Shopping links to make Black Friday work @ EVCS

Dear Families,

It was amazing to see our school in action yesterday at the Harvest Walk–I had never been before and was blown away by the number of cans and boxes raised (around 1500 items) as well as the incredible energy the kids and the school community had around this event!

In the same spirit, below are listed the ways we can give back to EVCS (for more information please visit the EVCS website):

unnamed (1)Songs from the East Village
If you haven’t played this yet, or have some kids in your life who need a little music, this album is a gem.

AmazonSmile (or bookmark
Shopping through AmazonSmile is a simple way to help contribute up to .5% of the price of eligible products directly to EVCS.

McNally Jackson Bookstore
Mention EVCS in the store or as part of your online check out & they will send us 10% of the purchase price!!!

Equal Exchange
Catalogs went home with your kids last week for this program that kicks back 40% on all purchases of organic and fair trade goods. Please return all forms by Friday, December 5.
(Unfortunately there are currently no options for online shopping with this fundraiser at this time)

Check out this site for toxic-free products for your home. Their pledge is to return 15% of purchases to the school.

Thanks for your support, and wishing you a wonderful break with your families.


Steven Garrelts

Good Work Families! and Happy Thanksgiving


Dear Families

Re: Harvest Festival… It was terrific to see so many parents Tuesday morning in the yard at the Harvest Festival. We had a lovely walk to 9th Street and it felt great to deliver over 1400 cans of food to the pantry for all those in need. An incredible effort was made my all. A SPECIAL THANKS GOES OUT TO THE 5TH GRADE CLASSES. They helped gather all the cans from each class to a central location and then move them again to the yard and set up concentric circles for every to gather around!We want to also thank the Harvest Sisters, (Georga, Kristin & Caroline) Well done. If you missed the walk, we will be posting images taken by Julie Harwood, parent of Asher and Ellie. Photos will be posted soon… stay tuned for a link next week where you can look back at all the action.

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Parent Association Meeting Minutes – November 19, 2014

Parent Association General Meeting – November 19th, 2014 – 8:30am

 Approval of Minutes

 President Report

  • no update on principal selection

Principal Discussion on Common Core

  • misinformation on Common Core (CC)
    • grossly misrepresented in media, etc., lumped into Race to Top, No Child, Testing,standardized curriculum
  • What CC is not
    • testing
    • curriculum
  • They are standards, roadmap kids need to know and do. Benchmarks
    • NY State has always had standards, CC significant shift from NYS standards
      • NYS – “mile wide, inch deep” long list of discrete things, knowledge based but not taught deep meaning
      • CC – shorter list but go deeper into each thing (a positive)
      • CC – emphasis on process, thinking , reasoning, understanding rather than just knowledge of fact
  • content – ELA – strong emphasis on non-fiction reading and writing
    • data over decades that kids graduate high school, going to CUNY unable to be successful in Intro English courses. take remedial Eng to learn essay writing. not ready for college/careers
    • ie, literary essay – evidence to support, expository, academic vocabulary
    • parent mentioned – push back on nonfiction – kids need to use imagination. Bradley’s take – kids like facts and some felt marginalized. fiction is a lot of narrative girls on a journey stories
    • pushing analytical thinking
      • no one has told EVCS how to implement CC
        • doing it on their own and integrating it with our school mission
      • To what extent do we use EngageNY  website for curriculum?
        • adapting modifying for our school purposes. Use for guiding homework
  • Math
    • far fewer concepts taught but in deeper way
    • develop content standards per grade
    • CC also published standards for mathematical practice – deal with reasoning and communication using model to demonstrate what you are doing.
    • centerpiece of math curriculum is Engage NY
    • Grades 1-5 supplement with Dreambox learning on computer
      • tailors experience and content to the user
    • parents want Parent Math Workshop
  • we use Teachers College as reading and writing model
    • we are not TC school but purchased all materials but many of our teachers come from there

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Public School 61 1913-2014 – 101 Years and counting

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Public School 61 – This website documents the rich history of the schools in the Public School 61 Complex at 610 East 12th.

Chronicles Famed Home of NYC Public Education – Press Celebrating PS61- The current home of EVCS!

A little history on where your child is going to school published by PhD Student (and EVCS Parent ) Jason McDonald.

You can Purchase a Centennial Calendar at the next PA meeting or school function or stop by Room 210 to get yours today and support our efforts in honoring the legacy of PS61.

Parent Band! Practicing next Tuesday!

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Attention, all musical parents! Please join the parent band! We’ll provide musical accompaniment to the Festival of Lights and the Multicultural Share and it will be fun. We’re holding our inaugural practice/jam session Tuesday, Dec. 2 at 6PM in the school auditorium. There’s some sound equipment there, so no need to schlep amps — just bring yourselves and your instrument. Please contact me if you can join us for this or future practices.



Matt Arnold (dad of 3rd grader Oscar)

(917) 576-2296

What: Parent band practice!
When: Tuesday, Dec. 2, 6PM
Where: The school auditorium

11.21.2014 EVCS Reminders

Dear Parents

We have had a fun week and with the shift in temperatures it is time to really gear up with your winter clothing. Be sure to dress your kids so that they are able to participate in the outdoor recess and feel cozy.
Hats and gloves or mittens are highly recommended.

A few reminders for next week:
Re: Harvest Festival
So far we have collected around 1,000 items!! There is still time to reach a goal of 1200 if everyone brings in 1-2 more items on Monday.
We can do it! Join the Harvest Festival Tuesday, November 25
Students will line up in the yard and organize all the cans, sing songs and then we all walk the cans over to Trinity on Ave B and 9th Street.
It is a great tradition and everyone is welcome to join in the walk!

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Charter schools, high-stakes testing, Common Core and more!


Dear Families,

The Community Action Committee’s first topic will be organizing with the Community Education Council (CEC) against the opening of a Success Academy Charter School in our district that would take space from actual public schools. More info can be found here. We’ll be meeting this coming Tuesday after drop-off in the lobby, possibly moving to Roost for some good coffee.

Meanwhile, for more information on the Common Core– not so much how it is interpreted in our school, which Bradley did a good job of explaining at the PA mtg this week, but what the national context is, some of the criticisms of how it affects at-risk schools and kids and how it relates to high-stakes testing, corporatization of education, teacher scapegoating, and sharing our children’s personal data — read this speech by Diane Ravitch reprinted in the Washington Post.

If you’re interested in these issues or have others you’d like to work on, please join the CAC and come to the meeting Tuesday!



PS If you can’t make it but want to be kept in the loop, just respond to this email and I’ll put you on the list.

11.17.2014 EVCS This week and more…


Dear Families

A few reminders for this week:
7 days until Harvest Festival, keep bringing cans when you can!

Wednesday, November 19 PA General Meeting 8:30am – 9:30am
In the cafeteria. 2015 Centennial Calendars ($15) and School Wide Photos ($10) will be available. Stop by to get your very own!

Wednesday, November 19 CEC Meeting – Class Size 6pm – 9pm
PS 20, 166 Essex Street

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