Letter from Claire - October 5

Dear Families,

There is much to share!

This past week, our 5th, 6th and 7th graders had the opportunity to learn about climate change from Lucy Holtsnider and Zion Klos during a visit where they shared two lessons on art and science related to their Climate Odyssey on the Hudson.  Lucy and Zion are sailing from Wisconsing to the Bahamas as part of their research into climate change.  You can read more about their project at http://www.climateodyssey.org/ or at our website http://www.ps333.org/

We had two very successful events this week, the Middle School Fireside Chat and the first PTA meeting that included Chat with Claire!

Our Middle School Fireside Chat was informative and heartfelt. Parents described how impressive our middle school is.  They talked about rigorous learning, a supportive learning environment and empowered students.  We videotaped the event and a short film will be published on our website soon.  Big shout and thanks to the parent speakers on the panel and to all families that came to the event. 

At Chat with Claire we discussed recess and the elevators.  Lynn, one of our K teachrs, was a guest speaker and we addressed the concern of K recess being at the end of the day. Lynn stated that the kids are constantly moving all day long, “We dance a lot, we move a lot, especially in the beginning of the year.”  In addition, all K teachers have the opportunity to take students to the recess yard at 10:00 for some play and stretching.

There were questions about helping K students put on their coats and gloves (classes are asking for parent volunteers to help before and during K recess) and K dismissal in the auditorium. K dismal is a new and we are establishing a routine with families and students.

Speaking of recess, Grades 2, 3, 4 have recess and lunch together this year.  During the 50 minutes students eat and go to recess. 50 minutes was a very long time for students to sit in the cafeteria and teachers felt there was not enough instructional time in the day. Combining lunch and recess allowed for more teaching time. Grade 3 and 4 grade have an additional recess period every week in the gym to make up for any lost recess minutes.

Using the elevators can be challenging. At MSC we are a fully inclusive school and we believe all kids should be independent. In order for that to happen, we have to be mindful of each child and how he or she moves. In the morning, we are asking people to walk up the stairs and children who can’t use the stairs are assisted by heir Para professional to use the elevator.  Being mindful of everyone’s needs will get us all to our classrooms on time.


Mark Voros, Deputy Director of facilities shared an update on the water fountain installation. When the plumbers visited the school for installment of the equipment,  they realized the part purchased by the PTA was an attachment and it did not fit the existing water fountains.  All new water fountains were ordered on Friday and we anticipate delivery in about 3 weeks. They will be installed as soon as they arrive.

On another facility update, we’re expecting delivery and installation of locks on our new student lockers to happen this week.  The manufacturer sent us the wrong locks for the new lockers and it’s been a challenge to get the locks we need.  We appreciate everyone’s patience and understanding.

We’re sure everyone has noticed the scaffolding around the building.  This is in place because the building is due to have work on the roof(s), parapets and pointing of the corner bricks.   At meeting with School Construction we have learned that this is a two-year project.  The project is predicted to start in February 2016, once the bid is accepted.  Once construction starts, a staging area will be on the premises, and our schoolyard will be closed at 4:00pm.

Important Dates:

October 6th: PTA Executive Board Meeting @ 8:45 in 516

October 7th: SLT @ 3:15 in room 519

October 13th: PTA General Meeting @ 5:30 in auditorium

October 14th: IDC Meeting @ 8:45 in room 516

October 20th-22nd: Photo Days, schedule will be coming.