• Abbe's Letter

  • .

    THE BUZZ.....

    February 11, 2019

    Dear Earth School Families,

    Last week, we hosted a brief visit by Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza and State Assembly Member Harvey Epstein. After a walkthrough of the three schools, I briefly shared some of our exemplary work, including our assessment practices, and lobbied for a more just budget. As you may know, each year The Earth School is docked at least 10% of its funds to cover budget shortfalls in other areas of the school system.

    This week is devoted to Family Conferences. Please make an appointment by signing up at the classroom or emailing your teachers. ALL teachers and service providers are eager to meet with you to discuss your child’s progress. Don’t forget to meet with Tim (Cooking), Emmy (Science), and Vince (Movement/PE). Sign ups and info about Tim, Emmy, and Vince’s availability are posted near the Security Desk in the ES Lobby. You can also meet with any of your child’s service providers (Speech, English as a New Language, OT, PT). We hope to see all families!

    Grade 3 – 5 families are asked to speak to their teachers about opting out of the State Tests. Earth School Parents have been leaders in the Opt Out Movement over the past five years with only a small fraction of our students taking the state tests. This has allowed Earth School, Neighborhood School, Brooklyn New School, and Castlebridge with similar or greater opt out rates, to maintain higher standards for assessment, such as Narrative Reports and Performance Based Assessment Tasks (more about “PBATS”) and to enjoy greater academic freedom in curriculum. Many gains have already been made, but we need to continue to demand system-wide changes to how we assess student progress and school quality, such as the Quality Review, that don’t hinder high quality and responsive curriculum through extensive test prep and standardization. More info at NYC Opt Out.

    Teachers work many hours on EACH Narrative Report and VERY MUCH look forward to hearing your responses. Please complete and return the Family Response Sheet (included in the grey envelope). Please bring your child’s report to your Family Conference next week for further discussion.

    Art Update Teachers from all grades are working with an organization called “Meet Me at the Met” to design customized trips to the Metropolitan Museum of Art this spring. The visits will incorporate topics of study from each grade level. Additionally, several classes have confirmed trips to the much-anticipated Frida Kahlo exhibit at The Brooklyn Museum!! We continue to integrate art into classroom activities and invite parents to be a part. Please reach out to your child’s teacher or me if you want to share your talents!

    Recess Update Recess supervisors and teachers have been speaking to students and meeting to discuss ways to improve recess. We are in the process of reviewing structures to make sure there is enough to do and to provide more specific guidelines for safe play.

    Warmest regards, Abbe

    Posted Feb 10, 2019, 6:51 PM by Designer Stevie Remsberg
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    THE BUZZ.....

    February 3, 2019

    Dear Earth School Families,

    This week, many families will celebrate the Lunar New Year! Schools are closed on Tuesday to honor the start of the Year of the Pig, a harbinger of fortune and good luck!

    Many families choose the Earth School because of its diverse student body. We believe that children learn best in an inclusive environment where people of different abilities, cultures, and identities come together “to appreciate our common humanity.” Cross-cultural experiences help us break stereotypes, build empathy, and “love” one another. They build our collective spirit and help develop our skills for living in a pluralistic society. Over their years at the school, all children come to know a rich mix of students. Parents, however, often do not get to know each other as well. Though we exchange pleasant greetings, we often are not enriched by each other’s diverse stories, “truths,” and cultures. I am sharing this because I have been intensely moved and inspired by getting to know more of you at the 3Rs gatherings. Sharing stories over a meal has been a unique experience that has helped me see beyond my own assumptions and projections. After the conversation and dinner, we feel a new connection to one another. In response to parent feedback, we hold the 3Rs series in the evening with childcare and a meal to be inclusive of those who can’t make it during the workday. We invite you to join us on Thursday and hope to see some new faces!

    At this time of year, we send home individual Narrative Reports. Narrative Reports are quite different from traditional report cards. They describe how your child is doing in school rather than summarizing it into letter or number grades. They provide a window into how your child approaches their work, how they relate to peers and adults, their academic progress, their strengths, attitudes, and areas for growth. While the reports do give a sense of how your child is performing relative to “grade level” expectations, the main focus is on describing each child’s unique learning journey. This helps both parents and teachers celebrate children’s growth and focus on how to support their next steps for learning.

    Teachers work many hours on EACH report and they VERY MUCH look forward to hearing your responses. Please complete and return the Family Response Sheet (included in the grey envelope). Please bring your child’s report to your Family Conference next week. If there is something that you don’t understand, your teachers will be happy to clarify. In addition, Jocelyn and I are also available to go through it with you.

    I am pleased to welcome Iris Gotay, a new paraprofessional, who is working with our Kindergartners in Room 135.

    Warmest regards,
    Posted Feb 3, 2019, 7:54 AM by Designer Stevie Remsberg
  • .

    THE BUZZ.....

    January 27, 2019

    Dear Earth School Families,

    We have two bits of especially exciting community news. Our beloved Guidance Counselor Shirley Suares gave birth to a new son last week. Congratulations to Shirley and her family on the birth of Matteo Augustus Suares!! We will all miss Shirley while she is on leave for the next few months.

    I am also pleased to announce that we have hired a new paraprofessional to work with our first and second graders. We welcome (back) Akusia Evans, an Earth School graduate! How wonderful to have Akusia return to the Earth School Community!

    Parent Corps, our parenting support group, will be on break for a few weeks due to Shirley’s leave. We will resume on February 11 with Abbe leading in Shirley’s absence. (It won’t be as good, but please come anyway!!!)

    The 1st/2nd graders will be displaying their science projects this week. All welcome to visit the exhibition about Animal Defenses. See below for dates/times.

    Warmest regards, Abbe
    Posted Jan 29, 2019, 9:21 AM by Designer Stevie Remsberg
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(visit our website for full calendar)

2/11, 8:30 – 10:00 a.m. Parent Corps resumes with Abbe in Room 140! Light breakfast and good conversation!

2/11 – 2/15. Family Conference Week

2/13. No School for Pre-Ks only. DOE Non-Attendance Day for PD. Teachers will be back for Family Conferences!

2/13, 5:00 – 8:00 p.m. Family Conference Evening Hours by appointment

2/14. Half Day for Family Conferences. 11:55 a.m. dismissal


2/18 – 2/22. Schools closed for Midwinter Recess

2/28, 4:00 – 6:00 p.m. School Leadership Team Meeting, Room 114

3/1, 6:00 p.m. The Amazing Cardone’s Annual Magic Show. Don’t miss it!!!! Auditorium

3/3, 7:00 p.m. District One Battle of the Bands. Adult-only event. Bowery Ballroom

3/8. Half Day for Professional Development. Dismissal at 11:55 a.m.


Saturday, 4/6, 9:00 – 1:00 p.m. Annual Town Meeting Community Gathering. Event for the whole family!


Dates for tours coming in November!
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