Wednesday, November 30, 2016

First Service Learning Project

Members of PS4's Student Government pose with Madeleine Hamingson from the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

The Student Government Organization, led by Technology Teacher Ms. Lennon, launched their first service-learning project this week!  Madeleine Hamingson, Student Series Campaign Assistant from the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society visited our student leaders at their monthly meeting to distribute materials, discuss details of how to run a successful campaign and give them information about the organization.  "We really are thankful that you have chosen to help the many children and adults who suffer from cancer", she said to the members in attendance.

Ms. Madeleine speaks to Student Government members.

Student Government members have decided to support The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society whose mission it is to help find a cure for Blood Cancer!  PS4M/The Duke Ellington School joins over 29,000 schools across the nation to make a difference and raise as much money as we can.  Until the end of December, our school will be working to reach a goals of $1,200.  Envelopes have been sent home to all students in 3rd, 4th and 5th grades with information about the Pennies for Patients campaign.  Each classroom has a collection box for all donations.  For families that would like to make an online donation, click here!

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Highest Class Attendance

A bulletin board from the first floor hallway lists students with perfect attendance and classes with high attendance.
Congratulations to the following classes who have achieved the highest class attendance for the month of October!

K020 (Ms. Fernandez) - 94.9%
Class 101 (Ms. Pinales) - 94.8%
Class 202 (Ms. Miller) - 96%
Class 302 (Ms. Hodge) - 96.7%
Class 402 (Dr. Thomas) - 96.8% *Highest attendance in the school!
Class 520 (Ms. D. Cabral) - 95.2%
Class 504 (Ms. Marmolejos & Mr. Rosario) - 95.2% 

Excellent attendance is a crucial requirement for doing well in school--and life! We know that a student may be absent for illness, emergencies, or for religious observance, but the goal is for every student to be in school every day.

Did you know that a student who has 90% attendance is missing one month of instruction?  A student with less than 90% attendance is considered chronically absent.  Here's a list from the NYC Department of Education, that may be helpful:
  • Attendance is a required, legal record of whether a student was in school or not.
  • Absences may be excused--but are not eliminated--for religious observance, illness, or other reasons defined at each school.
  • Attendance can be part of academic plans and grading policy but cannot be a sole factor in determining grades or promotion.
  • The school must have a practical mechanism to notify parents when students are absent or late.
  • The school must examine attendance, lateness and early departure data and develop effective intervention strategies to improve school attendance.
  • Families are advised to schedule trips and vacations when school is not in session to minimize interruption in schoolwork that may impact academic progress.
To learn more facts from the DOE about attendance and read tips for managing common reasons for absences, click here or contact the main office.

Friday, November 18, 2016

2nd Graders Visit The Farm!

2nd grader from Ms. Salce's class rides a pony at the farm.

Students in 2nd grade recently went to Green Meadows Farm in Floral Park, NY!  Once they arrived, they went on a pony ride and then they got a chance to see a mother cow and milk her!   Students had an opportunity to go on tractor trailer ride around the park. They saw different animals, such as the pigs, sheep's, rabbits, turkeys and lamas. They even got a chance to feed the animals!

Along with all the great activities, Green Meadows Farm gave students information about animals, such as how many babies a rabbit can have and how only the male turkey gobbles.   Students also learned how animals help humans!  Did you know that insulin comes from pigs?  Did you know that the skin of a pig can be used on someone who has been several burned?  Did you know that the aorta of the pig can be transplanted to replace the human heart?  Our students learned a lot on their trip to the farm.

Special thanks to Ms. Fatim (School Aid) for providing us with details of the trip and all the great photos!  For more information about Green Meadows Farm, click here and click play the photo collage, below!

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Thursday, November 17, 2016

Jazz & Democracy At PS4

Musicians from The Jazz & Democracy Project visited PS4 to perform for 4th and 5th grade students.
Hosted by Mr. Means (Music Teacher) and Mr. Cantu (Dean/ESL Teacher) students in grades 4 and 5 recently enjoyed a performance by a group of talented musicians from The Jazz & Democracy Project!  Their Jazz for Young People Concert Series allowed students to answer questions about where jazz began, details about woodwind instruments, and about the form or patterns that "blues" music follows.  Mr. Means was very proud of our students.  "I was so proud", he said.  "It was wonderful to see our students make the connection between jazz music and what we must do for a successful democracy".

Mr. Means speaks to students about the history of jazz music.

Mr. Cantu speaks to students about the connection between jazz, democracy and pride.

The Jazz and Democracy Project at PS4 is organized by Mr. Cantu who serves as our Arts Liaison.  The project helps the scholars make connections between democracy and jazz in a historical perspective.  It is a music integrated curriculum that utilizes jazz as a metaphor to bring American democracy to life, enrich the study and teaching of U.S. history, government, civics and culture, and inspire youth to become active, positive contributors to their communities.
For more information about the Jazz and Democracy project at PS4, contact Mr. Cantu.  To see photos from this assembly, check out the slideshow created by Mr. Means!


Saturday, November 12, 2016

Tar Wars - 2016

5th grade students from Ms. Anderson's class participate in the Tar Wars anti-smoking program.

Recently, physicians and medical students returned to PS4 for our annual Tar Wars presentation for students in 5th grade. Led by Dr. Anita Softness, who coordinates Tar Wars, the program has been a hit at our school for nearly 10 years!

Tar Wars is a tobacco-free education program for students in 4th and 5th grade students. The program is designed to teach kids about the short-term, image-based consequences of tobacco use, the cost associated with using tobacco products, and the advertising techniques used by the tobacco industry to market their products to youth.  Ms. Anderson (5th grade teacher) was very excited about Tar Wars returning to PS4.  "This was the best Tar Wars workshop I've seen in years, " she said.  "The student-doctors really interacted with the students and the curriculum now includes more anti-smoking activities".

Dr. Anita Softness, Tar Wars Coordinator, for making sure our school is always at the top of the list for receiving this great program! Check out the photos below from the Tar Wars presentation at PS4 and click here for more information about the program!

Friday, November 11, 2016

Middle School Information

Guidance Counselor, Ms. Estrella conducts a Middle School information session for parents of 5th grade children.

Informational sessions for parents regarding Middle School took place in October and November.  Parents of and students in 5th grade will be making important decisions about entering Middle School.  PS4 is committed to the success of all scholars beyond Elementary School.  We will provide parents and students with the necessary support for them to be aware of the different Middle School options offered so informed decisions can be made.

Although informational sessions for parents are no longer available, you may contact Ms. Estrella, Guidance Counselor, for assistance.  She will be available during all Parent/Teacher Conferences and by appointment in room 212C.  Please contact the main office to schedule an appointment.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Girls Basketball - 2016/2017

Members of PS4's Girls Basketball Team led by Coach McArdle

The 2016-2017 girls basketball team looks to have another strong season under the leadership of five returning players! According to Coach McArdle, with the experience of these athletes along with the new additions this season will be very successful. "This year", says Coach McArdle, "the students are focused on what it means to be a student-athlete and the responsibility that comes with being part of a team." Keep up the great work team! Ellington P.R.I.D.E.!

Derek Jeter's Turn2 Us Foundation sponsors the basketball program at PS4. Turn 2 Us is a comprehensive wellness program. The mission of program is to enable youth to internalize different methods which encourage healthy lifestyles through a variety of physical and psycho-educational awareness activities. PS4 is thankful to Derek Jeter and his foundation for sponsoring our basketball program and helping students lead healthy lifestyles. Click here for more information.

Sunday, November 6, 2016


Parent Coordinator Denise Nunez, helps parents register for SchoolCNXT.

SchoolCNXT is a flexible, mobile/web-based parent engagement platform that connects parents, teachers, students, and administrators, providing an efficient and effective way to share news and important information; send reminders; and create an engaged, empowered, connected community.

Since the beginning of our school year, PS4 has been utilizing School CNXT to connect with parents.  In September, Parent Coordinator Denise Nunez conducted a informational session for parents in the school's computer lab.  During the session, parents were given assistance with the registration process.  "This is really a great resource for our parents", says Ms. Nunez.  "Because many of them work full-time and have busy schedules, they would prefer to send emails to communicate with the school".

For more information about this platform, please contact the main office or click here!