You asked, and Island Kids listened!
Register today for spring break camp HERE.
217 is excited to welcome a new kindergarten class in the fall!
If you've been offered a seat at 217 that you'd like to accept, you'll need to come register before April 7th.
Ms. Lauraine, the parent coordinator, has asked that parents come by the office to pick up a registration packet beginning March 14th and schedule an appointment to register. For families that are out at drop off in the morning, Ms. Lauraine has said that she'll have packets with her if you wanted to get one then.
Please note that there will not be any registrations accepted during the week of state testing, March 27th-31st.
Tech & Learning: Innovative Science Program at 217 HelpS Students Identify and Solve Real-World Problems
CONNECTING TEACHERS WITH SUPPORT
AND EDTECH RESOURCES
Sixth-grade PS/IS 217 students work on paper circuits and research information for their computing/biome projects.
Posters are talking, circuit lights are blinking, and students are busy making, coding, and researching in Emily Wong’s sixth-grade science classroom at PS/IS 217 on Roosevelt Island (NYC). The students, as well the biomes they’re creating, are buzzing with energy.
And suddenly the overarching goal, to “make sure every NYC student can build something digital that has meaning for them,” seems achievable. Cornell Tech, a graduate institution with a focus on creating pioneering leaders and technologies for the digital age, is setting out to help accomplish this goal through connecting teachers with the support and resources they need. They’re partnering with the NYC DOE, CSNYC, and more than a dozen schools, and their innovative Teacher-in-Residence (TIR) program is aligned to New York City’s Computer Science for All initiative (CS4All), a 10-year effort to train 5,000 teachers to teach CS.
Since the beginning of the 2016–17 school year, Meg Ray, a Cornell Tech Teacher-in-Residence, has been “providing content coaching, curriculum consultation, and professional development on a weekly basis for teachers in all grades” at PS/IS 217, where principal Mandana Beckman is committed to incorporating CS instruction into every classroom in grades K–8.
Meg Ray, the Cornell Tech Teacher-in-Residence at PS/IS 217, works with both students and teachers to build a comprehensive approach to Computer Science education.
A TEACHER MODELS THE LEARNING PROCESS
“We have just started working with the middle school on CS integration in their science classes,” Ray says. “The goal is to deepen understanding of both subjects by building on prior CS experiences to support synthesis of new science content.” Ray sat down with science teacher Emily Wong in December, and they co-designed a computing project to complement her existing sixth-grade unit on ecosystems. Wong has never taught coding or CS, and Ray, a former classroom teacher herself, appreciates that Wong is “open to collaborating and modeling the learning process for her students.”
A screenshot of the type of Scratch program that PS/IS 217 sixth graders will create for their ecology unit.
This project, a light-up, talking poster about biomes, combines “making with paper circuits, coding in Scratch, and physical computing with Makey Makey.” The students had attended community events held by Cornell Tech introducing making and paper circuits, so Ray knew that “bringing this type of hands-on work into the classroom would build on prior knowledge and be highly motivating.” The students feel at home with the technology and find the curriculum both “rigorous and fun.” As they build knowledge and confidence they’ll move on to more advanced projects, Ray says, such as “creating animations or programs that control robots” using Raspberry Pis and data collected with sensors.
Ray knows that “it can be intimidating to teach a new subject, especially one that involves learning brand-new content.” Teachers at PS/IS 217 are collaborating and applying pedagogy from other subjects to find the most effective ways to teach this new content. “Not many schools are incorporating computer science instruction to this degree yet,” Ray says, “so we’re iterating and debugging our lessons every day, just like we’re teaching the students to debug their code.”
A UNIVERSAL LANGUAGE
Ray recently witnessed the various strands of this work—CS learning, instruction, and collaboration—connect. Two ELLs and two native English speakers, placed in a group to work on the computing/biome project, were concerned about how they would work together. All four of these students, Ray says, “have been able to collaborate and contribute in meaningful ways. One reason is that electric circuits work the same way for everyone. Their language is universal.” Coding is similar. Although Scratch is based on English, “the code blocks also have distinct shapes and colors that can give students cues.” They’re also able to access tools like Google Translate on the computer they have on hand for the project “to communicate and access the same information about their research topic in their own primary languages,” Ray says. And so the energy for learning, in this classroom and many others throughout the city, continues to flow.
TOOLS THEY USE PS 217
► Code & Go Robot Mouse
► Dash & Dot Robots
► Document cameras
► Makey Makey
► Raspberry Pis
► Touchscreen boards
Congratulations to all the PS/IS 217 middle school students who received 90% or better in all subjects on their second trimester grades.
It was a pajama kind of day! 217 Hawks spent the morning with a good book. Thanks to all of the parents who came out to share a book in the classroom.
A very special Thank You to our guest readers from the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation. Jaci Flug - VP/General Counsel Kim Quinones- VP/CFO, Joe Jagdharry- Comptroller, Jessica Murray- Communications and Event Coordinator, Erica Spencer-EL - Community Relations Manager, Wednesday Moore- Community Relations Excelsior Fellow, Natalie Grant-Henriques, Rudy Rajaballey- Purchasing Manager, Steve Freidman- Accounts Payable Manager, Nancy Zee- Accountant, Chris Dor- Legal EXCELSIOR Fellow, Karline Jean- Office Manager, Sean Singh- Grant Writer, and Claudia McDade- Human Resource Director read to our 1st and 2nd graders.
Parent volunteers will be leading a 'Makers Corner' in the recess every Tuesday. This will give students from K-8 if interested a chance to design and build during the recess. These projects are carefully designed and emphasis will be on capturing participants imagination with 3d object building.
Order tickets online: https://www.nycharities.org/events/EventLevels.aspx?etid=9655
Or download the tear off below and send in with cash payment.
The raffle order form is also available for download.
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