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, firstname.lastname@example.org, 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.
Book of the Month continues at 217. This month students added Shel Silverstein's The Giving Tree to their classroom libraries. Ms. Beckman, Ms. Allen, and Middle School students visited classrooms to read The Giving Tree and begin discussions on caring. In PBIS students will expand this discussion and participate in activities relating to "caring."
Thank you, Mr. Ladalia, for putting together our annual Winter Concert. It's great to be part of a school community where we celebrate the work of our students and staff.
Congratulations to all the Ps/Is 217 middle school students who received 90% or better in all subjects on their first trimester grades.
Ana Beatriz Sales Macedo
by Diane Levitt, Sr. Director
K-12 Education, Cornell Tech
In the nearly three years since I joined Cornell Tech, there has been a K-12 computer science revolution growing in Washington D.C. and in New York City, including on Roosevelt Island. It’s a very exciting time for educators committed to preparing students for their digital future. Cornell Tech is proud to be helping to lead that revolution.
A little over a year ago, Mayor de Blasio announced Computer Science for All (CS4All), a 10-year, $80 million public-private partnership to bring computer science experiences to every school in New York City. We work closely with CSNYC, the nonprofit helping to drive CS4All, and with the Computer Science unit at the NYC Department of Education. In January, President Obama announced the federal Computer Science for All initiative, introduced during his State of the Union address. This year, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) announced the first 200 national commitments to CS education, and we’re proud that Cornell Tech’s new Teacher-in-Residence (TIR) program was one of them.
Teacher in Residence
Last year, we tested an idea at PS/IS 217. Would interest and activity around computer science grow if there were a computer science educator on site? We hired a consultant to lead the entire teaching staff through a very introductory series of classes, and to work with a few grades building curriculum. While these were just baby steps, we learned that having a resource within the school, rather than at another organization or university, definitely built confidence and competence in teaching computer science. In fact, educators at PS/IS 217 were so excited about computer science education, they applied to the Department of Education to be a part of the first elementary CS4All Software Engineering Program (called SEP Jr.). I am proud that they were among the 20 schools selected, from over 115 applicants.
Today, PS/IS 217 is humming with computer science activity. Building on the success of the in-house consultant, Cornell Tech has launched the TIR program. The premise is that having a resource to build a teacher’s capacity to integrate computer science as part of the school community, makes the very difficult job of teaching computer science a bit easier. Rather than expecting teachers to get all their training in the evenings, on weekends, or during the summer, the schools we work with have a resident expert. Meg Ray, our first TIR, started in early August, and is now working with the teaching staff at PS/IS 217 once a week to support their implementation of SEP Jr. and computer science education. She is modeling instruction, providing professional development, coaching teachers and working with them to develop curriculum. As Assistant Principal Jennifer Allen told us recently, “We expect every teacher in our building to be incorporating computer science in their classrooms.” That’s a huge and impressive commitment, and we’re happy to learn from and with PS/IS 217 as they make it a reality. The TIR is funded by a grant from the Siegel Family Endowment, with additional funding for Roosevelt Island from Urban American/Brookfield Property Partners.
We recently held our third “Let’s Code Roosevelt Island” event with PS/IS 217’s middle school.
“I’m in eighth grade, and this is my third time doing this. This year is so fun – it’s the best!” was the enthusiastic endorsement of one student. Nearly 60 Cornell Tech grad students, representing all six of our degree programs, joined the entire middle school in the PS/IS 217 library for a morning of building electrical circuits with conductive copper tape, connecting small coin batteries to LED lights. Once they had mastered the science of the circuit, they created amazing decorations with art materials and light. They worked for two and a half hours and would happily have kept going if recess and lunch hadn’t interrupted. When her mentor asked this student why this experience was so great, she replied, “Because we made something!”
We’ve got a lot more coming up on Roosevelt Island. We will hold a family computing event during Computer Science Education Week, December 5-11 (stay tuned for details soon). As they did last year, the fourth grade will visit us in Chelsea for a tour of Google. They will also spend some time in the Cornell Tech Maker Studio, with its director (and PS/IS 217 parent) designer Niti Parikh.
We also recently hosted our third annual “To Code and Beyond” conference, bringing more than 80 educators, non-profit leaders, policymakers, and funders together to discuss the theme of computer science at play – how informal learning and afterschool can support Computer Science for All. PS/IS 217 Principal Mandana Beckman was among the participants learning how we can use time out of school to expand students’ computing knowledge and opportunity.
All this, and we’re just getting started. One thing we’ve realized is that once we move to the Island (next summer!), our campus will be a classroom for the students of Roosevelt Island, and PS/IS 217 will be a classroom for our graduate students as well. We all have a great deal to teach each other and to learn from each other and our students.
And as we learn what works, we look forward to sharing these strategies with the city and the nation, as we all work to truly bring computer science to all.
You may have heard that 217 is working to create a maker space at school!Please save your recyclables to donate for our upcoming Maker Event and to stock the Maker Space. You may drop supplies in the Maker Box in the lobby.
Here’s a list of suggested items~
* Paper towel and toilet paper cardboard rolls
* Cereal boxes
* Plastic bottles (all sizes)
* Magazines and catalogues
* Plastic bottle caps
* Aluminum can pull tabs
* Plastic food containers (all sizes, clean please)
* Scrap yarn and fabric
* Tracing paper
All recyclables should be cleaned out and dry. Please no containers that held dairy.
Please join us in support of Toys for Tots, and their efforts to present Holiday Toys to local children!
Please donate a new, unwrapped toy by THURSDAY, December 18, 2016. You may place your toys near the security by the main door or give them the classroom teacher.
If you cannot donate a toy, please feel free to donate handmade cards or gift tags - anything that we can donate to help spread holiday cheer to those in need!