This is also the time for each of us to be especially patient and kind to friends, family, others in the BHS community, and strangers who pass by every day. Almost all of us have some kind of challenge, struggle, frustration that is making our day to day life a bit harder to manage in these shorter, colder pandemic days. The little acts of kindness we show to each other are gifts that cost nothing.
Please note that generally referrals to BHS social workers should be requested through a student’s counselor or dean. Social workers are excellent resources for BHS students AND have very large caseloads at this time, especially this year with the more heightened level of mental health needs in our world. While they would love to have more availability, they are not always able to meet weekly with every student who may ask for this support.
We encourage families to seek out mental health resources through the Brookline Center or their own health insurance programs. If a student or family needs assistance with this step, please feel free to contact the student’s counselor or one of the BHS social workers.
BHS School/ Guidance Counselors (link takes you to our well-resourced BHS Guidance website AND the department video):
BHS Social Workers video (Karen Kennedy – social worker for students in Gr 10-12 is also part of the BHS social work team) :
BHS counselors at both the OLS and 115 Greenough buildings will be present both in person and remotely in our hybrid school plan. Students will be offered a safe, confidential space in the 285 guidance suite and near the 9th grade counselor offices at OLS to set up zoom meetings with counselors and social workers who may be remote on certain days. space to remotely talk with a counselor or social worker.
Students should contact their counselor directly for more information on how to set up these counseling zoom meetings while in-person at school. Various posters will be shared and posted this week with instructions about how to make appointments and also with QR scan codes that students can use from their phone to automatically connect with their counselor’s or social worker’s phone, email, or zoom office hours space.
Reminder - All NEW UPDATES will be highlighted in BLUE each week for easy scanning of newest info.
9th, 10th, and some 11th graders – Need some extra academic support in almost any subject area? Your BHS peers are here to offer excellent tutoring help?
Virtual X Bock Homework Center is now open to 9th graders, sophomores and juniors!
The Homework Center is staffed by some extraordinarily supportive peer tutors who are strong in Math, Science, History and English. The Zoom link is https://zoom.us/j/98810954213?pwd=c01EdmVpYnVMZDNNTEhxWkpMd0tnZz09
Mutual Aid Brookline information:
Brookline Virtual First Light - Starts Thursday - Chamber of Commerce
December 3 - December 10
This year, First Light is going virtual! Join the Brookline Chamber of Commerce in celebrating our amazing local businesses for a whole week of fun. From family-friendly events to adult activities, check out the engaging online programming at our free First Light website. Use our interactive maps to explore all the different events our businesses have to offer -- from DIY crafts, to music and dance performances, to behind-the-scenes tours -- there's something for everyone.
Brookline COVID Testing Site - Mondays through Saturdays - Department of Public Health**
**NOTE: subsidy program for uninsured residents!**
Where: outside the Public Health building at 11 Pierce St.
Who: town residents, Public Schools of Brookline students and teachers, town staff
Test type: PCR swab tests
When: Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Walk-ins are welcome, but appointments can be made by booking online. The testing program will run until Dec. 31.
How much: COVID-19 testing for symptomatic individuals and close contacts is covered by insurance in Massachusetts, and should be billed to insurance by mPathy (the testing vendor). Uninsured symptomatic individuals and close contacts will have the cost of their test covered by the Town via CARES funding. Asymptomatic individuals will be required to pay $140. Asymptomatic individuals who seek testing may request reimbursement for the expense through their insurance company.**
More information: https://brooklinecovid19.com/2020/11/19/town-of-brookline-makes-covid-19-testing-free-for-uninsured-residents-who-have-symptoms-or-have-been-identified-as-close-contacts/
**Note: this service is not free under all circumstances. It has been included here as there are no-cost services included in the Town's offerings, depending on your insurance provider and now expanded with the uninsured testing subsidies. You can use this map from MEMA to locate other testing options:
Please contact your healthcare or insurance provider, or MAB if you don't have a provider, if you need further assistance finding a testing center. Whether or not to seek COVID testing should not be a financial decision!
Mutual Aid Brookline (MAB) hotline and support organization - Their new hotline hours will start this Monday 11/16 and will be 9 am to 6 pm on Mondays through Fridays and closed weekends. Please feel free to reach out to this email (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you have any questions or concerns.
Website: Mutual Aid Brookline
From the BHS Nurses: As a reminder, a new state mandate requires that all students get a flu vaccine by December 31, 2020. Any questions should be directed to the BHS nurses’ clinics at OLS - April_Armstrong@psbma.org
and Jill_Seaman-Chandler@psbma.org / Megan_Day@psbma.org / Kate_Donnelly@psbma.org
Reminder - Free breakfast and lunch items are available for FREE for ANY STUDENT in the school district for the remainder of the school year. If your student needs a breakfast or lunch, have them stop by the cafe at either 115 or OLS. Special order lunches can be pre-ordered at Meal Ordering Form
Questions/Concerns? Please contact directly with any questions/concerns/feedback - Sasha Palmer
Food Service Director Tel: 617 730 2499 Email:email@example.com
Mental health Supports:
Students - Feeling down? Always anxious or worried? Concerned about someone else in your life – friend, family member? Not sleeping well because your mind can’t shut down? If these questions sound familiar, please don’t worry alone.
Guidance/school counselors and other clinical support staff at Brookline High are here to listen, assess, and support you so you are not carrying these burdens alone. Please reach out to your counselor. You can also reach out to a BHS faculty member (including Darby Neff-Verre – Coordinator of BHS Guidance/Counseling) to start the conversation about how we can help you build strategies or get connected to feel safe and better about your situation. Contact your counselor at their email, zoom visiting hours, or phone.
Expert Advisory Panel 2 on Support to Address the Whole Child Experience will post a tip each week to support caregivers during this time.
Often, the tools and techniques we use to help us relax and ‘take down the volume’ (going for a walk or run, taking an exercise class, listening to music, talking to a friend, being by ourselves) aren’t possible or don’t work in situations when we need them most. If you’re helping your child with remote learning at the same time you’re on a work call, you can’t go for a run or turn on your favorite music. Instead:
- Do a couple of body stretches
- Shake out your hands, arms, legs to release tension,
- Consciously release your jaw
- Literally shift your focus: If you’re feeling stressed, turn away from whatever you’re doing (computer screen, your child or partner) if only for a couple of seconds, and shift your gaze. This can be enough to disrupt the cycle
HandholdMA.org is a new online initiative from DMH/CBHI to provide comprehensive, accessible, multi-lingual mental health information for parents, caregivers, and families. Parents-caregivers know their child better than anyone. You may still have a few questions. COVID-19 is putting incredible pressure on families. You might be noticing your child is struggling in new ways, or that old problems are getting worse.
It answers common questions such as, 'Should I worry?' 'What can I do?' and 'Who can help?'
Here's the link: https://handholdma.org/
Family Support Groups offered by BRYT Central. These groups will happen three times a week and will remain open to all parents (not just parents of BRYT students). There is now a Spanish language group up and running.
Currently, the times are:
- Tuesdays at 7:00 PM
- Wednesdays at 7:30 PM
- Thursdays at 12:00 PM
BHS Clubs – Look up clubs on this list: http://bhs.brookline.k12.ma.us/clubs-and-activities-list.html
Community Service Opportunity Ideas – BHS/ Brookline area:
Rescuing Leftover Cuisine (RLCMA), a non-profit organization that connects available food to those who need it. Our online calendar posts available “Food Rescue Events” for volunteers to sign up to pick up food from businesses and deliver to organizations and households experiencing food insecurity in the Cambridge, Greater Boston and MetroWest areas, at no cost to the recipient.
Lastly, thanks to the City of Boston, RLCMA can reimburse volunteers without their own vehicle for tolls or a cab/Uber/Lyft used for transporting food.
Learn more about RLCMA: https://tinyurl.com/Welcome-To-RLCMA
Sign up to volunteer with RLCMA: www.rescuingleftovercuisine.org/volunteer
Want to become a tutor? Join Study Buddy Tutoring!
We're a non-profit tutoring organization seeking to educate and give back to underprivileged towns and neighborhoods in the greater Boston area.
Why should you join:
1. We have students currently awaiting tutors.
2. Community service hours can be earned into school credits. (50 hours= 0.25 credits).
3. It looks great on college apps!
If interested in joining, please fill out this google form: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1SwnI_ud2HSguKt9WJGH5f9I-m26iT2wESyJYZRHH0Rs/edit or email us firstname.lastname@example.org
Letters for Rose is a BHS student-run volunteer organization. We take letters, cards, and artwork made by volunteers and send them to Brookline senior homes. We want to make sure that the Brookline senior residents remember that they are loved and appreciated, especially during the pandemic. We need your help to make sure all those seniors know they are loved!
Sign up using this form: https://forms.gle/KCVm6zS3SwoqKK7r5 or look at this document for more info: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1bSrdA_FLHPRQ8nuMO-o1-WU_9Wuim71t/view?usp=sharing
We are also looking for BHS students for leadership roles! If you are interested in being more involved, sign up using this form: https://forms.gle/A4wM2DcwnMdq6KFh6
Please contact us if you need more information at email@example.com or DM us on Instagram: @lettersforrosema
Career Exploration at BHS:
Missed the Career Coffee Talk on 11/20 with a personal trainer and coach?
Here is the link to the recording: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1ibYYID_imMLZOmWZebAKLnI4loCNZlAD/view
It's senior portrait time! Each senior must submit their portrait, baby picture, quote, and activities by January 31st. Please see the link for submissions In Ms Lynn’s CANVAS email sent earlier today. You will also find links to important yearbook resources for ordering books, learning about senior portrait expectations, buying recognition ads, getting involved with yearbook staff and more! Please check out this informational video or slideshow to get more details. If you have any questions, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thinking of changing sending an ACT or SAT test score after you’ve applied test optional?
BHS Counselors are advising students to call each school that they are applying to ask how to manage shifting from test optional to sending scores because there does not seem to be common practice in admissions offices.
SENIORS – READ YOUR EMAILS!
ALSO BE SURE TO FOLLOW ANY APPLICANT PORTAL DIRECTIONS for colleges you will be applying to, if they have a portal protocol. Your efficiency in opening up these accounts after applying is sometimes monitored by admissions offices to gauge your level of interest!
MEFA financial aid events will all be online this fall. BHS Guidance partners with the Massachusetts Education Financing Authority (MEFA) each year to provide families with a wealth of financial aid information. This year, due to the global pandemic, MEFA will not be sending their speakers out to high schools. Please visit https://www.mefa.org/events to investigate upcoming webinars and take a look at their very informative website.
Seniors - Please review your unofficial transcript for any missing classes or errors. Contact your counselor with any questions or concerns.
It is your responsibility to be sure your transcript is accurate before giving BHS permission to send to any colleges or post HS grad programs.
You should be checking that you are earning all required credits towards graduation this June 2021 too.
English- 4 credits
Science - 3 credits
Social Studies/History - 3 credits including US History
Math - 3 credits (4 years required for UMass State colleges/universities)
World Language - 2 credits (same language)
Elective - 3 credits distributed across Visual Arts, Performing Arts, Career/Tech, Community Service
Wellness - .5 Lifetime Wellness, 3 - .25 wellness credits
+ additional credits to earn minimum total credits of 22
We will not be sharing any GPA information with colleges on official transcripts. See your Naviance account for your current “working” BHS GPA.
College Application Reminders:
Help the BHS counselors and teachers support your application process by meeting these deadlines. Submit your electronic transcript release forms, your self-questionnaire, your parent/caregiver’s “brag” sheet, and give notice to your teachers who have agreed to write recommendations for you.
If you have college application deadlines for 12/1 and 12/15, you have not yet completed a transcript release request, please do this step and contact your counselor immediately to confirm. Also connect with your teachers regarding recommendations since you are behind in informing these critical BHS staff people who want to do their best to support your college application process.
College Deadline BHS Deadline
January 1 Monday November 30
(includes no school December break)
January 15 Wednesday December 9
February 1 Wednesday January 6
February 15 Friday January 15
Seniors – When submitting your transcript release forms electronically, please:
- use the updated link shared by your counselor (on their CANVAS page or by email)
- be sure to list your college names and addresses CORRECTLY AS THEY APPEAR OFFICIALLY ON THE COLLEGE’S WEBSITE OR NAVIANCE. The processing of your request is slowed down by not including the official name of the college or putting in wrong information.
SENIORS AND JUNIORS
Great quick read from Grown and Flown about college fit in the college search process - written by Adam Weinberg, President of Denison University in Ohio (so there is some Denison specific encouragement). The article also does not cite virtual college search and visit expectations at this time due to the pandemic….but helpful for juniors/seniors and their parents-cargivers to consider - How to Help Teens Find a Good College Fit, From a University President
Did you miss the Gap Year presentation on Nov 5? Here is the recording of this event -
The excellent presenter, Julia Rogers of Enroute Consulting, also shared digital versions of some worksheets she referenced in her presentation and those sheets are attached to this email.
JUNIORS AND SOPHOMORES
Did you miss the Standardized College Admissions Testing presentation on 10/28? BHS Guidance Department with Lenny Libenzon, BHS College Counselor, went over the Junior Year Timeline and Drew Heilpern from Summit Educational Group talked about the different types of standardized tests that our juniors take (SAT, SAT Subject Tests, ACT, AP). You can watch the recording by following this link:
The powerpoint of Mr. Libenzon's presentation is available here.
Summit's Drew Heilpern did a fantastic job presenting the material. Here is his Guide To Testing brochure
Their Practice Test Page is available here.
Parents-caregivers of 9th graders…. Did you miss the 9th Grade Counselor Meet and Greet event on Friday 11/6?
Here is the link to the published powerpoint:
And the recording: