posted Feb 10, 2019, 6:51 PM by Designer Stevie Remsberg


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