PARENT COORDINATOR UPDATES
Hello PS 107 Families!
Thank you families! What a show of appreciation for the wonderful teachers who are the heart of PS 107. The love was felt!
Please see below for Ms. Joanna’s weekly message and updates from myself and the PTA.
MESSAGE FROM MS JOANNA
Dear PS 107 Families,
Happy Mother’s Day to those of you who are mothers or who are in a mothering role — and my thoughts are with all of you whose mothers may no longer be with you, or who have complicated relationships with the mothers in your lives. My own mother, Beverly Cohen, celebrated her 77th birthday yesterday, May 13th, and today, on Mother’s Day, I honor the impact she has had on me, personally and professionally.
My mother is a retired teacher who dedicated her career to those students most in need of high-quality teachers. In retirement, she volunteers with the Prison Literacy Project, tutoring inmates in preparation for the GED, and as a result of the relationships she developed over 20 years of doing so, she has become a fierce advocate for criminal justice reform. The vast majority of inmates that she worked with over the years struggled to learn to read, either because of undiagnosed dyslexia, poor reading instruction, or another language-based learning disability.
My mother’s experience deeply influenced my desire to ensure that all of New York City’s students receive high-quality, evidence-based literacy instruction, which is what led me to agree to become one of the NYC Public Schools structured literacy pilot schools this past winter. As you may have heard, at a press conference last Tuesday, Mayor Adams and NYC Schools Chancellor David Banks announced major changes to the way that all NYC schools will teach reading and writing over the next two years. I was honored to stand on stage with them, representing not only PS 107, but the thousands of NYC children with whom I’ve worked over my nearly two decades in the public schools.
PS 107’s district, District 15, is a “Phase Two” district, meaning that our entire district is required to select and implement a new curriculum for the 2024-25 school year. (Phase One districts will be implementing new literacy curriculum in the 2023-24 school year.) However, because our teachers are already engaged in professional learning about structured literacy, we expect to implement the shifts that we are able to in the 2023-24 school year. We will maintain our strong phonics program, Recipe for Reading, which has already made a significant impact on our students’ reading skills, and will add more components of structured literacy in the new school year. I will share further details about this as we make decisions as a staff based on what we are learning.
In other news, we are in the final stretch of the 2022-23 school year, and we are in the thick of planning for next year. One of the major things that we do as the year wraps up is make up new classes for the next school year. This is something into which we put a great deal of time and thought. In general, we aim to have our classes for the new school year set by the end of June, though we do not share class placements with families until August as we are enrolling and discharging students throughout the summer.
Classroom teachers take into consideration many factors when placing students in new classes, including social-emotional needs; academic skills; friendships (and social challenges); teacher-student match; and more. We aim to build classes that are truly diverse in every way, classes that reflect our greater society so that students learn how to be part of that society. Specialty teachers, who have a birds’ eye view of entire grades, review new classes to ensure that they are balanced and that children who should not be placed together, are not. Ms. Rinah and I take a final look at new classes before they are shared with families in August. We use our professional judgment to ensure these classes are the best possible fit for all of our students.
Because of this, please be aware that we do not:
- take requests for specific teachers;
- make changes once class assignments have been sent out in August (this has a domino effect); or
- meet with parents specifically to discuss individual class placements.
We make every effort to ensure that children are with at least one friend in their new classes (note that it may not be their best friend — and this is ok!). In our vast experience with young children, we know that they settle into new environments and make friendships very quickly, and that this is an invaluable skill for them to have as they grow. We assure you that our teachers, who are deeply aware of how your children interact in the classroom, are committed to making certain that all of our students are in an environment in which they will thrive. Our incredible guidance counselor Sarah Green and social worker Colleen Dondero are always available to support children who may be having a harder time with the transition to a new grade and new class.
As we make up new classes, it is also important for us to know whether you are planning to return to PS 107 next year. We would appreciate it if all families could fill out this brief survey, indicating your plans for next school year. Even if you aren’t sure yet, you can indicate that on the survey. Please note that this is an informal survey, and you are not bound in any way to what you write on this survey. It is simply for internal planning purposes.
Last, but absolutely not least, thank you to parent Laurie Tamis for spearheading last week’s Teacher Appreciation festivities. Our staff felt so appreciated, thanks to Laurie, her team of parent volunteers, and every family who contributed in some way. Our staff is so grateful for this amazing community!
Thank you to parent Biba Milioto for organizing spring Movie Night on Friday! Movie Night is such a blast — everyone had a fabulous time watching Lyle, Lyle Crocodile under the stars in the Big Yard.
As well, enormous thanks to parents Spring Hofeldt and Sarah Harlow, along with our wonderful art teacher Julie Brunner Cross, for organizing a fantastic Art Day on Saturday. The arts are so important to PS 107, and it was great to see that on full display this weekend.
Have a terrific week!
PARENT WORKSHOPS/FAMILY EVENTS
- The D15 Townhall for May is cancelled. The June D15 Townhall will be a State of the District and Celebration of Schools presentation. More information to follow.
- Tuesday May 23rd - 6:30 to 7:30 pm - Parent workshop The Talk by Rachel Lotus, details to follow
- Saturday, June 3-9am to 3pm : District 15 Family Event – Learning Together
- Please see attached flyer (click International balloon for translation)
- Saturday, June 3-9am to 1pm : FACE will host a citywide family and community resource fair at Murry Bergtraum High School
- Please see the attached flyer
There will be a new distribution of P-EBT benefits distributed to all DOE students. Some of you may have already received these benefits. Please click the link below for more information.
Important Update: P-EBT BENEFITS
if you PEBT hotline 1-833-452-0056 at or fill out the online form: https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=6rhs9AB5EE2M64Dowcge5xOHCi6o8CpIhK5UlB98liVUQlNLVkpSRFJQUlkwR1lCT1E4T09SVzc3Ry4u
SPRING PICTURE DAY
We will have our spring picture day tomorrow, May 15th. Please see the PTA updates for additional information.
*Please note one change to Spring Picture Day: siblings will be able to have their pictures taken together from 7:45 to 8:15 am on Monday 5/15 on the 4th floor. No need to email teachers, you can just show up!
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 . We are still notifying classrooms and staff.
COVID-19 TEST KITS UPDATE
As recommended by the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) in alignment with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), COVID-19 test kits should now be distributed upon request for students and staff who are experiencing symptoms and/or have a known exposure to someone with COVID-19. This practice, beginning May 1, replaces the previous guidance of automatic distribution of four tests per month to each student and staff. Please see the attached letter for more information.
LOST AND FOUND
The Lost & Found has grown exponentially! Please click here to view the virtual lost and found.
Please label your child's items with FIRST and LAST NAME :)
CHiPS Food Drive - May 17th (and every Wednesday)
AAPI Month Snack Sale Fundraiser- May 19th, After School
Recycling for $$$ Collection - May 24-25
MS Application Panel w/ Special Ed. Focus - May 24th
Spring Fling - June 7th
Big Yard Games - June 12th
THANK YOU FOR ALL YOUR HELP!
We had so many great events last week, which would not have been possible without our unbelievable parent volunteers. Our class parents did an amazing job coordinating thoughtful messages to teachers. Then, on Friday, so many other volunteers showered our PS107 staff with incredibly generous potluck contributions! Right after the school day was over we rolled into 2 amazing events: Movie Night on Friday and Art Day on Saturday. Both were incredible events that required active volunteers to manage selling food, manage creating crafts, taking tickets, and help with early set-up and late clean-up. All of these events were able to happen because of the dedication from all of YOU!...so, THANK YOU to everyone who volunteered last week! We are so appreciative of your commitment and reliability!
VOLUNTEER FOR PICTURE DAY ON MONDAY
Picture day is tomorrow and there are still some open spots for parent volunteers in 3rd and 4th grade time slots. Check out the sign up sheet here.
COMMUNITY OUTREACH CO-CHAIR ROLE
We are still looking for a Co-Community Outreach Chair! This is a great opportunity to advocate for global and community-wide efforts and provide real-time support through school fundraising, activities, and volunteer events. Along with a co-chair, you can lead the PS 107 support for our Brooklyn and school communities in their times of need; this role is deeply tied to our school's values and an extremely rewarding position to fill! If you are interested or simply have further questions about the role and/or commitment, please email Davina email@example.com or Cynthia firstname.lastname@example.org
AAPI MONTH SNACK SALE FUNDRAISER
In celebration of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, the AAPI Committee will be hosting a snack sale after school this Friday. Get excited for a variety of fun and delicious Asian sweets and snacks while also helping to support our PTA! More details to come later this week.
RECYCLING FOR $$$ COLLECTION
Remember to collect squeeze pouches, toothpaste tubes, hairdryers, and more to bring to school next week, May 24-25! A big money-making, earth-loving Green Committee initiative this month is collecting select items to be sent to TerraCycle, a program that recycles hard-to-recycle packaging and other items. Schools can earn $50 for every 5 packages received, plus roughly $1 for every pound. We urge families to gather the items (listed in the Konstella announcement here) at home this month, empty/rinse (NOTHING DRIPPING), and then have the students bring them to school on Wednesday, May 24, and Thursday, May 25. The student Green Team will then assist with sorting & packaging. Let's see how much we can keep out of the garbage / wish-cycling... Get your extended family & neighbors in on the collection too!
MIDDLE SCHOOL APPLICATION PANEL WITH SPECIAL EDUCATION FOCUS
Parents interested in selecting a middle school for their child with special needs are welcome to join the Parent's Committee for Special Education Support on Wed., May 24th (7-8:30) on Zoom. A panel of parents who have been through this process will share their experiences and answer questions. Parents outside of 107 are welcome to attend. Please register here.
WEEKLY GREEN TIP FROM PS107 GREEN COMMITTEE
Who loves water? We do, we do! Who loves sleuthing and resourcefulness? Invite your kids to think about “sneaky” ways to save water. For example - if you hard boil eggs, could you take the water and use it for plants? Or reuse your humidifier water? And I bet your kids will have a thousand more ideas!
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)
- Order a batch of cookies from Lucky Batch using this link. Lucky Batch is a Brooklyn-based cookie company and with our “always on” bake sale they donate $5 to PS107 for every batch ordered by our family and friends.
- 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!
- May 15 - Spring Picture Day
- May 23 - The Talk parent workshop by Rachel Lotus 6:30 pm
- June 2 - Peace Walk 2023 7:45 am
- June 3 - District 15 Family Event – Learning Together 9am-3pm(see attached flyer)
- June 3 - Citywide Family and Community Resource Fair 9am-1pm 9 (see attached flyer)
- May 29 - Memorial Day - school closed
- June 8 - Clerical Day - no school for students
- June 9 - Chancellor's Day - no school for students