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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The BNS Class of 2015 Slide Show

thanks to Justin Weiner

 

 

The BNS/BCS Poetry Project!

"Crossing Brooklyn Ferry" - written by Walt Whitman and recited by BNS and BCS

The BNS/BCS Library is excited to share our community reading of Walt Whitman’s Crossing Brooklyn Ferry. We selected this poem as our first community read for several reasons.

First, the poem’s setting is one physically and emotionally near to us: Brooklyn and the East River. Each of our students during their time at BNS and BCS has the opportunity to make that same crossing as they venture forth on class field trips or expeditions, returning to our school at the end of their day.

Not only is the setting one which resonates with us, but the poem reflects a democratic belief central to our school community: regardless of our backgrounds, we are united in our shared humanity. While our preschoolers experience that in different ways than our twelfth graders, the idea remains constant: though we come from different homes, different cultures, different traditions and languages, we are all part of the BNS/BCS human family.

Weekly Letter 6.22.15

Dear  Families:

As is the way with schools, June is a complicated month.  It is both a time of celebration where tears of joy and fifth grade pride is visible, but it is also a time of angst as we realize that the school year is almost over.  

In addition to allowing ourselves to let our fifth grade children move on, we must also say good bye to some of our staff.  One of our speech therapists, Marissa, leaves us to work in a new elementary school closer to her home.  Marissa came to us four years ago right from graduate school.  She brought her intelligence and dedication to our children and became an essential part of our staff.  Also leaving is Laura, a special education teacher who co-taught with Greta this year.  Laura was quick to share her expertise with all of us and we were quick to take advantage of this knowledge.  But Laura missed the autistic students with whom she had previously worked and for this reason, Laura will return to her old school.  Fourth grade ICT teacher, Chris, who works with Elissa is also leaving as he moves with his family to Boston.  Too bad he can’t commute from there!

Weekly Letter 6.16.15

Dear  Families:

Teddy bears happily in their beds, a clay station out in the kindergarten hall, hanging sea creatures, protest signs, sink and float, The Peking Ship surrounded by the Manhattan Bridge and the Twin Towers, pinwheels, acetate images projected onto walls, Smartboards telling us what happened in these classrooms when we were not there, a fish market, What I Like to Do books, shore poems, project notebooks, a mural of Prospect Park, insect books and dioramas, insect murals, stop motion movies, K’Nex bridges, wooden bridges, bridges everywhere with pulleys galore, suspension and more..., fantasy bridges, and images of children as bridges, all about African animals, with pop up books, water color, and more...,  fifth grader Rakesh teaching about his trip to Tanzania, memories from camp, biographies, playing the recorder in Central Park, and right here in room 307, singing as well, designing adinkra symbols, delft tiles, a map of New Amsterdam, pillows, and never ending journals in the voice of those who came before back when New York was New Amsterdam, fifth grade finding an efficient way to get water, words of hope upon Ann Frank’s diary, a “Do Something” film, memorials remembering times of sadness, times of pain, but always giving us hope, is it a spider web? is it cage?, memorials provoking tears as we look back and look forward.

 

Weekly Letter 6.1.15

Dear  Families:

 

I was on my way out of school on Friday evening when the sound of excitement in the auditorium beckoned.  I stopped by and found myself watching the BCS 2015 Spring Arts Showcase.  I was pulled in by the performances, which included dance, poetry, rap, hip hop, step-dancing, and music.  I found myself watching sixth graders rapping and eleventh graders performing their own music.  I couldn’t leave.  The show was too good.  It included stepping that  middle school students had learned in the BCS After School Program partnership with the YWCA, and high school  dance  from a partnership with Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), as well as sixth graders and some of our fourth and fifth graders singing  Musical Theater from Godspell, all of which had been learned in an After School Program collaboration with Brooklyn Arts Exchange (BAX), with funding provided through our Arts Continuum grant.

 

Weekly Letter 5.26.15

Dear  Families:

 

This week fourth graders are taking the hands-on portion of the New York State Science Test.  What does this mean?  It means that when taking the test, they work on various science investigations, using what they know and have learned to solve questions around a range of science concepts.  On Monday, June 1, they will take the written science test, which is a multiple choice exam that determines how much students know about basic science concepts.  

 

Weekly Letter 5.18.15

 

Dear  Families:

Calling all kindergarten to fourth grade parents:

Please join us for Parents As Learning Partners on Wednesday morning to participate in a Make and Take Math workshop. Parents will make math tools and learn how to use these tools to support their child as a mathematician.   

Weekly Letter 5.13.15

 

Dear  Families:

I spent last Saturday at Barnard College meeting with a diverse group of folks who are involved in education.  Participants included teachers, professors, parents, and principals, and all were members of the education community who are concerned about the impact that the accountability initiatives have had on public education.  One of the participants, Jamaal Bowman, was the founding principal of the Cornerstone Academy for Social Action Middle School in the Bronx. Jamaal and Jia Lee, a teacher from the Earth School, excitedly  took on the leadership role in the planning of a BlackLivesMatter education conference for October of this year!  The idea is to build connections between grassroots groups that have common issues around social justice.  

weekly letter 5.4.15

Dear  Families:

In the past couple of weeks, I have had the pleasure of visiting other schools.  Three weeks ago, some of us spent the morning at the Blue School where we had the opportunity to see a vision enacted.  Last Wednesday, I went to Boston, along with a few teachers, and spent a day at a school called Mission Hill. It is always exciting to see other folks engaged in similar questions about how best to support student learning.  

weekly letter 4.20.15

Dear  Families:

weekly letter 4.13.15 corrected

 Dear  Families:

 On April 1, the day before the last day of school before spring break,  BNS participated in its School Quality Review.  Our reviewer, Maribel Hulla, met with administrators, teachers and parents, while also observing many classes.  The day was intensive and extensive.  After school, Maribel shared her preliminary findings.  She found the work of our children and staff to be ‘well developed’ and she commended us on a number of areas.  We were applauded for the rigorous and coherent curriculum, which was aligned to the Common Core Learning standards.  As well it was observed that teacher pedagogy is developed from a coherent set of beliefs about how students learn best.  Understood too was how assessment is embedded in the curriculum and how our teachers’ decisions about what to teach is based on their analysis of what students have learned.   Our school culture, which communicates high expectations to all, was visible.  And there was recognition of the ways in which teacher teams collaborate and share leadership.  It was a rewarding day and a chance for us to share our work and learn from an outside perspective.

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