Midyear Update

Dear EVCS Family,

Believe it or not we are right at the halfway mark for this school year. Time sure flies when you are having fun. I wanted to take a quick midyear pause to check in on a few things that are happening and others that are coming up soon.

At our last School-Wide Morning Meeting I promised to make a playlist of the songs our school sings together, and here it is. Some of the tunes in the playlist will be very familiar to you, others we haven’t done in a while but will probably reintroduce at some point, and others are on the docket for a SWMM in the near future. I hope you enjoy listening to these songs at home with your kids! And if you have any recommendations for new songs to add to our repertoire, please let me know.

I know from the schoolyard buzz that many of our students are getting excited for this year’s Multicultural share! For our new families, the Multiculti is a really fun event where we have a potluck dinner and a talent show. If your kids are busy plotting their performance, please note that we are holding the event a little later than last year, on May 11th. Mark your calendars.

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Happy MLK Day!

Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day!

Dear EVCS Family,

I hope you are all enjoying this day off in honor of the late great Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. It’s hard to imagine that it’s been more than 50 years since MLK delivered his brilliant I Have a Dream speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, and yet the call to action for racial equity and justice in the United States remains as relevant and urgent as ever. Angela Davis said, “In a racist society it is not enough to be non-racist. We must be anti-racist.” It is our goal at EVCS that our curriculum and pedagogy be anti-racist, and that our students learn to be anti-racist citizens. In that spirit, I hope that you will join me on Wednesday evening for a book talk of The New Jim Crow. We’ll meet from 6:30 to 8:00 in room 406. There will be snacks, something to drink and we’ll have childcare next door.

Also in the spirit of Our Core Value is social action, I hope to see many of you on Saturday at the 2018 Women’s March! Dust off your pink beanies and make some provocative signs! I’ll be there, cowbell in hand.

As ever,

Bradley

School Wide Morning Meeting Message 12/11/2017

Dear EVCS students,

Welcome back!  I have some exciting news to share with you: We can finally start using our schoolyard again!  This week will be our “soft opening” of the schoolyard.  Every class from each of the three schools in our building will get their own scheduled time this week to go down and explore all of the new features in the yard. We’ll start having regular recess, arrival and dismissal in the schoolyard next Monday.

Earlier this year at SWMM we spoke about bullying and how we can prevent it.  Today we are going to look more closely at one aspect of bullying, and to help me out I’m going to bring up all of the teachers on our Bullying Prevention Committee: Selena, Chloe, Jenna, Megan, Eric, Maggie, Noelle, and Liz.

Good morning!

Today we are going to talk about bullying. Do you remember how we define bullying at EVCS?

Bullying is when someone repeatedly and on purpose says or does mean or hurtful things to another person who has a hard time defending himself or herself.

When someone is bullied, it is never just one person’s fault. There are so many people who play a part in bullying.

Let’s take a minute and look at all the roles people play in bullying.

 

 

Today, we are going to think about one participant in the bullying cycle, the disengaged onlooker. They watch what’s happening, they know it’s wrong, and they do not do anything.  Take a minute and think about one thing you could do when you see someone being bullied.

 

Another word for an onlooker is a bystander — someone who stands by and does nothing.  Instead of being a bystander, be an upstander — someone who stands up and does the right thing when they see bullying behavior.  Let’s all try our best to be a community of upstanders!

One way you can be an upstander at EVCS is by telling a grown-up when you see bullying behavior.  If you see bullying at our school and you think something should be done, please let someone on the Bullying Prevention Committee know.

Thanks and have a great day,

Bradley, Liz, Selena, Chloe, Jenna, Megan, Eric, Maggie, and Noelle.

 

Let’s finish with our candle breathing exercise.

Thanks very much to our friends in Kindergarten for sharing their work and hosting this morning!  Thanks, as always, to  the amazing EVCS SWMM House Band!  And thanks to everyone who joined us today and sang loud and proud.  Have a great day.

Love,

Bradley

School Wide Morning Meeting Message 11/27/2017

Dear EVCS students,

Welcome back!  I hope you had a restful and fun holiday weekend with your families!

This year we have an extra focus on our core value of self awareness.  Your teachers, your parents and I think it’s important that you strive to know yourselves, that you learn to reflect on your work, your words and your actions.  We want you to always try to improve and do your personal best.  One of the most important skills you can learn in elementary school is how to think about your thinking.  There are three things you can do practice thinking about your thinking: Plan, reflect, and evaluate.

First, plan.  This might mean making an outline, a mental map, or rehearsing what you are going to do in your mind before starting a task.

Then, reflect throughout each step of the task.  Sometimes we may need to change our plans a little once we have started.

Finally, evaluate.  Was this your best effort?  What could you have done differently?  What are your next

steps, or goals for the next time?

This year we are using a portfolio platform called Seesaw to help our students learn to think about their thinking, and become more self aware as learners.  I’m looking forward to seeing how you use Seesaw to reflect on and evaluate your great work!

 

I want to make sure everyone knows – this Friday our school will be having a movie night for kids!  We will be screening 4 different films: Sing, Boss Baby, Moana and a mix of short programs for our youngest students.  There will be popcorn and other treats, and pajamas are encouraged. It’s a fund raiser for the Parents Association, but it’s also an opportunity for parents to go out for a few hours, so please consider signing up.

Let’s finish with our candle breathing exercise. On the first breath make a wish for yourself.  On the second breath make a wish for someone you love.  On the third breath make a wish for someone who needs some extra love today.

Thanks very much to the amazing EVCS SWMM House Band!  And thanks to everyone who joined us today and sang loud and proud.  Have a great day.

Love,

Bradley

Gratitude

Dear EVCS Family,

Some of the things I am thankful for:

The unbelievably dedicated staff of teachers, paras and service providers at EVCS. They approach their work with love and compassion, they’re all about the kids, they work their butts off, and I’m humbled to work alongside them.
Our school comfort dog Lola. She’s learned so much in the past couple of months (very food motivated), she offers unconditional love to our students, and she hasn’t peed on my floor in at least a month.
Our newly renovated schoolyard, which will be open to us for arrival, dismissal and of course recess in a matter of days! It looks amazing, by the way.
That we are a community that sings together. SWMM is my favorite thing we do, and I love it when you come and sing loud and proud along with your kids!
That we are a school with a House Band. I am so thankful to PT, James, Ethan, Craig, Terry, Jenna and Clara for providing the tunes and good vibes at SWMM.
The amazing parents of the East Village Community School. There’s no way we could do what we do here without your support and involvement. Thank you!
Your beautiful kids. They work had, inspire us to work hard, and crack us up every day. Watching them learn and grow is a joy. Thanks for sharing them with us.

It’s an honor to be the principal of this school. Really, I have the best job in the world. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, and THANK YOU.

Love,

Bradley

Jazz at Lincoln Center

Our Core Value is Joy of Learning

Dear EVCS Family,

One of the greatest and most unique things about our school is our commitment to sparking wonderment and awe in our students through engagement in the arts, and there is no better way to do that than through our many partnerships with outside arts organizations. One partnership that I am very excited about is with Jazz at Lincoln Center. Our students will be treated to three concerts this year in our school auditorium by musicians from Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Jazz for Young People – Let Freedom Swing program, and the first concert is tomorrow morning at 9:00! The concert happens to coincide with our PA general meeting, so if you are staying for the meeting please try to pop in for a quick listen. Should be awesome. At the very least, ask your child to tell you all about it after school tomorrow.

Kind regards,

Bradley

School Wide Morning Meeting Message 11/13/2017

Dear EVCS Students,

Welcome back to another week!  I hope you all stayed warm and cozy this weekend.

Our core value is social action.

Social action involves identifying things that are wrong in our world and then taking steps to make them better.  One of the best ways we can make a difference in the world is by making an impact right here in our own community.  Every year our school collects cans and boxes of food for our annual Harvest Festival.  This food is donated to a local soup kitchen that helps to feed people in our neighborhood who don’t have enough to eat.  This is a form of social action! When we visit the soup kitchen next week, please say a big “Thank you!” to the kind women and men who work there.  They are also doing a kind of social action by preparing the donated food for our hungry neighbors.

 

Last week when students had a day off for Election Day, teachers came to school to learn new things together.  One of the things we spent time exploring last Tuesday was breathing exercises and other things we can all do to help promote mindfulness, calm and focus in our classrooms.  Before we all go up upstairs to get to work, let’s try one of these breathing exercises together!  This one is called “Candle Breathing”.

Thanks very much to our 1st graders for hosting today!  Thanks, as always to the amazing EVCS SWMM House Band!  And thanks to everyone who joined us today and sang loud and proud.  Have a great day.

Love,

Bradley

School Wide Morning Meeting Message 10/30/2017

Dear EVCS Students,

It was so much fun to see so many of you in your costumes on Saturday at our annual Fall Ball!  Somehow the Fall Ball continues to get better and better every year, and it’s all thanks to the amazing parents of the East Village Community School.  So much effort goes into this event, and I want to recognize some of the people who worked very hard to make it happen. So many parents volunteered their time, too many to name all of them, but it could not have happened without the following individuals: Sharon Blumenkranz, Marta Polo, Catharine Lyons, Marla Rosenthal, Pippa Barak, Anne Buovolo, Tazeen Raza, Julie Lansky, Crystal Perry, LaraLipof, Buzz Evers, Emily Goodman, Ron Bromberg, Gunti Singh, Cresta Kruger, Tristan Waldroop, Alessandra Carbone, and Nina Ablan.  A Huge shout out to Erik Frank for the amazing Haunted Hallway, and to Hagit Schwartz and Noel Saltzman for orchestrating the entire event.
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District 1 Diversity Initiative

Our core values are inclusion, kindness, social action, self-awareness, and joy of learning.

Dear EVCS Family,

Yesterday afternoon the Chancellor officially announced the details of the District 1 Diversity in Admissions Initiative. This initiative is by far the boldest step ever taken to desegregate schools in the history of the New York City public school system. I firmly believe that classrooms and schools are better when they include a range of students and families and authentically reflect their communities, and I know this is the right move at the right time for District 1. You can read about it in today’s NY TimesChalkbeat (with a nice pic of yours truly), Wall Street Journal and Politico.

Here are the headlines from the plan:

Students who qualify for free or reduced price lunch, students who live in temporary housing, and students who are learning English will be given priority for 67% of the Pre-K and Kindergarten seats at every District 1 elementary school.
Students who do not meet any of those criteria will be given priority for 33% of the Pre-K and Kindergarten seats at every District 1 elementary school.
Within each of these two priority groups, an additional priority will be given to students who have IEPs for a percentage of seats near the District average.
Priority for siblings of students currently enrolled, and for students continuing on from Pre-K to Kindergarten will remain.

If you have any questions about how this admissions protocol will work, or how it will impact your family or our school, please don’t hesitate to reach out. I’d be happy to talk about it in greater detail.

Apropos, one part of our school instructional focus this year is to implement anti-racist curriculum and pedagogy. We are united in our commitment to raising, not just non-racist, but anti-racist citizens of this country. One way we are embarking on that endeavor as a whole staff is by reading together the outstanding book, The New Jim Crow. I would like to invite and encourage any and all of our parents to read it along with us. We will have two gatherings in December, one in the morning and one in the evening, for parents and staff to discuss the book together. Pick up your copy of the book and be on the lookout for more info about the book clubs in December.

Today, even more than usual, I am proud to be a District 1 educator and parent, and I am looking forward to what the future brings for our community.

As ever,

Bradley

School Wide Morning Meeting Message 10/16/2017

Dear EVCS Students,

Our core value is social action.

Just like we sang this morning in Free to Be you and Me, we are committed to doing all we can and making a change in the world.  One way we can do that here at school every single day is by recycling, composting, and reducing the amount of trash we produce.  You may have noticed that our cafeteria has three different bins to throw your garbage in.  Different stuff belongs in each one and it’s really important that we all try our best to learn how to do it correctly.

 

There are separate bins for food scraps which are composted, recyclable materials such as plastic, metal and glass, liquids which are poured down the drain, and trash which ends up in a landfill.  Our goal is to put as little trash as possible into the landfills!  

Learning how to recycle our plastic, metal and paper, compost our food scraps, and reduce the amount of stuff that goes into landfills will make us better stewards of our planet.

My good friend Jacob Pearleman in the 3rd grade has also brought something to my attention that he is concerned about.  Jacob has noticed that a lot of kids are throwing away perfectly good food!  While we work to reduce the amount of garbage that goes into landfills let’s also please try to reduce our food waste.  Thanks for looking out, Jacob.

Big thanks to our second grade hosts, to all of the parents who came this morning, to the SWMM house band, and thank you to everyone who sang loud and proud this morning.  Have a great day and great week everyone.

Love,

Bradley