Letter to NEST+m Students and Families, Week of December 21, 2015

Dear NEST+m Students & Families,
This past week our school was filled with academic and community celebration.
With colorful, life sized self-portraits filling our halls, our Kindergarten students held their “Me Study” celebration. With interactive maps of Central Park and a range of research-based writing and whole-class public readings, our 2nd Grade students held their Central Park Celebration. And our Auditorium was alive with the sounds of music and dance as 5th grade students took to the stage for their Ballroom Dancing Celebration. 
In our Upper Grades, our annual in-house Ray Bradbury Writing Competition culminated in six students receiving awards for their original works of short fiction. The stories will be publicly displayed on  the bulletin board outside of room 347, and will be featured in this year’s edition of our Literary Magazine, “Epoch.” 
All of this is a reflection of the focus and purpose our teachers bring to their craft and to the accomplishment students feel when they produce presentation-quality evidence of learning and have the opportunity to present this learning publicly.   
Families:  Thank you for your ongoing support of your children and our entire NEST+m community. Your in-person support at such formal celebrations and your many contributions in time and fundraising enable us to provide the resources and programs that help our K-12 community thrive.
In specific, your support funds our 22 lower grades Teachers Assistants, our lower grades Chess & Technology teacher, our Middle Grades & Upper Grades after-school clubs and the many trips and resources that enable our College Office to meet the particular needs of NEST+m’s incredible Upper Grades students.  
As we enter this three-day instructional week with continued focus and purpose, please note that we have a full-day of instruction on Wednesday 12/23.
Upper Grades Programming: January 2016 brings the final weeks of Semester 1. Students will receive direct instruction from teachers regarding end-of-semester assessments and/or final projects. In certain instances students will receive revised programs featuring the continuation of their two-semester courses but with a different teacher. In certain instances revised programs will be implemented upon our return to school in January. Should a program change take place, students will be notified of this directly.
Looking Ahead:
Winter Recess: December 24- January 1.  School Resumes: January 4.
NYC Reads:
Please see the NYC Reads website for grade-specific recommended reading lists that will allow everyone in our school community (students, teachers, staff, family members) to make every day a day of reading:  http://schools.nyc.gov/academics/nycreads365
Wishing you and yours a wonderful vacation and a Happy New Year.
Mark Berkowitz
(IA) Principal