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 11.20.17

Dear Families:

Agent Awesome writes, “I love how every day you make sure the school stays safe and kind.”  When I read those words, a warm glow traveled through me.  I can not express how lucky I felt to be the recipient of another letter from a Secret Agent of Kindness.  

Nancy and Alex’s class has a new project this year: the Secret Agents of Kindness.  Each child in the class is a secret agent with a unique name.  These agents write letters of gratitude and do other gestures that show their appreciation for the community.  You might find one of these kids picking litter off the floor or cleaning up someone else’s trash in the lunchroom.  They won’t ask for recognition, they will just do the act out of the goodness of their hearts because they are Secret Agents of Kindness.  

 I, myself, have  already received five letters from these agents and somehow, no matter how often I receive that special envelope, I still find myself feeling content and satisfied upon reading these missives.  

Weekly Letter 11.13.17

Dear Families:

At our PTA meeting on October 10, a parent asked about the bathrooms at BNS.  

 If you follow the news, then you know that the issue of who uses what bathroom has been voraciously debated in the past few years.  At BNS, this wasn’t something we thought much about until a parent of a transgender child brought it to our attention in 2013.  This parent wanted her child to be able to use the bathroom that the child felt matched the child’s gender identity. After the parent came to us, we did some research.  We read the regulations and pretty soon,  we went from offering this student access to an adult bathroom to rethinking the labeling of the bathrooms.  We learned more about New York state and city rules.  We learned, for example, that an adult may not stop a child when entering a bathroom because the adult assumes that the child is a boy or a girl.  (This happens when an adult innocently tells a child to go to the boys’ bathroom, assuming that the girl is a boy.)  Our work around this issue made us more sensitive and more aware of not just the needs of this child, but of the needs of all children.    

Weekly Letter 11.6.17

Dear Families:


November parent teacher conferences include time to look at student work from the first two months of school and discuss plans for moving forward. This 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. The conferences present an opportunity for teachers, students and parents to set academic and social goals for the months ahead.  


Weekly Letter 10.30.17

Dear Families:


It’s hard to keep up with all of the exciting work going on here at BNS.  

One project that we have been doing for the past 22 years is the building of a life sized replica of a Native American wigwam in Prospect Park at the Lefferts Homestead.  If you spend time in the park, you may have noticed that the wigwam is gone.  Sadly the Homestead had to remove it as it was being used as shelter by homeless people.  


Weekly Letter 10.23.17

Dear Families:


A big thank you to all who made Apple Fest the fun day that it was!  Your effort and energy bring joy to the kids and funds for the schools.  It’s a win win combination.


Our children are off and running, thanks to Brandon, our PE teacher’s enthusiasm and leadership.  Mighty Milers is now renamed, “Rising New York Road Runners,” and your children are participating in this citywide initiative.


Weekly Letter 10.16.17

Dear Families:


Last week our fourth grade students participated in a Day in the Life of the Hudson at Valentino Pier in Red Hook.   Our children were one hundred of the five thousand students who took a "snapshot" of the health of the river from ninety sites from the New York Harbor to Mohawk Valley.  This was the fifteenth Day in the Life of the Hudson and the fifth one in which we participated.  Valentino Pier is of course located at the southern end of the river.


The day summed up that, which is best of BNS:  

Weekly Letter 10.10.17

Dear Families:


Once a month we welcome families  for a Parents As Learning Partners (PLP) session.  Be on the lookout for these sessions as they often give insight into both the curriculum and how children learn.  Last Tuesday we held our first PLP in the library. Our librarians, Susan, Karen and Amanda, welcomed PreK - Grade 2 families with a presentation all about Supporting Your Rising Reader.  


Weekly Letter 10.2.17

Dear Families:


Everyday at 11:10, academics ends and the entire school (except for pre-k) goes to lunch and recess.  Our kindergarten and first grade have the opportunity to play in one of the schoolyards while our second grade goes to the ballfield.  When the little ones are playing, third to fifth graders eat lunch in the cafeteria.  Halfway through the period, this switches and the big kids go out to play as the younger ones come in to eat.  


In addition to this period being a time to eat and play, lunch can also be a n opportunity for special projects and meetings.  This year that is happening in more ways than one.  


Weekly Letter 9.29.17

Dear Families:


We wanted to remind everyone that as of this year breakfast and lunch are now completely free for all students in every New York City public school. School food menus can be found at If preparing breakfast and lunch is difficult, you can rest assured that your child will be fed.  But do remember that breakfast closes at 8:10, so if your child is going to get breakfast, he or she needs to be in the cafeteria before then.  


Weekly Letter 9.18.17

Dear Families:


At the beginning of every school year, we take the time to review routines and expectations for members of our school community.  We do this through community building activities and town meetings.  These take place while the teachers are conferring with you.  On Friday we met with our fourth graders, asking them what they thought were the values of Brooklyn New School.  The children responded with ideas, which included friendship, kindness, teamwork, respect, community, taking care of nature and the environment, support, and taking care of the self.  At the end of the meeting, a child ran up to me and whispered in my ear, “We forgot to say peace.”  


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