PARENT COORDINATOR UPDATES
Dear PS 107 Families.
It was exciting to see families coming into the school on Friday for my first Family Morning with the school, but also the first since 2020!
I look forward to seeing this practice continue and to increase our ability to have in-person family engagement in the year ahead.
Please see below for Ms. Joanna’s weekly message and updates from myself and the PTA.
MESSAGE FROM MS JOANNA
Dear PS 107 Families,
What a joy to see many of you at school on Friday morning for our first Family Morning since 2020! I visited multiple classrooms and saw children and adults engaged in cooking, art, math games, singing, and other learning activities. I can’t wait to see even more of you at our next Family Morning on Friday, February 3rd.
As we embark on a new year, I’d like to take a moment to remind you of the importance of your children attending school regularly, as well as arriving on time. During the height of the pandemic, the NYC Department of Education relaxed some of its in-person attendance guidelines. For instance, last winter, during the height of the Omicron outbreak, students could receive remote instruction if their families had concerns about them attending school during a time when Covid was rapidly spreading.
Attendance policies have since returned to normal, and at PS 107, we strongly believe in the importance of students being present, in-person, daily. Students feel more connected to the classroom community, and, over the course of the pandemic, we have learned that there is no substitute for in-person learning, particularly for elementary school students. Plainly stated, in-person learning is clearly associated with better academic and social emotional outcomes for students.
Over the past few years, student attendance across the Department of Education has declined, and this is also the case at PS 107. Of course, much of this is related to the pandemic and to students being ill and needing to stay home. (To be clear, we are not advocating for sending children to school sick!) Some of these absences are also related to travel, and we saw a significant dip in attendance at PS 107 before and after the recent Thanksgiving and winter holiday breaks. These absences are also often unavoidable, and we believe in the importance of connecting with family members, which for some 107 families means traveling overseas (also an extremely valuable experience).
Sometimes, though, children resist going to school, and it feels easier to let them stay home, rather than pushing them to come to school. In these cases, we strongly encourage you to help your child attend school. If there are underlying causes to their desire to stay home (separation anxiety; feeling like the work is difficult in school; friendship conflicts; etc), our mental health team — School Counselor Sarah Green and School Social Worker Colleen Dondero — is here to help. Please don’t hesitate to reach out!
In the case of unavoidable absences, like illnesses and family-related travel, please be sure to inform your child’s teacher via email about the reason why they won’t be in attendance. We are required to maintain records about children’s absences, and we keep these messages on file. Note that students who miss an average of 2-3 days of school per month (overall attendance of 80-89%) are considered “chronically absent,” and students who miss more than an average of 3 days of school per month (overall attendance of 79% or less) are considered “severely chronically absent” by the NYC Department of Education. You can check your child’s attendance percentage by going to your NYC Schools Account and clicking on the Attendance tile.
Our school’s Attendance Team meets weekly to review student absences and gather information about students who are either chronically absent or severely chronically absent. If your child falls into one of these categories and we don’t have back-up documentation to explain their absences, we will reach out to your family to see what kind of support we can provide to you and your child.
Finally, a note about lateness: as the mom of a child who is extremely slow in getting herself together and out the door, I truly empathize with how difficult it can be to get your child to school on time. However, this is also extremely important. Every class at PS 107 has morning routines that help children transition to the school day. If your child is consistently arriving late to school, they will miss these routines and will likely feel less connected to their classroom communities. Note that our school day begins at 8:20 am, and children are marked late if they arrive after 8:30 am.
As always, the staff at PS 107 are here to support your child if you need assistance with getting them to school — or getting them to school on time. Please feel free to reach out to our team at any time.
PS A PS 107 family needs some support with clothing for their children. Can you assist by ordering items from this wishlist? Many thanks
If you have a kindergarten age child, this is a reminder to please submit your application by Friday, January 20, 2023. This includes children currently attending pre-k here at PS 107.
Please complete your child's application in MySchools.nyc . If you have any questions, please let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org
* The pre-k enrollment process will begin toward the end of the month for those families with rising Pre-K age children.
Please use the take home test provided prior to the break as a precaution before your student returns to the school building.
If your child tests positive, please alert our Parent Coordinator, Nadia Benlarbi, at email@example.com and copy Principal Joanna Cohen on your email at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Report cards will come out toward the end of this month via your child's NYCSA account. With this in mind, I recently emailed or sent home account creation letters for all families who do not have at least one NYCSA account created for their child.
This is a NYC DOE parent account from PreK - 12th grade where parents/guardians can view all of their children’s records - grades, attendance, your child’s DOE email, etc.
At least one parent/guardian will need to have access to this account. We strongly encourage all parents/guardians to have their own account.
If your family does not have at least one account created at this time, please contact me at email@example.com for instructions and your unique account creation code.
The 2023 Election cycle is beginning – You can learn more about Community and Citywide Education Councils and elections at information sessions that start on Monday, January 9.
Please reference the attached letter from the CEC for session dates and zoom links.
Next PTA Meeting - 6:30pm Jan 19th Zoom Link Here
Lunar New Year - Jan 22nd
AAPI- LUNAR NEW YEAR
This is a great time for AAPI families to join the Asian American and Pacific Islander Affinity Group at 107! The committee is currently working on a Lunar New Year activity for the school, happening around 1/22. Please reach out to Sowoon (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you are interested in being a part of the team.
AUCTION/GALA - TIME WITH TEACHER LEAD
The Spring Auction is coming April 28th and as the committee plans for the great event we are looking for your support. We are specifically looking for someone to lead the "Time with Teacher" part of the auction. "Time with Teacher" is when a teacher donates something for a student or student(s) to do with them, such as "pizza party in the park" or "seeing a movie together." Leading this would involve reaching out to and coordinating with teachers who would like to donate their time, and working with Alyse and Christine to integrate this into the event. This role is easy to do on your own time, and is a great opportunity to get to know some of the teachers at PS107! Reach out to Alyse (email@example.com) and Christine (firstname.lastname@example.org) with any interest in taking on this role.
We also would love anyone who is still interested in making an auction donation. Read more about what makes a great donation from our earlier Konstella post here and email Alyse or Christine with any questions.
HERITAGE DAY SUPPORT
We'd love to bring Heritage Day back this year in full swing and we need volunteers to help plan this event. Heritage Day is a special opportunity for families to share their backgrounds with the whole school community. It is our annual celebration of culture and diversity, where families will present more than 20 different countries, states, and cities through food, crafts, dance, and other demonstrations. We are currently looking for folks that have experienced Heritage Day in the past and want to support the committee in restoring it to its former glory. Please email Davina (email@example.com) and Cynthia (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you are interested.
SUPPORT THE PS 107 PTA
- donate to our Annual Fund by clicking here or share this link with friends and family (a special link for non-Konstella users)
- go to Smile.Amazon.com and select PS 107 Parent Teacher Association before you shop. 5% of your purchase will be donated to the PTA!
- scan your groceries receipt with the Box Tops for Education app on your phone. It only takes a minute and any purchases with the Box Tops label on them will automatically make money for our school!
- January 10 - CEC 15 Business meeting 6:30 -8:30 pm (see attached flyer)
- January 18 - D15 Monthly Town Hall with Superintendent Alvarez 6:30 - 8pm (see attached flyer)
- January 19 - PTA Meeting - 6:30 pm
- January 16 - Martin Luther King Day - Schools closed
- January 22 - Lunar New Year