Letter to NEST+m Students & Families from Mark Berkowitz, Week of September 12, 2016


Dear NEST+m Students & Families,

Thank you for the wonderful start of the 2016-17 school year.

For those who are new to our community, each week I will send an email similar to this one that outlines key information related to our school community.


  • Monday September 12th: Eid al-Adha. Schools closed.
  • Please see the attached Back to school letter from Mayor DeBlasio.
  • Morning Entry Procedures:

o   Our doors open for student breakfast at 7:30am.

o   The NEST+m Main Courtyard is reserved for K-5 students who are supervised by parents; Grades 6-8 students may also stay in the Main courtyard.

o   Grades K-2 students who are being dropped off by parents or bus: will report to the Cafeteria where they will be supervised. They will be picked up by teachers directly from the Cafeteria.

o   Grades 3-5 students who are being dropped off by parents or bus: will report to the Auditorium where they will be supervised. They will be picked up by teachers directly from the Auditorium.

o   Grades 6-8 students who are being dropped off by parents or bus: may be in the courtyard OR the Auditorium.

o   Grades 9-12 students enter our building via the Columbia Street Entrance. Grades 9-12 students may report directly to the 3rd floor.

o   All classes begin at 8:20 am. To ensure timely arrival for class, students should arrive no later than 8:10am.


Please Do Not Pull Into the NEST+m School Parking Lot

We have many faculty and staff who drive long distances to serve our school community. Our parking lot isn’t able to accommodate the cars of parents dropping off or picking up students: it was not designed in a manner that allows cars to easily turn around, and it is a safety hazard for cars to back out onto Houston during arrival and dismissal times.  Faculty reported hazardous conditions in the parking lot today as parents pulled into the parking lot and then backed out onto Houston as students were crossing the sidewalk.  Some parent cars also prevented faculty and staff from pulling into the parking lot.

We recognize that it is time-consuming to park blocks away from school and then walk your child to the Courtyard, but we ask you to prioritize the safety of our students and the timely arrival of our faculty and staff.

Principal’s Coffees

Next week we begin our monthly tradition of “Principal’s Coffees.” These morning meetings will take place in the NEST+m Cafeteria. Please enter through the courtyard entrance to ensure you’ve signed in with school safety.

o   Wednesday 9/14: For families of students in Grades K-5

o   Thursday 9/15: For families of students in Grades 6-8

o   Friday 9/16: For families of students in Grades 9-12


Family Outreach Meetings

Also starting next week is a series of family outreach meetings that will enable us to hear from groups of families who are culturally or linguistically connected to one another. We are one school and we are all members of the NEST+m community. These sessions are intended to provide a pro-active opportunity for the NEST+m administrative team to listen to groups of parents and students so that we may be responsive to particular interests or needs.

Tuesday 9/13: Hispanic/Spanish Speaking Family Outreach Meeting

Wednesday 9/14: Chinese/Chinese Speaking Family Outreach Meeting

Thursday 9/15: Russian/Russian Speaking & Eastern European Families

Monday 9/19: South Asian Families Outreach Meeting

Wednesday 9/21: Black/African American Families Outreach Meeting Thursday 9/22: Muslim Families Outreach Meeting

Monday 9/26: LGBT Family Outreach meeting


Save the Date for Curriculum Night: Wednesday 9/28


Thank you for helping us make this a great school year. Thank you for your ongoing support and communication.



Mark Berkowitz