Due to higher COVID and other absences for students and faculty, plus overall stress concerns for all, this year’s midyear exam period will shift to cover 4 school days on Thurs 1/20, Fri 1/21, Mon 1/24 and Tues 1/25. Students are NOT required to attend full days of school on these midyear exams days BUT ARE REQUIRED TO COME TO ANY EXAM SCHEDULED BY THEIR TEACHER IN CERTAIN SUBJECTS. Teachers will be reviewing for and continue to share their expectations for this “exam time” – which may include actual exams or assessments/projects, etc. Students should be aware of the exam plan for each of their classes now or during this week of school.
Intercession Day is now scheduled on Wed January 26. This day is focused on a “A Call to Action”. With our whole school reading Just Mercy as a starting point, the school community will reflect on what it means for all of us at BHS to individually engage and take action to create a more just school, community, and world. All students are expected to be in school for this day.
The 2nd quarter end date has now shifted to January 26, 2022. There will be “critical update” reports uploaded ONLY for students who are in danger of failing a course for quarter 2. These updates will be posted on the student and parent portals on approximately Wed Jan 12. Be sure to check for any updates for your student.
Also today - Monday 1/10/22 - is the final Q2 Flex block for students in grades 10-12 Hub/Advisory block. Please be aware of the following:
- Advisors will take attendance for Hub/Advisory. If a student wants to work with another teacher for extra help during this FLEX time, they should communicate BEFORE T with both Hub/Advisory and other teacher to confirm this arrangement. (Note - A student fails Hub/Advisory if they exceed 3 AWOLS (an unexcused absence) per YEAR.
- The default is for students to stay in their Hub/Advisory and get work done during this time. With midyears and the semester's close on the horizon, all students have work they can do to help themselves succeed. It should be a helpful block.
Reminder – No School on Monday January 17 (MLK) and February 1 (Lunar New Year)
Many of us – students, BHS staff, and parents-guardians -continue to feel tired, stressed, and burnt out. Here are some thoughts borrowed from the book Burnout – The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle- “The problem is, the world has turned ‘wellness’ into yet another goal everyone ‘should’ strive for, but only people with time and money and nannies and yachts and Oprah’s phone number can actually achieve.” Here are some tips for unlocking the stress cycle:
- Realize that stress is not always bad for you. Being stuck in stress is.
- Physical activity is the single most efficient strategy for managing the “stress cycle”.
- Pursue these daily goals: Breathing, Positive Social Interactions. Laughter. Affection. (“Wellness is not a state of being; it is a state of action.”)
- Self-compassion and gratitude empower us to recognize the difference between who we are and who the world expects us to be.
- Take a “planful” approach to stressors you can change, and positively reappraise the things we can’t control (ie reframe difficulties as opportunities for growth and learning.)
- Focus on the healing connections with others – even your dog. Connections can create energy, renewing both sides. So when you feel sadness, rage – connect.
- Meaning is important in life. Make meaning by engaging with something larger than yearself.
- Get some rest.
As stated in previous updates, B-PEN (Brookline Parent Education Network) – and the BHS support staff of counselors, social workers/psychologists, deans, and special educators - continue to hear that Brookline families are concerned about mental health these days, especially regarding our youth. While direct services are often limited, information and resources ARE readily available. Check out the BHS mental health care list (copy and paste - https://docs.google.com/document/d/1HXy-ToiqM9sYLkAVM9DowCBiKuvBxwzLr2oXAjfUWnA/edit?mc_cid=5e71b25715&mc_eid=ca3683a655) and B-Pen’s webpage (https://www.b-pen.org/mental-health.html?mc_cid=5e71b25715&mc_eid=ca3683a655).
IMPORTANT NOTE – As always, thank you to students and family members for reading this weekly BHS Counseling/Guidance Dept Weekly Update. This weekly BHS Counseling/Guidance Dept update will continue to be sent out during the earlier weekday of each school week, but not over the weekend/Sunday. Your understanding and support are greatly appreciated!
These BHS Counseling Dept Weekly Update emails are sent to all students and the 1st contact parent/guardian listed on the students’ X2 accounts.
All NEW UPDATES will be highlighted in BLUE each week for easy scanning of newest info.
Public Schools of Brookline SEPAC continues to sponsor the “IEP for Home” Parent Workshop series through March! Thanks to a very generous collaboration with the Office of Student Services, SEPAC is able to offer four more 90 minute sessions with Developmental Pediatrician Dr. Erik Von Hahn. Dates (all Wednesdays) and topics are as follows;
Module #3 - Eating
January 19 from 7:00 - 8:30 pm*
February 2 from 8:30 -10:00 am
Module #4 - Schedules and Routines
February 16 from 7:00 - 8:30 pm*
March 2 from 8:30 -10:00 am
(* offered in conjunction with the Newton SEPAC)
All sessions also include an open Q&A. In previous sessions, these sessions offered excellent conversations about students of all ages. Parents across the age span are encouraged to attend.
The information flyer is attached to this weekly update. The registration link can also be found here - https://docs.google.com/forms/d/17IHj5_l0lbFS9a9LRIdUfWm4m_Vbd__MgN9DHjrcTNo/edit
Mutual Aid of Brookline (aka MAB - mutualaidbrookline.com; General Hotline: 617-651-1468):
Compassionate Conflict Resolution for Women via Zoom - Sundays, Tuesdays, Thursdays - Cambridge Women's Center
Sundays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays
Drop in to learn, practice or get support around resolving conflicts with family, friends and co-workers using this established and effective process. All levels welcome! Zoom drop-in times: Sundays 6-8pm. Tuesdays, 6-8pm. Thursdays, 1-3pm. Info/Zoom link: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mutual Aid Brookline (MAB) Food Resource Suggestions:
- SNAP/EBT Clients Can Use Their Cards for Stop and Shop Delivery
After the long wait, EBT can now be used to set up either pickup or delivery from Stop and Shop! More info: https://www.mass.gov/snap-online-purchasing-program and https://stopandshop.com/pages/snap-ebt-overview.
- Brookline Food Pantry Has Moved
PSA: The Brookline Food Pantry has moved from their St Paul St location over to United Parish at 210 Harvard St! (The other locations at Egmont St and High St remain the same.) https://www.brooklinefoodpantry.org/
Current 9th, 10th, 11th graders –
** SWS applications are now being accepted for the 2022-23 school year…. Consider applying to be in SWS (School Within a School) next year! Check out our website (https://www.swsbrookline.org/) to learn more about this small democratic community that exists within BHS. Application link - https://docs.google.com/document/d/15qK-ANdn4liPhGZ9kFvLXYvNsaFvXwzc-SQCbXFpjzU/edit
** ACE is now starting its 2022-23 application process too – Interested students should take the first step by coming to an ACE information session and to review the ACE website:
We will be offering these info sessions during all the upcoming X blocks in the ACE office (room 257) and more times will be added, as needed. Students who would like to attend an info session should contact ACE secretary Christine_Carruthers@psbma.org to schedule and to find out location. Once a student has attended an info session, they will be scheduled for a classroom visit. As in years past, ACE will also have a parent info night in Feb. This flyer will be shared later this month.
Picture Makeup Day is scheduled for this Friday January 14. If you haven’t gotten an updated picture and school ID, this is your last chance for the school year! If you were absent or missed the first picture date, this will be your only opportunity to obtain your school ide and your school pictures. More information to follow
The weather is getting chillier… Need a quiet and social place to enjoy your lunch at the 115 campus? Join Lunch Lounge!
9th grade Social Lunch has begun at the OLS campus every Wednesday too!
Social Lunch/ Lunch Lounge is offered for all of the students who may or may not have some social connections in classes, including new to BHS students. It is a welcoming, inclusive drop-in lunch community that engages kids with friendly conversation, other kids interested in making friends, and a warm and familiar staff member. At this time, Lunch Lounge is offered for these lunch blocks in Room 277:
Week A - Monday E -Lunch B only
Wednesday C - Lunch A and B
Friday D - Lunch A and B
Week B - Monday E - Lunch B will start week of 9/20
Wed C - Lunch A and B
Friday D - Lunch A and B
Need some extra help in your science class for Grades 10-12?
The Science Help Center is starting Monday 11/15! If you're looking for some extra help, the center will be open every morning (except Tuesdays) during Z Block in room 204. Please reach out to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
BHS Career exploration and community job opportunities:
Know a teen looking to earn some extra money this winter? Join the Shovel Our Snow program through Brookline Recreation! Residents of Brookline in need of shoveling help will contact students directly to set up jobs and work out payment. This is a great way to help out our community while earning money! To sign up visit www.brooklinerec.com or call 617.730.2069
Ms Kate Kennedy, the BHS Career Counselor, is out on leave until March 2022. One of the BHS counselor interns, Analisa Fazio, is covering many of the duties of this role while Ms Kennedy is out. Please contact Ms Fazio at email@example.com if you have any questions about career exploration, job seeking and interviewing, and resume writing. She is able to set up an appointment to help you.
BHS Club Info:
- The Do Something Club is back! Our club focuses on doing little things that help our society. Some examples of this are: donating books to Boston Public Schools, compiling and distributing a list of scholarships available to undocumented students, as well as writing kind notes to other students struggling with mental health issues. To learn about "Do Something" you can go to their website: www.dosomething.org. This club will meet Tuesdays of Week A during X-block in room 305. This club does not require too much of your time and our goal is to develop a tight-knit community that can support you throughout this year.
- BHS Club Fair info is available here: http://bhs.brookline.k12.ma.us/clubs-and-activities-list.html This list is for 21-22 clubs. The Club Fair slideshow has also been released via Canvas to students. Students can access/re-access more information on how to join, etc. As more clubs update, we will update the presentation.
- Interested in Public Health and the right to global health? Join Partners In Health Engage Brookline! During our club meetings, we educate our members on the current status of Global Health, how Partners In Health is involved, hold fundraising events, and advocate Global Health equality legislation to our members of Congress. We meet virtually on Week A Mondays through Zoom at 8:00 PM. If interested, fill out this google form: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSclGf8eTx3VbLuTzDZmuFndW7yn_dkjg2vlIW9a45hmkbwDQQ/viewform
Community Service Opportunities for BHS Students:
- Become a tutor on Mondays after school! The Brookline Literacy Program will be running a tutoring program at the Mather School on Mondays after school, beginning January 24th. BHS tutors will leave BHS around 3:20 every Monday and return by 6pm. Transportation will be provided there and back each day. This is a great opportunity to get community service hours, including time spent in transport. If you are interested in becoming a tutor with us, please apply at the link below: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1WBlpDL3Td2r791vBVeNSYo17pQmd8cW6MU_NqCdABY4/edit?usp=sharing (Links to an external site.) If you have any questions, feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org or Ms. Knightly email@example.com
- Brookline Community Fridge - Ongoing - Brothers & Sisters Café, 15 Station St - The way the system works is that a business will host a space for the fridge and pay for electricity. The fridge is run by volunteers who perform tasks like removing expired food, keeping the fridge clean, donating food, and keeping a running list of what the fridge could use. Siracusa hopes to recruit more donations and volunteers for the project. Anyone interested can find more information on the Brookline Community Fridge Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/brooklinecommunityfridge/) or sign up to volunteer via this form: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/10c0c44a9af28abfdcf8-volunteer1.
- Tech Buddies Help Brookline community members by troubleshooting technology questions! The Tech Buddies program provides a tablet and 12 months of free internet access to low-income elders or adults with a disability living alone. They also provide technology education as well as tech support for our participants. Tech Buddies is in desperate need of volunteers to help us make the Tech Buddies program a success and we are actively recruiting volunteers for the following roles: tablet delivery/set-up/basic education (in-person) or become part of our Tech Squad (remote). Please email Sophie Gordon at firstname.lastname@example.org with your interest or questions. CORI background check required.
- BHS National Honor Society is looking for JUNIORS to volunteer their time with the NHS peer tutoring program - NHS has a student tutor match program, which pairs students who need extra support with student tutors. They are currently looking to add juniors to the tutor list. If you are strong in certain subjects and would like to earn some community service hours, NHS hopes you sign up! https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSetVIKmrqcbTcjD2F4i6k1WfwPqVsfcWhIRjDZ25M2ntFQMpw/viewform
- Become a tutor on Mondays after school! The Brookline Literacy Project will be running a tutoring program at the Mather School on Mondays after school, beginning in January. BHS tutors will leave BHS around 3:20 every Monday and return by 6pm. Transportation will be provided there and back each day. This is a great opportunity to get community service hours, including time spent in transport. If you are interested in becoming a tutor with us, please apply at the link below: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1WBlpDL3Td2r791vBVeNSYo17pQmd8cW6MU_NqCdABY4/edit?usp=sharing (Links to an external site.) If you have any questions, feel free to email email@example.com or Ms. Knightly firstname.lastname@example.org
- The Brookline Food Pantry needs more volunteers to continue helping our community in the wake of increased food insecurity because of the pandemic. All students ages 15+ that are fully vaccinated are eligible. Here is the link: https://annelisegross3141.wixsite.com/bfp-bhs
- Brookline Community Fridge - Ongoing - Brothers & Sisters Cafe
15 Station St - The way the system works is that a business will host a space for the fridge and pay for electricity. The fridge is run by volunteers who perform tasks like removing expired food, keeping the fridge clean, donating food, and keeping a running list of what the fridge could use. As the holiday season approaches, Siracusa hopes to recruit more donations and volunteers for the project. Anyone interested can find more information on the Brookline Community Fridge Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/brooklinecommunityfridge/) or sign up to volunteer via this form: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/10c0c44a9af28abfdcf8-volunteer1.
- Help Deliver Tablets and Troubleshoot Technology - Ongoing - Tech Buddies
During the height of the pandemic, many low-income Brookline elder residents were left extremely isolated. Once the Brookline Public Library and BHA community rooms closed, residents relying on shared technology assets were left with no online resources. It was not possible for them to video conference with friends or family members, order food delivery online, or even schedule telehealth appointments with providers. The new Tech Buddies program provides a tablet and 12 months of free internet access to low-income elders or adults with a disability living alone. They also provide technology education as well as tech support for participants. They are in desperate need of volunteers to help make the Tech Buddies program a success and are actively recruiting volunteers for the following roles: tablet delivery/set-up/basic education (in-person) or become part of our Tech Squad (remote). Please email Sophie Gordon at email@example.com with your interest or questions. CORI background check required.
- Brookline Thrives Volunteer Opportunities
Brookline Thrives has many volunteer opportunities available to BHS students. Pack bags, restock inventory, or even help with Friday distribution. View and sign up at this link - https://www.signupgenius.com/go/70A0E45A8A722A5FD0-december
All volunteers must be at least 15 years old.
– Check out Teen Life by copying and pasting this link- https://www.teenlife.com/category/volunteer/?keyword=&location=boston&program-type=volunteer
- The BHS Community Service info on the school’s website has been updated with BHS specific community service opportunities plus opportunities in the Brookline/Boston area - http://bhs.brookline.k12.ma.us/community-service.html
- Have free G block and want to be a tutor for students in grades 3-5? The BLP is running a tutoring program for students at Lincoln School in Steps to Success from 2:40 to 3:30 pm on Mondays, Tuesdays (week B only), and Wednesdays. You Do NOT have to do all three days. You pick the days that work for you. This is a great opportunity to get community service hours and help elementary/middle school students with their homework. If you are interested, please fill out this very short form - https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSevzvNLts20y0w-UopAbZ-AWn9vEGgp2GWOckwpKa6-9FDNAw/viewform
If you have any questions, please email Eleanor, firstname.lastname@example.org
IMPORTANT – The BHS Scholarship Application now available for submission:
If you would like to be considered for one of the many scholarships awarded through the Brookline High School Scholarship Program, please complete the BHS Scholarship Application and submit your CSS Profile to the BHS Scholarship Program. The application is easy to complete and is available online on the Brookline High School homepage. To make fair decisions, the Committee requires that families fill out the CSS Profile financial aid form, available at CollegeBoard.com. Please use the Brookline Scholarship Program code, which is 0424
If you would like to be considered for the BU or Northeastern scholarships, please apply by January 10th and submit your CSS Profile by then too.
The Scholarship Committee would like students and parents to know that three criteria are used for choosing award recipients: academics, contributions and activities at BHS, and most importantly, unmet financial need. There are no merit scholarships per se given out through this program.
Many seniors who have applied to Early Action and Early Decision colleges have heard back decisions from these schools. We join students in their positive news about acceptances. The BHS counselors are also here to support students and to consult with students about next steps if they were not accepted to a college(s) of high interest. Please contact your counselor by email or stop by to talk or leave a note at the counselor’s door if they are not available. We understand this can be an exciting time for many students and a challenging time for others. Use our support!
If you applied Early Decision or Early Action to college, you could receive one of three results: Accepted , Denied or Deferred. In the very rare instances, you could also be Waitlisted directly from early round. Please see the attached BHS suggestions document for next steps if you were deferred or waitlisted. We do not advise students to get additional teacher recommendations from this school year until speaking to your counselor or College Counselor Lenny Libenzon. Always feel free to contact your counselor or BHS College Counselor Lenny Libenzon if you have any questions or concerns.
If you are a senior who applied EA/ED/rolling - All seniors should be reading all emails. It is critically important to check the portals of the colleges they have applied to as well. If any documents are missing for their application, this is where that information will be requested. If an applicant does not provide those documents (or check with your counselor if BHS related), your application may not be considered!
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.
Note below – If you have February 1 deadlines, please follow the steps below to be sure the BHS counseling department works with you to meet that deadline.
College Deadline BHS Deadline
February 15 Tuesday, January 18
Seniors – When submitting your transcript release forms electronically, please:
● use the updated transcript release link shared by your counselor
● 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.
JUNIORS and SENIORS
BHS Guidance/Counseling Dept is proud to co-sponsor the annual Virtual USA GAP YEAR on Tuesday, January 18 from 6-8:30pm. Register for this event using this link - https://bit.ly/3FfKdFM
There will also be an in person USA GAP YEAR fair in Cambridge, MA on Saturday 1/22/22 from 1-4pm. Register for this Saturday in person event using this link - https://bit.ly/3Eg8N7Y
Why take a gap year? The best way to learn about gap year options and connect with gap year program providers is to connect face-to-face at a USA Gap Year Fair virtual or in-person event. With more and more students choosing to take gap time this year, there is a growing need for students, parents, and educational professionals to become aware of the advantages of taking “time out” from traditional education and “time on” for experiential learning.
USA Gap Year Fairs is an annual circuit of 40+ events that bring together reputable gap year organizations, interested students and parents, educational professionals, and gap year experts. For the past 15 years, the circuit has crossed North America each winter; this year, the events have been redesigned to meet a virtual format. As the premiere event series of its kind, the fairs have provided students with a broad exposure to gap year programs that encourage active learning through travel, cultural immersion, service, work experience, and mentorship.. Opportunities for face-to-face conversations with gap year program providers, trip leaders, advisors, and gap year alumni offer attendees a personal and individualized experience. Each event begins with a presentation by gap year advisors and alumni. These gap year experts provide attendees with a rich overview of the gap year option, share relevant data, highlight authentic student experiences, and provide tips and resources to help guide families through gap year research.
To register for other FREE Virtual USA Gap Year Fairs: https://www.gooverseas.com/gap-year/usa-fairs/schedule
More Gap Year info… Wellesley/ Weston/ Wayland High Schools are hosting a Wednesday, January 12th GAP Year information evening for junior/senior families. This is an on-line event, but they only have bandwidth for 300 people.
Jason Sarouhan is a wonderful presenter!
Speaker: Jason Sarouhan, Founder, J2 Guides
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 872 0258 1990
Brookline SEPAC (Special Education Parent Advisory) suggests this virtual opportunity - added below - to hear about student support differences between high school and college for students with IEPs and 504s. BHS Guidance will also be offering a virtual panel to share information and answer questions regarding college support for students with learning differences on March 30, 2022 @ 7pm. More info to come on this event….
Preparing High School Students with Disabilities for College
Preparing for college is a process. It includes learning how to be an independent learner, how to advocate for oneself and how to improve ones academic skills continuously. Students with disabilities going to college should understand they will be expected to perform - and will be assessed - in the same manner as their peers.
Westfield State University's Banacos Academic Center is hosting hour long Zoom sessions for high school students and their parents/guardians. Disabilitiy/Accessibility Services staff from various MA Universities and a Westfield State University rep will be present. Sessions are capped at 50 sign ups.
Monday, January 10 at 6:30 pm
Thursday, January 13 at 12:30 pm
Tuesday, January 18 at 3:30 pm
Wednesday, January 19 at 6:30 pm
Register for a session - https://secure.blueoctane.net/forms/processor.php#top_of_form
Please contact Sarah Lazare, Director, Banacos Academic Center at Westfield State with questions
Post High School planning activities started for juniors last Thursday 1/6 with a required Junior Assembly during T block. If you are unable to watch the webinar through your advisory, please use the information below to log in to the College Process Webinar presented by Mr. Libenzon- Please click the link below to join the webinar:
Counselors will start rotating through junior hub/advisory blocks to share information about post high school planning steps and resources during the months of February/March 2022. Juniors can also reach out to their counselor to set up an individual meeting on this conversation, after we return from break.
Changes to this plan….
Junior “Night” for BHS junior parents-guardians has been rescheduled as a virtual presentation on Thursday, January 27 from 8:20-9:20am. This event will be recorded.
The BHS counselors have long term experience supporting any BHS junior to start sorting out their plans after BHS graduation. We’re here to help you!
In late October 2021, the BHS Guidance department offered a virtual presentation to junior parents and students about the Junior Timeline and College Admissions Testing. To review this information, go to the BHS Guidance link - https://bhs.brookline.k12.ma.us/guidance - and scroll down to the Junior Timeline heading posted on 10/29/21.
SAT Prep Class offered by the Brookline Adult Education program is an excellent prep course at lower cost than many other private companies. This course begins on January 25, 2022. Please see the attached flyer for more info.
PSAT scores have been released to juniors via individual student’s College Board accounts. If you have not been able to access your PSAT score, please see your counselor or check in with Mr Libenzon, the BHS College Counselor in office 280.
What does Test Optional REALLY mean?
Copy and paste this brief and informative overview from the Bryn Mawr College blog for more info - https://themawryouknow.blogs.brynmawr.edu/2021/10/27/the-test-of-the-test-should-i-apply-test-optional/
BHS Librarians are again offering TEST PREP THURSDAYS for Juniors and Seniors from 3-4pm in the BHS Library! Please stop by the library to find out the support, resources, and direct tutoring that is available for our students.
Parents of 10th graders – Please join us this Wed Jan 12 – 8:15-9:15am - Gr 10 PTO Parent zoom meeting with BHS 10th Grade Counselors - Intro to the Junior Year Timeline and Course Request suggestions.
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 999 1040 4384
9th grade counselors and support team members are excited to support all 9th graders in the move to 22 Tappan officially on Wednesday January 26! This will be the entire BHS community’s Intercession Day – “Call to Action”. Students are hearing regular updates on what this transition will look like overall and specifically for their classes from teachers and 9th grade administration.
The 9th grade counseling team continues to host a Social Lunch for 9th grade students who might benefit from having a quieter place to eat lunch, especially our students who have had a more difficult time finding social connections during lunch! Students should come by the OLS Main Office during any Wednesday lunch period. Thanks to the counselor team for offering this important opportunity!