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 11.23.15

Dear Families:


It was an extravagant Extravaganza with an exuberant everlasting performance by all.  Wow!  Many thanks to José and Ed and all the paraprofessionals and parents who made this possible.  What makes the Extravaganza so special is that it is completely child centered.  The children create and make the acts.  In the weeks leading up to the big day, you can find them in the schoolyard and the cafeteria, figuring out their moves and lines, and working together to make their own magic happen.  José’s job is to support them in pulling this all together.  


Weekly Letter 11.16.15

Dear Families:


On Friday, November 6, our fifth graders came back from three days at Frost Valley and the week after, you could feel the camaraderie of the children and their teachers.  The three days in the woods had clearly been a bonding experience.  I am hopeful that fifth grade parents heard many a story about the overnight, but wanted to share one story that spoke to why we do what we do.  It was sent to me by Antoinette, one of the fifth grade teachers.


Weekly Letter 11.9.15


Dear Families:

On Friday, fifth graders returned from a three day overnight trip to Frost Valley, exhausted but happy.  For some of them, the day was not yet over, as they had plans to perform with BCS students at the Lynn Redgrave Theater as a part of the Passerine Project.  For the second year in a row, children from Laurie and Amanda’s class participated in songwriting with Emmy-nominated producer/composer Shevy Smith and recording artist Kendall Custer.  

Weekly Letter 11.4.15


Dear Families:


On Thursday, October 22, BNS teachers participated in the first of four sessions devoted to our work around performance based assessment.  For our first foray into this process, we went to the experts.  Many thanks to Scott Henstrand and Beth Mowry, long time high school teachers from Brooklyn Collaborative Studies (BCS), for sharing their practice.  Although many BNS teachers have had the opportunity to participate in the performance based assessment process at BCS, this was the first time that we got insight into the thinking that is necessary for the implementation of  PBAs.  


Weekly Letter 10.26.15

Dear Families:

 In a moment of pride,  I share with the BNS community an email that I received last week:

 Dear Principal Allanbrook,

I am an Education Volunteer and Tour Guide at the American Museum of Natural History. Last Thursday, Oct. 15th, I had the pleasure of encountering Mr. Steve Wilson and his 3rd Grade class in the Bernard Family Hall of North American Mammals. The students were not just well prepared, they were totally involved in their work. Their enthusiasm, the answers they gave to Mr. Wilson’s questions, the questions they themselves asked, their intense curiosity about every aspect of the dioramas - all testified to Mr. Wilson’s skill and dedication as a teacher. In addition, the assistants and parents who were present worked with outstanding cooperation as a team under his leadership.

Weekly Letter 10.19.15


Dear Families:


On Friday afternoon I attended the Inauguration of Shael Polakow-Suransky as President of  Bank Street College of Education.  The event was held at the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine, a beautiful setting for such an august occasion.  In addition to inaugurating its new president, Bank Street College was celebrating its centennial.  It seemed fitting that a new president was being celebrated as Bank Street embarks on another century of being a leader in progressive education.  


AppleFest Is Coming!


Weekly Letter 10.13.15

Dear Families:


On  Thursday, we had the pleasure of hosting a principal and teacher from the Wickliffe Progressive Elementary School near Columbus Ohio.  These were two of the hundreds of folks who descended on Brooklyn for the 2015 Progressive Education Network National Conference.  The  conference began on Thursday with school visits to many a public and private school in New York City and culminated with a day at the Brooklyn Marriott on Saturday.  


Weekly Letter 10.5.15


Dear Families:


In case you didn’t see the email last week, I wanted to take a moment to share some good news.  Brooklyn New School  was chosen by the National Wildlife Federation to be one of America’s top 10 Eco-Schools. That’s quite something.  We are on a list of the top ten in the entire country!  

So you might be wondering, what we have done to receive such a honor.  Clearly, our commitment to sustainability and environmental education is being recognized.  

Weekly Letter 10.1.15

Dear Families:


The other day after school, I wandered into Henry’s Cafe to get myself an afternoon coffee when I ran into the Chernick family.  I chatted with Walsh (a pre-k student in Amy’s class) and Harry (a first grader in Jenny’s class.)  Somehow we got to talking about reading and Harry said, “I am reading the pictures, not the words.”  Harry has just started grade one and like many a first grade child, he is on the fringe of learning how to decode print.  Right now, he is decoding the pictures, an important part of reading development.  Soon he will see that the letters make up sounds and words and he will begin to make sense of the verbal patterns.  He will read the words.  


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