March 26, 2017               View this email in your browser

From the BHS Headmaster

Dear Brookline High School Parents and Guardians,

I spent much of last week at The Principals' Center at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, attending a conference entitled Race, Equity and Leadership in Schools (REAL). The program featured excellent teachers and teaching from Roland Barth, Philip Lee, Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot, Karen Mapp, Richard Murnane, Beveral Daniel Tatum, and many others.

I attended REAL with district leaders and principal colleagues, which made the experience more powerful.  While taking time out of school certainly causes some stress, anxiety, and increased workload, the opportunity to step away and think big for extended periods of time was well worth it. In this week's Blast, I'd like to reflect with you on a few of the many ideas I find myself returning to after a week outside of BHS.

A couple quick pieces from times I was at the high school:

- On Tuesday evening, five Sagamore juniors presented a proposal to teach journalism to middle school students in the hopes of making the Sagamore, and all that it teaches and fosters, an experience that more students, especially students of color, can access. The group of juniors worked with our current editors-in-chief and four faculty advisors: Marcella Anderson and Linsday Wise of the Sagamore and Roger Grande and Kate Leslie from Social Justice.  Their proposal demonstrates what diligent and thoughtful young people can do when supported by excellent teachers working across disciplines. Keep an eye out for The Scholars Sagamore, hopefully coming to a K-8 school near you sometime soon.  

- On Thursday evening, about 50 parents and guardians attended a preview of the film Escalation, which educates about healthy and unhealthy relationships; more specifically, it helps young people identify the soft signs of relationship abuse.  We were pleased with this turnout and the discussion that followed.  This Tuesday, seniors will engage in an Advisory lesson that prepares them for the film, to be viewed by the entire senior class the following Tuesday.  Seniors will miss their A-block class on Tuesday, April 4 for the Escalation Workshop, a mandatory assembly that begins at 8:20 in the Auditorium.  If you have questions or concerns about the appropriateness of this film for your student, please get in touch with Doreen Gallagher, Teen Dating Violence Prevention Advocate at 617-730-2713, or contact your student's guidance counselor.  

Okay, now I offer a few reflections inspired by last week's Race, Equity and Leadership in Schools conference:

Karen Mapp's session on family-school partnerships has me wondering in what ways we at BHS can go beyond giving information and offering involvement to families when and where we could be fostering engagement. Dr. Mapp rightly distinguishes between families being "involved" and being "engaged". I want to begin pushing myself and BHS to continue to communicate in media like this and to offer more interactive opportunities to support families in knowing about the myriad and wide-ranging opportunities we offer and how to help students take advantage and learn and grow as a result of these experiences.

Post-REAL, I think also about the various programs we have developed and honed over the years - ACE, African American and Latino Scholars, Calculus Project, School within a School, Steps to Success, and many more. These programs rightly offer students opportunities to make intra-group connections - what Dr. Danielle Allen described last week as "bonding" experiences. I  envision continued programming like this and more thinking about "bridging" experiences that bring students together across differences. We offer many of these, of course; I would like to consider carefully what sorts of opportunities and experiences all BHS kids should have, alone and together. Advisory is one structure I both appreciate and want to re-consider, beginning with goals, curricula, and outcomes. More specifically, I wonder whether the work our excellent faculty has done both with Identity Curriculum and Racial Awareness might imbue advisory with important content, human connection (between students and between students and teachers), and skill development.

More generally, I feel excited by our expansion and renovation project as it provides critical opportunities - now and moving forward - to re-think what we do, how we do it, and what would be best - fairest and most just - for our young people.

To be clear, much of what we do at BHS will stay the same: excellence in teaching, relationships as foundational, and diverse and deep curricular offerings, to name a few. But I think there are changes we can make. This will require collaboration, communication, and commitment, and I look forward to helping lead on these and other fronts.

Sometimes stepping away from the work helps us step back into it; go, team,


This Week At BHS

PAYING THE COLLEGE BILL Parents and students are invited to attend a free seminar on paying the college bill, which will be held on Monday March 27th, 2017, at 7:00PM in the Auditorium. An experienced MEFA representative will provide an overview of the college payment process, including the details of financial aid award letters, using payment plans, different financing options, and how to minimize debt. Before the seminar, be sure to visit MEFA’s website to download a copy of the seminar presentation and explore other tools and resources.

BROOKLINE SEPAC The Special Education Parent Advisory Council will host an evening talk with student services deputy superintendent, Sam Zimmerman. Monday, March 27, 2017 in the BHS MLK Meeting Room, 7:00p.m. - 8:30p.m. This event is for parents and guardians of students with IEP’s and 504’s. This will be an opportunity to hear what’s going on in special education at BHS, future plans and ask questions. No reservations are necessary and light refreshments will be served.

TRADE UP This program is designed to introduce high school students to the world of green construction. This is a great opportunity for 10th, 11th and 12th graders who like to build. An information session will take place on Thursday, March 30, during X Block, in the Career Center (Rm 279). For more information about the program, please click here.

CAMERATA MASTERWORK CONCERT Wednesday, March 29, 7:30 pm in the BHS Atrium. Under the direction of Michael Driscoll, the BHS Camerata Choir and Chamber Orchestra perform a selection of movements from Mozart’s "Solemn Vespers of the Confessor" (K339). The program also includes works from their recent tour of Spain and features soloists from the choir.​ Tickets are $5, and may be purchased here. Free for Brookline K-8 students.

BHS POETRY FEST The 22nd Annual BHS Poetry Fest, at the Brookline Booksmith, is Thursday, March 30th from 6-8pm.

BHS CREW FUNDRAISER The BHS crew team with be holding their annual Crew-a-thon fundraiser on Sunday, April 2nd. Groups of athletes will be going door to door, in the community, to solicit tax-deductible donations (cash, check, online) in support of Brookline Rowing. Please support our team, and thank you very much, in advance!

BHS Upcoming & Ongoing

COLLEGE FOR STUDENTS WITH LEARNING DIFFERENCES This annual college panel, for students with learning differences, will be held on Tuesday, April 4th at 7 pm in the MLK room. This talk is targeted towards juniors and seniors with learning differences and their parents. We will discuss the different support programs available at post-secondary level, and answer questions. The panel will include college representatives and BHS graduates.

CAREER COUNSELOR Kate Cordner will be the long-term substitute Career Counselor for the remainder of this school year. She is available in the College/Career Center, Room 279, for students by appointment or just by stopping by on Tuesdays and Thursdays and Wednesdays from 10:00 am - 1:00 pm. Click here for the complete guidance updates.

“THE OTHER TALK” On Wednesday, April 5 at at 7 p.m. in the MLK Room, as part of Brookline Public Health Department’s participation in National Public Health Week. This presentation, for junior and senior parents, addresses the culture of alcohol and marijuana that often are the norm at college. The program helps parents of soon-to-be college students communicate accurate, healthy and practical messages to their children regarding college alcohol/drug use and other risky behavior. Sponsored by B-PEN, the program will include information on current trends, safety tips, and useful strategies for opening the lines of communication. Register here.

DANCE MARATHON The Brookline High School Dance Marathon club is getting ready to host its first Dance Marathon event benefitting Boston Children’s Hospital. The date will be Thursday, April 13th, 2017 from 6:30 to 8:30 pm at the Brookline Teen Center. For more information, or to donate food or gift cards for the event, please email:

"LET'S BE HONEST" on Wednesday, April 26, 2017 BHS MLK Room 7 pm. We talk to our children about how helmets and seat belts save lives.  We talk to them about the dangers of smoking and drinking. But are we talking with our children about their sexual health and our expectations? Let’s Be Honest is a free workshop addressing what every high school parent needs to know to create a comfortable environment of trust to talk to their teen about sexuality and responsible decision-making. Participants receive a free resource packet. Register for this free workshop here.


SCHOOL COMMITTEE MEETING Thursday, March 30, 2017 at 6:00 PM in the Walsh School Committee Room, 5th Floor, Town Hall.

CLIMATE WEEK BROOKLINE 2017: Building the Climate Movement. Mon. March 27-Sun. April 2. Visit the Climate Week website for details and events throughout the week.  Climate Week is a production of Climate Action Brookline in collaboration with individual and community partners.

METHANE GAS LEAKS On Wednesday, March 29, 7-9pm at All Saints Parish, 1773 Beacon St., Brookline, there will be a discussion: Activism in Massachusetts Cities and Towns - Methane Gas Leaks. Dr. Nathan Phillips, Professor, Earth and Environment, Boston University; Audrey Shulman, Founder of HEET. With 300 unprepared Methane leaks, Brookline is the second leakiest town in the Commonwealth.  Gas pipeline leaks are mobilizing active citizens at the town level across the Commonwealth. Hear about what is being done to identify and mitigate the worst gas leaks. Sponsored by Brookline Mothers Out Front.

OMEGA SCHOLARSHIPS Three OMEGA college scholarships are available to recognize and reward the efforts that young adults are making to create multigenerational connections in their communities. The application for OMEGA college scholarships may be found here. Completed applications are due March 31, 2017.

YOUTH IN ACTION Advocating For Their Future Saturday, April 1 2:30-4:40 in the Pierce School Auditorium. Young people have been advocating for climate change action and getting standing ovations all over the country! A short video of work from many corners of the United States will be followed by a lively discussion with a panel of local youth activists who describe their path to activism and current work. The discussion will include Audience participation and will end with concrete suggestions for taking action today! Suggested audience ages: 8-25 and UP! Sponsored by Brookline Mothers Out Front.

SALARY NEGOTIATION WORKSHOP Created for working women, the American Association of University Women (AAUW) Work Smart is an interactive workshop that teaches women to evaluate, negotiate, and articulate their worth confidently in the job market. The Office of Diversity, Inclusion, and Community Relations will host the AAUW Work Smart salary negotiation workshop on Monday, April 3rd from 6:00–8:00 p.m. at the Department of Public Health’s Denny Room, 11 Pierce Street. The event is free, but please RSVP here. For more details, please contact Chris Chanyasulkit.

MAKE COLLEGE ACCESSIBLE FOR EVERY BROOKLINE STUDENT To support BHS’s efforts to award scholarships to graduating seniors with financial need, the Brookline Community Foundation, in partnership with the Town of Brookline and BHS established the BCF Scholarship Fund for Brookline High School in 2014. The Fund makes awards to seniors pursuing post-secondary education including four-year colleges, two-year community colleges, vocational schools, or other post-secondary training programs. To make a contribution, visit here or mail checks to BCF Scholarship Fund for BHS, c/o Brookline Community Foundation, 40 Webster Place, Brookline MA 02445. Please call Executive Director Jenny Amory at 617-566-4442 for more information.

BROOKLINE TALKS PRESENTS Nurturing Sexually Healthy Children & Teens in Today's World with Deborah Roffman on Thurs April 6th at 7 pm in the Runkle School Multi-Purpose Room. Deborah Roffman - a master teacher, author and consultant to schools, parents & children - will discuss five universal needs of  children and teens as they grow toward sexual maturity, and the five corresponding roles for adults. Cilck here for free registration.

SMARTVACATIONS APRIL 2017 offered by Brookline SmartVacations for students ages 5-12. From April 18-21, choose a vacation filled with arts and crafts, gym time, computer skills, and theater games. Visit the SmartVacations web site for more information.
Sports Events

Girls Varsity Softball Home Scrim vs Attleboro High School @ Cypress Field 3:30 PM

Girls Junior Varsity Softball Home Scrim vs Attleboro High School @ Cypress Field 3:30 PM

Boys Varsity Lacrosse Home Scrim vs Roxbury Latin School @ Downes Field 3:30 PM

Boys Junior Varsity Baseball Away Scrim vs English HS @ Ross Park, Hyde Park 4:00 PM

Boys Varsity Baseball Away Scrim vs West Roxbury @ West Roxbury HS 4:00 PM

Boys Junior Varsity Lacrosse Home Boston Latin School @ Downes Field 4:00 PM

Girls Varsity Golf Away Notre Dame Academy @ Rockland Golf Course 3:30 PM

Boys Varsity Lacrosse Home Boston Latin School @ Downes Field 4:00 PM

Boys  Volleyball Home Cambridge @ Tappan St. Gym 4:00 PM

Boys Varsity Baseball Away Scrim vs  CM @ Catholic Memorial School 4:15 PM

Boys Junior Varsity Volleyball Home Camb. Rindge @ Tappan St. Gym 5:30 PM

Boys Varsity Baseball Away Scrim vs Milton Academy @ Rox. Latin High School 12:30 PM

Girls Varsity Lacrosse Home Ursuline Academy @ Downes Field 3:45 PM

Girls Junior Varsity Lacrosse Home Ursuline Academy @ Downes Field 5:00 PM

Boys Varsity Lacrosse Home Waltham High School @ Downes Field 10:00 AM

Boys Junior Varsity Lacrosse Home Waltham High School @ Downes Field 10:00 AM

Boys Varsity Baseball Away Scrim vs Roxbury Latin School @ Rox. Latin High School 1:30 PM

Varsity Crew Home First Salvo Cup @  Afternoon

Varsity Sailing Home Couraegous Keelboat Kickoff @ Courageous Boat Club TBA
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