Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Librarian update, movie night, and baseball game

At last week's P.T.O. meeting, Principal D'Avilar stated that interviews for the librarian position would start after the coming break. P.S. 9 and M.S. 571 will split the cost of the librarian, she said.

In other plans, the P.T.O.'s executive board decided to revive a Friday Movie Night. Movie nights were held twice last year.

Also being discussed: scheduling a P.S. 9 Family Night during a Brooklyn Cyclones game.

Schoolyard design unveiled

At last week's P.T.O. meeting, Andrea from Out2Play presented the organization's design for the new schoolyard:

Looking counterclockwise, from bottom left, the design includes 70 feet of new playground equipment (the white rectangle); painted blacktop games, trees, and chess tables; a track and 3 tennis courts; play equipment accessible to those with physical disabilities, including a basketball "drop shot"; an enhanced handball court; and a basketball court. A copy of the design with complete labeling is visible in the school lobby, beside the auditorium.

Andrea remarked that our schoolyard has more available space than most other schools, which allowed for an expansive design. The plan first took shape on October 26th, when a meeting was held with school leaders and community members. From that meeting, Out2Play created 3 design proposals. At a later meeting, these 3 designs were edited into the final proposed plan for the school yard.

The playground area will include new benches. The surface of the playground will be painted various colors; Out2Play estimates that the paint will last 10 to 12 years. Out2Play expects this construction phase of the project to take six to eight weeks. However, it cannot start until the reconstruction of the surface and drainage systems is completed. -Kirby Pulver

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Will P.S. 9's building have only K-5 students?

And will it belong only to P.S. 9? Both possibilities came one step closer to reality this week. The Department of Education announced that it is closing our upstairs neighbor at 80 Underhill Ave, M.S. 571. Under the plan, the 170-student middle school will phase out operations over the next 3 years.

At Tuesday night’s P.T.O. meeting, Principal D’Avilar asked parents to share any ideas and wishes that they have for the space. P.S. 9's school leadership team, for example, is exploring whether it might launch a dual-language program that could move into the space. The principal promised to discuss the M.S. 571 situation with parents at a breakfast, still to be scheduled.

Any plans will need to be developed fast. D. O. E. expects that "replacement schools will begin growing in the building starting next September." Officials told Councilwoman Letitia James that it may move a charter school into the second-floor space. More detailed plans may be announced tomorrow morning, according to a report in Prospect Heights Patch. Other news coverage of the announcement is here, here, here, and here.

The closure decision still can be reversed. On Wednesday evening, Councilwoman James and State Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries held a community meeting in the auditorium. These officials pledged to overturn the D.O.E.'s plan. Next month, the D.O.E. will hold a public hearing. D.O.E.'s Panel on Educational Policy will hold a final vote on the closure proposal in early February.

Before then, you may tell the D.O.E. your views by phoning 212-374-0208 or emailing
-Kirby Pulver and Matt Fleischer-Black

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Online donations are now possible—fundraising push underway!

"P.S. 9 seems to be aiming high" concluded the Metro newspaper in last weekend's Best of New York capsule review of family life in Prospect Heights.

Yes we are! But that means the P.T.O.'s fundraising needs to aim high—tens of thousands of dollars high. And so we've launched online donation by credit card. Several reasons exist for you and your family to give to the P.T.O.:
  • Budget cuts over several years has led to staff cuts.
  • The school needs a librarian for our new library.
  • Arts programs still need to be funded.
  • Every grade needs to upgrade its classroom technology.
  • The P.T.O.'s new status as a non-profit carries a few new costs.
  • P.S. 9's neighborhood, school leaders, and high parent involvement give it a good chance to become one of Brooklyn's standout schools.
If you have the means, consider being one of 5 donors to give $5000 or more. Or one of 10 donors to give $2000. Or one of 25 donors to give at least $1000. Once the P.T.O. raises $60,000—$100 per student—to pay for P.S. 9's core supplies and programs, the principal can hire another staff member—a librarian or an art teacher, say. No amount is too small, and all donations are appreciated and tax-deductible.

Please ask your extended families and network of friends to help make P.S. 9 one of the jewels in Prospect Heights, and in the New York City school system. Every property owner in Prospect Heights has an interest in P.S. 9 flourishing. Grandparents can help their grandchildren's school soar to new heights of excellence.

To donate by check or money order, please make checks payable to P.S. 9 P.T.O. and send to:
P.S. 9 P.T.O. c/o P.S. 9, 80 Underhill Avenue, Brooklyn, N.Y. 11238.

To donate online, visit this URL:

If you want help completing your donation, please don't be shy—call or email:
718-638-3260 x1320

To find the Metro mention, search for "PS 9," in "Best overlooked neighborhood to raise a family."

Calling all parents: PTO meeting tonight

PLEASE JOIN US TONIGHT, at 6:30 PM in the PS9 Teacher Lounge (enter from Underhill Ave., turn left at front office). We invite and encourage all P.S. 9 parents to attend. Please note that CHILD CARE WILL BE PROVIDED. Discussion topics will include:

•Updates on the Budget
•Updates from the Title I Committee and P.T.O. subcommittees
•Reports from the Principal and Parent Coordinator
•Details of upcoming fundraisers
•Opportunities to get involved

Hope to see you!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Math night=fun evening for all grades

Last Tuesday, on November 30, P.S. 9 threw a math party in the gym from 6-8 p.m. The host was Ms. Cheryl Sealey, math coach; the food spread was cheese, crackers, veggie stix, and juice; and the mood was convivial. Several teachers each presided over a table. Ms. Nelson, for instance, oversaw matching and memory games for the youngest students. Ms. McCrea ran a raucous game of Bingo. Ms. Diop supervised the fourth and fifth graders who tackled a complicated math challenge. Other teachers included Ms. Chong and Ms. Hernandez. Some parents, meanwhile, oversaw tries at guessing the amount of candy in two jars (the smaller one was for pre-K to 1st grade).
The crowd of students and family members numbered around seventy, with all grades represented. The children circulated fairly calmly around the tables, not running around and careening into the padded walls and each other, as they do at some events. Many stopped at the Sorry! game table for pop-o-matic bubble action, then moved to the prize table. There, they redeemed tickets they had won, taking home trinkets like pens and skateboard keychains. On the way out, attendees found door prizes: more math games, along with pencils to make up some of their own.
—Maria McGrath
Top: Analyzing bingo positions. Bottom: Taking measure of many pieces of candy.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Cruise fundraiser sets sail on December 11

Tickets are now on sale for P.S. 9's magical December fun-raiser—the Harbor Cruise. Last year's event ended up a huge playdate on water. On a dazzlingly sunny winter morning, kids danced, played and soaked up the sights of the city. This year the cruise will be a twilight tour on the Zephyr, taking in the Statue of Liberty and the Brooklyn Bridge. The ride will include entertainment, snacks, and the chance to win a giant teddy bear. (Bring a new toy to donate to Toys-for-Tots and your child's name will go into a draw for the prize.)

Last year the event sold out with 450 people on board, and raised over $3,000 for the school. P.S. 9 parents Fiona and Travis Noyes organized the event. Travis's company, New York Water Taxi/Circle Line Downtown, donates the use of the Zephyr, a yacht.

Tickets cost $10 per person. Please buy your tickets soon, before they run out. You may return payment in the envelope that teachers backpacked home last week (look for a pink flier), or order tickets from parent coordinator Charmaine Derrell-Jacobs (cderrell AT; Room 112; 718 638 3260 x1121). Please dress warmly—the boat will be toasty inside, but many find it hard to resist a ride on the outdoor decks. Guests must be at the pier by 4.45 p.m., as the boat leaves promptly at 5 p.m.
-Kirsten Denker
Photos courtesy Portia Fong and Circle Line Downtown

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Gobble, gobble! (Yum!)

Last Tuesday, Nov. 23, P.S. 9’s hallways were transformed into festive dining halls for the school’s annual Multicultural Luncheon. The event ensures that each child at P.S. 9 has the chance to enjoy a festive meal that celebrates the many ethnicities present in our school. It has been held every year since Principal D’Avilar began her tenure as P.S. 9's principal.

Many classes created and displayed decorations for the event, including Thanksgiving-themed hats and painted banners. By midday, the halls bustled with excited students and grownups filling their plates with delectable dishes of international origins, home-made holiday treats, and traditional Thanksgiving fare. Many parents turned out to help set up tables and buffet stations, serve the food and, of course, help teachers clean up.

Thanks to everyone who was able to contribute time or food to class celebrations. Thanks also to all the teachers for their efforts in making the event a success. -Michelle French

Friday, November 19, 2010

Calling volunteers and specialists

The committees of the PTO have a variety of exciting projects underway, and with that comes requests for help from parents: to write thank you notes, to distribute publicity fliers, to help with school tours. Specialists are also needed: lawyers and accountants to answer questions, web developers who have experience building websites. Details on eight opportunities:

-The school leadership team seeks volunteers to help write thank you notes to silent auction contributors. Please contact Carol Sheldrake-Hernandez, at Carolsheldrake AT

-The Lunch Room committee is looking for ideas for activities that students can do in the auditorium when they are unable to go outside to the playground. Please contact Tara Rullo, at tararullo AT

-The PTO executive board seeks lawyers and accountants who can volunteer time to help with legal and bookkeeping questions. (As a new 501c3 organization, the P.T.O. faces many such questions.) Please contact Penelope Mahot, at penelopemahot AT gmail dot com.

-The Fundraising committee seeks volunteers to sell tickets to the the holiday cruise fundraiser on December 11. Please contact Fiona Noyes, at Fionat2 AT

-The Communications committee is seeking people to help create and distribute fliers and posters to publicize PTO and school events. This project is good for all sorts of people: hands-on folks; managers who make sure work gets done; organizers who can convince people to volunteer; writers; graphic designers; photographers. The committee also seeks people with experience building websites with Apache or the Wordpress, Blogger, Google Apps or Drupal platforms. Please contact Matt Fleischer-Black, at fbhouse AT

-The Grant Committee is looking for names of any contacts at companies that the committee could approach to obtain tax-deductible funds for the school. Contact Ivana Espinet, at

--PS9 Open Houses: Ms. Charmaine Derrell-Jacob, the parent coordinator, would like parent volunteers to "shadow" upcoming tours so that they will be able to take small groups of new families through the school and answer questions. Please contact

--Wellness Committee: Members of the Park Slope Food Co-op can get work credit by participating in the Wellness Committee. Contact Jen Chapin, jen AT for details.

-Kirby Pulver

Committee Spotlight: Grant Writing

The Grant Writing Committee of the P.T.O. first met a couple weeks ago. For researching grants, it formed working groups to focus on three areas: art and music; technology (with a focus on providing computers for the lower grades) and equipment for students with special needs. A fourth group is researching corporations to approach for tax-deductible donations. As part of this, the committee is preparing a file with the school information that funders most commonly request.

"If any parents have expertise in any of these areas, we would love their help. If they feel that their time is too limited, they can just be readers for the grants and offer feedback," says Ivana Espinet, the chair of the committee. "For the research on approaching corporations, if anyone has any connections to companies that we can contact, it would be great if they let us know." Ivana can be reached at ivanaespinet AT

On Monday Nov. 15, the committee applied for a grant to acquire a salad bar for the school, which it prepared together with the Wellness Committee. Ivana welcomes collaborations of this sort. She asks that anyone who wants to pursue a specific grant, or believes that the school should, to please contact her.

The committee's next meeting will be in January.

-Christine Scanlon and Matt Fleischer-Black

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Silent Auction Raises $18K+

Heartfelt thanks to all the businesses, organizations, and individuals who donated food, drink, entertainment, and auction items to October 22nd's Silent Auction to Save the Arts at PS 9. Miriam Alexandra Milord of donated the delicious chocolate cake pictured here. The musical menu opened with the First Street Quintet, featuring P.S. 9 parent and French horn player Gretel Smith. The jazz band 9 to 5 followed. Upwards of $18,500 has been raised to date. Final figures will be available once all the highest bidders have claimed their prizes, which they can do by seeing Charmaine Derrell-Jacobs in Room 112. Monies raised will go toward paying for arts programs run by such partners as Studio in a School, the Guggenheim Museum, and the Ailey Dance Kids Program. Congratulations to the School Leadership Team on pulling together this festive fundraiser at Prospect Park's Picnic House for the third year in a row.
--Karen S Fein

Monday, November 15, 2010

WCBS report on P.S. 9 library

Earlier today, Channel 2 WCBS-TV broadcast a 1-minute-56-second report about P.S. 9's (and M.S. 571's) new library. The story focused on the current lack of a librarian to staff it. WCBS included comments on the situation from the principal, from a D.O.E. representative, and from the library steering committee's chairwoman Rebecca Shulman Herz:

“It’s tragic that the schools can put this much effort into something that's clearly endorsed by the City and still not have the funds to open it up to the students properly,” said parent Rebecca Schulman[sic] Herz.

Parents said they’ve worked too hard to let this book hive go unused. The school’s principal was trying to find the money for a part-time librarian and then volunteers would round out the edges. “I have a little plan. That’s all I can do, get a little action plan in place and try to get someone in for our youngsters,” said principal Sandra D’Avilar.

Until then, the book hive is a bare hive.

The Department of Education had planned to hire a librarian when the school first began building the new library, but have since implemented a hiring freeze. The DOE said they should fill the position soon because enrollment at P.S. 9 will increase this year, allowing them a larger budget.

The D.O.E. statement about filling the position refers to the money that travels to a school for each student it enrolls. Rising enrollment will bring P.S. 9 $200,000 beyond its original budget, Principal D'Avilar said at the P.T.O. meeting on October 12. But that may not help the school get a librarian—that evening, she added that she already had committed that money to hiring another 5th grade teacher, special needs aides, and upgrading technology for the building.

Might P.S. 9 find volunteer retired librarians, or library students, to run the library this year? The obstacle is that D.O.E. requires any library with a DESTINY electronic checkout system to use a certified school librarian, in case the librarian sees a student's electronic records. Using a paper-only checkout system is probably just a theoretical solution, as it would require lots of volunteer labor to run.

We'll let parents know if there's anything they can do to help, beyond fundraising enough to free up funds for a librarian. (That's around $50,000.)

For anyone who's not yet seen the attractive new space, the WCBS report does include a few brief glimpses. But better to stop by yourself at Wednesday evening's open house, 5-8 p.m.

More coverage here at The Brooklyn Paper website and here at The Local blog of the New York Times.

-Matt Fleischer-Black and Christine Scanlon

Sunday, November 14, 2010

School year’s first house concert raises $600—parents experience a lovely night out

On Saturday night, some P.S. 9 parents launched a series of house concerts in impressive fashion—entertaining a full room while raising over $600 for the school. Professional musicians Stephan Crump and Jen Chapin (parents of kindergarten student Maceo) host the benefit shows. Each event consists of drinks, dinner, dessert and two sets of music: one by the organizers’ group, The Jen Chapin Trio, and another act that features a P.S. 9 parent.

Saturday night’s concert showed that these gatherings can be a delightful chance to talk with other community members and enjoy wonderful and revelatory music. The Jen Chapin Trio started the night with their acclaimed mix of jazz and folk music, highlighted by powerful songs inspired by Jen’s and Stephan's children. The audience enjoyed a brief break for dessert and refills of wine (much of it donated by Fermented Grapes on Vanderbilt Ave.). Then P.S. 9 parent/guitarist John Cab├ín and his group Brother Hijinx played a funky mix of original songs and covers—a standout being their rendition of William DeVaughn's “Be Thankful for What You Got,” which spurred an audience clap-along.

At every event, childcare is available, making it simple for parents to attend. The children are fed dinner and spend time doing activities with their schoolmates at Jen's brother's apartment in the same building.

The night demonstrated that P.S. 9 has some very talented parents—and that a vibrant community surrounds the school.

Remaining dates: Saturday, January 15th 2011, featuring the Jen Chapin Trio and Pyeng Threadgill......Saturday, March 5th, 2011, featuring the Jen Chapin Trio and Candice Anitra......Saturday, May 14th, 2011, featuring the Jen Chapin Trio and Andy Friedman (to be confirmed)

Tickets are $60 per couple and $35 for individuals, available at Brown Paper Tickets. A sell-out will raise approximately $700 for the school. —Kirby Pulver

Friday, November 12, 2010

Catch the buzz: the Book Hive is open!

Students sitting in the newly opened Book Hive.
At the Book Hive ribbon cutting this morning (L-r): Borough President Marty Markowitz, Principal D'Avilar, Councilwoman Leticia James, M.S. 571 Principal Santosha Troutman. (Photos: Faye Rimalovski)

After lying dormant for a couple of decades, P.S. 9’s new library is open! This morning, the building’s second floor was abuzz with a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the rebirth of the library as the Book Hive. Principal D’Avilar opened the proceedings, saying: “Dreams do come true—all you need is determination, dedication, passion, resourcefulness, and love.” Behind her, the room's hexagonal benches and orange tables (resembling a honeycomb’s cells) were lit up by 60 feet of windows. Surrounding the principal was a student delegation that included 2 representatives from every P.S. 9 class.

City councilwoman Letitia James and Brooklyn borough president Marty Markowitz funded the half-million dollar, four-year project. In homage to the many volunteers who devoted countless hours, Ms. James read the opening paragraphs of the children’s classic, The Velveteen Rabbit, in which an abandoned stuffed rabbit becomes real: "When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real." Mr. Markowitz encouraged students to enjoy the turning of a book’s pages and the smell of a volume’s spine. First grader Zoe Maidman, fifth grader Selah Alexander and two students from M.S. 571 each cut a yellow ribbon stretched between bookcases. Then Principal D’Avilar gave Kiki Dennis, a P.S. 9 parent and interior designer, a crystal plaque for designing the library and overseeing its construction.

The entire community is invited to visit the library at an Open House on Wednesday, November 17, from 5 to 8 pm. Refreshments will be served and attendees encouraged to leave tax-deductible donations in a library-fund box. (Please come see it. And please bring your checkbooks!) A full-time librarian has not yet been hired, due to lack of funds. For now, retired librarian Dottie Schwartz will help run the library as a volunteer two days a week. Ms. D’Avilar hopes to hire a part-time librarian for the remaining three days.

–Karen Fein

Check out before and after photos of the library's space at the Book Hive website. News 12 broadcast a story, "State of the art library without librarian" (Cablevision subscription required). Below are pictures of today's program:

Sunday, November 7, 2010

The Book Hive (in words)

From The Book Hive Fact Sheet, by the Book Hive Steering Committee, chaired by Rebecca Herz:

Schools served:
PS 9 and MS 571

Number of students served:

Square footage:
2,150 feet

Current number of volumes:

Planned eventual number of volumes:

Current technology (purchased):
• DESTINY Automation System
• Follett Panther Barcode scanner
• 9 desk top computers
• White board with integrative Mimio functionality
• Assistive Technologies -- word processing and communication device work stations and charge carts, headphones
• 2 printers/copiers
• Document projector
• Mobile projector
• Poster maker
• Laminating machine

Additional planned eventual technology:
• 36 laptops on laptop cart with charger
• 2 printers/copiers
• 50” flatscreen TV

Introducing P.S. 9's Library: The Book Hive

Come one, come all, and see P.S. 9's new library on the afternoon of November 17. Refreshments will be served. Then: look at the new books! Enjoy its sleek and fabulous design! See the results of much hard work by parents! Enjoy this landmark moment in the life of our school! And get ready to return. A Chinese saying: "To read a book for the first time is to make an acquaintance with a new friend; to read it for a second time is to meet an old one."*
*Alas, we couldn't look in a book to verify the origin of this saying.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Parents can help at Friday's celebration

The administration and P.T.O. would be grateful for parent volunteers to help with the Hispanic Heritage Day performances on Friday. Parents are needed starting at 9 a.m. to set up for the event, which begins at noon; you may help for as long as you can. Parents may also bring food or drink to share after the event—ideally a Hispanic dish. Starting at 11:45, parents can help usher and otherwise make sure students are where they are supposed to be.

To help, please contact Ms. Hernandez (the Spanish teacher) at school, or P.T.O. hospitality coordinator Maria McGrath at 718-783-2268 or mariaw AT

Students in Pre-K, K, 1st grade and some of 2nd grade will perform (singing and dancing, primarily). To know what time your child will perform, look for an email from parent coordinator Charmaine Derrell-Jacob with the event program. -Kirby Pulver and Christine Scanlon

Online payment for lunch?

Not yet. At tonight's P.T.O. meeting, Ms. D'Avilar was alerted to the existence of, an online-payment system used at P.S. 321 in Park Slope. She pledged to consider it.

For the time being, here's how lunch money works at P.S. 9: Students may bring cash or a check in an envelope with their name, their teacher's name and their class number. The child gives that to the teacher in the morning. The teacher will then give collected funds to a school aide, who will assign the money to the student's name. Students may pay daily, weekly or monthly. For the time being, students may not "bank" meals in advance, drawing on their account only on those days they want to opt to buy.

Parents should receive a receipt for lunch money the day following payment. -Kirby Pulver

Today's flood—will the chancellor help?

Hours after the lower-floor classrooms of P.S. 9 were flooded with inches of water, Ms. D'Avilar spoke about the situation at tonight's P.T.O. meeting. Flooding has been a problem since she arrived at the school 7 years ago, she said, but called today's deluge the worst that she has seen here. Water came into every door of the school's courtyard, she said. Also:

•Flooding is caused partly by wrongly installed pipes that send water toward the school instead of away from it. These faulty pipes are both under Underhill Ave. and in the playground.

•A cleanup crew tonight is cleaning, disinfecting and testing the air in the affected classrooms. Principal D'Avilar will receive a report Wednesday morning around 6:30 a.m., and decide on next steps, including where to locate classes for the day. She will send out an email blast to parents about the situation in the a.m. after reviewing the report. Parents will also be able to read the report in the main office, the principal said.

•The new playground plans did not include fixing the faulty-pipes problem. Principal D'Avilar believes that news coverage and the thousands of dollars worth of damage has caught Chancellor Klein's attention. She interprets the quick arrival of the cleanup crew as a positive sign, and has indications that the DOE will pay for the replacement of rugs and tiles (but probably not books). Has the flood made enough of an impression that the School Construction Authority will revise the playground plans? And will the Chancellor protect the school's budget from bearing the costs of the flood? Not clear at the moment. -Kirby Pulver and Christine Scanlon

Monday, October 11, 2010

Calling all PS 9 Parents: PTO meeting Tuesday night

6:30 PM in the PS9 Teacher Lounge (Enter on Underhill Ave)

The PS9 Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) -- formerly known as the PS9 PTA --
invites and encourages all PS9 parents to attend its monthly meeting tomorrow,
Tuesday, October 12 at 6:30 pm. Please note that CHILD CARE WILL BE PROVIDED!

Come hear about the wide range of initiatives and events planned for the fall --
and learn how you and your family can participate in the strengthening of our
school community. We want to hear your voices, answer your questions, and
engage your support.

Why should you attend? This is your chance to:

-- Hear directly from Principal D'Avilar
-- Learn about upcoming PS9 events and how to help out
-- Get involved in your child's education (e.g., Family Reading and Math
Buddies, Class Parents)
-- Find out how to support PS9's fundraising initiatives
-- Meet other PS9 parents and families

We need your help to make PS9 events and fundraisers successful -- there are
opportunities to volunteer at all levels; if you have an hour to give, or a
special skill to contribute, please let us know!

UPCOMING EVENTS (volunteers needed for all):
* Hispanic Heritage Festival (Friday, Oct 15th)
* Open House Tour (Friday, Oct 15th)
* Silent Auction (Friday, Oct 22nd)
* Character Parade (Friday, Oct 29th)
* Fall Candy Sale
* Election Day Bake Sale (Tuesday, Nov 2nd)
* Picture Day (Monday, Nov 8th and Mon, Nov 15th)

Please note that parents are welcome to stay for the PTO Fundraising
Subcommittee Meeting immediately following the PTO meeting.

We hope to see you tomorrow night. Remember -- child care will be provided!

In partnership,
Your PS9 PTO
Be sure to check out the revived PS9 PTO Blog:
Get PS9 News Online:
PS. If you are unable to attend but would like to help, please contact ps9pto AT, or one of the following committee heads:
Communications Karen Fein Karen.Fein AT
Fundraising Fiona Noyes Fionat2 AT
Carol Sheldrake-Hernandez
Carolsheldrake AT
Hospitality Maria McGrath (718-783-2268) mariaw AT
Lunchroom Tara Rullo tararullo AT
Library Kiki Dennis kiki AT
Wellness Jen Chapin jen AT
Grant Writing Ivana Espinet ivanaespinet AT
The Phone Tree committee is still being organized. For now, please contact: Faye Rimalovski, fayerimalovski AT

Thursday, October 7, 2010


10/5/2010: Grade 5 Parent Meeting 5:30pm

10/5/2010: Curriculum Night 6-8pm

10/6/2010: PTO Candy Sale Kick-Off Assembly 12:30pm

10/4/2010: Silent Auction On-line Bidding Begins

10/8/2010: Family Reading & Math Buddies Opening Meeting 8:45am

10/8/2010: Silent Auction Ticket Pre-Sale Ends

10/11/2010: Columbus Day Observed - School Closed

10/12/2010: PTO & Title I Meeting 6:30pm

10/12/2010: Gifted & Talented Application Begins

10/13/2010: Silent Auction Scooter & Helmet Lottery Drawing

10/14/2010: District 13 Middle School Fair @ MS 113 300 Adelphi Street

10/15/2010: Early Childhood Open House 9:00am

10/15/2010: Hispanic Heritage Celebration

10/18/2010: School Leadership Team Meeting 4:00pm

10/21/2010: Class Parent Meeting 9am

10/21/2010: Safety Meeting 9:30am

10/22/2010: Silent Auction at Prospect Park's Picnic House 6pm

10/26/2010: Special Needs Parent Orientation 9am

10/29/2010: Literacy Parade and Harvest Festival

10/29/2010: Candy Sale Monies Due


Please enjoy the full interview of Ms. Johnston by pre-k student Genevieve Snyder. Look for more interviews and grade level highlights in upcoming issues of the PTO newsletter, YOUR 9 NEWS.

Genevieve: Are you excited about your birthday?

Ms. Johnston: Yes, my birthday is in July, and I usually have a swimming party.

Genevieve: Are you a queen?

Ms. Johnston: No, I’m a teacher!

Genevieve: What are you going to be for Halloween?

Ms. Johnston: Well, last year I was Stellaluna. I haven’t made up my mind yet for this year. But can I tell you about what I usually do for Halloween? I fly home to Minnesota, where all the houses are so far apart that you can’t walk from house to house to trick or treat. So we hook up a wagon to a tractor, and we put hay in the wagon, and we sit on the wagon and we pull up the wagon to each house to go trick or treating!

Genevieve: Do you have a princess costume?

Ms. Johnston: No.

Genevieve: Do you have an Ariel costume?

Ms. Johnston: No, but my 5-year old niece just got one.

Genevieve: Do you like to jump rope?

Ms. Johnston: Yes, if it’s outside. I love to do anything outside. I like doing things like climbing trees, going on hikes, sledding, and having snowball fights.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The P.T.O. Starts Blogging Again

The P.S. 9 P.T.O. communications committee is resuming blogging. As P.S. 9 is a dynamic community with a growing student population, watch for a few posts a week. This will include news about events, parent volunteer opportunities, teaching and learning at P.S. 9., fundraising, and general school information.

If you have questions or suggestions, or would like to help the P.T.O. communications committee, please contact us at tararullo AT

Art classes, 2010-2011

Last night, Ms. D'Avilar also mentioned this year's plan for art teaching: Studio in a School will work with Grades K-2 and Grade 5. Guggenheim Museum's educators will instruct our 3rd and 4th graders. The front hallway can fill up with a fresh round of beautiful student creations!

We will update this post once we find out when the classes will start, how frequently they will occur, and how parents might help.
-Kirby Pulver and Matt Fleischer-Black

Ms. D'Avilar's 3 goals for 2010-2011

Principal D'Avilar spoke last night in the auditorium during the scheduled Curriculum Night. She highlighted her three goals for the year:

1. Continuation of the school-wide enrichment program.
2. Staffing and opening the library by the middle of November 2010.
3. To increase parent involvement by 100 percent.

What parents can do to meet these goals:

1. ENRICHMENT: The administration will soon send out a link and ID for a website that offers a Renzulli assessment of each student's interests and learning style. (Want a sense? Look here.) You may also volunteer to help with Friday enrichment classes. To learn more about the enrichment program, read the bulletin board in the hallway to the right of the main office.
2. LIBRARY: Volunteer for the PTO's library committee.
(Send email to: kiki AT
3. INVOLVEMENT: Get involved, of course!
-Kirby Pulver