Community & School News November 2015

Important School Dates
November 3 – Election Day (schools closed)
November 11 – Veteran’s Day (schools closed)
November 27-28 – Thanksgiving Vacation (schools closed)

Parent Teacher Conferences
November 4 & 5 – Elementary Schools
November 9 & 10 – D75 Schools
November 17 & 18 – Middle Schools
November 19 & 20 – High Schools
As you head to this month’s Parent Teacher Conferences, take some time to prepare by meeting first with your child to get a heads-up on any potential problem they might be having in the classroom. Ask if there are any missing homework assignments or any upcoming projects they should be working on, or any other classroom issues you should be aware of. Take note of how long it takes your child to complete homework assignments so you can discuss with the teacher if they are on target with their time management skills. Do they need a lot of help with their work? If your child is struggling, consider their seat assignment in the classroom. Are they distracted by certain other students, traffic near their desk, proximity to windows, or use of technology? Now is the time to ask for a change or for advice on how to help them succeed this school year.

Kindergarten Applications
If your child was born in 2011, you’ll need to start thinking about kindergarten A.S.A.P. The kindergarten application process will begin one month sooner than previous years. The new application period will be from December 7, 2015 to January 15, 2016. The application process and priority structure will remain the same. Families will be able to apply online, over the phone, or in person at the Family Welcome Center through a single application. The application allows parents to apply to up to 12 options, ranking them in order of preference. There will be a Kindergarten Information Session held on December 3 at 6pm at the Michael J. Petrides School (715 Ocean Terrace). Click here for updates on the Kindergarten application process from the DOE.

Public School Directories & More
With the 2015-1016 school year in full swing, it’s time to prepare for what’s to come beyond this year. The 2016 Middle School Directory is available for download and serves as a resource for fifth grade students who will be graduating elementary school later this year. In addition, the deadline to submit a request for Gifted and Talent testing is November 9 for students born between 2008 and 2011. Click here for more information on Gifted and Talented Resources, middle school applications, as well as the high school admissions process and other important information from the Department of Education.

Seeking Volunteers
Where to Turn is a Staten Island-based non-profit organization which runs various drives and clean-up efforts throughout the year in an effort to promote the beautification of the borough as well as provide assistance to those in need. Their initiatives often rely on the generosity of volunteers, many of which are local students. They are currently seeking volunteers for their winter Shoveling for Seniors program and will reward $500 to the middle school and high school with the most volunteers. They are also running a re-gifting drive over the holidays and a prom dress drive in the spring, in addition to weekly beach, park and cemetery cleanups starting in April. If your child or you are interested in donating your time or other resources to Where to Turn, call 718-966-6531 or email [email protected] for more information. Community service credit is usually given to students who contribute. Go to for more information.

Way to Go, P.S. 5!
Congratulations to P.S. 5 The Huguenot School on receiving a 2015 Blue Ribbon Award, an honor bestowed upon schools across the country in recognition of academic excellence. 335 schools nationwide received the award this year, ten of which are in New York State. P.S. 5 is the only school to receive the award in Staten Island this year.

Free Anti-Bully Workshops
For anyone who has ever been a victim of bullying, it helps to know that you aren’t alone. The anti-bullying organization Play It Forward offers free monthly workshops for kids and teens who have been bullied or teased where they will be able to share their experiences in a safe environment and meet others who have been through something similar. Parents are welcome to join and meet with other parents. The next workshop will be held on Wednesday, November 18, 4-6pm at Rossville AME Zion (584 Bloomingdale Rd., lower level). For more information contact Debra Santulli-Barone at 646-765-6531.

MakerSpace Makeover
It’s been three years since Hurricane Sandy wreaked havoc on Staten Island and unfortunately some businesses are still in the process of recovering. Staten Island MakerSpace was one of those businesses – until HGTV star Nicole Curtis stopped by last month. Nicole teamed up with Bernzomatic blowtorches and the non-profit Rebuilding Together to help restore MakerSpace, which suffered three feet of flooding and structural damage during the storm. The renovations completed by Nicole and her team include new flooring, painting, and construction, as well as the addition of a new handmade metal sculpture crafted from Hurricane Sandy storm debris. Staten Island MakerSpace is a STEAM education (science, technology, education, arts, mathematics) and community innovation center located at 450 Front Street.

Kids Night on Broadway
(UPDATED from our print issue) A night at the theatre isn’t just for grown-ups anymore. Kids Night on Broadway lets kids ages 6-18 see a Broadway show for free when accompanied by a full-paying adult. This year Kids Night on Broadway will be held February 9. In addition to a free show ticket, many nearby restaurants will also be offering free meals for kids that week. Tickets go on sale Tuesday, November 3rd, 2015 at 10:30am ET.  Participating shows include: Aladdin, The Lion King, Matilda, Wicked, School of Rock, and more.  Click here to see the complete list of shows and to purchase tickets.

Shedding Light on Staten Island 
The next time you visit the Staten Island Zoo or the Staten Island Museum, you’ll be seeing their exhibits in a whole new light. That’s because The New York Power Authority recently upgraded the lighting system at these two sites. The $280,000 energy efficiency project will save the city nearly $30,000 in annual energy costs and remove 110 tons of harmful greenhouse gas emissions from the atmosphere every year. The energy-saving LED fixtures are closer to natural light, giving new life to the museum exhibits.

Breaking Records
Do you know any record-breakingly creative kids? GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS has announced the launch of their 2nd annual kids contest, The Records of the Future Challenge. The contest challenges kids 7-12 to think about a record THEY would like to break in the next 20 years. Entries will be accepted until December 1, 2015 and can include either a poem, song, video, rap, poster or short essay. The grand prize winner will win a $750 check, a GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS 2016 book and be featured in the 2017 GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS book. The grand prize winner will also be able to nominate a teacher who will receive a $250 check for classroom supplies. Ten semifinalists will each receive a copy of the GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS 2016 book. Entries will be judged on creativity and originality.Click here to enter.

Tis the Season
It’s officially time to trade out your Jack-O-Lanterns for turkeys! The holidays are here and we want to make sure you make the most of the season with your family. Click here to see our Holiday Happenings section to get the scoop on Holiday Fairs, tree farms, charity opportunities, local holiday events, crafts, and so much more!

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