Sunset Park SchoolIssue 21Feb 2018
FROM THE PRINCIPAL’S DESK
This month, we celebrate the Lunar New Year. Between my Korean culture and my husband’s Chinese culture, this is a very busy time of the year for us. One tradition I always enjoyed from my husband’s side is the telling of the traditional story, Nian. I thought I’d share with you my version, as I told it to my first grade students more than 10 years ago!
A long long time ago, there lived a monster named, Nian. On the first day of every year, the monster would come out of the ocean to scare the people in the village. The villagers grew more and more scared as their children began to disappear. One year, an old man visiting the village asked, “Why do you fear this creature such? You are many and he is but one. Surely he could not swallow all of you.” The villagers were scared and asked the man to save them. For nights, the old man stood between the ocean and the village to protect them. But eventually the old man had to leave. He said, "I cannot protect you forever.” The villagers were terrified and asked, please teach us how to protect ourselves. The old man replied,” The monster is easily scared. He does not like the color red. He fears loud noises and strange creatures. So tonight, spread red across the village. Hang red signs on every door. Make loud noises with drums, music, and fireworks. And to protect your children, give them face masks and lanterns to protect them.” The villagers did as the old man instructed and Nian never returned again.
We will be celebrating the Year of the Dog with a special community event on Friday, February 9th at 6 pm. The Manhattan-based lion dance company, Wan Chi Ming Hung Gar Institute, will be performing. Everyone is welcome, and I hope that you’ll join us!
February 13th is our 100th day in school. For elementary school students, counting from 1-100 is a milestone. For our students in Transitional Bilingual or Dual Language, that means also counting in Spanish or in Chinese. One hundred is significant in many ways. It is the square of 10, a new column in the place value, the basis of percentages, sum of the first nine prime numbers (3 + 97, 11 + 89, 17 + 83, 29 + 71, 41 + 59, and 47 + 53) and it’s also the number of years in a century and the number of yards in an American football field. I could go on forever! Take advantage of this special day and count something, anything, to 100 with your child!
Teachers are identifying students who are at risk of not meeting promotional standards by the end of the year. If your child has been identified as “Promotion-in-doubt,” you will receive a letter this month. This letter does not mean that your child will not be promoted at the end of the school year, only that s/he needs additional support to meet the promotional standards for the grade. Teachers will be putting in place additional support for identified students. If you have any questions about this, feel free to contact your child’s teacher or the Assistant Principal who supervises your child’s grade.
Our teachers are continuing to be learners themselves. These are some highlights of their work from the last month:
- Dual language teachers are focusing on their room environments. In order to promote language immersion, their classrooms are divided in half, one side is the target language (either Spanish or Chinese) and the other side is the English side.
- Our math coaches joined the citywide group, The Math Collective, to gain a deeper understanding of math curricula across the city.
Students Meet Published Authors at SPS! On January 25th, our third graders were wowed by Johan Olander, local Monstrologist! Olander is author of the very popular A Field Guide to Monsters and A Field Guide to Aliens, as well as My Robots. Students were inspired by his creativity — in his books, he makes up his own monsters and aliens and explains where they can be found, what they like to eat, and more. After having the chance to meet Olander, many of our students were eager to create their own field guides.