Letter from Claire - May 31

May 31, 2016


Dear Families,


Science fair was an exemplar of our successful K-8 model. During the day session, our middle school students mentored and taught our elementary school students all about their long-term science investigation projects. In turn, our middle school students visited the elementary school classrooms where students showcased and taught them about their science fair projects.  Families joined during the evening session and individual projects were displayed and shared. Classrooms, gym, cafeteria and the greenhouse were buzzing the whole afternoon and evening with science conversations, inquiry and explanations of investigations.  It was a great example of our progressive teaching.  Big shout out to our science fair committee: Brian, Nicole W, Shakira, and the parent committee members along with science fair volunteers! It was a spectacular event! 


Thank you also to everyone who came to May “Chat with Claire.” We discussed snack PTA funding and recess.


Snack – Some families have shared that it’s unfair that some families give multiple snacks throughout the year, while others do not sign up for a turn.  There is also the question of what type of snack to bring because of the food allergies.  Snack is really important in grades K and 1st who have the late lunch at 11:35am.  Grades 2 thru have the early lunch at 10:45Am so by 1pm they are ready for a snack.  The cost to the PTA to provide snack for everyone for the entire school year could be $35,000. We have reached out to our partners Wellness in the School to see what our options are.  There is also the possibility of reaching out to Whole Foods or Costco to get snack into classrooms.


Where does the money the PTA raises go?   Most of the funds raised by Friends of MSC goes towards direct classroom support.  Everything our students need, that is not funded by the Dept. of Education, is funded thru the generosity of our families.  That includes supplies, the Bookroom and books, student activities, student events, plays, parent workshops, visiting artists, and much, much more.  Our PTA also funds enrichment: our partnership with Wellness in the Schools, our music program, Lincoln Center, Coach for kids and maintenance for the greenhouse.


Recess – For the 2016-17 grades 2, 3, 4 will continue to have recess and lunch together. During the 50 minutes students eat and go to recess. Combining lunch and recess allowed for more teaching time. Grade 3 and 4 grade also have an additional recess period every week in the gym to make up for any lost recess minutes. There were some questions about recess being taken away as a consequence. We will do some research and share an update soon.



From the Classroom

Julia, Erica and Rachel 1st graders had a publishing celebration of realistic fiction series books. Students picked their own characters, drew sketches of them, and wrote predictions. First graders looked at their favorite series and thought about how authors made their characters realistic. 


Our 3rd and 4th graders performed at Carnegie Hall! They share a variety of songs that they have learned on their recorder. Additionally, they sang different songs they have learned in music class with Megan. The students also heard performances from students in other schools. Big shout to Megan for organizing and preparing for this amazing experience!


7th graders shared their grade civil war projects where everyone had to pick a food from the civil war era, research it, make it, and bring it into class. This project gave students an idea of the type of shortages that people had to go through and deal with during the war. For example, many of the sweets and deserts were sweetened with fruit or honey, as opposed to sugar. 


Throughout the last month Ana, our dance teacher, has been sharing the incredible work we have developed here at MSC in the field of physically integrated dance with a broader local and national audience.  Ana taught a course at the highly regarded Dance Education Laboratory of the ‪92nd Street Y with renowned choreographer Heidi Latsky. She shared with a new generation of dance teachers, the groundbreaking practices developed here at MSC for fully including children with physical disabilities into the dance curriculum. Ana also represented MSC as the only K-12 educator to be invited to a nationwide convening on the Future of Physically Integrated Dance in America. It was a huge honor that gave her the opportunity to collaborate and share information with the top voices in the world of dance and disability. Thank you, Ana, for your work in expanding the field and sharing the excellence of what we do at MSC.

For more information: http://www.axisdance.org/advocacy/



MSC/NY SunWorks Sustainability Youth Conference: On Thursday, June 2, we are very excited to host our 5th NY Sunworks Youth Conference. New this year: the event will be held at Symphony Space (95th and Broadway). We are thrilled that students will travel as a mini field trip to watch and present.  Grades 4-8 students and staff will be in the audience to watch the presentations from 10:00-12:45. Parents are welcomed to attend.  The conference will also be streamed online from 9:30-12:30. On Thursday, June 2th every classroom K-8 will host a viewing party. The link will be shared soon.