From the BHS Headmaster
Dear BHS Parents, Guardians, and Families,
I hope this quick weekend note finds you well. This past week offered many opportunities for spectating and celebrating Brookline High School. I'd like to use this week's Blast message to describe three very different events, showcasing disparate opportunities for learning, growth, and fun at and through BHS.
China Exchange Program
I attended Tuesday evening's Farewell Banquet for our eight current exchange students from the Gao Xin School in Xi'an China. These students spent first semester at BHS as part of our long-standing China Exchange program, affectionately called CHEX by Warriors in the know. Hearing the students share their experiences at BHS, in Brookline, and on the road (having travelled as a group to DC, New York, and much of New England) and with their host families and our students was powerful. To know that this is just half of the exchange is perhaps more powerful. Our Gao Xin friends leave for home on February 1st and then we send our eight Warriors to Xi'an on February 4th. I am already excited to hear their accounts – both via blog and when they return to share the challenges and rewards of four months in China.
Friday evening we had our China Exchange Program fundraiser. As half of the 2005 CHEX Cohort returned to BHS and were joined by their beloved faculty advisor, English teacher Gaelen Harrington for a panel discussion of the program and its impact. Our four graduates and current teacher reflected on learning Mandarin, living with a family, experiencing school in a very different way, and bonding as a cohort and with their Xi'an peers and families. Both Tuesday and Friday CHEX events underscored the power of cultural exchange, kitchen table diplomacy, and the need and desire for human connection.
ACE Program: Acclaim and Entry Process
Our Alternative Choices in Education (ACE) program was recently chosen by the Rennie Center as one of the state’s three exemplars for a high-profile report that will be presented to Governor Baker and the Massachusetts Commissioners of Education. ACE (Alternative Choices in Education) is a competency-based program in its second year at Brookline High School that allows students to take their core academic subjects in small classes and move at their own pace.
This year’s Rennie Center report focuses on student-centered learning and how the state needs to move toward a comprehensive vision of education that ensures that our schools are personalized and responsive to each student’s needs. Serious props to Program Coordinator Amy Bayer, Guidance Counselor Kara Lopez, and their four staff for developing an innovative program and community for students who want to experience school in a different, more self-directed way.
This past Thursday morning ACE staff were honored at a special event for the release of this report at the Omni Parker Hotel in Boston. Most excitingly, ACE graduate Chaurice McMillan was a featured panelist at the event.
Please see below for specific information about ACE’s enrollment process.
WGBH High School Quiz Show
On Saturday I attended the Brookline High School - Needham High School Quiz Show match. While I cannot share the results - suspense and legal agreements - I can say that the BHS students knew their stuff and hung together as a team. The BHS team has six student members - four seniors buzzing in toward television glory and two alternates, ready should any buzzer need a new and steady hand. We had a strong Warrior turnout at WGBH: many students, parents, siblings (including a couple graduates), teachers, a former administrator (who advised the team several years ago), and our main office secretary, Ms. McDermott. It is likely that I yelled, "Go, Warriors" a few times, loudly.
This Week At BHS
MID-TERMS THIS WEEK Students attend school only for their scheduled exam times on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Exams begin at 8:30, 10:45 and 1:00. Students have received information about room assignments and times from their teachers.
Tuesday, January 24 Midterms—Spanish, French / Math
Wednesday, January 25 Midterms—English / Science
Thursday, January 26 Midterms-- Latin, Chinese, Japanese / Social Studies
BHS FASHION SHOW Please come join us at the Opening Reception for the BHS Fashion Design Club's first fashion display, featuring the work of some of Brookline High's hottest fashion designers. Friday, January 27th from 2:45-3:45 In front of the display cases near the MLK Room. Please join us to meet the designers, see their creations, and find out more about the Fashion Design club at BHS. Feel free to bring friends, family, and kids--especially kids. Contact Elon Fischer with any questions.
BOOK DRIVE Bring your gently-used K-8 books to the BHS atrium and donate them to the Brookline Literacy Partnership's book drive. The Brookline Literacy Partnership is a student-run social justice club at BHS that works to increase the literacy rates in the Greater Boston Area through our tutoring program and by providing schools with books and school supplies that their students need. Learn more about us and donate at our website. The book drive runs until the end of January.
BHS Upcoming & Ongoing
WINTER MUSICAL: "GREASE" Wednesday, February 1, 3:30 pm, Thursday, February 2 - Saturday, February 4, 7:30 pm in the Roberts/Dubbs Auditorium. This popular musical brings back the classic sounds of music from the 1950s, sets them in a high school in Southern California, and gives us a look into what it was like to be a teen back in the "good old days." Bring your parents, your grandparents, and don’t forget your friends, for a great evening of song and dance! Tickets
JUNIOR PARENT MEETING Thursday, February 2 from 8:00-9:00 AM in the MLK Room. Please arrive at 7:45 AM, as we will begin promptly at 8 AM. The topic will be: "Curriculum/Course Selection for Senior Year," featuring our deans and curriculum coordinators.
INNOVATION AT BHS Bring your appetite! On Tuesday, February 7th join us for a fireside chat with this years BHS Innovation Fellow, English Teacher Elon Fischer. Hear about current student directed learning innovations currently happening and in the works. Light buffet, cash bar. Click here for registration info. Seating is limited!
FoPA MEETING The Friends of the Performing Arts at BHS will meet on Wednesday, February 8 at 7pm, in the teacher's lounge.
ENROLLMENT PROCESS AND TIMELINE FOR THE ACE PROGRAM Currently the ACE Program, open to 10th-12th graders, is accepting applications for entrance next Sept. 2017. Over the next month, there will be opportunities for interested students and parents to come and learn more about the program. Please check out the ACE website.
Interested students should do the following:
ACE PARENT INFORMATION NIGHT Wednesday, February 15 from 6:30-7:30pm in the MLK Room
- Set up an appointment to meet with ACE Guidance Counselor Kara Lopez: Kara_Lopez@psbma.org.
- Set up a visit to an ACE class.
- Submit an ACE application which includes a brief written statement on why the students thinks ACE is a good match for their learning style.
- Schedule an intake interview with Program Coordinator Amy Bayer.
ACE STUDENT INFORMATION MEETING Tuesday February 7 during T block in Rm. 250
ACE APPLICATIONS DUE on March 7th. Interested students can pick up an application in Rm. 257.
SPRING SPORTS Spring sports begin on Monday, March 20th. An exception is Crew which begins the Monday after February Vacation. Registration for all spring sports will begin in late January or early February and an announcement will be sent out via this PTO newsletter as well as an email to previous athletic team registrants.
TEEN ALCOHOL USE & RISKY SEXUAL BEHAVIOR Did you know that 17% of BHS seniors reported that after consuming alcohol, they had engaged in sexual activity that they regretted afterwards? And 19% of senior girls reported having sexual contact against their will? One of the goals for Brookline’s recent Wellness Summit was to raise awareness about the impact of alcohol use on risky sexual behavior and craft strategies to prepare teens against alcohol-related sexual assaults – not just in high school, but as they move into college and adult life. Check out B-PEN’s new Parent Update on “Teen Alcohol Use & Risky Sexual Behavior.”
WINTER INTRAMURALS began Monday, November 28th. Schedule is as follows: Fitness Center: November 28th - April 13th Monday, Wednesday, Thursday with Instructor Keith Thomas. This time period is followed by a 2-week break when spring sports get started. (March 20-31st) Spin Room: January 4th - February 15th Monday, Wednesday with Instructor Melissa O'Brien.
SWS ADMISSIONS School Within a School is a democratic school on the 4th floor of Brookline High School. Students in SWS are also mainstream students, taking classes in both places. Students are admitted to SWS through a lottery. In order to qualify for the lottery, students must do a few things, including visit SWS classes. Results of the SWS admissions lottery will be announced on March 3rd. Admissions packets are available now at the SWS office on the 4th floor.
SEPAC MEETING The Special Education Parent Advisory Council will meet on Wednesday, January 25, 2017 8:30 AM - 9:30 AM 5th floor of Town Hall.
SPEAKING FOR THE TREES Climate change and methane gas leaks from the natural gas distribution system represent an urgent threat to the trees of New England. Dr. Pam Templer will present the results of her research at BU on the current and future effects of rising temperatures on forests in New England, and Mr. Oladapo-Johnson will describe the Emerald Necklace Conservancy's efforts to reduce damage to trees caused by methane leaks. Thursday, February 9, 7 pm. Hunneman Hall, Brookline Main Library, 361 Washington Street. Refreshments will be served. This talk is sponsored by Brookline Mothers Out Front.
PSB POLICY REVIEW The Drug-Free Workplace Policy is currently up for review. Information and a copy of the proposed policy may be found here.
SOUL WITNESS The Brookline Holocaust Witness Project. This documentary will be screened on Thursday, January 26 at 7:00 pm at the Coolidge Corner Theater. Tickets to the special screening are available on the Coolidge Corner Theatre website. The documentary is intended for a general audience with an advisory for children under 13.
BROOKLINE WINTER FARMERS' MARKET Every Sunday through April 30th 11am - 3pm @ The Coolidge Corner Arcade (318 Harvard Street) The Brookline Winter Farmers' Market offers local produce, meat, and goods from hard workers and farmers across Massachusetts.
PAN ASIAN LUNAR NEW YEAR CELEBRATION Saturday, February 4, 2017, 1-3pm in the MLK Room & Atrium, Brookline High School. This event is free & open to all. Light refreshments will be available. Click here for more information & to RSVP.
CHILDREN'S CLOTHING DRIVE The Brookline Commission for Women will be holding its 8th Annual Children's Clothing Drive at the Brookline Public Safety Headquarters, 350 Washington Street, Brookline. We will accept clean, wearable clothing and shoes for children ages newborn to teens. We’re also collecting financial donations, nonperishable food donations, toiletries, and diapers for the Brookline Food Pantry. Donations may be dropped off on Friday, February 10th from 8am-6pm & Saturday, February 11th, 2017 from 8am-11am. Questions? Please contact Casey Hatchett.
NETRESULTS Tennis, Brookline's tennis services provider, will have summer employment opportunities available in 2017. We are looking for staff that can participate in our summer camp Young Stars program (4-7 yrs) weekly from 8:30-11:30 AM. Please contact David MacBurnie to setup a phone interview.
BROOKLINE GREEN ELECTRICITY The Town of Brookline is now able to purchase electricity on behalf of residents and businesses. Visit www.BrooklineGreen.com to learn more or email Brookline's CAC senior planner. Click here to view the program brochure.
THEATER BHS Class of 2002 alumnus Eleanor Burgess will have the World Premiere of her play “Chill” at the Merrimack Repertory Theatre in Lowell this Spring, with performances March 22 - April 16, 2017. For discount tickets for groups of six or more people, contact Jeannie Williams, 978-654-7561, or to read more about the play, visit www.mrt.org.
CLIMATE ADAPTATION CHALLENGE Participate in the 2nd Annual Brookline Youth Climate Adaptation Challenge, on April 1, that celebrates nature inspired arts and science. Join alone, with your friends or Team. Focus on either Biomimicry or Eco-Art (poetry, dance, art, play). All participants earn a Certificate of Achievement - perfect for college applications! 1st, 2nd and 3rd place awards - even more impressive for college applications! For more information, please contact Crystal Johnson for more information and registration.
Girls JV Ice Hockey Home Melrose HS @ Larz Anderson 4:45 PM
Coed V Squash Home BBN @ Winsor School 7:00 PM
Boys FR Basketball Home Dedham High School @ Schluntz Gym 3:45PM
Boys V Swimming Home Needham High School @ Tappan St. Pool 4:00 PM
Girls JV Basketball Away Dedham High School @ Dedham High School 4:15 PM
Boys JV Basketball Home Dedham High School @ Schluntz Gym 5:15PM
Girls V Basketball Away Dedham High School @ Dedham High School 6:00 PM
Boys V Basketball Home Dedham High School @ Schluntz Gym 6:30 PM
Coed V Cheerleading Home Boys Basketball @ Schluntz Gym 6:30 PM
Girls V Gymnastics Away Newton North High School @ Newton North HS 6:30 PM
Coed V Squash Away Tabor Academy @ Tabor Academy TBA
Boys V Ice Hockey Home Dedham High School @ Walter Brown Arena 6:00 PM
Boys V Wrestling Away Natick High School @ Natick High School 6:30 PM
Girls V Ice Hockey Away Dedham High School @ Noble and Greenough 7:45 PM
Girls JV Ice Hockey Home Newton North High School @ Larz Anderson 3:30 PM
Boys V Indoor Track Away Newton North High School @ Reggie Lewis Center 4:30 PM
Girls V Indoor Track Away Newton North High School @ Reggie Lewis Center 4:30 PM
Boys JV Ice Hockey Home Boston Latin School @ Larz Anderson 4:45 PM
Coed V Downhill Ski Away V Race 3 and 4 @ Blue Hills 6:00 PM
Boys FR Basketball Away Braintree High School @ Braintree High School 3:45PM
Girls FR Basketball Home Braintree High School @ Schluntz Gym 3:45PM
Boys V Swimming Away Newton North High School @ Newton North HS 4:00 PM
Boys JV Basketball Away Braintree High School @ Braintree High School 5:15PM
Girls JV Basketball Home Braintree High School @ Schluntz Gym 5:15PM
Coed V Squash Home Parents/Teachers @ Winsor School 6:00 PM
Boys V Basketball Away Braintree High School @ Braintree High School 6:30 PM
Girls V Basketball Home Braintree High School @ Schluntz Gym 6:30PM
Girls V Gymnastics Away Wellesley High School @ Exxcel Gymnastics 8:00 PM
Boys V Wrestling Away Super Quad @ St. Johns Shrewsbury TBA
Boys V Indoor Track Away MSTCA Invitational @ Reggie Lewis Center TBA
Girls V Indoor Track Away MSTCA Invitational @ Reggie Lewis Center TBA
Girls JV Ice Hockey Away Newton North High School @ Fessenden School 12:50 PM
Boys JV Ice Hockey Away Rodman at Walpole @ Rodman Arena 6:40 PM