First Friday Letter
February 7, 2020
The school year seems to be flying by! Next week, mid-year feedback reports will be be going home with all students. We ask that you please review the mid-year feedback report(s) with your child. The mid-year feedback reports provide an opportunity to have a conversation with your child about their progress this school year. The second term ends on Tuesday, March 24.
Our Musical Production: The cast, crewmembers, costume & set designers, and directors of “Legally Blonde” are all working hard, and continue to be very busy focusing on final preparations and rehearsals for their upcoming performances. We hope that you will plan to join us on Tuesday, February 11, 2020 and Wednesday, February 12, 2020 in the Brown auditorium for what promises to be two incredible evening performances of "Legally Blonde."
Winter Vacation: School will close at the end of the day on Friday, February 14 and will reopen the morning of Monday, February 24.
High School Course Registration: After February vacation, our eighth grade students will be receiving registration materials from either Newton North or Newton South High Schools. Their teachers will make recommendations for the courses they will take. Please look carefully at your child's registration sheet and the high school course catalog so that you may decide if the recommended course is appropriate for your child. If you have any questions, please contact your child's subject teacher and/or school counselor.
Parents of eighth grade students are invited to meet with Joel Stembridge (principal) and members of the Newton South High School faculty and staff on Wednesday, March 4 from 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. at Newton South. If your child will be attending Newton North High School, there will be a meeting on the Thursday, February 27 with Henry Turner (principal) and members of the Newton North High School faculty and staff from 7:00 - 9:00 p.m. at Newton North. These meetings will initiate the process of transition into ninth grade. You will have an opportunity to learn about the high school's academic program, the course registration process, school activities, as well as the orientation process that has been designed to support your child (ren) as they move into a new school at the end of this year.
2020 MCAS Testing: This year, students in all three grades at Brown will be participating in the computer-based version of the Next-Generation MCAS testing. During the Spring of 2017, the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) upgraded MCAS to better measure the critical thinking skills students need for success in the 21st century. There will be two testing sessions in English language arts and two testing sessions in mathematics during April 1 – May 24, 2020. Specific MCAS testing dates are listed in the schedule below:
Grade Tests Dates Grade 6 ELA (English Language Arts) April 7 (ELA testing sessions on two days) April 8 Mathematics May 11 Math testing sessions on two days may 12 Grade 7 ELA (English Language Arts) April 14 (ELA testing sessions on two days) April 15 Mathematics May 7 Math testing sessions on two days May 8 Grade 8 ELA (English Language Arts) April 1 (ELA testing sessions on two days) April 2 Mathematics May 5 Math testing sessions on two days May 6 Sci/Tec. Eng. Testing (Two sessions) May 14
Spring Ahead: Daylight Saving Time begins on Sunday, March 8. Yes, once again this spring it is earlier then in previous years! Don’t forget to move the clocks ahead one hour.
Early Release Day: On Thursday March 19, all middle school students will be dismissed at 11:30 a.m. for professional development workshops for teachers and staff. Lunch will be served at school before dismissal.
Looking ahead to June: Our “Moving On” Ceremony for eighth grade students (and their families) will be held on the last day of school. In April, the specific date will be confirmed when the Newton School Committee votes to establish the last day for students. Thus far, there has been only one snow day and the “tentative date” is Thursday, June 18 at 8:15 a.m. in the Newton South High School field house. However, the date will change if there are additional snow days. Perhaps the “Ground Hog-Punxsutawney Phil” provided some wisdom regarding our spring weather this past Sunday. Punxsutawney Phil did not spy his shadow and predicts and early spring is coming
John F. Jordan
Please see attached message from the City of Newton Health & Human Services Department Coronavirus Information