Letter from Claire - March 20

March 20, 2017
Dear Families,
Thank you to all who attended Celebrate MSC. We had a wonderful time and it was a great opportunity to come together and have some fun. Thank you to our auction committee for planning and organizing such a successful event. I enjoyed mingling with families and having the chance to speak to more families about their positive experiences at our extraordinary school.
At our special Chat with Claire on testing we discussed the reading, writing skills and problem solving and mathematical thinking. Attached are two documents you might be interested in:

  • 2017 Grades 3-8 New York State Assessments and What Parents Need to Know handout
  • Parent’s frequently asked questions about New York States Annual grades 3-8 English Language Arts and Mathematics tests.

One of the questions at the chat was, “What is the purpose of the 3rd-8th grade testing?” Testing is a New York State Mandate for 3rd- 8th grade.  It’s not a timed test as of last year, which has cut down on student and parent anxiety.  It’s a baseline test, mostly reading comprehension, with multiple-choice questions to answer, short answer and essay writing pieces and mathematical problems to see thinking and understanding of mathematical strands. Test taking is a skill.  The school sees testing as a data point, part of the picture but not the entire picture. 
From the Classroom
Valery, our staff developer from TC, was on site for our K-2 classes. In kindergarten, we discussed the two types of shared reading small groups. In first grade, we planned Poetry small groups. In 2nd grade, we planned the mini lessons of the character if... then unit. Valery co-taught the lesson.

We are happy to welcome our new Parent Coordinator!  We are pleased to introduce you to Caren Austen a former parent to our MSC community.   For the past 8 years Caren has been the Parent Coordinator at East Side Middle School, where she wore many hats: event planner, camp mom, admissions director, and much more.  Caren’s daughters, Sabrina (now 25) and Stella (19), both graduated from MSC and she remembers when MSC was a very small school on 109th street!  She believes that the supportive and nurturing environment, alongside the creative, progressive approach to learning has helped to shape her daughters as admirable citizens of the world. Caren is starting in April. We will share more details soon.
When you are waiting to enter the building in the morning, please stand below the steps and do not block the entrance. Staff must be able to enter the building before families and students. Entering the building begins at 8:20 am.
Please come to the Inclusion and Diversity event: Everybody has a Story on Thursday March 23rd from 5:30-7:30.  
It is 2017 NYC school survey time. We really need all of you to take the survey. Our school, our voice!  Surveys have been distributed. Your participation is important as the feedback provided is used to improve our school. Time commitment: 5 minutes, tops!
This year we have recruited 6th grade student volunteers to encourage and assist families to fill out the School Surveys, what a great addition. A big thank you to our Survey Committee of parent volunteers!!