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