Letter to NEST+m Students & Families from Mark Berkowitz, April 24-28, 2017


Dear NEST+m Students & Families,

Throughout this year NEST+m’s Teachers and Faculty have worked individually and collaboratively to implement an instructional throughline that connects our K-12 classrooms, courses and academic content areas.

As professional educators with a deep commitment to the academic success and social emotional well being of every NEST+m student, our professional practices have centered upon a K-12 Theory of Action:

If we strengthen teacher capacity to engage students in purposeful reading and writing within every lesson, then we will strengthen the capacity for all students to create high level demonstrations of learning.

This week, on Thursday and Friday, our instructional practices and their impact on student learning will be formally assessed through the DOE’s Quality Review Process.

The Quality Review measures how well schools are organized to support student achievement.
For more information please see: http://schools.nyc.gov/Accountability/tools/review/default.htm

  • Please note that during the Quality Review, a number of students representing NEST+m’s diversity of learners will be randomly selected by the reviewers to meet with them.
  • Students will bring a minimum of three various work samples—such as writing, problem- solving, lab reports, projects—from different subject areas that reflect our school’s expectations for learning and assessment.
  • This will enable the reviewers to understand the learning experience of NEST+m’s students including how assessments support the ongoing development of students’ content understandings, skills and academic & personal behaviors.

The calendar and updates below provide additional information about our week ahead.

Thank you for your ongoing support and communication.


Mark Berkowitz


Monday April 24th:
Earth Day Celebrated: K-5 Students are encouraged to wear their Earth Day shirts to honor this important day .

Tuesday April 25h:
4pm: School Leadership Team (SLT) meeting in Library

Wednesday April 26th:
K-12 Principal’s Coffee with Families, 8:30am, Auditorium (Please note that our April Principal’s coffee is consolidated into one K-12 meeting due to the rescheduled School Quality Review).

Thursday April 27th:  School Quality Review Day 1.

Friday April 28th: School Quality Review Day 2

Looking ahead:
·      5/1: AP Exams begin
·      5/2 to 5/4: Grades 3-7 State Math Exams  (Please note: 8th grade students take the Algebra 1 Regents).
·      5/18: Evening K-5 Science Fair + 6-12 Curriculum Celebration

Grades K-5 Announcements:
Book of the Month: Our book of the month for April is Here Comes the Garbage Barge! by Jonah Winter.  This book was chosen to support our current science fair focus on sustainability. For more information about this text, please see this 2010 New York Times Book Review: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/07/books/review/Schoemer-t.html

Science Fair Preparation:
K-5 students are currently conducting classroom science experiments to prepare for the NEST + m K- 5 Science Fair to be held on Thursday, May 18th from 4:45pm to 7:45pm.  Students are currently working on submitting science fair proposals to their classroom teachers.  Students are encouraged to choose a topic of interest and once their proposal is approved, students can begin to conduct their science experiments.

Earth Day Preparation
Students have been decorating white t-shirts with a variety of Earth Day symbols.  Students are encouraged to think about one way they can help to keep the earth clean and beautiful.  They were encouraged to put their Earth Day ideas onto their t-shirt.

Upcoming Events
Monday, April 24th Earth Day Celebration: K-5 students should wear their Earth Day t-shirts to help honor this important day.
K-5 Book Swap: Students are encouraged to bring in a book to swap with a classmate.  Our week long book swap is a wonderful way to support the “Reduce, Reuse and Recycle” theme in honor of Earth Day.

Kindergarten Planting Event: Kindergarten students will be participating in a planting event on Monday morning in the courtyard.  Students will be planting seeds in recycled milk cartons.

Earth Day Reading and Discussion: During this day our students will be reading articles and teachers will be reading books to support classroom conversations around the theme of sustainability.  We encourage you to talk to your child about the topics they discussed during our Earth Day Celebration.  We hope to make this an annual event at NEST + m.  Any ideas to make this day even more special are welcome!

Wednesday, April 26th Author Visit 2nd – 5th Grades: To compliment our Book of the Month, author Jonah Winter of Here Comes the Garbage Barge!  will be talking about his writing process while creating this book and other books he has written.  If you want to have a book signed, please have your child bring in one of his many books.

Grades 6-8 Announcements:
Special Opportunities:
Apply by April 30: Bella Abzug Leadership Institute’s Summer Intensive Leadership and Debate Training Program http://www.abzuginstitute.org/

Apply by May 1: Toby Nussbaum Jewish Heritage NY 2017 Writing Contest—Cultural Pluralism: Maintaining Cultures; Enriching America http://www.jcrcny.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/2017.jhnycontestinfo.pdf Note: This opportunity is open to students

Grades 4 to 12.
Special Opportunities:
Students Can Apply Now for Exciting Science and STEM Programs this Summer
Application Deadline: April 28, 2017
Event: July-August 2017
Contact: Camps@schools.nyc.gov

Students in grades PreK-12 can apply now to attend exciting science and STEM programs being offered this summer at the NYC Department of Education’s Environmental Study Center and NYC Center for Space Science Education, the Bronx Zoo, Central Park Zoo, Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, Museum of the City of New York, New York Aquarium, Prospect Park Zoo, Queens Botanical Garden, Queens County Farm Museum, Queens Zoo, Staten Island Museum, Staten Island Zoo, and SUNY Old Westbury. Programs feature one-week camps, high school internships, and a four-week college credit bearing course. Preference will be given to students who attend Title I schools. Click here for more information and here to apply.

Grades 9-12 Announcements:

DATE                         SPORT             VENUE

04/24 Mon     Softball Girls Varsity           Randall’s Island #17
04/25 Tue       Softball Girls Varsity           East River Park 8
04/26 Wed     Fencing Girls Varsity           Long Island City Hs
04/28 Fri         Fencing Girls Varsity           Nest Hs-Fencing
04/28 Fri         Softball Girls Varsity           East River Park 8

Always be sure to check http://www.psal.org/profiles/school-profile.aspx#01538 for the most updated schedule or email ccinquegrana@schools.nyc.gov