Community & School News November 2017

Important School Dates
Nov 3 – TACHS Exam (for Catholic Schools)
Nov 7 – Election Day • students do not attend school
Nov 10 – Veteran’s Day Observed • No school for Catholic School students • Public Schools remain open

Parent Teacher Conferences:
Nov 9/10 – High School
Nov 13/14 – District 75
Nov 15/16 – Elementary School
Nov 29/30 – Middle School

Italian Bred
italian bred 1When it comes to growing up with a crazy family on Staten Island, who around here can’t relate? That’s why Candace Guardino is finally bringing her one-woman show, Italian Bred, home to her native borough. Italian Bred is a firsthand journey through Candice’s life growing up in Staten Island through spot-on impersonations of family members and virtual cameos by celebrities like Sex and the City’s Mario Cantone and Sopranos’ Steve Schirripa. Candace describes it as a “full theatrical experience,” where she sings and entertains the audience by slipping in and out of colorful characters throughout the 85-minute show.

Although inspired from early on by greats like Whoopi Goldberg, Lilly Tomlin, Carol Burnett, and her own late uncle, famed actor Harry Guardino, Candace says her grandmother provided endless hilarious and heartfelt material. “She was very crass and direct, and she spoke to me like a 40-year-old woman,” she said.

The former Woodrow resident and Wagner College graduate will be performing her critically-acclaimed show for the first time on Staten Island at Snug Harbor on Saturday, November 11. She’s excited to finally bring the show home, citing how New Yorkers are always the most engaging and involved audience members. You can get your tickets at

Parent Teacher Conferences
With two months of the school year already under our belt, it’s time for Parent Teacher Conferences. It’s a good idea to take the time to prepare. Talk first with your child to get a heads-up on any potential problem they might be having in the classroom and 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.

2018 Public School Directories & Applications
A wealth of helpful knowledge – in the form of important links and directories – can be found at See below for specific dates and other information.

If your child was born in 2013, it’s time to start thinking about kindergarten. The application period will be from between November 28, 2017 and January 12, 2018. All families currently residing in NYC should submit an application if you would like your child to attend kindergarten in a public school. Link to more information, including the 2018 Staten Island Kindergarten Directory, and other kindergarten admissions resources at

Middle School & High School
Both middle and high school applications for public school must be submitted by December 1, 2017. High school resources, open houses and help with the application process can be found at You can also find the 2018 High School Directory a and Middle School Directory at

The Department of Education suggests students apply to 8-15 colleges by December 1 of their senior year of high school. Financial Aid may be available for your family, even for application fees, so talk to your child’s school counselor about your options. You can download a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form and get other important information about the college application process at

Safer Streets in NYC
As parents, the most important thing is the safety of our children. Unfortunately, the act of merely crossing a street with our kids can sometimes have deadly consequences, especially here in New York City. NYCrosswalk is a website designed to help pedestrians feel safer when walking in their neighborhood. Broken out by borough, the site is filled with helpful statistics and information, such as the ten worst intersections, the most dangerous time of day for walking, collision information and more. You’ll be happy to know that Staten Island is the safest NYC borough for pedestrians, with far fewer accidents than the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, or Queens. Link to the Ultimate Guide to Walking Safely in the Big Apple here.

TOPSoccer Buddy of the Year
Screenshot_20170928-081217.pngCongratulations to Emily Atassi, a 2017 TOPSoccer Buddy of the Year for The Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association (ENYYSA). TOPSoccer is a wonderful outreach program for children with special needs. Emily has been volunteering in the the Staten Island Youth Soccer League (SIYSL) TOPSoccer Program for the past three years as a way to give back to the community and help others while playing a sport she loves. “Emily has shown tremendous effort with the children. They get excited when they see her and when she cannot attend a session due to her games, she makes every effort to attend the following week. She helps the children with their soccer skills and always makes sure they have a chance to score a goal and have fun,” wrote SIYSL TOPSoccer President Christopher Rooney in his recommendation. Other glowing recommendations for Emily came from Dorothy Zissler, recently retired Principal at St. Joseph Hill Academy and Matthew Acanfora, the Dean of Students at St. Joseph Hill Academy.

Every Elephant Counts
The National Wildlife Federation is calling on the nation’s brightest students to save Africa’s elephants! Students who enter the Every Elephant Counts Contest are asked to pledge to protect the estimated 96 African elephants that are lost each day, and to brainstorm the next big idea that can help save the endangered creatures. Students from 9 to 18 years old are eligible to enter and entries must be received by November 23, 2017. Link to official contest rules and more information by clicking here.

Staten Island Fleet Week Fundraiser
troopsFleet Week is still far off, but preparations for the annual springtime event are already underway and funds are needed to make it the best one yet. The second annual fundraiser for Staten Island Fleet Week will be held on November 5 at 1 pm at at the Leif Bar (6725 Fifth Avenue) in Bay Ridge. The event will feature local musical acts, food, prizes and raffles. All proceeds will go toward providing the funding for the “Rockin’ Our Troops” Music Festival, held each Memorial Day weekend at the USS The Sullivans Pier.

An over-30-year-old non-profit, Staten Island Fleet Week Inc., provides scholarships to local students and community service for veterans and is a huge part of bringing the U.S. Navy to the USS The Sullivans Pier, Homeport – a 35-acre decommissioned U.S. Naval Base on the north shore of Staten Island. If you would like to donate a raffle item or make a monetary donation, call 917-602-7896.

First Responders Memorial
9/11 is a day that will live forever in our hearts, and so shall the memory of those who gave their own lives helping to save others that day. Last month, hundreds gathered at the 9/11 First Responders Memorial on the St. George Promenade to dedicate the memorial, which honors the sacrifices made by Staten Island’s First Responders who died as a result of their brave service on—and in the aftermath of—9/11. BP Oddo and Mayor de Blasio spoke about the importance of getting the names of those we’ve lost inscribed on the memorial.

“I made a promise to the families that 9/11/2016 would be the last anniversary that names of those lost as a result of their work on 9/11 and its aftermath would be absent from the Memorial dedicated to their memory. I am glad these names are finally in their rightful place on the monument,” said BP Oddo. “These are heroes, and these are people who live life the way we should. These are people who were selfless. Now more than ever, in this time of division, we need to remember their stories. Their lives should be remembered, and their stories should be told.”

Early Entrepreneurs
Screen Shot 2017-11-01 at 2.02.03 PM
13 Staten Island high school students recently presented their ideas for new entrepreneurial ventures, from a more effective anti-virus computer software to an app that will improve the restaurant reservation process, during a “Shark Tank”-style competition as part of AT&T’s and the College of Staten Island (CSI)’s Entrepreneur Start-Up Camp. The late summer program aimed to show participating students how math can be applied to solve real world problems, from crises like the opioid addiction epidemic to even the smallest and most everyday issues, in an effort to to pave the way for the college-level math courses they’ll soon be taking. The Entrepreneur Start-Up Camp was part of AT&T Aspire, AT&T’s education initiative to drive student success in school and beyond.

“Our goal was not only to teach these young people business concepts, but to instill them with an entrepreneurial spirit as well. By teaching leadership skills and showing them how to creatively find solutions to issues that affect us all, we hope to cultivate critical skillsets for success in college and beyond,” said Jasmine Cardona, Director of Workforce Development and Innovation, College of Staten Island.

Boy Scouts Open to Girls
Boy Scouts of America recently announced the decision to allow girls to join their scout programs, starting next year. This decision includes the ability for girls to obtain the coveted Eagle Scout rank, which is the highest rank in the organization. A viral petition penned earlier this year may have contributed to the history-making change. In it, 16-year-old Sydney Ireland explained why she deserves to be an official Boy Scout. “I cannot change my gender to fit the Boy Scouts’ standards, but the Boy Scouts can change their standards to include me. I am determined to be an Eagle Scout. It isn’t just a hobby, it’s access to some of the best leadership training there is,” she wrote. “Unfortunately for me and half the country’s population, we are excluded from most of these amazing opportunities for no reason other than that we are female. That’s why I’m calling on the BSA to end the discriminatory ban against young women and girls, and allow all children to participate in the Boy Scouts and earn the Eagle Rank.” The decision has received both widespread acclaim and criticism since it was announced last month. You can link to the BSA website as to learn more about their programs.

P.S. 46 Read-a-Thon
Screen Shot 2017-11-01 at 2.05.05 PMPS46 Students are revved up about reading! The South Beach school held its first Read-A-Thon last month, a program which encourages students to log reading hours in exchange for donations from the community. The first reading session kicked off on October 16 with a ceremony that included special guest Councilman Steven Matteo. PTA member Katrina DiLorenzo had been inspired to hold the fundraiser after learning of nighttime talkshow host Jimmy Fallon’s donation to another school’s Read-A-Thon. She and other PTA members felt would be a great way to promote reading while raising money for the school’s students, teachers, and parents/guardians. Proceeds from the Read-A-Thon will help the PTA host special events, workshops and fun filled activities throughout the year. Link to the Read-A-Thon website to learn how you can get your child’s school started with their own reading fundraiser.

Free Skiing & Snowboarding for Kids
Planning a snowy family getaway this winter? The Pennsylvania Ski Areas Association is offering free skiing or snowboarding up to three times to 4th and 5th graders at participating resorts. Additionally, the students can take advantage of a beginner lift, lesson, and rental package free and 50% off a beginner lift, lesson and rental package for the accompanying adult. Families do not have to be from PA to participate. Snowpasses are issued on a first-come, first-serve basis, so PSAA encourages families to fill out their applications online now. There is a nominal online processing fee of $35 before Dec. 1 and $40 after.  Link to the application here.

Snow Shoveling for Seniors
Do you have an elderly neighbor? Someone who is unable to shovel whenever it snows? Help out your neighbor by joining Where to Turn’s Shoveling for Seniors Program. Help senior neighbors by shoveling for them when it snows, and in turn you receive ten hours of community service and the feeling of knowing you’ve done something wonderful for someone in need. Call 718-966-6531 or email [email protected] for more information. You can so join the Where to Turn group on Facebook for updates on all of the organization’s wonderful initiatives.

That’s What Friends Are For
Fun family-friendly events, exclusive online giveaways, big savings from local merchants, and always up-to-date seasonal happenings are just a few great reasons to become a Family of Friends member! To start receiving the SI Parent weekly newsletter, just CLICK HERE and fill out some basic info. It’s fast and easy. You can also sign up directly from our Facebook page by clicking on the “Sign Up” app button. We promise we won’t spam you; we’ll only send you the good stuff!