11-1-13 First Friday Letter

November 1, 2013

Dear Parents and Guardians,

The first trimester (term) will end on Friday, December 6.  Students have five weeks remaining in this term in which to complete their work successfully.  Later this month, we will be sending you information about the sign-up process for Parent-Teacher Conferences.

School Dance:  On Friday, Nov. 1, from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.  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 contests 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 need to purchase tickets in advance for $5.00.  Tickets are sold during school lunch periods.

Turning Back the Clocks:  Please remember that Daylight Saving Time ends on Sunday, November 3 (move clocks back one hour).

School Musical Auditions:  Our all-school musical for this year will be a production of “The Sound of Music.”  The performance dates are Thursday, March 6, 2014 and Friday, March 7, 2014.  To audition, a student should sign up for one five-minute time slot.  The auditions will take place on Friday, November 1; Monday, November 4; Wednesday, November 6 with Callbacks on Friday, November 8.  Rehearsals for “the Sound of Music” will begin on Monday, November 18. Sign-up sheets are posted outside of room 136.  All audition materials are available from Ms. Smith.

Flu Vaccine:  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, you should 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.

Holidays:  There will be no school on Monday, November 11 – Veterans’ Day.  School will be dismissed at 11:30 a.m. on November 27 for the Thanksgiving recess.  Lunch will not be served on that day.  Please remember that school re-opens on Monday, December 2.

Winter Concert:  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 7:30 p.m.

Eighth Grade Parents: Newton South H.S. will host a presentation for parents of Incoming 9th grade special education students on Tuesday, November 19 in the N.S.H.S. Faculty Dining room from 9:00 – 10:00 a.m.  The agenda includes: Introduction of key members of the Newton South team, transition process, short presentation of special education programs for incoming 9th graders, questions and answers.

Triple E and Athletics:  Our Brown Triple E (EEE) program is successfully under way.  Programs generally run from 3:00 to 4:15 p.m.  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 at Katrina_Antonellis@newton.k12.ma.us with any questions/suggestions, or visit our school website for an updated list of activities and sports events. Our girls’ and boys’ soccer, football, and cross-country teams are wrapping-up a very successful fall schedule.  I know our student athletes and coaches greatly appreciate all of your support from the sidelines.

Community/Social Action:  Brown Middle School is beginning the annual gift drive.  For those of you who are unfamiliar with this important tradition at our school, the Brown community provides gifts for families connected to the Brookview House, a shelter in Dorchester.  This event provides families connected to the shelter with gifts for the holiday season.  Each team has a number of individuals to sponsor.  Gifts are purchased by Brown students and their families, brought to school, wrapped and then transported to The Brookview House.

At this time, we’re asking students and their families to sponsor a child or adult affiliated with the Brookview House – each team will be responsible for a specific number of individuals (based on the community class size).

If you volunteer to sponsor an individual, you will receive a gift request card that will include the person’s age, gender, favorite color, clothing size and gift requests. Sponsors are NOT obligated to purchase any or all of the gifts in the request card.  Some requests are for expensive items so it is important for you to use your own judgment when purchasing gifts.  Please feel free to purchase items that are within a reasonable price range for you.  Substitutions are fine as long as they are appropriate for the age/gender of the person for whom the gift is intended.  Gifts should be purchased and brought to Brown by Monday December 2.  Students will wrap their gifts December 2 in community. Gifts will be loaded on the truck to go to Brookview House December11.

Anyone that would like to donate tape, wrapping paper or ribbon can drop it off with Ms. Barry room 146 before the Thanksgiving break.  Any additional gift cards to CVS, Walgreens, Target, Walmart, etc. are always appreciated.

If your family is interested in sponsoring someone please have your child contact their community teacher.  The gift drive is a wonderful opportunity for children to get involved in their community and to help make a difference in the lives of people in need.  Donations of tape and wrapping paper would also be greatly appreciated.  Special thanks are extended to Patricia Barry and Henry Toulmin and our eighth grade community teachers for organizing this school-wide community event.

Upcoming Early Release Days:  On Thursdays, November 7 and December 5, all middle school students will be dismissed at 11:30 a.m. for a system-wide professional development workshop for teachers and staff.  Lunch will be served at school before dismissal.


John F. Jordan