•  growth mindset

    The Heath School

     

    The Public Schools of Brookline

    Welcome to The Principal's Message, where you will find regular updates about what is happening here at Heath.  Please consider following me on Twitter, as well! @AsaSevelius
     

     

     
  • 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, Holly Deak, 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
    • Holly Deak holly.deak@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

    • Friday, March 17th: Variety Show #1, Auditorium, 2:00-4:00pm

    • Tuesday, March 21st: Variety Show Dress Rehearsals, Auditorium, 2:45-4:00pm

    • Friday, March 24th: Variety Show #2, Auditorium, 2:00-4:00pm


    Field Trips:

    • Monday, March 13th : Grade 2 Field Trip to Children’s Museum, 8:45am-1:30pm
     
     
    Be kind, be generous, bring the light when able.
     
    AC 

     

    ____
     
    AC Sevelius, Ed.D

    Heath School Principal

    Hey! Follow me on Twitter! @ACSevelius
     __________________________
     
    March 3rd, 2017
     
    Dear Heath Community,
     
    Before February Break it was announced that I had been selected to lead Heath School moving forward; I will not be serving in an interim capacity any longer. Please know that it is my great pleasure to serve this community and I am thankful for the chance to stay and continue the work we have going on here. I have been deeply moved by your congratulations and warm wishes. You are beyond kind and I am so very appreciative. Thank you.
     
    Supporting Transgender and Gender Expansive Kids

    Heath School remains a welcoming place for all students. That said, some of you have asked, “How can I learn more about what’s happening right now with the protections of Transgender kids in our schools?” If you’d like to learn more, check out this great piece from Teaching Tolerance:

    http://www.tolerance.org/blog/tell-transgender-students-we-re-still-here-you


    Also, today you received an email entitled “Reaffirming Support for Transgender Students” from Superintendent Bott and our school committee. The missive includes resources for you all. As always, should you like to talk more, my office is always open to you and I relish the opportunity to dig in.


    Lost & Found

    We’ve cleaned out the Lost & Found, but have kept any item with a label. Not much is there, but do come and check it out. If any parent would like to consider a great fundraiser, please think about labels for clothes, lunch boxes, etc. I think we’d make a ton of money for our amazing little school (and you wouldn’t have to buy 4 winter coats each year)! THANK YOU to Ms. Beckwith and her crew for taking on this project.


    Heath School Annual Appeal

    Again, a HUGE thank you to those families who have already contributed!!  Unfortunately, at this time, participation is only at 31.5% of our community. This is well below our goal!

    Due to this lower than anticipated participation level and funds raised, The Heath Annual Appeal has been extended!


    This appeal represents the PTO’s primary source of funding. Your contributions are critical to the continuation of a wide range of activities and programs that enhance the Heath community.


    **The PTO has historically spent approximately $200/student annually......We are currently $25K under what we raised last year which will put historically funded programs in danger!


    Please consider a gift that is meaningful to you.


    You can donate through Paypal at the PTO website (http://heathpto.org/) or by making your check out to HEATH SCHOOL PTO and delivering it to 100 Eliot Street, Chestnut Hill MA 02467 attn: PTO Treasurer.  

     

    Thank you for helping us support Heath students and teachers!


    Your PTO Leadership

    Eileen O'Grady & Rina Kaul, Co-Presidents

    Gaelle From, Vice President/Secretary

    Rachel Wexler & John Freese, Co-Treasurers

    Alysa Doyle & Susan Winshall, Annual Appeal Co-Chairs

    __________


    Make It Yourself!!!

    39 Coolest Toys You Can Make Yourself – https://www.buzzfeed.com/twopoodles/toys-you-can-make-yourself?utm_term=.wsxPBONNq#.hwR1N9jj5

    __________


    Upcoming Events:

    • Tuesday, March 7 - Thursday, March 9 : Variety Show Rehearsals, Auditorium, 2:45-4:00pm

    • 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

    • Friday, March 17th: Variety Show #1, Auditorium, 2:00-4:00pm

    • Tuesday, March 21st: Variety Show Dress Rehearsals, Auditorium, 2:45-4:00pm

    • Friday, March 24th: Variety Show #2, Auditorium, 2:00-4:00pm


    Field Trips:

    • Monday, March 13th : Grade 2 Field Trip to Children’s Museum, 8:45am-1:30pm

    Thanks to everyone who was able to come for the First Friday Coffee this morning! Remember, if you are unable to come, we're happy to let you know what was discussed. Just reach out!

    Peace,
     
    AC 

     

    ____
     
    AC Sevelius, Ed.D

    Heath School Principal

    Hey! Follow me on Twitter! @ACSevelius
     __________________________
     
    February 17th, 2017
    Happy February Break! With all the snow days we've had lately, it feels like quite a February Break indeed. But that is what happens when you live in New England. Winter always comes ... and this year it came all at once.
     
    Over break, take some time to check out the following resources, all curated by out Enrichment, Challenge, & Support (ECS) Specialist Tanya Gregoire:
     

    Fighting STEM Gender Stereotypes With Stories of Trailblazing Female Stereotypes (https://www.pri.org/stories/2017-02-02/fighting-stem-gender-gap-stories-trailblazing-female-scientists)

    From the article: In her book, she calls out those STEM gender gap statistics in fluorescent pie charts. And the 50 women scientists she highlights are illustrated even more boldly, sketched in bright purples and greens against dark backgrounds, and surrounded by symbols of their work. Ignotofsky says she used the colors and props to make the women “pop off the page and give you this sort of excitement and wonder that they're feeling while making their discoveries.”
     

    W.E.B. DuBois’ Hand Drawn Info Graphics of African American Life (1900) (http://publicdomainreview.org/collections/w-e-b-du-bois-hand-drawn-infographics-of-african-american-life-1900/)

    THIS IS FANTASTIC - if you read nothing else in this newsletter, read this article.  The drawings are amazing for both their math and art, the information is amazing for it’s historical content.  Plus it’s just amazing to see what W.E.B. Dubois created by his own hand. This is primary source material people!!

    “William Edward Burghardt “W. E. B.” Du Bois — sociologist, historian, activist, Pan-Africanist, and prolific author — had also, it turns out, a mighty fine eye for graphic design. Born in Great Barrington, Massachusetts in 1868, Du Bois studied at Fisk University, Humboldt University in Berlin, and Harvard (where he was the first African American to earn a doctorate), and in 1897 he became a professor of history, sociology and economics at Atlanta University. Two years later he published his first major academic work The Philadelphia Negro (1899), a detailed and comprehensive sociological study of the African-American people of Philadelphia, based on his earlier field work.”

    The Origami Revolution (http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/physics/origami-revolution.html?linkId=34331191)

    Origami is not just for paper cranes anymore.  Origami is now being engineered into many important projects.  Origami is used in airbags, microbots, medicine and more.  This Nova program introduces what they call a “scientific revolution”.  Do you know kids who like to fold?  What might they build?  This airs 2/15 on PBS, but I’m sure it will have encore presentations.

    Program Description

    “The centuries-old tradition of folding two-dimensional paper into three-dimensional shapes is inspiring a scientific revolution. The rules of folding are at the heart of many natural phenomena, from how leaves blossom to how beetles fly. But now, engineers and designers are applying its principles to reshape the world around us—and even within us, designing new drugs, micro-robots, and future space missions. With this burgeoning field of origami-inspired-design, the question is: can the mathematics of origami be boiled down to one elegant algorithm—a fail-proof guidebook to make any object out of a flat surface, just by folding? And if so, what would that mean for the future of design? Explore the high-tech future of this age-old art as NOVA unfolds “The Origami Revolution.”

    And for fun...
    http://www.repeatcrafterme.com/2015/11/cardboard-roll-snake-knitting.html 
     
    At Heath, I think you know, we take our learning seriously and consider ourselves to be innovators. These resources can help your kids see themselves as innovators, too! And, after all, it's all about them, right?!
     

    Upcoming Events:

    • Monday, February 20 - Friday, February 24: School Closed: February Vacation

    • Tuesday, February 28 - Thursday, March 2: Variety Show Auditions, Auditorium, 2:45-4:00pm

    • Wednesday, March 1st : Japanese Drumming Workshop, Cafeteria, 8:00-10:30am

    • Friday, March 3rd : PTO Coffee, Cafeteria, 8:00-9:00am

    • Tuesday, March 7 - Thursday, March 9 : Variety Show Rehearsals, Auditorium, 2:45-4:00pm


    Field Trips:

    • Wednesday, March 1st : Grade 3 Field Trip to Moose Hill Wildlife, 8:30am-2:00pm

    • Wednesday, March 1st : Grade 1 Field Trip to Children’s Museum, 9:15am-1:45pm

    • Thursday, March 2nd: 7/8 Math Team Meet, Oak Hill Middle School, 3:00-6:30pm

     
    Be well, enjoy each other, and get out there for some winter fun!
     
    AC 
    ____
     
    AC Sevelius, Ed.D

    Interim Principal

    Hey! Follow me on Twitter! @ACSevelius
     __________________________
     
    February 10th, 2017

    Dear Heath Sledders,

    Two snow days!!!  Unbelievable! One to dig out and one to play.  Thank you to the crews who have worked tirelessly to make sure our community was cleared, cleaned, and safe for our learners. 

    Looking forward to seeing you all on Monday.

    Reviewing Student Progress Reports on Aspen Parent Portal

    Student progress reports are available in our Aspen Parent Portal.  I know you are eager to see your child’s progress reports card! However, in grade 1-5, only 43% of Heath families have logged own to review these reports.  How can we help you log on? Please call us if you need support. We’ll be glad to help.

    Parent Night: 8th Grade Transition to BHS

    To better prepare you for your upcoming registration at BHS for 9th grade, you are cordially invited to attend an evening panel discussion on the transition to Brookline High School. 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 to take? How students create a “pathway”?  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 will 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 current BHS parents, and our School Counselor, David Chaet, in attendance to answer any additional questions you might have after the panel.   This event is intended only for parents/guardians.

     

    • When: February 27th, 2017 at 6:30 PM
    • Where: Heath School Cafeteria
    • Who: All 8th Grade Parents/GuardiansBHS Parent Meeting

     

    Upcoming Events:

     

    • Wednesday, February 15th : METCO Connections Program - Games and Breakfast, Room 209, 7:30-8:00am
    • Wednesday, February 15th : Grades 5/6 Math Meet, 1:00-4:30pm
    • Monday, February 20 - Friday, February 24: School Closed: February Vacation
    • Tuesday, February 28 - Thursday, March 2: Variety Show Auditions, Auditorium, 2:45-4:00pm

     

    Field Trips:

     

    • Wednesday, March 1st : Grade 1 Field Trip to Children’s Museum, 9:15am-1:45pm
    • Thursday, March 2nd: 7/8 Math Team Meet, Oak Hill Middle School, 3:00-6:30pm

     

    And finally, I want to say, at the risk of sounding like a broken record, at Heath School we believe that a free, high-quality public education is a fundamental human right. Our core values and mission remain tied closely to that belief and we work tirelessly to make sure all are welcome here.

    Peace,
     
    AC
    _____
     
    AC Sevelius, Ed.D

    Interim Principal

    Hey! Follow me on Twitter! @ACSevelius
     __________________________

    February 3rd, 2017

    Dear Heath families,

    Another robust discussion at our First Friday Coffee this morning! We discussed the 9th School process, our upcoming MCAS testing cycle, the transition to BHS for 8th graders, and more. With so much going on, it is so important that you take the time each week to check my message – especially the Upcoming Events section. We do our best to keep you informed; if you ever need more information, please ask your child’s teacher or come on into the office.  We’ll be happy to keep you connected.

    Professional Learning at Heath this Spring

    I wanted to share with you a bit on how we are extending our Race and Equity conversation at Heath this spring. As you remember, in the fall we had a full day of professional development on Race and Equity and were fortunate to hear from Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum. This was so impactful in our community and this spring we’ll launch Professional Learning Groups (PLGs) to extend this work. Some of the topics we’ll be covering are: microagressions, examining personal bias, building diverse classroom libraries, and several book groups with understanding race issues and confronting racism  at the core of the reading experience. We will also have opportunities for teachers to dig into student engagement, portfolios, and social-emotional learning.

    We take our learning at Heath very seriously. I am grateful for the many teachers who will be facilitating these learning groups – this requires a unified effort and the Heath crew is committed to building a school where we support all of our learners as they grow into true citizens.

    Permission to Take a Break

    If you are like me, you are balancing family, work, and the constant barrage of news. I urge you to turn off the phone, tv, iPad, device this weekend and allow yourself some space to breathe.  John Mroz, diplomat and founder of the EastWest Institute, said: "Peace is not the absence of chaos or conflict, but rather finding yourself in the midst of that chaos and remaining calm in your heart.” Be good to yourself this weekend so that you can be good for others.

    Upcoming Events:

    • Tuesday, February 7th : Faculty Meeting, 2:45-3:45pm
    • Wednesday, February 8th : Grades 6-8 Report Cards Published
    • Wednesday, February 8th : Grades 5-8 Winter Band Concert, Runkle Auditorium, 7:00pm
    • Thursday, February 9th : Heath School Council Meeting, 8:10-9:10am
    • Friday, February 10th : 8th Grade Electives Presentation @ BHS, 8:30-10:45am
    • Wednesday, February 15th : METCO Connections Program - Games and Breakfast, Room 209, 7:30-8:00am
    • Wednesday, February 15th : Grades 5/6 Math Meet, 1:00-4:30pm

    Field Trips:

    • Monday, February 6th : Grade 4 Field Trip to Edward Kennedy Institute, 9:00am-2:15pm
    • Friday, February 10th: Heath Ski and Snowboard Club, Mt. Wachusett Ski Area, 2:30-10:35pm

    My very best and greatest hopes for peace,

    AC

    _____
     
    AC Sevelius, Ed.D

    Interim Principal

    Hey! Follow me on Twitter! @ACSevelius
     __________________________
     
     
    January 27th, 2017

    Dear Heath Families,

    To begin, Happy Lunar New Year! In 4O’C this morning we had an awesome celebration of the Lunar New Year, ate delicious hand-made dumplings, wrote in calligraphy, and learned about the the traditions associated with this important holiday. Ms. O’Connell was a gracious host and the parents who came in to teach today provided us with a true gift. Our thanks! To learn more about the Year of the Rooster, go here: http://www.chinahighlights.com/travelguide/chinese-zodiac/rooster.htm  

    On Thursday, our 2nd and 5th graders were treated to drumming and dance session by a Malian artist, Joh Camara. I spoke to Elliot, Jacquie, Meredith from 2S who shared that the experience was: “Really fun and pretty tiring, especially after we danced!” “I thought it was fun because he did a long drumming session and when he was done he did it again … with his eyes closed!” “I liked it because I was tired after dancing, and we got to take a class picture with him.  We should do it again next year!”

    This week our 5th graders participated in the Understanding Our Differences and Similarities program, with a focus on intellectual diversity. One student reported that the experience might be “At first, confusing, like I wouldn’t be able to understand, but once I met our guest speakers I realized I could really connect with their experiences!” Another student reported that, “At first I didn’t know what it would be like, but then I didn’t know I’d have so much in common with our guests! They were fun and nice!”  And a third student reported, “I was at first worried that the differences between us would be too much, but then I was starting to feel really happy when I realized everyone was so nice and comfortable and that together we had so much in common!”  Thanks to ZeZe, Rohan, and Lea for their perspectives!

    Our 8th graders spent this past Wednesday at the Museum of Science visiting the DaVinci exhibit (https://www.mos.org/exhibits/da-vinci-the-genius). This was a collaboration between Mr. Goldner, Science, and Ms. Yahn, Art, as each teacher is presenting aspects of DiVinci’s work in their classes. Hani , an 8th grader, reports that he, “Liked how DiVinci’s machines varied so dramatically – from daily use, to militaristic, to aquatic. We brought journals with us and needed to draw 2 simple machines we liked in three different views, full views and up close, to show how they worked. I love pencil drawing whatever ideas pop into my mind, too … like DiVinci.”

    We live in an amazing world – it means a great deal to us at Heath School to be able to provide these opportunities to our students. 

    MCAS Calendar is Out!

    Attached to the email blast is this year’s MCAS calendar. Be sure to look at the third page with explains groups. Heath is Group B; on April 10th, you see Grade 4b, Session 1 ELA. When you see the “b” you’ll know it is a Heath testing day. If there is no letter after a grade, it means all grades in Brookline will be testing that day, like on April 4th, when grades 3 and 5 will test, but not grade 4.  Confused?  I hope not. BUT if you are, please reach out! We’ll be glad to help.

    Annual Appeal

    If you have contributed to our Annual Appeal yet, please consider making a donation. The money we raise goes directly back into classrooms, supporting the students and promoting teacher innovation.  I know we are all contributing so much to so many causes right now; if you could add Heath to that list, your contributions will go a long way in ensuring our public school has all it needs to thrive!

     Upcoming Events:
    • Tuesday, January 31st : Grade 5 World Language Choice Presentation, Auditorium, 10:45-11:15am
    • Wednesday, February 1st : Get Real: Sex Ed Parent Coffee with Katie Goldring, Auditorium, 7:30-8:15am
    • Thursday, February 2nd : Heath/Baker Strings Orchestra Concert @ Baker School, 7:00pm
    • Friday, February 3rd : PTO First Friday Coffee, Cafeteria, 8:00-9:00am
    • Friday, February 3rd : Beelzebus Performance, Auditorium, 8:30-10:45am
    • Friday, February 3rd : Music Workshop, Auditorium/Cafeteria, 1:00-1:40pm
    • Wednesday, February 8th : Grades 6-8 Report Cards Published
    • Wednesday, February 8th : Grades 5-8 Winter Band Concert, Runkle Auditorium, 7:00pm
    • Thursday, February 9th : Heath School Council Meeting, 8:10-9:10am
    • Friday, February 10th : 8th Grade Electives Presentation @ BHS, 8:30-10:45am

    Field Trips:

    • Friday, February 3rd: Heath Ski and Snowboard Club, Mt. Wachusett Ski Area, 2:30-10:35pm
    • Monday, February 6th : Grade 4 Field Trip to Edward Kennedy Institute, 9:00am-2:15pm
    • Friday, February 10th: Heath Ski and Snowboard Club, Mt. Wachusett Ski Area, 2:30-10:35pm 
    Peace, 
     
    AC 
    _____
     
    AC Sevelius, Ed.D

    Interim Principal

    Hey! Follow me on Twitter! @ACSevelius
     
     
     __________________________
     
    January 20th, 2017
     
    Today is Inauguration Day in America. In classrooms at Heath School, we’ve taken time to share the historical significance of inauguration days past, reflect on today’s ceremonies, and reflect on our role as citizens of this amazing country. We've even made art together! These are such complex ideas and we work to ensure that every day, not just on days like today, we provide opportunities for students to gain a deeper understanding on their own citizenship. In PreK, we learn to care for ourselves and each other. In kindergarten, we learn to care for the Earth. In first grade, we begin to care for our scholarly selves. And so on … Indeed, teaching children to care – to be citizens of Heath and their expanding world – is at the core of all we do.

    One way our students learn about their place in the world – how to be citizens, have empathy, and take perspective – is through books. We strive to provide a richness of reading material in our classrooms and seek to build libraries that allow children “windows and mirrors” on their lived experiences, so that they can see themselves reflected in books and gain an outlook on how others might live (http://nationalseedproject.org/curriculum-as-window-and-mirror).

    I was moved this week to hear our outgoing president discuss how books “were a sustaining source of ideas and inspiration, and gave him a renewed appreciation for the complexities and ambiguities of the human condition.”  I must agree.

    Read the New York Times piece here: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/16/books/obamas-secret-to-surviving-the-white-house-years-books.html

    Want his booklist? Look no further than here: http://ew.com/books/2017/01/18/barack-obama-book-recommendations/

    The world is such a complex place. The Heath team will continue to work to provide mirrors and windows on the world so that each child that joins us here can find themselves anchored by language and literature, no matter what comes their way.  I very much look forward to seeing who our children grow into and how they will use all they learn here to promote their citizenship and the citizenship of others. 

    Upcoming Events:

    • Wednesday, January25th : Understanding Our Differences, Cafeteria/Auditorium, 8:00-11:15am 
    • Thursday, January 26th : Grade 2 African Drumming Workshop, Cafeteria, 8:00-10:00am
    • Friday, January 27th : Extended Day: Freelance Troupe Performance, Auditorium, 3:00-5:30pm
    • Tuesday, January 31st : Grade 5 World Language Choice Presentation, Auditorium, 10:45-11:15am
    • Friday, February 3rd : PTO First Friday Coffee, Cafeteria, 8:00-9:00am
    • Friday, February 3rd : Beelzebus Performance, Auditorium, 8:30-10:45am
    • Friday, February 3rd : Music Workshop, Auditorium, 1:00-1:40pm

    Field Trips:

    • Wednesday, January 25th : Grade 8 Field Trip to Museum of Science, 8:30am-2:00pm
    • Friday, January 27th: Heath Ski and Snowboard Club, Mt. Wachusett Ski Area, 2:30-10:35pm
    • Friday, February 3rd: Heath Ski and Snowboard Club, Mt. Wachusett Ski Area, 2:30-10:35pm

    All my best on this historic day.

    AC 
    _____
     
    AC Sevelius, Ed.D

    Interim Principal

    Hey! Follow me on Twitter! @ACSevelius

    ____________________________

    January 13th, 2017
     
    Dear Heath Families,

    Martin Luther King, Jr. said, "“The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.” In his final speech to the nation this week, President Obama said, "Remember, none of this happens on its own. All of this depends on our participation; on each of us accepting the responsibility of citizenship, regardless of which way the pendulum of power happens to be swinging." He goes on to say, "So, you see, that's what our democracy demands. It needs you. Not just when there's an election, not just when your own narrow interest is at stake, but over the full span of a lifetime. If you're tired of arguing with strangers on the Internet, try talking with one of them in real life. If something needs fixing, then lace up your shoes and do some organizing. If you're disappointed by your elected officials, grab a clipboard, get some signatures, and run for office yourself. Show up. Dive in. Stay at it."

    As I watched President Obama’s farewell address with my family this week, I was moved time and time again not only by his message, but by my daughter’s response. The first time he spoke of the power of our young people she asked, “Is he talking about me?” We assured her that he was. By the last time he spoke of our youth she said, “He is talking about me.” President Obama was unequivocal; and she had heard.  I knew that at that point she too was laying her hands on the metaphorical arc and willing it towards justice.

    I have been fortunate to live in and visit many countries in my lifetime. I have seen the political transfer of power unfold in real time – peaceful elections, the militarization of governments, confusing transfers of power – in many different places.  Each experience puts the American experience in perspective for me. This election season has given us all much to consider; change, no matter how small, is hard. But I am grateful that each of us, no matter our age or privilege, can invoke our voice in service of the common good. Our peaceful transfer of power allows us each the space to flex our democratic muscle.

    Now more than ever, thank you for your commitment to social justice and true equity. Keep bending that arc towards justice.

    Upcoming Events:

    • Monday, January 16th: School Closed: MLK Holiday
    • Thursday, January 19th : Grades 1-5 Progress Reports Published to Parent Portal
    • Thursday, January 26th : Grade 2 African Drumming Workshop, Cafeteria, 8:00-10:00am
    • Friday, January 27th : Extended Day: Freelance Troupe Performance, Auditorium, 3:00-5:30pm

    Field Trips:

    • Friday, January 20th: Heath Ski and Snowboard Club, Mt. Wachusett Ski Area, 2:30-10:35pm
    • Wednesday, January 25th : Grade 8 Field Trip to Museum of Science, 8:30am-2:00pm
    • Friday, January 27th: Heath Ski and Snowboard Club, Mt. Wachusett Ski Area, 2:30-10:35pm
    Peace.

    AC 
    _____
     
    AC Sevelius, Ed.D

    Interim Principal

    Hey! Follow me on Twitter! @ACSevelius
    ____________________________
     
    January 6th, 2017!!!
     
    Dear Heath Families,

    To begin, a very happy new year to you all! Coming back to school can be tough after such a long break. Thank you for getting your kids ready and supporting them for a super strong return to school this week. That said, I think we are all thankful for a respite after exercising our learning muscles after a long sleep! By Monday we should all have our mojo back, I suspect!

    It was great to see so many of you at this morning’s First Friday Coffee. We had a lengthy and robust discussion about the 9th school and BHS expansion process. I am grateful to be a part of a parent community where we can dig into complex issues collaboratively and really see the many perspectives on any issue. Today was no different.

    I had hoped to have time this morning to answer any general questions you all might be having at the mid-point of our year.  If you had something you wanted to ask, but couldn’t please consider sending any inquiries along to be via email or stopping by to talk. I’ll do my best to provide insights and always love to chat with y’all.

    Extended Vacations

    We seem to be having a lot of families taking extended vacation outside of designated vacation times this year.  While we do not encourage this, we recognize the many factors you must consider when planning time out of school. Many parents ask for work for their children to take along with them while on vacation or family trips. 

    Our school handbook states the following: We strongly discourage parents from taking children out of school for extended vacations. In the event that parents cannot avoid this, parents must send a letter to the school principal and to the classroom teacher in advance. Parents should be aware that teachers are not required to provide children with daily work in advance and that children may not be able to make up some of the work.

    If your time out of school is unavoidable, please let us know as soon as possible. While away, in lieu of schoolwork we encourage a lot of reading and keeping a journal of the experience. Our sincere thanks.

    MCAS

    I am beginning to learn more about the roll out of MCAS this year – timing, computer-based testing options, scheduling, etc. – and will share with you what I am able when I am able. Some of you have already stopped by for information and I appreciate your patience as we get MCAS organized for this spring’s testing cycle.

    Upcoming Events:

    • Tuesday, January 10th : Grades 6-8 All Town Chorus Concert, BHS, 6:00pm
    • Thursday, January 12th : Heath School Council, Principal’s Office, 8:10-9:10am
    • Thursday, January 12th : Understanding Our Differences and Similarities, Auditorium/Cafeteria, 8:15-10:45am
    • Monday, January 16th: School Closed: MLK Holiday
    • Thursday, January 19th : Grades 1-5 Progress Reports Published to Parent Portal

    Field Trips:

    • Thursday, January 12th : 7/8 Math Team Meet, Brown Middle School, 3:00-6:30pm
    • Friday, January 13th : Heath Ski and Snowboard Club, Mt. Wachusett Ski Area, 2:30-10:35pm
    • Friday, January 20th: Heath Ski and Snowboard Club, Mt. Wachusett Ski Area, 2:30-10:35pm
    The snow begins to fall, I hear, tonight – get out there and play in it!  :) 
     
    AC 
    _____
     
    AC Sevelius, Ed.D

    Interim Principal

    Hey! Follow me on Twitter! @ACSevelius

    ____________________________

     December 23rd, 2016 
     
    Dear Heath Families,
     
    Happy holidays and a wonderful vacation to you all! And may 2017 be filled with courage, connection, and goodness.  I hope each of you can commit to bringing light to the world and to each other in the new year – stay illuminated.
     
    Thanks to you all for a widely successful food and clothing drive! Our collective efforts, I believe, will really do some good in the world.
     
    In 2017 we say hello to some new folks!
     
    Ben Freiman
    Ben will be our new Northeastern Cooperative student. Ben has a keen interest in science education and has previous worked at the Lindsay Wildlife Museum and Animal Sanctuary in Walnut Creek, California. 
     
    Dr. Kathryn Sillman
    Kathy will join us in the new year as a Principal Intern, working alongside of me and working to support the school as a whole.  Kathy grew up in Brooklyn, NY and taught in NYC's District 2. For the past 14 years, she has been living in MA and working in curriculum development and teacher education. A graduate of Brown University and Bank Street College of Education, Kathy recently completed her Ph.D. from Boston College in Curriculum and Instruction. 
     
    But, we say good-bye to some good folks, too...
     
    A MASSIVE thank you to Katy Zeigler, our awesome Northeastern Cooperative student! She was such a great addition to our team and we believe that this is only the start to an amazing career as a leader, kid-wrangler, educator, and explorer. Thanks, Katy.
     
    Upcoming Events:
    • Monday, December 26 - Monday, January 2nd : No School, Winter Break
    • Friday, January 6th : PTO First Friday Coffee, Cafeteria, 8:00-9:00am
    • Tuesday, January 10th : Grades 6-8 All Town Chorus Concert, BHS, 6:00pm
    • Thursday, January 12th : Heath School Council, Collaboration Space, 8:10-9:10am
    Field Trips:
    • Thursday, January 12th : 7/8 Math Team Meet, Brown Middle School, 3:00-6:30pm

    So – again – thanks for all you do to get your kids here on time, ready to learn, filled with an insatiable curiosity, and a willingness to do what is right and good. The rest of our year looks to be spectacular!

     

     

    And THANK YOU for all the warm wishes and gifts you've bestowed on the Heath School staff. The PTO staff lunch was, as usual, off the hinge, and the outpouring of love over the week has been tremendous.  The team here works so hard and it so amazing to receive such generous recognition.
     
    All the best to you and yours this season and beyond,
     
    AC 
    _____
     
    AC Sevelius, Ed.D

    Interim Principal

    Hey! Follow me on Twitter! @ACSevelius

     

    ____________________________

    December 16th, 2016

    Dear Heath Families,

    As students came into the building this morning, they were met with a very warm and welcoming message from the Heath School staff: You are welcome in this school.

    We strive to take all learners as they come to us. Each child brings with them an entire human experience that must be honored and nurture in order for them to thrive. The scholar Gary Howard believes that to truly welcome students in, we need to provide a “front porch” at our schools. What images or feelings do you conjure up when you think of a front porch? I know my favorite front porch was my grandfather’s – its Southernness was undeniable with it’s porch swing for two, joyful noises emanating from the kitchen inside, the close proximity to neighbors, a cool breeze on a warm Georgia day. I felt welcomed there, embraced, and known.  

    So what is on the Heath School’s front porch? What sounds and feeling emanate out? How can we make sure to let folks know that they are welcome, have a voice here, really matter? How do we protect what is right and good about public education in order to ensure that it is serving the greater good?

    Teachers and administrators make hundreds, sometimes thousands,  of decisions a day.  To create a culture in which educational equity is at the center of each of these decisions is heavy, essential lifting.  Today we stood on our front porch and messaged our essential belief: You … yes, YOU! … are welcome here. Come off the front porch and into the kitchen where you, too, will be a part of making a joyful noise.

    *Food Drive and Clothing Drive!*

    Our last day for both efforts is Monday!

    What can you donate for the food drive drive?

    • Soups- Kindergarten
    • Canned Beans- 1st Grade
    • Hot Cocoa- 2nd grade
    • Coffee and Dried Coffee Creamer- 3rd grade
    • Tea- 4th Grade
    • Rice- 5th grade
    • Pasta- 6th grade
    • Pasta Sauces- 7th grade
    • Toiletries- 8th grade

    What can you donate to the Men’s Shelter Clothing Drive?

    Jackets sweaters, hoodies, pants and shoes. No T shirts or socks. 

    Upcoming Events:

    • Wednesday, December 21st : PTO Holiday Luncheon, Staff Lounge, 11:00am-1:00pm (THANK YOU!!!!!!!!)
    • Wednesday, December 21st : Interim Progress Reports Published, 4:00pm
    • Monday, December 26 - Monday, January 2nd : No School, Winter Break

    Field Trips:

    • Monday, December 19th : Grade 4 Field Trip to Larz Anderson, 8:45-11:30am
    • Thursday, December 22nd : Grade 6 Field Trip to Boda Borg, 9:00am-2:00pm

    Be good to one another and welcome!

    AC 

     
    "When I dare to be powerful, to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid." – Audre Lorde
    _____
     
    AC Sevelius, Ed.D

    Interim Principal

    Hey! Follow me on Twitter! @ACSevelius

    ____________________________

    December 9th, 2016

    Dear Heath Families,

    It's December already and the cold weather is upon us! Please help to make sure your child – no matter how old they are (*ahem*... middle school parents ...) – is ready to play outside. 

    1st Annual Soap Box Derby!!!

    Our soap box derby yesterday has to be seen to be believed! So much pure joy... and so much success and failure and trying again and falling off and never giving up and doing whatever it takes to get across the finish line! 

    I knew so deeply in my bones that this is exactly the kind of thing we need more of, not just at Heath but at every single school. We can only educate children when they are open to the learning. The soap box derby was one way we could pop the hood (pun intended) on our kids to see how they really run. And what a blast we had!

    Thank you to our Heath pit crew of Eleanor Demont, Matt Durant, and Tanya Gregoire for making this such an awesome event!

    Food Drive for the Brookline Emergency Food Pantry

    This holiday season we are partnering with the Brookline Emergency Food Pantry (BEFP) to help fill their coffers and support the greater community. Please see the items assignments below. We hope that by sorting needed items by class that we will be able to coordinate participation and make it a smoother food drive.

    We'd like to deliver the items to the BEFP on December 20th. If you'd like to help drive items over, please let me know!

    Food Drive dates: Dec. 12th- 20th

    • Soups- Kindergarten
    • Canned Beans- 1st Grade
    • Hot Cocoa- 2nd grade
    • Coffee and Dried Coffee Creamer- 3rd grade
    • Tea- 4th Grade
    • Rice- 5th grade
    • Pasta- 6th grade
    • Pasta Sauces- 7th grade
    • Toiletries- 8th grade

    Men’s Clothing Drive

    Heath parent, Nicole Roberts will be collecting mens clothing to be donated to a men's shelter in South Brookline in honor and memory of her late brother. 

    Requested items:  jackets sweaters, hoodies, pants and shoes. No t-shirts or socks. Thank you so much!

    As a school, we have so much to give – there is no time like the present to celebrate our gifts by giving to others!

    _________________________

    Chronic Tardiness

    A review of student attendance reveals that we do have students in our community who are chronically late. We consider that a student is late at 8:01. That said, some students routinely arrive 15 to 20 minutes late.  This morning time is filled with routines,  homework review, community meeting and more. We find that out students that are chronically late also have grades that suffer, have many missed homework assignments, and need extra time to catch up and connect. 

    Please remember that if you drop your child off at 8:01 they need to sign in, pack, in some cases eat breakfast, and settle in BEFORE they can really dig into learning. 

    By arriving at 7:50, you'll really help your child soar!

    _________________________

     Upcoming Events

    • Monday, December 12th : Parent Information Session for Kindergarten Registration, Brookline Town Hall, 333 Washington Street, Brookline, MA, Room 103, 8:30-9:30am
    • Wednesday, December 14th : K-8 Early Dismissal, 12:40pm
    • Thursday, December 15th : Heath School Council, Collaboration Space, 8:10-9:10am

    Field Trips

    • Friday, December 9th : 5th-8th Grade Chorus Performance at Providence Bruins Game, 6:00pm
    • Monday, December 19th : Grade 4 Field Trip to Larz Anderson, 8:45-11:30am

    Enjoy the weekend ahead with your families! And come back on Monday ready to dig into some terrific learning!

    AC
    _____
     
    AC Sevelius, Ed.D

    Interim Principal

    Hey! Follow me on Twitter! @ACSevelius

    ____________________________

     
    November 18th, 2016 
     
    Dear Heath Families,
     
    To begin, a very Happy Thanksgiving to you all! Now, more than ever, take the time to give thanks to those who bring you the greatest joy. Remember, we are made stronger through the love we give and are nourished by the love we receive in return.  
     
     
    Thanksgiving Pie Drive for Brookline Emergency Food Pantry
    Heath’s 4th Annual Thanksgiving Pie Drive is next Monday, November 20th.  Please drop off a home-baked pie or a store bought pie Monday morning in front of the office.  We will then deliver the pies to The Brookline Emergency Food Pantry to distribute to hundreds of local families who look forward to this each year.  We are hoping to collect 250 pies Monday. For your convenience, pie boxes will be available in the school lobby tomorrow at school pick-up.  Thank you in advance for considering this very special Heath tradition.  
     
    Also, please keep the Brookline Emergency Food Pantry in your giving plan ALL year. There is tremendous need and we here at Heath School have the capacity to try and fill it. 
     
     
    Post-Thanksgiving Fun! 
    Looking for something to do that is more energetic than taking a tryptophan-induced nap, but not as chaotic as black Friday shopping at the mall (and much more educational)?
     
    Check out the "Friday After Thanksgiving" Rube Goldberg event at MIT.
    https://www.eventbrite.com/e/19th-annual-friday-after-thanksgiving-fat-chain-reaction-tickets-28426825400?ref=eattnewsrecs&utm_source=strongmail&utm_medium=discovery&utm_campaign=newsletter&utm_content=EBrecommend&utm_term=eventcard&afu=49484674830&rank=0&aff=eattnewsrecs
     
    Entering Classes During Teaching
    During the school day, anytime after 8am and until the end of the day, please refrain from entering your child’s classroom. We are engaged in teaching and learning and visits, unless planned, can be disruptive. Come to the office first to check-in and let us take it from there. We can help with things like: 
    • If you have something to drop off (like a lunchbox or instrument), we will ensure that it arrives to your child
    • If you need to pick your child up for an appointment, please wait in the office while we call them down
    • If you need to meet with a teacher, please make an appointment of visit during office hours – we'll be happy to help connect those dots
    Thank you so much – your shared commitment to time on learning really matters!
     
    Upcoming Events
    • Wednesday, November 23rd : Noon Dismissal
    • Thursday, November 24th-Friday, November 25th: School Closed: Thanksgiving Break
    • Wednesday, November 30th: K-8 Early Dismissal, 12:40pm
    • Thursday, December 1st: Evening Conferences
    • Friday, December 2nd: PTO First Friday Coffee, Cafeteria, 8:00am
    Field Trips
    • Monday, November 21st : Grade 2 Field Trip to Tufts Art Gallery, 8:45am-12:15pm
    • Tuesday, November 22nd : 4B Field Trip to Harvard Museum, 8:00am-1:00pm
    • Thursday, December 1st : 7/8 Math Team Meet, Brown Middle School, 3:00-6:30pm

    You will not hear from me next week as I will be with family and friends for the holidays. But know that I am wishing you all a wonderful, warm, connected Thanksgiving.

    AC 
     
    "When I dare to be powerful, to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid." – Audre Lorde
    _____
     
    AC Sevelius, Ed.D

    Interim Principal

    Hey! Follow me on Twitter! @ACSevelius

    ____________________________

     
    November 11th, 2016

    Dear Heath Community,

    It has been my very real privilege to be a member of the Heath School community this week – a place where we envelop children with warmth and compassion, a place where we privilege space to hold real dialogue about real issues, and a place where we look each other in the eyes and recognize the inherent dignity of our individual and collective lived experiences. This kind of community would be impossible without the commitment of each and every one of us, a commitment to inclusion, educational equity, peace, and justice. 

    On election day, the entire school district came together to hear Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum speak to us about race, institutionalized racism, and the ways to disrupt cycles of racism.  To be with the legions of Brookline educators hearing one powerful message was moving beyond words.  In the afternoon that day we came together at Heath to have a more intimate conversation about institutionalized racism and its implications on our own practice and on our student’s lives. The conversations laid bare our own longings, fears, struggles, and aspirations. I was moved time and time again while listening to our staff members dig into the work. Know that at Heath School we are prioritizing this work and, while we are far from perfect,  rolling up our collective sleeves. 

    Thanksgiving Pie Drive for Brookline Emergency Food Pantry

    Our Thanksgiving Pie Drive to support the Brookline Emergency Food Pantry is coming up! This our 4th year doing this and we are hoping to donate 250 pies.  This year, our drive will be on Monday morning 11/20, from 7:30-8:30.  We are asking families to either bake or buy a pie, with a list of ingredients provided, and then the Social Action Committee will deliver them to the food pantry. Thank you for taking time and using resources to support those in need this season and beyond.

    Jolly Jaunt

     It’s that time of year again when Heath comes together as a community to raise money for Special Olympics by participating in the Jolly Jaunt! The Jolly Jaunt is a 5K run/1 mile walk. This year’s Jolly Jaunt will be taking place on Saturday, December 3rd at 9am at the Boston Common. To join this great team:

    1.     Visit the Jolly Jaunt website at: http://www.jollyjauntboston.com/

    2.     Click REGISTER HERE in the upper left corner

    3.     Agree to the waiver

    4.     Click JOIN A TEAM and choose HEATH SCHOOL

    5.     Create a username or sign in with last year’s information

    6.     Fill out the personal information section

    7.     Spread the word!

    Please feel free to contact Brianna Conlan at brianna_conlan@psmba.org with any questions. Thank you in advance for making this a wonderful opportunity for the Heath School family to give back to the larger community. Go Hawks!

    Lost … and Still Lost

    Our Lost & Found has become more like a Lost & and Still Lost. But, thanks to Heath parent Hannah Parker and others – who gathered, hung, sorted, and dug in to the lost items – we will hopefully be able to find the proper home for our lost items. 100+ pieces of clothing, 95% unmarked, are now hanging on a rack in front hall. Already parents have found some things they didn’t know were missing! Please stop by next week to claim your items – I know you spent good money on them – and then put your kid’s name in them. You’ll be glad you did!

    Upcoming Events:

    • Friday, November 11th : School Closed: Veteran’s Day
    • Tuesday, November 15th : Parent Information Session for Kindergarten Registration, Brookline Public Library, Hunneman Hall, 11:00am-12:00pm
    • Tuesday, November 15th : K-6 Conference Dismissal, 12:40pm
    • Wednesday, November 16th : Grades 6-8 Report Cards Published
    • Thursday, November 17th : Parent Information Session for Kindergarten Registration, Brookline Town Hall, School Committee, 6:30-7:30pm
    • Wednesday, November 23rd : Noon Dismissal
    • Thursday, November 24th-Friday, November 25th : School Closed: Thanksgiving Break

     Field Trips:

    • Monday, November 14th : 4OC Field Trip to Arboretum, 9:00am-1:00pm
    • Wednesday, November 16th : 4O Field Trip to Harvard Museum, 8:00am-1:00pm
    • Thursday, November 17th : 4OC Field Trip to Harvard Museum, 8:00am-1:00pm
    • Monday, November 21st : Grade 2 Field Trip to Tufts Art Gallery, 8:45am-12:15pm
    • Tuesday, November 22nd : 4B Field Trip to Harvard Museum, 8:00am-1:00pm

    Be good to yourself and each other,

    AC

    "When I dare to be powerful, to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid." – Audre Lorde

    _____
     
    AC Sevelius, Ed.D

    Interim Principal

    Hey! Follow me on Twitter! @ACSevelius

    ____________________________

     
    November 4th, 2016

     

    Dear Heath Families,

    Thank you to Andrew Bott, who joined us at today’s PTO First Friday Coffee. The Heath parent crew was out in full force as we discussed the 9th school process and related topics (such as school-size, feasibility, and student selection), our upcoming district-wide professional development opportunity (see message below), and more. 

    Want to know more about the 9th school process, check out the link here: http://www.brooklinema.gov/1286/9th-Elementary-School-Study

    Book Fair

    Another successful Book Fair!  Thank you to Gaelle From, Anne Spencer, Caroline Liao, and the many-many-many parent volunteers who made it happen for us this year! We have gotten so many high-quality new and used books into kid's hands, supporting the growth of our learners at school AND at home.

    Election Day Professional Development 

    This Tuesday is Election Day in the U.S.! If you have not voted yet, I encourage you to vote early. Remember: there is no school for students this Tuesday; staff, however, will report to work for a day-long professional learning opportunity on race. The esteemed Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum will provide a keynote to all Public School of Brookline staff, kicking off a day of collaborative learning about race and equity in our schools.

    Many parents have expressed a desire to come and hear Dr. Tatum on this day. The event is reserved for staff; that said, Dr. Tatum’s talk will be recorded and as soon as possible we will get that video link to families. Our shared understandings around issues of race and equity will truly make the difference for our students.

    Growth Mindset Resources

    At Heath School, our teachers do so much work around growth mindset, or the ways that children and staff think about how they learn. Growth mindset work is essential and invigorating, and has the potential to change how we think about schooling. Growth mindset is also a driving conversation at my own daughter’s school; when the team at Fowler Middle School sent these resources on growth mindset along, I knew I wanted to share them with you all. Enjoy!

    Mark Your Calendars!!! Heath Skate Night

    Come enjoy skating under the stars with your Heath friends and family. Skate rentals and concessions will be available for a small fee. Ice time generously provided by Heath PTO. Thank you!

    Friday December 2, 2016

    5-7:45pm (afterwards the rink is open to the public)

    Jack Kirrane Rink at Larz Anderson Park

    25 Newton St in Brookline


    Upcoming Events:

    • Tuesday, November 8th : School Closed: PD Day, Teachers Report
    • Friday, November 11th : School Closed: Veteran’s Day
    • Tuesday, November 15th : K-6 Conference Dismissal, 12:40pm

     Field Trips:

    • Wednesday, November 16th : 4O Field Trip to Harvard Museum, 8:00am-1:00pm
    • Thursday, November 17th : 4OC Field Trip to Harvard Museum, 8:00am-1:00pm
     
    Thank you for all you do for our school, seen and unseen!   
     
    AC
    _____
     
    AC Sevelius, Ed.D

    Interim Principal

    Hey! Follow me on Twitter! @ACSevelius
    ____________________________ 
     
    October 28th, 2016

    Dear Heath Families,

    If you have not already done so, please consider early voting.  I voted on Tuesday and it feels really fantastic to have such a big thing crossed off my to-do list.  Find your early voting site here: http://www.sec.state.ma.us/EarlyVotingWeb/EarlyVotingSearch.aspx

    Building Security

    In an ongoing effort to improve building security, we are implementing new protocols around school entrances. During school hours all exterior doors will be locked. Side doors will be open between 7:55-8:00. Please do not use the doors at the rear of the building. Please do not tap on classroom windows to ask a teacher or students to let you in. To gain entry into the school, please use the main entrance in the front of the building to get “buzzed” in, and check in at the main office. Starting next week, all exterior doors will the new signage indicating this new safety policy.  Your individual efforts help us ensure safety for all of us.

    Student Bake Sale

    Our 8th graders saw a need and took action! Deeply upset by the recent and devastating hurricane and its aftermath in Haiti, our 8th graders held a bake sale today to raise money to donate to Doctors Without Boarders. The nearly $400.00 they raised in 15 minutes will go directly to provide fresh water and medical supplies to DWB and those they serve in Haiti. Thank you!

    Jolly Jaunt!

    It’s that time of year again when Heath comes together as a community to raise money for Special Olympics by participating in the Jolly Jaunt! The Jolly Jaunt is a 5K run/1 mile walk. This year’s Jolly Jaunt will be taking place on Saturday, December 3rd at 9am at the Boston Common. Brianna Conlan, its Grade Teacher, has set up a team page called HEATH SCHOOL. To join this great team:

     1.     Visit the Jolly Jaunt website at: http://www.jollyjauntboston.com/

    2.     Click REGISTER HERE in the upper left corner

    3.     Agree to the waiver

    4.     Click JOIN A TEAM and choose HEATH SCHOOL

    5.     Create a username or sign in with last year’s information

    6.     Fill out the personal information section

    7.     Spread the word!

    Please feel free to contact Brianna Conlan, brianna_conlan@psbma.org, with any questions. Thank you in advance for making this a wonderful opportunity for the Heath School family to give back to the larger community. Go Hawks!

    ELL Community Resource Fair

    Our ELL Program will be holding its inaugural Community Resource Fair on Monday, November 7, 2016 in the Pierce School auditorium. The Fair will run from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm and is free for all ELL (or interested) families in the district.

    We’ll have 38 local agencies, organizations, and businesses that will participate. Some of the participants include Boston Public Libraries, New England Aquarium, Boston Children's Museum, Brookline Recreation, Brookline Adult & Community Education, Asian American Civic Association, The Golden Chickpea Center, Empow Studios, Jewish Family & Children's Services, Brookline Arts Center, Oak Square YMCA, and many more!
     
    If you have some time, please feel free to stop by the Fair. We are anticipating about 250 attendees! 

    Upcoming Events:

    • Monday, October 31-Friday, November 4 : Book Fair, Library
    • Wednesday, November 2nd : Book Fair Family Night, Cafeteria/Lobby, 5:00-6:30pm
    • Friday, November 4th : PTO First Friday Coffee, Cafeteria, 8:00am
    • Tuesday, November 8th : School Closed: PD Day
    • Friday, November 11th : School Closed: Veteran’s Day

     Now ... go out in to the world and play!

    AC
    _____
     
    AC Sevelius, Ed.D

    Interim Principal

    Hey! Follow me on Twitter! @ACSevelius
    ____________________________ 
     
    October 21st, 2016

    Dear Heath Families,

    Read on for some great updates on... 

    Student Council Elections

    This year we restructured our student council to include an 8th grade cabinet  (President, Vice President, Secretary/Treasurer) supported by a student congress from grades 4-8. The student congress was chosen through debates, speeches, and classroom nominations, and/or a standard vote. The 8th grade cabinet will be selected late next week. Following a swearing in ceremony, the students will bring issues to the administration that are brought to them by the student body. The democratic process will be studied, followed, and tested during student council meetings. Feasibility of initiatives will, of course, be determined by school administrators.  Thank you to Mr. Smith, Vice Principal, for leading this effort and bringing these great changes to the team!

    Maker Space!  GSTA! Young Scholars!

    Three of our initiatives are the talk of the district: our Maker's Space/STEAM Room, our GSTA, and our Young Scholar’s program. So far, two principals of other Brookline schools have come to view our Maker's Space to get ideas on how to make spaces like these in their schools.  The teams from two other schools have called to learn how we launched our GSTA. And a fifth school has conferred with us to learn about our Young Scholars program and how to launch their own.  This makes me VERY proud.  I am especially proud of the teachers who lead these initiatives. I see the impact of this work every day on students and that is, truly, the real reward. 

    To be clear, I reach out to other principals, as well, to learn how their innovative approaches can be transferred to the work at Heath. I believe that a culture of mutual uplift serves the greatest good and Brookline teachers and leadership make the work so easy.

    Weekend Reading?

    Here are a couple of great pieces to stretch your thinking:

    And…

    • If your child has a playdate after school, you must tell the office! 
    • If your child has a change in pick-up routines, you must tell the office!
    • Please do not pick up students early directly from classrooms (like for doctor’s appointments). Come to the office and we will take it from there.

    Upcoming Events:

    • Wednesday, October 26th : Picture Re-Take, 8:00am
    • Thursday, October 27th : Cross Country Meet
    • Monday, October 31-Friday, November 4 : Book Fair, Library
    • Wednesday, November 2nd : Family Night, Cafeteria/Lobby, 5:00-6:30pm
    • Friday, November 4th : PTO First Friday Coffee, Cafeteria, 8:00am

    Field Trips:

    • Thursday, October 27th: 4B & 4O Field Trip to Arnold Arboretum, 9:00am-1:00pm
    • Friday, October 28th : 4OC Field Trip to Arnold Arboretum, 9:00am-1:00pm
    Enjoy the weekend ahead – play and read!
     
    AC
    _____
     
    AC Sevelius, Ed.D

    Interim Principal

    Hey! Follow me on Twitter! @ACSevelius
    ________________________  
     
     
    October 14th, 2016
     
    Dear Heath Families,

    An extremely short week, but so many fantastic things to share with you about what’s happening at Heath!

    ART Barn Performance

    The Art Barn Theater crew joined us yesterday – another outstanding performance by these young people. We’re particularly proud of our own 6th grader, Abigail M., who really brought her best self to the show and performed like a pro! 

    “Screenagers” Movie at Heath

    A huge thanks to Brenda Sullivan and Evonne Meranus who helped bring a screening of the documentary “Screenagers” to Heath. Many of you attended, but many more of you still have not seen the film. Until you get the opportunity, I hope you’ll visit the film’s website: http://www.screenagersmovie.com/  The resources the filmmaker offers are outstanding, particularly the screen time contracts, stuff on family tech talks, and information on pro-social games. And after you try these things out at home … or even BEFORE you try things out at home … connect with each other.  The strength of Heath School comes from how interconnected we are. Let’s work hard to connect around the critical issues we share as our children grow up in the digital age.

    GSTA Kicking Off

    Our Gay Straight Transgender Alliance (GSTA) kicks off very soon!  Bright, rainbow color signs are all over the school to help parents and students (grades 6-8) know when and where we will be meeting. Heath is proud to be a place where all students are welcome and valued and heard. If you need more information, please reach out to me or Ms. O’Shea, our GSTA advisor. We’ll be glad to tell you more about our GSTA!

    Model UN

    Our Model UN is in full effect! The students who have joined are knee-deep in learning about global political concerns and diplomacy. At this point we’d love to open up the program to 6th graders!  I KNOW there are some kids in our 6th grade crew who can really contribute and hope to see many at the next meeting this Wednesday in Mr. Miller’s room after school.

    Amazing Student Work

    At arrival or dismissal, please take time to check out some really powerful student work in our hallways. Outside the cafeteria you’ll see deeply moving values posters from our 8th graders made during Health class. In the hall outside of our Art room you’ll see student’s coats of arms, another example of students representing their lived experiences through art. Our classroom bulletin boards are filled with incredible student products. Treat yourself to a tour of our beautiful school and this high-quality student work. 

    Heath School Council 

    Congratulations to Dawn Tringas and Annapurna Poduri, the newest members of our School Council. And another huge thanks for all the parents that put their names forward to join this committee.  The Heath School Council members help me reflect on what is working at Heath, what initiatives could help improve learning conditions for our students, and help set goals that move our collective work forward. I am looking for another great year with this team.  Our first meeting is October 27th. I look forward to reporting out how your work launches soon thereafter.

    Upcoming Events:

    • Thursday, October 20th : Fire Safety Visit, Grades K & 1, Cafeteria, 8:30-9:30am
    • Friday, October 21st : METCO Connections Breakfast, 7:30am
    • Wednesday, October 26th : Picture Re-Take, 8:00am
    • Thursday, October 27th : Cross Country Meet

    Field Trips:

    • Wednesday, October 19th : 5th Grade Field Trip to Clay Center Observatory, 8:30-10:30am
    • Thursday, October 20th : 7/8 Math Team Meet at Bigelow Middle School, 3:00-6:30pm
    • Thursday, October 27th: 4B & 4O Field Trip to Arnold Arboretum, 9:00am-1:00pm
    • Friday, October 28th : 4OC Field Trip to Arnold Arboretum, 9:00am-1:00pm
    See you all Monday! 
     
    AC
    _____
     
    AC Sevelius, Ed.D

    Interim Principal

    Hey! Follow me on Twitter! @ACSevelius
    ________________________ 
     
     
    October 7th, 2016

    Dear Heath Families,

    Happy 50th anniversary to the METCO program, which has been working for our students since 1966! I feel extremely proud that Heath is an integral part of METCO and am thankful everyday to the families who entrust us with their children through this profoundly impactful program.  This week, National Public Radio (NPR) wrote an article and broadcasted coverage honoring the 50th anniversary of the Metropolitan Council for Educational Opportunity (METCO) Program. I encourage all of you to read/listen to the piece, produced by Newton Public Schools alumna and NPR personality, Audie Cornish, who participated in METCO.

    Click on this link to access the written and audio versions:

    http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2016/10/05/495504360/looking-back-on-50-years-of-busing-in-boston

    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. 

    MCAS

    Earlier this week we mailed out individual MCAS scores to all families in grades 4-8. MCAS is one of many measures of how well we serve our students. Big picture MCAS data for Heath School is available here: http://profiles.doe.mass.edu/accountability/report/school.aspx?linkid=31&orgcode=00460025&orgtypecode=6&

    Our data shows a school that serves the majority of our students very well.  As professionals, we are working to refine our practices in service of students that the State qualifies “high needs.” Ensuring that all students learn to their absolute highest potential, especially those with special rights, is our priority and we are driven towards excellence.

    A Change to Bus Dismissal: Now in the auditorium!

    Beginning Thursday, we will be dismissing all students who ride the bus from the auditorium.  We will be messaging the new dismissal spot to our bus riders and hope you will do the same.  Some students ride daily and will soon get used to the new routine; if your student is an occasional rider it is especially important that you reiterate our new plan.  Thank you.

    Jolly Jaunt Coming Up!

    Brianna Conlan, 1st grade teacher, is organizing the Heath Jolly Jaunt team now! For those who don't know, the Jolly Jaunt is a 5k run/1k walk that raises money for Special Olympics.

    This year’s Jolly Jaunt will be taking place on Saturday, December 3rd at 9am at the Boston Common. Brianna has set up a team page called Heath School. The money we raise will go to the Brookline Special Olympics. To join this great team:

    1.     Visit the Jolly Jaunt website at: http://jollyjauntboston.com/

    2.     Click Register Here in the upper right corner

    3.     Agree to the waiver

    4.     Click Join a Team and choose Heath School

    5.     Create a username or sign in with last year’s information

    6.     Fill out the personal information section

    7.     Spread the word! (I will place flyers in your mailboxes in October to send home with students.)

    **Register by October 1st to get a deal! After October 1st the registration fee increases. 

    Please feel free to contact Brianna with any questions: brianna_conlan@psbma.org. Thank you in advance for making this a wonderful opportunity for the Heath School family to give back to the larger community. Go Hawks!

    Kids Clothes Club

    Each year the Kids Clothes Club provides students in need with new outerwear for the winter season. If you are a family in need, we ask you to please call or email David Chaet, School Counselor, to help you. He can be reached at david_chaet@psbma.org, or 617-879-4547All information shared is confidential. Sizes are listed below.

    Boys Sizes: 3 – 6 Months, 6 – 9 Months, 12 Months, 18 Months, 24 Months, 2T, 3T, 4T, 4, 5/6, 7, 8, 10/12, 14/16, 18, Men’s Small

    Girls Sizes: 3 – 6 Months, 6 – 9 Months, 12 Months, 18 Months, 24 Months, 2T, 3T, 4T, 4, 5, 6X, 7, 8/10, 12/14, 16, Women’s Small

    Note that in prior year coats have run on the smaller side, so please find out what size coat your child would wear, and work with David to determine what size they will need. 

    If you would like to donate a new or gently used coat, please contact David Chaet. Or, if you would like to make a donation to the Kids Clothes Club go to www.kidsclothesclub.org.

    1. Across the top click on Donate

    2. Under make a donation, click on donate.

    Book Fair

    The Heath School Book Fair is coming up, starting October 31st until November 3rd. If your family would benefit from a voucher that could be used to purchase books, please contact David Chaet, School Counselor, to help you. He can be reached at david_chaet@psbma.org, or 617-879-4547. All information shared is confidential. 

    A Few Announcements:

    1. Our Picture Day Make-Up Date is Wednesday, October 26 … and just when you thought you could put that pocket comb away. 
    2. If your child usually takes the bus and you decide to pick them up instead, you MUST call office and inform us before 2:00pm. That gives us time to message the change of plans to the bus duty team, classroom teachers, and specialists.  Thank you for you commitment to good communication.
    3. Our October PTO First Friday Coffee is rescheduled! We will now host it on October 14th. Come hear from our School Nurse, the team from the CARES Project, and gain a deeper understanding about our PTO budget.

    Upcoming Events:

    • Monday, October 10th : School Closed: Columbus Day
    • Tuesday, October 11th :School Closed: Expected Low Attendance
    • Wednesday, October 12th : School Closed: Yom Kippur
    • Thursday, October 13th : Art Barn Performance, Auditorium, Grades 1-3 at 8:30am and Grades 4-6 at 9:45am
    • Friday, October 14th : PTO First Friday Coffee, Cafeteria, 8:00-9:00am
    • Friday, October 14th : Fire Safety Visit, Grade 2, Auditorium, 8:30-9:30am
     Be well!  Enjoy the 5-day weekend ahead. Travel safe, explore, rest, and read.
     
    AC
    _____
     
    AC Sevelius, Ed.D

    Interim Principal

    Hey! Follow me on Twitter! @ACSevelius
    ________________________ 
     
    September 30th, 2016
     
    Dear Heath Families,
     
    During the First Grade Open House this past Tuesday, teacher Jane Leo (channeling Piaget) spoke so eloquently about childhood, in particular how short it is. Truly, we are children for such a small fraction of our lives. At Heath we want to make these years count, filling them with exploration, play, books, problem solving, building, discovery, and celebration. We feel very fortunate to have students from PreK through 8th grade, nurturing and knowing students for nearly a decade.  That’s a lot of time and we take that charge very seriously.  Thank you for choosing Heath as the place where your children will spend their childhoods.
     
    Jolly Jaunt Coming Up!
    Brianna Conlan, 1st grade teacher, is organizing the Heath Jolly Jaunt team now! For those who don't know, the Jolly Jaunt is a 5k run/1k walk that raises money for Special Olympics.
     
    This year’s Jolly Jaunt will be taking place on Saturday, December 3rd at 9am at the Boston Common. Brianna has set up a team page called Heath School. The money we raise will go to the Brookline Special Olympics.
     
    To join this great team:
    1.     Visit the Jolly Jaunt website at: http://jollyjauntboston.com/
    2.     Click Register Here in the upper right corner
    3.     Agree to the waiver
    4.     Click Join a Team and choose Heath School
    5.     Create a username or sign in with last year’s information
    6.     Fill out the personal information section
    7.     Spread the word!
         
    **Register by October 1st to get a deal! After October 1st the registration fee increases.  Please feel free to contact Brianna with any questions: brianna_conlan@psbma.org. Thank you in advance for making this a wonderful opportunity for the Heath School family to give back to the larger community. Go Hawks!
     
    Kids Clothes Club
    Each year the Kids Clothes Club provides students in need with new outerwear for the winter season. If you are a family in need, we ask you to please call or email David Chaet, School Counselor, to help you. He can be reached at david_chaet@psbma.org, or 617-879-4547. All information shared is confidential.
     
    Sizes are listed below.
    Boys Sizes: 3 – 6 Months, 6 – 9 Months, 12 Months, 18 Months, 24 Months, 2T, 3T, 4T, 4, 5/6, 7, 8, 10/12, 14/16, 18, Men’s Small
    Girls Sizes: 3 – 6 Months, 6 – 9 Months, 12 Months, 18 Months, 24 Months, 2T, 3T, 4T, 4, 5, 6X, 7, 8/10, 12/14, 16, Women’s Small
     
    Note that in prior year coats have run on the smaller side, so please find out what size coat your child would wear, and work with David to determine what size they will need.
     
    If you would like to make a donation to the Kids Clothes Club go to www.kidsclothesclub.org.
    1. Across the top click on Donate
    2. Under make a donation, click on donate.
     
    Join Model UN!
    Our Model UN is in full swing!  If your 7th or 8th grader is interested in doing, please encourage them to come to Mr. Miller’s room after school each Wednesday from 2:45-4:15. Kids will learn about the workings of world diplomacy through the lens of current events – fascinating AND timely!
     
    A few announcements:
    • Our Picture Day Make-Up Date is Wednesday October 26 … and just when you thought you could put that pocket comb away. 
    • If your child usually takes the bus and you decide to pick them up instead, you MUST call office and inform us before 2:00pm. That gives us time to message the change of plans to the bus duty team, classroom teachers, and specialists.  Thank you for you commitment to good communication.
    • Our October PTO First Friday Coffee is rescheduled! We will now host it on October 14th. Come hear from our School Nurse, the team from the CARES Project, and gain a deeper understanding about our PTO budget.
    Upcoming Events:
    • Monday, October 10th : School Closed: Columbus Day
    • Tuesday, October 11th :School Closed: Expected Low Attendance
    • Wednesday, October 12th : School Closed: Yom Kippur
    • Thursday, October 13th : Art Barn Performance, Auditorium, Grades 1-3 at 8:30am and Grades 4-6 at 9:45am
    • Friday, October 14th : PTO First Friday Coffee, Cafeteria, 8:00-9:00am
    • Friday, October 14th : Fire Safety Visit, Grade 2, Auditorium, 8:30-9:30am
    Enjoy the three-day weekend ahead – Shana Tova!
     
    See you all on Tuesday for another amazing week.
     
     
    AC 
     
     
    AC Sevelius, Ed.D, 
    Interim Principal
    Hey! Follow me on Twitter! @ACSevelius
    ________________________ 
     
     
     
     
    September 23rd, 2016 Dear Heath Families, To begin, a huge thank you to our teachers and staff this week who have hosted their Open Houses. It is our hope that you have a better understanding of the kinds of experiences your children are having at Heath and that you feel as excited by their learning opportunities as they do! Please know our doors are always open to you; strong school-family partnerships set the stage for student engagement and growth.  We are so proud to be your partner.  Next, a GIGANTIC thank you to our PTO and to the 1st Grade families for such an unbelievably fun Heath School BBQ last Friday. Everything went so smoothly and the new-to-Heath families I spoke to raved about the event and how welcomed they felt by everyone. It is, hands down , one of my favorite events all year and this year’s BBQ really hit the spot. A few announcements: If your child usually takes the bus and you decide to pick them up instead, you MUST call office and inform us before 2:00pm. That gives us time to message the change of plans to the bus duty team, classroom teachers, and specialists.  Thank you for you commitment to good communication. TIME SHIFT ALERT! On Monday, we have two important parent meetings: Our Special Education Parent Advisory Council (SEPAC) will meet in the Auditorium from 7:45-8:15; Our Child Assault Prevention (CAP) Team will then meet with parents of 1st, 3rd, and 5th graders at 8:20-9:20.  Hope to see you there! Our Final Open Houses are next Tuesday, September 27th! 1st grade will meet from 8-9am, while Middle School will meet from 8-9:30.  Some of you have both a 1st grader and a Middle Schooler.  We will have schedules available for you before the open houses begin, so stop by and plan your time accordingly. We hope you will have plenty of time in both and seek support from the teams when there is an overlap.  Our October PTO First Friday Coffee is rescheduled! We will now host it on October 14th. Come hear from our School Nurse, the team from the CARES Project, and gain a deeper understanding about our PTO budget.  Our Picture Day Make-Up Date is Friday October 26 … and just when you thought you could put that pocket comb away.   Finally, a great big high-5 to the newest member of our community, our gecko. He is a gorgeous fellow – a crested gecko – and lives in a lush terrarium in our main office. What's his name, you ask? Once he's settled in we'll have a school election. Stay tuned!  AC  ---  AC Sevelius, Ed.D, Interim Principal Hey! Follow me on Twitter! @ACSevelius
     
     
    ________________________  
     
     
    September 16th, 2016 Dear Heath Families, Happy Heath School BBQ to you all!  I hope to see you all tonight at our awesome annual event – I know I always leave the party feeling physically and emotionally full.  Come and enjoy, play, and celebrate the great start to this school year. AND BRING CASH for our Heath School garden herb sale.  You’ll be amazed at this year’s harvest! Next, a note of caution… One of the many amazing things about Heath School is how eager kids are to get here each and every day. The eagerness can, at times, interfere with good judgment. PLEASE remind your children to use crosswalks and not to run to classes in the mornings! We will do the same on our end. Together we can keep that eagerness alive AND stay safe. Model UN We are pleased to let you know about a new opportunity for our 7th and 8th grade students.  This fall Heath will start a Model UN club. Model UN is a long-running worldwide program that offers students (from middle school through college) opportunities to connect with the larger world.  Students learn about the workings of world diplomacy through the lens of current events.  Under the leadership of students from Brookline High School, participants will attend conferences with teams from other schools, and develop skills like debate, research, teamwork, negotiation, public speaking, and compromise.  Lisa Soltani, Heath parent and Brookline teacher, will supervise the program.  The first meeting will be this Wednesday, September 21 at 2:45 in Mr. Miller’s room. Welcome from our Special Education Parent Advisory Council (SEPAC) Parent Liaisons Greetings from your SEPAC (Special Education Parent Advisory Council) parent liaisons.  On Monday, September 26 from 7:30 - 7:55 a.m., in the Heath auditorium, there will be a meeting to introduce some of the Heath special education staff.  Coffee and refreshments will be provided. Hope to see you there!!  ~ Miriam Pappas and Mei-An Tsu Upcoming Open Houses Kindergarten: Monday, September 19th from 8:00-9:00 am Fourth Grade: Tuesday, September 20th from 8:00-9:00 am Second Grade: Wednesday, September 21st from 8:00-9:00 am Third Grade: Friday, September 23rd from 8:00-9:00 am First Grade: Tuesday, September 27th from 8:00-9:00 am **** Thursday is our Enrichment, Challenge, and Support (ECS) Parent Coffee.  Hope to see many of you there!**** Do you GaGa? Wondering what that giant round structure is on our playground? We hope your children have been enjoying our new GAGA pit - powered by your donations to the Heath PTOs annual fund. Listed below are a few of the intangible learning benefits derived from GAGA play. If you would like to donate a GAGA Ball to your child’s classroom, please consider a “Wilson soft-play outdoor volleyball” available on Amazon. These volleyballs are the correct size and firmness so as not to bounce out of the pit onto the blacktop. GAGA is a fast-paced, high-energy, quick turn-over game that keeps kids active. Students are engaged in a quick cardio workout without teacher-led skill instruction. Simply jump in the pit, play, breathe hard and have fun. After a few rounds of GAGA, kids are ready to learn again in the classroom.  GAGA is an inclusive playground equalizer. Any age, athletic ability and skill level can play, and win, at GAGA ball. In fact, in our pilot last year, second graders were beating seventh graders! GAGA encourages skill building through play. Strategic thinking, planning, agility, jumping, striking, dodging, endurance and hand-eye coordination skills are among the most obvious. These skills easily translate into other sports and activities. GAGA is a true community building activity.  It’s just as much fun to watch a GAGA game as it is to play, and this creates a culture of cheering and support. To date, we have seen kids high-fiving and cheering fellow Heath students whom they may not even know.  GAGA is better with more players. Loads of kids can play, or cheer, at once. This better utilizes Heath play spaces and eliminates the disappointment of not being able to play a desired sport at recess due to overcrowding. GAGA helps kids learn true sportsmanship AND teach it to others.  Kids typically tend to be honest and hop out of the pit when they are “out”. Maybe that’s because the game is fun, even as spectator. Or perhaps it’s because everyone knows they’ll be able to hop right back in a few minutes later. For those who don’t readily admit they are out, other students are right there to to set the record straight and explain that they are not playing fair. Eventually, students learn honest sport behavior, not necessarily as a result of teacher or parent input, but through the very beneficial playground culture of fair play. “SCREENAGERS” Showing at Coolidge Corner Did you know that the average kid spends 6.5 hours a day looking at screens? Through poignant, and unexpectedly funny stories, along with surprising insights from authors, psychologists, and brain scientists, SCREENAGERS reveals how tech time impacts adolescent development and offers solutions on how adults can empower kids to best navigate the digital world and find balance. Please join us on October 5 at the Coolidge Corner Theatre for a free screening of the film followed by a facilitated discussion (parents and middle school and/or high school children are encouraged to attend together). To see the trailer, read testimonials, and learn more, go tohttp://www.screenagersmovie.com/. To register for your free tickets to Screenagers at the Coolidge Corner Theatre on October 5 at 7 pm, clickhere. After a great BBQ tonight, please enjoy this upcoming weekend to the fullest!AC  ---  AC Sevelius, Ed.D, Interim Principal Hey! Follow me on Twitter! @ACSevelius ________________________  
     
     
    September 9th, 2016Dear Heath Families, Thank you to the many who joined us this morning at our PTO First Friday Coffee. You heard about the myriad opportunities to serve the community and I hope you’ll consider how your talents and drive can serve the school. Our North Star A conversation the staff at Heath has been engaged in this new year is naming our North Star, the guiding principal of our work with students and each other. Our North Star, we’ve decided, is: “When children and teachers feel happy, safe, and supported we have room to grow and learn through collaboration and risk-taking with our peers.” It is our hope that this North Star will be reflected in your child’s experiences, that they do indeed feel safe and happy and see learning as a shared adventure. Please let us know the ways your child is reaching our collective North Star – and expect great things this year!  Open House Our Open House are coming up! We look forward to seeing many families on these days and helping you all build a deeper understanding off the work we do with your children each and every day. So, mark your calendars: Fifth Grade: Friday, September 16th from 8:00-9:00 amFourth Grade: Tuesday, September 20th from 8:00-9:00 amSecond Grade: Wednesday, September 21st from 8:05-9:00 amThird Grade: Friday, September 23rd from 8:05-9:00 amKindergarten: Monday, September 19th from 8:05-9:00 amFirst Grade: Tuesday, September 27th from 8:05-9:00 amEnrichment, Challenge, and Support (ECS) Coffee We are scheduling a parents coffee at Heath for folks to meet with Matthew Rosenthal, the town-wide ECS program coordinator and with the Heath school ECS resource teacher, on Thursday, 9/22 from 8:15-9am. We hope to see you there during this already busy week! 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 September 26th, 2016 and is offered to children in grades 4-8. The purpose of our Homework Club is to provide a supportive, focused and quiet setting in which a student can complete homework assignments, discuss homework with an adult, and plan ahead for upcoming assignments and projects. An application (required) is attached to the Blackboard Connects email of Sept. 9th (today) or in the office. Heath School Council The Heath School Council is currently accepting nominations for two new parent representatives for a two-year term. The School Council assists the principal in the identification of educational goals and standards, makes recommendations to the principal for the development, implementation and assessment of the curriculum accommodation plan and helps to create and evaluate our School Improvement Plan. There is a School Council at each of the Brookline schools, and the PTO is responsible for electing the parent representatives. The School Council includes the Heath School Principal AC Sevelius, 3 current parents, 2 teachers, currently Andrew Garnett-Cook and Tatiana Beckwith, and one member of the community. The School Council meets approximately 5 times per year on mutually agreed upon dates. If you are interested in running for a seat on the School Council, please email Eileen O’Grady at Eileen.Ogrady@NEMoves.com by noon on Wednesday September 28th and include a short paragraph of introduction (name, children's grades, experience or interest related to school council work). Your paragraphs of introduction will be shared with the community and if we have more than two submissions, voting will take place during the week of October 3rd. Votes will be tallied on Friday, October 7th and announced in "This week @ Heath" the following Monday. The first School Council meeting will take place in the Heath library on October 20th 8:00-9:30am. Questions? Contact Eileen O'Grady. Child Assault Prevention (CAP) Program Brookline Child Assault Prevention (CAP) Program Seeking Volunteers  Bonus! 19 Continuing Education Credits available for MSWs. Do you believe that all children have the right to be "Safe, Strong and Free?" If so, then join our dynamic task force of trained CAP Volunteer Prevention Specialists committed to teaching elementary age children in Brookline the skills that they need to stand up for themselves if faced with situations involving verbal, physical or sexual assault. As we look to expand from Heath into additional interested schools we invite like-minded community members to join us.  We are now accepting applications for the 2016-2017 school year. The next multi-session training begins on October 15th.  For more information please email Gail Sommer @ gsommer@familyaccess.org or phone, 617-969-5906 x 143.  Visit our website at http://familyaccess.org/family-support/child-assault-prevention/ Upcoming Events: Wednesday, September 14th: Field Day, Little Field Park, 8:35am-1:10pmThursday, September 22nd: ECS Parent Coffee, Cafeteria, 8:00-9:00am Field Trips: Thursday, September 22nd to Friday, September 23rd: 7th Grade Thompson Island TripThursday, September 22nd: 8th Grade Trip to Blue Hills Be well and enjoy the weekend ahead with your beautiful family, AC ---  AC Sevelius, Ed.D, Interim Principal Hey! Follow me on Twitter! @ACSevelius ________________________  
     
     
    September 2nd, 2016 Dear Heath Families, To Begin, My Thanks What am amazing two days we’ve had here at Heath. The positive energy is through the roof! Thank you for all you’ve done this summer to prepare your kids for a great year. Deep appreciation also goes to the Heath School staff who worked relentlessly to prepare for this school year. The shared commitment from teachers and staff was inspiring to me in the days before school opened.  A particular thank you to Jaliz Millet, our school secretary, and  Chris Gladden and Mark Powers, our custodians – they are truly unsung heroes! Also, to the families who brought food to our Welcome Back staff lunch, wow! You fed an army so beautifully. We are grateful. Family Pictures To celebrate our community, please bring a picture of your family to add to our bulletin board in the main lobby.  We’d love to showcase all of our learners so that anyone who comes into our school knows the power of our diversity and the commitment to families. New Website! Our new website is live and can be found here: https://www.brookline.k12.ma.us/heath  Please visit it, explore, and bookmark the page.  We will be working over the next few weeks to make sure it is updated and full of news you can use. Handbook In a BlackBoard Connects message, I have sent out the Heath Handbook. Please take time to review our handbook with your children and co-sign the final page. Please then return the final page to your child's classroom teacher or Advisor.  We are reviewing our Technology Acceptable Use policy and will soon get that to you to review with your child at home, too.  Please know that we take time in each classroom to carefully instruct students around the proper use of technology. PTO First Friday Coffee Please make a note in your calendars that our first PTO First Friday Coffee is coming up! This month it will actually be on the second Friday, September 9th right after arrival.  See you all there! Locks for Lockers Our middle schoolers are settling in beautifully, learning the class rotations, their new rules and routines, and are already digging into content. That said, each needs to have a lock for their locker. These are required to keep their materials safe and to keep all their stuff from falling onto the floor.  Thank you for the support. Happy three-day weekend! Do take some time to talk with your kids about Labor Day, its origins, its meaning today.  Here's a great resource: http://www.history.com/topics/holidays/labor-day AC --- AC Sevelius, Ed.D – Interim Principal ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________  
     
    June 17th, 2016
     
     
    Our last Friday here at Heath this school year. Wow! It has flown by!
     
    We have had a whirlwind of a final few weeks here: graduation, our tech showcase, end of year celebrations of learning, our day of Service fair. Thank you all for a terrific year. I hope you've all enjoyed it as much as I have.
     
     
    Summer Reading Lists
     
    I have posted these on the main page of the website, but post them here, too.  
     
    ​Each year we present a list of Summer Reading for our rising students grades 3-8. You’ll be able to find these books at Brookline Booksmith or Children's Book Shop (shop local!). Certainly, all students PreK-8 are encouraged to read as their heart’s desire – books, magazines, the backs of the cereal boxes, newspapers, street signs! Books have been constant companions in my life and I hope in yours as well. Let’s work to make it so for our own kids.
     
     
    3rd Grade
    Tornado by Betsy Byars
     
     
    4th Grade
    Clementine by Sara Pennypacker
     
     
    5th Grade
    Over the summer, the fifth graders should choose at least 1 book to read out of these choices.
     
    The Homework Machine by Dan Gutman
    Wonderstruck by Brian Selznik
    11 Birthdays by Wendy Mass
    The One and Only Ivan by K.A. Applegate
    6th Grade
    A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park
    *** Plus, two readings of your own choice (in two different genres). Students have more information; we can also help if you need clarification.
     
     
    7th Grade
    Omnivore's Dilemma (Young Reader’s Edition) by Michael Pollan
            ~ Heath has several copies that we can loan to students if you prefer not to purchase the book.
    Tangerine by Edward Bloor
    *** Plus, one more reading of your own choice, in a genre other than realistic fiction. Students have more information; we can also help if you need clarification.
     
     
    8th Grade
    Port Chicago 50, by Steve Sheinkin
    *** Plus, two readings of your own choice (in two different genres). Students have more information; we can also help if you need clarification.
     
     
    From our Director of Performing Arts, Kenny Kozal
    Dear 4th Grade Families,
    If you did not already sign up for your Grade 5 Conservatory class for next school year, please do so right away at this link:
    http://goo.gl/forms/wShd234837lbaioR2
     
    If you already signed up, you do not need to do this again. 
    ____________
     
    Dear 3rd Grade Families, 
    If you did not already sign up for your Grade 4 Conservatory class for next school year, please do so right away at this link: http://goo.gl/forms/S0xkaKC3fIEd0sap1. If you already signed up, you do not need to do this again.
     
     
    Sincerely, 
    Kenny Kozol
    K-12 Performing Arts 
    Curriculum Coordinator
    Public Schools of Brookline
    617-713-5216
    kenny_kozol@psbma.org
     
     
     
    Upcoming Events
    Read
    Play outside
    Enjoy camp
    Travel safe
    Read some more
    Go to the movies
    Sleep in
    Camp out
    Hug and kiss your kids
    Watch a sunset
    Make time for important things
     
    See you all on September 1st!
     
     
    AC
    ​​__________________
    AC Sevelius, Ed.D – Interim Principal
     
    ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ 
     
    June 10th, 2016
    A fantastic turn out this morning to meet our new Vice Principal, Michael Smith, and new Guidance Counselor, Dave Chaet. Thank you for welcoming them so warmly. While we will sorely miss Dr. Miner and Mr. Ieong, I feel very good about the path we are on and team we’ll have here at Heath!
     
     
    Speaking of new team members …
     
     
    6th Grade Social Studies
    To begin, thank you for your patience as we've searched for our new 6th grade Social Studies teacher. It is time to announce that Heath will be welcoming Larry Chen to our team in the fall. Mr. Chen has previously taught middle school social studies at Driscoll School and is eager to begin at Heath. He is especially looking forward to working closely with Mr. Garnett-Cook and digging into 6th grade content.
     
    Mr. Chen made a voluntary request to transfer schools and, with the Superintendent's support and with our needs, was easily able to commit to our vision of excellence, collaboration, and determination to provide high-quality learning experiences to all students. 
     
    Please welcome him in the new year!
     
     
    Our Awesome Artists!
    Several Heath students will have their artwork displayed in the Brookline Art Center's Gadsby Awards, which are held annually "in celebration of artistic achievement and creativity."These students are:
    Mark Tringas (4B),Lea Tsolov (4OC), Jocie Woods (4OC)
    Bihan Dasgupta (5O), Natalie Pan (5T), Marty Windshall (5T)
    Abby Gonzalez (6M), Quinn Liu (6M), Tina Morakbati (6O)
    Kenny Sepulveda (7B)
     
     
    Please check it out! The show launched a few days ago and will be up for a while, I believe. http://www.brooklineartscenter.com/
     
     
    Pet Rock Autobiographies
    It pleases me very much to send this link to you all: http://tinyurl.com/petrock2016
     
    Here you will find absolutely lovely pieces of writing from our 7th graders, beautifully illustrated, and scientifically accurate. The Pet Rock Biographies this year are really spectacular and great reading for all ages. Please take some time to check them out with your kids this weekend or during the summer months. I am sure you'll be glad you did.  Thank you for to Mr. Goldner and our 7th graders for so generously sharing their good work so publicly. 
     
     
    Summer Reading for Teachers
     
    Thanks to a grant from the PTO (thanks!) I have been able to purchase books for Heath teachers for summer reading. The books are:
     
    An Ethic of Excellence: Building a Culture of Craftsmanship with Students by Ron Berger
    Everyday Anti-Racism: Getting Real About Race in School by Mica Pollock and others
    American Girls: Social Media and the Secret Lives of Teenagers by Nancy Sales
     
    I know many of you will also want to read along. Go ahead! It would be great to have a shared conversation or to talk with you in the fall about your thoughts.
     
     
    Summer Work for Teachers
     
    Every year teachers are provided the opportunity to design work over the summer that will benefit the school and students the following school year. This summer several teachers have had their Summer Workshop proposals approved, making a commitment to our program. Some of the workshops are:
    Aligning Math Grapples with 4th Grade Curriculum Maps (https://vimeo.com/78372984)
    Middle School ELA Curriculum Development
    Zones of Regulation Task Force (www.zonesofregulation.com)
    Daily 5 Reading Workshop in Grade 4 (www.thedailycafe.com)
    First Grade Curriculum Development: Word Study
    I am eager to see the impact on teaching and learning in the new school year!
     
    Space Shuffle
     
    In order to make room for a 6th grade Social Studies room, we need to move some rooms around. This summer we will make the shuffle happen, leading to new routines, new opportunities, and new collaborations (and a few weeks where we all go to the wrong room and then remember where the new location is ...).
     
     
    Due to the shuffle and a reduced need for a fixed computer lab, the Computer Lab as we have known it will no longer exist. Instead, we are making room for a Learning Lab/Maker Space/Innovation Place. Tanya Gregoire, Matt Durant, and Eleanor Demont are leading the charge and together we expect great things will emerge from a space that allows for creativity, building, problem solving and hope you'll find the added value to your child’s experiences at Heath.
     
     
    Dr. Miner’s Farewell Party Video
    On May 20th, families threw Dr. Miner a farewell party to celebrate his time at Heath School! It was as lovely evening and a short video was made to capture the event. Please take a moment to enjoy it again or for the first time here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oGdfT2bLDLA
     
    Upcoming Events:
    Wednesday, June15th : 8th Grade Breakfast, Cafeteria, 9:00am
    Wednesday, June 15th : 8th Grade Graduation, 4:00pm
    Last Day of School! June 20th, noon dismissal
    Thank you all for a great, busy week. I recognize that the events are coming at you fast and furious and that you are having to pick and choose what you can attend. I am in the same boat with my own kids! Please know we are always happy to have you and thank you for any time you can give.
     
    AC
    ​__________________
    ​Annie C. Sevelius, Ed.D – Interim Principal
     
    ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
     
    June 3rd, 2016
     
     
    Dear Heath Families,
     
     
    Today, my cup runneth over. This morning we hosted our annual Day of Service celebration showcasing all of the important and impactful service learning that has been happening in the school this spring. From a collaboratively grown sunflower house to serving over over 100+ children through Cradles to Crayons donations, the sheer depth of service our teachers and students engaged in school-wide was a something to rejoice in!
     
     
    Our Day of Service started a few years ago as a way to honor former Heath teacher and Vice Principal, Sally Dean. Sally was an educator who kept serving others at the core of her work. We are glad to continue this Heath tradition and are already to looking forward to next year’s celebration.
     
     
    A powerful thank you to our Social Action Committee and to David Ieong, our Vice Principal. Together, they worked tirelessly to bring service learning to the fore in our community. And to our teachers, many sincere thanks for leading so many amazing service learning projects this year.
     
     
    We do this for one reason and one reason alone – so our students, your children, have a deep understanding of and hands-on relationship to serving others.  After all, what good is our life’s journey if we don’t give much more than we take?
     
     
    School Play!!!
    Tonight is the last showing of our FANTASTIC school play, Into the Woods, Jr.  Come one, come all for this great and final showing! Doors open at 6 and the play begins at 6:30.
     
     
    PSB Staff email addresses are changing
    On June 8th, the email addresses of all employees of the Public Schools of Brookline will change. New email addresses will be firstname_lastname@psbma.org. For example if your child’s teacher is Jane Doe, then her new email address will be jane_doe@psbma.org. For all teachers and staff members, the part of the email address before the @ symbol remains the same. The existing brookline.k12.ma.us email addresses will continue to work and get to our staff through the summer and into next school year, so our staff will not miss any emails that you send to them. We are changing email systems because our currently existing system is no longer reliable and has suffered a number of outages this year.
     
     
    New VP and Guidance Meet and Greet: Welcome Michael and David
    On June 10th, the incoming Heath School Vice Principal, Michael Smith, and incoming Guidance Counselor, David Chaet, will join us for the morning. They will first meet the staff from 7:30 to 7:55 in the Staff Lounge (Heath Staff only, please) and then join families from 8-9 during our first Friday Coffee. They are eager to meet you all!
     
     
    Parents, at this First Friday Coffee you will also have a chance to say a final thank you to David Ieong and John Miner, both leaving Heath. Please plan to join us if able.
     
     
    Astronomy Museum
    Our 8th graders put on quite a show of learning and creativity this past Thursday during their Astronomy Museum. Mr. Goldner and his crew of amazing scholars hosted an opportunity for students and families to learn more about the depths of our solar system through their group projects. As I visited stations, I asked students questions that I thought would surely stump them; instead, each question opened up lines of thinking and dialogue that took us deeper into their project. To see students become experts and then teach others what they’ve learned is so satisfying.
     
     
    Upcoming Community Meetings about the 9th Elementary School and BHS Renovation and Expansion
    Updates on the 9th school are scheduled for June 7 and June 14. All are welcome to attend these meetings for a presentation on the current timeline for site selection and construction and a review of the three sites being studied this spring and summer. 
    June 7 - Joint School Committee/Board of Selectmen meeting at Town Hall in the Selectman’s Hearing Room at 8:00 p.m.
    June 14 in the School Committee Room on the 5th floor of Town Hall at 7:00 p.m. Jonathan Levi Architects (JLA), the architectural firm doing the 9th school Site Selection Study will update the public on the work they will be doing and will gather community input on the three sites being studied this spring/summer.
     
     
    Brookline High School Expansion and Renovation
    The BHS Expansion Working Group will hold a public meeting to update and inform the community about the anticipated BHS expansion and renovation as PSB prepares for the rapid increase in high school enrollment in the coming years. The Working Group will share the current timeline and process, and community members will have a chance to provide input on potential options. The meeting will be at Brookline High School on June 13th at 7:00 p.m.
     
     
    Upcoming Events:
    Monday, June 6th : BHS Model UN Club meeting with Grades 6 & 7, Auditorium, 1:45-2:30pm
    Monday, June 6th - Wednesday, June 8th : 3rd Grade Wax Museum, Cafeteria, 8:15-8:45am
    Wednesday, June 8th : Tech Showcase, Science Room, 8:15-9:15am
    Wednesday, June 8th Grades 5, 6, 7, 8 Chorus Concert, BHS Auditorium, 7:00pm
    Thursday, June 9th : Kindergarten Screening, Library, 9:00am-12:00pm
    Friday, June 10th : PTO First Friday Coffee, Cafeteria, 8:00-9:00am
    Friday, June 10th : Kindergarten Screening, Library, 9:00am-12:00pm
    Wednesday, June 15th : 8th Grade Breakfast, 9:00am
    Wednesday, June 15th : 8th Grade Graduation, 4:00pm
     
    Upcoming Field Trips:
    Monday, June 6th : 8th Grade Trip to Duck Tours, 8:00am-2:30pm
    Wednesday, June 8th : 8th Grade Trip to Hale Reservation, 8:15am-2:30pm
    Thursday, June 9th : 3rd Grade Field Trip to Plimoth Plantation, 8:15am-2:00pm
    Thursday, June 9th : 8th Grade Field Trip to Canobie Lake Park, 8:00am-3:15pm
    Friday, June 10th : METCO Field Trip to Franklin Park Zoo, 1:40-5:00pm
     
    Only 11 days left in the year. Let's make each one count!
     
    AC
    ​__________________
    ​Annie C. Sevelius, Ed.D – Interim Principal
    ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
     
    May 27th, 2016
     
     
    Dear Heath Families,
     
     
    A very good Memorial Day to you all!  As the child of an Army Colonel, Memorial Day was always part celebration and part reflection. Certainly, my brother and I witnessed plenty of honor guards and somber services on every Memorial Day. My father never expected us to follow in his military footsteps, but always spoke to us of service, compassion, and dignity. These experiences may be the reason I see education as public service, an opportunity to participate in something bigger and more important than the self.  
     
     
    While this time of year always had somber moments in which we reflected on those who have served, my mother always made sure that we rejoiced with the living, celebrated through play, and loved shamelessly. May this weekend provide both quiet reflection and laughter.
     
     

    School Play

    Bravo to the cast & crew for their first successful week of productions! We have received so much positive feedback from students and staff about the performances, and we're so proud of them! It will be great to have family and friends in the audience next week.
    Just as a reminder, the nightly performances next week are as follows:
    • Wednesday, June 1: 6:30 pm
    • Friday, June 3: 6:30 pm
    *Doors open at 6:00 and the show will last approximately one hour. 
     
     
    Call times for both nights are at 4:30, and we're hoping to have our cast dinner start around 5:00-5:15 on both nights. It will be a nice way to unify the cast before their final shows. Thanks to all who volunteered to bring in food and supplies for this, as well as parents that have volunteered to help with ticket sales!
     
     

    Day of Service Celebration

    Next Friday, June 3rd, is Heath School’s Day of Service! This annual event provides opportunities for our students to learn about, engage in, and reflect upon the critical work of serving our communities. This year, we are employing a new model with which to celebrate this school-wide project, one which we hope will enhance and grow the learning and reflecting pieces. Differently than in the past, where all the grades spent the day going out and doing service projects, students have already been and continue to do them in the weeks prior to June 3. The Service Day itself will instead be a fair during the morning at school, where the students will present their projects in the library and gym, and also be able to visit the other presentations and learn about all the great service work that their classmates have doing this spring. 
     
     
    While the morning will be primarily an event for the students, we warmly invite parents to visit in between 8:00 and 8:30 AM, when the presentations will be being set up by teachers and students. Please feel welcomed to come into the Heath gym and library to learn about all the amazing experiences our students have had while giving to our local community!
     
     

    Second Annual Heath School Technology Showcase

    You are cordially invited to join us for our Second Annual Technology Showcase on Wednesday, June 8 between 8:15 AM and 9:15 AM in Heath's Science Lab.
    Teachers at Heath take a very thoughtful approach to integrating technology. We are not interested in using technology to make our lessons more glitzy, but instead look for meaningful ways to leverage the technology to improve our teaching and our students’ learning. Our students are benefiting from these enhanced learning opportunities.  
     
     
    Join us for an in-depth look into our thinking around technology integration. You are invited to explore our lessons and units that integrate technology and see student work samples.  So, please join us for our Second Annual Technology Showcase on Wednesday, June 8 between 8:15 AM and 9:15 AM in Heath's Science Lab.
     
     

    8th Grade Celebrations! Red Sox

    Last night we took our 8th graders to a Red Sox game to kick off the many celebrations leading up to their graduation on June 15th. The evening was incredible – our 8th graders were so excited and connected to one another, and the accompanying staff was thrilled to enjoy the moment with them.
     
     
    The highlights of our evening were many ... Being on the field to watch the Red Sox batting practice; we saw the starting line up warm up at the plate! We also saw Wade Boggs, Number 26, get his number retired!  And then the gorgeous sunset over Fenway Park left us speechless. The folks at Fenway Park treated us like royalty and congratulated our graduating class with a message on the JumboTron. Want to see more? Check out my Twitter feed! @ACSevelius
     
     

    Open Music

    Our school was filled with guests marveling in the work of our music teachers, Mrs. Huntley (1-5) and Ms. Cecchini (Kindergarten), during our Open Music classes this week. It is so important that we showcase our practices in this way, demystifying a bit of the mystery around how and why children learn. I am proud of our performing arts program at Heath and thankful for our music crew!
     

    Upcoming Events:

    • Monday, May 30th : No School: Memorial Day
    • Wednesday, June 1st : Peek and Practice, auditorium/cafeteria, 12:30-2:30pm
    • Wednesday, June 1st : 8th Grade Play, Auditorium, 6:30-8:30pm
    • Thursday, June 2nd : Grades 4-8 Strings Concert, Heath/Baker @ Baker School, 7:00pm
    • Friday, June 3rd : Day of Service, auditorium, 8:30-10:45am
    • Friday, June 3rd : 8th Grade Play, Auditorium, 6:30-8:30pm
    • Monday, June 6th - Wednesday, June 8th : 3rd Grade Wax Museum, Cafeteria, 8:15-8:45am
    • Wednesday, June 8th : Tech Showcase, Science Room, 8:15-9:15am
    • Wednesday, June 8th Grades 5, 6, 7, 8 Chorus Concert, BHS Auditorium, 7:00pm
    • Thursday, June 9th : Kindergarten Screening, Library, 9:00am-12:00pm​
    • Friday, June 10th : PTO First Friday Coffee, cafeteria, 8:00-9:00am
    • Friday, June 10th : Kindergarten Screening, 9:00am-12:00pm

    Upcoming Field Trips:

    • Tuesday, May 31st : 3F Field Trip to Frederick Law Olmsted, 8:30am-2:00pm
    • Wednesday, June 1st : 6th Grade Field Trip to Museum of Science, 8:30am-2:00pm
    • Monday, June 6th : 8th Grade Trip to Duck Tours, 8:00am-2:30pm
    • Wednesday, June 8th : 8th Grade Trip to Hale Reservation, 8:15am-2:30pm
    • Thursday, June 9th : 3rd Grade Field Trip to Plimoth Plantation, 8:15am-2:00pm
    • Thursday, June 9th : 8th Grade Field Trip to Canobie Lake Park, 8:00am-3:15pm
     
    Be well and see you all Tuesday!
     
     
    AC
    __________________
    Annie C. Sevelius, Ed.D – Interim Principal
     
     

     
    May 20th, 2016
     
     
    Happy weekend, Heath Families!
     
     
    We are full tilt-boogie here at Heath – the energy is through the roof! 
     
     
    To begin, so congratulations are in order:
     
     
    • Congrats to 2D, winners of our First Annual Set Tournament! And thank you to Ms. Demont who organized such an amazing day for us here.
    • Well done Kindergarten! Your presentation on how we can all be better stewards of the Earth was phenomenal!
    • To Ms. Cusack and Ms. Morales’s 8th grade advisory group, thank you. Your $450.00 donation to The Daily Table will make a world of difference.
    • To the 4th grade – I think Cradles to Crayons will need to bring a bigger truck when they come to pick up all the donations from us.
    Also, hearty congratulations to new minted Dr.  Allison Weinstein, our school psychologist, who completed her doctoral studies and graduated last weekend. And to toot my own horn, I graduate this weekend from my doctoral program, and will be out Monday at my graduation ceremony. Woot!
     
     

    The Ari Award

    Ari Ship Cohen was a beloved student in what was the Driscoll Pre K classroom (now moved to the Putterham BEEP site) when he passed away unexpectedly in March of 2006. His parents, Dr. Amy Ship and Dr. Robert Cohen, created the Ari Cohen Award as a way to memorialize their son and as a means to celebrate the work of inclusion that brought so much joy to his life. 
     
     
    Each year a BEEP educator, therapist, specialist is identified as a member of the BEEP community who exemplifies the spirit of inclusion and is committed to the values of inclusive communities of teachers and learners. This year the award will be given to Min-Jen Taylor.  Min-Jen has opened her heart to children with a wide range of strengths and needs. 
     
     
    Thank you, Min-Jen, for all you do to ensure every child has opportunities to learn and thrive while in our community.  Your work matters.
     
     

    Your Kid and Minecraft

    Is your kid obsessed with Minecraft the way my kid is?  Well, then this article is for you! By the way, I resisted Minecraft for a long time. Now we let her play freely (with time limits, of course) and am pretty blown away by the things she creates. So check it out!
     
     
    How Kids Are Learning to Code While Playing Minecraft
     
    From the article: Teachers are already capitalizing on their students’ fascination with the computer game Minecraft to teach everything from math to history. Now, a new add-on teaches kids to code their own modifications to the game.
     
     
    Now, this is where it gets a little hectic. In the final weeks of school, we are really on the move. So much to do and celebrate. Please take a look at the events below, mark your calendars, and hang onto your hats folks!
     
     

    Upcoming Events:

    • Monday, May 23rd - Friday, May 27th : K-4 Open Music Classes
    • Monday, May 23rd - Friday, May 27th : Spirit Week
    • Monday, May 23rd : Grade 5/6 Track Meet
    • Wednesday, May 25th : Grade 7/8 Track Meet
    • Monday, May 30th : No School: Memorial Day
    • Wednesday, June 1st : Peek and Practice, auditorium/cafeteria, 12:30-2:30pm
    • Wednesday, June 1st : 8th Grade Play, Auditorium, 6:30-8:30pm
    • Thursday, June 2nd : Grades 4-8 Strings Concert, Heath/Baker @ Baker School, 7:00pm
    • Thursday, June 2nd : Astronomy Museum, Science Room, 10:25-11:40am
    • Friday, June 3rd : PTO First Friday Coffee, cafeteria, 8:00-9:00am
    • Friday, June 3rd : Day of Service, auditorium, 8:30-10:45am
    • Friday, June 3rd : 8th Grade Play, Auditorium, 6:30-8:30pm
     

    Upcoming Field Trips: 

    • Tuesday, May 24th : 5th Grade Field Trip to B.I.G.: 5M: 12:00-1:30pm, 5O: 10:00-11:30am, 5T: 11:00am-12:30pm
    • Thursday, May 26th : Grade 1 Field Trip to Museum of Science, 9:00am-12:20pm
    • Thursday, May 26th : Social Action Field Trip, 9:40am-12:20pm
    • Thursday, May 26th : 8th Grade Field Trip to the Red Sox Game, 7:10pm
    • Tuesday, May 31st : 3F Field Trip to Frederick Law Olmsted, 8:30am-2:00pm
    • Wednesday, June 1st : 6th Grade Field Trip to Museum of Science
     
    ​Stay awesome at all you do for your family and for the school!
     
     
    AC
    __________________
    ​Annie C. Sevelius, Interim Principal
     

     
     
     
     
     
     
    May 13th, 2016
     
     
    Dear Heath Families,
     
     
    To begin, thank you so very, very much for all that so many of you have done for Heath School this past week – volunteering for Mayfair, supporting service learning, helping prepare us for a great Spirit Week, supporting classes as they explore the world on field trip, and more! Your efforts are seen and appreciated.  
     

    Young Scholars

    Yesterday our Young Scholars Program (YSP) welcomed Dr. Christopher Vick , Director of Brookline High School’s African American and Latino Scholars Program. He delivered a powerful message to our young scholars about promise and possibility. Our scholars were riveted, listening closely to Dr. Vick and engaging readily around issues of race, class, college access, and the qualities of scholarship.  We are proud to make space for these important conversations at Heath and I am thankful for the educators dedicated to this mission and vision.  
     
     

    PTO Grants

    Thanks to your generous donations during our Heath Annual Appeal, our PTO can embark upon this year’s grant making cycle.  Please use the guidelines sent to you in a PTO email to apply for the funds to make your Heath project come to life!
     
     

    Handicap Parking at Heath School

    Please, if you do not have the right to access handicap accessible parking at Heath School, do not.  When those who are not in need of these spaces park in them, folks with the right to those spaces are denied access to our school and its programming. It is our shared responsibility to care for others and respect their essential rights.
     
     

    MCAS

    Yesterday and today were MCAS days. The final days are Monday and Tuesday.  Our modified schedule has allowed us to complete our testing cycle quickly and efficiently, ensuring we gather the data we need and maximize classroom learning.  Thanks for the support as we tried out this shift!
     
     

    Boxes!

    I made a plea last week for your good, empty, flattened boxes.  We will be shifting classrooms around this summer and need boxes!!!!  I know you receive packages, so save those amazon boxes for us!  Don’t wonder if your box is good enough … it is.  
     
     

    9th School Meetings

    There will be two public meetings to update parents, guardians, and community members about the site selection and construction of a 9th elementary school. Please come and learn about the current timeline for site selection and construction and a review of the three sites being studied this spring and summer. These meetings continue our efforts to keep members of the public informed about the process for identifying a site for a 9th elementary school and the ongoing need to address enrollment growth in the public schools. There will be time for Q&A at the May 18th meeting. 
    The meetings are scheduled as follows: 
    • May 18 at Pierce School Auditorium at 7:00 p.m.
    • June 7, Joint School Committee/Board of Selectmen meeting at Town Hall in the Selectman’s Hearing Room. The time will be announced closer to the meeting date.
     

    Spirit Week is Coming Up!!!!!!

    • Monday, May 23 – Pajama Day! Start the week off right by coming to school in your pajamas!  Don’t forget your favorite stuffie!
    • Tuesday, May 24 – Character Day!  Books, movies, history lessons, comic books, TV shows, card games, and more!  We all have a character we love! Are you Einstein? A Pokemon character? Katniss Everdeen? Ramona the Pest? No masks or weapons...thanks.
    • Wednesday, May 25 – Formal Day! Are you so fancy? Then right-O, good chap! ‘Tis the day to clean up, dress to the nines, and just get plain fancy! Suits, dresses, ties, tiara … the more elegant, the better!
    • Thursday, May 26 – Crazy Day! Just what it looks like...let’s get crazy! Crazy hats, wacky clothes, mismatched outfits, ultra-bright colors (hair too!). As loony as you can be - that’s the rule of the day.
    • Friday, May 27 – Spirit Day! Come dressed in your Heath gear! Green and White ok!
     

    ​Upcoming Events: 

    • Saturday, May 14th : May Fair, 11:00am-4:00pm
    • Monday, May 16th : MCAS: Grades 4-8 Math, Session 1
    • Monday, May 16th : MCAS: Grade 3 Math, Session 2
    • Tuesday, May 17th : MCAS: Grades 4-8 Math, Session 2
    • Thursday, May 19th : Art Show!!!, Around the School, 7:30-9:00am
    • Friday, May 20th : SET Tournament, Cafeteria, 9:00-10:30am
    • Monday, May 23rd - Friday, May 27th : K-4 Open Music Classes
     

    Upcoming Field Trips: 

    • Tuesday, May 17th : Brookline DPW Day: 3rd Grade
    • Wednesday, May 18th : 3H Field Trip to Frederick Law Olmsted, 8:30am-2:00pm
    • Thursday, May 19th : 3L Field Trip to Frederick Law Olmsted, 8:30am-2:00pm
    • Friday, May 20th : Grade 6 Service Day at Charles River, 8:45am-1:40pm
    • Tuesday, May 24th : 5th Grade Field Trip to B.I.G.: 5M: 12:00-1:30pm, 5O: 10:00-11:30am, 5T: 11:00am-12:30pm
    • Thursday, May 26th : Grade 1 Field Trip to Museum of Science, 9:00am-12:20pm
    • Thursday, May 26th : 8th Grade Field Trip to the Red Sox Game, 7:10pm
     
    See you all at Mayfair!
     
     
    AC
     
     
    ​Annie C. Sevelius, Interim Principal
    __________________
     
     
     
     

     
     
    May 6th, 2016
     
     
    To begin, I want to thank the Heath School teachers during this Teacher Appreciation Week.  While I hope they feel appreciated each and everyday, this time helps us reflect on our connections, our values, and our mission. I know that I am ceaselessly stopped by parents in the hallways who gush over the teaching happening in the building. I am always moved by this insight as well as comforted in knowing how much talent makes this place really hum.  Thank you, families, for seeing the greatness in the Heath team.
     
     

    Heath School Art Show

    Show Opening: Thursday, May 19th 7:30-9am
    Show Dates: Thursday 5/19-Tuesday 5/31
    Location: Heath School hallways, lobby, and library
     
     
    This year's art show will kick off with a morning opening on Thursday 5/19 that will run as follows:
    7:30-7:55am Families are invited to tour the show together
    7:55-8:00am Students report to their classrooms
    8:00-9:00am Parents continue viewing the show. 6th grade docents will be available to speak with parents. Classes will have the option of viewing the show during this time.
     
     
    We'd love to have help from parent volunteers, particularly with labeling artwork prior to 5/19 and with taking down work on 5/31. Please emai ceara_yahn@psbma.org if you're interested in helping out.
     
     
    We're looking forward to celebrating our student artists with you!
        - Ceara Yahn and Amelia Bellve, Heath School Art Teachers
     
     

    4th and 5th Grade Conservatory

    4th and 5th grade parents should have received letters regarding Conservatory this week in their child’s backpacks. They are also attached to this week’s email blast.  Please be sure to enroll in Conservatory by May 13th!
     
     

    Teachers As Learners

    Karen Shashoua has received a grant from the  National Endowment for the Humanities to study Pueblo history at Mesa Verde National Park this summer. She expects that her experience will have a powerful and direct impact on student experiences during their 2nd grade unit on the Hopi. Congratulations, Karen! 
     
     
    Jane Leo travels to Cuba next February thanks to a grant from the Brookline Education Foundation. Her proposal,  "Travel with Teachers As Scholars to Cuba,” was met with enthusiasm by the BEF and colleagues at Heath.  Jane shares, “I'm honored to be the recipient of a BEF grant to travel to Cuba next February. The impact on myself will be a firsthand, personal connection with Cuban culture as well as an examination of my colonial familial history. In sharing my travel experience with my students, I will not only teach them about another culture, but will shape their attitude for human differences towards one of respect and deference.” 
     
     

    Our Next First Friday Coffee, June 10th

    Please plan to join us at our next First Friday Coffee, which will be on Jun 10th. You will be able to meet Michael Smith, our incoming Vice Principal, and David Chaet, our incoming Guidance Counselor.  We are looking forward to having them here at Heath!
     
     

    Boxes , Please!

    If you have gently used boxes, we could use them. Over the summer we will be shifting several rooms around to make room for a new middle school classroom. Donations of moving boxes will go a long way in making this a smooth move! Again, gently used, flattened boxes welcome!
     
     

    Upcoming Events: 

    • Thursday, May 12th : MCAS: Grades 3 Math, Session 1
    • Thursday, May 12th : MCAS: Grades 5 & 8 Science/Tech, Session 1
    • Friday, May 13th: : MCAS: Grades 5 & 8 Science/Tech, Session 2
    • Friday, May 13th : IPRs issued by school
    • Saturday, May 14th : May Fair, 11:00am-4:00pm
    • Monday, May 16th : MCAS: Grades 4-8 Math, Session 1
    • Monday, May 16th : MCAS: Grade 3 Math, Session 2
    • Tuesday, May 17th : MCAS: Grades 4-8 Math, Session 2
    • Thursday, May 19th : Art Gallery, Library/Lobby, 7:30-9:00am
    • Friday, May 20th : SET Tournament, Cafeteria, 9:00-10:30am

    Upcoming Field Trips: 

    • Wednesday, May 11th : 5th Grade Field Trip to Freedom Trail, 8:20-11:45am
    • Tuesday, May 17th : Brookline DPW Day: 3rd Grade
    • Wednesday, May 18th : 3H Field Trip to Frederick Law Olmsted, 8:30am-2:00pm
    • Thursday, May 19th : 3L Field Trip to Frederick Law Olmsted, 8:30am-2:00pm
    • Friday, May 20th : Grade 6 Service Day at Charles River, 8:45am-1:40pm
     
     
    Be good to yourselves and each other!
     
     
    AC
     
     
    Annie C. Sevelius, Interim Principal
    __________________

     
    April 29th, 2016
     
    Dear Heath Families,
     
    Welcome Back! Today was Poem in Your Pocket Day, but we took all week to celebrate. Perhaps you heard a few poems read aloud during morning announcements this week? Perhaps you'll find a poem in your child's pocket this weekend when doing laundry? A special thanks to Ms. Carney, our Librarian, who makes this tradition come alive each year. Poetry helped ease us all back from Spring Break and into good teaching and learning again - what a gift language can be!
     

    MSAN Update

    As I wrote in a previous message, I had the very good fortune of traveling to Madison, WI, to attend this year's Minority Student Association Network conference earlier this week.
     
    At the conference I had the opportunity to attend sessions Leadership in a Diverse World: From Plan to Action, Cultivating Social and Emotional Competence Through Culturally Relevant Service Learning, and more.  Furthermore, I was able to connect with folks from around the country to talk and think about the unique challenges of school work in 2016 and beyond.
     
    At Heath we have the chance to go above and beyond in designing a safe community for all learners. Our shared vision is to become a school in which safety is foundational so that our students – English language learners, students of color, students with diverse learning profiles, and LGBTQ kids and staff –  can thrive in authentically diverse learning experiences, make-meaning and problem solve collaboratively, be able to go deep and take the perspective of others, and take risks in service of deeper learning. If I can contribute to this work, it will be my pleasure.
     

    New Staff Announcements

    I am pleased to announce several key hires for next year. While we are currently hiring still for paraprofessional staff, it is time to let you know key team members coming to Heath (or in one case, staying at Heath!)
     
    Michael Smith, Vice Principal
    Michael Smith is originally from N.C. He comes from a large military family which gave him the opportunity to travel extensively throughout the United States and Asia. He received his B.S. Degree in Music Education with a concentration in voice from the historical Winston-Salem State University, in Winston-Salem State N.C. He later moved to Massachusetts where he initially worked at Dorchester High School before becoming the founding Music Director at the prestigious Boston Arts Academy. After receiving his degree in School Administration and Leadership, Michael began working with the Lynn Public Schools and was the Fine Arts Director and District Director of Arts and Academic Instruction for the Pentucket Regional School District in West Newbury, Massachusetts.
     
    He is involved in social justice, equity, and diversity education through the National S.E.E.D Project on Inclusive Curriculum of Wellesley College. He also teaches private piano and voice lessons, sings in a band, and owns his own DJ business.
     
    David Chaet, Guidance Counselor
    Dave was born and raised in Natick, Massachusetts. After high school, he attended UMass Amherst, where he graduated with a degree in Hospitality and Tourism Management. However, years of experience at a summer camp on Cape Cod as a camper, counselor and administrator drew him into the world of education. After college, he went to work for the non-profit organization Playworks in Boston and Cambridge public schools. From there, Dave came to Brookline, where he has worked at Baker as a Paraprofessional, Extended Day Teacher, Long Term Substitute, Guidance Intern, Physical Education and Health Teacher, and finally as a School Counselor. In 2015, he graduated from Northeastern University with a master’s degree in School Counseling. Dave is very excited to join the Heath team and meet all the students, staff and families!
     
    Brianna Conlan, 1st Grade
    This past winter, Heath teacher Lindsay Bingenheimer, many of whom you remember, resigned. We are pleased to announce that we have asked Ms. Brianna Conlan, who has served for several years as Ms. Bingenheimer's long-term maternity sub, to stay on and continue to be a part of our 1st grade team. Brianna is already fully integrated into the Heath School community, has established positive relationships with students and families, and serves as a member of our Child Study Team. Congratulations and welcome, Brianna!
     

    Math and Science/Technology Timeframe

    Big news! David Ieong and Jed Miller, our MCAS Coordinators, have been able to create a calendar for our Math and Science/Technology testing block that reduces the amount of time we will spend as a school testing, and gets back lots of teaching time. This schedule will indeed deviate from the Brookline schedule, so please be sure to mark our NEW dates in your calendars.
    • Thursday 5/12: G5 & 8 Sci/Tech 1; G3 Math Session 1
    • Friday 5/13: G5 & 8 Sci/Tech 2
    • Monday 5/16: G3 Math Session 2; G4 - 8 Math Session 1
    • Tuesday 5/17: G4-8 Math Session 2
      ________________
     

    Upcoming Events:

    • Tuesday, May 3rd - Thursday, May 5th : Book Fair, Library, 8:00am-4:00pm
    • Tuesday, May 3rd : Annual Town Election, Gym, 8:00am-8:00pm
    • Tuesday, May 3rd : K-6 Conference Dismissal, 12:40pm
    • Friday, May 6th : PTO First Friday Coffee, Cafeteria, 8:00-9:00am
    • Friday, May 13th : IPRs issued by school
    • Saturday, May 14th : May Fair, 11:00am-4:00pm
     

    Upcoming Field Trips:

    • Wednesday, May 11th : 5th Grade Field Trip to Freedom Trail, 8:20-11:45am
     
    Enjoy the beautiful weekend ahead!!!
     
    AC
     
     
    Annie C. Sevelius, Interim Principal
    __________________
     

     
     
    April 15th, 2016
     
     
    Dear Heath families,
     
     

    International Night…

    … was off the hook. Without a doubt, Heath School can throw a great party. Of course, the evening dissolved into a fantastic dance party in the lobby, happy kids bouncing around to good music, bellies full, smiles spread across their faces.  One of our PreK kids danced so hard and for so long that I KNOW he slept well. Thank you to all who shared with the community their warmth, cultures, food, traditions, and heritage. A special thank you to all who had a hand in bringing this event together – it takes a lot of work to make International Night happen each year and I am grateful to you all.

     
    Placement Letters/ Class Placement Process

     
    Thank you to families who have sent in your class placement letters. It is great to have your perspective and hear from you in this way. I personally have enjoyed reading the responses from families and have learned about joys shared only at home, hidden anxieties about entering high school, friendships I never knew were so strong, and more.
     
     
    Some of you made specific teacher requests on your forms; again, we have not solicited teacher requests and any requests that have been made will not be included in any class placement decisions.
     
     
    The class placement process will begin in mid-May with teams of teachers and specialist sitting together to build new cohorts. In June, we will take another look at the cohorts to see if any adjustments need to be made before finalizing them.
     
     
    The new class groupings and teacher assignments will be announced in July. If you recall, we are no longer able to share class lists with families (federal privacy laws prevent us from doing so), but the Heath PTO will be in constant contact urging you to enroll in our online family directory.
     
     

    MCAS Update

    Our English Language Arts MCAS tests have left the building; a HUGE thanks to David Ieong and Jed Miller who worked tirelessly to ensure our testing cycle went off without a hitch. 
     
     

    Service Learning

    Our 4th graders will be working with Cradles to Crayons for their service learning project this spring.  They will be running a donation drive starting April 25th, just after spring vacation. See the flyer (attached to your email blast) for info on donating/donations. And stay tuned for more service learning updates in the weeks to come.
      
     

    Save the Date: Student Health Service Presentation

    On Tuesday April 26th from 7-8:30, the Brookline Parent Education Network (B-PEN) will present the results of the most recent Student Health Survey at Upper Devotion School as they relate to middle-school. The evening will include statistics from the survey, implications for school-based practice and support and resources for parents. All Brookline parents of middle school students and staff are welcome. There will be speakers and a panel, and opportunities for PSB behavioral health supports to be showcased. While we see many positive indicators for increasing healthy behaviors in Brookline, mental health continues to be an area of concern for our middle school students, especially as it relates to anxiety and depression. Here is a snapshot from the survey:
     
     
    At the middle school level, the percentage of 7th-8th grade students who reported experiencing overwhelming stress or anxiety in the past year increased from 69% in 2013 to 79% in 2015. ● More females reported overwhelming stress or anxiety than males (86% and 73%, respectively). ● Among 7th-8th grade students, 14% report symptoms of depression over the past year. More females (22%) reported this than male (15%). A higher percentage of 8th graders reported the symptom of depression (21%) than 7th graders (15%). ● Among 7th-8th grade students, 14% report ever having attempted self-harm (i.e. cutting, burning) compared to 12% in 2013. ● Among Brookline 7th and 8th grade students, 4% reported having EVER attempted suicide. The prevalence did not vary by grade. More males had ever attempted suicide (4%) than females (3%). 
     
     
    Please save the date!
     
     

    For Your Consideration

    8 Characteristics of an Innovator’s Mindset
     
     
    Please enjoy the Spring break ahead of us – get outside and ***PLAY***.
     
     
    On the 25th- 27th of April, right after the break, I will be traveling with a group from the Public Schools of Brookline to Madison, WI to attend this year’s MSAN (Minority Student Achievement Network) Conference. I feel very fortunate to have this opportunity to learn and grow and engage around these issues and to become a smarter practitioner in service of our school community and our students of color.  I look forward to bringing this learning back home to Heath.
     
     
    And please know that the exclamation point button on my keyboard is broken. Otherwise, this message would be riddled with exclamation points.
     
     
    AC 
     
     
    Annie C. Sevelius, Interim Principal
    __________________________________
     

     
    April 8th, 2016
     
     
    Dear Heath families,
     
     
    To begin, it was so awesome to attend the Brookline Education Foundation’s Gala last weekend.  I was blown away by the warmth and connectedness I felt to Heath School and was witness to some pretty incredible financial support of the BEF’s mission. Again, the BEF directly impacts the work we do with students in a way that is really hard to quantify (though I bet they have good data!). It was a pleasure to be a part of that last Saturday.
     
     

    YSP

    A big shout out to Karen Shashoua and Debra Morales who launched the Young Scholars Program this week!  They have done significant outreach to kids grades 4-8 to get them to join the group and yesterday’s first meeting had such an amazing crew walk through the door.  If you know a young scholar of color … and you probably do … who you think could use some words of encouragement to give YSP a shot, please talk up the program to them so they’ll think about joining this awesome crew.
     
     

    Nuts and Bolts

    • I have sent out a letter regarding classplrcement. Please take some time to sit with your child/children and fill it out. Then, return the completed form to your classroom teacher. This is a new process and we hope it serves us all – especially our students – well.
    • We are signing kids up for Conservatory classes for next year and all families grades 5-7 have received news on how to help your child select their best-fit classes for next year. Students in grades 5 and 6 will input their selections at school; we ask that 7th graders can do this easy process at home using this link: http://goo.gl/forms/aYtRLrRUpv
     

    Great Resources: Science and Math

    And, finally this week, three links worth your time this weekend. We work really hard at Heath to raise up good thinkers – to help our students get smart. We recognize that we can provide resources to help our parents “get smart,” too! One way is to send out resources that helped us think differently about problems. Some resources can help us play with our kids differently. This week's links, we hope, can promote dialogue about math and science at home in a way that keeps the momentum and excitement going for kids.  I know my own daughter is obsessed with Mine Craft; I will certainly dig into the link below to learn more about how to help her get even more obsessed! 
     
     

    The Stereotypes That Distort How Americans Teach and Learn Math 

     
     

    Magnetic Slime

    This is easier to make than you think, and more fun than you can imagine.  Let me know if you try it with your kids at home!
    Video:
     

    How to Grab and Keep Girls Interest in Computer Coding

    Get your girls involved in coding!  We need more women engineers, and more engineers of color - this is one place to start.  
    From the article: There’s growing and well-founded concern about the gender gap in science, technology, engineering and math fields, particularly when it comes to women of color. Women’s participation in computer science careers has actually decreased since the 1980s. Right now, about 20 percent of all programmers are women and while women make up 57 percent of undergraduates they represent only 18 percent of the computer science majors.
     
     

    Upcoming Events: 

    • Monday, April 11th : MCAS: Make-Up Testing
    • Tuesday, April 12th : K-8 Conference Dismissal, 12:40pm
    • Wednesday, April 13th : Theater Espresso Performance for grades 5-8, Auditorium, 9:00am-12:00pm
    • Thursday, April 14th : 7/8th Grade Artist Visit, Auditorium, 1:45-2:30pm
    • Thursday, April 14th : International Night, Cafeteria/Gym, 6:00-7:30pm See you there for this awesome annual event!!!!
    • Friday, April 15th : Understanding Our Differences, Grade 4, Auditorium, 8:45-10:30am
    • Monday, April 18th - Friday, April 22nd : No School: April Vacation
     

    Upcoming Field Trips: 

    • Thursday, April 14th : 5T Field Trip to Hei La Moon, 8:15-11:30am
     
    Such a great week at Heath!  I hope you all felt the good vibes, too.  Be well!
     
     
    AC
     
     
    Annie Sevelius, Interim Principal
    __________________________________
     

     
     
     
    April 1st, 2016
     
     
    Dear Families,
     
     
    Thank you for taking the time to read this week’s message.  Lots going on, so here we go …
     
     

    First Friday Coffee

    This morning in our cafeteria we hosted Superintendent Connelly, incoming Superintendent Andrew Bott, and School Committee members Rebecca Stone and Barbara Scotto. The conversation focused on contract negotiations, review of the budget and override, understanding educational priorities, and perspective sharing. It pleases me very much that Heath School can be a place in which these difficult conversations can happen.  Thank you to the parents, teachers, and district level staff who were able to attend and your thoughtful contributions. It means a lot to me that I am a part of such a passionate crew of educators.  

     
    Understanding Math

     
    The other night at bedtime I asked my daughter, a third grader, what she’d like to read for bedtime. She told me she’d just like to do math instead. I was pretty blown away, but for the next 20 minutes we made up problems for each other and solved them. The math wasn’t always perfect, but we were joyful and connected in a new way. 
     
     
    The next morning I immediately told this story to our math Coach Eleanor Demont.  We dove into a terrific conversation on math and how to help parents (like myself) take advantage of these moments when they come along.  
     
     
    Eleanor has a plethora or resources and we will start sharing them with you each week, starting today (attached to my email blast).  Check it out and let us know how it goes!
     
     

    Teacher Surprise!

    Today Heath parents surprised teachers and staff with a snack smorgasbord. The parents at Heath are passionate about supporting us in all we do  and it showed today with the abundance of sweets, chips and dips, cookies, etc. Thank you for making us feel loved and supported.
     
     

    Young Scholars Program

    We would like to announce a new program at the Heath School:  The Young Scholars Program. 
     
    This new program is an extension of the African American and Latino Scholars Program at Brookline High School (AALSP), a program that has been instrumental in creating and sustaining a culture of scholastic excellence amongst students of color.  
     
     
    We are excited to get students connected to the AALSP earlier in their school careers.  Though the Young Scholars Program, Heath students will have the opportunity to develop scholarly habits and mindsets, build a feeling of community with each other, and work towards eligibility to join AALSP when they begin their high school careers.  They will also have the opportunity to meet and work with high school students who are currently in the AALSP.  A HUGE thanks to Karen Shashoua, 2nd grade teacher, and Debra Morales, METCO Liaison, for taking this important work on.  I am thrilled to be one of the first Brookline Schools to do this work and the elementary/middle school level and hope we can be a model for what is good and possible for our young people.
     
     
    Students who qualify for the program will be contacted directly by Karen and Debra. If you have questions, please reach out. We’ll be glad to connect around this important work.
     
     

    Parent Survey

    You will soon receive an invitation to fill out this year’s Parent Survey. I would love to have 100% participation.  100% means all voices are heard, everyone participated, and I have the full picture of what can improve at our school and what we need to protect.  The time you give to this quick survey can be impactful – know that I take this kind of data seriously and would hope to use it to help me know best how to leverage our shared hopes and dreams to making Heath an even better place to be for all of us.
     
     
    Upcoming Events
    • Monday, April 4th : MCAS: Grades 6 & 8 English Language Arts, Session 2
    • Tuesday, April 5th : MCAS: Grades 4 & 7 English Language Arts, Session 1
    • Wednesday, April 6th : K-6 Conference Dismissal, 12:40pm
    • Thursday, April 7th : CAP parent meeting, Cafeteria, 8:00-9:00am
    • Thursday, April 7th : MCAS: Grades 4 & 7 English Language Arts, Session 2
    • Friday, April 8th : Report Cards issued by school
    • Friday, April 8th : MCAS: Make-Up Testing
    • Monday, April 11th : MCAS: Make-Up Testing
    • Tuesday, April 12th : K-8 Conference Dismissal, 12:40pm
    • Wednesday, April 13th : Theater Espresso Performance, Auditorium, 9:00am-12:00pm
    • Thursday, April 14th : 7/8th Grade Artist Visit, Auditorium, 1:45-2:30pm
    • Thursday, April 14th : International Night, Cafeteria/Gym, 5:00-8:30pm
     

    Upcoming Field Trips 

    • Thursday, April 14th : 5T Field Trip to Hei La Moon, 8:15-11:30am
     
    Be well, thank you for all the support, and enjoy the weekend,
     
     
    AC
     
     
    Annie Sevelius, Interim Principal
    __________________________________
     
     

     
     
    March 25th, 2016
     
     
    Greetings, Heath families!
     
     
    One of my roles this year has been to lead the administration of MCAS testing. As you aware, the 2016 MCAS season kicks off this upcoming week for students in grades 3-8. This first round of testing is in ELA, and takes place on this schedule:
     
    • March 29, 2016 – Grade 3 and 5 English Language Arts, Session 1
    • March 30, 2016 – Grade 3 and 5 English Language Arts, Session 2
    • Sections 2A & 2B
    • March 31, 2016 – Grade 6 and 8 – English Language Arts Session, 1
    • April 4, 2016 – Grades 6 and 8 English Language Arts, Session 2
    • Sections 2A and 2B
    • April 5, 2016 – Grade 4 and 7 English Language Arts, Session 1
    • April 7, 2016 – Grade 4 and 7 English Language Arts, Session 2,
    • Sections 2A and 2B
    • April 8 & 11, 2016 – Make-Up Testing
    Math, Science, Technology and Engineering will be tested in the May MCAS round.
     
    We are ready for a successful MCAS experience! Teachers have been working diligently on continuing Brookline’s rich curriculum while preparing the students for the particular structures and requirements of the state assessment. I have seen kids working with great dedication and focus on setting themselves up to be their best. Ms. Sevelius and I go into next week with great confidence that the Heath School community is prepared to demonstrate the high level of performance we give all year long, and then continue to do so once the test booklets have been packed up and shipped away. At Heath, we know full well that a standardized test is just one window into all of the amazing learning that occurs at our school!
     
    At home, you can support us by speaking to your child about the test. The best preparation our kids can have at this stage is simply to feel confident, calm, and ready to persist with their best effort. Let your kids know that they’ve been making themselves smarter, preparing for the testing, and are ready to get it done. Plan some down time! Get outside! See a movie together! The higher their confidence and the more at ease they are, better your kids will do. Parents can also do a few simple but very important tasks that make a big difference on testing day:
    • Please make sure your child is on time to school.  Planned absences should also be scheduled for other days. 
    • Please do everything you can to help your child get great sleep the night before and eat a hearty breakfast prior to coming to school. 
    • Help your child to select a favorite book to have with them in case they are done earlier than other students and have wait time.
    • Highlight their strengths and encourage your child to take their time, review their work and never give up.
    • Compliment your child for giving their best!
     
    Thank you very much for your support! Do not hesitate to reach out to us at david_ieong@psbma.org or annie_sevelius@psbma.org should you have any questions.
     
     
    Take care and enjoy this three-day weekend!
     
     
    David
    ________________________
    David Ieong
    Heath Interim Vice Principal
     

     
     
     
    March 18th, 2016
     
    Dear Heath Families,
     
     

    Lost and Found

    I usually try to not start my message with a downer, but have you seen our Lost & Found?  I am thinking about renaming it to “Lost Forever.” If you believe your child’s coat, lunchbox, water bottle, notebook, library book, one boot, basketball, sweater, hat, mittens, etc. have been sucked into a wormhole, it might be in our Lost & Found! We will soon clean this room out entirely, so come and check it out before the great spring cleaning of 2016.
     
     

    And a Thank You!!!

    To all of our families who donated to our PTO’s Annual Appeal, thank you. Over 40% of Heath families made a financial contribution to the school that will directly impact teaching and learning. Of course, if you did not make your donation yet, you can at any time.
     
     
    Please look for a more official thanks from our amazing PTO leadership soon.
     
     

    Wanted: Baby Photos of our 8th Graders!

    The 8th Grade Yearbook Committee is looking for photos of your 8th graders from their younger years to include in the yearbook and we're hoping for your help! At your earliest convenience, please send one baby photo and young photo (ages 4-9) of your 8th grader(s) to ceara_yahn@psbma.org
     
     
    If you have printed photos that you'd like us to scan, we're also happy to do that. The latest date by which we can receive photos is 4/11/16. We'd really like to see every 8th grader represented in this collection of younger photos. We appreciate you helping us get there!
     
     
    Many thanks,
    Ms. Yahn and the 8th Grade Yearbook Committee
     
     

    Spelling Bee

    The Brookline Education Foundation held their 19th annual 5th Grade Spelling Bee last weekend. I hope that you will join me in congratulating the following spellers from Heath School:
     
    • Leo Thomson
    • Avery Packard
    • Shane Collins
    • Vrishti Rana
    • Jeremy From
    • Nicholas  Bezzerides
    • Leander Goessling
    Our champion this year is Heath’s own Leo Thomson, who won by correctly spelling the word "antidote."  Way to go, Leo!
     
     

    The 2016 "A Woman Who Inspires Me” Essay Contest

    Congratulations to the winners in the 2016 "A Woman Who Inspires Me” essay contest!  It was exciting to have Heath students participate and support the Brookline Commission for Women again this year. The organization received so many entries and shared that it was inspiring to hear about the wonderful influences in our students' lives.
    Heath students placed 1st, 2nd, and 3rd in the 7th grade division.  Well done Elena Su (1st), Andrea Motekaitis (2nd), and Isabel Grimes (3rd)!
     
     

    Bake Sale

    Thank you to all who supported our bake sale today!  Our support of Boston Marathon runner and Heath parent, Amanda Walker, was amazing.  Amanda is running for Team Brookline, supporting the Brookline Education Foundation. Thank you all, enjoy the treats, and go Team Brookline!
     
     

    Variety Show

    What a blast!  Thank you to Anne Jarvis and her amazing crew of parents and kids who put on a highly entertaining showcase of talents.  I love being a part of a community of risk-takers, musicians, budding comedians, and joy makers.  Can’t wait for next year!

    Upcoming Events: 

    • Monday, March 21: Child Assault Prevention (CAP) parent meeting for Grades 1, 3, and 5, Cafeteria, 8:00-9:00am
    • Friday, March 25: No School - Good Friday
    • Monday, March 28: CAP permission slips are due (Grades 1, 3, and 5)
    • Tuesday, March 29: MCAS: Grades 3 & 5 English Language Arts, Session 1
    • Tuesday, March 29: PTO Parent Speaker Series, Auditorium, 7:00-9:00pm
    • Wednesday, March 30: MCAS: Grades 3 & 5 English Language Arts, Session 2
    • Thursday, March 31: MCAS: Grades 6 & 8 English Language Arts, Session 1
    • Friday, April 1: PTO First Friday Coffee, Cafeteria, 8:00-9:00am. A conversation with Superintendent Connelly! 

    Upcoming Field Trips:

    • Thursday, March 24: 2nd Grade Field Trip to Children’s Museum, 9:00am-1:30pm
    • Thursday, March 31: Math Team meet at Oak Hill Middle School, 3:00-6pm 
    • Friday, April 1: 3rd Grade Field Trip to Moosehill Wildlife Sanctuary, 8:30am-1:40pm
     
     
    Unbelievably, snow is in our forecast. My fingers are crossed that the storm dodges our town and that our daffodils can continue to bloom.
     
    Hang in there!
     
     
    ​Annie
     
     
    Annie Sevelius, Interim Principal
    __________________________________
     

     
     
     
    March 11th, 2016
     
     
    Dear Heath Families,
     
     
    To begin, thank you to the parents and staff who joined us Thursday morning to discuss the launch of our Gay-Straight-Trans-Alliance. The response our new GSTA has received has been so warm; the 6th-8th graders are pretty pumped, too!  Our first meeting is this Tuesday!  Please, ask your child what they think of this new initiative. And, as always, should you have feedback or ideas, do not hesitate to reach out to me.
     
     

    Hiring: Guidance and Vice Principal

    Today I spent all day interviewing candidates for Heath School VP; on Monday we interview Guidance Counselor candidates. These are such vital positions in our school community and I have a very difficult choice to make moving forward. I am thankful for the teachers and parents who have committed time to helping me find out next best-fit staff members. 
     
     
    I especially want to thank David Ieong and John Miner, both of whom have helped me think through this process and have given themselves so completely to our school to make it better for all.
     
     

    ​Upcoming Events:

    • Wednesday, March 16th : Techsploration Performance for Grades K-4, Auditorium, 9:00-11:20am
    • Thursday, March 17th : Variety Show Rehearsal, Auditorium, 2:30-4:00pm
    • Friday, March 18th : Variety Show Performance #2, Auditorium, 2:00-4:00pm
    • Monday, March 21st CAP parent meeting, Cafeteria, 8:00-9:00am
    • Friday, March 25th : No School: Good Friday

    Upcoming Field Trips: 

    • Thursday, March 24th : 2nd Grade Field Trip to Children’s Museum, 9:00am-1:30pm
     
    That's it for now!  Like you, I want to get off to enjoy my weekend!  Gorgeous!
     
     
    With appreciation,
     
     
    Annie
     
     
    Annie Sevelius, Interim Principal
    __________________________________
     
     

     
     
    March 4th, 2016
     
     
    ​Dear Heath Families,
    While it has been a terrific week here, we continue to have email problems system wide. I, for example, lost all email before March 1st. If you have been waiting for a reply from me or a teacher, please consider resending.
     
     

    First Friday Coffee

    Amazing turn out today!  Thanks for the connection and conversation. We discussed the just announced selection of Mr. Andrew Bott as PSB Superintendent, the continuing contract negotiations, and our Annual Appeal.  Again, our Annual Appeal is so critical to bringing innovative ideas to life for our students. Your support at any level is so appreciated.
     
     

    GSTA (Grades 6-8) 

    We are very excited to announce that after many thoughtful discussions and careful planning, Heath will be starting a 6th, 7th, and 8th grade Gay-Straight-Trans Alliance (GSTA) beginning in mid-March 2016.
     
    A GSTA is a student–led group that provides a safe place for students to meet to:
    • Support one another and gain greater insights on their personal experiences
    • Learn about issues related to sexual orientation and gender identity/expression
    • Work to end harassment and discrimination of LGBTQ students
     
    Three typical functions of a GSTA include providing support, building community, and taking action to create change within the school.
     
    Please be assured that all discussions and activities that take place during the GSTA meetings will be age and school appropriate.  Examples of topics that may be discussed include gender roles and stereotypes, issues the LGBTQ students face within the school, and projects aimed at creating a safe, welcoming and accepting school environment for all students.  Curriculum will be drawn from Teaching Tolerance (tolerance.org), PFLAG (pflag.org), and GLSEN (glsen.org).
     
    To learn more about what a GSTA is and why it is important to have in a middle school setting, we are hosting a parent meeting on March 10th at 8am.
     
    Our first GSTA meeting for students will be March 15th at 11:45am, during the middle school lunch recess block.
     
    If you have any questions or would like more information, please contact Sara O’Shea 6th grade ELA teacher and GSTA Advisor at sara_barton@psbma.org or 617-879-2047. GSTA meetings will be co-facilitated with Dr. John Miner and other Heath staff, including Alex Borns-Weil, Katie Goldring, and me. All 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students will be welcome to participate.  No child will be asked nor expected to disclose their own gender identity or sexual orientation; we strive to create a safe space for community building and learning.
     
    Thank you for your continued support of all Heath students.
     
     

    Cows That Type

    This week students in 1R had an expert in their class who read the book Click! Clack! Moo! Cows That Type to them and brought an actual typewriter for the kids to try out. The book is about cows that send letters to their farmer making demands for a better life on the farm. As I result, I got this letter delivered to me ... and they got a response back (written on my awesome typewriter app, Hanx Writer). Check it out!
     
     
    All my best,
     
    Annie
     
     
    ​Annie Sevelius, Interim Principal
    __________________________________
     

     
     
     
    February 26th, 2016
     
     
    Dear Heath Families,
     
     

    Annual Appeal Extension

    The opportunity to contribute for the Annual Appeal has been extended! Please, if you have not had a chance to contribute to this critical effort, please consider doing so soon. The money contributed goes directly to support teaching and learning at Heath in ways seen and unseen. I am currently working with teachers who have big ideas, but no funding – we rely on the annual appeal to make these big ideas a reality for our students. 
     
     
    I feel very fortunate to have such an active, engaged, thoughtful parent team at my back in this work. I know the teachers feel the same way. You all do so much for us every day. The annual appeal is another way you can have our backs, so to speak. Your contributions are greatly appreciated.
     
     

    Contract Negotiations

    Many of you have asked how everything at Heath is going in light of the ongoing contract negotiations. While contract negotiations have been and will remain complicated, I feel closely knit with Heath teachers. I have engaged them in conversations on how to best prioritize student learning in the current climate. This conversation has allowed me to understand that Heath teachers do not intend to interrupt the learning process or the relationships that allow for such positive classroom cultures throughout the school. Maintaining a culture of academic and social excellence continues to be  our shared priority.
     
     
    This past Monday the bulletin boards were cleared off, it is true. That said, the temperature in the school has been very warm and folks (kids, teachers, and parents!) seem to have had a good week back. I know this will conversation will continue to unfold and I assure you I will continue to work for a community of openness, trust, and the mutual care and concern for both our students and our professional standards.
     
     
    As for the contract negotiations, the school committee will have clearer answers.
     
     

    Upcoming Events: 

    • Tuesday, March 1st:  Presidential Preference Primary Voting, Gym, 8:00am-8:00pm 
    • Tuesday, March 1st – Thursday, March 3rd: Variety Show Rehearsals, Auditorium, 2:30-4:00pm
    • Friday, March 4th: PTO Coffee, Cafeteria, 8:00-9:00am
    • Friday, March 4th: IPRs issued for grades 6-8
    • Thursday, March 10th: Variety Show Rehearsal, Auditorium, 2:30-4:00pm
    • Friday, March 11th: Variety Show Performance #1, Auditorium, 2:00-4:00pm
     

    Upcoming Field Trips: 

    • Friday, March 4th: METCO Connections Field Trip, Museum of Science, 2:20-6:30pm
     
    All my best to you and enjoy the weekend ahead!
     
     
    Annie
     
     
    Annie Sevelius, Interim Principal
    __________________________________
     

     
     
    January 12th, 2016
     
     
    Dear Heath Parents,
     
     
    To begin,  I am stunned by the fact that this evening starts our February Break. And that yesterday marked 100 days of school.  I am ceaselessly moved by the good work we do at heath School and the many ways in which your children are thriving this school year. May this break offer a time to rest and rejuvenate so that the good work can continue at full-throttle upon our return February 22nd.
     
     

    Some House Keeping

    • Late Arrival and Early Dismissal: If you are bringing your child in late or picking them up early, please drop off and pick up in the office. This helps keep learning flowing and helps us ensure that we have accurate attendance. If you have questions about this procedure or any others, be sure to check our Heath School Handbook.
    • Handicap Parking: Unless you have proper permits, do not park in the handicap parking spaces in front of the school. These spaces are necessary to provide proper access to children and families with disabilities and, legally, are designated to support their access to our program. If your child has an injury that requires short term access, please contact me or Gail Corcoran, our school nurse. We will be happy to talk with you more about accessing these spaces short term.
    • Call for Hiring Committee Members! I am seeking parents to serve on several hiring committees I have going this winter/spring as we seek a new Vice Principal and Guidance Counselor. If you are interested , please email me at annie_sevelius@psbma.org. The work will be short term, but will require some availability and consistency, so consider your schedule before volunteering.
     

    Upcoming Events: 

    • Monday, February 15th - Friday, February 19th : No School: February Vacation
    • Tuesday, February 23rd - Thursday, February 25th: Variety Show Auditions, Auditorium, 2:30-4:00pm
    • Tuesday, February 23rd: 8th Grade BHS Transition Night, 6:00pm
    • Wednesday, February 24th: Heath School Council, New Conference Room, 8:00am
     
    My very best to you all as we head into our February Break.  Be well.
     
     
    ​Annie
    Annie Sevelius, Interim Principal
    __________________________________
     

     
     
    February 5th, 2016
     
     
    Dear Heath Parents,
     
     
    Our 7th graders have recently wrapped up their Memoir unit of study in ELA and as a part of the learning teachers asked students to reflect back on their learning.  The reflections I read were awesome and I knew I wanted to share some of them with the entire community. A few are:
    • I learned how deep and emotional memoirs could be. Before I thought that they were all funny and had no deeper meaning, but now – because of my reading – I see that they are very deep emotional works of art.
    • I learned writers can have very ordinary lives, but they process it in a very interesting and colorful ways when they put it in the pages of their books.
    • Memoir can be very hard to read because you know that it is true so you feel so horrible for the main character. It can cause fear that something like that could happen to you. Most of all you feel for the writer because of how brave they were in these times and how brave they were to reach back into their memories and bring out the painful stories within that they had been trying for so long to move past.
    • Memoirs also taught me that there's always a person out there that is having some problems with either their friends or family, so therefore try and always see someone else perspective and see how they feel.
    • From reading six different memoirs, I learned about the common characteristics in a memoir.
    • In Spinelli’s book, Knots In My Yoyo String, I learned how Spinelli felt like he was on top of the world until he hit middle school and things stopped coming so easily for him. This is part of the coming of age process.  The world that we think we know suddenly becomes difficult to navigate. The transition from child to teenager is very difficult and hits you hard where and when you least expect it.
    These are just a few of the many, many pieces I read from students through the unit. The Memoir unit really hit home with many kids; I think it was because they themselves are starting to understand who they are and their place in the world. Please ask your kids what they are reading at school, no matter what grade they are in! I hope you, too, will be moved by the ways books are changing their perspectives on themselves and the world around them.
     
     

    Communication During School or Town Emergencies

    Thank you to parents who debriefed with us after last week's town police incident.  We've identified initial improvements in communication.  Regarding emergency notifications to parent/guardian phones: these are mostly sent by the Superintendent. The school system has adjusted the notification system so that in the future, emergency calls will go to every number that Public Schools of Brookline has for parents, regardless of what's listed as primary/secondary/alternate phone numbers. Regular outreach calls, such as notifications from Heath School, will go only to the primary number for the parent/guardian listed as primary. 
     
     
    If parents want to update the order of primary/secondary/alternate phone numbers, please go to the Parent Portal.  Instructions are available on the main landing page (Changing the Priority Order of Telephone Numbers.pdf).  This is a great opportunity for all parents to log in to the Parent Portal and complete the Data Verification Process to be sure we have the most up-to-date information to contact you in the event of an emergency. If you need to update which parent/guardian is listed as primary, please contact datateam@psbma.org to request this change. 
    Regarding Heath School emergency procedures, we are guided by the Public Schools of Brookline's emergency protocols.  We have protocols for shelter-in-place and for lockdown when there is an emergency or concern that merits an all school action.  Those actions are done in consultation with the school department and police, however Heath administration will also take immediate action if an emergency situation calls for it.  
    Again, student safety is our and the school department's top priority.  Please feel free to offer other ideas and observations that would help school-to-home communication in emergency events.
     
     

    Upcoming Events

    • Wednesday, February 10th: Heath Grades 5-8 Winter Band Concert, Baker Auditorium, 7:00pm
    • Monday, February 15th - Friday, February 19th: No School: February Vacation (February Break already...? How'd that happen?!?!)
     
    Thank you for all your support. I know the entire Heath team appreciates all you do to prepare your children to engage in deep learning each and every day. While it is our pleasure to do what we do, we couldn’t do it without you.
     
     
    Annie
    Annie Sevelius, Interim Principal
    __________________________________
     

     
     
     
    January 29th, 2016
     
     
    Dear Heath Families,
     
     
    This past Wednesday was a nerve-jarring day to say the least, with violence in our streets and two Brookline schools on high alert, doors closed, staff on watch.  It is alarming when we receive news that schools are on lockdown, especially our own; though Heath was not directly impacted, we are deeply connected to other schools and their families and staff members. It is hard for us all to receive so much information so quickly and continue with our work. Please know that on Wednesday Heath staff kept teaching, kept kids engaged, and helped me feel real solidarity in a time of so many question marks. 
     
     
    For us, it is of paramount importance that our students feel safe and loved in times like these.  While we did not share what was happening in Brookline with them, they respond to their teachers and the environment easily. We worked hard to make sure teaching and learning were business as usual. 
     
     
    I want to recognize Ms. Millet and Ms. Fay who fielded many phone calls from our families with grace and clarity.  I am thankful everyday to have a smart, calm, capable front-line team in times like these.
     
     
    Please know that school safety is a priority for me, my team, and the team at central office. Also know that I try to lead with joy, connectedness, perseverance, and vigilance – all antidotes to fear.  When children and families are known, connected, and respected, communities can thrive in the most uncertain of times.  Thank you for staying connected with us.
     
     
    My very best,
     
     
    Annie
    Annie Sevelius, Interim Principal
    __________________________________ 
     
     

     
    January 22nd, 2016
    Dear Heath Families,
     
    Every once in a great while I am able to bring in a guest writer to this space.  This week we welcome Katie Goldring, Heath School Health teacher. While Ms. Goldring works with our older students, her piece below speaks to a culture of mindfulness we’d like to make more pervasive at Heath School. Enjoy and do reach out to Ms. Goldring or myself with any questions or insights!
     
    From Ms. Goldring:
     
    A completely silent middle school health classroom is not something I usually experience, but that is exactly what happened last week in all the 8th grade classes.  Thanks to a grant from the PTO, students spent one class period learning about meditation and mindfulness from local meditation teacher, Andy Kelley.  This was scheduled at the end of the term to hopefully catch students as they may be experiencing stress around grades closing.  Mr. Kelley shared his experience learning to meditate, basic information about the structure and function of the brain, how meditation can train our brains to respond less reactively and more reflectively; and help students make clearer choices, strengthening the connections in the brain.  He talked about mindfulness and took students through a 15-minute guided meditation teaching them to become more aware of their thoughts and respond compassionately to them.  Students had all different experience levels with meditation and benefited from Mr. Kelley’s relaxed teaching style.  Here’s some of what they had to say about their experience:
    • I like the meditations and how the instructor explains really well.  It was very interesting and weird.  We got to relax and “sleep”.
    • I am going to try to meditate a few minutes per day to see if it will help me relax.
    • I want to meditate now!
    • The presentation was unlike any other presentation.  We spent most of the time in silences instead of just a whole lecture, which is good.  I like how we were able to actually do the activity rather than just talk about it.
    • I liked how he involved us in the presentation.
    • I was very relaxed and my emotions were more balanced.
    • Nice presentation!  I learned that meditation can strengthen your brain and help you do almost everything better.
    • I realized how much I actually think during the day.
    • At first I thought it was a waste of time.  Later I realized it was kinda cool.
    Interested parents can read more about Andy Kelley at www.thebostonbuddha.com and check out these articles for more information:
    Or better yet, ask your child what they learned!  Health class is an exciting place to share life skills with students, but their relationships with you are where they cement those skills and values.  I appreciate the opportunity to be your partner in this important work!  As always I welcome your comments, questions and partnership.   
     
    With appreciation, 
     
    Katie Goldring
     
     
     flow
     

     
     
    December 15th, 2016
     
     
    Dear Heath Families,
     
     
    A quiet week at Heath filled with good teaching and learning, lots of play in the snow, and awesome assemblies honoring the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. A huge shout out to our performers and to Mr. Ieong, our organizer. Brilliant work, all.
     
     
    Thank you to all who donated to our food drive for the Brookline Emergency Food Pantry. Food pantries are often overwhelmed at holiday time, but once the holidays have past find the donations have dropped off, but need is still great. Your generosity will go a long way.
     
     

    The Weather and Recess- Middle School Alert

    Last week I wrote about being dressed for the weather and recess. This week I ask for support from our 7th and 8th grade families. Many students, boys and girls, are indeed coming to school in shorts and without proper winter clothing. While I want to honor the choices our middle schoolers are testing out, the expectation remains that they will go outside for recess. Students are asking to stay in for recess because they are in shorts and we simply do not have the staff or space to allow them to stay in, especially since they are asking because of their own clothing choices.
     
     
    Again, PreK-8, if you need help in getting winter gear for your child, I will gladly work to ensure all can fully participate in our programming.
     
     

    Preparing 8th graders to enter Brookline High School 

     
    ​If you have an 8th grader, please add some dates to your calendar:
    • February 3rd @ BHS - Curriculum Night, Part One
    • February 9th @t BHS - Curriculum Night, Part Two
    • March 2nd @ BHS - “Life at BHS” Night 
    • March 15th @ BHS - “Athletics at Brookline High” Night
    We will also have parents evening at Heath late-February or early-March to answer any lingering questions you may have after all of these valuable sessions.
    In school, children will receive time and guidance when making course selections; teachers will also make recommendations. The process will be communicated to you as it unfolds here. If you have any questions, please contact Dr. Miner, our Guidance Director, at john_miner@psbma.org. He will be glad to help, as will I.
     
     

    The 8th Grade Play

    The directorial team is in place and we will soon meet to decide play, timelines, etc.  We will keep you and the students up to date on next steps as they unfold.  Stay tuned!
     
     

    World Language Selection

    Next year at Heath we will begin to offer French to our 6th graders. The French option has typically been offered beginning in 7th grade.  Thus, this year both 5th and 6th graders will be making language choices – French or Spanish – this spring. Please start talking to your 5th or 6th grader now about which language, French or Spanish, will be their best fit moving forward.
     
     
    8th graders will also all be making a World Language choice this spring as a part of their enrollment in BHS. The World Language Roadshow will come to Heath on the 28th to showcase all of the (many!) language options at BHS.  
     
     

    Arts, Valued

    And on a more somber note, this week we lost two entertainment greats, David Bowie and Alan Rickman. I saw a tweet simply stating that both were products of public educational systems that kept arts a priority. I am proud of being a part of a district that also values the arts and arts integration and know that we, too, can light the kind of fire in our students that was obviously lit years ago in these icons.
     
     

    Upcoming Events: 

    • Monday, January 18th: No School: Martin Luther King Holiday
    • Thursday, January 28th:  World Language Roadshow presentation for grade 8 students, Auditorium, 9:10-10:00am
    • Friday, January 29th:  PTO Diversity Meeting, Auditorium, 8-9am
     

    Field Trips: 

    • Thursday, January 21st: Grade 4 Field Trip to Harvard Museum of Natural History, 8:10am-1:30pm
     
    Enjoy the beautiful weekend ahead!
     
     
    Annie
    Annie Sevelius, Interim Principal
    __________________________________
     

     
     
     
    January 8th, 2016
     
     
    Dear Heath Families-
     
     
    A warm welcome back to school and best wishes for an amazing 2016!
     
     
    I want to say thank you to the outpouring of love, affection, cookies, sweets, gifts, and warm wishes before we went off to winter break. I felt very appreciated indeed. I was also very moved by your outpouring of affections for our teachers, the real bread and butter of our work here. Thank you.
     
     
    A few important updates:
     
     

    The Cold and Recess

    It is cold and getting colder. We use our best judgement before heading out to recess. There are many factors that go into calling an indoor recess.  One is what percentage of your students are prepared to go out. Another is actual temp and/or weather conditions. That said, we strive to get out and play everyday – we all need the activity and fresh air. Please make sure that your children are prepared to go out and stay warm the duration of the recess block. Hats, boots, gloves, scarfs, and coats are recess musts at Heath.  Snow pants are also very helpful. 
     
     
    For younger kids, can you please help them practice getting in and out of their gear at home?  That way when they are at school they can do it quickly and independently, saving precious time for learning AND playing.
     
     
    If you need help getting this kind of gear for your children, please call me or email me directly.  I will be happy to hook you up.  Snow gear can be expensive and we don’t want any barriers for your children to participate fully in the life of this school.
     
     
    And then, of course, this gem:
     
     

    MCAS 2.0

    There has been much talk and speculation about MCAS 2.0. With this announcement (see attached articles), I expect changes to what children will experience this year during the testing period. One change is that the 4th and 7th graders will no longer be taking a Long Composition part of the test.  That, however, does not mean there will not be writing portions on the test. While we have not seen any test models yet, I suspect skills, like writing, will be woven in to the test more explicitly rather than having a stand-out day for writing for a single long block of time. Please know that we are working closely with educators at all levels to prepare teachers and staff  so that they can tackle anticipated changes. I’ve attached some news articles for you to read so that you, too, can have a sense of the work ahead. I will keep you updated as I learn anything, but do expect changes on our standardized tests through all grades (3-8) this year.
     
     
     
    http://learninglab.wbur.org/2015/11/17/education-board-approves-mcas-2-0-for-state-test/
     
     

    BPD and Allegations of Racism

    Many of you have asked me what I know about the allegations of racism in the Brookline Police Department. I will tell you that I am learning of events as they unfold, just as you are. In my short time in Brookline, however, I have come to depend on the officers at BPD and hope very much to see a smart, proactive, justice-centered resolution to the concerns at hand. The PTO will be sending you an update with myriad links to resources. Also, a great article was in the TAB this morning that I found to be filled with compelling perspectives – check it out.
     
     
    Confronting racism (and other ~isms) and understanding the perspectives of others is incredibly difficult, critical, and worthy work. It takes courage.  A few days ago I overheard a conversation happening in the hallway between a group of middle schoolers as they struggled to make-meaning of the difference between sexual orientation and gender identity. The grace and dignity they gave the conversation and each other was amazing – and it was not a surprise.  I have heard over and over again these conversations between kids on issues of race, class, ability, and beyond. I am filled with real hope for the kind of communities our children are growing up in and the impact they will have on generations to come.  
     
     
    If you would like to have more discussions on this issue or are looking for further resources or support please feel free to reach out the Chair of the Diversity Committee, Miriam Aschkenasy, at maschkemd@hotmail.com or me and we will be happy to help you. 
     
     

    Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service & Food Drive

    We will celebrate the life and good work of Dr. King on January 15th with assemblies and a food drive.  Last year you all brought in such an abundance of donations to the Brookline Emergency Food Pantry that we needed two cars to transport it all. Let’s do it again this year, and find ways to serve others and honor the work of Dr. King at once.
     
     
    Please drop any donations off in the lobby between January 13th and 15th. Current needs of the BEFP are on their website and posted around the school.
     

    Upcoming Events: 

    • Friday, January 15th: PTO Coffee, Cafeteria, 8:00-9:00am
    • Friday, January 15th: MLK assembly
    • Monday, January 18th: No School: Martin Luther King Holiday

    Field Trips: 

    • Thursday, January 14th: Grade 7/8 Math Team Meet at Brown Middle School, 3:00-6:30pm (GO HAWKS!)
    • Thursday, January 21st: Grade 4 Field Trip to Harvard Museum of Natural History, 8:10am-1:30pm
     
    ​All my best,
     
     
    Annie
     
     
    Annie Sevelius, Interim Principal
    __________________________________
     

     
     
    December 18th, 2015
     
     
    Dear Heath Families,
     
     
    To begin, a SUPER HUGE THANKS to our amazing PTO.  The holiday luncheon you all put on for the staff was a tremendous gift and very much appreciated.  Thank you.  Our bellies AND out hearts were full.
     
     
    Also, you received an email notice from the district this past week sharing the procedures put in place for the Superintendent search. In the email was an invitation for parents to get involved and ways to do so. I encourage you to have your voices heard in this process. I know you have a lot to share and the ideas I have heard, while I can pass them along, have more power when coming directly from the parent community. 
     
     
    Today Progress Reports are posted in the Aspen Portal. Again, should you have any questions about access do not hesitate to reach out.
     
     
    As 2015 winds down, we at Heath wish you and your family safe travels, happy holidays, much joy and peace, and a very happy new year.  Please remember that every day starts a new year and offers a time to bring joy to others – may 2016 be a time in which you all feel empowered to make the most of each opportunity in service of bringing light to the world.
     
     
    My very best to you and yours,
     
     
    Annie
     
     

    ​Annie Sevelius, Interim Principal
    __________________________________

     
    December 11th, 2015
     
    Happy Friday, Heath families!
     
    To begin, thanks for your time this morning and for meeting with Superintendent Connolly.  I was very thankful that he could attend our PTO Friday Coffee to discuss the Heath principal search and Superintendent search. At the meeting he announced that I will be at Heath for one more year in an interim capacity. I am excited for the opportunity to continue to serve Heath and am thankful for any and all support!
     
    Student Teacher/Cooperative Teacher Appreciation
    These are the last days that many of our student teachers will be with us.  I want to thank them for their commitment to our students, and their commitment their emerging craft and the profession.  Teaching is hard and I am so glad these folks did their hard work at Heath.
     
    So thank you to Maria Tanza (KF), Katrina Kretchman (KC), Kate Wasley (2D), Lauren Sullivan (4B), Erin O’Donnell (4OC), Amanda Breckner (5T), and Valia Bourmpuola (5T). Do your best and keep teaching!
     
    Also, our time with Eva Friedman, our Northeastern Cooperative student, will soon be coming to a close.  The Northeastern Cooperative program is essential to the work we do at the school and Eva has time and time again been just the right support we need exactly when we need it.  Thank you, Eva.
     
    It is my firm belief that Heath teachers have the capacity to teach new teachers how to teach.  I am working to get student teachers and pre-practicum students into classrooms so that we can lead by example and provide explicit guidance to the next generation of educators. 
     
    Congratulations! Heath Receives BEF Innovation Grant
    A huge congratulation to Mark Goldner (Middle School Science) and Lauren Stewart (P.E.) for their BEF grant award.  From the award message: 
     
    “The BEF Idea Lab Panel is pleased to award you $1000 to purchase energy generating jump ropes to be used in Heath 8th grade PE and science classes to help students gain a real-life understanding of energy generation. 
    In addition, I am happy to inform you that you are the recipients of the BEF's Innovation Catalyst Award for the 2015  Idea Lab grant that best supports a creative, pioneering approach to teaching. The $500 prize that accompanies this award may be used to further the goals of your Idea Lab grant by funding additional stipends, administrative costs, equipment, or technology directly related to the grant. With this award, the total amount of your grant is $1500.
    The Panel believes this will be an innovative approach to the study of energy and we look forward to learning how it works in your PE and science classes.”
     
    As a school leader, it pleases me greatly to have staff who seek to innovate in service of deeper student understanding.  This is terrific teacher collaboration, as well, and that in and of itself is worth celebrating.  
     
    From the Desk of David Ieong, Vice Principal
    Dear families,
     
    Heath School serves! I'm sure that you've noticed the multitude of opportunities Heath kids and families are offered throughout the year to serve our neighborhood and community at large. The Sally Dean Day of Service is an annual and central component of this essential work we do, which comprises both the learning of selflessness and the actual service itself. This year, I am excited that the PTO Social Action Committee has committed to starting the planning phase for the service day earlier in the calendar, ensuring an even richer, more meaningful experience for our students. I will be working with the SAC at their upcoming meeting to work on this year's design, and look for more information to follow on the plan for 2016's Day of Service. I send a special shout out today to Ashley Mason and Pam Palmucci for ably leading the energetic Social Action Committee this year!
     
    An example of the many projects students will engage as a part of the service day event began to take root last week. 8th grade advisory classes hosted staff leaders from Boston Mobilization, a Boston-based non-profit that teaches about social action and empowers students to see themselves as change agents and develop real-world service initiatives. Facilitators from the organization led each advisory for a two-hour workshop to kick off their service project development, actively engaging students in reflecting and developing their own voices. In the weeks ahead, the Boston Mobilization staff will hand the baton back over to advisory teachers to continue the student-designed work during their regular Wednesday periods, and these will ultimately be the projects that 8th grade students present and reflect upon during the Day of Service later in the school year. After witnessing the tremendous thinking, self-awareness, and compassion our Heath 8th graders showed last Wednesday, I am incredibly optimistic about the quality of their upcoming projects and the example of leadership that our oldest kids will display in the months ahead. Stay tuned!
     
    Wishing you and your family a warm and happy holiday season,
    David
     
    Stay Clean to Stay Healthy!!!
    The best way to protect yourself and prevent the spread of GI illness is to wash your hands frequently. We have reminded the students at school to wash their hands before and after eating, after using the bathroom and after coming inside from recess. We ask for your help in reinforcing this at home.
    Also, a HUGE shout out to Gail Corcoran, our school nurse, who cares for us when illness strikes.  And to Clayton Perkins and Mark Powers, our custodial team, thank you for keeping our school so clean, in sickness and in health.
     
    Upcoming Events: 
    Wednesday, December 16th: School Council Meeting, New Conference Room, 8:00-9:00am
    Friday, December 18th: IPRs issued for grades 6-8
    Friday, December 18th: PSB will publish all grades 1-5 Progress Reports as PDFs to individual Parent Portals
    Thursday, December 24th - Friday, January 1st: Schools Closed: Winter Break
    Upcoming Field Trips: 
    Tuesday, December 15th: 4D Field Trip to Peabody Museum at Harvard, 8:10am-1:30pm
    Monday, December 21st: 4th Grade Field Trip to Larz Anderson Skating Rink, 9:15am-12:15pm
     
    And finally, attached to an email going out today are parent guides to accessing report card through the Parent Portal and a message regarding our Understanding our Differences (UOD) program. With the Parent Portal, as always, if you have questions, please ask.
     
    The Understanding Our Differences program at Heath is presented to 4th AND 5th graders – families in these grades will hear from Eileen O’Grady and Peter Jacobs, our UOD liaisons, soon! We are so proud to present this program and are hoping you'll consider donating you time to support the efforts.  Again, Peter and Eileen will be in touch soon.
     
    My very best,
     
    ​Annie
     
    Annie Sevelius, Interim Principal
    __________________________________
    Picture
    December 4th, 2015
     
    Dear Heath Families,
     
    I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving with friends and family.  The time away from our work and routines can bring great joy and reflection, while getting back to those same routines can bring much needed comfort and productivity. It is critical we have both of these times in our lives. That said, we were glad to see your children Monday and have had a terrific week back.
     
    Thank you to the families who donated pies for our pie drive. Community service is so integral to our collective work and the holidays bring many opportunities to share our good fortune.  That said, next week is our Toy Drive!  During the week of December 7th we will be collecting new toys.  Please consider donating a new toy to our toy drive and spreading much joy this holiday season!
     
    Call for Submissions!
    As I have shared in past messages, we are revamping our website.  We are currently looking for photos to add to our website and invite you to send your Heath photos (.jpeg format) to Matt Durant (matt_durant@psbma.org).  Family barbeque? International Night? Mayfair? Send them our way for consideration.  And thank you!
     
    Some Important Dates for You
    Wednesday, December 9th: K-8 Conference Dismissal, 12:40pm
    Wednesday, December 16th: School Council Meeting, New Conference Room, 8:00-9:00am
    Thursday, December 17th: Epic Brass Performance, Auditorium
    Friday, December 18th : IPRs issued for grades 6-8
    Friday, December 18th : PSB will publish all grades 1-5 Progress Reports as PDFs to individual Parent Portals
     
    This week I was able to attend a BEF sponsored (thanks, BEF!!!) 2-day event this week with Jim Knight (www.instructionalcoach.org) I was blown away by his thoughts about communication and connectedness.  I was inspired and moved and hope you'll check out his work as well. During his presentation, he shared the following quote, which led me to do a lot of good thinking, and send out this Tweet of the Week:
    Be well and thanks for everything!
     
    ​Annie
     
    Annie Sevelius, Interim Principal
     
    __________________________________
    Picture
     
    ​November 20th, 2015
     
    Dear Heath Families,
     
    My tweet of the week! Admittedly, I have been so lax in my tweets, but this was a moment I was glad to capture.  We want to thank our friends at Star Market for their generous donation of $400 to support our learning. Their mission is to support local schools and year after year have chosen Heath as their school of choice. 5M was particularly thrilled to accept such a giant check. Thank you, Dan and Star Market!
     
    Problem of Practice Group
    I hope by now you recognize how much I value professional learning.  This year we have launched our Problem of Practice group, a place where teachers can bring things they are struggling with to peers to problem solve. In our first meeting two teachers presented things they are struggling with to the crew and got ideas on what to try next. 
     
    Today we gathered again and the two teachers we helped last time reported our suggestions worked! It was an unbelievable feeling to see first hand about how deep, purposeful, specific collaboration can help teachers serve students better. I am proud to offer this opportunity to staff here and hope it is a model that can grow and grow.
     
    Middle School ELA Forum
    Thank you to Heath ELA teachers, Brookline's K-8 ELA Director, and the parents who joined me this Wednesday morning for our ELA forum. It was wonderful to see so many of you in attendance.  I know many of you could not come and I do plan to send an email out early next week with our vision, next steps, and several articles. If you'd like to stop by the office and grab these things Monday morning, they will be here for you! Again, we thank you all for the support.
     
    Upcoming Events: 
    Wednesday, November 25th : K-8 Noon Dismissal
    Thursday, November 26th - Friday, November 27th : No School: Thanksgiving Break
    Tuesday, December 1st : K-8 Conference Dismissal, 12:40pm
    Thursday, December 4th : Evening Conferences
     
    Be well and enjoy the leaf raking!
     
    ​Annie
     
    ​Annie Sevelius, Interim Principal
     
    __________________________________
    November 13th, 2015
     
    Dear Heath Families,
     
    This week is an important time in which you all learn about how your children are doing this year in school. Progress reports at all levels, parent teacher conferences, and kids anxious to hear, “What did you talk about with my teacher?!” The hallmark of student success is parent engagement and at Heath we are fortunate in that our parents have a high interest in how their children are faring and the health of the school so ALL may truly thrive.
     
    As you know, all reports are now available through the Aspen Parent Portal. Many guides have been sent to you over the start of the school year to help you navigate this new and sometimes tricky process. If you continue to need help, please let us know.  We can direct you to the team that can help in the district.
     
    I want to take a moment to celebrate the hard work and learning all teachers have engaged in while launching this new reporting process.  I have asked them to put away the systems that have worked for years, engage in new database systems, and do so quickly.  Heath teachers have worked hard to get it right quickly so that we can present an accurate portrait of student learning for you all.
     
    When receiving news of student achievement, please do not hesitate to ask clarifying comments or celebrate the success your student is having in class. Again, it is the connectedness between home and school that has shown time and time again to be the true buoy for students as they navigate the unknown waters of learning.
     
    *** Reminder: Progress Reports are currently in a view that is not polished.  You have access, but the tool can be, well … not polished. Hang in there!  We will let you know when published versions are available (the polished final).
     
     
    Save the Dates
    Our Middle School ELA Forum will be this Wednesday at 7:45 in our Auditorium.
    Also this Wednesday is K-8 early dismissal (at 12:40).
    On Wednesday the 25th we all leave at Noon to begin our Thanksgiving Break.
     
    Be well this Friday the 13th! May the "unlucky" day usher in a wonderful weekend for you all!
     
    Annie
     
    ​Annie Sevelius, Interim Principal
     
    __________________________________
    November 6th, 2015
     
    ​Dear Heath Families,
     
    This week I'm glad to have a word from our Vice Principal, Davide Ieong, regarding our Olweus program:
    Greetings, families! One of my responsibilities as Vice Principal of your Heath School is to lead the work of our faculty-comprised Olweus Team. What is this “Olweus”, you ask? In brief, it is a programmatic approach to bullying prevention adopted by the Brookline Schools a few years ago. During this time, PSB staff has been broadly trained in the principles of the program, and each individual school has been working to adapt these principles for implementation at the building level.
     
    At Heath, we have adopted the Olweus Bullying Prevention Rules, which are:
    We will not bully others
    We will try to help students who are bullied
    We will try to include students who are left out
    If we know that somebody is being bullied, we will tell an adult at school and an adult at home
     
    Woven into these rules are the basic principles found to create bullying-resistant school environments. These include taking ownership of one’s behavior towards others, students actively supporting one another, and direct adult involvement in helping to solve peer-to-peer problems. At Heath, we strive constantly to improve our efforts at developing a culture where these fundamentals are practiced by both kids and grown-ups.
     
    The Olweus Team continues to work at guiding and supporting this continuous improvement. One aspect of our work involves analyzing the data obtained from our annual student Olweus survey. The latest information, mined from the spring ’15 survey, is very encouraging: student reports are positive regarding peer-to-peer interaction AND adult support, and largely demonstrate growth over the course of the previous three years’ surveys. This is excellent news, but we all know the timely axiom of “if you’re not moving forward, you’re moving backwards”! Our team has already begun to work on new design to support further improvement in peer-to-peer interaction at Heath. Look for more news from me later this year on that front – I am quite excited about how we can all learn together to be an even kinder, more supportive, and deeply caring community.
     
    And, from our Social Action Committee:
    We would like to thank the Heath School community for supporting the Cradles to Crayons Hat and Mitten drive.  Our student council did an outstanding job of designing posters and posting them around the school.  
     
    Our next big project is our 3rd annual Thanksgiving Pie Drive  on Monday, November 23rd, to benefit families who visit THE BROOKLINE EMERGENCY FOOD PANTRY. The number of families who rely on the BEFP continues to climb.  Last year, Heath School was able to donate 180 pies; this year we are hoping to donate 200 pies. Homemade pies are always appreciated as long as there is a list of ingredients handy as well as with any store bought pies.  
     
    Here’s how our drive will work this year:  The SAC committee will provide pie boxes and note cards the Friday before so that families can have those materials over the weekend and students can donate their pies Monday morning  outside the office during morning drop-off.  The SAC Committee will then take the pies to the BEFP.
    For anyone interested in assisting the BEFP further this Thanksgiving, there will be an opportunity on Sunday evening 11/22.  Volunteers are needed to help assemble Thanksgiving dinner packages for families. Students are welcome to join in the effort. For more information you can contact Heath parent and BEFP Executive Director, Rene Feuerman.  
     
    ​First Friday Coffee Update
    Another terrific First Friday Coffee this morning!  A special thanks to Jed Miller, our Special Education Team Chair, who lead a discussion on available student services at Heath. Due to unforeseeable circumstances, Jed was not able to project his informative presentation. He has made the slides available to me and if you'd like to see them, please ask!  I will be glad to share.  Once our new website is complete (remember - that work is ongoing) we will post them there for your reference. Thank you also to the PTO leadership for making space for this important conversation.
     
    And finally, a few important dates:
    Tuesday, November 10th: K-6 Conference Dismissal, 12:40pm
    Wednesday, November 11th: No School: Veteran's Day
    Friday, November 13th: Report Cards available through the parent portal
    Wednesday, November 18th: K-8 Conference Dismissal, 12:40pm
     
     
    Be well. 
     
    Annie
     
    Annie Sevelius, Interim Principal
     
    __________________________________
    October 30th, 2015
     
    Dear Heath Families,
     
    Two months in the books!  Time flies when you working hard to get smart!
     
    Book Fair
    Thursday night was our Book Fair Family Night.  Every time I attend a Heath School family event, I am blown away by the joy I experience.  Last night was no exception.  Folks were so good to me during my read aloud, the books were flying off the shelves, and so many families attended and supported the school through buying food and books.  I especially want to thank the crew who made it happen – Anne Spencer, Rina Kaul, Caroline Liao, Gaelle From, Elizabeth Bowen, Eileen O’Grady, Monique Appleton and many, many more. We are indeed powered by our PTO! Thank you.
     
    Classroom Culture
    ​This has been an illuminating week at Heath for me.  We have had many classroom teachers out of the building for myriad reasons – attending professional development conferences, attending grade level release days, recovering from illness…  Regardless, the school has run smoothly and children have continued to grow and learn.  Why?  I contribute it to the classroom cultures our teachers have set for their students during these first few months of school. Children know what is expected, how to care for one another, and that learning is the priority in our school and they are now doing it by instinct, and are following their developing moral compasses towards kindness and respect.  Of course nothing can replace having the teacher in the room, orchestrating the opportunities to learn, but walking the halls this week has been both a relief and a joy.
     
    Important Upcoming Dates
    Monday, November 2nd: SEPAC Breakfast, Auditorium/Cafeteria, 7:45-8:15am
    Monday, November 2nd: Evacuation Drill, 9:00am
    Tuesday, November 10th:  K-6 Conference Dismissal, 12:40pm
    Wednesday, November 11th: No School – Veteran’s Day
    Friday, November 13th: Report Cards available through the parent portal***
    *** If you are not signed up to access your child's report cards through the parent portal, do so now!  We can help you with instructions and/or send you to the folks at Town Hall who are poised to help.
     
    Be well, enjoy Halloween, and don't be afraid of the dark... 
     
    ​Annie
     
    Annie Sevelius, Interim Principal
     
    __________________________________
    October 23, 2015
     
    Dear Heath Families,
     
    Yesterday morning I learned that we were short one substitute teacher.  My calendar was, fortunately, flexible and I was able to cover the class all day. Many a teacher passed by and gave my a quizzical look (“… you’re the sub???”).  Eventually other staff could be found to cover the class, but I rejected their offers.  I enjoyed my time with the students immensely and was proud of the level of work they were able to accomplish under my rusty tutelage (I admit the sub plans were outstanding!).  Our students lost no learning time, were so amazing to each other, and treated me with enormous patience.
    The day before, we were visited by Ben Lummis, Special Assistant to the Superintendent for Strategy and Performance. As I was walking Ben around the school, dipping in and out of classes, I was proud that he not only saw Heath in action, but that he also understood that we set the bar high for students here. The quality of instruction we saw was on point, the engagement of the children was high, and the care and concern we show for our work was obvious. What thrilled me was that no one knew we were coming.  It was a surprise visit, so what he saw is what we do everyday.
    There is much for a school principal to lose sleep about, but these two experiences this week have helped me sleep like a baby. 
     
    A BEF Thank You
    A special thank you to the Brookline Education Foundation (brooklinefoundation.org).  Thanks to a generous grant from the BEF, Heath School is able to send 5 teachers to San Diego next week to the Expeditionary Learning National Conference. Expeditionary Learning (elschools.org) provides high-quality, rigorous, student-centered professional development to teachers nationwide. Though their primary focus is teachers who work in EL schools, our team has been fortunate enough to join the conference.  This opportunity would not be possible without the BEF, an organization that supports teacher risk-taking, big ideas and small ideas, teacher adventures, and more. I know these teachers will have a transformational experience and that they will, in turn, transform their practice with kids.  
     
    School Council
    The first School Council meeting of the year took place this week. Your School Council representatives are Robert Liao, Julia Lavine, Rasheedah Clayton (parents), Andrew Garnett-Cook, and Tatiana Beckwith (teachers).  Our Council works together to discuss school issues and set goals and priorities for the coming year. Our focus this year includes demystifying school practices, especially student assessment and class placements. We also take a serious look at the School Improvement Plan and work to improve the goals for the years to come.  I thank these council members for a great first meeting and look forward to the work to come.
     
    A Call for Old Towels and Rags
    The Heath Art Room is in need of old cloth materials that can be turned into rags for storing clay and cleaning tables. If you have any items like this available, please drop them off at the art room or send them in with your child. Thank you!
     
    Enjoy your time with your families this weekend. I know I will!
     
    Be well,
     
    Annie
     
    Annie Sevelius, Interim Principal
     
    __________________________________
     
    October 16th, 2015
     
    Dear Heath Families,
     
    Another great week of persevering in our learning this week! While we are beholden to myriad State standards across the grades and content areas, we are also focusing on instilling the proper mindset to ensure students have the grit it takes to grapple with big problems in the classroom. Our teachers work hard to get smart on how to build a mindset culture in their classrooms and some of our most heavily relied upon texts are:
    Mindset by Carol Dweck
    Leaders of Their Own Learning by Ron Berger
    How Children Succeed by Paul Tough
    These are not books that give you step-by-step directions (though many of those kinds of “teacher books” exist); instead, these books ask the adult reader to come to deeply examine why we do what we do and the impact of these decisions. Indeed, by changing our perspective on effort and achievement we can begin to radically shape our school culture in a way that impact students and allows them the space to take risks in service of getting better at their own learning ... and tackling those State standards with enthusiasm.
     
    In shaping my own mindset, Ron Berger has been a particularly influential educator in my professional life. If interested in learning more about how I approach teaching and learning, I encourage you to read his A Culture of Quality or An Ethic of Excellence to understand how his ideas have shaped my own leadership.
     
    METCO Connections
    On the 27th we will host our first METCO Connections breakfast! This is an opportunity for our students enrolled in Heath through our METCO program to meet with their staff mentors, a chance for Heath staff to connect with their parents, and a great opportunity to eat a ton of Munchkins.  The kids like the donuts, too! 
    We are very proud to be a school with a robust METCO program and are especially proud of our students who join us here through the program.  I myself am a mentor and relish the chance each day to be of service to my mentee as he navigates his learning at Heath.
     
    Email Server in Brookline
    I had difficulty reaching several of you this week.  You sent me important, time sensitive emails, but did not receive my replies (only in-district emails were being received).  Today the server was reset.  I hope this resolves the problems some of us experienced. Email is a tricky way to communicate; if you feel something might have been lost in the shuffle do not hesitate to reach out to your child's teacher or a particular staff member.
     
    Middle School Progress Report Cards
    Thank you for the feedback on the middle school progress report roll-out on the Aspen Parent Portal. Most of you were so glad to “go green” and have the reports electronically. A frequently heard concern was how it all looked.  Today you will be able to see your child’s report card in the Parent Portal in a gorgeous PDF format. Directions will be coming to you today.  Please let us know if you have any trouble. With any new initiative, there are bumps. Thanks for the support, feedback, and patience!
     
    And if you are going apple picking this weekend, prepare for long lines, beautiful colors, and the melt-in-your mouth deliciousness of those cider donuts.
     
    Joyfully,
     
    Annie
     
    Annie Sevelius, Interim Principal
     
    __________________________________
     
     
    Dear Families,
     
    Progress Reports
    With change comes opportunity!  And today ushers in a shift to how we have communicated student achievement to you all.  In the past  we have printed and hand delivered progress reports to our middle school students. Starting today, middle school report cards can be found in the Aspen Parent Portal. I have emailed directions on how to gain access separately. We recognize this is a big shift and are here to support you as we make the transition.  At Heath, we like to think we are at the vanguard of using technology.  But the vanguard usually takes the hits first!  We are poised to help when questions arise.  Be in touch!
     
    That said, please take the time to speak with your child about their progress to date;  they may have many joys and concerns to share.  We hope very much that our students see this early feedback as an opportunity to reflect on effort, motivation, growth, and struggle. Learning is hard.  As teachers and parents, let's communicate that they are not alone and that it might get harder along the way, but that this grappling is the place of real learning.  Stick with it!
     
    Special Education Parent Advisory Council​
    If your child has an IEP or 504, you may have questions about what that means and who will be working with you and your child. Brookline SEPAC wants to help introduce you to many of the people with whom you will be interfacing. In order to do that, you’re invited to meet Heath’s staff, teachers and specialists. The special education staff will introduce themselves and talk to you about what they do and how they work with the general education teachers and staff. Although it is not a forum to talk specifics about your child, it is the place to informally interact with the “main players.”
     
    This is a great opportunity to meet all of the folks that make up our wonderful Heath School special education team. You’ll find out who’s who, who to call for what, and get a chance to ask questions and meet other parents in the special education community. Coffee and bagels will be served care of the Heath PTO.
     
    We hope you can attend.
     
    DATE:   November 2, 2015
    PLACE: Heath Auditorium
    TIME: 7:45-8:15am
     
    If you have any questions before or after the event, please contact your SEPAC liaison Mei-An Tsu mei-an@rocketmail or
    SEPAC Co-chairs
    Elizabeth Myska: e@thebeardgroup.com or
    Linda Monach: lmonach@yahoo.com.
     
    Mornings at Heath
    We have plenty of space in our 2nd and 3rd grade Morning Movement class.  Ask Mr. Whittman or Ms. Stewart for more information.
    Our Computer Lab is now open Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings!  A great time to print homework, practice typing, or complete assignments.
     
    Halloween is Coming
    If your kids are like mine, the energy around Halloween is building up steam.  At Heath, children sometimes choose to wear a costume to school.  Some do, some don't.  If your child does want to come in costume we ask that the costume is not super distracting, no blood, gore, weapons of any kind, scary masks, face paint, or clothing that prohibits learning and play, please.  Sure- that seems pretty limiting, but they can go bananas in the evening (that's what I told my daughter, at least!).  
     
    Enjoy this beautiful weekend!  It is a pleasure to be at Heath – I am grateful to you all.
     
    ​Sincerely,
     
    Annie
     
    Annie Sevelius, Interim Principal
     
    __________________________________
    October 2nd, 2015
     
    It has been such a great pleasure to get to know you all during the past month of school.  While I got to know many of you last year, when I served as the Heath School Vice Principal, I have been glad to meet many more of you this year, especially as we welcome our many new families and kindergarteners.
     
    The importance of the role of principal in this learning community has not escaped me. Change can be exciting; change can be anxiety-producing. In a school community, change in leadership can be both. Some of you have asked me to share my personal vision of school leadership. Over the past few weeks I have shared many stories in my Family Notes and my perspectives on these moments.  I hope that the feeling you get is that I lead from a place of collaboration, celebration, love, and an unrelenting drive for providing the highest quality public education for every student who joins us at Heath.
     
    That said, the leadership philosophies that drive me are, in brief:
     
    Distributive Leadership
    I feel strongly that the community has a stake in the work of building a strong school. In that vein, I feel fortunate to have so many experts at my disposal. The fundamentals of distributive leadership, which very much fit my beliefs about leadership, are that I can match staff members to situations in an effort to solve a problem, improve a system, or give feedback on new initiatives, to name a few. For example, when designing the professional development calendar for the year, I pulled in three seasoned teachers who held a lot of information about past practices and could help me craft the vision of the work to come.  Could I have done this work alone?  Of course I could have. But why? I find great joy in professional conversations, find harnessing input to be challenging and rewarding, and now have three teacher leaders who can message the value of this learning trajectory with me. Please know that when making decisions about what is best for the school that I rarely find myself alone.
     
    Relational Trust
    Teaching and learning communities will fail if there is no trust.  I trust my team.  I have to!  If there is no trust, our children will suffer the consequences. The teachers at Heath are trusted to deliver high-quality opportunities to learn, whether or not I am in the classroom. And they, in turn, trust me to work on their behalf to ensure the school is safe, that systems work, that they have the resources they need, and that their work is valued. But trust doesn’t magically happen in schools. One way I seek to build trust at Heath is to offer high-quality opportunities to learn from each other. Indeed, one of my favorite things is to learn new ideas alongside my teachers – nothing builds trust like struggling to learn new things together! It opens each of us up to being vulnerable, to engaging in cycles of success and failure, and to know each other more deeply. It is when we have this trust that we can start to do really hard things together and “doing school” is very hard work, for sure.
     
    Shared Vision
    For me, all conversations in schools should have improving teacher practice and improving student outcomes at their core. In an effort to foster these conversations at Heath, we have the following school-wide, year-long Learning Targets that have the potential to drive our conversations in this way. The Learning Targets are:
    I can collaborate, use my time purposefully, ask questions when needed, and find ways to support the teaching and learning practices of others.
    I can share success and failure I experience in my practice with colleagues in order to continually grow my own practice.
    I can foster a growth mindset in my classroom and seek to nurture this in myself, with colleagues, and in students.
    How we talk to one another is a lens on how we think about our practice. By talking with each other with these Learning Targets in mind, the potential for transference to classroom practice is tremendous. It also helps us to share a vision about what is possible when we work together.
     
    In a nutshell
    As you get to know me, you’ll learn that I have many favorite quotes.  One of my absolute best-fit quotes that puts my leadership style in a nutshell is by Lao Tzu: “A leader is best when people barely know he exists, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: we did it ourselves.”  
     
    If I am able to achieve this sensibility at Heath, I will feel we are well on the right track to serving all students as our very best, most authentic selves.
     
    Very sincerely,
     
    Annie
     
    Annie Sevelius, Interim Principal
    _________________________________
    September 25th, 2015
     
     
    Dear Families,
     
    Another great week in the books here at Heath!  
     
    Open Houses
    Today we hosted our final Open House of the year.  We had incredible parent turn out at all of our Open Houses and the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive.  Thank you to all of our classroom teachers for such inspiring presentations; a big thank you to our Literacy Specialists - Alex Borns-Weil and Christin Wheeler, our Math Specialist - Eleanor Demont, and our K-4 Spanish teacher - Roxy Sandoval, who presented at 6 different Open Houses!  We hope you learned a lot about content and instructional practices, but moreover we hope you all got a sense of just how much we love what we do and how we do it in service of your children. We want our students to feel challenged and loved in equal measure.
     
    Heath Website
    Many of you might notice that some of the information on the Heath website is out of date. Today Mr. Durant and I met with a team of folks from the District to begin the process of creating our new and improved website.  For the next few months we will still use the current site, but behind the scenes we will be building out our new site! We look forward to creating a website that is easy to navigate, useful, and showcases the school community and our good work. In the meantime, if you need something from the current site but wonder if it is the right form, contact, etc., don’t hesitate to reach out. If you’d like to see what the new site will look like, check out the new PSB website, Devotion School website, or BEEP site.
     
    Congratulations, Mr. Garnett-Cook
    Our very own Mr. Garnett-Cook, our 7/8 Social Studies teacher, was named a 2015 Margaret Metzger Fellow.  He spent his summer writing his personal take on classroom life and tonight he will be celebrated and read aloud from his work. He was one of six Brookline educators selected for this award and we are excited his smart perspectives will be shared with the broader community.
     
    Professional Learning
    Last week I shared that the staff here will be engaging in Professional Learning Groups (PLGs) this year. We want you all to know that professional learning is taken seriously at every level at Heath School. For example, Mr. Ieong, our Vice Principal, is currently engaged in ongoing work focused on teacher evaluation and cycles of feedback that will directly impact the teaching and learning of adults and children.  I will be attending a Literacy Collaborative workshop early next week at Lesley University in an effort to more deeply understand the Literacy Collaborative model (http://www.lesley.edu/literacy-collaborative/), learn how best to partner with teachers to support student outcomes, and how to ensure each middle school student at Heath is engaged in rigorous and engaging cycles of learning.  We are thankful these opportunities are provided to us and that we are expected to constantly shape our craft at all levels of the school.
     
    I hope you all enjoy this beautiful weekend, take the time to play, and learn something new!
     
    Sincerely,
     
    Annie
     
    Annie Sevelius, Interim Principal
     
    __________________________________
     
    Picture
    September 18th, 2015
     
    Dear Heath Families-
     
    I don't know about you all, but I feel like we have packed a week's worth of events into 4 days!  Open Houses, Field Day, the annual BBQ, the herb sale ... it has been a great week to be at Heath. Thank you, families, for your super strong attendance, planning, good wishes, and hard work.
     
    As you know by now, I am a pretty active Tweeter and love sending out the good word on what is happening in our school.  To the right is my "Tweet of the Week." I personally have not tried the flounder, but rejoice in knowing that our students receive such high-quality food in our cafeteria each day. I know the team works hard to make sure our students are well cared for and nourished.
     
    Speaking of Twitter ...
     
    From our K-4 Spanish Teacher:
    ¡Bienvenidos Heath families to a new year of Spanish K-4! I am looking forward to sharing another great year with you. You can follow what we're up to on twitter at @HeathSpanish or on my website: New Link 
     
    Muchas gracias,
     
    Roxy
     
    Opportunities to Learn for Teachers:
    As a part of my work, I lead, design, and promote myriad professional development opportunities for my staff. I feel very fortunate to lead such a committed, eager group of educators who seek to hone their craft no matter where they are in their careers.  A part of our learning is engaging in Professional Learning Groups (PLGs), times when teachers can collaborate in small groups, focus on specific topics, and get smarter in areas of deep interest.  This year our PLGs include: web page design, math centers, student engaged assessment, a critical friends group, classroom management, Zones of Regulation, Making Learning Visible, portfolios, and more. Next time you are talking with Heath teacher, ask them what they are learning or what their particular areas of interest are – I hope it leads to new understandings of what drives us in the work we do with students!
     
    And finally, Upcoming Events: 
    Tuesday, September 22nd: First Grade Open House, 8:00-9:00am
    Wednesday, September 23rd: No School: Yom Kippur
    Thursday, September 24th: Fourth Grade Open House, 8:00-9:00am
    Friday, September 25th: Second Grade Open House, 8:00-9:00am
     
    Field Trips: 
    Thursday, September 24th to Friday, September 25th: 7th Grade Thompson Island Trip
     
    A very happy weekend!
     
    Annie
     
    Annie Sevelius, Interim Principal
     
    __________________________________
     
    Picture
    September 11th, 2015
     
    Dear Families,
     
    To begin, I have been very proud of how our students and teachers have handled the extreme heat this week.  We have persevered through hot days, using every opportunity to build culture, set routines, and share our hopes & dreams for the year. A very special thank you to our teachers and custodians who made sure kids were comfortable and happy.
     
    Again, we welcome parents to share their hopes & dreams for the year, as well. Please come by the office for an index card to write on and I will post it right away on our main entry board. Take a moment to read the ones already posted, as well!  I am sure you will be inspired, as I am each day, by the collective joy in the school.
     
    Open Houses Are Coming Up!
     
     Kindergarten: Wednesday, September 16th from 8:00-9:00 am 
     First Grade: Tuesday, September 22nd from 8:00-9:00 am 
     Second Grade: Friday, September 25th from 8:00-9:00 am 
     Third Grade: Tuesday, September 15th from 8:00-9:00 am 
     Fourth Grade: Thursday, September 24th from 8:00-9:00 am 
     Fifth Grade: Friday, September 18th from 7:45-8:45 am 
     Sixth Grade: Thursday, September 17th from 6:00-7:15 pm 
     Seventh & Eighth Grades: Thursday, September 17th from 6:00-8:00 pm 
          *** Come hear about curriculum, volunteer opportunities, daily schedules, teacher expectations, units of study, math & literacy, assessment and more!
          *** During the K-5 Open House sessions, half of the hour will be spent in classrooms while the other half will be spent in the cafeteria with some of our awesome specialists. We will have schedules ready on the morning of the events.
     
    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 September 28th, 2015 and is offered to children in grades 4-8. The purpose of our Homework Club is to provide a supportive, focused and quiet setting in which a student can complete homework assignments, discuss homework with an adult, and plan ahead for upcoming assignments and projects. Space is limited!  You must enroll your child in Homework Club; an enrollment packet was sent to you via email on 9/11/2015 and is available in the office.
     
    Field Day! BBQ!
    A reminder that Field Day is on the 17th.  Please make sure your child comes dressed in their team color that day, wearing sneakers, and ready to play.  If you are not sure the team color, please ask your child's teacher.
    Also, the Heath School BBQ is after school on the 18th.  The amazing PTO will be sending other messages home about this annual event – I look forward to seeing you all there!
     
     
    Please remember that there is no school on Monday; we will be off to celebrate Rosh Hashanah. Happy New Year!
     
     
    Very sincerely,
     
    Annie
     
    Annie Sevelius, Interim Principal
     
    ​________________________
    August 26th, 2015
     
    Dear Heath School Families, 
     
    To begin, I want to welcome you to what promises to be an amazing year at Heath. Although we all have needed a well-deserved summer, a time to reflect, rest, and play, know that I am eager to welcome you all back on September 3rd. While this is my first year in the principalship in Brookline, I was the Vice Principal at Heath last year, and before that the principal of the Conservatory Lab Charter School in Boston for 5 years. In total, I have been in a school leadership role for 11 years and couldn’t be happier to have this opportunity to lead the Heath School. 
     
     
    This school year, I intend to engage the teachers at Heath in a school-wide conversation around mindset, the complex and intricate connections between teaching practice and student outcomes, and how to nurture classroom and school cultures in which students feel in control of their own learning. Needless to say, the students are the great recipients of the adult's collaborative work and shared vision. As parents and grandparents, you also have a powerful perspective on this work and I welcome your insights on the joys, struggles, and growth your child experiences this school year.
     
    Please plan to arrive at school each day no later than 7:55 so that your child can be settled and in class by 8.  The incredible teaching staff here will be using each and every moment for academic instruction and social connection; being ready to go at 8:00am sharp maximizes the time we have together for learning.  
     
    I look forward to sharing teaching and learning updates with you all this upcoming school year and highlighting the myriad opportunities to learn your children will have while in our care. Please follow me on Twitter! I’m @AnnieSevelius and tweet fairly regularly from the classrooms. 
     
    Taking time to think about and write out hopes and dreams is a common start of year activity in classrooms. It would be terrific to capture your hopes and dreams, as well.  Please take the time to write out your own hopes and dreams for this school year to post on our entry bulletin board – simply write them on an index card and bring them to the office for posting during the first few days of school.
     
     
    The new school year is full of promise and I believe each of you plays a critical role in fulfilling that promise. I am proud of this learning community and have faith that Heath can serve as a model of what is good and possible for students, families, and educators alike and am eager to begin that work together.
     
    Very sincerely,
     
    Annie
     
    Annie Sevelius, Interim Principal