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Weekly Blast

Important Dates

  • 03/24 Mental Health in the Time of COVID
  • 03/29 Early Release
  • 03/31 Innovation Fund Gala-Rama
  • 04/02 No School

Table of Contents


FROM THE BHS HEAD OF SCHOOL
03.14.21

Dear Brookline High School Parents, Guardians, and Caretakers,

I write to check in as we move more firmly into spring with the onset of Daylight Savings Time this morning. Let the evenings linger, even if we pay for it in dark mornings for a little while. So it goes.
 
More Students at 115 Greenough Street
I want to emphasize the great joy in adding 300 students to our in-person learning program at 115 Greenough Street over the last couple weeks. Our classrooms are fuller, lunches busier, and the spirit of the place lifted thanks to more tenth through twelfth grade students attending school in-person. While there are changes and challenges amidst this evolving year, seeing students in-person provides oxygen and a little more sass in our lives. This is good.

Negotiations over Distancing: BEU and School Committee
High school administrators are joining the distancing negotiations laid out in the 12/4/20 Memorandum of Agreement between the BEU and School Committee. You likely have heard that grades 2 through 5 will return full in-person - thus leaving the hybrid model - on 3/29. These negotiations also include the high school. We need reduced distancing (less than six feet) in order to accommodate more students at OLS and, eventually, at 115 Greenough Street. 

We have set Monday 4/5 for our goal to return the next large wave of ninth grade students to OLS. We continue to add tenth through twelfth graders at 115 Greenough Street as we hear interest and can include students in classes at six feet distancing. At some point, we will hit capacity in our 115 Greenough Street classrooms at this distancing, and the six feet could be reduced as determined in the aforementioned negotiations and/or due to recently released DESE guidance (Tuesday 3/9). 

I want to make clear that our leadership team is trying to fit as many students as we can for increased in-person learning. 

3/9 State Guidance and Its Potential Program Impacts
DESE stated unequivocally in recent guidance that they will require schools to shift to a fully in-person model this spring. While they have yet to set a date for secondary schools, our sense is that this could begin as early as late April or early May. We continue to add students to our in-person learning program so have been moving in this direction over the last month and will continue to do so in the weeks and months ahead. I also will advocate strongly for retaining a remote learning model for students and families who need it. 

Health and safety has been our primary value in this year of COVID schooling, and having flexibility for students to tend to their health while accessing our excellent academic and student support program has been critical. DESE's recent guidance suggests the Commissioner understands the complexities of large, comprehensive high school programs. While I want all of our students to have the opportunity to attend BHS fully in-person, I also know the reality is that some percentage will need to continue in a remote model. We will fight for them.

Important BlackBoard Communication On In-Person Learning
We are sending a fairly long, translated memo to all families and students tomorrow (Monday 3/15). My hope is to update everyone on our efforts thus far, the next steps, and what other change we are making to support and improve increased in-person learning at both locations.

Cypress Field and Outdoor Space at 115 and OLS
One other piece: Cypress Field. I join others in our community who are concerned about losing Cypress Field this week and for the duration of the project. Outdoor space is always critical: especially so in the pandemic. Hal and I have been working for a long time with the Parks and Open Space team in preparation for this project. As our own BHS renovation and expansion project nears an end - the science wing in July and 22 Tappan in November or December, we are eager for Cypress Field to receive badly needed attention. 

DPW Commissioner Erin Gallentine and her team are working closely with Hal and me to support continued use of a portion of the field near Greenough Street. While none of this is ideal, we will navigate the challenges with communication and collaboration, modeling for our students how to engage productively in public work.

I am also grateful to our PTO who will be helping us acquire some additional outdoor furniture as we work to optimize outdoor spaces that we badly need this spring. We will figure this out.

More soon,

Anthony

Anthony Meyer
Head of School
Brookline High School

This Week at BHS

REGISTER FOR THE BHS INNOVATION FUND GALA-RAMA--NEW DATE!

Registration is NOW OPEN for Gala-Rama (Goes Virtual!)  on Thurs., March 31 at 7:30 pm 
You're invited to join our reimagined annual Gala-Rama fundraiser virtually on Thurs. , March 31st at 7:30pm. Learn how you can help the BHS Innovation Fund: INVEST in creative ways of teaching and learning; INSPIRE our children and future leaders; and IMPACT the academic environment for all students. We're at a pivotal point in the Innovation Fund's partnership with BHS. Responding to the critical educational needs of students and teachers this year, while continuing to provide ongoing investment in current and future curriculum, has been both challenging and invigorating. As we look ahead, we're asking for your help in continuing to build a culture of innovation at BHS.

Please register here or learn more here. Thank you.

Note: NEW DATE. Please note this date was previously listed as Thursday April 1st, but has been revised to honor the religious holiday.
 

DRIVE THROUGH FOOD DRIVE 

Drive Through Food Drive's one year anniversary is on Sat. March 27 from 
9:00 am - 12:00pm  for food drop off in front of  the BHS main entrance on115 Greenough St.

MENTAL HEALTH IN THE TIME OF COVID

March 24 at 7:30pm: Mental Health in the Time of COVID.

For most of us, this past year has been the most challenging in memory. While a lot of attention has been paid to the impact of the pandemic on children, adults are suffering as well, feeling overwhelmed, depressed, distracted, afraid, angry. This has resulted in a dramatic increase in mental health issues and substance use. On March 24 at 7 p.m., the Brookline Department of Public Health and the Brookline Center for Community Mental Health are coming together to present a zoom forum to discuss strategies and resources for adults in our community. Moderated by WBUR CommonHealth host Carey Goldberg, speakers will give an overview of needs and resources, followed by a Q&A. Please join us – let’s do this together! Click here to register for this free webinar.

BHS Upcoming / Ongoing

IMPORTANT NOTICE REGARDING SPECIAL EDUCATION

Wendy Ryder, Director of Special Education at the High School, will be taking a temporary leave of absence.  We wish Wendy well and are ready to welcome her back when she returns.  In the meantime, please see below for the appropriate contacts should you have any questions.

For transition to 9th grade and 9th grade inquiries, please contact Jed Miller at jed_miller@psbma.org.

For 10th-12th grade inquiries, please contact April Zyirek at april_zyirek@psbma.org.

Responses to IEPs and any other IEP-related inquiries can be directed to, please contact our secretary, Lorraine Hughes, lorraine_hughes@psbma.org
 

STUDENTS' SUGGESTIONS TO PARENTS FOR HELPING WITH COLLEGE/POST-HIGH SCHOOL PLANNING

By the second semester of junior year, family stress ramps up significantly as students try to balance schoolwork, study for SATS, look into colleges or other post-BHS options, etc. All of this comes with a lot of internal and external judgement, even during years when COVID is not an issue. How can families be supportive without adding to the pressure? This year’s BHS Peer Leaders have put together some excellent tips to consider in the Parent Tip Sheet Student Suggestions to Parents for Helping with College/Post-High School Planning.

BHS PTO SEEKS TREASURER 

The BHS PTO needs a treasurer for next year!
Join a great PTO leadership team! The treasurer helps develop the budget, collects fundraising money, writes checks for purchases and reimbursements, deposits checks, makes financial reports, organizes the books for taxes, posts financial transactions to our financial system, and creates monthly PTO treasurer reports. The time commitment is a Board meeting monthly and about 10 hours per month.  Most of the work can be done on your own schedule.  If interested, please send an email to Ginny Friedman:  treasurer.bhs.pto@gmail.com
 

GUIDANCE INFORMATION

For information from guidance, go here. Individual student information can be viewed on the Aspen Portal.

Community

SCHOOL COMMITTEE MEETING 

The Brookline School Committee will meet Thurs March 25 at 6 pm. Agenda and Zoom link will be  here. There will be a public hearing on proposal to increase  in-person learning.

The Brookline School Committee  voted to extend  the offer of the position of Superintendent of Brookline schools to Dr. Linus Guillory, on Tues. Mar 1.  To  view a recording of the meeting, please go here.
 

CELEBRATE WOMEN'S HISTORY MONTH

Celebrate Women's History Month this March by testing your knowledge on Women's History, researching and reading up on information that is new to you, and sharing this quiz with others! Take the quiz here.

Your name will be entered to win a Raffle prize at the end of the year if you score a 10/10!
 

LIBRARY-TO-GO KITS

This March, we have 50 each of our Library-To-Go kits for tweens and teens. Our Tween/Teen Fandom kit this month celebrates Animal Crossing and gives you the tools and inspiration to make your very own villager costume. Our Teen Stress Less kits show you how to de-stress with a green tea sugar scrub and eye mask duo. Register for a kit starting Monday, March 8 at 7 PM at Eventbrite here. The reserved kits are available to pick up starting Monday, March 15 at noon at each library location.

BROOKLINE THRIVES BENEFIT

Stop & Shop on Harvard Street has selected Brookline Thrives as the beneficiary of their new Bloomin' 4 Good program to help combat hunger in our communities. Now through the month of March, every purchase of a $9.99 of a  Bloomin' 4 Good floral bouquet, Stop&Shop  donates $1 to Brookline Thrives. Brookline Thrives, a program of the Brookline Food Pantry, provides free weekend food for students and families in the Public Schools of Brookline. Currently, Thrives feeds over 500 children every weekend during the school year. For the month of March, please purchase your flowers at Stop & Shop on Harvard Street. Look for the red Bloomin' 4 Good sticker.
 

BROOKLINE ART CENTER CLASSES

The Brookline Arts Center (BAC) is excited to provide a variety of creative opportunities and an outlet for arts education for all ages this spring! We have classes for ages 5-17 in painting, drawing, comics, sculpture, ceramics, ArtVentures and more. Our virtual programs run April-June. In addition to pre-scheduled classes, we offer Customized Group Classes & Private Lessons, which are a great option for school vacation days. Please contact our staff with any questions at office@brooklineartscenter.com. We are excited to continue connecting with our community through art! Summer program information coming soon. Register today!

Sports and Extracurricular Events
WINTER  SPORTS have returned! Schedules can be found  here.

Support BHS

The Brookline High School Parent Teacher Organization is committed to supporting important communications between school and home. It sponsors a variety of events each year designed to show support of the school and to keep parents informed about how to help their children make the most of the BHS experience.

DONATE SHOP ON AMAZON VOLUNTEER

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All notices are subject to the approval of the BHS PTO. The deadline for submission is Friday of each week. Submissions may be edited due to space constraints. Only BHS and community events will be listed. No classified ads are offered at this time. Please send your submissions to: bhsweeklyblast@bhs-pto.org

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