Letter to NEST+m Students & Families, Week of September 21, 2015

Dear NEST+m Students and Families,
This week features three days of instruction: Monday 9/21, Tuesday 9/22, Friday 9/25.  Upper Grades Photo Days are taking place on Monday & Tuesday.
All NYC Department of Education Schools are closed on Wednesday 9/23 for Yom Kippur and Thursday 9/24 for Eid Al-Adha. To those who celebrate, we hope you have a meaningful holiday.
Families: Please join our K-12 Curriculum Night on Wednesday September 30th, 5pm to 8pm. On Curriculum Night families will visit classroom teachers in the classroom setting following a modified program similar to the one your children experience. Curriculum Night will also feature a welcome presentation from (IA) Principal Mark Berkowitz and other school leaders. Although Curriculum Night does not allow for individual conferencing, it is a wonderful opportunity for your family to enter our classrooms, to meet and hear from our teachers, and to learn more about our Curriculum and units of study. A precise agenda will be shared prior to September 30th.
8th Grade Students & Families: Save the Date! On Tuesday 10/6, from 3:00pm -4:30pm, NEST+m Middle Grades Guidance Counselor Ms. Chen will host a meeting about the High School Articulation Process.
Additional High School & Middle School Tour Information will be posted to our school website this week.
General Updates
Lower Grades Chess: We are working to provide a Chess special to our K-2 students. An update will be provided by our September 30th Curriculum Night.
Lower Grades Morning Drop-Off & Afternoon Pick-up: As announced last week, we are seeking to provide a clearer system for morning drop-of and afternoon pick-up. We have already heard from a number of parents about your ideas for improving our practices. Please continue to be in touch so that we may receive your feedback, monitor this roll-out and revise our practices as needed.
7th Grade Advisory: In alignment with Chancellor Fariña’s vision that schools provide supportive environments with special attention to the development of students’ social emotional learning competencies, we have created a 7th grade Advisory course. Advisory will feature a range of individual, small group and full-class learning experiences that will develop students’ self-awareness, social awareness and decision making abilities. It will also provide the space for academic goal setting, reflection and overarching skills building.
Communication Systems: In addition to weekly messages posted to our website and distributed via MailChimp, we are working to streamline and improve our communication systems. Our goal is to provide a single electronic gradebook of record for students in grades 6-12; a single system for sending whole-school and family-specific announcements; a single site for students to obtain course information. Though it will take some time to fully implement, these changes are already underway.
Please continue to view our school website for announcements and community calendar postings. Thank you for your ongoing support and communication.
Mark Berkowitz
(IA) Principal