Sunset Park SchoolIssue 18Nov 2017
FROM THE PRINCIPAL’S DESK
As our children grow, they are learning who they are. One of our most important jobs, as educators and as parents, is to provide our children with opportunities to discover more about themselves, and set goals for their future selves.
Here at PS 169-Sunset Park School, we believe in preparing children for college and career, for both the learning and work opportunities that are available to them in the 21st century. Increasingly, college and work demands that students be adept at creative problem-solving in a range of contexts. As a result, we aim to provide as many of those opportunities at our school as we can.
In our classrooms, you’ll see students reading about, writing about, and discussing complex ideas. You’ll see them presented with multi-step math problems that require them not only to calculate accurately and efficiently, but come up with a solution to the problem and share their solution with their peers. All of this work builds their English language skills, their content knowledge, and helps them to learn to collaboratively approach new problems every day.
During the school day, we also believe in providing our students opportunities to explore their interests, including those in visual arts, music, drama, technology, science, and sports. Not only does this allow our students to be well-rounded individuals, a quality that’s highly valued at universities and in work places, but it provides them with even more opportunities to learn to be creative problem-solvers. In the arts, they make decisions about how to represent an idea visually or with music or on the stage. In technology, they may learn to code, which is, at its heart, a way to identify a solution to a problem. In Science, they are presented with a challenge, come up with a possible solution, and test out that solution.
Our after-school enrichment offerings also reflect our deep commitment to providing our students with opportunities to explore their many interests, as well as develop their academic and problem-solving skills. They can take Lego Robotics, building machines that meet a particular need. They can play the violin, learning a new language — music! They can take Architecture, where they’ll learning about design and civil engineering — and the math and literacy skills that go along with that. More than anything else, we want our students to grow into strong thinkers and creative problem-solvers. This is what’s valued in the universities and work places of today, and this is what we value at PS 169.
In our school, we are preparing children to one day influence powerful people to make our society better, and create innovations that will change the way we live. Therefore, we have to give them more than traditional worksheets where there is one right answer to every question; math tests where they give a numerical answer but don’t explain their thinking; or tests that only require students to memorize and recall information.
You are such an important part of this equation too. Talk to your children at home and ask them what they love learning about. Ask them what they hope to be when they grow up. Ask them how art, music, drama, and technology help them to grow as learners.
We know that our lives are so busy, but we invite you to come volunteer in our school any time you are able. We need each and every one of you. We have a Community Outreach Committee that’s part of our School Leadership Team, and we need your ideas! Come to our first meeting of the year next Tuesday, 10/31, from 3:10 to 3:40 pm in the SPS Library. We hope to see as many of you as possible there.
And if you have questions about our curriculum or our after-school programs, or what we value at PS 169-Sunset Park School, please come speak to me anytime. Thank you for all that you do to support your children as they grow into who they are meant to become.
SPS Grading Policy
Report Cards will be distributed on November 16th and Parent-Teacher Conferences will also be held on 11/16 from 12:30-2:30 pm and 4:30-7:30 pm.
Families should be familiar with the PS 169-Sunset Park School grading policy, which is as follows:
Report Card grades will be aligned to the Common Core learning standards and will be an assessment of student progress toward meeting the CCLS for the grade for the end of the year. Therefore,
- a "4" indicates that your child “excels in standards,” and has already exceeded the end-of-year standard;
- a "3" indicates that your child is "proficient," and has already met the end-of-year standard;
- a "2" indicates that your child is “below standards," has not yet met the end-of-year standard.
- a "1" indicates that your child is "well below standards" and may not be on track to meet the standard by the end of the year.
You should expect children to be moving toward meeting end-of-year standards ("2"), but you should not necessarily expect children to have met them yet ("3") . If your child receives mostly "2s," s/he may well be on track to meet standards by the end of the year.