Letter from Principal Bender
December 19, 2012
Dear PS 11 Families,
Thank you to the 190 family members who attended our Town Hall Safety Meeting this morning. Your feedback was so important in the effort to continue to make our school safe for all.
Beginning tomorrow, December 20, 2012, PS 11 will be implementing some new safety protocols. The new protocols are on listed on the back of this letter.
We are changing up our arrival and dismissal procedures. We are also tightening up our visitor policies. All of this is being done to make sure that we provide the safest environment as possible.
We realize that these procedures are new and are going to take some time to perfect. I thank you in advance for your compliance with these new rules.
As with any new initiative at PS 11, I look forward to your feedback and suggestions.
Thank you again for helping us make PS 11 a safe place for our staff and students.
. . . . .
December 17, 2012
Dear PS 11 Families,
Friday was a day that we will never forget. For all of us, our worst fears became a reality as we watched the true despair and suffering of the families of Sandy Hook Elementary School. It is truly unimaginable.
Over the weekend I received many emails from concerned family members and today I am writing to provide all our families some important information that I am hoping will alleviate some of your concerns.
First, I am inviting all of our families to a Town Hall Style School Safety meeting on Wednesday, December 19th at 8:30 am. The meeting will take place in the school auditorium. While I am confident that our students remain safe each and every day, as a result of the horrific events in Connecticut we have decided to implement some changes in our daily routines. We are a safe school and these changes that we are about to make will provide an even safer school environment. As we will be discussing adult natured topics, please do not bring your children to the meeting but rather leave them in the playground (Grades 1-5) or in the cafeteria (PreK and Kindergarten). I am looking forward to your input and suggestions regarding the new safety measures that we will be proposing.
Next, I would like to inform you of the actions that we took here at school on Friday. At approximately 11:30am I received a text message informing me of the shooting in Connecticut. It was decided immediately, that for the safety of our students and staff, we would "lock down" the school. A lockdown drill was implemented. Students were immediately brought in from the playground and teachers (through our intercom system) were instructed to lock their doors and move students away from the classroom doors. All of the exterior doors were also locked. After I was certain that everyone was safe and immediately following the last lunch period, we released the lock down and re-opened the building. We will be conducting another "lock down" drill this week, once we are able to speak to all of the students about calm some of their fears and explain to them that this exercise is just a drill.
As always, please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions and/or concerns.
Dear PS 11 Families,
We are well into the swing of things this fall. Each year I am more and more impressed by the level of the work that our students are doing. Our walls are alive with student writing and amazing pieces of art. I hope that you all take some time to look over this incredible work as you walk the halls during our upcoming Family Fridays. Not only are our hallways brimming with the work of our talented students, our building has just received a beautiful facelift with our new student art mural.
As always, our fall schedule is filled to the brim.
• African and Latin dance are keeping our 3rd and 4th graders busy.
• Kindergartners are learning all about movement with Education in Dance.
• Our Chess team has started practicing and our 2nd graders are in the middle of their NYC Chess Kids cycle.
• 5th graders are singing and dancing with Rosies Theater Kids and morning workshop rehearsals for our production of Beauty and the Beast have begun.
• Juilliard is working with our 2nd graders and selected 4th and 5th graders have started their Violin and Viola lessons.
• 3rd graders have started rehearsals for their big Thanksgiving show. They have also been busy running our weekly PS 11 Farm Market.
• Enrichment classes are about to begin for our Kindergarten, 1st and 2nd graders.
• All of our students have been exploring the great museums, monuments, theaters and historical landmarks of our great city.
All of this is happening at the same time that our students are developing their story ideas, looking for themes across texts, analyzing characters in books, solving big math problems and creating scientific hypotheses.
All of this in just two short months...and there is plenty more to come.
The fall also means that Parent Teacher Conferences are here. In mid November all families will have the opportunity to meet with your child's teacher to review his/her work portfolio and gather information about his/her academic progress.
None of this would be possible if not for all of you. Thanks to all of our amazing PS 11 families for their continued support and collaboration.
Dear PS11 Families,
Here we go! School is starting and all of us are ready to get back to work. I wanted to offer a huge "Welcome!" to our new PS11 families. We are all very excited to have you join our amazing community. I look forward to meeting each and every one of you. Of course, I am equally excited to see all of our returning students and their families. We have an incredible year planned ahead and I am certain that it will be fun and rewarding.
When you arrive at school on September 6th, you are sure to notice the newest additions to our PS11 family. Earlier this month, 12 beautiful chickens moved into their new chicken roost in the Big Yard, making PS11 their home. I want to thank all of the volunteers who worked tirelessly in the hot sun to build their beautiful roost. It is incredible and our new chicks seem to really love it. They have made themselves quite at home and are eagerly anticipating meeting all of our students. The addition of these chickens is yet just another component of our Health & Nutrition initiative. We should begin to have fresh eggs in just a few weeks. Our students are going to have up close and hands on experiences while they learn about these animals. It is truly a unique New York City experience and I am thrilled that we can offer it to our school community.
September will prove to be a very busy month. Class Coffees, New Family Q&A, and our famous annual Welcome Back Potluck Dinner & Dance are all happening in September. I encourage all of you to visit this website daily to make sure that you are caught up on all of the latest PS11 news — including news about your child's class posted by their teacher. As many of know, we're a very busy school and our year is packed with programming and events, so stay connected and stay tuned!