Message From Principal Ureña-Thus

June 2021

Oh, The Places You'll Go!

OH! The Places WE will GO!

As I reflect on this past school year I feel nothing but gratitude for all of the lessons learned. It has been a challenging year for all of us, students, families, school staff members the same, but together we relied on each other for strength, support and answers and made it through the year successfully. A successful year it was! Our students at PS398Q did not miss a day of instruction we pulled together in the midst of opening and closing classrooms due to COVID to ensure they were able to attend classes inspersion and remotely in the drop of a hat, (excuse the pun). Every single student was offered a teacher even if it was just one student in quarantine. And for that I am grateful. Grateful to the parents that kept their child home if they were sick and the teachers that picked up the additional student (s) in a moment's notice. I am so grateful for our families that supported us during the year and made sure our children were safe everyday. This year we went through many changes in scheduling, programming, and with arrival/dismissal procedures. We went from a blended schedule to a full week schedule, increasing the number of students in school. But our teachers, families and students followed all the safety protocols and precautions outside of our school building, social distancing and submitting health surveys online before morning line up resulting in a timely start to the school day. That was incredible! We were able to admit all of our students in and out of the school building everyday in less than 10 min. KUDDOS to all of you! And when I reflect on the learning, our children were able to come to inperson Saturday School, After-School and Reading Club to further their learning. Our teachers were so proactive and action driven implementing new programs and developing lessons that afforded our students real life connections to their learning. Together they developed project based learning opportunities for our students, programming outdoors on 34th Avenue so that our students still received hands on learning experiences in the midst of a pandemic. It was FUN taking them on virtual trips to the Queens Botanical Garden and "real trips" gardening with our community just outside of our school doors. I am looking forward to our first Annual Field Trip on June 11th. Our community grew closer together. I am grateful to all of you and our community partners, Woodside on The Move, the 115 Precinct, 34th Avenue Open Street Coalition, Council Member Daniel Dromm, Senator Ramos and Assembly Member Jessica González-Rojas. This past year has required us to be patient as we learned together, as well as proactive to ensure our children were not sacrificed as we were learning. We have had to endure a level of strength we never thought we had in us and yet that made us more sensitive to each other's needs. We have all sacrificed so much this past year coping with the challenges that COVID-19 brought to us and we were SUCCESSFUL. I applaud us for that! So on June 18th while we are celebrating our children moving up to the next grade, let's also celebrate each other as well. June 18th is more than a Stepping Up Ceremony. It is a success story ceremony of ALL of us! We all did it! Together!

As we close out this school year, I am looking forward to the opportunities that growing a new school together affords us. The unity and community we are building as the founding families of PS398Q. Much like a real family welcoming a new child into their home, we are welcoming a new grade 3K into our school and every year welcoming new teachers and students as our school community grows. I humbly look to all of YOU to continue to work along side me, together in unity and community. PS 398Q The Héctor Figueroa School- believes We ALL L.E.A.R.N.! We all make decisions that LEAD to our successful future, we all EMPOWER each other, we ACHIEVE our goals together taking actionable steps towards our success. We do that by RESPECTING each other and listening to each other, being open to new ideas and multiple perspectives. We NURTURE each other everyday staying positive and healthy, mind body and soul.

Here's to our future!

  • 3K Classroom coming this Fall 2021
  • Welcoming a new full time Guidance Counselor, 3K teacher and new Second Grade Teachers
  • STEM Science Lab Opens this Fall 2021
  • ALL students and staff returning in-person 5 days a week!! BRAVO
  • Many MORE, partnerships, real life connections & project based learning opportunities for all of our students

Warmest wishes,

Erica Ureña-Thus

Deadline to Complete The NYC School Survey June 11th

Thank you to everyone who has filled out the Annual NYC School Survey! Students, parents, and staff members can complete the survey until June 11.The NYC School Survey helps school leaders understand what members of their community think about the learning environment at their school and informs improvements to schools and programs.

The survey is available to all members of school communities online at All survey responses are due by June 11, and the parent and student surveys are available online in ten languages: Arabic, Bengali, Chinese, English, French, Haitian Creole, Korean, Russian, Spanish, and Urdu. Families without online access. If you are having difficulty completing the survey please call the school and Ms. Jenny, Ms. Juanita or Ms. Akter will schedule an appointment for you to come to the family room and complete the survey. School Number #929-463-5200. Remote families that completed their survey please continue come by for your free ice-cream. We thank you for participating and voicing your opinion.

Marcus Class PreK 114

Thank YOU PS398Q 2020 PA Team and Welcoming The New PA Team 2021

Thank you to our current PA Team, Mr. Abhinav, PA President and Mr. Olsson, Treasurer. I know that holding PA meetings and Elections in a virtual environment was challenging work and I thank you for your commitment to our school and to parent leadership.Functioning in the Virtual Environment: Guidance for PA/PTAs and Presidents' Councils and Virtual Elections: Guidance for PA/PTAs and Presidents’ Councils. Introducing our new members for 2021 School Year, PA President Ms. Tsomo Dasel, Recording Secretary Ms. Regina Farrell and Treasurer Mr. Lennart Olsson. I am looking forward to our partnership as we continue planning and supporting Elections of PA/PTA Officers virtually according to guidance and Chancellor Regulations A-660. Forthcoming are the June elections for the parent representative on the SLT. Elections for the parent representatives on the SLT should be held before the end of the school year to ensure a functioning SLTs. You can find additional PA/PTA resources on the DOE website at

PA/PTAs should contact their Presidents' Councils, Family Leadership Coordinators or FACE Liaison if they have any questions or need support.

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FREE SUMMER SCHOOL- Summer RISING PROGRAM for ALL students in Kindergarten through 12 Grade

I strongly encourage all families that can sign up for the FREE Summer School Program to do so. For the first time ever, the City will use the Community Schools strategy to integrate the New York City Department of Education’s (NYCDOE’s) academic supports and DYCD’s school-based enrichment programming to create a comprehensive summer program: Summer Rising.

This will be the City’s free, summer plan for any child in grades K-12 including students with disabilities, who wants to participate. Applications for free Summer Rising in-person programs (grades K-8) are now open. Families can sign up through the Discover DYCD website

● Summer Rising programs are full day and in-person experiences for students K-8.

● Students with 12-month IEPs will be contacted about participating in their IEP-recommended programs and about their learning preferences (remote or in person).

● High school programs may be in-person or remote, depending on the subject area and community needs. High schools will design programs locally to meet the unique needs of older students. High schools will reach out to students in the coming weeks to discuss participation.

You can find the Summer Rising Calendar, Commonly Asked Questions, and more information on the Summer Rising Program on the DOE website.

Read the full announcement for more details