PS/IS 686 | Brooklyn, NY

State of the Union: September 2016

I love the early morning hours and always have.

My first paid job, at 9 years old, was delivering the NY Daily News to households near my childhood home in Huntington Station.  I’d jump from bed in the pre-dawn hours, throw my clothes on, load the papers in my basket, hop on my bike and pedal away, tossing the News on front stoops, and return home just as the fluff melted in my hot chocolate.  My mom could always be counted on, and that hot chocolate meant the world to me: the perfect reward at the end of my route.

Since 2009, mornings find me dashing around the dim-lit kitchen brewing Turkish coffee, prepping lunch and dinner, blowing kisses to my sleepy son who is now a high school senior, and dashing off to Bensonhurst where these days, I’m greeted by some 700 smiling faces. It’s no small thing, the joy of being surrounded by so many students who love coming to school, and not a day goes by that I don’t thank my lucky stars: I love my work, and there is no greater reward than those smiling faces.

“It takes a village,” and you are an integral part of that village.  Last year, the PTO funds raised were in excess of $500,000 which helped defray the cost of the following enrichments:

Enrichment Grade Amount
Violin K, 1, 2 & 3 $30,000
BHS all except K $35,000
Brass & Woodwinds 4, 5, 6 & 6 $20,000
Arts all $40,000
Dance K, 1 & 2, 6 & 7 $25,000
Drama 3, 4, 6 & 7 $25,000
BCM K,1 & 2 $12,000
Chess all $30,000
Science supplies all $3,500
Art Supplies all $20,000
Tribes supplies all $1,000
Specialist Teachers (Math, Spanish, Art, Media Literacy $140,000
TAs $267,750
Total: $649,250

This year, the PTO has turned over more than $500,000 which will be applied to the following programs:

Enrichment Grade Amount
Push-in Technology K-3 $40,000
Mixed Sports K-8 $30,000
Construction Kids 1 & 2 $20,000
Brass & Woodwinds 4, 5, 6, 7 & 8 $45,000
Arts all $45,000
Dance K, 1 & 2, 6 & 7 $25,000
Drama 3, 4, 6 & 7 $25,000
BCM K,1 & 2 $12,000
Chess all $30,000
Science supplies all $3,500
Art Supplies all $20,000
BEAM 1, 4, 6, 7 & 8 $30,000
Specialist Teachers (Math, Spanish, Art, Media Literacy $140,000
TAs $150,000
Total: $615,500

As has always been the case at BSI, some DOE funds are applied to enrichment programs above and beyond what the PTO funds.

This year, class size is as follows:

Grade Number of students per class Number

of TAs

per class

Kindergarten 25 1
1st grade 30 1
2nd grade 32 1
3rd grade 32 0
4th grade 32 0
5th 32 0
6th 31 0
7th 30 0
8th 30 0

In addition, we have a parent-paid TA in both Science classrooms, the Art room and we have a Tech TA.

The SLT meets once monthly and the meeting dates and Minutes are posted on the PTO website.  Anyone can attend the meeting as a visitor.  You can read the by-laws here to find out how to register to attend.  (PTO website is under construction and the updated links will be shared by the PTO soon.

We are making tremendous headway in the quest to raise funds for the PS/IS 686/682 Campus StemLab.  As you have already heard from me, tom’w morning the Brooklyn Borough President, Eric Adams, will host a press conference to celebrate this year’s awards, and we are the happy recipients of $800,000!  We are in the process of asking Eric for another $2,000,000 to finish the job, and your presence at the rally tomorrow morning can make a tremendous difference.  So far, we have 19 parents attending, which is about 1% of our parent population.  I need you!  Come out tom’w and help Eric Adams see that our numbers count!

Numbers count! Please join us in person.

Capital Budget Press Announcement

Tuesday, Sept 27th at 10am

David Boody Jr High School
228 Avenue S (between W. 4th and W. 5th Streets – entrance is on 4th Ave)
Brooklyn, NY 11223
Enter on W. 4th near Ave S.

**** Meet us just outside the W. 4th Ave entrance at 9:55am where we will distribute school tags to help identify our group.****

Please RSVP at

Of course 2017 marks the year of our very first graduating class.  There are many plans underway and EVERYONE is welcome to join in the preparations.  The tentative date for Graduation is June 21st.  We are in the process of sending out a parent survey.  Much more to come soon!

The first PTO Meeting of the year is scheduled for this Wednesday night, 9/28 at 6:30p.m. in the auditorium.  I will be at Curriculum Night for my own son on Wednesday and will miss the meeting, but please come out to hear from the new PTO board about all of the exciting plans the PTO has for the year.

Happy September: we are well underway.  I am at my post if you need me and encourage you to send me any questions you have at any time.  I’m always available for an early morning hot chocolate — with or without fluff — or a robust cup of coffee.  Try me.

all best,