News and Notes

Welcome Back to School! We hope your vacation was great and everyone is back safe and ready for start learning again!

Two great performances this week!
The PTO and Performing Arts Council are pleased to present the interactive improv troupe, ImprovBoston. Performances will be held at 9am (grades 4-5) and 10:15am (grades 6-8) on Thursday, February 25 in the auditorium.

On Friday, February 26, Tanglewood Marionettes will perform The Fairy Circus at 9am for grades K-1 and at 10:15am for grades 2-3 in the auditorium. Parents are welcome to attend all performances. For more information please contact, Lisa Viola (lviola@rcn.com).

Family Skate Night is this Friday night 5:00pm-7:30pm at the Skating Rink at Larz Anderson Park.  A great time will be had by all (on and off the ice!).  Admission is free thanks to your support of the PTO. Skate rentals will be available and the concessions open, selling pizza, hot dogs, hot chocolate and snacks. See you there!

Family Fun Night is back on and only two week’s away, Friday, March 4th from 6:00pm – 8:30pm.
Join the Lawrence community for food, games, crafts, and lots of fun! There are still volunteer slots available to choose from. Please signup online at http://lawrencepto.ivolunteer.com/ffn_2016. If you have any questions or suggestions please contact the coordinators Vanessa Trien at vanessatrien@gmail.com or Alison Kulkarni at alisonkulkarni@gmail.com.

Superintendent Search Update
The Public Schools of Brookline have announced the final candidates for a new Superintendant. Please join them on February 22nd, 23rd, and 24th, to meet the finalists and share your input with the School Committee.
For the most up-to-date information on the search, including the schedule of finalist interviews, please continue to visit the Superintendent Search webpage at www.brookline.k12.ma.us/supersearch.

New Student Health Survey – Full Report Just Released
Did you know that among Brookline adolescents alcohol and marijuana use is down, but reports of overwhelming stress and anxiety are up – 82% among 9th-12th graders, 79% among 7th-8th graders? These are just some of the key results from the Brookline Public School’s latest Student Health Survey, just released in full and available at www.B-PEN.org. The survey’s Executive Summary as well as a Summary Comparison Tables pdf  are now available as well. Check them out — you’ll find out just what Brookline adolescents are up to these days.
LOOKING AHEAD

Join us for The Breakfast (Book) Club, a new event at Lawrence School on Friday, May 13th. The event, which will be held from 8:00-9:00 am in the library, offers parents and teachers a chance to come together and talk about raising children in today’s world and to enjoy a breakfast catered by the PTO.

Questions? Stop by the literacy room, 214, call us at 617-879-4333, or email Dianne Muendel: dianne_muendel@brookline.k12.ma.us. Click here for more information.

BOOK FAIR MAY 24 – 26:  The Lawrence Used Book Fair is quickly approaching!  All proceeds will benefit our school.  So, it is time to clean out your closets/basements/homes and donate all your books to the Lawrence School!!  We are officially collecting books from now until May and need LOTS to have a fantastic book fair.  Please put all books on the book cart in the front lobby of the school.  If you have questions and/or would like to help out with the book fair, please contact Karen Stern at kqstern@gmail.com or Dana Greene at greene_dana@hotmail.com.

AROUND TOWN

Executive Function 101: Strategies and tools for teaching children how to develop independent executive function skills.  An evening with Sarah Ward, Co-Director at Cognitive Connections. Tuesday, March 29th  7:00-8:30 pm in the Heath School Auditorium. Third in a series from Brookline Talks, a new speaker series for parents. Sponsored by Brookline K-8 PTOs, the Brookline Education Foundation & the Brookline Community Mental Health Center.

Corner Co-Op Nursery School Open House
The Corner Co-op, 1773 Beacon Street, Brookline, is having an  Open House Tuesday, Feb. 23 & Thursday, March 31, both from  7 – 9 pm. We offer a unique opportunity to participate in your child’s formative years and create an extended family with others. We nurture children’s natural need to learn and grow through a dialogue-centered process and regard play as an essential medium of learning.  Meet staff and parents.  Slideshow & discussion (7:30 – 8 pm) Contact us for more information at 617-738-4631, visit us online www.cornercoop.org or check us out on Facebook.

Parent Network Group for parents of teens with social/emotional issues.
On February 23, 7-8:30 p.m. at Winthrop House (Baldwin School Building, 490 Heath Street) B-PEN and Family Advocate Hope Schroy are initiating a Parent Network for parents whose 6th-12th grade students are having social/emotional issues. This initial meeting is just to give parents an opportunity to connect with one another, learn about available resources, and discuss what might be helpful going forward, such as additional services, speakers, advocacy, etc. What do you need, and how can we help? Join us for this confidential, non-judgmental Parent Network gathering. For more information, contact Hope Schroy (hope_schroy@brookline.k12.ma.us)

COMMUNITY CLIMATE CHANGE DISCUSSION-
​What Can We Do Together? Here in Brookline, we ​are working on the methane gas leaks throughout our town. Our natural gas pipes are so old that leaks abound throughout Massachusetts and there may likely one near your home! Come and see the map.  You can discuss these and other issues with Brookline Mothers Out Front, Friday ​​February ​26​​​th in Brookline Village, KooKoo Cafe. 8am-9:30am. ​ AND come to some of the Climate Week events www.brooklineclimateweek.org  (March 28th-April 30)

Brookline Music School presents CrosswindsFolk-Inspired Music from Four Continents with faculty members Anthea Kechley (flute) and Gregory Tolwinski (piano/harpsichord), joined by guests Catherine Weinfield-Zell (oboe), and Michael Weinfield-Zell (percussion), presenting eclectic selections by Bartok, Piazzolla, Takemitsu, and Volans. All ages are welcome, the concert is free, and followed by a Meet the Artist Reception.
Sunday, February 28, 2016, 3:00pm, Bakalar Recital Hall, Brookline Music School. 25 Kennard Road, Brookline, MA 02445.

Urban Improv Teen Wellness Workshop
Are you a student in 7th grade or above, or parent of one, who wants to learn about stress in adolescents? Urban Improv will take on these topics in an engaging, interactive performance, followed by teen & adult breakout discussion groups facilitated by Rotary Interact trained peer leaders and adult mental health professionals.
Sunday Feb. 28 2-4pm at United Parish 15 Mario St., Brookline.
Registration link: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/teen-wellness-workshop-tickets-20811946091

Introducing Innovation At Brookline High School
Parents are invited to join BHS  teacher Sam Dickerman at the VineRipe Grill the evening of Monday, February 29th.  Sam will talk about his special projects as the 21st Century Fund’s first ever Innovation Fellow, and then he will lead a workshop on how parents can use technology tools like Naviance and Canvas to help interface with the high school.  Visit www.bhs21stcenturyfund.org for more information, or contact Stacey Zelbow (stacey_zelbow@brookline.k12.ma.us)

Brookline Special Education Parents Advisory Council (SEPAC) invites you to join a presentation by prominent Special Education Attorney Daniel T.S. Heffernan of Kotin, Crabtree & Strong, LLP. Mr. Heffernan will be discussing special ed law and strategies for effectively resolving disputes with the district. Tuesday, March 1st, 6:30p.m. – 8:30p.m. in the Driscoll School Library, 64 Westbourne Terrace (main entrance). There will be time for general questions. Light refreshments will be served, No fee, all parents and guardians welcome.
Please visit www.brooklinesepac.org for more information.

Parent Network for Brookline’s LGBTQ Students (March 1, 7-8:30 p.m at Brookline Public Health Department’s Denny Room)
B-PEN hosts its second Parent Network meeting for parents whose students identify as LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning). This second meeting will feature guest speaker Dr. Greg Fenton, a Brookline parent of two who specializes in primary care for adolescents, LGBT Health, and HIV/AIDS Care at Fenway Health. If you are unable to attend and would like to be part of the network, contact Hope Schroy (617-713-5155, hope_schroy@brookline.k12.ma.us). If your child would like to speak to someone, they or you can contact Jorge Membreño in Room 149 (617-713-5149, jorge_membreno@brookline.k12.ma.us.)

Devotion Science Fair 2016 Calling all scientists!  The Devotion Science Fair and Science Expo will be on Saturday March 12th, 2016 at the Devotion School.  The Science Fair is a fun and exciting day full of amazing student science projects and an Expo with great hands on activities, demonstrations, and interactive games.  We invite all kids to explore an idea, question, or experiment YOU are EXCITED about!  There will be lots more information coming soon (mid-January) about what a science fair project is, how to think up and test you idea, and how to present your results.

This event is open to all students throughout Brookline, grades K-8.  The registration website will open soon.  You’ll be getting more info in January.  GO SCIENCE!

It’s Spelling Bee Time!
Support your fellow 5th grade students as they spell their way victory at the annual 5th Grade Spelling Bee, hosted by the Brookline Education Foundation. This good old-fashioned spelling bee will be on Sunday, March 13 at 1:00pm in the BHS auditorium.

Brookline Youth Climate Adaptation Challenge – Science Fair
Participate In This Unique Environmental Science Fair on Saturday April 2, 11:00am-2:00pm at the Pierce Cafeteria.
Examine an Environmental Issue and Present YOUR Solution! Think BIG! Be Creative, Practical or Outrageous!
Register as an individual, group (with friends), class or school. Registration is free and open until March 1, 2016.
For more information on the event send an email to CrystalJohnsonISES@gmail.com

Workshop: BE THE PARENT YOU WANT TO BE!
Do you ever feel frustrated with your child? Find yourself shouting often and imposing punishments or rewards in reaction to challenging behavior? Do you wish you had a more effective parenting approach that also helps to build a better relationship between you and your child? Think:Kids Collaborative Problem Solving (CPS) approach, based in MGH’s Department of Psychiatry, provides parents with concrete tools to better understand and parent their kids in the face of day-to-day challenges – e.g., getting to school, homework, screen time, bedtime – and more serious challenges. It’s based on the understanding that many kids lack the skill, not the will, to behave well – specifically skills related to problem solving, flexibility and frustration tolerance. This CPS approach helps parents to: 1) Shift their thinking and approach to foster positive relationships with their child; 2) Reduce their child’s challenging behavior; 3) Build their child’s self-regulation, communication and problem-solving skills; and 4) Solve problems collaboratively and proactively. For more information and to register for the March or April/May workshop in Brookline, please visit: http://betheparentyouwanttobe.weebly.com/

The Brookline Tutor Mentor Program (BTMP) connects Brookline High School students to middle school students for tutoring and mentorship. They are funded by a grant from the Brookline Community Foundation and operate with the generosity and support of the Brookline Teen Center.
The program is completely free and they welcome students of all socioeconomic backgrounds and is open to 6th, 7th and 8th grade students.
The program runs on Sundays at the Brookline Teen Center from 12:30-2:00pm, but some pairs choose to organize alternative times to tutor. Join now.
You can learn more at www.brooklinetm.tk.

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