April Principal Newsletter
Dear Ralph Bunche School Families,
Spring Break is finally here. It is hard to believe that we have only a few months left in the 2017 -2018 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 March 30th – April 8th 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 continued building bridges with our faculty across all grade levels and job titles. They continue to create 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.
It felt great at the CEC meeting having such a diverse group of stakeholders support me and our school. Our struggles about having an equitable distribution of space for our kids must be viewed as a priority for the superintendent and CEC. It is unconscionable that the DOE does not consider PK students into their formula for space allocations on a campus. This lack of consideration allows CSS to feel that we should be allocated less time during the regular and after-school days. One of my reasons for not having the 3K program here was our present inability to provide effective physical education inside of our (2) gymnasiums.
Our projected enrollment for 2018 – 2019 is 328 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!
A lot of discussions have been taking place since the Parkland shooting about strengthening the school’s safety protocols. One area for concern was the basement entrance to the swimming pool from the main entrance. There is a locked and alarmed door that now protects the space. The door is a barrier however we need all kids, families and staff to adhere to our safety protocols. It has come to my attention that a few parents/caregivers are engaging in a verbal exchange with the School Safety Agents regarding their entrance to the school. NO ONE without the appropriate identification will have access. This is done to ensure that the 1, 450 students and 200 staff members from all (3) schools are safe. Should you not abide by our building safety policies then I will have to ban you from the building. Do not verbally attack the agents should you or your designee not have the appropriate identification. Please ask that they contact an administrator in the main office.
Talking to Children About Recent School Shooting
After the tragic event that occurred in Newtown, Connecticut, elementary schools throughout the country have been encouraged to support parents in facilitating conversations with students about this tragedy. Here are a few tips from the Center for Emotionally Responsive Practice at Bank Street:
1. Listen. Find out what children know, have heard, and have seen.
2. Provide containing information. Ex: “Here are some of the things that we know: It happened in Florida, in the South Eastern part of the United States. The gunman was caught and arrested, so he can't hurt anyone else.” Let children who have been to Florida talk about that.
3. Find out what children are wondering. (Why? How? etc.)
4. Reassure children that they are safe in their school. Reference things that are in place, like security guards, connection to precinct, rules about guns in New York City and New York State, safety drills.
5. Make a blank book where children can write or draw about what happened if they are worried.
6. Offer the option of writing letters to children who live where the violence happened and might be feeling afraid and sad.
7. For older kids who bring up issues about guns, let them research, write their opinions about gun ownership, gun control, etc. Give them the option to write letters to congressmen, etc.
2nd – 5th Grade Scholar in Danger to Not Meet Promotional Standards
If you are concerned that your 2nd – 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 2nd – 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 9 (8am – 2:30pm/ Monday – Thursday.)
Ø School Leadership Team April 10th
Ø New York State ELA Tests April 11th – 12th
Ø Parent Association Meeting April 16th
Ø iReady/Literacy Coach Meeting April 17th
Ø BioBus for PK – 2nd Grade April 20th
***Math State Tests are May 1st – 2nd.
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