First Friday Letter – January 2019

January 4, 2019


Dear Families,

Mid-year feedback reports will be going home with all students during the week of February 4.  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 Monday, March 25.


Enrichment/Athletics:  The boys’ and girls’ basketball teams have begun their schedule of home games.  Both teams generally play on the same day.  Many of our students are already involved in Enrichment activities.  If your child is not, please encourage her/him to explore the possibilities!

Winter Concert:  Everyone is invited to attend our Winter Concert featuring all of our musical ensembles. The Band and Brass Groups will perform on Tuesday, January 15 at 7:30 p.m. The Chorus and Orchestra will perform on Wednesday, January 16 at 7:30 p.m.

Martin Luther King Celebration:  Newton’s 51st Annual Community Celebration in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. will be held on Monday, January 21, 9:30 a.m. at First Baptist Church, Newton Centre, MA 02459.  School will not be in session on January 21.

Navigating the Cyber World:  We hope that you will plan to join us on Wednesday, January 30 from 6:45 – 8:00 p.m. in the Brown Middle School Auditorium for “Navigating the Cyber World.”  This is an informative Parent Workshop sponsored by Brown Middle School and the Middlesex Partnerships for Youth, Inc.  Geared for parents, this workshop reviews the challenges that may arise through use of the Internet, social media and smart phones. It is important for parents to be aware of the popular apps, social media sites and programs used by youth online. This workshop explains the issues and possible consequences from cyber bullying, sexting and revealing identifying information to strangers.

Our Musical Production:  The cast, crewmembers, costume, and set designers have all been working hard at rehearsals for our all-school musical production of “Mary Poppins.”  We hope that you will plan to join us on Tuesday, February 12, 2019 and Wednesday, February 13, 2019 in the Brown auditorium for what promises to be two incredible evening performances of “Mary Poppins.”

2019 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.  During the Spring of 2017, the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) upgraded 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 1 – May 24, 2019.  Specific MCAS testing dates are listed in the schedule below:

Grade         Tests                                                          Dates                          

Grade 6      ELA (English Language Arts)                      Tues., April 23

(ELA testing sessions on two days)             Wed., April 24

Mathematics                                              Wed., May 8

(Math testing sessions on two days)           Thurs., May 9

Grade 7      ELA (English Language Arts)                      Mon., April 29

(ELA testing sessions on two days)             Tues., April 30

Mathematics                                              Tues., May 15

                              (Math testing sessions on two days)           Thurs., May 16

Grade 8      ELA (English Language Arts)                      Thurs., April 25

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

Mathematics                                              Fri., May 10

(Math testing sessions on two days)           Tues., May 14

Sci./Tech. Eng. MCAS                                Mon., May 20

(Sci/Tech.Eng. testing on two days)           Tues., May 21


Winter Vacation:  School will close at the end of the day on Friday, February 15 and will reopen the morning of Monday, February 25.


John F. Jordan