October Principal Newsletter


It is hard to believe that one month of the school year has already concluded.  I participated in a LPP meeting and we were expected to share data that we feel highlights successful work taking place at our school.  Some on my team remarked that we should not use our state test scores to document the successful work at our school.  After, I thought about it for a while I agreed that we’ve never been a “test-driven” school community and that it would be unfair to paint ourselves in such manner.  However, I did want to challenge the mental models that exist in regards to how Black and Latino kids perform on standardized assessments.  There are individuals that continue to make the argument that Black and Latino kids will continue to struggle on standardized assessments unless we provide more support and resources to prepare them for the test—teaching to the test.

I’ve found that providing a well-rounded instructional program, focused professional development, effective parent engagement and responsive techniques that address the social and emotional needs of kids yield positive learning outcomes for all.   Over the last three years many outsiders attribute our success to a changing demographic of “new families” and that is the reason that our state test scores remain strong.  This point fails to take into consideration that the children taught within a progressive framework are now in second grade and that the students who continue to follow a traditional approach to teaching and learning still make up the testing grades (many of these families have lived in the community for generations.)  We are very proud that in ELA 56% and in math 56% of third through fifth graders at the Ralph Bunche School scored at a “proficient” level on the statewide assessments—the highest proficiency levels in Community School District 5. Juan Tinch, 4th grade scholar achieved a PERFECT score on his mathematics assessment. This year’s ELA score is a 17% increase and the math is a 3% increase over last year’s.  I have often said that if we allow teachers to teach in meaningful, relevant and engaging ways, that scholars chances of demonstrating proficiency are enhanced versus having them sit through test-prep all day.  These scores tend to verify that.

Still, while we are elated with being the number one elementary school in Community School District 5 and excited to be closing the achievement gap, we know that test scores are only one measure of student learning.  If we allow ourselves as a school and as a community to be overly focused on test scores to the detriment of other learning, our scholars will not have the variety of opportunities necessary to become all that they could become academically, artistically, athletically, and as contributing members of our society.

Attend an America Scores soccer game, the RBS has Got Talent, Behind the Book, NYC Ballet Performances, Young Audiences of NY Performances, Little Orchestra Society,  Gospel for Pre-Teens, Swim-for-Life classes, Studio in a School Showcase, Doing Art Together Showcase, District 5 Spelling Bee, District 5 STEM Expo, Harlem Grown Farm or a myriad of other activities that clearly demonstrate our scholars’ knowledge and skills, and you will see that these scholars surprise and delight us every day.  I was especially impressed with the efforts our scholars made to contribute to the Puerto Rican Hurricane Maria Drive. Kids and families working together to support those in need.  As a school community we also recognize that our brothers and sisters in the U.S. Virgin Islands also need our assistance and the kids will be hosting a drive to support USVI too.

Taken together, these results are much more powerful than a single test score, and they demonstrate that our scholars are receiving a high-quality education of which we can all be very proud because we have all had a part in it.  We have teachers, paraprofessionals, school aides and administrators who are some of the best in New York City and who care deeply about their scholars.  We have wonderful scholars who take responsibility for their learning and want to learn, and we are fortunate with involved parents/caregivers and community members who have high expectations and strongly support their local public school.

Teachers are busy implementing new lessons that coincide with the Common Core Learning Standards in the major academic areas of English Language Arts and math.  Scholars are learning new ways to solve problems and think critically. Teachers have been administering baseline assessments in English Language Arts and math. These formative assessments helps teachers isolate objectives that scholars have mastered and objectives that need to be re-taught. 

With the start of a new school year upon us, there are many changes at the RBS.  We have some returning and new teachers, returning and new paraprofessionals, new assistant principal, a new schedule and many other exciting changes.

  • Francesca Florio, Kindergarten Teacher
  • Jamilah Nieves, Second/Third Grade Teacher
  • Mandy Mazel, Fourth Grade Teacher
  • Adam Kidder, Art Specialist Teacher
  • Crystal Edwards, Occupational Therapist

I want to personally thank all the families for stopping by our Open School Night. A special acknowledgement for the men that brought their scholars to school for “Dads Take Your Kids to School.” We hope you can find a way to be a part of our school community as either a volunteer, classroom representative, or a spectator at one of the many events throughout the year.  A well-rounded education requires everyone getting involved in student learning.  Whether it be volunteering, ensuring your scholar is well-rested and prepared for school, or consistently reviewing homework on a nightly basis, all efforts will result in heightened student engagement in school.

The fall is a very busy time here at the Ralph Bunche School:

SLT Meeting                                                                           October 3rd     4:00pm

Family Day Potluck Picnic (Morningside Park—120th ST)    October 14th    12:00pm

PA Meeting                                                                             October 17th    6:00pm

Hispanic Heritage Celebration                                                October 16th    4:30pm

Title I Parent Meeting                                                             October 23rd    5:00pm

United Nations Day Assembly                                               October 24th    9:00am

Progressive Ed PD                                                                  October 25th    9:00am

Progressive Ed PD                                                                  October 26th    5:30pm

Book-a-Ween Parade                                                              October 31st    1:30pm

(THERE IS NO SCHOOL on October 9th.)

There will be a myriad of opportunities for you to be involved with the RBS staff, families and scholars this month.  Aliya Thomas and Tomoi Zeimer are Co-Presidents of the Parent Association.  Make this year memorable by becoming active in your school’s Parent Association.

 School attendance is not just required by law, it is critical to scholars’ success in school and life.  Please read Chancellor’s Regulation A-210 very carefully.  It details the attendance policy of New York City public schools.  It is important for every scholar to attend school every day.  Absences should occur only for the reasons outlined in this policy.  If your scholar is absent from school, you must send a written excuse to the school.  Unexcused absences will be referred to the guidance counselor, social worker, and attendance coordinator.  Please note that absences for family trips are unexcused unless approved in advance by the principal.

  • Research shows that children who are chronically absent -- that is, they miss 20 or more days of school in a given schoolyear -- are less likely to graduate from high school .  This includes students who miss just two days a month, which adds up to 20 days a year.
  • In addition, analysis of national testing data shows that scholars who miss more school than their peers consistently score lower on standardized tests , no matter their age, demographic group, or state or city.

With the change in our school schedule it is important that scholars are picked up immediately at dismissal.  Our school day officially ends at 2:20pm and there is no adult supervision after that time.  Please call (212) 666-6400 if you are going to be late picking your scholar up from dismissal.  This courtesy will greatly reduce the number of calls we must make to inform you that your scholar has not been picked up

I encourage you all to embrace our instructional focus of developing academic vocabulary skills.  We are off to an auspicious school year!

Educationally yours,

Reggie Higgins, Principal

Principal's Welcome After Summer Vacation

August 14, 2017

Dear Students, Parents, Faculty and Staff:

Welcome back! I hope you all had a fine vacation and are looking forward with enthusiasm to the new school year.

Now starting my seventh year at the RBS, I would also like to use this letter to tell you why I am so pleased to be part of this community.  P.S. 125--The Ralph Bunche School is considered to be among the finest elementary schools in Community School District 5.  The RBS is routinely recognized for educational excellence.  Such recognition does not occur by chance.  It is the result of three things: supportive parents/caregivers, motivated students and dedicated staff members.

Every year we invite our parents/caregivers--indeed, urge them--to volunteer at the school with the Parent Association and/or as a Classroom Representative.  There are many tasks that volunteers can perform.  If you are interested in joining, please call (212) 666-6400 ext. 2004 to speak with Griselda Hernandez, Parent Coordinator or email PA President Aliya Thomas at anpurdy@hotmail.com.

You are cordially invited to attend a Parent-Teacher Conference with your son or daughter on Wednesday, September 13, 2017 at 4:30p.m.  The first part of the meeting will be held in the RBS Auditorium.  At this meeting we will introduce you to the teachers and curriculum of the school.  Much of the time will be spent in your child's classroom explaining the teacher's vision and their expectations for the year.  School personnel will be open to suggestions from parents/caregivers and students regarding the curriculum and extra-curricular activities. Please mark your calendar:  Wednesday, September 13, at 4:30p.m.  This is an important meeting for both parents/caregivers and students.

Second, a reminder: School starts on Thursday, September 7. 1st - 5th grade students will meet on the playground (RBS Auditorium for inclement weather.)  Please note that drop-off for first grade will take place directly in the classroom beginning on Monday, September 11.  2nd - 5th grade will always meet on the playground for morning line-up.

Pre-K follows a graduated schedule for the first two days of school.  We begin with a 1-hour and a half session on Thursday, September 7, the first group (A - L) will be from 9a.m. - 10:30a.m. and the second group (M - Z) will from 11:00a.m. - 12:30p.m.  On Friday, September 8 the entire class will be for 2 hours (9a.m. - 11a.m.)  On Monday, September 11, the entire class will be in for a full-day session.  We require adult attendance with each child in all our Pre-K classes on the first two days of school.

Please be advised that on Thursday, September 7 kindergarten is in school for a half-day session.  Students will be dismissed at 11:30a.m. from the classroom.  Kindergarten will begin a full-day session on Friday, September 8, 2017.  

Our regular school day begins at 8:00a.m. and ends at 2:20p.m.  Breakfast is available for 2nd - 5th grade beginning at 7:30a.m - 7:55a.m. (PK and K will have a family style breakfast served in the classroom and 1st grade will have breakfast-on-the-go served in the classroom.)  Beginning on Monday, September 11 any child in grades K - 5 is permitted to wait in the basement cafeteria at 7:30a.m. with staff (K and 1 will receive breakfast in their classrooms at 8a.m.)

Suggestions for Early Childhood Students/New Students

  1. Try to bring your child to the school and the school playground a day or two before school opens.  As you will see from this visit, we have an exceptionally attractive and well-equipped playground.  It is likely to appeal to your child.
  2. In discussing the start of the school year with your child, be positive.  Tell him or her how much fun school can be.  Your child will almost surely like their new school--especially if you present it in an enthusiastic way.
  3. When your child enters the school building, it can be a rather traumatic time for both of you.  Try to stay calm, cheerful, and optimistic.  Say goodbye with a smile.  Remember, this is an adventure for your child, a fascinating beginning.

Our teachers and paraprofessionals are looking forward with great enthusiasm to September 7th.

To assist you in learning your way around the community and to better help you understand your responsibilities as a parent/caregiver, Griselda Hernandez, Parent Coordinator will offer guidance and support to families.

Most important is that everybody deserves an opportunity to show you how great they are at teaching.  We are so pleased to welcome our newest faculty members:

  • Francesca Florio, Kindergarten Teacher
  • Amanda Mazel, Third Grade Teacher
  • Adam Kidder, Visual Arts Teacher

I will admit that families selected the RBS because they wanted a particular teacher however I feel that the real strength of the RBS lies in the collective talents of all members on the team.  I am always open for suggestions from parents/caregivers once you have provided ample time to transition and get to know the staff. I will not make changes on the first few days of school.

Our goal is to provide all students with the opportunity to excel in academics, athletics, and fine arts so that they may become positive, contributing members of our school and community.

I look forward to working with you this school year. Let's make it the best one ever!

Educationally yours,

Reggie Higgins, Principal

June Principal Newsletter

Dear RBS Family,

We are near the end of another year of working together.  A great deal of progress has occurred this year. Enrichment programs, after school programs and school partnerships are in greater abundance than they were a year ago.  An energetic Parent Association continues to spread the “Good New” about the RBS and provides emotional, physical and financial support for the school.

As we work together, I know we will accomplish a great deal more.  I want you to know how much I enjoyed working with each of you and how much I appreciate your good work.

You have done a superb job under trying circumstances during our second year as a progressive school.  Your ingenuity and dedication in coping with hardships caused by external accountability measures (ADVANCE, MOSL, PPO, QRs, Walkthroughs etc…) have helped our scholars to have an excellent school year.  Your love shielded them and you made sure they had a good, safe, productive, and happy school experience.

At the RBS we continued to put emphasis on the quality of academic programs available to all of our scholars.  We have demonstrated again this year that our scholars are learning well, and made measurable progress on their writing, social-emotional, and creative skills.  Under your direction, many of our scholars have represented the RBS in an outstanding manner (America Scores NY State Liaison—Amir Cummings, Studio in a School Student Artist—Santiago Garcia, Silver Status for the Excellence in School Wellness Award, Respect for All Winners.)

From the moment I came to the RBS in September 2011, I believed that the real strength of the school was its exceptionally able and talented staff.  That belief is now a conviction. I hoped you would come through this year, and you came through in a way that exceeded my highest expectations. As a result, the majority of our scholars are challenged across a broad spectrum of classes and well-planned enrichment activities.  This is made possible because of the staff’s collective work ethic and a belief that our scholars are capable—physically, emotionally, socially, and intellectually—of achievement levels much higher than might be expected elsewhere.

Things look good for next year—not perfect, but good. I think we can prevail.  I believe that the people of West Harlem will support a progressive, quality education.  I know that we are not the perfect school, that up close there is much that can be improved.  Still, I am continually impressed with the community-wide respect that we are afforded as educators.  Taxpayers support us, parents/caregivers encourage us, and the scholars, by and large, come to school daily, ready and eager to learn.  In truth, our jobs are easier by the absence of distractions and the respect this community holds for its scholars and for learning in general.

I am going to take this opportunity to thank the teachers, paraprofessionals, school aides, parent coordinator, deans, school safety agents, cafeteria workers, custodial staff, district staff, parent coordinator, parent association, bus matrons, school crossing guards, school leadership team, parent classroom representatives, and CBO partners for your good efforts and hard work.  We make a difference in the lives of our children and through them I believe we are making the world incrementally a better place for everyone.

It has taken several years of effort, with all of us working together to strengthen our instructional program, to bring us to this point of achievement.  This could not have been done without the help and encouragement of citizens such as you.  Thank you very much for believing in what we are trying to do.

Enjoy the summer respite.  Relax, read a good book, go see a Broadway show (if you get tickets to Hamilton I will join), and enjoy your families and friends.

With warmest regards,

Reggie Higgins, Principal

Estimada familia RBS,

Estamos cerca del final de otro año de trabajar juntos. Una gran parte del progreso se ha producido este año. Los programas de enriquecimiento, programas después de la escuela y las asociaciones de escuelas están en mayor abundancia de lo que eran hace un año. Una Asociación de Padres energética sigue propagando la "Buena Nueva" de la RBS y proporciona apoyo emocional, físico y financiero para la escuela.

Al trabajar juntos, sé que vamos a lograr mucho más. Quiero que sepas lo mucho que disfruté trabajando con cada uno de ustedes y lo mucho que aprecio su buen trabajo.

Usted ha hecho un trabajo excelente en circunstancias difíciles durante nuestro primer año como una escuela progresiva. Su ingenio y dedicación para hacer frente a las dificultades causadas por las medidas de rendición de cuentas externas (ADVANCE, Mösl, PPO, restricciones cuantitativas, Tutoriales, etc ...) han ayudado a nuestros investigadores a tener un excelente año escolar. Su amor los protegía y se aseguró de que tenían una buena y segura, productiva y feliz experiencia escolar.

En el RBS continuamos a poner énfasis en la calidad de los programas académicos disponibles para todos nuestros eruditos. Hemos demostrado una vez más este año que nuestros eruditos están aprendiendo bien, y realizado progresos tangibles en su escritura, social y emocional, y las habilidades creativas. Bajo su dirección, la mayoría de nuestros estudiosos han representado el RBS de manera sobresaliente (América puntuaciones NY Estado de Enlace-Amir Cummings, Studio in a School Student Artist- Santiago Garcia, Estado de plata a la excelencia en la concesión de bienestar Escolar, el respeto de todos los ganadores.)

Desde el momento en que llegué a la RBS en septiembre de 2011, creía que la fuerza real de la escuela era su excepcional talento y poder personal. Esa creencia es ahora una condena. Tenía la esperanza de que vendría a través de este año, y vinisteis a través de una manera que superó mis expectativas más altas. Como resultado, la mayoría de nuestros estudiantes son desafiados a través de un amplio espectro de clases y actividades de enriquecimiento bien planificadas. Esto es posible debido a la ética de trabajo colectivo del personal y la creencia de que nuestros eruditos son capaces física, emocional, social e intelectual de los niveles de rendimiento mucho más altos de lo que cabría esperar en otro lugar.

Las cosas se ven bien para el próximo año, no es perfecto, pero bueno. Creo que podemos prevalecer. Creo que el pueblo de West Harlem apoyarán una educación progresiva de la calidad. Yo sé que no somos la escuela perfecta, que de cerca es mucho lo que se puede mejorar. Aún así, estoy continuamente impresionado con el respeto de toda la comunidad que se concedan como educadores. Los contribuyentes nos apoyan, los padres / cuidadores nos animan, y los eruditos, por lo general, llegan a la escuela todos los días, listos y deseosos de aprender. En verdad, nuestros trabajos son más fáciles por la ausencia de distracciones y el respeto a esta comunidad se mantiene para sus académicos y de aprendizaje en general.

Voy a aprovechar esta oportunidad para agradecer a los maestros, los auxiliares, asistentes escolares, coordinador de padres, decanos, agentes de seguridad escolar, trabajadores de la cafetería, personal de vigilancia, personal del distrito, el coordinador de padres, asociaciones de padres, matronas autobuses, guardias de cruces escolares, el liderazgo escolar equipo, representantes de aula de los padres, y socios CBO por sus buenos esfuerzos y el trabajo duro. Hacemos una diferencia en las vidas de nuestros hijos y por ellos yo creo que estamos haciendo de forma incremental el mundo un lugar mejor para todos.

Han sido necesarios varios años de esfuerzo, con todos los que trabajamos en conjunto para fortalecer nuestro programa de instrucción, para traernos a este punto de logro. Esto no se podría haber hecho sin la ayuda y el apoyo de los ciudadanos como usted. Muchas gracias por creer en lo que estamos tratando de hacer.

Disfrutar del descanso de verano. Relajarse, leer un buen libro, ir a ver un espectáculo de Broadway (si tienes entradas para Hamilton que se unirá a), y disfrutar de sus familias y amigos.

Con mis mejores deseos,

Reggie Higgins

Director de escuela

May Principal Newsletter

Dear RBS Family,

With the change in the weather and the increase in scholar activities after-school, we are seeing some overall changes in the scholars. Behavior is a little looser, homework is being missed and overall scholars appear to be ready for a summer vacation.  The teachers and I have talked with scholars reminding them that we are looking for their best behavior in the classrooms, playground, bus, and all areas of their school day. We expect all scholars to behave in a respectful and safe manner. We are proud of them and their accomplishments and encourage scholars to finish their school year doing their best!

We begin this month by celebrating our wonderful staff and recognizing all mothers.  The first week of May (the week of May 1 - 5) is Staff Appreciation Week. One of the nicest gifts a scholar or parent/caregiver can give a staff member is a letter of appreciation for a staff member’s file or a card. I accept letters throughout the school year and during the summer so please feel free to send these in at your convenience.

Thank you to those parents/caregivers who completed the School Survey. The responses from this survey are used to establish priorities for the school like how we can improve communication to parents/caregivers, enriching the existing curriculum and ensuring that the learning environments are inclusive for all scholars.

Many thanks to Mr. Blatman for all of his amazing efforts in sponsoring and coordinating the District 5 STEM Expo being held on Saturday, May 20th. We love seeing all of the projects and are pleasantly surprised to see new explorations! We are thrilled that this STEM Expo provides scholars an opportunity to collaborate on projects where they investigated something they were wondering about. Hats off to our budding scientists!!!

We want to wish all moms a very wonderful Mother’s Day on Sunday, May 14th.

There will be no school for scholars on Monday, May 29th in observance of Memorial Day. Thank you to all families who have lost a loved one or who has a loved one currently serving in the armed services on behalf of our country. We recognize the sacrifice that families make in support of loved ones who serve.

Alvaro Cabrera is the parent of a second grade scholar and he has invited all families to participate in an online focus group regarding progressive education. The purpose of this activity is to help answer the question: What should progressive education look like when applied to our school? The ideas that emerge from the forum will be synthesized, summarized and organized by the group facilitator, and handed to the PA board and the school as a contribution to this important ongoing debate. To participate, families can enter whenever your schedule permits, during a period of five days, to post, comment, and answer to other parents. The online group will be open from Wednesday April 26th at 7am, to Monday May 1st at noon.

Please save Saturday, June 3rd to join all of us at the Family Day Spring Festival.  The event runs from 12pm – 4pm and we expect a day of fun-filled activities for families.

Best regards,

Reggie Higgins













This month is full of events for our scholars:

Alley Pond Park                                              K-111                                        May 2nd

Harlem Grown                                                2-206                                       May 3rd

Dewitt Clinton HS (Behind the Book)           2-206                                       May 9th

Instinet(Read Ahead)                                 5-207, 5-216                             May 11th

Global Language Project                                Select classes                        May 15th

Harlem Grown                                                PK 107                                    May 18th

District 5 STEM Expo                                    All classes                               May 20th

Harlem Grown                                                PK 103, PK 112                      May 24th

American Museum of Natural History           PK 103, PK 107, PK 112          May 26th

Randalls Island                                               Grades 1 -5                             May 26th

S’Cool Sounds                                                Select classes                        May 31st

TADA Musical Theater                                  (206,207,215,216)                   May 30th

TADA Musical Theater                                  (108,110,211,213,217)            June 1st

Family Day Spring Festival                            All families & classes              June 3rd


·  PK Stepping up is June 20th

·  Kindergarten Moving up is June 21st

· Fifth grade Promotional Ceremony is June 22nd


April Principal Newsletter

April Principal Newsletter

Dear Ralph Bunche School Families,

Spring Break is finally here (NO After-School on April 7th.)  It is hard to believe that we have only a few months left in the 2016 -2017 school year.  I would like to take a moment to thank you for your hard work this year!  You are all vital to the success of students.  Whether you are off April 7th – 18th or not, I hope that all of you have the opportunity to reflect, refresh and rejuvenate yourselves with family and friends.

I have to send a special shout-out to my amazing Parents Association.  This year this core group has been instrumental in building bridges with our faculty across all grade levels and job titles.  Moreover, they have created amazing opportunities for families to be involved and to ensure that parents’/caregivers’ voices are heard.  I can’t say thank you enough for all that you do for our school and community.

Your work with the 2nd Floor Book Nook, Sister Circle Women’s Forum, Dance-A-thon Fundraiser, New Signage on the School Garden (Gio did an AWESOME JOB!!!), Family Day in June or just supporting the school makes us great. I realize everyday how lucky I am to have the support of my families. Thank you for continuing to believe in me and my staff.  We are on the MOVE!

I participated in a meeting with the superintendent and the executive PA to discuss a myriad of questions and/or concerns.  I left feeling optimistic about the future of our school.  All kids have access to physical education, arts, music, theater, dance and a reading space (2nd Floor Book Nook Opening, April 7th.)  While I love the programs, I can’t wait for the day when we have a certified arts and music teachers on our faculty.  This idea is very important because a lot of where our student funding comes from is based on our total enrollment. The conversation about space will continue as we all agree that our school’s needs are changing.

Our projected enrollment for 2017 – 2018 is 304 students.  Everyone that is new to our school wonders why families want to join the RBS family (we know that it is for a lot of reasons that families select the RBS.)  I believe prospective and current families know that our kids are loved, nurtured, supported, and encouraged to be the best version of themselves.  They know that somebody believes in them!

Many of our pre-kindergarten families were shocked as I was that they were not given an offer for kindergarten in the first round of notification letters.  This was the first time something liked this has happened since I’ve been principal where all offers are made only to zoned families.  After April 7th I will have a better a sense of who can be called from the waitlist. In the past most of our pre-kindergarten families were removed from the waitlist and offered a seat.

If you are concerned that your 3rd – 5th grade scholar is in danger to not meet promotional standards, then you must set-up an appointment to speak with the classroom teacher, Ms. Hernandez and myself.  Our school’s policy is to use a holistic approach of examining student work samples (reading, writing, mathematics, social studies, science) from September – June [students with IEPs and/or ELLs will be evaluated according to DOE policies.]

Some 3rd – 5th grade students may require summer school to be able to demonstrate their readiness to complete work at the next grade level. Summer School dates are July 5- August 10 (8am – 2:30pm/ Monday – Thursday.)

Important Dates

Ø  School Leadership Team                                                      April 4th

Ø  Fresh Air Fund Summer Camp for Parents                         April 5th

Ø  NYC Ballet Recital for Grades 1 and 2                                 April 7th

Ø  2nd Floor RBS Book Nook Opening                                   April 7th

Ø  NO After-School                                                                   April 7th

Ø  Spring Recess (School is Closed)                                        April 10th

Ø  School Resumes                                                                   April 19th

Ø  Math State Exams for Parents                                             April 20th

Ø  Cookshop for Families                                                         April 21st

Ø  Affordable Housing and Credit Building for Parents           April 27th

***Math State Tests are May 2nd – 4th

Up to 40 percent of children in our country experience outdoor allergies. If welcoming the new season means welcoming more sneezing and sniffling around your house, then your kids might be suffering from allergies. As the weather changes and becomes warmer we will spend more time outdoors. Seasonal allergies occur mainly with pollen so it comes from plants, weeds, grasses and trees.  Typically, it comes from trees early in the spring, so in April and May.

In kids typically, we sometimes see a myriad of problems that are related to the congestion [caused by allergies]. Fatigue, especially during the daytime, poor concentration in class, learning problems and other difficulty in class can all be related to nasal congestion, because kids won't be sleeping as well at night. And then during the daytime, they're blowing their nose a lot and experiencing other symptoms. It can make having a good day very challenging. Please inform your child’s teacher and the nurse about any allergies your child might have.

Have a Happy Easter and Happy Passover!

Reggie Higgins, Principal


Estimadas Familias de la Escuela Ralph Bunche,
Las vacaciones de primavera finalmente están aquí (NO después de la escuela el 7 de abril.) Es difícil creer que tenemos sólo unos pocos meses en el año escolar 2016-2017. Me gustaría tomar un momento para agradecerles por su arduo trabajo este año! Todos son vitales para el éxito de los estudiantes. Ya sea que se encuentren fuera del 7 o 18 de abril, espero que todos ustedes tengan la oportunidad de reflexionar, refrescarse y rejuvenecerse con sus familiares y amigos.
Tengo que enviar un mensaje especial a mi increíble Asociación de Padres. Este año este grupo central ha sido instrumental en la construcción de puentes con nuestra facultad en todos los niveles de grado y títulos de trabajo. Además, han creado oportunidades asombrosas para que las familias se involucren y para asegurar que las voces de los padres / cuidadores sean escuchadas. No puedo agradecerte lo suficiente por todo lo que haces por nuestra escuela y comunidad.
Tu trabajo con el Nook de la 2ª planta, el Foro de Mujeres Hermanas, la Recaudación de Fondos Dance-A-thon, la Nueva Señalización en el Jardín Escolar (Gio hizo un TRABAJO IMPRESIONANTE !!!), el Día de la Familia en Junio  el apoyo a la escuela nos hace geniales . Me doy cuenta de lo afortunado que soy de tener el apoyo de mis familias. Gracias por seguir creyendo en mí y en mi personal. Estamos en el MOVE!
Yo participé en una reunión con el superintendente y la AP ejecutiva para discutir una miríada de preguntas y / o preocupaciones. Me fui sintiendo optimista sobre el futuro de nuestra escuela. Todos los niños tienen acceso a la educación física, las artes, la música, el teatro, la danza y un espacio para la lectura (2do piso de la inauguración del recinto del libro, 7 de abril). Aunque amo los programas, no puedo esperar el día en que tenemos un certificado de artes Y profesores de música en nuestra facultad. Esta idea es muy importante porque gran parte de la financiación de nuestros estudiantes se basa en nuestra matrícula total. La conversación sobre el espacio continuará mientras todos estamos de acuerdo en que las necesidades de nuestra escuela están cambiando.
Nuestra inscripción prevista para 2017 - 2018 es de 304 estudiantes. Todos los que son nuevos en nuestra escuela se preguntan por qué las familias quieren unirse a la familia RBS (sabemos que es por muchas razones que las familias seleccionan el RBS). Creo que las familias actuales y futuras saben que nuestros hijos son amados, , Y se anima a ser la mejor versión de sí mismos. ¡Ellos saben que alguien cree en ellos!
Muchas de nuestras familias pre-kindergarten se sorprendieron como yo era que no se les dio una oferta para el jardín de infantes en la primera ronda de cartas de notificación. Esta fue la primera vez que algo le gustó esto ha sucedido desde que he sido principal donde todas las ofertas se hacen sólo a las familias de zonas. Después del 7 de abril tendré una mejor idea de quién puede ser llamado de la lista de espera. En el pasado la mayoría de nuestras familias de pre-kindergarten fueron removidas de la lista de espera y ofrecieron un asiento.
Si le preocupa que su becario de 3er a 5to grado esté en peligro de no cumplir con los estándares promocionales, entonces debe establecer una cita para hablar con la maestra de la clase, la Sra. Hernández y conmigo mismo. La política de nuestra escuela es usar un enfoque holístico de examinar las muestras de trabajo de los estudiantes (lectura, escritura, matemáticas, estudios sociales, ciencias) de septiembre a junio [los estudiantes con IEPs y / o ELLs serán evaluados de acuerdo a las políticas del DOE].
Algunos estudiantes de tercer a quinto grado pueden requerir que la escuela de verano demuestre su preparación para completar el trabajo en el siguiente grado. Las fechas de la Escuela de Verano son del 5 de julio al 10 de agosto (de 8 am a 2:30 pm de lunes a jueves).
Fechas importantes
Ø Equipo de Liderazgo Escolar                                                                                                         4 de abril
Ø Fresh Air Fund Camp de verano para padres                                                                               5 de abril
Ø Recital de Ballet de la Ciudad de Nueva York para los grados 1 y 2                                       7 de abril
Ø 2do piso RBS Book Nook Apertura                                                                                               7 de abril
Ø NO después de la escuela el                                                                                                              7 de abril
Ø Receso de primavera (la escuela está cerrada)                                                                             10 de abril
Ø La escuela reanuda el                                                                                                                        19 de abril
Ø Exámenes estatales de matemáticas para padres                                                                       20 de abril
Ø Cocina para Familias                                                                                                                        21 de Abril
Ø Vivienda asequible y construcción de créditos para padres                                                       27 de abril
*** Los exámenes estatales de matemáticas son del 2 al 4 de mayo
Hasta el 40 por ciento de los niños en nuestro país experimentan alergias al aire libre. Si dar la bienvenida a la nueva temporada significa dar la bienvenida a más estornudos y sniffling alrededor de su casa, entonces sus hijos podrían estar sufriendo de alergias. A medida que el clima cambia y se hace más cálido, pasaremos más tiempo al aire libre. Las alergias estacionales se producen principalmente con el polen, por lo que proviene de plantas, hierbas, hierbas y árboles. Por lo general, proviene de los árboles a principios de la primavera, por lo que en abril y mayo.
En los niños típicamente, a veces vemos una miríada de problemas que están relacionados con la congestión [causada por alergias]. La fatiga, especialmente durante el día, la mala concentración en clase, los problemas de aprendizaje y otras dificultades en clase pueden estar relacionados con la congestión nasal, porque los niños no estarán durmiendo también por la noche. Y luego durante el día, están soplando la nariz mucho y experimentando otros síntomas. Puede hacer que tener un buen día muy difícil. Por favor informe al maestro de su hijo y al enfermero sobre cualquier alergia que su hijo pueda tener.
¡Tenga una Pascua Feliz y Pascua Feliz!
Reggie Higgins, Director

March Principal Newsletter


Dear RBS Families,

Women’s History Month is celebrated in March.  In the United States, Women's History Month traces its beginning back to the first International Women’s Day in 1911.  Our country finally found it appropriate to acknowledge a group of citizens who have historically been silenced.  As we celebrate Women’s History Month, let us also lift up the voices, contributions and bravery of women in the margins.  This Women’s History Month, the RBS is devoting time for our celebrating and amplifying women’s contributions to academia, art and popular culture. 

Spring is approaching and learning is in full swing here at the RBS.  As you may know, this is a time of year that students make the most academic and social learning improvements.  Make school a priority.  Very soon the weather will change with spring right around the corner.  It can be challenging to keep our children focused on learning.  What can you do to make school a top priority for your child?  Keep these ideas in mind:

  •  Make attendance your number one priority.  Let your child know that unless they are sick, they must attend school (and be on time.)  Make an effort to schedule appointment after school hours.
  • Show you care.  Talk about school activities and projects.  Make an effort to attend as many school events as you can.
  • Remain positive.  Try to set a positive example for your child, even when your own day has been challenging.  If you show a positive attitude about your work, your child may feel better about their own.

One important reminder is that our school has a wellness policy which reinforces good nutrition during the school day.  Please be mindful about sending beverages and foods for snack or lunch that are giving your child(ren) the healthy nutrition they need to be productive, engaged learners all throughout the day.  Candy, soda, sugary drinks, and potato chips are foods to be avoided, and staff will also help remind students that these foods should stay at home.

As we move closer to Parent-Teacher Conferences ( March 9th) educators are often asked one important question, “What do you think I can do at home to help my child be more successful at school?”  My answer is very simple, “Read with your child every day.  Let them see you read.”  Before, during, and after the reading, encourage your child, begin a discussion about the story, ask questions, visualize the story, offer information, share personal thoughts, and connect the story to real-life situations.  Make the time an enjoyable experience and let your child see that reading is fun.  Celebrate this special time together!

Also, students in grades 3, 4, and 5 will be venturing into the first state assessment cycle with the English Language Arts test on March 28 – 30.  During the week that your child is testing, make certain that your son/daughter rests properly each night, arrives for school on time, and is not distracted at home.  Students test in the morning and are expected to report to their designated testing room no later than 8:00a.m. Students are expected to bring (2) sharpened, number two pencils. No personal devices may be used during the assessment.

Everyday boys and girls are leaving their coats, jackets, sweaters, hats, and lunch boxes on the school grounds. Those items without student’s names are picked up and brought to our lost and found located in front of the office. During the school year when the pile gets high we donate these items to missions and shelters. During spring break we will be donating any items left in our lost and found to a mission in Harlem. Please be sure to check or have your child check the lost and found by Friday, April 7th.

At this point in my career, I’m considered a veteran principal (6 years and counting…) Yes, maybe sometimes I don’t completely fit the part, but that’s part of always being a life-long learner.  As I’m settling into my role as principal, I realize how much students, families and faculty have done for me. And, for that, I need to truly thank you—something that I don’t do enough.

Parents/caregivers, thank you for showing me what I’m capable of. For giving me the support that I needed to build a dream of a progressive school in West Harlem. Also, for believing that I have the talent to reach our goal of making our progressive school a successful learning community for all.

RBS staff, thank you for standing with me, before, during and after every phase of our transformation.  For making me realize that I can put more time into my work and improve my performance.  Thank you for standing up for me from the sidelines and checking our naysayers when they thought that progressive education would not work in our community. You’ve shown me to never back down and give in to the loudest voices in the room.

RBS students, thank you for being the best selves.   For sharing your interests, love of life, sense of humor, excitement for every experience, ability to show compassion and empathy, and courage to look fear in the face until it backs down.

Without kids, families and staff, I’d be nowhere the principal I am—and the person I’m still working on becoming.

This month I would like to focus on the multiple ways our parents, caregivers, and families get involved in school and how important that is. New this month at the Parent Association meetings is an opportunity for the school administration and faculty to join the conversation on making the RBS one family.

Finally, know that you do not have to wait for a parent forum or parent conferences to call if you have questions, concerns, or needs. We are here to serve your children and your families. Please contact your child’s teacher, the office staff, or me if you want to set up a meeting to discuss any issues that arise. As always, THANK YOU for being our partners in this important work helping your child enjoy learning and prepare for a bright future!

With warmest regards,

Reggie Higgins




February Principal Newsletter

Principal’s February Newsletter

With the second term well under way, we want to thank everyone for your continued support of our scholars, teachers, and school as we collectively strive to provide optimal opportunities for learning each and every day. In addition, we want to also thank our Parent Association for working hard to make our Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten Open House Events a success.  This year, instead of staff leading the tour we allowed our parents/caregivers to lead the open house events for prospective families. The last Pre-Kindergarten Open House Event will take place on Tuesday, February 14, 2017 at 10:00a.m.

Over the next few weeks, parents/caregivers will work to transform our second floor showcases into library nooks. Phil Hubbard (Columbia Secondary School Teacher) assisted with the design and construction. Thank you to all the families that have donated books for our library nooks. Behind the Book donated many books to start the library nook. We expect that we will have the RBS Library Book Nooks Opening in mid- March.

RBS administration and faculty value the important contributions families make towards a scholar’s success in school.  There is no question about—success at school starts at home.  Families are the most significant influence in a scholar’s schooling.  Families model both spoken and silent language in front of their scholars.  One of the great hallmarks of a great school is the partnership between the school and families who work together for the best interest of all RBS scholars. Make an effort to participate in the Parent Association.

It is important that parents/caregivers speak with your scholar’s teacher about their readiness to do work at the next grade level. Promotion in doubt notices will be sent home for students not making progress that reflect they are on track to meet their grade level performance standards. Promotion decisions are made by me based on multiple measures of student readiness for the next grade level in English and math.

  • First, teachers review scholar’s work from throughout the school year to identify scholars who may not be ready for the work of the next grade in English language arts and/or math, even with support. Scholars whose work shows that they are ready for the next grade are promoted by the principal in June.
  •  Next, teachers complete promotion portfolios for scholars whose work shows that they may not be ready for the next grade, even with support. The teacher scores the portfolio using DOE guidelines. I make the promotion decision based on the portfolio results.
  • If a (3rd – 5th grade scholar) is not promoted in June based on his or her portfolio results, he or she is recommended for summer school. At the end of summer school, the school completes another review of scholar work, and I make the final promotion decision.

Please make an appointment to meet with your scholar’s teacher if you feel your child’s promotion is at-risk. Teachers are available every Tuesday from 2:20p.m. – 3:00p.m. or during their preparation periods.

Family has been the foundation of African American culture from times of slavery through the turbulent days of forced racial segregation.  Family is not only defined by our blood lines but by our shared commitment to each other as members of this community.  In the month of February we recognize the central role of African Americans in American history like Dr. Ralph J. Bunche. Our theme this year is “A Time to Learn and Remember.” Ralph Bunche, Barack Obama, Charles Drew, Carter G. Woodson, W.E. B. Du Bois, Marcus Garvey, Nat Turner, Garrett Morgan, Booker T. Washington, Katherine G. Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, Ida B. Wells, Phyllis Wheatley, Ronald McNair, Madame C.J. Walker, Mae Jemison and Michelle Obama.  This year the school is sponsoring a forum on how our school can create an effective learning environment for boys of color.

The world in which our children grow up today is increasingly diverse. All people have a unique story, but all stories, like all people, have many things in common. And nowhere is this more apparent than in classrooms at the RBS.  During Black History Month, we hope you'll take the opportunity to celebrate the diversity and commonality of our school and its community members. One wonderful thing about our school is that sense our scholars are enthusiastic about learning and understanding another’s history and experience.

Scholars need to be provided time to explore their world and experience the joy of discovery.  As we celebrate this month, it is helpful to keep in mind the contributions made by all ethnic groups but more importantly African Americans.  School and home must work together to build skills and knowledge, develop a strong sense of self-worth and reinforce values.

At the beginning of this school year we set out to increase our attendance rate to be over 92%. It is with great sadness that I report that we are not meeting our goal and below citywide expectations for an elementary school.  We continue to share with families that attendance and lateness concerns negatively impacts a scholar’s performance in class. 

TIPS for Families

·         Let your scholar know that you think school is important.

·         Set a regular bedtime and enforce it.

·         Provide your scholar with plenty of time to get ready for school.

·         Provide an alternate transportation plan for getting your scholar to school on time.

·         Make sure your scholar arrives at school on time daily.  Classes begin promptly at 8:00a.m. Scholars should arrive at least ten minutes early.

·         Plan medical, dental, and other appointments before and after school if possible. If appointments must be during the school day, plan them so that your scholar does not miss the same class every time.

·         Request a meeting with the school’s Attendance Team or Parent Coordinator to discuss your scholar’s attendance concerns.

If your scholar should arrive late to school, please come in to the main office and sign them in.  If this is not possible, you may send your scholar with a note from your, doctor/dental/court excuse slip to let us know your scholar will be arriving after 8:00a.m.  Our scholars would not be as successful as they are without your support.

 New York City Education Neglect Law states that parents/caregivers who fail to have their children attend school are subject to the following:

·         Neglect charges may be filed against the parent/caregiver;

·         Students may be referred to the Family Court and other community based interventions

There will be no classes during February 20 – 24 due to the Mid-Winter Recess.  All scholars are expected to be back on Monday, February 27, 2017.

Educationally yours,

Reggie Higgins, Principal

Boletín de febrero del director

 Con el segundo término en curso, queremos agradecer a todos por su continuo apoyo de nuestros académicos, maestros y la escuela, a medida que nos esforzamos colectivamente para proporcionar oportunidades óptimas para el aprendizaje todos los días. Además, queremos agradecer también a nuestra Asociación de Padres por trabajar duro para que nuestros Eventos de Puertas Abiertas Pre-Kindergarten y Kindergarten sean un éxito. Este año, en lugar del personal que dirigía la gira, permitimos que nuestros padres / cuidadores lideraran los eventos de puertas abiertas para futuras familias. El último Evento de Puertas Abiertas de Pre-Kindergarten tendrá lugar el martes 14 de febrero de 2017 a las 10:00 am.

 Durante las próximas semanas, los padres / cuidadores trabajarán para transformar nuestras vitrinas de la segunda planta en rincones de la biblioteca. Phil Hubbard (profesor secundario de la escuela de Colombia) asistió con el diseño y la construcción. Gracias a todas las familias que han donado libros para nuestros rincones de la biblioteca. Detrás del libro donó muchos libros para comenzar el rincón de la biblioteca. Esperamos que tengamos la Apertura de los Rincones del Libro de la Biblioteca RBS a mediados de marzo.

La administración y la facultad de RBS valoran las importantes contribuciones que las familias hacen para el éxito de un estudiante en la escuela. No hay duda de que el éxito en la escuela comienza en casa. Las familias son la influencia más significativa en la escolaridad de un erudito. Las familias modelan el lenguaje hablado y silencioso delante de sus eruditos. Una de las grandes características de una gran escuela es la asociación entre la escuela y las familias que trabajan juntas para el mejor interés de todos los eruditos de RBS. Haga un esfuerzo para participar en la Asociación de Padres.

 Es importante que los padres / cuidadores hablen con el maestro de su estudiante acerca de su preparación para hacer el trabajo en el siguiente grado. Los avisos de promoción en duda serán enviados a casa para que los estudiantes no hagan progresos que reflejen que están en camino de cumplir con sus estándares de rendimiento de nivel de grado. Las decisiones de promoción son hechas por mí basado en múltiples medidas de preparación para el próximo grado en inglés y matemáticas.

o    Primero, los maestros revisan el trabajo de los estudiosos durante todo el año escolar para identificar a los estudiosos que no estén listos para el trabajo del siguiente grado en artes del lenguaje inglés o matemáticas, incluso con apoyo. Los becarios cuyo trabajo demuestre que están listos para el siguiente grado son promovidos por el director en junio.
o    A continuación, los maestros completan las carteras de promoción para los académicos cuyo trabajo demuestra que pueden no estar listos para el siguiente grado, incluso con apoyo. El profesor anota el portafolio usando las pautas del DOE. Tomo la decisión de la promoción basada en los resultados de la cartera.
o    Si no se promueve un (estudiante de 3ro a 5to grado) en junio sobre la base de los resultados de su cartera, se recomienda para la escuela de verano. Al final de la escuela de verano, la escuela completa otra revisión del trabajo académico, y tomo la decisión final de promoción.
Por favor, haga una cita con el maestro de su estudiante si considera que la promoción de su hijo está en riesgo. Los maestros están disponibles todos los martes a partir de las 2:20 p.m. - 3:00 pm. O durante sus periodos de preparación.
La familia ha sido la base de la cultura afroamericana desde tiempos de esclavitud a través de los turbulentos días de segregación racial forzada. La familia no sólo se define por nuestras líneas de sangre sino por nuestro compromiso compartido el uno con el otro como miembros de esta comunidad. En el mes de febrero reconocemos el papel central de los afroamericanos en la historia de Estados Unidos como el Dr. Ralph J. Bunche. Nuestro tema este año es "Un tiempo para aprender y recordar". Ralph Bunche, Barack Obama, Charles Drew, Carter G. Woodson, W.E. B. Du Bois, Marcus Garvey, Nat Turner y Garrett Morgan, Booker T. Washington, Katherine G. Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, Ida B. Wells, Phyllis Wheatley, Ronald McNair, Madame CJ Walker, Mae Jemison y Michelle Obama . Este año la escuela está patrocinando un foro sobre cómo nuestra escuela puede crear un ambiente de aprendizaje efectivo para niños de color.
El mundo en el que nuestros niños crecen hoy es cada vez más diverso. Todas las personas tienen una historia única, pero todas las historias, como toda la gente, tienen muchas cosas en común. Y en ninguna parte esto es más aparente que en las aulas en el RBS. Durante el Mes de la Historia Negra, esperamos que aproveche la oportunidad para celebrar la diversidad y la comunidad de nuestra escuela y de los miembros de su comunidad. Una cosa maravillosa acerca de nuestra escuela es que el sentido de nuestros eruditos están entusiasmados con el aprendizaje y la comprensión de la historia de otro y la experiencia.
A los eruditos se les debe dar tiempo para explorar su mundo y experimentar la alegría del descubrimiento. Al celebrar este mes, es útil tener en cuenta las contribuciones hechas por todos los grupos étnicos, pero más importante aún, los afroamericanos. La escuela y el hogar deben trabajar juntos para desarrollar habilidades y conocimientos, desarrollar un fuerte sentido de autoestima y reforzar los valores.
Al comienzo de este año escolar nos propusimos aumentar nuestra tasa de asistencia a más del 92%. Es con gran tristeza que reporto que no estamos cumpliendo nuestra meta y por debajo de las expectativas de la ciudad para una escuela primaria. Continuamos compartiendo con las familias que las preocupaciones de asistencia y tardanza afecta negativamente el desempeño de un estudiante en clase.
Consejos para las familias
• Deje que su erudito sepa que usted piensa que la escuela es importante.
• Establezca una hora de acostarse regular y aplíquela.
• Proporcione a su estudiante con mucho tiempo para prepararse para la escuela.
• Proveer un plan de transporte alternativo para llevar a su estudiante a la escuela a tiempo.
• Asegúrese de que su estudiante llegue a la escuela a tiempo todos los días. Las clases comienzan puntualmente a las 8:00 am. Los académicos deben llegar al menos diez minutos antes.
• Planifique las citas médicas, dentales y de otro tipo antes y después de la escuela si es posible. Si las citas deben ser durante el día escolar, planifíquelas para que su becario no pierda la misma clase cada vez.
• Solicite una reunión con el Equipo de Asistencia de la escuela o con el Coordinador de Padres para discutir las preocupaciones de su estudiante.
Si su becario debe llegar tarde a la escuela, por favor, venga a la oficina principal y firme en ellos. Si esto no es posible, puede enviar a su erudito con una nota de su boleta de excusa de médico / dental / tribunal para hacernos saber su El estudiante llegará después de las 8:00 am. Nuestros académicos no serían tan exitosos como lo son sin su apoyo.
La Ley de negligencia educativa de la Ciudad de Nueva York establece que los padres / cuidadores que no tienen a sus hijos a la escuela están sujetos a lo siguiente:
• Se pueden presentar cargos de negligencia contra el padre / encargado;
• Los estudiantes pueden ser referidos al Tribunal de Familia y otras intervenciones basadas en la comunidad
No habrá clases durante los días 20 y 24 de febrero debido al recreo de mediados de invierno. Se espera que todos los académicos regresen el lunes 27 de febrero de 2017.
Educativamente suyo,
Reggie Higgins, Director




































January Principal Newsletter

January Principal Newsletter


Happy New Year!!! It may be 5 degrees and windy in Harlem, however we have the comfort of watching snowflakes falling while sipping on a delicious marshmallow filled cup of hot chocolate.  I love WINTER!!!  Having survived the first term, we stand ready to finish the school year with confidence.  My hope is that you too, will look forward to the challenges of the new term.  Build on your achievements and put away your past disappointments. The beginning of a new year is the perfect time to refresh—whether you want to jumpstart your personal goals, make meaningful decisions at home and with your school work, or find your inner-center.  This is the perfect time to stop playing old messages about who we think we are and make a bold statement to record a new, improved message. 

The application period opens January 17, 2017. NYC families with children born in 2012 can apply to kindergarten for the 2017 – 2018 school year until January 13, 2017.  Families can apply one of three ways:

Pre-kindergarten families that have students enrolled at the RBS must re-apply for admission to kindergarten and are included in the priority group. New York City children born in 2013 are eligible to apply for our pre-kindergarten program. We are hosting an open house for prospective families on January 10th.  It is our desire to share with the community all the amazing things taking place here at the RBS.  We earned the distinction of being rated among the best early childhood programs in the city and now we need to open our doors and share how we earned that rating.

Unfortunately, during the winter months many schools across New York City notice a drop in their attendance average.  Parents/caregivers, please continue to reinforce good attendance habits with your son/daughter.  Attendance and accuracy of attendance is extremely important in school.  Excessive absences may result in missing work, which is difficult to make up, losing continuity in school work, and poor grades during the grading period.

It is our desire that the second half of the school year be excellent for all.  If you need to meet with the assistant principal, parent coordinator, attendance coordinator, guidance counselor, deans or myself do not hesitate to contact us.  We suggest that parents/caregivers call first to schedule appointments before coming in so that you will not experience any delays.

Throughout 2017 you will see changes based on feedback from families, all driven by your desire to make the RBS the shining star of Harlem.  Every step we take in this journey we will do together to make our community stronger, wiser and better for our children.

 Stay warm and know that sounds of birds chirping is not that far away.

 Respectfully yours,

Reggie Higgins, Principal


Boletín principal de enero

 ¡¡¡Feliz año nuevo!!! Puede ser de 5 grados y ventoso en Harlem, sin embargo tenemos la comodidad de ver los copos de nieve cayendo mientras saborea una deliciosa taza de chocolate caliente llena de malvavisco. ¡¡¡Me encanta el invierno!!! Habiendo sobrevivido al primer término, estamos listos para terminar el año escolar con confianza. Mi esperanza es que ustedes también esperen los retos del nuevo período. Construir en sus logros y poner lejos sus decepciones pasadas. El comienzo de un nuevo año es el momento perfecto para refrescarse, ya sea que desee iniciar sus metas personales, tomar decisiones significativas en su hogar y con su trabajo escolar, o encontrar su centro interior. Este es el momento perfecto para dejar de reproducir mensajes antiguos sobre quienes creemos que somos y hacer una declaración audaz para grabar un mensaje nuevo y mejorado.

 El período de solicitud se abre el 17 de enero de 2017. Las familias de la Ciudad de Nueva York con niños nacidos en 2012 pueden solicitar el jardín de infantes para el año escolar 2017-2018 hasta el 13 de enero de 2017. Las familias pueden aplicar una de tres maneras:

Solicitar en línea en https://prod.semsnycdoe.com/parentsite/

Por teléfono al 718-935-2400

En persona en un Centro de Bienvenida Familiar

 Las familias de pre-kindergarten que tienen estudiantes matriculados en el RBS deben volver a solicitar la admisión al kindergarten y están incluidas en el grupo de prioridad. Los niños de Nueva York nacidos en 2013 son elegibles para solicitar nuestro programa de pre-kindergarten. Tenemos una casa abierta para posibles familias el 10 de enero. Es nuestro deseo compartir con la comunidad todas las cosas asombrosas que ocurren aquí en el RBS. Ganamos la distinción de ser clasificados entre los mejores programas para la primera infancia en la ciudad y ahora necesitamos abrir nuestras puertas y compartir cómo ganamos esa calificación.

 Desafortunadamente, durante los meses de invierno muchas escuelas de toda la ciudad de Nueva York notan una caída en su promedio de asistencia. Padres / cuidadores, por favor continúe reforzando buenos hábitos de asistencia con su hijo / a. La asistencia y la precisión de la asistencia es extremadamente importante en la escuela. Las ausencias excesivas pueden resultar en falta de trabajo, que es difícil de compensar, pérdida de continuidad en el trabajo escolar y calificaciones pobres durante el período de calificación.

 Es nuestro deseo que la segunda mitad del año escolar sea excelente para todos. Si necesita reunirse con el subdirector, coordinador de padres, coordinador de asistencia, consejero de orientación, decanos o yo mismo, no dude en ponerse en contacto con nosotros. Sugerimos que los padres o cuidadores llamen primero para programar citas antes de venir, de modo que no experimente ningún retraso.

 A lo largo de 2017 verás cambios basados n la retroalimentación de las familias, todo impulsado por tu deseo de hacer de la RBS la estrella brillante de Harlem. Cada paso que damos en este viaje lo haremos juntos para hacer nuestra comunidad más fuerte, más sabia y mejor para nuestros hijos.

Manténgase caliente y saber que los sonidos de los pájaros cantando no está tan lejos.


Reggie Higgins, Director


December Principal Newsletter

Photo by fotohunter/iStock / Getty Images

Photo by fotohunter/iStock / Getty Images

December Principal Newsletter

Dear Ralph Bunche School Families,

As we end 2016, I would like to thank you for your commitment to the Ralph Bunche School and to the belief in a public school education.  The success we have experienced since the opening of the school year owes a great deal to parents/caregivers and families like yours.  I wish you a restful winter break and hope you enjoy this time with your scholar (s). For the New Year, I wish you health and happiness and hope the winter recess provides a myriad of opportunities for you and your scholar (s) to do things you might not be able to accomplish when school is in session.

Our scholars and staff have accomplished a lot during our first few months of school.  Professional development helps our teachers dive deeper into the progressive philosophy of teaching and learning. Our progressive vision is designed to use a child’s natural curiosity to drive their learning inside of the classroom. The standards help teachers design the best lessons and help scholars set goals for success. Our professional development focused on how to help teachers build an environment where scholars can effectively engage in a wide range of rigorous, content-rich conversation, safe, supportive and collaborative.  Scholars learn through play and when they have choice. At the Ralph Bunche School our instructional focus is on developing writing strategies. 

We believe in the importance of family traditions and holidays, and sharing them with one another at school.  We welcome families to teach us about their heritages, thus strengthening the connection between home and school.  We like to involve the children in hands-on activities. 

We encourage each of you to join us in our celebrations.  Even if you can’t be with us, please share your family’s traditions, recipes for holidays and any special items that reflect your heritage.

  • Parent/Caregiver Workshop (Early Childhood Technology Curriculum)—December 1st
  • Parent Association Family Photograph Fundraiser—December 3rd
  • School-wide Picture Day—December 5th
  • Parent Association Mom’s Night Out—December 5th
  • Student Dental Screenings—December 6th
  • School Leadership Team Meeting—December 6th (4pm)
  • Boot Camp Fusion—December 7th, 14th,
  • All Lives Matter Family Meeting—December 12th
  • Parent Association Meeting—December 12th
  • Parent/Caregiver Workshop (Strategies for Assertive Discipline)—December 13th
  • RBS School Tours for PK and K—December 13th
  • Heaf Breakfast for Select 5th Graders—December 14th
  • ABC Day (Awards Assembly/Holiday Show)—December 16th
  • Santa’s Story Time & Christmas Around the World Family Event—December 19th
  • Parent Circle of Security Series—December 1st, 8th, 15th, 22nd

**Parent Engagement meetings are scheduled each Tuesday from 2:20pm – 3:35pm. You are invited to meet with your scholar’s teacher to discuss the learning expectations for the term and to address any issues or concerns.

Every year, the Ralph Bunche School sponsors an activity to assist those less fortunate.  Ms. Conwell and Ms. Samson are raising funds for the disaster relief in Haiti.  As scholars help others, they are learning important character-building lessons about compassion, service, and empathy. We are asking scholars to donate $1 and bring items like pencils, paper, notebooks.  All donated items can be dropped in room 108 or room 214.  Please do not make deliveries while class and/or counseling is in session. 

I wish you and your family a wonderful holiday season. Our last day in school is Friday, December 23rd (All Ralph Bunch School based after-school programs are cancelled on this day too!!!!) During winter break there will be a myriad of opportunities to create a stronger bond with your scholar (s) and continue to support their academic growth and success. The holidays are good times for story telling around the dinner table or routines like bedtime reading that cultivate connections between home and school expectations. Young scholars do best with regular schedules, and I encourage you to prepare for their return to school on Tuesday, January 3, 2017 by instilling in them an understanding about the importance of being rested and ready to learn.

Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year from our Ralph Bunche School family to yours.

Yours in Education,

Reggie Higgins



Estimado Ralph Bunche School, como terminamos 2016, me gustaría gracias por su compromiso con la escuela de Ralph Bunche y a la creencia en una escuela pública de educación. El éxito que hemos experimentado desde la apertura del año escolar debe mucho a los padres/cuidadores y familias como la suya. Yo deseo una escapada relajante de invierno y esperamos que disfrute este tiempo con su hijo (s). Para el nuevo año, yo le deseo salud y felicidad y espero que las vacaciones de invierno ofrece una gran variedad de oportunidades para usted y su hijo (s) para hacer cosas que no podría ser capaces de lograr cuando la escuela está en sesión. Nuestros académicos y personal ha logrado mucho durante nuestros primeros meses de escuela.

Desarrollo profesional ayuda a nuestros maestros de buceo más profundo en la filosofía progresiva de la enseñanza y el aprendizaje. Nuestra visión progresista está diseñado para utilizar la curiosidad natural del niño para conducir su aprendizaje dentro del aula. Las normas a los profesores a diseñar las mejores lecciones y ayudar a estudiosos a establecer metas para el éxito. Nuestro desarrollo profesional centrado en cómo ayudar a los profesores a crear un entorno donde los eruditos pueden participar efectivamente en una amplia gama de riguroso contenido conversación, seguro, de apoyo y colaboración. Los eruditos aprenden mediante el juego y cuando tienen opción. En la escuela de Ralph Bunche nuestro enfoque instruccional es escritura en el desarrollo de estrategias. Creemos en la importancia de las tradiciones familiares y vacaciones y compartirlas con otros en la escuela.

 Le invitamos a las familias para enseñarnos acerca de su patrimonio, fortaleciendo la conexión entre el hogar y la escuela. Queremos involucrar a los niños en actividades prácticas. Animamos a cada uno de ustedes a unirse a nosotros en nuestras celebraciones. Incluso si usted no puede estar con nosotros, por favor compartir las tradiciones de su familia, recetas para días de fiesta y objetos especiales que reflejan su herencia.

  • Taller de padres (plan de estudios de tecnología de la primera infancia) — diciembre 1ª
  •  Asociación fotografía de la familia para recaudar fondos para los padres — 3 de diciembre día del cuadro
  •  escolares — diciembre • 5 padres noche Asociación mamá — 5 de diciembre
  • estudiantes exámenes dentales — diciembre 6
  • reunión del equipo de liderazgo de la escuela — 6 de diciembre (16:00)
  •  Boot Camp fusión — 7 de diciembre, 14,
  •  toda vida importa reunión familiar — diciembre 12
  •  reunión de Asociación de padres — 12 de diciembre • taller de padres (estrategias de disciplina asertiva) — diciembre 13
  • escuela RBS Tours para PK y K — diciembre 13
  • desayuno Heaf para seleccionar 5 º grado — 14 de diciembre
  • día de ABC (premios Asamblea/vacaciones Mostrar) — 16 de diciembre tiempo
  • Santa y la Navidad alrededor del mundo familia evento — 19 de diciembre
  • círculo primario de seguridad serie — 1 de diciembre, 8, 15, 22

** participación de padres reuniones es programadas cada martes de 14:20 – 15:35. Les invitamos a reunirse con el maestro de su hijo para discutir las expectativas de aprendizaje para el término y para abordar sus problemas o dudas.

 Cada año, la escuela de Ralph Bunche patrocina una actividad para ayudar a los menos afortunados. Conwell Sra. y Sra. Samson están recaudando fondos para la ayuda humanitaria en Haití. Como eruditos, ayudar a otros, están aprendiendo lecciones importantes de la formación del carácter de empatía, compasión y servicio. Pedimos a eruditos para donar $1 y artículos como lápices, papel, cuadernos. Todos los artículos donados pueden descartarse en sala 108 o 214. Por favor no hacen entregas mientras que clase o asesoría está en sesión.

 Deseo a usted y su familia una temporada de vacaciones. Nuestro último día en la escuela es el viernes 23 de diciembre (todo Ralph Bunch escuela basado después de la escuela programas se cancelan en este día también!!!) Durante las vacaciones de invierno habrá un sinfín de oportunidades para crear un vínculo más fuerte con su hijo (s) y continuar apoyando su crecimiento académico y éxito. Las vacaciones son momentos buenos para cuentos alrededor de la mesa o rutinas como la lectura de la hora de acostarse que cultivan conexiones entre hogar y escuela de las expectativas. Jóvenes investigadores se hacen mejor con horarios regulares, y os animo a preparar su regreso a la escuela en martes, 03 de enero de 2017 por inculcar en ellos una comprensión sobre la importancia de ser descansado y listo para aprender.

Felices fiestas y un feliz año nuevo de nuestra familia de Ralph Bunche School a la tuya.

Suyo en educación,

Director de Reggie Higgins

November Principal Newsletter

Dear Ralph Bunche School Families,

 Even though the weather keeps changing on us and the leaves are falling with brilliant colors of orange, red and yellow to decorate our school grounds the academic process here at the RBS is staying constant.  The teachers and scholars have established their routines and procedures for class lessons.  November is an important time for us all to reflect on the many blessings bestowed upon us.  I am certainly thankful for the many blessings in my life, including working with the amazing scholars, parents/caregivers, teachers, and support staff at the Ralph Bunche School.  This being our second year as a progressive school is exciting because I am thankful that I have 100% support from the educators that I lead.  When you take on an endeavor like this you need to know that you have the support of your staff and they have taken a leap of faith with me that this is the right approach for our school and the community.

Thomas Jefferson said, “Education is the foundation of democracy.”  The importance of participating in the democratic process was instilled in me at a very early age. Every election year, my house was filled with lively political discourse as my parents debated the important issues of the day like Civil Rights, the Vietnam War, or free breakfast in schools. They conveyed to their children the serious implications of political action.

My mother had the responsibility of insuring that voting in our home was the priority on Election Day. She would leave home with me and my twin sister along for the journey.  My mother would remind us of the sacrifices made and instilled in us this responsibility of honoring our civic duty.  We would sit in awe as we learned about a time when people of color or women were denied this right.  Then she would remind us that when we grew older, we would have the opportunity to exercise our rights and responsibilities as a citizen of this great country.

I still take those rights and responsibilities very seriously--especially as a principal.  One of the jobs of educators is to ensure that our students graduate and enter college with the ability to think critically.  The classroom is a training ground where children learn how to participate in the democratic process. Through critical thinking, problem solving, respectful debate, and exposure to diverse opinions, children become informed citizens who learn how to ask pertinent questions, formulate defensible opinions to complex issues, and understand the responsibilities and limitations of power. Opportunities like turn and talk, Socratic seminar, and other group interactions teach our students that active participation is the most effective means for change. We want our students to begin to think about themselves as stewards of this amazing democracy.

An African proverb goes, “It takes a village to raise a child.”  Whether you can give an hour, time once a week or once a month, we need you here.  If it works to participate as a classroom representative, Parent Association meeting, orSLT meeting, we will make sure that your time is well spent.  You just need to get involved.  Contact our Parent Coordinator, Griselda Hernandez, and she will assist in providing you the details about the meetings.  Aliya Thomas and Tomoi Zeimer, Parent Association Co-Presidents have done a superb job working hard to strengthen the bond between home and school and they are always seeking additional support for the school community.  Democracy is not only something that we talk about it is alive in our actions.  We believe in all children having access to a quality education that allows them the opportunity to fully participate in a global society.

The RBS Parent Association and Office of the Parent Coordinator were extremely generous during the Book-A-Ween Parade on October 31st. Thank you for donating treats and toys.  The parade was such a success because families created a safe, warm environment for our scholars to show off their favorite storybook characters.  It was great to see scholars discuss why they selected their character based on the character’s strengths.  Thank you also to the parents/caregivers who volunteered to supervise Book-A-Ween parties in the classrooms. 

During the October 28th assembly, scholars participated in an assembly focusing on Hispanic and Latino Heritage.  The performers at our assembly were scholars from PK – 2nd grade. Kudos to the 3rd – 5th grade families that donated food for the food tasting event. When scholars value diversity, they become responsible world citizens.   

I am grateful to work with a committed group educators that are always striving to improve their practices. We are fortunate to have many great academic institutions supporting us in this work.  BMCC has always had a relationship with the RBS. They have placed their student teachers here to gain the experience of what it is like to be an educator in a West Harlem public school.  Two professors (one has a child enrolled at the RBS—Rebecca) approached me about transforming the RBS into a model school with the assistance of the BMCC faculty. BMCC just received a grant to implement a Comprehensive Educator Empowerment Program for the RBS.  Our work will focus on aligning our curriculum, teaching practices and the use of authentic assessments to develop a more coherent progressive program. Many thanks to Rebecca and her associate Cara for always believing in what the RBS could be!!! We look forward to this new partnership.

Recent research has found that regular attendance and arriving to school on time is crucial to a child’s success, and that even a minimal number of absences or lateness during the school year can have a serious impact on a scholar’s ability to achieve.  If you have any questions or need any assistance please contact our attendance coordinator (Benjy Blatman) at 212-666-6400. You may also speak with Ms. Hernandez, Parent Coordinator.

 Yours in Education,

Reggie  Higgins