PS/IS 686 | Brooklyn, NY

BSI Newsletter Month of February

BSI Newsletter

BSI Newsletter

Welcome to the month of February!

We are looking forward to seeing you tomorrow during Family Friday.

8:00 am PTO Meeting (auditorium)

9:00 am Mini Band Share (auditorium)

9:20 am Family Friday Activity (classrooms)

10:15 am Parent Workshop: More Than Sad (suicide prevention) led by Donna Poon. (library)

See you soon!

Schoolwide News

Grade Eight Health Expo – HEXPO
On Tuesday, we had our very first health expo to showcase and share a variety of health topics that students explored in their health/wellness unit with Mr. Ziff. We had a wonderful audience to share it with that consisted of parents, fourth-grade students, fifth-grade students and staff. They were admirably curious, supportive and appreciative of the learning process. 
Green Team Community Gathering
Last week our Green Team facilitated three community gatherings (K-2/ 3-5/ 5-8) to discuss sustainable waste management practices and how we as a school can become a Zero Waste School. 
The Green Team has also developed a classroom accountability tool that they introduced to students at the gatherings to help monitor classroom waste, recycling and contamination. 
Ms. Nanna and Ms. Sonya have been supporting students in this work. We are fortunate to have them as teacher facilitators for the green team. They are also part of the schools Green Committee, current members of which are: Ms. Audrey, Ms. Anne, Ms. Anna, Ms. Nanna, Ms. Sonya, Ms. Sevgi, Rosemary (Leo T’s mom) and Celeste (Hudson’s mom). 
Student Government Upper School Community Gathering
Our student government members have also facilitated a gathering discussing their initiatives, progress and goals. Some of the initiates are:
  • Snack Cart 
  • Water Bottle Refill Stations 
  • Organizing backpacks and classroom storage nooks
It is remarkable to witness their leadership skills in action, working towards the greater good of the community. 
Something else that is simply impossible not to share is that the gathering launched with the fifth-grade cohort sharing a dance that they created in with Ms. Diane around anti-bullying. It was incredible to watch the entire grade owning a part of the dance and being so eager to share it. Here are a few pictures:

This important student leadership work would not be possible without Ms. Waters (Gr6 Humanities teacher) and Ms. Nicole (Speech Teacher), who facilitate and support our student government on a weekly basis.

BSI Post Office
At the end of January, our annual BSI post office closed its doors.  Students wrote letters and had a chance to mail those letters and postcards to their friends across grades, siblings, and staff at BSI.   Designing and running a post office was a wonderful way to conclude a rich interdisciplinary second-grade unit and share that joy with the rest of the school community.   

A huge appreciation goes to all members of the community that made this possible and a special kudos to Ms. Mathis (201 teacher), Mr. Ray (201 TA) Ms. Mila (202 teacher), Mr. Kevin (202 TA), Ms. Nanna (Art teacher) and Ms. Shannon (Art TA).

Respect for All Week  

“Respect For All” Week (RFA) is a Department of Education initiative that begins Monday, February 10th – Friday, February 14th, throughout all New York City Public Schools.  Together with our teachers, we will continue to build on the work that we already do as a school to support this initiative.  

During the week of RFA, we will be offering our students additional activities and lessons that promote respect for diversity as well as focus on preventing bias-based harassment, intimidation, and bullying.

Let’s work together to deepen our children’s understanding of this important concept. We encourage you to have meaningful discussions with your children and talk with them about the meaning and importance of respecting each other within our school community and our global community.

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Advisory Social Isolation Initiatives

All of our advisories have been working and exploring the topic of social isolation, how to slow down and be more aware when they see social isolation and what they can do when they see it.

Towards the end of the social isolation study, students were invited to practice ending social isolation by committing to designing and leading a social isolation initiative. There were many ideas that over time students narrowed down and fine-tuned. It took a lot of thought and collaboration on the students’ part to get to where they are today. Some of the initiatives that are going to launch next week are:

  • No One Studies Alone
  • No One Plays Alone
  • Talk Table

No One Studies Alone Info

Are you struggling with a subject? Do you feel confident enough academically to help others? Either way, No One Studies Alone is for you. Sign up on a weekly basis to get help studying in any subjects available. If you feel comfortable in a subject, you can sign up monthly to mentor other students in their studies. Mentors will receive community service hours and a certificate.

Very thankful for our amazing team of Advisors (Ms. Diane, Ms. Sophia, Ms. Sevgi, Coach Brown and Ms. Ferguson) who are spearheading, facilitating and guiding our students in this work!

Also, in a week, we will be adding “Advisor Open Hours” for students, making our advisors more accessible to students and their individual needs. I would like to thank Mr. Wilson (Special Education Teacher) for one of those casual but crucial conversations that we had together along with Ms. Valerie and Mr. Havlik. This new addition stems directly from Mr. Wilson stopping by and initiating a thought-provoking conversation.

Chess Team & Afterschool 

One of our many goals is to form a chess team that would meet on a weekly basis. The team will meet with Mr. Vlad and one of BSI staff members who will coach and work with the students. 

This application will close on 2/14/2020.   Click here to apply.

Chess Festival 

Join us for a day of fun including:

  • Friendly chess tournament for those who want to play against peers of similar age;
  • Chess related activities for chess beginners such as:
    • chess art and craft;
    • chess lessons by future chess Grandmasters;
    • chess puzzles, lottery, and prizes;
    • chess-related games.
  • We are planning to invite Grandmasters to play blitz against, go over the game with tournament players, get autographs and ask questions.
  • And new activities this year which we will announce shortly: stay tuned!
  • Breakfast and lunch provided at additional cost.

Grade Level Morning Meetings

Our grade-specific morning meetings on Tuesdays have been going great. Last week we met with kindergarten families and just two days ago, we had the fourth-grade meeting. We are looking forward to all the other grades. If you missed your Google Calendar invitation, please check the calendar to see when your grade meeting is scheduled for.

Stage Crew Afterschool Application 

The Stage Crew group has been formed. They will work on creating props for this year’s musical. 

Stage crew will meet on Wednesdays from 3 to 5 pm. Any questions can be directed to Ms. Sophia and Ms. Diane.

Fifth Grade Electives- New Cycle

As of this week, all fifth-grade students had a chance to switch their elective and try something new. Fifth-grade electives are:

  • Debate
  • Art
  • Science

Early Pick Ups and Dismissal

There is a two-step process if you are picking up your child early from school. The first step is to fill out a dismissal change form. It can be done remotely or in the main office using one of the computers. The second step is to physically sign your child out in the sign-out book. Both steps are required for early pickups.

Staying Healthy & Fevers

Please help us avoid the spread of germs. If your child has a fever, s/he must have a normal temperature for 24 hours before s/he can return to school.   The custodial staff cleans and wipes surfaces at the end of each school day to prep for the following day. During the school day teachers and classroom staff goes the extra mile to wipe down desks with disinfecting wipes. There is also an abundance of hand sanitizer in every classroom that students use throughout the day. Students are encouraged to wash their hands and of course, cover their cough if they have it.   Hopefully, everyone will stay well and healthy!

Upcoming Events:

Please keep an eye on our calendar for school holidays and upcoming events.

As always if there are any questions, ideas or concerns please don’t hesitate to reach out.


Ms. Moshura