School Wide Morning Meeting Message 2/11/19

February 11, 2019

Dear EVCS students,

Welcome back to the last week before our mid-winter break.  It’s going to be an exciting week. This Thursday is not only Valentine’s Day – it is also the 100th day of school this year!  We always like to take some time on the 100th day of school to not only give ourselves a pat on the back for making it to this important benchmark and reflect on how much we have grown and learned, but also to think about the number 100 – a very important number in our base-ten system.     

Speaking of 100 – Did you know that our school building is over 100 years old?  Like all old things, it needs to be taken care of and treated gently and with respect.  We’ve been noticing that some areas of our school – in particular the student bathrooms on the 4th floor – have not been treated so well by our students recently.  I am asking you to please try and do a better job of helping us to be the care takers of this old building so it can be around in another 100 years. Thanks!

Big thanks to the 4th grade for sharing and hosting this morning!  Thanks as always to the SWMM house band, and thanks to everyone who came this morning and sang loud and proud!

Have a great day and a great week.



BLM Special School Wide Morning Meeting Message 2/6/19

Dear EVCS students,

This week in cities all across the United States, schools are participating in the Black Lives Matter at School Week of Action. EVCS is proud to be a part of this national event.  Black Lives Matter is a movement that is working to create a world where Black people, and all people, are valued and treated equitably. Black Lives Matter continues the struggle of the Civil Rights Movement, because even though some things have changed over the years, Black people are still not always treated fairly.

EVCS is a school where Black lives matter, and this week we are taking the time to recognize this.  Every day this week we will be thinking and talking about different guiding principles of the Black Lives Matter movement, and guests will be coming into your classrooms to read books that will shine a light on the Black Lives Matter at School principles. We hope this week will spark rich conversations between all the members of our EVCS community in and out of the classroom!

In just a moment we’re going to march around the community to tell our neighbors that at EVCS we believe that Black Lives Matter. It’s always important to say what you believe, and that’s what we’re going to do!  Our message is simple – Black Lives Matter At School – and this is the exact message many schools around the country are also sharing with their communities this week, so that we can all stand together in solidarity.

Special thanks to our friends in the EVCS Marching Band Drum Line!  Thanks as always to the SWMM house band. A very big thanks to all the members of our school’s Race and Equity Committee for helping to plan our week of action.  And thanks to everyone who came this morning and sang loud and proud!

Have a great day and a great week.



School Wide Morning Meeting Message 1/28/19

January 28, 2019

Dear EVCS Students,

Welcome back!  The next few weeks are super busy, with lots of events coming up.  Some are just for kids, some are for the whole family and some are just for the grown ups.  

First, this Friday is Movie Night at EVCS!  We have four movies for your to choose from – Big Hero 6, Kubo and the 2 Strings, Hotel Transylvania 3 and My Neighbor Totoro.  If you want to come you need to RSVP on the school website. The money that is raised will go to help our 5rth graders go on their camping trip this spring.  

Next week is Black Lives Matter at School Week of Action.  You will be hearing more about this in your classrooms, and we will also have a special SWMM on Wednesday, followed by a march around the block led by our marching band drumline!  

Next Tuesday February 5 school will be closed for the Lunar New Year.  2019 is the year of the pig in the Chinese calendar. Happy new year to all who celebrate.

Parents – we have two great workshops coming up very soon, and more to come later this winter.  First, this Thursday morning we are having a workshop on Seesaw, assessment and feedback, at 8:30 in the art room.  Then on Tuesday February 12 at 5:30 we are having a workshop where you will learn about our school’s approach to teaching and learning math.  You are encouraged to bring your kids, as there will be an interactive element.

And please mark your calendars for two very fun events coming up for adults.  On March 3rd we will have the 2nd annual District 1 Battle of the Family Bands at the Bowery Ballroom!  And our annual spring gala is happening earlier this year, on April 6th at Performance Space New York. Both will be great events – I hope to see you all there.  

Thanks to the fifth graders for sharing and hosting today and 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.




Black Lives Matter at School

Dear EVCS families,

Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day! I sincerely hope that you and your kids have had an opportunity this weekend to not only have an extra day to chill (so important!), but to reflect on the meaning and significance of this national holiday – not just from a historical perspective but as it relates to the ongoing urgency for racial equity and justice in our society today. It’s been 56 years since Martin Luther King delivered his beautiful I Have a Dream speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, and yet his call to action is just as salient today as it ever was.

We have committed ourselves at EVCS to doing what we can to support our students – your children – in becoming a generation of anti-racist people. In service of that commitment, we understand the important of teaching about civil rights and racial justice in America from the point of view of past, present and future – not just as a historical event. In that spirit, I am proud to let you know that for the second year EVCS will again be endorsing the national Black Lives Matter at School Week of Action on February 4-8. The 13 principles of the Black Lives Matter at School movement are ones that overlap significantly with our school’s core values, and we aspire to weave these principles into our curriculum in ways explicit and implicit throughout the school year. During the week of action we will shine a light on these principles through read alouds from picture books (including some led by EVCS parents), discussions in class on relevant topics including structural racism, black identities, black history and anti-racist movements, writing prompts in the upper grades and other focused lesson activities. We will gather as a whole school community on Wednesday morning February 6 for a special SWMM, followed by a short march around the block led by the famous EVCS marching band drum line because as MLK Jr. put it so perfectly so many years ago, Hate cannot drive out hate. Only love can do that. and that’s what we intend to do. Students will continue to get regular academic instruction in all subject areas that week, in addition to these special activities and events.

If you’re interested in learning more about our plans for the Black Lives Matter at School Week of Action or if you’d like to get involved please plan on sticking around in the auditorium after School-Wide Morning Meeting on Monday January 28th where we can share books, materials and lesson ideas, brainstorm activities together and answer any questions you have.

I always feel grateful to be a part of the EVCS community. But it’s times like these, when we set our intentions to be a force for what is right and we teach our kids that they can be agents of change in an imperfect world, that I am reminded of just how special this community is. Thank you for your support of this initiative.

As ever,


School Wide Morning Meeting Message 1/7/19

January 7, 2019

Dear EVCS Students,

Welcome to the first School-Wide Morning Meeting of 2019!  In two weeks we will have a day off from school to observe Martin Luther King Day.  Every year at this time I like to remember who Martin Luther King was, what he accomplished and why he was so important.  Martin Luther King Jr. was a true hero of our country and someone who embodied all of our core values at EVCS.

Martin Luther King Jr. was a leader in the Civil Rights Movement if the 1950’s and 1960’s.  He fought to bring racial justice and equity to this country.

Martin Luther King Jr. lived during a time in America when people were treated very differently according to their skin color. Martin believed that all people should be treated kindly, fairly and equally, no matter what color skin they have.  He fought very hard for civil rights in America, and he was a great leader who used non-violence to bring about change, social justice and racial equity. He was a great role model!

In two weeks when we have the day off from school, let’s all try to honor Martin Luther King Jr. in some way.  I’d love to hear about how you choose to do it!

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.




School Wide Morning Meeting Message 12/10/2018

December 10, 2018

Dear EVCS Students,

I hope everyone had a great weekend.  As you might remember from the last time we were together for SWMM, our school had our Quality Review last week.  I’m happy to report that it went very well!  Over two days the reviewer visited almost all of our classrooms and met with groups of teachers, students and parents.  In every aspect of the review she saw high quality teaching and learning, evidence of our core values, and a strong school community.  Thanks to everyone for making it a success!  A special thanks to all of the students who were called upon to talk about their work and their school experience: Lena Jones, Sylvan Garrelts, Otis Bartlett, Oona McGinty, Soraya Gibbs, Sebastian Askew, Leo Rosenberg,  Declan Resch, Chloe Parsons, Amelia Mirsky, Teo Stabler, Gianna Delgado, Aiman Nurhadiat, Tenzin Phenthok, Emma Waldroop and Jacob Perleman!

We all know that Joy of Learning is a top priority at EVCS.  If you can stick around after today’s SWMM you will see joy of learning on full display, as our 5th graders share work from their Alvin Ailey West African dance residency.  All are welcome to watch.

Finally, make sure you stop by the EVCS holiday craft sale in the lobby today!

Big thanks to our Kindergarten friends for hosting, thanks to all of the parents who came this morning, huge thanks to the SWMM house band, and thank you to everyone who sang loud and proud. Have a great day and great week everyone.



December Updates

Dear EVCS Families,

As you may know EVCS had a Quality Review the week before last. We worked hard to prepare for it, and the two days of the review were super intense, but I am happy to report that the review went very well. The reviewer did observations in most of our classrooms, met with two groups of students in grades 3-5 to discuss their work and school experiences, met with groups of teachers to understand the professional culture at EVCS, and met with a group of 8 EVCS parents to hear their point of view. And of course Liz and I spent a lot of time with the reviewer describing our systems, processes and protocols and sharing many reams and gigabytes of artifacts and evidence of our work. In all aspects of the review our school vision for high quality teaching and learning, our core values, and our strong community were clear to see. It’s not at all surprising to me that we performed as well as we did, but it is really nice to have our work recognized and validated! Congratulations and THANKS to all of our teachers and students for letting their light shine always, and on these two days in particular.

Is there anything better for bringing a community together than music? I think the answer is no, and one of the ways we like to do this at EVCS is through the Family Band. Not to be confused with it’s sister outfit the illustrious School Wide Morning Meeting House Band, the EVCS Family Band is a super group of parents, teachers and principals who put together a killer set of music every year to be performed at our annual spring gala. Last year we started a new tradition called the District 1 Battle of the Family Bands, where we challenged all of the other schools in the District to put together their own bands for an honest-to-goodness throwdown, involving celebrity judges, a beautiful trophy, and hosted at the world famous Bowery Ballroom. The event was a huge success and so much fun – and we are doing it again! Please mark your calendars for the evening of Sunday March 3, 2019. More information to follow – BUT the EVCS band is just starting to get our act together and we want to put out a call for new members. Any closet horn players out there? Shower singers looking for a bigger audience? Looking to finally put all those years of piano lessons to good use? If you are interested in rocking out with us, please contact me directly.

Finally, you may be aware of the City’s effort since Hurricane Sandy to put a coastal resiliency project in motion. The current proposal would involve shutting down East River Park for at least 3 1/2 years in order to create a sea wall and raise the entire park to an 8 foot elevation. If you are interested in learning more and adding your voice to the discussion, please note that there is a public meeting tonight at 6:30 at the Hunter-Brookdale Rotunda, 425 East 25th Street (between First Avenue and the FDR Drive).

If I don’t see you before we break at the end of next week, happy holidays!



School Wide Morning Meeting Message 11/26/2018

November 26, 2018

Dear EVCS Students,

Welcome back!  I hope everyone had a terrific Thanksgiving.  As I was reflecting this weekend on all of the things I am thankful for, I need to tell you that I am especially thankful to be a part of this school community that values kindness, inclusion and social action.  I’m so proud of the effort that all of you put into making this year’s Harvest Festival the best one yet.  Did you know that we collected around 2000 cans and boxes of food?  That’s more than we have ever collected before!   Thank you to everyone who helped make it a success – and special thanks to the EVCS Marching Band Drumline for leading the procession.

We have another important event coming up this week!  On Wednesday and Thursday our school will have something called a Quality Review.   On those two days a guest from the Department of Education will be coming to visit our school to see firsthand all of the great things at EVCS that she’s heard so much about.  Let’s do what we can to welcome her to our school and show her what we are all about.  I have no doubt that we will shine!

Big thanks to our 1st Grade friends for hosting, thanks to all of the parents who came this morning, huge thanks to the SWMM house band, and thank you to everyone who sang loud and proud. Have a great day and great week everyone.



School Wide Morning Meeting Message 11/5/2018

November 5, 2018

Dear EVCS Students,

Our core value is Kindness.

Kind people show concern for others, for our school and for the environment.  Kindness can be demonstrated through compassion, empathy, generosity, and service.  Kindness is one of the greatest qualities a person can have, and it is necessary to have kindness in a community.

While we all work on becoming kinder people here at school, it’s important that everyone in our school community understand our policy on bullying.  Bullying is very serious and we can never let it happen here at EVCS.  I’ve asked five very important people to come up and help me deliver this message.  Natasha, Selena, Tess, Megan, Liz and I are all on our school’s Bullying Prevention Committee.

Here is how we define bullying at our school:

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. Continue reading

School Wide Morning Meeting Message 10/22/2018

October 22, 2018

Dear EVCS Students,

Welcome back to another week of school. Usually at our School-Wide Morning Meetings we check in on one of our core values, discuss what it means to us, and think about how we can apply it in our daily lives at school.  We have five core values at EVCS.

Social Action/Social Justice
Self Awareness
Joy of Learning

Today we are going to take a closer look at our core value 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 a small impact right here in our own community.  We have a tradition at EVCS that every year our school collects cans and boxes of food for our annual Harvest Festival.  The food we collect is then donated to a local soup kitchen that helps to feed people in our neighborhood who don’t have enough to eat.  We believe that everyone should have enough food to eat, and that no one should be hungry.  Will you help us collect food for our Harvest Festival?

This year the Harvest Festival will be on Wednesday November 21st.  You can start bringing in food to donate this week.  And new this year: Our Harvest festival procession to Trinity church soup kitchen and pantry will be led by the EVCS marching band drumline!

This Saturday is our annual Fall Ball!  Give a thumbs up if you will be coming.  Turn to the person next to you and share what will you be dressing up as this year.  We can’t wait to see you there in your costumes.

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