PS/IS 686 | Brooklyn, NY

BSI Newsletter & Principal’s Message Month of February

BSI Newsletter

BSI Families,

Time flies as February is almost here!  It was wonderful spending time with some of you on Sunday at the ice skating rink.  I was honored to be a part of what was an amazing community event.  Although I certainly lacked confidence on the ice, the students seemed filled with joy with the opportunity to spend time with their families and classmates in a setting outside of the walls of BSI. 

2018 is off to a busy start at BSI as we dive back into instruction and exciting events that we are embarking on in the new year.  I would like to welcome both Anna Moshura and Melissa Singer back from maternity leaves.  They were both missed, and it is great to have them here working with our students again.

Last Monday, our teachers attended a workshop hosted by Dr. Mandi Silverman from the Child Mind Institute (CMI).  Dr. Silverman is clinical and school psychologist in the ADHD and Behavior Disorders Center at CMI.  During her talk, Dr. Silverman shared behavioral and classroom management strategies to support the needs of twice-exceptional students.  The presentation was well received by teachers, and I hope that this is a first experience in what will be a long-term relationship with the CMI.  

We are excited to announce that lunch clubs for grades 5-8 began this week.  Our current lunch club options are:

  • Computer Programming
  • Beads, Beads, Beads
  • Intramural Basketball
  • Art Recess
  • Board Games
  • Performing Arts
  • Sports Exploration
  • Intramural Indoor Soccer
  • Legos
  • Chess
  • Role Playing & Skits Spanish
  • Yearbook
  • Student Council (info is forthcoming)

Last week, we sent home overnight trip information for our eighth graders who will be traveling to Boston for three days and two nights.  Eighth graders will visit historic sites including the Bunker Hill Monument, Boston Museum of Science and the Freedom Trail.  The trip will be an opportunity to dive deep into the historical significance of these, and other sites while creating lifelong memories with their classmates as they prepare for life beyond BSI.  More announcements related to overnight trips in other grades are forthcoming.

Beginning later this winter, we will begin piloting what we expect will be a school-wide K-8 health/sex education curriculum that we will roll out next year.  In collaboration with the BSI Wellness Council, the 3Rs (Rights, Respect and Responsibility) program was selected as a pilot for grades 4, 5 and 7.  To assist on this journey, we partnered with Elizabeth Schroeder, the co-author of the 3Rs curriculum.  She will visit the school throughout the year and will help us to deliver lessons and work with teachers to draft a scope and sequence.  The 3Rs curriculum covers a wide range of topics, including but not limited to, bullying, gender roles, puberty and healthy/unhealthy relationships.  A big thank you to members of the Wellness Council who helped to secure a $2500 grant that will help to subsidize the contract with Dr. Schroeder.  

Both Family Friday and the next PTO meeting are on February 9.  The last Family Friday was a huge success, and I look forward to the activities and events that we will have planned.  At the PTO meeting, I will present an update on PTO spending to date, propose new enrichments and spending “asks”, and Toi Ferguson, our Dean of Students, will elaborate more on her role, highlight some of the activities that we have planned for Respect for All week and discuss steps that we are taking to promote a positive school culture for all of our students.

As I sit here and think about the year ahead, it is hard to believe that we are almost at the midway point.  I ask that you spend some time this week reflecting on the achievements of your child/ren, and what we can do together to support and encourage them for the remainder of the school year.  Please check in with your children and their teachers if you have any questions or concerns.  I will remain committed to maintaining focus during the coming months and am always here for you as well. 

Finally, I was honored to meet BSI graduates that came to speak last week to our current eighth graders about their early experiences at different high schools.  It was great to hear their stories about commutes, academic work, homework, meeting new friends and the importance of continuing relationships with old friends.  I wish them all the best of luck during their high school experiences.


Mr. Havlik

Schoolwide News

Principal’s Message  

Going forward Mr. Havlik’s monthly message will be shared in the monthly newsletter as it did this time for February. 

Family Fridays Reminder 

During these times you are encouraged to visit your child’s classroom and participate in classroom activities.  All of our children benefit from having more adults to interact with, and our whole community benefits from increased family involvement. February Family Friday will begin at 9:25 am. 

Below are the dates and times for upcoming Family Fridays:
February 9, 2018 (9:25 – 10:10)
April 27, 2018 (8:40 – 9:25)
May 18, 2018 (Friends & Family day / 8:40 – end time TBA)

Come for part of the time, all of the time, or whatever fits into your schedule. We look forward to seeing you!

Grade Level Parent Meetings 

In December, Mr. Havlik sent out an invitation to grade level meetings. Last week a Google reminder was sent to all grades with the date of their grade level meeting as a reminder. We look forward to seeing you at the meetings. All meetings will begin at 8:00am. During the first half of the meeting, the teachers will be there until 8:25am which is when they need to pick up their classes. During the second part of the meeting Mr. Havlik, Ms. Moshura and Ms. Ferguson will be available for any questions, event briefings or other things that are on your mind. 





















Chess Festival

Sunday, February 11th, is Chess Festival day organized by our PTO. Hope you can make it as it is promising to be a lot of fun. 

Mid-Winter Recess 

February 16th- February 25th. 

Indoor Recess 

If anyone would like to donate any spare board games, chalk, building sets or any other recess related items feel free to drop off by the main office or send with your child. 

Blog Emails and Communication

 If you find yourself not receiving class emails or blog updates please put your name and email down in this form.  

Other Reminders

Students have been bringing slime to some of the classrooms and it has been a distraction.  Please remind your child that slime is to be left at home.


Middle School News 

Overnight Field Trips 

Overnight field trips are being planned for grades 5 through 8. The first upcoming overnight trip is going to be a trip to Boston with our 8th graders in March. Field trip permission slips went out on January 25th with more details about the trip and necessary forms.


If anyone has any SHSAT prep materials that they no longer need the school will happily take them and make available for middle school students through a sign-out process. 

Upcoming Events:

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(for details go to the main calendar and click on the event)