Category Archives: For 6th Grade

School Supplies 2018

Dear Families.

There will not be a specific list posted this summer. Students will only need something to write with and a notebook for the opening days of school.

Attached is a suggested list of supplies.

Suggested School supplies.pdf

Back to School Message From the Nurse

Welcome to Brown Middle School. I’m Lucy Boyer, the School Nurse here at Brown. I’m writing to let you know what to expect from School Health Services in the Newton Public Schools.

Each of Newton’s public schools has a dedicated professional school nurse who administers mandated services and assumes an expanded role. Health services include immunization surveillance, medication administration, and population based screening programs including hearing, vision, postural, growth and substance use prevention. The role of the school nurse also includes care for illness and injury, wellness, teaching/training, student advocacy, and school-based team collaboration.

The Director of School Health Services, Ruth Hoshino, RN, oversees the program which rests in the Health and Human Services Department. Our goal is to facilitate children staying in school so they can learn. However, sometimes that’s not possible. Please be available in the event your child is ill and needs to be dismissed. This should include a backup person in case you are not able to get to school in a reasonable amount of time.

I invite you to contact me regarding your child’s individual health concerns, particularly if s/he needs medication during the school day, has food allergies, diabetes, asthma or other health conditions. The Newton Health and Human Services website, includes forms & policies you may need such as medication permission (needed for both prescription and over-the-counter medications).
I can be reached by phone at 617-559-6906, by email at, by fax at 617-552-5541. Please keep in mind that telephone is always best for time sensitive needs.

I look forward to working with you to meet your child’s health needs during the school day.

Brown Health Room, Important Dates for 2017-2018
• Weds 8/30 and Thurs 8/31 Back to School – drop in after 10:00am to meet the nurse, deliver medication, or discuss your child’s health needs

• 7th Grade Immunizations: if your child has not completed the required immunizations, please deliver documentation of their current immunizations to the health office during the first week of school

• Tues 9/5 – first day of school

• September: Fall Sports – If your child is trying out for a sport, they will need to have an
updated physical exam dated within 13 months of the start of the sports season

• Flu Clinic: October 26, 2017. Forms will be available in October, and due on October 24.

• Winter 2018 –Health Screenings. Dates to be determined:
6th – 8th grade: Postural Screening
7th grade: Hearing and Vision
7th grade: Height/Weight (BMI)
8th grade: Substance Use Screening – SBIRT (Screening, Brief Intervention and
Referral to Treatment) is an evidenced based structured conversation between a trained screener and students as a means of substance use prevention. Detailed information will be sent in advance of the scheduled screening.

To opt out of screenings, please contact me.

• March/April 2018: Spring Sports. If your child is trying out for a sport, they will need to have an updated physical exam dated within 13 months of the start of the sports season

• June: Medication Pickup – as school winds down, plan to pick up all medications from the health room. Students are not allowed to transport their medications to/from school.
Medication Policy

• The school nurse is responsible for administering all medications (over the counter as well as prescription) at school. If your child needs to have a medication at school:

  1. Bring the medication to the health office in the pharmacy labeled container
  2. Sign the parent permission form
  3. Provide physician consent
  4. There are no exceptions to this policy.

The Medication Permission form is available at:

Impact Baseline Concussion Test for Current Sixth Graders

The Impact Baseline Concussion Test will be administered to any current sixth grade student interested in participating in a varsity sport (Fall/Winter/Spring) or the ski club at Brown for the 2017-2018 school year. The online test will be administered by Katrina Antonellis and will take place the week of June 5th –16th during all 6th grade physical education classes in the library. The Impact Baseline Test is required for all athletes.

Independent Reading -Just Right Books

Dear Sixth Grade Parents & Guardians,

Independent reading is a huge contributor to success in middle school.  Studies have shown that consistent reading of “Just Right Books” enables students to improve comprehension, expand vocabulary, increase reading rate and deepen a love of reading.  To that end, we have made improvements to both our school library and student access to what are known as “Just Right Books”.  The fiction collection has been moved to the perimeter of the library for easier browsing, and the card catalog now includes a measure of text complexity, known as a Lexile. A Lexile measure is a valuable piece of information pertaining to an individual’s reading ability or the difficulty of a text, such as a novel or short story.  A student’s Lexile Reader Measure is determined by a reading test or program, such as the Gates/McGinnitie Reading Test, which was administered in November. Over the next few weeks, we will be visiting your child’s English classes and will privately share with them his/her own Lexile range.  He/She will also learn how to use the school library’s online card catalogue to search “Just Right Books” by Lexile.  We encourage you to search with your child from home.Some important information regarding Lexile levels:

  • Where do we start? Check out the Lexile Searching Tab on the Brown Library webpage  for more information.
  • How is Lexile determined? Lexile is a measure of text complexity, determined by an algorithm that incorporates sentence and word length, among other values.  It is an effective entry point for students who have yet to learn to self-select “Just Right Books”.  Go to to learn more.
  • What ever happened to grade level? In the past, children’s literature was primarily classified by grade level, which was too broad a measure, similar to comparing age to shoe size. Lexile measures are more incremental, ensuring a more successful pairing of child and text.  (Books are still classified by grade level equivalent, but it is no longer the primary value.)
  • How high does it go? The vast majority of middle school literature lies between 600L and 1000L, with some as high as 1300L.
  • How can I challenge my child?  It’s important to choose books that are both interesting and provide some challenge so that your child can continue to grow as a reader.  Instead of “Cotton Candy Reads” that are a breeze, try sampling challenging, thought-provoking books that are shorter in length.
  • Will the books be any good? Authors who write for a middle school audience make stylistic choices, which influence the text complexity of their work.  There is an abundance of quality middle school literature at all Lexile levels.
  • Contact:



Diane Pollard, Literacy Specialist

Mary Lou Perlot, Librarian