May 23, 2016

Hello Earth School Families,

Last week, we hosted a visit by Phil Weinberg, NYC Deputy Chancellor for Teaching and Learning. After my overview of ongoing and current work, we toured five classrooms and the Farm. We discussed his observations. I shared a summary of our professional development work, student assessments, and curricula. His critical questions attested to his fine reputation as a wise and insightful educator. I received this note on Friday:

Dear Abbe,

I wanted to thank you for welcoming us to The Earth School at the beginning of the week. I saw a small but hugely focused school – a  place where you and your staff are working hard and are deeply committed to creating a nurturing and rigorous learning environment for all of your students. It is evident that the school tends to the well-being of each student. To this end, you have developed smart and consistent strategies to ensure that students  are in a safe space so that teachers can engage everyone, no matter the challenges they may face.

I am impressed with how well you know each of your students. Plus, your knowledge of the promising instructional practices and the areas of growth facing every educator in your building is a true strength. And I am glad you are always thinking of new strategies to try and move instruction across your school.

The school is truly fortunate to be led by your educational vision and determined commitment to the community you serve.

I wish you a truly amazing remainder of the school year. Please let me know if I can help in any way.

Warmly, Phil

As the year draws to a close, there is still a lot to do. Finding ways of supporting teachers during this busy time is greatly appreciated. If you have a little time this month, please reach out to your teacher or the office for ways you can help. 

On the recommendation of teachers and recess supervisors who have witnessed the persistent use of inappropriate language by some students, I have suspended the use of the “far yard” during upper grade recess. I announced this decision to each class and invited the students to come up with solutions for fixing the problems. The teachers and I are poised to support the students to carry out plans for improving recess behavior so they can utilize both yards again. 

PreK/K toilets are installed, but we are still waiting on the rest of the renovations, such as child-friendly door locks. The SLT continues to consider feedback from the community regarding the bathrooms and to discuss the issues affecting both children and adults. 

Scooter and folding stroller parking is currently housed in the vestibule in front of the Women’s bathroom. Please do not store scooters or other belongings overnight. Unclaimed or abandoned items will be removed.

While ES families are widely diverse, our diversity is not adequately reflected in the make-up of our Parents Association Executives and School Leadership TeamThese parent leadership positions impact decisions for our whole community. To best serve all of our families, it is important that the teams reflect a range of perspectives and priorities. Elections are this month and we are actively seeking some new parent leaders. If you are interested or want more information about joining, please reach out to your PA, Jocelyn, or me. Not ready to “make it official”? SLT Meetings are open to all parents. Please come and add your voice.

The 4th Grade NYS Science Performance Test begins Wednesday. If you do not want your child tested, please send a note with your child's name and teacher indicating that you would like your child to “opt out.”

Please remember to complete our "internal survey.”  The results of this survey are reviewed by the School Leadership Team (SLT) to gather your views on the school and to get input for future planning. It only takes about five minutes! Thanks.

If you haven’t done so already, please complete the 30-second survey to let us know if you plan to return in September! (Paper or online versions available.)

Please remember to pick up your Auction Items!

All for now! Abbe

Kids Talk Back to BrainPOP on LGBT Rights

Earth School Students take action! Please help!!

Please watch and share links!!!

A group of students at The Earth School are taking action against the exclusionary practices of a popular educational website, BrainPOP. They have been working on a video and website to convince BrainPOP to include the LGBT rights movement in their menu of topics where it is conspicuously absent! The project emerged from last year's Rights & Responsibilities curriculum during which they each were assigned to research a "rights movement." To learn the full story, watch this video and visit their website!

This Week

May 25 – 27. Fourth Grade NYS Science Performance Test

Upcoming Events

May 30. Memorial Day. No School

June 3. Annual Picnic and Square Dance, East River Park

June 6. Fourth Grade NYS Science Written Test

June 6 – June 10. Family Conference Week

June 8. Evening Conferences

June 9. Chancellor’s Professional Development Day. No School for children

June 14. Clerical Day. No school for children

June 22. ESPA & SLT Elections

June 23. Earth School Graduation!

June 24, 3:00 – 5:00 p.m. Ice Cream Social for 4th & 5th Graders

June 28. Last day of school. Half day for students. Dismissal 11:50 a.m.


Third Street Music School is hosting its annual open house on Sunday, May 22nd, from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. at its building on 235 East 11th Street near 2nd Avenue. Partner School Students ages 6 (by December 31, 2016) to 14 will be able to meet teachers, try out instruments, and apply for free and reduced-rate group classes for the fall.

A $40 non-refundable application fee per family, paid by cash or check, is due at the time of application. Interested children must attend the event and must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. The program is open to children age six (by December 2016) to fourteen, who have never been enrolled at Third Street. Parners@3rd classes are tuition-free for students during the first year of instruction at Third Street. Second year instruction is discounted, and financial aid is available for years three and beyond.

Did you know?

On THIS Website you can find out about Summer Programs, Standardized Testing, Diversity and Social Justice Resources, the Parent Handbook, the School Calendar, and much more! Please have a look!