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Jackie's Blog

December 19, 2019

December 2019

Dear PS 24K families,


           We have been working on the next steps to change our school name.  Please consider this a general public notice that our PTA, Superintendent, and CEC15 have approved our change to the Frida Kahlo School. We would like to provide you with another opportunity to express a comment regarding the change.  Please feel free to contact our Parent Coordinator, Ada Galan, or PTA Co-President, Alicia Torres, at (718)832-9366 or dropping by the main office to see them. They will be accepting comments (verbal or in writing) up to January 17, 2020.


            Recently another school had to evacuate their building due to a smoke condition.  15 of their classes (about 300 students and many staff members) sought shelter in our school.  They started arriving at about 10 am and stayed through dismissal.  Our staff and parents responded beautifully!  We continued with our business as usual, including 2 Computer Science assemblies, keeping all of our students engaged in learning in a safe environment. The PTA provided water for the children and coffee for the adults.  We also provided classroom space for 10 of the classes, and hosted the remaining 5 classes in our gym.  Our kitchen staff also rose to the occasion and feed all of the students with short or no notice!  All of the children from PS 1 were safe in our building until their families came to pick them up.  Please rest assured that we have similar procedures in place should the need ever arise for us to evacuate.  I am so grateful to the PS 24 staff who pitched in to help that day!


            As you and your family prepare for the holidays, enjoy your traditions and celebrations.  Please be sure that you encourage your child to read and write every day!  Use our subscriptions to MyOn (literacy) and Sumdog (Math). If you haven’t already, sign up for the free newsletters from funmath@bedtimemath.org.  It comes with a short math activity that you can modify for wee, little, and big kids—and it has the answers!  Please know how important routines, especially bedtime routines, are for children.  Taking a bath, doing a little bedtime math, reading a book, and saying your prayers are a great way to instill calmness as children prepare for bed.  Going to bed at a regular, early time ensures children get the rest their growing bodies need.


            It is with many emotions that I close this letter by letting you know of my retirement.  I have served the children and families of District 15 and 20 for the past 32 and a half years. It has been a true honor to end my career at a solid gold school like PS 24K!  Know that I am leaving

my heart with you. My last day will be Friday 12/20.  An interim acting Principal will be appointed by the Superintendent to start in January, until a permanent Principal is chosen by the C-30 process.  Please know that the Superintendent and I are both committed to a smooth transition.  I will be supporting the new Principal by working f-status 2 days a week through June.


            Wishing you and your family a happy holiday season and a Happy New Year,





November 2019

Dear PS 24K families,


            We had a lovely turn out for Parent Teacher Conferences.  I hope that your child (ren) shared some of their learning with you, and together with the teacher, plans were made to support the child’s growth.   To support struggling students (level 1), we are preparing to start our after school program.  This year, we will be working on Wednesdays and/or Thursdays.  Wednesday will focus on literacy, and Thursday on Math.  Your 3rd to 5th grade child may be invited to one or both days, depending on their needs.  Please know that spots are limited, as class sizes are small.


            In other events happening, our SLT has been deliberating a name for our school.  We had a suggestion of Cesar Chavez, and then engaged in much discussion about other candidates.  We found out schools can only be named after deceased people.  The SLT was adamant about choosing a female, as few schools are named after women.  We decided on Frida Kahlo for many reasons some of which are: her artwork, her battles with domestic violence, her mobility impairment, and also her fight for social justice.  This was presented at last month’s PTA meeting, where the parents voted in favor of the name. Last week we proposed this name to CEC15, and they also voted in favor of the name change.  Our next step is contacting the next of kin to get their approval.  We have many more things to do, including getting the Chancellor’s approval.  Our hope is to get this done by the end of the school year.


            As we near Thanksgiving, I hope that you and your family enjoy the long weekend together.  Maybe you will continue family traditions, or start new ones.  The important thing is to spend some quality time together, put the phone down and talk to each other.  Go out and walk around our beautiful city, make some new memories together. Whatever you do, I wish you a happy and healthy Thanksgiving surrounded by your loved ones.



                                                Gobble, gobble!




September 2019

Dear Families,

            Welcome back to another productive year!  We are in the second of a 3 year program with Early Reading Matters.  They, along with our Universal Literacy Coach, will work with our grades K-3 to develop our literacy practices.  This year we will be focusing on writing. In addition to a Reading Recovery teacher, last year we trained 4 staff members in Reading Rescue.  This year we will train an additional 4 members in Reading Rescue to bring our total to 9 (includes ULit).   All of these initiatives are geared to have all of our students reading at grade level by grade 2.  We will be sharing more information about these programs at PTA meetings and workshops throughout the year.

            Some important dates: Thursday, September 12 is Curriculum Night from 4:30-7:30.  You will have an opportunity to meet your child’s teacher and find out about the expectations for the grade.  Monday 9/16 is our first Baby and Me session for this year.  We will have books for our youngest readers: birth to age 3.  Please know that all community members are welcome. Tuesday, September 17 is Caregivers Take Your Child to School.  Our theme will be superheroes and we hope to get an even bigger turnout than last year! On September 21 we are part of the District 15 garden crawl.  Our school garden will be open to the community.

            As we get the year started, we think about the safety of our students.  We open at 7:40 am for breakfast.  Any child in K-5 who would like to have breakfast before classes start is welcome to come through the main entrance to go to the cafeteria.  At 8:05 all children will be sent up to their classrooms as they enter through the main doors or the kindergarten doors.  Please make sure your child comes to school on time and every day!

            Please keep our students safe by not double parking on 38 Street, or parking by the front entrance during drop off or pick up times.  We have many students who use school buses and this prevents the buses from accessing our school.  As per our school safety plan, Kindergarten and PreK dismiss from their class rooms.  All other grades will dismiss in the big yard, rain or shine.  Please come on time and make sure your child is dressed appropriately for the weather.

            Set your child up for success by establishing routines in which you talk and interact with your child regularly.  Set a time for dinner, and as you sit and eat together, share one thing you are grateful for, one surprising thing that happened that day, one thing that you would do differently, or any other topics of discussion that interest your family members. 

            We look forward to another productive year full of wonderful learning opportunities for your child. If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to our Parent Coordinator, Ada Galán. 


            Know that my administrative staff and I are always here to help you.





*******************************************************************March 1, 2018


       Spring is coming, and with it brings new life.  We have many exciting news to share.  Senator Hamilton has awarded our school with a $100,000 grant that will go towards auditorium upgrades.  We have a team of teachers and parents that have written several grants to build a school garden—fingers crossed!  I recently heard from the State accountability office that PS 24K is in good standing for school year 2017-2018.


In recent letters, I have asked that you support our school by ensuring your child comes everyday and on time.  I recently had several calls from Middle Schools asking about some of our students.  The academics were fine, and our students did well on the interviews, but the concerns were about excessive latenesses and absences.  Please let us know what we can do to help you with this.


At the February PTA meeting, Mr. DiModica presented a site called Bedtime Math.  Just like many families tell their children bedtime stories, this company is supporting bedtime math stories.  There is a free newsletter delivered daily to your email and each story has 3 levels of problems (wee ones, little kids, big kids) and they have the answers too!  Please consider making this part of your night-time ritual: bath, and 2 bedtime stories (one of which is math!). The site (www.bedtimemath.org) is also an app, on Twitter and Facebook.  Most importantly, it’s free!


March 15 is Parent Teacher Conferences. Come and speak with your child’s teachers and find out about the progress they are making.  The teacher will share the work that is being done in school to help your child continue progressing, and also give you several suggestions for things you can do at home to help.  Here are the top 3 suggestions:


1.      Make sure your child comes to school every day and on time.


2.      Regular dinner meals where conversation is the focus of the meal. Instead of the tried and true “what did you learn today?” Try these instead: “What surprised you today?  What brave thing did you do? If you had to do something differently, what would it be?”


3.      Set up routines for doing homework.  Have a dedicated space and time.  Look at it, and make sure it is completed.


Last, but not least, make time for family fun.  Go for a walk together in the neighborhood, play games, come to movie night, tell each other funny stories.  There are many free activities to take advantage of in the city that doesn’t sleep.  Enjoy them!








January, 2018

Dear PS 24K Families,


Many people make resolutions as part of welcoming the New Year.  This is a good time to do the same with your child and their school goals.  Help them set goals for Reading, Writing, and Math (this would make a great Circle Map!).  Discuss with them the steps they need to take to reach those goals, and make a plan (use a Flow Map for this).  One example might be that your child wants to go up 3 reading levels.  One step towards that goal would be to read every day for 20 minutes.    


Last June Councilmember Menchaca awarded our school $500,000.00 to install a new playground in our small yard.  I am meeting this week with a consultant from School Construction Authority to initiate the planning.  As exciting as this is, be aware that this will be a long process before the yard is done.     


Soon we will be sending out promotion-in-doubt letters.  These letters are notification that your child is not at the level they should be at this time of year, based on Common Core Learning Standards and/or their IEP goals. When you meet with your child’s teacher to discuss this letter, they will let you know what we are doing to help your child meet grade level standards, as well as offer a few suggestions of things you can do at home. The most important thing parents can do to help their child be successful in school is ensure the child comes to school on-time and every day.   





December, 2017

Dear PS 24K Families,

Our Disney team is at it again. Casting has gotten under way for our next performance which will be Aladdin. Our students will be practicing for several months before the spring performance. Last year both shows were sold out. We hope to put on more performances to accommodate everyone this year.


As the weather gets colder, please remember the DOE policy: Children benefit from vigorous exercise and should be given the opportunity to play outside whenever possible. Unless it is snowing, or there is ice on the playground, or the wind-chill factor is below zero degrees Fahrenheit, temperature alone should not preclude outdoor play. We will make every effort to ensure students are appropriately dressed when playing outdoors. Please consider having children wear layers and cover exposed skin.


Many families engage in traditions as they celebrate holidays. Talk with your child about traditions your family celebrates, and compare them to traditions you grew up with as a child. Consider making new traditions this year: spending some time in the park, going to the library and picking out books together, or even visiting the window displays in the city department stores. Spending time together and making memories is a priceless gift that your children will cherish for many years to come.


On behalf of the administration and staff of PS 24K, we would like to wish all of our families much health and happiness for the coming New Year!

See you next year,




November 2017

Dear PS 24K families,


            November is the month we highlight our families.  November 13 is Open School Week, November 16 is Parent Teacher Conferences, and November 17 is Family Friday.  Additionally, this month our Book of the Month is “All Families Are Special”.  We welcome you into our school this month to get a close look at instruction!


            Soon you will get the schedule for Open School Week.  You will be invited to visit your child’s class by grade level.  You can stay for part of the day or the whole day (8:10 am to 2:00 pm).  Remember your role at this time is just as an observer.  This is not the time to engage the teacher in conversation.  If you’d like take notes and ask the teacher questions about what you saw during Parent Teacher Conferences.


            During Parent Teacher Conferences, your child’s teacher will discuss your child’s strengths with you in each subject area: Reading, Writing, Math, and Social Studies.  The teacher will let you know what they are working on with your child in each subject and give you suggestions for how you can help.   One of the most important ways to help your child is showing him/her that you are interested in their work and their success at school. Set regular routines for your child to read and do homework every night.  Encourage them to talk to you about school at the dinner table.

            If you are not tired of visiting us, see your child engage in Number Talks during Family Friday.  This is so different from how many of us learned Math.  We will have a Number Talk presentation during this month’s PTA meeting as well. 


            Finally, in our November Book of the Month, a teacher asks her students to tell about their families.  Each child shares a different family structure, but all the families care about their children.  Please talk with your child about what makes your family special.

            On behalf of all the staff at PS 24K, I want to thank you for entrusting us with your most valued treasure: your children.  They are the sunshine that lights up our days.


With gratitude,                                         





October 11,2017

Dear PS 24K Families,


Fall is upon us, the leaves are changing color and the weather is getting cooler. Exciting things are happening at PS 24K.


We are now a Chess in the Schools school! A chess expert from Chess in the Schools will be coming on Mondays to work with our third grade (and one fourth grade) classes. They will also be sponsoring an after-school chess club on Mondays for 25-30 of our 3rd, 4th and 5th graders. Our students will be invited to attend 4 chess tournaments on Saturdays at various schools. We will continue our NYCares Chess classes on Saturday as well.


As you know, we have a new Math Curriculum: TERC Investigations. In order to support our student's Math learning, we have purchased a year's subscription to Sumdog. This program allows students to engage in fun math problems at their level. Teachers will be able to assign skills for students to practice. It uses a mastery learning approach with an emphasis on accuracy. Students can access the program on most devices and they get double points when they access it outside of school hours. Teachers were recently trained in the program, and soon students will receive their log in information. Please encourage your child to use this program as often as possible.


Our first “Book of the Month” is One and it deals with bullying. Blue is being bullied by Red and along comes One to change the dynamics between the colors. Even though Red did not treat Blue nicely, Blue shows compassion (instead of being a bully) and includes Red in the end. Teaching our children respect and empathy is the way to combat bullying. Throughout our school, teachers have read this book with our students and engaged them in discussions and activities around bullying. Please be on the lookout for the bulletin board behind the security desk for the “Book of the Month” display.


Last month I ended my letter with routines. One of the best ways to prepare our children for college and career readiness is by establishing great habits of attendance. In addition to improving their learning, coming on-time to school every day prepares children for a successful future. We celebrate great attendance (and no lateness) on the bulletin board by the front entrance. Grades take turns receiving attendance certificates at PTA meetings. Additionally, students will be invited to special events and trips based on their 100% attendance. We know that our students achieve that 100% attendance with the support and dedication of their parents – thank you!




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