First Friday Letter

February 3, 2017

Dear Parents and Guardians,

The school year seems to be flying by!  Mid-year feedback reports will be going home with all students.  We ask that you please review the mid-year feedback report(s) with your child.  The mid-year 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 17.

Our Musical Production:  The cast, crewmembers, costume & set designers, and directors of “Fiddler on the Roof” are all working hard, and continue to be very busy focusing on final preparations and rehearsals for their upcoming performances.  We hope that you will plan to join us on Tuesday, February 14, 2017 and Wednesday, February 15, 2017. at 7:30 p.m. in the Brown auditorium for what promises to be two incredible performances of “Fiddler on the Roof.”

Winter Vacation:  School will close at the end of the day on Friday, February 17 and will reopen the morning of Monday, February 27.

High School Course Registration:  After February vacation, 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 8 from 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. at Newton South. If your child will be attending Newton North High School, there will be a meeting on the Thursday, March 2 with Henry Turner (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.

Next-Gen MCAS Testing: This year, students in all three grades at Brown will be participating in the computer-based version of the Next-Generation MCAS testing.  The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (ESE) is in the process of upgrading MCAS to better measure the critical thinking skills students need for success in the 21st century.  There will be two testing sessions in English language arts and two testing sessions in mathematics during April 6 – May 24, 2017.  Specific Next-Gen MCAS testing dates are listed in the schedule below:


Grade         Tests                                                          Dates                           

Grade 6      ELA (English Language Arts)                         Tues., April 25

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

Mathematics                                                 Wed., May 10

(Math testing sessions on two days)           Thurs., May 11

Grade 7      ELA (English Language Arts)                         Thurs., April 6

(ELA testing sessions on two days)             Fri., April 7

Mathematics                                              Thurs., May 18

                              (Math testing sessions on two days)               Fri., May 19

Grade 8      ELA (English Language Arts)                       Thurs., April 27

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

Mathematics                                                Tues., May 16

(Math testing sessions on two days)           Wed., May 17

Sci./Tech. Eng. MCAS                                Tues., May 23


Spring Ahead:  Daylight Saving Time begins on Sunday, March 12.  Yes, once again this spring it is several weeks earlier then in previous years!  Don’t forget to move the clocks ahead one hour.

John F. Jordan