First Friday Letter March 2017

The second term ends on Tuesday, March 21. Later in the month, we will send you an important email message detailing how to access your child’s report card electronically through the secure Parent Portal in Skyward. I would also like to welcome all of the incoming sixth grade families from our four elementary feeder schools. We will email you with electronic copies of information from Brown Middle School.

High School Course Registration: Next week, our eighth grade students will receive 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 school 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 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.

Early Release Day: On Thursday, March 9, 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.

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.

Annual Food Drive: Our annual Brown Food Drive to benefit the Newton Food Pantry will run from Thursday, March 9 through Tuesday, March 14 and is being organized by our sixth grade students and teachers. Each year, a representative from the Newton Food Pantry helps us to kick-off this important community service project with a presentation to the sixth graders to discuss issue of hunger in our state and our community and explain the work that the pantry does to assist Newton families. Students can drop off non-perishable food items and/or toiletries to their “home base” teacher. The home base with the most food items collected will earn a prize provided by the Brown PTO. Items, which are most in need, are the following:. Low Sodium/Salt Canned Foods (soup, vegetables, meals in a can), Broth (chicken, beef or vegetable), Canned Pineapple, Canned Beets, Oil, Toothpaste and Toothbrushes (regular NOT travel size), Shampoo, Body Lotion, Laundry Detergent We encourage students to go to the store with their parents, as we will not be accepting opened, expired or damaged items. The homebase with the most food items will earn a pizza luncheon sponsored by the Brown PTO.

Faculty Foul-Ups: Our annual tradition continues, as students, teachers and staff at Brown will show off their foul shots skills at the Faculty Foul-Ups event on Thursday, March 16 at 3:15 pm. Please join us and have fun in this school spirit event!

Music Showcase: Our annual Brown Winter Music Showcase will take place on Thursday, March 30 at 7:00 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 individual music talents. All instrumentalists and vocalists are invited to audition either as soloists or in small groups. Please have your child speak to Ms. Wadsworth to set up an audition time.

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.

Registration Process: This will take you directly to the Brown FamilyID Registration SiteA parent/guardian should register by using this link: https://www.familyid.com/organizations/brown-middle-school-athletics

Incoming Sixth Grade: Parents of fifth grade students are invited to meet with members of the Brown Middle School faculty on Tuesday, April 4 at 7:00 p.m. sharp in the auditorium at Brown Middle School. This meeting will initiate the process of transition into the sixth grade. You will have an opportunity to learn about the sixth grade program and school-wide activities, as well as the orientation process that has been designed to support your children as they move into a new school at the end of this year. Additionally, we invite you to visit Brown Middle School in session on the morning of Thursday, April 6 between 8:45 – 9:45 a.m. Stop by the cafeteria to meet school counselors and Brown parents, have a cup of coffee and be matched up with a sixth grade student guide to take you on a tour of the school.

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 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, April 5 at 7:00 p.m. in the auditorium.

Holidays: School will be closed on Friday, April 14 in observance of “Good Friday,” and there will be no school the week of April 17 – 21, “Spring Vacation.”

Best regards, John F. Jordan