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    The Heath School

    The Public Schools of Brookline
    A METCO Partnership School
     
    Welcome to The Principal's Corner, where you will find regular updates about what is happening here at Heath!

     

     
  • November 15th, 2019

    Dear Heath Community,

    Our Celebration of Reading Week is next week! We have many events scheduled for next week, including:

    • Our Used Book Fair – before and after school beginning Tuesday afternoon through Friday
    • Celebration of Books Family Night from 5-8 pm on Wednesday the 20th featuring a presentation by visiting author Rajani LaRocca who will have copies of her books for sale; free craft making, book trivia quizzes, a student poetry slam, most creative costume prize, and pizza sales benefitting the 8th grade and a bake sale benefitting the PTO.

    There is still time for you to:

    1) bring in used books we can sell and deposit in bins at front of school, and

    2) have kids dress as their favorite literary character/author or in keeping with a particular literary theme on Wednesday and Wednesday evening at out Family Event

    Interested in helping out? Sign up here: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/10c0f4eaba723a7f94-volunteers OR donate baked goods or crafts https://www.signupgenius.com/go/10c0f4eaba723a7f94-celebration

    _____

    “One Heath” Events

    I wanted to – again –enthusiastically invite you to join our “One Heath” meetings this year.“One Heath” is a volunteer committee comprised of teachers, parents, and school leadership to help further our knowledge, awareness, and practice of one of our core values here at Heath School: educational equity. Equity in education means that personal or social circumstances such as race, ethnic origin, gender, or family background, are not obstacles to achieving any student’s full educational potential.  The "One Heath" initiative is intended to unpack and study our community’s strengths and growing edges in the area of educational equity and  bring us all – parents, students, and teachers – closer together as a community as we seek to understand the existing barriers to equity in education and implement impactful solutions. It is our hope that this work will make us an even kinder community of depth and understanding and that student members of our community will share this learning wherever and with whomever, as it is needed as they travel through life.

    We will have four "One Heath" gatherings this year:

    • December 9th – 2:45-4:15
    • February 3rd – 2:45-4:15
    • April 13th – 2:45-4:15
    • June 8th – 2:45-4:15

    I encourage you to put these dates into your calendars now, and am hopeful that many of you will join us in a shared and constructive conversation about race and equity here in our school.

    Teachers and other school staff will also be attending, making this an especially rare occasion in which we can talk about who we are and what we are all about together.

    Please respond to this rsvp if you plan to attend. If you forget to rsvp, the session will remain open to you.

    _____

    Volunteers Needed! Understanding Our Differences and Similarities program

    The 4th grade Understanding Our Differences and Similarities programs kick off with Hearing presented on November 22nd and Vision presented on December 13th. Parent volunteers make this program possible. To date, we have two parent volunteers. The actual time commitment for each program is one hour in the cafeteria leading small group activities. The training can be done over the phone or in-person if meeting after drop-off or before pick-up is more convenient, and takes only 15 minutes. The time commitment is small relative to the huge value this program offers the students. Please reach out to Jeannine Schroder at jeannineschroder@aol.com or Danielle Dykeman at danielledykeman@yahoo.com to volunteer. Thank you! 

    _____

    Fish Tacos on Tuesday!

    On Tuesday November 19th the PSB Food Service Department has invited a local fisherman from Red’s Best Seafood to the Heath Elementary School during all K-8 lunches!  They will be serving up Catch of the Day Baja Fish Tacos and offering other fun, interactive activities! Any questions regarding allergies or other information, please contact the food service department or our great school nurse, Ms. Corcoran.

    _____

    Family Skate Night Coming Up!

    Friday, December 6

    5:00-6:00pm & 6:30-7:30pm

    Jack Kirrane Rink at Larz Anderson Park

    Ice time generously provided by Heath PTO! Thanks!

    Skate rentals and concessions available for purchase.

    _____

    Jolly Jaunt 2019!

    Join Heath School teachers and participate in the Jolly Jaunt this December! Some of us are running others are walking, heck ... Ms. Watkins, one of our amazing school psychologists,  might even dance through parts of the 5K. No matter what your movement style is, we will have fun and can meet for a group photo pre-race and snacks post-race!

    Lets come together as a community to raise money for Special Olympics by participating in the Jolly Jaunt! The Jolly Jaunt is a 5K run/walk. This year’s Jolly Jaunt will be taking place on Saturday, December 7th at 9am at the Boston Common. To join this great team:

    Visit the Jolly Jaunt website at to join the Heath School Team:  https://specialolympicsma.donordrive.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=donordrive.team&teamID=5556

    This event is SO much fun! Ugly sweaters and holiday accessories encouraged! We can't wait to run/walk/dance/crawl with many of you!

     _____

    Upcoming Events:

    • Monday, November 18th: BEEP Parent Coffee, Cafeteria, 8:00-8:45am
    • Monday, November 18th - Friday, November 22nd: Heath School Book Fair Celebration of Reading
    • Monday, November 18th: ADL Training, Select 7th & 8th Graders, 8:00am-2:30pm
    • Tuesday, November 19th: Service Learning Club, Room 204, 2:30-3:15pm
    • Wednesday, November 20th: K-8 Early Dismissal at 12:40pm
    • Wednesday, November 20th: Book Fair Family Night, 5:00-6:00pm
    • Thursday, November 21st: Evening Conferences
    • Friday, November 22nd: Understanding Our Differences & Similarities: Spectrum of Sight, Grade 4, Cafeteria/Auditorium, 8:00-11:00am
    • Friday, November 22nd: Grades 6-8 Report Cards Published to Parent Portal
    • Friday, November 22nd: 5th-8th Grade Chorus Members performing at the Providence Bruins Game at 7:05pm, Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence, RI
    • Wednesday, November 27th: Early Dismissal: BEEP at 11:00am and K-8 @ Noon
    • Thursday, November 28th - Friday, November 29th: School Closed: Thanksgiving Break
    • Thursday, December 5th: K-8 Early Dismissal at 12:40pm
    • Thursday, December 5th: 2020/21 Kindergarten Registration Information Session, School Committee Room on the 5th floor of Brookline Town Hall, 8:30-9:30am
    • Friday, December 6th: PTO First Friday Coffee, Cafeteria, 8:00-9:00am
    • Friday, December 6th: 2020/21 Kindergarten Registration Information Session, School Committee Room on the 5th floor of Brookline Town Hall, 8:30-9:30am

    _____

    Candy Drive: Winner!

    And to end, congratulations to 2A for donating the most candy during our candy drive last week.  The Service Learning Club had really hoped to offer a donut party to the winning class, but Ms. Arsenault and I will be working together to make sure the celebration meets the needs of all learners in her class.  Thanks again to all for the donations!

    Happy, well-deserved weekend!

    Asa

    Dr. Asa Sevelius, Ed.D.

    Heath School Principal

    ______________________________

     

    November 8th, 2019

    Dear Heath Community,

    Today was our Professional Learning Day. We had the good fortune to learn both deeply and broadly together. The Wee the People team spent the morning with us talking about the ABCs of Racism, and teacher presenters guided small groups in very deep and personalized learning throughout the day. We take our craft very seriously and days like this provide the time and space needed to refine our practice. Know that we seek new knowledge and strategies that we can implement right now in service of our students.

    Monday is Veteran’s Day. As the child of an Army Lt. Colonel, I know first hand what it means to serve. I have seen the enormous pride inherent in those who serve or have served. I also know the ramifications of war, and the impact it can have on a soul. StoryCorps does a nice job capturing these stories.  I hope you’ll give some a listen.

    ---

    No more candy, please. I mean, really. 300+ pounds is enough.

    All of the donated candy has been sent on to the Wellesley Dental Group for weighing.  This Service Learning Club effort was a major success, with over 300 pounds of candy received. On Tuesday, the SLC weighed and sorted the candy by class.  These are NOT the final numbers, but do show a whole-school commitment by parents to coax the halloween candy from their children and get it out of their houses. All kidding aside, it was wonderful to see so many students give so freely, with our PreK crew coming in to give small zip lock bags with 3 or 4 pieces, to older kids bringing in garbage bags full – so many kids gave so openly and willingly to the cause. I am proud of us.

    ---

    Kindergarten Enrollment

    K

    _____

     Upcoming Events:

    • Monday, November 11th: School Closed: Veteran’s Day Holiday
    • Tuesday, November 12th: Evacuation Drill, 9:00-10:00am
    • Thursday, November 14th: K-6 Early Dismissal at 12:40pm
    • Friday, November 15th: SEPAC Monthly Meetings at Town Hall, 8:30-10:00am
    • Monday, November 18th: BEEP Parent Coffee, Cafeteria, 8:00-8:45am
    • Monday, November 18th - Friday, November 22nd: Heath School Book Fair Celebration of Reading
    • Monday, November 18th: ADL Training, Select 7th & 8th Graders, 8:00am-2:30pm
    • Tuesday, November 19th: Service Learning Club, Room 204, 2:30-3:15pm
    • Wednesday, November 20th: K-8 Early Dismissal at 12:40pm
    • Wednesday, November 20th: Book Fair Family Night, 5:00-6:00pm
    • Thursday, November 21st: Young Scholars Meeting, Room 209, 2:30-3:30pm
    • Thursday, November 21st: Evening Conferences
    • Friday, November 22nd: Understanding Our Differences & Similarities: Spectrum of Sight, Grade 4, Cafeteria/Auditorium, 8:00-11:00am
    • Friday, November 22nd: Grades 6-8 Report Cards Published to Parent Portal
    • Wednesday, November 27th: Early Dismissal: BEEP at 11:00am and K-8 @ Noon
    • Thursday, November 28th - Friday, November 29th: School Closed: Thanksgiving Break

    See you all Tuesday! 

     

    Asa

    Dr. Asa Sevelius, Ed.D.

    Heath School Principal

    ______________________________

    November 1st, 2019

    Dear Heath Community,

    To begin, a happy (belated) Diwali to our Hindu families who celebrate this important festival of lights! Let light prevail over darkness this season and all year round.  May it be so!

    We are a community of learners. It is our “bread and butter,” so to speak. This week we were able to host various forums in which we could learn more deeply about one another and from one another, including:

    Our First Parent Affinity Group Meeting

    This past Wednesday morning in the library, we hosted our first Parent Affinity Group for African American parents and caregivers, a place where these folks of a shared identity joined in rich, open discussions, speaking from primarily their common point-of-view. Several of our wonderful Heath staff members were also present to listen and contribute. This affinity groupNot only did our parents and caregivers leave feeling a greater connection to each other, but also unanimously expressed a desire to meet again. Affinity groups help us join with our peers to share our knowledge and thoughts in a space that is both safe and comfortable. Here at Heath, we love when our families are able to lean on each other for support and a listening ear! As our “North Star” states, when we feel safe and supported, we are able to learn and grow. We are excited to see more Parent Affinity Groups for other shared identities in the near future to help continue growing our relationships. 

    Rise @ Heath

    Recent news shared by the Brookline SEPAC shared that "Ben Lummis [Interim Superintendent] discussed the multiple steps required to create an additional RISE program outside of Runkle, and that this program would potentially be located at Heath School."  I want to confirm that we are indeed in the very early stages of planning to bring a RISE program to Heath. RISE stands for Reaching Independence through Structured Education and serves primarily, but not exclusively, students on the Autism spectrum. Should Heath prove to be a best-fit location for this programming, we will move thoughtfully, carefully, and with great care for how to establish such a program with integrity, collaboration, and faithfulness to the charge and needs of the students, staff, and families.

    Today, at our First Friday Coffee, Brookline staff – Casey Ngo-Miller, Deputy Superintendent of Student Services; Melissa Devine, Directory of Autism and Inclusion Programs; Regina Watts, BEEP Interim Principal; and myself – met with families to discuss RISE and the promise and potential inherent in bringing such a program to Heath. It was a robust conversation; I am thankful to those who participated, including families with children in the Runkle RISE program.  Here is today’s PowerPoint and here are resources you can use right now to talk with your children about those living with Autism.

    Please know that this is just the start of a bigger conversation. Expect to hear about more opportunities to learn more about the program, hear from other parents, and support the launch of this critical work.

    Candy Drive

    Today we launched our candy drive and the support was overwhelming!!! Remember: the Heath School Service Learning Club has launched its first action of the year: a candy drive for the troops.  Candy collection will be held between 1st - 7th November 2019. Candy from this drive will be sent with oral hygiene kits from a local dental practice (Wellesley Dental Group) to deployed troops around the world through the non-profit local organization CarePacks. Many, many schools will be participating. The school who donates the most candy, by weight, will win $1,000.00, money we can put to use right away for things like recess balls and more!  If after Halloween, you are overrun by a glut of candy, please consider making a donation.  Pack up left over/excess candy in sealed bags and write your students class on them and bring them to the Main Office.  We ask that candy does not go to classrooms so that students with allergies are made to feel safe.

    Thanks for the consideration and Go Hawks!

    ~ The Service Learning Club

    Upcoming Events:

    • Tuesday, November 5th: ADL Training, Select 7th & 8th Graders, 8:00am-2:30pm
    • Tuesday, November 5th: Service Learning Club, Room 204, 2:30-3:15pm
    • Thursday, November 7th: Young Scholars Meeting, Room 209, 2:30-3:30pm
    • Friday, November 8th:  School Closed for Students; Teachers and Paras Report
    • Monday, November 11th: School Closed: Veteran’s Day Holiday
    • Thursday, November 14th: K-6 Early Dismissal at 12:40pm
    • Friday, November 15th: SEPAC Monthly Meetings at Town Hall, 8:30-10:00am
    • Friday, November 15th: Understanding Our Differences & Similarities: Spectrum of Sight, Grade 4, Cafeteria/Auditorium, 8:00-11:00am
    • Monday, November 18th - Friday, November 22nd: Heath School Book Fair Celebration of Reading
    • Monday, November 18th: ADL Training, Select 7th & 8th Graders, 8:00am-2:30pm
    • Tuesday, November 19th: Service Learning Club, Room 204, 2:30-3:15pm
    • Wednesday, November 20th: K-8 Early Dismissal at 12:40pm
    • Wednesday, November 20th: Book Fair Family Night, 5:00-6:00pm
    • Thursday, November 21st: Young Scholars Meeting, Room 209, 2:30-3:30pm
    • Thursday, November 21st: Evening Conferences
    • Friday, November 22nd: Grades 6-8 Report Cards Published to Parent Portal

    Thank you for all you do to help create and build this incredible community!

    Asa

    Dr. Asa Sevelius, Ed.D.

    Heath School Principal

    ______________________________

     

    October 25th, 2019

    Dear Heath Community,

    Our School Site Council met at the end of last week, spending our time together looking at a range of data sets on how we are doing in ensuring our children – all of the students who are at Heath – are thriving, or not.  The role of the School Site Council is to engage in critical conversations about the health – academically and culturally – of the school and to create the School Improvement Plan. Our current SIP is coming to an end and together we will craft a new one that will carry us through the next three school years.  I am thankful for these parents and educators for their insights, commitment, and help.

    There are so many ways to contribute and engage here at Heath. Speaking for myself, I have a very hard time trying new things. I wonder, Will I like everyone? Will everyone like me? Will I enjoy what’s happening? Why do I feel so anxious? All of those questions swirl in my mind before I step into a new opportunity. If you’re thinking, “That’s just like me!” then think about joining with a friend! For example, our “One Heath” meetings will start in December.  This might be just the right time for you and a friend to try something new! If you are interested in joining One Heath meetings (see my missive from last week, below), please RSVP here. We are eager to start planning, so if you'd like to share thoughts on the upcoming conversations, please let me know via the form. If attending a First Friday Coffeeis more your jam, come on down! Saving your best for parent-teacher conferences? Sweet! No matter how you contribute, we want to connect with you. You are your child’s greatest champion, first friend, and fiercest protector and we want to get to know you, too.

    _____

    Halloween

    At Heath, we do not go all-in at Halloween, though we recognize that the Halloween spirit is in the air. Individual classroom teachers determine if costumes are permitted in class on Halloween. If a child chooses to wear a costume, weapons, masks, gore, or scary things are forbidden – after all, we are a PreK through 8 school and we want everyone to feel safe (i.e., not scared!). Truth be told, the vast majority of student do not wear costumes, saving the fun for Halloween evening.

    Halloween Candy and Nut Allergies

    Before we know it, Halloween will be here! During this time, there is a glut of candy and students are eager to bring it to school to eat.  We ask that all candy stays at home and that, in particular, candy that contains nuts doesn’t come into the building. While we are not a nut free school, many of our classrooms are nut free and plenty of our students have mild to severe allergies. Please take the time in the coming weeks to talk with your child and reiterate our needs to keep everyone safe, happy, and healthy.  Gail Corcoran, our nurse, will send guidance as we get closer to Halloween. 

    Street Closures

    For the 5th consecutive year, the streets around Heath School will be closed to motor vehicles on Halloween night to allow for safe trick-or-treating in this very popular neighborhood!  From 6pm-8pm, you will not be allowed to drive onto Ackers Ave, Loveland Rd, or Doran Rd.  We encourage you to walk over to this neighborhood on Halloween, or you may park your car on Eliot Street or other neighboring roads.  Thank you, and we hope you all have a fun and safe Halloween!

    Sincerely,

    The Settlement Neighborhood Association

    On Making Informed Costume Choices:

    Dressing up is the best part of Halloween, for sure, but this selection of articles can help us gain perspective on why some costume choices are not actually choices.  Race, religion, identity, gender, mental illness … these are core parts of individual’s identities and definitely not costumes. Check out these articles and this one (warning: scary picture), too, for some broader perspectives.

    _____

    Cross Country Results

    Congratulations to all the students who participated in today's crosss country meet! Heath had an excellent showing, including 1st Place in the 7-8 combined girl's team! While we await official times from today's cross country meet, I am very happy to share this:

    trophy

     

    Upcoming Events:

    • Tuesday, October 29th: Art Barn Performance for Grades 1-3 & 4O, Auditorium, 8:30-9:15am
    • Tuesday, October 29th: Art Barn Performance for Grades 4-6, Auditorium , 9:45-10:30am
    • Wednesday, October 30th: Parent Affinity Meeting for African-American Parents and Caregivers, 7:30-8:30am
    • Wednesday, October 30th: CAP Program: Part 2 in 1S, 8:45-9:30am
    • Wednesday, October 30th: CAP Program: Part 2 in 1R, 10:15-11:00am
    • Wednesday, October 30th: CAP Program: Part 2 in 1OC, 12:30-1:15pm
    • Thursday, October 31st: Heath Science Fair Committee Meeting, 8:00-8:30am
    • Friday, November 1st: PTO First Friday Coffee, Cafeteria, 8:00-9:00am
    • Tuesday, November 5th: ADL Training, Select 7th & 8th Graders, 8:00am-2:30pm
    • Tuesday, November 5th: Service Learning Club, Room 204, 2:30-3:15pm
    • Friday, November 8th:  School Closed for Students; Professional Day for Staff
    • Monday, November 11th: School Closed: Veteran’s Day Holiday
    • Thursday, November 14th: K-6 Early Dismissal at 12:40pm
    • Friday, November 15th: SEPAC Monthly Meetings at Town Hall, 8:30-10:00am
    • Friday, November 15th: Understanding Our Differences & Similarities: Spectrum of Sight, Grade 4, Cafeteria/Auditorium, 8:00-11:00am

     

    May the weekend ahead be exactly what you need it to be!

     

    Asa

    Dr. Asa Sevelius, Ed.D.

    Heath School Principal

    ______________________________

     

    October 18th, 2019

    Dear Heath Community,

    I wanted to enthusiastically invite you to join our “One Heath” meetings this year.“One Heath” is a volunteer committee comprised of teachers, parents, and school leadership to help further our knowledge, awareness, and practice of one of our core values here at Heath School: educational equity. Equity in education means that personal or social circumstances such as race, ethnic origin, gender, or family background, are not obstacles to achieving any student’s full educational potential.  The "One Heath" initiative is intended to unpack and study our community’s strengths and growing edges in the area of educational equity and  bring us all – parents, students, and teachers – closer together as a community as we seek to understand the existing barriers to equity in education and implement impactful solutions. It is our hope that this work will make us an even kinder community of depth and understanding and that student members of our community will share this learning wherever and with whomever, as it is needed as they travel through life.

    We will have four "One Heath" gatherings this year:

    • December 9th – 2:45-4:15
    • February 3rd – 2:45-4:15
    • April 13th – 2:45-4:15
    • June 8th – 2:45-4:15

    I encourage you to put these dates into your calendars now, and am hopeful that many of you will join us in a shared and constructive conversation about race and equity here in our school.

    Teachers and other school staff will also be attending, making this an especially rare occasion in which we can talk about who we are and what we are all about together.

    Please respond to this rsvp if you plan to attend. If you forget to rsvp, the session will remain open to you.

    Thank you for considering the invitation!

    _____

    School Safety

    At Heath, we pride ourselves on being a safe and connected community, a place where we prioritize relationships and looking out for one another. But this kind of community takes tending to, caring for, and deliberate maintenance.  A few weeks ago, we had an incident in the school in which some of our young students were made to feel unsafe by a known adult in our community.  Adults – parents and staff, alike – intervened and we activated to manage the concerns immediately. After the intensity of the moment seemingly subsided, what arose in its place was a need to do deep listening to the children involved, their families, and each other. Moments like these help to define us as a community. The easy path rarely bears true gifts; it was the hard work of connecting with each other when real understanding and a greater sense of moving forward began to take root.  Safety – physical, emotional, and spiritual – is a top priority at Heath and creates the soil in which those psychic roots can take hold.

    _____

    Evelyn Pertoski’s Retirement

    Our cafeteria manager for many, many, many years – Ms. Evelyn Petroski – has announced her retirement after 25 years of service to Heath and the Public Schools of Brookline.  We wrap e thankful for her dedication to our students and their well-being for so many years and will miss her very much!

    Ms. Marie Leamey is currently serving as our cafeteria manager until we hire our next team member.

    _____

    Student Council: Update

    From our Vice Principal, Mr. Patel:
     
    The Heath Student Council is a body of elected students that work to make Heath better year after year. It is an outstanding tradition with high student engagement. Heath School launched the Student Council a few weeks ago. There was great excitement in the 4th and 5th-grade classrooms with many students running for class representative positions.
     
    The middle school students were just as eager to run for Student Council. The pie charts below are very telling of Heath culture. 

    We asked 6th and 7th graders if they were interested in running for student council rep, more than a 1/3 said yes! 

    27% of 8th graders were interested in running for leadership positions.

    Today, 8th-grade candidates delivered their speeches to 4th and 5th-grade students. On Monday, they will do the same with middle school students and after voting is complete, Student Council will begin its work for this school year. 
    Screen Shot 2019-10-18 at 1.29.14 PM.png
    Screen Shot 2019-10-18 at 1.30.10 PM.png

    _____

    Upcoming Events:

    • Friday, October 18th: Grades 6-8 Interim Progress Reports are Published to the Parent Portal
    • Tuesday, October 22nd: Service Learning Club, Room 204, 2:30-3:15pm
    • Wednesday, October 23rd: Grades 5-8 Town Wide Cross Country Meet
    • Friday, October 25th: Art Barn Performance for Grades 1-3, Auditorium, 8:30-9:15am
    • Friday, October 25th: Art Barn Performance for Grades 4-6, Auditorium , 9:45-10:30am
    • Friday, October 25th: Rain Date: Grades 5-8 Town Wide Cross Country Meet
    • Tuesday, October 29th: Rain Date: Art Barn Performance for Grades 1-3, Auditorium, 8:30-9:15am
    • Tuesday, October 29th: Rain Date: Art Barn Performance for Grades 4-6, Auditorium , 9:45-10:30am
    • Wednesday, October 30th: Parent Affinity Meeting for African-American Parents and Caregivers, 7:30-8:30am
    • Wednesday, October 30th: CAP Program: Part 2 in 1S, 8:45-9:30am
    • Wednesday, October 30th: CAP Program: Part 2 in 1R, 10:15-11:00am
    • Wednesday, October 30th: CAP Program: Part 2 in 1OC, 12:30-1:15pm
    • Thursday, October 31st: Heath Science Fair Committee Meeting, 8:00-8:30am
    • Friday, November 1st: PTO First Friday Coffee, Cafeteria, 8:00-9:00am
    • Friday, November 8th:  School Closed for Students; Teachers and Paras Report

    Field Trips:

    • Wednesday, October 23rd: Grade 6 Waterworks Museum Trip, 9:00am-1:45pm

    Asa

    Dr. Asa Sevelius, Ed.D.

    Heath School Principal

    ______________________________

    October 11th, 2019

    Dear Heath Community,

    It is National Coming Out Day in America – and, yes!, coming out matters.  AND, how you respond when someone comes out to you MATTERS. Indeed, if someone comes out to you (and it might be one of our students … one of your kids) they are letting you into their lives. Please consider it an honor and a responsibility. 

    Yesterday was World Mental Heath Day, a day put aside recognize the myriad strengths of those in our community of all ages who live with mental health needs. The Heath School student support team is a gift to us all; they are the folks I lean into each and every day as we strive to provide safe passage for our students who have mental health needs. And to our families who support these amazing kids, we see you and are so thankful for all you do to make sure they are in school each day.

    And Monday is Indigenous People’s Day. Our Social Studies Coordinator, Gabe McCormick, and Dr.Kalise Wornum, our Senior Director for Diversity & Inclusion, have generously harvested a ton of teaching resources for us to employ in our classrooms this time of year … and year round … to support our learning about and recognition of the lives of Indigenous folks. Gabe writes, “As you are likely aware, the Town of Brookline passed Warrant Article 20 in November 2017. This warrant article establishes the 2nd Monday in October as Indigenous Peoples Day in Brookline. The Town of Brookline also has an official celebration organized by the Indigenous Peoples Celebration Committee. Indigenous Peoples Day Massachusetts has additional information on the concept in general and other local campaigns, including a statewide initiative. In addition to establishing the day, the Warrant Article states that: ‘The Public Schools of Brookline are to observe this day, with appropriate exercises and instruction in the schools around the time of Indigenous Peoples Day, to the end that the culture, history, and diversity of Indigenous Peoples be celebrated and perpetuated.’”

    We hope you will join the Indigenous People's Day celebration Monday at Coolidge Corner School from 1-3!

    We are so very proud to be a part of a community that supports our teachers, families, and students in a collective effort to honor the lives of all people. Importantly, we seek to ensure every student has an opportunity to understand, learn, and – especially – challenge the narratives and stereotypes that have sewn the seeds of disharmony and, often, ignorance. We do this work with an open heart and ask that you join us, today and every day.

     

    Other Notes:

    Going Outside for Recess- 6/7/8

    I will be direct, dear reader – the 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students are not showing up for school ready to go outside and play. Yes, I know that these young people often wear shorts year-round, but we are still going to send them outside to play.  Please help us and remind them of this fact as they are leaving for school?  You might not be able to get a coat or long pants onto them, but at least we can say, “We told you so.” My own 12-year old daughter thinks ripped jeans are the perfect balance of warm and cold, so … [insert exasperated emoji].

    Science Fair!

    "We are excited to announce that this year, Heath will be holding it's very first Science Fair! All K-8 students are encouraged to develop individual or team projects, participate, and win prizes! The Fair will be held on Saturday, February 29th. More details on registration, workshops, and guidelines coming soon! If you are interested in helping with the science fair, please contact Elinor Rosen at heathsciencefair@gmail.com"

     

    Upcoming Events:

    • Monday, October 14th: School Closed: Indigenous Peoples Day
    • Friday, October 18th: School Site Council Meeting, 8:15-9:45am
    • Friday, October 18th: Grades 6-8 Interim Progress Reports are Published to the Parent Portal
    • Tuesday, October 22nd: Service Learning Club, Room 204, 2:30-3:15pm
    • Wednesday, October 23rd: Grades 5-8 Town Wide Cross Country Meet
    • Friday, October 25th: Rain Date: Grades 5-8 Town Wide Cross Country Meet
    • Wednesday, October 30th: Parent Affinity Meeting for African-American Parents and Caregivers, 7:30-8:30am
    • Friday, November 1st: PTO First Friday Coffee, Cafeteria, 8:00-9:00am

    Field Trips:

    • Friday, October 18th: 7th Grade Trip to Hammond Pond, 8:15am-1:30pm
    • Wednesday, October 23rd: Grade 6 Waterworks Museum Trip, 9:00am-1:45pm
    • Wednesday, October 23rd: Rain Date: 7th Grade Trip to Hammond Pond, 8:15am-1:30pm

     

    Thank you for everything and see you all Tuesday!

     

    Asa

    Dr. Asa Sevelius, Ed.D.

    Heath School Principal

    ______________________________

     

    October 4th, 2019

    Dear Heath Community,

    We had a wonderful PTO First Friday Coffee this morning – thanks to all the families who were able to come.  We know that all families are not able to attend all events all the time … we all contribute to the school in so many ways.  For those of you who could not attend, we spoke about:

    • Allergies and school policies around food
    • Concussions and concussion care
    • MCAS scores (for families in grades 4-8, those scores will arrive in mailboxes next week)
    • Opportunities for student involvement, such as Model UN, Math League, Service Learning Club, Yearbook, Student Council, and more! We truly value student involvement and hope more and more students take up the mantle of leadership here at Heath School and beyond.
    • Building projects
    • Field Day (What an awesome day we had here!)
    • Volunteering opportunities
    • … and more!

    Please take the time each week to read the updates from our wonderful PTO leadership to learn more. Again, there are so many ways to contribute to the life of our school – from the hard work of getting your children here on time and ready to learn to running Mayfair. We all contribute and we are thankful.

    Upcoming Events:

    • Tuesday, October 8th: Service Learning Club, 2:30-3:15pm
    • Wednesday, October 9th: School Closed: Day of Low Attendance (Yom Kippur)
    • Thursday, October 10th: Evacuation Drill, 9:00-10:00am
    • Friday, October 11th: Heath School Picture Day!
    • Friday, October 11th: SEPAC Monthly Meetings at Town Hall, 8:30-10:00am
    • Monday, October 14th: School Closed: Indigenous Peoples Day
    • Friday, October 18th: School Site Council Meeting, 8:15-9:45am
    • Friday, October 18th: Grades 6-8 Interim Progress Reports are Published to the Parent Portal
    • Tuesday, October 22nd: Service Learning Club, 2:30-3:15pm
    • Wednesday, October 23rd: Grades 5-8 Town Wide Cross Country Meet

    Field Trips:

    • Friday, October 18th: 7th Grade Trip to Hammond Pond

    Fall is here! Enjoy the beautiful weekend ahead!

    Asa

    Dr. Asa Sevelius, Ed.D.

    Heath School Principal

    ______________________________

    September 27, 2019

    Dear Heath Community,

    Rosh Hashanah is here! L’Shana Tova! If you observe the Jewish new year, we wish you a wonderful, joyful celebration. The new year means a day off from school.  See everyone back here Tuesday morning.

    Gratitude

    I want to thank our staff and families for our Open House events - the attendance was robust and the teachers and staff worked so hard to help you have a full understanding of the work that happens here each and every day. I truly believe that the Heath team is second to none; hopefully you have a sense of that after your Open House session. Being a part of this crew brings me tremendous pride. I hope it does for you, too.

    During the Open House sessions (except in grades 2 and 6-8) I shared a presentation called “Our Vision and Efforts Toward Deepening Equity & Opportunity.” I hope you will all take a moment to check it out on your own, ask questions, and ask “How can I help?”

    Also, thanks one thousand times over to our first grade parents who made our back to school barbecue another success. It took a village to get the grills going, but once we did … the burgers were flying.  I hope everyone had a wonderful time.  We’ll have many more opportunities to volunteer and to celebrate together all year, so always stay tuned to our Upcoming Events section of this missive.

    _____

    Quick Links and Updates

    In an effort to help you stay informed and connected, check out these resources:

    _____

    Upcoming Events:

    • Monday, September 30th: School Closed: Day of Low Attendance (Rosh Hashanah)
    • Tuesday, October 1st - Thursday, October 3rd: Start Date of HASAP Fall 2019 Session
    • Thursday, October 3rd: Field Day
    • Friday, October 4th: PTO First Friday Coffee, Cafeteria, 8:00-9:00am
    • Monday, October 7th: Field Day (rain date)
    • Tuesday, October 8th: Service Learning Club, 2:30-3:15pm
    • Wednesday, October 9th: School Closed: Day of Low Attendance (Yom Kippur)
    • Friday, October 11th: Heath School Picture Day!
    • Monday, October 14th: School Closed: Indigenous Peoples Day
    • Friday, October 18th: Grades 6-8 Interim Progress Reports are Published to the Parent Portal

    Field Trips:

    • Friday, October 18th: 7th Grade Trip to Hammond Pond

     

    Enjoy the beautiful weekend ahead,

    Asa

    Dr. Asa Sevelius, Ed.D.

    Heath School Principal

    ______________________________

     

    September 20, 2019

    Dear Heath Community,

    In just a little while, our Back to School Bar-B-Que will begin! The grills are warming up and the food is overflowing. This event is such a wonderful way to start the year and we are excited to see as many of you as possible on this perfect late-summer night.

    Hispanic Heritage Month has Begun! September 15 - October 15

    Hispanic Heritage Month gives us lots to celebrate and consider, here at Heath and beyond. The City of Boston has a slew of events to join (https://www.boston.gov/national-hispanic-heritage-month) and Latinx writers abound (https://www.oprahmag.com/entertainment/books/a29094239/latinx-a-thon-hispanic-heritage-month-books/).

    Last year, out 4th graders (now 5th graders) went to the Edward Kennedy Institute last year for an immigration field trip, we were joined by a reporter from NPR's Latino USA and she produced a story that highlighted many of our students. It's a long listen, but really cool. Play it on the background while you do something else!

    https://www.latinousa.org/2019/08/20/immigrationkidsreform/

    Enjoy the explorations and celebrations!

    _____

    SEPAC: Meet the Specialists Breakfast

    Dear Families of Children on IEPs, 504s and/or interested in learning more about special education at the Heath School,

    You are invited to the Meet the Specialists Breakfast on Friday, September 27 at 8:00 a.m. in the Heath auditorium.Come meet other Heath parents and the specialists who make a difference in your child’s life.

    Questions? Please reach out to Heath's SEPAC Liaisons, Miriam S. Pappas (miriampappas@yahoo.com) and Mei-An Tsu (Andersonfamily221@gmail.com)

    _____

    Student Action for Climate Change

    Today at Heath, students held a rally on our school steps to demand action on climate change. Collectively, we were able to listen to and consider the critical perspectives of our students, one as young as seven!, who walked out of classes today to spotlight the climate change crisis happening NOW.

    I know that when I lay awake at night, my worries are about the earth, my own behaviors, and my children's very near future struggles should nothing change. Consider a few things you can do right now to make an impact. As Margaret Mead said, "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." Think that you alone are not enough to make a change? Watch this video.

    _____

    Service Learning Club

    Dear 5th-8th graders!

    If you are interested in joining an after school club focused on service learning and we invite you to apply! The Heath service learning club is for students who desire to give back to the community by working in their community for causes decided upon student participants. Students will have the opportunity to  select issues that resonate with them and outline plans of action - all of this led by Dr. Sevelius.

    The club will meet this year roughly every other Tuesday from 2:30-3:15 at the school. While Dr. Sevelius will lead the club, we hope to have other parents and staff come and support us, as well. We'll explore the many ways you can contribute to our community and beyond. You will led new efforts in our quest to give back to Brookline. If this sounds like a good fit for you, and your parents agree, please fill out this brief questionnaire. We look for ward to hearing from you!

    Space is limited! Apply here: https://forms.gle/MoPEmTn35SnccnCs5

    If you were in Service Learning Club last year, you do not need to re-apply.

    ____

    Ball Drive for Recess

    An important message from a Heath School 7th grader:

    “Dear Heath Parents, 

    We know that your kids are always complaining about the absence of balls and equipment at recess. We have decided to do something about it! We have gotten a grant from the PTO to buy a storage box for the playground. But we need your help filling it up! Starting on Monday 9/15, we will be having a BALL DRIVE to collect balls for the playground. Send in old/used/new jump ropes, footballs, soccer balls, tennis balls, whatever you have lying around the house. The storage box will be set up in the lobby on Monday 9/15. Put your supplies in it. All the Heath students thank you! 

    Sincerely,

    Riley Ament (7th grader) and Mr. Kirtan Patel (Vice Principal)”

    _____

    Reminder! Open Houses

    Next week is flush with Open Houses. The schedule below (in Upcoming Events) let’s you all know when our Open Houses will be held.

    We’ve had tremendous parent turn-out thus far; hope to see many more of you next week.

    ——

    Worth Repeating: Lost & Found

    Already tons of personal items – coats, hats, lunchboxes – are being found all around the school. If these things hold value to you (and I know they do!), please label items!!!! If there is a name on the item, we find the owner. If not, these items languish in our Lost & Found.

    ——

    Upcoming Events:

    • Monday, September 23rd: Third Grade Open House, 8:00-9:00am
    • Tuesday, September 24th: Fifth Grade Open House, 8:00-9:00am
    • Tuesday, September 24th: Grades 6-8 Open House, 8:00-10:00am
    • Wednesday, September 25th: Second Grade Open House, 8:00-9:00am
    • Thursday, September 26th: Fourth Grade Open House, 8:00-9:00am
    • Thursday, September 26th: CAP Parent Meeting, Cafeteria, 8:15-9:15am
    • Friday, September 27th: METCO Connections Welcome Back Breakfast, Room 209, 7:30am
    • Monday, September 30th: School Closed: Day of Low Attendance (Rosh Hashanah)
    • Tuesday, October 1st - Thursday, October 3rd: Start Date of HASAP Fall 2019 Session
    • Thursday, October 3rd: Field Day
    • Friday, October 4th: PTO First Friday Coffee, Cafeteria, 8:00-9:00am
    • Monday, October 7th: Field Day (rain date)
    • Tuesday, October 8th: Service Learning Club, 2:30-3:15pm
    • Wednesday, October 9th: School Closed: Day of Low Attendance (Yom Kippur)
    • Friday, October 11th: Heath School Picture Day!

     

    See you at the party tonight!

    Asa

    Dr. Asa Sevelius, Ed.D.

    Heath School Principal

    ______________________________

    September 13, 2019

    Dear Heath Community,

    Our first full week is in the books – I bet your kids are exhausted. I know we are! Last week I wrote what a great start of the year it has been, and this Friday I repeat that sentiment – what a strong, connected start it has been.  Indeed, today a substitue teacher described his experience here as, "Exquisite!" I'll chalk that up in the win column, for here!

    Hawk Returns!

    We have several beloved school pets who live in our main office: our two hermit crabs, Pinchy and Snappy, and our crested gecko, Hawk. Hawk vacationed this summer with the Matthews family and we are so thankful for how well he was cared for and to have him back in our midst! Thanks, Matthews crew!

    Please come by to meet our uncuddly trio of pets! While folks love to meet the crabs and the gecko, these critters will – in turn – remain very neutral about meeting you.

    ——

    Support for Field Day

    We are looking for some supplies for our upcoming Field Day.  Please sign up below.  Field Day is scheduled for Wednesday October 2nd (rain date Monday October 7th).  It would be really helpful if supplies could be brought in by Tuesday Sept. 24th.  This will allow us to prepare for the big day.  Supplies can be dropped off in the main office or in the Physical Education office located in the gym.  We really appreciate your generosity.  Go Heath!

    See our sign up genius below! 

    https://www.signupgenius.com/go/5080a4aaea82aa5fe3-field2

    ——

    Ball Drive for Recess

    An important message from a Heath School 7th grader:

    “Dear Heath Parents, 

    We know that your kids are always complaining about the absence of balls and equipment at recess. We have decided to do something about it! We have gotten a grant from the PTO to buy a storage box for the playground. But we need your help filling it up! Starting on Monday 9/15, we will be having a BALL DRIVE to collect balls for the playground. Send in old/used/new jump ropes, footballs, soccer balls, tennis balls, whatever you have lying around the house. The storage box will be set up in the lobby on Monday 9/15. Put your supplies in it. All the Heath students thank you! 

    Sincerely,

    Riley Ament (7th grader) and Mr. Kirtan Patel (Vice Principal)”

    ——

    Reminder! Open Houses

    Our next Open House is next Friday at 8am for 1st grade families. 

    The schedule below (in Upcoming Events) let’s you all know when the other Open Houses will be held.

    ——-

    Homework Club

    Homework Club will begin soon! It is a great space for your students (Grade 4-8) to get real help on homework twice a week after school.  But in order to participate, we must have a completed packet, found here.

    ——

    Service Learning Club

    Dear 5th-8th graders!

    If you are interested in joining an after school club focused on service learning and we invite you to apply! The Heath service learning club is for students who desire to give back to the community by working in their community for causes decided upon student participants. Students will have the opportunity to  select issues that resonate with them and outline plans of action - all of this led by Dr. Sevelius.

    The club will meet this year roughly every other Tuesday from 2:30-3:15 at the school. While Dr. Sevelius will lead the club, we hope to have other parents and staff come and support us, as well. We'll explore the many ways you can contribute to our community and beyond. You will led new efforts in our quest to give back to Brookline. If this sounds like a good fit for you, and your parents agree, please fill out this brief questionnaire. We look for ward to hearing from you!

    Space is limited! Apply here: https://forms.gle/MoPEmTn35SnccnCs5

    If you were in Service Learning Club last year, you do not need to re-apply.

    ——

    Lost & Found

    Already tons of personal items – coats, hats, lunchboxes – are being found all around the school. If these things hold value to you (and I know they do!), please label items!!!! If there is a name on the item, we find the owner. If not, these items languish in our Lost & Found.

    ——

    Upcoming Events:

    • Friday, September 20th: First Grade Open House, 8:00-9:00am
    • Friday, September 20th: Back to School Barbecue, Playground, 5:00-7:00pm
    • Monday, September 23rd: Third Grade Open House, 8:00-9:00am
    • Tuesday, September 24th: Fifth Grade Open House, 8:00-9:00am
    • Tuesday, September 24th: Grades 6-8 Open House, 8:00-10:00am
    • Tuesday, September 24th: Faculty Meeting, Cafeteria, 2:45-3:45pm
    • Wednesday, September 25th: Second Grade Open House, 8:00-9:00am
    • Thursday, September 26th: Fourth Grade Open House, 8:00-9:00am
    • Thursday, September 26th: CAP Parent Meeting, Cafeteria, 8:15-9:15am
    • Monday, September 30th: School Closed: Day of Low Attendance (Rosh Hashanah)
    • Thursday, October 3rd: Field Day
    • Friday, October 4th: PTO First Friday Coffee, Cafeteria, 8:00-9:00am

    Field Trips:

    • Tuesday, September 17th - Wednesday, September 18th: Grade 6 Trip to Thompson Island
    • Thursday, September 19th: 8th Grade Trip to Blue Hills State Reservation, 8:15am-1:30pm 

    Enjoy the weekend ahead!

    ~ Asa

    Dr. Asa Sevelius, Ed.D.

    Heath School Principal

    ______________________________

    September 6th, 2019

    Dear Heath Community,

    A huge, warm, wonderful welcome to you all! We have had a terrific start to the new school year. While summer vacations are nice (and necessary) being together brings a whole new energy!

    During these first few days, I was able to visit every classroom, sometimes twice or more. What I saw was careful teaching, purposeful relationship building, and cross-school connections that I knew – from my 30,000 foot view – strengthened the fiber and foundation of our school. In my journeys I observed such good practice, including:

    • I visited a 6th grade maths class where students were practicing using silent signals to communicate understanding. I then spent time in a Kindergarten classroom where students were practicing the exact same thing!
    • In a science lab, I observed 8th grade students building their own thermometers and coming to understand the difference between “messing around” and purposeful, scientific play. Around the corner, a kindergarten teacher was talking with students about how to use color pencils in a way they might not have tried before.
    • I was able to listen to a teacher beautifully unpack complex issues of identity, belonging, and relationships in the context of what it means to be an American, while in French students cobbled together new language learning to describe themselves.
    • One teacher spent a class period harvesting student ideas as to how math class should feel, sound, and look. One student said, “I want to feel like my participation is necessary,” while another wants to feel “accomplished.” Don’t we all crave those feelings of personal success and connectedness?

    Open Houses

    Soon after school starts, we open our classroom doors and invite parents in for a morning with the teachers, specialists, and school administrators to learn more about the upcoming school year.

    Here are the upcoming dates for each Open House:

    • Friday, Sept. 13 – Kindergarten
    • Friday, Sept. 20 – First Grade
    • Monday, Sept. 23 – Third Grade
    • Tuesday, Sept. 24th – Fifth Grade
    • Tuesday, Sept. 24th – Grades 6-8
    • Wednesday, Sept. 25 – Second Grade
    • Thursday, Sept. 26 – Fourth Grade

     

    • Open Houses begin at 8:00 am and go for about 1 hour (30 minutes in classrooms, 30 minutes with administration and specialists), except …
      • … Middle School Open House which is about 90 minutes
    • Please report to your child’s classroom when the second morning arrival bell rings (at 8:00)
    • All students in those classes remain in the cafeteria during open house (ie, 1st grade stays in the cafeteria during 1st grade Open House)
    • Parents will have time to hear from specialists and school administrators, as well, after the classroom presentations (in the Auditorium)

    Huge Thanks to Our PTO and Families!

    Once again, the back to school luncheon you provided for our staff here was a gift. Thank you for the wonderful meal, the good spirits, and for all you do to prepare to feed this huge group of educators. This meal nurtures us time and time again and we are so very grateful.

    This Thursday! PTO Welcome Back Meeting

    Our PTO will host a PTO Welcome Back to School Parents' Night on 9/12 from 6-7:30. Come and meet other parents and learn more about the school and our opportunities for parents here. We hope to see many of you here!

    Upcoming Events:

    • Tuesday, September 10th : Bus 1 Evacuation Drill
    • Tuesday, September 10th: Faculty Meeting, Cafeteria, 2:45-3:45pm
    • Thursday, September 12th: Storyteller, Time/Location TBD
    • Thursday, September 12th: PTO/Parent Welcome Back to School Night, 6:00-7:30pm
    • Friday, September 13th: Kindergarten Open House, 8:00-9:00am
    • Friday, September 20th: First Grade Open House, 8:00-9:00am
    • Friday, September 20th: Back to School Barbecue, Playground, 5:00-7:00pm
    • Thursday, September 23rd: Third Grade Open House, 8:00-9:00am
    • Tuesday, September 24th: Fifth Grade Open House, 8:00-9:00am
    • Tuesday, September 24th: Grades 6-8 Open House, 8:00-10:00am
    • Wednesday, September 25th: Second Grade Open House, 8:00-9:00am
    • Thursday, September 26th: Fourth Grade Open House, 8:00-9:00am
    • Thursday, September 26th: CAP Parent Meeting, Cafeteria, 8:15-9:15am

    Field Trips:

    • Tuesday, September 17th - Wednesday, September 18th: Grade 6 Trip to Thompson Island
    • Thursday, September 19th: 8th Grade Trip to Blue Hills State Reservation, 8:15am-1:30pm 

     

    I would be remiss if I did not give a public shout out to Riley, Haley, and Jasper. They kept our school grounds clean all summer and cared for the beautiful flower beds, weeding and watering.  Thank you!  And thank you for the friends you brought with you to help. You are a gift to our community!

    Have a wonderful weekend, everyone.

    ~Asa

    Dr. Asa Sevelius, Ed.D.

    Heath School Principal

    ______________________________

    June 21st, 2019

    Dear Heath Community,

    In the immortal words of Alice Cooper, “School’s out for summer.” And so it is.

    A brief message today to say:

    Rejuvenate. We are so proud to be here at Heath School and to work so closely with your children. Indeed, the work is an honor and to be here is a privilege. It is also exhausting;  rest assured, the team here will spend the summer restoring themselves so that come September we’ll be ready to do it all over again. Your children work so hard, too, so please help them invest in things that will nurture and restore them, as well.

    Expect a post-school slump. When I woke up this morning, I thought I’d have a spring in my step!  Even principals get excited about summer vacation, believe me! Instead, I was in the Blue Zone. Saying good-bye to friends, routines, teachers, class pets … it’s hard. Keep a watchful eye out and don’t be surprised if your child also spends some time in the Blue Zone. When they do, be a good listener, know this is typical, validate how important school is, and remind them that September will be here soon enough.

    ---

    Upcoming Events:

    September 5th: First Day of School*

               * That’s only 74 days.  Make each one count!

     

    Thank you all, once again, for a fantastic year! In the weeks ahead, be good … but not too good.  ;)

     ~ Asa

     

    Dr. Asa Sevelius, Ed.D.

    Heath School Principal

    ______________________________

    June 14th, 2019

    Dear Heath Community,

    At the end of each school year, the PTO graciously approves of funding that provides Summer Reading Books for our staff members.  Teachers have a wide variety of books to choose from that help to provide a wider lens on the world, stretching out own horizons and allowing us insights in to lives we might not otherwise learn about so intimately. This summer’s titles include:

    • The Bold World: A Memoir of Family and Transformation by Jodi Patterson
    • We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy by Ta-Nehisi Coates
    • We Are Everywhere: Protest, Power, and Pride in the History of Queer Liberation by Matthew Riemer
    • NurtureShock: New Thinking About Children by Po Bronson
    • Dear America: Notes of an Undocumented Citizen by Jose Antonio Vargas
    • Safe Is Not Enough: Better Schools for LGBTQ Students by Michael Sadowski 
    • Heavy: An American Memoir by Kiese Laymon
    • Waking Up White, and Finding Myself in the Story of Race by Debby Irving
    • The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma by Bessel van der Kolk M.D.

    Please consider picking up on or two of these books to read along with us!  All are available at local booksellers. Again, we are thankful to YOU who donated so generously to our annual appeal and to the PTO for providing the funds to support literary traditions like these at Heath.

    Last Day of School!

    Rejoice! Students will be dismissed at 12:00 noon on Friday, June 21 and no lunch will be served.

    Class Placement Announcements

    Class placement announcements, along with summer reading and class supply lists, will be announced on or before June 28th. Please stay tuned for an email from the school then!

    Luncheon Thanks

    The Staff Appreciation luncheon was, once again, a game changer in our week.  Thank you to everyone who donated and filled us up with good food and good vibes. The team here work so hard and gestures like these help us to feel seen and cared for so well. A mighty thanks to all the parents who make this happen for us. The linens, the real plates and silverware, the mountains of desserts … it goes a long, long way. Thank you.

    Staff Changes: Hello/Good-Bye

    Each year we say good-bye to staff and say hello to others. This year is no different. Here are just a few:

    We say goodbye to Mr. David Fleming who has served us wonderfully as our 6th/7th grade Social Studies teacher (one-year long term substitute). Next year, Mr. Fleming will be teaching at TechBoston Academy in Dorchester through Teach Next Year, a Master's degree program at UMass-Boston that prepares educators to teach in urban schools. Mr. Fleming will teach 11th grade History at TechBoston Academy during the day and attend classes toward his Master's degree at UMass-Boston in the evening. Mr. Fleming felt his calling was teaching when he started here in the fall; he leaves here knowing it is true. We are proud of his work here and fully expect he’ll serve his students in Boston as valiantly as he served us here. 

    With Mr. Fleming leaving, we’ll welcome Ms. Elyse Terry as our new 6th/7th Grade Social Studies teacher. Ms. Terry has been teaching history in Chelsea for four years and has served as a student support team leader with the Harvard Summer Academy. She has her Master’s from Harvard and her undergraduate degree from Bowdoin in History. Ms. Terry writes:

    “Hello to the Heath community! My name is Elyse Terry and I have been teaching in New England for the past eight years. I grew up in Concord, Massachusetts, so I have had a deep love of history since I was a student myself! I am thrilled to be joining a school that is dedicated to empowering both teachers and learners, and I look forward to collaborating with your students to build deep understandings about history that help us see ourselves, and the world around us, in new ways.” 

    Ms. Kelly Stanton will join us as our new Physical Education and Wellness teacher.  Ms. Stanton is well known at Heath as she has taught a class here this past year. Ms. Stanton studied at Bridgewater State and has considerable experiences working with students with wide-ranging physical and emotional needs. Ms. Stanton writes:

    “I’m very excited to join Heath as a full time Physical Education teacher. This year I have been teaching PE at Heath on a part-time basis. Prior to coming to Brookline, I was a paraprofessional in the Therapeutic Program in the Bridgewater-Raynham Regional School District for 9 years. My vision for the students at Heath is to prepare them to lead a healthy and physically active lifestyle. During my brief time here, I noticed a strong sense of community and I am looking forward to being a part of Heath’s team.”

    We say good-bye to Mr. Tim Gill, who was serving as a one-year long-term substitute in PE. Mr. Gill has given 110% to everything he does here at Heath and has built really strong relationships with kids along the way. Mr. Gill will be accepting warm-wishes and high 5s from all of us during the last week of school.

    Ms. Rachel Hayashi, who has been teaching ELS in 7th and 8th grade here since 1993!, will become a full-time literacy coach, working with teachers and no longer teaching a section of ELA. This has been some years in the works and we are glad to finally announce this shift!  But we should all take a moment to celebrate Rachel’s teaching for the last two decades and more. Well done and onward!

    Several paraprofessionals will be leaving, including Filiz Coskunuzer (1S). Ms. C. is the kind of teacher that does such steady, good, heart-felt work … and does so with ease and grace … that I just know that replacing her will be heavy lifting.

    Dr. Allison Weinstein, currently out on maternity leave, will not return to Heath in the fall, BUT will work with BEEP students, so let’s not say good-bye.

    And, finally. We say good-bye to Ms. Noorjehan Khan, one of our outstanding 5th grade teachers. She moves very soon to Salt Lake City where she will constantly think about Heath School and miss us desperately. Or maybe it’s just me that will do the missing. Regardless, we had you here for two good years, Noorj. Ya done good, kid.

    Not Too Late to Join!

    On behalf of the ELE and METCO staff, we would like to invite you to join us this Friday for our annual Family Fest event. This year's event will be held on Friday, June 14, 2019 at the Coolidge Corner School from 4:30 pm to 6:30 pm. 

    We will have a variety of performances, activities, games, and demonstrations as well as a balloon artist and magician. Brookline Police, Brookline Fire, and Fallon Ambulance will also be joining us for a touch-a-truck experience. If you're hungry, check out our food trucks. This year we're having a 3-point basketball contest with two-time NCAA champion and former Boston Celtic, Wayne Turner. And let's not forget our DJ who is sure to keep the energy up! 

    Our event will be spread throughout the cafeteria, gym, multipurpose room, and outdoor fields. Anyone who attends is asked to use the Stedman Street entrance. If you're free, please join us! We're excited to bring this event to our ELE and METCO families. 

    ---

    Upcoming Events:

    • Monday, June 17th: Art Show! 4-6pm
    • Thursday, June 20th: 8th Grade Graduation, Little Field Park, 4:00-5:00pm
    • Friday, June 21st: Last Day of School, Noon Dismissal
    • Monday, June 24th: Report Cards Published for Grades 6-8

    Field Trips:

    • Monday, June 17th: Grade 1 Trip to Fenway Park, 8:15am-10:00am
    • Monday, June 17th: 8th Grade Trip - Trampoline Park & Laser Tag, 9:00am-1:00pm
    • Monday, June 17th: Kindergarten Trip to Fenway Park, 9:30am-11:00am
    • Tuesday, June 18th: Grade 3 Trip to Plimoth Plantation, 8:15am-2:20pm
    • Tuesday, June 18th: 7th Grade Trip to George’s Island, 8:15am-2:50pm
    • Tuesday, June 18th: 8th Grade Trip to Boda Borg + Picnic, 9:00am-12:00pm

    We are in the final stretch. Hang in there!

     ~ Asa

    Dr. Asa Sevelius, Ed.D.

    Heath School Principal

    ______________________________

    June 7st, 2019

    Dear Heath Community,

    To begin, a very warm congratulations to Mrs. Chari Dalsheim, Heath School 2nd Grade teacher. She is celebrating 30 years in the Public School of Brookline this year! When I learned that Chari had been teaching in Brookline and at Heath for 30 years, I texted her immediately to see if it was true.  I mean, surely there was a mistake. She didn’t act like someone who was 30 years into the job.  I needed clarity. This is what she texted back: “I still love teaching and actually find joy igniting children’s passion for learning.” And this is evident each and every day. We are grateful to Chari for all she has given generations of Heath student and families over the years, too many to count! May each of us find the passion in our daily work as she does. When you see Mrs. Dalsheim, feel free to congratulate her!

    Thank You to Gaelle From, Outgoing PTO Co-President

    Today was out last PTO First Friday Coffee of the Year. At the end of the year, we say good-bye to Gaelle From, our PTO Co-President.  Her son graduates soon and she’ll focus on other work beyond the green grasses of Heath. I am so thankful to Gaelle, who has been a constant and affirming presence, working tirelessly for the betterment of all Heath students, just not her own children. She has held a strong vision of quality, connection, and joy and brings all of that to anything she touches. Our thanks, Gaelle!

    School Play: SNOOPY!

    What an absolute treat! I am so proud of our school play director, Alison Kerr, who made something remarkable happen in two short months. Our students rose to the occasion, practiced for countless hours, memorized hundreds of lines, and beautifully danced and sang for the Heath community. While Alison was working with the theatre and technical crew, art teacher Amanda Hockensmith wonderfully lead a group of students in creating the stage set and props.  The arts are very alive at Heath!

    —-

    HASAP is Seeking New Leadership

    HASAP is looking for new leadership!  After 4 years, the current HASAP leadership team will be moving on.  We have loved overseeing Heath’s after school enrichment program (HASAP), and watching the kids enjoy the various activities available.  HASAP provides classes to Heath School students in grades K – 8, and is run independently from the Heath PTO. 

    HASAP offers programs in both the Fall and Winter, along with a limited set of Spring classes for the upper grades with Heath teachers only.  Overseeing the program has been incredibly rewarding.  It has allowed us to get to know many Heath families along the way, and we are grateful for the opportunity to be involved.  We very much hope that this program can continue to prosper and grow under new stewards, as it is both enriching and valuable for our students.  If you might be interested and seek additional information, we are happy to discuss what is involved (it’s not as much as you think!).  Many processes have been streamlined and automated, so the time commitment is manageable. 

    HASAP responsibilities include:  Programming, scheduling classes, minor website updates, managing the finances and program oversight.  In addition, our excellent HASAP Coordinator is on-site when classes are in session, and she is quite familiar with our program.  

    For a link to the HASAP website, please click here:  https://heath.schooltwist.org/

    For more information, please email us at:  heathafterschoolactivities@gmail.com

    Thank you kindly for your consideration,

    The HASAP Team

    • Nancy Lee (parent to 3rd & 5th graders)
    • Monique Appleton (parent to 3rd & 4th graders)

    Upcoming Events:

    • Monday, June 10th: 5th grade transition to 6th grade parent meeting, Auditorium, 8:15-9:30am
    • Monday, June 10th: Heath Grades 4-8 Spring Band Concert, Runkle School, 7:00pm
    • Tuesday, June 11th: Service Learning Club, Room 204, 2:30-3:30pm
    • Wednesday, June 12th: Teacher/Staff Appreciation Lunch, 11:00am-1:00pm
    • Thursday, June 13th: Heath Grades 5-8 Chorus Concert, BHS, 7:00-8:00pm
    • Friday, June 14th: ELE and METCO Family Festival Event at Coolidge Corner School, 4:30-6:30pm
    • Monday, June 17th: Art Show! 4-6pm
    • Thursday, June 20th: 8th Grade Graduation, Little Field Park, 4:00-5:00pm
    • Thursday, June 20th: PSB will publish the K-5 Progress Reports as PDFs to individual Parent Portals
    • Friday, June 21st: Last Day of School, Noon Dismissal
    • Monday, June 24th: Report Cards Published for Grades 6-8

    Field Trips:

    • Wednesday, June 12th: 8th Grade Trip to Six Flags, 8:30am-5:00pm
    • Friday, June 14th: 8th Grade Trip - Ziplining, 8:30am-1:00pm
    • Monday, June 17th: Grade 1 Trip to Fenway Park, 8:15am-10:00am
    • Monday, June 17th: 8th Grade Trip - Trampoline Park & Laser Tag, 9:00am-1:00pm
    • Monday, June 17th: Kindergarten Trip to Fenway Park, 9:30am-11:00am
    • Tuesday, June 18th: Grade 3 Trip to Plimoth Plantation, 8:15am-2:20pm
    • Tuesday, June 18th: 8th Grade Trip to Boda Borg + Picnic, 9:00am-12:00pm 

    Happy PRIDE, y'all!

    ~ Asa

    Dr. Asa Sevelius, Ed.D.

    Heath School Principal

    ______________________________

    May 31st, 2019

    Dear Heath Community,

    June. It’s here. Unbelievably. When we return on Monday, we’ll have 15 days left together this school year. There is something profound about the end of the year – both joy and sadness in conversation with each other. Bittersweet, I think, is the right word. For students, June can be an anxious time. Change is hard and saying good-bye to friends and teachers and routines and class pets and … and … and … It’s hard.  Stay super connected with your kids these next few weeks, listening carefully for what might be causing them some heart pains. What seems like surmountable obstacles to us grown-ups may instead feel like insurmountable odds to our students … of all ages.

    For many, June is celebratory. It is Pride Month! – a time when the LGBTQ community and our allies come together to mark the anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, exactly 50 years ago this year, and to honor and celebrate our resilience, our existence, and our contributions to US and global achievement. The Boston Pride Parade is next Saturday; come celebrate!

    Whatever June may bring, let’s stick together.

    Spirit Week Starts on Monday!

    • Monday: Pajama Day
    • Tuesday: Twin or Triplet Day – come dressed like someone else … perhaps even your favorite Principal or Vice Principal?
    • Wednesday: Character Day (no masks, fake body fluids, or fake weapons please)
    • Thursday: Wacky Day
    • Friday: Heath Spirit Day

    Most importantly, have fun! Our students love Spirit Week … and many of our staff take it the distance!  Let’s see who has the most school spirit next week!

    Time Sensitive: Kindergarten Dismissal on Tuesday

    Reminder – our Peek & Practice for our incoming Kindergarten students is on Tuesday. Our current kindergarten students will dismiss from the school’s Auditorium on Tuesday. Please adjust your pick up schedules accordingly. If your K student goes home on one of our buses or attends Extended Day, they will dismiss to the right spots as usual.

    Art Show!!!!

    Mark your calendars – June 17th, 4-6pm – we’ll host our annual Art Show!, a showcase of student work from all classrooms and an opportunity to see what a school that cherishes the fine arts can do with some supplies, high-quality instruction, and good ideas. Join us!

    —-

    HASAP is Seeking New Leadership

    HASAP is looking for new leadership!  After 4 years, the current HASAP leadership team will be moving on.  We have loved overseeing Heath’s after school enrichment program (HASAP), and watching the kids enjoy the various activities available.  HASAP provides classes to Heath School students in grades K – 8, and is run independently from the Heath PTO. 

    HASAP offers programs in both the Fall and Winter, along with a limited set of Spring classes for the upper grades with Heath teachers only.  Overseeing the program has been incredibly rewarding.  It has allowed us to get to know many Heath families along the way, and we are grateful for the opportunity to be involved.  We very much hope that this program can continue to prosper and grow under new stewards, as it is both enriching and valuable for our students.  If you might be interested and seek additional information, we are happy to discuss what is involved (it’s not as much as you think!).  Many processes have been streamlined and automated, so the time commitment is manageable. 

    HASAP responsibilities include:  Programming, scheduling classes, minor website updates, managing the finances and program oversight.  In addition, our excellent HASAP Coordinator is on-site when classes are in session, and she is quite familiar with our program.  

    For a link to the HASAP website, please click here:  https://heath.schooltwist.org/

    For more information, please email us at:  heathafterschoolactivities@gmail.com

    Thank you kindly for your consideration,

    The HASAP Team

    • Nancy Lee (parent to 3rd & 5th graders)
    • Monique Appleton (parent to 3rd & 4th graders)

     Upcoming Events:

    • Monday, June 3rd - Wednesday, June 5th: 8th Grade Play Practice, Auditorium, 3:00-6:00pm
    • Tuesday, June 4th -  Friday, June 7th: Used Book Sale, Lobby, drop off/pick up only
    • Tuesday, June 4th: Heath School Peek and Practice, Auditorium, 1:30-2:30pm
    • Tuesday, June 4th: Elementary Faculty Meeting, 2:45-3:45pm
    • Tuesday, June 4th: Grades 4-8 Heath and Baker Strings and Orchestra Concert, Baker School, 7:00-8:00pm
    • Thursday, June 6th   - Friday, June 7th : 8th Grade Play Practice, Auditorium, 4:00-5:30pm
    • Thursday, June 6th: 8th Grade Play Performance for Heath Families, Auditorium, 6:00-7:30pm
    • Friday, June 7th: PTO First Friday Coffee, Cafeteria, 8:00-9:00am
    • Friday, June 7th: 8th Grade Play Performance for Grades 3-5, Auditorium, 8:15-9:30am
    • Friday, June 7th: Special Education Parent Advisory Committee (SEPAC) Meeting at Town Hall, 5th Floor, 8:30-10:00am
    • Friday, June 7th: 8th Grade Play Performance for Heath Families, Auditorium, 6:00-7:30pm
    • Monday, June 10th: 5th grade transition to 6th grade parent meeting, Auditorium, 8:15-9:30am
    • Monday, June 10th: Heath Grades 4-8 Spring Band Concert, Runkle School, 7:00pm
    • Tuesday, June 11th: Service Learning Club, Room 204, 2:30-3:30pm
    • Wednesday, June 12th: Teacher/Staff Appreciation Lunch, 11:00am-1:00pm
    • Thursday, June 13th: Heath Grades 5-8 Chorus Concert, BHS, 7:00-8:00pm
    • Friday, June 14th: METCO Inaugural Family Festival Event at Coolidge Corner School, 4:30-6:30pm
    • Monday, June 17th: Art Show! 4-6pm
    • Thursday, June 20th: 8th Grade Graduation, Little Field Park, 4:00-5:00pm
    • Thursday, June 20th: Parent/Teacher “One Heath” Educational Equity Group, Conference Room, 7:15-8:30am
    • Thursday, June 20th: PSB will publish the K-5 Progress Reports as PDFs to individual Parent Portals
    • Friday, June 21st: Last Day of School, Noon Dismissal
    • Monday, June 24th: Report Cards Published for Grades 6-8

    Field Trips:

    • Wednesday, June 12th: 8th Grade Trip to Six Flags, 8:30am-5:00pm
    • Friday, June 14th: 8th Grade Trip - Ziplining, 8:30am-1:00pm
    • Monday, June 17th: Grade 1 Trip to Fenway Park, 8:15am-10:00am
    • Monday, June 17th: 8th Grade Trip - Trampoline Park & Laser Tag, 9:00am-1:00pm
    • Monday, June 17th: Kindergarten Trip to Fenway Park, 9:30am-11:00am
    • Tuesday, June 18th: Grade 3 Trip to Plimoth Plantation, 8:15am-2:20pm
    • Tuesday, June 18th: 8th Grade Trip to Boda Borg + Picnic, 9:00am-12:00pm

    Peace,

    ~ Asa

    Dr. Asa Sevelius, Ed.D.

    Heath School Principal

    ______________________________

     

    May 24th, 2019

    Dear Heath Community,

    This Monday we will not be in school. Monday is Memorial Day. The day marks a time when we pause and consider the lives lost in service to our country. I was raised in a military family, traveling from base to base for much of my childhood. I was raised in the military tradition – parades, formations, highly manicured grounds, armed soldiers at the base gates, flag ceremonies, the sound of Taps being played - and Memorial Day was always a somber time. I feel very fortunate that my father and brother both came through their service relatively unscathed. But on Monday, spare a moment for our service members who did not make it or have been left with heavy burdens to carry. A book I read a few years ago, Redeployment by Phil Klay, was powerful and gave me a perspective I needed at the time. Perhaps you’ll check it out, too?

    Ramadan, Eid al Fitr, and a Community Iftar

    Our Muslim families are in the middle of Ramadan observations, a time when our Muslim friends observe the holy month through reflection, fasting, celebration, and devotion. It is a time of prayer and a time spent in community with one another. The month of Ramadan ends with the Eid Al Fitr celebration, this year in early June, a time when folks celebrate the ending of the fasting period. This year, once again, Muslim families in Brookline hosted a Community Iftar, or the meal eaten after sundown during Ramadan. A slew of Heath staff were able to attend. We learned all about Ramadan, heard the call to prayer, broke fast with our Muslim families and students at sunset, and ate a very fine meal together. We thank our hosts for the opportunity to gather together last Sunday and look forward to next year’s Iftar!

    Ramadan Mubarak!

    Mayfair Thanks!

    Many thanks have been sent out already. So here is another! Mayfair is a chance for the whole school to play together and this year was no different. But this chance could not have happened without our fearless parent volunteers, to whom we owe a debt of gratitude. While they are tending to shrug off appreciation like it was nothing, making a safe, connected, healthy, and fun place for us all to come together matters. It matters a lot.

    So, once again, here’s to Abby Wilson, MaryAnne Hunter, Lauren Post, Yen-Lin Chen, Saloni Choudhry, Melissa Palermo, Imanol Iturrioz, and Annemieke Atema. Well done!

    In other MayFair news:

    The board used for the Pie in Face game at Mayfair last weekend is missing. If anyone has information about it's whereabouts, please contact MaryAnne Hunter at maryanne.hunter@gmail.com. We borrowed the board from another school in Brookline and we'd like to return it to them as quickly as possible. 

    Thank you to Mr. Bruce Green, 6/7 Math Long-term substitute

    Today is Mr. Green's last day at Heath. We are so thankful he could come and join us as our 6/7 math teacher while Valia has been out on leave. You've done well by us, Bruce, and we are appreciative!

    Ms. Bourmpoula starts back on Tuesday; please be surety welcome her back warmly!

    —-

    HASAP is Seeking New Leadership

    HASAP is looking for new leadership!  After 4 years, the current HASAP leadership team will be moving on.  We have loved overseeing Heath’s after school enrichment program (HASAP), and watching the kids enjoy the various activities available.  HASAP provides classes to Heath School students in grades K – 8, and is run independently from the Heath PTO. 

    HASAP offers programs in both the Fall and Winter, along with a limited set of Spring classes for the upper grades with Heath teachers only.  Overseeing the program has been incredibly rewarding.  It has allowed us to get to know many Heath families along the way, and we are grateful for the opportunity to be involved.  We very much hope that this program can continue to prosper and grow under new stewards, as it is both enriching and valuable for our students.  If you might be interested and seek additional information, we are happy to discuss what is involved (it’s not as much as you think!).  Many processes have been streamlined and automated, so the time commitment is manageable. 

    HASAP responsibilities include:  Programming, scheduling classes, minor website updates, managing the finances and program oversight.  In addition, our excellent HASAP Coordinator is on-site when classes are in session, and she is quite familiar with our program.  

    For a link to the HASAP website, please click here:  https://heath.schooltwist.org/ 

    For more information, please email us at:  heathafterschoolactivities@gmail.com

    Thank you kindly for your consideration,

    The HASAP Team

    • Nancy Lee (parent to 3rd & 5th graders)
    • Monique Appleton (parent to 3rd & 4th graders)

    BGSA Tree Identification Walk, Coming Up!

    “Is that an Oak, Maple, Tuliptree or Zelcova?”
    Thursday, June 6, 5:30 - 6:30 pm 

    Join the Brookline GreenSpace Alliance for a street tree identification walk led by a member of the Brookline Tree Planting Committee.
    Brookline has over 50 tree species on its streets. Our urban forest plays an important part in our environment's health; learn to identify at least 10 of the most common street trees and their value to the community. The 1-mile walk starts at the Heath School on Eliot Street. Children 10 and over are welcome.
    RSVP to info@brooklinegreenspace.org

    As you learn to appreciate the value of trees to our environment - providing oxygen, improving air quality, climate amelioration, conserving water, preserving soil, supporting wildlife – do you wish you knew more about the trees in your neighborhood?  You can request a tree ID walk in your section of town.  Write info@brooklinegreenspace.org for more information. And have fun!

    ---

    Attention Current 8th Graders! Interested in cheer? Like to lift, dance or tumble? Want to try something new?

    The BHS Fall Cheer team will be holding tryouts for this upcoming fall on June 10 - 13th from 3:30-5:50pm in Tappan Gym #2 (#66 Tappan St). There will be a post-tryout Families Meeting on Thursday June 15th from 6-7pm. To be cleared to tryout, your student must be registered on FamilyID and submit a recent copy of a physical to the BHS Athletics Dept. No experience is necessary to tryout, and all incoming 9th graders are invited to try out for our co-ed team! Email Meaghan_Cells@psbma.org with questions or for more information. Welcome to BHS, and Go Warriors! 

    Upcoming Events:

    • Monday, May 27th: School Closed: Memorial Day
    • Tuesday, May 28th: Grades 5/6 Track & Field Meet, 8:30am-1:45pm
    • Tuesday, May 28th: Service Learning Club, Room 204, 2:30-3:30pm
    • Tuesday, May 28th  - Friday, May 31st: 8th Grade Play Practice, Auditorium, 2:45-5:30pm
    • Wednesday, May 29th: Grades 5/6 Track Meet Rain Date
    • Thursday, May 30th: Grades 7/8 Track & Field Meet, 8:30am-1:45pm
    • Thursday, May 30th: Young Scholars, Room 209, 2:30-3:30pm
    • Friday, May 31st: Grades 7/8 Track Meet Rain Date
    • Monday, June 3rd - Wednesday, June 5th: 8th Grade Play Practice, Auditorium, 3:00-6:00pm
    • Tuesday, June 4th: Heath School Peek and Practice, Auditorium, 1:30-2:30pm
    • Tuesday, June 4th: Grades 4-8 Heath and Baker Strings and Orchestra Concert, Baker School, 7:00-8:00pm
    • Thursday, June 6th: Young Scholars, Room 209, 2:30-3:30pm
    • Thursday, June 6th   - Friday, June 7th : 8th Grade Play Practice, Auditorium, 4:00-5:30pm
    • Thursday, June 6th: 8th Grade Play Performance for Heath Families, Auditorium, 6:00-7:30pm
    • Friday, June 7th: PTO First Friday Coffee, Cafeteria, 8:00-9:00am
    • Friday, June 7th: 8th Grade Play Performance for Grades 3-5, Auditorium, 8:15-9:30am
    • Friday, June 7th: Special Education Parent Advisory Committee (SEPAC) Meeting at Town Hall, 5th Floor, 8:30-10:00am
    • Friday, June 7th: 8th Grade Play Performance for Grades K-2, Auditorium, 9:45-11:00am
    • Friday, June 7th: 8th Grade Play Performance for Grades 6-8, Auditorium, 11:30am-12:45pm
    • Friday, June 7th: 8th Grade Play Performance for Heath Families, Auditorium, 6:00-7:30pm
    • Monday, June 10th: 5th grade transition to 6th grade parent meeting, Auditorium, 8:15-9:30am
    • Monday, June 10th: Heath Grades 4-8 Spring Band Concert, Runkle School, 7:00pm
    • Tuesday, June 11th: Service Learning Club, Room 204, 2:30-3:30pm
    • Thursday, June 13th: Young Scholars, Room 209, 2:30-3:30pm
    • Thursday, June 13th: Heath Grades 5-8 Chorus Concert, BHS, 7:00-8:00pm
    • Friday, June 14th: METCO Inaugural Family Festival Event at Coolidge Corner School, 4:30-6:30pm

    Field Trips:

    • Friday, May : METCO Connections Trip to Franklin Park Zoo, 1:40-4:30pm
    • Wednesday, June 12th: 8th Grade Trip to Six Flags, 8:30am-5:00pm
    • Friday, June 14th: 8th Grade Trip - Ziplining, 8:30am-1:00pm

    Peace,

    ~ Asa

    Dr. Asa Sevelius, Ed.D.

    Heath School Principal

    ______________________________

     

    May 17th, 2019

    Dear Heath Community,

    Mayfair! Mayfair! Mayfair!  The party of the year is tomorrow!  We can’t wait to see you all here starting at noon.  The Mayfair team has been pulling out all the stops to ensure this is an event to remember.  The sun will be shinin’ and the dough will be a’fryin’. 

    There is something very special about this community and Mayfair represents what is best about us. It is volunteer run, from start to finish. The work that happens behind the scenes is profound and manifests itself so positively on the big day. The efforts are all in service of students, our kids.  And when it is all over, we clean up the mess, making sure our school is a good neighbor in the community.

    See you all there!

    —-

    Attention Current 5th Grade Parents: 5th to 6th Grade Transition Meeting COMING SOON!

    We know what a big deal it is to move out of 5th grade and into our middle school!  5th graders face exciting opportunities and unique challenges and you – their families – need to know a lot about the transition, too, so that you can be a support during this time!  

    A 5th grade parent meeting is scheduled for the morning of Monday, June 10th, beginning at 8:15. At this meeting, the 6th grade team will discuss what to expect in 6th grade, and a student panel will share their perspectives on the shift, and you’ll learn more about how to navigate our online learning platform, CANVAS.

    We'll meet in our Auditorium.

    —-

    Upcoming Events:

    • Saturday, May 18th: May Fair, Heath School Playground, 12:00-4:00pm
    • Monday, May 20th : MCAS: Grades 5 & 8 STE Part 1
    • Monday, May 20th : 4M Open Music Time, Music Room, 8:45 – 9:30am
    • Monday, May 20th : 3F Open Music Time, Music Room, 1:50 – 2:30pm
    • Monday, May 20th-Friday, May 24th: 8th Grade Play Practice, Auditorium, 2:45-5:30pm
    • Tuesday, May 21st: MCAS: Grades 5 & 8 STE Part 2
    • Tuesday, May 21st: 2D Open Music Time, Music Room, 12:35 – 1:15pm
    • Tuesday, May 21st: 4O'C Open Music Time, Music Room, 1:45 – 2:30pm
    • Wednesday, May 22nd: 1S Open Music Time, Music Room, 8:50 – 9:30am
    • Wednesday, May 22nd: IR Open Music Time, Music Room, 10:15 – 10:55am
    • Wednesday, May 22nd: KBK Open Music Time, Auditorium, 11:20am – 12:00pm
    • Wednesday, May 22nd: 4B Open Music Time, Music Room, 12:15 – 1:00pm
    • Wednesday, May 22nd: KC Open Music Time, Auditorium, 12:30 – 1:10pm
    • Wednesday, May 22nd: KF Open Music Time, Auditorium, 1:20 – 2:00pm
    • Wednesday, May 22nd: 3L Open Music Time, Music Room, 1:50 – 2:30pm
    • Wednesday, May 22nd - Thursday, May 23rd: MCAS: Makeup Tests
    • Thursday, May 23rd: 1C Open Music Time, Music Room, 8:45 – 9:25am
    • Thursday, May 23rd: 3H Open Music Time, Music Room, 1:50 – 2:30pm
    • Thursday, May 23rd: Young Scholars, Room 209, 2:30-3:30pm
    • Thursday, May 23rd: Progress reports published for Grades 6-8
    • Friday, May 24th: 2A Open Music Time, Music Room, 9:30 – 10:10am
    • Friday, May 24th: 2S Open Music Time, Music Room, 1:00 – 1:40pm
    • Friday, May 24th: MCAS: Math Window Closes
    • Monday, May 27th: School Closed: Memorial Day
    • Tuesday, May 28th: Grades 5/6 Track & Field Meet, 8:30am-1:45pm
    • Tuesday, May 28th: Service Learning Club, Room 204, 2:30-3:30pm
    • Tuesday, May 28th  - Friday, May 31st: 8th Grade Play Practice, Auditorium, 2:45-5:30pm
    • Wednesday, May 29th: Grades 5/6 Track Meet Rain Date
    • Thursday, May 30th: Grades 7/8 Track & Field Meet, 8:30am-1:45pm
    • Thursday, May 30th: Young Scholars, Room 209, 2:30-3:30pm
    • Friday, May 31st: Grades 7/8 Track Meet Rain Date

    Field Trips:

    • Monday, May 20th: Grade 6 Trip to Museum of Science, 8:15am-2:20pm
    • Tuesday, May 21st: 1S Trip to Ward’s Pond at Olmsted Park, 9:00-10:20am
    • Tuesday, May 21st: 3rd Grade DPW Trip, 10:00am-12:30pm
    • Tuesday, May 21st: 1R Trip to Ward’s Pond at Olmsted Park, 10:20-11:40am
    • Tuesday, May 21st: 1C Trip to Ward’s Pond at Olmsted Park, 11:40am-1:00pm
    • Wednesday, May 22nd: Grade 6 Trip to Boda Borg, 8:30am-2:15pm

    Enjoy the bouncy castle!

    ~ Asa

    Dr. Asa Sevelius, Ed.D.

    Heath School Principal

    ______________________________

    May 10th, 2019

    Dear Heath Community,

    It has been Teacher Appreciation Week in the United States. Frankly, one week is not enough. Every single day the Heath School staff produces an admirable quality of work, connects with students in an enviable way, leans into complexity and risk-taking … and does so with humor and compassion. Our team pours 365 days of learning into 180 days. It is exhausting work and it is deeply rewarding – and, yes, both of those things can be true at the same time.

    Community Conversations About Race, Racism, and Privilege: Resources

    This spring, Dr. Kalise Wornum, Senior Director of Educational Equity, and I have been co-facilitating community conversations about race, racism, and privilege.  We are thankful to all the folks who joined us for these opportunities to learn together. I am hoping that many, many more of you are interested in deepening your knowledge and growing your perspectives in regards to these complex issues. Here you will find the slide decks, readings, and other resources from these talks.  We hope you’ll take a look!

    Shifts in Special Education Staffing, Grades 5-8

    An important announcement regarding our amazing Special Education staff:

    • Kelly Breen will loop up to work with the 7th and 8th graders
    • Elizabeth Stearns will loop up and become our 6th grade LC teacher
    • Chima Ikonne will begin his work in the 5th grade LC

    These shifts allow for a greater continuity of care for students while allowing our staff to stretch in new directions. I am excited for these shifts and hope you are, too! If you have any questions, be sure to ask.

    8th Grade Fundraiser SATURDAY: Car Wash and Yard Sale!

    It's warming up and that means it's time to get your car washed! Come to our upcoming fundraiser. The 8th-grade students and parents will be hosting a Car Wash + Yard Sale.  

    When: Tomorrow! This Saturday, May 11th, 9am to 1pm

    Where: Heath School front parking lot

    Why: Funds raised will go towards supporting student activities. 

    Student Council Fundraiser: Soccer Goals

    Our Student Council fundraisers – a bake sale + can drive – have been in service of raising money for soccer goals for our field. The student council members researched the material type, size, and best product for our climate. While it might be easy to simply go out and purchase soccer goals for our school (they might even be available on Amazon!), we are prioritizing the process of figuring out solutions to a problem and finding home-gown effortFULL ways of giving our students the power to make a positive change in our community.  It takes a while longer to reach a goal, but the learning is truly invaluable.

    For Families of Current Kindergarteners: Change in Schedule June 4th

    On June 4th we will be welcoming our next cohort of Kindergarteners for our annual Peek & Practice! Our current kindergarten cohort – your kids! – will not be in their classrooms that day (from 1:15 to end of day) so that the incoming students can visit KF, KC, and KBK. Instead, your kids will be in our Auditorium watching an educational video (like Magic School Bus) or, if the weather is nice, will have some extra recess.  Please plan to pick your student up from the Auditorium that day at 2:30, unless they are on the busier in after school.

    Upcoming Events:

    • Monday, May 13th: MCAS: Math Makeup Tests
    • Monday, May 13th -  Friday, May 17th: 8th Grade Play Practice, Auditorium, 2:45-5:30pm
    • Tuesday, May 14th: MCAS: Grades 4 & 7 Math Part 1
    • Wed. May 15-  METCO Connections Breakfast and Games in room 209, 7:20-7:55 am
    • Wednesday, May 15th: MCAS: Math Makeup Tests
    • Thursday, May 16th: MCAS: Grades 4 & 7 Math Part 2
    • Thursday, May 16th: Young Scholars, Room 209, 2:30-3:30pm
    • Friday, May 17th: MCAS: Math Makeup Tests
    • Friday, May 17th: Kindergarten Earth Day Celebration!, Auditorium, 8:00-9:00am
    • Saturday, May 18th: May Fair, Heath School Playground, 12:00-4:00pm
    • Monday, May 20th : MCAS: Grades 5 & 8 STE Part 1
    • Monday, May 20th : 4M Open Music Time, Music Room, 8:45 – 9:30am
    • Monday, May 20th : 3F Open Music Time, Music Room, 1:50 – 2:30pm
    • Monday, May 20th-Friday, May 24th: 8th Grade Play Practice, Auditorium, 2:45-5:30pm
    • Tuesday, May 21st: MCAS: Grades 5 & 8 STE Part 2
    • Tuesday, May 21st: 2D Open Music Time, Music Room, 12:35 – 1:15pm
    • Tuesday, May 21st: 4O'C Open Music Time, Music Room, 1:45 – 2:30pm
    • Wednesday, May 22nd: 1S Open Music Time, Music Room, 8:50 – 9:30am
    • Wednesday, May 22nd: IR Open Music Time, Music Room, 10:15 – 10:55am
    • Wednesday, May 22nd: KBK Open Music Time, Auditorium, 11:20am – 12:00pm
    • Wednesday, May 22nd: 4B Open Music Time, Music Room, 12:15 – 1:00pm
    • Wednesday, May 22nd: KC Open Music Time, Auditorium, 12:30 – 1:10pm
    • Wednesday, May 22nd: KF Open Music Time, Auditorium, 1:20 – 2:00pm
    • Wednesday, May 22nd: 3L Open Music Time, Music Room, 1:50 – 2:30pm
    • Wednesday, May 22nd - Thursday, May 23rd: MCAS: Makeup Tests
    • Thursday, May 23rd: 1C Open Music Time, Music Room, 8:45 – 9:25am
    • Thursday, May 23rd: 3H Open Music Time, Music Room, 1:50 – 2:30pm
    • Thursday, May 23rd: Young Scholars, Room 209, 2:30-3:30pm
    • Thursday, May 23rd: Progress reports published for Grades 6-8
    • Friday, May 24th: 2A Open Music Time, Music Room, 9:30 – 10:10am
    • Friday, May 24th: 2S Open Music Time, Music Room, 1:00 – 1:40pm

    Field Trips:

    • Wednesday, May 15th: Grade 5 Trip to Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum, 8:15am-1:00pm
    • Wednesday, May 15th: Grades 6-8 GSTA Trip to Museum of Fine Arts, 9:00am-2:00pm
    • Wednesday, May 15th: Grade 4 Trip to The Edward Kennedy Institute, 9:00am-2:15pm
    • Monday, May 20th: Grade 6 Trip to Museum of Science, 8:15am-2:20pm
    • Tuesday, May 21st: 1S Trip to Ward’s Pond at Olmsted Park, 9:00-10:20am
    • Tuesday, May 21st: 3rd Grade DPW Trip, 10:00am-12:30pm
    • Tuesday, May 21st: 1R Trip to Ward’s Pond at Olmsted Park, 10:20-11:40am
    • Tuesday, May 21st: 1C Trip to Ward’s Pond at Olmsted Park, 11:40am-1:00pm
    • Wednesday, May 22nd: Grade 6 Trip to Boda Borg, 8:30am-2:15pm

     

    And, to all the mothers out there, happy Mother’s Day! There are a million or more ways to “mother” in the world, all of them worth celebrating. We mother through the many sweet times and we mother through times when we are deeply confused by how much time our tweens are spending in the bathroom. There are times when a dad might reach out to ask, “How do I French braid my daughter’s hair?” and suddenly the sphere of mothering has expanded. We care for our children fiercely, and love our children’s friends like our own.  There may also be times when you think, “How did I get into this mess …?” – please know that is a normal thought to have about the child you love with your whole heart. “To mother” is a verb. It is also a celebration, a devestation, a “keep you up at night” commitment, an endless pile of laundry, and unending trips to the grocery store. It is a passion.

    Everyday you make sure your children are here, are ready to learn, and are good people. And that work, to us, is heroic.  Thank you.

     

    Be well,

     

    ~ Asa

    Dr. Asa Sevelius, Ed.D.

    Heath School Principal

    ______________________________

     

    May 3rd, 2019

    Dear Heath Community,

    It has been Yom Hashoah, Holocost Rememberence Week; over the week I have spoken to several of you about your family's experiences – the memories of those who survived (and thrived!) and those who did not. One parent sent me a poem I have read a few times in the past few busy days, a reminder to stay present in the now and listen with a whole heart when given the opportunity. Today, on my commute in, I heard this Story Corp piece and knew that, once again, I'd share it with you all. Send your love into the universe, listen with an open heart.

    May is also Asian-American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month. After college, I was able to live abroad for three years in Nagoya, Japan. The experiences was, and this is an understatement, transformative. Many of my core beliefs were shaped during this period of my life: an insatiable curiosity, a compassion for human difference, a profound understanding of our interconnectedness, the courage to find my way and have courageous conversations, the capacity to exist in both chaos and calm. I am the person I am today because of my time in Japan. One of the treasures of Heath School is our robust representation of families of Asian-American & Pacific Islander heritage. We hope that no matter who you are or where you're from, whether a new family from Japan or a multi-generational member of our neighborhood, that your children can also have their core beliefs shaped by their experiences here.

    The “One Heath” Education Equity Committee Welcomes You!

     

    COMMUNITY CONVERSATIONS ABOUT RACE, RACISM, & PRIVILEGE

    Co-Facilitated by

    Dr. Kalise Wornum,  The Public School of Brookline’s Senior Director of Educational Equity

    &

    Dr. Asa Sevelius, Principal of Heath School

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Wednesday, May 8th, 6-7:30 pm

    Session Three:

    Interrupting the Cycle of Racism

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    All conversations will take place at Heath School with a  goal to provide community members with tools and strategies to engage in courageous conversations about race and equity with each other and their children. Come to one conversation or come to all!

    IF YOU NEED CHILDCARE FOR THIS EVENT, Please contact Aneesa at aneesakazi@me.com or Masu at masuhaque@yahoo.com

    Heath School Family Survey: Results In!

    Here are the results of the Family Surveys. Please take a look at the data. For me, one questions stand out more than any others: If a friend were looking for a school to send their children to, how likely would you be to recommend this school to them?(Page 9, Question 14) 86% of you would be quite or extremely likely to recommend Heath to a friend. And that, my friends, is a good feeling.

    I encourage you to take a look at the data. We are a work in progress, for sure, and thankful for the feedback. It matters.

    Demystifying Final Day of School: For 8th Grade Students & Families

    In past years, 8th graders have been released from school several days earlier than our K-7th graders. This year, we will not be releasing our 8th grade students earlier and will hold graduation on June 20th. We have come to understand that the 8th graders are quite upset about this new way of doing business; we'll be talking with them early next week. Unfortunately, I think our VP, Mr. Patel, is getting the blame for this; I might be, too!
     
    The reality is that we have been out of compliance with State law for years and years. No longer can we simply release the 8th grade students many days early just "because we always have." Students must be given the opportunity to complete 180 days of school each year (with 12th grade having an exception). 
     
    If you hear your children complaining, this can help them understand our decision-making more deeply.
     
    That said, I can imagine that from the student's perspective it STINKS to the the class who gets to start this new tradition. So, I am sympathetic, for sure.  We were all 14 once upon a time ...
     
     
    Maker Day: Coming Up!
     
    MD

    Upcoming Events:

    • Monday, May 6th: MCAS: Grades 3 & 6 Math Part 1
    • Monday, May 6th-Friday, May 10th: 8th Grade Play Practice, Auditorium, 2:45-5:30pm
    • Tuesday, May 7th: MCAS: Grades 5 & 8 Math Part 1
    • Tuesday, May 7th: Brookline Annual Town Election, Gym, 7:00am-8:00pm
    • Tuesday, May 7th: 7th Grade Urban Improv, Auditorium, 9:00-10:00am
    • Tuesday, May 7th: Service Learning Club, Room 204, 2:30-3:30pm
    • Wednesday, May 8th: MCAS: Grades 3 & 6 Math Part 2
    • Wednesday, May 8th: “One Heath” Parent Event, 6:00-7:30pm
    • Thursday, May 9th: MCAS: Grades 5 & 8 Math Part 2
    • Thursday, May 9th: Young Scholars, Room 209, 2:30-3:30pm
    • Friday, May 10th: MCAS: Math Makeup Tests
    • Friday, May 10th: Special Education Parent Advisory Committee (SEPAC) Meeting at Town Hall, 8:30-10:00am
    • Monday, May 13th: MCAS: Math Makeup Tests
    • Monday, May 13th -  Friday, May 17th: 8th Grade Play Practice, Auditorium, 2:45-5:30pm
    • Tuesday, May 14th: MCAS: Grades 4 & 7 Math Part 1
    • Wednesday, May 15th: MCAS: Math Makeup Tests
    • Thursday, May 16th: MCAS: Grades 4 & 7 Math Part 2
    • Thursday, May 16th: Young Scholars, Room 209, 2:30-3:30pm
    • Friday, May 17th: MCAS: Math Makeup Tests
    • Friday, May 17th: Kindergarten Earth Day Celebration!, Auditorium, 8:00-9:00am
    • Saturday, May 18th: May Fair, Heath School Playground, 12:00-4:00pm
    • Monday, May 20th : MCAS: Grades 5 & 8 STE Part 1
    • Monday, May 20th : 4M Open Music Time, Music Room, 8:45 – 9:30am
    • Monday, May 20th : 3F Open Music Time, Music Room, 1:50 – 2:30pm
    • Monday, May 20th-Friday, May 24th: 8th Grade Play Practice, Auditorium, 2:45-5:30pm
    • Tuesday, May 21st: MCAS: Grades 5 & 8 STE Part 2
    • Tuesday, May 21st: 2D Open Music Time, Music Room, 12:35 – 1:15pm
    • Tuesday, May 21st: 4O'C Open Music Time, Music Room, 1:45 – 2:30pm
    • Wednesday, May 22nd: 1S Open Music Time, Music Room, 8:50 – 9:30am
    • Wednesday, May 22nd: IR Open Music Time, Music Room, 10:15 – 10:55am
    • Wednesday, May 22nd: KBK Open Music Time, Auditorium, 11:20am – 12:00pm
    • Wednesday, May 22nd: 4B Open Music Time, Music Room, 12:15 – 1:00pm
    • Wednesday, May 22nd: KC Open Music Time, Auditorium, 12:30 – 1:10pm
    • Wednesday, May 22nd: KF Open Music Time, Auditorium, 1:20 – 2:00pm
    • Wednesday, May 22nd: 3L Open Music Time, Music Room, 1:50 – 2:30pm
    • Wednesday, May 22nd - Thursday, May 23rd: MCAS: Makeup Tests
    • Thursday, May 23rd: 1C Open Music Time, Music Room, 8:45 – 9:25am
    • Thursday, May 23rd: 3H Open Music Time, Music Room, 1:50 – 2:30pm
    • Thursday, May 23rd: Young Scholars, Room 209, 2:30-3:30pm
    • Thursday, May 23rd: Progress reports published for Grades 6-8
    • Friday, May 24th: 2A Open Music Time, Music Room, 9:30 – 10:10am
    • Friday, May 24th: 2S Open Music Time, Music Room, 1:00 – 1:40pm
    • Friday, May 24th: MCAS: Math Window Closes

    Field Trips:

    • Wednesday, May 15th: Grades 6-8 GSTA Trip to Museum of Fine Arts, 9:00am-2:00pm
    • Wednesday, May 15th: Grade 4 Trip to The Edward Kennedy Institute, 9:00am-2:15pm
    • Monday, May 20th: Grade 6 Trip to Museum of Science, 8:15am-2:20pm
    • Wednesday, May 22nd: Grade 6 Trip to Boda Borg, 8:30am-2:15pm

     

    And, May the 4th (tomorrow) be with you ... pew! pew!

    StarWars  

    ~ Asa

    Dr. Asa Sevelius, Ed.D.

    Heath School Principal

    ______________________________

     

    April 26th, 2019

    Dear Heath Community,

    This year we have learned of the departure of a few terrific and beloved staff members, including, but not limited to, Noorjehan Khan and Jane Leo. While their absence will have a tremendous impact on our school, I am confident that our search processes have yielded outstanding candidates to fill these positions.

    It pleases me very much to announce that Ms. Kim Sontag, an outstanding educator currently in the 1st grade position as a long-term substitute, will stay on with us a permanent hire and on our 1st grade team. Her presence on the 1st grade team will continue to add a real strength and depth for our early learners. A few of the hallmarks of her practice are building community, establishing strong routines, setting (and meeting) high expectations, and parent communication and connection. She has been fully present in any role she takes on at Heath and is so well regarded by our staff. I hope you’ll take the time to congratulate her!

    It also brings me great joy to announce that Ms. Emily MacNeil, currently serving as our long-term substitute in 4th grade, will remain at Heath as our new 5th grade teacher. This past year, Emily has impressed the school community with her willingness to take risks, her growing expertise in differentiating instruction to meet the range of learning needs in her classroom, and ability to nurture a compassionate classroom community.  I am proud of her work and know you are (and will be!), too. She’ll gladly be accepting your warm wishes and high-5s.

    Like Uncle Ben said to Peter Parker/Spiderman: With great power comes great responsibility. We take hiring very seriously at Heath and with these two new staff members we feel we can nurture children for years to come, allowing them to use their power to make responsible choices in our community and beyond.

    Stay tuned for news on our other searches: PE and 6th/7th Social Studies!

    The “One Heath” Education Equity Committee Welcomes You!

     

    COMMUNITY CONVERSATIONS ABOUT RACE, RACISM, & PRIVILEGE

    Co-Facilitated by

    Dr. Kalise Wornum,  The Public School of Brookline’s Senior Director of Educational Equity

    &

    Dr. Asa Sevelius, Principal of Heath School

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Wednesday, May 8th, 6-7:30 pm

    Session Three:

    Interrupting the Cycle of Racism

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    All conversations will take place at Heath School with a  goal to provide community members with tools and strategies to engage in courageous conversations about race and equity with each other and their children. Come to one conversation or come to all!

     Upcoming Events:

    • Monday, April 29th: MCAS: ELA Makeup Tests
    • Monday, April 29th-Friday, May 3rd: 8th Grade Play Practice, Auditorium, 2:45-5:30pm
    • Tuesday, April 30th: Kindergarten Pineapple Project, Library, 8:00-11:00am
    • Thursday, May 2nd: K-6 Early Dismissal at 12:40pm
    • Friday, May 3rd: PTO First Friday Coffee, Cafeteria, 8:00-9:00am
    • Monday, May 6th: MCAS: Grades 3 & 6 Math Part 1
    • Monday, May 6th-Friday, May 10th: 8th Grade Play Practice, Auditorium, 2:45-5:30pm
    • Tuesday, May 7th: MCAS: Grades 5 & 8 Math Part 1
    • Tuesday, May 7th: Brookline Annual Town Election, Gym, 7:00am-8:00pm
    • Tuesday, May 7th: Service Learning Club, Room 204, 2:30-3:30pm
    • Wednesday, May 8th: MCAS: Grades 3 & 6 Math Part 2
    • Wednesday, May 8th: “One Heath” Parent Event, 6:00-7:30pm
    • Thursday, May 9th: MCAS: Grades 5 & 8 Math Part 2
    • Thursday, May 9th: Young Scholars, Room 209, 2:30-3:30pm
    • Friday, May 10th: MCAS: Math Makeup Tests
    • Friday, May 10th: Special Education Parent Advisory Committee (SEPAC) Meeting at Town Hall, 8:30-10:00am
    • Monday, May 13th: MCAS: Grades 4 & 7 Math Part 1
    • Monday, May 13th -  Friday, May 17th: 8th Grade Play Practice, Auditorium, 2:45-5:30pm
    • Tuesday, May 14th: MCAS: Math Makeup Tests
    • Tuesday, May 14th: BEF Celebrating Teachers Reception, 3:30-5:00pm
    • Wednesday, May 15th: MCAS: Grades 4 & 7 Math Part 2
    • Wednesday, May 15th: Portal Opens for Grades 6-8 Interim Progress Reports “IPR”
    • Thursday, May 16th: MCAS: Math Makeup Tests
    • Thursday, May 16th: Young Scholars, Room 209, 2:30-3:30pm
    • Friday, May 17th: MCAS: Math Makeup Tests
    • Friday, May 17th: Kindergarten Earth Day Celebration!, Auditorium, 8:00-9:00am
    • Saturday, May 18th: May Fair, Heath School Playground, 12:00-4:00pm

    Field Trips:

    • Monday, April 29th: 3F Trip to Frederick Law Olmsted, 8:30am-2:00pm
    • Tuesday, April 30th: 3H Trip to Frederick Law Olmsted, 8:30am-2:00pm
    • Wednesday, May 1st: 3L Trip to Frederick Law Olmsted, 8:30am-2:00pm
    • Wednesday, May 15th: Grades 6-8 GSTA Trip to Museum of Fine Arts, 9:00am-2:00pm

     

    I'm off to the movies! Avengers: End Game drops tonight and I'll be there! I'd love to hear what you think of it, too! For the record, I'm also available to discuss Game of Thrones or Netflix's "Special."

    Rejoice in the good things,

    ~ Asa

    Dr. Asa Sevelius, Ed.D.

    Heath School Principal

    ______________________________

    April 12th, 2019

    Dear Heath Community,

    The week before vacation is always brings with it excitement and exhaustion.  The heightened energy can lead to children taking unnecessary and often unwelcome risks. Needless to say, our staff – including me – engage children in complex conversations around safety, unexpected behavior, decision-making, and more. What is the most often unspoken, yet critical, element in any of these conversations is the act of forgiveness. Children need to know that no matter the act, we seek to know them deeply as people, hear their story, make a plan to repair/replace/apologize/learn, activate on the plan, seek forgiveness, and to then be forgiven. The act of forgiving – from all involved – allows children to re-enter the community with some dignity and some grace.  When I reflect on this past week, I certainly look back with a greater sence of connection, understanding, and compassion. We have truly been working so hard and a break will do us all good. Be good to yourself these next 9 days.

    Some Good Advice: Setting Limits on Teen Technology Use At Home

    In a recent article in Time (“Put That Phone Away – Now” by Jean Twenge in Time, April 1, 2019, no e-link; Twenge can be reached at jtwenge@sdsu.edu), psychologist Jean Twenge (San Diego State University) says there is credible research linking heavy technology use with the surge in depression and other mental health issues among adolescents. Here are the limits she has established with her three children:

    -  No phones or tablets in the bedroom at night; the kids use real alarm clocks to wake up.

    -  No use of devices within an hour of bedtime; the blue light and psychological stimulation interferes with sleep.

    -  Device use is limited to two hours of leisure time a day, plus legitimate use for homework.

    Thanks to The Marshall Memo for this article!

    ---

    WANTED!  Clean Baby Food Jars with Lids!

    We need them for our Makerspace.  If you have them, we’ll take them!

    ---

    BHS Expansion Project Begins this Summer

    This summer the BHS expansion project will get fully underway as it enters the construction phase. This exciting project will include a new building at the 111 Cypress Street site, a new Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) building to replace the building at the corner of Tappan and Greenough Streets, renovations to the 3rd floor of the main building and the Tappan gymnasium, as well as improvements to Cypress Field. Last week, the BHS Building Committee reviewed the latest versions of the site plans, phasing timelines, and site logistics. For a complete update on the project and to review last week’s presentation please visit the BHS Project Website

    ---

    Upcoming Events:

    • Monday, April 15th-Friday, April 19th: School Closed: April Vacation
    • Monday, April 22nd -Friday, April 26th: MCAS: ELA Makeup Tests
    • Tuesday, April 23rd: Service Learning Club, Room 204, 2:30-3:30pm
    • Wednesday, April 24th: K-6 Early Dismissal @ 12:40pm
    • Thursday, April 25th: Report Cards Published for Grades 6-8
    • Thursday, April 25th: Young Scholars, Room 209, 2:30-3:30pm
    • Thursday, April 25th: Evening Conferences, 2:30-6:00pm
    • Monday, April 29th: MCAS: ELA Makeup Tests
    • Tuesday, April 30th: Kindergarten Pineapple Project, 8:00-11:00am
    • Thursday, May 2nd: K-6 Early Dismissal at 12:40pm
    • Friday, May 3rd: PTO First Friday Coffee, Cafeteria, 8:00-9:00am

    Field Trips:

    • Wednesday, April 24th: Grade 6 Trip to Metropolitan Waterworks Museum, 8:40am-12:20pm
    • Monday, April 29th: 3F Trip to Frederick Law Olmsted, 8:30am-2:00pm
    • Tuesday, April 30th: 3H Trip to Frederick Law Olmsted, 8:30am-2:00pm
    • Wednesday, May 1st: 3L Trip to Frederick Law Olmsted, 8:30am-2:00pm

    The celebrations of Passover and Easter have begun. Sunday is the Hindi holiday of Rama Navami. May your celebrations be joyful!

    Peace ,

    ~ Asa 

    Dr. Asa Sevelius, Ed.D.

    Heath School Principal

    ______________________________

     

    April 5th, 2019

    Dear Heath Community,

    Tonight is the night! International Night! Come and learn about over 80 countries – each of which represents a family or group of families that help to make up the fabric of our community. Food, music, performances, games … it is all here tonight 6-8pm. See you there!

    __________

    MCAS Testing Has Begun

    This past week was the launch of our MCAS testing cycle. While we do not “teach to the test,” we do work hard all year to set students up for success – no matter the task. This year, Mr. Patel created a video filled with test taking tips to help students keep their eye on the prize … and his beard. The response was incredible! Check it out yourself, here. Perhaps some of these tips can help you, too!

    __________

    The “One Heath” Education Equity Committee Welcomes You!

    COMMUNITY CONVERSATIONS ABOUT RACE, RACISM, & PRIVILEGE

    Co-Facilitated by

    Dr. Kalise Wornum,  The Public School of Brookline’s Senior Director of Educational Equity

    &

    Dr. Asa Sevelius, Principal of Heath School

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Wednesday, April 10th, 6-7:30 pm

    Session Two:

    "Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack" and White Privilege

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    All conversations will take place at Heath School with a  goal to provide community members with tools and strategies to engage in courageous conversations about race and equity with each other and their children. Come to one conversation or come to all!

    __________

    Save the Date for the Public Schools of Brookline Maker Day

    Mark your calendars for Saturday, May 11, 12-4pm at the Coolidge Corner School for an afternoon to celebrate innovation and creativity. Bring your imagination to this fun, family event and discover what is possible at our district makerspaces.

    • Experiment with hands-on activities

    • Explore an exciting showcase of student work across grades K-8

    • Learn about the development of PSB makerspaces

    Volunteers are also needed to help make the event run smoothly. Sign up to volunteer at: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/60b0a49afae2da31-psbmaker

    We hope to see you there!

    Made possible by the Enrichment and Challenge Support program (ECS), in collaboration with the Parent Advisory Committee for Innovation (iPAC) and the PSB K-8 PTOs

     

    Maker Day

     Upcoming Events:

    • Monday, April 8th: MCAS - Grades 5 & 8 ELA Part 1
    • Tuesday, April 9th: MCAS - Grades 4 & 7 ELA Part 2
    • Wednesday, April 10th: MCAS - Grades 5 & 8 ELA Part 2
    • Wednesday, April 10th: Heath School Site Council Meeting, Collaboration Space, 8:15-9:45am
    • Wednesday, April 10th: “One Heath” Parent Event, 6:00-7:30pm
    • Thursday, April 11th: K-6 Early Dismissal at 12:40pm
    • Thursday, April 11th: MCAS - ELA Make Up Tests
    • Thursday, April 11th: Parent/Teacher “One Heath” Educational Equity Group, Collaboration Space, 7:15-8:30am
    • Thursday, April 11th: Young Scholars, Room 209, 2:30-3:30pm
    • Friday, April 12th: MCAS - ELA Make Up Tests
    • Monday, April 15th-Friday, April 19th: School Closed: April Vacation
    • Monday, April 22nd -Friday, April 26th: MCAS: ELA Makeup Tests
    • Tuesday, April 23rd: Service Learning Club, Room 204, 2:30-3:30pm
    • Wednesday, April 24th: K-6 Early Dismissal @ 12:40pm
    • Thursday, April 25th: Report Cards Published for Grades 6-8
    • Thursday, April 25th: Young Scholars, Room 209, 2:30-3:30pm
    • Thursday, April 25th: Evening Conferences, 2:30-6:00pm

    Field Trips:

    • Thursday, April 11th: Grade 6 ELA Trip to Brookline Public Library, 8:15-10:45am
    • Friday, April 12th: Grade 7 ELA Trip to Brookline Public Library, 8:15-10:45am
    • Wednesday, April 24th: Grade 6 Trip to Metropolitan Waterworks Museum, 8:40am-12:20pm

    Have fun tonight and see you Monday!

    ~ Asa 

    Dr. Asa Sevelius, Ed.D.

    Heath School Principal

    ______________________________

    March 29th, 2019

    Dear Heath Community,

    8th Grade Kinetic Sculpture Showcase

    On Thursday we witnessed the unveiling of this year’s Kinetic Sculpture Showcase. 8th graders spend weeks upon weeks creating kinetic works of art using found materials, applying principles of design and engineering, and building simple (yet so complicated!) machines that serve a purpose. Tea makers, candy dispensers, music boxes, bats and dragons that actually fly, s’mores cookers… the sky was truly the limit! Students, under the wise guidance of Mr. Goldner and Ms. Hockensmith and the other Heath staff, learned how to build safe with power tools and discovered the fine balance between form and function. The delicate creations blew our collective minds; we are proud to be a school where this level of work is possible.

    __________

    Autism Awareness Month

    April is Autism Awareness Month and April 2nd is World Autism Awareness Day. We are in solidarity with students, families, and staff who are living a life informed by Autism. Here are resources that can help you grow in solidarity as well:

    • Autism Speaks website
    • Our own Heath Shool webpage! We have books you can read with your kids to help inform and educate at a just right level!
    • And from StoryCorp )one of my faves!) some great personal stories worth listening to: here, here, and here.

    Serving all students, knowing them and loving them, is the work of our lives. Moments like this give us a chance to grow together and care more deeply.

    __________

    Humans of NY Special Olympics Showcase

    Have any of you been following the series that is unfolding on the Humans of New York page? Photographer and documentarian Brandon Stanton has been at the Special Olympic World Games in Abu Dhabi listening to and capturing the stories of this year’s competitors and their families. I hope you’ll take a look at this remarkable treasure trove; I know that it has given me life these past few weeks, broadened my perspective, and informed my thinking profoundly.

    __________

    The “One Heath” Education Equity Committee Welcomes You!

    COMMUNITY CONVERSATIONS ABOUT RACE, RACISM, & PRIVILEGE

    Co-Facilitated by

    Dr. Kalise Wornum,  The Public School of Brookline’s Senior Director of Educational Equity

    &

    Dr. Asa Sevelius, Principal of Heath School

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Wednesday, April 10th, 6-7:30 pm

    Session Two:

    "Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack" and White Privilege

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    All conversations will take place at Heath School with a  goal to provide community members with tools and strategies to engage in courageous conversations about race and equity with each other and their children. Come to one conversation or come to all!

    __________

    Brookline Celebrates National Public Health Week 2019, April 1-6

    Conversations with prominent Boston-based physicians and Brookline residents, Sandro Galea, MD, DrPH, Dean, Boston University School of Public Health;  and Suzanne E. Salamon, MD, Gerontologist, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center; highlight Brookline’s celebration of  National Public Health Week the first week of April.   Dr. Galea’s informal talk examines:  “How the Trump Administration is Shaping Your Health; Dr. Salamon will discuss “How to Age Well.”  The week’s events are listed below. (Flyer attached.) 

    Coupled with these events will be a Brookline Department of Public Health Facebook (FB) feature offering climate-conscious dinner recipes worthy of a try. Join Brookline in protecting the planet by reducing meat consumption. Beginning April 1, a delicious recipe will be posted weekdays during the month at www.facebook.com/BrooklineHealth

    Monday, April 1. Service Animals and the Law: Do You Know the Facts? Attention all Brookline Restaurants and Retail Food establishment owners, managers and employees! Attend an informational and hands-on workshop covering essential rights and responsibilities when hosting a service animal in your establishment. Coolidge Corner Library, 31 Pleasant St., 2:00-4:30 PM.

    Tuesday, April 2. How to Age Well.  Join prominent Brookline physician, Suzanne E. Salamon, MD, Division of Geriatrics, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center for an informal talk about how food, exercise, friendships, and your mind affect how your body ages.  It’s never too late to start.  Brookline Senior Center. 93 Winchester St., 1:00 - 2:00PM. Refreshments.

    Wednesday, April 3. A Survival Guide to Parenting Teens. Talking to your kids about sexting, drinking, drugs and other things that FREAK YOU OUT.  Back by popular demand, Brookline High School PTO presents local expert on parent-teen relationships, Joani Geltman, MSW, offering strategies and insight for parents of middle and high school students. Please register for this free event at https://joanigeltmanteenlife.eventbrite.com . Brookline High School Auditorium. 115 Greenough St. 7:00-8:30 pm 

    Thursday, April 4. How the Trump Administration is Shaping Your Health. The Impact on You, Your Community, and the Planet.  An informal conversation with Sandro Galea, MD, MPH, DrPH, Dean, Boston University School of Public Health, and Brookline resident. Multi-Purpose Room, Coolidge Corner School, 345 Harvard St. 6:00 – 7:00 PM.  Co-sponsored by Climate Action Brookline.

    Saturday, April 6. Youth Climate Adaptation. Come to Pierce School where Brookline students with a passion for science and art are invited to create and present new ideas that address current climate change challenges. Participants with the most innovative ideas will receive certificates. Pierce School, 50 School St. 11:00AM – 2:00 PM.  A joint program with Climate Action Brookline.

    Brookline Public Health and Human Services’ mission is to preserve, protect & promote the physical, mental, and environmental health of the Brookline Community.  We collaborate with partners to reduce health inequities and respond to emerging public health challenges. For additional information, contact Lynne Karsten, Director of Community Health, Brookline Department of Public Health, 617-730-2336; lkarsten@brooklinema.gov. Also, please join our Twitter discussion: @BrooklineHealth, Facebook:www.facebook/BrooklineHealth, or Instagram: Brooklinehealth.

    __________

    Upcoming Events:

    • Monday, April 1st: MCAS - Grades 3 & 6 ELA Part 1
    • Tuesday, April 2nd: MCAS - Grades 4 & 7 ELA Part 1
    • Tuesday, April 2nd: Service Learning Club, Room 204 2:30-3:30pm
    • Wednesday, April 3rd: K-8 Early Dismissal @ 12:40pm
    • Wednesday, April 3rd: MCAS - ELA Make Up Tests
    • Thursday, April 4th: MCAS - Grades 3 & 6 ELA Part 2
    • Thursday, April 4th: Young Scholars, Room 209, 2:30-3:30pm
    • Friday, April 5th: MCAS - ELA Make Up Tests
    • Friday, April 5th: PTO First Friday Coffee, Cafeteria, 8:00-9:00am
    • Friday, April 5th: Special Education Parent Advisory Committee (SEPAC) Meeting @ Town Hall, 5th Floor, 8:30-10:00am
    • Friday, April 5th: International Night, 6:00-8:00pm
    • Monday, April 8th: MCAS - Grades 5 & 8 ELA Part 1
    • Tuesday, April 9th: MCAS - Grades 4 & 7 ELA Part 2
    • Wednesday, April 10th: MCAS - Grades 5 & 8 ELA Part 2
    • Wednesday, April 10th: Heath School Site Council Meeting, Collaboration Space, 8:15-9:45am
    • Wednesday, April 10th: “One Heath” Parent Event, 6:00-7:30pm
    • Thursday, April 11th: K-6 Early Dismissal at 12:40pm
    • Thursday, April 11th: MCAS - ELA Make Up Tests
    • Thursday, April 11th: Parent/Teacher “One Heath” Educational Equity Group, Collaboration Space, 7:15-8:30am
    • Thursday, April 11th: Young Scholars, Room 209, 2:30-3:30pm
    • Friday, April 12th: MCAS - ELA Make Up Tests
    • Monday, April 15th-Friday, April 19th: School Closed: April Vacation

    Field Trips:

    • Thursday, April 4th: 7/8 Math Team Meet # 5 to Brown Middle School, 3:00-6:30pm
    • Thursday, April 11th: Grade 6 ELA Trip to Brookline Public Library, 8:15-10:45am
    • Friday, April 12th: Grade 7 ELA Trip to Brookline Public Library, 8:15-10:45am

    Peace,

    ~ Asa 

    Dr. Asa Sevelius, Ed.D.

    Heath School Principal

    ______________________________

    March 22nd, 2019

    Dear Heath Community,

    So much happening at Heath School! What is highlighted here each week is TRULY the tip of the proverbial iceberg. It is our hope that your children come home and tell you all about the wonderful things happening here each day, but as a parent I know what you might hear instead is, “School was good.” If only your eyes could see what ours see!

    Coming Soon! Heath School's International Night

    Friday, April 5th, 2019, 6:00pm-8:00pm

    International Night would not be possible without all the wonderful parents, students and teachers who volunteer. Volunteers, nation guides, everyone who brings in a dish for the dinner buffet and everyone who dresses up in their traditional attire will be granted free admission!  Please help us make International Night a success!

    To volunteer, click on the link, here: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/5080c4ea9ac28a02-international4

    The International Night Team

    ~ Aneesa, Daniela, Kelly and Rina

    Congratulations! Brookline Commission for Women’s “A Woman Who Inspires Me” essay contest winners! 

    Two Heath students – Molly L. in 8th grade and Eva B. in 5th – did very well in this year’s Brookline Commission for Women’s “A Woman Who Inspires Me” essay contest. Molly placed 1st of all Brookline 8th graders; Eva placed second amongst all Brookline 5th grade students who entered. So proud of these amazing, articulate, and inspiring scholars.  Congratulate them when you see these two!

    Coming Soon! Our Second Community Conversation about Race and Racism

    We’ll gather again as a community to talk about white privilege in our lives on April 10th from 6-7:30pm. Our 8th graders will once again offer kid-sitting.

    Our first learning session last week, “Talking with Your Kids about Racism,” was powerful. We expect this upcoming session to be just as compelling. Again, the sessions will be interactive, focus on building skills and understanding, and be co-facilitated by Dr. Kalise Wornum,  The Public School of Brookline’s Senior Director of Educational Equity, and me.

    I’m a Good Person! Isn’t that Enough? Author-talk at Runkle School

    Many Heath families were present Monday night at Runkle School to hear local author Debby Irving discuss her memoir Waking Up White (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BLz-8IwL3_M). Our childhoods and how we are raised leaves each of us filled with myths, misconceptions, and omissions about other people. The rest of our lives offers us each the possibility to rewrite the software installed in our heads by our families, our culture, our schooling to include ideas and realities that are different - not better or worse - than our own. The author referenced the American master Norman Rockwell and shows like Father Knows Best as seminal influencing factors that defined what was “right” and “good” in her world, and pretty universally in the U.S.  Ms. Irving shared with the audience her journey to understand more deeply her own whiteness, how she was socialized, and how she undid a lot of the ways of seeing that were hardwired in her psyche early on. She let us know that you are a good person AND it is not enough.

    Staff Updates

    Ms. Stewart on Leave

    Ms. Stewart, our PE Teacher, is on leave for the next few weeks. We congratulate her and her wife on the arrival of their second baby!  All are well and enjoying some nesting time while they can.

    Staff Departure: Jane Leo

    We have learned that long-time and well-loved 1st grade teacher, Jane Leo (who has been on a one-year sabbatical this past year) will not be returning to Heath. Ms. Leo was such an integral part of our team for so long; the school will certainly feel like a different place without her. Ms. Leo sends along this message for her former students (and … let’s face it … us adults, too), here:

    Dear Parents and Students,

    After 16 years at Heath, I’m leaving teaching to pursue other interests. I’m heartbroken, and hopeful at the same time. Since I may not see you in the near future, I’ll leave you with a few words of advice. Students, I have kept many of the drawings you made me. Sometimes you drew me shorter than you in your pictures of us. Sometimes you drew people with legs that bent the wrong way to fit between tables and chairs you had already lovingly drawn. Your pictures didn’t look realistic as maybe you’d hoped, but they were uniquely your creations and I love them for that. As you grow up and dream of what your life will be like as an adult remember these drawings and how easy it was for you to create a world that was yours according to you. Try as much as you can to create a life for yourself according to your vision, not someone else’s. Don’t expect it to without a lot of hard work. The adults in your life will probably unknowingly find a way to step on your dreams just a little. Forgive them and hold onto the wonder and curiosity that you had when you were young because if you lose it, you will spend much of your adult life trying to get back what came so easily at age 6. In fact, my favorite part of being a teacher was watching these magical moments of discovery when you realized you didn’t need my help at all. I loved being your teacher and I’ll remember you all, you just might have to reintroduce yourself because when we meet again because you might be a lot taller than you are now and I might not recognize you. Until we meet again, you can reach me at jaheleo@yahoo.com.

    Love,

    Ms. Leo

    Thank you, Jane. You’ll be missed.

    ___

    April Service Learning Club Action: Cradles to Crayons

    The Heath School Service Learning Club, in collaboration with the BHS Service Crew, is spotlighting Cradles to Crayon (insert hyperlink!) for this month’s collective efforts. Here is our plea (thanks Rowan and Owen for writing this blurb!):

    Dear Heath School Families,

    Greetings! This year Heath School is holding an annual Cradles to Crayons clothing drive, from April 1 through April 26. Cradles to Crayons is an organization that collects items such as toys, clothing, and books for kids ages 0 to 12 in the Greater Boston Area. Over 268,185 children under the age of 12 in Massachusetts are living in poverty or near-poverty, and many are home insecure. Let’s help!

    We will have collection bins in the lobby for you to donate your (gently worn and clean) clothes in. Here are our guidelines:

    Bottoms, tops, outerwear, accessories in good condition ( NO rips, stains, or holes)

    Children’s sizes 0-20, adult sizes S-M

    NEW (still in package) socks, underwear, pajamas

    Thank you so much,

    The Heath School Service Club and the Brookline Cradles to Crayons Club!

    Upcoming Events:

    • Thursday, March 28th: Young Scholars, Room 209, 2:30-3:30pm
    • Thursday, March 28th: Kinetic Sculpture Showcase, 8:00-9:30am
    • Monday, April 1st: MCAS - Grades 3 & 6 ELA Part 1
    • Tuesday, April 2nd: MCAS - Grades 4 & 7 ELA Part 1
    • Tuesday, April 2nd: Service Learning Club, Room 204 2:30-3:30pm
    • Wednesday, April 3rd: K-8 Early Dismissal @ 12:40pm
    • Wednesday, April 3rd: MCAS - ELA Make Up Tests
    • Thursday, April 4th: MCAS - Grades 3 & 6 ELA Part 2
    • Thursday, April 4th: Young Scholars, Room 209, 2:30-3:30pm
    • Friday, April 5th: MCAS - ELA Make Up Tests
    • Friday, April 5th: PTO First Friday Coffee, Cafeteria, 8:00-9:00am
    • Friday, April 5th: Special Education Parent Advisory Committee (SEPAC) Meeting @ Town Hall, 5th Floor, 8:30-10:00am
    • Friday, April 5th: International Night, 6:00-8:00pm
    • Monday, April 8th: MCAS - Grades 5 & 8 ELA Part 1
    • Tuesday, April 9th: MCAS - Grades 4 & 7 ELA Part 2
    • Wednesday, April 10th: MCAS - Grades 5 & 8 ELA Part 2
    • Wednesday, April 10th: Term Closes and Portal Opens for Grades 6-8 Report Cards
    • Wednesday, April 10th: “One Heath” Parent Event, 6:00-7:30pm
    • Thursday, April 11th: K-6 Early Dismissal at 12:40pm
    • Thursday, April 11th: MCAS - ELA Make Up Tests
    • Thursday, April 11th: Parent/Teacher “One Heath” Educational Equity Group, Collaboration Space, 7:15-8:30am
    • Thursday, April 11th: Young Scholars, Room 209, 2:30-3:30pm
    • Friday, April 12th: MCAS - ELA Make Up Tests
    • Monday, April 15th-Friday, April 19th: School Closed: April Vacation

    Field Trips:

    • Thursday, March 28th: Grade 2 Trip to Boston Children’s Museum, 9:00am-1:30pm
    • Friday, March 29th: METCO: Skate Field Trip, 1:40-4:00pm
    • Thursday, April 4th: 7/8 Math Team Meet # 5 to Brown Middle School, 3:00-6:30pm
    • Thursday, April 11th: Grade 6 ELA Trip to Brookline Public Library, 8:15-10:45am
    • Friday, April 12th: Grade 7 ELA Trip to Brookline Public Library, 8:15-10:45am

    Peace,

    ~ Asa 

    Dr. Asa Sevelius, Ed.D.

    Heath School Principal

    ______________________________

    March 15th, 2019

    Dear Heath Community,

    Each year the Variety Show helps us all to see the unbelievable, most often unseen gifts in our community. When children stand before us, shaking and nervous, then then do something astounding – like an singing an impassioned rendition of Despacito, pounding away on their drum kit, nailing a solo dance, or performing close-up magic – we get to hold for that wee little moment a piece of their soul. And all feels right with the world.

    A huge thank you to our parents and MCs who have managed this annual tradition. We have another show for you next Friday, the 22nd! Come early to get a good seat! The shows are usually standing room only!

    Parent Talk: Raising Resilient Children in an Age of Anxiety

    Steven Schlozman, M.D. is co-director of The Clay Center for Young Healthy Minds at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), and an assistant professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School (HMS), and course director of the psychopathology class for the MIT-HMS Program in Health, Sciences and Technology. Dr. Schlozman practices child and adult psychiatry at MGH.

    Presented by Brookline Early Education Program (BEEP), Tuesday April 9, 7:00 PM, Town Hall (School Committee Room)

    Upcoming Events:

    • Tuesday, March 19th: Service Learning Club, Room 204, 2:30-3:30pm
    • Thursday, March 21st: Parent Teacher “One Heath” Educational Equity Group, Collaboration Space, 7:15-8:30am
    • Thursday, March 21st: Young Scholars Workshop with Wee the People, Room 209, 2:00-3:30pm
    • Thursday, March 21st: Variety Show #2 Dress Rehearsals - Grades 5-8, Auditorium, 3:00-5:00pm
    • Friday, March 22nd: Variety Show #2 Performance - Grades 5-8, Auditorium, 2:00-4:00pm
    • Thursday, March 28th: Young Scholars, Room 209, 2:30-3:30pm
    • Thursday, March 28th: Kinetic Sculpture Showcase, 8:00-9:30am
    • Monday, April 1st: MCAS - Grades 3 & 6 ELA Part 1
    • Tuesday, April 2nd: MCAS - Grades 4 & 7 ELA Part 1
    • Tuesday, April 2nd: Service Learning Club, Room 204 2:30-3:30pm
    • Wednesday, April 3rd: K-8 Early Dismissal @ 12:40pm
    • Wednesday, April 3rd: MCAS - ELA Make Up Tests
    • Thursday, April 4th: MCAS - Grades 3 & 6 ELA Part 2
    • Thursday, April 4th: Young Scholars, Room 209, 2:30-3:30pm
    • Friday, April 5th: MCAS - ELA Make Up Tests
    • Friday, April 5th: PTO First Friday Coffee, Cafeteria, 8:00-9:00am
    • Friday, April 5th: Special Education Parent Advisory Committee (SEPAC) Meeting @ Town Hall, 5th Floor, 8:30-10:00am
    • Friday, April 5th: International Night, 6:00-8:00pm

    Field Trips:

    • Thursday, March 28th: Grade 2 Trip to Boston Children’s Museum, 9:00am-1:30pm
    • Thursday, April 4th: 7/8 Math Team Meet # 5 to Brown Middle School, 3:00-6:30pm

    Not a long message this week.  It’s a wee bit warmer and a few crocuses are poking out around the neighborhood. It is a good afternoon to roll down the windows, turn up the music, and roll home to be with my kids. I hope you are going to do the exact same thing.

    Peace,

    ~ Asa 

    Dr. Asa Sevelius, Ed.D.

    Heath School Principal

    ______________________________

     

    March 8th, 2019

    Dear Heath Community,

    Women’s History Month

    Women’s History Month each March offers us another opportunity to celebrate the lives of women; at Heath we take this work seriously and strive to ensure women’s work and lives are at the fore each and every day. But during March, we take extra care to celebrate. When your students walk into our school library, they are met with hundreds of books highlighting the lives of women - from the famous to the ordinary - that our librarian, Ms. Carney, has curated for them to read. During the 8th grade Civil Rights presentation yesterday, guests learned from our students about the lives of myriad Americans who have worked for civil rights. Of particular interest were the student products showcasing Black women, gay women, women in politics, women who fought and are fighting for equal pay, women who have worked for reproductive freedom, women who have been disobedient, women who have been leaders in non-violence, academics and scholars, leading feminists voices (past and present), and more. At Heath School, we are, essentially, a community of women; 85% of our staff members are women.

    Everyday at Heath we are modeling for our students and each other what real, honest, dedicated, intelligent, and passionate work looks like. Women are doing the emotional and professional work that cements our emerging reputation of being one of the leading schools in the Commonwealth.  And we are doing it while uplifting the lived experiences of women – past, present, and future. This Women’s History Month let us remember the daily work of the women in our community and beyond, reaffirm our commitment to ensuring that the girls in our community are profoundly prepared to fully participate in the world around them, and offer our resounding thanks and solidarity.

    The “One Heath” Education Equity Committee Welcomes You!

    COMMUNITY CONVERSATIONS ABOUT RACE, RACISM, & PRIVILEGE

    Co-Facilitated by Dr. Kalise Wornum,  The Public School of Brookline’s Senior Director of Educational Equity & Dr. Asa Sevelius, Principal of Heath School

    Our goal is to provide community members with tools and strategies to engage in courageous conversations about race and equity with each other and their children. Come to one or come to all!

    Wednesday, March 13th, 6-7:30pm. Our first session will be “Helping parents be more intentional when talking with children about racism.” We are eager to engage with you!

    ——

    Community Days!

    Today we gathered to celebrate Community Day at Heath. Several times a year, all the kids and staff pile into the Auditorium to celebrate our hard work, share out our successes and failures, highlight our clubs (like the ADL, student council, Kindness Club, and Service Learning crew), and learn new things about each other. Today Ms. Corcoran read to the students a book about peanut allergies (The Princess and the Peanut Allergy), the Service Learning crew presented a slide deck highlighting their work this year, 2nd grade led us in a call and response song, 5M showcased their Southern Colonies projects, Mr. Cook led a “How well do you know your teachers?” Quiz show, and Lucia R. sang for us! Student Council members served up entertainment between presentations.

    Thanks to Mr. Patel for harnessing all of this talent!

    ——

    Upcoming Events:

    • Wednesday, March 13th: “One Heath” Community Event, Cafeteria/Auditorium, 6:00-7:30pm
    • Thursday, March 14th: 2nd Grade Genki Spark Japanese Drumming, Cafeteria, 8:00-10:30am
    • Thursday, March 14th: Young Scholars, Room 209, 2:30-3:30pm
    • Thursday, March 14th: Variety Show #1 Dress Rehearsals, Auditorium, 3:00-5:00pm
    • Thursday, March 14th: Interim Progress Reports Published for grades 6-8
    • Friday, March 15th: Kindergarten Play: Rhyme Time, Auditorium, 8:00-9:30am
    • Friday, March 15th: Variety Show #1 Performance, Auditorium, 2:00-4:00pm
    • Tuesday, March 19th: Service Learning Club, Room 204, 2:30-3:30pm
    • Thursday, March 21st: Parent Teacher “One Heath” Educational Equity Group, Collaboration Space, 7:15-8:30am
    • Thursday, March 21st: Young Scholars Workshop with Wee the People, Room 209, 2:00-3:30pm
    • Thursday, March 21st: Variety Show #2 Dress Rehearsals, Auditorium, 3:00-5:00pm
    • Friday, March 22nd: Variety Show #2 Performance, Auditorium, 2:00-4:00pm
    • Thursday, March 28th: Young Scholars, Room 209, 2:30-3:30pm

    Field Trips:

    • Wednesday, March 13th: Grade 5 Trip to Museum of Science, 8:15am-2:00pm
    • Thursday, March 14th: Grade 8 Trip to Huntington Theatre, 9:00am-1:45pm
    • Thursday, March 14th: Grade 1 Trip to Children’s Museum, 9:15am-1:45pm
    • Thursday, March 28th: Grade 2 Trip to Children’s Museum, 9:00am-1:30pm

    Happy Friday!  See you at Captain Marvel

    CapMar

    ~ Asa 

    Dr. Asa Sevelius, Ed.D.

    Heath School Principal

    ______________________________

     

    March 1st, 2019

    Dear Heath Community,

    Heath Family Game Night!

    What a fun evening we had at our first annual Heath Family Game Night – Family Feud, corn hole, Twister, pizza, jingo, checkers! All the games were there, and so many families coming out to play together. A huge shout out to the Heath Boston Family Connections committee (Rasheedah, Charlene, Akeisha, Debra, and Sarah!) who hustled for us and made the night such a joy to be at. I am very proud of their hard work, the humbleness in which they served us all, and the beauty of their efforts.

    Wanted! Plant Donations

    We need some plants for the big terrarium our students are building. It occurred to us that plants, cuttings, pots, growing material etc might be something the Heath community might donate - you know, like from your own house plants and overstock - recycling plants al la Marie Kondo. Does that succulent just not spark joy anymore? If not, we’ll take it!

    FYI: The BIG terrarium project is causing all sorts of offshoots to sprout up all over the place and we now have many kids interested in creating smaller terrariums.

    Your help can help many dreams come true here in the Heath School Makerspace!

    Parking at Heath, from Mr. Patel & the Students in 5K (blasted from Mr. Patel’s desk earlier this week, but definitely worth repeating):

    “I am sure most of you have noticed the new parking system we have implemented in the front drop of lot (by the main playground). This was in response to many parents stopping their car by the curve, then causing a traffic jam and angry honking. Ms. Khan invited me to share this problem with her students. As they were working on coding skills using Scratch, they animated a map they were given and created an awesome PSA made for parents. They were eager and jumped at the opportunity to use their skills for a real-world application and helped solve a big problem. I am sure most of you have noticed the new parking system we have implemented in the front drop of lot (by the main playground). This was in response to many parents stopping their car by the curve, then causing a traffic jam and angry honking. Ms. Khan invited me to share this problem with her students. As they were working on coding skills using Scratch, they animated a map they were given and created an awesome PSA made for parents. They were eager and jumped at the opportunity to use their skills for a real-world application and helped solve a big problem.”

    And, PLEASE!  No idling. 

    ——

    The “One Heath” Education Equity Committee Welcomes You!

    COMMUNITY CONVERSATIONS ABOUT RACE, RACISM, & PRIVILEGE

    Co-Facilitated by Dr. Kalise Wornum,  The Public School of Brookline’s Senior Director of Educational Equity & Dr. Asa Sevelius, Principal of Heath School

    Our goal is to provide community members with tools and strategies to engage in courageous conversations about race and equity with each other and their children. Come to one or come to all!

    (ATTENTION: New Date!!!!!) Wednesday, March 13th, 6-7:30pm. Our first session will be “Helping parents be more intentional when talking with children about racism.” We are eager to engage with you!

    ——

    Urban Improv Comes to Heath

    This week the theatre troupe Urban Improv came to work with our 8th grade crew. It was a powerful learning session for our students and staff. Who better to tell more about the event than a student, I ask? Thank you to the amazing Bihan Dasgupta for her perspective, here:

    “On Monday, February 27th, the Heath School invited the Urban Improv to discuss racism with 8th graders. They started off with an improvisation skit, where a black man and a white woman played the role of two modern day teenagers. The act began with them expressing their annoyance with doing reports on Black History Month. Shortly after that, they went to a diner and had milkshakes. Suddenly, after drinking them, the scene changed, and they seemed to have time traveled back to the 1950s. The black waiter was replaced by a white one, who said to the black teenager, “You can’t be here.” The teens, realizing they weren’t in 2019, started freaking out, and took another sip of the magical milkshakes transporting them back to present day. The act finished off with the white teenager saying, ‘I’m so glad we’re back in 2019, where racism doesn’t exist anymore!’

    After watching the first improv act of the assembly, we were asked whether or not we agree with that statement. Though some students weren’t sure, most of us disagreed. We all came to the conclusion that though racism isn’t as frequent and obvious as it was in the 1950s, it still happens. Later in the assembly, we got together with our classes and were asked to discuss a few questions. I think the conversation we had was very real, and we shared our own thoughts, feelings, and experiences that we wouldn’t have known or heard about if we hadn’t had this gathering. Overall, even though our school is very liberal and tries to accept everybody, I feel like this was a good eye-opener for us. After the discussion, some students even started to realize that maybe they weren’t as inclusive of Heath minorities as they thought they were, a memory of that thing they said or thought about someone a few weeks ago coming back to them. This assembly was a beneficial reminder that racism still exists, and a very important awareness check on how the things we say/said or even think/thought inside our heads can/could’ve impact the community around us.”

    _____

    Upcoming Events:

    • Monday, March 4th: 8th Grade Civil Rights Presentations, 8:15-9:30am
    • Monday, March 4th: Variety Show Rehearsals, Auditorium, 3:00-5:00pm
    • Tuesday, March 5th: Service Learning Club, Room 204, 2:30-3:30pm
    • Wednesday, March 6th: Heath Grades 5-8 Winter Band Concert, Runkle School, 7:00pm
    • Thursday, March 7th: Young Scholars, Room 209, 2:30-3:30pm
    • Thursday, March 7th: Variety Show Rehearsals, Auditorium, 3:00-5:00pm
    • Friday, March 8th: Special Education Parent Advisory Committee (SEPAC) Meeting @ Town Hall, 5th Floor, 8:30-10:00am
    • Wednesday, March 13th: “One Heath” Parent Event, Cafeteria/Auditorium, 6:00-7:30pm (New Date!)
    • Thursday, March 14th: 2nd Grade Genki Spark Japanese Drumming, Cafeteria, 8:00-10:30am
    • Thursday, March 14th: Young Scholars, Room 209, 2:30-3:30pm
    • Thursday, March 14th: Variety Show #1 Dress Rehearsals, Auditorium, 3:00-5:00pm
    • Thursday, March 14th: Interim Progress Reports Published for grades 6-8
    • Friday, March 15th: Kindergarten Play: Rhyme Time, Auditorium, 8:00-9:30am
    • Friday, March 15th: Variety Show #1 Performance, Auditorium, 2:00-4:00pm
    • Tuesday, March 19th: Service Learning Club, Room 204, 2:30-3:30pm
    • Thursday, March 21st: Parent Teacher “One Heath” Educational Equity Group, Collaboration Space, 7:15-8:30am
    • Thursday, March 21st: Variety Show #2 Dress Rehearsals, Auditorium, 3:00-5:00pm
    • Friday, March 22nd: Variety Show #2 Performance, Auditorium, 2:00-4:00pm

    Field Trips:

    • Wednesday, March 6th: Grade 3 Trip to Moose Hill Wildlife Sanctuary, 8:30am-2:00pm
    • Wednesday, March 13th: Grade 5 Trip to Museum of Science, 8:15am-2:00pm

    Go forth and do good things, always!

    ~ Asa 

    Dr. Asa Sevelius, Ed.D.

    Heath School Principal

    ______________________________

    February 15th, 2019

    Dear Heath Community,

    Our celebration of Black History Month continues at Heath! Our Young Scholars had the brilliant idea of sponsoring a door decorating contest, with the winning classroom receiving a pizza party.  Today was judging day and – believe me – this school was filled with winning entries. Here are just a few of our doors: click here and enjoy!

    One door was particularly powerful, I thought.  The crew in 1C made a door honoring Ruby Bridges and her first day of school experience (immortalized by Norman Rockwell). These first graders wrote out the messages Ruby SHOULD HAVE received on her first day of school, but didn’t. See their door here!

    I often think of the young Ruby Bridges and how the courage she and her family had transformed the American schooling landscape inexorably. I think of Ruby’s teacher, Barbara Henry, and the way she stood up in a time when most others sat down. But the person in the school desegregation narrative I think about the most is the principal of the school Ruby Bridges attended and how he did nothing to protect, honor, or love that 6-year old child. For me, as a school leader, that has been the most powerful lesson, a lesson of who not to be.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    The “One Heath” Education Equity Committee Welcomes You!

    COMMUNITY CONVERSATIONS ABOUT RACE, RACISM, & PRIVILEGE

    Co-Facilitated by

    Dr. Kalise Wornum,  The Public School of Brookline’s Senior Director of Educational Equity

    &

    Dr. Asa Sevelius, Principal of Heath School

    Our goal is to provide community members with tools and strategies to engage in courageous conversations about race and equity with each other and their children.

    Come to one or come to all!

    • Wednesday, March 13th, 6-7:30pm
    • Wednesday, April 10th, 6-7:30pm
    • Wednesday, May 8th, 6-7:30pm

    Our first session on March 6th will beHelping parents be more intentional when talking with children about racism.

    We are eager to engage with you!

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Call for Submissions!  The Spark/La Chispa

    Calling all artists, poets, and writers! It is the time of the year again to indulge your imagination, creativity, and self-expression. Share your masterpieces with your friends on The Spark/La Chispa, Heath’s literary and arts journal. Be it your favorite animal, an unforgettable visit to the doctor’s office, or the extraordinary sunset your saw during your vacation, we’d love to hear about it! We look forward to 100% student participation this year. Submission deadline is April 12, 2019. Submission guidelines are available on the Heath PTO website at: https://heathpto.membershiptoolkit.com/assets/02246/TheSparkLaChispa/spark_2019_guidelines_2page.pdf). Electronic submissions only. Students and their families are responsible for preparing, proofreading, and submitting items according to the guidelines. Direct any questions to Anne Spencer (anne.spencer@gmail.com) or Evelyn Shen (evshen@verizon.net). 

    Upcoming Events:

    • Monday, February 18th-Friday, February 22nd: School Closed: February Vacation
    • Tuesday, February 26th: Grade 4 NAEP Testing
    • Tuesday, February 26th - Thursday, February 28th: Variety Show Auditions, Auditorium, 3:00-5:00pm
    • Wednesday, February, 27th: CAP Program presentation in 3L, 9:30-11:00am
    • Wednesday, February, 27th: Heath Family Game Night (sponsored by Heath Boston Family Connections), Cafeteria/Auditorium, 6:00-8:00pm
    • Thursday, February 28th: CAP Program presentation in 3H, 9:45-11:15am
    • Thursday, February 28th: CAP Program presentation in 3F, 12:00-1:30pm
    • Thursday, February 28th: Young Scholars, Room 209, 2:30-3:30pm
    • Friday, March 1st: PTO First Friday Coffee, Cafeteria, 8:00-9:00am
    • Monday, March 4th: Variety Show Rehearsals, Auditorium, 3:00-5:00pm
    • Tuesday, March 5th: Service Learning Club, Room 204, 2:30-3:30pm
    • Wednesday, March 6th: “One Heath” Parent Event, Cafeteria/Auditorium, 6:00-7:30pm
    • Thursday, March 7th: Young Scholars, Room 209, 2:30-3:30pm
    • Thursday, March 7th: Variety Show Rehearsals, Auditorium, 3:00-5:00pm
    • Friday, March 8th: Special Education Parent Advisory Committee (SEPAC) Meeting @ Town Hall, 5th Floor, 8:30-10:00am

    Field Trips:

    • Thursday, February 28th: 7/8 Math Team Meet #4, Brown Middle School, 3:00-6:30pm

    Finally, we know there have been prolonged power outages this week in your homes. We so appreciate the work you have done as parents to make sure your kids are here and ready to go each day. We are happy to have the lights on for you all at school. Even if the lights weren’t on at heath, we’d still be here to serve. That’s what community does, it helps each other at just the right time.

    Enjoy your February break.  See you on the other side!

    ~ Asa 

    Dr. Asa Sevelius, Ed.D.

    Heath School Principal

    ______________________________

    February 8th, 2019

    Dear Heath Community,

    This past week we celebrated the Lunar New Year here at Heath and around the world! The year of the pig begins! My fortune shine upon you now and all year.

    We also recognize and celebrate Black History Month. Indeed, as educators and parents it is our responsibility to ensure our collective history enshrines, promotes, and uplifts the lived experiences and contributions of Black folks in our country and in the African diaspora. Additionally, we must focus on the present and find ways to prioritize the experiences of our young Black scholars so that they may play an integral role in the shaping of our shared future. Each of us holds the past, present, and future within us – at Heath we can be a place where we nurture the whole child so that they each know the inherent worth and value of their everyday contributions to the collective good.

    As for me, I continue my year of reading books by authors who challenge my perspective and help me grow. Some touchstone books in my life have been the works of JRR Tolkien and the Harry Potter series. Needless to say, I have devoured the Game of Thrones books, too. So when I heard about Black Leopard, Red Wolf by Marlon James, I knew this was going to be a book that challenged what I believed to be true about an entire genre of literature I have taken comfort in my entire life. What will you do to broaden your perspective?  How are you doing that already?  Who are you telling? What’s making you think differently?

    SAVE THE DATES!

    The “One Heath” Education Equity Committee Welcomes You!

    COMMUNITY CONVERSATIONS ABOUT RACE, RACISM, & PRIVILEGE

    Co-Facilitated by Dr. Kalise Wornum,  The Public School of Brookline’s Senior Director of Educational Equity & Dr. Asa Sevelius, Principal of Heath School

    • Wednesday, March 6th, 6-7:30pm
    • Wednesday, April 10th, 6-7:30pm
    • Wednesday, May 8th, 6-7:30pm
    • Wednesday, June 5th, 6-7:30pm

    Come and participate in a shared conversation about important topics, like talking with our children about race and racism, some ways to interrupt the cycle of racism, and more!

    More information to come, but for now mark your calendars!

    A Terrific Piece on Girls, Bravery, and the (Pointless) Quest for Perfection

    For Girls, Failing And Building The 'Bravery Muscle' — Leaving Perfection Behind

    Brave Girls from On Point (WBUR)

     

    Upcoming Events:

    • Monday, February 11th: BHS Curriculum Night for 8th grade families, BHS Auditorium, 7:00-8:30pm
    • Tuesday, February 12th: Service Learning Club, Room 204, 2:30-3:30pm
    • Tuesday, February 12th: Heath Grades 5-8 Winter Band Concert, Runkle School, MPR, 7:00pm
    • Thursday, February 14th: Parent/Teacher “One Heath” Educational Equity Group, Collaboration Space, 7:15-8:30am
    • Thursday, February 14th: Young Scholars, Room 209, 2:30-3:30pm
    • Friday, February 15th: Grade 6 Narrative Writing Share Out, 8:00-9:00am
    • Monday, February 18th-Friday, February 22nd: School Closed: February Vacation
    • Tuesday, February 26th: Grade 4 NAEP Testing
    • Tuesday, February 26th - Thursday, February 28th: Variety Show Auditions, Auditorium, 3:00-5:00pm
    • Wednesday, February, 27th: Boston Connections Dinner, Cafeteria/Auditorium, 6:00-9:00pm
    • Thursday, February 28th: Young Scholars, Room 209, 2:30-3:30pm
    • Friday, March 1st: PTO First Friday Coffee, Cafeteria, 8:00-9:00am

    Field Trips:

    Thursday, February 28th: 7/8 Math Team Meet #4, Brown Middle School, 3:00-6:30pm

     

    Be good to yourself!  Be good to others!

    ~ Asa 

    Dr. Asa Sevelius, Ed.D.

    Heath School Principal

    ______________________________

     

    February 1st, 2019

    Dear Heath Community,

    I was able to spend Wednesday with a team of Brookline practitioners to learn about Social Emotional Learning through the exSEL Network (https://www.renniecenter.org/exSELnet). Together, we were able to learn deeply, think collaboratively about our collective work in Brookline, and begin to establish a vision for what next generation social-emotional learning can look like PreK-12 for our students. While it is hard for me to be out of the building, I get very excited when any chance to learn more deeply comes my way. That’s the spirit I hope to imbue community wide and know our faculty and our students feel the same way!

    ——

    Our Inaugural Heath School National Geographic GeoBee

    Students from the Heath School participated in the school-level competition of the National Geographic GeoBee today. Jane Robinson, an 8th-grade student, won first place, with Tom Pogorelec, a 5th-grade student, winning second place. This is the first year that Heath School has participated in the GeoBee.

    “I’m excited to launch this amazing opportunity at Heath School and thank the Heath PTO for the grant that made it possible,” said Dr. Asa Sevelius, Principal, Heath School. “Not only is the GeoBee a tremendous opportunity to learn more about the world around us, but it fosters the risk-taking spirit we strive to encourage at Heath. Congratulations to Jane and to all our finalists.”

    GeoBeePic

    School champions, including Jane Robinson, will take an online qualifying test; up to 100 of the top test scorers in each state then become eligible to compete in their State GeoBee. The winners of the State GeoBees receive an all-expenses-paid trip to National Geographic Society headquarters in Washington, D.C., next May to participate in the GeoBee national championship, competing for scholarships, cash prizes, and an all-expenses-paid Lindblad expedition to the Galápagos Islands aboard the National Geographic Endeavour ll. Learn more at www.natgeobee.org.

    About the National Geographic Society

    The National Geographic Society is a leading nonprofit that invests in bold people and transformative ideas in the fields of exploration, scientific research, storytelling and education. Through our grants and programs, we aspire to create a community of change, advancing key insights about our planet and probing some of the most pressing scientific questions of our time while ensuring that the next generation is armed with geographic knowledge and global understanding. For more information, visit www. nationalgeographic.org.

    ——

    Ongoing Food Drive!  Please donate!!!

    Our Service Learning Club crew urges us all to participate in the food and toiletry drive for the Brookline Emergency Food Pantry. The BEFP is in need of particular items at this time, especially:

    • Toiletries (shampoo, conditioner, body and hand lotions, shaving cream)
    • Pastas
    • Macaroni and cheese
    • Pasta sauces
    • Soups
    • Canned meals such as ravioli, spaghetti and meatballs
    • Canned fruits and vegetables
    • Cereals (including oatmeal)

    Our Service Learning Crew is so excited to lead these efforts and send a huge thank you to everyone for the support.

    ——

    Need a February Break Opportunity for Your Child? Brookline SmartVacations!

    “February is just a few days away, which means that February school vacation is right around the corner! Looking for something fun and educational for your child, ages 5-12, during that week? Join, Brookline SmartVacations, offered through Adult & Community Education, February 19-22, 2019. Whether your child enjoys cooking, arts, computers, theatre, sports, or science—we have a little something for everyone.”

    For more information, check out their website https://tinyurl.com/smartvacationfeb2019

    ——

    Upcoming Events:

    • Tuesday, February 5th: Grades 6-8 All Town Chorus Concert, BHS, 7:00pm
    • Thursday, February 7th: Grades 6-8 Report Cards Published to the Parent Portal
    • Thursday, February 7th: Young Scholars, Room 209, 2:30-3:30pm
    • Friday, February 8th: Special Education Parent Advisory Committee (SEPAC) Meeting @ Town Hall, 5th Floor, 8:30-10:00am
    • Monday, February 11th: 8th Grade World Language Presentation, Auditorium, 9:50-10:45am
    • Monday, February 11th: BHS Curriculum Night for 8th grade families, BHS Auditorium, 7:00-8:30pm
    • Tuesday, February 12th: Service Learning Club, Room 204, 2:30-3:30pm
    • Tuesday, February 12th: Heath Grades 5-8 Winter Band Concert, Runkle School, MPR, 7:00pm
    • Thursday, February 14th: Parent/Teacher “One Heath” Educational Equity Group, Collaboration Space, 7:15-8:30am
    • Thursday, February 14th: Young Scholars, Room 209, 2:30-3:30pm
    • Friday, February 15th: Grade 6 Narrative Writing Share Out, 8:00-9:00am
    • Monday, February 18-Friday, February 15: School Closed: February Vacation

    Field Trips:

    • Thursday, February 7th: 8th Grade to MIT, 8:00am-2:00pm
    • Friday, February 8th: Ski and Snowboard Club, 2:30-10:30pm

     

    So, in closing, never forget why we do what we do – we believe that a high-quality, free and fair, truly inclusive, and joyful public education is a fundamental human right. We need a safe place for our children to learn deeply. Together, we are ensuring Heath is just that place. I am grateful for the opportunity to be a part of that vision and work. I hope you are, too.

     

    Asa 

    Dr. Asa Sevelius, Ed.D.

    Heath School Principal

    ______________________________

    January 25, 2019

    Dear Heath Community,

    In the United States, schools are the hub of our communities and Heath is no different. We pride ourselves in offering you authentic, safe, and challenging ways to get involved and stay involved.  It takes courage to join groups, try new things, or connect with others deeply; I applaud all of you who find your inner superhero each day when you contribute to our school and seek ways to stay connected with your (incredible) children. Here are just a few ways to get involved in the community right now:

    Food Drive to Support the Brookline Emergency Food Pantry

    The Service Learning Club will be launching our winter food drive for the Brookline Emergency Food Pantry on Monday. The BEFP is in need of particular items at this time, especially:

    • Toiletries (shampoo, conditioner, body and hand lotions, shaving cream)
    • Pastas
    • Macaroni and cheese
    • Pasta sauces
    • Soups
    • Canned meals such as ravioli, spaghetti and meatballs
    • Canned fruits and vegetables
    • Cereals (including oatmeal)

    Our Service Learning Crew is so excited to lead these efforts and send a huge thank you to everyone for the support.

    Annual Appeal has Launched

    Our PTO has launched the heath School Annual Appeal and is already hearing from so many families who are generously contributing.  Heath teachers, through PTO micro-grants, have benefited so much for so long thanks to your contributions. If you’d like to hear about how these grants have impacted teaching and learning at Heath, simply ask a teacher. I am sure they’ll enjoy telling you their story.

    “One Heath”: Invitation and Updates

    The One Heath crew, a group of parents, staff members, and school administrators, meets monthly to discuss issues of race, equity, and learning at Heath School. For the past few months we have been reading the book So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo; we invite you to read it, too!  We also invite new voices to the table and our next meeting is February 14th from 7:15-8:30 here at the school.

    Right now we are planning a series of community conversations to be held this spring. Together we will be exploring topics like understanding privilege, how to talk with your children about race and racism, interrupting the cycle of racism, and intersectionality. We will announce dates and topics soon and provide resources for you all to read, watch, and review before coming to the school to talk with other folks about these critical conversations. Thank you and stay tuned!

    HEATH SCHOOL STUDENTS COMPETE IN NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC GEOBEE
    Thanks to a grant from the Heath School PTO, for the first year ever, the Heath School is participating in the National Geographic GeoBee! On Wednesday, January 30 at 1:15 p.m. in the Heath auditorium, eight finalists from grades 5 through 8 will compete to become the Heath School champion. We invite family and friends to join us for the event.
     
    Following the Heath GeoBee, the Heath school champion advances to the next level of competition, a qualifying test to determine state competitors. Up to 100 of the top test scorers in Massachusetts become eligible to compete in the state GeoBee. The winner of the state GeoBee receives an all-expenses-paid trip to National Geographic Society headquarters in Washington, D.C., in May to participate in the GeoBee national championship, competing for cash prizes, scholarships and an all-expenses-paid Lindblad expedition to the Galápagos Islands aboard the National Geographic Endeavour II.
     
    Need more information?  Please contact David Fleming, Gr. 6 & 7 Social Studies (david_fleming@psbma.org), or Kirtan Patel, Vice Principal  (kirtan_patel@psbma.org).

    “Video Gaming Addictions in Young People” Parent Talk: Coming Up!

    In collaboration with BPEN, we are hosting Dr. Alok Konojia, Psychiatrist at McLean Hospital and Harvard Medical School, who will be addressing parents on the important topic of video gaming addiction. 

     

    • When: Wednesday March 6th from 7-8:30 PM
    • Where: Coolidge Corner School 345 Harvard Street
    • This event is free of charge, please register at Eventbrite https://www.eventbrite.com/e/video-game-addiction-tickets-553403605
    • The event is free of charge and open to all Brookline parents. 

    For more information on the speaker, please see below:

    https://kanojiapsychiatry.com/

    For more information on the topic, please see below:

    https://www.psychguides.com/guides/video-game-addiction-symptoms-causes-and-effects/

    ___

    REMINDER! Winter Gear & PE Class

    A quick announcement from the Physical Education department, as winter is here many students are now wearing boots to school. Please send your child with a change of sneakers on the days they have Physical Education. By wearing sneakers to class your child will be able to participate fully and safely in Physical Education. Thank you!

    Your PE Teachers,

    Lauren Stewart and Tim Gill 

    Upcoming Events:

    • Monday, January 28th - Thursday, January 31st: HASAP Winter Session Begins
    • Tuesday, January 29th: Service Learning Club, Room 204, 2:30-3:30pm
    • Wednesday, January 30th: Parent Event: Transitioning to 8th Grade, Art Room, 6:00-7:00pm
    • Thursday, January 31st: 2nd Grade West African Drumming Workshop, Cafeteria, 8:30-9:30am
    • Thursday, January 31st: Young Scholars, Room 209, 2:30-3:30pm
    • Thursday, January 31st: Grades 4-8 Heath & Baker Strings and Orchestra Concert @ Baker School, 7:00-8:00pm
    • Friday, February 1st: PTO First Friday Coffee, Cafeteria, 8:00-9:00am
    • Tuesday, February 5th: Grades 6-8 All Town Chorus Concert, BHS, 7:00pm
    • Thursday, February 7th: Snow Date: 2nd Grade West African Drumming Workshop, Cafeteria, 8:30-9:30am
    • Thursday, February 7th: Grades 6-8 Report Cards Published to the Parent Portal
    • Thursday, February 7th: Young Scholars, Room 209, 2:30-3:30pm
    • Friday, February 8th: Special Education Parent Advisory Committee (SEPAC) Meeting @ Town Hall, 5th Floor, 8:30-10:00am
    • Monday, February 11th: 8th Grade World Language Presentation, Auditorium, 9:50-10:45am
    • Monday, February 11th: BHS Curriculum Night for 8th grade families, BHS Auditorium, 7:00-8:30pm
    • Tuesday, February 12th: Service Learning Club, Room 204, 2:30-3:30pm
    • Tuesday, February 12th: Heath Grades 5-8 Winter Band Concert, Runkle School, MPR, 7:00pm
    • Thursday, February 14th: Parent/Teacher “One Heath” Educational Equity Group, Collaboration Space, 7:15-8:30am
    • Thursday, February 14th: Young Scholars, Room 209, 2:30-3:30pm
    • Friday, February 15th: Grade 6 Narrative Writing Share Out, 8:00-9:00am
    • Monday, February 18-Friday, February 15: School Closed: February Vacation

    Field Trips:

    • Tuesday, January 29th: 4OC Trip to Harvard Peabody Museum, 8:15am-1:30pm
    • Wednesday, January 30th:  4M Trip to Harvard Peabody Museum, 8:15am-1:30pm
    • Friday, February 1st: Ski and Snowboard Club, 2:30-10:30pm
    • Thursday, February 7th: 8th Grade to MIT, 8:00am-2:00pm
    • Friday, February 8th: Ski and Snowboard Club, 2:30-10:30pm

     

    January 18, 2019

    Dear Heath Community,

    With us in spirit this weekend, and always, is the miracle that was Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s life; we take time this long weekend to remember his legacy and how he makes us feel. Our personal relationships to his legacy depend very much on which part of King's life you most relate to: the non-violent protester? The father? The fierce preacher? The resistor? The organizer? The conflicted hero? How do we synthesize his impact in light of the times we live in now? Who are we because of him? Please take time this weekend to engage your children in complex conversations about Dr. King, the civil rights movement, and the ways we can pursue his legacy – especially now – in our own school community.

    ~~~

    We all need a little help from our friends sometimes, so this week’s missive is all about outside supports that help make our collective work stronger.  Please read on!

    We Want Your Input! Please complete our Family Feedback Survey

    Please keep an eye out for our annual Family Feedback Survey. These surveys are a great opportunity for you to let us know what is working and what can be improved at Heath School. Last year we had 18.8% of our families respond. This year our goal is to have all families respond; we want every family’s voice to be heard. These surveys provide valuable and helpful feedback about the climate, culture, and leadership at our school and around the district. Our teachers and leaders need to hear what you think the school is doing well and also what we can improve.

    The surveys open for your input on January 22. Please look for an email from Panorama Education on January 22 with a link to the survey. We urge all of our families to participate!  

    Inspo:Expo!  Monday!

    More than ever, actions count. Looking for a way to make an impact? Join us at the 2nd Annual Inspo:Expo Brookline Action Fair sponsored by the Town of Brookline on MLK Day (12-3pm, 1.21.19) at Kehillath Israel (384 Harvard Street). “Inspo” means “something that serves as inspiration,” such as all the ways Brookline residents strive to make a difference. Learn about over 65 service projects and even do one of several volunteer projects at this free, family-friendly event. For more information, please email Hadassah Margolis, Founder, at inspoexpo.brookline@gmail.com. Get inspired. Volunteer. Take a stand.

    Follow along at

    • Facebook: @InspoExpo
    • Twitter: @InspoExpo
    • Instagram: @inspoexpo.brookline

    Need Help? Try the The Brookline Tutor Mentor Program (BTMP)

    The Brookline Tutor Mentor Program (BTMP), a free tutoring program for middle schoolers with the goal of connecting high-schoolers and middle schoolers both through academics and through a supportive mentor system. We also specifically try to reach low income middle school students who cannot otherwise afford one on one tutoring.

    The Brookline Tutor Mentor program collaborates with the Brookline Teen Center, which provides guidance, outreach, and a home base for our program. Tutors and students will be meeting year round and every Sunday from 1-3pm at the Teen Center beginning on Sunday, December 9th. There are a few exceptions to this meeting time, and students will be made aware beforehand. During this time, tutor mentors will spend approximately one hour and fifteen minutes helping their students with their academic work. For the remaining 45 minutes, tutors and their students are free to play games and run fun activities to strengthen their mentor-student bond. If for some reason tutors or students are not available to meet during this time, but still wish to participate in the program, exceptions will be made.

    The Brookline Tutor Mentor Program is looking for any middle schooler who is in need of tutoring in specific areas or classes. If students are struggling with homework, tests, or projects at school, this program will be the perfect opportunity to create better habits and improve their academic strength.

    If anyone is interested, all they have to do is apply here: https://goo.gl/forms/dRTRo1mgSGhVIt202

    A Thank You, From Heading Home Senior Director of Development, Suzanne Picher:

    “As we look back on 2018, the Heath School partnership over the holidays stands out as a highlight!  Thank you for adopting Heading Home for your Community Service Club’s toy drive and for the amazing abundance we were able to share with our families as a result! 

    I was honored to be a guest at Heath and was so impressed by your students’ insight and intentionality in their comments. 

    Thank you, Heath School, for your impressive contributions to raising our next generation of leaders.”

    Check it out! New Tween Center at the Public Library in Brookline Village!

    Starting in 2019, the Public Library of Brookline’s Brookline Village location will have a new space and a new collection to offer our younger patrons. In early September we hired a Tween Librarian, Abbey Stephens, in order to better serve our middle-school-aged patrons (grades 5-7), and come January we’ll have a separate space and collection just for them. The lower level communal space, known as the Commons, will be reserved for our tween patrons Monday-Friday from 2-6 PM. They’ll have access to robust fiction, nonfiction, and graphic novel collections, as well as weekly programming designed just for them. Starting in the spring of 2019, the Coolidge Corner and Putterham locations will both have corresponding Tween sections as well. 

    Upcoming Events:

    • Monday, January 21st: School Closed: MLK Jr. Holiday
    • Thursday, January 24th: Young Scholars, Room 209, 2:30-3:30pm
    • Friday, January 25th: 5th Grade Understanding Our Differences & Similarities - Learning Unit, Cafeteria/Auditorium, 8:15-10:45am
    • Friday, January 25th: METCO Connections Event: Cooking, Staff Lounge, 1:40-2:45pm
    • Monday, January 28th: Tanglewood Marionettes Performance, MPR, 8:15-9:05am - (Grades 2, 4, & 5), 9:20-10:10am - (Grades 6-8), 10:25-11:15am - (Grades Pre K-1 & 3)
    • Monday, January 28th - Thursday, January 31st: HASAP Winter Session Begins
    • Tuesday, January 29th: Service Learning Club, Room 204, 2:30-3:30pm
    • Thursday, January 31st: 2nd Grade West African Drumming Workshop, Cafeteria, 8:30-9:30am
    • Thursday, January 31st: Young Scholars, Room 209, 2:30-3:30pm
    • Thursday, January 31st: Grades 4-8 Heath & Baker Strings and Orchestra Concert @ Baker School, 7:00-8:00pm
    • Friday, February 1st: PTO First Friday Coffee, Cafeteria, 8:00-9:00am
    • Thursday, February 7th: Grades 6-8 Report Cards Published to the Parent Portal
    • Thursday, February 7th: Young Scholars, Room 209, 2:30-3:30pm
    • Friday, February 8th: Special Education Parent Advisory Committee (SEPAC) Meeting @ Town Hall, 5th Floor, 8:30-10:00am

    Field Trips:

    • Thursday, January 24th: 4B Trip to Harvard Peabody Museum, 8:15am-1:30pm
    • Friday, January 25th: Ski and Snowboard Club, 2:30-10:30pm
    • Tuesday, January 29th: 4OC Trip to Harvard Peabody Museum, 8:15am-1:30pm
    • Wednesday, January 30th:  4M Trip to Harvard Peabody Museum, 8:15am-1:30pm
    • Friday, February 1st: Ski and Snowboard Club, 2:30-10:30pm
    • Thursday, February 7th: 8th Grade to MIT, 8:00am-2:00pm
    • Friday, February 8th: Ski and Snowboard Club, 2:30-10:30pm

     

    And, finally, we said goodbye to the quintessential American poet Mary Oliver yesterday. Her poems, along with the writings of Wendell Berry, are the ones I turn to when I need solace or reconnection with the natural world. As a undergraduate studying English in what felt like the middle of nowhere Indiana, I tried on all the poets and all the styles. And as I have aged, it is these straight-ahead poets and their gentle, yet soul crushing musings on the inner life and the sweetness around us that I am compelled to read and re-read.  Mary Oliver was 83. She left us with this (and so much more): “Instructions for living a life. Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it.”

    May it be so.

    Asa 

    Dr. Asa Sevelius, Ed.D.

    Heath School Principal

    ______________________________

    January 4, 2019

    Dear Heath Community,

    Happy new year, friends!  And welcome to the second half of what is shaping up to be a great year!

    Superintendent’s Forum

    We closed this brief first week of 2019 with a First Friday Coffee with Superintendent Andrew Bott. We discussed K-8 math programming and the math program review process, restorative practices, and dug in a bit into the ongoing conversation around space and building projects in the district. 

    As for math, we haven’t, as a District, reviewed our math programming since 2004. While we as a school community consider ourselves to be math innovators, what we are doing is specific for Heath much of the time, providing a very different experience for students in different teacher’s classes (particularly twins) and certainly across the other eight K-8 schools.  Without a deep dive into math programming, we are asking teachers to be resource finders and content developers. Here, I feel extremely fortunate to have teachers deeply committed to innovative, process driven, hands-on mathematics teaching and learning – and our results speak volumes. With a program review, we can begin to align our thinking with other practitioners, creating a more universal and high-quality experience for all. This is a process we are all taking very seriously; Heath is well represented on the decision-making committees and in the decision-making process by a range of outstanding staff with deep expertise and a passion for the subject.

    Mr. Bott also spoke briefly about the BHS expansion process, sharing the timelines for building construction and demolition. We discussed the plans for rising 9th graders and the expectations for students over time. We learned about the state of the art facilities headed our way through this complex process. Hearing all of the plans for the kind of opportunities these facilities will bring to Heath students makes me feel really good about what is in store for students. All children have a right to beautiful spaces in which to learn, play, and explore and these plans help us all envision this possibility for our kids for years and years to come. Keeping our eyes on this prize will help us all manage our stress and confusion over the next two years. Stay informed, stay engaged, and stay excited! To learn more, check out this slide deck.

    We also spent time discussing restorative practices. Mr. Bott spoke about the idea that when kids feel connected - really connected - to each other, to the teachers, and to their environment, we have safer and stronger communities … with a reduction in destructive habits (like bullying, exclusion, racism, homophobia, and more).  We urge you to join us here at Heath on January 22nd from 6-8pm for our Restorative Justice Family Meeting, co-facilitated by staff from the Suffolk University Center for Restorative Justice. Please consider coming. You’ll be glad you did – I guarantee it.

    Vaping

    As you may have seen in the news (or have heard directly from your children), vaping is a growing issue among our nation’s youth and we are not immune to it in Brookline. As this is becoming more prevalent we wanted to share this important information with you:

    Vaping Information for Parents

    There is no quick or simple solution for preventing teen drug use. But research shows parents have a big influence on their teens, even when it doesn’t seem that way. Talk openly with your children and stay actively engaged in their lives. As a part of our preventative work at Heath, students continue to learn about healthy behaviors and drug abuse prevention in health classes in the middle school years.

    Join Us! Makerspace Winter Warmer

    What? Winter Warmer - Coffee and STEAM

    When? Friday January 18th, 8:00-9:00 in the STEAM room

    You are invited to learn about the Heath School Makerspace. Come enjoy some coffee, participate in a creative and collaborative design activity, and see the future potential for all students. Sponsored by the Enrichment & Challenge Support (ECS) department, supporting all students through innovation.

    Upcoming Events:

    • Wednesday, January 9th: Grades K-5: Progress Reports Published for Cycle 1
    • Thursday, January 10th: Young Scholars, Room 209, 2:30-3:30pm
    • Friday, January 11th: Special Education Parent Advisory Committee (SEPAC) Meeting @ Town Hall, 5th Floor, 8:30-10:00am
    • Tuesday, January 15th: Service Learning Club, Room 204, 2:30-3:30pm
    • Wednesday, January 16th: Freelance Troupe Performance, Auditorium, 4:00-6:00pm
    • Thursday, January 17th: Parent/Teacher “One Heath” Educational Equity Group, Collaboration Space, 7:15-8:30am
    • Thursday, January 17th: Young Scholars, Room 209, 2:30-3:30pm
    • Friday, January 18th: 5th Grade Understanding Our Differences & Similarities - Physical Unit, Cafeteria/Auditorium, 8:15-10:45am
    • Monday, January 21st: School Closed: MLK Jr. Holiday
    • Thursday, January 24th: Young Scholars, Room 209, 2:30-3:30pm
    • Friday, January 25th: 5th Grade Understanding Our Differences & Similarities - Learning Unit, Cafeteria/Auditorium, 8:15-10:45am

    Field Trips:

    • Friday, January 11th: Ski and Snowboard Club, 2:30-10:30pm
    • Monday, January 14th: Grade 5 Trip to McAullife Center, 8:10am-2:10pm
    • Thursday, January 17th: 7/8 Math Team Meet #3, Oak Hill Middle School, 3:00-6:30pm
    • Friday, January 18th: Ski and Snowboard Club, 2:30-10:30pm
    • Thursday, January 24th: 4B Trip to Harvard Peabody Museum, 8:15am-1:30pm
    • Friday, January 25th: Ski and Snowboard Club, 2:30-10:30pm

    Happy weekend! Happy new year!

    Asa

     

    Dr. Asa Sevelius, Ed.D.

    Heath School Principal

    ______________________________

     

    December 14th, 2018

    Dear Heath Community,

    This will be our last missive before we head off to winter break. Let me take this time to wish you all a wonderful winter vacation, and – to those of you who celebrate – a merry Christmas, wonderful Kwanzaa, and a peaceful New Year. These celebrations of light come when the northern hemisphere is at its darkest. These celebrations remind us to pause, take a breath, connect with community, and give and receive with an open heart. I am thankful to be in a community that makes the space for caring and compassion. I hope you are, too.

    Continuous Learning

    This week our staff met with a facilitator from the Riverside Trauma Center to learn more about how to be a trauma-informed school, gaining the skills necessary to support our students who have experienced trauma and/or are living with mental health issues.  In our learning, we understood how to change the way we, as adults, engage with students so that we promote healing and not harm. To be truly trauma and mental health sensitive, we must move away from the antiquated idea that something is wrong with a child and move into a mindset that something may have happened to a child. Many of our community members, including and especially our students, experience toxic stress, a prolonged activation of stress without supports to mitigate the stress. Knowing our students come to us in these ways, we seek to become a more understanding, more aware, and infinitely safer school. The research shows that by creating these spaces of care, of safety, and of support that every single child can find the space to thrive. With a strong sense of safety, loads of predictability, and a belief that each of us is in control, we can make Heath really sing for everyone!

    Volunteers Needed! Alert! Alert! Alert!

    The Heath PTO wants to ask all parents and caregivers to consider donating time or tastiness to the end of term Faculty/Staff appreciation lunch coming up this Wednesday, December 19.  Click the sign up genius link below to help! 

    https://www.signupgenius.com/go/9040d45a5a72aa57-holiday3

    Pre-thanks for the wonderful spread you will be presenting the staff here this coming week!  I have been here long enough to know that what you present for us is a real and true and kind … and one of the highlights of our year!

    Congrats, Robot Champions!

    The Heath community has TWO robotics teams who have advanced to the WPI state competition. The state competition is this weekend! To the engineering crews – a team made up of 4th, 5th, and 6th graders (called Lego my Eggo) and the Pixie Stix all-girl team – good luck and do your very best!

    Upcoming Events:

    • Monday, December 17th: Street Corner Symphony Performance for grades 6-8, Auditorium, 10:00-10:30am
    • Monday, December 17th: Street Corner Symphony Performance for grades 3-5, Auditorium, 10:40-11:10am
    • Monday, December 17th: Street Corner Symphony Performance for grades PreK-2, Auditorium, 11:20-11:50am
    • Tuesday, December 18th: Kindergarten Registration Information Session, Brookline Town Hall, School Committee Room (5th floor), 5:30pm
    • Wednesday, December 19th: Teacher and Staff Appreciation Luncheon, Staff Lounge, 11:00am-1:00pm
    • Thursday, December 20th: Parent/Teacher “One Heath” Educational Equity Group, Collaboration Space, 7:15-8:30am
    • Thursday, December 20th: Grades K-2 Community Day, Auditorium, 8:15-8:55am
    • Thursday, December 20th: Young Scholars, Room 209, 2:30-3:30pm
    • Friday, December 21st: Grades 3-5 Community Day, Auditorium, 8:15-9:05am
    • Friday, December 21st: Grades 6-8 Community Day, Auditorium, 1:00-1:40pm
    • Friday, December 21st: Grades 6-8 Interim Progress Reports Published to the Parent Portal
    • Monday, December 24, 2018 - Tuesday, January 1, 2019: School Closed: Winter Break; Return on January 2, 2019
    • Field Trips:
    • Friday, December 21st: METCO Connections Field Trip to Urban Nutcracker Boch Center, 8:30am-1:30pm

    Again, happy holidays. Be good to yourself and each other.

    Asa

    Dr. Asa Sevelius, Ed.D.

    Heath School Principal

    ______________________________

    December 7th, 2018

    Dear Heath Community,

    This week has been the celebration of Hanukkah – Chag Chanukah Sameach! Many, many, many of our students get so excited during these celebratory days: the food, the family and friends that help celebrate, the games, and presents. Each family brings their own traditions to their Hanukkah celebrations, and we get to hear all about them here at school. This excitement brings a light all of its own and it is a joy to behold.

    ---

    Thoughts from Today’s METCO Directors’ Association Conference

    Today I had the privilege of attending the 34th Annual Conference of the METCO Directors’ Association.The theme was Brown and Black Children: Hidden in Plain Sight. The onus for this theme came after educators listened to students enrolled in the METCO program who shared that they very often feel invisible in the hallways of our schools. Student ambassadors shared the need to see adults who look like them in the school, the need to be seen and heard beyond their race while also being affirmed as whole people which places value on their racial identity, and more. I have said it before … if you need to learn the inner workings of a school, understand what is clicking or what is falling short, ask a kid.

    We also had a chance to hear from the dynamic and thoughtful Dr. Dena Simmons of Yale University. She asked us to consider who we are as a nation as we experience increasing wealth gaps, increasing racial and identity diversity, increased political rhetoric that pours into our classrooms, and more. Our context, our location, and our times “shape and guide our behaviors” and also how we seek solution for emerging problems (and problems we can not predict are forthcoming). But one thing we can do to ensure our community stays welcoming and safe, no matter the times, is to know each other and make space for each of our stories – enshrine opportunities to know each other deeply. There are many ways to be visible, but how do we ensure a child is truly seen?

    Truly feeling like you belong in a community is the essential ingredient for any child’s success in school. As adults, it is what keeps us coming back to our own work everyday. When we force each other to disguise who we are as our most authentic selves, we ensure that children disappear around us – hidden in plain sight. They become psychically homeless, not at home in many communities because of the ways we ask children to assimilate to cultural standards they they had no voice or role in establishing in a school that does not represent their (our) American history or that only represents the history of Black folks through the study of slavery or the civil rights movement. Essential learning, yes – but, in isolation, learning that is reactive, revisionist, and limiting.

    Dr. Simmons urges us “to teach children to love themselves, to expose them to role models from marginalized backgrounds, eradicate false narratives from our classrooms, and to be in true partnership with families.” No child at Heath should feel like an imposter, like they don’t belong. Instead, we must allow the space for listening, sharing, and connection. Dr. Simmons left us with the quote by Mary Lou Kownaki, “Engrave this upon your heart; there isn’t anyone you couldn’t love once you heard their story.” May it be so.

    ---

    Toy Drive: Thank You for Our Service Learning Club

    There is still time to donate  to our toy drive. Toys will be picked up on December 18th!

    We would like to thank everyone who contributed to the Heath School Toy Drive.  This toy drive was the Service Learning Club’s project first ever! The SLC crew made signs, identified a partner organization, and set a goal of supporting children in the Boston-area that couldn’t afford toys otherwise. The SLC wants to thank Heading Home for partnering with us and making this possible! We received many toys due to your generosity and kindness and we would not have been able to accomplish this without the help from the Heath community – you!

    Some of the items we received were:

    • Remote control cars
    • Board games
    • Educational games
    • Arts and crafts
    • Building blocks and legos
    • Dolls and action figures
    • Science kits
    • … and way more!!!

    We are sure many children will enjoy receiving gifts this holiday season thanks to your generosity!

    The Heath School SLC is committed to helping kids in needs, making kids happy, and contributing to ending homelessness.

    Be sure to look for our upcoming projects and events, including a food drive, school-wide clean up, and drive to support a local animal shelter!

    ~ Great thanks from the Service Learning Club

    ---

    Upcoming Events:

    • Wednesday, December 12th: K-8 Early Dismissal at 12:40pm
    • Thursday, December 13th: Young Scholars, Room 209, 2:30-3:30pm
    • Friday, December 14th: Special Education Parent Advisory Committee (SEPAC) Meeting at Town Hall, 8:30-10:00am
    • Friday, December 14th: Providence Bruins National Anthem - Grades 5-8 Chorus
    • Monday, December 17th: Street Corner Symphony Performance for grades 6-8, Auditorium, 10:00-10:30am
    • Monday, December 17th: Street Corner Symphony Performance for grades 3-5, Auditorium, 10:40-11:10am
    • Monday, December 17th: Street Corner Symphony Performance for grades PreK-2, Auditorium, 11:20-11:50am
    • Tuesday, December 18th: Service Learning Club, Room 204, 2:30-3:30pm
    • Wednesday, December 19th: Teacher and Staff Appreciation Luncheon, Staff Lounge, 11:00am-1:00pm
    • Thursday, December 20th: Parent/Teacher “One Heath” Educational Equity Group, Collaboration Space, 7:15-8:30am
    • Thursday, December 20th: Young Scholars, Room 209, 2:30-3:30pm

     

    Peace,

    Asa

    Dr. Asa Sevelius, Ed.D.

    Heath School Principal

    ______________________________

    November 30, 2018

    Dear Heath Community,

    I extend my very sincere thanks to all the parents who have so generously contributed their time and talent this week to ensure our book fair was, yet again, a smashing success. Hannah Parker, Gaelle From, Anne Spencer, Kathryn Murphy, and the many of you who came to help at Family Night or took a shift during the day – thank you. I am myself a book junkie (and former book slinger at Borders Books … shout out to now shuttered store #115 in Bloomington, Indiana!) and love the vibe of the school when the book fair is here. Our parent team does such a wonderful job and we are grateful.

    Please keep the book buying fever alive by shopping at the Brookline Booksmith next Wednesday night, Dec. 5th, from 5-8pm. 20% of the total sales from the evening will come back to Heath! Tell your friends!!!

    Now for some upcoming important events for your consideration:

    7th and 8th Grade Parent Meeting Coming Up!  Health Curriculum

    Informational meeting about the 7/8 Get Real Sex Education program at Heath will be Tuesday, Dec. 11th, 8:00-8:30am in the library. Hope to see a lot of parents there! Katie Goldring, our Health educator, will be able to answer your myriad questions.

    Heath Family Skate Night

    All family members and caregivers are invite to join the Heath community in a magical evening of outdoor ice skating with friends and family.

    • When: December 7, 2018, 6-7:30pm
    • Where: Kirrane Ice Skating Rink in Larz Anderson Park, 25 Newton St, Brookline

    Ice skate rentals and concessions available for purchase.

    Ice time generously provided by Heath PTO! Thank you!

    Kindergarten Registration Information Sessions

    As we prepare to welcome our class of 2032 in September 2019, the Public Schools of Brookline is hosting five informational sessions for parents and guardians looking to register their children for Kindergarten in 2019-2020:

    • Wednesday, December 5 - 8:30 a.m., Brookline Town Hall, Room 111
    • Thursday, December 6 - 5:30 p.m., Brookline Town Hall, Room 111
    • Wednesday, December 12 - 11:30 a.m., Brookline Town Hall, School Committee Room (5th Floor)
    • Thursday, December 13 - 8:30 a.m., Brookline Town Hall, Room 103
    • Tuesday, December 18 - 5:30 p.m., Brookline Town Hall, School Committee Room (5th Floor)

    These sessions are open to the general public - no RSVP required! Brookline. For any questions, please direct families to contact the Office of Student Affairs at (617)-264-6492 or email studentaffairs@psbma.org.

    We encourage families to stop by any of the sessions to learn more about PSB, the registration process, school options, application deadlines, and connect with other families. It is an exciting time for families as their child gets ready for kindergarten, and we look forward to seeing them.

    Upcoming Parenting Workshop

    Teaching Our Children to be Good Digital Citizens: Working Together to Prevent Cyberbullying and Sexting

    • For whom? Everyone! This is a presentation for parents/guardians of children in grades PreK-12
    • About what? Figuring out how to thoughtfully and safely live with digital technology is a challenge for many families today. At this presentation, Dr. Englander will discuss the myths that might be draining your parenting confidence. Discover concrete, useful strategies that will help you guide your children as they learn to use the internet and social media in a respectful and healthy way.
    • When? Monday, December 10, 2018 from 6:00—8:00 p.m.
    • Where? Brookline High School Auditorium
    • Who is leading the discussion?  Dr. Elizabeth Englander, Director of Massachusetts Aggression Reduction Center and Professor of Psychology at Bridgewater State University. Dr. Englander is a nationally-recognized expert in the areas of bullying and cyberbullying, childhood causes of aggression and abuse, and children’s use of technology. This is a no-cost event open to all parents, guardians, and staff of the Public Schools of Brookline.

    No registration is required. Any questions about this event can be directed to Dr. Maria Letasz Director of Guidance and Clinical Services maria_letasz@psbma.org

    Upcoming Events:

    • Tuesday, December 4th: Service Learning Club, Room 204, 2:30-3:30pm
    • Thursday, December 6th: K-8 Early Dismissal at 12:40pm
    • Friday, December 7th: PTO First Friday Coffee, Cafeteria, 8:00-9:00am
    • Friday, December 7th: Heath Family Skate Night, 6:00pm
    • Wednesday, December 12th: K-8 Early Dismissal at 12:40pm
    • Thursday, December 13th: Young Scholars, Room 209, 2:30-3:30pm
    • Friday, December 14th: Special Education Parent Advisory Committee (SEPAC) Meeting at Town Hall, 8:30-10:00am
    • Friday, December 14th: Providence Bruins National Anthem - Grades 5-8 Chorus
    • Tuesday, December 18th: Service Learning Club, Room 204, 2:30-3:30pm
    • Thursday, December 20th: Parent/Teacher “One Heath” Educational Equity Group, Collaboration Space, 7:15-8:30am
    • Thursday, December 20th: Young Scholars, Room 209, 2:30-3:30pm
    • Friday, December 21st: Grades 6-8 Interim Progress Reports Published to the Parent Portal
    • Monday, December 24, 2018 - Tuesday, January 1, 2019: School Closed: Winter Break; Return on January 2, 2019

    And, if you have made it this far, here is a gift from Southern Poet Wendell Berry:

    “When despair for the world grows in me and I wake in the night at the least sound in fear of what my life and my children's lives may be, I go and lie down where the wood drake rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds. I come into the peace of wild things who do not tax their lives with forethought of grief. I come into the presence of still water. And I feel above me the day-blind stars waiting with their light. For a time I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.”

    ~ Wendell Berry, The Peace of Wild Things

    Be well,

    Asa

    Dr. Asa Sevelius, Ed.D.

    Heath School Principal

    ______________________________

    November 16, 2018

    Dear Heath Community,

    A hearty crew of Heath and BEEP educators were able to be together, learning and growing, at the 14th Annual Educators Forum for Supporting Students with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities sponsored by the Massachusetts Down Syndrome Congress this past Tuesday.

    To start the day we heard from a wide variety of advocates and allies, including student self-advocate with Down Syndrome who shared her highlights of her life as a student. Not surprisingly, she included a wide-range of activities including theater, yearbook committee work, choir, soccer, lunch and recess, coursework across the disciplines, and swimming in her academic and social highlights. It is always remarkable to hear directly from the students we serve; as educators, it is an opportunity we, frankly, don’t get often enough.

    At Heath, we are a full inclusion school,  meaning that we do not have sub-separate classrooms for any students. That said, how do we visualize and actualize greater inclusion in our classrooms and community? I have said it before, but it bears repeating: we know our kids. AND we have a long-term vision for their success, beyond 8th grade. We seek to imbue all of our students with the belief that they matter, as humans and as scholars, and have absolute access to any coursework and any program. We keep resilience, advocacy, collaboration, and reflection as our foundations. We ask ourselves when planning lessons or selecting read aloud books, “Who am I including? Who have I excluded? What is my hidden bias?”

    As teams, we are transparent about our own strengths and growing edges. We are practitioners, not professors. We exist in real classrooms in real time and everyday are confronted with behaviors from children that we have never experienced before. In those moments we leverage our solid teacherly practices and at the end of the day we turn to one another to seek advice about how to best dig in and try something new tomorrow. We also put in the hard labor of getting smarter through reading, research, professional development, and coursework.

    And, often most importantly, we listen to families. After all, what we have been doing with one child, that family has been doing for so much longer … and deeper … and better … and with infinitely more sleepless nights. The work of uplifting any child, and particularly a child with special rights, is empty without parent partnership.

    We are thankful for the generous funding for us – 9 educators total! – to attend this conference. With the school’s Annual Appeal launching, I would be remiss if I didn’t send a shout out to our parents who give so much so that we can innovate and learn together.

    A stated goal of the Massachusetts Down Syndrome Congress is to expand the network of adults for whom our students can depend on, and we feel we are now better able to do just that.

    ______________

    Important Notice!

    Did you lose money on Election Day?  If so, please contact the main office at 617-879-4570.

    ______________

    Recap of Our Professional Day

    Last Friday was a day off for students, but a day on for staff. We are thankful for this time to be together and learn together deeply.

    During the day the Heath School crew dove into Restorative Circles (https://www.edutopia.org/article/building-community-restorative-circles), exploring this powerful way of being together, holding space to problem solve, and think differently about how each of us understands they belong in this community. By asking very simple questions – like “Share a time when you felt you really belonged …” – and telling our stories to others who are  listening deeply to our experiences, we felt very connected to one another. We were able to consider how our own experiences of belonging or not belonging translated to our students’s experiences while at school.

    We also explored big ideas like looking for and understanding hidden curriculum, intrinsic racial bias, understanding what we can control in our students’s lives and what we cannot control and how to tell the difference, and more.

    Through the magic of iMovie, we heard from a wide range of students and learned about their perceptions of how Heath is for them. Overall, the feedback was positive and powerful. When students had some concerns, they let us know that, too. It makes me proud to know we are a community where students can speak truth to power.

    Again, the time afforded us was priceless.

    ______________

     

    Restorative Circles, From our Superintendent, Mr. Andrew Bott:

    Dear Brookline Families and Staff,

    As part of a careful review of the district’s Code of Conduct/Discipline Policy, the Public Schools of Brookline is embarking upon a multi-year effort to implement restorative practices throughout our schools.  Restorative practices prioritize healthy relationships and promote positive discipline in schools by creating safe learning environments through community building and repairing harm.  These practices have been shown to reduce, prevent and improve harmful behavior; repair harm and restore positive relationships; resolve conflict by facilitating reflection and understanding of our impact on others; and hold individuals and groups responsible for their choices.

    We have started this important work this year, and the process is off to a strong start. This first year will focus primarily on foundational education to ensure that we establish a common understanding about what restorative justice means, and how to incorporate restorative practices into our day-to-day interactions between adults and young people. We will build on this foundation in the coming years with more specific school-based professional learning.

    To this end principals, high school deans, and many central office administrators attended a training in July, followed by a second training in August which was attended by many vice principals and high school educators. This month we currently have two trainings scheduled: one for all the school counseling staff and the other for vice principals and educators from across our schools.

    While our first year emphasis is on the foundational education of restorative practices and is designed to build connections and relationships, Brookline High School opted to be an early adopter site.  Other schools, as well, have already begun sending their staff to training.  The principals and staff that attended the July and August trainings have started using the skills learned to begin the important work of solidifying relationships among adults and are applying them in practice in various ways including faculty meetings and teacher team meetings.

    Generous funding from the Brookline Education Foundation is allowing us to accelerate the number of training opportunities and provide specific additional support to the large number of staff at Brookline High School. Additionally, BEF funding is allowing us to retain key consulting support from the Suffolk University Center for Restorative Justice to help ensure a thoughtful and sustainable rollout.

    In addition to the trainings, the district has scheduled community information sessions that will be co-facilitated by staff from the Suffolk University Center for Restorative Justice.  These sessions are open to all district staff, families, students, and the public so that many stakeholders have a chance to learn about restorative justice.  One session is scheduled at each school building from 6:00 to 7:30pm, along with two additional sessions that will be held at Town Hall and the Public Library.  Please feel free to attend any session; you are not limited to attending the session at your school.

    The complete schedule of these meetings is below.  The start time for each meeting is 6:00pm.

    Wednesday, 10/24/18         Town Hall, School Committee Room
    Tuesday, 11/6/18                   Driscoll School
    Tuesday, 11/13/18                 Baker School
    Tuesday, 11/20/18                 Brookline Main Library, Hunneman Hall
    Tuesday, 12/4/18                   Lincoln School
    Wednesday, 12/5/18             BEEP at Town Hall, Room 103
    Wednesday, 12/12/18           Lawrence School
    Tuesday, 1/15/19                   Coolidge Corner School
    Tuesday, 1/22/19                   Heath School
    Tuesday, 1/29/19                   Runkle School
    Tuesday, 2/5/19                     Pierce School
    Wednesday, 2/6/19               Brookline High School

    We look forward to fully implementing restorative practices in the school district in the coming years, and reaping the benefits of this comprehensive and healthy approach to student conduct and discipline.

    If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact Maria Letasz, Director of Guidance and Clinical Services (Maria_Letasz@psbma.org or 617-730-2460 ) or Gabe McCormick, Director of Professional Development (Gabe_McCormick@psbma.org or 617-730-2354).

    Sincerely,
    Andrew J. Bott
    Superintendent

    ______________

     Upcoming Events:

    • Monday, November 19th: 5th Annual Thanksgiving Pie Drive, Lobby, 7:30-8:30am
    • Tuesday, November 20th: Service Learning Club, Room 204, 2:30-3:30pm
    • Wednesday, November 21st: K-8 Early Dismissal at 12:00pm
    • Thursday, November 22nd-Friday, November 23rd: School Closed: Thanksgiving Break
    • Monday, November 26th - Friday, November 30th: New and Used Book Sale, Lobby
    • Wednesday, November 28th: K-8 Early Dismissal at 12:40pm
    • Wednesday, November 28th: Book Fair Family Night, 5:30-8:00pm
    • Thursday, November 29th: Evening Conferences, 2:30-6:00pm
    • Thursday, November 29th: Young Scholars, Room 209, 2:30-3:30pm
    • Friday, November 30th: Grade 4 Understanding Our Differences & Similarities, Spectrum of Deafness, Cafeteria/Auditorium, 8:15-10:45am

    Field Trips:

    • Thursday, November 29th: 7-8 Math League Meet #2, Oak Hill Middle School, 3:00-6:30pm

     

    There will be no message next week. We wish you a very, very happy and connected Thanksgiving!

    ~ Asa

    -----

    Dr. Asa Sevelius, Ed.D.

    Heath School Principal

    ______________________________

    November 8, 2018

    Dear Heath Community,

    This past week was Diwali, the Hindu, Sikh, and Jain celebration of light and goodness, providing relief from darkness and evil-doing – a time when everything in illuminated! Each day offers a chance to bring the light and the Diwali tradition reminds us all of that possibility.  Happy Diwali!

    Service Learning Club

    This year, Heath has launched our first ever Service Learning Club. The SLC crew is really, really, really stoked to host opportunities for the community to become more involved in giving and service while at Heath. Our first major endeavor will be a Toy Drive in partnership with Heading Home (http://www.headinghomeinc.org/), an organization committed to ending homelessness in Massachusetts for good.

    An Amazon Wishlist Heading Home has created can offer guidance in shopping for toys to donate this holiday season – though we are sure families know better than anyone what the ‘in’ toy is this year! The wishlist highlights some of the highly requested items from children in the Heading Home program this year. Older children (teens and up) tend to ask for gift cards, so the list focuses primarily on toys.

    We will have the collection basket out in the lobby on Tuesday to begin gathering the new and unwrapped toys then. Thank you!!!

    _____

    Help Launch a Heath School Science Fair?

    The Heath PTO is endeavoring to put on Heath's first Science Fair for enrolled Heath students in grades 4-8 and is looking for a few parents to volunteer to be committee members.  If you are interested in helping, please email PTO VP/Secretary Masu Haque-Khan, masuhaque95@gmail.com

    As you hopefully know, Heath's PTO hosts a coffee once a month on a Friday to help keep parents and caregivers abreast of our school community's goings on, initiatives and more.  PTO Leadership sent a newsletter this past Tuesday following the November coffee sharing the meeting's highlights, but you will only have received it if you have signed up/joined the new Heath PTO website/directory.  If you haven't done so, feel free to now - please find the link here: https://heathpto.membershiptoolkit.com/heath_pto_news

    _____

    Pie Drive

    Heath’s SOCIAL ACTION COMMITTEE is holding it’s 5th Annual Thanksgiving PieDrive on Monday 11/19 from 7:30-8:30 am.  We are hoping to collect 250 home-baked or store bought pies to deliver to the Brookline Food Pantry which will distribute them to local families in time for Thanksgiving.  We hope you can participate!  Simply drop-off a pie with a list of ingredients that Monday morning in the Heath lobby and the Social Action Committee will take care of the rest.  

    We will have pie boxes and note cards on hand as well as on Friday 11/16 after-school to make storage and transport easier.

    Thanks very much,

    Ashley Mason

    Chair, Heath Social Action Committee

    _____

    Book Fair

    Greetings Heath Community! 

    This is a reminder that we have a number of activities planned for that week, and we need YOUR help to make it a smashing success. Below are some important things you can do to help:

    • VOLUNTEER:  Can you spare a couple of hours? A list of class visits will be available soon via email and on the PTO website. You will see when your child's class visits the Book Fair and you can volunteer to be present at that time using a Sign Up genius that will circulate soon!
    • USED BOOK SALE: time to de-clutter your bookshelves and donate to the Used Book Sale. We will start collecting adult and children books on Tuesday November 13th in a bin in the Heath main lobby. The long weekend ahead might be an excellent time to de-clutter your book shelves! Your donations will benefit the Heath PTO but more importantly help another child find their next great read! 
    • FAMILY NIGHT: It's not Family Night without Families! Please make time in your busy week to bring the family by on Wednesday, November 28, from 5:30-8:00pm for pizza and snacks, arts & crafts, a reading from our Vice-Principal Mr. Patel and... buying books—for yourself, your family, and your teachers. Food and beverages will be available for sale from 5:30 until 7pm. Proceeds will be used towards 8th grade graduation.

    GO GREEN: Please bring your own bags on Family Night and be prepared to stock up!

    Please note that Heath is partnering with a local vendor this year—BestBookFair, and, as before, 20% of the proceeds go directly to support Heath PTO.  As for the Used Books, 100% of proceeds go directly to support Heath PTO. Leftover books will be donated to a local charity.  

    For Families that are entitled to receive a gift voucher to purchase books, please see with our guidance counselor David Chaet.

    New and Used Book Fair hours:

    • Monday, November 26           1:00pm – 3:15pm
    • Tuesday, November 27          7:30am – 3:15pm
    • Wednesday, November 28     7:30am – 3:15pm
    • Wednesday, November 28     5:30pm – 8:00pm FAMILY NIGHT!
    • Thursday, November 29        7:30am – 3:15pm
    • Friday, November 30            7:30am – 11:00am

    The Book Fair and Used Book Sale Committee,

    ~ Kathryn Murphy, Hannah Parker, Anne Spencer and Gaelle From

    _____

    Upcoming Events:

    • Monday, November 12th: School Closed: Veteran’s Day
    • Tuesday, November 13th: Service Learning Club, Room 204, 2:30-3:30pm
    • Wednesday, November 14th: Picture Retake Day, Library
    • Thursday, November 15th: K-6 Early Dismissal at 12:40pm
    • Thursday, November 15th: Report Cards Published for Grades 6-8
    • Thursday, November 15th: Parent/Teacher “One Heath” Educational Equity Group, Collaboration Space, 7:15-8:30am
    • Thursday, November 15th: Young Scholars, Room 209, 2:30-3:30pm
    • Friday, November 16th: 4th Grade Understanding Our Differences & Similarities - Spectrum of Sight Unit, Cafeteria/Auditorium, 8:15-10:45am
    • Monday, November 19th: 5th Annual Thanksgiving Pie Drive, Lobby, 7:30-8:30am
    • Tuesday, November 20th: Service Learning Club, Room 204, 2:30-3:30pm
    • Wednesday, November 21st: K-8 Early Dismissal at 12:00pm
    • Thursday, November 22nd-Friday, November 23rd: School Closed: Thanksgiving Break

    Enjoy the four day weekend ahead!

    ~ Asa

     

    Dr. Asa Sevelius, Ed.D.

    Heath School Principal

    ______________________________

    November 2, 2018

    Dear Heath Community,

    Many of us celebrate Día de los Muertos, or the Day of the Dead, a time to remember the dead and celebrate the living. Tonight in Copley Square you can visit a public ofrenda covered in marigolds, a first for Boston. Learn more here: Boston Globe and venture forth!

    ——

    The Public Schools of Brookline is conducting its first math program review since 2005.  We are seeking parent/caregiver feedback about our PreK-8 math program and asking all parents of students in our PreK-8 schools to take an online survey.  Parent/caregiver feedback is essential to help us to understand from the parent/caregiver point of view what is working and what is not working with our PreK-8 math programs.

    We will use your responses to inform our review and to establish a set of recommendations for our committee to use during our 2nd phase of the review "Planning," which will begin in January 2019.  


    If you have any problems accessing the survey, please contact Andresse St. Rose, Senior Director for Research, Evaluation and Policy at cceresearch@ccebos.org. If you have questions about the PreK-8 Math Review, please contact either Meg Maccini, Senior Director of Programs at meg_maccini@psbma.org or Kathleen Hubbard, Curriculum Coordinator, preK-8 math at kathleen_hubbard@psbma.org

    Thanks for your participation! 
    PreK-8 Math Review Committee

    Link to the Parent/Caregiver survey:  

    Parent survey for PreK-8 Math Program review 2018

    ——

    Voting Tuesday @ Heath

    Heath School is a polling place, making voting on Tuesday so convenient for you!  While we hope that so many folks will be voting on the 6th that traffic will be backed up for miles, the actual traffic additions tend to have a minimum to moderate impact at pick-up and drop-off congestion.

    We will have police presence at the school Tuesday, which is typical on any Election Day, and plenty of folks out front holding signs for the various campaigns ongoing here in Massachusetts.

    This election cycle has been pretty exciting. We are trying to ride the wave and will be hosting our student council elections in the upper grades on Tuesday, too. Perhaps you have seen the signs around the school? We are very proud of all the students who have campaigned, made speeches, and mustered up the courage to speak publicly about the things that really matter to them about our great school.

    ——

    Now I want to talk about something hard.

    It has been almost one week since the massacre at the Tree of Life Synagogue in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood of Pittsburgh. In the same time frame, a gunman opened fire in a Kentucky grocery store killing two after being thwarted from entering a predominantly Black church nearby.  We hear over and over language that belittles and vilifies the immigrant experience in our country. Day after day, we are asked to make meaning of behaviors that are often not congruent with our own personal values and worldview.

    For myself, I have recognized that I am living with a constant grief. It's like a ghost that visits. Sometimes the ghost of grief appears and I shrug it off, refusing to pay it any mind. Other times, the ghost of grief gently comes up behind me, laying a shawl over my shoulders and I am overcome. 

    I was asked a few days ago by a Heath teacher, "How are you taking care of yourself?" I had to admit the truth: I'm not doing a great job of it. (Please, do not follow my example. I am trying to get better at self-care. Really, I am … ). Instead of taking my lead, can you share with each other in your daily conversations what you do to bring yourself pleasure. Is it riding your bike to school? Is it time in your studio, making art? Is it going to the movies? Time with your dog? Building lego kits with your kids? Running? Walking? Finding a silent place and lingering there? 

    When you connect with yourself, you remember who you are at your core. You can tend to the garden that lives there, helping yourself bloom and renew. Renewed, you can then help one other person, be more present, be ready to help, and be a light unto the world.

    In times like these, we need as much light as can be brought forth. The ghost of grief is ever present – always has been, always will be. Grief can teach us so much about love and about living. The light and the darkness often go hand in hand. Don't be afraid to hold grief's hand and with your other hand lift up the light. Abide no hatred.

    ——

    Upcoming Events:

    • Tuesday, November 6th: Election Day
    • Wednesday, November 7th: 8th Grade Parent Potluck, 6:30-8:30pm
    • Thursday, November 8th: Young Scholars, Room 209, 2:30-3:30pm
    • Friday, November 9th: School Closed: PD Day for Teachers & Paras
    • Monday, November 12th: School Closed: Veteran’s Day
    • Tuesday, November 13th: Service Learning Club, Room 204, 2:30-3:30pm
    • Wednesday, November 14th: Picture Retake Day
    • Thursday, November 15th: K-6 Early Dismissal @ 12:40pm
    • Thursday, November 15th: Report Cards Published for Grades 6-8
    • Thursday, November 15th: Parent/Teacher “One Heath” Educational Equity Group, 7:15-8:30am
    • Thursday, November 15th: Young Scholars, Room 209, 2:30-3:30pm
    • Friday, November 16th: 4th Grade Understanding Our Differences & Similarities - Spectrum of Sight Unit, Cafeteria/Auditorium, 8:15-10:45am

    Field Trips:

    Thursday, November 8th: 4OC Field Trip to Arnold Arboretum, 9:15am-1:00pm

    Now, more than ever, be good to yourselves and to each other.

    ~ Asa

    -----

    Dr. Asa Sevelius, Ed.D.

    Heath School Principal

    ______________________________

     

    October 26, 2018

    Dear Heath Community,

    Election season is upon us. In grades 4-8, we are in the midst of our student council elections, fostering democratic processes with some of our most eager-to-make-a-change kids. Our students have big ideas and big hearts and are excited to vote for their classroom student council representatives. It is our hope that this engagement and sense of excitement continues as they grow into adulthood. A good opportunity to instill some of that excitement at home, and model civic engagement yourselves, is through early voting – now open weekends!

    If you have not already done so, please consider early voting.  Find your early voting site here: http://www.sec.state.ma.us/EarlyVotingWeb/EarlyVotingSearch.aspx and let your children see us in action! If not early, be sure to hit your polling place on the 6th. Your voice, your vote, matter.

     

    Cross Country Meet A Success!

    A huge congrats to all 90 Heath runners for their participation at the town-wide cross country meet yesterday.  We are so proud of each of you! There will be a link available in the next couple of days on coolrunning.com (the link is not available yet). When the link is live, we'll let you know.  Also, listed below is the information regarding the upcoming Massachusetts State meet.  If your child is interested in competing at states please see the information below (Please note the deadline to register is today). 

    10th Annual Massachusetts Middle School State Cross Country Invitational

    When: Saturday, November 3, 2018
    Where: Willard Field, Devens MA

    Hosted By: USA Track & Field New England
    Sponsored By: the Boston Athletic Association

    **THE DEADLINE IS BY TODAY!!!**

    http://www.lwrun.org/2018_mid_school_menu.html

    http://www.lwrun.org/midschool/2018_entry_procedure.html

    https://www.usatf.org/Products---Services/Event-Registration-Form.aspx?e=114876

     

    Halloween: Costume Expectations, Safety, and Road Closures

    Costumes at School

    At Heath, we do not go all-in at Halloween, though we recognize that the Halloween spirit is in the air. Individual classroom teachers determine if costumes are permitted in class on Halloween. If a child chooses to wear a costume, weapons, masks, gore, or scary things are forbidden. Truth be told, the vast majority of student do not wear costumes, saving the fun for Halloween evening.

    Halloween Candy and Nut Allergies

    Before we know it, Halloween will be here! During this time, there is a glut of candy and students are eager to bring it to school to eat.  We ask that all candy stays at home and that, in particular, candy that contains nuts doesn’t come into the building. While we are not a nut free school, many of our classrooms are nut free. Please take the time in the coming weeks to talk with your child and reiterate our needs to keep everyone safe, happy, and healthy.  Gail Corcoran, our nurse, will send guidance as we get closer to Halloween. 

    Halloween Road Closures

    • Happy Halloween! For the 5th year in a row, the following streets will be closed to to cars on Halloween night between the hours of 6pm-8pm: Ackers Ave, Ackers Terr,  Doran Road, and Loveland Road. The residents of this neighborhood welcome everyone to walk over and enjoy Halloween! If you need to drive, you may park freely on Eliot St or the other streets around Heath School.  These street closures allow everyone to have a fun and safe night in this very popular neighborhood for trick or treating!  Thank you for your understanding and cooperation, 

    ~ The Settlement Neighborhood Association

    P.S. “The Settlement” got its name from the original Irish immigrants who settled in the area between Chestnut and Hill and Fisher Hill in the mid-1800’s. Several of the original, modest cottages still stand. The area took on its present configuration and character beginning in the late 1890’s and up to the pre WWII period. The character remains much as it was in 1940, with its triple deckers, two families, and small single family homes. (From the Brookline Neighborhood Alliance website.)

     

    Wanted: Tech Consultant!

    A few hours a month can really support our PTO as we launch new and innovative tech structures. Can you help?  Please let me know or your PTO team know! 

    Upcoming Events:

    •  Tuesday, October 30th: Service Learning Club, Room 204, 2:30-3:30pm
    •  Thursday, November 1st: Young Scholars, Room 209, 2:30-3:30pm
    •  Thursday, November 1st - Friday, November 2nd : Caine’s Arcade in Grade 5
    •  Friday, November 2nd: PTO First Friday Coffee, Cafeteria, 8:00-9:00am
    •  Friday, November 2nd: KC Parent Potluck, 6:30-8:30pm
    •  Tuesday, November 6th: Election Day
    •   Wednesday, November 7th: 8th Grade Parent Potluck, 6:30-8:30pm
    •   Thursday, November 8th: Young Scholars, Room 209, 2:30-3:30pm
    •   Friday, November 9th: School Closed: PD Day for Teachers & Paras

    Field Trips:

    • Tuesday, October 30th: 4B & 4M Field Trip to Arnold Arboretum, 9:15am-1:00pm
    • Thursday, November 8th: 4OC Field Trip to Arnold Arboretum, 9:15am-1:00pm

    Be good to yourselves and to each other.

    ~ Asa

    -----

    Dr. Asa Sevelius, Ed.D.

    Heath School Principal

    ______________________________

    October 19, 2018

    Dear Heath Community,

    If there is something a student, staff member, or parent needs to feel, it is that you are important as a learner … and as a human. A very wise teacher once told me that while content is so important to master, what we really need to be doing is simply leaving the child wanting more so that they come back joyfully the next day. And the day after. And the day after.  That work, in itself, is complex and worthy. It is also impossible without bearing witness to the inherent dignity in all people. We are, all of us, in relationship with one another, hyper-dependent on each other whether we like it or not. Whether we know each other deeply or not at all, any learning we attempt is without value is we do not see the human in front of us.

    The folks in the Natal Tribe in South Africa greet each other with sawa bona (“I see you”) and respond with sikhona (“I am here”). While we greet each other here with a high-five, welcome back, handshake, quick hello, or a wave, what should be happening – and is! – is the feeling of seeing and being seen

    So, when someone extends their hand for a high-5, don’t be afraid to give it your all. There is no better sound in the world than a solid high-5. The touch, the sound, the impact, that connection all contributes to seeing and being seen. 

     

    “One Heath” Book Selection

    The One Heath group, a group of folks – parents and staff – who meet monthly to discuss race and equity issues at Heath School, have begun our conversation this year. In an effort to guide our conversations, we will be reading So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo (https://www.sealpress.com/titles/ijeoma-oluo/so-you-want-to-talk-about-race/9781580056779/). We welcome you to read along with us, even if you are not able to come to the meetings (always announced in Upcoming Events section and on some Thursday mornings here at the school). We are excited about this book and are considering it for our second One Heath school-wide book group. Happy reading!

     

    Cell Phone and Media Use By Students

    A reminder: online games like Krunker and Fortnite are not permitted in the school. Children have attempted to play these on personal devices. Please know that staff will interrupt any student playing these games, or other first-person active-shooter games, in the school. Also, we will take their tech and deliver it to the office for administration follow-up.

    What are you talking about, Dr. Sevelius? I’ve never heard of these in my life. Well, read on or try it yourself, here:

    From our handbook:

    “We recognize that our students have cell phones at school. Our practice has been and remains that the use of these phones during school hours is forbidden. There are times, however, that a teacher might ask students to use a phone during class in service of learning (to document a project with a camera phone, for example) – this is rare as we prefer to use the technology we have in-house for such uses. If a child needs to contact a parent during the day, they must report to the office to do so. Please do not call or text your child during the day; if you need to reach your child, please call the office. We’ll be happy to connect you with your child.  When we see phones in use at lunch, at recess, in halls, or in class without teacher permission staff will take the phone from the child and give it to office staff to hold for the remainder of the day. Most often we will return the phone to the student at the end of the day. If necessary, we will return the phone only to parents.”

     

    Please join us! MakerSpace Workshop & Coffee

    Brought to you by Enrichment and Challenge Support (ECS) team - Innovative Learning for All Students

     

    • Where: Heath MakerSpace
    • When: Friday, October 26, 8-9 am

    Learn about the role of the Enrichment and Challenge (ECS) department in your child’s class! Find out about the exciting work being done in the Pierce MakerSpace! Engage in “Maker-Learning”! Meet Tanya Gregoire ECS Specialist and Matt Rosenthal ECS Coordinator!

    Upcoming Events:

    •  Thursday, October 25th: Grades 5-8 Cross Country
    •  Thursday, October 25th: Young Scholars, 2:30-3:30pm
    •  Friday, October 26th: Grades 5-8 Cross Country (Rain Date)
    •  Monday, October 29th: K-2 Literacy Collaborative PD Day, 8:00-2:30pm
    •  Tuesday, October 30th: Service Learning Club, Room 204, 2:30-3:30pm
    •  Thursday, November 1st: Young Scholars, Room 209, 2:30-3:30pm
    •  Thursday, November 1st - Friday, November 2nd : Caine’s Arcade in Grade 5
    •  Friday, November 2nd: PTO First Friday Coffee, Cafeteria, 8:00-9:00am
    •  Friday, November 2nd: KC Parent Potluck, 6:30-8:30pm

    Field Trips:

    • Tuesday, October 23rd-Wednesday, October 24th: 7th Grade to Thompson Island
    • Thursday, October 25th: 7-8 Math Team Meet, Oak Hill Middle School, 3:00-6:30pm
    • Tuesday, October 30th: 4B & 4M Field Trip to Arnold Arboretum, 9:15am-1:00pm

    -----

    Dr. Asa Sevelius, Ed.D.

    Heath School Principal

    ______________________________

     

    October 12, 2018

    Dear Heath Community,

    At Heath, we want students and staff (and parents!) to know that they are – YOU are! – capable of anything. But, what does that mean when absolutely no one is perfect and no one person can be good at everything? It means that within each of us is infinite possibility and that with guidance, commitment, deep and growing interests, and the safety to try new things capabilities emerge. I often think about the Michael Jordan quote, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” Preach.  But what happens when anxiety rears it head, when negative self-talk creeps in, when failure casts its pall? Then what? We offer more opportunities to take those shots. We get deeper into relationship, we know each other better, we tailor the challenge so the shot is more manageable, ramp it up slowly, foster independence, and then stand back to marvel at a child’s success … or our own.

    I read years ago that the reason the United States is not a hot spot for soccer is because we play the game all wrong. Statistically, we should be an international soccer powerhouse. I have sat on the sidelines and watched my own son in the massive swarm of other young players – I know many of you have, too. Literally every kid in my town plays soccer, or at least it feels that way. So, surely talent on a grand scale should emerge en masse with those kinds of numbers. So what happens? I hear it is because we play the game all wrong. We drill too much, getting in lines to kick into the goal or doing drills in formation. What the experts say is that kids simply need more touches on the ball, to play, to struggle, to become more and more capable in the arena. More touches on the ball.

    How are we giving kids touches the ball as scholars? Today the 8th grade spent the day in the field, gathering their own data. This morning, a crew of kids spent their time before school building mathematical patterns in the dark using glow sticks. We are bringing experts in particular fields of study into provide perspective, we are offering opportunities for service through our new Service Learning Club, we are allowing space in our classrooms to converse about hard things, and we are spending our time in compassionate communities when bad things happen. We are becoming more capable – not in service of perfection, but rather in service of instilling that feeling deep in the heart and mind of every child who can whisper to themselves, “I can do anything.”

     

    When Driving Around the Neighborhood…

    Please be considerate of our Heath School neighbors and obey traffic signs. Ackers Avenue and Eliot Crescent are one way. Parking is only allowed on one side of Doran Rd. and Ackers Ave. Please don’t block driveways or intersections. Let’s keep everyone safe!

     

    Call for a Parent Volunteer

    Do you believe deeply in rigorous, relevant, engaging learning for all students? Are you interested in supporting the Public School of Brookline’s Strategic Plan Goals? Are you passionate about furthering innovation in our schools? If you answered “yes” to these questions, we have a volunteer opportunity for you! Heath School is seeking representatives for the Enrichment & Challenge Support (ECS) Parent Advisory Committee for Innovation (iPAC).

    The ECS iPAC has representation from each K-8 school plus other district leaders. Meetings take place 4 times during the year, rotating locations through different schools or the Town Hall.

    Our meetings this year are on the following days, 8:15 - 10:00 AM:

    • Wednesday October 3, 2018 - recently took place
    • Thursday January 10, 2019
    • Tuesday March 5, 2019
    • Friday May 10, 2019

    Each school also hosts an information coffee for parents some time in the fall. For Heath, that will take place on Friday October 26th.

    This document describes the mission of the ECS iPAC in greater detail.

    ECS is for all students, and continues to focus on innovative teaching and learning experiences such as STEAM integration, design thinking, and makerspaces. For examples of ECS work in action, please visit our website http://ecsbrookline.weebly.com and follow us on Twitter @ecsbrookline.

    If you are interested in this opportunity, please contact

    Matthew Rosenthal, ECS Coordinator

    matthew_rosenthal@psbma.org

    617-264-6407

     

    Upcoming Events:

    •  Tuesday, October 16th: Evacuation Drill 9:00-10:00am
    •  Tuesday, October 16th: Service Learning Club, 2:30-3:30pm
    •  Thursday, October 18th: Parent/Teacher “One Heath” Educational Equity Group 7:15-8:30am
    •  Thursday, October 18th: SEPAC, Meet the Specialist Meeting 8:00-9:30am
    •  Thursday, October 18th: Young Scholars, 2:30-3:30pm
    •  Friday, October 19th: WL Release Day: All WL Teachers
    •     Friday, October 19th: Artbarn Performance for Grades 4-6, 9:45-10:30am
    •  Friday, October 19th: Connections Field Trip: Viking Sports, 2:00-4:00pm
    •  Thursday, October 25th: 5-8 Cross Country
    •  Thursday, October 25th: 7-8 Math League Meet #1, 2:30-5:30pm
    •  Thursday, October 25th: Young Scholars, 2:30-3:30pm
    •  Friday, October 26th: 5-8 Cross Country (Rain Date)

     

    Field Trips:

    Tuesday, October 23rd-Wednesday, October 24th: 7th Grade to Thompson Island

     

    Be well and enjoy this weekend with your friends and family!

    Asa

    -----

    Dr. Asa Sevelius, Ed.D.

    Heath School Principal

    ______________________________

    October 5, 2018

    Dear Heath Community,

    If one thing is true, it’s that struggling is a part of learning. A critical part of our work here is that we normalize struggle, provide the safety to make mistakes, and forgive what children sometimes feel is unforgivable. If there is a message I regularly give to children it is that everyone makes mistakes. We all get angry, we lose our temper, we scribble on our hard work when frustrated. We all say and do things we regret. We all get stuck, need help, feel helpless, hit a barrier. We all meet a task that seems unsurmountable.

    The poet Wendell Berry wrote this piece that says it more beautifully than I ever could:

    It may be that when we no longer know what to do, 
    we have come to our real work 
    and when we no longer know which way to go, 
    we have begun our real journey. 

    The mind that is not baffled is not employed. 
    The impeded stream is the one that sings.

    "The mind that is not baffled is not employed." Wow. Let that sink in for a minute. As educators, we are always seeking that sweet spot between support and baffle, leaning into what educational theorist Lev Vygotsky calls the zone of proximal development (https://www.simplypsychology.org/Zone-of-Proximal-Development.html). From PreK-8th grade, we hope students grow to see the goodness in productive struggle that moves them towards those ah-ha! moments of delight and discovery … and that they feel truly supported along the way.

    SEPAC-Meet the Heath Specialists Breakfast

    Thursday, October 18 in the auditorium after morning drop-off

    What is a Specialist?

    If your child is on a 504 plan or has an IEP (Individualized Education Program), they work with specialists in the areas of Occupational Therapy, Speech and Language, Physical Therapy, Assistive Technology, and many other areas to hone their skills. Come meet these dedicated professionals who work with our children and ensure that all children access the curriculum and make meaningful progress.

    Indigenous People’s Day

    On November 14, 2017, Town Meeting members voted in favor of Warrant Article 20 establishing that the 2nd Monday in October would now be commemorated as Indigenous Peoples Day in the Town of Brookline.  Coming after a robust community debate, the vote to make the change was 165 in favor, 14 against, and 23 abstentions.  

    Indigenous Peoples Day grew out of a San Francisco protest against the city's celebration of the 500th anniversary of Columbus's first voyage to the Americas. Since then, other cities such as Boulder, CO have followed, along with states like Alaska and Hawaii.  As for Massachusetts, Brookline now joins Cambridge, Northampton, and Amherst in celebrating Indigenous Peoples Day the 2nd Monday in October.

    The history of Columbus Day and the movement to switch to the recognition of indigenous people is interesting.  It raises good questions about national identity, how we remember the past, and the impact the past has on the present.  The following are a couple of interesting articles that can help enrich your understanding of some of this history.  I encourage you to look at them and to discuss them at home.  We are also making time in our classrooms to discuss these issues and ideas. 

    Should We Celebrate Columbus Day? (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

    How Columbus Sailed into US History (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

    The History Behind the Movement to Replace Columbus Day With Indigenous Peoples' Day (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

     

    Upcoming Events:

    •  Monday, October 8th: No School: Indigenous People’s Day
    •  Tuesday, October 9th: Special Education Parent Advisory Committee Meeting @ Town Hall, 6:30-8:00pm
    •  Thursday, October 11th: Interim Progress Reports Published for Grades 6-8
    •  Thursday, October 11th: Young Scholars, Room 209, 2:30-3:30pm
    •  Friday, October 11th: School Site Council Meeting, Conference Room, 8:15-9:45am
    •  Tuesday, October 16th: Evacuation Drill, 9:00-10:00am
    •  Tuesday, October 16th: Service Learning Club, Room 204, 2:30-3:30pm
    •  Wednesday, October 17th: Brookline Fire Annual Safety Presentation for Grades K-2 in the Cafeteria (Grade 1 at 8:30am, Grade 2 at 9:15am, and  Kindergarten at 10:00am)
    •  Thursday, October 18th: Parent/Teacher “One Heath” Educational Equity Group, Conference Room, 7:15-8:30am
    •  Thursday, October 18th: SEPAC, Meet the Heath Specialist Meeting, Auditorium, 8:00-9:30am
    •  Thursday, October 18th: Young Scholars, Room 209, 2:30-3:30pm
    •  Friday, October 19th: Artbarn Performance for Grades 1-3, Auditorium, 8:30-9:15am
    •  Friday, October 19th: Artbarn Performance for Grades 4-6, Auditorium, 9:45-10:30am

    Field Trips:

    • Friday, October 19th: METCO Connections Field Trip: Viking Sports, 2:00-4:00pm

    See you all on Tuesday!

    Asa

    -----

    Dr. Asa Sevelius, Ed.D.

    Heath School Principal

    ______________________________

    September 28th, 2018

    Dear Heath Community,

    “You are responsible for your learning” is another tenet here at Heath School. I firmly believe that we can only control one thing – our own selves – and that all relationships and learning flow from that place of self-reflection and understanding.  Each and every day we are making offers of learning to our students and are working hard to hook them into the learning. A component of all lessons is helping children understand how they learn, why they learn, and to ultimately take full responsibility for that learning. We love to see them grow in this process and it is my privilege as a school leader to interact with students of all ages in all parts of this learning continuum.

    Hispanic Heritage month offers a perfect opportunity to take responsibility for our learning! There is so, so much information out in the world about the lived experiences and histories of the Hispanic diaspora. The City of Boston and Brookline are hosting tons of events to celebrate the month – a quick google search brings up art making events, salsa classes, an evening of Tropicalia music, themed days at the MFA, and more. And, turn your nightly reading into a celebration with these picture books: https://www.readbrightly.com/picture-books-celebrate-hispanic-heritage/

    The world is an amazing place and we are thankful for the riches all of our community members bring to it. 

     

    Parent Program: “The Truth About Vaping” Wednesday, October 3, 2018 at 7:00 p.m. Brookline High School Auditorium

    FREE and open to all PSB parents. Parents of middle and high school students are particularly encouraged to attend. Caron Treatment Centers’ Education Alliance will provide an educational presentation on vaping and e‐cigarettes for parents/community members in Brookline. This program is intended for an adult audience. For questions or further information about this program, please contact: Maria Letasz, Ed.D. Director of Guidance and Clinical Services Public Schools of Brookline maria_letasz@psbma.org P: 617‐730‐2460

     

    Homework Club Begins Monday!

    The Homework Club is a great place for students grades 4-8 to get a jump on assignments and  direct help from our talented team. The Homework Club meets after school on Mondays and Wednesdays. Sessions are hosted by Jennifer Harty, 3rd grade teacher, and  Kathleen O’Connell, 4th grade teacher, and our Northeastern Collaborative student, Mia Narciso. We know how much families could use a little help with getting homework done – we’re happy to help! Download an application here: https://www.brookline.k12.ma.us/Page/2202

     

    HELP! The Makerspace is looking for:

    • Egg Cartons (1 Dozen Size)
    • Baby food jars and tops
    • Empty Aluminum Foil Cardboard Rolls

    Upcoming Events:

    •   Monday, October 1st: Picture Day
    •   Tuesday, October 2nd: Service Learning Club, 2:30-3:30pm
    •   Wednesday, October 3rd: Field Day
    •   Thursday, October 4th: Field Day - Rain Date
    •   Thursday, October 4th: Young Scholars, Room 209, 2:30-3:30pm
    •  Friday, October 5th: PTO First Friday Coffee, Cafeteria, 8:00-9:00am
    •  Monday, October 8th: No School: Indigenous People’s Day
    •  Tuesday, October 9th: Special Education Parent Advisory Committee Meeting @ Town Hall, 6:30-8:00pm
    •  Thursday, October 11th: Interim Progress Reports Published for Grades 6-8
    •  Thursday, October 11th: Young Scholars, Room 209, 2:30-3:30pm

    Field Trips:

    Friday, October 12th: 8th Grade Trip to Blue Hills, 8:00am-1:30pm

     

    Enjoy this weekend – get out there and explore!

    Asa

    -----

    Dr. Asa Sevelius, Ed.D.

    Heath School Principal

    ______________________________

    September 21st, 2018

    Dear Heath Community,

    As I have said before, we are a work in progress. One thing we are working on is making sure everyone feels safe and loved. It is not enough to simply open our doors and teach (the good news is we, as a teaching staff, are VERY good …). To truly feel safe and loved, our students need content that connects with them, culturally relevant social curriculums, a wide variety of staff that not only know their names BUT can also pronounce it correctly, and spaces that message that all identities and orientations are valid and real. So much of our work is done with very small children who have no idea who they will grow up to be – a part of our job is to make sure they know they can be be authentically themselves as they grow through the grades.  Safe Space stickers on all classroom doors, knowing not only the children but also their families and the complexities within, calling out a welcome to folks by name, providing fist bumps/high fives/hugs a’plenty, and meeting children and adults alike where they are at in the learning – these are ways we hold safety at a premium and message love.

    Homework Club

    We would like to offer your child the opportunity to join the after school Homework Club at Heath. The Homework Club will be available Monday and Wednesday afternoons, from 2:35 – 3:35, beginning October 1st, 2018 and is offered to children in grades 4-8. It’s free!

    Applications can be found here: https://www.brookline.k12.ma.us/Page/2202

    Open Houses

    So far, our Open Houses have been a terrific success.  Next week we will have more (see Upcoming Events below in red). We hope to see many, many families here for these events. Remember, if you cannot come to Open House, we are always able to talk during Office Hours or through a scheduled meeting to talk about our work here and how your child is doing. Parent-teacher partnerships are the cornerstone of our work at Heath.

    Routines & Expectations

    We are still working on our routines and expectations and will continue to do so for weeks to come. Some ways you can support the work in the classrooms is to review, as a family, our Voice Level chart, Cafeteria Expectations chart, and Bathroom Expectations. These are routines children see and learn about while in school (and these might just work in your homes as well). Thank you for joining the conversation. (See attachments in email sent 9.21.18)

    Upcoming Events:

    • Monday, September 24th: 6-8 Open House, 8:00-9:30am
    • Tuesday, September 25th: First Grade Open House, 8:00-9:00am
    • Wednesday, September 26th: Fourth Grade Open House, 8:00-9:00am
    • Wednesday, September 26th: CAP Parent Meeting for Grades 1, 3, and 5
    • Thursday, September 27th: Young Scholars, 2:30-3:30pm
    • Friday, September 28th: Fifth Grade Open House, 8:00-9:00am
    • Monday, October 1st: Picture Day
    • Tuesday, October 2nd: Service Learning Club, 2:30-3:30pm
    • Wednesday, October 3rd: Field Day!!!
    • Thursday, October 4th: Field Day - Rain Date
    • Thursday, October 4th: Young Scholars, 2:30-3:30pm
    • Friday, October 5th: PTO First Friday Coffee, 8:00-9:00am 

    Field Trips:

    • Thursday, September 27th - Friday, September 28th: 7th Grade Trip to Thompson Island

    And now, enjoy the Family Barbecue! A huge thanks to our 1st grade crew for hosting such a great party on this beautiful night! We see your hustle and are appreciative!

     

    Asa

    -----

    Dr. Asa Sevelius, Ed.D.

    Heath School Principal

    ______________________________

     

    September 14th, 2018

    Dear Heath Community,

    To begin, it has been so great to see the school continue to come to life and settle into its natural rhythms this week. I have been reflecting quite a bit on the time I spend here during the summer (very quiet and mostly alone save my custodial crew and the school pets: Hawk the gecko and Pinchy and Snappy the hermit crabs) to my time when school is in full effect (having over 500 engagements a day with so many folks about so many things).I love both, and I think it is because I just simply love schools – their systems, their stories, their smells (even the potent ones on steamed broccoli day), the mess, and the joy. As we start the year, I am glad to be here and hope you are, too.

    While you are here, I hope you will ask for help when you need it. This is certainly something we are teaching kids to do, without guile and without shame. I read once that the words humans have the hardest time saying are: “I don’t know.” I have no formal data, but I believe that “I need help” is also incredibly hard for us folks to admit. By normalizing the need to get help and learn how to to help one another we can probably make it easier to then say “I don’t know.”

    While visiting Ms. O’Connell’s fourth grade class this week, I saw evidence that the class was already digging into ways to get help. Check out this collection of ideas and strategies:

    help

    Open Houses

    Here again is the schedule of open houses:

    oh

    We hope very much to see you here!

    New Literacy Specialist!

    Christin Wheeler, long-time Heath Literacy Specialist, is taking on a new role here as a K-2 Literacy Coach, providing direct coaching, co-teaching, and professional development to teachers. Thus, we welcome a new Literacy Specialist to the team: Kristin Murray. Here is more about her:

    “My name is Kristin Murray and I am excited to join the Heath School Community as a .8 Literacy Specialist. Prior to coming to Brookline, I was a Literacy Specialist at the Davis School in Bedford, MA. After receiving a Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education from Lesley University, I began my career teaching Kindergarten at the James Russell Lowell School in Watertown, MA. In this role, I discovered that I love teaching children to read and decided to pursue a career focused on literacy. In 2011, I completed a Certificate of Advanced Studies in Reading and Language from the MGH Institute.

    I am looking forward to the opportunity to work with students at the Heath School. My favorite part of my job is that every day, every year, my job evolves and adjusts as the needs of my students do. It is so incredible to watch how much students learn and grow as readers as the school year progresses. When I’m not teaching, I enjoy spending time with my family, traveling, and reading.”

    Upcoming Events:

    • Tuesday, September 18th : Kindergarten Open House, 8:00-9:00am
    • Tuesday, September 18th: Service Learning Club, 2:30-3:30pm
    • Wednesday, September 19th: School Closed: Yom Kippur
    • Thursday, September 20th : Parent/Teacher “One Heath” Educational Equity Group, Collaboration Space, 7:15-8:30am
    • Thursday, September 20th : Second Grade Open House, 8:00-9:00am
    • Friday, September 21st : Third Grade Open House, 8:00-9:00am
    • Friday, September 21st: Back to School Barbecue, Playground, 3:00-7:00pm
    • Monday, September 24th: 6-8 Open House, 8:00-9:30am
    • Tuesday, September 25th: First Grade Open House, 8:00-9:00am
    • Tuesday, September 25th: Faculty Meeting, 2:45-3:45pm
    • Wednesday, September 26th: Fourth Grade Open House, 8:00-9:00am
    • Wednesday, September 26th: CAP Parent Meeting for Grades 1, 3, and 5
    • Wednesday, September 26th: Monthly Para Meeting, 2:30-3:00pm
    • Thursday, September 27th: Young Scholars, 2:30-3:30pm
    • Friday, September 28th: Fifth Grade Open House, 8:00-9:00am
    •   

    Field Trips:

    Thursday, September 27th - Friday, September 28th: 7th Grade Trip to Thompson Island

    Enjoy the weekend ahead!

    Asa

    -----

    Dr. Asa Sevelius, Ed.D.

    Heath School Principal

    ______________________________

    September 11th, 2018

    Dear Heath Community,

    Today is September 11th, a time of reflection and contemplation, ceaseless news cycles, being in awe of how quickly time flies (“…how has it been 17 years already…?”), and personal remembrances of where we were and what we were doing 17 years ago today. For me, I was living in San Francisco and heard the news as I was getting dressed for work. I continued to listen across the Bay Bridge as I commuted into Oakland. I remember we went home very early that day, after having done very little work, yet still feeling exhausted. My day ended by watching the sunset over the Pacific with friends. We were pretty silent as the sun drifted down, down, down into the water. I recall NPR being on wherever I went, the constant reporting, the way everyone was tuned in. The city was on edge and still.

    17 years later. There is not a single Heath student who was alive when the 9-11 attacks occurred. Most students, I dare say, have little idea that the incidents of 17 year ago ever occurred at all. Over the years, I have spoken with many of you about how to have this conversation with your children. My response has always been to share this critical history through storytelling. I just told my own story to you. I have also told my own kids my story. When they ask why it happened, I often tell them how complicated war is, that there are people in the world who see war and anger as a way through, and that there is so much good that surrounds them, and that they are safe – that all of those things can be true at once.

    And we read books. To you I can recommend a few (because these are the books we read in my home), including:

    These are just a infinitesimal fraction of the stories out in the world. What are the books you lean into? What will you try?

    When talking about hard things, and there are many, children can thrive when we emphasize compassion, empathy, and acts of heroism. Kids are not foolish or immune – they know the world is complex. But when engaged in compassionate conversation with caring adults, they can feel safe and held in the chaos that is our world.

    Take care of yourselves.

    Asa

    -----------

    Dr. Asa Sevelius, Ed.D.

    Heath School Principal

    ______________________________

    September 7th, 2018

    Dear Heath Community!

    Welcome back to a school year filled with promise, challenge, growth, and connection. While there have been the inevitable start of year hiccups, please know that behind the scenes we are working tirelessly to iron out the final details and help your kids thrive right from the jump.

    Every year we strive for greatness. To paraphrase our Superintendent, it’s when students are surrounded by people who can see greatness in them that greatness truly becomes possible. Our job is to offer chances for children to unleash their greatness. May it be so!

    Parking & Arrival!

    In the mornings, we do not have spaces for parents to park during drop off and pick up. The spaces at Heath are intended for staff. You cannot park in the fire lanes in front, the bus pull-in circle, or along the school in the back lot.  This creates congestion that prevents a smooth flow in the morning.

    Open Houses: Coming Up!

    Open Houses will take place at the school on the following dates between 8 and 9:30am (K-5 open houses are usually done by 9am) and offer a time to meet the teaching team, hear about the learning opportunities that lie ahead for your children, and connect with other families. Please mark your calendars now!

    • Kindergarten - Tuesday, Sept. 18
    • Second Grade - Thursday, Sept. 20
    • Third Grade - Friday, Sept. 21
    • Grades 6-8 - Monday, Sept. 24
    • First Grade - Tuesday, Sept. 25
    • Fourth Grade - Wednesday, Sept. 26
    • Fifth Grade - Friday, Sept. 28

    Recognition

    Congratulations to some members of our teaching crew – Mark Goldner, our 7/8 science teacher, Tanya Gregoire, our ECS specialist, Matt Durant, our EdTech specialist, and Ceara Yahn, former visual arts teacher at Heath (now in western MA) – for being selected to present at the Massachusetts STEM Summit this coming November 14th at the DCU Center in Worcester. They will be sharing their Kinetic Sculpture Project as an example of STEAM integration and collaboration. This is an incredible honor and opportunity for Brookline educators to share publicly the rigorous, engaging learning that all their 8th graders experienced this past school year.

    Upcoming Events:

    • Monday, September 10th : School Closed: Rosh Hashanah
    • Tuesday, September 11th: Faculty Meeting, Cafeteria, 2:45-3:45pm
    • Friday, September 14th: Principal and PTO First Friday Coffee, Cafeteria, 8:05-9:00am
    • Friday, September 14th: Room Parent Meeting, Cafeteria, 9:05-9:30am
    • Friday, September 14th: PTO Leadership Committee Meeting, Cafeteria, 9:05-9:30am
    • Tuesday, September 18th : Kindergarten Open House, 8:00-9:00am
    • Tuesday, September 18th: Service Learning Club, 2:30-3:30pm
    • Wednesday, September 19th: School Closed: Yom Kippur
    • Thursday, September 20th : Second Grade Open House, 8:00-9:00am
    • Friday, September 21st : Third Grade Open House, 8:00-9:00am
    • Friday, September 21st: Back to School Barbecue, Playground, 3:00-7:00pm

    It takes a village to make a school run ... and we are so lucky to be in a community in which all the hands make lighter work. I remain in awe of Jaliz Millet (our secretary), Jurgen Brandl & Mark Power (our custodial crew), and Evelyn Petroski (in our cafeteria). Please, if you haven't already thanked them, do. Also, to the folks on grounds crew who make our school look so beautiful – bravo! We are proud of the work they all do for all of us.

    L’shanah tovah! And see you Tuesday.

    Asa

    -----------

    Dr. Asa Sevelius, Ed.D.

    Heath School Principal

    ______________________________

    August 24th, 2018

    Dear Heath Community,

    A new school year begins before we know it. While summer offers the chance to rejuvenate and slow the pace of our lives down, returning to school offers us much needed consistency and routine. Whether you flourish in chaos or calm, or a mix of both, it is our sincere hope that you’ll thrive at Heath School.

    But what makes Heath a school where young people, professionals, and parents can thrive? It could be many things –  big school with a small school feel, the feeling that each of us is known and cared for, the schools centrality to the community, a highly professionalized and uber talented staff, safe neighborhood, a willingness to try new things while valuing tried and true pedagogies – or a combination of all of these and more. Whatever it is, folks tend to identify strongly with our school; I know I have tremendous pride in being a member of this community.  

    We are also, collectively and individually, a work in progress. We all have so, so much to learn and in order to grow, we must each understand that:

    • Struggling is a part of learning.
    • The best way to get help is to ask for it.
    • Only one person is responsible for your learning – you.

    In that vein, it is my sincere hope that this year we learn that each of us is:

    • Important as a learner and as a human.
    • Capable of anything.
    • Safe & loved.

    Every person – no matter how young, no matter how old – has a story to tell and a path to follow. On the surface, schools are the place children come to learn reading, writing, and arithmetic – and that is true, especially at Heath. But, in my mind, a good school is a place in which we gather to hear one another’s stories, commit to using those personal narratives to lift each other up, gather to learn how to become deeply human, and understand how to cherish the good each of us has at our core. I am thankful to be in a community that seeks to find the intersection between the two and works hard to do both.

    Here’s to a great new year!

    Asa

    -----------

    Dr. Asa Sevelius, Ed.D.

    Heath School Principal

    Some Important Information

    When does school start?

    Please be aware that the 2018-2019 school year starts on Thursday, September 6th for grades 1-8.  All students should plan to arrive no earlier than 7:45 a.m., with the exception of those arriving by town-wide buses.

    Please note: Kindergarten students have a split start. Children with last names beginning with the letters A-M start on Thursday, September 6th (with dismissal at 12:40); students with last names beginning with N-Z start on Friday, September 7th (with dismissal at 12:40). The entire Kindergarten attends school beginning September 11th for full days. Lunch will be served on this day for our Kindergarten crew, so plan to buy or bring your lunch with you.

    *On Monday, September 10th we are not in session so that families can observe Rosh Hashanah.*


    Where do I go on day one?

    Families are not permitted to enter classroom hallways until the first bell rings at 7:55. If you are early, please wait in the cafeteria.

    On the first day of school, the cafeteria will be extremely full with lots of families and students. We strongly encourage you to play on the playgrounds, wait outside on the many benches around the school, or talk with new and old friends in front of the school if you arrive before the first bell.

    Where does my student go when the bell rings?

    • Middle school: On the first day of school, students will report to their first period Thursday class, as denoted on their schedule. Schedules will soon be available in the Schedule tab of the Aspen Parent Portal. A message will be coming soon!
    • Kindergarten - 5th Grade: Please report directly to your student’s classroom. K, 1st, and one 2nd grade classroom (Ms. Arsenault) are all on the first floor. Grade 2-5 are on the second floor. There will be ample staff and plenty of families who have been with us for many years who can point you in the right direction. Remember: “When you need help, ask.” During the first few days, families can indeed escort their students to their classes. On September 11th and beyond, we strongly encourage you to let them go to class on their own.

    How can I find out more information about Heath?

    Heath has a really terrific website, chock-full of great information and resources. A few key weblinks are here:

    _____________________________________

     

    August 16th, 2018

    I am pleased to finally announce the new team members joining us at Heath School this fall. Below you’ll find a micro-biography written by each of our new teachers, special educators, and specialists! 

    When hiring for new team members, a process we take very seriously, we take our time to find just-right practitioners to join our team. We are confident that this new crop of professionals will add tremendous value to our collective work and vision.

    Each new staff member was hired through a collaborative process: I, again, thank the staff members, parents, and members district leadership for their thoughtful participation in our searches.

    Please reach out to these folks! They’d love to hear from you, hear about your children, and learn more about Heath from your perspective. Each can be reached via email using the following formula: firstname_lastname@psbma.org

    With excitement!

    Asa

    _____________________________________

    Ms. Kelly Breen, Middle School (Grade 6) Special Education

    My name is Kelly Breen I am so excited to join Heath as a 6th grade special educator this fall! Before joining Heath I was a Special Education teacher in Boston Public Schools. I can’t wait to meet you and your children – this will be a great school year! See you soon! 

    Ms. Jasmine FitzGerald, Elementary (Grades 3 and 4) Special Education

    Hello Heath Community! My name is Jasmine FitzGerald and I will be joining Heath as an Elementary Special Education teacher. Before joining Heath I was working at Boston Public Schools as a Grade 2 Inclusion teacher. I am so excited for this next adventure in teaching and can't wait to work with the wonderful staff, students, and families I have heard so much about. A little about myself: I am a huge animal lover (especially kitties), I enjoy reading, and I love to travel. I also love learning new things (I am currently learning the art of calligraphy) and tasting different types of food. Most importantly, at least I think, I love to laugh; I aim to live by Charlie Chaplin's famous words, "A day without laughter is a day wasted." I look forward to meeting you all in the near future!

    Mr. Tim Gill, Physical Education

    (1 Year Long-Term Substitute while Ms. Ellis is on leave)

    My name is Tim Gill and I am so glad to join Heath as a physical education teacher. Before joining Heath I was a paraprofessional, a third grade teacher, and a graduate student. After recently finishing my masters degree from Boston University, I am very excited to teach physical education and be a resource for students to stay physically active and healthy! 

    Ms. Amanda Hockensmith, Art Teacher

    I am Amanda Hockensmith and am so happy to join the Heath community as the art teacher. I had the pleasure of being the long-term substitute at Heath last spring and am excited to continue my work with the children here in the fall. When not teaching, I enjoy reading, traveling, and working on my oil paintings in my Somerville studio.

    Mr. Chima Ikonne, Middle School (Grades 7 and 8) Special Educator

    My name Chima Ikonne, and I'm really excited to begin working with students and families of Health. Prior to joining Heath, I spent 12 years working in the Boston Public Schools district, teaching all grades from fourth to 12th. Most of my experience has involved working with special education students and English language learners, and I have used a variety of methods to see to it that students achieve their academic, social, and emotional goals.

    A hobby I picked up a couple of years ago is running, and I currently cover a distance of about 40 miles per week. My goal is to run a marathon (half or full) in all 50 states. Running has shaped my philosophy on teaching and learning; it has taught me that practice may not always make perfect, but it always leads to better. I know that it is highly unlikely that I will ever come first in the Boston Marathon (unless by some bizarre circumstance I'm the only one running that year), but I have set a goal to complete the course some day. I believe that with guidance and consistent encouragement, all students can achieve their academic goals. 

    I live in Hyde Park with my wife, two daughters, and a son, and we enjoy traveling and exploring cities of the world.

    Ms. Alison Kerr, French

    I am Alison Kerr and I am very glad to be joining the team at Heath School as the French Teacher for grades 6-8. Before joining Heath, I was working as a choreographer and completing a Long-term French Substitute teaching position at Westborough Public Schools. I have a dual degree in French and Francophone Studies, and Theater from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where I graduated in 2017. I studied abroad in Paris, France in the 2015-2016 academic year, and lived with a host family in the 13th arrondissement. I hope to go back to Paris to visit them very soon. I am looking forward to getting started at Heath School this Fall!

    Ms. Emily MacNeil, 4th Grade

    (1 Year Long-Term Substitute while Ms. Ouellette is on leave)

    My name is Emily MacNeil and I am so excited to be teaching Fourth Grade at Heath this year. I started at the Heath School last fall as a Special Education grad intern and later became one of the Special Education teachers serving in grades four and five. It has been so incredible being a part of the community here! Before starting at Heath, I studied Elementary Education at Framingham State. During this time, I was lucky enough to intern in various different grade levels and districts through the state. Fourth grade has definitely been my favorite! As I have been enjoying my summer on Cape Cod, I am so looking forward to meeting all of you and having another great year at the Heath School. 

    Dr. Nadene Moll, Special Education Director

    My name is Nadene Moll, and I am one of the Special Education Directors in Brookline. For the past 14 years, I worked at the Runkle School as a school psychologist. My new role brings an even broader opportunity to support Brookline students' needs, and I am very excited to be joining the Heath community in this capacity. I am looking forward to working with all of you this year. 

    Ms. Alissa Ovadia, Guidance

    *In addition to current Guidance staff David Chaet, not replacing

    My name is Alissa Ovadia and I am very excited to join your school community as the new .6 Guidance Counselor.  I've worked at Lawrence, for the past three years, as a School Counselor.  My roles at Lawrence included providing counseling, facilitating snack and lunch groups, teaching whole-class lessons focused on social/emotional development, and meeting with families.  Prior to working at Lawrence, I worked at Maimonides as the Middle School Social Worker and at Big Sister Association where I set up school-based mentoring programs in Boston and ran their High School Mentoring Program. I also have experience in an out-patient setting providing therapy to children, families, and adults.  I have a Master’s in Social Work from The University of Chicago and a Certificate in Advanced Graduate Studies (CAGS) from Boston University.  I am an LICSW and am certified as a School Adjustment Counselor.  Schools are where I find the most professional enjoyment and I look forward to working alongside all of you to support you, your students, and families.  I can be reached at alissa_ovadia@psbma.org.

    Mr. Kirtan Patel, Vice Principal

    I am Kirtan Patel and it's an honor to introduce myself as the new Vice Principal of Heath Elementary School and to join this extraordinary school community. Before joining Heath, I was completing a Masters in Education through the School Leadership Program at Harvard University. Before Harvard, I was enjoying my time as a middle school math and science teacher in my hometown of Chicago where I earned a Bachelors in Psychology and a Masters in Teaching.

    I credit my entry into the teaching profession to my brother, who applied to Teach for America, but didn't get in. To one-up him, I applied, got in, and fell in love with teaching! As a result, I witnessed the impact strong teachers and school leaders have on children, families, and communities. I am incredibly excited and humbled by the opportunity to continue to bring this same impact by serving the Heath community. 

    At this point, I could share many of my values as a school leader and lengthen this introduction. Instead, I have put together a small video which does the same! I hope you enjoy it.

    https://youtu.be/iSnYRdvQT48

    I look forward to getting to know the children, staff, and community of the Heath School and help continue the tradition of excellence at Heath! To our students, I cannot wait to meet you all! 

    Profe. Marta Pedrero Motis, K-3 Spanish

    I am Marta (Profe Pedrero)  and am so honored to join Heath as the Spanish Elementary teacher K-3. I am originally from Barcelona, where I majored in Elementary and after graduated with a Masters in Bilingual Education. I moved to Boston in 2016 and have been teaching Spanish since. I am eager to share my love for learning languages and help my students gain motivation to learn Spanish by creating an active learning environment. When not teaching in school, you can also find me teaching swing dancing! Both education and dance are my biggest passions.

    Profe. Victoria Ridge, 6-8 Spanish

    I am Victoria Ridge and am so excited to join Heath as the 6-8 Spanish teacher for the 2018-2019 school year! Before joining Heath, I was working in alternative education, providing ESL and bilingual educational services to under-served communities. When not in the classroom, I enjoy performing improv and sketch comedy, traveling to different countries and meeting people from all over the world, and volunteering for various social issues I am passionate about. 

    I look forward to supporting Heath students as they develop their confidence and skills to engage in a foreign language, and the cultural competencies necessary to succeed in today's world. See you soon! ¡Nos vemos! 

    Ms. Kimberly Sontag, 1st Grade

    (1 Year Long-Term Substitute while Ms. Leo is on leave)

    My name is Kim Sontag and I am so happy to be returning to Heath as a first grade teacher. Last year, I was a second grade teacher at Heath, and previously I worked as a paraprofessional in first grade at Heath. I have loved my time as a part of this amazing community, and I can’t wait for a new year to begin!

    Ms. Elizabeth Stearns, Upper Elementary (Grade 5) Special Education

    I am Elizabeth Stearns and am so glad to join Heath as the 4th and 5th grade Special Education Teacher. Before joining Heath I spent four years serving Boston Public Schools in Dorchester as an upper elementary special education teacher. In my free time, I like to travel the world, read, and spend time with family and friends. I am looking forward to being part of the Heath team and the school’s community!

     

    Dr. Asa C. Sevelius, Ed.D.

    Principal 

    ______________________________

    August 1st, 2018

    Dear Heath Community,

    It is with great pleasure that I introduce Mr. Kirtan Patel to you as our new Vice Principal. We had the pleasure to meet Kirtan during our spring Vice Principal search and are thrilled he'll be joining us this fall!
     
    From Kirtan:

    I am Kirtan Patel and it's an honor to introduce myself as the new Vice Principal of Heath Elementary School and to join this extraordinary school community. Before joining Heath, I was completing a Masters in Education through the School Leadership Program at Harvard University. Before Harvard, I was enjoying my time as a middle school math and science teacher in my hometown of Chicago where I earned a Bachelors in Psychology and a Masters in Teaching.

    I credit my entry into the teaching profession to my brother, who applied to Teach for America, but didn't get in. To one-up him, I applied, got in, and fell in love with teaching! As a result, I witnessed the impact strong teachers and school leaders have on children, families, and communities. I am incredibly excited and humbled by the opportunity to continue to bring this same impact by serving the Heath community. 

    At this point, I could share many of my values as a school leader and lengthen this introduction. Instead, I have put together a small video which does the same! I hope you enjoy it.

    I look forward to getting to know the children, staff, and community of the Heath School and help continue the tradition of excellence at Heath! To our students, I cannot wait to meet you all! 

    Sincerely,

    Kirtan Patel

    P.S. If you'd like to learn more about me, visit my digital portfolio at https://patelkirtanlal.portfoliobox.net/

     

    Kirtan will be joining us on September 4th from 4-6pm for a community meet and greet. Please come to meet him then! Of course there will be ample opportunities to get to know Kirtan and his work as we launch a new year together.
     
    With appreciation and excitement,
     
    Asa
    -----

    Dr. Asa C. Sevelius, Ed.D.

    Principal 

    ______________________________

    June 23rd, 2018

    Dear Heath Community,

    8th Grade Graduation this past week was so wonderful. It was a pleasure to celebrate our new graduates, welcome families into our midst, meet many proud grandparents, and – in many cases – say good-bye to families that have been with us for many, many years. We are so proud of this class of students. They are a tender, connected, authentic, and passionate crew of students. With them, both individually and collectively, what you see is what you get. And what you see/get is really, really good. In my graduation speech I shared:

    “At Heath, we believe that we have helped create the next generation of helpers, people who will stand for what is right, make room in the circle for everyone, and contribute to the common good. Right now, these children are still very young with so much left to learn. They still need to be surrounded by helpers while learning to help at the same time. Thank you for sticking with them in this moral struggle, now and in the years to come.

    And to ALL the parents, thank you for everything you have done to bring your children to this day.  To share some words of wisdom from Mr. Rogers, he says: ‘Love isn't a state of perfect caring. It is an active noun like struggle. To love someone is to strive to accept that person exactly the way he or she is, right here and now.’”

    May it be so.

    _____

    One Heath Book Club

    What a great event we had at the school this past Tuesday! Over 40 people attended our inaugural whole school book club and facilitated conversation. Thank you to our organizers, networkers, and conversation facilitators! And a HUGE thanks to Liz Walker, Boston legend and Brookline resident, who lead us in a facilitated conversation around race and identity and community. Universally, the feedback was, “When are we doing that again?” With that kind of enthusiasm, how can we say no? Please expect many more opportunities to engage, connect, and explore big issues critical to understanding ourselves as individuals and ourselves in relation with each other in this complex time and in this special place.

    _____

    A Few New Hires to Announce

    Classroom Teachers, Grades 1 and 4

    • Kim Sontag, who has served as a year-long sub in 2nd grade this year, will join our 1st grade team next year while Jane Leo is on leave next year. Kim is such an exciting educator and I am confident that she’ll contribute mightily to the 1st grade team next year just as she did for the 2nd grade team this year!
    • Emily MacNeil has served this year as a Special Education intern and, later, as one of our Special Education teachers. In those roles, she did very good work for us and really showed her mettle. She is dual-certified Special Education and General Education and next year will join our 4th grade team as a one-year substitute while Ms. Ouellette continues her 2-year leave.

    Art Teacher

    While we will miss Ceara Yahn very, very much we are pleased to announce that Amanda Hockensmith will join our team permanently next year as our Art Teacher. Amanda has been with us since Ms. Yahn began her maternity leave and has shown such skill, grace, and steadfastness these past few months. We conducted a robust search this spring and met with many tremendously talented practitioners. Throughout the process, Ms. Hockensmith’s talents shown through. We are confident that Ms. Hockensmith will continue the Heath tradition of visual arts excellence.

    Additional Guidance Staff

    Mr. Chaet has been such a gift to our school and has worked tirelessly to serve 560+ students. It is with great pleasure that I announce that Heath will be getting an additional .6 Guidance Counselor in the fall. Welcome Alissa Ovadia to our team!

    From Ms. Ovadia:

    Dear Heath School,

    My name is Alissa Ovadia and I am very excited to join your school community as the new .6 Guidance Counselor.  I've worked at Lawrence, for the past three years, as a School Counselor.  My roles at Lawrence included providing counseling, facilitating snack and lunch groups, teaching whole-class lessons focused on social/emotional development, and meeting with families.  Prior to working at Lawrence, I worked at Maimonides as the Middle School Social Worker and at Big Sister Association where I set up school-based mentoring programs in Boston and ran their High School Mentoring Program. I also have experience in an out-patient setting providing therapy to children, families, and adults.  I have a Master’s in Social Work from The University of Chicago and a Certificate in Advanced Graduate Studies (CAGS) from Boston University.  I am an LICSW and am certified as a School Adjustment Counselor.  Schools are where I find the most professional enjoyment and I look forward to working alongside all of you to support you, your students, and families.  I can be reached at alissa_ovadia@psbma.org.

    Thank you,

    Alissa Greif Ovadia

     

    Soon I will be able to announce other new staff members, including Special Education, World Language, PE, and more. Please stay tuned for a longer memo from me once all hiring is complete.

    _____

    Upcoming Events:

    • Tuesday, June 26th: Last Day of School, Noon Dismissal
    • Thursday, June 28th: PSB will Publish the Progress Reports to Parent Portal for Grades 1-5
    • Thursday, June 28th: Grades 6-8 Report cards will be published

    Field Trips:

    • Monday, June 25th: Grade 7 Field Trip to George’s Island, 8:30am-3:00pm

     

    The end of the year can be hard, especially for our youngest scholars. My son’s last day of Kindergarten was Thursday and he was so happy for summer!  I guess he cried all Friday morning, finally admitting how sad he was to leave his teachers and friends. So, parents, be good to your kids. While they are probably jumping for joy at the prospect of summer, the end of the year is a huge shift. So, keep them close, listen carefully, and – when all else fails – go out for ice cream.

    ~ Asa

    Dr. Asa C. Sevelius, Ed.D.

    Principal 

    ______________________________

    June 15th, 2018

    Dear Heath Community,

    Juneteenth is upcoming on June 19th, the day the news finally reached troops in Texas announcing the end of slavery and the Civil War … two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation was signed. While true liberation remains a constant struggle, Juneteenth celebrates the possibility inherent in freedom. 

    http://www.juneteenth.com/history.htm

    This past Tuesday was Loving Day, marking 51 years after the Loving v. Virginia case was heard and decided in the Supreme Court, ending the ban on interracial marriage. It is also Eid al-Fitr! the celebration ending of the period of Ramadan in the Muslim faith.

    We are all kinds of people in all kinds of families bound by a shared love and commitment to one another. At Heath, as it should be everywhere, the family is core and all spreads forth from it. However you chose to celebrate your families traditions, build new traditions, and understand our collective histories, may it be with an open heart, insatiable curiosity, and commitment to serve others.

    ——

    This is the most hectic time of year, with celebrations happening throughout the school. It is hard to believe that the school year is coming to a close. In these hectic moments, do take the time to reflect with your kids about how the year has gone and to build excitement for the year to come.

    Our biggest transtion is saying good-bye to our 8th graders, which we will do next week. While it will be bittersweet to send off the students, we are losing some really amazing parents along with them. To our departing families, and you know who you are, thank you, thank you, thank you. You have raised good kids, truly, and given so much to the school over your years here. You will be missed.

    ——

    Little Fires Everywhere: RSVP!

    If you haven't started to read Celeste Ng's Little Fires Everywherenow is the time to do it!  The first ONE BOOK ONE HEATH is on Tuesday, June 19th! Please RSVP through the link below.

    The evening will be facilitated by none other than Boston/Brookline's very own Liz Walker (http://lizwalker.tv/my_story/). 

    Author Celeste Ng has graciously offered to answer questions generated by the Heath Community.  

    Please RSVP here if you can make it. Even if you haven't read the book, we are designing an event where there will be many entryways into the conversation.

    Look forward to seeing many of you on the 19th!

    ——

    Parent Working Group: Equity and Diversity – An Invitation!

    Dear Heath School Parents,

    Please join us at a second district wide meeting of parents to discuss equity and diversity issues on Monday, June 18th from 6-8pm, in Town Hall, Room 103 (first floor), 333 Washington St.  

    At the meeting, we hope to:

    • prioritize issues and discuss strategies, including hiring, curriculum, training, students, community, and other areas that we discussed at our first meeting
    • Learn more about what each school is doing and how they are organized; and
    • Hear from Superintendent Bott about the district’s efforts

    We hope you can attend!  Please RSVP to sgriffen@mindspring.com, and please let us know if you need child care (we are figuring this out a bit as we go!).

    Thanks,

    Sarah Griffen

    Baker Parent

    ——

    Upcoming Events:

    • Monday, June 18th: Wax Museum - 3L, Cafeteria, 8:00-8:40am
    • Monday, June 18th: Grade 8 Celebratory Party at Vine Ripe Grill, 7:00-10:00pm
    • Tuesday, June 19th: One Heath Book Group, Auditorium, 6:30-8:30pm
    • Wednesday, June 20th: Wax Museum - 3F, Cafeteria, 8:00-8:40am
    •    Thursday, June 21st: Grade 8 Breakfast, Cafeteria, 8:30-10:00am
    • Thursday, June 21st: Grade 8 Graduation, Little Field Park, 4:00-5:00pm
    • Thursday, June 21st: Grade 8 Graduation Reception, Cafeteria, 5:00-6:00pm
    • Friday, June 22nd: Wax Museum - 3H, Cafeteria, 8:00-8:40am
    • Tuesday, June 26th: Last Day of School, Noon Dismissal
    • Thursday, June 28th: Grades 6-8 Report cards will be published

    Field Trips:

    • Monday, June 18th: Kindergarten Field Trip to Fenway Park, 9:00-11:45am
    • Tuesday, June 19th: Grade 8 Learning Center Trip to BHS, 11:15am-1:30pm
    • Thursday, June 21st: Grade 3 Field Trip to Plimoth Plantation, 8:15am-2:20pm
    • Monday, June 25th: Grade 7 Field Trip to George’s Island, 8:30am-3:00pm

    And, finally, happy Incredibles 2 day! It’s not an official holiday, unless you live in my house!  “Where’s my super suit?!?!?!”

    Asa

    Dr. Asa C. Sevelius, Ed.D.

    Principal 

    ______________________________

    June 8th, 2018

    Dear Heath Community,

    This week we hosted our annual Peek and Practice, a chance for our incoming Kindergarten families and students to come and meet the team and see the school. What a crew of kids! Already I can tell this incoming K crew is confident, curious, compassionate, and independent. It feels so good to know this is their new educational home and that we’ll be the folks that have a hand in raising them up.

    My own son finishes his kindergarten year in just a few weeks. Its a big deal. I want every kid who comes to us to get exactly what they need to thrive. My son got it in his school, our new K crew will get it here, AND we will continue to advocate for all children to have high quality early childhood experiences no matter where they start school. It matters.

    _____

    Retirement Announcement

    Our uber-paraprofessional, Susan D'Eugenio, is retiring at the end of this school year. During her time at Heath, Susan had given so much to us: dedication, warmth, connectedness, and love. She knows our kids (and us!) and they feel safe in her care. Over the next few weeks, please be sure to thank Susan for her service to us. She'll be missed.

    _____

    School Play: A Smash Hit

    You know you’ve got a hit on your hands when the kindergarteners want your autograph! A huge shout-out to our 7th and 8th graders, to Ms. Hockensmith, and to our Director Elena Maimonis for job well done. I think our Wizard of Oz has done the original proud. Thank you.

    Our play could not be possible without our parents, who worked behind the scenes, I am certain, to help their kids get here, learn lines, sew costumes, and more.

    When a school can create the conditions in which children can take risks, perform, stretch, and thrive we are doing things right. Again, our director, Elena Maimonis, did an incredible job establishing those conditions. Sitting in the audience, I felt like I was getting to know each kid on stage anew - seeing a side of them that is not always visible. It is a profound and joyful experience.

    Tony Awards all around!

    _____

    Bake Sale Thank You

    “Hi its Sonia W.,

    Thank you all so much for baking, buying and helping with my bake sale (on June 1st). I couldn't have done it with all your help. We raised over 400 dollars! That means that one kid will get English lessons for part of the summer and then his brother will get lessons for the rest of summer!

    Thanks,

    Sonia”

    _____

    Principal Intern, Farewell

    A note from my tireless Principal Intern, Kathy Sillman:

    Dear Heath Community,

    When I started my internship, I had a hunch that Heath was a special place. Now, I know so many reasons why that it is difficult to name just a few. This school is overflowing with passionate and dedicated teachers, supportive colleagues, and all around fantastic people. It was privilege to be in a school where students are consistently guided, supported, and encouraged to develop into the best people they can be. 

    Thank you, thank you for welcoming me into the mix, opening up your practice, and supporting my process!!

    Signing off with my sincere thanks, admiration, and appreciation,

    Kathy

    _____

    Little Fires Everywhere: RSVP!

    If you haven't started to read Celeste Ng's Little Fires Everywherenow is the time to do it!  The first ONE BOOK ONE HEATH is on Tuesday, June 19th! Please RSVP through the link below.

    Author Celeste Ng has graciously offered to answer questions generated by the Heath Community.  Please send your questions to Nancy Donahoe NKDonahoe@aol.com or Masu Haque Khan masuhaque95@gmail.com by TUESDAY, JUNE 12.

    Please RSVP here if you can make it.

    Look forward to seeing you on the 19th!

    _____

    3rd Grade Pizza Party!

    Today the 3rd graders ate their fill of celebratory pizza and popsicles, a way of thanking them for being the class to raise the most money for our Annual Appeal. They loved it!

    _____

    Upcoming Events:

    • Saturday, June 9th: Heath School Play: The Wizard of Oz, Auditorium, 2:00-4:00pm
    • Monday, June 11th: Techsploration: Facts of Electricity Show for Grades 3-5, Auditorium, 8:15-9:15am
    • Monday, June 11th: Techsploration: Facts of Electricity Show for Grades 6-7, Auditorium, 9:30-10:30am
    • Wednesday, June 13th: Staff Luncheon, Staff Lounge, 11:00am-2:00pm
    • Thursday, June 14th: Parent/Teacher “One Heath” Educational Equity Group, Collaboration Space, 7:15-8:30am
    • Friday, June 15th: PTO First Friday Coffee, Cafeteria, 8:00-9:00am
    • Monday, June 18th: Wax Museum - 3L, Cafeteria, 8:00-8:40am
    • Monday, June 18th: Grade 8 Celebratory Party at Vine Ripe Grill, 7:00-10:00pm
    • Tuesday, June 19th: One Heath Book Group, Auditorium, 6:30-8:30pm
    • Wednesday, June 20th: Wax Museum - 3F, Cafeteria, 8:00-8:40am
    • Thursday, June 21st: PSB will Publish the Progress Reports to Parent Portal for Grades 1-5
    • Thursday, June 21st: Grade 8 Breakfast, Cafeteria, 8:30-10:00am
    • Thursday, June 21st: Grade 8 Graduation, Little Field Park, 4:00-5:00pm
    • Thursday, June 21st: Grade 8 Graduation Reception, Cafeteria, 5:00-6:00pm
    • Friday, June 22nd: School Council Meeting, Collaboration Space, 8:00-9:00am
    • Friday, June 22nd: Wax Museum - 3H, Cafeteria, 8:00-8:40am

    Field Trips:

    • Monday, June 11th: Grade 8 Field Trip to Six Flags, 8:15am-4:30pm
    • Tuesday, June 12th: Grade 8 Field Trip to Trampoline Park, 10:00am-2:30pm
    • Tuesday, June 12th: Grade 4 Field Trip to Edward Kennedy Institute, 9:00am-2:15pm
    • Wednesday, June 13th: Grade 8 Trip to Food Bank (9:00-11:00am) and Zip Lining in Canton (11:00am-3:00pm)
    • Thursday, June 14th: Grade 8 Field Trip to Nantasket Beach, 8:30am-2:30pm
    • Monday, June 18th: Kindergarten Field Trip to Fenway Park, 9:00-11:45am
    • Tuesday, June 19th: Grade 8 Learning Center Trip to BHS, 11:15am-1:30pm
    • Thursday, June 21st: Grade 3 Field Trip to Plimoth Plantation, 8:15am-2:20pm

     

    Happy weekend and happy Pride!  See some of you on the Pride parade route tomorrow?

    Asa

    Dr. Asa C. Sevelius, Ed.D.

    Principal 

    ______________________________

     

    June 1st, 2018

    Dear Heath Community,

    Happy Pride!

    Today marks the beginning of Pride Month, a period of celebration for folks in the LGBTQ community, our loved ones, and friends/allies. Learn more here:  https://www.loc.gov/lgbt-pride-month/about/

    Want to know about the pride flag, the penultimate symbol of the community? http://www.sftravel.com/article/brief-history-rainbow-flag

    And this, about making the flag more inclusive: https://www.phillymag.com/g-philly/2017/06/08/philly-pride-flag-black-brown/

    The Boston Pride Parade is June 9th, a great party that takes over the city. If you’re thinking about attending this year (and it is usually very family friendly), check out the Pride Guide, here: http://www.bostonpride.org/guide/

    Happy Pride, y'all! 

    ————

    Set Tournament!

    Today completed our 3rd annual SET Tournament. Ms. Demont says, “I am always so delighted when all the kids in the school learn one game, everyone takes the game so seriously, teams come ready to compete, and math takes front and center in the school. Because of the nature of the game, children who don’t feel particularly strong in the arithmetic side of math can shine through SET’s visual-special design, allowing them to draw upon on a different set of mathematical strengths.”

    Congrats to 5T, winners of this year’s SET tournament!

    ________

    Track & Field

    This week Physical Education teachers Ms. Stewart, Ms. Ellis, and Ms. Barrett brought the 5/6 and 7/8 track teams to the town-wide meet located at Downes Field.  All students did an excellent job representing Heath School core values throughout the meet.  We would like to share with you the results.  GO HEATH HAWKS!!

    Grade 5/6 Track and Field Results:

    http://www.coolrunning.com/results/18/ma/May29_Brookl_set1.shtml

    Grade 7/8 Track and Field Results:

    http://www.coolrunning.com/results/18/ma/May31_Brookl_set1.shtml

    We're proud of this crew!

    Judy and Lauren

    "The Dream Team"

    ________

    One Heath Book Group: Invites Coming! Major Announcements to Come!

    Be on the lookout for a formal invitation to our inaguarl book club! This event is looking to be massive; stay tuned for exciting news about guest facilitators and more. But first, read the book!

    I finished the book last weekend and immediately wanted a sequel, set ten years into the future. 

    ________

    Upcoming Events:

    • Monday, June 4th: 5th-6th Transition Parent Meeting, 8:30-9:30am
    • Monday, June 4th: GSTA Fundraiser Yoga Class, MPR, 2:45-3:45pm
    • Tuesday, June 5th: Peek and Practice, Auditorium, 12:30-1:45pm, Kindergarten Playground 1:45-2:30pm
    • Tuesday, June 5th - Friday, June 8th: Grade 7/8 Musical Rehearsals, Auditorium, 3:00-5:30pm
    • Wednesday, June 6th: METCO Connections Family Breakfast, Room 209, 7:30-8:00am
    • Wednesday, June 6th: Grades 4-8 Band Concert, Runkle, 7:00pm
    • Thursday, June 7th: School Play: The Wizard of Oz, Performance for grades 3-5, auditorium, 9:00-10:30am
    • Thursday, June 7th: School Play: The Wizard of Oz, Performance for grades 6-8, auditorium, 11:30am-1:00pm
    • Thursday, June 7th: Grades 5-8 Chorus Concert, BHS, 7:00pm
    • Friday, June 8th: School Play: The Wizard of Oz, Performance for grades Pre-K-2, auditorium, 9:00-10:30am
    • Friday, June 8th: Heath School Play: The Wizard of Oz, Auditorium, 6:00-8:00pm
    • Saturday, June 9th: Heath School Play: The Wizard of Oz, Auditorium, 2:00-4:00pm
    • Monday, June 11th: Techsploration: Facts of Electricity Show for Grades 3-5, Auditorium, 8:15-9:15am
    • Monday, June 11th: Techsploration: Facts of Electricity Show for Grades 6-7, Auditorium, 9:30-10:30am
    • Tuesday, June 12th: Monthly Para Meeting, 2:35-3:00pm
    • Wednesday, June 13th: Staff Luncheon, Staff Lounge, 11:00am-2:00pm
    • Thursday, June 14th: Parent/Teacher “One Heath” Educational Equity Group, Collaboration Space, 7:15-9:30am
    • Friday, June 15th: PTO First Friday Coffee, Cafeteria, 8:00-9:00am

    Field Trips:

    • Tuesday, June 5th: Grade 3 Visit to Paul Revere House, 11:00am-2:00pm
    • Monday, June 11th: Grade 8 Field Trip to Six Flags, 8:15am-4:30pm
    • Tuesday, June 12th: Grade 8 Field Trip to Trampoline Park, 10:00am-2:30pm
    • Tuesday, June 12th: Grade 4 Field Trip to Edward Kennedy Institute, 9:00am-2:15pm
    • Wednesday, June 13th: Grade 8 Trip to Food Bank (9:00-11:00am) and Zip Lining in Canton (11:00am-3:00pm)
    • Thursday, June 14th: Grade 8 Field Trip to Nantasket Beach, 8:30am-2:30pm

    Peace!

    Asa

    Dr. Asa C. Sevelius, Ed.D.

    Principal 

    ______________________________

     

    May 25th, 2018

    Dear Heath Community,

    Last night I had the honor and privilege of attending Brookline’s inaugural Community Iftar, a time to learn about the holy month of Ramadan and break fast with so many members of our Muslim community. I was deeply moved to see that the event was planned by families not only dedicated to Brookline, but also extremely proud of their school affiliations. Name tags had folk’s names and schools, and organizers all shared which school their kids had attended or do attend. I felt a great pride in being from Heath, but felt so full knowing each school held a place of esteem in these family’s lives.

    I learned so much, not only about Ramadan, but about what we as a community value … and we value each other.

    I can’t wait for the SECOND Annual Community Iftar next year! If you also join, or just want to know more right now, check this out: https://www.thekitchn.com/what-you-should-know-before-attending-your-first-iftar-245656

    _______

    Teaching & Learning

    Our teachers are leading extremely interesting work in our classrooms, including:

    • In Mr. Cook’s Social Studies class, students are studying Ancient Rome through exploring 100 artifacts, a unit of study based off of British Museum’s A History of the World in 100 Artifacts (http://www.britishmuseum.org/explore/a_history_of_the_world.aspx)
    • 5th graders are working on their own designs for the Brookline’s 9th school. A few asked me what I’d like to see in the new school, and I was clear that it was water slides that lead to foam pits in order the get from the first floor to the second floor. And lots and lots of scooters. And more lizards. I guess we’ll see if School Committee approves my ideas. ;)
    • A unit on oceans exploration in Mr. Miller’s 6th grade science class is allowing students to dive into what lies beneath the surface and how to reverse the damage human are doing to our oceans

    While this work isn’t yet complete, we are archiving student work on our website. Look at more student work, here: https://www.brookline.k12.ma.us/domain/807

    _______

    Vice Principal Posting

    Mr. Smith, our Vice Principal, has been serving since his hire in an interim capacity. Keeping in line with hiring best practices and the values of our community it is important that we have a full, open, and inclusive process to fill the position permanently. Mr. Smith is well aware of the process and we will begin our search imminently. If you’re interested  in serving on the committee, please let me know as soon as possible by emailing me at asa_sevelius@psbma.org

    _______

    Reading Little Fires Everywhere?

    One Heath is excited to announce One Book One Heath which encourages parents, teachers, and administrators to come together through reading and discussing a single book.  Our inaugural book is Celeste Ng’s best-selling novel Little Fires Everywhere.  This compelling novel explores themes of race, image, identity and family, and will serve as a catalyst for discussion of issues that affect our own community. 

    We will meet to discuss the book over thoughtful and guided discussion with light refreshments at Heath on Tuesday, June 19 from 6:30pm – 8:30pm. This is an event you won’t want to miss!

    Our evening will feature a virtual engagement with the author herself, Celeste Ng, as she responds to our questions and comments.  We encourage you to jot your questions down as you read.  So, get your book and start reading now!

    Please note that this is not a book group for children.  We do plan to do a One Book One Heath event in the Fall that includes students.  We hope this event can also be an opportunity for parents to model reading and questioning for their children.

    Two recent pieces that might be of interest to you as you read are here:

    Upcoming Events:

    • Monday, May 28th: No School: Memorial Day
    • Tuesday, May 29th: Grades 5-6 Track Meet
    • Wednesday, May 30th - Friday, June 1st: Grade 7/8 Musical Rehearsals, Auditorium, 3:00-5:30pm
    • Wednesday, May 30th: Grades 5-6 Track Meet - Rain Date
    • Wednesday, May 30th: Grades 4-8 Strings Concert, Baker School, 7:00pm
    • Thursday, May 31st: Grades 7-8 Track Meet
    • Thursday, May 31st: SET Tournament, Steam Room, 8:00am-2:30pm
    • Friday, June 1st: Grades 7-8 Track Meet - Rain Date
    • Friday, June 1st: Bake Sale Fundraiser, 1:40-2:00pm
    • Monday, June 4th: GSTA Fundraiser Yoga Class, MPR, 2:45-3:45pm
    • Tuesday, June 5th: Peek and Practice, Auditorium, 12:30-1:45pm, Kindergarten Playground 1:45-2:30pm
    • Wednesday, June 6th: METCO Connections Family Breakfast, Room 209, 7:30-8:00am
    • Wednesday, June 6th: Grades 4-8 Band Concert, Runkle, 7:00pm
    • Thursday, June 7th: Grades 5-8 Chorus Concert, BHS, 7:00pm
    • Friday, June 8th: Heath School Play: The Wizard of Oz, Auditorium, 6:00-8:00pm
    • Saturday, June 9th: Heath School Play: The Wizard of Oz, Auditorium, 2:00-4:00pm

    Field Trips:

    • Thursday, May 31st: Grade 6 Field Trip to Waterworks Museum, 9:15am-2:00pm
    • Tuesday, June 5th: Grade 3 Visit to Paul Revere House, 11:00am-2:00pm

    ---

    Dr. Asa C. Sevelius, Ed.D.

    Principal 

    ______________________________

    May 18th, 2018

    Dear Heath Community,

    Ramadan Mubarak! This week began the month-long observation of Ramadan, a period of prayer, celebration with friends and family, fasting, and charitable giving in the Muslim religion.  Ramadan ends mid-June with the Eid-al-Fitr festival.  When the new moon arrives, you’ll know its time to celebrate!

    _______

    A Message from Ms. Yahn, Our Art Teacher

    Dear Heath Families,

    I'm writing to share the bittersweet news that I will not be returning to teach at Heath after the 2017-18 school year. My husband, new baby, and I will be moving to Western Mass over the summer, where I've accepted a position teaching art. Our hope is to raise our daughter, Fern, in a smaller community closer to family.

    I’ve truly loved being a part of this community and working with your children. They are wonderful people and artists who impressed me every day with their creativity, curiosity, energy and kindness. I will miss each of them very much.

    I’m still on maternity leave, but hope to see many of you before the school year ends! I’ll be attending the Art Show and the 8th Grade Graduation.

    With many thanks and best wishes,

    Ceara Yahn

    We will soon begin the hiring process for our next best-fit Heath Art teacher. If you are interested in serving on the hiring committee, please let me know at asa_sevelius@psbma.org

    _______

    5th to 6th Grade Transition Meeting!

    We know what a big deal it is to move out of 5th grade and into our middle school!  5th graders face exciting opportunities and unique challenges and you – their families – need to know a lot about the transition, too, so that you can be a support during this time!  

    A 5th grade parent meeting is scheduled for the morning of Monday, June 4th, beginning at 8:15. At this meeting, the 6th grade team will discuss what to expect in 6th grade, and a student panel will share their perspectives on the shift. The forum should last for approximately an hour after morning drop off. 

    We'll meet in our Auditorium.

    _______

    Heath School Art Show

    Wednesday, May 23rd, 20185pm-6:30pm 

    Please visit the Heath School Cafeteria on the evening of May 23rd to enjoy the beautiful art made by our children in grades K-8! We will also have musical performances by some of our Heath students and light refreshments will be served.

    _______

    Open Music

    Mrs. Huntley and Ms. Murphy (our Kindergarten Music teacher) report over 500 family members attended Open Music classes this week! We are proud to offer such a high-quality music experience to our students and are very proud of our team, who are so thoughtful about the opportunities they present Heath kids. So glad you could join us!

    _______

    One Heath , One Book!

    I’m almost done, are you? Our book group is June 19th in the evening. Mark your calendars now!

    _______

    Upcoming Events:

    • Monday, May 21st: MCAS: Grades 5 & 8 PBT Session 1 STE
    • Monday, May 21st, Wednesday, May 23rd, and Friday, May 25th : Kindergarten Screenings, Guidance Office/Collaboration Space, 10:00am-2:30pm
    • Tuesday, May 22nd: MCAS: Grades 5 & 8 PBT Session 2 STE
    • Tuesday, May 22nd: Grades 6-8 Progress Reports Published
    • Tuesday, May 22nd: Elementary Faculty Meeting, 2:45-3:45pm
    • Tuesday, May 22nd - Friday, May 25th: Grade 7/8 Musical Rehearsals, Auditorium, 3:00-5:30pm
    • Wednesday, May 23rd - Friday, May 25th: MCAS: Make Up Testing Day
    • Wednesday, May 23rd: Art Show, Cafeteria, 5:00-6:30pm
    • Monday, May 28th: No School: Memorial Day
    • Tuesday, May 29th: Grades 5-6 Track Meet
    • Wednesday, May 30th - Friday, June 1st: Grade 7/8 Musical Rehearsals, Auditorium, 3:00-5:30pm
    • Wednesday, May 30th: Grades 5-6 Track Meet - Rain Date
    • Wednesday, May 30th: Grades 4-8 Strings Concert, Baker School, 7:00pm
    • Thursday, May 31st: Grades 7-8 Track Meet
    • Thursday, May 31st: SET Tournament, Steam Room, 8:00am-2:30pm
    • Friday, June 1st: Grades 7-8 Track Meet - Rain Date
    • Friday, June 1st: Bake Sale Fundraiser, 1:40-2:00pm

    Field Trips:

    • Tuesday, May 22nd: Grade 3 DPW Open House Field Trip

    Peace,

    Asa

    ---

    Dr. Asa C. Sevelius, Ed.D.

    Principal 

    ______________________________

    May 11th, 2018

    Dear Heath Community,

    What an amazing May Fair we had last Saturday! I am still riding high on the joy that engulfed our wonderful community and the “all hands on deck” approach to making the day happen. Thank you again to the families that did all the work, from the heavy lifting to the tiny details, to make this tradition so robust and satisfying. My own children love the day, look forward to it, and feel so safe and welcome while they are here. It means a lot to me to belong to a community that makes space for everyone. Plus, I have been able to show off my new Pikachu keychain all week and tell kids I won it myself (no help!) at May Fair.

    One Heath , One Book!

    I’m almost done, are you? Our book group in June 19th in the evening. Mark your calendars now!

    LFE

    One more time, with gusto! Dressing for the Spring Weather: Dos and Don’ts

    Spring has finally arrived and with it comes the hot weather. Parents, before your students leave the school will you make sure they are dressed for the day ahead? While filp flops and sandals keep feet cool, they are very hard to run in. Shorts, shirts, and skirts should not be excessively revealing, with midriffs and shoulders covered. And we recognize that in the stores it is hard to find shorts that go to the knees for anyone. Please, make sure that shorts are not so short or so baggy that underwear is exposed.  We thank you!

    A Shout Out

    Have you noticed how beautiful our school grounds are?  This doesn’t happen by magic. When you see Jurgen or Mark, our custodians, thank them. When you see the Town of Brookline crew taking care of our lawns and flowers, send a shout out. The magic is actually good, old fashioned hard work and care. Thanks to these folks!

    Upcoming Events:

    • Monday, May 14th - Friday, May 18th: MCAS: Make Up Testing Day
    • Monday, May 14th: 3H Open Music Class, Music Room, 9:25-10:05am
    • Monday, May 14th: 1R Open Music Class, Music Room, 10:15-10:55am
    • Monday, May 14th: 1L Open Music Class, Music Room, 12:40-1:20pm
    • Tuesday, May 15th: 2SO Open Music Class, Music Room, 9:30-10:10am
    • Tuesday, May 15th: 4K Open Music Class, Music Room, 10:45-11:30am
    • Tuesday, May 15th - Friday, May 18th : Grade 7/8 Musical Rehearsals, Auditorium, 3:00-5:30pm
    • Wednesday, May 16th: Grades K-4 Community Day Assembly, MPR, 8:15-8:35am
    • Wednesday, May 16th: 4B Open Music Class, Music Room, 8:40-9:25am
    • Wednesday, May 16th: KF Open Music Class, Auditorium, 11:20am-12:00pm
    • Wednesday, May 16th: KC Open Music Class, Auditorium, 12:30-1:10pm
    • Wednesday, May 16th: 2D Open Music Class, Music Room, 12:55-1:35pm
    • Wednesday, May 16th: KBK Open Music Class, Auditorium, 1:20-2:00pm
    • Wednesday, May 16th: 3L Open Music Class, Music Room, 1:50-2:30pm
    • Wednesday, May 16th: Grades 5-8 Community Day Assembly, Auditorium, 2:00-2:30pm
    • Thursday, May 17th: Parent/Teacher “One Heath” Educational Equity Group, Collaboration Space, 7:15-8:30am
    • Thursday, May 17th: 4OC Open Music Class, Music Room, 8:40-9:25am
    • Thursday, May 17th: 1C Open Music Class, Music Room, 12:40-1:20pm
    • Friday, May 18th: 3F Open Music Class, Music Room, 8:05-8:45am
    • Friday, May 18th: 2S Open Music Class, Music Room, 9:25-10:05am
    • Monday, May 21st: MCAS: Grades 5 & 8 PBT Session 1 STE
    • Monday, May 21st - Friday, May 25th : Kindergarten Screenings, Guidance Office/Collaboration Space, 10:30am-2:15pm

     

    It is good to have so many reasons to celebrate together. Sunday offers a chance to celebrate our mother’s and motherhood. Recognize and accept, first and foremost, that parenting is hard. Please, whether you are a single mother, one of two moms, a mom of one or of a brood, or mother who has suffered loss, know that you are doing your best every day and that sometimes you have to clap for yourself and keep moving. We here at Heath recognize that the work you do every single day to get your kids ready and into this building is sometimes easy and sometimes feels like a victory.  No matter how you see yourself and how runny the eggs are for your Mother’s day “breakfast,” know that we appreciate you and that you are loved just as you are.

    Asa

    Dr. Asa C. Sevelius, Ed.D.

    Principal 

    ______________________________

     

    May the Fourth Be With You, 2018

    Dear Heath Community,

    MAY FAIR!!!!!!!!  TOMORROW!!!!!!! Thank you for the parent crew that has been working so diligently to make this carnival come to life here! The weather looks like it will be stunning.  I’ll be here with my kids.  Will you???

    Arrival

    During morning arrival, we are working hard to keep our hallways clear and quiet for teachers as they prepare for the day. If you have a pre-arranged appointment with a teacher, please simply tell our wonderful paras on hallway duty that you have a planned meeting. Also, please remind students that the cafeteria, library, and morning movement are available for students and urge them to head there at arrival.  We’ll do the same on our end.

    Also, please keep drop off rolling and do not park or idle in front of the school.  Thank you.

     

    Dressing for the Spring Weather: Dos and Don’ts

    Spring has finally arrived and with it comes the hot weather. Parents, before your students leave the school will you make sure they are dressed for the day ahead? While filp flops and sandals keep feet cool, they are very hard to run in. Shorts, shirts, and skirts should not be excessively revealing, with midriffs and shoulders covered. And we recognize that in the stores it is hard to find shorts that go to the knees for anyone. Please, make sure that shorts are not so short or so baggy that underwear is exposed.  We thank you!

     

    One Heath , One Book!

    Start reading now and get ready for a great discussion in June!  A Heath parent told me today, “I started and can’t put it down!”

    one heath

     

    Heath School Twitter Handles

    Looking for new Twitter accounts to follow? Try these:

    • Hawk  @HeathGecko
    • Ms. Sontag @Ms_Sontag
    • Alex Borns-Weil @HeathLiteracy
    • Ms. Ellis @PEHeathHawks
    • Kristen Kenney @profekk
    • Colleen @HeathLibrarian
    • Ms. Yahn @YahnArt
    • heathMSela @heathMSela
    • Lauren Stewart @heathhawkspe
    • Profe Sandoval @HeathSpanish
    • Jennifer Harty @3Harty
    • Vicky Ferstler @VFerstler
    • Mrs. Lamson @3llearners
    • Kathleen O'Connell @kathleenjp59
    • Suzanne Raskin @RaskinMath
    • Becky Koocher @ms_koocher
    • Sarah Conroy @Ms_Conroy
    • Kristina Maimonis @MsMaimonis5M
    • Tatiana Beckwith @4BMrsBeckwith
    • Sara O'Shea @SixthGradeSavvy
    • eleanor demont @EleanorDemont
    • Brianna Conlan @ms_conlan
    • Emily Redburn @MsRedburn
    • Mark Goldner @sciencegold
    • Tenacious Terklas @terkla
    • Jillian Dyment @MrsDyment13
    • Mr. Miller @BrooklineTeach
    • 2D @MrsDalsheim
    • Jane Leo @JaneLeo3
    • Asa Sevelius, Ed.D @AsaSevelius
    • tanya gregoire @tanyagregoire
    • Matt Durant @mdurant16
    • Ms. Ouellette @4olearners

     

    Upcoming Events (it's a lot...):

    • Saturday, May 5th: May Fair, 11:00am-4:00pm
    • Monday, May 7th: MCAS: Grade 3 PBT/Grades 4 & 6 CBT Session 1 Math
    • Tuesday, May 8th: Brookline Annual Town Elections, Gym, 7:00am-8:00pm
    • Tuesday, May 8th: MCAS: Grade 3 PBT/Grades 4 & 6 CBT Session 2 Math
    • Tuesday, May 8th: Grade 7/8 Musical Rehearsals, Auditorium, 3:00-5:30pm
    • Wednesday, May 9th: Grade 7/8 Musical Rehearsals, Music Room, 3:00-5:30pm
    • Wednesday, May 9th: MCAS: Grades 5/7/8 CBT Session 1 Math
    • Wednesday, May 9th: Freelance Troupe Performance, Auditorium, 3:00-5:00pm
    • Thursday, May 10th: MCAS: Grades 5/7/8 CBT Session 2 Math
    • Thursday, May 10th -- Friday, May 11th: Grade 7/8 Musical Rehearsals, Auditorium, 3:00-5:30pm
    • Friday, May 11th: MCAS Make Up Testing Day
    • Friday, May 11th: Heath School Council: School Committee Joins, Collaboration Space, 8:00-9:00am
    • Monday, May 14th - Friday, May 18th: MCAS: Make Up Testing Day
    • Monday, May 14th: 3H Open Music Class, Music Room, 9:25-10:05am
    • Monday, May 14th: 1R Open Music Class, Music Room, 10:15-10:55am
    • Monday, May 14th: 1L Open Music Class, Music Room, 12:40-1:20pm
    • Tuesday, May 15th: 2SO Open Music Class, Music Room, 9:30-10:10am
    • Tuesday, May 15th: 4K Open Music Class, Music Room, 10:45-11:30am
    • Tuesday, May 15th - Friday, May 18th : Grade 7/8 Musical Rehearsals, Auditorium, 3:00-5:30pm
    • Wednesday, May 16th: Grades K-4 Community Day Assembly, MPR, 8:15-8:35am
    • Wednesday, May 16th: 4B Open Music Class, Music Room, 8:40-9:25am
    • Wednesday, May 16th: KF Open Music Class, Auditorium, 11:20am-12:00pm
    • Wednesday, May 16th: KC Open Music Class, Auditorium, 12:30-1:10pm
    • Wednesday, May 16th: 2D Open Music Class, Music Room, 12:55-1:35pm
    • Wednesday, May 16th: KBK Open Music Class, Auditorium, 1:20-2:00pm
    • Wednesday, May 16th: 3L Open Music Class, Music Room, 1:50-2:30pm
    • Wednesday, May 16th: Grades 5-8 Community Day Assembly, Auditorium, 2:00-2:30pm
    • Thursday, May 17th: Parent/Teacher “One Heath” Educational Equity Group, Collaboration Space, 7:15-8:30am
    • Thursday, May 17th: 4OC Open Music Class, Music Room, 8:40-9:25am
    • Thursday, May 17th: 1C Open Music Class, Music Room, 12:40-1:20pm
    • Friday, May 18th: 3F Open Music Class, Music Room, 8:05-8:45am
    • Friday, May 18th: 2S Open Music Class, Music Room, 9:25-10:05am

    Field Trips:

    • Tuesday, May 15th: 3F Field Trip to Frederick Law Olmsted, 8:30am-2:00pm
    • Wednesday, May 16th: Grade 6 Field Trip to Museum of Science, 8:15am-2:15pm
    • Wednesday, May 16th: 3L Field Trip to Frederick Law Olmsted, 8:30am-2:00pm
    • Thursday, May 17th: 3H Field Trip to Frederick Law Olmsted, 8:30am-2:00pm

    Here's to funnel cakes and bouncy houses!

    Dr. Asa C. Sevelius, Ed.D.

    Principal 

    ______________________________

    April 27th, 2018

    Dear Heath Community,

    This week I had the opportunity to join folks from around the Commonwealth at the Emerging Best Practices conference, a chance to learn more about bias-free schools and the many ways to ensure that we, as educators, move towards the vision of equity and justice infused learning for all. During one session I attended, I was particularly proud of two Heath students, Jean Hur and Molly Louison, who presented Thursday morning on their experiences of being peer leaders in our World of Difference program through the Anti-Defamation League. They were nervous, but poised, and very well supported by their team facilitator, Ms. Kellee Terkla. Together they led the group of attendees in activities that help build community, ways to make explicit the very personal things about ourselves that can binds us together. It also helped to understand why we, as humans, often keep the most amazing things about ourselves secret or protected – we are comfortable sharing about how many siblings we have or the kinds of films we enjoy, but rarely come out right away to discuss religion or gender identity. By setting the stage early and often to know each other, at first superficially and over time more deeply, we provide the space necessary to allow the whole of ourselves to be known and valued.

    Mr. Bott, our Superintendent, shared the story of the picnic table at Brookline High that was vandalized with hate speech and the transformation that happened when students, staff, and families ay BHS had the chance to write a counter narrative on the table, which was brought into the lobby, to reclaim not only the picnic table, but the community as a whole. We uphold the inherent dignity of us all when given opportunities to debunk a conversation with ugliness at its core.

    Together, we watched this powerful video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C6xSyRJqIe8 Once over, Jean and Molly led the group of adults in a conversation about how they felt, what we learned, if we related … or not … to the experiences of the children showcased in the video. Wondering, how do you feel/what did you learn/can you relate after seeing this video?

     

    Personnel Updates

    Spring is hiring season and, as I have written in a the past few weeks, we have many opportunities to hire new talent to our already incredible team. Here is an important announcement:

    • I recently learned that our K-4 Spanish teacher, Profe Roxy Sandoval, will be moving with her family to Virginia, therefore we will begin the search for her replacement very soon. We will miss Profe very much and finding a replacement will not be easy!

    We are closing in on our new Special Education teachers and will soon begin the search for a 4th grade year-long substitute teacher, as Mr. Kraus is pursuing opportunities elsewhere and Ms. Ouellette will take a second year of family leave.

    Again, if you are interested in serving on these search committees or any others, please let me know at asa_sevelius@psbma.org!

     

    One Heath/One Book!

    Did you grab your copy of Celeste Ng’s Little Fires Everywhere (https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/25/books/review/little-fires-everywhere-celeste-ng.html) yet?  We’ll be hosting a school-wide adult discussion mid-June, so start reading now! We have books to borrow in our library and The Brookline Booksmith has a stack waiting for you – #BuyLocal!

    Our Annual Appeal: Huge News!

    From Our PTO:

    We’re thrilled to announce that the Heath Family Appeal Challenge was an amazing success, with ALL grades significantly increasing their families’ participation in supporting our school through the Annual Appeal. 

    Although all classes rallied impressively, Third Grade came in tops at a 68.49% final family participation rate, winning a grade-wide pizza party!  Just check out these increases:

    PreK - 9.52% —> 52.38%

    Kindergarten - 22.64% —> 49.06%

    1st Grade - 23.26% —> 60.47%

    2nd Grade - 16.32% —> 62.30%

    3rd Grade - 18.42% —> 68.49%

    4th Grade - 24.62% —> 61.29%

    5th Grade - 21.13% —> 50.07%

    6th Grade - 21.67% —> 50.85%

    7th Grade - 17.91% —> 55.86%

    8th Grade - 21.05% —> 41.07%

    A HUGE thank you to all families who gave to our school in this year‘s appeal. Your donations support dozens of wonderful programs for our children at Heath, including arts and culture programs, sports and recess equipment, field trip subsidies, science and technology equipment, the STEAM Room maker space, and so so much more.... Without your support our school would not be as rich an environment as it is. 

    Thank you again for your enthusiasm, and for participating. We are now using your donations to budget for next year’s programs.

    On behalf of Your kids and Your school -

    Your PTO

    Thank you, thank you, thank you. Truly, your generous donations to Heath School make our work so much easier, more fruitful, inspires deeper learning, and fosters more genuine connection. 

    Upcoming Events:

    • Tuesday, May 1st: Grades 6-8 Report Cards Published
    • Tuesday, May 1st: K-6 Early Dismissal at 12:40pm
    • Tuesday, May 1st - Friday, May 4th: Grade 7/8 Musical Rehearsals, Auditorium, 3:00-5:30pm
    • Wednesday, May 2nd: Grades K-4 Community Day Assembly, MPR, 8:15-8:45am
    • Wednesday, May 2nd: Grades 5-8 Community Day Assembly, Auditorium, 2:00-2:30pm
    • Friday, May 4th: PTO First Friday Coffee, Cafeteria, 8:00-9:00am
    • Friday, May 4th: Pineapple Project Show for Grades K-1, Library
    • Saturday, May 5th: May Fair, 11:00am-4:00pm
    • Monday, May 7th: MCAS: Grade 3 PBT/Grades 4 & 6 CBT Session 1 Math
    • Tuesday, May 8th: MCAS: Grade 3 PBT/Grades 4 & 6 CBT Session 2 Math
    • Tuesday, May 8th: Grade 7/8 Musical Rehearsals, Auditorium, 3:00-5:30pm
    • Wednesday, May 9th: Grade 7/8 Musical Rehearsals, Music Room, 3:00-5:30pm
    • Wednesday, May 9th: MCAS: Grades 5/7/8 CBT Session 1 Math
    • Wednesday, May 9th: Freelance Troupe Performance, Auditorium, 3:00-5:00pm
    • Thursday, May 10th: MCAS: Grades 5/7/8 CBT Session 2 Math
    • Thursday, May 10th:- Friday, May 11th: Grade 7/8 Musical Rehearsals, Auditorium, 3:00-5:30pm
    • Friday, May 11th: MCAS Make Up Testing Day
    • Friday, May 11th: Heath School Council: School Committee Joins, Collaboration Space, 8:00-9:00am

    Field Trips:

    • Monday, April 30th: Grade 5 Field Trip to Boston Tea Party Ships and Museums, 9:20am-1:00pm

     

    At Heath, we’ve always gots lots and lots going on! I am super thankful everyday for such an incredible team, both teachers and parents. I am especially thankful for our students, like Jean and Molly, who put themselves out there everyday in service of the greater good. Heath Pride!

    Peace,

    Asa

    Dr. Asa C. Sevelius, Ed.D.

    Principal 

    ______________________________

     April 13th, 2018

    Dear Heath Community,

    Spring Break has arrived! I am looking forward to a week of kids, playing, self-care, and a good book.  Right now I am reading Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng … and you should, too!  This will be our FIRST "One Book, One Heath" adult book club selection.  Details to follow, but start reading now for what we hope is a robust book discussion before the end of the school year.

    LFE

     

    Annual Appeal Update

    The final push of the PTOs annual appeal was such a success!  Thank you, thank you, thank you to you all for your contributions to our school!

    From our dedicated PTO Leadership and mighty Annual Appeal Team:

    “As you know, today is the final day of the Heath Appeal Family Challenge! We are THRILLED at the amazing response from Heath families, and the numbers are way up. Check out the latest numbers on the Lobby Gameboard after school when you stop by the Bake Sale. The contest ends at Midnight tonight, and we’ll announce the Pizza-Party Winning Grade when we return from April break. Right now, in the lead we have 3rd Grade at 66%, followed closely by 2nd Grade at 62%, and 1st & 4th Grades both at 58%, but we still have until Midnight for more families to donate, so YOUR grade still has a chance to win. THANK YOU to all your families for participating in this contest, and for supporting our wonderful school.”

     

    Cradle to Crayons Drive

    A message from our Project 351 Student Ambassador (https://www.project351.org/), Dhruva:

    Dear Members of the Heath Community,

    Thank you so much for your donations to the Cradles to Crayons clothing drive last week.  As a result of the collection efforts both here and on my street, we collected over 40 bags of clothing for underprivileged children in Massachusetts.  I want to give a special thanks to Dr. Sevelius for his support in allowing me to host the drive at Heath and for his help in spreading the word.  I also want to thank Ms. Sarah Pangburn, my street association’s President, for her support in doing the same in my neighborhood.  Finally, a special thanks to the Student Council, friends in my 8th grade class, and my little brother, Noah, for all their help in making this work!

    Sincerely,

    Dhruva

    CtC

    (Please note: the drive has ended. We cannot no longer accept donations. If you still have items to donate, please consider taking them directly to Cradle to Crayons, to Savers, or other organizations that accept gently used clothes.)

     

    Upcoming Events:

    • Monday, April 16th-Friday, April 20th: No School: April Vacation
    • Monday, April 23rd & Tuesday, April 24th: MCAS Make Up Testing Day
    • Tuesday, April 24th - Friday, April 27th: Grade 7/8 Musical Rehearsals, Auditorium, 3:00-5:30pm
    • Wednesday, April 25th: K-6 Early Dismissal at 12:40pm
    • Thursday, April 26th: Parent/Teacher “One Heath” Educational Equity Group, Collaboration Space, 7:15-8:30am
    • Thursday, April 26th: K-8 Cultural Arts Performance: MythMasters, Auditorium, Grades 6-8 at 8:15am, Grades 3-5 at 9:30am, and Grades K-2 at 10:45am
    • Thursday, April 26th: Heath Evening Conferences, 2:30-7:00pm
    • Friday, April 27th: The Spark/La Chispa electronic submissions are due for grades K-2
    • Tuesday, May 1st: Grades 6-8 Report Cards Published
    • Tuesday, May 1st: K-6 Early Dismissal at 12:40pm
    • Tuesday, May 1st: METCO Connections Art Workshop, 12:40-3:00pm
    • Tuesday, May 1st - Friday, May 4th: Grade 7/8 Musical Rehearsals, Auditorium, 3:00-5:30pm
    • Wednesday, May 2nd: Grades K-4 Community Day Assembly, MPR, 8:15-8:45am
    • Wednesday, May 2nd: Grades 5-8 Community Day Assembly, Auditorium, 2:00-2:30pm
    • Friday, May 4th: PTO First Friday Coffee, Cafeteria, 8:00-9:00am
    • Friday, May 4th: Pineapple Project Show for Grades K-1, Library
    • Saturday, May 5th: May Fair, 11:00am-4:00pm

    Field Trips:

    Monday, April 30th: Grade 5 Field Trip to Boston Tea Party Ships and Museums, 9:20am-1:00pm

     

    Happy trails!  

    Asa

    Dr. Asa C. Sevelius, Ed.D.

    Principal 

    ______________________________

    April 6th, 2018

    Dear Heath Community,

    Autism Awareness Month continues! Socrates said, according to Plato, that the unexamined life is not worth living. May we live the kinds of lives where we not only look deeply into our own souls, but make space for the lived experiences of others. Now is a great time to make that space. This morning on my drive in I heard – as I usually do Fridays at 6:30 – Story Corp, an audio project recording the real-life experiences of folks whose lives may have otherwise gone undocumented. I am usually left gobsmacked, weeping, in awe, or all three. Today’s story was no different. Find the story of two brothers, both with Autism, here: Story Corps . I think you’ll be amazed, too.

    A book in my office, RAD American Women, features the stories of women of note, including the marvelous Temple Grandin, who lives in life in a way that makes us all better people. I copied the pages about Dr. Grandin here and here and below. May we all live the kinds of lives that lead with courage and compassion, like these terrific humans do.

    TG TG Text

     

    2018 Margaret Metzger Fellows

    I wanted to let you know that the 2018 Margaret Metzger Fellows have been announced (https://brooklineeducation.org/node/161), and a Heath teacher was selected to participate! Congratulations to Chari Dalsheim, one of our 2nd grade teachers! She will be spending her summer writing and reflecting on her teaching practice. She joins Andrew Cook, another Margaret Metzger Fellow from a few years ago, as a great Heath representative.

    Announcement: New Special Education Teacher

    Welcome Ariel Elinson! He will be joining us next week to begin his work in our Upper Learning Center in Laura Mezzacappa’s absence. He comes to us with ample experience in helping  students meet high academic expectations in core content classes, especially those who have severe to mild learning disabilities, including students with Autism, students with specific behavioral needs, and students who require executive functioning support. While we will miss Laura Mezzacappa very much, we look forward to welcoming Mr. Elinson to Heath.  Thank you, in advance for the support and warm welcome you'll extend him.

    Please take time in the upcoming week to wish Laura well and celebrate her wonderful work with us.  Her last day is ***sniff*** Friday.

    Our French teacher, Jessica Levausseur, begins her maternity leave soon. Watch this space for the announcement of her long-term substitute! We are closing in on final candidates right now!

    Kinetic Sculpture Project

    Didn’t get a chance to stop by and see the amazing work our 8th graders did?  Check it out here in these two short video vignettes!

    Kinetic Sculpture Videos

    MCAS

    Week one, in the books!  Huge shout out to Mr. Smith for getting us ready and through. And to Mr. Durant for being on point with the tech support. And thank you to our Heath teachers for being the kind of practitioners who use each and every opportunity to offer high-quality learning experiences to students.  We are not a school that teaches to a test; we teach to the future and for our kid’s sake. That what we offer and produce allows us to do well on MCAS is icing on an otherwise delicious cake. Onward!

    Upcoming Events:

    • Monday, April 9th: MCAS: Grades 5/7/8 CBT Session 1 ELA
    • Tuesday, April 10th: K-6 Early Dismissal at 12:40pm
    • Tuesday, April 10th - Friday, April 13th:  Grade 7/8 Rehearsals for The Wizard of Oz Musical, Auditorium, 3:00-5:30pm
    • Wednesday, April 11th: HASAP Spring Registration for Grades 3-8 only will close at noon
    • Wednesday, April 11th: MCAS: Grades 5/7/8 CBT Session 2 ELA
    • Wednesday, April 11th: METCO Connections Trivia Game Breakfast, Room 209, 7:30-8:00am
    • Thursday, April 12th: MCAS Makeup Testing Day
    • Thursday, April 12th: Parent/Teacher “One Heath” Educational Equity Group, Collaboration Space, 7:15-8:30am
    • Friday, April 13th: MCAS Makeup Testing Day
    • Monday, April 16th-Friday, April 20th: No School: April Vacation

    Field Trips:

    • Tuesday, April 10th:
    • Thursday, April 12th: 6/7/8 Math Team Meet - Brown Middle School, 3:00-6:30pm

    Peace,

    Asa

    Dr. Asa C. Sevelius, Ed.D.

    Principal 

    ______________________________

     

    March 30th, 2018

    Dear Heath Community,

    April is World Autism Awareness month! Heath is proud to be a school community that strives to welcome and love all children exactly as they are. That means that we, as adults, work hard to learn how to best serve our students on the autism spectrum . The biggest part of our learning comes through our relationships with our students, being curious about their perspectives, listening closely to their voices, and crafting a school experience that gives students with autism the space to explore and grow.

    As a sign of unity, support and understanding for people with autism, we invite all community members to wear blue on Monday, April 2.

    Rogers

    International Night!

    Our International Night this year was another wild success!  Countries from around the world were represented and the school was filled with beautiful colors, delicious foods, and terrific student performances. Noorjehan Khan, our new 5th grade teacher, represented for Pakistan, saying to me, “Growing up, International Night was always my favorite night of the year. It was the one night when I could show up fully as myself!”

    A very difficult part of my job is awarding prizes for students who come dressed in clothing that represents their heritage. This year, it was as hard as ever. In the end, I chose to celebrate some of our youngest party-goers, like:

    • Ammar S. in KF representing Pakistan
    • Mira M. In BEEP representing Lebanon

    The Calvillo Family, representing Poland, also received a prize. My son, Charlie, helped me to select this family, saying: “Look at the beautiful flower family!”

    We also hosted our first “One Heath Photo Contest” during International Night. The photos are up in our main foyer, so please come check them out!  Adi G., with his photo entitled “Heath Rocks!” was selected and the Grand Prize winner! Congrats, Adi!  Heath does indeed rock.

     

    Clean Out Your Closets!  Cradles to Crayons closing drive begins Monday!

    Dhruva, an 8th grade student at Heath, along with friends from the 8th grade and Student Council, is running a clothing drive for Cradles to Crayons from April 2nd-6th.  He is encouraging parents and students to bring new or gently used children’s clothes for donation. Cradles to Crayons is a non-profit organization that collects clothing for children in need.  Collection bins for clothing will be placed in convenient locations around the school from April 2nd-6th (including two in the lobby), and will be emptied on the afternoon of April 6th to be taken to the donation center.

    If you are unsure whether your clothing items qualify for donation, use the following rule of thumb: if you would send your child to school wearing it, it is generally a suitable donation option!  Remember, having presentable clothing in a school environment gives children the confidence they need to be successful and productive learners.  Thank you for your help in making this clothing drive successful!

     

    Brookline Youth Orchestra

    As you know, the Brookline Youth Orchestra is our most advanced orchestra, made up of students from all Brookline elementary schools. Last weekend, the BYO participated in the annual Concert Festival hosted by the Massachusetts Instrumental & Choral Conductors Association (MICCA). Although they missed their last two rehearsals due to snow, they still pulled off a fantastic performance and received a Gold rating, the highest possible!  This is what happens with hard work, dedication, and passion!

    These are the Heath students who participated: 

    • Jamie H.
    • Lea T.
    • Tian-Hao Z.

     

    Upcoming Events:

    • Tuesday, April 3rd - Friday, April 6th:  Grade 7/8 Rehearsals for The Wizard of Oz Musical, Auditorium, 3:00-5:30pm
    • Tuesday, April 3rd: MCAS: Grade 3 PBT/Grades 4 & 6 CBT Session 1 ELA
    • Tuesday, April 3rd: 7th Grade Urban Improv Assembly, Auditorium, 11:15am-12:15pm
    • Wednesday, April 4th: HASAP Spring Registration Opens for Grades 3-8 only at 7:00am
    • Wednesday, April 4th: K-8 Early Dismissal at 12:40pm
    • Wednesday, April 4th: METCO Connections Viking Sports Event, Gym, 12:40-3:00pm
    • Thursday, April 5th: MCAS: Grade 3 PBT/Grades 4 & 6 CBT Session 2 ELA
    • Friday, April 6th: MCAS Make Up Testing Day
    • Friday, April 6th: PTO First Friday Coffee, Cafeteria, 8:00-9:00am
    • Monday, April 9th: MCAS: Grades 5/7/8 CBT Session 1 ELA
    • Tuesday, April 10th: K-6 Early Dismissal at 12:40pm
    • Tuesday, April 10th - Friday, April 13th:  Grade 7/8 Rehearsals for The Wizard of Oz Musical, Auditorium, 3:00-5:30pm
    • Wednesday, April 11th: HASAP Spring Registration for Grades 3-8 only will close at noon
    • Wednesday, April 11th: MCAS: Grades 5/7/8 CBT Session 2 ELA
    • Wednesday, April 11th: METCO Connections Trivia Game Breakfast, Room 209, 7:30-8:00am
    • Thursday, April 12th: MCAS Makeup Testing Day
    • Thursday, April 12th: Parent/Teacher “One Heath” Educational Equity Group, Collaboration Space, 7:15-8:30am
    • Friday, April 13th: MCAS Makeup Testing Day
    • Monday, April 16th-Friday, April 20th: No School: April Vacation

    Field Trips:

    • Thursday, April 12th: 6/7/8 Math Team Meet - Brown Middle School, 3:00-6:30pm

     

    Today is Good Friday, Passover begins, and Easter is Sunday. Spring is indeed upon us. May we celebrate all the goodness we have and share generously with others.

    Peace,

    Asa

    Dr. Asa C. Sevelius, Ed.D.

    Principal 

    ______________________________

    March 23rd, 2018

    Dear Heath Community,

    Game on!  Heath School and the PTO invite all families of grades K-8 to contend for Grade with the Highest Appeal Participation - the grade with the most families participating in the PTO Annual Appeal by Friday, April 13 wins a Prize. Families: help your grade win and support excellence at Heath - donate today at http://www.heathpto.org!  Please donate what is comfortable for you - any amount helps Heath support all our children. Let the contest begin! Check the big Game Board in the lobby starting Monday, March 26!  Cross it off your to-do list now @ http://www.heathpto.org (accepts PayPal & major Credit Cards).

    ———

    Looking Forward to Next School Year: Leaves of Absence, Resignations, and Announcements!

    I am eager to announce changes to our staffing for next year. We have a few leaves of absence (teachers taking a year off to rejuvenate and explore), that include:

    • Jane Leo, 1st Grade
    • Kristen Kenney, Middle School Spanish
    • Judith Ellis, Physical Education
    • Vanessa Ouellette, 4th Grade

    We wish them well and safe returns to us in the fall of 2019.

    Mr. Kraus, who has been with us as a year-long substitute lead teacher in 4th grade, will will not return to Heath next year. He is grateful for his time here and excited the explore new teaching opportunities elsewhere! And we are thankful for his service here this year.

    Also, as announced earlier, Laura Mezzacappa has resigned and her last day will be April 13th. The search for her replacement will begin soon and her long term sub will be announced in the coming weeks.

    We are also excited to make a few announcements about staffing shifts for next year:

    • Kim Sontag, who is currently serving as a 2nd Grade lead teacher while Alyson Arsenault is on leave, will be taking over in our 1st Grade while Ms. Leo is out on leave next year. Kim came to Heath two years ago as a 1st grade paraprofessional and has served us very well in 2nd Grade this year. We are very excited she’ll stay with us one more year.
    • I have asked Jillian Dyment, currently serving as our Interim Education Team Facilitator, to stay on in the role moving forward. During the last few months, Jillian has worked very hard to acclimate to the role of ETF, has brought her many talents as a Special Educator to bear, and has worked tirelessly to ensure our Special Education team and processes are running smoothly or improving. I am proud to announce this appointment.

    We will be opening up the hiring searches for many roles at Heath next year, including:

    • Special Education
    • 4th Grade, year-long substitute
    • Middle School Spanish, year-long substitute
    • Physical Education, year-long substitute

    I hope many of you will volunteer to join us on hiring committees, lending your voice in selecting our new team members!  If you can support these searches (interviews happen during school hours) please let me know at asa_sevelius@psbma.org.

    ———

    Science + Art: The 8th Grade Kinetic Sculptures Collaborative Project

    The 8th grade crew is deep in their kinetic sculpture collaborative project. Each day, the science lab comes to life with the sounds and smells of a workshop – sawing, buzzing, laughter, and it smells like sawdust in the hallways. Sawing a metal rod, Max reports: “I am working on a slo-mo bike, basically a bike flying into the air and landing again. I chose this project because when we were at the MIT museum, I noticed a couch and a chair that – together with some weights – created the same motion.  I want to recreate that, but with a miniature bicycle.” Lachlan reports, as he cuts out strips of cardboard with an exact-o knife: “My project is a kind of roller coaster. I love roller coasters, they are a fun, thrilling experience.  I am using cardboard, wood, gold balls and tiny red Solo cups. Most of the materials were right here in the school, all I needed to do was buy the red Solo cups. This project is fun and a fun way to learn – I've learned about kinetics, force and distance, the artist’s process, and stuff like that.”

    Behare reports that she is making a jewelry box with a pop up ballerina. “The ballerina I have at home; I needed to make the jewelry box using cardboard and wood. I used a jigsaw, a small handsaw, a glue gun, and paint to make my project.” Campbell crafted a tiny hockey player out of wire, yarn, cardboard, a wooden dowel, and springs. Using many of the small materials, Roshan made a tiny surfer, who will ride cardboard waves when the project is complete.

    Teachers, Mr. Goldner, Ms. Gregoire, and Mr. Durant, worked the room helping children decide next structural or design moves, but rarely intervened to the point where a student wasn’t taking the lead.

    Ava is building a pig that rolls in “mud” using pvc pipes.  “I need to figure out how fit the 'pig' in,” she said. “I might incorporate shredded paper as haystacks and use paint and blocks to create the illusion that this is a farm.” Alexa uses parts of old bike gear systems to recreate a system that will move a gymnast, made of wire and string, around and around and around. Students, like Josh G., move around the space so comfortably, getting the tools they need – hand saws, low and high powered drills, rulers, crepe paper, yarn, needle and thread, and wood glue – to make their kinetic ideas come to life.

    Mr. Goldner reports that: “This has, without a doubt, been one of the most enjoyable projects I've ever worked on with kids!” 

    We hope to see families on on April 2, from 8-9:30 in our middle school science lab and art room for the unveiling of these marvelous sculptures!

    ———

    Cradles to Crayons

    Dhruva, an 8th grade student at Heath, along with friends from the 8th grade and Student Council, is running a clothing drive for Cradles to Crayons from April 2nd-6th.  He is encouraging parents and students to bring new or gently used children’s clothes for donation. Cradles to Crayons is a non-profit organization that collects clothing for children in need.  Collection bins for clothing will be placed in convenient locations around the school from April 2nd-6th (including two in the lobby), and will be emptied on the afternoon of April 6th to be taken to the donation center.

    If you are unsure whether your clothing items qualify for donation, use the following rule of thumb: if you would send your child to school wearing it, it is generally a suitable donation option!  Remember, having presentable clothing in a school environment gives children the confidence they need to be successful and productive learners.  Thank you for your help in making this clothing drive successful!

    Thanks,

    Dhruva and the 8th Grade Crew

    ———

    Upcoming Events:

    • Tuesday, March 27th - Thursday, March 29th: Grade 7/8 Auditions for The Wizard of Oz Musical, Auditorium, 3:00-5:30pm
    • Tuesday, March 27th: International Night, Gym/Cafeteria, 6:00-8:00pm
    • Wednesday, March 28th: Grades K-4 Community Day Assembly, MPR, 8:15-8:45am
    • Wednesday, March 28th: Grades 5-8 Community Day Assembly, Auditorium, 2:00-2:30pm
    • Friday, March 30th: School Closed: Good Friday
    • Tuesday, April 3rd - Friday, April 6th:  Grade 7/8 Rehearsals for The Wizard of Oz Musical, Auditorium, 3:00-5:30pm
    • Tuesday, April 3rd: MCAS: Grade 3 PBT/Grades 4 & 6 CBT Session 1 ELA
    • Tuesday, April 3rd: 7th Grade Urban Improv Assembly, Auditorium, 11:15am-12:15pm
    • Wednesday, April 4th: K-8 Early Dismissal at 12:40pm
    • Wednesday, April 4th: METCO Connections Viking Sports Event, Gym, 12:40-3:00pm
    • Thursday, April 5th: MCAS: Grade 3 PBT/Grades 4 & 6 CBT Session 2 ELA
    • Friday, April 6th: MCAS Make Up Testing Day
    • Friday, April 6th: PTO First Friday Coffee, Cafeteria, 8:00-9:00am

    Field Trips:

    • Tuesday, March 27th: Grade 3 Field Trip to Moose Hill Wildlife Sanctuary, 8:30am-2:00pm
    • Tuesday, March 27th: Grade 2 Field Trip to Boston Children’s Museum, 9:00am-1:30pm

    Happy weekend!

    Asa

    Dr. Asa C. Sevelius, Ed.D.

    Principal 

    ______________________________

     March 16th, 2018

    Dear Heath Community,

    What a wonky week, with a snowy weekend built right in! Hoping next week we get back to order, digging in to great learning opportunities here. And speaking of learning opportunities, I hope you’ll remember to donate to our school’s Annual Appeal. The money you donate goes directly back into teaching and learning, allowing us to stay an innovative, connected school.  Without your generous donations we lose the funding sorely need to support Heath School traditions such as our school play (a 50+ year tradition) and International Night and innovations that really put us on the cutting edge, like our STEAM Lab. Please consider giving, here: http://www.heathpto.org/

    ——-

    MCAS

    As many of you know, Heath students in 3rd-8th grades will be participating in the MCAS test. 3rd grade will be taking the assessment on paper (“Paper- Based Testing”) and grades 4-8 will be taking the assessment on computer (“Computer-Based Testing”).

    You’ll find our MCAS testing calendar, here: 2018 MCAS Calendar

    The MCAS testing calendar is also available on the school’s website (https://www.brookline.k12.ma.us/domain/657), in hard copy form in the main office, and by request. If you would like a copy emailed to you, please contact Heath Vice Principal Michael A. Smith at michael_smith@psbma.org.

    ——

    Art Teacher Update: Welcome Ms. Hockensmith!

    Next week Ceara Yahn leaves for her maternity leave!  We are super excited to welcome Baby Yahn and hope all is well for this little family. Amanda Hockensmith will be in to serve as our art teacher while Ms. Yahn is away. She has been in the last few days; many of your children met her! Please welcome her when she starts next week. We are glad to have this talented art teacher in our midst, ensuring our program continues at a high level of quality and care.

    ——

    Student Walk Outs

    Yesterday at 10am and again today at 10am, students in grades 5-8 walked out of the school to protest gun violence. Yesterday’s walk out was quite small – 6 middle schoolers. I was there to greet them, as school personal must be present to ensure the safety of students while on school grounds, and they engaged me and one other teacher, also present to ensure safety, in a robust conversation about how they felt about issues of gun control and gun violence. I could tell that they had done a lot of thinking with their parents and grandparents at home already.

    Today, a more robust student walk out occurred. With a crew of 8th graders taking the lead, all students and adults in attendance listened intently as 8th graders read the names of the victims of the shooting last month in Parkland, Florida. Then, when the reading of the names was complete, some students read a few poems and shared the intent behind the walk out, messaging ways of turning despair into action. At 10:17, students asked everyone to return directly to class to continue their learning, which everyone did. The tone was respectful, passionate, and reverent.

    Not all students attended the walk out; those who chose to stay inside were engaged in learning.

    ——

    The Brookline Education Foundation’s 21st Annual Children’s Spelling Bee took place last Sunday. While we are proud of all of all of Heath’s participants, it is exciting to announce that Ivy B. won with the winning word “dehydration”!! Out of 45 participants she won with poise and confidence. Congratulations, Ivy! 

    ——

    Accompanist for School Play

    We are in search of a pianist who can support our school play, The Wizard of Oz, this year.  If you are willing and able and would like more information, please contact me at asa_sevelius@psbma.org.  Thanks!

    ——

    5/6 Math League

    Please congratulate our 5th and 6th grade math league students for their continued effort and dedication this season. They greatly improved for their final meet, beating previous scores and moving up in the ranks! Our students had a blast and, as most of the team is current 5th graders, I think we have good chances for continued improvement next year! Hip-hip-hooray to Madame Levasseur, our French teacher, who coached this lively bunch!

    Upcoming Events:

    • Monday, March 19th: 7/8th Grade Play Information, Auditorium, 2:00-2:30pm
    • Tuesday, March 20th. Variety Show Dress Rehearsal for Show #2 - Grades 4-8, 3:00-4:30pm
    • Wednesday, March 21st. Grades K-4 Community Day Assembly, Multipurpose Room, 8:15-8:45am
    • Wednesday, March 21st. Grades 5-8 Community Day Assembly, Auditorium, 2:00-2:30pm
    • Friday, March 23rd. Variety Show Performance #2, Auditorium, 2:00-4:00pm
    • Tuesday, March 27th: International Night, Gym/Cafeteria, 6:00-8:00pm
    • Friday, March 30th: School Closed: Good Friday

    Field Trips:

    • Wednesday, March 21st: Grade 1 Field Trip to Boston Children’s Museum, 9:15am-1:45pm
    • Tuesday, March 27th: Grade 2 Field Trip to Boston Children’s Museum, 9:00am-1:30pm

    Happy weekend!

    Asa

    Dr. Asa C. Sevelius, Ed.D.

    Principal 

    ______________________________

    March 9th, 2018

    Dear Heath Community,

    Several Heath middle school students entered the Brookline Commission for Women’s “A Woman Who Inspires Me” essay contest.  Three Heath of these middle school students had their essays selected for recognition from the many essays that were entered in this year’s contest. 

    Congratulations to:

    • Quinn! His essay about his mom, Tu-mai Tran, was selected as the 1st Place Winner for the 8th Grade.
    • Leigh! Her essay about her swim coach, Ali Mosley, was selected as the 2nd Place Winner for the 8th Grade.
    • Maya! Her essay about her grandmother, Zehava Zinnar, was selected as the 3rd Place Winner for the 7th Grade.

    We are so proud of these students and the women who inspire them. May we all be so fortunate to be surrounded by powerful women who light the way for so many.

    ———

    The Brookline Education Foundation’s 21st Annual Children’s Spelling Bee is taking place this Sunday, March 11th at Brookline High School from 1:00PM to 3:00PM. 

    We are excited to celebrate the eight 5th grade spellers from Heath school:

    • Ivy B.
    • Suvi C.
    • Asha H.
    • Sita H.
    • Charlotte K.
    • Sophia L.
    • Amya N.
    • Rowan P.

    Go get ‘em, Hawks!

    ——-

    From Kathleen Hubbard, K-8 Math Coordinator:

    10 Books to Spark a Love of Math in Kids of All Ages

    “Mathematics is very creative and playful and joyful," says Kirsten Bohl, a spokeswoman for the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute. "Books connect with that sense of wonder and imagination and creativity.”

    To spotlight such books, MSRI created the Mathical Book Prize in 2015. This year’s picks brings the full Mathical list to more than 50 titles that cross genres and formats, including picture books, graphic novels, biographies, and young adult novels.

    http://www.mathicalbooks.org/

    ———

    School Drills: Some Nuts & Bolts

    This past week, I have engaged with many of you in conversations about school safety. These conversations have happened in small groups in the lobby, at the door in the morning, one-on-one in my office, at the First Friday Coffee, and with other school staff and school leaders. One Heath parent asked me a few smart questions about how we conduct our safety drills here at school and I had a hunch many more of you would appreciate hearing the answers, so here is the Q & A:

    1. How are safety drills signaled?  Is there a message spoken over the PA? What is the message? We announce it over the PA using language like, “We are about to have a drill.  This is the kind of drill it is (evacuation, lockdown, MERT), this is what is about to happen (what adults will do, what kids will do), and why (to make sure we can be safe all the time, not matter what happens at the school).” We also say, "If you have questions after the drill is over, please ask your teacher or me or Mr. Smith.  We'll be happy to answer them!"  Afterwards, we thank everyone for their hard work and cooperation, remind them it was just a drill, and reiterate what a safe community we are at Heath.
    2. What do the children practice during a lock down drill? For example, are they asked to hide in a closet? We have not had a lock down this year. We are awaiting updated protocols from the Town and BPD and will get one of these drills on our calendar in the next few weeks. But, in the past we have had students and teachers lock doors, turn out lights, draw shades, and sit in an area that is not visible from the door.  During that time, I walk the building with BPD to get a sense of how the drill went, check doors to make sure they lock properly, and check to see how long it took for the school to enter lock down.  We get out of the drill as fast as we can.  We also get feedback from teachers on how the systems have worked - intercoms, locks, any doors a jar, etc.
    3. What is the rationale given to the children about why they are doing safety drills? To stay safe. We tell students that our school is a safe place to play and learn (it is!), and we do all kinds of drills just to make sure we are prepared to keep everyone safe at all times no matter what. 
    4. What first responders are present during drills and do they interact with the student? Police, always. Firefighters, if it is a fire drill. Fire drills are not planned, thus no pre-announcement.  The alarm goes off and we boogie out the doors.  We do those about 4 times a year. All of our first responders are super warm and friendly when kids are around, but typically they converse with the staff during drills.
    5. Does Heath include any language such as “active shooter” during these drills? Never.

    Thank you all from contributing so mightily to our community.  I’ve said it before, it is our compassion, interconnectedness, and camaraderie that truly provide the basis for our overall safety.  These are qualities that are worth cultivating, sharing, and protecting.

    ——

    Announcing The Heath School’s 7th/8th Grade Play

    Play Information Session: March 19th during Workshop (2-2:30) in the Auditorium

    Week of March 19th: Sign up for auditions, prepare for your audition, & audition

    Week of March 26th: Auditions continue; Roles are announced!

    wiz

    Upcoming Events:

    • Monday, March 12th: Athletics Night at BHS for 8th grade students and parents, BHS Auditorium, 7:00pm
    • Tuesday, March 13th. 7th Grade Urban Improv Assembly, Auditorium, 11:15am-12:15pm
    • Tuesday, March 13th. Variety Show Dress Rehearsal for Show #1 - Grades K-3, Auditorium, 3:00-4:30pm
    • Tuesday, March 13th: Grades 6-8 Progress Reports Published in the Parent Portal
    • Thursday, March 15th. Parent/Teacher “One Heath” Educational Equity Group, Collaboration Space, 7:15-8:30am
    • Friday, March 16th. PTO First Friday Coffee, Cafeteria, 8:00-9:00am
    • Friday, March 16th. Variety Show Performance #1 - Grades K-3, Auditorium, 2:00-4:00pm
    • Friday, March 16th: The Spark/La Chispa electronic submissions are due for grades 3-8
    • Monday, March 19th: 7/8th Grade Play Information, Auditorium, 2:00-2:30pm
    • Tuesday, March 20th. Variety Show Dress Rehearsal for Show #2 - Grades 4-8, 3:00-4:30pm
    • Wednesday, March 21st. Grades K-4 Community Day Assembly, Multipurpose Room, 8:15-8:45am
    • Wednesday, March 21st. Grades 5-8 Community Day Assembly, Auditorium, 2:00-2:30pm
    • Friday, March 23rd. Variety Show Performance #2, Auditorium, 2:00-4:00pm

    Field Trips:

    • Tuesday, March 13th. Grade 3 Field Trip to Moose Hill Wildlife Sanctuary, 8:30am-2:00pm
    • Thursday, March 15th: 6/7/8 Math Team Meet, Brown Middle School, 3:00-6:30pm
    • Friday, March 16th. METCO Connections Field Trip to Boston Children’s Museum, 1:40-3:00pm

    Asa

    Dr. Asa C. Sevelius, Ed.D.

    Principal 

    ______________________________

    March 1st, 2018

    Dear Heath Community,

    Recent events in Parkland, Florida (and in other communities deeply impacted by school shootings) inevitably lead us on collective and individual reflection processes. We think first about our own community, take a breath, and hope we will never be impacted directly by such a tragedy. Then we feel so deeply and so powerfully for the families and teachers and students who have been impacted elsewhere. Sometimes we feel activated to work for justice and societal change; sometimes we hug our children closer.  Often we do both.

    While no zip code is immune from such horrors, it is in times like these that I count the things that make Heath such a good and safe place to learn. We are a tight community in which kids and known and loved. We are a highly professional community with staff who are so very skilled at knowing and understanding children. Our families are connected to the school and feel free to walk through the doors. When a family or child is feeling disconnected we reach out to ensure they have ways to connect and to know they are welcome. This kind of connectedness in its many manifestations is critical to our overall safety.

    We must tend these strengths so that our beloved community continues to flourish.

    We must also stay vigilant and connected in ways that are less appealing.  We practice safety drills, review safety protocols, obsess over the details, lock our doors, fix broken doors, ring buzzers to gain entry, and wear visitors badges.

    These things we must also tend to.

    We must also nurture our students to engage in a civil society and to help them cultivate a voice that can be used to uplift our shared values and ensure every child has access to that same kind of beloved community we do.  At home you may hear your child, especially middle schoolers, discussing how to get involved in some national movements, including school walk outs to protest gun violence.  We hear these conversations, too, and will be reaching out next week with updates about our roles as educators to teach students how to engage in productive discourse and what might happen should some Heath students chose to participate in a school walk out in the coming weeks.

    Stay tuned and stay connected.

     

    Lock Down Drill

    As I mentioned above, Heath regards our student’s safety as one of the most important factors of our job. We take every chance to practice and prepare our students for an emergency if one should arise.

    On Tuesday March 6th, we will be conducting an emergency lock down drill. This drill will be held in conjunction with local authorities and teachers will be having conversations with their classes to prepare them for this drill. We are exceptionally mindful of the current climate or our country and are taking this into consideration as we prepare our students for the drill.

    Please take a moment to talk with your child to see how they may process the drill, the need and importance to practice, and any other feelings they may have. Our administration and guidance staff are available for any questions or concerns you or your child may have. 

    While drills are not intended to be hard, we recognize they may be stressful.  The resources below can help you talk more with your child about why we do drills or about other things, such as the recent and horrific school shooting in Parkland, Florida.

     

    How to Talk with Children About Hard Things

     

    Screening of “Angst”

    Thank you to our PTO and Brenda Sullivan for organizing the screening of the documentary “Angst.” Such a powerful look into the lives of young people and the many ways they experience the world and what causes them to feel anxious. From the everyday anxieties to clinical, generalized anxiety disorder, the filmed help us to see more clearly how to understand and support our children.  If you couldn’t see the film, please check out the resources, here: https://angstmovie.com/

     

    Brookline Girls’ Travel Basketball

    We’re very proud of Coach Jeff Liebman and the season the 7th grade Brookline travel basketball team is having.We have Heath student on the team, Mia C.  Mia and her crew are headed into their state tournament as the 2nd seed. Let’s cheer them on and hope these talented scholar-athletes consider playing for our BHS Warriors!

     

    Box Top Heroes!

    The Heath community has been collecting Box Tops for a while, but what ever happens to them? Thousands have been building up in the office for over a year now, just waiting to be counted, bundled, and shipped off. Ms. Conlan thought first graders might be able to help with this. She proposed the challenge to the class with a few requirements: you would need to count them during choice time (i.e. give up your free play time in class) and the deadline is March 1st. There were a handful of students that helped on and off, but two students in particular really carried this endeavor all the way to the end: Tycho Bardon and Jaymin Nahata. Eleanor Musto also helped a bunch, although she was busy doing first grade song and dance performances this week. Here are some quotes from these first graders:

    • Tycho: "I was worried about the deadline but we finished it in time. We got it done faster because we were using teamwork. We hope we use the money for recess equipment for each class."
    • Jaymin: "I had fun counting the box tops. It was cool that we finished it in time and we worked together to count 3,550 box tops. This earns our school $390 for pencils, erasers, markers, and other things that we choose."
    • Eleanor: "I liked the challenge. In the beginning I didn't think it would be that challenging but it was. I don't think it could have been done without teamwork."`

    If you see these first graders around the school, make sure you give them a high five for their perseverance and dedication!

     

    box tops

     

    box tops 2

    Upcoming Events:

    • Monday, March 5th: Variety Show Rehearsals, Auditorium, 3:00-4:30pm
    • Wednesday, March 7th: Variety Show Rehearsals, Auditorium, 3:00-4:30pm
    • Thursday, March 8th: Variety Show Rehearsals, Auditorium, 3:00-4:30pm
    • Friday, March 9th: School Council Meeting, Principal’s Office, 8:00-9:00am
    • Friday, March 9th: Understanding Our Differences & Similarities: Deafness Unit with EDCO, Cafeteria/Auditorium, 8:45-10:45am
    • Tuesday, March 13th. 7th Grade Urban Improv Assembly, Auditorium, 11:15am-12:15pm
    • Tuesday, March 13th. Variety show Dress Rehearsal for Show #1, Auditorium, 3:00-4:30pm
    • Thursday, March 15th. Parent/Teacher “One Heath”, Collaboration Space, 7:15-8:30am
    • Friday, March 16th. PTO First Friday Coffee, Cafeteria, 8:00-9:00am
    • Friday, March 16th. Variety Show Performance #1, Auditorium, 2:00-4:00pm

    Field Trips:

    • Tuesday, March 13th. Grade 3 Field Trip to Moose Hill Wildlife Sanctuary, 8:30am-2:00pm
    • Friday, March 16th. METCO Connections Field Trip to Boston Children’s Museum, 1:40-3:00pm

     

    Asa

    Dr. Asa C. Sevelius, Ed.D.

    Principal 

    ______________________________

    February 16th, 2018

    Dear Heath Community,

    Today is the day! Lunar New Year, ushering in the Year of the Dog (https://chinesenewyear2018.com/zodiac/dog/)! If my math is right, most of our 5th and 6th graders were born in the year of the dog 11 or 12 years ago – and now I understand why these two grades are filled with such loyal, motivated, friendly kids.  Many joyful wishes for a healthy and prosperous new year.

    This past Tuesday was Mardi Gras followed by Ash Wednesday, marking the beginning of Lent.  With Wednesday also Valentine’s Day, and today an all-school pajama day you can imagine the energy in the school has been very high and very positive – especially considering that we have been cruising into the much needed February Break!

    I love being a part of a school where we bring this kind of energy to our work every day and make space to celebrate all the ways that we are human. I hope you feel the same.

    An Update from Our “One Heath” Educational Equity Committee

    As you may remember, this past August we formed a volunteer committee comprised of teachers, parents, and school leadership to help further our knowledge, awareness, and practice of one of our core values here at the Heath School: educational equity. Equity in education means that personal or social circumstances such as ethnic origin, gender, or family background, are not obstacles to achieving any student’s full educational potential.  After unpacking and studying our community’s strengths and growing edges in the area of educational equity for the past six months, our committee has come up with a name for itself and the work we are doing ... One Heath.  The One Heath initiative is intended to bring us all, parents, students, and teachers, closer together as a community as we seek to understand the existing barriers to equity in education and implement impactful solutions. It is our hope that this work will make us an even kinder community of depth and understanding and that student members of our community will share this learning wherever and with whomever it is needed as they travel through life.

    To that end, we will be launching the One Heath initiative with some exciting and interesting events! We are in the planning stages, but will soon share some of the ways you can become involved in this important community strengthening work. Be on the lookout for more information on events in the coming weeks.

    (Thanks to Heath parent Masu Haque for this perspective and synopsis!)

    Current Events; Presidential Portraits Unveiled

    Getting to Know Amy Sherald, the Baltimore Artist Who is Painting Michelle Obama’s Official Portrait

    This article talks about both Amy Sherald and Kehinde Wiley (who has painted Barack Obama’s official portrait).  Sharing this information with your children at home and in classrooms could be a lesson in both art, and social studies, and will open their eyes to the wide range of African American artists.  The article says that the portraits will be unveiled today! I anticipate that they will be amazing, and will shake up the long tradition of boring old official portraits!

    From the article: Not only are both African-American, but both are contemporary artists whose work likely will depart from the realistic presidential portraits that dominate the collection.

    (Thanks to Heath teacher Tanya Gregoire for this link!)

    ANGST: RAISING AWARENESS AROUND ANXIETY – Get Tickets Now, Before We Sell Out!

     

    The Heath PTO is pleased to announce that Heath School will host two free screenings of the new documentary, Angst: Raising Awareness Around Anxiety.  The producers’ goals with this film are to bring anxiety into the light and start a national conversation about this burgeoning mental health issue. You will hear from many kids and teens who will discuss their anxiety and its impact on their lives and relationships, as well as how they’ve found solutions and hope.

          Thursday, March 1st at 7:00pm - GET TICKETS FOR THIS SHOWING

          Friday, March 2nd at 2:00pm - GET TICKETS FOR THIS SHOWING 

    The screenings will be in the Heath Auditorium and all Heath teachers, staff, parents/guardians and middle school students are invited to attend. The film is 56 minutes long and will be followed by a 30-minute Q&A session guided by a mental health professional. Tickets are FREE, but you must register at the links above and bring your ticket with you to the screening.

    For questions or to volunteer as an usher, please email Brenda Sullivan at brenda.sullivan@comcast.net

    New On Our Website

    New student work is going up on our website all the time!  This week: 8th grade poetry!  Check out our collection, here: https://www.brookline.k12.ma.us/domain/807

    Thanks to Andrew Bott, Superintendent and School Committee Chair, David Pollak

    This morning Mr. Bott and Mr. Pollak joined us for a Heath community forum. The main talking points during the forum were about our structural deficits/budget proposals, the 9th school discussion, and the expansion of BHS.  Of course, there was time for questions from families.  These are ongoing, complex conversations and I urge you to stay connected in the process.  Need more information? Please search here: https://www.brookline.k12.ma.us/

    Upcoming Events:

    • Monday, February 19th-Friday, February 23rd: School Closed: February Vacation
    • Tuesday, February 27th - Thursday, March 1st: Variety Show Auditions, Auditorium, 3:00-4:30pm
    • Wednesday, February 28th: Grades K-4 Community Day Assembly, MPR, 8:15-8:45am
    • Wednesday, February 28th: Grades 5-8 Community Day Assembly, Auditorium, 2:00-2:30pm
    • Thursday, March 1st: Screening of Angst: Raising Awareness Around Anxiety, Auditorium, 7:00-8:30pm
    • Friday, March 2nd: PTO First Friday Coffee, Cafeteria, 8:00-9:00am
    • Friday, March 2nd: Screening of Angst: Raising Awareness Around Anxiety, Auditorium, 2:00-3:30pm
    • Monday, March 5th: Variety Show Rehearsals, Auditorium, 3:00-4:30pm
    • Tuesday, March 6th: Variety Show Rehearsals, Auditorium, 3:00-4:30pm
    • Thursday, March 8th: Variety Show Rehearsals, Auditorium, 3:00-4:30pm
    • Friday, March 9th: School Council, Principal’s Office, 8:00-9:00am
    • Friday, March 9th: Understanding Our Differences: Deafness Unit with EDCO, Cafeteria/Auditorium, 8:45-10:45am

    Field Trips:

    • Thursday, March 1st: 6/7/8 Math Team Meet, Brown Middle School, 3:00-6:30pm

    Enjoy the break ahead. I know we are all rushing off to either see Black Panther tonight or start February Break … or both … so, see you on the other side!

    Asa

    Dr. Asa C. Sevelius, Ed.D.

    Principal 

    ______________________________

     February 2nd, 2018

    Dear Heath Families,

    February is Black History Month! It is such a treat to have Heath students come to my office each morning to shareout over the school's intercomm system the lives of influential Black Americans who have shaped the way we understand the world around us. A few we’ve heard about this week have been Daisy Bates, Lena Horne, and Maggie Walker. These students were as nervous as all get out, but persevered and did such a great job of presenting their learning.

    A few of the folks who have most influenced my own thinking in my own life are Bayard Rustin, Pauli Murray, and Willi Ninja. Through understanding the lives they lived so boldly, I recognize how interconnected the human experience is and how much I have benefitted from their fearlessness. Which Black Americans have inspired you? Why? Do other people know about these powerful influencers?

    A Woman Who Inspires Me” Essay Contest

    In celebration of National Women’s History Month (coming up in March!), the Brookline Commission for Women (BCW) is currently running its 26th annual “A Woman Who Inspires Me” Essay Contest and accepting nominations for the 2018 Brookline Woman of the Year. 

    For the “A Woman Who Inspires Me” Essay Contest, all 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th grade students who live in Brookline or attend a public or private school in Brookline are eligible to submit an essay that honors a woman who inspires them.  The “Women Who Inspires Me” essay contest is an important part of chronicling the history of women in Brookline and encourages students to reflect on those who make an impact on their lives.  Essay contest winners will be honored at an awards ceremony on Thursday, March 29th at 6:30pm in Hunneman Hall, BrooklineMain Library. The ceremony will be held in conjunction with the Commission’s naming of the 2018 Brookline Woman of the Year.  

    Student essays must be submitted online at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/2018_BCW_WomenWhoInspire. To be eligible, essays must be received no later than February 26th. Winning essays will be announced on the BCW website and through email on/around March 6th.  Please contact BCW Co-Chair, Casey Hatchettat 617-730-2734 or via email at chatchett@brooklinema.gov with any questions.

    For the 2018 Brookline Woman of the Year nominations, we are accepting nominations online at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/2018_BCW_WomanOfTheYear until February 28th.  Please contact BCW Co-Chair, Casey Hatchett at 617-730-2734 or via email at chatchett@brooklinema.gov with any questions.

    Thank you for supporting this wonderful community event!

    Best, Casey Hatchett

    Co-Chair, with Chris Chanyasulkit

    Brookline Commission for Women

     

    Math Counts

    Congratulations to the Heath School Math Counts Team! During the highly competitive regional competition, Heath School placed as the 9th highest scoring school. And 8th grader Tian-Hao Zhang was the 4th highest scoring student overall! Tian-hao will be moving onto the State finals! Good luck, Tian-hao and go Heath! A big thanks to Ms. Raskin for her work with this incredible crew of kids. 

    And, as always, check out the Heath School Website. We are gathering great parent resources all the time and you can find them here: https://www.brookline.k12.ma.us/Page/2258

    Upcoming Events:

    • Monday, February 12th: METCO Connections Game Morning, Room 209, 7:30-8:00am
    • Tuesday, February 13th: 8th Grade Social Studies Presentation, Cafeteria, 8:15-9:45am
    • Wednesday, February 14th:  Grades K-4 Community Day Assembly, MPR, 8:15-8:45am
    • Wednesday, February 14th: Grades 5-8 Community Day Assembly, Auditorium, 2:00-2:30pm
    • Thursday, February 15th: Parent/Teacher Educational Equity Group, Conference Room, 7:15-9:00am
    • Friday, February 16th: PTO Open Forum with Superintendent Andrew Bott, Cafeteria, 8:00-9:00am
    • Monday, February 19th-Friday, February 23rd: School Closed: February Vacation

    Field Trips:

    • Wednesday, February 14th: 8th Grade Field Trip to MIT Museum, 8:30am-12:30 pm
    • Thursday, February 15th: Grade 4 Field Trip to Harvard Museum of Natural History, 8:00am-1:15pm

    Have an amazing weekend, everyone!

    Asa

    Dr. Asa C. Sevelius, Ed.D.

    Principal 

    ______________________________

     

    February 2nd, 2018

    Dear Heath Families,

    February is Black History Month! We’ll be celebrating here at school and we hope you’ll find ways to celebrate at home, too. In order to be guides for our children, it is critical that we – as adults – do the heavy lifting of learning. One way to find out more is through film and television! Here are some lists of movies and television shows worth checking out (after the kids have gone to bed, or with your child if appropriate):

    https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/02/01/movies/28-essential-films-black-history-month.html

    https://www.ranker.com/list/best-current-black-tv-shows/ranker-tv

    And a few community film events:

    https://www.brooklinelibrary.org/events/event/black-history-month-film-series-2/

    http://waylandenews.com/2018/01/29/wayland-interfaith-leaders-association-wila-film-event/

    And, I’ll see y’all at the movies on February 16th for the release of Black Panther (https://www.rollingstone.com/movies/news/black-superheroes-matter-why-black-panther-is-revolutionary-w509105), the movie my 5-year old is begging me to see.  Poor guy. He won’t be there (too young!), but I will be!

    Here he is in his Black Panther outfit:

    CBP

    A Critical Conversation

    On Wednesday, during art class with Ms. Yahn, students were beginning their work on an identity project. After lessons designed to help students better understand how artists have used symbols to represent themselves, students set off to work on their own rough drafts. During the active drafting session, a student approached Ms. Yahn with a draft plan that included a swastika. Ms. Yahn immediately engaged the student in a quiet conversation about the symbol and set firm limits: the symbol could not be used in the project. During the brief conversation the student shared that the symbol was also a religious symbol in his culture, as it is in many religions in Asia, Southeast Asia, and India. However, he understood Ms. Yahn’s limits and started over on a draft.

    Soon after, Ms. Yahn brought me into the conversation, as well. I met with the student and engaged him in a conversation about the symbol, the historical and present-day context in which the symbol has been used to express hate, anti-Semitism, and white supremacy, and the firm limits we set in school regarding the swastika. I also communicated with the family.

    Another student saw the draft drawing and was understandably upset. I spoke with that child’s family and clearly laid out the conversation, the context, and the work we are doing to message firm limits and a deeper understanding of the symbol and what it represents.

    I remain proud to be a member of a community that stands up for the good, protects each other, and seeks to educate and support students on the complex road to adulthood. I am thankful for the families here and the kinds of understanding we can come to together. And I am thankful to my teaching team who recognize when limits need to be set and are courageous in their efforts to keep us all safe.

    This is a complex topic, especially to have with young people. But it is a critical conversation to have. It helps to have some good resources.  I found a few that seem to fit this moment; they can be found here:

    https://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.php?ModuleId=10007453

    https://www.adl.org/education/references/hate-symbols/swastika 

    Visual Arts at Heath

    This morning, at our First Friday Coffee, we heard from our Art class teachers, Ms. Yahn and Ms. Mitchell (also the K-8 Art Coordinator for the district).  They walked the parents in attendance through a kindergarten unit of study on nature drawing and print making.  There are many ways to glimpse inside the art room at Heath, including attending the Art Show! this spring, and following Ms. Yahn on twitter (@yahnart) or Instagram (artheathschool). One parent told me that that Ms. Yahn’s Instagram feed was one of the most beautiful she has ever seen!

    Student Cell Phone Use in School & The Nurse's Office

    In the past few days we have had several students call home on their cell phones with complaints of being sick. This is not allowed. Any student who is feeling unwell or who is hurt MUST go to the nurse's office. If communication is necessary, the call will come from our nurse, Ms. Corcoran. Please, if you receive such a call, tell your child to go to the nurse's office. It is a matter of safety for all of us.

    Announcements Worth Repeating:

    Homework Club!!!

    Parents.  Need real homework help? Want your child to have a few quiet hours to get a huge chunk of their homework done under direct teacher guidance?  Then look no further!  The Heath Homework Club is just what you need.  Under the direct supervision of Ms. O’Connell and Mrs. Harty, your child will be able to knock out their homework at school rather than at your dinner table.  Free of charge!  Mondays and Wednesdays, 2:30-3:30.

    Send in the application asap, found here: https://www.brookline.k12.ma.us/Page/2202

    ——

    School Play! Big Announcement! Volunteers wanted! 

    I remain VERY excited to announce that the 7th/8th grade school play is a GO for this spring! This year, we’ll be performing The Wizard of Oz under the direction of Elena Maimonis, who directed our production of Annie last year. Information sessions and tryouts will be the the weeks of March 19th and the 26th, with rehearsals through April and May.  The show will premiere in very early June. 

    Please, we need parent volunteers to help make this work.  If tony can spare time or talent, we will be very appreciative! Contact me at asa_sevelius@psbma.org if you can volunteer.

    Upcoming Events:

    • Tuesday, February 6th: Grades 6-8 Report Cards Published
    • Thursday, February 8th: World Language Road Show for 8th Graders, Auditorium, 9:10-10:10am
    • Friday, February 9th: School Council, Principal’s Office, 8:00-9:00am
    • Friday, February 9th: Understanding Our Differences & Similarities, Learning Unit, Cafeteria/Auditorium, 8:45-10:45am
    • Monday, February 12th: METCO Connections Game Morning, Room 209, 7:30-8:00am
    • Tuesday, February 13th: 8th Grade Social Studies Presentation, Cafeteria, 8:15-9:45am
    • Wednesday, February 14th:  Grades K-4 Community Day Assembly, MPR, 8:15-8:45am
    • Wednesday, February 14th: Grades 5-8 Community Day Assembly, Auditorium, 2:00-2:30pm
    • Thursday, February 15th: Parent/Teacher Educational Equity Group, Conference Room, 7:15-9:00am
    • Friday, February 16th: PTO Open Forum with Superintendent Andrew Bott, Cafeteria, 8:00-9:00am

    Field Trips:

    • Wednesday, February 14th: 8th Grade Field Trip to MIT Museum, 8:30am-12:30 pm
    • Thursday, February 15th: Grade 4 Field Trip to Harvard Museum of Natural History, 8:00am-1:15pm

    A happy weekend to you all!

    Asa 

    Dr. Asa C. Sevelius, Ed.D.

    Principal 

    ______________________________

    January 26th, 2018

    Dear Heath Families,

     

    Grades 1-5 Progress Reports

    Below is a list of parent retrieval rates for the Cycle 1 Progress Reports in grades 1-5 at Heath (as of 1/19). In this table you will find: 

    • The number of students in grades 1-5 at Heath
    • The number of reports that were published for students in grades 1-5 at Heath
    • The number of students who had at least one parent/guardian download their child's report from the parent portal 
    • The number of students whose parent(s)/guardian(s) did not download their child's report card from the portal
    • The rate of parents/guardians who read their child's progress report 

    Progress Reports are one of the many ways we communicate how your child is doing in school. We URGE you to download their progress report and review it. If you have questions, we can partner with you!  Thanks!!!

    Heath School Grade 1-5 Progress Report Retrieval Rates as of 1/19

    Rates

    _____

    Homework Club!!!

    Parents.  Need real homework help? Want your child to have a few quiet hours to get a huge chunk of their homework done under direct teacher guidance?  Then look no further!  The Heath Homework Club is just what you need.  Under the direct supervision of Ms. O’Connell and Mrs. Harty, your child will be able to knock out their homework at school rather than at your dinner table.  Free of charge!  Mondays and Wednesdays, 2:30-3:30.

    Send in the application asap, found here: https://www.brookline.k12.ma.us/Page/2202

    ——

    School Play!!!  Big Announcement! Volunteers wanted!  School play!!!!

    I am VERY excited to announce that the 7th/8th grade school play is a GO for this spring! This year, we’ll be performing The Wizard of Oz under the direction of Elena Maimonis, who directed our production of Annie last year. Information sessions and tryouts will be the the weeks of March 19th and the 26th, with rehearsals through April and May.  The show will premiere in very early June. 

    Please, we need parent volunteers to help make this work.  If any of you can spare time or talent, we will be very appreciative! Contact me at asa_sevelius@psbma.org if you can volunteer.

    Action!

    _____

    Service Learning

    A very warm thank you to Sarah Pangburn, Kindergarten mom, volunteer, and former Heath teacher, for her excellent presentation on service learning this morning for the Social Action Committee. Folks learned how to make a service-learning plan, from idea to action. We appreciate her expertise and commitment to this uber-impactful model of learning that has the potential to create change that ripples beyond the walls of our classrooms.  Thank you.

    _____

    Upcoming Events :

    • Tuesday, January 30th: SBIRT Screenings for 7th Grade, 8:15am-12:00pm
    • Wednesday, January 31st: BHS Student Panel @ Heath for 8th Grade Parents, Art Room, 6:30-8:00pm
    • Friday, February 2nd: PTO First Friday Coffee, Cafeteria, 8:00-9:00am

    Thanks for all you do to make this a great place to work and learn!

    Asa

    Dr. Asa C. Sevelius, Ed.D.

    Principal 

    ______________________________

     

    January 19th, 2018

    Dear Heath Community,

    This past Wednesday, our Vice Principal, Michael Smith, hosted all of our students and faculty for Community Day assemblies honoring the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. We heard many student voices – singing, sharing, questioning, commenting. We brought these students front and center, hooked up their powerpoints and let them hold court and share their learning about the legacy of Dr. King. Whole grades led us in sing-alongs. We read Martin’s Big Words (https://www.publishersweekly.com/978-0-7868-0714-7), a book in our own Heath library (hint: come check it out!).

    Want lists of books written with kids in mind about race, equity, and much, much more?  We have what you are looking for here: https://www.brookline.k12.ma.us/Page/2258

     

    9th School Listening Session

    Thank you to families and neighbors who joined us this morning for the 9th School Study Listening Session. We had about 50 folks join us for a good conversation on how to meet our emerging space needs here in Brookline. The decisions made about where and how to build to meet our projected enrollment needs impact all of us.  Please, take some time to learn about the needs and the process, here: www.brookline.k12.ma.us/school9 And, if willing and able, lend your voice and ideas to the conversation!

     

    Professional Learning Groups Have Begun!

    As teachers, we take our own learning very seriously. Each year, teachers teach other teachers through our Professional Learning Groups (PLGs) model. It is important you know what we are learning about here, so – without further adieu – our PLGs this spring focus on:

    • Disciplinary Literacy: Teachers examine the “confluence of content knowledge, experiences, and skills merged with the ability to read, write, listen, speak, think critically and perform in a way that is meaningful within the context of a given field.” https://dpi.wi.gov/sites/default/files/imce/cal/pdf/section2.pdf
    • EL Education: EL Education is exemplified by project-based learning expeditions, where students engage in interdisciplinary, in-depth study of compelling topics, in groups and in their community, with assessment coming through cumulative products, public presentations, and portfolios.
    • Fake News: A focus on information literacy, looking into how to teach kids to recognize and resist "fake news” … and how adults can spot it, too.
    • LGBTQ+: Everything you always wanted to know … but were afraid to ask: As educators, we are beholden to create classrooms where everyone feels included, known, and loved.  To keep culturally responsive teaching our touchstone, we must dig into lives that may be very different than our own.
    • Mindfulness: Learning and trying out evidence-based tools designed to improve self-regulation, focus, and resilience in the classroom.  
    • Problem of Practice: The POP group offers Heath teachers a chance to regularly bring problems of practice to peers for help.  The model is simple: "I have a problem with X and haven't been able to solve it yet. Can you help?"
    • The Science and Language of Implicit Bias: Participants look at implicit bias, how media representation impacts our personal beliefs, how classrooms reflect our beliefs, and more!

     

    Parent Volunteers Wanted!

    We’d love help with two big upcoming school projects: the 7th/8th grade school play AND the 8th grade yearbook.

    • If you can help our with the yearbook, please contact Mr. Smith at michael_smith@psbma.org.
    • If you can help our with the school play, please contact Dr. Sevelius at asa_sevelius@psbma.org.

     

    Upcoming Events:

    • Monday, January 22nd-Thursday, January 25th: HASAP Winter Session Begins
    • Thursday, January 25th: Urbanity Dance Group, Auditorium, Grades 3-5 from 12:30-1:15pm and Grades K-2 from 1:30-2:15pm
    • Friday, January 26th: Understanding Our Differences & Similarities - Physical Unit, Auditorium/Cafeteria, 8:00-11:00am
    • Tuesday, January 30th: SBIRT Screenings for Grade 7, 8:15am-12:00pm
    • Wednesday, January 31st: BHS Student Panel @ Heath for 8th Grade Parents, Art Room, 6:30-8:00pm
    • Friday, February 2nd: PTO First Friday Coffee, Cafeteria, 8:00-9:00am
    • Friday, February  2nd: Deadline to complete entering grades/reports for grades 6-8

     

    A joyful weekend to you all!  See you Monday for another great week of teaching and learning.

    Asa 

    Dr. Asa C. Sevelius, Ed.D.

    Principal 

    ______________________________

    January 12th, 2018

    Dear Heath Community,

    Monday is a day we set aside to talk about the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  But, really, we should talk about him, and the legions of freedom fighters past and present, any day of the year.  Why? Try this to start:  http://time.com/3673613/how-to-talk-to-your-kids-about-martin-luther-king-any-day-of-the-year/. And on Monday, try starting the day OFF by turning a bit of it into a day ON by watching the “I Have a Dream” speech with your kids? Check out a cool version here: http://freedomsring.stanford.edu/?view=Speech

    AND, on our website you’ll find lots of great lists to help diversify you home libraries.  Won’t you take a chance on a few good books this weekend and beyond? https://www.brookline.k12.ma.us/Page/2258

    I am very, very often asked to provide resources, ideas, guidance, advise, and more on how to learn more, talk with children, confront acts of injustice, and lead towards equity.  It gives me tremendous pleasure to help in any way possible.  That said, I have so much to learn and am in no way an expert on so many things and in so many ways. Please, enjoy exploring ideas that compel you, dig in, stay curious, and share things you’ve learned and things you are ruminating about and struggling with.

    In Dr. King’s “Letter from on Birmingham Jail,” he closes with:

    “I hope this letter finds you strong in the faith … Let us all hope that the dark clouds of racial prejudice will soon pass away and the deep fog of misunderstanding will be lifted from our fear drenched communities, and in some not too distant tomorrow the radiant stars of love and brotherhood will shine over our great nation with all their scintillating beauty.”

    May it be so.

    ___________

    From our Guidance Counselor, Mr. Chaet:

    Dear 8th Grade Families,

    Happy New Year! As we begin this new year, we will also start to discuss and plan the transition of your student to Brookline High School. To better prepare you for the upcoming registration at BHS for 9th grade, you are cordially invited to attend an evening panel discussion on the transition. This event is designed to help prepare you for the many upcoming steps in the process of heading to BHS next year like: What electives are available? How do students create a “pathway” for their education?  What are the implications of registering for Advanced Math? How will my student get to and from the high school?

    With that in mind, we have convened a panel of Heath Alumni who are current BHS students because they are very well positioned to help with these decisions. As well, there will be Principal, Dr. Asa Sevelius, a current BHS parent, Polly Ribatt, and myself, School Counselor, David Chaet in attendance to answer any additional questions you might have. This event is intended only for parents of current 8th grade students. 

    When: 6:30-7:30, Wednesday January 31st, 2018 

    Where: Heath School Art Room

    Best,

    David Chaet 

    School Counselor (K-8)

    david_chaet@psbma.org

    617-879-4547

    PS - Your student will receive information regarding the transition to BHS in school on January 29th or 30th.

    ___________

    Donations: Than You … AND … HELP!

    Thank you for all the donations to support of Cafeteria Arrival plan!  We have received most of what we asked of, including carts to store all the coloring books, puzzles, Mad Libs, and more.  Thank you.

    AND

    Heath's Maker Space is in need of some materials for two of our upcoming projects.  Do you have any of the following materials (used or new) that you would be willing donate to our Maker Space?  If so, please bring them in! We will put them to good use.

    • dominoes
    • marbles
    • small rubber balls
    • golf balls
    • ping pong balls
    • race car track
    • matchbox cars
    • springs 
    • pulleys
    • hinges
    • dowls
    • skewers
    • paper towel rolls
    • toilet paper rolls
    • dead batteries
    • string
    • rope
    • balloons
    • funnels
    • buckets
    • plastic cups
    • wire coat hangers
    • pvc piping
    • foam pipe insulation
    • swim noodles
    • dryer vent hose
    • rubber bands
    • bike tires and tubes
    • straws
    • pipe cleaners
    • wooden blocks
    • legos

    Upcoming Events:

    • Monday, January 15th: School Closed: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
    • Tuesday, January 16th: PSB will publish the Progress Reports for Grades 1-5
    • Wednesday, January 17th: Grades K-4 Community Day Assembly, MPR, 8:15-8:45am
    • Wednesday, January 17th: Grades 5-8 Community Day Assembly, Auditorium, 2:00-2:30pm
    • Thursday, January 18th: Parent/Teacher Educational Equity Group, Conference Room, 7:15-9:00am
    • Thursday, January 18th: Understanding Our Differences & Similarities: Deafness Unit, Auditorium/Cafeteria, 8:00-11:00am
    • Friday, January 19th: 9th School Study Listening Session with Joe Connelly, Library, 8:00-9:00am
    • Friday, January 19th: METCO Connections Cooking Workshop, Staff Lounge, 1:40-3:00pm
    • Monday, January 22nd-Thursday, January 25th: HASAP Winter Session Begins              
    • Thursday, January 25th: Urbanity Dance Group, Auditorium, Grades 3-5 from 12:30-1:15pm and Grades K-2 from 1:30-2:15pm
    • Friday, January 26th: Understanding Our Differences & Similarities - Physical Unit, Auditorium/Cafeteria, 8:00-11:00am

    Field Trips:

    • Thursday, January 18th: 6/7/8 Math Team Meet, Bigelow Middle School, 3:00-6:30pm

    Big ice storm this weekend?  No better excuse to stay in a play games with your kids! They are each so awesome, so enjoy every minute.

    Asa

    Dr. Asa C. Sevelius, Ed.D.

    Principal 

    ______________________________

     

    January 5th, 2018

    Dear Heath Community,

    Welcome back and happy new year! Two snow days have certainly thrown the re-enrty for a loop.  See you all Monday when we will dig in to good teaching and learning and really launch 2018 year right.

    Welcome!

    Hello to Jared Sheppard, our new Northeastern Cooperative student! He’ll be with us through the end of the year, hustling’ to help us cover classes, do lunch duty, run homework club, and so much more. 

    New Twitter Worth Following

    Have you heard? Hawk, our gecko, has his own twitter feed. Follow him @HeathGecko for a good chuckle and cool pics.

    Congratulations to the Heath Pixi Stix, an all girl robotics team comprised of 8th graders and their 5th grade siblings. This crew has been working together for the past 5 years. This season they won the Champions award at their local competition and qualified for states. At the state competition  they were awarded one of the 2 available tickets to the Lego World Festival which will be held in Detroit in the end of April.  Aside from teams from the USA and Canada there will be 44 other countries participating at this event. 

    http://www.firstchampionship.org/?__hstc=208832909.57703fb58135ff29350780937c1a4efb.1513623441158.1513623441158.1513623441158.1&__hssc=208832909.3.1513623441158&__hsfp=2581872366

    It is a big deal for these girls and they certainly bring A LOT of enthusiasm to coding and robotics.  They might not always get the highest robot scores but their support and encouragement of one another no matter how the robot is performing that day has really made them stand out as a team.

    Donations STILL Wanted!

    In an effort to make our cafeteria a productive, engaging space each morning, we want to offer full choices for our youngest students (older students head to the library, study, socialize, go to Morning Movement, etc.)

    • Coloring books
    • Decks of cards
    • Board games
    • Mad Libs
    • Crayons and markers
    • Origami paper

    And we need two of these:

    https://www.amazon.com/IRIS-4-Drawer-Rolling-Storage-Organizer/dp/B00447NWFK/ref=sr_1_6?s=home-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1512650774&sr=1-6&keywords=5+drawer+plastic+storage

    Upcoming Events:

    • Friday, January 12th: Understanding Our Differences and Similarities - Blindness Unit, Cafeteria/Auditorium, 8:00-11:00am
    • Friday, January 12th: School Council Meeting, Principal’s Office, 8:00-9:00am
    • Monday, January 15th: School Closed: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
    • Tuesday, January 16th: PSB will publish the Progress Reports for Grades 1-5
    • Wednesday, January 17th: Grades K-4 Community Day Assembly, MPR, 8:15-8:45am
    • Wednesday, January 17th: Grades 5-8 Community Day Assembly, Auditorium, 2:00-2:30pm
    • Thursday, January 18th: Parent/Teacher Educational Equity Group, Conference Room, 7:15-9:00am
    • Friday, January 19th: 9th School Study Listening Session with Joe Connelly, Auditorium, 8:00-9:00am

     Field Trips:

    • Tuesday, January 9th:  5th Grade Trip to Museum of Science, 8:15am-2:15pm
    • Thursday, January 11th: 6/7/8 Math Team Meet, Bigelow Middle School, 3:00-6:30pm

    Happy sledding and begrudging shoveling to you all!

    Asa

    Dr. Asa C. Sevelius, Ed.D.

    Principal 

    ______________________________

     

    Dec. 15th, 2017

    Dear Heath Community,

    I will not be sending a message out next week, so will take the time now to wish you all very happy holidays! We all come to Heath with so many tradition and beliefs and it is a delight to see how so many of you all celebrate the season of love and light.

    While visiting a first grade classroom last week, some students wished me “Happy Holidays!” One student in the back of the room shouted out, “We celebrate Kwanza!” I sat with him to hear more and, while he couldn’t tell me all of the core principles at once (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kwanzaa), his excitement was through the roof.

    At my house, Christmas is a time of great excitement and our tree becomes THE place around which everything happens, from snacking to reading to card games to naps.  Christmas will be here sooner than we know, so enjoy the season!

    No matter how you’ll spend your winter break, take time to be with family and friends – know you are loved and that the gifts you bring to this community are appreciated.

    Winter is Here!

    Please send your children to school prepared to go out and play. This means your middle schooler, too. Our PreK-5 students are usually ready to roll for recess, but middle schoolers are showing up without coats on many days. Please, we ask that you talk with your kids and then get them into warm clothes for the day here at school so they can fully participate in our activities.

    Need tips on how to bundle your kids? Try this mom’s technique:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HW4IZ0Flh3M

     

    Donations Wanted!

    In an effort to make our cafeteria a productive, engaging space each morning, we want to offer full choices for our youngest students (older students head to the library, study, socialize, go to Morning Movement, etc.)

    • Coloring books
    • Decks of cards
    • Board games
    • Mad Libs
    • Crayons and markers
    • Origami paper

    And we need two of these:

    https://www.amazon.com/IRIS-4-Drawer-Rolling-Storage-Organizer/dp/B00447NWFK/ref=sr_1_6?s=home-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1512650774&sr=1-6&keywords=5+drawer+plastic+storage

     

    Heath School Improvement Plan, available here: https://www.brookline.k12.ma.us/Page/2304

    Check this out and the many other great resources on our website!

     

    Upcoming Events:

    • Tuesday, December 19th: Grades 6-8 Progress Reports Published
    • Wednesday, December 20th: Staff Holiday Luncheon, Staff Lounge, 11:00am-2:00pm
    • Thursday, December 21st: Parent/Teacher Educational Equity Group, Conference Room, 7:15-9:00am
    • Monday, December 25th - Monday, January 1st: No School, Winter Break
    • Friday, January 5th: PTO First Friday Coffee, Cafeteria, 8:00-9:00am

     

     Field Trips:

    • Tuesday, December 19th: 6th Grade Field Trip to Boda Borg, 9:00am-2:00pm

     

    Whether traveling or staying put, be safe out there this Christmas. A very happy New Year to you all, too! You'll have plenty of time with your kids soon, so why not discuss New Year's celebrations from many perspectives?

    Asa

    Dr. Asa C. Sevelius, Ed.D.

    Principal 

    ______________________________

     

    Dec. 8th, 2017

    Dear Heath Community,

    'Tis the Season!

    This upcoming Tuesday evening marks the beginning of Hanukkah, and so many of our students are excited to start this period of celebration! YesterdayI asked a student, “What’s up?” when we passed each other in the hallway. Her response was, “Hanukkah starts next week!” She then told me all about how the festival of lights is a big deal in her house – big meals, presents, games, family, songs, and more. So, if Hanukkah is a big deal in your house, too, enjoy every minute! Chag Sameach!

     

    1:1 expectations

    To our 6th, 7th, and 8th grade families: the long awaited guidelines for our 1:1 ChromeBook program are ready.  You can find them here on our website: https://www.brookline.k12.ma.us/Page/2258

    All students will also review these guidelines with their teachers.

    Please know that this is our first few months having a 1:1 computer program in our school. We are a work in progress and these guidelines will most likely be edited as we grow. If they do change, we will let you know and update our website.

     

    Donations Wanted!

    In an effort to make our cafeteria a productive, engaging space each morning, we want to offer more choices for our youngest students (older students head to the library, study, socialize, go to Morning Movement, etc.). So, we need:

    • Coloring books (high interest topics are Transformers, Rescue Bots, anything super heroes, My Little Pony, Hello Kitty, PJ Masks, and Star Wars)
    • Decks of cards
    • Board games
    • Mad Libs
    • Crayons and markers
    • Origami paper

    And we need two of these:

    https://www.amazon.com/IRIS-4-Drawer-Rolling-Storage-Organizer/dp/B00447NWFK/ref=sr_1_6?s=home-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1512650774&sr=1-6&keywords=5+drawer+plastic+storage

    Anything you can give can go a long way!  Thank you!

     

    Apology of Action: A Fourth Grade Recipe, by Max G. & Sean B.

    “If something happens during recess between friends (like an accident or someone gets hurt by you), here’s what you can do:

    1. Apologize

    2. Check in on the other person, show them you care

    3. Talk it out with a teacher

    4. Ask the other person what they need. A band-aid? An ice pack? A hug?

    5. Give the other person some space. Sometimes you need a break from each other.

    6. Calm down

    7. Forgive

    8. Move on and start playing again!”

     

    BEF Idea Lab! Grant Recipient: Mark Goldner & Bob Miller

    The BEF Idea Lab panel was pleased to award our middle school science teachers up to $700 for two Raspberry Shake devices (http://www.raspberryshake.org/)! This was one of 16 ideas the BEF selected to fund as part of the sixth BEF Idea Lab cycle.  Congrats, Bob & Mark!

    Here is the grant request video, worth a watch: https://drive.google.com/a/psbma.org/file/d/0B6x4wqEibb4TeTNPMmk2aHlDYVk/view?usp=sharing

     

    Don’t Forget to Check Out These Resources on Our Website!

    Supporting Learning at Home

    https://www.brookline.k12.ma.us/heath

    Learning Products from Our Classrooms

    https://www.brookline.k12.ma.us/domain/807

     

    Upcoming Events:

    • Wednesday, December 13th: K-8 Early Dismissal at 12:40pm

    • Thursday, December 14th: 7th/8th Grade Heath Class Presentation (Library) 7:30am

    • Friday, December 15th: : METCO Connections Viking Sports Event, Gym, 1:40-3:00pm

    • Tuesday, December 19th: Grades 6-8 Progress Reports Published

    • Wednesday, December 20th: Staff Holiday Luncheon, Staff Lounge, 11:00am-2:00pm

    • Thursday, December 21st: Parent/Teacher Educational Equity Group, Conference Room, 7:15-9:00am

    • Monday, December 25th - Monday, January 1st: No School, Winter Break

    Field Trips:

    • Monday, December 11th: 4B Field Trip to Harvard Museum, 8:30am-1:15pm

    • Tuesday, December 12th: 4OC Field Trip to Harvard Museum, 8:30am-1:15pm

    • Thursday, December 14th: 4K Field Trip to Harvard Museum, 8:30am-1:15pm

    • Tuesday, December 19th: 6th Grade Field Trip to Boda Borg, 9:00am-2:00pm

     

    Word on the street is the snow arrives this weekend!?!? Enjoy! The first snow is always the most exciting!

    Asa

    -----

    Dr. Asa C. Sevelius, Ed.D.

    Principal 

    ______________________________

    December 1st, 2017

    Dear Heath Community,

    A very powerful week here in Brookline, a time when we celebrate all we have … and all we aspire to. Yesterday I sent an email with thoughts about how to support our children (and ourselves) to continue to work towards a more just society. I firmly believe that we can only control ourselves, so let’s use our lives in service of the greater good and just outcomes for all of our students.

    In that vein, today I had the privilege of attending the 33rd Annual METCO Directors’ Association Conference. The conference began with a panel of students of color sharing little known moments in our collective history, with a firm focus on Black lives and their impact on our society. I say “little known” because the narratives they shared are rarely spotlighted in our historical narratives.  A student performed a beautiful rendition of the Langston Hughes poem “I, Too, Sing America,” another shared the path of how Tuskegee University was founded. By centering these young persons’s voices, we have the opportunity to listen and learn deeply. These students enrolled in the METCO programming around the Commonwealth received the standing ovation they deserved.

    David J. Johns (Obama Administration Former Executive Director, White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans), the keynote speaker, spoke about the panel of experts he turns to when he wants to get to the root of an experience, a success, or a problem: students. Again, centering the lived experiences of students, who most often know better that anyone else exactly what they need to succeed. When adults seek to solve problems FOR young people, over 50% of the time the efforts end in failure, he shared; when we ask students what they need, outcomes increase.  Our students know what is critical for their own success, so why not ask? The scholar Asa Hilliard said: “I have never met a child who was not a genius.” If that idea holds, you have a genius (or two or three!) in your house and Heath school is filled to the brim with geniuses – so, what are we doing in our own lives to center these voices and experiences? It is the question I know I’ll be grappling with now.

    ________________

    TONIGHT TONIGHT! TONIGHT! Heath Family Skate Night

     

    Join in the fun at our 5th annual Heath Family Skate Night!

    When: 5pm-7:45pm, Friday, December 1st, 2017  

    Where: Jack Kirrane Ice Skating Rink in Larz Anderson Park

    Organized by: Heath Parent, Mei-An Tsu (massive shout out to Mei-An!!!)

    Rink admission sponsored by: Heath PTO

    Skate rentals and snacks will be available from the concession stand.

    ________________

    VOLUNTEERS NEEDED!

    Art Show

    The 2017-18 Art Show is coming up! This year's Art Show will be held in late January. Ms. Yahn and Mrs. Mitchell are looking for parent volunteers who can help to hang student artwork during the weeks of 1/1, 1/8 and 1/15. Volunteers with ANY availability (before, during or after school) are welcome. All you need to know is how to use a stapler! Please email Ms. Yahn at ceara_yahn@psbma.org if you're interested.

    5th/6th Math League

    We need parents to help in assisting our coach, Ms. Levasseur, at weekly practice, as well as parents to supervise and support students at the Math League meets. Please consider volunteering! Contact Jess at jessica_levasseur@psbma.org for more information.

     

    Upcoming Events:

    • Friday, December 1st: Heath Family Skate Night, Jack Kirrane Rink, 5:00-7:45pm
    • Tuesday, December 5th: K-8 Early Dismissal at 12:40pm
    • Tuesday, December 5th: 8th Grade Urban Improv Assembly, Auditorium, 8:15-10:30am
    • Wednesday, December 6th: Picture Re-Take, Library, 8:00am
    • Friday December 8th: School Council, 8:00-9:00am
    • Wednesday, December 13th: K-8 Early Dismissal at 12:40pm
    • Friday, December 15th: : METCO Connections Viking Sports Event, Gym, 1:40-3:00pm

     Field Trips:

    • Monday, December 11th: 4B Field Trip to Harvard Museum, 8:30am-1:15pm
    • Tuesday, December 12th: 4OC Field Trip to Harvard Museum, 8:30am-1:15pm
    • Thursday, December 14th: 4K Field Trip to Harvard Museum, 8:30am-1:15pm

    For me, December 1st is a powerful day. It is the day in 1955 that Rosa Parks was arrested for refusing to give up her seat on that now famous Birmingham bus, launching the bus boycotts that shut down the Magic City and changed the course of our American history. December 1st is also World AIDS Day, a time of solace, sadness, and reflection and a call to deep love. Both offer a time to, as Mary Harris "Mother" Jones  said, “Pray for the dead and fight like h-ll for the living.”

    With affection,

    Asa

    -----

    Dr. Asa C. Sevelius, Ed.D.

    Principal 

    ______________________________

    November 17th, 2017

     Dear Heath Community,

    Last Friday the entire Brookline faculty had a professional day with Jamie Almanzan (http://schoolimprovement.com/experts/jamie-almanzan/) and Dr. Phil Lee (https://scholar.harvard.edu/philip_lee). During this time together, we continued to explore how to advocate for all students, confront our implicit bias, work towards equitable outcomes for our students, and recognize the individual story that each of us brings to school each day.

    During the day we had a chance to listen to student voices, too. Students asked, through song, poetry, and dance:

    • How do we empower ourselves so that we can believe the universe has a plan for us?
    • How can you rethink curriculum so that the the lives of people of color are represented beautifully and from a lens of strength and reverence?
    • How can we rethink the American Dream so that all have access?

    Raven Bogues and Karina Lorenzo, Heath alums both, brought the full faculty of Brookline to their feet after their reading of their poem in two voices Letter from Two Girls Who Have Had Enough. We hope to bring Karina and Raven back to Heath for an intimate conversation so that we can learn more from them and their lived experiences.

    At Heath we often ask, How can we make sure to include student voice in our decision making? Last Thursday I had my first meeting with my Young Scholars Leadership Advisory Group. Ryann Bogues, Raiya Khan, Altamo Aschkenasy, and Laila Finklea will join me and Young Scholars mentor Karen Shashoua monthly to share their experiences as students of color in Heath.  Powerfully, one scholar shared this with me: “When we learned about the transatlantic slave trade, I felt all eyes turn towards me, one of the only Black students in the entire grade. Why? I don’t know anything about it! I am learning about it, too. Everyone looks at me because I’m Black.”  I would have never heard this powerful perspective if I hadn’t been listening. Over time I hope these students will continue to help me make meaning so that I can use their experiences to effect real and lasting change here at Heath.

    Family Dance: MONDAY!!!!!

    We invite you to join us for an evening of fun, food, music and dancing to celebrate our community.

    MUSIC:
    Vice-Principal Michael Smith and Heath Parent Rod Rosales have graciously offered to donate their DJing expertise for the evening. Michael will DJ for the adults in the cafeteria and Rod will DJ for the children in the gym.

    DINNER:

    Take a break from cooking dinner and enjoy food and beverages sponsored by:

    Rifrullo's, Ronsky's, Frank Pepe's, Del Frisco's, David's Tea, Juice Press, Star Market, Comella's and more.

    We will have mocktails for the adults!

    WHEN: 

    5:30pm-8:30pm on Monday, November 20th, 2017

    WHERE: 

    Heath School Cafeteria (for adults) and Gym (for children)

    ADMISSION: 

    $5 per person (to help defray costs)  

    OPTIONAL DRESS CODE:

    Halloween costume OR Outfit from your favorite decade OR Heath Spirit Wear

    Wanted: Parent Volunteers to Support 5th/6th Math League

    If you are available on Thursdays after school (and some Wednesdays), please consider helping out. We have many 5th and 6th grade students in our Math League and could use the extra hands. Do you need a degree in Mechanical Engineering to support these mathletes? Not at all! All you need is a spirit of adventure, a curiosity about how kids learn, and a passion for helping. If you can volunteer, please contact Jessica Levasseur, our 5/6 Math League Coach. She’s at jessica_levasseur@psbma.org

    Lost and Found: With Video

    Our Lost & Found is positively overflowing. That’s not a good thing. Please come and get the stuff left behind on the playground, in the hallways, draped over furniture, and tucked in nooks and crannies of our school. When it is labeled, we try and return the item to its owner. The stuff in our Lost & Found is very good … and unlabeled, thus unreturnable.

    Need proof of the abundance of goods left behind? Check this out:

    Lost and Found Video

    A shout out to Hannah Parker, Heath parent, who comes to organize our Lost & Found about once a month. Collectively we can put her out of a job. Let’s try!

    Welcome to Our New Senior Custodian: Jurgen Brandl

    We are glad to announce that Jurgen Brandl has joined the Heath Team as our new Senior Custodian. Have you seen that flash of energy go by? That’s Jurgen. Please introduce yourself when you can. We’re excited he’s here – bringing positive vibes, an incredible work ethic, and a deep care for our facilities and community.

    6-8: Locks on Lockers, Please

    This past week, very sadly, two middle school students had items stolen from their lockers. This is a sad statement on our community and one we are actively trying to address. That said, the best way to prevent this from happening again is for students to secure their lockers with a lock. The majority of students do not use locks (many citing the concerns that it takes too long to open between classes) – we believe the time spent is worth it if it means keeping items secure.

    Traffic Concerns

    Please, while traveling through the Heath area in cars, slow down, use caution, and be mindful of speed limits.  People fly down Eliot Street through the day creating an unsafe environment. Also, when coming to and from the school, please use the cross walks and heed the commands of our crossing guard team. Dashing out into roads at any age is a risk. If you know folks without students at Heath, but who live in the area, will you consider spreading the word?

    Pie Drive! Starts Monday!!!!

    Heath’s SOCIAL ACTION COMMITTEE is holding it’s Fifth Annual Thanksgiving Pie Drive on Monday morning 11/20 from 7:30-8:30.  We are hoping to collect 200 home-baked or store bought pies to deliver to the Brookline Food Pantry which will distribute to local families in time for Thanksgiving.  We hope you can participate!    Simply, drop-off a pie with a list of ingredients that Monday morning in the Heath lobby and The Social Action Committee will take care of the rest.  

    Thank you!

    Pam Palmucci

    Ashley Mason

    Heath Social Action Committee Leaders

    Upcoming Events:

    • Monday, November 20th: Fifth Annual Thanksgiving Pie Drive, Lobby, 7:30-8:30am
    • Monday, November 20th: Family Dance Party at Heath, Gym/Cafeteria, 5:30-8:30pm
    • Tuesday, November 21st: Grades 6-8 Report Cards Published
    • Wednesday, November 22nd: 3rd Grade Puppet Parade, 8:15am
    • Wednesday, November 22nd: K-8 Early Dismissal at 12:00pm
    • Thursday, November 23rd-Friday, November 24th: School Closed: Thanksgiving Break
    • Wednesday, November 29th: K-8 Early Dismissal at 12:40pm
    • Thursday, November 30th: Heath School Evening Conferences
    • Friday, December 1st: PTO First Friday Coffee, Cafeteria, 8:00-9:00am
    • Friday, December 1st: Heath Family Skate Night, Jack Kirrane Rink, 5:00-7:45pm

     Field Trips:

    • Thursday, November 30th: Grades 6/7/8 Math Team Meet, Oak Hill Middle School, 3:00-6:30pm

    I won’t be sending a letter home next week and so will now wish all of you a wonderful Thanksgiving. No matter how or if you celebrate, please use the time away from school to enjoy your beautiful families and friends. Now, more than ever, is the time to share our gifts, spread the love, and connect openly and genuinely with one another.

    Peace,

    Asa

    -----

    Dr. Asa C. Sevelius, Ed.D.

    Principal 

    ______________________________

    Nov. 3, 2017

    Dear Heath Community,

    Last Thursday through Sunday, I, along with 5 other Heath teachers, headed to Chicago for the EL National Conference, an opportunity so generously funded by our District.

    When you walk into an EL (formerly Expeditionary Learning, www.eleducation.org) National Conference, a feeling of warmth and solidarity is palpable. Most overwhelmingly, is the feeling of mission – a mission to ensure that as adults we bring our very best, most inspiring, most courageous selves to the classroom so that our students can thrive.

    The first event during the conference that we, the Heath School crew (myself and 5 teachers/specialists), experienced was a 90-minute plenary in which the majority of the time we heard from students who shared out their experiences as community members and learners in their schools. Time and time again we heard, in a student’s own words, how a feeling of inclusion, a shared commitment to high-quality work, a sense of shared purpose, and a feeling of being seen and known allowed them to take on challenges that otherwise might have seemed insurmountable. I felt my heart grow 10 times its normal size when hearing these voices.

    I was equally blown away by a principal, Michelle Navarre (https://www.pcachicago.org/2011/08/michelle-navarre-head-of-school/), who shared during the plenary that while she often felt like a fraud and a failure, she refused to give up on the notion that the students, her staff, and the families were worth the struggle. I felt connected to her in that moment, I must admit. But what amazed me was when she went on to say, “Most of what I know about being a leader I have learned from the true leaders of my school: my students.”  She then added that: “Leaders support students through the confusion and chaos necessary for growth. They show up every day. The real work is in the messy part.”  Then I began to feel empowered.

    During the conference, I attended many workshops. I tried to capture my big picture take aways that I will be thinking about for a while. Here they are:

    On Racism and Equity in School

    The first learning session I attended gave me so many good ideas (and some pretty sweet frameworks!) on how to lead educational equity work at Heath. One participant I spoke with, from Milwaukee, asked “Should we call it equal opportunity OR should we call it just opportunity?” Just opportunity as in justice. A school that is invested in equal opportunity is, at its core, a place where justice plays out in classrooms, on playgrounds, in administrative offices, and in the conversations we have with kids at our dinner tables after a long day of learning.

    During the session participants were asked to answer some key questions that I hope you’ll answer for yourselves as well. They were:

      • Who is a person you deem to be a courageous anti-racist leader?
      • Think and share about a time you participated in a courageous conversation about race, or you didn’t and wished that you had?
      • Think about how you want to be a leader for equity in your role at your school.

    Beyond Tolerance: Strengthening LGBT Inclusion in Schools

    I am always looking for new ways to become more inclusive; in this workshop I was able to listen to many school leaders from around the country and hear the struggles they face as they try the same exact thing. I realized that, while we have room to grow we are ahead of the curve when it comes to uplifting the lived experiences of our LGBTQ community members. But I have to wonder, how’s it going? How do we know? A critical component of any effort is being able to assess impact. I was glad to leave this session with real tools that can help us take the temperature of our GSTA and assess how our PD cycles are going. For many many many school communities, issues connected to or concerned with LGBTQ experiences remain the third-rail of school work. It was awesome to partner with folks to help others to be fearless.

    How Do We Respond to the Struggle for Educational Equality?

    Well, we carve out space to do the work on ourselves first. We do an inventory of our inherent biases and commit to the healing process necessary to repair the wounds we have all suffered by living in such a racialized society.

    I know that when something feels like it will take time, I default to “But I don’t have time.”  And I don’t. I am a parent, a spouse, a principal, a friend, a home-owner, and I have a dog that could, frankly, put a little more work into being a little less work. I am busy. So are you. But busy, as the saying goes, can kill the heart. This work has the potential to fill you up in a way that fills the spaces in your life up with purpose and passion.

    Leader to Leader

    Going back to that point I made above about not having much time to spare, I often just capture ideas to ruminate about. In a session with only school leaders I grabbed the following:

    • Leadership is disappointing people at a rate they can stand.
    • Leadership is the art of giving people a platform for spreading ideas that work.
    • School leadership is a 60% job. I can only realistically get 60% of the job done. The key is to pick the right 60%.
    • Know your people. And know them well. We preach ‘whole child.’ We also need to preach ‘whole teacher.’
    • Promote safety, trust, artistry, intentionality, and risk-taking – combined, they lead to great things.
    • Strike the balance between push and praise.

    A panel of school leaders presented their personal experiences in their schools. Time and time again they spoke about feeling inadequate, or feeling like a fraud. I wondered: “Where does self-care and self-love come into school leadership? How can a school leader make peace with what we are able to do and abandon the extraordinarily draining sense of ‘I’m not good enough, I’ll never be good enough.’” Imbedded in those complex feelings is always the inevitable act of secretly comparing ourselves to other principals who seem to have all the answers. I am hoping that I can be more transparent and vulnerable in what I am able to do in my daily work and bring others in to help with the lifting.

    On the last day of the conference, as I took my name tag off, I noticed these six tenants on the back:

    Name Tag

    Needless to say, it was yet another “Eureka!” moment. These carefully crafted tenants offered, so elegantly, a fresh way to consider how we are as individuals and as one in a school. Me + you = we. And the sum of us is so much more powerful than its parts.

    I left with more questions than answers, but feel strongly that these are the right questions – BETTER questions! – and that this is the right time for us all.

    -----

    Pie Drive!

    Now that Halloween is over, let’s talk PIE.  

    Heath’s SOCIAL ACTION COMMITTEE is holding it’s Fifth Annual Thanksgiving Pie Drive on Monday morning 11/20 from 7:30-8:30.  We are hoping to collect 200 home-baked or store bought pies to deliver to the Brookline Food Pantry which will distribute to local families in time for Thanksgiving.  We hope you can participate!    Simply, drop-off a pie with a list of ingredients that Monday morning in the Heath lobby and The Social Action Committee will take care of the rest.  Pie boxes and cards for students to decorate will also be available in the lobby the Friday before on 11/17 after-school to make storage and transport easier.

    Thank you!

    Pam Palmucci

    Ashley Mason

    Heath Social Action Committee Leaders

    Upcoming Events

    • Friday, November 10th: School Closed: PD Day - Teachers and Paras Report
    • Tuesday, November 14th: Made in the Shade Performance, 8:00-11:30am
    • Tuesday, November 14th: K-6 Early Dismissal, 12:40pm
    • Tuesday, November 14th: METCO Connections Viking Sports Event, 12:40-3:00pm
    • Wednesday, November 15th: GSTA Bake Sale, 2:30pm
    • Thursday, November 16th: Parent/Teacher Educational Equity Group, Collaboration Space, 7:15-9:00am
    • Friday, November 17th: Annual ECS Parent Coffee, Auditorium, 8:00-9:00am

    Onward!

    Asa

    -----

    Dr. Asa C. Sevelius, Ed.D.

    Principal 

    ______________________________ 

    October 20th, 2017

    Dear Heath Community,

    Two committees have launched at Heath with the specific goal of taking a look at how we live out our expressed values when it comes to anti-racist education, enacting a culture of radical inclusion, and ensuring that all children meet or exceed their potential. We hope that this work leads us to understand our own privilege and growing edges, recognize our own internal biases, and learn how to be uncomfortable and brave when discussing issues of inequity and racism inherent in any community. We recognize our many strengths and abundant love – and recognize there is much we don’t know and strive to learn.

    The first committee, made of volunteer parents and teachers, met yesterday for the first time and engaged so openly about our individual and shared beliefs, our own biases, and our hopes and dreams for Heath. While the work is just launching and is in its amorphous infancy, I can honestly say that this gathering was one of my highlights while at Heath (and that is saying quite a lot).

    On Monday, teachers will gather to discuss how our Young Scholars, our Black and Latinx students, fare over time while at Heath. We will look at myriad data sources, share anecdotal data, and hear case studies from teachers and specialists with a longitudinal view of our collective work. In short, this committee will look at the conditions necessary to ensure success at Heath, BHS, and beyond and how close  – or far away – we are to having those conditions be optimal.

    There are lots of ways to participate in this work. I recommend these pieces to start:

    https://nationalseedproject.org/white-privilege-unpacking-the-invisible-knapsack

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/21/magazine/have-we-lost-sight-of-the-promise-of-public-schools.html

    https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2017/07/23/half-century-later-diversity-still-eludes-school-desegregation-initiative/JWNkxX4angrq4OiID84y9N/story.html

    https://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/12/magazine/choosing-a-school-for-my-daughter-in-a-segregated-city.html

    You don’t have to be on a committee to join the conversation. Our lobbies are filled with parents each afternoon, our playgrounds offer ample time to talk, playdates happen all the time. Why not ask one another, “Hey! What did you think of The Invisible Knapsack piece?” Imagine the conversations!

    I am grateful to have such dedicated, reflective partners in this work. Years ago, when I started out as a principal, I asked one of my PreK teachers her process to understanding how a student in her class was learning. She told me that the first thing she does is to ask, “What is my role? What do I need to know? Where have I failed along the way? That is where I learn the most.” That has stuck with me; I hope it sticks with you, too.

    I look forward to writing more about this critical work as it gathers steam.

     

    Help Wanted! A Ride to Logan

    A crew of Heath teachers are headed to the Expeditionary Learning National Conference in Chicago on Thursday (https://eleducation.org/calendar/el-education-2017-national-conference). We’d love a ride to the airport, leaving the school on Thursday at 12:30. 6 amazing educators plus luggage. Can any of you help out? Thanks!!!!

    I will be writing in my message next week about the experience we’ll be having at the conference. I KNOW we’ll have much to share from the experience.

     

    Cross Country

    As usual, our hard work, coaching, effort, never-give-up spirit, and drive helped Heath School to CRUSH IT at this week's Cross Country event. See results here: http://www.coolrunning.com/results/17/ma/Oct19_2017Br_set1.shtml Well done, runners!!!

     

    Upcoming Events:

    • Wednesday, October 25th: Grades K-2 Author’s Visit, Cafeteria, 1:20-2:00pm
    • Friday, November 3rd: PTO First Friday Coffee, Cafeteria, 8:00-9:00am

       Field Trips:

    • Monday, October 23rd: 7th Grade Field Trip to Hammond Pond, 8:15am-2:30pm
    • Thursday, October 26th: Grade 4 Field Trip to Arnold Arboretum, 8:30am-2:00pm
    • Wednesday, November 1st: 5T Field Trip to Clay Center Observatory, 8:30-10:30am
    • Thursday, November 2nd: 5K & 5M Field Trip to Clay Center Observatory, 8:30-10:30am

     

    Again, happy Diwali! Happy weekend! Happy Heath!

     

    Asa

    -----

    Dr. Asa C. Sevelius, Ed.D.

    Principal 

    ______________________________ 

     

    October 13th, 2017

    Dear Heath Community,

    Picture Day is Monday! Time to comb your hair, wash your face, brush your teeth, and pick out your outfit.  Here you’ll see I didn’t do any of those things and now have this masterpiece of a school picture to share with you all:

    Asa in 6th Grade

     

    Our New Teachers. Their Support Teams, and YOU!

    I want to send a shout out to our new teachers who have joined us at Heath this year! Valia, Josh, Kim, Alan, and Noorj are bringing their A Game each day to their classrooms. The first year of teaching is one of the hardest of their lives and we are working hard to make sure they succeed.

    I am also proud of how our staff rallies around our new team members to make sure they are cared for, have the resources they need, have ample opportunities for feedback, and time to co-plan and co-teach.

    When new folks join us, we are especially thankful when our parents rise up to show support and love, too. You are such important partners and a big part of why we come to work each day. The way you welcome our new staff makes an enormous difference. Thank you for your kindness and partnership, as always.

    Keep Connected to Your Children's Art

    There's a new way to see what your young artists are working on at school! Heath Art has an Instagram account: @artheathschool 

    Follow along to see regular images and updates!

    Keep up with us on Twitter, too: @yahnart

    -Ms. Yahn

    Love Hockey? Love a Good Book?

    I encourage you to check out this book (still in it’s early form) by Evan, a second grader. You’ll learn so much about hockey from this mega-fan.  It’s here: https://www.brookline.k12.ma.us/domain/807

    Gorgeous Science Notebooks

    Check out these spectacular science notebooks coming out of Mr. Goldner’s 8th grade Science class. They are here, on our Learning Channel: https://www.brookline.k12.ma.us/domain/807

    School Council

    Congratulations and thank you to Kerrianne Ciccone (parent of a 7th and 2nd grader), Jed Miller (Heath School ETS), and Jillian Dyment (Heath School Special Educator). They are new members on our School Council, joining Dawn Tringas (parent to a 6th and 4th grader), Ann Poduri (parent to 5th graders), and Andrew Garnett-Cook (7/8 Social Studies). Public Schools are required by law to have a School Council, which serves as a principal’s advisory group. At our first meeting we reviewed my professional goals (which, once finished, I can share more broadly). I appreciated the feedback I received from the crew on how the school year has started and on my goals.  We meet monthly.

    Upcoming Events:

    • Monday, October 16th: Picture Day, Library, 8:00am-1:00pm
    • Tuesday, October 17th: Art Barn Performance, Auditorium, 8:30-9:15am (Grades 1-3 & 4K), 9:45-10:30am (Grades 4-6 & 1R)
    • Thursday, October 19th: Parent/Teacher Educational Equity Group, Collaboration Space, 7:15-9:00am
    • Thursday, October 19th: Grades 5-8 Cross Country Meet
    • Friday, October 20th: Grades 5-8 Cross Country Meet, Rain Date

       Field Trips:

    • Thursday, October 19th: 6/7/8 Math Team Meet at Oak Hill Middle School, 3:00-6:30pm
    • Monday, October 23rd: 7th Grade Field Trip to Hammond Pond, 8:15am-2:30pm
    • Thursday, October 26th: Grade 4 Field Trip to Arnold Arboretum, 8:30am-1:00pm

     Enjoy this weekend ahead!

     Asa

    -----

    Dr. Asa C. Sevelius, Ed.D.

    Principal 

    ______________________________ 

    October 6th, 2017

    Dear Heath Community,

    Yesterday, at our weekly Young Scholars meeting, Prof Roxy Sandoval joined the crew to teach them how to make tortillas and all about her country of birth, El Salvador. Our Young Scholars were so attentive, learned so much about El Salvador, and met the incredible challenge of making tortillas by hand. The tortillas were, by all accounts, delicioso! At the end of the session, the Young Scholars crew decided to document what they learned. One student, Malachi, took time at home to write up his joyful experiences. He says: Today in Scholars we learned about El Salvador. Profe Sandoval came in to teach us about the country where she was born. There are so many cool things about El Salvador. There are 20 volcanoes in El Salvador, but only 2 could still erupt. In El Salvador, the beaches are perfect.  The sand is a different color than in the U.S.  The water is very warm so animals like sharks can’t live there and come and hurt us. The food in El Salvador looks so good.  One of the foods we made and tasted  with Profe Sandoval was a tortilla.  You could put cheese or beans on it. El Salvador is an amazing country!  If you can, join the Young Scholars Program, to learn cool and exciting stuff about other people and places!”

    Book Fair: Thanks!

    The Book Fair is a big endeavor, impossible without our parent support.  Thanks to Gaelle From, Anne Spencer, Brett Rhyne, Hannah Parker, Monique Appleton, Rina Kaul, and Candy Hanneman for taking such lead roles in the organization and staffing, and to the many others who took a shift or two over the course the week.  We could not have done it without you!

    New Page on Website: Supporting Learning at Home

    During Open House you heard from many of our specialists. We are fortunate to have the caliber of staff we have, and now have a place on our website where you can access some of the resources that demystify our teaching, and can support YOU as you support your young learners at home.  This page is just launching, so check in when you can to get new ideas. Here it is: https://www.brookline.k12.ma.us/Page/2258

    Compliments to Our Chefs!

    Our Food Service crew works so hard for our kids each and everyday. Our crew takes their time, presents food wonderfully, cares about nutrition, and knows everyone’s names, too. Check out this great looking grilled veggie pizza made by our very own Marie! And, I’m sure it tasted great!

    Pizza

    Upcoming Events:

    • Monday, October 9th: School Closed: Columbus Day
    • Thursday, October 12th: School Council, Staff Lounge, 8:00-9:00am
    • Thursday, October 12th: Grades 6-8 Interim Progress Reports Published
    • Monday, October 16th: Picture Day, Library, 8:00am-1:00pm
    • Tuesday, October 17th: Art Barn Performance, Auditorium, 8:30-9:15am (Grades 1-3 & 4K), 9:45-10:30am (Grades 4-6 & 1R)
    • Thursday, October 19th: Parent/Teacher Educational Equity Group, Collaboration Space, 7:15-9:00am
    • Thursday, October 19th: Grades 5-8 Cross Country Meet
    • Friday, October 20th: Grades 5-8 Cross Country Meet, Rain Date

    Field Trips:

    • Tuesday, October 10th: 3H Trip to Brookline Public Library, 8:00-11:00am
    • Wednesday, October 11th: 3F Trip to Brookline Public Library, 8:00-11:00am
    • Friday, October 13th: 3L Trip to Brookline Public Library, 8:00-11:00am
    • Thursday, October 19th: 6/7/8 Math Team Meet at Oak Hill Middle School, 3:00-6:30pm

    Enjoy the beautiful 3-day weekend ahead!  Monday's holiday has a few names – one traditional, one emerging: Columbus Day (http://www.history.com/topics/exploration/columbus-day) and Indigenous People's Day (http://time.com/4923164/indigenous-peoples-day-columbus-day/). Check out the history of both over the long weekend! However you observe or don't, please use the time to play and rest and enjoy.

     Asa

    -----

    Dr. Asa C. Sevelius, Ed.D.

    Principal 

    ______________________________ 

    September 29th, 2017

    Dear Heath Community,

    Puerto Rico: Help and Humanity

    I have watched the unfolding devastation and tragedy in Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria with great heartache; I know so many of you have, too. To all who have donated, supported, offered help – thank you.  I know so often that we watch these tragedies unfold and feel helpless, asking: “How can I help?” “What can I do?” If you have learned of relief agencies doing good work, please message those to your circles of friends through conversation and social media. Here’s one to start: http://www.losambulantes.com/help-puerto-rico/  Many of us are closely connected to friends and family with ties to Puerto Rico, beyond just our shared citizenship. If you learn of families in need, please message the needs as well. It is time to put our good fortune to work. The good people of Puerto Rico will have needs in the near and distant future. Together, I believe we can contribute to rebuilding and re-energizing Puerto Rico.  Do you feel like you need to learn more? Check this article out: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/25/us/puerto-rico-hurricane-american.html?smid=fb-share 

    Book Fair

    The Fall Book Fair is coming up, October 2-6. That’s next week! Our Book Fair Family Night is October 4th. Please, take some time this weekend to clean out your gently used books and bring them in so that our used book fair is a robust part of our book fair. All proceeds from the used book fair goes directly to the school.

    Staff Training: Greater Boston PFLAG

    This past Tuesday, Val Frias, the Executive Director for Greater Boston PFLAG (http://www.gbpflag.org/) join the staff to discuss how to best support our community in becoming its most welcoming and most inclusive for students and staff that identify on the LGBTQ+ spectrum.  Our focus was on Allyship, or how do we become the best allies we can be so that all students feel safe and welcomed in our community. We did some great learning, but also realize how much there is to learn! I know so many of you are also looking for ways to get smarter, become better allies, or just learn some basic language to use. I encourage you to start here: http://www.gbpflag.org/resources/  The Greater Boston PFLAG website is a great place to start. If you’d like to go deeper, please let me know. I am also very happy to connect!

    6th Grade: HR v. Workshop

    We had a terrific Middle School Open House this morning.  Thanks to the teachers for their planning and the parents for your participation. A question arose about the difference between Homeroom and Workshop in 6th grade. Homeroom is a time three mornings per week when students can build community, gain organizational skills, learn the rules and routines of successful scholars, and prepare for the day/week ahead. Workshop, on the other hand, is a time at the end of the day where students can work on assignments, get help from teachers, receive intervention, and get a jump on homework. We are glad to have time in our 6th grade schedule to meet all of our content needs AND meet the social-emotional needs of these students as they bridge the gaps between elementary school and middle school.

    Field Day: Thanks!

    Always one of the best days of the year! Big shout out to Lauren Stewart and Judy Ellis, our PE teachers, for getting it all done and done so well! I know I go home bone-tired … and so do your kids. It is a day when all hands are on deck, everyone is playing hard, and the kids really love it.

    Student Products on Website

    We have a new channel on our website, showcasing student work. We hope that over time we will add more and more to the site so that you will have an understanding of the products our students create in our classrooms.  While you’ll see final products highlighted here, know the process is engaging, rigorous, joyful, and deep. Check out our first two products (both created last spring) here: https://www.brookline.k12.ma.us/domain/807

    Reminder: Arrival Procedures

    Thank you for helping to make our morning arrival more and more orderly and safe, and for complying with our new arrival routines. Everybody helping together makes the new routines so much easier.  Reminder that our new Morning Arrival Routines are here: https://www.brookline.k12.ma.us/Page/2228

    Help Wanted: Kindergarten Progress Report Card Committee

    The Brookline team is working hard to finalize the kindergarten progress reports before they are distributed in January.   As part of the process, we are asking that 2 Heath kindergarten parents participate in a discussion on Tuesday, October 17th from 8:30 to 10:00 at Town Hall - 5th floor School Committee room for an overview.  The team would like to hear from parents about what they would like to see for information, while keeping the information aligned with the standards.  We know, as educators, what is important for student progress.  However, it is very important to hear what parents want to know in order to understand how their child is doing in school.  Since we value parent input we want to include them in this process, and in understanding our requirements of reporting.  If you are interested in representing Heath, please contact Nadine Eckstrom, Senior Director, Teaching & Learning for Elementary Education, directly. Nadine can be reached at nadine_ekstrom@psbma.org.

     

    Upcoming Events:

    • Monday, October 2 - Friday, October 6: Book Fair, Lobby, 7:30am-3:00pm
    • Wednesday, October 4th: METCO Connections Potluck Breakfast, 7:30-8:00am
    • Wednesday, October 4th: Book Fair Family Night, Lobby, Library, Cafeteria, Music Room, 5:30-8:00pm
    • Thursday, October 5th: CAP Parent Presentation, Cafeteria, 8:00-9:00am
    • Friday, October 6th: PTO First Friday Coffee, Cafeteria, 8:00-9:00am
    • Monday, October 9th: School Closed: Columbus Day/Indigenous People’s Day
    • Thursday, October 12th: School Council, Staff Lounge, 8:00-9:00am
    • Thursday, October 12th: Grades 6-8 Interim Progress Reports Published
    •           

    Field Trips:

    • Thursday, October 5th: 7th Grade Trip to Hammond Pond State Reservation, 8:15am-2:30pm

    I hope your weekend is filled with rest, relaxation, and time with your amazing kids. For me, I will be hosting a party for my in-laws … who are celebrating 50 years together!

    Asa

    -----

    Dr. Asa C. Sevelius, Ed.D.

    Principal 

    ______________________________ 

     

    September 22nd, 2017

    Dear Heath Community,

    Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15-October 15) continues! While we seek to lift up the lives of our Hispanic community members each and every day, this month provides us an opportunity to spotlight Hispanic heritage. Want to learn more? Check out these resources and start the conversation at home, too.

    School Resources from the National Endowment for the Humanities

    https://edsitement.neh.gov/feature/national-hispanic-heritage-month 

     

    The national site of NHHM - has teacher resources, history, videos, etc. 

    http://hispanicheritagemonth.gov 

     

    Companion website to PBS’s documentary on Latino Americans

    http://www.pbs.org/latino-americans/en/ 

     

    Book Fair

    The Fall Book Fair is coming up, October 2-6. Our Book Fair Family Night is October 4th. Please, take some time this weekend to clean out your gently used books and bring them in so that our used book fair is a robust part of our book fair. All proceeds from the used book fair goes directly to the school.

    Back to School BBQ Thanks!

    The Heath PTO would like to thank the wonderful volunteers who made the Back to School BBQ a resounding success despite the rain.

    All the 1st grade parents who volunteered, especially the organizing team of 1st grade room parents: Evelyn Chen, Nancy Cho, Lauren Dwyer, Greg Fenton, Amy Kline, and Abby Wilson. This amazing team was led by Avery Forman, who had the foresight to arrange tents for the evening. We appreciate the tremendous effort that you all put in to make this a memorable celebration for our children. It turned out to be a night they will remember for the whole year! 

    • Kathy Calvillo, the PTO committee leader for this event. Her detailed notes, diagrams and advice have helped 1st grade parents host this BBQ year after year. 
    • Evelyn Shen and Yen-Lin Chen for organizing the Heath Garden Sale, which offered freshly grown tomatoes, herbs, pickled beets and home-made pesto. 
    • Principal Asa Sevelius for helping with the set up and staying till the very end despite getting soaked.
    • Vice Principal Michael Smith for setting up the sound system twice and DJ’ing. He had kids of all ages dancing and having a great time in the gym!
    • Guidance Counselor David Chaet and 4th Grade Teacher Josh Kraus for their grilling expertise. Delicious!
    • School Custodians Chris Glidden and Mark Powers, who worked tirelessly from set up to break down, helping at every step of the way with a smile on their faces.
    • Finally, we would like to thank all the families and teachers who attended the BBQ for supporting our Heath community.

    ~ Your Heath PTO Leadership Team

    A few quick announcements:

    • Homework Club starts the 25th! That’s this Monday! You can find the registration form and information in the For Parents section (https://www.brookline.k12.ma.us/domain/367) of our website.
    • The Art Room is in need of 6 full-sized bath towels (new or gently used) for keeping our space clean! If you can help provide these, please drop them off or email ceara_yahn@psbma.org with questions. Thank you! 

     

    Upcoming Events:

    • Monday, September 25th : Second Grade Open House, 8:05-9:05am, Approx.
    • Monday, September 25th: Homework Club Begins, Room 212, 2:30-3:30pm
    • Tuesday, September 26th : Field Day
    • Wednesday, September 27th: Field Day - Rain Date
    • Thursday, September 28th: Fourth Grade Open House, 8:05-9:05am, Approx.
    • Friday, September 29th: 6-7-8 Open House
    • Monday, October 2 - Friday, October 6: Book Fair, Lobby, 7:30am-3:00pm
    • Wednesday, October 4th: METCO Connections Potluck Breakfast, 7:30-8:00am
    • Wednesday, October 4th: Book Fair Family Night, Lobby, Library, Cafeteria, Music Room, 5:30-8:00pm
    • Thursday, October 5th: CAP Parent Presentation, Cafeteria, 8:00-9:00am
    • Friday, October 6th: PTO First Friday Coffee, Cafeteria, 8:00-9:00am

    Field Trips:

    • Thursday, September 28th : 8th Grade Trip to Blue Hills State Reservation, 8:15am-2:30pm
    • Thursday, October 5th: 7th Grade Trip to Hammond Pond State Reservation, 8:15am-2:30pm

    If you celebrated Rosh Hashanah yesterday, L’Shana Tova! We hope your new year was sweet.

    Happy weekend, and happy fall.

    Asa

    -----

    Dr. Asa C. Sevelius, Ed.D.

    Principal 

    ______________________________ 

     

    September 15th, 2017

    Dear Heath Community,

    Today the countries of Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica celebrate Independence Day! Tomorrow, is Mexico’s Independence Day celebration! Felicitaciones!

    Also, tonight is our annual Back to School BBQ. We have so many opportunities to come together and celebrate this community. This event, year after year, can’t be beat! So thankful for the 1st grade parent crew who worked so hard to make all of this come together for us. Also, a shout out to Mr. Kraus, our new 4th grade teacher and one of tonight’s grill master.

    Also, our first First Friday Coffee was a success today! Thanks to all who came. It was wonderful to hear about volunteer opportunities, committees, our Special Education Parent Advisory Committee, and more. Don’t work: if you couldn’t be here today, there are many ways to learn more about the work of the PTO.

    A few quick announcements:

    Morning Arrival Routines: please see the handout attached to the email sent through BlackBoard. On Monday, it will be on our website in the For Parents section (https://www.brookline.k12.ma.us/domain/367)

    Morning Movement starts Monday! If you haven’t filled out your application yet, be sure to get that in to Ms. Ellis and Ms. Stewart. Applications are available outside the Big Gym.

    Homework Club starts the 27th: please see the handout attached to the email sent through BlackBoard. You can also find the information in the For Parents section (https://www.brookline.k12.ma.us/domain/367)

     

    Open Houses begin next week, starting Monday at 8am with our 3rd grade team. We will direct families to classrooms; all 3rd graders should report to the auditorium that morning instead of to class. On Tuesday, we’ll have the Kindergarten Open Hose and on Wednesday, we’ll host the 1st grade Open House.  Each morning students should report to the auditorium and parents to the classrooms.  See you then!

    So many messages!  I know we send a lot, and we are thankful we can offer so many opportunities to our community. Messages will slow down as we get in the groove.

     

    Snacking in Middle School

    Our 6th-8th graders have an early lunch each day and can get hungry later in the day. It is a good idea for them to pack a snack.

    Any snack must be peanut-free, healthy, and low mess/no mess. Students are responsible for cleaning up their area after a snack.

    Two caveats:

    • Food is NOT allowed in the Science Labs. Water if fine.
    • Students may NOT eat while working on their ChromeBooks.

     

    Child Assault Prevention (CAP) Program

    We are grateful for your continuing support of CAP, now beginning its 5th year at Heath School. Our PTO offers generous funding for the program at Heath, and the majority of our current amazing Brookline CAP volunteers are from Heath: Evonne Meranus, Katie Sawatzky and Zoe Stoesser. That said, the Brookline Child Assault Prevention (CAP) Program is Seeking Volunteers. Here is more info:

     

    “Do you believe that all children have the right to be "Safe, Strong and Free?"  Join our dynamic task force of trained volunteer CAP Prevention Specialists committed to teaching children in the Brookline Elementary Schools the skills that they need to stand up for themselves if faced with verbal, physical or sexual assault. Last year we presented CAP to 404 students in 20 classrooms at Lower Devotion, Driscoll and Heath Schools. In order to maintain current programs and to expand into additional Brookline Schools we need volunteers from across the city to join us!

    19 Continuing Education Credits available for licensed MSW’s.

    3 Session Training begins on Oct. 29th

    Application deadline is Oct. 20th

    We are now accepting applications for the 2017-2018 school year. CORI and SORI screenings required. For more information please visit our website at http://familyaccess.org/family-support/child-assault-prevention/  or email Gail Sommer @ gsommer@familyaccess.org”

     

    Upcoming Events:

    • Monday, September 18th : Third Grade Open House, 8:05-9:05am, Approx.
    • Tuesday, September 19th : Kindergarten Open House, 8:05-9:05am, Approx.
    • Wednesday, September 20th : First Grade Open House, 8:05-9:05am, Approx.
    • Thursday, September 21st : School Closed: Rosh Hashanah
    • Friday, September 22nd : Fifth Grade Open House, 8:05-9:05am, Approx.
    • Friday, September 22nd : METCO Connections Q & A, Room 209, 1:40-2:30pm
    • Monday, September 25th : Second Grade Open House, 8:05-9:05am, Approx.
    • Tuesday, September 26th : Field Day
    • Wednesday, September 27th: Field Day - Rain Date
    • Thursday, September 28th: Fourth Grade Open House, 8:05-9:05am, Approx.
    • Friday, September 29th: 6-7-8 Open House      

       Field Trips:

    • Monday, September 18th  -  Tuesday, September 19th: 7th Grade Trip to Thompson Island
    • Thursday, September 28th : 8th Grade Trip to Blue Hills State Reservation, 8:15am-2:30pm

    Asa

    -----

    Dr. Asa C. Sevelius, Ed.D.

    Principal 

    ______________________________ 

    September 9th, 2017

    Dear Heath Community,

    What a fantastic start to our new year together! The vibe in the school is joyful, yet calm … excited, but settled. It is hard to describe the feeling, but whatever words are used it is a sensation of being filled up and connected.

    The work of opening a school for a new year is heavy lifting. The work would be impossible without quite a few people. We extend our great thanks to many people, including:

    • Our Custodial Crew, Chris Glidden and Mark Power. They work tirelessly all summer to ensure our school is clean, safe, and ready to welcome us all back in the fall. Their behind-the-scenes work makes us all look good.
    • Our School Secretary, Jaliz Millet. No one is more helpful, knowledgable, patient, or resourceful. She is always on point and the real brains behind this organization. I feel very lucky to have her by our side and, frankly, this shout-out is just not enough. Please thank her when you can!
    • Teachers. It is my great honor to watch this amazing crew dive into the work of preparing for a new cohort at the end of each summer. They all bring passion, smarts, innovation, and hope into their prep work and always come to the aide of others. I am especially impressed with how our veteran teaching crew rallies around the novice teachers in our midsts, helping lift all boats.
    • Our Grounds Crew and Parks & Open Spaces. All summer these good folks were trimming trees, repairing playground equipment, caring for our green spaces, and planting the beautiful flowers. They are caring and compassionate stewards of our open spaces and we are grateful.
    • And, finally, Parents. Thank you for your kids, your patience, your energy, all the school supplies, and your trust. We love what we do and hope it shows. Here’s to a great start!

     

    Morning Routines

    This year we are working on establishing new arrival routines. This requires all of us working together, following the routines, and using calm bodies when moving through the school. We know how excited you are to get into your classrooms, BUT all children and adults need to walk. Running, hustling, weaving in and out, and trying to be first puts others at risk. There is time and space for everyone to arrive to their classrooms safely.

    At Heath, students arrive each morning between 7:30 and 8:00am. Students (some with families, some without) will enter the building through the front doors or the south end Pre-K door or the door nearest the cafeteria link, only. Regardless which door a student enters the school through, all students must report to areas in the school specifically designated for students to wait for the start of the school day to begin.

    Students may wait for the initial bell in the following areas ONLY:

    Library (grades 3-8)

    Cafeteria (grade K-8)

    Morning Movement (if enrolled)

    Kindergarten (Parents can wait with children in the cafeteria or play outside. If children are not escorted by parents, they will wait in the cafeteria under the watchful eyes of our Kindergarten paraprofessionals. Parents will no longer wait in the hallways.)

    Playground (unsupervised)

    No students or parents will be allowed upstairs unless they can produce a pass from a teacher. If there are students that have a daily routine of receiving services in a Learning Center or classroom, the responsible teacher will connect with the paraprofessional staff to clarify each student’s needs, eliminating confusion for staff. We are glad to connect the dots to ensure each child gets what they need.

    Students are NOT permitted to congregate in the hallways and stairwells prior to 7:55.  These areas must remain clear.

    Staff Members will be positioned through the building to ensure a safe and orderly arrival.

     

    Grades 6-8: ChromeBook Covers

    Our 1:1 tech initiative is off to a great start!  Please note: all ChromeBooks need to be covered by Friday the 15th.  If you need help with purchasing a cover, do not hesitate to let us know! We will be glad to help.

     

    Upcoming Events:

    • Wednesday, September 13th : Young Scholars Parent Coffee & Orientation, Auditorium,          7:30-8:30am
    • Thursday, September 14th: School Council, Staff Lounge, 8:00-9:00am
    • Friday, September 15th: Principal & PTO Welcome Coffee, Cafeteria, 8:05-9:00am
    • Friday, September 15th: Room Parent Meeting, Cafeteria, 9:05-9:30am
    • Friday, September 15th : Back to School Barbecue, Playground, 5:30-7:30pm
    • Monday, September 18th : Third Grade Open House, 8:05-9:05am, Approx.
    • Tuesday, September 19th : Kindergarten Open House, 8:05-9:05am, Approx.
    • Wednesday, September 20th : First Grade Open House, 8:05-9:05am, Approx.
    • Thursday, September 21st : School Closed: Rosh Hashanah
    • Friday, September 22nd : Fifth Grade Open House, 8:05-9:05am, Approx.
    • Friday, September 22nd : METCO Connections Q & A, Room 209, 1:40-2:30pm

    Field Trips:

    • Monday, September 18th  -  Tuesday, September 19th: 7th Grade Trip to Thompson Island

    Thank you all for a great start! Now, get some rest. You’ve earned it!

    Asa

    -----

    Dr. Asa C. Sevelius, Ed.D.

    Principal 

    ______________________________ 

     

    August 29th, 2017

    Dear Heath Community:

    Summer offers each of us a time to reflect and play, to spend time in the open air and marvel at how long the sun stays up each day. Summer allows us to exist in long stretches of empty time when anything seems possible. In my family, feet get very dirty, lots of TV gets watched, bathing suits start to wear thin, taffy is eaten ... and slowly, but surely we begin to look forward to school starting again.

    Returning to school offers consistency and routine. We come together each day to take on our responsibility for learning and to connect with our community.

    But what makes this the kind of school community we look forward to returning to? Perhaps it is a feeling of being known and seen. Perhaps it is the understanding that success is possible for each of us. Perhaps it is the chance to do meaningful learning. At Heath we work hard so that everyone can feel that:

    “I belong in this academic community.”

    Heath School has a well-earned reputation for academic excellence. This does not happen by accident. Our excellence comes from a spirit of determination, perseverance, and risk-taking. But reputations can also lead to feelings of exclusion, like “I am not smart enough” or “I am not good enough.” At Heath School, it is our goal that each student, staff, and family member has a feeling of belonging and of acceptance regardless of ability, identity, or starting place. Every single person has an important role to play and it is through our shared success that we build on top of our foundation of excellence.

    “I can succeed at this.”

    Learning is hard. And success is so rewarding! Hard work, however, does not pre-determine success. At Heath we want students to understand that real success is connected to real failure … and failure is to be expected. We embrace real failure because that is where real learning lives. We want to welcome failure, to look it right in the eyes, seek to understand where we went wrong in our equation or process, make corrections, and rebuild. Once each of us understands what it takes to succeed, we can begin to set very personal goals, defining success on our own terms.  For some it will be straight As; for others it will be putting the finishing touches on a soap box derby car. Whatever it is, knowing a path to success is available to each of us can really makes all the difference.

    “My ability and confidence grow with my effort.”

    Each of us has our own best way to learn; none of us should seek perfection in that learning. Instead, we focus on growth, connection, collaboration, competition, and knowing we put forth our best effort. Each us has something we’re good at and not one of us is good at everything. So we ask how can I lend my smarts to the service of others? What gifts do I have that will carry me through this challenge? We set realistic goals and put our efforts towards crushing them. And when those around us crush their goals, we rejoice. Growing is hard, and ability and confidence are ever changing, not fixed. The younger we can learn this, the better.

    “This work has meaning for me.”

    When learning something new, like tying a shoe, at first, there is a sense of nervousness and a feeling of being very present in the moment until … we reach flow, a time when you learned to relax into the task and it becomes easier. We recreate these cycles – from frustration to flow – all the time in our classrooms as we learn about everything from social justice to multiplication tables. Our students move from focusing on small, sometimes frustrating details into flow and, in turn, make very personal meaning of their learning experiences, eventually developing their own styles of thinking and activating.

    “In this school, I am known and loved.”

    To know and love all people in our care is the hallmark of a prosperous learning community. When each of us is known and loved we feel the safety to be ourselves, connect with one another deeply, and strive to do our very best learning for others and ourselves. We feel valued. We promise to keep growing our circle as more and more come through our doors with unique lived experiences, making room for every newcomer.

    In closing, I want to share with you the words of the great educator Kurt Hahn, who said: “There is more to us than we know. If we can be made to see it, perhaps for the rest of our lives we will be unwilling to settle for less.” Let us see ourselves, see each other, and recognize the goodness and opportunity inherent in this learning community.

    If you are new to Heath, welcome! And to all who return, welcome back.  

    Asa

    -----

    Dr. Asa C. Sevelius, Ed.D.

    Principal

     

    ______________________________ 

     

    June 9th, 2017

     

    Dear Heath Families,

     

    To begin, we are so grateful for the PTO and all of the parents who organized and contributed to the Staff Appreciation Luncheon earlier this week. This really is one of the highlights of our year; staff who are not in the building on this day ask others to “make me a plate!” It means so much to us to have our work honored in this way. Thank you.

     

    New Staff

    In the fall, we’ll be welcoming several new teachers to our community. They are:

     

    Noorjehan Khan, 5th Grade Teacher

    Noorjehan is a Massachusetts native through and through. She grew up in the Acton-Boxborough school district, completed her undergraduate degree in Elementary Education and Psychology from Northeastern University, and is fresh from finishing her masters degree in mathematics education from Boston University. She has worked with children aged 6 months to 16 years both in the classroom and out, and is fiercely passionate about the power and importance of great education for all. She loves singing, cooking, and the color yellow, and is thrilled to be joining the Heath community and fifth grade team this fall!

     

    Josh Kraus,  4th Grade Teacher (One-Year Long-Term Sub for Ms. Ouellette)

    In addition to teaching in both Boston Public Schools (4th grade) and Newton Public Schools (Instructional Support), Josh was born in Alegria, El Salvador and then came to Boston after he was adopted at 4 months old. He is thrilled to join the Heath community!

     

    Kim Sontag, 2nd Grade Teacher (One-Year Long-Term Sub for Ms. Arsenault)

    Kim has absolutely loved being a first grade para at Heath, and is so excited to start another year at this amazing school. She is originally from Philadelphia, but as a Boston College grad she now considers this incredible city her home. When she is not teaching, you can find her reading at the beach or spending time with friends and family. She looks forward to her time in second grade making new, wonderful memories!

     

    Evangelia “Valia” Bourmpoula,6th/7th Grade Math Teacher

    Earlier this year, Valia graduated from Lesley University and over the last two months has been working as the replacement mathematics teacher for 6th, 7th, and 8th grade at the International School of Boston (Cambridge, MA). From 2009 until 2013, she worked as an econometrician at the International Labor Organization (Geneva, Switzerland). From 2013 until 2016, she worked for the ILO as an external consultant. She feels extremely indebted for the opportunity to work in an environment that promotes and facilitates policy strategies that stimulate social justice, sustainable development, and inclusive economic growth. Through this experience she connected with people from all over the world. In her free time, she enjoys watching movies, dancing, playing board games, running, and planning trips. She is looking forward to being part of the Heath team and the school’s community!

    We also want to congratulate Alyson Arsenault, Mededith Huntley, Kristen Kenney, & Vanessa Ouellette, all of whom will take time off in 2017-18 to be with their growing families. Enjoy your time with your babies!

     

    Awesome Student Scientist News!

    I'm happy to share with you all that Elinor Rosen, 7th grade, was awarded with Third Place Grand Prize in National Computer Science competition for girls in Washington D.C., representing Massachusetts (one of the three best computer scientist girls in the nation). She also received a third place in a State Science Fair a few weeks ago.

     

    The family sends their thanks to all of the Heath teachers the support encouragement!

     

    Summer Reading for Staff… and Parents?

    Every summer I am able to order books for the Heath staff (Thanks, PTO!) that might promote some summer learning or, at least, some introspection and time with a good book.

     

    This year's selections are:

    • Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates

    • Whistling Vivaldi: How Stereotypes Affect Us and What We Can Do (Issues of Our Time) by Claude M. Steele

    • Blindspot: Hidden Biases of Good People by  Mahzarin R.Banaji

    • The Essential Conversation: What Parents and Teachers Can Learn from Each Other by Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot

    • A Guide to Gender (2nd Edition): The Social Justice Advocate's Handbook by Sam Killermann

     

    We welcome you, our families, to buy or borrow one of these books at a local bookseller, too! Let us know what you choose and what you think!

     

    Summer Reading for Students

    All titles available at the Brookline Booksmith. Shop local!

     

    Rising 3rd Graders:

    • Tornado by Betsy Byars

     

    Rising 4th Graders:

    Students may choose to read any one of the Who was… or Who is... biographies. Don’t know these books? Check them out here: www.whowasbookseries.com

     

    Rising 5th Graders:

    Choose at least one book to read out of these choices:

    • Mr. Lemoncello's Library by Chris Grabenstein

    • 11 Birthdays by Wendy Mass

    • The One and Only Ivan by K.A. Applegate

    • Travel Team by Mike Lupica

     

    Rising 6th and 7th Graders:

    Heath School rising 6th and 7th graders will read two books, following author Gene Yang’s READING WITHOUT WALLS CHALLENGE. This challenge prompts students to broaden their understanding of themselves and the world around them:

     

    1. Read a book about a character who doesn’t look like you or live like you.

    2. Read a book about a topic you don’t know much about.

    3. Read a book in a format that you don’t normally read for fun. This might be a chapter book, a graphic novel, a book in verse, a picture book, or a hybrid book.

    Here’s a link to a podcast with Gene Yang about his challenge.: http://geneyang.com/reading-without-walls-video-podcast

     

    Students will find many choices on the Public Schools of Brookline  Summer Reading List that will meet these challenge criteria. Here’s a link to the Public Schools of Brookline Summer Reading List: http://brooklinesummerreading.weebly.com/

     

    By Tuesday, June 20, students must commit to their book choices.  They will read these books and as many others as possible!  In the fall, they will submit their Reading Log to Ms. Carney and share with classmates what they read.

     

    Also for incoming 7th Graders:

    • The Omnivore’s Dilemma (Young Reader’s Edition) by Michael Pollan

     

    Incoming 8th Graders:

    • It's Getting Hot in Here: The Past, Present and Future of Climate Change by Bridget Heos

    • Port Chicago 50 by Steve Sheinkin

    • Two additional “student’s choice” books (from separate genres)

     

    And, finally, the last Upcoming Events of our year:

     

    • Tuesday, June 20th: 8th Grade Graduation Breakfast, Cafeteria, 8:30am
    • Tuesday, June 20th: 8th Grade Graduation Ceremony, Little Field Park, 4:00pm
    • Tuesday, June 20th: 8th Grade Dance Party @ Union Street Restaurant, 7:00-11:00pm
    • Wednesday, June 21st: 4th Grade LLI Popsicle Sale, 2:30pm
    • Friday, June 23rd: Last Day of School, 12:00pm Dismissal

     

    Field Trips:

     

    • Monday, June 19th: 8th Grade Trip to Canobie Lake, 9:00am-2:30pm
    • Tuesday, June 20th: 5th Grade Trip to the Freedom Trail Foundation, 8:10-11:30am
    • Tuesday, June 20th: 3rd Grade Trip to Plimoth Plantation, 8:30am-2:30pm
    • Wednesday, June 21st: 7th Grade Trip to George’s Island, 8:15am-3:15pm

     

    It's been a great year... but we've got 5 days left. Let's make each one count!
     
    Asa 
    _______
     
    Dr. Asa Sevelius, Ed.D

    Heath School Principal

    Hey! Follow me on Twitter! @ACSevelius
     __________________________
     
    June 9th, 2017

    Dear Heath Families,

    This morning at our final First Friday Parent Coffee, we had a chance to celebrate the incredible work of our PTO leadership and all of our parent volunteers this school year. Please know that we, the Heath School staff, do not take for granted the ceaseless work of our parents – leading, volunteering, sitting at the dinner table managing homework, organizing celebrations, having difficult conversations, carpooling, and so much more. Whatever you give to the school adds value, making us the special place that we are.  

    We have several new principals joining us in the fall; each has asked me, “How is the parent community in Brookline?” And my response has been and will continue to be, “Awesome.”

    A very special thank you to Eileen O’Grady, our outgoing PTO President. Eileen has led from the heart, always seeking consensus, always working for the greater good. It has been a pleasure to partner with Eileen – she has been a great guide, resource, and always good for a laugh. Thank you.

    PFLAG Parent Forum, June 13th

    Heath School is committed to creating a safe space for all students to learn and interact each day. As part of our ongoing efforts to promote the Public Schools of Brookline’s core values of “educational equity” and “respect for human difference,” Heath has taken many steps to help students and staff who identify as LGBTQ+ feel safe and welcome at school each day. In order to ensure that all members of the Heath School community understand the complex and fluid identity development process that our students experience in relation to their gender identity and sexual orientation, we have partnered with Greater Boston PFLAG (http://www.gbpflag.org/) to an evening forum for parents and community members to learn about how we can best support one another, particularly students and staff who identify as LGBTQ+. The forum will be:

    • Tuesday, June 13th- Family Workshop led by PFLAG Representatives from 6:30pm-8:00pm in Heath Auditorium (open to all families)

    We are proud to offer these opportunities to encourage safe dialogue, promote understanding, and keep educational equity and school safety at the core of our learning experiences at Heath.

    Hot Weather Coming!

    Please send your kids with water bottles as we end the year. It’s supposed to get hot the last few days of school. Try freezing the water the night before – it melts over the day, keeping kids cool all day.

    And finally … Thank You

    I want to thank this community from the bottom of my heart for the love and support I have received this week. On Wednesday I made a very personal announcement that has rippled through the school … and beyond. What I thought might end with the boundaries of our town has reached beyond my imagination. I have been able to connect with folks from around the country, people just reaching out to say thank you or to share their own personal stories. I have been gobsmacked, truly. That said, my priority is this school, your children, and my staff. I feel more connected than ever to both my own self and this place. If you have written me an email, I promise I will get back to you! But with each message I have received, know that I am filled up beyond capacity and buoyed by your warm wishes. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

    Upcoming Events:

     

    • Monday, June 12th: Understanding Our Differences and Similarities Program for 4th grade, Blindness Unit, Cafeteria/Auditorium, 8:30-10:45am
    • Monday, June 12th: Kindergarten Screening - Round 2, Collaboration Space, 9:00-10:30am
    • Tuesday, June 13th: PTO Staff Appreciation Luncheon, Staff Lounge, 11:00am
    • Thursday, June 15th: Heath School Council, Collaboration Space, 8:00am
    • Thursday, June 15th: Understanding Our Differences and Similarities Program for 4th grade, Deafness Unit, Cafeteria/Auditorium, 8:30-10:45am
    • Friday, June 16th: METCO Connections Celebration, 1:40-3:00pm
    • Tuesday, June 20th: 8th Grade Graduation Breakfast, Cafeteria, 8:30am
    • Tuesday, June 20th: 8th Grade Graduation Ceremony, Littlefield Park, 4:00pm
    • Tuesday, June 20th: 8th Grade Dance Party @ Union Street Restaurant, 7:00-11:00pm
    • Wednesday, June 21st: 4th Grade LLI Popsicle Sale, 2:30pm
    • Friday, June 23rd: Last Day of School, 12:00pm Dismissal

     

     Field Trips:

     

    • Monday, June 12th: 8th Grade Trip to Boston Red Sox Game, 3:30-10:30pm
    • Wednesday, June 14th: 8th Grade Trip to Brookline Food Pantry, 9:30-11:30am
    • Thursday, June 15th: 8th Grade Trip to Boda Borg Boston, 8;00am-2:30pm
    • Friday, June 16th: 8th Grade Trip to Hale Reservation, 10:00am-3:00pm
    • Monday, June 19th: 8th Grade Trip to Canobie Lake, 9:00am-2:30pm
    • Tuesday, June 20th: 5th Grade Trip to the Freedom Trail Foundation, 8:10-11:30am
    • Tuesday, June 20th: 3rd Grade Trip to Plimoth Plantation, 8:30am-2:30pm

     

    All of my appreciation,

     
    Asa 
     
    _______
     
    Asa Sevelius, Ed.D

    Heath School Principal

    Hey! Follow me on Twitter! @ACSevelius
     __________________________
     
    June 2nd, 2017

    Dear Heath Families,


    Today’s 4th Annual Day of Service Fair was outstanding, with students presenting so passionately on topics ranging from climate change to the Americans with Disabilities Act … and nearly everything in between.  What visitors didn’t see today, in many cases, was the sheer amount of donations that have gone through our school and into agencies that serve the community for good. Thank you to our Social Action Committee, to Mr. Smith, and to the teachers and students who made this important work happen today and through the year.  I’m already looking forward already to the 5th Annual Day of Service!


    Spirit Week!

    Spirit week is NEXT WEEK! The Student Council has worked hard on creating a week of fun things that will promote school spirit and create a fun way to finish off the year!

    • Monday: School-Wide PJ Day

    • Tuesday: Wacky Dress-Up Day

    • Wednesday: Decade Day (Dress up from any decade)

    • Thursday; Character/Super Hero Day (Dress as any fiction or nonfiction character or super

    • hero/villain. No masks or weapons)

    • Friday: Heath Spirit Day (Any Heath attire or green and white)


    5th ---> 6th Transition Meeting, MONDAY!

    Dear 5th Grade Families,


    We know what a big deal it is to move out of 5th grade and into our middle school!  5th graders face exciting opportunities and unique challenges and you – their families – need to know a lot about the transition, too, so that you can be a support during this time!  


    A 5th grade parent meeting is scheduled for the morning of Monday, June 5th, beginning at 8:15 in our Auditorium. At this meeting, the 6th grade team will discuss what to expect in 6th grade; a student panel will share their perspectives on the shift. The forum should last for approximately an hour after morning drop off.


    PFLAG Parent Forum, June 13th

    Heath School is committed to creating a safe space for all students to learn and interact each day. As part of our ongoing efforts to promote the Public Schools of Brookline’s core values of “educational equity” and “respect for human difference,” Heath has taken many steps to help students and staff who identify as LGBTQ+ feel safe and welcome at school each day. In order to ensure that all members of the Heath School community understand the complex and fluid identity development process that our students experience in relation to their gender identity and sexual orientation, we have partnered with Greater Boston PFLAG (http://www.gbpflag.org/) to an evening forum for parents and community members to learn about how we can best support one another, particularly students and staff who identify as LGBTQ+. The forum will be:

    • Tuesday, June 13th- Family Workshop led by PFLAG Representatives from 6:30pm-8:00pm in Heath Auditorium (open to all families)

    We are proud to offer these opportunities to encourage safe dialogue, promote understanding, and keep educational equity and school safety at the core of our learning experiences at Heath.

    _______

     
    Upcoming Events:
    • Monday, June 5th-Friday, June 9th: Used Book Sale, Lobby, before/after school

    • Monday, June 5th: Grade 5th→6th Transition Parent Meeting, Auditorium, 8:15-9:15am

    • Tuesday, June 6th: Kindergarten Early Release Day!

    • Tuesday, June 6th: Heath Grades 5-8 Chorus Concert @ Runkle, 7:00pm

    • Thursday, June 8th: Young Scholars Breakfast, Room 209, 7:30-7:55am

    • Thursday, June 8th: 4O Bake Sale, Lobby, 2:30pm

    • Friday, June 9th: PTO First Friday Coffee, Cafeteria, 8:00am

    • Monday, June 12th: Understanding Our Differences and Similarities Program for 4th grade, Blindness Unit, Cafeteria/Auditorium, 8:30-10:45am

    • Thursday, June 15th: Heath School Council, Collaboration Space, 8:00am

    • Thursday, June 15th: Understanding Our Differences and Similarities Program for 4th grade, Deafness Unit, Cafeteria/Auditorium, 8:30-10:45am

    • Friday, June 16th: METCO Connections Celebration, 1:40-3:00pm


    Field Trips:

    • Wednesday, June 7th: Grade 6 Field Trip to Museum of Science, 8:30am-2:20pm

    • Thursday, June 8th: 3F Field Trip to Town Hall, 8:15am-12:00pm

    • Friday, June 9th: 5M Trip to Pierce Boston, 8;15-10:45am

    • Monday, June 12th: 8th Grade Trip to Boston Red Sox Game, 3:30-10:30pm

    • Wednesday, June 14th: 8th Grade Trip to Brookline Food Pantry, 9:30-11:30am

    • Thursday, June 15th: 8th Grade Trip to Boda Borg Boston, 8;00am-2:30pm

    • Friday, June 16th: 8th Grade Trip to Hale Reservation, 10:00am-3:00pm

     Only 15 days left in the school year, unbelievably, and we're making everyone of them count! Get some rest this weekend 'cause we'll be forging ahead come Monday.

     
    AC 
    _______
     
    AC Sevelius, Ed.D

    Heath School Principal

    Hey! Follow me on Twitter! @ACSevelius
     __________________________
     
    May 26th, 2017

    Dear Heath Families,

    Mayfair THANK YOU!!!!!

    This year’s Mayfair was wicked awesome! I bring my own kids each year and they are still raving about the fun they had at heath last Saturday. My daughter, in fact, won a raccoon tail keychain at one of the booths and has been wearing it as an actual tail ever since … and her principal hasn’t called me to complain!

    The event brings such joy to the community and is such an important fundraiser for us. Without the parent volunteers, this could not have been possible.  A special thanks to Avery Forman and Team Mayfair. Also, to our custodial crew Mr. Glidden and Mr. Power … thanks.  It takes passion and vision to pull off something like Mayfair and I know you hit a home run last weekend.

    Young Scholars Breakfast

    On Thursday, June 8th at 7:30am, we’ll host a breakfast for our African-American and Latino Young Scholars program. Families are very warmly welcome to join us!

    8th Grade Graduation: Call for Performances

    Graduation is fast approaching! We are looking for student performers for the graduation ceremony! If your child is interested in:

    • Reading a poem
    • Singing an acappella song
    • Playing an instrument
    • Sharing your favorite memories

    Please encourage them to connect with Dr. Sevelius by June 5th!

    Art Show

    Have you visited the Heath School Art Show yet? You still have time! The Art Show will be on display until Friday, June 2nd. Every Heath student is represented - be sure to stop by and see your child's art! 

    Ms. Yahn is also looking for volunteers willing to assist with taking down artwork. Email ceara_yahn@psbma.org if you're available.

    Community Conversation: 13 Reasons Why

    On June 5th, please join Brookline School Counselors, BHS Peer Leaders, and the Public Libraries of Brookline Teen Librarian to discuss the Netflix show “13 Reasons Why.”  This promises to be an engaging, informative session and I hope many of you can make it. Details about the event are here: https://www.brooklinelibrary.org/events/event/13-reasons-why-discussion-forum/

    Model UN

    Last Saturday, the Heath Model UN participated in the BrookMUN conference at BHS. Two 8th graders, Yaroslav Mikhaylov and Helen Plotz, and a 7th grader, Daria Plotz, represented Heath School; Helen earned Best Delegate for her committee!

    This conference marks the culmination of their work this year, and it was a great showing for Heath's inaugural Model UN club. 

    Model UN will launch again next fall. Is your child interested in participating? Find out by talking about it and reading more, here: http://www.unausa.org/global-classrooms-model-un

     

     

    Upcoming Events:

    Monday, May 29th: School Closed: Memorial Day

    Tuesday, May 30th: Grade 5/6 Track & Field

    Tuesday, May 30th: Grades 6-8 Progress Reports Published

    Wednesday, May 31st: Grade 5/6 Track 7 Field, Rain Date

    Thursday, June 1st: Young Scholars Breakfast, Room 209, 7:30-7:55am

    Thursday, June 1st: Grade 7/8 Track & Field

    Thursday, June 1st: Heath/Baker Strings Orchestra Concert @ Baker, 7:00pm

    Friday, June 2nd: Grade 7/8 Track & Field, Rain Date

    Friday, June 2nd: Day of Service

    Monday, June 5th-Friday, June 9th: Used Book Sale, Lobby, before/after school

    Tuesday, June 6th: Peek & Practice, Auditorium, 12:00-2:30pm

    Tuesday, June 6th: Heath Grades 5-8 Chorus Concert @ BHS, 7:00pm

    Thursday, June 8th: 4O Bake Sale, Lobby, 2:30pm

    Friday, June 9th: PTO First Friday Coffee, Cafeteria, 8:00am


    Field Trips:

    Thursday, June 1st: Grade 1 Field Trip to Ward’s Pond at Olmstead Park,

    Tuesday, June 6th: Grade 6 Field Trip to Boda Borg, 9:00am-2:00pm

    Thursday, June 8th: 3F Field Trip to Town Hall, 8:15am-12:00pm

     
     
    A three-day weekend awaits us. If your kids are like mine, they will ask, "What is Memorial Day?" I encourage you to share stories from your own families, discuss the complexities of war and peace and service as you are able, and go here for some resources: http://www.history.com/topics/holidays/memorial-day-history
     
    See you all on Tuesday! 
     
    AC
    _______
     
    AC Sevelius, Ed.D

    Heath School Principal

    Hey! Follow me on Twitter! @ACSevelius
     __________________________
     
    May 19th, 2017

    Dear Heath Families,

    MAYFAIR!!! MAYFAIR!!! MAYFAIR!!!

    The annual Heath Mayfair is TOMORROW! Mark your calendars! Tell your friends! Rain or shine!

    MAY 20, 2017, 11 a.m. - 4 p.m

    Art Show!

    The HEATH SCHOOL ART SHOW is amazing!  The school is truly alive with art.  Student art will be up for some time; if you missed today’s opening, don’t worry. You can come by anytime and see our art work.  Guides for the showcase are in the office and throughout the school.

     

    PTO Now Accepting Nominations for Vice President!

    Have you been wondering how to be involved in the school? Consider trying for the Heath School PTO Vice President.  Need more information? Check out the PTO website or contact Eileen O’Grady at eileen.ogrady@nemoves.com.

     

    Used Book Fair, Week of June 5th

    We will be starting to collect Used Books in the lobby starting Monday, May 22nd – so being culling your libraries this weekend!.

    The used book fair  will be hosted in the  Heath School lobby on these days:

    • Mon 6/5: 7:30am - 8:15am, 2:15pm - 3:15pm
    • Tue 6/6, 7:30am - 8:15am, 2:15pm - 3:15pm
    • Wed 6/7, 7:30am - 8:15am, 2:15pm - 3:15pm
    • Thu 6/, 7:30am - 8:15am, 2:15pm - 3:15pm
    • Fri 6/9, 7:30am - 8:15am

     Day of Service Fair

    Following May Fair there is another school-wide fair that we will be celebrating on Friday morning June 2nd from 8:15-10:30.  It is Heath’s 4th Annual Service Day Fair.   We invite parents to visit the fair from 8:00 - 8:30 and visit each grade’s display table and learn more about the projects students and teachers have been working on throughout the year.  This year, we have many poignant and topical presentations including, racism, sexual identity, urban gentrification and how it impacts environmental justice, and a student led campaign on how to promote respectful political engagement.  This will be a powerful and positive morning.  We understand it is hard for many families to visit which is why we are planning for parents to visit right after drop-off.

     

    The Heat

    Our second floor is quite hot. We have fans in our classrooms and are working on airflow. Please send students dressed for the weather and with a water bottle (my daughter likes to freeze hers the night before and take it to school the next day).  Many of you have expressed concerns and we work hard to keep up the good learning, keep the temp down, take care of ourselves, and get outside when we can. 

    Upcoming Events:

    • Saturday, May 20th: May Fair, 11:00am-4:00pm
    • Monday, May 22 - Friday, May 26: Open Music Classes, Grades 1-4 in Music Room & Kindergarten in Auditorium
    • Monday, May 22nd: MCAS - Grade 8, Math Session 2
    • Wednesday, May 24th: MCAS - Grades 5 & 8, Science/Tech, Session 1
    • Thursday, May 25th: MCAS - Grades 5 & 8, Science/Tech, Session 2
    • Friday, May 26th: MCAS - Make-up Testing: Science/Tech, Math
    • Monday, May 29th: School Closed: Memorial Day
    • Tuesday, May 30th: Grade 5/6 Track & Field
    • Tuesday, May 30th: Grades 6-8 Progress Reports Published
    • Wednesday, May 31st: Grade 5/6 Track 7 Field, Rain Date
    • Thursday, June 1st: Young Scholars Breakfast, Room 209, 7:30-7:55am
    • Thursday, June 1st: Grade 7/8 Track & Field
    • Friday, June 2nd: Grade 7/8 Track & Field, Rain Date
    • Friday, June 2nd: Day of Service

    Field Trips:

    • Tuesday, May 23rd: DPW Day for 3rd Graders
    • Thursday, May 25th: Grade 3 Field Trip to Moakley Court House, 9:00am-1:00pm                                             

    See you at Mayfair!  I'll be there with my kids ... see you there?

     
    AC

    ____

     
    AC Sevelius, Ed.D

    Heath School Principal

    Hey! Follow me on Twitter! @ACSevelius
     __________________________
     
    May 12th, 2017

    Dear Heath Families,


    “Annie” Video … Coming Soon!

    The Heath School production of ANNIE was a tremendous success! We have had many requests about where can parents and friends of Heath see it. The video is in the final stages of being edited and will be linked on the school website very soon!!

    MAYFAIR!!! MAYFAIR!!! MAYFAIR!!!

    The annual Heath Mayfair is now just two weeks away! Mark your calendars! Tell your friends! Rain or shine!

    MAY 20, 2017, 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.


    This year's Mayfair will have inflatable obstacle courses and a bungy jump, as well as your favorite games and arts and crafts -- candy necklaces, spin art, cookie decorating and more. A lunch buffet features grilled food plus options from Anna's Taqueria, Oath Craft Pizza, Upper Crust Pizzeria, Bon Me and Union Square Donuts; delicious desserts at two food trucks. Fun for the whole family like a touch-a-truck courtesy of the Brookline DPW, a student band and Heath's own Mr. Smith DJ'ing the cakewalk. Great experiences and items up for grabs at the raffle! Come have fun with your Heath friends!

    We need your help to make this event a success!


    CAKES! Please bring cakes to school for the cakewalk on Friday, May 19. The 6th, 7th or 8th grade that brings in the most cakes wins a pizza party!

    VOLUNTEERS! Please consider signing up for a shift selling tickets the week before the fair or to run an activity, grill or sell food, or setup or cleanup the day of the fair. Activities that are not staffed cannot run.


    http://www.signupgenius.com/go/10c0e4eaea622aaf49-heath1


    http://www.signupgenius.com/go/10c0e4eaea622aaf49-heath

    We encourage 7th and 8th graders to help us sell popcorn and cotton candy at Mayfair. If you or your child is interested, reach out to a member of the Mayfair team or signup in the Heath School lobby during the week of May 15. 1 hour shifts are available from 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. on May 20.

    Please reach out with any questions. See you at Mayfair!

     

    • Nancy Cho chosheu@gmail.com
    • Avery Forman avery.forman@gmail.com
    • Melissa Palermo palermo.melissa@gmail.com
    • Abby Wilson abigailevwilson@gmail.com

     Art Show!

    The HEATH SCHOOL ART SHOW is fast approaching! Mark your calendars: the Art Show opening will be held on Friday May 19th from 7:45-8:45am. We are looking for parent volunteers to help with a variety of tasks related to the Art Show. Any amount of time is appreciated. We are also looking for some parents to organize a small refreshments table for the morning of the opening. Please save the date and email ceara_yahn@psbma.org if you want to volunteer for any of the above!

     

    Upcoming Events:

    • Monday, May 15th: MCAS - Grade 4, Math Session 2

    • Tuesday, May 16th: MCAS - Grades 6 & 7 Math Session 1

    • Wednesday, May 17th: MCAS - Grades 6 & 7 Math Session 2

    • Thursday, May 18th: Heath School Council, 8:00-9:00am

    • Thursday, May 18th: MCAS - Grade 8, Math Session 1

    • Friday, May 19th: Kindergarten for Earth Movie, Auditorium, 8:00-9:00am

    • Friday, May 19th: Heath School Art Show, 7:45-8:45am

    • Saturday, May 20th: May Fair, 11:00am-4:00pm

    • Monday, May 22 - Friday, May 26: Open Music Classes, Music Room

    • Monday, May 22nd: MCAS - Grade 8, Math Session 2

    • Wednesday, May 24th: MCAS - Grades 5 & 8, Science/Tech, Session 1

    • Thursday, May 25th: MCAS - Grades 5 & 8, Science/Tech, Session 2

    • Friday, May 26th: MCAS - Make-up Testing: Science/Tech, Math


    Field Trips:

    • Monday, May 15th - Wednesday, May 17th: Grade 3 Field Trip to Frederick Law Olmsted, 8:30am-2:00pm

    • Tuesday, May 23rd: DPW Day for 3rd Graders

    • Thursday, May 25th: Grade 3 Field Trip to Moakley Court House


    We have much to celebrate and many, many reasons to come together in the upcoming week.  Stay tuned to emails, this page, tweets, and teacher letters and mark your calendars. I know how much you value being informed and involved and we look forward to celebrating the end of the year with you!


    Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms, grandmothers, Mr. Moms, and mother figures out there. Your children are amazing, a walking reflection of your love for them.


    AC

    ____

     
    AC Sevelius, Ed.D

    Heath School Principal

    Hey! Follow me on Twitter! @ACSevelius
     __________________________
     
     
     
     
    May 5th, 2017
     

    Dear Heath Families,


    It is a busy time at Heath – hiring, class placement, and critical conversation … and more!  Read on!


    Critical Conversations in Middle School:

    Our middle schoolers have had or will have many opportunities this spring to learn about the lives and experiences of others via student forums.  This past week we hosted an Urban Improv assembly for our 7th grade crew on gender and identity (http://urbanimprov.org/). Next week we’ll host a LGBTQ+ forum, hosted by PFLAG (http://www.gbpflag.org/) for our 6th-8th graders and later in the week Urban Improv will return for an 8th grade workshop on race.


    The feedback from our kids has been very warm and the learning they’ve expressed has been so great to witness.  If you have any questions or concerns about these workshops, please reach out to me or our Guidance Counselor, David Chaet. Critical conversations are, by nature, difficult conversations and we’d love to partner with you and your family to make meaning.


    Hiring:

    We are currently hiring for four positions: 6th/7th grade math, 5th grade, 4th grade (long-term sub, maternity), and 2nd grade (long-term sub, maternity). We have launched to processes for each position and are confident that we will find terrific teachers for our team.


    This brings me to a sad announcement.  Ms. Rachel Perrella, who left for maternity leave in April, has submitted her resignation from Heath School so that she may focus on her growing family. Rachel was here only a short time, but made a tremendous impact on her students and our staff. We are thankful for her service here!


    And a thank you to the parents who have given or are about to give their time to serve on these searches. Parent input is critical, especially in a place as collaborative as Heath.


    Class Placement:

    We will soon begin the process of building next year’s classes. This is a complex and joyful process and we take great care to make sure every child is known and cared for while making decisions. Class placements will not be final until the very end of the year.  I tend to blast the new classes out just after school has ended and our data portal rolls over. Stay tuned for this exciting announcement in late June!


    8th Grade Fundraising:

    In order to raise money for their end of year activities, our 8th graders will be hosting some fundraisers. The upcoming fundraisers are:

    Car wash

      Saturday, May 6, 10 am-1 pm (coffee and donuts, too!)

    Rain date Sunday, May 7, same time


                   Mother’s Day Gift Sale

    Tuesday, May 9 and Wednesday, May 10 in the lobby at 2:30

    All natural, handmade gifts for Mom from Urban Kitchen (a small family business in Allston) such as candles, soaps, lip balms, perfumes, etc.

     Mayfair!
    The annual Heath Mayfair is now just two weeks away! Mark your calendars! Tell your friends! Rain or shine!

    MAY 20, 2017, 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. 

    This year's Mayfair will have inflatable obstacle courses and a bungy jump, as well as your favorite games and arts and crafts -- candy necklaces, spin art, cookie decorating and more. A lunch buffet features grilled food plus options from Anna's Taqueria, Oath Craft Pizza, Upper Crust Pizzeria, Bon Me and Union Square Donuts; delicious desserts at two food trucks. Fun for the whole family like a touch-a-truck courtesy of the Brookline DPW, a student band and Heath's own Mr. Smith DJ'ing the cakewalk. Great experiences and items up for grabs at the raffle! Come have fun with your Heath friends!
    We need your help to make this event a success!

    CAKES! Please bring cakes to school for the cakewalk on Friday, May 19. The 6th, 7th or 8th grade that brings in the most cakes wins a pizza party!
     
    VOLUNTEERS! Please consider signing up for a shift selling tickets the week before the fair or to run an activity, grill or sell food, or setup or cleanup the day of the fair. Activities that are not staffed cannot run. 

    http://www.signupgenius.com/go/10c0e4eaea622aaf49-heath1

    http://www.signupgenius.com/go/10c0e4eaea622aaf49-heath
     
    We encourage 7th and 8th graders to help us sell popcorn and cotton candy at Mayfair. If you or your child is interested, reach out to a member of the Mayfair team or signup in the Heath School lobby during the week of May 15. 1 hour shifts are available from 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. on May 20. 
    Please reach out with any questions. See you at Mayfair!

    Melissa Palermo palermo.melissa@gmail.com
     
     
     
     
     

    News Worth Sharing Again:


    The HEATH SCHOOL ART SHOW is fast approaching! Mark your calendars: the Art Show opening will be held on Friday May 19th from 7:45-8:45am. We are looking for parent volunteers to help with a variety of tasks related to the Art Show. Any amount of time is appreciated. We are also looking for some parents to organize a small refreshments table for the morning of the opening. Please save the date and email ceara_yahn@psbma.org if you want to volunteer for any of the above!


    -Ms. Yahn and Mrs. Mitchell, Heath School art teachers


    8th Grade Yearbook

    After multiple reminders, we still do not have yearbook profiles and/or yearbook pictures from many 8th grade students. The opportunity to get these in is quickly coming to a close.  Students who do not submit profiles and preferred pictures will be included in the yearbook, but with only their name and school picture.  We strongly urge you to get this done as soon as possible. Our thanks.


    Cell Phone Use in School

    We recognize that our students have cell phones at school. Our policy has been and remains that the use of these phones during school hours is forbidden.  There are times, however, that a teacher might ask students to use a phone during class in service of learning (to document a project with a camera phone, for example) – this is rare as we prefer to use the technology we have in-house for such uses.


    If a child needs to contact a parent during the day, they must report to the office to do so.  Please do not call or text your child during the day; if you need to reach your child, please call the office. We’ll be happy to connect you with your child.


    When we see phones in use at lunch, at recess, in halls, or in class without teacher permission staff will take the phone from the child and give it to office staff to hold for the remainder of the day. Most often we will return the phone to the student at the end of the day. If necessary, we will return the phone only to parents.


    Please remind your child of these basic rules; we certainly are having the conversation at school, as well.


    8th Grade Graduation

    Our 8th grade graduation will be on June 20th at 4pm. Stay tuned for a full schedule, including the many celebratory events leading up to the big day.

    Please note: Most families consider graduation their student’s farewell to Heath School. Traditionally, eighth graders do not return following the graduation ceremony, though eighth grade teachers are at school through the remainder of the week. Please let us know if your child will be returning to Heath post-graduation.


    Upcoming Events:

    • Saturday, May 6th: 8th Grade Car Wash

    • Monday, May 8th: LGBTQ Forum for Grades 6-8, Auditorium, 9:50-10:45am & 11:15-11:45am

    • Wednesday, May 10th: MCAS - Grades 3 & 5, Math Session 1

    • Thursday, May 11th: MCAS - Grades 3 & 5, Math Session 2

    • Friday, May 12th: MCAS - Grades 4, Math Session 1

    • Monday, May 15th: MCAS - Grade 4, Math Session 2

    • Tuesday, May 16th: MCAS - Grades 6 & 7 Math Session 1

    • Wednesday, May 17th: MCAS - Grades 6 & 7 Math Session 2

    • Thursday, May 18th: Heath School Council, 8:00-9:00am

    • Thursday, May 18th: MCAS - Grade 8, Math Session 1

    • Friday, May 19th: Kindergarten for Earth Movie, Auditorium, 8:00-9:00am

    • Saturday, May 20th: May Fair, 11:00am-4:00pm


     Field Trips:

    • Tuesday, May 9th: Grade 6 Field Trip to ACE, 8:00am-12:30pm

    • Wednesday, May 10th: 4O & 4OC Field Trip to Tsongas Industrial History Center, 8:00am-1:00pm

    • Thursday, May 11th: Grade 6 Field Trip to Waterworks Museum, 9:15am-2:00pm

    • Monday, May 15th - Wednesday, May 17th: Grade 3 Field Trip to Frederick Law Olmsted, 8:30am-2:00pm
     

    Now that you've read all that, go be with your family! 

     
    AC
    ____
     
    AC Sevelius, Ed.D

    Heath School Principal

    Hey! Follow me on Twitter! @ACSevelius
     __________________________
     
     
    April 28th, 2017

    Dear Heath Families,


    So much to read and consider this week; thank you for the time you give to read these missive, stay connected, and mark your calendars. Your support makes our work so much easier!


    Heath Student Headed to State Science Fair

    I'm pleased to share with you that 7th grader Elinor Rosen won first place in the Regional Science Fair last Saturday. Elinor will now be representing Heath School and Brookline in the State Science Fair. Way to go, Elinor!  We are proud of you.


    "13 Reasons Why"

    I hope you all have had an opportunity to read Superintendent Bott’s missive regarding the show “13 Reasons Why,” sent earlier this week (the email was titled: Important Health and Safety Update). After you have read it, if you have questions or concerns, do not hesitate to reach out to David Chaet, our guidance counselor, or me.


    The HEATH SCHOOL ART SHOW is fast approaching! Mark your calendars: the Art Show opening will be held on Friday May 19th from 7:45-8:45am. We are looking for parent volunteers to help with a variety of tasks related to the Art Show. Any amount of time is appreciated. We are also looking for some parents to organize a small refreshments table for the morning of the opening. Please save the date and email ceara_yahn@psbma.org if you want to volunteer for any of the above!


    -Ms. Yahn and Mrs. Mitchell, Heath School art teachers


    8th Grade Yearbook: Deadlines are Closer Than You Think.

    After multiple reminders, we still do not have yearbook profiles and/or yearbook pictures from many 8th grade students. The opportunity to get these in is quickly coming to a close.  Students who do not submit profiles and preferred pictures will be included in the yearbook, but with only their name and school picture.  We strongly urge you to get this done as soon as possible. Our thanks.


    Cell Phone Use in School

    We recognize that our students have cell phones at school. Our policy has been and remains that the use of these phones during school hours is forbidden. There are times, however, that a teacher might ask students to use a phone during class in service of learning (to document a project with a camera phone, for example) – this is rare as we prefer to use the technology we have in-house for such uses.


    If a child needs to contact a parent during the day, they must report to the office to do so.  Please do not call or text your child during the day; if you need to reach your child, please call the office. We’ll be happy to connect you with your child.


    When we see phones in use at lunch, at recess, in halls, or in class without teacher permission staff will take the phone from the child and give it to office staff to hold for the remainder of the day. Most often we will return the phone to the student at the end of the day. If necessary, we will return the phone only to parents.


    Please remind your child of these basic rules; we certainly are having the conversation at school, as well.


    8th Grade Graduation

    Our 8th grade graduation will be on June 20th at 4pm. Stay tuned for a full schedule, including the many celebratory events leading up to the big day.

    Please note: Most families consider graduation their student’s farewell to Heath School. Traditionally, eighth graders do not return following the graduation ceremony, though eighth grade teachers are at school through the remainder of the week. Please let us know if your child will be returning to Heath post-graduation.

     

    And, lastly, a huge thanks to all who have – or are about to! – donate to our Annual Appeal. Your contributions make so much good stuff happen here. We are appreciative.
     

    Upcoming Events:

    • Monday, May 1st: MCAS - Grade 8, ELA Session 1

    • Monday, May 1st - Friday, May 5th: Kindergarten Screening, Library, 9:00am-12:00pm

    • Tuesday, May 2nd: K-6 Early Dismissal, 12:40pm

    • Tuesday, May 2nd: Grades 6-8 Term 3 Report Cards Published

    • Tuesday, May 2nd: Annual Town Election, Gym, 7:00am-8:00pm

    • Wednesday, May 3rd: MCAS - Grade 8, ELA Session 2

    • Wednesday, May 3rd: METCO Parent Meeting, Auditorium, 1:00-3:30pm

    • Thursday, May 4th: MCAS - Make Up Testing, ELA

    • Friday, May 5th: PTO First Friday Coffee, Cafeteria, 8:00-9:00am

    • Saturday, May 6th: 8th Grade Car Wash


     Field Trips:

    • Wednesday, May 3rd: 4B Field Trip to Tsongas Industrial History Center, 8:00am-2:30pm

    • Wednesday, May 3rd: 4OC Field Trip to Harvard Museum, 8:10am-1:30pm
     
     

    AC

    ____
     
    AC Sevelius, Ed.D

    Heath School Principal

    Hey! Follow me on Twitter! @ACSevelius
     __________________________
     
    April 13th, 2017

    Dear Heath Families,


    To begin, happy Spring Break! Whether you are staying close to home or traveling, I hope your read, explore, and enjoy the time you have together.


    Some good news before we take off for the week:


    8th Grade Graduation

    Our 8th grade graduation will be on June 20th at 4pm. Stay tuned for a full schedule, including the many celebratory events leading up to the big day.

    Please note: Most families consider graduation their student’s farewell to Heath School. Traditionally, eighth graders do not return following the graduation ceremony, though eighth grade teachers are at school through the remainder of the week. Please let us know if your child will be returning to Heath post-graduation.


    7th Grade Argument Writing

    In our 7th Grade ELA classes students have worked hard to craft compelling arguments intended to sway another’s thinking one way or another. Some students had Heath adults as their target audience; here are some slices from their much longer pieces. Let’s see if they compel YOU to change your mind?


    Max S. writes about video games:

    After doing some research I learned that videogames can help with learning. For example, an article in the Huffington Post called “7 Ways Video Games Will Help Your Kids in School” says, "Video games are a powerful way to get kids interested in technology from an early age, and teach them basic technical skills that will reap rewards down the road. For example, the wildly popular game Angry Birds is now teaching children basic coding principles." This shows that video games can help with learning by giving examples of games, and by telling us what skills those games can help teach kids. I know that people might say, ”Video games kill lots of brain cells when you play them.” However, when kids play video games it can lengthen their attention span because they have to focus on the game for a while, and it only kills brain cells if they play for 12 hours a week, which not many people even have time to do.


    Emma F. argues, about homework, that:

    Some children find school [hard]. Children with ADHD or some other learning disability find it harder to focus on homework. Even if a child does take the medication for school it wears off before the children have time to do their homework. It can cause a sudden wave of tiredness or the child might get distracted more easily. They may work for hours on end, but their work is still so sloppy because they just could not focus. It is maddening to get a bad grade on homework you spent so long doing because you find it hard to concentrate … I am not suggesting that we stop giving homework, but we should have a plan that could help with this situation.


    Ava R. and Ava L. share, about testing products on animals, that:

    First and foremost, animals are not humans, so the results of tests are not always accurate. One such example of this is a medicine used by millions of people each day, aspirin. In fact, this medicine is so common that 16,000 tons of it are used by Americans every year (Encyclopedia.com, 2017). This medicine was found to be dangerous to some animals and almost wasn’t used. On the other side of this, there have been medicines that were considered safe in animals but then weren’t in humans. An example of this is, “The 1950s sleeping pill thalidomide, which caused 10,000 babies to be born with severe deformities…tests on pregnant mice, rats, guinea pigs, cats, and hamsters did not result in birth defects” (procon, 2016). If tests on animals aren’t alway effective, why are we still continuing with this practice?


    Ask your 7th grader to see their entire piece! I hope they will be proud to show you their argument writing unit product.


    Upcoming Events:

    • Friday, April 14th: School Closed: Good Friday

    • Monday, April 17 - Friday, April 21: No School: April Vacation

    • Wednesday, April 26th: K-6 Early Dismissal, 12:40pm

    • Thursday, April 27th : Evening Conferences


    Again, be safe, and enjoy this beautiful Boston spring!


    AC

    ____
     
    AC Sevelius, Ed.D

    Heath School Principal

    Hey! Follow me on Twitter! @ACSevelius
     __________________________

     

    April 7th, 2017

     


    Dear Heath Families,


    International Night

    Thank you to the families who organized, hosted tables, set up and cleaned up, spent time and money, and came together at this year’s International Night. Your collective efforts made the night unfold without a hitch.


    As a parent said to me at the event, “This could only happen in the United States.” And he’s right. I am often dumbfounded by the political rhetoric happening in our country now, but am ceaselessly amazed by our capacity to love and celebrate each other’s lived experiences. On Tuesday we gathered in celebration of ourselves and each other. A Heath, all passports are honored!


    Also, be sure to thank our top-notch custodial team, Mr. Glidden and Mr. Powers, when you see them – before, during, and after the event, they worked to make sure the school was clean and ready for learning the next morning.


    Annie, Jr.!!!

    Today our 7th and 8th grade thespians premiered our rendition of Annie, Jr. to a rapt audience of K-2nd grade students. Sitting in the audience, I found my heart swelling with pride as our students – your kids! –  gave 1000% to the production.


    Putting on a play is hard work. Our team – Elena Maimonis (sister to Ms. Maimonis, 5th grade teacher), Briana DiFilippis (our 5th grade long-term sub), and Ms. Yahn (Art) – has been relentless in the efforts towards making this play come to life.  


    Come and see it! Our evening dates are below. I know I’ll be here with my kids!


    Graduation Date Set!

    We’ll be hosting our 8th grade graduation June 20th at 4pm. Please stay tuned for details on the entire 8th grade end of year celebrations, including out-of-school excursions, parties, and the day of graduation itself.


    Yearbook Committee! Request for Student Volunteers

    Our 8th grade yearbook is in urgent need of student volunteers. 7th graders are welcome to join, too. Immediately following April break, the Yearbook Team will begin meeting on Monday and Thursday afternoons from 2:30-3:30. Ms. Yahn is looking for 6-8 Yearbook Team members who can commit to making these meetings through the end of May. 7th and 8th grade students should see Ms. Yahn to express their interest in participating.


    Hiring Committee Volunteers Needed

    Hiring season is upon us. We have several positions opening in the new school year and we hope to have a few parents able to sit in on our interviews, providing a parent perspective. If you are willing and able, please send me an email with a few reasons you think you’d be a good partner in this process.  Thanks!


    Upcoming Events:

    • Monday, April 10th: MCAS - Grade 4, ELA Session 2 and Grades 6 & 7, ELA Session 1

    • Tuesday, April 11th: K-6 Early Dismissal, 12:40pm

    • Tuesday, April 11th & Wednesday, April 12th: 8th Grade Play Performance, Auditorium, 7:00-9:00pm

    • Thursday, April 13th: MCAS - Grade 4, ELA Session 3 and Grades 6 & 7, ELA Session 2

    • Friday, April 14th: School Closed: Good Friday

    • Monday, April 17 - Friday, April 21: No School: April Vacation

    • Wednesday, April 26th: K-6 Early Dismissal, 12:40pm

    • Thursday, April 27th : Evening Conferences
     
     
    AC 
     
    ____
     
    AC Sevelius, Ed.D

    Heath School Principal

    Hey! Follow me on Twitter! @ACSevelius
     __________________________
     
    March 31st, 2017

     

    Dear Heath Families,

     
    To begin, this week and last we had our annual Variety Shows. Thanks to Anne Jarvis and the team of parents who worked tirelessly to make every child feel safe, celebrated, and known during these performances. And thank YOU, our parents, for sending us kids with the moxie to get up on stage and give it 110%. What a treat!

    Yearbook Committee! Request for Student Volunteers

    Our 8th grade yearbook is in urgent need of student volunteers. 7th graders are welcome to join, too. Immediately following April break, the Yearbook Team will begin meeting on Monday and Thursday afternoons from 2:30-3:30. Ms. Yahn is looking for 6-8 Yearbook Team members who can commit to making these meetings through the end of May. 7th and 8th grade students should see Ms. Yahn to express their interest in participating.

     

    8th Grade Science + Art  diVinci Project

    This past Monday, our 8th graders finally presented their outstanding diVinci projects. In this project, 8th graders learned and applied art, science, engineering and literacy in a rich, intriguing context. But their learning went way beyond that---they also learned to use tools and how things are put together, experienced the value of persistence, collaborated, gave and received feedback, communicated their ideas (through drawing, text and orally), and reflected on their learning.


    After the celebration, a parent wrote to say, “I was blown away by today's 8th grade showcase. What incredible work.  The kids were so engaged, showing off their engineering thinking, reflecting on physics concepts …  This was teaching and learning at its best!”


    Janet MacNeil, K-8 Science Coordinator, said, “Thank you so much for your hard work on putting together the innovative integrated Art/Science/Engineering diVinci project. What a terrific example of rich, creative learning and "making" that is accessible for all students! This is the kind of innovative learning that students need to be successful in their future! I'm thrilled to see this happening at Heath and look forward to sharing your work districtwide.”


    I think it is safe to say that we were collectively  blown away by the student posters, projects and their ability to explain their work and their learning this morning at the diVinci showcase. Furthermore, we recognize that this project was made possible through the power of teacher collaboration. Ms. Yahn and Mr. Goldner led our team of risk-taking teachers through this exciting adventure!


    MCAS Information, Grades 3-8

    MCAS begins next week for our 3rd-8th graders (See Upcoming Events below). At Heath School we prioritize high-quality teaching and learning all year and work hard to reduce any pressure students might feel about taking this test. Our message is that MCAS shows some data at one moment of time and not the whole story of a student’s growth and achievements.


    Mr. Smith, Vice Principal, is our MCAS Coordinator and is working carefully to make this year’s testing cycles go as smoothly as possible. He is a wealth of information; don’t hesitate to reach out to him should you have any questions. He’s at michael_smith@psbma.org and 617-879-4542.


    Remember!!! MCAS testing starts on time each day, so please drop off, high five, and exit the building with more haste and on time. Also, we will not be having food in our classrooms this testing cycle; if teachers need anything from parents, they will surely be in touch.


    Here home nuts and bolts that might be helpful:


    2017 MCAS Test Design

    ELA and Mathematics tests will be a combination of:

    1. Legacy MCAS test questions (like the ones students have seen in the past)

    2. Newly developed MCAS test questions

    3. PARCC test questions (these will be phased out over time); http://www.parcconline.org/assessments


    What’s New:

    Computer Based Testing (CBT) for our 4th and 8th graders. We are working hard to make sure we are ready to roll out computer-based testing at Heath. Our teachers are being trained so that they are comfortable administering the test, 3rd grade students are learning to type, and we are taking practice tests to prepare.


    We feel strongly that “We’ve got this!”

     

    Hiring Committee Volunteers Needed

    Hiring season is upon us. We have several positions opening in the new school year and we hope to have a few parents able to sit in on our interviews, providing a parent perspective. If you are willing and able, please send me an email with a few reasons you think you’d be a good partner in this process. Thanks!


    Upcoming Events:

    • Monday, April 3rd: MCAS - Grades 3 & 5, ELA Session 1

    • Tuesday, April 4th: MCAS - Grades 3 & 5, ELA Session 2

    • Tuesday, April 4th: International Night, Cafeteria, Lobby, Gym, 5:00-8:30pm

    • Wednesday, April 5th: K-8 Early Dismissal, 12:40pm

    • Thursday, April 6th: MCAS - Grades 3 & 5, ELA Session 3

    • Friday, April 7th: PTO Coffee, Cafeteria, 8:00-9:00am

    • Friday, April 7th: MCAS - Grade 4, ELA Session 1

    • Monday, April 10th: MCAS - Grade 4, ELA Session 2 and Grades 6 & 7, ELA Session 1

    • Tuesday, April 11th: K-6 Early Dismissal, 12:40pm

    • Tuesday, April 11th & Wednesday, April 12th: 8th Grade Play Performance, Auditorium, 6:00-8:00pm

    • Thursday, April 13th: MCAS - Grade 4, ELA Session 3 and Grades 6 & 7, ELA Session 2

    • Friday, April 14th: School Closed: Good Friday


    Field Trips:

    • Monday, April 3rd: 4B Field Trip to Harvard Museum, 8:00am-1:00pm

    • Tuesday, April 4th: 4O Field Trip to Harvard Museum, 8:00am-1:00pm

    • Thursday, April 6th: 7/8 Math Team Meet, Oak Hill Middle School, 3:00-6:30pm

     
    In solidarity,
     
    AC 
     
    ____
     
    AC Sevelius, Ed.D

    Heath School Principal

    Hey! Follow me on Twitter! @ACSevelius
     __________________________
     
     
    March 24th, 2017

     

    Dear Heath Community,

     

    This week I was fortunate enough to attend the Race, Equity, & Leadership in Schools (REAL) Conference at Harvard University. I joined other Brookline principals, our superintendent, and many members of the district leadership team at the conference. While it is always hard not to be in school with students; I am ever thankful for the incredible staff at Heath that allows me to further my own learning in service of our school’s work.

     

    Our learning began with Dr. Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot, Harvard professor and MacArthur Genius, who challenged us to pivot towards the light and work to fulfill the promise of racial equity in our schools. She challenged school leaders to confront stereotypes, use our skills to close the cultural and economic gaps ever present in our schools, and help to create opportunities in our PreK-college schooling that focus on bridging the gap between excellence and equity, inquiry and truth-telling.

     

    Over the course of the week we had opportunities to hear from Harvard professors and hear the many perspectives on anti-rasicst education and leadership. I was especially inspired by Dr. Danielle Allen, who asked participants to consider these questions:  “What do I know about the aspirations of the students of color in my school? How do I know what I know? How might I learn more about my student’s aspirations?” But knowing is not enough. How can I use my influence and leadership to build bridges and forge bonds for our students of color in service of social connectedness and academic success? Her frameworks to guide this critical work left me with much to read and consider.

     

    By Thursday afternoon, I very much missed being at Heath. While I am motivated by my own learning and academic growth, I am a practitioner at heart and my place is in a school.  I look forward to Monday and to bringing back a wealth of ideas to share with you all. I will make my notes and the readings freely available to you, too.

     
    Also ...
     

     

    Upcoming Events:

    Tuesday, March 28th: Variety Show -  Grades K-3, Auditorium, 2:00-4:00pm

    Friday, March 31st: METCO Connections Artist Workshop, Room 209, 1:40-3:00pm

    Friday, March 31st: Variety Show -  Grades K-3, Auditorium, 2:00-4:00pm

    Monday, April 3rd: MCAS - Grades 3 & 5, ELA Session 1

    Tuesday, April 4th: MCAS - Grades 3 & 5, ELA Session 2

    Tuesday, April 4th: International Night, Cafeteria, Lobby, Gym, 5:00-8:30pm

    Wednesday, April 5th: K-8 Early Dismissal, 12:40pm

    Thursday, April 6th: MCAS - Grades 3 & 5, ELA Session 3

    Friday, April 7th: PTO Coffee, Cafeteria, 8:00-9:00am

    Friday, April 7th: MCAS - Grade 4, ELA Session 1

    Monday, April 10th: MCAS - Grade 4, ELA Session 2 and Grades 6 & 7, ELA Session 1

    Tuesday, April 11th: K-6 Early Dismissal, 12:40pm

    Tuesday, April 11th & Wednesday, April 12th: 8th Grade Play Performance, Auditorium, 6:00-8:00pm

    Thursday, April 13th: MCAS - Grade 4, ELA Session 3 and Grades 6 & 7, ELA Session 2

    Friday, April 14th: School Closed: Good Friday

     

    Field Trips:

    Monday, April 3rd: 4B Field Trip to Harvard Museum, 8:00am-1:00pm

    Tuesday, April 4th: 4O Field Trip to Harvard Museum, 8:00am-1:00pm

    Thursday, April 6th: 4OC Field Trip to Harvard Museum, 8:00am-1:00pm

    Thursday, April 6th: 7/8 Math Team Meet, Oak Hill Middle School, 3:00-6:30pm

     

    I was able to attend the conference this week because of the Public Schools of Brookline's commitment to anti-racist education and long-term vision for schools that confront inequity with both grace and courage. I am equally supported by a team at Heath that makes it possible for me to spend such a long time out of the building – teachers, staff ... my crew. But know that my learning was truly in service of your kids, the reason we show up day after day. Thank you for your partnership and commitments, as well. It matters.
     
    AC 

     

     

    ____
     
    AC Sevelius, Ed.D

    Heath School Principal

    Hey! Follow me on Twitter! @ACSevelius
     __________________________

     

     March 17th, 2017

    Dear Heath Families,


    A surprise snow storm hit us this past week, moving our last day of school back even further. If the weather holds, our last day of school will be June 23rd.


    Many of you have asked when the Heath School 8th grade graduation will be. I will make the call in early April, after the weather has settled and we are more sure that our last day of school will remain on the 23rd. 8th graders graduate a few days earlier than the last day of school … and then  get a few days off before all the other students leave for summer vacation. I appreciate your patience as this wacky winter winds down.


    School Council Meeting

    On Thursday I had the opportunity to meet with the hHeath School Council and members of the District’s School Committee to talk about the work happening at the school this year. We discussed the professional learning teachers are engaged in, how we are addressing issues of educational equity (with an emphasis on race and racism), the awesome teacher collaboration happening here, and the incredible products coming out of our new STEAM Room. It was a total pleasure to spend time talking about the school in this way, and over and over again I was filled with hope, pride, and inspiration. I feel very fortunate to be a part of this community and this conversation filled my bucket!


    Reminder: Please Complete the Heath Family Feedback Survey

    This month we are doing our annual Family Feedback survey about the climate and culture of our school and the school district. If you have not completed the survey, you should have received an email reminder yesterday from Panorama Education, our partner that is administering the survey for us. Please think of this survey as a way for you to provide valuable and helpful feedback about the climate, culture, and leadership here at Heath and in the district. The survey is one important way we identify our Heath’s strengths and areas we can work to improve. We are extending the deadline to March 24 to allow more parents and guardians to respond If you have not received an email with a link to the survey please email support+brookline@panoramaed.com


    MCAS Information, Grades 3-8

    MCAS begins soon for our 3rd-8th graders (See Upcoming Events below). At Heath School we prioritize high-quality teaching and learning all year and work hard to reduce any pressure students might feel about taking this test. Our message is that MCAS shows some data at one moment of time and not the whole story of a student’s growth and achievements.


    Mr. Smith, Vice Principal, is our MCAS Coordinator and is working carefully to make this year’s testing cycles go as smoothly as possible. He is a wealth of information; don’t hesitate to reach out to him should you have any questions.

     

    Here home nuts and bolts that might be helpful:

    2017 MCAS Test Design

    ELA and Mathematics tests will be a combination of:

    1. Legacy MCAS test questions (like the ones students have seen in the past)

    2. Newly developed MCAS test questions

    3. PARCC test questions (these will be phased out over time); http://www.parcconline.org/assessments


    What’s New:

    Computer Based Testing (CBT) for our 4th and 8th graders. We are working hard to make sure we are ready to roll out computer-based testing at Heath. Our teachers are being trained so that they are comfortable administering the test, 3rd grade students are learning to type, and we are taking practice tests to prepare.


    We feel strongly that “We’ve got this!”


    Rhyme Time!

    Our Kindergarten Crew put on quite a show this morning! It was a delight to see the final production and to have so many families with us for the show.


    Big thanks to our Kindergarten teachers who time after time make this a not-to-be-missed Heath tradition.  The teachers and students practice for days to make sure their final product is spot-on. Their perseverance, faith, and joy showed through again this year!

     

     

    Upcoming Events:

    • Tuesday, March 21st: Variety Show Dress Rehearsals - Grades 4-8, Auditorium, 2:45-4:00pm

    • Wednesday, March 22nd: Japanese Drumming Workshop, Cafeteria, 8:00-10:30am

    • Friday, March 24th: Theatre Espresso Performance for Grades 5-8, Auditorium, 8:30-10:45am

    • Friday, March 24th: METCO Connections Artist Workshop, Room 209, 1:40-3:00pm

    • Friday, March 24th: Variety Show -  Grades 4-8, Auditorium, 2:00-4:00pm

    • Tuesday, March 28th: Faculty Meeting, 2:45-3:45pm

    • Friday, March 31st : Pineapple Project - Performances for Grades K & 1, Library, 8:30-11:15am

    • Friday, March 31st: METCO Connections Artist Workshop, Room 209, 1:40-3:00pm

    • Monday, April 3rd: MCAS - Grades 3 & 5, ELA Session 1

    • Tuesday, April 4th: MCAS - Grades 3 & 5, ELA Session 2

    • Tuesday, April 4th: Faculty Meeting, 2:45-3:45pm

    • Tuesday, April 4th: International Night, Cafeteria, Lobby, Gym, 5:00-8:30pm

    • Wednesday, April 5th: K-8 Early Dismissal, 12:40pm

    • Thursday, April 6th: MCAS - Grades 3 & 5, ELA Session 3

    • Friday, April 7th: PTO Coffee, Cafeteria, 8:00-9:00am

    • Friday, April 7th: MCAS - Grade 4, ELA Session 1


    Field Trips:


    • Thursday, March 23rd :Grade 5 Field Trip to the Museum of Science, 8:15am-2:15pm

    • Monday, April 3rd: 4B Field Trip to Harvard Museum, 8:00am-1:00pm

    • Tuesday, April 4th: 4O Field Trip to Harvard Museum, 8:00am-1:00pm

    • Thursday, April 6th: 4OC Field Trip to Harvard Museum, 8:00am-1:00pm

    • Thursday, April 6th: 7/8 Math Team Meet, Oak Hill Middle School, 3:00-6:30pm

     

     
    Now get out there and do some good in this world!
     
    AC 

     

    ____
     
    AC Sevelius, Ed.D

    Heath School Principal

    Hey! Follow me on Twitter! @ACSevelius
     __________________________
     
     
    March 10th, 2017
     
    Dear Heath Community,
     
    A ton of outstanding learning happening this week at Heath, seen and unseen. Including ... 
     

    International Women’s Day

    This past Wednesday, we recognized International Women’s Day at Heath School. Many staff wore red in recognition of women’s lives and women’s work, read books with a focus on women in science, engineering, math, and more. Colleen Carney, our librarian, curated books just for this occasion.


    During my morning announcements on Wednesday, I named a few women who truly inspired me in my life. The women included my own mother, activists Angela Davis and Sylvia Rivera, and the many teachers I’ve encountered here and in my life. What a great question to ask your own kids! Who are the women who inspire you? And share with them the ones that bring inspiration to your own world, as well.


    Looking for great books with strong female leads? Start here: https://www.commonsensemedia.org/lists/books-with-strong-female-characters


    And consider the book RAD American Women A-Z, one of my family’s favorites.  http://www.citylights.com/book/?GCOI=87286100228580


    Teacher Learning

    This week it has been my pleasure to partner with our 1st and 2nd grade teachers and specialists to talk about teaching and learning. We looked at our upcoming Japan unit of study, writing rubrics, math learning trajectories, and early literacy. Teachers were released from teaching duties so that they could engage in this critical work. It is remarkable to see how Heath teachers come alive when the time, space, and resources for collaborative work are offered and protected.  


    Next week I’ll be working with our 3rd grade team; in April the 4th and 5th grade teams will be given this time to work together.


    These release days have been in collaboration with Driscoll School; this partnership has allowed teachers to cross pollinate ideas and get fresh perspectives on their practice.


    From Ceara Yahn, our Art Teacher

    Thanks to the generosity of the Brookline Education Foundation, I had the privilege of attending the National Art Education Association Conference in NYC with ten other art educators from Brookline on March 2nd-4th. Alicia Mitchell, Department Coordinator and art teacher at Heath School, was also in attendance.


    The NAEA Conference was a rich learning experience. Each day, dozens of lectures, presentations and workshops were offered, taught by art educators and leaders in art education from across the country. It was hard to choose what to attend because there were so many compelling offerings! I learned about new project ideas for clay, approaches to making digital sketchbooks, the influence of comics in art, and the role of the art room as a safe space. I heard from a range of inspiring speakers, including multiple award-winning educators. One of the most memorable sessions I attended was a Q & A with a panel of LGBTQ+ high school students and their teacher, who discussed the role art and community play as they explore and advocate for their identities.


    I also had the invaluable opportunity to meet art teachers from across the country and to visit some of NYC's excellent art museums. We stayed two blocks away from the Museum of Modern Art, so Heath students can be looking forward to some upcoming projects inspired by their collection!


    Upcoming Events:

    • Tuesday, March 14th: Variety Show Dress Rehearsal, Auditorium, 2:45-4:00pm

    • Wednesday, March 15th: Grades 6-8 Progress Reports Published

    • Wednesday, March 15th: Grades 5/6 Math Meet, 1:00-4:30pm

    • Thursday, March 16th: Heath School Council, 8:00-9:00am