FIRST DAY Here We Come!! :)

Welcome to the 2017-2018 school year.  We are looking forward to seeing you tomorrow!  Here are some important announcements:

  • Please see this document (Dismissal Exits 2017-2018-27ufdpc) for dismissal exits.
  • If you are bringing supplies, please make sure that the BAGS and SUPPLIES are labeled with your child’s full name and 3-digit class code.
  • Please make sure that all children in grades 1-5 know their class number.  You can quiz them on your way to school. 🙂
  • The building will open at 8:20 a.m. for indoor line-up and breakfast (for grades 1-5).  Please DO NOT drop off your children (or supplies) earlier than that, unless you paid for our early morning program through Maria Romero.
  • KINDERGARTEN STUDENTS: Tomorrow is a half day for kindergarten (9:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.).  Please try to come as close to 9:15 a.m. as possible.  Kindergarten students and their parents will ENTER THROUGH THE CUL-DE-SAC on 72nd AVENUE (on THURSDAY ONLY).  You will be led by staff to our front playground area, where you will line up by class number (011, 012, etc.).
  • 1st AND 2nd GRADE STUDENTS: Students in these grades will enter through our main entrance—by the lighted PS196 sign.  Staff will be there to help guide students to their rooms and to bring in any supplies.
  • 3rd, 4th and 5th GRADE STUDENTS: For Thursday ONLY, all upper grade students should enter through our OLD MAIN entrance—near where the cars are parked.  Staff will be there to help guide students to their rooms and to bring in any supplies.
  • PRE-K STUDENTS: You were emailed directions from Ms. Koatz. Please let her know if you did not receive the email (cjarrat@schools.nyc.gov).

Also, please see the following announcements from our After School Program Director, Maria Romero.  Remember, you must sign up for this service—www.afterschoolps196.com.  Any questions about these items should be directed to Maria at afterschoolps196@gmail.com.

  • New Parents: Afterschool Program Meeting Tomorrow, Thursday, Sept. 7th, 1:30 pm in the auditorium.
  •  First Day of Afterschool Program for Kindergarten is on Monday, Sept. 11th.  Please send a note to your child’s teacher to let them know that they will be going to after school, if you have signed up for this program.
  •  First Day of Afterschool Program for Grades 1 -5 is on Thursday, Sept. 7th.  Please send a note to your child’s teacher to let them know that they are going to after school, if you have signed up for this program.



Historical Grades & Attendance Available on NYC Schools Account

During her January Data-Tech meeting, Ms. Koatz, assistant principal, showed parents all the information that was available to them if they logged onto their child’s NYC Schools Account.

In addition to the current school year’s grades and attendance, historical attendance and last year’s grades are available to parents in NYC Schools Account (NYCSA) at mystudent.nyc.

• Parents now have the option of viewing current or past years’ data using the “Grades” and “Attendance” icons.
• For “Grades,” the “Past” data tab shows final report card grades for a student, across NYCDOE schools.
• For “Attendance,” the “Past” data tab shows the number of days a student was absent, the number of days he/she was late, and the student’s percentage of attendance for each year.

Here is an overview of NYC Schools Accounts (NYC Schools Account Overview) and an FAQ for parents (NYC Schools Account Parent FAQ).

If you need help creating an account, please contact Ms. Koatz (cjarrat@schools.nyc.gov) or Ms. Maurer, our parent coordinator (emaurer@schools.nyc.gov).


Week of December 5th is Hour of Code Week!!!


Our technology teacher, Ms. Phillips, is so excited to be holding our Hour of Code classes all next week!  The Hour of Code is a global movement reaching tens of millions of students in 180+ countries.   We will explore Code.org and students will get to solve challenges featuring familiar digital characters such as Angry Birds, characters from Star Wars and Frozen, Minecraft and new this year, Moana! Solving these challenges introduces and provides practice using skills such as sequencing, conditional statements, debugging and more.   If you want to join your child by participating just go to Code.org and select a challenge.  You might find you love programming too!


Data-Tech Meeting re 2017 New York State Exams

If you were not able to make it to Ms. Koatz’s Data-Tech meeting, we have attached the PowerPoint here (ela-math-parent-workshop-november-2016).

Here are some of the key points from the presentation:

  • The dates for the 2017 New York State ELA (English Language Arts) exams are: March 28, 29 and 30
  • The dates for the 2017 New York State math exams are: May 2, 3 and 4
  • Exams are for all students in grades 3, 4 and 5
  • Exams will be similar to those from 2016, so that they can be compared
  • Exams will be untimed (although it is expected that most students will complete each exam within 60-90 minutes, depending on the day and their grade)
  • Parents should know that their children are being well prepared for the exams by their classroom teachers

As always, if you have questions about testing, or the Common Core, please feel free to reach out to Ms. Koatz, assistant principal, at 718-263-9770, ext. 1240 or cjarrat@schools.nyc.gov.


September Data-Tech Meeting–Looking at the PS196Q 2016 Exam Results

If you were not able to make the Data-Tech workshop this evening, you can see Ms. Koatz’s PowerPoint presentation by clicking here (2016-nys-exam-results-parent-workshop).

The bottom line was that we are well about the City and State averages in both ELA and Math.  82.70% of our students met or exceeded standards in ELA–a whopping 9.6% increase over 2015.  Our percentage for math was 83.80%, a slight dip of 2.1% compared to 2015.

Ms. Koatz will be leading other Data-Tech workshops about 2017 State testing for families of children in testing grades.


Celebrating “Dads Take Your Child to School” Day!

We had a wonderful time this morning welcoming our fathers to school for “Dads Take Your Child to School Day.”  Our students’ fathers, and father figures, were greeted with warm smiles and some paparazzi, led by Mrs. Paz and Parents Association co-president, Stephanie Cooper.  After they posed, they could pick up a healthy snack, thanks to parent coordinator, Ellen Maurer.

We are lucky that our children are brought to school every day by loving parents and guardians.  Today offered a special opportunity to celebrate the fathers among them.


2016-2017 Supply Lists

You can get ready for the new year by having all of your materials ready! If you want to order them through our Parents Association, the deadline is July 12th.  Please go to this link to sign up: http://www.schoolpak.com/catalog/grand-central-parkway

If you missed that deadline, or would rather buy your own materials, here are the lists for the 2016-2017 school year.

Kindergarten Supply List 2016-17

1st Grade Supply List 2016-17

2nd Grade Supply List 2016-17

3rd Grade Supply List 2016-17

4th Grade Supply List 2016-17

5th Grade Supplies 2016-17




Changes in New York State Testing

As Ms. Koatz mentioned during her Data-Tech meetings, New York State has made (and is making) some changes to the exams your children will be taking in April.  Please see these letters from the New York City Department of Education, regarding those changes. (20160129Grade38TestChangesFlyerforParentsArabic 20160129Grade38TestChangesFlyerforParentsBengali 20160129Grade38TestChangesFlyerforParentsHaitian(1) 20160129Grade38TestChangesFlyerforParentsFrench(1) 20160129Grade38TestChangesFlyerforParentsChineseTraditional 20160129Grade38TestChangesFlyerforParentsFrench 20160129Grade38TestChangesFlyerforParentsHaitian changes2016grades3-8ela-math-tests).

This is what has changed:

  • They have decreased the number of questions.
  • Tests are now untimed.
  • There is, and will be, greater teacher involvement in creating and reviewing exams.
  • They chose a new test vendor—Questar Assessment.

Since the tests are now untimed, we will be starting all students first thing in the morning.  So it is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT that your children arrive at school early on testing days.

  • On Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, classes start at 8:50 a.m.—drop off by 8:40 a.m.
  • On Fridays, classes start at 8:00 a.m.—drop off by 7:45 a.m.

With your help, the morning will run smoothly and all children will be able to begin testing on time.

Even though tests are untimed, students must finish their exams by the end of the school day.  If they are still working productively (no more than 15 minutes without working), and it is close to lunch, students will be allowed to eat their lunch in a testing room.  Their exams will be given back to them after they finish.Here are the dates for the New York State Exams:

English Language Arts (ELA) Exams

Tuesday, April 5th

Wednesday, April 6th

Thursday, April 7th

Make-ups: April 8th, 11th and 12th

Mathematics Exams

Wednesday, April 13th

Thursday, April 14th

Friday, April 15th

Make-ups: April 18th, 19th and 20th


Eat Locally in NYC Public Schools on “New York Thursdays”!

From February 1st through April 22nd, all New York City public schools will be serving locally-sourced milk, dairy and produce to students every Thursday! Some of the New York State farms that are participating include: Crossbrook Farm, Walnut Ridge Dairy, Lamb Farms and Whittaker Farms. Students and parents can watch videos about New York Thursdays by going to www.milkvids.com or clicking on the QR code on the flier that was sent home. If our school reaches 100 video views, we will be entered to win a $5,000 “Build-A-Garden” kit for growing our own fruits and vegetables!


Free Software for Students!!

Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito announced a special partnership between New York City and Microsoft.

According to her press release: Students and families can now download Office 2016, Office for Mac 2016 and the Office 365 mobile apps available for Windows 10 tablets, iPhone, iPad and Android devices. All of these are part of Microsoft’s Office 365 Education offering and available to download from the website https://studentoffice.net/. There is no cost for up to five (5) downloads on personal computers, Windows or Mac, up to five (5) tablets and up to five (5) phones.

“We are committed to using technology as a tool to facilitate better instruction and engage students and families,” said Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña. “This exciting new initiative is going to help us do just that—I thank Speaker Mark-Viverito, the New York City Council, and Microsoft for their partnership.”

“Every student needs the proper tools to be successful in school,” said Council Member James Vacca, Chair of the Committee on Technology.  “We are long past the days where well-rounded computer skills were optional.  By providing free software to NYC school children, we are ensuring that every student will have the opportunity to become proficient in Word, Excel, PowerPoint and the rest of the Microsoft package.”

We are thrilled about this announcement, and encourage all our families to take advantage of this opportunity!