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 3.7.16

Dear Families:


And so we begin our performance based assessment, starting with the third grade children telling us about their project work related to Ancient China.  We are struck by the power of this endeavor and by our community commitment to a big idea.  That commitment comes from the staff, the parents, and the kids.  As we begin the process, we understand that this is a work in progress and we recognize that all that we embark upon is a pilot, one that will continue to change and grown as we continue to learn.  


Weekly Letter 2.29.16

Dear Families:


This week we take the time to educate ourselves about asthma.  We begin with a teacher session in which teachers will review the symptoms of asthma and treatment.  Tomorrow we will conduct two town meetings, hosted by the school wellness committee with the objective of  reassuring our students about this condition that affects so many of us.  And on Friday morning, we will share what we are learning with families.  Do join us at 8:10 in room 304.  


Weekly Letter 2.24.16

Dear Families:


We welcome everyone back to school with the hope that the week was restful and comforting.  


This week I remain away from BNS as I am participating in a conference in New Orleans.  Last week I was also away, at another conference in Oracle, Arizona.  Ashoka sponsored both conferences. Ashoka is an international organization with a vision, which believes that anyone can be a ‘changemaker’ and can be a part of the solving of complex social problems.  Ashoka works with many different communities in the private, philanthropic and citizen sectors of the world.  


Weekly Letter 2.12.16

Dear Families:


So it’s over, the Fifth Grade Maya Museum.  Don’t despair if you missed it.  There will be another one next year, but take a moment to find out a little something.  Ask your child if they went to a museum yesterday or the day before.  See what they tell you.  They may know what a glyph or a stela is or how the Maya made weapons.  They might able to say a thing or two about Mayan Temples  or maybe, they have learned about the big idea of sacrifice.  A few might even be able to talk about the Maya number system or perhaps, they will just want to tell you about warrior face paint.  


Weekly Letter 2.5.16

Dear Families:


“The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character - that is the goal of true education.“ Martin Luther King


And that, of course, is what the past two weeks have been about: intelligence and character.  And we might add, perseverance and stamina.  


From a day of intense grieving to a fourth grade Native American Museum, complete with real deer hide, scraped and tanned by our fourth graders…

Weekly Letter 1.25.16

Dear Families:


On Friday during recess, we had a competitive kickball game resulting in a win, upsetting for the defeated team.   But  that day, fourth grader, Ayden Mendoza, was feeling the glory of winning. After the emotion died down, the children and adults made their way from the ballfield, down Rapelye Street, and into school.  But not Ayden.  He stopped and called back to me as I gathered the remaining balls, “Anna, can I help you carry the balls?” he yelled.  I said, “Yes,” and in an instant, he was back, gathering the balls, and happily carrying the bag.  “It’s lighter than usual,” he said.  I agreed and as we walked back to school together, we chatted, something we both loved to do.  During these chats, we would talk about so many things.  Sometimes Ayden would talk about his many a weekend football game, sometimes he would share how his older brother, Andre, was doing at MS 88, and oh so often, he bragged about his big sister, Ashley, in her first year at SUNY Plattsburgh, where Ayden would tell me she is studying to be a teacher.   But on Friday, we discussed  the kickball game and the joy of winning and the difficulty of losing.  


Weekly Letter 1.19.16 complete

Dear Families:


With Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday hallmarking the reason for school closure on Monday, January 18th, it is fitting to discuss the work on Race and Equity that BNS has undertaken.


Last year, we began thinking about  ways to support students and adults in addressing race within the school. A group of staff, faculty, and administrators worked together to discuss issues around equity and race happening in our communities and nation.  We also reflected on the lived experiences of our students and how to respond when situations arise within the classroom.


Weekly Letter 1.14.16

Dear Families:


It is busy here at 610 Henry Street.  In the last three days, there have been lots of parent workshops.  On Monday parents of children in kindergarten, first and second grade learned how our little ones develop understanding and strategies for subtraction while on Tuesday, parents of older children looked at how children grapple with multiplication problems.  Yesterday, parents were here for yet another workshop, this one entitled, “Giving Children What They Need.”  And that is just the beginning.


Weekly Letter 1.4.16

Dear Families:


As you may already have learned, the BNS community collected 888 items of food, which weighed a total of 674 pounds!  During the month of December, Amy and Penina’s second grade class sorted and counted the many items that were donated.  Originally they had hoped for 400 items, and were incredibly proud when they saw how many more items they would be able to donate to City Harvest.  As the class reminds us, “There are people who need food.  Now, because of our food drive, they will have food.  The food will give them energy and they won't be hungry anymore.”   Many thanks to everyone in the BNS community who remembered to contribute an item or two.  


Weekly Letter 12.21.15

Dear Families:


Recently, I heard from a teacher in a different public school who was sharing a story about a struggling student in her class.  Slowly but surely the school is working to support this young learner and the impact is profound.  A few weeks ago, the youngster pronounced, “In this class some of us got problems, but we’ve all got powers.”  This is the lesson of elementary school: that you can be powerful whether or not you have a problem or two or three or four.  


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