December 4, 2016               View this email in your browser

From the BHS Headmaster

Dear BHS Parents and Guardians,

Welcome to December, a quick month in our world of school. I write with two purposes in mind: to discuss second quarter as a key time to adjust our practice as learners and teachers and to reflect briefly on last week's Wellness Summit which we hosted in our Martin Luther King room.

Checking in Quarter 2
We have three full weeks until Winter Break and then three weeks after break before quarter two ends. These represent important periods for momentum and for momentous learning.

As you hopefully saw in Hal Mason's recent Blackboard message about important December dates, Interim Progress Reports will be distributed in Advisory on Tuesday the 20th.  Second quarter moves quickly (momentum!) so this IPR provides important feedback for students. It it is time for them to consider adjusting approach and effort, seeking help, setting goals, and planning their work.  This can be hard, our students can do it, and they need your and our help.

In terms of our (BHS) help, we are using this week's faculty meeting to discuss how we adjust instruction to engage students who are struggling at this point in the year. Just as we expect our students to reflect on their work and potentially make changes, we educators think together, share our approaches and efforts, and re-think how we engage, challenge, and support all of our students.  

Spotlight: Wellness Summit
Along with many others I had the pleasure of attending this past Thursday's Wellness Summit.  Entitled "Changing Landscape - Addressing the Challenges of Teen Substance Use," the summit demonstrated how we can best address issues and problems in our school and community.  

We do our best work when we put students front and center. The Summit certainly did this. While Mary Minott, Kirstie Olofsson, June Harris, Karen Campbell, and many other school and town staff members helped develop the Wellness Summit, our Peer Leaders were at the forefront, framing the session, leading small group discussions, and identifying strategies for us to respond as a school to the various issues and problems.  

We also do our best work when we bring various and diverse perspectives to the literal and figurative table.  At the Wellness Summit, students were surrounded by parents, teachers, counselors, clinicians, administrators, police officers, public health and diversity department employees, town government officials, local non-governmental leaders, and many others.  Both Selectman Green and Superintendent Bott were also present and engaged in the work.  (All this to say that the Summit was a hot ticket and lived up to its hype!)

I will communicate more soon about how we're moving forward on various fronts.  For now, we have a clearer sense of what our students are seeing, hearing, and talking about: the need for more education and support in the area of health and wellness, the intersection between substance use and poor decision-making, and the need for us to explicitly teach strategies and behaviors our students will need in college, in the workplace, and in life after BHS more generally.

Serious props to our Peer Leaders and to June, Karen, Kirstie, and Mary.  Their Wellness Summit helped move our community toward a unified approach to addressing substance use and the related questions, issues, and problems it raises for and with our young people.  I look forward to working with many of you on this, knowing we have many (especially human) resources in and around our schools.

See you around 115 Greenough Street,


This Week At BHS

JUNIOR PARENT MEETING On Tuesday, December 6, 2016, at 7 pm, in the BHS Auditorium, the BHS Guidance Department will present the Junior Year Calendar and Standardized Testing night. Lenny Libenzon, BHS College Counselor, will go over the Junior Year College Admissions Calendar, and Sherry Brass (Kaplan, Inc) will talk about the different types of standardized tests that our Juniors take (SAT, SAT Subject Tests, ACT, AP). This night is open to Juniors and their parents.

BHS FRESHMAN PLAY "The Phantom TollBooth" will be performed on Wednesday, December 7, 3:30 pm, Thursday, December 8 & Friday, December 9, 7:30 pm, Saturday December 10, 3:30 pm & 7:30 pm in The Black Box theater. Milo, a kid who is bored with everything, comes home to find a mysterious package that leads to some amazing adventures! In order to cruise through the Land of Wisdom, Milo is forced to think differently. Armed with an E-Z Pass, she goes on a wild rescue mission with some friends she makes along the way.

BHS FAMILY DIRECTORY Last week many of you received an email with instructions for accessing the BHS directory. If you did not receive that email, you were not on the list the PTO received of people who gave permission to have their information in the directory. Please see section below with tips on using the directory and how to add yourself if you did not receive the email.

BHS Upcoming & Ongoing

FoPA MEETING Wednesday, December 14, 7:00 PM in the Staff Lounge. Join BHS Friends of Performing Arts at our next meeting as we plan our support for upcoming performances and projects. All are welcome!

WINTER CONCERT Friday, December 16, 7:30 pm in the Roberts/Dubbs Auditorium. The Winter Concert is a fabulous showcase for Brookline High School's top musical ensembles. The concert includes works by Mozart, Piazzola, Gershwin, Schubert, and more. This accessible and inexpensive family evening, offers Brookline elementary students, an inspiring glimpse of the musical offerings at BHS. Tickets are $5 and may be purchased online or at the door.

BOOK DRIVE Bring your gently-used K-8 books to 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.

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.
Information About the BHS Directory

Accessing the directory:
Log into the directory here.

Changing your directory information:
Once you are logged in, you may make changes to your information by selecting "Your Family" from the "Your Account" menu in the upper right hand corner. You cannot make changes to the account email addresses as that information is used for logging in. If you need to change your email address, please email and we will help you with the change.

To search for a family or student:
Click on "Directory Search". If you want to search by a parent last name, select the "Families" option. If you want to search by a student's last name or find everyone in a grade, select "Students and Classes".

Adding your family, if you did not receive the directory email:
You can add your family here. After you have added your information to the directory, you will receive an email with your login information. This process is not automated, it may take 24 hours before you receive your login information. If it has been 24 hours and you have not received a response, please email


A BROOKLINE BOOKSMITH EVENT WITH THE BEF Come hear Brookline teachers read from their personal essays and reflect on the craft of teaching.  What Have I Learned? Eighteen Teachers Reflect on Teaching and the Wisdom They’ve Gained Along the Way (A Brookline Education Foundation Book) 279 Harvard Street, Thursday Dec. 8th, 7:30 p.m. Refreshments will be served.

BEF FUNDRAISER on Thursday, December 8, Paris Creperie, across Harvard St. from the Booksmith, will be donating a portion of the day’s sales to support the BEF.  Please support this locally-owned business knowing that you are also supporting Brookline teachers.

LET'S TALK! This series focuses on fostering the success and well-being of Asian and Asian-American youth. Topics will cover how to understand the various challenges your child may face in school, social-emotional development, and promoting well-being. This event is free and will be held on Thursday, December 8, 2016 at 361 Washington St, Hunneman Hall, 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm. Please RSVP here. Contact Chris Chanyasulkit for more information. Sponsored by the Brookline Asian American Family Network (BAAFN) and the Office of Diversity, Inclusion, and Community Relations of the Town of Brookline.

METCO JAZZ BRUNCH at the Marriott in Quincy, MA on Sunday, Dec 11, 2016 from 10:30 am - 2:30 pm. The brunch is a celebration of the 50th anniversary of the METCO program, sponsored by METCO Incorporated. Tickets/Donation $65, more information may be found here.

BROOKLINE TALKS PRESENTS Family Dinners: 'How Mealtime Can Make Your Kids Happier, Calmer and More Connected to You" Dr. Anne Fishel - Family Psychologist, Author, Speaker Monday, December 12th at 7 pm in the Lincoln School Auditorium. To register, go to

MOTHERS OUT FRONT COFFEE Come join our growing discussion regarding Climate Change and how we can act locally and statewide by joining together to effect real change. We are interested in your contributions to the discussion. Tuesday, December 13th 8-9:30AM at KooKoo Cafe, Station Street, Brookline Village.

WINTER WONDERLAND 2016 offered by Brookline SmartVacations. From December 27-30, choose up to 4 days of fun with arts and crafts, gym time, computer skills, and theater games. Daylong activities for students ages 5-12. Also, Archery (Dec. 27-29) for ages 10-13! Visit the SmartPrograms website.

K.I.D.S. CAMP FAIR Kids Involved During Summer is a camp fair on Sunday, January 8th in the Tappan gym, 66 Tappan street, from noon - 2pm. This event is hosted by Steps to Success. For more information visit the event website or email the event coordinator.

BROOKLINE GREEN ELECTRICITY The Town of Brookline is now able to purchase electricity on behalf of residents and businesses. Rolling out in early 2017, Brookline Green Electricity is a Community Choice Aggregation program that uses bulk purchasing to offer competitive supply pricing and rate stability to consumers. And, it provides more renewable energy options to reduce our reliance on greenhouse-gas producing fossil fuels. The Town will mail notices to Eversource customers in January about the program rolling out in early 2017, indicating who the new electricity supplier is, that Eversource will continue to be your delivery supplier, what the new prices and plan options are, and how you can opt out of the program, if you wish. In the meantime, Brookline Climate Action Committee (CAC) members and Planning Department staff are available to address your questions. Visit to learn more or email Brookline's CAC senior planner Maria Morelli and BHS senior Lily Bermel will be attending PTO meetings in December and January to share information and answer questions about the program. Click here to view the program brochure.
Sports Events

Boys JV Basketball Home Scrim - Maimonides School @ Tappan St. Gym 4:00 PM

Boys V Basketball Away Scrim - Xaverian Brothers High School @ Xaverian HS 5:15 PM

Coed V Squash Away Varsity Boston College @ BSC Allston 7:00 PM

Girls V Basketball Home Scrim - Cambridge Public Schools @ Schluntz Gym 3:30 PM

Girls JV Basketball Home Scrim - Cambridge Public Schools @ Tappan St. Gym 3:30 PM

Boys V Basketball Home Scrim -Boston Latin School @ Schluntz Gym 5:30 PM

Coed V Squash Away Belmont Hill School V, JV Boys @ Belmont Hill 4:00 PM

Coed V Squash Away Squashbusters Lowell - All levels @ Brooks School 5:00 PM

Girls V Ice Hockey Home Martha's Vineyard @ Dexter Rink 6:00 PM

Boys V Wrestling Away Lincoln Sudbury Super Quad @ Lincoln-Sudbury HS TBA

Coed V Squash Away Dover Squash @ Dover Squash Academy 3:00 PM

Boys V Ice Hockey Away Minuteman High School @ The Edge Rink, Bedford 8:00 PM
Quick Links

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