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Thursday, July 30, 2009

High School Short List Workshops

Bring the big DOE High School Directory and come away with a folder containing a short list of schools so you can face the fall with confidence. Joyce Szuflita leads you through the directory with a pair of scissors, information, strategies and tips on keeping it organized, helping your child engage in the process and keeping your wits about you while finding a good fit school for your child. Reservations required.

Saturday, August 1, 10am-noon at Brooklyn Creative League 540 President St. 3rd Floor (between Third and Fourth Ave.) near M,R train

Saturday, Sept. 12, 10am-noon at Brooklyn Creative League 540 President St. 3rd Floor (between Third and Fourth Ave.) near M,R train

Wednesday, Sept. 16, 7-9pm at Hootenanny Art House 428 15th St. Brooklyn at (8th Ave.) near the Prospect Park stop on the F train

$40. for parents, $10. for students
Bring your Directory and I will supply everything else.
for reservations:

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

New Interim Acting Principal for PS 20

I just got word that a new interim acting principal has been assigned to PS 20 and by all accounts she is AMAZING. Lena Barbera has been an AP at the lovely PS 261. She had been at 261 since 1996 as a teacher and Math Coach. It sounds like the teachers working with her will have a lot of support because she worked at 261 implementing new curriculum and modeling instructional practices for new teachers. She has been an AP for 5 years. She is a graduate of of Hunter College and Brooklyn College.
For a little more information and a lovely picture (so you can say hi when you see her on the street) you can check out her bio on the PS 261 website

Update: A few people have written to ask what "interim acting" means. "Before a principal or assistant principal is permanently appointed, the DoE often appoints an Interim Acting (IA) principal or assistant principal." this is from the blog jd2718 which explains the appointment process from a UFT teacher's point of view. The interim acting principal goes through the C30 hiring process to be permanently appointed to a school. I was on a C30 committee as a parent a few years ago. A committee is collected of "parent, teacher, school staff, administrator union, and Department of Education (through Region, District etc) personnel." The job is advertised and candidates including the "interim acting principal" are interviewed and their qualifications reviewed. In my situation there was never any doubt that we wanted the interim acting principal to have the job as the best possible candidate. The jd2718 describes it as merely a rubber stamp process. I can't speak to that. I do hope that a new candidate from a strong and well respected program who has considerable skills and experience can bring the school community together.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Teen Treks

My teens are all over the map this summer.
They got back from a great Teen Treks bike trip across Mass. from Albany to Provincetown on the Cape. This is the second trip for one of them and it didn't disappoint. The rain and the Berkshires didn't deter them (although now when we are sitting in a car and they see a slight incline they exclaim "oh no, a hill!") It was a fantastic small group this year and they did everything from Tanglewood to Great Adventure, lots of beaches and two days in Boston. I highly recommend this trip for giving them a real sense of accomplishment and adventure.

We hardly had time to scrape the bike grease off before we headed to the family reunion in Chicago. Chicago is a great town for kids with amazing free summer concerts and programs all over the city (and a great bike path along the lake and its own beaches). It is a little early, but we decided to tour Northwestern as long as we were in the neighborhood. There is plenty to love there and I highly recommend their tour which was "awesome!" We had a very excited tour guide who also happened to be extremely knowledgeable (good job Northwestern, my kids are now looking further west than they were a week ago).

I have to give a shout out to Daniel, junior at Stuy, who I happen to know, follows this blog religiously. He is doing a summer debate program at Northwestern that sounds interesting. It seems that I have a few fans at Stuy, Hi J.! which keeps me from writing anything really interesting about my kids.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Intro to Public School: PreK and Kindergarten Talks

I am doing this popular talk again at a couple different venues in July.
I will discuss the big picture with the "big map".
  • what you need to know
  • when you need to know it
  • what to do when things go wrong
  • strategies and common practices, including "the 5 things to do to keep from turning prematurely grey"
    If you are confused about the difference between Charter, Magnet and Dual Language or Unzoned programs and what is up with district-wide vs. citywide Gifted and Talented, this may be the talk for you. I don't discuss individual schools, but you will come away armed with lots of information to begin your school search with confidence. Lots of Q&A.

Thursday, July 9, 7pm-8:30pm
at Hootenanny Art House 428 15th St. at 8th Ave.
(Park Slope stop on the F train)

Wednesday, July 29, 7pm-8:30pm at New York City Explorers 388 Atlantic Ave.

$25. per person/$40. for families

for reservations:
This talk is always available to Preschool Programs or private groups. Contact me for information.