Baltic Buzz: March 2018

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One Vision, One Voice: Empowering the Leaders of Today for Tomorrow!

Happy Almost Spring!

This month we want to highlight the wonderful events that have taken place in our school community. I am so proud of the work that our students and staff have engaged in , ranging from the Science Fair where all our students raised the bar in the Inquiry process, to the Ezra Jack Keats Book Making Competition, where 4th grade writers used their knowledge of Historical Fiction to create a narrative from the perspective of an explorer. As you read through this month’s newsletter, please join me in celebrating our students’ accomplishments.

Your Partner in Education,

—Heather Foster-Mann

Our Spring Student-Led Conferences will be held on Thursday, March 15th, from 12:40 pm.-2:40 pm and 4:30 p.m.-7:30pm. Additional appointment times for Student- Led Conferences will also be held on Tuesday, March 20, Monday, March 26 and Tuesday, March 27. Appointments will be scheduled in 15 minute increments. Your class parent or teacher will be in contact with you to schedule appointments. Report Cards will be distributed to students on Tuesday, March 13th for your review and they must be returned on the day of your appointment.

Caregiver’s role in the student-led conference is as follows:

  • Your child must accompany you to the conference.
  • It is imperative that you arrive on time for your scheduled appointment. Teachers and students have prepared for this conference and your child(ren) have quite a bit to share with you in the allotted time frame of 15 minutes.
  • Parent/Guardians must be willing to let the student speak, saving questions until the end.
  • Parent/Guardian shares any concern with the teacher at the end of the conference.
  • Parent/Guardian helps the student meet his/her academic and behavioral goals by supporting their progress at home.

New York State ELA

In grades 3-5, we are gearing up for the NYS ELA exam. The exam will be administered over two days April 11th and 12th . We are expecting that 100 percent of our students will participate in testing. Reading and writing stamina are two of the areas in which we are working on as a school. Please ensure that your child reads for an extended time each night in addition to writing a response to what he/she has just read. If you have questions or concerns, please speak to our Testing Coordinator, Ms. McGhie.

Learning Environment Survey

The Learning Environment Surveys (in the Green Envelope) was distributed on Friday, March 2nd. This year we are encouraging parents to complete the survey in school. As an incentive, we are providing a free homework pass for those who complete the survey and leave it with one of our representatives dressed in green. It is your opportunity to tell us how we are doing as a school and how we can serve you better. Our goal for this year is 100 percent. The deadline to submit your surveys by mail or online is Friday, March 23rd. If you misplace your green envelope, you may contact the hotline at 1-800-690-8603 or


March kicks off our School-wide Readathon. Some events scheduled to promote the love of reading are:

  • Scholastic Book Fair in the lobby : March 12th to March 23rd – 9:00am- 11:00am Students will be able to purchase books at scheduled times during the day.
  • Evening hours will be held during Student Led Conferences on March 15th -4:30pm- 7:30pm.
  • International Book Fair on Friday, March 23rd and Saturday, March 24th.
  • Author visits Junot Diaz (K-2) and Veera Hiranandani


  • Become familiar with the child’s reading level and the type of books/subject that interests them. This will help you find books that are enjoyable for the child, not something that is uninteresting to them.
  • Be patient. Understand that every child reads at a different pace and some might need a little extra encouragement and support from you. If you are not proficient in English, read to them in your first language regardless of what language the child reads in. This will eventually enhance their reading ability in English.
  • Be involved and show interest in their learning. You can do this by reading a chapter of the book out loud with them and stop to predict/ discuss what you think will happen next in the story.
  • Have conversations with them about how the book they are reading is going. Hear them out and ask questions about how they feel about what’s happening in the story? How are they feelings about any character in particular? Why do they feel that way?
  • Create a comfortable space that will encourage them to read and write. For example a corner in their room or somewhere in the house where you can put a “special rug” or a “special blanket”. Another option is having a small table where they can keep their notebooks, have their pens, pencils and paper.
  • Avoid reading only before bed. This will help the child remove from their head the idea that reading is something that is supposed to make you sleepy.

A Report From Our First Grade Scientists

First grade scientists in class 1-316 -& 318 have been learning about the impact of plastic pollution on the environment. As a part of our Zero Waste Initiative, we know how important recycling is to our community and the planet!. We learned that plastic pollution can have very dangerous effects on the earth, animals and even humans. waste in the ocean comes from people like you and me not recycling it the right way? Or that it can take up to 1,000 years for plastic bottles to decompose in the natural environment depending on how thick the plastic is? We think that organic plastic could be the answer, so we’re trying to make our own! Organic plastic biodegrades, or breaks down until it disappears, into the soil and water. Did you know that 80% of all plastic This means that it will not pile up in landfills or harm animals swimming in the ocean. For our STEM project, we used milk and vinegar to create plastic. After letting it dry overnight we observed that our natural plastic hardened very quickly and could be useful to make things . We are now tracking how long plastic takes to biodegrade in moist soil. We think that plastic alternatives like the one in our experiment could help the planet!

Book Of The Month

“A good deed is never last, he who sows courtesy, reaps friendship; he who plants kindness, gathers love”.
—Saint Basil

This month we continue to build upon the character theme of kindness and duty.

Is it our duty as citizen to “pay it forward” and what constitutes an act of kindness and what impact does a kind act have when the recipient “pays it forward”?

In the story Ordinary Mary’s Extraordinary Deed, we observe the ripple effects of a simple act of kindness. Mary does one good deed that multiplies into many acts of kindness.

Science Fair 2018

Ms. Harbin and Ms. Nabirali gives special thanks to our students, parents, and teachers for participating in our 11th Annual Science Fair. Young Scientists had the opportunity to solve their own scientific research question. Stay tuned for our selections of winners that will go on to compete in the District 13 STEM EXPO held on May 17, 2018 at PS /MS 282~Park Slope School.

Check This Out!

Check out our Facebook page (PS 133 William A. Bulter School) where we posted our visit from Chelsea Clinton. We were honored to be a part of a special reading of her upcoming picture book She Persisted Around the World: 13 Women Who Changed History. Follow us and hit the like button!

Congratulations to Ms. Villanueva’s class 4-516 for their hard work in the Ezra Jack Keats Bookmaking competition.

Upcoming Events

March 8

Assembly 3-433 @ 8:45am

March 13

Report Cards Sent Home

March 15

1/2 Day – 11:30 Dismissal

Student Led Conferences 12:40PM- 2:40PM & 4:30PM- 7:30PM

March 20

Student Led Conferences Continued 3PM-4PM

March 26

Wacky Tacky Day

March 27

Dress For Success Assembly 2-307, 2-309, 2-311 8:45AM

Student Led Conferences Cont’d 3PM-4PM

March 28

Pajama Day

March 29

Denim Day

March 30

School Closed

Spring Break Begins Return to school April 9th

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