Letter to Students & Families: Week of December 31, 2018

December 31, 2018

Dear NEST+m Students & Families,

Happy New Year!

I am hoping you have had a joyful Winter Recess.

Over this holiday week I’ve had the opportunity to visit Washington D.C. with my family.

As we enter the final hours of 2018 and center ourselves for the start of 2019, I have been heartened by the many individuals, groups and families that have gathered in our nation’s capital.

Pitched upon the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, late one afternoon, the sight and sounds of all who were present made it feel as if every nation of the world had sent a few lucky ambassadors to gather at that very spot at that very moment.

And the voice of August 28, 1963 continued to echo for all who were listening as person upon person stood where Dr. King once stood, peering beyond the reflection pool and the Washington Monument toward the Capitol.

It was as if each of us was called in our own voice to say:  I, too, have a dream deeply rooted in the American Dream. . . .

It was a moment of pause; a reminder that our nation’s highest ideals are alive because they have been passed down from one generation to the next.

It was also a reminder that we are preparing every NEST+m student to thrive in an increasingly complex world community.


NEST+m’s mission is deeply connected to the core principles upon which the finest ideals of our country stands.

Intellectualism: Within the National Archives, our Nation’s founding documents, including the Declaration of Independence, The U.S. Constitution & The Bill of Rights are secured and displayed for posterity. We create meaning through deep, enduring understandings and the experiences of past and present

Inclusivity:  The Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial features a range of his most famous quotes, including: “If we are to have peace on earth, our loyalties must become ecumenical rather than sectional. Our loyalties must transcend our race, our tribe, our class, and our nation; and this means we must develop a world perspective.” Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Christmas sermon, Atlanta, Georgia, 1967.

From the Capitol Building to George Washington’s Mt. Vernon to the National Archives, our country’s legacy of slavery, segregation and injustice are being discussed openly and explored along with the democratic ideals upon which our nation was founded. King once said of our nation: “Just be true to what you’ve said on paper.” It seems that our national memorials and museums are starting to hold up the mirror in deliberate self-examination.

CollaborationThe National Air & Space Museum might seem best positioned as a site for “Exploration”—which, of course, it is. But when thinking of Collaboration, the trials and experimentation that led to the first airplanes and later, space flight, are glowing examples of collaborative innovation.

Exploration: From the newly opened National Museum of African American History & Culture to the National Museum of the American Indian to the Library of Congress to the National Portrait Gallery, Explorations of the self & of communities across our nation are on display for all to see and grapple with. In this painting, Shimomura Crossing the Delaware, artist Roger Shimomura reinterprets Washington’s Crossing the Delaware. Shimomura’s work is on display at the National Portrait Gallery while Emanuel Leutze’s Washington is on display in NYC’s own Metropolitan Museum of Art.

What are the ways in which you have been inspired or re-energized by the concepts of Intellectualism, Inclusivity, Collaboration and Exploration during the Winter Recess?

As we start the New Year and return to NEST+m, thank you for your ongoing support and communication.

Happy New Year to you and yours.


Mark Berkowitz


  • Winter Recess: December 24 – January 1, return to school on January 2nd, 2019

Important notes about our 2018-2019 📅School Calendar📅

As you plan your family’s activities, please visit our Calendar page of the school website. You will see a Google calendar of our school events as well as other important items, such as the A/B Calendar, the Department of Education Calendar as well as the January and June New York State Regents Exam Schedules.
  • During January Regents exam week January 22-25, 2019, Upper Grades students will not report to school unless they are scheduled to take a January Regents exam. Students should see their Guidance Counselor for questions about January Regents exams.
  • The June Regents exam testing schedule (June 18-25, 2019)  is very late this year; some 8th grade students and Upper Grade students are going to have Regents exams during the last week of school. 12th grade and 8th grade graduation ceremonies are going to be on June 26th, the very last day of school! Please keep this schedule in mind as you make your family’s summer plans.