The Brooklyn New School is committed to academic and personal success for all students. We believe that children are creators of meaning. They are naturally thoughtful and curious, and they work to gain understanding of the world they inhabit. When the adults who care for children foster this effort, children become life-long learners.

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Weekly Letter 10.30.14


Dear Families:


November is the month in which we begin the process of sharing what we know about your children with you.  Fall parent teacher conferences are an opportunity for teachers to convey information about your child and the first few months of school. As well, the conferences present an opportunity for teachers, students and parents to spend time setting academic and social goals for the months ahead.  It is extremely important that every family participate in this process and that there is this open communication.  We offer many dates and times for these meetings as we know how difficult it can be for many families to schedule these conferences.   


Weekly Letter 10.23.14

Dear Families:

After hosting Public Education Nation on Saturday October 11, we continued to open our doors, this time being visited by Karin Alnervik, a pedagogista from  Sweden.   Karin is an Associate Professor of Preschool Didactics at Jönköping University in Sweden who also works as a pedagogic instructor in the HallonEtt Preschools in Jönköping. Last Wednesday evening, Karin spoke about pedagogical documentation to an audience of over one hundred educators and parents from all over New York City. Pedagogical documentation is a process of reflection through the documentation (video, photographs, etc.) of school life.  Karin’s presentation was followed by a day in which our pre-k and kindergarten teachers had the opportunity to share ideas about kid watching in relation to what we see when we watch, what we are looking for, and how these observations affect our practice.  

Weekly Letter 10.15.14


Dear Families:


On Saturday, we hosted Public Education Nation, an event which was live streamed and viewed all around the country.  It was an exciting afternoon featuring five panels with each panel addressing major and current educational issues.   


Weekly Letter 10.6.14


Dear Families:


Brooklyn New School opened in 1987 because a few parents and educators had a good idea that was received well by the Community School Board.  About ten years later, after surviving the growing pains of its infancy, we talked about the need for creating a like-minded middle school.  But it wasn’t until 2001 that Brooklyn School for Collaborative Studies opened its doors. (And that was not an easy year to start.)  Like BNS, BCS went through its infancy, and like BNS, BCS eventually made the decision to extend to high school after parents expressed the same need that BNS parents had expressed back in the nineties.  



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Weekly Letter 9.29.14


Dear Families:


The National Wildlife Federation is writing a Green STEM Guidebook and they asked me to write a one page introduction to the guide explaining why an environment-based/sustainability-focused education is so important.  After marching with 310,000 other citizens last weekend, I was able to gather my ideas.  I share with you these thoughts:


Weekly Letter 9.22.14


Dear Families:


And so it begins!  The school year is in full swing with each of us (parents, teachers, students) adjusting to the fall, to the length of the week and to the daily regiment of school.  At first it is easy, but after a bit, the tiredness sets in and stamina wanes.  The structure and demands of school can be exhausting and constant.  Keep this in mind as summer ends and the days get shorter.


This year the school day is starting earlier.  Congratulations to all who are getting to school on time and adjusting their schedule accordingly.  In order to be here by 8:10, you’ve got to get up with the roosters.  Set those alarms for before sunrise and make an early arrival a goal.  


Weekly Letter 9.15.14

Dear Families:


On Thursday evening, kindergarten to fifth grade teachers open their door for Curriculum Night. The pre-k teachers will do the same on the morning of September 23. This year, we are dividing this event into two parts.  The first part will focus on the actual curriculum: what it is that teachers are teaching, including specific information on reading, writing, math, social studies, science, etc.  The second part will focus on assessment as a way of giving parents insight into how teachers know what they know about a child’s progress in the academic areas.  Part Two takes place on October 21, in the morning for pre-k, and the afternoon for kindergarten to grade five.  


Weekly Letter 9.10.11


Dear Families:


Tomorrow we sing songs of peace.  We have been doing this with grades one to five every September 11th for the past twelve years.  We do it for the kids, for the joy of hearing our voices together, hundreds of voices delighting in song.  But we do it as well for ourselves, the adults.  


We are the ones who remember September 11, 2001.  It was only the third day of school.  And it was a beautiful day.  We were in transition with our four year olds and five year olds, learning to separate from their parents and experiencing the big idea of big school.  Our six year olds were out in the schoolyard, playing.  And our seven, eight, nine, ten, and eleven year olds were sitting in classrooms, adjusting to new teachers.  


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