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The Brooklyn New School is committed to academic and personal success for all students. We believe that children are creators of meaning. They are naturally thoughtful and curious, and they work to gain understanding of the world they inhabit. When the adults who care for children foster this effort, children become life-long learners.
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Weekly Letter 1.10.18

Dear Families:


Whatever urban setting we live in, we know that our homes are quite different from the two abodes recently constructed by our fourth and fifth graders.  


Fourth grade children built a wigwam on the  green roof of the Brooklyn Children’s Museum .  Don’t go visit as it is already down, but if you do want to see BNS construction,  wander over to the corner of President and Van Brunt Street to admire the mud Mayan home built by our fifth graders.  

Weekly Letter 1.2.18

Dear Families:


As we brace ourselves for another week of cold, may we remind you that BNS likes to get outside in the winter months.  Please remember to dress your child appropriately for this weather.  This means putting your child in lots of layers and making sure they have warm gloves, neck warmers, and hats as well as thick socks with appropriate and warm footwear.  Given all these items, remember too to label them so that when the clothing does get lost, it can also be found!  


Weekly Letter 12.18.17

Dear Families:

On Thursday morning, the first grade hallway was transformed into a living, growing, tasting, singing farm.  Each classroom had its own individual flavor, representing the interests of that group of children.  

Weekly Letter 12.11.17

Dear Families:

At BNS, it seems as if we are often swimming in a topic.  We study places and people, nearby and far away; current news and things that happened thousands of years ago.  Amongst the far and wide, we also study concepts and big ideas that relate to numbers, mathematical operations and measurement.  Math can be a complex topic to unpack and explore, with children, adults and staff members  because we all bring our own experiences of number to this work and that experience differs for each of us.  As adults, many of us  have categorized math into a schoolwork part of our brains, struggling to apply things we learned in Algebra I and Pre-Calculus to our daily lives.  Our work here at BNS is  to support students in the  development of a solid foundation in the language and study of mathematics so that math can be just a much a part of their daily lives as reading, writing, and researching.

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.  


Weekly Letter 11.27.17

Dear Families:

Now that the turkey is consumed and we are entering the winter months, I want to remind you that Tuesday mornings are dedicated to parents.  

Last Tuesday, Ed, Beth, Andrew, Ita, Diane, Jessica and Carrie spoke with parents about technology.  The goal of this workshop was to help parents find the balance between using these marvelous devices and being Luddites.  Teachers shared ways to develop a media literacy plan for your family, while also talking about how technology often  opens up possibilities to our students.  

Weekly Letter 11.20.17

Dear Families:

Agent Awesome writes, “I love how every day you make sure the school stays safe and kind.”  When I read those words, a warm glow traveled through me.  I can not express how lucky I felt to be the recipient of another letter from a Secret Agent of Kindness.  

Nancy and Alex’s class has a new project this year: the Secret Agents of Kindness.  Each child in the class is a secret agent with a unique name.  These agents write letters of gratitude and do other gestures that show their appreciation for the community.  You might find one of these kids picking litter off the floor or cleaning up someone else’s trash in the lunchroom.  They won’t ask for recognition, they will just do the act out of the goodness of their hearts because they are Secret Agents of Kindness.  

 I, myself, have  already received five letters from these agents and somehow, no matter how often I receive that special envelope, I still find myself feeling content and satisfied upon reading these missives.  

Weekly Letter 11.13.17

Dear Families:

At our PTA meeting on October 10, a parent asked about the bathrooms at BNS.  

 If you follow the news, then you know that the issue of who uses what bathroom has been voraciously debated in the past few years.  At BNS, this wasn’t something we thought much about until a parent of a transgender child brought it to our attention in 2013.  This parent wanted her child to be able to use the bathroom that the child felt matched the child’s gender identity. After the parent came to us, we did some research.  We read the regulations and pretty soon,  we went from offering this student access to an adult bathroom to rethinking the labeling of the bathrooms.  We learned more about New York state and city rules.  We learned, for example, that an adult may not stop a child when entering a bathroom because the adult assumes that the child is a boy or a girl.  (This happens when an adult innocently tells a child to go to the boys’ bathroom, assuming that the girl is a boy.)  Our work around this issue made us more sensitive and more aware of not just the needs of this child, but of the needs of all children.    

Weekly Letter 11.6.17

Dear Families:


November parent teacher conferences include time to look at student work from the first two months of school and discuss plans for moving forward. This is the month in which we begin the process of sharing what we know about your children with you.  Fall parent teacher conferences are an opportunity for teachers to convey information about your child and the first few months of school. The conferences present an opportunity for teachers, students and parents to set academic and social goals for the months ahead.  


Weekly Letter 10.30.17

Dear Families:


It’s hard to keep up with all of the exciting work going on here at BNS.  

One project that we have been doing for the past 22 years is the building of a life sized replica of a Native American wigwam in Prospect Park at the Lefferts Homestead.  If you spend time in the park, you may have noticed that the wigwam is gone.  Sadly the Homestead had to remove it as it was being used as shelter by homeless people.  


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