10-14-13 Brown Bear Report

Dear Brown Families,

Thank you to all the parents and guardians who supported the Brown PTO by participating in the Annual Fundraising Directory Drive and purchasing Brown Wear.  Because of your participation, the PTO can continue to support many of Principal John Jordan’s initiatives.

Kudos for the new and improved Brown Directory put together by our Directory team, Anabel Cable and Denisse Rotem! Creating the Directory involves many hours inputting and cross-checking a huge amount of data –  names, contact details, homeroom rosters, and faculty lists – so that we can have a wonderfully laid out directory, and easily find friends and neighbors, not to mention teachers and support staff.

Robin Healey has been feverishly working on the updated Brown PTO website.  The Brown PTO website continues to be a work in progress to ensure that our parent community is in the know on all the happenings in and around Brown.  Robin is working to ensure that important information is on our PTO site and that you can easily connect to the Brown School site.

Our Brown Teachers and Staff enjoyed an amazing feast that was coordinated by Nancy Braudis and Felice Sheff.  Nancy and Felice helped bring together all the talents from the Brown community to ensure that the tables were filled with tasty offerings.

Many thanks to all our volunteers in their efforts during our first month of school!

Warm regards,Theresa Fitzpatrick and Molly Owen-Kiritsy


Triple E and Athletics
The Brown Triple E (EEE) program is officially under way. Programs generally run from 3 to 4:15pm. Late buses are provided for students. Our goal is to offer a variety of options for students throughout the school year. All students are encouraged to participate and to suggest clubs of interest. Please contact  Katrina Antonellis with any questions/suggestions, or visit our school website, www.newton.k12.ma.us/brown, for an updated list of activities and sports events. Our girls’ and boys’ soccer, football, and cross-country teams are in the midst of a successful fall schedule. Our student athletes and coaches greatly appreciate all of your support from the sidelines.

Information Night for Sixth Grade and New Parents
Please plan to join us at our first Brown PTO meeting on Wednesday, October 23, from 7 to 8pm, in the library. Our school guidance counselors, school psychologist and health teacher will present information on their important role in middle-school life and involvement with students, parents, teachers, and staff.

Among the topics they will discuss: Internet safety, peer pressure, and the importance of 21st Century skills of empathy, collaborative problem-solving, and communication. This is an opportunity to learn more about how Brown Middle School addresses the social/emotional and developmental needs of your middle school child. We will present a brief overview of the anti-bullying portion of the Health curriculum; discuss the various social/emotional needs of this age group, including transition issues; present the roles of the various support staff in the student service department; and answer any pressing questions that you may have about the middle school experience.

School Halloween Dance
On Friday, November 1, from 6 to 8pm, the Brown Student Government will be hosting their first school-wide dance. Dances are open to all Brown Middle School students. There will be a costume contest and prizes will be awarded for different categories. The purpose of school dances is to provide a safe and supervised place for our students to socialize and have fun. Students will be able to purchase tickets for $5.00 during the week leading up to the dance. No tickets will be sold at the door.

Flu Vaccine Clinic
The Health and Human Services Department is pleased to offer the influenza vaccine to all Newton students in Kindergarten through grade 12. Both the flu shot and the flu nasal spray vaccine will be administered at Brown Middle School during the school day on Thursday, November 7, at no charge to families.

The flu vaccination program is free this year because the Massachusetts Department of Public Health is providing the flu vaccine for students, but insurance information will be requested to help recoup costs to administer the vaccine. To sign your child up, return two forms to the school nurse at least 2 days prior to the clinic: (1) Consent/Screening Form, (2) Student Vaccine Administration Record and Insurance Information Form. Forms are available online at www.newtonma.gov/flu or in the school nurse’s office. Students who are not signed up will not receive the vaccine.

The Consent/Screening form requires parents to choose either the flu shot or the nasal spray flu vaccine. Information about each type of vaccine, including its risks and benefits, is described on the Vaccine Information Statement posted at www.newtonma.gov/flu. School nurses also have information and can answer any questions.

Winter Concerts
Everyone is invited to attend our Winter Concerts to be held on two dates. Tuesday, December 10 will feature our vocal and string performing groups, and Thursday, December 12 will feature our instrumental performing groups. Both concerts begin at 7:30pm.

Box Tops for Education
You may have valuable money in your home you don’t even know about! Please check your every day household items for BOX TOPS for Education on such products as paper goods, produce, and many other items. Please see here for all the ways our school can earn money. Box Tops are submitted twice a year, redeemed for cash, and given to the PTO for our Brown Middle School students. We are busy collecting for THIS MONTH’S submission so please have your child, or yourself, deliver any you’ve been collecting, and hand them in to the main office.

Thank you!
Martha Lipson, Coordinator

Out-of-Assigned District Notification
The Newton Public Schools considers applications for students to transfer to schools outside of their home district, subject to space availability in the requested school and grade. For more information please read the Out-of-Assigned District Statement 2013. Beginning November 18, application forms will be available on the NPS website in the “For Families” section.


  • Parent volunteers needed to help in the Brown Library. The commitment is generally one hour per week or one hour every other week.  Training is provided. Please contactCarole McEldufffor more information.
  • Parent volunteers needed to help with e-communications. If you are interested in being a part of our new e-communications team at Brown, please contact Anabel Cable.
  • If you are interested in helping to plan and coordinate the Brown Parent Social, please contact Molly Owen-Kiritsy or Theresa Fitzpatrick.  The Parent Social is a time for the parent community to come out for a fun evening of socializing.  Principal John Jordan attends the event and shares school updates and also mingles with the crowd. This is a great opportunity to help build the Brown community


Courtney Paull (7th Grade Math, Green Team, Yearbook Advisor) is working with a group of students to create the 2013-2014 Brown Middle School yearbook. They work with a company called Jostens to create the yearbook, all online. In the next few weeks, you will be getting a note explaining how to purchase a hard copy of the yearbook, also online.  Josten’s will also activate the Replay account, which allows parents and families to upload pictures to the yearbook’s online production site. Parents are invited to submit pictures from school events, such as sporting events, musicals, or the like. If you have any questions, please contact Courtney Paul.

The school’s Daily Announcements are available online! Daily Announcements are made every day during the morning. Students come to the office and read the announcements to the entire student body.  The announcements are then posted on the Brown School website. You can also find a link on the Brown PTO website. These announcements cover updates on sporting events for that day, after school clubs, musical rehearsals etc. Please check the daily announcements before calling the main office!