For the second year in a row, over 300 guests at 217’s International Dinner enjoyed an amazing feast from around the world!
Thank you to all of the amazing cooks who shared their culinary mastery & decorations, our entertainers, and Adam Burrows & Desiree Charles from Oxygen Eventworks for providing the stage and sound.
Thank you also to the many volunteers who staffed the event, provided henna tattoos (fun!), tended bar, and worked hard at event set-up and clean-up.
Special thanks also to the PTA’s International Dinner chair, Dawn Falcone, who truly made this event possible; and to Kim Brown, our MC for the evening - who organized the entertainment provided by our 217 students and families.
Book of the Month Club continues at 217, with this month’s PBIS theme of Integrity.
This month’s book is entitled Edwurd Fubwupper Fibbed Big, by Berkley Breathed. The book is about a boy named Edwurd who often lies and he lies BIG! The story is told by his sister Frannie. She explains how Edwurd's lies can get out of hand and often lead to big, big messes later on!
To discuss what integrity is, this book helps kids understand trust and honesty - important elements of the more complex concept of integrity. Please continue the conversation at home - and discuss honesty, trust and integrity with your children!
Thank you to so many members of the 217 community who came out to cheer for the Mets at our first PS/IS 217 Day Citi Field! We had nearly three hundred 217 Hawks in attendance.
And a HUGE thank you to Ms. Warren, who headed up this event!
We had a terrific turnout, even though it was a cold day (and a disastrous game for the Mets) - it was great to see so many of you at the game!
PTA ELECTION REMINDER
Date: Wednesday, May 17th 8:40am
Location: PS/IS 217 Cafeteria
Introducing the nominees for the 2017-18 PS/IS PTA Executive Board:
Nominee for President: Erin Olavesen
This year I have two children enrolled at PS/IS 217, Freddie in 2nd grade and Hans in Kindergarten. I served as PTA president this year, 2016-17. I have enjoyed working with our 217 community and representing our school. In my time at 217 I have seen tremendous growth and I look forward to being part of this continued journey.
Joint Nominees for Secretary: Taryn Merkl & Kelly Turner
My name is Taryn Merkl and I am running for Co-Secretary. I have two children at 217 - a rising 1st grader (Xia Torrance) and a rising 4th grader (Zev Torrance). I have been involved in the PTA since Zev's K year, when I served as the Class Parent Liaison and as a class parent. After that, I served as PTA Treasurer from 2014-2016 and Vice-President from 2016-2017. As VP this past year, I have been the primary individual responsible for the PTA's email communications - including the weekly e-newsletter Hawks' Happenings, emails from the PTA, email blasts, and various other written correspondence. In addition, I have worked daily to assist the President, Treasurer & Newsletter Officer in the day-to-day operations of the PTA, as well as helping many of our event chairs in the promotion, planning and management of PTA events. I have also served as the PTA's Silent Auction Chairperson since the 2014 Silent Auction; the Auction has consistently raised substantial funds for our school's enrichment programs. It has been an honor to serve on the PTA Executive Board for the last 4 years. During my time on the board, I pushed hard to reopen the school library, while also building strong relationships of trust with the administration, teachers and staff. We have also worked to increase family engagement opportunities at 217, and to improve communications between families and the school. I would like to continue the progress we have made, while also hosting fun events and working to ensure that we are able to raise sufficient funds to support 217's rich and diverse enrichment programs. Thank you in advance for your vote!
Kelly Turner is the mother of three PS/IS 217 students spanning pre-K to 2nd grades. She is also a freelance editor, as well as Managing Editor of the Main Street WIRE, Roosevelt Island’s community newspaper.
Joint Nominees for Treasurer: Jenny Bartlett & Ben Torrance
My name is Jenny Bartlett, and my son Alex Jena is currently in 1st Grade. This is our third year at the school, my third year as a class parent, and my first year as a Learning Leader assisting in a fifth grade math class. I look forward to continuing my service to the school as PTA Treasurer. I anticipate the PTA will continue to improve its fundraising capacity as it has done over the past several years, thus continuing its excellence in providing 217 with crucial additions to its curriculum. These PTA additions are a large part of what make 217 uniquely valuable, and I am excited to join the PTA leadership to help provide these opportunities for our children.
My name is Ben Torrance. I am currently PTA Treasurer and on the School Leadership Team, and am running for reelection to both positions. My two children will be in 1st grade and 4th grade next year. It's been an honor to serve the parents and teachers of our school community. Over the four years I've been involved in the school, the PTA has made huge progress. We contribute more to the school than ever before ---more enrichments, more programs, more events, more involvement. The officers of the recent PTA boards have put in an enormous amount of work and built a strong relationship with the school's administration to achieve all this. I hope to serve another term on the board to help the PTA continue to build on that progress. As Treasurer, it's been my responsibility to keep income and expenses regular and transparent, and to complete the organization's reporting and tax returns; I also have begun to modernize our financial systems, a project I hope to continue and complete in the coming year. As an SLT parent representative, I have worked to build bridges between the administration and the PTA, in particular to help clarify school policies, reform SLT procedures, and improve parent-school communication. For both positions, I hope to have your support for a new term. Thanks very much.
Joint Nominees for Vice President: Dimaura Cole & Will Sweeney
Dimaura Cole was born in Costa Rica and grew up on Roosevelt Island. She is the proud mother of Dakota H. 2nd grader and Dleanna H. 3rd grader. She is currently the PTA Co- Vice President. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and Philosophy from New York University. Dimaura has been a Flight Attendant for 17 years. In this role, she has traveled the world and been introduced to its different cultures. As an Airline Ambassador Dimaura had the opportunity to participate in the Medical Escort Program, escorting children for medical procedures and treatments. Dimaura is an active member of the Roosevelt Island community, where she is a soccer and basketball coach. She currently serves as Common Council Member and Housing Chair for the Roosevelt Island Residents Association. She is also the Troop Leader for the Brownie Girl Scouts, which has 23 members. The girls in this program made Valentines Day cards for patients at Coler Memorial Hospital. For Black History Month, the girls performed the Funga Alafia song and dance for the Roosevelt Island Seniors and Disabled Association. They also planted three Cherry Trees at the Lighthouse. Dimaura is a team player and has excellent interpersonal skills which helps parents feel welcome and included. Dimaura believes PS/IS 217 is a unique gem to our diverse community and its success depends on listening and acknowledging the concerns of parents and students alike. Dimaura believes that it’s critical to empower, encourage and engage parents in the school’s activities by creating opportunities for parents to support the school through volunteerism. She believes in respecting views and voicing the concerns of parents honestly regardless of how unpopular the issue may be. Last fall she introduced the First Talent Showcase which was a success. It was well received by parents and students. She organized the FREE movie nights. Her events don’t raise thousands of dollars but they are fun and create community building and inclusiveness. As a member of the School Leadership Team, Dimaura wants to continue to work proactively and collaboratively with the leadership and parents to elevate the experience at PS/IS 217. She is looking forward to another year of learning and growing.
Will Sweeney has two sons at 217. He is an active member of the PTA and helped oversee improving communications with families including redesigning the website and social media, establishing online calendars for parents, and rebranding school presentations. Will is deeply engaged with developing 217's relationship with Cornell Tech as the PTA liaison.
Nominee for Vice President of Membership: Josie Chamla
I am a new parent at PS IS 217 this year and have two children at our school. My family is multicultural, multiracial, and we’ve lived in several different countries including China, Uganda, New Zealand, and my home, Australia. With a background in community psychology and sponsorship recruitment, the position of Vice-President of Membership, with its focus on parent outreach and participation, feels like a great fit for me. There are so many ways for parents to get involved at 217 - whether it be baking cupcakes for a bake sale, assisting a teacher for an hour each week, finding a donation for auction, overseeing a game at the Fall Festival, attending a PTA meeting, selling pizza at a movie night, designing a flyer, or popping popcorn. I’d love the opportunity to assist and support more parents to be engaged and involved in any way that they're able. The more parents who join in, the stronger our school community becomes – and ALL our children benefit from that!
Nominee for Vice President of Public Relations and Events: Tracey de Benedictis
I was a member at large on the PTA Executive Board last year and chaired the Fall Festival event. For the past 12 years I have served on the Advisory Board of the non-profit Gotham Girls Roller Derby and I bring that experience to the PTA board. The PTA's work building community and funding enrichment programs for all of our students has been a big part of our family's positive experience at 217. I look forward to contributing to that work next year.
Nominees for Student Leadership Team (SLT):
All parents are eligible to hold office, unless they are an employee of this school. All parents and teachers are eligible to vote in the election unless they are supervisory staff (principals, assistant principals, and supervisors at this school).
All parents are eligible to become nominees. All parents are eligible to vote in the SLT election. For more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ms. Murphy welcomes all K & 1 parents to a workshop on May 9 at 7:45 a.m.
The theme will be “Thinking Like A Scientist” - Ms. Murphy will be going over expectations she has for our youngest students in science class as they continue their growth in science.
Parents will also have an opportunity to see science through the eyes of their children by doing some mock investigations/observations modeled after what might be covered in class.
Ms. Murphy is also looking forward to meeting any parents that she has not met yet and will answer any questions that you have.
Please join her on May 9, K-1 parents!
Second Grade gets into the garden with iDig2Learn. The residency reinforces in school science & math by allowing 2nd graders to experience nature outdoors, learn the origin of food and understand how plants aid our daily lives.
217 continues Book of the Month Club with "Can I Play Too?" by Mo Willems. In this book, a snake wants to play catch, but can't because it has no arms. To include the snake, the characters engage in creative problem-solving. Students expanded on their discussion about perseverance, and also addressed the concepts of inclusion and kindness. Middle school students and Ms. Murphy read to grades K-2.
Buy your tickets now: LINK
Island Kids is currently enrolling Prek and Kindergarten for the 2017-18 school year. Spots in PreK and Kindergarten are limited and filling fast!
Find more information HERE.
Registration for grades 1 and up will open in the coming weeks. Stay tuned for more details.
We're excited to welcome our newest Hawks, the 2017-18 prekindergarten class!
If your child has received placement at 217 for prek, please stop by the office beginning Tuesday, April 25th to pick up a registration packet and make an appointment to complete registration with our parent coordinator, Ms. Lauraine.
And save the date for prekindergarten orientation!
From Cornell Tech K-12 Education Director Diane Levitt:
On Monday, 4th graders took the subway to Cornell Tech's campus inside the Google building. After an introduction to the concept of a 10X Moonshot Sprint from Katy Kasmai (Sr. Engineering Project Manager at Google) and a short lesson on climate change, students got to work brainstorming solutions. First, they worked alone, writing ideas and, using a strategy Katy taught them, applying the phrase “Yes, and!” to extend their ideas (“People should ride bicycles. Yes, and we should create more bike paths. Yes, and bicycles should create energy to power phones and laptops while you ride. Yes, and bicycles should be able to make short flights, like drones, using wind power.”)
Students then graphed their ideas on the 10X moonshot sprint continuum, which measures increasing value and increasing complexity. The ideas that fall in the upper right hand quadrant—highly complex and of high value—are the 10X moonshot ideas. Once the students charted their ideas, each group chose an idea to develop further. They did research on climate change using NY Public Library online resources. Then, they sketched their solutions. Finally, they used Scratch to code their presentations. Every group shared their ideas at the end of the day.
All students also took a quick tour of Google during their day on the campus. Kids were highly engaged, active, curious, and super creative. I heard one student tell another, “This is the best workshop ever!” Of course they loved the visit to Google. We had 6 grad students working as mentors, along with Meg and myself. I was amazed by what capable coders the students are. We were super proud of the great work the students did.
The PTA is excited to announce 217’s first ever “Once Upon A Time Read-a-thon” - to reinforce good reading habits! Our goal is to make our students stronger, more enthusiastic readers! So we encourage students to get pledges from family, relatives, and neighbors to sponsor their reading over the Read-a-thon period.
There will be a detailed flyer coming home tomorrow, including a reading log for students - so keep an eye out! Read-a-thon participants will be asked to:
Log reading minutes into their calendar (for a number of days)
Collect pledges from sponsors & return their pledge forms and any earnings
ALL participants will win a Certificate of Completion and chances to win other great prizes!
Please note that participation is optional. But even if you plan to opt out of fundraising, we encourage your child to participate by reading daily!!
If you have any questions or comments, please contact our
Read-a-thon coordinator, Serife Gokdemir at email@example.com.
LET’S HAVE FUN AND READ!
Salt In His Shoes is the book of the month. It begins discussions in PBIS around perseverance. The author, Deloris Jordan, tells the story of her son, basketball player Michael Jordan. In Jordan's book a young Michael Jordan is shown as smaller than the other players and learns determination and hard work are more important than size when playing the game of basketball.
Salt in His Shoes illustrates that practice, determination, and giving are the keys to being a real winner!
Ms. Beckman read with classes 301 and 302, while 7th and 8th grade readers visited classes in grades 2nd through 5th.