Weekly Bulletin for September 8, 2015

A&L Bulletin 9-8-15


About This Bulletin!

Hi, fellow parents, and welcome to the A&L Bulletin.  Our hope is that this once-a-week Bulletin will replace many of the emails that have flooded parents’ inboxes in the past.  Of course, we’ll still need to send out emails at various times, but we’re going to try to send as much of this information as we can through the Bulletin.  For that reason, we hope you’ll make sure to read it carefully when it comes!

In addition, you can contribute items to the Bulletin if they are school-related, or if you think they would be of interest to the A&L community.  There will be a section at the end for community events, and I encourage you to contribute!  


Fall Welcome Letters

By now everyone should have these. If not, contact your child’s teacher. (New staff emails are first letter, last name at artsandlettersbklyn.org  example: mcrouch@artsandlettersbklyn.org ) Classroom teachers will also have materials lists on the first day of school if you still need them. If you do not know your child’s teacher, contact Meg or Pia. Pia is pmicoli@artsandlettersbklyn.org


Class Parents Needed!

Class parents are incredibly important to our school, and it’s also a rewarding way to get involved.  If you are interested in becoming a Class Parent, a Grade Parent, or if you want to find out more about what this position entails, please contact Anna Azrieli at annaazrieli@gmail.com.

We are also looking for a Co-Class Parent Coordinator.  Again, email Anna about this very important position (You can be both a Class Parent and Co-Coordinator!  Why not?). 

Class Parent Meeting 9/29 at 6:00PM. 

For all class parents already signed up and anyone interested in learning more about becoming a class parent.  It’ll be a fun get-together and a chance to meet in person, swap ideas, and get tips from from veteran Class Parents. 


First Day of School – Please Complete All Paperwork!

Sept 9

September 9 is the first day for all students.  Lunch forms, blue cards, and contact/dismissal forms should be returned by September 16th.  Forms will be available at school.


School Lunch Forms

Every family is federally mandated to fill out the National School Food Programs Application.  In addition to determining lunch qualifications for our children, the application is also used to regulate the amount of State funding Arts & Letters receives for supplies such as books, classroom furniture and other resources.  If you feel you are not eligible for free or reduced-price meals, then check the box next to the statement, “I do not qualify for free or reduced-price meals” at the top of the form and return it to school to help ensure adequate funding for our school.

As an added incentive, the class that returns 100% of their lunch forms and blue cards first will receive a pizza party in their classroom.


School Closings for September

Sept 14-15 (Mon/Tues):  Schools closed for Rosh Hashanah

Sept 23-24 (Weds/Thurs):  Schools closed for Yom Kippur and Eid-al-Adha



Busing will begin for students who were on the bus last year on the first day of school.

We have created a guide to help with questions around busing.  Please see attached document. If you are interested in having your child take the bus (and wondering if you are eligible for transportation services from the DOE), please see Ms. Williams in room 304.   For students that are new to the school or new to the bus, please allow for 2 weeks for the bus paperwork and bus routes to be solidified by the Office of Pupil Transportation (OPT).  Their number is 718.392.8855.


Lower Grades (K-4) Arrival/Dismissal Information

Arrival: School begins at 8:50 this year.  Students who arrive early can wait with parents in the hallways outside their classroom, eat breakfast in the cafeteria with Mr. Rivera, or go to the gym where Mr. Garcia will be supervising.  We are working to minimize the hallway activity in the time between 8:20-8:40, so we are asking that students go to one of these places where there is an adult supervising the space.

In grades K-1, families are welcome to participate in "family read" in the classroom until 9am in the first weeks of school.  This is a great way to help the transition for the beginning of the year and allow kids (and parents) to settle into the routine of the school year. At roughly 9am, teachers will provide a signal for the start of morning meeting circle, at which point parents will leave the room and let the school day begin.

In grades 2-4, we will be encouraging more independence, asking students to enter on their own at the start of the year.  Teachers will have clear supports to help them develop this routine in the classroom, and we appreciate parents' support in this process.

If students are late, they should come to the front desk in the main office to sign the late log.  They can fill their name into a pass to take to class.

Dismissal: School will end at 3:10. Families should wait by the signs for their classroom, so that the teachers can easily stand at the door to make eye contact with each family member/guardian as the student is released. If the student is dismissing from a different location (Art, gym etc), the teacher will leave a note on their door to inform parents/guardians of where to pick up their child. At 3:15, students that have not been picked up will be escorted by a staff member to late pick up in room 310 (the library), where they will wait with Ms. Micoli.  At 3:25, we will relocate late pick up to the main office. After 3:30, students should be signed out in the main office by the person who picks them up.

Dismisssal Form: To help with dismissal process, we will be sending home a brief form with each student, in addition to blue cards and lunch forms.  This form will provide the school information about who/what program will be picking up the student on a daily basis (for the first semester) and what individuals have permission to pick up the student.  This will really help us keep track of where students should be going each day, especially for students that have a lot of variation in their dismissal schedule.


5th Grade Arrival/Dismissal

5th graders will begin the school day with morning meeting in the gym. Students will enter the gym from the side doors in the playground and sit by advisory.  5th grade students will be dismissing out of the side doors onto the playground at the end of the school day. Families and caregivers should wait at the entrance to the school yard on Adelphi to connect with their children.


Upper Grade (6th - 8th Grade) Arrival/Dismissal

School day begins at 8:50.  All students enter through the side doors and head straight to the gym for morning meeting.  All students dismiss out the side doors to the playground when the school day ends at 3:10. 


Kindergarten Orientation(DATE CHANGED)

Sept 11, 10:00AM

Kindergarten Orientation will now take place on Friday, Sept 11, at 10:00AM in the Auditorium.  See you there!


6th Grade Orientation

Sept 9, 8:30AM

First-day orientation for all incoming 6th grade students in the auditorium. 


Grade 5-8 Advisors

Each child in Grade 5-8 will be assigned an Advisor who will act as the point person between families and the school. Advisors will be reaching out by phone before school starts to introduce themselves and connect with families.


After School Programs

There are several afterschool options for families at A&L.  Our A&L afterschool program will begin on September 16th.  Please see brochure that is attached.  Any questions or concerns, please contact our afterschool coordinator Dawn Babbush at dawnbabbush@yahoo.com


City Growers After School Program for Grades 6-8

City Growers is a fantastic 5 days a week after school program (3:10-6:00 pm) for students in grades 6-8. The program is free of charge and students have the opportunity to garden at an enormous rooftop farm in the Navy Yard. Homework time is built into the program as well. Email NIcki at nicole@citygrowers.org for more information.


Curriculum Night

Sept. 16, 6:00PM

Curriculum night will take place on Wednesday, Sept 16 at 6:00PM.  During curriculum night, you and the other parents in your student’s class will meet with the teachers in your student’s classroom, where the teachers will explain what our children will be learning and what their expectations and approach will be for the year.  Teachers will also answer questions at Curriculum Night.  Families will have an opportunity to hear from all of their child’s teachers. In grades 4-8 families will rotate from subject to subject. It’s an important opportunity to be active collaborators with our children’s teachers.  We urge you to come!


First PTA General Meeting(NOTE:  Date Has Changed)

Oct. 14, 6:00-7:00PM

The first PTA General Meeting of the 2015-2016 school year will now take place on October 14 (NOT the 7th) from 6-7pm.   A strong and active PTA is critical to our school’s success, and, quite simply, we need you, your ideas, your voice, and your support.   We look forward to seeing you on the 7th and to working with you throughout the year to make A&L the best that it can be.  Childcare will be provided -- Keep an eye out for our childcare sign-up sheet (only the first 50 requests can be accommodated).


Support A&L Rewards

Please read the attached flyer to learn how you can give to A&L while you shop online at amazon.com, at Target (online or in stores), and even in the grocery store.  These incremental rewards can add up quickly for our school if we all focus our purchasing power!  Remember, cash back at Amazon and Target is on everything you purchase, not just school supplies, so please make sure to click through our ad every time you shop! 

Or better yet -- set a bookmark!  tinyurl.com/AandLAmazon


Mabel’s Labels

Never lose your kid’s clothing or lunch containers again! Raise money for A&L by purchasing labels for clothing and other products on the Mabel’s Labels site.  For every purchase, A&L gets 20%, but only through the end of October.   See attached flyer for more information! 


A&L School Year Calendar

In addition to the important dates listed in this bulletin, there are many more exciting and important events planned for the school year.  In the coming days we will be backpacking home a hard copy of the school year calendar that lists dates that school is closed or closing early, as well as PTA meetings, standardized test dates and community events. 


In addition, to make life as easy as possible for you, we will be launching a new online calendar that you can check out or sync to your devices.  More info on that coming soon!   


In the meantime, please be sure to note the following dates that school will be closed or closing early during the 2015-16 school year:


Mon 9/14: Rosh Hashana (School Closed)

Tues 9/15: Rosh Hashana (School Closed)

Wed 9/23: Yom Kippur (School Closed)

Thurs 9/24: Eid-al-Adha (School Closed)

Mon 10/12: Columbus Day (School Closed)

Fri 10/23: A&L Professional Development Day (School Closed)

Tues 11/3: Election Day (School Closed)

Wed 11/11: Veterans Day (School Closed)

Thurs 11/19: Student Led Conferences (Early Dismissal)

Thurs 11/26-Fri 11/27: Thanksgiving Break (School Closed)

Fri 12/4: A&L Professional Development Day (Early Dismissal)

Thur 12/24-Fri 1/1: Winter Recess (School Closed)

Mon 1/18: MLK Day (School Closed)

Fri 1/29: Roundtables (Early Dismissal for Lower Grades)

Mon 2/8: Lunar New Year (School Closed)

Mon 2/15-Fri 2/19: Mid-Winter Break (School Closed)

Thurs 3/17: Student Led Conferences (Early Dismissal)

Fri 3/25: Good Friday (School Closed)

Mon 4/25-Fri 4/29: Spring Break (School Closed)

Thurs 4/5: A&L Professional Development Day (School Closed)

Mon 5/30: Memorial Day (School Closed)

Thurs 6/9: Chancellor's Day (School Closed)

Tues 6/14: DOE Clerical Day (School Closed)

Fri 6/17: Roundtables (Early Dismissal for Lower Grades)


Have questions about this Bulletin or information for the next one?  Contact Jonathan at jonathanbines@gmail.com