Thanks, Roosevelt Island, for supporting 217. It takes all of us to create this wonderful place for our kids. Even the doormen at 40 River Road contribute by collecting newspapers for the art room.
Here are some fun pictures of our Kindergarteners who are 100 days smarter!!! We had a great time celebrating the 100th day of school. The students got to visit each kindergarten teacher to do a fun activity. The activity in Ms. Shuster's classroom was to make a pizza with 100 toppings. Here are our delicious creations!
Book of the Month continues at 217. This month the Book Fairy delivered each classroom a copy of We Live Here Too by Nancy Loewen. Students read the book as the beginning of many discussions about Citizenship.
Our family art day canvas is now on display on the second floor between the library & auditorium. We began the project back in September. You can view the step by step process it took us to get this project to completion.
Thank you to our Studio in a School artist Ebenezer Singh for his guidance and expertise. Thank you also to Ms. Folkine, our parent volunteers and our incredible 217 student artists.
We're honored to add this piece to our permanent collection.
Thank you to everyone who came out on Saturday night and made our second Winter Wonderland family dance a great success! It was wonderful to see everyone on the dance floor having fun, dancing as a group, and showing off their fancy footwork. We’re already looking forward to doing it again next year!
We couldn’t have pulled off such a fun evening without lots of support and hard work from the 217 and Roosevelt Island communities. In particular, we want to thank Oxygen Eventworks for donating the amazing lighting and sound setup. Also a big thank you to Gina Leung, Roosevelt Island mom and owner of Fantastic Faces by Gina (Fantasticfacesbygina@gmail.com), for donating her time and talent to give our dancers crowns, snowflakes, stars and more!
And finally, a huge thank you to all the volunteers who helped set up, baked delicious treats, sold food and drinks, and truly made the whole event possible, as well as to our the team who put the whole event together: Erin Olavesen, Kelly Turner, Josie Chamla and Desiree Charles. What a wonderful community event!
Order one for your teacher or your BFF! Order a couple for your soccer team or enough for your entire class!
Place completed Valentine Grams along with payment of $1 per gram in an envelope for the PTA and backpack to school. Orders can be sent in starting February 6th for delivery during the week of Valentine's Day.
Valentine Grams can also be ordered with the PTA each morning before school, February 13-17.
Deputy Chancellor, NYC Department of Education;
Acting Commissioner, NYC Department of Environmental Protection;
Dr. Oxiris Barbot,
First Deputy Commissioner, NYC Department of Health
NYC water is of the highest quality in the world, with City agencies conducting over 500,000 water tests annually.
Water in NYC schools is safe for students and staff to drink – there has never been a case of lead poisoning attributed to drinking water in NYC schools.
The New York City Departments of Education, Health and Mental Hygiene, and Environmental Protection, in coordination with state agencies, work in close partnership on a rigorous testing and remediation protocol. Citywide testing is ongoing and we are sharing detailed information with families.
In any building where lead test results show even one water outlet above the action level of 15 parts per billion, the DOE implements its standard response protocol, including:
· Removing any drinking or cooking water fixture outlets with elevated levels from service.
· Flushing all or part of the system to eliminate water sitting in pipes overnight.
· Replacing equipment and re-testing after the equipment is replaced.
Comparisons of New York City’s water supply to that of Flint, Michigan could not be further from the truth. Flint had, and continues to struggle with, a systemic issue with its water source, and as they ran the water through pipes, it continued to get worse. In New York City, in most cases, flushing the water through the pipes for just 30 seconds dramatically reduces the likelihood of lead from pipe leaching into the water. For that reason, the samples taken during testing are not representative of the water students have access to throughout the day.
Communities can be rest assured that New York City’s water supply is safe to drink and the City’s testing and remediation protocol in schools is comprehensive and strong.
Please be assured that our school's water fountains are safe for drinking and the sinks used to prepare foods are safe. In addition, we will continue to monitor the water situation closely as the health and safety of your children and our staff are our paramount concerns.
As detailed in the DOE letter sent home last week, there were 8 water fixtures in 217 that indicated elevated lead levels during recent testing. Here is a breakdown of the 8 affected fixtures: 6 sinks are not used by students or staff, 1 sink is in a classroom and 1 handwashing sink is in the kitchen. All of these fixtures have been shut off.
In the classroom that had an affected fixture, we decided to proactively shut off the water fountain as well. All of our other water fountains have signs indicating that they are safe to drink from.
The DOE is addressing the plumbing fixtures and will follow up with testing. Both Jeff Atkinson, Custodian Engineer, and I are monitoring this and working with the DOE. The DOE’s testing protocol was created in partnership with City and State agencies. In any building where lead test results show even one water outlet above the action level of 15 parts per billion, the DOE implements its standard response protocol, which includes removing any drinking or cooking water fixture outlets with elevated levels from service, flushing all or part of the system to eliminate water sitting in pipes overnight, replacing equipment and re-testing after the equipment is replaced. The custodial staff will also continue to flush the P.S. 217 water systems on Monday mornings before school starts in order to eliminate water that has been stagnant in pipes over the weekend and to ensure safe drinking water is available for students and staff.
If you have additional questions I will be available at arrival.
-Mandana Beckman, Principal
The Community Service Team taught a lesson around "compassion" as well as provided students with information about the Senior Center on Roosevelt Island. Students made Valentine's Cards for the elderly at the RI Senior Center. Students will deliver cards to the Senior Center.
Below please find the letter that was sent home this week to all students, informing families of the results of the NYC DOE’s review of the water at 217. For more information please visit http://schools.nyc.gov/AboutUs/schools/watersafety.htm
Continuing our educational residencies series from last week, we are excited to announce that a brand new residency is starting at 217 for our Second Graders!
Starting on Friday, 217 is starting a new hip-hop dance residency for Second Grade students with Dancewave! LaToya Brooks is Dancewave's teaching artist for this residency. In addition to being one of the captains for the Knicks City Dancers, she also coaches the Knicks City Kids dancers. She is a fun and experienced teacher and she looks forward to working with our students!
The dates will be Fridays: Jan 27; Feb 3, 10, 17; March 3, 10, 17, 24
Please have your student wear comfortable clothes and sneakers on Fridays so they are ready to fully participate in this fun addition to our rich curriculum.
As you may know, all of these enrichments are fully funded by the PTA, so thank you for your generosity.
For more information about some of 217’s residencies,
please visit the PTA’s web site - http://www.217pta.com/enrichments.html.
Thank you to the 25 parents and family members who participated in the Learning Leader Training last week week! We were very excited to have so many people interested and willing to volunteer within our school. Once accreditation is finalized, these volunteers will provide much-needed assistance in the art room and library, as well as supporting and facilitating other school activities throughout the year. If parents missed the training on our campus but are interested in becoming a Learning Leader by attending a training at the Learning Leaders office please contact Josie, email@example.com, for more information.
Yoga and Movement has started for our youngest students with Ms. Debra. This residency is a great way for our K and 1st grade students to learn body control while also getting more physical activity in the colder months. The are learning new stretches and yoga poses, including learning how to make their bodies into the letters of the alphabet - ask your K & 1 students about it!
Be sure to get your tickets before the price goes up at the door! Purchase tickets ONLINE or download the tear off to return to school.
Our 5th grade students performed their original musical theater productions this week.
It was a wonderful chance for our talented students to showcase their varied talents outside the traditional classroom environment - consistent with 217's mission to educate the whole child.
To create the shows, the 5th graders engaged in the creative process of writing a script, song lyrics, composing music, and staging their own original musical as part of a musical theater residency, funded by the PTA in partnership with Main Street Theatre & Dance Alliance.
Thank you to our 5th grade classroom teachers, Ms. Ho and Ms. Pavone, for incorporating this wonderful enrichment into the 5th graders' schedule and for supporting the students throughout the process. And thank you to the 217 Administration for incorporating and supporting this and our other enrichment programs.
And last, but certainly not least, a HUGE congratulations to all of our performers on a job well done!I
Lost something lately?! It’s the time of year when children repeatedly put on and take off their outer layers and we've noticed a huge number of hats, scarves, sweaters and gloves, along with the usual assortment of drink bottles and lunchboxes, piling up in the Lost & Found box.
To help reunite students with their lost items, we are partnering with Stuck On You to help you label all your students belongings!
Stuck On You have a wide variety of customizable labels including, iron-on/stick-on clothing labels, dishwasher safe labels, shoe labels, allergy alert labels, write-your-own labels, and a number of other personalized products available ranging from backpacks and lunchboxes, to stationery and gifts.
To order, visit OUR LINK HERE. We will receive a 20% commission on every order, so your orders will also help the PTA to fund valuable educational programs in our school!
Please see the flyer below for more info.
Statement by Mandana Beckman, Principal of 217:
Recently, during one of the school holidays in October our custodial staff discovered that one of the trees on the school property had fallen and was leaning on the building. We were fortunate that this tree did not cause any damage to the building. At this time we were able to evaluate the conditions of the remaining trees on the property. One of the trees in the school yard had died, and for the safety of the students, needed to be promptly removed. The remaining 5 trees that border our property on the north side have long been an issue for the building. There are 2 means of emergency egress from the cafeteria to the area in which these trees stood. This area used to be a patio outside the cafeteria. Because of the tree roots, the patio area is no longer.
For many years, the building has been issued violations both by the FDNY and the DOB regarding this area. The roots of these trees have created a trip hazard, deeming the space unsafe for use by the emergency exits. In the event of an emergency in the building, students occupying this area would be forced to walk through the entire length of the building in order to be safely evacuated.
There has also been a large rodent problem in this area, which is also affecting a nursery school program in the neighboring building. And has resulting in several 311 complaints. There are several rat burrows within the roots of the trees. DSF’s exterminating contractor treats this area regularly but the issue has not abated.
It should be noted that the work order for the trees has been in the system for several months. It took some time to coordinate a schedule with the Contractor and this date has been set for a few weeks.
Please understand that there was no malicious intent regarding the removal of these trees and that all decisions are made with the safety and health of our students and staff in mind. The 217 PTA is exploring ways to replace the trees with a species that is safe and will not cause damage to the property.