Congratulations to all Gr 10-12 graders who started back for some in-person teaching and learning last week, as well the full remote students who are being patient and adjusting as teachers continue to build their teaching and tech repertoire!
Lastly, good efforts from the 9th graders who have been continuing their hybrid and remote plans for the past 3 weeks!
- Same weekly hybrid schedules continue to accommodate safe lunches for all students in the OLS and the 115 buildings -See the attached schedules here for both OLS and 115
- ALL BHS STUDENTS WILL CONTINUE TO HAVE REMOTE WEDNESDAYS.
- Quarter 1 ended Friday, November 6. Student report cards will be posted on the student/parent portals on Thursday Nov 19.
- Wondering how to support BHS educators who are feeling lots of “feels” these days all at the same time – Thanks to the BHS PTO for the wonderful message outside the 115 Greeough entrance for our hardworking teachers and educators at both 115 and OLS!
- Grown and Flown suggests 12 Ways Parents Can Support Their Teen’s Teachers (and other educators) in these times - Try this one: Write a note letting an [educator] know specifically how s/he has helped your student - an encouraging note or email from a parent can go a long way toward making a teacher/counselor/dean/educator feel appreciated. Knowing that s/he has made an impact on a child’s life–academically or personally–and that parents have noticed that impact, can give an [educator] the boost s/he needs to face the next challenge.
While the focus of Back to School Night #2 last Thursday was on the classrooms and teacher messages, the BHS counselors and social workers wanted to introduce themselves too! Here are the videos from these dedicated and caring student support educators from BHS-
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 offering 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 (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 (email@example.com) if you have any questions or concerns.
Website: Mutual Aid Brookline
Ways to donate:
Write a check payable to Bonnie Bastien (write "MAB" or "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
COVID testing site in Brookline now open and will provide tests for town residents, Public Schools of Brookline students and staff, as well as town employees, and family members of staff and students.
PCR swab tests will be available on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Wednesdays and Fridays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Appointments can be made by booking online here. Walk-ins are also available. The testing program will run now until Dec. 31.
Testing will be conducted outdoors in tents in the Health Department parking lot at 11 Pierce Street, while weather permits. Testing will then be moved inside to the Denny Room, located on the lower level of the Brookline Department of Public Health Building, accessed through the Harvard Street entrance.
Testing is available for both symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals, however, only the costs for those displaying symptoms will be processed through the patients’ health insurance provider. Asymptomatic and uninsured individuals will be required to pay $140. Asymptomatic individuals who seek testing may request reimbursement for the expense through their insurance company.
We are hopeful that this testing site will provide a convenience for parents, students, and staff to undergo timely testing when symptoms develop, to identify positive cases quickly, as well as to allow for a quick return to school when tests are negative and symptoms have resolved.
To facilitate contact tracing within the schools, staff or students who live outside of Brookline must sign a consent form allowing the test results to be sent directly to the Department of Brookline Public Health, in addition to the health department of the individual’s home residence.
School nurses will continue to work collaboratively with the Department of Brookline Public Health to identify close contacts of positive cases within the school setting. An individual’s local board of health will continue to manage the positive cases of their community. This partnership allows for a quicker review of close contacts within the school system and determination of school attendance.
- For more information about the Town of Brookline’s ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic, visit BrooklineCOVID19.com.
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:firstname.lastname@example.org
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:
· Try a few of the breathing exercises listed on 10/5
· 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
· Take one task at a time as much as possible to avoid overwhelm, knowing that sometimes we need to power through difficult situations in the best ways we can.
Brookline Center is offering new support groups for children and adolescents - - see attached flyers for more information :
- Gender Exploration Group: 8th-11th Graders
- Mind-Body Wellness: 9th-12th Grade Females
- Teen Process Group: Females Ages 15-17
- Adolescent DBT Group: 15-18yo / 10-12 Grades
- High School+ Boys Group for Building Social Skills
- Person of Color (POC) Teen Therapy Group (10-12th graders)
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/
Brookline Public Library Teen Librarian Robin Brenner continues to offer Teen Stress Less take-away kits just for teens in grades 8-12. Need to take a break? We've created new Teen Stress Less Kits - complete with everything you need to take a break from screens, complete a relaxing project, and have fun. To learn more about these teen events, text @brklibteen to the number 81010.
Family Support Groups offered by BRYT Central. This organization is restarting the online Family Support Groups they began last spring 2020. As they get up and running this fall, groups will happen three times a week and will remain open to all parents (not just parents of BRYT students). We are working on getting a Spanish language group up and running - stay tuned!
Currently, the times are:
· Tuesdays at 7:00 PM
· Wednesdays at 7:30 PM
· Thursdays at 12:00 PM
Feel free to contact email@example.com or your Family Engagement Coordinator for more info! See the attached flyer for more info.
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:
Dance Marathon is hosting a virtual trivia night on Saturday, Nov 21 and Sunday, Nov 22nd! There will be fun prizes available to the winners.
There is a seven dollar donation fee required to sign up.
All the donations go to Boston Children's Hospital, do it for the kids!
The link to sign up is: https://forms.gle/TLUwTWb1hZuNPMDp7
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org with further questions!
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:
Join us in the virtual College and Career Center this Friday 11/20 during X block to hear from Andres Luzardo, a personal trainer and coach about his career journey. Did you know that personal trainers make on average $20/ hour when they start, and it only goes up from there! If you would like to attend please email Ms. Kennedy at
firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday 11/20 at 10am with your first and last name and your psbma zoom account name, you will then receive the link to the Coffee Talk. We look forward to seeing you there!
Online resource for virtual STEM volunteer and internship opportunities in Boston and beyond- https://blog.volunteercrowd.com/best-stem-volunteer-projects-for-students/#utm_source=Email&utm_medium=STEM-Educator&utm_campaign=CollegeAdvisors
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 email@example.com
The leaders of the Brookline DoSomething Club lead campaigns on social issues. One of their campaigns is to gather a list of scholarships + resources for undocumented students. They wanted to spread the word about this resource so here is the link to the list: https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/13UXBGHR_P_vErimu0LiA5kJ1Ysp8EziwhU4r9EUjRmM/edit?usp=sharing
If you missed the Senior Parent Coffee Q&A on Thursday 10/22, below is the link for the recording:
Oct 14 BHS SAT test takers - The College Board has released scores for the 10/14 in-school SAT, starting this past Wednesday 11/4. Scores should now be fully available on students' College Board accounts. Any student who doesn't have a CB account should set one up at https://www.collegeboard.org/.
Students can call the College Board Student Help Line at 866-756-7346 and go to option "scores" if they have any further questions.
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 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
December 15 Monday November 16
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.
Virtual College Representative visits at BHS will continue for only 2 more weeks– Seniors can attend any and all college sessions of schools they plan to or are interested in attending. The schedule and REQUIRED zoom link registration can be found on your Naviance homepage. This is a wonderful way to learn more about colleges, ask important questions, and show demonstrated interest!
SENIORS AND JUNIORS
Thurs Nov 19, 7-8:30pm - MA State Universities Virtual College Fair and College Panel - This opportunity will help juniors and seniors explore all nine Massachusetts State Universities. During this event, students will have the opportunity to meet with, hear from, and ask questions of the admissions staffs at Bridgewater State University, Framingham State University, Fitchburg State University, Massachusetts College of Art and Design, Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, Massachusetts Maritime Academy, Salem State University, Westfield State University, and Worcester State University. This event is an open style college fair, where visitors can move at their own pace, in and out of virtual rooms to meet with admission reps from each campus. For more information and registration required so click this link: Registration for College Fair
Sign up for NYSACAC Virtual College Fairs
Thinking about college or finalizing your list? Here's your chance to hear firsthand from those-in-the-know at hundreds of colleges and universities nearby, across the country, and around the world.
How? Attend the NY State Association for College Admission Counseling (NYSACAC) Virtual College Fair! More than 75+ colleges and universities will be online to talk with you about admissions requirements, opportunity programs, and financial aid on Thursday, November 19 from 4-7 p.m. EST
The virtual fair is a free, one-day event. Attend as many as you'd like, and stay for as long or as little as you like. Parents invited, too. Sign up now at bit.ly/nysacacfair. When you register, NYSACAC will send you a guide to help you navigate the college fair to help you find your best fit, and reminders to make sure you don't forget to sign on.
Don't miss this opportunity to learn, connect, ask questions, and discover your best fit! Reach out with questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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:
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: