Fall is upon us and this new season is bringing some new beginnings. Please join us in welcoming Lauren Pane back to AmPark part-time to support classrooms, small groups of students, and to provide students with the opportunity to take books out of the library again. Former fifth grade teacher, Mike Molloy, who is pursuing a degree in social work, will also be joining us on Fridays to support our early childhood grades. These familiar faces bring so much love for our kiddos!
It was beautiful to see the synergy at our first Parent Association meeting of the year between our familiar AmPark faces and those new to the community. Thank you for coming out to partner with the school! At the meeting we discussed expanding community partnerships and field trip opportunities that support the integrated units of study that students will participate in across the year. Our kindergarten and first grade teachers met with Carlos from Salvadori to plan neighborhood walks, architectural studies, and the creation of 3D models of our community. Our students will dive into this work throughout the fall. Second and third grade have already booked a series of trips to the Botanical Gardens for culinary institutes to study food from around the world when they embark on their New York State and country studies. Fourth and Fifth graders will dive into art and artifacts with an inquiry lens when educators from The New York Historical Society begin their sessions. There will be plenty of opportunities for hands-on and minds-on learning across the grades!
Staff and students are fully engaged in social and emotional learning as we re-familiarize ourselves with our favorite self-improvement tools such as the 7 habits, the classroom charters, and the mood meter. We invite parents to learn alongside us on October 22nd at a family engagement event where we work to create our own personal WIGs (Wildly Important Goals). Come on out and learn how to develop meaningful personal or professional goals, track progress, and keep yourself on track with an accountability partner. If you want to read more books, get to the gym more often, or clear closet clutter these Leader in Me methods can help!
October’s Book of the Month is Two by Kathryn Otashi. The big ideas of the story revolve around acceptance and kindness as a friendship changes.
Students will focus on the message: I can be less than I am or great than I am. The choice is mine.
Thanks to our strong parent/teacher/student partnerships our students made great gains last year as evidenced by the 3rd - 5th grade state tests. We increased proficiency in ELA from 39% to 51% and from 46% to 49% in math. We are not going to stop there! The work continues this year. You can access your student’s scores through NYC Schools Account (NYCSA). For information on NYCSA registration, see the NYC Schools Account page. Please speak with Angie or Damaris for support.
At AmPark, we strive to teach students to be citizens of the world by engaging in local and larger service initiatives. One way to engage in service is to donate funds or goods to organizations. This month, students are invited to have their WonderWalk sponsored by collecting pledges to benefit the March of Dimes. Students are also invited to limit their own sugar intake at Halloween while also showing care to service members by donating candy to Treats for Troops the week after Halloween. Students will have many opportunities across the year to engage in other types of service learning too.
Important Dates: Don’t forget to check the calendar!
October 8th - Schools Closed
October 19th - Family Tea/PA Recap
October 22nd - PK-2 Sing in Multipurpose Room, October 29th 3-5
October 23rd - AmPark Middle School Information Night
October 24th & 25th - Picture Days
October 25th - Great American SpellCheck (school fundraiser and qualifying round for school spelling bee)
October 31st - Wonder Walk fundraiser for March of Dimes
A Message from Our Wellness Committee
We are very excited to get our Wellness Committee started next week! Our 3rd-5th graders have been filling out their WITS committee applications and will be ready to meet and discuss the menu with Chef Ricardo on October 11th. We would love for more families to join us in the K Cafe for our first meeting.
In addition, our PreK and Kindergarten students will be planting our hydroponic tower garden and learning about salad bar etiquette with our Wellness Chefs this week! For more information on becoming involved with WITS at AmPark please reach out to HealthyAmpark@gmail.com.
Please see this month's Alternative K-8 Lunch Menu here!
Parent Coordinator's Message
October is a very busy month this year. I have Advocates for Children coming in on the 23rd of October from 9:00-10:30 am to conduct a workshop on School Discipline and Behavior support. Please be on the lookout for flyers. Also, AmPark's Picture Day will be held on the 24th and 25th and detailed information will be sent home soon. If you are interested in volunteering, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Lastly, March of dimes will take place on the 31st hope to see you all there.
We are closing out this blog entry with teacher brags! We asked our staff, “What’s going well so far?” Take a look at their responses and take a peek into your child’s classroom:
Pre-K 2 has fully adjusted to our new school environment and we love listening to read alouds, taking turns and getting to know our classmates while we play!
Our kindergarten classes are rocking independent reading from their favorite read aloud star books! Kindergarten kiddos are learning how to read privately in partnerships. They are learning how to look closely, say what they see, and sound like a storyteller. Such grown up work for the beginning of the school year. Way to go kindergarten friends!
First graders begin with the end in mind as they develop their reading plans and set goals.
Jen’s class is crushing math talks! Students solve word problems using a variety of strategies and explain their thinking to the class.
Scott’s class synergized by working together as teams to create post-it thinking posters about the read aloud Stray by Cynthia Rylant.
Kelley and Casey’s class has started STACK Time as a way to build community and facilitate respectful conversations, that help build up their classmates and resolve issues that arise in the classroom.
Health Education 4th-5th
Kiddos have established our charters for health class and are diving into the 8 dimensions of Wellness and identifying our healthy habits for each.
Physical Education K-2
We have been working on maximum participation and our personal responsibilities within PE while playing Dance Dance Noodle Tag and Set the Table.
Physical Education 3-5
We have been working on maximum participation and the social benefits of physical activities while playing Dance Dance Noodle Tag and Caterpillar Riot.
Pre K PE
We have been exploring the space and equipment we use in PE and practicing safe body movements.
Pre K Lunch and Nap
We have been brave about trying new foods and cleaning up after ourselves. A great nap after always helps are bodies get rested for an afternoon of fun!
Happy October to all!
Parents' Association Corner
Hello AmPark Families,
I hope you all had a great summer! September flew by and I want to not only welcome everyone back to school but thank all of the families that came out to the Meet and Greet orientation, as well as Back to School Night and the first General PAmeeting on 9/26. It was great to see and meet all of you. I'm thrilled that we were able to fill all of our positions on the Executive Board and am happy to announce the 2018-19 board members:
President: Odaliz Vasquez
Treasurer: Shante Thomas
Secretary: Eva Maldonado
VP Fundraising: Inocencia Olivo
Co-VPs of Parent Involvement: Elizabeth Flores and Crystal Teron-Salas
October is here and we have a lot of exciting events coming up. Our next General PA meeting is on 10/17 and I will be sending an Evite for it so be on the lookout! 10/26 is our Costume Party from 7pm - 9pm. Please come join us for a fun night! Original/Creative costumes are encouraged. No masks or weapons are allowed and parents are required to stay with their children. We need volunteers for the party so please be on the lookout for the Sign-up Genuis link. Our popular Halloween Bake Sale is on Wednesday, October 31 at drop-off and pick-up and as always, it is tentative pending volunteers to run it. A sign-up will be sent for this as well and a request for donations will be included.
If you haven't signed up to receive the Parents' Association emails, you won't want to miss out! We send updates, reminders and important information regarding school happenings, so please sign up today. All you have to do is send a quick email to email@example.com and ask to be added to our blasts.
Want to help AmPark raise some extra funds? Please clip your Box Tops, check for expiration dates and send them to school in a ziploc bag with your child's name and class on it. The deadline for Box Tops is Friday, 10/19. The class who collects the most Box Tops will win a pizza party!
You can also help AmPark earn easy money by downloading the Shoparoo App and snapping pictures of all your receipts within 14 days. Get more information by clicking the link here: Shoparoo Fundraiser.
I'm looking forward to a great year!
Dear AmPark Families,
Our first few days of school began with a flurry of excitement and smiles. The building came to life again with all of students back in it. We kicked off the year with our annual New Families Meet and Greet which certainly helped with those first day jitters for our youngest community members. New students in our upper grades have also made fast friends in a matter of days.
As we move forward into this new year together, communication between all of the members of our community is essential. We rely on you, our amazing parents and families, to continue to make AmPark the special place that it is by supporting your students and being active members of our greater AmPark Family. This year we hope to streamline communication through our monthly Owl Blog on our new Amparkneighborhoodschool.org website and move away from paper copies of the Owl that can often get lost along the way. An email alert can be sent straight to your inbox and you’ll receive news and updates on all things AmPark. All you need to do is visit our site and subscribe with your preferred email address. (If you're reading this online, thanks for signing up already!) Once you’ve subscribed the Owl will come straight to you. Additionally, the website has a Calendar page that contains all of the upcoming events and important dates to mark on your own calendars at home. Please visit the site today and subscribe for the Owl Blog.
Social and emotional learning is a priority at AmPark as we all work towards becoming the best versions of ourselves and learning how to problem solve obstacles along the way. One way we infuse both character and community building is through our Book of the Month initiative. Each month all classrooms participate in a shared text read aloud. This month our book is Ella the Elephant by Carmela D’Amico. It is the story of an elephant beginning the school year who encounters difficulties when she wears a hat with a special meaning.
We also use The Leader in Me and The RULER Approach to foster social and emotional growth. More information can be found here and here. Our classrooms are already cultivating a leadership environment as students design their own learning spaces and create the community agreements alongside the teachers in the form of the Class Charter. Please be sure to ask your child about the feelings they hope to have in school and the ways in which the community will work together to cultivate a safe, happy and healthy environment.
Important Upcoming Dates (Please also go to the Calendar link here on our website to check on all upcoming dates and events):
Back to School Night: Monday, September 17th
School Closed: Yom Kippur 9/19
School Sing: Please join us in singing our favorite AmPark songs to warm up for the week on 9/17 for students in grades PK - 2, and on 9/24 for students in grades 3-5.
Back to School Night: September 17th
General PA Meeting: 9/26
On a personal note, with the citywide change in the date of Back to School Night I, regretfully, will not be able to take part. As some of you may know my younger brother passed away in a Marine Corps plane crash in July of 2017. He and other aviators are being honored at a Gold Star Family Retreat early next week that I will be attending. I appreciate your understanding and support.
Please feel free to reach out via with any questions or concerns that you had planned to speak with me about. Bonnie and Angie will also be available throughout the evening. Please know that childcare will be available for Back to School night, provided by Roads To Success. Enjoy the time getting to know your child’s teacher and learning more about what they are working on each day.
Parent Coordinator’s Message
Dear Parents & Families,
Welcome to the 2018-2019 school year. I am excited to see you all back. Thank you to those who attended my information session. I will be holding a series of workshops so please be on the lookout for them, as they will be posted on our AmPark Calendar. I hope to see you all there!
As always, feel free to contact me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions you may have.
With warm wishes,
Wellness In The Schools - A Note From Our Wellness Committee
We’re very excited for a new year and our continued partnership with Wellness In The Schools aka WITS! This year we happily welcome back a familiar face to our community as Chef Ricardo will return as our Wellness Chef! Chef Marion and Chef Cathy will also continue our work this year through the Wellness Committee, WITS Bits, cafeteria tastings and WITS Labs. As our incomparable Chef Marion reminds us, learning should extend to every space in the school and that certainly includes our cafeteria! Our mission is to ensure that our students are nourished both mind and body while learning healthy wellness habits for life.
Our first WITS event of the year will be a planting of the tower garden with Chef Ricardo and parent members of our Wellness Committee. We would love for you to join us this Thursday, September 20th from 12:30 - 2:30 to set up our first hydroponic harvest of the year! Additionally, if you are interested in becoming more a part of the Wellness Committee this year, it would be amazing to have more parents join us for discussions on WITS, gardening, sustainability and all things wellness! Please reach out to Bonnie at email@example.com for details and more information.
For all families new to AmPark, please know that our partnership with WITS ensures that we have access to the delicious offerings on the K-8 Alternative Lunch Menu. The menu is full of locally sourced, seasonal ingredients, as well as healthy, tasty options including a full salad bar daily. Please click this link to check out the September Alternative Lunch Menu.
Finally, if you haven't been to the New York Botanical Garden's Edible Schoolyard yet, check it out on Columbus Day Weekend to experience the Honey Harvest with our own Chef Marion! Chef Marion and her team of WITS Chefs will demonstrate the creation of some delicious honeyed recipes on October 8th, at 1:30pm. The Honey Harvest event will be ongoing at NYBG from 10am until 6pm and promises to be a sweet time for all!
Wishing you well,
The Wellness Committee
Dear AmPark Families,
Happy summer! It has been an absolute pleasure to serve as the school leaders for the AmPark community this past year. Thank you all for your tireless support of the children and the school. We wish you a safe and healthy summer with plenty of time for family and relaxation.
Angie and I will be available throughout the summer although the building will not be open on a daily basis. Please reach out via email should you need anything.
Supply lists will be posted for each grade to the school website this week. Letters from next year’s teachers and our welcome packet will be emailed to families by August 24th.
The Welcome Warm-Up event will take place on Tuesday, September 4th at 2:45 p.m. for Pre-Kindergarten, Kindergarten, and new AmPark families.
The first day of school will be Wednesday, September 5th. It will be a full day for grades 1-5 and a half day for Kindergarten and Pre-Kindergarten. More back to school information will be shared in the welcome packets.
Kelly and Bonnie