Category Archives: First Friday Letter

First Friday Letter December 7, 2018

Dear Families,

First Term Grades: The first term ends this Monday, December 10. Report cards will be available to parents electronically on December 19 after 11:00 a.m. through the secure Parent Portal. We will send you an email message detailing how to access your child’s report card via ASPEN Family/Student Portal.

Growth Mindset in Advisory: Over the past few days in Advisory, we have begun conversations with students about the significance of developing a “growth mindset” and we would like to share this mantra “Change your words – Change your mindset.” In the corridor leading to our cafeteria, please notice the “Growth Mindset Bulletin Board.”

Gift Drive/Social Action: Our annual gift drive is in full swing. Once again this year, we are sponsoring children from Brookview House, a homeless shelter in Dorchester. If you have signed up to sponsor a child, please make sure that all gifts are labeled with the child’s first and last name. Gifts must be in next week. Any donations of scotch tape or wrapping paper should be sent to Patricia Barry in room 228. It has been wonderful to see the excitement of our students as they gather and wrap the hundreds of gifts during extension block. The delivery to Brookview House is scheduled for Wednesday, December 12. We thank all of you for your most generous support of this incredible Brown tradition! I also want to extend a special note of thanks to Ms. Patricia Barry and Mr. Henry Toulmin for organizing this school-wide community event again this year.

Lost and Found: Before the December recess, please remember to check the “lost and found” for misplaced items. We have lots of clothing in our “lost and found.” There are jackets, jeans, sweatshirts, shirts, sweatpants, as well as, eyeglasses, notebooks and other school-related items. Lost and found items are placed on tables located near the gymnasium entrance.

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.

School Musical: Auditions for our all-school musical production of “Mary Poppins,” began this week. The two evening performance dates are Tuesday, February 12, 2019 and Wednesday, February 13, 2019.

December Recess: School will close at the end of the day on Friday, December 21 (3:00 p.m.) and will reopen on the morning of Wednesday, January 2. I want you to know how much all of us at Brown Middle School appreciate the assistance and support we have received from you. On behalf of the entire staff, I wish you and your family a happy holiday season.

Sincerely, John F. Jordan

Principal’s First Friday Post – Feb 2, 2018

Dear Parents and Guardians,

The school year seems to be flying by!  Mid-year feedback reports have been 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 Monday, March 19.

As you have likely noted on your calendars, February 7th and March 8th are early release days for all students. On these days, our faculty and staff will participate in Courageous Conversations training, which is part of a district-wide initiative to create greater understanding about the impact of race and racial identity on the school experience. This training is part of our commitment to becoming a more culturally responsive district in which all students consistently feel connected to school and achieve at high levels.

The Courageous Conversations training is based on the book Courageous Conversations
about Rac e by Glenn Singleton and Curtis Linton and includes learning around the distinction between equity and equality, the definition of micro-aggressions, and the impact of race on academic achievement and social/emotional growth. To become more effective educators, we believe we must understand the development of racial identity and build our capacity to lead conversations on these issues.

The district is in year three of its six year professional development plan to provide training to faculty and staff at all school levels and at the administrative level. We are pleased that all four middle schools are receiving this training this year.

We know early release days present scheduling challenges for you and we appreciate your flexibility. It is our sincere belief that providing this training to our faculty and staff will lead to greater awareness of race and culture and improve the academic outcomes and the school experience for all students.  Let me know if you have any questions about our professional learning or would like to learn more about this work.

Our Musical Production:  The cast, crewmembers, costume & set designers, and directors of “Grease” 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 13, 2018 and Wednesday, February 14, 2018. at 7:30 p.m. in the Brown auditorium for what promises to be two incredible performances of “Grease.”    Winter Vacation:  School will close at the end of the day on Friday, February 16 and will reopen the morning of Monday, February 26.

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 Tuesday, February 27 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 1 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.

2018 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.  Last year, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (ESE) 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 4 – May 22, 2018.  Specific MCAS testing dates are listed in the schedule below:

Grade Tests Dates     Grade 6 ELA (English Language Arts) Tues., April 24
(ELA testing sessions on two days) Tues., May 1   Mathematics Wed., May 9   (Math testing sessions on two days) Thurs., May 10

Grade 7 ELA (English Language Arts)  Fri., April 27   (E LA testing sessions on two d ays) Mon., April 30   Mathematics
Tues., May 15   (Math testing sessions on two days ) Thurs ., May 1 6

Grade 8 ELA (English Language Arts) Wed., April 25   (ELA testing sessions on two days) Thurs., April 26   Mathematics  Fri., May 11   (Math testing ses sions on two days) Mon., May 14   Sci./Tech. Eng. MCAS  Mon., May 21   (Sci/Tech.Eng. testing on two days) Tues., May 22

Spring Ahead:  Daylight Saving Time begins on Sunday, March 11.  Yes, once again this spring it is several weeks earlier then in previous years!  Don’t forget to move the clocks ahead one hour.

Looking ahead to June:  Our “Moving On” Ceremony for eighth grade students (and their families) will be held on the last day of school.  In April, the specific date will be confirmed when the Newton School Committee votes to establish the last day for students.  Thus far, there have been two snow days and the “tentative date” is Tuesday, June 19 at 8:15 a.m. in the Newton South High School field house.  However, the date will change if there are additional snow days.  This morning, the “Ground Hog-Punxsutawney Phil” spied his shadow and according to popular folklore that means there will be six more weeks of winter weather.

John F. Jordan

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

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

First Friday Letter – 6/3/16

Dear Parents and Guardians,

It is important to acknowledge the role parents play in supporting the faculty and in enriching the learning environment at Brown Middle School. On behalf of the entire staff, our sincere thanks for all of your activities and contributions provided throughout the year. A special note of thanks is extended to our P.T.O. presidents Theresa Fitzpatrick, Anabel Cable, and Liz Hiser for their on-going efforts and incredible support this year. Additionally, I would like to thank Nancy Braudis and Felice Scheff and the PTO committee for the delicious desserts and treats provided to teachers and staff at our May 5th Teacher Appreciation Day Celebration. I would also like to acknowledge and thank Liz Hiser for her leadership in organizing our annual Brown Book Fair that was held last week. Liz did a great job of transforming the front foyer into a place that generated genuine excitement about books and summer reading. This year’s event was another huge success! Continue reading