Happy and Safe Thanksgiving to all!
While the focus of Back to School Night #2 onThursday 11/12 was on the classrooms and teacher messages, the BHS counselors and social workers wanted to introduce themselves too! The videos from these dedicated and caring student support educators from BHS are available below on our blog.
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 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 - - There will be NO groups November 23 - 27. Groups will begin again on November 30.
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). A Spanish language group is now up and running.
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 and zoom links.
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:
Interested in joining the Environmental Action Club? legislator group. If you want to get involved with the club you can find the EAC information on the Brookline High School club and activity page. You can also reach the club at firstname.lastname@example.org.If you want any more information and or have any questions you can reach senior Henry Brill, one of the club members and part of the legislative part of the club, at email@example.com.
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:
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
IMPORTANT REMINDER TO SENIORS WHO HAVE APPLIED TO COLLEGE – YOU HAVE 2 STEPS TO TAKE THIS WEEK:
- Check your Quarter 1 grades/courses. BHS Guidance will be automatically sending out all quarter 1 grades to college admissions offices for any senior who has applied to college as of Friday 11/20. Notify your counselor tomorrow with any questions you may have.
- Check your “colleges I’m appllyig to” iist on Naviance. Be sure all schools you are applying to are listed there. If you have changed any application status (EA, ED, Rolling, etc), you MUST inform your counselor of these changes asap.
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
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 or 12/15 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
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.
PSAT scores will be released for students on Tuesday, December 8, 2020. For a student to get their scores:
- You may need to update your account information. Log in to the College Board student score portal and follow the instructions to verify your account.
- Log in to the student score portal and learn how to use your PSAT/NMSQT access code to verify your account.
- Do you have another College Board account? You, your parent, or school counselor could have made it. Log out now and log back in using the other account.
- For more help, call 866-433-7728.
SAVE THE DATE - Sophomore PTO Forum - Join us on December 1 at 7 p.m. for Our New Online World -
Strategies for Dealing with Stress, Screen Time, and Social Isolation
Learn how to support your BHS sophomore in this evolving online world! Online and hybrid learning have brought a whole new set of challenges to our daily lives, with no clear end in sight. On December 1 at 7 p.m. B-PEN (Brookline Parent Education Network) and BHS student Peer Leaders, in collaboration with the 2023 PTO Reps, will present an interactive forum to address these concerns and discuss specific strategies for dealing with stress, screen time, and social isolation. Please join us via Zoom!
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: