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