Abbe's Weekly Letter


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posted Aug 16, 2018, 9:15 AM by Designer Stevie Remsberg   [ updated Aug 16, 2018, 9:17 AM ]

THE SUMMER BUZZ.....

July 2018


Dear Earth School Students and Families,

I begin by sending out a warm welcome to our new students and families! Attached you will find your child’s class placement. The staff worked long and hard to create the class groupings for the 2018 - 2019 school year. We aimed to place each child in a class with some old and some new friends and to make groups that will best support children’s social and academic development. Whether you are just starting your Earth School journey or you have been around for a while, we are here to help your child get settled and to find friendships in their new class.

Most Earth School teachers will be back in the fall, but we do have a few changes. As planned, last year’s Pre-K children and their teachers, Ashley and Michelle, are “looping up” into Kindergarten. This practice allows our youngest children and their teachers to work together for two years. Shonelle and Jennifer will be co-teaching Kindergarten in Room 136.

Last year’s Kindergarten teachers are beginning a new “loop” to work with our incoming Pre-K youngsters. I am very pleased to welcome, Beth Petrenko, who will teach one of the Pre-K classes. Beth is an experienced pre-school teacher who loves to sing, play the guitar, and to share stories!! Carole Scott is returning to support our youngest students and their teachers until her retirement at the end of the October.

This year, we are pleased to offer special classes in Science, Creative Movement, Art, Cooking, and Gardening. Emmy will continue as our science teacher. Coach Vince is leading movement and physical education. Patrice is continuing as an art teacher until her retirement in November. Tim is teaching cooking and gardening. Pre-K through Grade 2 will continue to work with Third Street Music School and Movement Research. Grades 3 – 5 is starting a new arts partnership with Battery Dance.

Each year, the Department of Education collects information about family income in order to determine federal subsidies that support schools to serve students who are economically disadvantaged. The Family Income Inquiry form (previously called the School Meals Application or “Lunch Form”) can be completed online over the summer. If you prefer, paper forms will be distributed in September. Whichever way you choose, we need to collect one per family. The good news is that it only takes five minutes and it could lead to increased school funding!

There are lots more details and updates, but it’s summer vacation!!!! Be safe. Have fun. See you soon.

Love,
Abbe

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posted Jun 24, 2018, 1:15 PM by Designer Stevie Remsberg

THE BUZZ....

June 25, 2018


Dear Families,

Please join me in congratulating our graduates! It was wonderful to see the students present their work at last week’s graduation. Thanks to all the teachers, staff, and families who helped make it so great! June is always bittersweet as we say so long to our graduates. If you are a graduating or moving away, please stop in to the office for a few hugs before you leave and please stay in touch!

We will be sending Class Welcome letters and supply requests in midsummer. We will email these unless you have requested paper notices. Please be sure to inform Jocelyn if your email or address changes. You can find letters and class supply lists on our website (once you know your class). For families that are not returning, please be sure to pick up your child’s portfolio and other possessions from your class before you leave. Likewise, let us know if plans change over the summer and you are not returning so we can update our registers and fill our seats. The best way to reach us over the summer is by email (abbe@theearthschool.org or jocelyn@theearthschool.org )

PLEASE CHECK LOST & FOUND IN THE LOBBY AND SCOOTER ROOM BY WEDNESDAY. REMAINING ITEMS WILL BE DONATED.

PLEASE RETURN BORROWED CLASSROOM MATERIALS AND BOOKS.


Enjoy a wonderful summer!

LOVE, Abbe

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posted Jun 18, 2018, 4:08 AM by Designer Stevie Remsberg

THE BUZZ....

June 17, 2018


Dear Families,

As we head into the last full week of school, I want to thank everyone for making it a great year. As I always say on school tours, it’s the community that makes the Earth School great! Thanks to all the families, teachers, staff and children who have worked so hard this year “learning and growing as community.”

Graduation is this Thursday at 9:00 a.m. in the school auditorium. If you have ever attended an Earth School graduation, you know it is an amazing experience! Each graduate will share something about themselves and their time at the school. You may have already noticed the “portfolio displays” lining the hallways. Each graduate worked with an adult “mentor” to review and reflect on their work from their years in the school. Selections are displayed for the community to see. Please have a look around and enjoy!! 

We will be sending Class Welcome letters and supply requests in midsummer. We will email these unless you have requested paper notices. Please be sure to inform Jocelyn of any email/address changes. You will also be able to find letters and class supply lists on our website (once you know your class). For families that are not returning, please be sure to pick up your child’s portfolio and other possessions from your class before you leave. Likewise, let us know if you something comes up and you are not returning in September so we can update our registers and fill our seats. Narrative Reports will be distributed on Friday. 

PLEASE CHECK LOST & FOUND IN THE 6 TH STREET LOBBY AND SCOOTER ROOM. REMAINING ITEMS WILL BE DONATED TO HOUSING WORKS. 

PLEASE RETURN BORROWED CLASSROOM MATERIALS AND BOOKS. Many of you have expressed concern about The Earth School’s funding challenges. Carmen Gunzl and I recently attended our annual budget meeting. We went through the complicated process of comparing our anticipated enrollment and funding sources against our staffing needs and expenses. For the first time in many years, our initial allocation of funding will cover basic staffing costs. While the budget is still very tight, we are relieved that we don’t have to endure a lengthy appeal process over the summer. I appreciate everyone’s support this year and we will continue to work for our fair share of funding! 

LOVE, 
Abbe

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posted Jun 3, 2018, 5:45 PM by Designer Stevie Remsberg   [ updated Jun 3, 2018, 5:46 PM ]

THE BUZZ....

June 3, 2018


Dear Families,

It is hard to believe that it is June! As I walk around the school, I notice how much your children have grown and matured since September. The approach of the summer vacation brings many emotions for each of us. There are feelings of excitement and anticipation, but also loss and fear about moving to new situations, such as new classes and, for some, new schools. When children experience these mixed emotions, they may express themselves through behaviors that adults may find confusing. According to Lesley Koplow (at Emotionally Responsive Practice), at this time of year, we can expect to see some regression, detachment, disorganization, and, even, physical aggression as children cope with their emotions. End-of-year rituals, sticking with predictable schedules and routines, and providing avenues for children to express themselves are very important. In responding to the behaviors, she suggests using “Reflective Technique,” in which adults help children make connections to underlying causes, “Sometimes kids get worried at the end of year and their feelings come out in _____. I’m going to make sure everyone is safe, but if you are feeling worried or angry about saying goodbye, you may ___ (draw, write, talk about it, etc.)” Older children can be invited to discuss their mixed feelings during class meetings or through assignments. Remember that these behaviors and reactions are temporary!

Family Conferences begin this week. Please make an appointment by signing up in front of the classroom or emailing your teachers. Did you know that ALL of your child’s teachers and service providers are available and eager to meet with you to discuss your child’s progress? Don’t forget to meet with Patrice (Patrice@theearthschool.org), Emmy (Emmy@theearthschool.org), or Vince (vince@theearthschool.org). Individual appointments and drop-in times are available.

IMPORTANT: Please complete this short Family Involvement Survey (1 per family): https://goo.gl/forms/Vvgz4yNGiBndmJPX2 Your answers will help the SLT plan for next year! Paper and online copies available. Turn in to your teacher or the office or stop by the PA room for a copy.

As part of the PA-sponsored Miles Program, Earth School students are eligible to apply to enroll in (first-year) TUITION-FREE MUSIC & DANCE CLASSES at Third Street Music School Settlement. There will be a spring OPEN HOUSE on June 19th from 3:00 - 6:00 p.m. at 235 East 11th St to meet teachers, try out dance, singing, and instruments, and apply for classes for NEXT FALL. Children who are interested in applying for FREE classes must attend the event and must be ACCOMPANIED BY A PARENT or guardian. The program is open to children age 6 (by Dec 2018) to 14, who have never been enrolled at Third Street.

LOVE,
Abbe

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posted May 30, 2018, 1:20 PM by Designer Stevie Remsberg   [ updated May 30, 2018, 1:25 PM ]

THE BUZZ....

May 28, 2018


Dear Families,


The Picnic is this Friday. Please join us for a day of fun, food, and family. Please see class newsletters and notices for details. Remember we have taken a “P.E.T.-Free Pledge.” “P.E.T.” is polyetheylene terephthalate, the kind of plastic in Poland Spring (and other) single-use water bottles. Please bring bring your reusable water bottles or cups. The Dopper Foundation, which intiated the pledge and donated the reusable bottles, will be at the picnic running environmentally-friendly art activities for our students.

Our beloved 5th St Farm coordinator Frances is moving. We are looking for a team to maintain and expand student learning on the rooftop garden. You are invited to a special FREE Gardening Master Class taught by Pamela Ito (Director of Education, Horticulture Society on June 5th @ 8:45 -9:45 a.m. Additional 1-on-1 support available for anyone considering these positions: Garden Co-Coordinators (planning, organizing volunteers, liaison to teachers); Infrastructure Support (Repairs, maintenance, handy jobs; Grant Writing and Budget Management; Community Open Work Leaders; Lead Person on Children's Book grant project (small grant to produce a book about the garden; 5th Street Farm Digital Presence (website, liaison with Michael, tech).

IMPORTANT: Please complete this short Family Involvement Survey: https://goo.gl/forms/Vvgz4yNGiBndmJPX2 Your answers will help the SLT plan for next year! Paper and online copies available.


LOVE, Abbe

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posted May 21, 2018, 6:43 AM by Designer Stevie Remsberg   [ updated May 21, 2018, 6:43 AM ]

THE BUZZ...

Dear Families,

At The Earth School, family involvement is as diverse as our wonderful community. From small jobs to big projects, families stay connected, contribute their time, and are present for their children in the school environment. I want to take a moment to appreciate all the many ways that Earth School families contribute beyond the more visible positions on the PA, SLT, and the big fundraisers that are so greatly appreciated!! At The Earth School, no effort is too small, and for the larger tasks, we know that many hands make lighter work. Here are just a few examples: Classroom shelf building, the Birthday Party crew, bringing in snack, selling coffee, baking treats, gardening with kids, class breakfasts, chaperoning the camping trip, making the year book, taking photos, organizing the PA Room, washing classroom cups, school tours, hanging art work, attending field trips, movie nights, selling popcorn, being interviewed by 1st/2nd grade students, hiring committee, graduation helpers, etc. The list goes on and on. We are deeply grateful to all the amazing families at The Earth School!!

Did you know that the Earth School has taken a “P.E.T.-Free Pledge”? “P.E.T.” is polyetheylene terephthalate, the kind of plastic in Poland Spring (and other) single-use water bottles. Millions of P.E.T. bottles are thrown away each second causing huge problems in oceans and landfills. There is also evidence that P.E.T. leaches into the water inside! Starting now, we kindly ask that you do not send single-use water bottles to school in lunches or for school events. Instead, children may use the reusable water bottles (donated by the Dopper Foundation), or a reusable cup or water bottle of their choice!!

As part of the PA-sponsored Miles Program, Earth School students are eligible to apply to enroll in (first-year) TUITION-FREE MUSIC & DANCE CLASSES at Third Street Music School Settlement. There will be a spring OPEN HOUSE on June 19th from 3:00 - 6:00 p.m. at 235 East 11th St to meet teachers, try out dance, singing, and instruments, and apply for classes for NEXT FALL. Children who are interested in applying for FREE classes must attend the event and must be ACCOMPANIED BY A PARENT or guardian. The program is open to children age 6 (by Dec 2018) to 14, who have never been enrolled at Third Street.

Our beloved 5th St Farm coordinator Frances is moving. We are looking for a team to maintain and expand student learning on the rooftop garden. You are invited to a special FREE Gardening Master Class taught by Pamela Ito (Director of Education, Horticulture Society on June 5th @ 8:45 -9:45 a.m. Additional 1-on-1 support available for anyone considering these positions: Garden Co-Coordinators (planning, organizing volunteers, liaison to teachers); Infrastructure Support (Repairs, maintenance, handy jobs; Grant Writing and Budget Management; Community Open Work Leaders; Lead Person on Children's Book grant project (small grant to produce a book about the garden; 5th Street Farm Digital Presence (website, liaison with Michael, tech).

IMPORTANT: Please complete this short Family Involvement Survey: https://goo.gl/forms/Vvgz4yNGiBndmJPX2 Your answers will help the SLT plan for next year! Paper and online copies available.

LOVE, Abbe

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posted May 14, 2018, 9:44 AM by Designer Stevie Remsberg

THE BUZZ...


Dear Families,

Thanks to all who attended the Earth@25 Birthday Party! It was lovely to see the mix of old and new faces. I was very touched by everyone's good cheer, memories, and creativity of the day.

It’s election time for the Parent Association and the School Leadership Team (SLT). Please consider running for these important positions and notify Paulino, Marco, Jocelyn, or me by June 4. The election will take place on June 12.

IMPORTANT: Please complete this short Family Involvement Survey: https://goo.gl/forms/Vvgz4yNGiBndmJPX2 Your answers will help the SLT plan for next year! Paper and online copies available. (1 per household)

Several parents and Abbe have inaugurated a new committee called The Representation Team. Our goal is to hear from parents who are typically underrepresented in our community. We are excited to launch this new avenue of parent involvement at The Earth School. The group meets Mondays from 8:30 – 9:30 in Abbe’s office. If you are interested in learning more or participating, please come to a meeting or contact: Abbe, Nina (nina.burgan@aol.com), Ali (alexandria.quasar@gmail.com), or Tiffany (tiffany.toure@gmail.com).

LOVE, Abbe


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posted May 6, 2018, 6:56 AM by Designer Stevie Remsberg   [ updated May 6, 2018, 7:00 AM ]

THE BUZZ....

May 6, 2018


Dear Families,


Thank you, thank you, thank you to the Spring Party and Auction organizers and to all who contributed to the event! As per our meeting with the DOE’s Chief Financial Officer, our budget will continue to depend on these fundraisers to make ends meet. We are immensely grateful to our Parent Association for their incredible work and commitment to benefit all children!

Our next big event is NOT a fundraiser, it’s our… BIRTHDAY PARTY!!, but we do need your help. Most importantly, we hope to see you on Saturday from 1:00 – 4:00 p.m. in the backyard to see old and new friends, share some food, and to celebrate a quarter century of this amazing school community. We are exited to welcome past faculty and principals, alumni and their families. Visit our website to sign up or on paper outside the office.

Here’s how you can help:

It’s a potluck. Share your family’s culture with a favorite recipe. (We got this!) Please sign up here to bring sides and salads.

We need help decorating, setting up, serving, and cleaning up. Please sign up here.

We need grill masters: YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE!! Please sign up here.

We need folks to sell Earth School merchandise (tee shirts, hats, etc.). Sign up here.

Several parents and Abbe have inaugurated a new committee called The Representation Team. Our goal is to hear from parents who are typically underrepresented in our community. We are excited to launch this new avenue of parent involvement at The Earth School. If you are interested in learning more or participating, please come to a meeting or contact: Abbe, Nina (nina.burgan@aol.com), Ali (alexandria.quasar@gmail.com), or Tiffany (tiffany.toure@gmail.com).

See you Saturday!

LOVE, Abbe

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posted Apr 30, 2018, 6:07 AM by Designer Stevie Remsberg   [ updated Apr 30, 2018, 6:14 AM ]

ANNOUCEMENTS & EVENTS 

for week of 4/30/18


•  The State Math Test is on Tuesday and Wednesday. Please keep hallways clear and quiet.


•  Saturday: Annual Spring Party and Auction. Biggest fundraiser of the year! Supports camping, dance, music, fieldtrips, classroom resources!!


•  Saturday, May 12: Earth School Birthday Party Sign-Ups for Grill, Potluck, Set-Ups here:  

Celebrate Earth@25!

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posted Apr 22, 2018, 6:10 AM by Designer Stevie Remsberg   [ updated Apr 22, 2018, 6:13 AM ]

THE BUZZ....

April 23, 2018

Dear Families,

Are you ready to take the pledge? It’s Earth Day and our 25th Birthday and we want to step up our efforts to take care of our amazing planet! Coming soon, we will be making a community pledge to ban single use plastic (“P.E.T.” = polyethylene terephthalate) water bottles from school and school events. Over the next two months, we are teaming up with a group from the Netherlands to learn about WHY plastic bottles are harming our oceans and HOW to stop using them! 

If anyone has a bike that their child has outgrown to donate to the school for our upcoming bike riding class, please contact Rachel at rachell@theearthschool.org.

Any passionate gardeners looking to get involved in helping our garden grow? The 5th Street Farm, our rooftop garden, needs you! Please contact Frances (correction: fanderson@5thstreetfarm.org) or me, if interested. 

Love, Abbe

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