Tuesday, November 09, 2010

whatcha talkin about willis?

This is really breaking news. Mayor Bloomberg got Cathie Black, a Publishing Executive, to Replace Joel I. Klein as New York City Schools Chancellor. What are your thoughts?

November PTA Meeting & Thanksgiving Potluck Dinner

Please join us
 on November 18, at 6:30 pm for our November  PTA Meeting & Thanksgiving Potluck Dinner. Student of the Month awards will be presented. There will also be turkey raffle.  

We are counting on everyone to bring a small dish to share with each other – if you can’t cook, then bring some cups and napkins. If you are interested in participating, please drop a message in the comment section of this post.

PS 161 Picture Day

Tuesday, November 16: Grades K through 4 

Wednesday, November 17: Grades 5 through 8

Irvin Simon Photographers will be here again for our annual school picture event.  Please fill the order form and indicate the following: picture package and background.  If you have a child in the 5th and 8th grades, do not select a background for them, as they will be taking their graduation pictures in caps and gowns and the background for that will be a pastel color.  You MUST PRE-PAY in order to take a picture – methods of payments accepted are cash, check or money order.  

You can turn in the envelopes up until the day of the school pictures when the photographers are here.  As per usual, there will be a make-up date for the students who were absent or not happy with the quality of their pictures 


School pictures are one of a PTA’s biggest fundraisers, so we need everyone to participate.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Parent Coordinator's Corner......

From the desk of Ms. Arthur, Parent Coordinator....

'PS 161 will sponsor a ribbon cutting ceremony along with the New York City Department of Parks in celebration of the new PS 161 schoolyard playground.

Our school was selected as part of Mayor Michael Bloomberg's, Play-NYC Schoolyards to Playgrounds Initiative.  The playground will be open to the community when there are no students and educational staff members in the building, on weekends, and during school breaks.

The ceremony will take place in the schoolyard of PS 161 on Thursday, September 30th at 10:30 am. PS 161 students will be performing.'

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Open School House

Welcome back to a brand new and exciting school year! On behalf of the entire Parent Executive Board, we wish you great academic success here at PS 161.  Together we can overcome any obstacles and challenges, thus is it imperative that all groups: parents, teachers and administration partner together to raise our collective ‘village’ of children!

Please join us on Monday, September 20, 2010 at 6:00 pm for the PS 161 Open School House.  You will have an opportunity to meet your parent and teacher executive board members, as well as meet the entire staff and administration. Please mark your calendars!!

We're baaaaack!

We apologize about the dearth of postings, but 'poster' was on vacation too!!! We are back, so stay tuned for new posts!

Friday, June 18, 2010

 We just wanted to remind you on some upcoming year-end activities:
  • Saturday, June 19: Montgomery Block/Community Association Meeting - 12:30 pm
  • Sunday, June 20: Father's Day!!! There are some great dads out there - don't forget to honor them.
  • Monday, June 21:  PTA Year-End Appreciation Dinner - 6:00 pm
  • Thursday, June 24: 5th Grade Graduation
  • Friday, June 25: 8th Grade Graduation
  • Monday, June 28: Last day of school
Please enjoy the beautiful art of local Brooklyn artist Kristiana Parn - that particular tableau is titled 'It's going to Be a Good Day'.

    Thursday, June 17, 2010

    Perfume Fundraiser

    The D'Essence Perfume orders came in and were all delivered on Friday, June 11th.  The PTA was able to raise approximately $450.  As promised, there are some prizes for our top sellers: Top Seller - Ashley Trottman will receive a $100 gift card to Target; 2nd top seller - London Smart will receive a $50 gift card to Target; Top selling class - 7-511 will receive a dessert party.

    Congratulations to our prize winners and again we thank you for your support.

    Results are in!!!

    We had our parent board elections last Monday and the results are as follows:

    President - Tricia Mecklembourg
    Vice President - Demetrius Lawrence
    Treasurer - Margaret Williams
    Secretary - Rachel Wint

    Chairperson - Anthony Best
    Secretary - Rachel Wint
    Vice Chair - Vacant

    Fred Baptiste
    Alisha Lawrence
    Carol Wilson
    Tricia Mecklembourg

    Please congratulate your newly elected parent representatives - their term is from July 1, 2010 to June 30, 2011.

    On behalf of the PTA executive board, thank you to everyone who came out on Monday to elect our new parent board members - we had an overwhelming number of teachers at our meeting - THANK YOU!!! A special thanks to our volunteers, Mr. Marvin Wheeler, Ms. Angela Stutts and Ms. Carol Wilson.

    Thursday, June 03, 2010

    June Calendar

    The June calendar was sent home today and the following are the highlights:

    Wednesday, June 2 - Grade 5 Mediaval Times Trip; SLT Meeting, Open Meeting

    Friday, June 3 - Grade 3 Circus Workshop, sponsored by the Office of Councilmember Tish James.

    Monday, June 7 - NYS Science Exam Grade 4 & 8 (Part I)

    Tuesday, June 8 - NYS Science Exam Grade 4 & 8 (Part II); 1/2 Day for students.

    Wednesday, June 9 - Parent Nutrition Meeting, 9:30 am; Science Fair Expo - PS 13; Grade 5 trip - China Buffet

    Thursday, June 10 - Professional Delevopment Day for Teachers - NO SCHOOL FOR STUDENTS.

    Friday, June 11 - Kindergarten Moving Up Assembly, 9:00 am

    Monday, June 14 - NYS Social Studies Exam Grade 8 (Part I); PARENT SCHOOL BOARD ELECTIONS, 6:00 PM

    Tuesday, June 15 - NYS Science Exam Grade 8 (Part II)

    Wednesday, June 16 - Grade 5 Field Day; CSLJ Awards

    Thursday, June 17 - 1/2 Day for Students

    Friday, June 18 - African Dance Performance, 9:30 am

    Monday, June 21 - PTA Final Meeting and Awards Dinner, 6:00 pm

    Tuesday, June 22 - CSLJ Parents Meeting, Grade 6 and 7

    Thursday, June 25 - Grade 5 Graduation, 9:00 am

    Friday, June 26 - Grade 8 Graduation,  9:00 am

    Monday, June 28 - Last day of school, 12:00 pm dismissal

    Thursday, May 20, 2010

    The 2nd Annual Youth Showcase
    Saturday, May 22, 2010
    11:30 am to 2:00 pm

    This event will feature aspiring youth, showcasing their talents and leadership efforts in community service. There will be exciting performances by the following PS 161 groups:

    Steel Pan
    Special guest performers from local area schools and
    Much, much more

    Additionally, there will be an awards ceremony for the poetry contest winners.

    Please join us for this free family event celebrating our youth. Light refreshments will be served.

    Note: Parents MUST accompany their children at all times.

    School Elections


    Elections for Officers of the PS 161 Parent School Boards Are Open!

    Please Run, Vote and Get Involved!

    Will take place from the floor on election night on Thursday, May 27 at 6:00 pm

    Will take place on Thursday, May 27 at 6:00 pm. You must be present to run or to vote.

    Will be announced at the May 27 meeting

    Term of office
    July 1, 2010 through June 30, 2011

    Number of positions available
    PTA - 4 positions
    PAC – 3 positions
    SLT - 3 positions

    Positions and general duties of PTA positions (see bylaws for specific duties)
    1. President - Heads association & presides at ALL meetings
    2. Vice President - Assist president & performs duties in absence
    3. Secretary - Prepares meeting minutes, maintains all official records, coordinates all correspondence
    4. Treasurer - Conducts & responsible for all financial affairs

    Goals and objectives of other offices: PAC and SLT
    1. PAC – Parent Advisory Council: Ensure effective involvement of all parents of Title I participating children and to support the partnership between other school community stakeholders (school administration and staff, PTA and SLT); To involve parents of Title I participating students in an organized and timely manner with the planning, review, and implementation of Title I programs and the joint development of the school parental involvement policy and the school-parent compact.

    2. SLT – School Leadership Team: Comprising of administration, teachers and parents, the SLT is responsible for developing an educational plan, matching budget to needs, and building a sense of community. Parents make up half of membership; rest is teachers, school staff, union and Parent Association representation, and possibly students or community members

    Eligibility for Parent Members: Per the bylaws, whether or not you pay the “suggested dues”, you are automatically a member of the Parent Teacher Association if you are a parent, guardian or person in parental relation to a child attending PS 161. A member is entitled to vote and to run for any position. The election process and officer’s duties are outlined in the bylaws – copies will be made available during the election. You can also obtain a copy of the Chancellor’s Guidelines on the DOE website.

    Eligibility for Teacher Members: Per the Chancellor’s Regulations, as a Parent Teacher Association (PTA), membership must be open to all teachers in the school. Any staff person who is a member of the association is eligible to vote, unless otherwise restricted by conflicts of interest. Persons employed in the school cannot serve on a nominating committee, or run for positions on the executive board.

    Wednesday, May 05, 2010

    D'Essense Perfume Fundraiser

    Last Friday you should have received an order form with a handout announcing the PTA’s second participation in the D’Essense perfume fundraiser. The order forms are due on Friday, May 14, 2010. If you need another order form, there will be extras in the main office. Featuring real perfumes and colognes in a wide selection of designer fragrances (Vera Wang, Chanel, Sean Jean and Gucci) at the wonderful price of $10.00 each! Now is the time to stock up for the spring and summer.

    This fundraiser is open to EVERYONE in school – students, staff, parents etc. This is a great fundraiser as it allows us to receive 50% of the profits raised.

    Successful participation in this fundraiser means we can continue to support:
    African Dance lessons
    Year-end activities for: Kindergarten, 5th grade and 8th grade classes
    Teacher and Staff Grants and more
    And much much more.

    Top Seller: $100 Gift Card to Target
    Second Top Seller: $50 Gift Card to Target
    Top Selling Class: Dessert Party (Full works – ice cream, cake, cookies. etc.)
    Also… The teacher of top selling class will receive special gift

    WE COUNT ON YOUR SUPPORT AND PARTICIPATION!!!!!The forms are due back in two weeks – Friday, May 14, 2010. Your payments of cash or money order will be accepted, NO PERSONAL CHECKS. Please make money orders payable to: PS 161 PTA.

    Teacher and Staff Appreciation Week

    HAPPY TEACHERS AND STAFF APPRECIATION WEEK. This whole week we celebrate all the Teachers and Staff of PS 161.

    On behalf of the entire PTA, we thank ALL TEACHERS for their hard work and devotion to our children. We cannot express the sum of our gratitude in just one handout, nor do we feel that our appreciation should be pinned down to one week, but we hope that you know YOU ARE ALWAYS APPRECIATED. THANK YOU!!!!

    We also want to take the opportunity to thank the entire Main Office staff for all that they do. In particular, I would like to acknowledge, Ms. Arthur, Ms. Chung, Ms. Glenn, Ms. Yaw and Msv for always going above and beyond.

    May 2010 Calendar

    The May calendar is here and the following are the highlights:

    May 5 through 7 - NYS Math Exam; Grades 3 - 8 (GOOD LUCK!!!!)

    May 7 - Junior Achievement Day

    May 8 - Rockaway Review, 12:00 pm; Young Entrepreneur's Community Project

    May 11 - CSLJ Trip to Madison Square Garden

    May 12 - SLT Meeting, 5:30 pm

    May 22 - Youth Show Case Program, 12:00 - 3:00 pm

    May 27 - PTA Meeting: Election, 6 to 7 pm; Meeting, 7 to 8 pm

    May 28 - 5th Annual Career Day

    May 31 - Memorial Day, School Closed

    Thursday, April 08, 2010

    April PTA Meeting

    Please join on us Tuesday, April 20 for the April PTA meeting.  In addition to the normal agenda, we will have a Census and Parent Survey rally.  Bring in your Census form and Parent Survey, complete it with us and join us at the mailbox outside and you automatically be entered in our prize raffle and it's a nice one!!!

    Lamda Kappa Mu, Nu Chapter and PS 161 PTA Community Health Fair

    Who: Nu Chapter Lamda Kappa Mu Sorority and the PS 161 PTA

    What: Community Health Fair

    When: Saturday, April 10, 2010 - 10:00 am to 2:00 pm

    Where: PS 161

    Why: Come out and get valuable information on Asthma, Diabetes, Fitness, Hypertension and More. Have fun while gaining information. Join a fitness class or a Zumba exercise class. Take a stress test challenge.

    Prizes, Prizes, Prizes


    The April 2010 calendar was sent home today and the following are the highlights:

    Saturday, April 10, 2010 - Health Fair, 10:00 am to 2:00 pm; CSLJ Saturday Science Program, 9:00 am to 12:00 pm

    Tuesday, April 13, 2010 - School Wide Poetry Contest

    Thursday, April 15, 2010 - School Leadership Team (SLT) meeting, 5:30 pm

    Saturday, April 17, 2010 - CSLJ Saturday Science Program, 9:00 am to 12:00 pm

    Tuesday, April 20, 2010 - PTA Meeting, 6:00 pm

    Monday, April 26, 2010 - New York State E.L.A Exam, Grades 3 - 8

    Tuesday, April 27, 2010 - New York State E.L.A Exam, Grades 3 - 8

    Wednesday, April 28, 2010 - New York State E.L.A Exam, Grades 4 and 5

    Thursday, December 03, 2009


    We want to thank all of the parents and staff who attended our PTA meeting
    last week. We had a wonderful turnout. It was also great to see so many students
    receive their awards for academic achievement - keep up the great work!

    We are happy for the many recipients of our Turkey Give-Away. We would like to thank Assemblyman Karim Camara and the 71st Precinct for their generous donations! In addition, thank you for all the donations for our Pot Luck dinner! Lastly, we would like to give a big THANKS to Ms. Eastman for chairing our Uniform Exchange Project. She and her team cleaned, ironed and wrapped each individual uniform. They did such a wonderful job, that the uniforms were going like 'hotcakes'. The Uniform Exchange table will be featured at all PTA events.


    School Pictures

    Last week was Picture Retake Day open to any students unsatisfied with their original photos, or those who did not participate the first time. If you have any questions regarding quality, reorders or refunds, please do not call the main office. Please call Irvin Simon Photographers, at 51.437.4700 and ask for Laura Fisher. Laura is our Customer Service Rep and will assist you with all of your picture questions.

    Before calling, please have the following information available: your child's class, teacher and picture package ordered.

    December Calendar

    The December Calendar was sent home this week. Below are the highlights:

    Tuesday, December 1, 2009 - SLT Meeting; 5:30 pm
    Wednesday, December 9, 2009 - Parent Nutrition Workshop; 9:00 am
    Thursday, December 10, 2009 - Last Day for Penny Harvest
    Friday, December 11, 2009 - Parent ELA Workshop, All Grades; 9:00 am
    Wednesday, December 16, 2009 - Parent Nutrition Workshop; 9:00 am
    Thursday, December 17, 2009 - PTA Meeting/Holiday Program; 6:00 pm
    Tuesday, December 22, 2009 - Heal the World HIV and Mural Fundraiser
    December 24 - January 4, - WINTER RECESS

    d'Essence Student Fundraiser

    The PTA is participating in a new student fundraiser. Just in time for holiday shopping, you will find an order form from d'essence - an LMS fragrance company.

    Featuring real perfumes and colognes in a wide selection of designer fragrances (Vera Wang, Chanel, Sean Jean and Gucci) at the wonderful price of $10.00 each! Now is the time to stock up for the holidays - for parents, grandparents, teachers, colleagues. etc.

    The class with the most sales will receive an in-class pizza party. The top seller will receive a $100 gift certificate to GameStop - the second prize winner will receive an iPod shuffle.

    The forms are due back in two weeks - December 9, 2009 - to ensure delivery before the holidays. Your payments of cash, money order or check will be accepted. Please make money orders and/or checks payable to: PS 161 PTA.

    Friday, November 06, 2009

    Looking ahead to our November meeting, we will be hosting a Thanksgiving Pot Luck during our PTA meeting scheduled for Monday, November 23. We are asking EVERYONE to bring a dish, dessert or beverage to share with the general PTA body. We need everyone to participate in this in order to succeed, so if you don’t cook, then bring some cups or napkins! We will be sending out a tear-off form for you to complete as we get closer to the date.

    Additionally we will have a uniform exchange that evening. If you have gently worn and clean uniforms that you would like to donate (as well as coats, baby items etc.), please bring them to the meeting on November 23rd to share with your fellow parents.

    Help needed!

    We need many volunteers in order for our activities and fundraisers to be successful. With that said, we are looking for a few volunteers to iron some donated uniforms. We are hoping to have this project done in order to make the uniforms to parents at the next workshops. If you are interested in volunteering with this project or with any other project, please contact me at nanoumeck@yahoo.com

    Picture Day Info

    We want to thank you for participating in School Picture Day - it was chaotic but overwhelmingly successful. I would like to thank SLT Member Carol Wilson and our other staff and parent volunteers who were on hand on October 19th to make sure this day was a success - from coordinating the photographers, to straightening ties and patting down braids - THANK YOU!!

    Please note that it will take up to four weeks for the pictures to arrive at school – do not call the main office to ask them for this information. Once the pictures have arrived and are distributed, save the information on the envelope – there will be an account number for which you can call the customer service rep assigned to our school. You will be able to contact that rep, for issues about quality, increasing your order etc. If your child was absent on October 19th or if the quality of your picture is extremely unsatisfactory, our Picture Retake Day will on Monday, November 23rd. Please mark your calendars, as this will be your final opportunity to take pictures for this school year.

    November 2009 Calendar

    The November calendar came out this week and below are some highlights:

    Monday, November 2 - SLT Meeting; 5:30 pm

    Tuesday, November 3 - Election Day; No Classes for Students

    Wednesday, November 4 - Candy Delivery Day

    Saturday/Sunday, November 7 and 8 - Grade 8 Specialized High School Admission Test

    Tuesday, November 10 - Parent-Teacher Conferences; 1:00 - 3:00 pm and 6:00 - 8:30 pm

    Wednesday, November 11 - Veterans Day; NO SCHOOL

    Monday, November 16 - NY State Grade 5 Social Studies Test, Part I

    Tuesday, November 17 - NY State Grade 5 Social Studies Test, Part II

    Wednesday/Thursday, November 18/19 - Open School, Visit your child's class; 9:00 - 11:00 am

    Friday, November 20 - Grade 2 & 3 Parent ELA Workshop; 9:00 am

    Monday, November 23 - PTA Meeting (Thanksgiving Pot Luck); 6:30 pm

    Thursday/Friday, November 26/27 - Thanksgiving Recess; NO SCHOOL

    Monday, November 30 - Math Parent Workshop; 9:00 am

    Friday, October 16, 2009

    Gifted & Talented Admissions Update

    From the NYC Department of Education:

    Gifted & Talented Admissions Update

    Information Sessions
    Reminder: Information sessions about G&T admissions for Kindergarten, 1st, 2nd and 3rd grade will be held in Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island and Manhattan next week. Information session dates and locations are listed below and on the DOE website.

    G&T Testing
    If you’re interested in having your child attend an elementary school G&T program, you must complete a “Request for Testing” form. The forms are available at elementary schools, Borough Enrollment Offices and on the DOE website. You can complete and submit the form online or you can submit a paper copy to your child’s school (or local Borough Enrollment Office if your child attends private school). The deadline to submit a Request for Testing form is Friday, November 6.

    G&T Handbooks
    Gifted & Talented handbooks with practice tests and program guidelines are available at elementary schools, Borough Enrollment Offices and on the DOE website. For more information about the G&T admissions process for elementary school grades, you can visit the DOE website or call (212) 374-4948.

    We hope to see you at an information session next week!

    Elementary School Enrollment Team


    Gifted & Talented Admissions Information Sessions

    October 19: 6:30 – 8:00 p.m.
    MS 113 Ronald Edmonds Learning Center
    300 Adelphi Street, Brooklyn, NY 11205

    October 20: 6:30 – 8:00 p.m.
    New Dorp High School
    465 New Dorp Lane, Staten Island, NY 10306

    October 21: 6:30 – 8:00 p.m.
    Long Island City High School
    14-30 Broadway, Queens, NY 11106

    October 22: 6:30 – 8:00 p.m.
    Brandeis High School
    145 West 84th Street, Manhattan, NY 10024


    Please don't forget that Monday, October 19, 2009 is Picture Day. Irvin Simon photographers will be here again all day for our annual school picture event. Please fill the order form and indicate the following: picture package and background. If you have a child in the 5th and 8th grades, do not select a background for them, as they will be taking their graduation pictures in caps and gowns and the background for that will be a pastel color.

    You MUST PRE-PAY in order to take a picture – methods of payments accepted are cash, check or money order. If you don’t have an order form you can fill one out on Picture Day (October 19) as the photographers will bring in extra blank forms. You can turn in the envelopes up till the 19th when the photographers are here. As per usual, there will be a make-up date for the students who were absent or not happy with the quality of their pictures

    PLEASE NOTE, CLASS PICTURES CANNOT BE REDONE – NO EXCEPTIONS. ALSO, STUDENTS MUST BE IN COMPLETE UNIFORMS FOR THE CLASS PICTURE. School pictures are one of a PTA’s biggest fundraisers, so we need everyone to participate.


    We want to thank everyone who braved the weather to attend the PTA meeting last night. We especially want to thank our special guest, Martine Guerrier - Chief Family Engagement Officer of the Office for Family Engagement and Advocacy for providing a wealth of information about her role at it relates to NYC Parents.

    Ms. Guerrier spoke about the middle school process and the various events that are related to that: open houses, tours, application deadlines etc. She also informed parents about the vast resources that are available to them and their children. Please go to the OFEA website to learn more.

    We also had a guest from the 71st Precinct, Officer J. Evola stop by to meet parents and students. Officer Evola spoke about the work his precinct does to keep our community safe, and asked how they can be better partners. He asked parents to be a first line of defense between their children and outside influences.

    Thursday, October 08, 2009

    October 2009 Calendar

    The October calendar came out this week and below are some highlights:

    Thursday, October 1 - Meet & Greet School Night

    Saturday, October 3 - Citywide High School Fair; Brooklyn Tech High School

    Sunday, October 4 - Citywide High School Fair; Brooklyn Tech High School

    Thursday, October 8 - Grade 5 Social Studies Parent Workshop

    Saturday, October 10 - PS 161 Entrepreneur Club Fundraiser: Rockaway Revue 1:00 pm

    Monday, October 12 - Columbus Day SCHOOL CLOSED

    Thursday, October 15 - PTA Meeting; 6:30 pm

    Sunday, October 18 - Breast Cancer Awareness Walk; Prospect Park

    Monday, October 19 - School Picture Day

    Tuesday, October 20 - A.R.I.S Parent Workshop; 9:00 am

    Thursday, October 22 - Grade 3 Math Parent Workshop; 9:00 am

    Saturday, October 24 - Borough High School Fair; Edward R. Murrow High School 11:00 am

    Sunday, October 25 - Borough High School Fair; Edward R. Murrow High School 11:00 am

    Wednesday, October 28 - CSLJ Ring Day

    Wednesday, October 07, 2009

    Saturday Parent Academy

    The Office for Family Engagement and Advocacy (OFEA) presents its second annual Saturday Parent Academy. The will be sessions on a variety of topics to support parent leaders in their various volunteer positions in our school. Whether you are already active in your school community or considering becoming involved, we invite you to join OFEA for Saturday Parent Academy.

    The Program:
    Registration: 9:00 - 9:30 am
    Opening Session: 9:30 - 9:40 am
    Overview of OFEA: 9:35 - 9:45

    Workshop, Session 1 - 10:00 am - 11:30 am
    1. Ensuring success for your child's elementary school experience.
    2. Ensuring success for the first year of middle school.
    3. Title 1
    4. Overview of School Leadership Team
    5. Record Keeping
    6. Roles and Responsibilities of the PA/PTA

    Workshop, Session 2 - 12:45 pm - 2:15 pm
    1. Ensuring success for your child's elementary school experience.
    2. Ensuring success for the first year of middle school.
    3. Title 1
    4. Overview of School Leadership Team
    5. Record Keeping
    6. Roles and Responsibilities of the PA/PTA

    Closing session 2:15 pm - 3:00 pm

    Dates and Locations
    Manhattan/Brooklyn - Saturday, October 24, 2009 PS 234 Independence School; 292 Greenwich Street

    Queens - Saturday, October 17, 2009 Aviation High School; 45-30 36th Street

    Bronx - Saturday, November 21, 2009 The Fellsa Rinconde Gautier Institute for Law and Public Policy High School; 1440 Story Avenue

    Staten Island - Tuesday, November 10, 2009The Petrides Complex Center; 715 Ocean Terrace Room 118

    Contact the OFEA for registration details at 212.374.2323.

    School Safety Forum

    Community School District 17 invites all parents to a School Safety Forum - Children are welcome.

    October 24, 2009, 10:00 am to 2:00 pm at 1224 Park Place between Troy and Albany (entrance on Sterling Place).

    The program will feature:

    • Gang Awareness
    • General Session on the Juvenile Justice System
    • Break-out sessions on school safety, cyber bullying and the NYC School Discipline Code
    • Operation Safe Child (Free Child ID) presentation by the Office of Kings County District Attorney Charles J. Hynes

    Special Guest Speakers: Congress Woman Yvette Clarke; Council Member Letitia James; Senator Eric Adams; Council Member Mathieu Eugene; Assemblyman Karim Camara; and Council Member Darlene Mealy.

    Refreshments will be served, also Free "Give-Aways". For further information please call 718.221.4372

    Rockaway Revue, Inc.

    The Young Entrepreneurs Club at PS 161 along with First Baptist Church of Crown Heights Floral Ministry will host a community fundraiser to help purchase a video system for PS 161.

    The Floral Ministry will present an autumn spectacular featuring the Rockaway Review, Inc. The performance titled "This is It" will be held at PS 161 on Saturday, October 10, 2009 at 2:00 pm. Door open at 1 pm. Tickets are $20.00 (tickets will not be sold at the door on the day of the show.) Please contact PS 161/ Ms. Mackey or Ms. Arthur for more information. Light refreshments will be sold.

    got game?

    Calling all students between the ages of 5 and 17, the 78th Precinct Youth Council presents their 2009-2010 Basketball Season.

    "The 78th Precinct Youth Council is a non-profit youth sports organization that provides Brooklyn children from kindergarten through high school with the opportunity to develop leadership abilities, team skills, and personal discipline."

    Information for this season is listed below:


    * * *


    Season begins the last weekend of October and ends the first weekend in March. Games are in local public school gyms in the Park Slope area.

    The Fee is $190 for 12 weeks of basketball training and games, jerseys, trophies or other awards, and a season-ending Pizza Party.

    On-time registration has ended, however late fees are waived through October 10th for first-time registrants.


    Wednesday, September 30, 2009

    "Thousands of children marched to City Hall this week in sensible black shoes, a stream of boys and girls from township schools across this seaside city that extended for blocks, passing in a blur of pleated skirts, blazers and rep ties. Their polite demand: Give us libraries and librarians."

    No, that paragraph was not in a pamphlet from your local librarians and educators, but from an article in the New York Times describing a protest by students in South Africa to demand an overhaul to the education system there (click here to read the entire article). Earlier this month, PBS aired the latest installment of the Wide Angle documentary, Time for School, a 12-year project on global education. The recurring themes from both the series and article are: education for all children is a inalienable human right; developing countries

    It seems as if the students from those countries yearn and appreciate the value of an education more than children in the 'First World' - specifically our children. What happened? When did we lose our way? There was a time in the history of this country when education was the only way to a better life. In fact it's fair to say that some folks died trying to receive a good education. In the Jim Crow south, children were packed into one-room schools; earlier than that, it was a crime for slaves to learn how to read and write. Yet fast-forward two/three hundred years, we have adopted such lackadaisical approach to education. Can we ever get back that passion? Does something have to be taken from us before we feel it's worth fighting for?


    Thank you for attending the PTA meeting last Monday - we had a wonderful turnout of parents, staff and children!! It was great to meet everyone and to start off the school year with a strong showing of support.

    During the meeting, the vacant position for treasurer was filled by Ms. Cindy-Ann Williams. Welcome Cindy-Ann, we look forward to working with you!

    We want to remind you of some up-coming activities:

    Thursday, October 1 - Meet & Greet/Open School House; 6:30 pm

    Thursday, October 15 - PTA Meeting

    Sunday, October 18 - Breast Cancer Awareness Walk; Prospect Park

    Monday, October 19 - School Picture Day

    Sunday, September 20, 2009

    back in the day.....

    I was lamenting the fact that my son takes so long to write and I realized it was due to the fact that he doesn't know how to write in cursive. Is this something else for us 'Helicopter' parents to worry about. Well to quote Granpa, 'back in my day', taking notes in class was impossible unless you wrote in cursive, what about signing your name? I remember the pride and joy when I was able to master my 'grownup' signature! But if you ask any child below the age of 15, and I suspect some older than that, they don't know how to write in cursive!

    Glancing through the papers this weekend, I came across this article in the New York Daily News.

    Cursive writing is a fading skill, but do we care enough to save it?


    CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Charleston resident Kelli Davis was in for a surprise when her daughter brought home some routine paperwork at the start of school this fall. Davis signed the form and then handed it to her daughter for the eighth-grader's signature.

    "I just assumed she knew how to do it, but I have a piece of paper with her signature on it and it looks like a little kid's signature," Davis said.

    Her daughter was apologetic, but explained that she hadn't been required to make the graceful loops and joined letters of cursive writing in years. That prompted a call to the school and another surprise.

    West Virginia's largest school system teaches cursive, but only in the 3rd grade.

    "It doesn't get quite the emphasis it did years ago, primarily because of all the technology skills we now teach," said Jane Roberts, assistant superintendent for elementary education in Kanawha County schools.

    Davis' experience gets repeated every time parents, who recall their own hours of laborious cursive practice, learn that what used to be called "penmanship" is being shunted aside at schools across the country in favor of 21st century skills.

    The decline of cursive is happening as students are doing more and more work on computers, including writing. In 2011, the writing test of the National Assessment of Educational Progress will require 8th and 11th graders to compose on computers, with 4th graders following in 2019.

    "We need to make sure they'll be ready for what's going to happen in 2020 or 2030," said Katie Van Sluys, a professor at DePaul University and the president of the Whole Language Umbrella, a conference of the National Council of Teachers of English.

    Handwriting is increasingly something people do only when they need to make a note to themselves rather than communicate with others, she said. Students accustomed to using computers to write at home have a hard time seeing the relevance of hours of practicing cursive handwriting.

    For the rest of the article, click here.

    Destination Book Fair

    PS 161 is hosting a Scholastic Book Fair on September 29, 2009 through October 1, 2009.

    From the Scholastic website - FALL 2009 THEME: Destination Book Fair!

    Books take you places, near and far. Destination Book Fair invites readers everywhere to Read Around the World!

    Scholastic Book Fairs is sending readers on an adventure, giving them a passport to meet interesting people and visit amazing places through books. Bon voyage! Happy reading!

    Please support our school while encouraging your child's passion for reading when you attend and support the book fair.

    PTA Meeting on September 21, 2009

    Please join us for the first PTA meeting of the school year on Monday, September 21, 2009. You will have the opportunity to meet teachers, staff and parent board members from the PTA, PAC and SLT (you will also learn what all those acronyms are!)

    Additionally, a position on the PTA recently became available and we are now looking for a treasurer. If you are interested in joining the PTA board as treasurer, please join us on the 21st to nominate yourself and/or vote.

    Monday, August 31, 2009


    They say all good things must come to an end - and summer vacation is one of those that depending on your point of view can mean the return to friends, colleagues and routines and schedules. For parents and caregivers, it means a return to... serenity now!

    The following is the schedule for the first week of school.

    Monday, September 7 - Labor Day, NO SCHOOL

    Tuesday, September 8 - Teachers and other staff report to school

    Wednesday, September 9 - All Students: First Day of School
    Early Dismissal for Kindergarten Students Only.
    Partial school time for Prekindergarten Public School students

    Thursday, September 10 - Early Dismissal for Kindergarten Students Only.
    Partial school time for Prekindergarten Public School students

    Friday, September 11 - Partial school time for Prekindergarten Public School students

    Thursday, June 18, 2009

    PTA Meeting Tonight

    Please join us for the final PTA meeting of the year, scheduled for this evening at 6 pm. Tonight's agenda will feature a wrap-up of PTA activities of the 2008-2009 school year, an introduction to the new parent board members and a year-end appreciation dinner.

    We're back baby!!

    First and foremost, I apologize for the lack of posts this school year.

    However with a newborn at home, and crippling technical difficulties it was often impossible to post. BUT, WE ARE BACK!!!!

    Wednesday, January 07, 2009

    January 2009 Calendar

    The January calendar was distributed today, and the following are the highlights:

    Tuesday, Wednesday January 13 and 14: New York State ELA Exam; Grades 3, 4 and 5

    Thursday, January 15: New York State ELA Exam: Grade 4

    Wednesday, January 14: SLT Meeting; 5:30 pm

    Monday, January 19: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day - NO SCHOOL

    Tuesday, January 20: Presidential Inauguration

    Wednesday, Thursday January 21 and 22: New York State ELA Exam; Grades 6, 7 and 8

    Friday, January 23: New York State ELA Exam: Grade 6

    Thursday, January 22: PTA Meeting; 6:30 pm

    Tuesday, January 27: 8th Grade G.A.C. Meeting; 5:30 pm

    Friday, January 30: Hearing/Vision Screening begins for Grades K & 1


    New parent officers: Ms. Leah Cooper joins us as PTA Corresponding Secretary and Ms. Indira DeCastro joins us on the SLT. Please welcome them to the board and we look forward to working with them!

    we're baaaaaaaaaaack!

    Apologies for staying away for so long - but we are back from our extended maternity leave (it's boy!).

    First of all, we wish you all a Happy New Year! 2008 was a year that most of us want would rather forget - so we gladly welcome 2009. Let's hope that we have a healthy and prosperous new year.

    Friday, September 05, 2008

    District Wide Events

    Citywide High School Fair

    High school fair for all 8th graders and their parents. School representatives from all five boroughs will be present. Workshops by Department of Education enrollment officials.

    Start Date: 2008-09-20
    End Date: 2008-09-21
    Event Time: 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.
    Event Location: Brooklyn Tech High School 29 Fort Greene Place (by subway: 2,3,4,5 to Atlantic Ave.; Q or R to DeKalb; C to Lafayette;G to Fulton
    Event Contact: Office of Student Enrollment, 212-374-2363 or the parent coordinator at your school

    UFT Parent Outreach Committee

    Where: 335 Adams Street 24th floor
    When: Wednesday, September 17th, 2008
    Time: 4:30pm– food /5:00pm- meeting
    children are always welcome!
    Please RSVP to: Betty Zohar 718.722.6936 (Office); 917.796.8950 (Cell)
    Directions: 2-3-4-5 Borough Hall, A-C-F Jay Street R-M Lawrance Street

    September 2008 Calendar

    The September calendar was distributed this week, and the following are the highlights:

    Tuesday, September 8: PTA, PAC and School Open House, 6:00 pm

    Thursday, September 11: E.L.L. Parent Meeting, 9:00 am

    Tuesday, September 16: Grade 1 Spelling Bee, 9:30 am

    Wednesday, September 17: Grade 2 Spelling Bee, 9:30 am

    Thursday, September 18: Grade 3 Spelling Bee, 9:30 am

    Friday, September 19: Grade 4 Spelling Bee, 9:30 am

    Tuesday, September 23: Grade 5 Spelling Bee, 9:30 am

    Wednesday, September 24: Grade 6 Spelling Bee, 9:30 am

    Thursday, September 25: Grade 7 Spelling Bee, 9:30 am

    Friday, September 26: Grade 8 Spelling Bee, 9:30 am

    Tuesday, September 30: Rosh Hashanah - NO SCHOOL

    Welcome back!

    welcome back, your dreams are your ticket out.....

    Well, if you know the rest of that song you're old!

    On behalf of the PTA, we would like to welcome you to a new school year. The 2008-2009 academic year holds much promise for us - we hope you all had a restful summer, because it’s going to take a lot of hard work from EVERYONE to ensure that we have a successful school year. A strong partnership among all the adults – Parents & Guardians, Teachers and Administration - can have a lasting impression on our children’s lives. Let’s get off to a great start!

    Please join us for the first PTA meeting of the school year, on Monday, September 8th at 6:00 pm!