May 2017


Dear Parents,


We are so excited about our 2nd Annual Maker Faire on May 17 from 5-6:30. Students have been working on Design Challenges for the whole school year with Jasmine from the Hall of Science so they are ready to design their own invention that will help PS 62.


This year’s project will be centered around the theme of Making PS 62 Better.  Children should think of something they would like to see improved in our school community.  Their Maker Faire project will allow them to explore ways to address this problem. We encourage projects that have a function or purpose and that can be tested if possible, even if it is a smaller model to test your bigger idea; it can even be tested at Maker Faire! First, begin by identifying a problem worth solving to the student. Brainstorm with your children about several areas of student life that a potential invention can help improve:

  • The commute to and from school (A bicycle, skateboard, or scooter that has been redesigned for carrying school books and supplies; a DIY alarm to help them get to school on time in the morning; a rube goldberg machine that can serve breakfast more efficiently/faster; a safer or more fun school bus model; better school backpack, etc.)

  • The lunchroom experience (better lunch tray; a machine that will sort the garbage better; an invention to keep the lunchroom cleaner and/or safer; a noise reducing invention; better lunchbox; solar powered oven, etc.)

  • Life in the classroom (a special or safer chair/desk; creative organizers for school supplies, materials, or jackets; an invention or robot that helps with cleanup time; creative ways to reduce/reuse/recycle, etc.)

  • Recess or schoolyard time (a new game made out of giant cardboard structures that will keep students active or physically fit; model of a new playground concept that is more fun or safe; miniature improved playground slide to be tested with marbles; new or repurposed ball for a sport; marble maze or ball run; new or repurposed educational toy or game; solar powered toy or game; new musical instrument, etc.)

  • Getting around inside the school (inventing assistive technology or a convenient carrier for injured or disabled students in a wheelchair or crutches; a hall pass that lights up; a safe accessibility ramp for staircases, etc.),

  • Homework help (design a new fidget toy that will help you focus on studying; an organizer or system that helps you stay on track with homework; a robot that you have programmed to help you study,  etc.)  


Maker Faire Projects can be:

  • Small, large, or very large

  • Made from any medium (e.g cardboard, wood, tin, pvc, fabric, plastic, etc.).

  • A solution to a problem that helps improve student life (see examples above)

  • Wearable technology that serves a purpose- (a tee shirt, sneakers, or jewelry that does something or lights up for a reason such as safety or communication)

  • An innovation on a current design to serve a need or meet a goal (making something better even though it already exists, for an important reason to the student)

  • Testable if possible, at Maker Faire- we would love to see or try out your invention!

  • Creative and fun!


Here are some resources that may be helpful to come up with project ideas and creative inventions: http://pbskids.org/designsquad/      http://learnxdesign.org/     https://diy.org/


Check out more ideas and get inspired with: http://tinyurl.com/hzxsnvo

http://makezine.com/tag/kids-family/

http://cainesarcade.com/

http://www.instructables.com/id/Cardboard-Creations/


All “makers” will show and share what they have learned on May 17th.


Sincerely


Angela O'Dowd














June 21, 2016


Dear Parents,


As we come to the close of the school year I would like to inform you of some changes that will be in effect for the 2016-2017 school year.  These changes involve student groupings and new and improved pedagogical practices at PS 62.


  1. All 5th grade classes and two 4th grade classes will be departmentalized for literacy, math, social studies/science/stem which means they will have two/three different teachers, one for each subject area.  Fifth grade will participate in a new Citywide Initiative called Algebra for All and the two math teachers will receive specialized professional development to help prepare students for Middle School Algebra.


  1. All classes will have heterogeneous grouping.  This essentially means that every class will have readers in three/four different groups and teachers will work daily with each small group on their level in guided reading.  Students who were previously grouped in one advanced reading class should note that this will no longer be the practice.


  1. All classes will have an account with Compass Learning’s Pathblazer program which will allow students to have their own learning pathways for literacy and math.  The computer will diagnose and adapt to the child’s strengths’ and needs and present appropriate resources for practice.  Passwords will be available for use at home.


  1. All students from K-5 will continue to have two periods of computer science every week with three technology teachers. We have been identified by the NYC Department of Education as a Showcase School for Computer Science.  Students will also build on their ‘Maker’ mindset and have a regular classroom Makerspace to create, build and innovate. We look forward to celebrating student work at our second Maker Faire in May 2017.


It is our goal to have all students advance academically with the right supports and challenges that will meet their individual needs.  To this end, we believe that children learn best working in small collaborative groups and using new technologies that enable individual pathways to learning.


We wish all our families a happy and healthy summer and look forward to seeing you back on September 8, 2016.  


Sincerely,



Angela O’Dowd

Principal



September 1, 2015


Dear Parents/Caregivers,


Welcome back to school for the 2015-2016 School Year! We are well prepared and eager to see all of our students returning to school on September 9th. Likewise, we are excited to meet all our new students coming to our school for the first time either transferring from other schools around the city/country and of course our new immigrants from all over the globe.  Two Pre-K classes of 20 students each will Our school day begins at 8am and ends at 2:20.  All students are welcome to come for a free breakfast beginning at 7:20.  Lunch is also provided free and the menu is available online.  
We begin this school year by welcoming your voice in all aspects of our school community and encourage you to read our correspondence that will be located in your child's RED home folder.  We also urge you to follow us on Facebook and Twitter to see our weekly updates. Our Parent Coordinator is Aura Fountain and she would love to see you attend workshops, book clubs and classes in the Family Room and/or volunteer to be part of the PTA.  We have translators in Spanish and Punjabi to assist you in understanding all aspects of your child's school experience.  We want to know more about your child from your perspective in order to provide him/her with the most effective supports and challenge.  

This year, students will have a new literacy curriculum called ReadyGen.   Like before, there will be an emphasis on a Gradual Release of Responsibility where teachers will read books aloud, guide students in small groups and provide opportunity for students to practice independently and collaborate with their partners/team.  Over the course of the year, students will have twelve trade books as well as text collection books and a Sleuth.  As required by the Common Core Standards, there will be more of a shift towards the close reading of text and the attention to evidence to support argument and opinion.  In math, students will continue to work on the modules from EngageNY but this year they will have extra materials to practice from the Go Math curriculum.  Students will also have science at least two periods per week from their classroom teacher and the curriculum will follow the FOSS units of study.  There will be more information and workshops provided to you over the next few weeks.

I would urge you to register for a NYC Schools account too where you will be able to access key information about your child's progress in school, including attendance, report card grades, general student information, and test scores (new) in one of ten languages on a computer, phone or tablet.   

I look forward to seeing you all very soon.

Yours sincerely,

Angela O'Dowd
Principal









September 16, 2014



Dear Parents/Caregiver,



Welcome to the 2014-2015 School Year!  I loved seeing all our students on Monday lined up in their new yellow and navy  uniforms, smiling and ready to greet their teachers with mutual enthusiasm.   All students spent the week organizing their materials, getting to know the teacher, class environment and making new friends.  


Teachers and students began work on new Math Curriculum Modules and Literacy Units that are designed to facilitate learning of curriculum that has been aligned to the Common Core Learning Standards.  The language of report cards has also been changed to reflect these skills and provide you with a better understanding of your child’s progression.  


During this week, you will also have a chance to meet your child’s teacher and hear about the units of study, learn about your expectations as a parent, and ask general questions about curriculum and class policy.  Individual parent meetings can be arranged with the teacher and Aura Fountain, the parent coordinator is also available to address any concerns or questions you may have.


As always, we urge you ensure that your child is at school every day and on time and that you help him or her with management skills.  Student of the month certificates and other reinforcements will shared with students who meet criteria around Academic and Personal Behaviors such as work habits, self-regulation, collaboration, persistence and engagement (September will focus on organization).


We have received an extra year long extension to our Universal Free Lunch Program that has been in effect for several years now so we are pleased to announce that you will not have to complete the lunch form or pay a fee this year again.  We encourage you to avail of free breakfast beginning at 7:20am for all students.


We will continue to communicate with you in as many ways as possible and in different languages, the main ones being Spanish and Punjabi.   You can also access paid subscriptions to learning networks, class web sites, middle school information, teacher emails, and a student gallery by going to our website at PS062.org. You can also  ‘like’ us on Facebook to receive weekly updates about what’s happening at PS 62.


I look forward to your partnership this year as we continue to work towards our academic goals together.




Yours sincerely,



Angela O’Dowd

Principal



__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


January 2012


Dear Parents,


Happy New Year and welcome back, hopefully a restful and happy holiday period was had by all.  I would like to begin this semester, in light of the recent and tragic happening in Sandyhook Elementary School, with a focus on your children's safety.  To this end we would like you to kno that our school will implement protocols that will focus on emergency preparedness.  Every school in NYC already has procedures for emergencies.  Drills are conducted throughout the year to prepare our staff and students, and make improvements in emergency planning.  


Under the new General Response Protocol (GRP), every school will be conducting drills designed to help prepare all school communities for three different types of response to emergencies that may occur: evacuation, sheltering, and lockdown.


Training will begin this week and will continue for staff and students during the month of January. Refresher lessons will be conducted throughout the school year. Please review the information that has been given to all students, and discuss these procedures with your child. You are encouraged to take advantage of the many resources that are available to keep families informed if there is an emergency at our school.

You are reminded to update the Emergency Contact Cards that are on file in our main office. This includes providing information indicating phone numbers, and the names of adults who the school may release children to in an emergency. Families are also encouraged  to register with Notify NYC (https://a858-nycnotify.nyc.gov/notifynyc/) to receive information about
emergency events, and call 311 for additional information about a school during an emergency. 

Sincerely,

Angela O'Dowd
Principal



__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________



September, 2012


Dear Parents,


I am delighted to welcome students, staff and families back to PS 62 this week in my tenth year as Principal.  I am really pleased to report that we, as a team, are well prepared and enthusiastic about meeting the challenges of another school year of teaching and learning.  


The school building is in great condition with the newest addition of 34 cameras inside and outside to ensure

even greater security for the students, staff and community.  


We continue to strive to make communication even better and this year we have added a Facebook page where announcements will be posted.  This is in addition to this school website, the phone messenger, and backpacked fliers that you will receive regularly.  We encourage you to check the website regularly as well as ARIS Parentlink to learn more about your child's progress during and at the end of the year.  You should also check out the school's calendar on this website and the DOE Calendar regularly especially if you are planning trips away.


Our curriculum has all been aligned with Common Core Learning Standards and our school is in the forefront of piloting the new shifts that are taking place across the NY State.  We have been selected as one of 35 schools to spearhead this work and we look forward to seeing even better results in student outcomes.


Due to the success of last year's program, we will continue to offer parent workshops to learn English.  Aura Fountain, our parent coordinator welcomes your involvement in this initiative as well as many more throughout the school year.  


I hope you are well prepared too and your children are equipped with their necessary supplies and uniforms.  I look forward to your continued cooperation this week and for the rest of the school year.


Sincerely,


Angela O'Dowd

Principal




January 23, 2012


Dear Parents,


Happy New Year!  It's so good that we are still enjoying a snow free winter thus far, it means better attendance and less time worrying about the challenges it tends to bring.  


We are enjoying seeing you all at school whether it is at Parent-Teacher Conferences, PTA Meetings/Student of the Month Awards, the Holiday Show, Literacy Night, English Classes for Parents, Classroom End of Unit Celebrations or at our Moms/Daughter's Health Evening.  "We value your participation and we need your support at school" - this was the message that the PTA Board and myself conveyed at our recent gathering where we appealed for nominations.  


School News for January

  • We are Finalists in a competitive Award/Grant from the National Center for Urban School Transformation (see home tab).  A team from San Diego will visit our school on February 1st and make a final decision by March 16th.
  • Math Night will be on January 25th at 6pm - come to school wearing your craziest hat and work with teachers on our specially designed family stations.
  • Congratulations to our Basketball Team who were selected from a larger group of 25 - Bhudavi Budhram, Eryka Clarke, Eddie Cuahuiza, Dylan Jaundoo, Charisma Jugeo, Darien Ramdath, Daniel Rodway, Joel Rodway, Usman Shah, Janet Small, Jordan Taylor and Alyssa Vallecillo.
  • Councilman Rubin Wills attended our PTA Meeting in December and presented our school with a $250,000 grant for technology from City Council.  It will be spent on buying more Smartboards and Desktops for classrooms.  It will also allow us to retrofit the current Smartboards with mounted projectors so that there is more room for students in the meeting areas.
  • Six students were randomly selected from a larger group of students were in school every day and on time for the month of December.  They had a fun pizza lunch with me today Tuesday January 23rd.  They sat on my big conference chairs, played with my IPAD, talked about their experiences at school and what they might do if they were principal. They are Steven Lall, Melissa Ramirez Garcia, Shumana Rahman, Mehakpreet Kaur, Diana Torres, and Justin Castano Darnley.
  • Registration has begun for September and many families have already submitted all their documentation to Alison, our pupil personnel secretary.  Please make sure to follow all the instructions and get on the list for our Spring Orientation Session for Kindergarten.
  • Cookshop is in progress in many classrooms and this year a group of parents are also learning about nutrition and cooking with Aura Fountain compliments of Cookshop.
  • Boyscouts is in progress every Tuesday after school and registration is ongoing.
  • Students who have been identified as Promotion in Doubt will receive a notification in the mail next week.  Please arrange a meeting right away and work with your child's teacher to outline a learning plan for school and home to work on targeted skills.
Interim assessments in Reading, Writing and Math will be completed this week and the results will appear in ARIS Parent Link some time next week.  We encourage you to log on and talk with your child's teacher about the results.  They are indicators that help us to identify students' strengths and weaknesses in different areas so that teaching-learning can be better targeted towards specific needs.  We urge you to monitor your child's identified needs and goals to ensure that they are practicing skills at home.  There are many online subscriptions that the school has purchased and for which children have individual passwords.  Teachers will also set up assignments on Study Island for children to practice targeted skills in reading, writing and math.  Please ensure that you are monitoring your child's online behavior.


Please review the school calendar for closed days and book your trips accordingly.  It is very important that you do not take your child out of school outside of the official breaks.  You should also note the dates for State Tests in Grades 3, 4 and 5 as they come right after the Spring break and last for three days each for English Language Arts and Math.  I would also urge you to try to get your children to school on time every day.  It is uncomfortable and distracting for students to walk in to class when the announcements have finished and lessons are in progress.  


We look forward to your continued partnership as we work towards even higher standards for all our students.


Yours sincerely,


Angela O'Dowd

Principal


Principal Parent Letter can also be found in the languages below:



Arabic

Bengali

Chinese

Spanish

Urdu




 November 14, 2011


Dear Parents/Caregivers,


We are all looking forward to seeing you tomorrow for Parent-Teacher Conferences so that you can talk with the teacher and see your child's work either in the class or displayed in the hallways.  I'm sure that the children are as excited as we are to share the exciting content we have been exploring over the past few weeks.  As part of our efforts to improve parent engagement this school year, we are sending you in advance, information pertaining to the content, higher order thinking and vocabulary associated with our units of study.  We hope this enables you to reinforce the learning with your children and allows us all to be 'on the same page' when it comes to instructional goals and student achievement.  Once the unit is complete, the classroom teacher will invite you to the classroom for an End of Unit Learning Celebration and you will get to see firsthand how students demonstrate their understanding for you.  We are so proud of our first round of Learning Celebrations, each one was different but the same Essential Question was explored across a grade, the same vocabulary was reinforced for all students.  This example from Ms. Cutrone's class is just one of the many classes I visited and so I can share out the common components that are evident in all classrooms.  Some classes performed plays whereby all students were able to read and reread a complex text and become the characters, an exercise that otherwise may have otherwise been a mundane or frustrating task for some.  All classes went on trips to immerse students in the vocabulary and the concepts involved in the unit of study and many of you were able to join them.  Keep looking on the website for the technology projects associated with each one!  


Last week we hosted our annual Literacy/Pajama Night at PS 62 and it was a great success.  Ten teachers, along with the Parent Coordinator and myself worked with families at literacy stations so that they could become familiar with the practices that happen at school every day.  The stations involved; phonics, fluency, oral language, vocabulary, library, exploring our website, and comprehension.  Fun was had by all!


Regarding our afterschool programs, the Boyscouts program has already begun and registration is ongoing so you can join anytime.  The ELL program is also in full swing for students in grades 3, 4 and 5.  We are in the process of looking for volunteers who would be willing to be trained to work with our 5th grade students in a basketball clinic and tournament from December to March.  Please see the Parent Coordinator if you are interested.  This program is being funded by Councilman Rubin Wills who has also secured a $250,000 grant from City Council to our school this year for technology upgrades.  As a result, we will complete our efforts to have every classroom equipped with a Smartboard and we will also upgrade our Auditorium with a new projection system.


Please visit our website regularly for updates and to see your children's work.  You can also email your child's teacher if you need to communicate with them.  We appreciate your feedback on ways to continually improve upon our practices.


Yours sincerely,


Angela O'Dowd

Principal




September 14, 2011

 

Dear Parents/Caregivers,

 

Welcome back to the new school year at PS 62!  We had a smooth opening with students and teachers all ready and enthusiastic to begin our work together.

 

Our extended day started yesterday for students needing intervention from grades 1-5 from 2:20pm to 2:57pm.  During this time teachers will provide targeted instruction specific to your child’s academic needs and groups will not exceed ten students.  I understand that these two dismissal times may provide difficulties for some families with two children leaving at different times.  However, I urge you to work through the issues and allow us this additional time with your child in a small group setting.            

 

Many parents have told me that the 8am start time has worked well for them, especially those who begin their workday early.  Please be reminded that good attendance and punctuality really matter and it is expected that you make every effort to have your children here and on time every day.  Check the school calendar when you are planning your trips and vacations. Please do not keep your children home because of rainy or stormy weather, last year we specifically noticed lower attendance on rainy Mondays.  We want to avail of every opportunity to help your child meet the challenging curriculum and standards we are setting for them.  We are excited to be in the forefront of work with the Common Core State Standards and to be selected as a Learning Site for other New York City Schools to observe what our teachers and students are learning.  Please take a look at this video that was filmed at our school and will be documented on PBS in the Fall.  http://tinyurl.com/3gyjstb   

 

We look forward therefore to an exciting and challenging school year where we value your feedback and welcome your participation.  This participation can happen at many levels depending on your availability, from becoming a PTA member or Learning Leader, to helping to coach an afterschool sport, to maintaining the garden with students, to working with our Cookshop Program, to attending workshops to help yourself learn parenting, English or technology skills.

 

Please keep your contact numbers updated on the emergency blue card and check ARIS Parent Link to see if that information is correct there too.  This year you will be able to see your child’s reading level on ARIS in addition to the NYS test scores.  This is due to our school’s inclusion in a pilot program with New York City.  You should be on constant communication with your child’s teacher via notes, conversations or email regarding his/her academic progress and the ways you can help reinforce our work at school. 

 

In order to begin the year with clarity about the curriculum and school procedures as well as meet your child’s teacher, we ask that you attend our Open School Week.  The schedule for this orientation is attached for your information.

 

I will continue to communicate with you in a variety of ways, including PTA meetings, the school website PS062.org, letters backpacked home and in-person conversations.  There will also be times when you will receive computerized telephone messages, please just listen carefully, there is no need to respond.  I continue to deeply appreciate you as an excellent group of parents and a fine community in Richmond Hill.  I see my responsibility as serving you and your children in the best way I possibly can.  I believe that we can do great things together because we have assembled an excellent team of teachers and support staff and we have you as our partners.

 

Yours Sincerely,

Angela O’Dowd

Principal

 



July 29, 2011
Dear Parents,

I hope you are enjoying the summer and getting time for some rest and/or travel time.  I've already enjoyed my travels to Ireland, my country of birth, and have come back refreshed and excited about the new school year!  

During this new school year, PS 62 will continue our work towards our goal of ensuring that all our students reach or exceed high standards in the early grades so that by Grade 3 they will have a solid foundational skills in reading, writing and numeracy.  During last year, our team were very innovative and worked together with New York City to learn about the New Common Core Learning Standards and develop plans for this upcoming year.  We have been identified as one of a few Learning Sites in New York City as a result of this work and other schools will visit to see our school's progress.   This year we will begin to put these plans into action in the classroom.  We will continue to work on the units of study for each grade as they are well balanced with knowledge about science, history, geography, art and of course good literature.  We will place a high emphasis on strong foundational skills in reading and mathematics for as a nation we have agreed this is most important.  For example, we expect (and will ensure) our kindergarten students at the very least will know all 42 phonemes (sounds), 50 high frequency words, read and understand a book at level E, produce a portfolio of informational writing, know how to count up to 100 by ones and by tens, and write numbers 0 to 20.  You can read about the New Common Core Learning Standards or attend workshops at different locations throughout the city and most certainly at our school and from your child's teacher.  

Most importantly, we want to engage you in this work and make sure that you understand our goals for your student and what we are doing to help him/her to meet them.  Additionally, when you talk with us about your child, we will be able to do a better job in overcoming any obstacles in this process.  I look forward to our work together and encourage you to come to the school and check the website regularly for updates.

Enjoy the rest of the summer.

Sincerely,

Angela O'Dowd

29 de julio 2011
Estimados padres de familia,

Espero que estén disfrutando del verano y conseguir tiempo para descansar y / o tiempo de viaje. Ya he disfrutado de mis viajes a Irlanda, mi país de nacimiento, y han vuelto renovado y entusiasmado con el nuevo año escolar!

Durante este nuevo año escolar, PS 62 continuaremos trabajando hacia nuestro objetivo de garantizar que todos nuestros estudiantes a alcanzar o exceder los estándares de alta en los primeros grados, para que por la de grado 3 que tendrá una capacidad sólida fundamental en lectura, escritura y aritmética. Durante el año pasado, nuestro equipo fueron muy innovadores y trabajó junto a Nueva York para aprender acerca de las normas fundamentales del nuevo aprendizaje en común y desarrollar planes para este año. Hemos sido identificado como uno de los pocos sitios de aprendizaje en Nueva York como resultado de este trabajo y otras escuelas a visitar para ver el progreso de nuestra escuela. Este año vamos a empezar a poner estos planes en acción en el aula. Vamos a seguir trabajando en las unidades de estudio para cada grado, ya que están bien equilibrados con el conocimiento de la ciencia, historia, geografía, arte y, por supuesto, la buena literatura. Vamos a poner un gran énfasis en la fuerte habilidades fundamentales de lectura y matemáticas como nación hemos acordado esto es muy importante. Por ejemplo, se espera (y se asegurará de) nuestros estudiantes de kindergarten al menos sabrán los 42 fonemas (sonidos), 50 palabras de uso frecuente, leer y entender un libro en el nivel E, deben presentar una carpeta de escritura de información, saber cómo contar hasta 100 por unos y por decenas, y escribir números del 0 al 20.Usted puede leer sobre las nuevas normas comunes de núcleo de aprendizaje o asistir a talleres en diferentes lugares de la ciudad y sin duda en nuestra escuela y del maestro de su hijo.

Más importante aún, queremos participar en este trabajo y asegurarse de que entiende nuestras metas para el estudiante y lo que estamos haciendo para ayudar a él / ella a su encuentro. Además, al hablar con nosotros acerca de su hijo, que será capaz de hacer un mejor trabajo en la superación de los obstáculos en este proceso. Espero que nuestro trabajo y le animamos a venir a la escuela y visite el sitio web periódicamente las actualizaciones.

Disfrutar el resto del verano.

Atentamente,

Angela O'Dowd


6/6/2011
Dear Parents,

It's hard to believe we have almost completed another whole term, the school is buzzing with celebrations of learning, field day events, the anticipation of graduations and of course test scores (and the possibility of Summer School for some to have another chance for promotion).

One of the upcoming celebrations this Friday is our 4th Annual Publishing Day and we encourage you to come to school and share in complimenting students on their progress this year in a variety of writing genres.  The children have made considerable improvements in their use of academic vocabulary in the content areas - an overall school goal that you will see evidenced in their independent work. 

Summer school will take place at PS 63 once again this year and the bus will transport students to and from PS 62 every morning and afternoon.  Please call Ms. Fountain if you have any questions as she or one of the other Parent Coordinators will be at PS 63 every day.  Our school, PS 62, will be a feeding site for free breakfast and lunch during the summer so please come and take your children to the park for some play and perhaps some exercise yourself (a run around the track maybe or a game of tennis!).  Alternatively maybe you could organize some games for children if you have the time.  Ms. Israel, our school librarian will be sending home a flyer about our Arts in the Park Program to be held in July.

State Test Results for English Language Arts and Math will be available some time in August and will be updated directly into ARIS, however, we will be able to identify the Level 1 students for Summer School purposes by June 17th and we will send a letter home with your child if that is the case.

Please take advantage of the wonderful opportunities available to you in New York City and if you have some time go to the Museums, Zoos, Parks and Beaches with your children.  We know that these experiences and the language associated with them is one of the best ways for your children to acquire knowledge.  When children are home and on the computer, please supervise their use of the internet and try some of the links we have provided on our website.

On behalf of myself and the entire Staff at PS 62, we wish you a happy and peaceful summer.  We look forward to your return on September 8th and to welcome all our new families as well.

Sincerely,

Angela O'Dowd





4/2/2011
Dear Parents,

March has been a busy month at PS 62 as we welcomed over nine hundred parents for conferences this year.  I met and spoke with many of you during the day and evening meetings and your reports were all very positive and constructive.  We hope these comments will indeed be reflected on the surveys that were completed and posted to the Department of Education. The teachers and administration recognize your concerns around the fact that many students who were scoring at level 3 and 4 (at or above grade level) are now presenting at level 2 on practice tests this year.  This is because the New York State Education Department changed the benchmark last year so that it is harder than before to reach a level 3 and 4.  We are working with your students to meet these higher standards and we need your partnership to ensure that every student is doing his/her personal best to be in school every day, complete all homework assignments, become active learners and develop excellent study skills. 

The School Leadership Team suggested that we have an initiative 'March Madness' that would encourage school spirit, attendance and a general feeling of unity at our school and the move has been quite successful in fulfilling all of those objectives.  Crazy Hat Day, Inside Out Day, Wild Tie Day and Pajama Day brought smiles all round and lots of people visiting the website for the first time!  The team have also discussed general attendance issues and concerns were raised about a lower attendance on Mondays.  Please do not keep your children home from school unless they are really sick.  There were other concerns too about dismissals and we would urge you put safety first and be patient in waiting until the teacher dismisses your child from the line outside.  It is especially difficult on rainy days to dismiss so many children safely so we ask that you not crowd the teacher and wait patiently even if it means getting wet!

Spring recess will begin soon and the State Tests for Grades 3, 4 and 5 will happen just after we return, please check the calendar for upcoming events and testing schedules.  Teachers will provide students with opportunities to practice the required literacy and math skills that they need via the computer or pencil and paper tasks over the break.  Your child will need to develop the stamina to read for seventy minutes straight from many different passages of fiction and non-fiction so you should work on helping them to spend longer periods concentrating on a particular book or task.  You should also encourage children to think about what they are reading, ask clarifying questions and cite evidence from the reading when they answer a question.

I would take this opportunity to wish you all a happy holiday and look forward to Spring celebrations of learning and graduations.

Sincerely,

Angela O'Dowd
Principal


  



2/17/2011
Dear Parents,
As we prepare to close for the winter break I would like to remind you about the importance of taking your children to visit some of the many terrific New York Attractions that are just a bus or train ride away.   We can really help children to build their vocabulary, comprehension and creative abilities when they have the opportunity to ask questions and see new places.  Unfortunately, the February week off is also for many of you a time when you still have to work and have the added burden of finding and paying for a babysitter.  I would still urge you to ensure that your children are involved in learning by way of the online subscriptions that the school has purchased for you (see the student resources tab) in lieu of watching TV or unfocused use of the internet if they are going to be indoors. 
 
You as the parent should be aware of your child's academic goals this year so that she/he will meet the benchmarks for the grade.  Children in grades 3, 4, and 5 who are taking standardized tests this year should be encouraged to read for longer periods of time and at a reading rate of approximately 130 words per minute.  This means selecting appropriate books that are not to difficult or too easy but provide a challenge and opportunity to 'struggle' towards an identified goal.  Teachers have made students aware of what it is they need to work on and the ways they can practice whether it be sounds in words, reading rate, new vocabulary, comparing and contrasting stories or looking at the sequence of events.  Please check to see if your child knows the 42 phonemes, the alternative vowel spellings, the high frequency word lists for their grade, and their addition and multiplication facts all automatically.   It's not unlike practicing the individual skills of basketball in a clinic in order to participate in an actual game! 
 
Another February focus has been on a Respect for All Curriculum and and as well as an awareness of Black History Month.  At a special assembley for grades 3, 4 and 5 we had a presentation about Sikhism and it helped students and staff learn more and dispel many of the myths about the culture/religion.  In addition we applied for and received a Library Reach Grant of $10,000 and are committed to purchasing a variety of multicultural books that will allow us to expand our understanding of global communities.  Indeed, we aim to expand our school's focus so that students are actually interacting with a wider, even global, audience through the use of Skype and other Web 2.0 technology programs. 
 
Enjoy having your children home this week!  I know the staff are all looking forward to some time at home with their own families and will come back refreshed and renewed to continue our work together.
 
Sincerely,
 
Angela O'Dowd
Principal
 

 
1/11/2011
Dear Parents,
 
January, like every other month, has been busy and productive as we strive to make sure all our students are challenged to their highest potential. 
 
We managed to miss the very severe blizzard over the holiday break but its looking like we are in for lots more snow during the rest of the month!  You should listen to news reports or check with 311 to find out if schools will be closed or opening delayed.  Please avoid calling the school for this general information as you are crowding the phone lines for regular business and school emergencies.  I will also post a notice on this website if the schools are closed and we will send a message on our phone messaging system.  Please send your child to school if we are open, even during inclement weather!  We are warm inside and with a good winter coat, hat and mittens for the trip, your child will be safe, healthy at school.
 
Celebrations of learning are ongoing and despite budget cuts we have managed to maintain afterschool programs some that are financed by the school and others by outside agencies with small fees attached.  December's concert was a great success and we have already begun practices for the Spring shows.  There will be many smaller celebrations of class arts activities taking place during January and they are posted on the School Calendar.  Our afterschool program for Boy Scouts also began last week and there was much interest with 109 boys registering to participate.
 
Kindergarten registrations have already begun for September 2011.  Alison, our highly organized secretary, is all ready to answer your questions and to prepare you for entering P.S. 62 in September.  Please check this website for the documents you will need to bring and be prepared to talk with the Parent Coordinator or Ms. Ruffo about other languages your child may speak at home.  We value dual language speakers and your experience adds to our diverse environment.  We also benefit from extra resources from New York State to service our English Language Learners with afterschool programs so please do not hesitate to share the languages you use at home.
 
Literacy night will take place on January 26th and seven teachers have volunteered to create different 'stations' for you and your children to enjoy and learn.  If you have come before, you will know what to expect and there will be a few new activities added.  If you have never attended, we welcome you to come, meet the teachers, the assistant principal, and the parent coordinator.  You will have fun learning about the technology subscriptions we have purchased for you as well as the word games and effective story book reading strategies that will help your child to be successful.
 
Thank you for your continued support.  Please let us know if there are other ways we can meet your needs for this website.
 
Sincerely,
 
Angela O'Dowd
 

Principal's Page


Dear Parents, Staff and Community,
 
I welcome this opportunity to convey my first message via our new school website, designed with the input of a range of PS 62 staff, parents and students.  My hope is that it allows you to find out all you need to know about our school as well as the ability to download forms and lists that would ordinarily take a school visit.  Hopefully, it will inspire us to work together with common goals to maximize the effects of teaching and learning within and beyond PS 62.  In addition to textual information, the website includes photos, artwork, digital presentations and video so that you are more familiar with the work we do.  The students are very proud to share their creativity via the web and I hope you will be just as excited as we are. 
 
A college and career readiness program begins in the early years and we all know that digital literacy is a fundamental part of 21st century learning.  All classrooms at our school have been equipped with desktop/laptop computers, projectors and smartboards. More importantly, all teachers have been extensively trained over the past two years to be innovative leaders for students.  Classroom teachers, along with three Google certified technology teachers use current web 2.0 and cloud computing in all aspects of their work in the classroom and in their professional time.  I too, have participated in the first ever Google Certified Program for Administrators this year (50 participants selected from around the nation) and I love to be on the cutting edge of Global happenings in education. 
 
Your comments and suggestions to build upon this website are very important so do visit regularly.  I look forward to motivating learning for all as well as making it exciting and relevant to a fast moving and global community.
 
Angela O'Dowd
 11/22/2010


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