Lawrence School

A safe, just and caring community

Who We Are

  • Attendance Line: (617) 879-4343

    We Are:

    • a learning community where all members embrace a growth mindset to be the best they can be!
    • a community of 712 students, kindergarten through 8th grade
    • A dynamic staff of over 110
    • Multicultural and multilingual
    • A community developing a Makerspace for students and staff
    • A hub for  after school programs, LEDP and LSA

    A community of teachers, parents/caregivers and students who are working to be our best selves. Come join us!


Principal's Corner

  • Black History Month-Door Decorating Event

    Posted by Monica Crowley on 2/14/2020 7:00:00 AM


    This year, our school held a Black History Month Door Decorating Contest.

    Starting on January 27th and lasting through February 14th, classrooms participated by decorating their doors in a way that represents current or former figures in African American history or with African American heritage.

    The idea of this was to be as student-led as possible. We are thrilled to share the many creative doors and doorways that now fill our school with inspiring and educational depictions of African American history and the accomplishments of incredible people. Please enjoy the slide show here.


    Happy vacation,



    Comments (-1)
  • Bridging Brookline to Boston a Huge Success!

    Posted by Monica Crowley on 2/3/2020 7:00:00 AM
    From Staff Members Ms. Gordon, Ms. Russell and Ms, LaRiccia
    We just wanted to say a huge THANK YOU to all of you for your help in making today's Bridging Brookline to Boston event such an incredible success! We  were blown away by how many families just kept coming and how excited they were to be there. We got such wonderful feedback from families saying they had so much fun, they made new connections with families, the kids were excited to see their teachers, and lots of folks were saying they can't wait to do it again! 
    Thank you, thank you, thank you! We are so grateful for our wonderful community and the team effort that made this a reality. 
    Looking forward to continuing this tradition next year! :) 
    From Co-PTO President-Christina Grady:
    What a wonderful event! Many thanks to the three of you for taking the time to put this special gathering together for our community. I too heard such wonderful feedback from several people. All signs point to this becoming an annual event so congratulations and thank you : ) 
    I'll have to review the numbers with Nora but from my end ...
    56 online registrants 
    40 walk in registrants
    Plus several faculty/staff showed up today that were not counted in the above mentioned numbers, so I think we landed closer to 125. Another way to look at it was that we had 16 lanes for bowling and roughly 8 people per lane which would put us at roughly 128.
    All in all, a big success!  (Scroll down for pictures!)
    Comments (-1)
  • Bridging Brookline to Boston

    Posted by Monica Crowley on 1/24/2020 7:00:00 AM

    Bridging Brookline to Boston

     Dear Lawrence Families,


    Come and enjoy an afternoon together as we bring our Lawrence School community together for an event at Boston Bowl in Dorchester on Sunday, February 2, 1:00 - 3:00! The purpose of the event is to bridge our Brookline and Boston communities with a fun gathering in the city. Last year, we had over 60 people enjoy this fun event!  We would love to have as many Lawrence families attend as possible!

    Tickets include bowling, pizza, arcade games, and fun with Lawrence community members!

    Hope to see you there,



    Comments (-1)
  • 2020-2021 School Calendar: Message from Ben Lummis

    Posted by Monica Crowley on 1/13/2020 7:00:00 AM

    Dear Parents and Guardians, 

    I am pleased to share the attached calendar for the 2020-2021 school year. The School Committee approved the calendar at their meeting last night. It’s also available on our website under "PSB News."

    You will notice that beginning with the 2020-2021 school year, the school district will acknowledge the Lunar New Year as a “day of low attendance” (no school). Last spring, the School Committee heard a very compelling presentation from the parents, students and staff of the Brookline Asian American Family Network advocating for this recognition of Lunar New Year. After careful consideration, we have proceeded with marking this day on the school calendar. We are pleased to be able to recognize this holiday that is of such significance to many of our families. 

    One other item that may be of interest to you is the placement of the Professional Development Day in November 2020. It is scheduled for Election Day, Tuesday, November 3. As you know, this will be a Presidential election year and so we expect a large turnout of voters at polling locations across town. Six of our schools serve as polling locations. Given the large crowds expected at polling locations it is sensible to hold PD Day on Election Day. In non-Presidential election years - when the voter turnout is lower and more manageable in each school building - we will typically schedule the Professional Development Day on a Friday. 

    I wish you and your family all the best in this New Year. 


    Ben Lummis

    Interim Superintendent 

    Comments (-1)
  • Welcome back and Happy New Year!

    Posted by Monica Crowley on 1/1/2020 7:00:00 AM

    Welcome back and Happy New Year!

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  • December!

    Posted by Monica Crowley on 12/2/2019 7:00:00 AM

    Hello Lawrence families,

    Welcome back from Thanksgiving break.  I hope everyone enjoyed time with family and friends.  I was thrilled to spend uninterrupted time with my family, get to the gym and relax.  December has arrived rather quickly and we have three weeks until the December vacation.  The next few weeks are very busy here at the Lawrence School.  

    School Council:  Tuesday, December 3, 2019 from 8:05-8:55am

    Early Release Days:  (12:40 Dismissal)

    Thursday, December 5 and Wednesday, December 11

    Lost and Found in Main Lobby:  December 10 and 11

    Come see if any of your items can be recovered.  All items left behind will be donated.

    Recess Continues...

    With the cold weather upon us, please know that we go out for recess as long as the temperatures are safe.  Please help your child remember their warm winter jackets, hats, mittens, scarves, and boots to keep warm and dry while we are outdoors playing.  

    Screen Time:

    The amount of screen time children have is an important and ubiquitous topic.  I recently read this article by Common Sense Media and thought I would share.  

    Kids are spending more time with screen media -- and at younger ages -- than ever before. In an effort to help families curb kids' use, groups such as the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the World Health Organization (WHO) have released numerical screen limit guidelines, but the reality is that there really is no magic number that's "just right." What's more important is the quality of kids' media, how it fits into your family's lifestyle, and how you engage your kids with it.

    The idea of screen time as a one-dimensional activity is changing -- even the AAP, whose screen time rules had been strictly age-based, is recognizing that not all screen time is created equal. Computers, tablets, and smartphones are multipurpose devices that can be used for lots of purposes. Even so, the World Health Organization is sticking with specific screen time amounts on the theory that sedentary activities such as playing computer games is contributing to the global obesity epidemic. However, designating device use simply as "screen time" can miss some important variations. The Common Sense Census: Media Use by Tweens and Teens identifies four main categories of screen time.

    • Passive consumption: watching TV, reading, and listening to music
    • Interactive consumption: playing games and browsing the Internet
    • Communication: video-chatting and using social media
    • ​Content creation: using devices to make digital art or music

    Clearly, there's a lot of difference among these activities. But as valuable as many of them can be, it's still important for kids' overall healthy development to balance their lives with enriching experiences found off screens. These tips can help:

    • Pay attention to how your kids act during and after watching TV, playing video games, or hanging out online. If they're using high-quality, age-appropriate media; their behavior is positive; and their screen-time activities are balanced with plenty of healthy screen-free ones, there's no need to worry.
    • If you're concerned about heavy media use, consider creating a schedule that works for your family. This can include weekly screen-time limits, limits on the kinds of screens kids can use, and guidelines on the types of activities they can do or programs they can watch. Make sure to get your kids' input so the plan teaches media literacy and self-regulation, and use this as an opportunity to discover what they like watching, introduce new shows and apps for them to try, or schedule a family movie night.

    The AAP 's guidelines, released in October 2016, allow for some screen time for children younger than 2 and emphasize parental involvement for all kids. In a nutshell:

    • Avoid use of screen media other than video-chatting for children younger than 18 months.
    • If you choose to introduce media to children 18-24 months, find high-quality programming and co-view and co-play.
    • Limit screen use to 1 hour per day of high-quality programs for children age 2 to 5 years.
    • Create a family media plan with consistent rules and enforce them for older kids.

    The reality is that most families will go through periods of heavy and light media use, but, so long as there's a balance, kids should be just fine.


    Comments (-1)
  • Could Attention Seeking Be Connection Seeking?

    Posted by Monica Crowley on 11/11/2019 7:00:00 AM

    Dear Lawrence Families,

    Every now and again I share articles that have been recommended to me or I have read and find interesting and useful.  Dr. Kalise Wornum, Director of Race and Equity shared this article by Nadene ven Der Linden.

    Could Attention Seeking Be Connection Seeking?

    By Nadene van der Linden

    The term “attention seeking” generally refers to unwanted and demanding behaviors. Behaviors that are labeled attention seeking include being clingy, calling out in class, doing this so other adults and kids will laugh, and even self-harm.

    In the dictionary, attention is defined as “the action of dealing with or taking special care of someone or something.” All humans seek belonging and worth from other humans. We want and need to feel connected to others. Children try many things as they learn how to connect. In my clinic, I encourage parents and teachers to re-label attention seeking behaviors as connection seeking.

    When children seek attention, they are seeking connection and validation. Connection seeking behaviors can be unwanted or difficult to deal with. When viewed as behaviors that express a child’s need to belong, parents are better equipped to deal with these behaviors positively.

    Planned ignoring is often suggested as a way to manage unwanted connection seeking behaviors. The idea is you starve an unwanted behavior of attention so it while you reward wanted behaviors, making it more likely the behaviors you want are repeated. Unfortunately, outside of a psychology laboratory it often results in a child being ignored rather than a behavior being ignored.

    Planned ignoring can make an emotionally unmet child even more desperate. When we ignore extreme behaviors in the absence of positive attention a child may think “Do I even matter/do I exist?”


    Plan to spend time with your children
    Intentionally spend time connecting with your children. Many Western parents spend between 10 and 35 minutes a day with their school-aged children. I include this fact to help explain the possible roots of unwanted connection seeking behaviors, not to make parents feel guilty. Schedule time with your child in your diary, like you would any other commitment. When you are with your children in day to day moments, comment often on the positive behaviors you see.

    Spontaneously give your child lots of attention
    Don’t make them chase you for it. Give it freely and deliberately. Give more than you think they need and see if it reduces problematic connection seeking behaviors. Lots of hugs, pats on heads, high fives, eye contact, invite them to play a game or snuggle with you on the couch.

    Try to hold your child’s perspective. What is the world like for them? Why might they be so desperate for you to notice them? How can you address that need?

    Ignore the behavior but immediately give connection in another form
    Ignore the initial unwanted behavior but give your child positive attention directed at something else in that moment. For example, if a child started throwing toys around the room to get attention, a parent would ignore this behavior and instead invite your child to help with something.

    Later the parent might say, “I know sometimes when Mom is busy you try to get me to notice you by throwing blocks and that can work to get mum to notice you sometimes when Mom shouts but then it also makes us both feel bad afterward. What could work better when you want to connect with Mom?” With a younger child, you may need to provide suggestions such as you could ask me to come and play or help you with something.

    Choose to notice positive behavior over ignoring
    Parents often focus more on what they don’t like such as aggressive behavior and completely ignore their child’s positive behavior. This will likely get you the opposite of what you want. Keep in mind, if children seek connection and they only get noticed when they are doing what we don’t want them to, we will likely get more of that.

    If you choose to ignore behavior, tell your child at the beginning of the ignoring period that you will be ignoring them. “I will not talk back to you until you stop whining. The second you ask me that same thing without whining I will talk to you” is an example of this. You need to explain each time. Children have short memories. Always remember that ignoring the behavior does not mean ignoring your child, which is harmful. Keep ignoring periods short to avoid hurt. Some behaviors cannot be ignored due to safety. In this situation avoid giving negative attention (like reprimanding) to your child as attention of all kinds increases the chance of the behavior repeating.

    Parenting is a journey of connection with your child that will last throughout your life. Connection seeking behaviors, wanted and unwanted, is part of parenting. Let’s manage it in a peaceful and positive way, without punishment.

    Nadene van der Linden is a clinical psychologist in private practice. Nadene is the author of the much loved Tales from the Parenting Trenches: a clinical psychologist vs motherhood. Join the Unshakeable Calm facebook group today. Science based tips for calm and confident living.

    Comments (-1)
  • Brookline Education Foundation

    Posted by Monica Crowley on 10/28/2019 8:00:00 AM


    Lawrence School Grants 2019-2020


    I am so excited to share this year's recipients of the BEF Teacher, Collaborative and IDEA grants at Lawrence!





    Gabrielle Mahesh (Special Education Teacher, Grades 3-5)

    Travel to India

    Ms. Mahesh spent two months volunteer teaching in Bangalore, India during the summer of

    2019. During this time, she developed a deeper understanding of the impact of global education,

    expand her knowledge of students from diverse backgrounds and bring home skills to engage in

    conversations around cultural competency within Brookline schools. Now that she is home, Ms.

    Manesh will establish a letter-writing project between students at the Lawrence School and

    students attending Shanti Bhavan for the school year.


    Dianne Arico-Muendel (Literacy Coach, Grades 3-8)

    Writing Workshop for Writing Teachers

    Ms. Arico-Muendel reflected on and honed her own writing by attending Bard College Institute for

    Writing and Thinking. A former Metzger Fellow, she has seen the power of personal writing in

    strengthening one’s teaching and coaching. She will bring back techniques learned at the

    workshop to share with colleagues so they may strengthen the writing curriculum for their


    Chris Lee-Rodriguez (Instrument and Music production)

    Brazilian Guitar Techniques as a Skill development and Cultural Lens

    Mr. Lee-Rodriguez attended the California Brazilian Camp for a week-long, full immersion

    educational music program with world-class master musicians from Brazil. He seeks to deepen his

    personal understanding and development of Brazilian guitar techniques, songs and culture. He

    will share his new knowledge with other colleagues in the performing arts department so that all

    Brookline students studying guitar and ukulele will benefit from the experience.


    NCTM Boston Regional Conference—A group of 42 math teachers and specialists from every

    Brookline school  will attend the National Council of Teachers of Math Regional Conference in

    Boston in the fall. In addition to networking, exchanging ideas, and learning about innovations in

    the field, this grant will allow math teachers across the District to collaborate with the goals of

    making the transition from middle school math to high school math more seamless.

    Lawrence Participants: Laura Koplow (Lawrence, Math Specialist), Gigi Luckett (Lawrence, Math

    Teacher), Katy McGraw (Lawrence, Math Specialist), Julieta Roz (Lawrence/Pierce Math Specialist),

    Lora Smid (Lawrence, Math Teacher)

    Collaborative Grant for the 2020 American Occupational Therapy Association Annual

    Conference—The entire Occupational Development Department of the Public Schools of

    Brookline will attend the annual AOTA conference, which conveniently takes place in Boston. This

    is a rare opportunity for the entire department to participate in professional development that is

    specifically for their field, and allows the therapists to stay up to date on the latest clinical and

    educational practices, and evidence-based treatment and evaluation techniques.

    Lawrence Participant: Deborah Caruso

    Middle and High School Book Clubs—A group of Middle School and High School English

    teachers will attend the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project’s Institute on Book Clubs, to

    explore and plan for powerful book club instruction. By having teachers from both the Middle

    Schools and the High Schools, this will allow for a better transition for students in English, and will

    improve the level of instruction in this increasingly popular method of teaching close reading and


    Participants: Eric Colburn (BHS), Evan Mousseau (BHS), Rachel Hayashi (Middle School Literacy

    Coach, Runkle and Heath), Dianne Muendel (Middle School Literacy Coach, Lawrence), Jennifer

    Redburn (Middle School Literacy Coach, Driscoll), Jennifer Sanders (Middle School Literacy Coach,


    Vice Principals ASCD Conference on Educational Leadership—The District’s Vice Principals

    will attend the premiere educational leadership conference in the country. This grant will allow

    the Vice Principals to have concentrated time to gain needed professional development, and have

    time to work together and collaborate in a way that they have rarely had the opportunity to do.

    They will attend workshops on subjects relating to wellness, student conduct, discipline, and

    social/emotional learning, and will bring this learning back to directly help students at Brookline


    Participants: Donna Finnegan (Runkle), Joshua Howe (Baker), Isabel Gunter (Lincoln), Kirtan Patel

    (Heath), David Youkilis (Driscoll), Saeed Ola (CCS), Steve Simolaris (CCS), Peter Cipparone

    (Lawrence), John Badger (Pierce), Jim Stoddard (Pierce), Jamie Yadoff (Pierce)

    Teachers College Reading and Writing Project Coaching Institute, 3rd Year—In its third and

    final year, the District’s remaining literacy coaches will attend the Teachers College Reading and

    Writing Project’s “Units of Study” for writing and reading workshop, which has proven to be

    extremely valuable and immediately useful for literacy coaches in Brookline. Brookline’s adoption

    of this curriculum has required additional training, and the literacy coaches will now be fully

    knowledgeable and qualified to coach other teachers and students in this curriculum.

    Particpants: Caitlin Paget (CCS), Alyssa Rubenstein (Runkle), Christin Wheeler (Heath), Sarah

    Maxwell (Lincoln), Dianne Muendel (Lawrence), Jennifer Sanders (CCS), Jennifer Redburn (Driscoll)


    Jillian Coggeshall (Grade 2)

    Created STEM kits for all 2nd grade classrooms, and another kit for morning breakfast students.

    Leslie Fagen (Enrichment and Challenge Support)

    Purchased Spheros robots to teach coding and collaboration to 6th graders at Lawrence.

    John Ferguson (Instrumental Music)

    With this grant, Mr. Ferguson will commission a former Brookline and current Berkeley College of

    Music student to compose a musical piece for the Orchestra students to perform.

    Comments (-1)
  • Math at Lawrence and Across the District

    Posted by Monica Crowley on 10/14/2019 7:00:00 AM


    Guest Blogger:  Kathleen Hubbard:  K-8 Math Coordinator for Brookline Public Schools

    Math at Lawrence and Across the District.

    Grades 6-8

    As a result of a grade 6-8 math curriculum materials review that took place during the 17-18 school year, last year we had a large scale, thoughtful and successful pilot of Illustrative Mathematics in grades 6-8. After gathering feedback from our pilot teachers throughout the year, we are moving forward to implement this new curriculum during the 2019-2020 school year. Illustrative Math is a problem-based curriculum that supports teachers in making meaningful mathematics accessible to all learners through the development of conceptual understanding, procedural fluency, and application in real-world contexts. You can read more about Illustrative Mathematics 6-8 here. Over the course of the past two summers and during the 18-19 school year teachers in grades 6-8 have participated in collaborative professional development to prepare for the use of this new curricular resource.

    Pilot of K-5

    As a result of a curriculum materials review that took place during the 18-19 school year, PSB teachers will be piloting two different mathematics curricula in some of our PSB K-5 classrooms during the 2019-2020 school year. The two programs are Investigations 3 and Illustrative Mathematics K-5. Click here to see at which grade levels/schools these resources are being used this year. Using input from our teachers and information collected during this pilot, we will select one of these options as our primary curriculum resource to be implemented K-5 beginning during the 2020-21 school year. Our roll out plan will begin with the implementation of new curriculum in grades 3-5 during the 2020-2021 school year, and following with grades K-2 during the 2021-2022 school year.

    Collaborative Grant

    On September 26 and 27 many grade 6-8 math teachers and math specialists will attend the NCTM Regional Conference in Boston made possible by a BEF collaborative grant.

    Enriching Mathematical Thinking

    To prepare our teachers for successful implementation of K-5 curriculum, K-5 teachers will participate in math professional development over the next few years. This will include participation in Developing Mathematical Ideas seminars beginning with teachers in grades 3-5 during the 2019-2020 school year. Thanks to a generous grant from the Brookline Education Foundation, these seminars will be led by PSB educators who have been trained as facilitators in collaboration with Mt. Holyoke University’s Math Leadership Programs. Developing Mathematical Ideas seminars are designed to bring teachers together to explore the major ideas of elementary and middle school mathematics and examine how students develop those ideas. You can read more about Developing Mathematical Ideas professional development here.

    Katheleen Hubbard

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  • Vaping Presentation/Middle School Open House

    Posted by Monica Crowley on 9/30/2019 7:00:00 AM

    The Brookline Public Health Department cautions the Brookline community about the dangers associated with vaping. The attached advisory has additional information from the Centers for Disease Control and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.

    Given the importance of this public health matter to our community, the Public Schools of Brookline has scheduled a parent presentation about vaping for late October. We invite all parents and guardians to join us, and we especially hope that those who have middle school and high school students will attend. Here are the details:

    The Truth About Vaping
    Monday, October 28
    Brookline High School Auditorium



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