Letter from Claire - April 4

April 4, 2016

 

Dear Families,

This week, we begin state testing for our 3-8 students. The ELA test is this week: April 5th-7th and the Math test is next week: April 12th-14th. To help your child enter the exams relaxed, the night before share an enjoyable and relaxing evening together. Then help your child get to bed early. In the morning, encourage your child to have breakfast.

 

Please make every effort to be on time to school those days. Once you drop off your child, please leave the building immediately. It is important that we start on time and it is calm and quiet in the hallways. There will be no parent meetings allowed on those days. Please remember that students taking the test need our full support at this time. Let’s come together as a community and make this as easy on all of them as possible by being kind and considerate. Your help is much appreciated!!

 

Updates

Inclusiveness and Diversity Committee met and we planned the upcoming screening. The Inclusiveness and Diversity Committee will be hosting a community screening of the movie American Promise, Wednesday, April 20th at 6:00pm.

 

Our Music committee met this week and discussed building upon this year's experience and growing the music program. Megan loves teaching music. She is committed to teach Music K-4 next year.

 

Instrumental Music: 4th grade - We are exploring the possibility of introducing instrument instruction next year to interested 4th graders.

 

5th and 6th grade electives - we would like to introduce 2 or 3 instruments to be taught as an elective for 5th and 6th graders. The evolution of this program would mean that we could offer band or an ensemble elective for 7th and 8th graders in the near future as we develop musicians.

 

Glee/Percussion – was a very successful elective for 5th/6th and 7th/8th and we will continue.

 

After-school Program – We have been in touch with Bloomingdale School of Music. They seem to be an excellent partner to teach strings as an after-school program.

 

Our next Steps: identifying prospective teachers for part-time work next year.  Our goal is to have these resumes and bring in prospective teachers by May to hold in-school workshops with students to evaluate them.

 

Big thanks to the music committee for all their dedication time and help to grow our music program!

 

From the Classroom

4th graders from Eunice and Kristin's class and 8th graders in Stephanie's ELA class paired up for the finals of poetry madness. Students closely read, analyzed, and interpreted high level poetry texts. Using the poetry madness structure students defended their poem and then took a vote on which of the following poems The Names by Billy Collins, Let America Be America Again by Langston Hughes, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya and Solitude by Ella Wheeler Wilcox moves to the final round.

 

The 7th grade in Nicki’s history class put Andrew Jackson on trial. They are deciding if he is a hero or a villain.  Witnesses created questions and answers for the trial. Attorneys wrote an opening, closing statements and questions for cross-examination.  The jury wrote a reflection explaining if they believed that Jackson was a hero or a villain, and included a counter-claim. It was so engaging and the trial continues.

 

News!

Great news! The DOE has completed removing the fluorescent lighting fixture replacements in our school building and has replaced them with new energy efficient units that do not contain PCBs.  This was done as part of the City’s comprehensive plan that increases energy efficiency and the environmental quality of school buildings. 

 

Our school has been identified as an inaugural site in the Department of Education and the Department of Sanitation Zero Waste Schools Initiative. The Zero Waste is designed to create consistent recycling practices in our building. We will be receiving educational services including trainings, workshops, and presentations from GrowNYC Recycling Champions Program (RCP).  Recycling Champions and representatives from the DOE will work with our school throughout the 2016-17 academic year to help implement best practices.

 

Best,

Claire