Happy March, dearest P.S. 56 School Family! It does not seem possible that we are already welcoming March - our days together continue to fly in and fly out. Thursday, March 4, is designated for Parent-Teacher Conferences. Our teachers will be meeting with all of you individually to discuss your children’s academic progress, thus far this year, and to develop and share the next steps needed to ensure that all our children reach their learning goals for this school year. In March we officially begin our 3rd and final trimester for the 2020-2021 school year and we are determined to support the academic success and achievement of every child in the months ahead. Together we are ensuring our children are going far!
We continue to have three primary goals: Our children feel safe. Our children feel known and loved. Our children reach their full potential in a learning environment that is nurturing, exciting and engaging. We want all our students to be lifelong learners. I see these goals being met in our classrooms, both in the building and virtually. I know this isn’t easy, but our students, your children, have demonstrated amazing resilience, adaptability and academic growth. They have developed lasting friendships with their classmates and positive relationships with their teachers. There is JOY in their learning! It is always so inspiring and uplifting to visit their classrooms - hear their ideas - see the support they give each other. I know there is a lot of media attention being given to what has been lost, but I can assure everyone much has been gained as well. Last month, third graders shared their projects on Black History Month with their classmates and me. Fourth graders, both in the building and learning at home, play Kahoot together to sharpen and strengthen their math skills. Wheel of Fortune is used by Grade 5 classes to reinforce learning, vocabulary, and reading skills. Students are reading and listening to magnificent chapter books that are part of their integrated units of study - Sign of the Beaver, Esperanza Rising, Charlotte’s Web are classroom staples that promote student to student discourse and a love of reading. A first grade class went on a virtual trip to a bowling alley and had a ball! Our kindergarten students are now writing stories and growing as readers. Second graders are sharing their i-Ready data with me - proudly explaining their performance and growth! Students are setting next learning goals for themselves. Our Integrated Units of Study, Grades K - 5, ensure that all our students are readers, writers, mathematicians, scientists, geographers, artists and higher-order critical thinkers. There is singing. There is dancing. There is laughter. There is joy! This afternoon I received a text from a teacher that read “The children in my class are truly a gift to me.” Truth is - texts like this one are a daily occurrence in my life. Is it no wonder I always wear a smile? Our students are super stars - they are our heroes.
I know that the challenges facing our country and world continue - this has been a year like no other - but there is light as the vaccination rollout continues and the hope that a return to normalcy is on the horizon. I can never say this enough: I have been so blessed to be on this journey with all of you - your support, patience and understanding have been tremendously appreciated every step of the way. Each of you holds a place in my heart and in my prayers always.
This is the time of the year that we monitor our progress towards meeting our CEP Goals. Our CEP Goals include school-wide progress in ELA and Math, a decrease in chronic absenteeism, and a positive response to the SEL strategies and programs we have in place to support our students’ social and emotional well-being.
Improving our attendance rate remains vital. We believe that “Every student, Every day” helps ensure all our children reach their full academic potential. We also understand that all families are facing a myriad of challenges during this pandemic - and one of those challenges includes remote learning. We continue to work in partnership with our families to offer and provide support with technology. Our sensational school aides do family outreach every day to support those who need it. We have provided devices (laptops, iPads and chrome books to every student, along with ongoing tech support).
As of today, we have 679 amazing children registered at our school. 55% of our students are fully remote learners, 45% of our students are blended learners. 23% of our children have an individualized education program and 18% of our children are English New Language learners. These numbers represent our awesome students. ALL our data has a face - the face of 679 beautiful and amazing students and we are honored to be their second teachers. You, dearest parents remain always their first and forever teachers. I tell our students all the time that I have THE best job in the world - because I do!!! The joy, excitement and love of learning I get to witness and experience every day, both in our building and virtually, are priceless!
So I end with a humongous thank you to all of you for choosing us to be their second teachers. Bring on March! Bring on Spring! Bring on the remainder of this school year! Our best is yet to be!