook advisor.
 

South Stage 2nd Annual Mattress Sale Fundraiser!

Saturday, December 14, 10am to 5pm, NSHS Cafeteria. Name brand (Restonic and Therapedic) mattress sets will be sold at 30-60% below retail prices. These are all top quality mattresses with full factory warranties. All sizes and price ranges. Delivery is available. Floor models will be displayed. 

The sale is one day only! Proceeds go directly to South Stage. $50 off the purchase of a mattress & box set or $100 off a mattress set over $500 with this announcement! Please help support our kids by sharing this with friends and family! For additional information, please contact Jack Isaacs of Custom Fundraising Solutions: JIsaacsCFS@gmail.com.