March 19, 2017               View this email in your browser

From the BHS Headmaster

Dear Brookline High School Parents and Guardians,

For this mid-March Blast missive, I offer some MCAS information, a reflection on a couple performing events last Friday, an important announcement about an upcoming event for parents and guardians, and the materials from our recent Community Update meeting for our BHS building project.

This Tuesday 3/21 through Thursday 3/23 our sophomores take the English Language Arts MCAS. Please see below the week's special schedule. I wish you could see how hard our students will work this week, showing their reading and writing skills and habits. Their efforts and focus make us proud.

Open Mic and Acappellafest
This past Friday I had the pleasure of catching some of the Open Mic Carolyn Castellano hosted. Students and families packed into the Band Room and watched young people working hard together, doing what they love: making music and sharing it.

As the Open Mic warmed up, I walked over to Tappan Dance Studio One to see Accappelafest. Our Acappella Choir and Needs Improvment troupe joined Note-fy, Perfect Pitch, and the Testatones in performing songs and skits with passion and joy. Students, parents, and faculty crowded onto floor mats and into tiered seating and appreciated performers taking risks and having fun. Huddled together, we all felt a palpable, positive sense of community founded in deep enjoyment of our students working hard, working together.

This Thursday 3/23, we offer a parent showing of an important film our seniors will see soon in advisory. Escalation coming to BHS is the result of hard work and collaboration by various institutions. Our partners in the Brookline Police Department, the Brookline Mental Health Center, Boston University, and BHS staff have worked together with the One Love Foundation to plan crucial conversations about how to prevent unhealthy relationships and up-stand when we see signs of them. We owe our seniors this experience as they prepare to leave our school for further school, work, or take other post-BHS steps.

While only seniors will see Escalation this year, parents and guardians of all grades are welcome to attend the showing this Thursday in the Roberts and Dubbs Auditorium at 7:00. See below for a more specific description of the film and Thursday's parent showing.

BHS Building Project
We had a Community Update meeting this past Wednesday March 15th. Click here to see the presentation, including massing models and cost estimates: Community Update Presentation. In the coming weeks, the BHS Building Committee will move toward choosing a design alternative.

I will be at a conference in Cambridge for much of this week and hope to see many of you Thursday night for Escalation.

Take care,


This Week At BHS

Tuesday, March 21 - MCAS English  Day 1—all 10th grade students arrive at 7:50a.m.
Junior Advisories JR  03, 04, 06, 07, 09, 11, 15, 16, 17 arrive at 9:00 a.m. for Junior Seminars. All others arrive at 10:40.

Wednesday, March 22 - MCAS English Day 2—all 10th grade students arrive at 7:50a.m.
Junior Advisories 05, 08, 10, 13, 14, 19, 20  arrive at 8:45 a.m. for Junior Seminars. All others arrive at 10:30.

Thursday, March 23 - MCAS English Day 3—all 10th grade students arrive at 7:50a.m.
Junior Mentors arrive at 8:30 for Junior Seminars. All others arrive at 9:45.

REMINDER COURSE SELECTION This Monday 3/20 and Tuesday 3/21 are the last 2 days of 2017-18 course selection on BHS student portal. Students should contact if they need help with their password or username. Full directions for adding courses to the portal may be found on the BHS Homepage. If a student has specific questions about their courses for next year, they should contact their guidance counselor directly.

SPRING SPORTS BEGIN TOMORROW! Here is a schedule for the first days of Spring sports, but it will be updated in the coming week and is subject to change due to varying weather and field availability. Registration for Spring 2017 will reopen on Monday at 5pm.  We are excited to announce that we now offer an online payment option for your athletic fee. Our website should give you all the information you need to learn about teams; understand the rules, regulations, and expectations; follow along on social media; and get involved with our community. Should you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to reach out.

PARENTS OF JUNIORS  Please remind your junior to attend their junior seminar, with their counselor, during one of the mornings of MCAS this week on either Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday. Counselors will be sending out reminders tomorrow with date, time, and location. These seminars are mandatory. Click here for the complete update from guidance.

ALL-TOWN/BHS ORCHESTRA on Wednesday, March 22, at 7:00 pm in the Roberts/Dubbs Auditorium.

REMINDER FOR SENIOR PARENTS: “ESCALATION” FILM SHOWING ON 3/23 On Thursday, March 23rd, at 7:00 p.m. in the BHS Auditorium, senior parents are encouraged to attend a special screening of “Escalation,” an important film about relationship violence that will be shown to students in school on April 4. The film examines the hallmarks of healthy and unhealthy relationships, providing viewers with tools to identify the soft signs of abuse and understand the scope of dating violence, which most often occurs for the first time in young people aged 18-24. A representative from the foundation that created the film will be present to answer questions and provide insight.  In all, the parent showing will enable families to continue conversation about this important topic at home with their students. For more information, please call Doreen Gallagher 617-730-2713.

BHS Upcoming & Ongoing

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.

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.

“THE OTHER TALK” On 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.


FAMILY FEEDBACK SURVEY The deadline for the survey, about the climate and culture of our schools and the school district, has been extended to March 24th. If you have not completed the survey, you should have received an email reminder last week from Panorama Education, the partner organization that is administering the survey for the school district. Please think of this survey as a way for you to provide valuable and helpful feedback about the climate, culture, and leadership here at BHS and in the district. Our school’s response rate is currently lower than we had last  year. If you have not received an email with a link to the survey please email Panorama Education.

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. 

COMING TO AMERICA A Community Forum on Immigrant and Refugee Rights on Sunday, March 26, 2017 from 3-5pm at the Brookline Senior Center, 93 Winchester Street.  RSVP recommended. Questions:

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.

PORCHFEST The second annual Brookline Porchfest will take place on Saturday, June 10th. Click here for more information.

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.
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