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Weekly Letter 12.4.17

Dear Families:


For educators and parents, this week is full of important forums hosted at District 15 schools.  The forums will look at key issues in education: gifted and talented education, testing, and segregation in our public schools.  I encourage you to participate in at least one of these events.  As busy as you are, you are also consumers of public education,  and being informed is important.  


The first event is on Tuesday evening at 6:00.  MS 447 The Math and Science Exploratory School (345 Dean St.) will host a panel discussion about  gifted and talented programs.  WNYC’s Yasmeen Khan will moderate.  Panelists will addresses the history of “Gifted & Talented” education in our city and will also talk about racial divisions in “Gifted & Talented” programs, as well as alternatives to these programs, including  the Schoolwide Enrichment Model.  Participants on the panel are Allison Roda, author of Inequity in Gifted & Talented Programs, Matthew Gonzalez from New York Appleseed, Barry Oreck, an arts education and enrichment consultant, and Reena Shah, a teacher at Arts & Letters.


On Wednesday evening, at 6:30 PM, PS 321 (180 Seventh Ave)  will  hold a discussion entitled  TESTING: PAST, PRESENT & FUTURE. Panelists include Liz Phillips, the Principal of PS 321, Zipp Mills, the former Principal of PS 261, as well as Kathleen Cashin and Judith Chin the New York State Regents from Brooklyn and Queens, respectively.   This is an opportunity to hear about the latest in state testing policies and how the tests affect our kids. The speakers will explore the relationship between state tests and educational equity.  You will hear from renown educators. I encourage parents to go hear what they have to say.  


On Thursday at 6:30 PM, there will be an exciting child friendly theatrical event at PS 24 (427 38th St.).  The Epic Theatre Ensemble  will perform a play entitled Laundry City.  The play, conceived, written, and performed by NYC Public High School students, explores what “Separate but Equal” means to us today.  A panel discussion on equity and diversity in District 15 will follow the performance. Having seen this piece last summer, I can confidently recommend the event.


Presumably you can’t go to all three of these important evenings, but perhaps you can choose one.


And that’s not all.  On Friday, Laurie and Rachel’s 5th grade class (as well as students from Brooklyn Collaborative) will be showcasing their original songs created in songwriting workshops on behalf of the Afghan Women’s Writers’ Project.   Led by Shevy and Kendall, nationally known songwriters,  our children are writing songs using the words of Afghan women writers.  Join us on Friday, December 8 in the auditorium in the evening to hear our students’ original compositions.


Congratulations must be extended to all!  Monroe Allison from Brooklyn for Peace UNICEF Committee writes, “Please give the students of P.S.146 a huge thank you and hug. They deserve the honor and recognition for being outstanding global citizens. They are Brooklyn's Hardest Working UNICEF Kids. The children from Puerto Rico, Mexico, Yemen, Syria and Haiti say, "Thank you" and wish for them blessings and happiness.” Our student body raised  $3426.28 for Unicef.  


The success of our UNICEF drive is evidence of our ability to get what needs to be done done.  As we come to the end of the year, and as we continue to maintain our rich curriculum, we remain committed to projects that motivate each and every one of us to do what is right.  We thank the PTA for its commitment to our efforts and for its hard work, both around community building and fundraising.  Let’s dedicate December and beyond to the affirmation of our work and to our commitment to each other.  


All for now,