November 2018 Letter to Families

Dear PS 133 Families,

The past two months of school have been amazing!  Our attendance is great, and our  students are excited to be here. Thank you parents for your continued participation and support in our school wide community events such as Picture Day, Spirit Week, and Fall Festival. We believe that the participation of families further connects home and school. Our next school wide event is World Culture Day on Monday, November 19th at 6:00pm. The entire day is focused on students representing their culture in a variety of ways. The day will culminate with festivities at 6pm.

We are proud to be in our second year of partnership with The Human Root- a community based organization that supports schools  in transforming their culture through equity, empathy and engagement. The Human Root has facilitated  professional development sessions for teachers, parents and administrators. The purpose is to build a sustainable community and engage stakeholders in establishing intentions around race, culture and equity. Sessions for families are being offered with the intention of having parents gain a deeper connection to the equity work happening at PS 133. Our first parent session entitled: Understanding Microaggressions, will take place on Wednesday, November 7th at 6:00pm in the auditorium. For further information and to RSVP,  please visit our website at

Save the date for other upcoming Human Root sessions:

  • 12/05/18 6:00pm-8:30pm NOT MY IDEA: Parents & Youth Talk about Race
  • 01/23/19 6:00pm-8:30pm RESTORATIVE Circle Support: Toward Affinity and Equity (FOCUS: RACE) PART 1
  • 01/30/19 6:00pm-8:30pm RESTORATIVE Circle Support: Toward Affinity and Equity (FOCUS: RACE) PART 2
  • 03/06/19 6:00pm-8:00pm EMERGING from Critical Conflict w/Nonviolent Communication

Open School Night/Student-Led Conferences

Student-Led Conferences will be held on Thursday, November 15th from 12:40pm-2:40pm and 4:30pm-7:30pm. During Student-Led Conferences, children are expected to take ownership over their learning by leading the conference, with the teacher serving as the facilitator.  During the conference, the student will explain their progress toward and mastery of both academic (reading, writing, and math) and social goals. The teacher will facilitate the conversation by asking open-ended questions and reviewing previous set goals with the student.  Parents are “listening in” and will have an opportunity at the end of the conference to ask clarifying questions.  The entire conference will last no more than 10-12 minutes. Students are expected to lead the conversation for 4-6 minutes depending on the grade level. Then, parents will have an opportunity to speak with the teacher for the remainder of the allotted time. Additional appointment times for Student-Led Conferences will be held during the month of November. Your class parent or teacher will be in contact with you to schedule appointments. Appointments will be scheduled in 15 minute increments. Report Cards will be distributed to students on Wednesday, November 14th for your review and they must be returned on the day of your appointment.

The Caregivers’ role in the student-led conference is as follows:

  • Your child must accompany you to the conference, with the exception of PreK students..
  • It is imperative that you arrive on time for your scheduled appointment. (A timer will be used to help manage time.) 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.
  • 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.

We continue to encourage our students to be the best readers, writers scientists, historians, and mathematicians. As mentioned during the Curriculum Night Meeting in September, the Common Core Standards also support building students’ academic vocabulary in all areas.  To meet our goals, we definitely need your support!  We are asking that you continue to do the following to support your child’s educational growth:

  • Please make sure that your child reads at home for an extended period of time daily. Please sign their reading log, and review your child’s homework assignments. Ask your child to retell a story in his or her own words by telling what happened first, second, third, etc. Ask your child to think about what the message of a story may be or what he or she learned from an informational book or article.
  • All grades will be immersed in an Informational unit of study at some point during the school year. Question your child about what he/she is studying at school.  Borrow books from the library to support their interest or the current unit of study.  ALL students should have a library card. Many libraries have book clubs and family activities that make reading fun for the entire family.  We encourage you to visit our PS 133 Library during Open Access time on Wednesdays, from 2:45pm – 4:00pm.
  • We have implemented a school-wide word of the week (which is denoted on the school’s calendar). Encourage your youngster to research the definition, use the word in context and incorporate it in their writing.
  • Read to your child and have him or her read to you every day for the age appropriate amount of time. Pick out words that might be new to your child or words that have multiple or complex meanings. Discuss those words and how they add to what the writer is saying.
  • Look for opportunities in everyday places to build your child’s vocabulary.
  • Use technology to help build your child’s interest in reading. There are several websites where students can read books or articles online.

Your Partner in Education,

Heather Foster-Mann