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11.14.2012

TheBridge

WHAT'S HAPPENING NOW

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PRINCIPAL'S CORNER >PRINCIPCORNER
 
ADOLESCENT BRAIN: UNDER CONSTRUCTION

Have you ever wondered, "What was he/she thinking?" after witnessing or hearing about the foolhardy antics of an adolescent? Well, it turns out it is the hormones making some behave in not so safe ways. Have you ever wondered how exactly the raging hormones impact this age group?  

 

Well, last Thursday night, November 8th, Dr. Leah Somerville, Harvard researcher, presented her work in the emerging field of adolescent science. Dr. Somerville presented a very detailed overview of the physiological changes the adolescent brain is undergoing. The hormones are actively engaging the very core of the brain called the striatum and clearly impacting the behavior of adolescents. The take away for me was how Dr. Somerville described the strong "ancient drives or wants" that we see in adolescents as the same ancient and deep seated urges found in all mammals. These "drives and wants" are a normal part of the healthy human experience. This strong desire for immediate rewards or gratification, however, is then juxtaposed with the still developing frontal lobe of the adolescent brain where self-regulation and control are located. The competing nature of these internal mechanisms creates an "imbalance" that is seen more in this age group than any other, according to Dr. Somerville's research. In a nutshell, adolescents are responding to their hormonal desire to act on drives and wants while in a more emotional state and with less of the internal brain power to control their actions and demonstrate better self-regulation.  

 

So what can schools and parents do?

 

Though Dr. Somerville clearly stated that she is a scientist and not in a position to advise parents or schools, she did offer one thought as a result of her research. She suggested that creating safe experiences and opportunities for young people to test their self-control could possibly increase the development of the frontal lobe and, in turn, the internal self-regulation and control.  It's helpful to look at the frontal lobe as a muscle that can be exercised to improve function and thereby increase self-control in many instances. During the question and answer period, Dr. Somerville gave an example of rock climbing as an activity that would provide this kind of safe, yet risky exercising. This physically engaging activity offers safe challenges with some risk but in controlled settings. This suggestion is one we were encouraged to hear as it has been part of a plan to create a rock climbing wall at Pierce. This is one of many kinds of safe opportunities we would like to provide our students both at school and for parents to pursue outside of school.  

 

Dr. Somerville's presentation was well received. Discussions are underway to have Dr. Somerville's research shared with 5th -12th grade teachers and parents. The power point slides from Dr. Somerville's presentation will also be available on the 7/8 corner.  For those interested in learning more of her ongoing research or in possibly participating please see the information below.

 

Pipier Smith-Mumford

Principal

 

The Affective Neuroscience and Development Lab at Harvard University invites kids, teens, and young adults from 9 to 30 years of age to participate in a research study about how the brain changes from childhood to adulthood. Participation involves undergoing a fMRI brain scan and answering questions about how you think and feel. Parent permission is required for individuals under 18 years of age. Participation is voluntary, and participants are compensated for their time (2.5 hours total). All research takes place under the supervision of Professor Leah Somerville at the Harvard Department of Psychology, 52 Oxford St, Cambridge, MA 02138. Interested? Contact Alea Skwara at skwara@fas.harvard.edu or call 617-496-5447.
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PTO CORNER >PTOCORNER
Stay connected! Visit pierceschoolbrookline.org

DON'T DELAY - DONATE TO THE PIERCE PTO TODAY!

The Pierce PTO Annual Appeal is off to a great start! More than 60 families have already donated. Perhaps you haven't gotten to it yet...Well, don't delay...break out your checkbook now or click here http://www.pierceschoolbrookline.org/ to donate! The PTO raises funds to reimburse teachers and specialists for supplies and needed technology. The money also pays for in-school arts assemblies, off-sets the cost of field trips, and so much more! The PTO is scheduled to spend nearly $75,000 this school year, approximately $100 per student. Please consider asking grandparents and other family members to contribute, too. Also, please explore if your employer has a matching program for your donation! Questions? Please email pierce.pto@gmail.com or talk to a Leadership Team member or your Room Parents.

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SCHOOL COUNCIL MEETING TOMORROW

Thursday, 11/15, 7am

School Council meetings are open to the public. Upcoming agenda topics include a discussion of school improvement goals for the year, and a review of the 11/9 forum on Adolescence and the Brain. For a list of the year's meeting dates, a copy of the Pierce School Improvement Plan, and a list of School Council members, go to http://www.pierceschoolbrookline.org/school-council.html

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7TH GRADE PARENT NETWORK MEETING TOMORROW

Thursday, 11/15, 7:30pm @ 7 Griggs Terrace (home of the Gaehdes)

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6-7-8 DESIGN TEAM PRESENTATION FRIDAY

Friday, 11/16, 7:30am-8:10am in Auditorium

Coffee available at 7:25am with a firm start at 7:30am. Strategic priorities will be presented and opportunity for parent involvement.

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Friday community breakfast has been changed! Attn K-5th parents! --

 

LITERACY COLLABORATIVE PRESENTATION AND BREAKFAST

Friday, 11/16, 8:15-9am, Pierce cafeteria (Breakfast 8am) 

Join Patricia Kinsella, PK-8 English Language Arts Coordinator for Brookline, as she explains why Brookline Public Schools joined the Literacy Collaborative; how Pierce is tackling the second year of implementation, and expanding teacher professional development; and what to expect in your child's classroom as the approach becomes more widespread. Grades K-5th are all engaged in this. Gather at 8am for breakfast. Presentation begins at 8:15am. Co-sponsored by Pierce School Council and Pierce PTO.

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REMINDER: ARTWORK FOR EDUCATION ORDER FORMS DUE 11/20

Artwork for Education, an important fundraiser for Pierce, provides an opportunity to showcase greeting cards with your child's original artwork! Participating students (in K, 2nd, 4th, 7th, & 8th grades) received catalogs and order forms. Forms due no later than Tuesday, 11/20 to ensure delivery before the holiday break. Please be generous with your orders: the school gets 50% of every dollar spent. Contact michal.preminger@gmail.com with questions. 

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PTO MEETING - NEW DATE 

Tuesday, 11/27, 7pm @ Pierce Cafeteria

Join us for a PTO Evening Meeting to approve the PTO's annual budget and learn about plans for 2013 leadership and outreach. The budget will be posted on the website for all Pierce parents and teachers to review in advance of the meeting. Contact pierce.pto@gmail.com with questions. 

 

Also, check out the notes from the November meeting with Dr. Lupini and Parent leaders on the website.  Topics include: Non-tax revenue policy, educator evaluation and Steps to Success.

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HOLIDAY SHOPPING TO BENEFIT THE PIERCE PTO! 

Planning to do holiday shopping on amazon.com? Then please click on the amazon banner at the bottom of the Pierce PTO website: http://www.pierceschoolbrookline.org/. Prices will be exactly the same, but up to 8% of the purchase price will go right to the Pierce School PTO. Happy Shopping!

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VOLUNTEER SIGN-UPS

If you have a little time and some interest in volunteering with the PTO, use this link to a PTO sign-up sheet. Thank you!

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PIERCE SCHOOL PLAY STILL NEEDS LIGHTING DESIGNER/TECHNICIAN

We need one creative and technically savvy adult to oversee lighting production for Bye Bye Birdie. We already have three competent high schoolers on board! Show dates are Thursday, 12/13 through Saturday, 12/15. Please contact Deborah Dowd at dowdwalsh@rcn.com if you're able to help.

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ELECTRONIC DIRECTORY UPDATE

Thanks to all who have entered their data.  After Thanksgiving we will print a few copies for sale.  You may use the pdf print function in the Directory to print it yourself. Please help us get to 100%. For problems, please email Jennifer Hunt (jhuntmail@gmail.com). Registration instructions are available here. Thank you!

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THANKS TO KHA DICKERMAN & REDRESS BOSTON

Thanks to Kha Dickerman and ReDress Boston for a fun evening of shopping last Friday. ReDress Boston will donate a percentage of its proceeds from the sale of donations made by Pierce families. Stop by and say thanks to this new community partner.

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SCHOOL CORNER >SCHOOLCORNER
 
MATH LEAGUE STILL SEEKING PARENT COACHES! 
Pre-season is in full swing. The regular season and regular practice sessions run 12/3 through 3/8. Parent volunteers needed to coach once/week either before school (M-F, 7:20-7:55am) or after school (Wednesday 2:30-3:10pm). Volunteer information meeting Friday, 11/16 at 7:40am in the PSED/Spanish/Math League room. For detailed information on this year's Math League, please click here. Questions? Contact Tara Washburn at tara_washburn@brookline.k12.ma.us
or Ira Heffan at heffan@yahoo.com
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PROBLEM OF THE WEEK >POW

 

POW #6: UNICEF COLLECTION 

Please click here for POW #6 - UNICEF Collection. Answers are due Tuesday, 11/27 at 8am.  

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COMMUNITY CORNER >COMMUNITYCORNER 

  

'HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS' FEATURING BROOKLINE HIGH CAMERATA

Sunday, 12/9, 3pm @ All Saints Parish, 1773 Beacon St.

Bring the whole family and join us for a musical holiday celebration! Experience the magic of family & friends getting together for a sing-along to old favorites. Presented by Metropolitan Chorale of Brookline; Michael Driscoll, Music Director.  $10 Adults/$5 Seniors & Students. To purchase tickets, visit http://www.metropolitanchorale.org/concerts.htm  

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WINTER WONDERLAND: DECEMBER 2012  

Plan ahead! Brookline SmartVacations December break activities for students age 5-12! Arts & crafts, cooking & baking, computer & theater games, & more. Join us for one day ($70), two days ($140), or three days ($200): 12/26, 12/27 & 12/28, 9am-4pm. Early morning drop-off and late afternoon options available. Activities meet in the Unified Arts Building at BHS. For more info and to register, please call BA&CE/SmartVacations at 617-730-2700, ext 0.

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PB&J DANCE CLASSES FOR KIDS  

Peanut Butter & Jelly Dance Company Dance Classes for Kids, ages 3-5 winter session begins Tuesday, 11/27. Classes held at the Church of Our Saviour, Monmouth and Carl�ton Streets, on Tuesday or Thursday at 4pm; Wednesdays at 3 PM, performance class for Grades K-2nd. 10 week session: $170/$180. New students may enroll through Friday, 12/14. Scholarships available. Visit www.pbjdanceco.org, email info@pbjdanceco.org, or call 617-738-PNUT (7688).

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TEDxBeaconStreet - FREE TALKS & PERFORMANCES!
Saturday, 11/17 and Sunday, 11/18 @ Lincoln School 

Free series of talks and music performances spanning many sectors, passions, and topics, organized by Brookline families. Fascinating "pre-conference adventures," too. Space is limited; apply online to attend. Please visit www.tedxbeaconstreet.com or call John Werner at 617-474-2400.

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FUNDRAISING CONCERT TO BENEFIT BOSTON FAMILY

Sunday, 11/18, 7:30pm @ Loring Greenough House, 12 South St., JP

Pierce's Rodriguez-Anton family is organizing a fundraising concert for the family of John Herrera-Garcia, 49, who died in Calgary in September after a brutal beating (see article). Herrera-Garcia's two children attend Horace-Mann Elementary School in Newton. This musical event will help the family defray the costs of these last difficult months. NorthSouth Duo and the Boston Harp Trio will play. To purchase a $25 ticket or to make a donation, please call 917-254-7850 or email afrharp@gmail.com.

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 "IS EDUCATION FOR DEMOCRACY AT RISK?"

Monday, 12/3, 6:30-8pm @ Brookline Public Library Main Branch

How do we stop the privatization of our public schools and empower parents, teachers, and communities to afford all students the opportunity to learn? Sponsored by Citizens for Public Schools. For information and registration, visit http://www.citizensforpublicschools.org.  

  

Panelists include notable educators, authors, and civic leaders. Moderated by Ruth Kaplan, former BHS parent and Brookline School Committee member, and current member of the Massachusetts BESE. The evening honors Ruth's late father, Judge Sumner Z. Kaplan. 

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MAGNUS AND JENNER: A TROLL ON A MISSION

Pierce parent Kim Girard (Kate, 4L) announces the publication of  Magnus and Jenner. This chapter book for early middle-graders tells the story of a New England bridge troll on a mission: to find his only living brother, Radley. Trouble is, Radley lives a thousand miles away in the belly of a pirate ship in Orlando, Florida. Ten-year-old Jenner could be the key to finding Radley. Only he's a horrible human!  The book is available at the Brookline BooksmithAmazon.com, and  Barnesandnoble.com.

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BROOKLINE ARTS CENTER: CLASSES FOR CHILDREN & ADULTS 

The Brookline Arts Center offers art classes for children and adults in a variety of mediums. Registration is open for Fall-extended classes, which start in November and continue through December. For more information check out www.brooklineartscenter.com, or call 617-566-5715.

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UPCOMING PERFORMANCES AT BROOKLINE HIGH SCHOOL

... including Camerata Choir & BHS Orchestra, and Faculty/Staff Variety Show! Click here for more information.  

  

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CLASSIFIEDS >CLASSIFIEDS     

NOW ENROLLING: ACCENT MODIFICATION CLASSES FOR BUSINESS PROFESSIONALS

The Etiquette Academy of New England, 39 Harvard St. Brookline 

The Etiquette Academy is proud to offer new classes for accent modification taught by Marjorie Feinstein-Whittaker, M.S., CCC-SLP, corporate communication trainer and licensed Speech and Language Pathologist. For more details on this or other classes, visit EtiquetteAcademy.org, or call 617-608-3920. 
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BOSTON SCHOOL OF GUITAR 

Boston School of Guitar (www.bostonschoolofguitar.com) is a privately owned music school located in Brookline Village. We work to create an inspiring and nurturing environment where people of all ages can come together and learn to play the guitar. We offer effective group classes and private guitar lessons for all of our students. Call now to book your free introductory lesson for kids' and teens' classes! 33 A Harvard Street, Brookline. 617-505-1822, info@bostonschoolofguitar.com.

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KOLTUN BALLET ACADEMY 

Pre-professional ballet training in an inspirational environment for young people ages 6-19. We aim to provide students with a rich knowledge of classical technique and the ability to adapt to all styles and techniques of dance. We offer a hands-on approach, individual attention, and dedication to our students. For more information, please visit us at www.KoltunBalletAcademy.com or call 617-901-3792.

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TUTOR FOR ELEMENTARY & MIDDLE SCHOOL STUDENTS

Graduate student at Boston University earning a Master in Public Health concentrating in Maternal and Child Health. Interested in tutoring elementary and middle school students. I have 10 years of tutoring experience in various subjects. My favorite subject is math! Available for general homework and studying help as well. Flexible schedule, willing to meet in student's home or other quiet location. Please contact Carly at coallard@gmail.com or 401-316-9323.

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READING, WRITING, AND MATH TUTORING
I am a first-grade teacher with a Master's degree in Elementary Education. I worked in Newton for three years and have extensive experience as a tutor. I have worked at Pierce and am familiar with the curriculum, teachers, and community. I will work with your child to improve his/her skills in reading, phonics, writing, or math. References available upon request. Please contact Olivia at ohewett@gmail.com for more information.
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PIANO INSTRUCTION
Berklee & New England Conservatory graduate with 30+ years teaching experience. Beginners welcome. Build a high-quality musical foundation with a patient, caring teacher. Gloria Jasinski, phone: 617-566-9704, email: piano566@comcast.net
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