This Week at SMS – Sept 30

Hello SMS Families! I hope everyone has been out enjoying this lovely weather as we move into autumn. I have attached October Calendars to this email for your monthly planning. Please note, there are separate calendars for the K-8 and the HS. As always, feel free to reach out to me with any questions, concerns, or things you would like to share with the larger SMS community. 
3rd-8th grade Families: NYS TEST SCORES RELEASED State tests scores from the 2017-18 school year have been released.Click HERE to log in to your New York City Schools Account to see your student’s scores. If you do not have an NYC Schools Account, please let me know, and I can assist you.
K-8 Families: KMC is closed on October 1 & 2 in observance of Shemini Atzeret and Simchas Torah, but school is still in session for your children. What this means from a practical standpoint is that all academic classes are running, but there are no music classes, private lessons or after school activities. There WILL be music theory for grades 4-8. The building will be locked after dismissal, and no parents are permitted in the building during the school day. Please be respectful to our school safety officer, faculty, and building staff. We are all on the same team, and our first priority is your child’s safety.
Check out this article How urban farms in New York schools are raising food to fight inequality.” The new program at our MLK complex is mentioned in the section titled: Supporting Social Change from the Ground Up.
And in Chalkbeat, SMS earns top marks again in the article, See which New York City schools posted the highest and lowest 2018 test scores.”
Tiffany Tsui (7th Grade) is dancing in NYC Ballet’s Family Saturday show on Oct 13. These are designed for children because they break down the ballets and there is audience interaction. For more information and to buy tickets, click here
What: Homework help line for elementary and middle school students, run by classroom teachers
Hours: Monday—Thursday, 4—7 p.m.
Languages spoken: Bengali, Chinese (Mandarin, Cantonese and Fukanese), English, French, Haitian-Creole, Russian, Slovak and Spanish

A Brief History: The Dial-A-Teacher program began in January of 1980. It was a pilot program in 17 schools in 8 districts. Five teachers were hired to field these questions with one teacher proficient in Spanish. Students throughout the city quickly began to use the program to get help with homework problems that stumped them. By 1986, the program expanded to include all elementary schools in the city through funding by the NYC City Council. The UFT provided a large space where the newly hired staff of 45 teachers could work. Hundreds of texts and reference materials were bought and Dial-A-Teacher was now a world-class source of help for all the elementary students in the city. As word spread to students that there was a telephone number that they could call to get free help with homework, the number of calls climbed steadily. Students in middle school and high school who were using the Dial-A-Teacher program since the third grade continued to seek this help. Dial-A-Teacher began hiring experts in advanced math and science to field these calls from older students.

Girls and Gender Non-Conforming Youth from ages 12-19: 
Thanks to our amazing PTA grant committee, SMS has received a Lowe’s grant. Please see the information below, and sign up to help build ON 10/27 if you can! 
10th-12th grade students:

Wednesdays, November 29, 2018–June 6, 2018, 4–6:30 PM: The New York Historical Society’s nationally-recognized Student Historian Internship Program is currently accepting applications for the 2018–2019 school year. In this program, students in grades 10–12 can connect with teens from across the tri-state area who share their love of history. Interns develop their research and public speaking skills, learn about careers in museums and libraries from professionals in the field, and improve technical skills through multi-media projects. A select number of New York City high school students with demonstrated financial need can receive stipends for participation. This program is free to all other participants.
Application Deadline: October 5. Click here for more information, including application materials.

High School Girls:

Saturdays, October 13–November 17, 2018, 9 am–12 pm New York Historical Society: During this 6-week intensive program, high school girls will expand their CSS and web design skills as they curate and build an online collection. Scholars will gain behind-the-scenes insight in the processes of digital humanities, meeting with Museum staff and influential women in technology fields while researching and writing about an artifact of their interest from the Museum collections. They will leave the program with a collaboratively developed site and a deeper understanding of CSS design principles and HTML. Scholars entering the program should have foundational HTML and CSS skills.Applications are being accepted on a rolling basis and will close when the program fills. Click here for more information, including application materials.

High School Students:

Sundays, October 14–28 9:00am–12:00pm New York Historical Society: During this 3 session program high school students will explore the major exhibition Harry Potter: A History of Magic while discovering and creating magical illustrations! Participants will study essential art-making skills and learn how to transfigure their ideas from brain to page. Participants will come away with an anthology of their fantastical art. Applications are being accepted on a rolling basis and will close when the program fills. Click here for more information, including application materials.


Are you a NYC public schools parent or caregiver who identifies as LGBTQ or do you know of an LGBTQ parent with children who are currently attending NYC public schools? The DOE’s Office of Counseling Support Programs is looking for participants for a focus group that will help the DOE understand how to best support LGBTQ parents/caregivers and their families.
Participants in the focus group will get the opportunity to discuss their personal experiences as parents of City public school students. Meetings will be held in the evening at Tweed Courthouse in downtown Manhattan on a monthly basis and dates and times will be announced in late fall 2018.
If you or someone you know is interested in participating in this focus group, please email Shoshana Lief at  


Kaufman Music Center welcomes parents to consider joining the celebration of Special Music School for a Musical Evening with violinist Cho-Liang Lin and pianist Orion Weiss. The evening begins with a cocktail reception at 6:30pm, and the concert gets underway at 7:30pm: The Cosmopolitan Club, 122 East 66th Street, New York City. Tickets may be purchased here, and all proceeds benefit the SMS music program.

Lin: Beethoven Violin Concerto:

Weiss: Mozart sonata:



1ST -8TH GRADE FAMILIES: NYC Parks Department afterschool programs: 

The NYC Parks Afterschool Program provides children ages six to 13 with academic support and physical activity in a safe-structured environment. This free program takes place weekdays from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., a critical time to engage school-aged children in structured activities and expose them to new interests.

Programming is based around monthly themes including sports, famous artists, and STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics). All themes are showcased at culminating events such as the STEAM Makers Faire and the Art Show in Poe Park and Afterschool Adventures, which engages youth in the sports they have learned throughout the year. Our program complements what children are learning in school and strengthens their sense of belonging in the communities in which they live.

Our programs offer:

  • Academic enrichment
  • Healthy snacks
  • Supervised computer use
  • Team-building activities
  • Sports and fitness
  • Arts and cultural programming

For more information and registration details, please click HERE.


CEC3 Equity & Excellence Committee Meeting
Thursday, Oct. 4th at 6:30 pm
PS / IS 76 – Library, 220 W. 121 Street
CEC3 Business Meeting
Wednesday, October 10th at 6:30 pm
Joan of Arc Building, 154 W. 93rd Street
CSD3 Middle School Fair
Thursday, October 11th from 5:30 – 7:30 pm
PS 242 – 134 West 122 Street  

All Families: New, Free, Multimedia Exhibition Focuses On Jerome Robbins And His Muse, New York City Forbes Magazine: Legendary choreographer Jerome Robbins was deeply connected to New York, drawing inspiration for shows and ballets from the people and places around him. This vibrant relationship between Robbins and the city is the focus of a new exhibition at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts. Read the full story

I saw this article, and thought it was a fun read for all…The Hot New Musical Trend In Zanzibar Is From The ’80s — The 1880s: NPR: The traditional music known as taarab was fading away — until a school began giving lessons to aspiring musicians. Read the full story
Lisa Stump, Parent Coordinator