My blog has moved to my new site!

You will be automatically redirected to the new address. If that does not occur, visit
and update your bookmarks. Thanks!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

New Charter School in Lefferts Gardens!

I just got the exciting news from Hawthorne Street that the proposed District 17 Lefferts Gardens Charter School that will be partnering with the Botanic Garden has the go ahead for fall of 2010. They are waiting on a location but the school hopes to be housed close to the park. Whether you are pro charter or not, this is another option for local families and it answers a need in the community.

"the school will feature an environmental-science program that spans across disciplines. The over-arching idea is that the learning will be "experiential"—meaning that teachers will try to connect what goes on inside the classroom (and out) to children's daily lives. The school plans on working with the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens and the Prospect Park Audubon Center as part of its curriculum." - Hawthorne Street

Friday, December 11, 2009

PS 20 Has a New Website

PS 20 has a new website! but no tours yet. Ms. Colon, the Parent Coordinator says that there may be some dates in a week or so.

Monday, November 2, 2009

The Mid Semester Check Up

It is time for Parent/Teacher conferences again. It is tough to find out or fix everything in the 3 minutes that are scheduled at many schools. It is really just a time to touch base or make an appointment for a longer conversation. It is important to come prepared to use the time wisely and open up lines of communication with your child's teacher.

Alexandra Mayzler, Director of Thinking Caps Tutoring wrote some tips to help parents during the conference season.

The first months of school are quickly coming to an end and parent/teacher meetings are upon us. Now is a great time to take a moment to speak to your child about how far he or she has come since the beginning of school, and where he or she hopes to be in the middle of the year and at the end of the year. Rather than wait for the first report card to come and indicate your child's progress, take time to talk about what your child wanted to accomplish and evaluate how the year is going in terms of both strengths and weaknesses. Looking back at the first few months of school will help everyone gain a better perspective of the techniques used and make any necessary adjustments. Here are some ideas about how to start the conversation:

1. Parent/Student Conference - before you sign up for the parent/teacher conferences, let your child know that you'll be attending the conference. Discuss why you're attending so that your child sees your commitment to his or her education. Ask your child how school is going and what he or she believes will be discussed at the conference. Have your child make a list of comments that he thinks the teacher will address. Together, consider academic highlights and challenges that your child is experiencing.

2. Homework Check In - ask your child how he or she feels about the homework process. Is your child able to complete the assignments? Does he or she have trouble remembering assignments or materials? Does your child feel comfortable about the amount of time spent on the homework? Do you? Pin-point any trouble spots with organization and time management.

3. Multiple Choice, Bubbles, Essays: Tests - talk to your child about his or her test preparation techniques. How is your child studying for different tests? Does he or she feel prepared when sitting down for a test and is he or she often surprised by the grades? Discuss test anxiety and ways to alleviate test day stress. I f your child feels uncomfortable with the test process, evalutate whether there is trouble understanding teh concepts or if test prep strategies need some tweaking.

The conversation should help you and your child establish an understanding of strengths and weaknesses. It is important to highlight the ways that your child is making progress. Don't spend too much time worrying about the errors, but instead focus on the outlook and how to improve the weaknesses. Use the mid-semester to review the origional goals and make any adjustments for the rest of the year.

Thanks Alexandra!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Parents of NY Teens

I follow the neighborhood yahoo groups of parents of young children to answer questions about nursery and elementary school, but I occasionally yearn for a group of older parents. I need friends who will talk to me about tutors and teen break ups and how to handle the coed sleepover. I have been an avid member of the yahoo group, parentsofnyteens. It is smallish and chocked full of great parents that I actually know, who are funny and generous and very, very supportive.

Just two days ago, Rachel, the moderator, did us all a wonderful service and started the Parents of NY Teens blog where she is compiling information and resources that the yahoo group members have been supplying.

Now a place for us to go! - to find about the emotions and college tours and ...(a couple of months ago there was a lively discussion on the yahoo group about how to inform your son that it was time to take a shower). I recommend that you sign up for the group, and use the information on the blog early and often!

Friday, October 9, 2009

International School of Brooklyn and Dual Language at PS 84

It is a big news day for you language immersion and dual language fans!
The International School of Brooklyn which is an independent school , (currently nursery through 3rd grade) has a language immersion program in Spanish and French is moving to a big new location. They will be moving their whole school to a former Catholic School building in Carroll Gardens next year. The new location will triple their current space and allow them to launch their middle school in 2012. They anticipate almost doubling their enrollment for the 2010 school year.

Are you interested in Dual Language Spanish or Dual Language French in a public school?
Check out PS 84 in Williamsburg. Not only do they have a new principal, Jake Hobson, they have just announced that next year they will be rolling out a new dual language French program to join their Spanish program. A large number of local families have been working to organize this program over the last year.

They will have a meeting for parents on Thursday, Oct. 22 at 6pm at the school (wine and cheese courtesy of the French Embassy).

They will also be screening a French cartoon + snacks on Sat. Oct. 24 at 11am. Bring the kids and tell your friends to show local support for this great new neighborhood program. Everyone is welcome.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Sunset Park HS campus

I just got back from touring the Sunset Park HS building.
It is everything that you would hope it would be, spacious, light, and beautiful. Three schools are housed there right now, Sunset Park HS which will grow at capacity to 1600 students (currently with a 9th grade), Brooklyn Prospect Charter (currently with a 6th grade) which will be housed there for two years before they find their permanent home and The Lillian Rashkis School, a district 75 program. I would recommend that all parents of 5th and 8th graders make time to tour the appropriate program housed in this building. They are worth a look.

There is a community barbecue celebrating the opening of Sunset Park HS tonight, Wed. between 5-8pm
The school is located at 35th St. between 3rd and 4th Ave.
Meet the administrators, teachers and students and tour the building.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Prospect Park West Contest Winners

Congratulations Amy and Roberta you won! My husband tried to enter.
His entry:
"Name of your child's current school: Peter Stuyvesant HS
Thing you love: Go Peg Legs! (that is really the name of the football team)
One challenge that the school faces: The spelling of its name...does it end in 'ant' ,'ent', 'end'?
Keep that book in the family!"
I have disqualified him and he is not allowed to read the book. He thinks that "Sex in the City" is a documentary and he would never be able to do his coop sift in peace again.
I think the new neighborhood parlor game should be who will play "you" in the movie. Heh, Sarah Jessica, I am not in the book, but I would like to be played by Laura Dern and my husband is Colin Firth. Your turn.
Thanks for all the entries.