Category Archives: From the Principal

Navigating the Cyber World: Parent Presentation

Tuesday, March 27

Now in its third year at Brown, this informative Parent Workshop is sponsored by Brown Middle School and the Middlesex Partnerships for Youth, Inc. – the outreach division of the Middlesex DA’s Office. It will take place on Tuesday, March 27 from 6:45-8:00pm in the Brown Auditorium.

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.

Even if you attended the workshop last year, you’ll learn something new this year, as the online environment for teens and the latest apps are constantly changing.

For more info, check out the slides from last year’s presentation in the QUICKLINKS section at the bottom of this newsletter (and in every issue of the Brown Bear Report). We will update it after this year’s presentation with the latest info.

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 – January 6, 2018

Dear Parents and Guardians, Mid-year feedback reports will be going home with all students during the week of January 29. 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. Martin Luther King Celebration: Newton’s 50th Annual Community Celebration in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. will be held on Monday, January 15, 9:30 a.m. at First Baptist Church, Newton Centre, MA 02459. School will not be in session on January 15. 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 them to explore the possibilities! 2017-2018 Yearbooks are now on sale : Although you can purchase through February, they are currently offered at a reduced price of $32 until January 15. This year the only way to get a yearbook is to purchase online so why not do it today? It’s a great keepsake of memories from your student’s time at Brown Middle School. A01044012 Brown Art Showcase: On Tuesday, January 23 from 5:30 – 7:00 p.m., our Art Showcase will feature a selection of 500+ Term 1 & 2 art pieces created by 6 th, 7th and 8th grade students. Please plan to join us in the Brown Main Lobby prior to the Winter Concert. Brown Winter Concert: On Tuesday, January 23 at 7:00 p.m. (please note change), our Winter Concert will feature musical performances by all of our instrumental and vocal music ensembles. Please join us for this wonderful celebration of art and musical talent at Brown Middle School. Our Musical Production: The cast and crewmembers have been working hard at rehearsals for our all-school musical production of “Grease.” We hope that you will plan to join us on Tuesday, February 13, 2018 and Wednesday, February 14, 2018 (Snow date is February 15, 2018) in the Brown auditorium for what promises to be two incredible evening 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. Sincerely, John F. Jordan

Report Cards

Dear Parents & Guardians

Due to technical difficulties- Term 1 report cards may not be available until after 5:00PM today

Please try after that time-Thank you for your patience

1. Log on to Skyward Family Access website via the Brown or Newton Public Schools website. If you do not remember your password please use the “Forgot your Login/Password” link at the bottom of the login page.  Contact the Main Office or email us at if you experience any technical difficulty

2. Within Skyward Family Access,
Click “Portfolio” in the menu on the left,
Then click the document called “Term 1 Report Cards 2017-2018″

First Friday Letter December 2017

Brown Middle School

First Friday Letter

First Term Grades: The first term ends this Monday, December 4. Report cards will be available to parents electronically on December 13 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 Skyward Family & Student Access.

Parent-Teacher Conferences: On-line registration will open on Monday, December 4 at 6:00 a.m. and will remain open until Wednesday December 13 at 11:00 p.m. Please go to: The password for this site is: meadowbrook
You will create a new account. It is helpful to write your username and password down so you don’t forget it later. Follow the onscreen instructions to sign-up for conferences. All conferences are 15 minutes.

Superintendent’s Community Forum: Please save the date Wednesday, December 6 from 7:00 – 8:30 p.m. at the Newton South Auditorium for a special superintendent’s forum entitled: “Living in a Smartphone World: What does it mean for students, families, and educators?” Inspired by the Atlantic Monthly piece entitled “Have smartphones destroyed a generation?” The forum will provide information and resources on the impact of technology and social media, as well as the opportunity to discuss the role of educators and families in navigating this space. The panel discussion will be hosted by Boston Globe writer Beth Teitell and include both Newton educators and experts from outside the district. Please RSVP here:

School Musical: Our all-school musical for this year will be a production of “Grease.” The two evening performance dates are Tuesday, February 13, 2018 and Wednesday, February 14, 2018.

Early Release Day: On Thursday, December 7, all middle school students will be dismissed at 11:30 a.m. for professional development workshops for teachers and staff. Lunch will be served at school before dismissal.

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 146. 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 13. We thank all of you for your most generous support of this incredible Brown tradition! And a special note of thanks to Ms. Patricia Barry and Mr. Henry Toulmin for organizing this school-wide community event.

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.

December Recess: School will close at the end of the day on Friday, December 22 (3:00 p.m.) and will reopen on the morning of Tuesday, January 2. I want you to know how much all of us at Brown Middle

December 1, 2017

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.

We are very proud of our Student Services and Special Education Department and want to share the following information prepared by Assistant Principal Jana daSilva.

Who we are and What we do

15 Special Educators

40 Behavior Therapists & Teaching Assistants

2Reading Specialists

4 School Counselors & 2 Counseling interns

2 METCO School Counselor

2 School Psychologists

1 Administrative Assistant

2 Board Certified Behavior Analysts

2 Occupational Therapists

2 Speech/Language Pathologists

2 Adaptive Physical Education Teachers

1 Music Therapist

1 Physical Therapist

1 English Language Learner Educator


Sincerely, John F. Jordan