Wednesday, June 27, 2007

It's been a long time....

(if you are completing the rest of that line with "I shouldn't have left you", then you are really old like me!!!).

Today is the last day of school for all New York City public school children!!!! Summer vacation is here. Seriously though, a lot has happened this past month, and here is a short recap:

Saturday, June 16th - First Annual International Festival. Over 200 people attended this fun-filled family day, where we celebrated the various cultures the children learned about during the school year. It was a truly beautiful event and the start of an annual tradition.

Thursday, June 21st - PTA Honor Roll and Thank You Dinner. The auditorium was filled to capacity on a warm evening, as parents, teachers and students came out to celebrate the achievement of all the students who have worked hard all year. Additionally, several groups performed for that evening, from steppers to choirs, the entertainment provided just the right kick-off to wonderful dinner that was awaiting everyone downstairs.

Monday, June 25th - District 17 PTA Year-End Dinner Celebration. Ms. Shannon, the PTA coordinator of District 17 held her annual thank you dinner to parent volunteers at I.S. 390. There were also several awards for our students - particularly the students that were accepted to attend specialized high schools received certificates and trophies!!!

Wednesday, June 27th - Last day of school. Today is the last day of school. Children will be picking their report cards today - they MUST be in full uniform. As another year has come and gone, we watch our "babies" mature before our eyes. As you pick up your children today, remember to thank the teacher who spent so much time with your child this year and was hopefully instrumental in your child's development.


Finally, we would like to thank all of the hardworking and resourceful parent and teacher volunteers who have dedicated so much of themselves, their vision, passion, energy, patience, understanding to enriching our children's lives this year!! THANK YOU VERY MUCH!!!! You came and supported the meetings and events all year long. A special THANK YOU to Ms. Suzette Billy - you truly go beyond expectations! Next year as we embrace the new Empowerment model, we will need to continue working together in this spirit of community. Thank you!

These are some highlights of the PTAs accomplishments for the 2006-2007 school year:

1) Initiated and coordinated a discussion of family finances with the invitation of a representative from Carver Bank and Jackson Hewitt at our January PTA meeting. Both guests, Marc Davis from Carver and Raymond Wiggins from Hewitt gave general presentations on the value of saving, budgeting and general tax tips. (This is an ongoing event – next year we will have a monthly event tailored to the needs of our community)

2) Save the Crown School drive: initiated and wrote petitions, email campaign with various entities of the District, the Chancellor and local politicians. Spearheaded emergency session for Dr. Peek-Davis to join us for Q&A; main contact with Assemblymen Karim Camara and Hakeem Jeffries to take on our fight

3) Black History Family Movie Festival featuring films starring or produced/directed by African-Americans (four Saturday viewings): I, Robot; Marvel Ultimate Avengers: Rise of the Black Panther; Akeelah & the Bee; Jump In!; Cheetah Girls 2 (on-going)

4) Crown Gems Book Club: The Pursuit of Happyness, by Chris Gardner and The Lemon Tree, by Andrea Levy (on-going)

5) Illustration and Cartoon workshop by acclaimed artist, Chan Harley (This was the first, but definitely not the last; we are working to reach out to more artists, writers etc. to hold more workshops and seminars)

6) Teacher Appreciation Day – special breakfast for Teachers and Staff, catered by Culpepper’s Restaurant.

7) First Annual International Festival – coordinated along with Ms. Arthur a successful family day while celebrating the various cultures that were studied in school

8) Uniform Exchange Program (on-going)

9) Launch of an active PTA website. Includes: links to education organizations, news groups; Timely School information, updated daily

10) School photos fundraiser (Irvin Simon Studio; $3,200); SchoolPop fundraiser (ongoing); fundraiser (ongoing)

ps. There will be posts during the summer.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007


Thursday, June 7: Chancellor’s Conference Day for staff development IN ALL FIVE BOROUGHS. School staff report to work if required by their collective bargaining agreement. Students IN ALL FIVE BOROUGHS will NOT be in attendance.

Tuesday, June 12: There will be a 12 pm dismissal due to Clerical Shortened Days. Please arrange to pick up your child accordingly.

C'est tres bon!

P.S. 161 is proud to present The First Annual International Bazaar!

When: Saturday, June 16, 2007
Time: 10:00 am to 4:00 pm
Where: P.S. 161 - backyard, cafeteria and gymnasium

Join us as our students provide an array of entertainment ranging from steel pan, steppers, violinists, dancers, choirs, science demonstrations and more!

There will be hot dogs, refreshments, desserts and more! Tickets are $3.00 per person and must be purchase prior to the event.

Come celebrate a great year and a job well done!

Monday, June 04, 2007

NYC Department of Education

The NYC Department of Education has posted the calendar for the 2007-2008 school year. The biggest highlight being the first day of school: Tuesday, September 4th - ALL STUDENTS REPORT TO SCHOOL.

Please click here to access the calendar.

The ballots are in....

Last Thursday, May 31st, a group of parents and teachers gathered in the hot auditorium to concentrate on a serious task at hand, electing the new parent representatives on the various boards! Seriously, Ms. Shannon from District 17 was on hand again this year to coordinate the election for us in adherence to the Chancellor's Guidelines. The results are in and I am proud to present the new board members:

President: Tricia Mecklembourg
Vice President: Traci Tucker
Treasurer: Wenda Delpesche
Corresponding Secretary: Kenneth Llewellyn
Recording Secretary: Ian James

Carol Wilson
Tanya Tuff
Kenneth Llewellyn
Traci Tucker
Angela Stutts
Tricia Mecklembourg

Wenda Delpesche
Jeneba Bangura
Ian James

Please take the time to congratulate the new board members. The term for the new board is from July 1, 2007 to June 30, 2008. Please come out in September with ideas and enthusiasm to help make our school #1 for parent and teacher involvement.

calendar of events this week

Monday, June 4: Half-Day/Early Dismissal at 12 pm. Lunch will be served in school. PLEASE PICK UP YOUR CHILD ON TIME!

Tuesday & Wednesday, June 5 & 6: 8th Graders will be taking the New York Social Studies Test. Please make sure your child gets a good night's rest on the evening before each test and reports to school on time. Students should bring two #2 sharpened pencils.