Hugo Newman Family Newsletter

PS/IS 180 Hugo Newman College Preparatory

Spring Update

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Dear Parent/ Guardian,

As we galvanize our collective energy to disrupt silences around race and racism in classrooms, curriculum, and school, I am excited to announce that in October 2021, all PS/IS 180 scholars in Grades 3-8 will take a 2-week pause from the Reading/ Writing units of study with Teachers College project (TCRWP). The purpose of this pause is to study and discuss systematic racism and anti-racism. Students in Grades 3-8 will engage with excerpts from Sonja Cherry-Paul's adaptation of Stamped (For Kids) by Jason Reynolds & Ibram X. Kendi. Sonja Cherry-Paul is the Director of Diversity and Equity at TCRWP. This text is now available for pre-order; it releases on May 11th. This summer/ fall, our TCRWP staff developers will train our staff in culturally and asset-based pedagogies and provide the necessary tools for deep learning and critical literacy practices that bring about liberatory educational experiences that help all children thrive. More information will be shared as we approach the mini unit of study in the 2021-22 school year.

Furthermore, it is my pleasure to share the good news that a team of teachers, students, and parents have been planning and developing ways to Cultivate Genius within the middle school course sequence using Dr. Gholdy Muhammed's equity framework for culturally and historically responsive literacy. We are intently focused on the archaeology of self and working to build greater awareness of where we are uniquely situated within our historic community of Harlem. Starting next school year, we plan to have intentional community partnership development that allow for experiential thematic learning through an upper grade seminar sequence in the Arts, STEM, and Social Justice. We are looking to partner with the Schomburg Center, Harlem Grown, and local student unions at college/ university campuses. More information will be shared in the summer with middle school families.

This year, our focus has been on Coherence & Connectivity; we have prioritized cultivating a sense of belonging. Foundationally, we have put down roots in the following systems and structures to nurture and develop relationship building:

  • Daily schoolwide morning routines including restorative circles and brain breaks

  • Monthly adult self-care workshops for staff

  • Quarterly family wellness events and Virtual School Assemblies as Community Days

  • Improved communication streamlines through digital messaging and video announcements featuring daily highlights, news, and celebratory experiences for both students at school and home

  • Distribution of Learn At Home bags, Just Right book baggies, STEM kits, and STH bookbags filled with hygiene supplies

  • Total of 9 Success Mentors across grades to call and follow-up with families daily

  • Trained and certified middle school staff in Restorative Circles Tier I with a newly named Restorative Justice Coordinator

  • Innovative teaming structures building staff capacity through departmentalization

  • Strong partnerships with the PTA for Reading Challenges bridging at home and in-person literacy initiatives, Family Paint Night, Events in the Park, and Unity Space Dialogues for restoration and racial healing

Our next steps in this journey of belonging is to continue to examine our curriculum through an equity framework and develop opportunities that affirm each students’ identity. You are invited to join us in conversation on Wednesday, May 12th at 5:30PM as we discuss culturally and historically responsive teaching. We will be joined by Deirdre Hollman from Mosaic Education. She has served as Director of Education at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture for fifteen years where she engaged teachers and learners of all ages with the Schomburg’s collections through year-round programming for youth and teens; professional development workshops for teachers; and curriculum development partnerships with schools and community organization. Ms. Hollman is stepping into the role as our new Culturally Responsive curriculum consultant at PS/IS 180. In addition to meeting our families, she will be meeting separately with a group of students as well as our K-8 teaching staff. As one school with multiple voices, we are doing the brave work of interrogating our beliefs and practices about teaching and learning. Together, we are exploring the kind of teaching that advances the work of equity. Our shared future must include school cultures and climates where children are not only known well but where they see themselves reflected and respected in their curriculum.

On May 19th, we will hold space for another Principal-Parent Coffee Chat at 5:30pm. Please join me and SLT members in an Envisioning Exercise as we discuss what were the successful teaching/ learning and school climate practices of this year that we want to take with us into next year and where we want to pivot as we prepare for a 5-day return to school for all in the fall. Your voice matters. All are welcome.

To be seen and valued is a place where one can call home; for PS/IS 180, this is our vision of a school where everyone belongs. Everything we say and do is rooted in reminding students and families that they are loved, they are enough, and that they belong.

Jeneca Parker

Principal, PS/IS 180

"Be here. Be you. Belong. This school belongs to all of us." --Brené Brown

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Save the Dates

Great News: The DOE has approved for in-person ceremonies to take place this spring. We are planning to have outdoor socially-distanced ceremonies for
  • Pre-Kindergarten on June 21st
  • Kindergarten on June 22nd
  • 5th Grade on June 16th
  • 8th Grade on June 17th

IMPORTANT: To stay within CDC guidelines, each student is allowed a maximum of 2 guests.

Please know that the outdoor event will be livestreamed to accommodate all students, families, and staff who are unable to attend in-person for health and safety reasons. Also, we are simultaneously planning for an alternative virtual option in the event that we need to quickly pivot if cases rise.

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NYC DOE School Calendar is out now! Some key dates:

⭐️ First Day of School: Sept. 13th, 2021
⭐️ Winter Recess: Dec. 24th - 31st, 2021
⭐️ Midwinter Recess: Feb 21st - 25th, 2022
⭐️ Spring Recess: April 15th - 22nd, 2022
⭐️ Last Day of School: June 27, 2022

Please note the following reminders:

  • On “snow days” or days when school buildings are closed due to an emergency, all students and families should plan on participating in remote learning.
  • Your parent-teacher conference date might be different from those listed on the School Year Calendar. Your child’s teacher will work with you to schedule your conference.

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Message from the Parent Coordinator

The 2010 Census shows Harlem and East Harlem's Asian populations more than doubled over the last decade, growing 239% in East Harlem- from 520 residents in 2000 to 1,766 in 2010. In Central Harlem, the Asian population increased nearly 234% - from 460 to 1,536. In just 10 years, East Harlem has seen its Asian population rise from 0.9% in 2000 to 3% in 2010, CUNY'S Center for Urban Research says.

We recognize the Asian American and Pacific Islander (APPI) Community has a part of our Harlem community. For this very reason, Harlem's PS/IS 180 Hugo Newman Preparatory College is having our first AAPI assembly. This assembly will dispel stereotypes and myths about your people and/or community, teach and build appreciation and understanding towards the differences, gifts, and talents AAPI contributed to our community/country.

The virtual assembly will be shown on May 28 at 11:00 AM for the entire school (for in-person or remote students and families). Come enjoy the personal stories, cultures and achievements of the Asian American & Pacific Islanders within our Harlem community.

-Ms. Maryum Opa

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Message from the Speech Department

May is Better Speech and Hearing Month!

To celebrate, the Speech-Language Department at PS/IS 180 has created a visual handout to raise awareness about communication disorders. This year, the American Speech-Language and Hearing Association’s (ASHA) theme for 2021 is Building Connections. We wanted to take this opportunity to share information about Speech-Language and continue to build strong relationships within our PS/IS 180 community.

As always, please feel free to reach out to us if you have any questions or concerns.

Everyone has a unique voice, and we encourage all our Jaguars to make theirs heard. Happy Better Speech & Hearing Month!

Ms. Gherlone and Ms. Siegel

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Progress Reports 5/17

Progress Reports will be distributed via email on May 17th. Our reporting system is Mastery-based grading at PS/IS 180. This is an innovative growth-mindset approach for assessing learners that promotes deeper learning. The idea behind this grading concept is to structure courses in a way that allows learners the time and flexibility to focus on mastering a standard rather than achieving a certain number or letter grade. Standards-based grading supports learning by focusing on the concepts and skills that have or have not been learned rather than accumulating or losing points.

As a parent, you can view your child's performance history across specific standards. Please note that not every assignment is individually graded. PS/IS 180 scholars receive holistic feedback across tasks completed and conference sessions from the week(s). Scores can be determined in multiple ways such as, teacher observation (both in person and remote), student-teacher conferences, student work, or performance tasks which can be seen in Otus.

Report Cards will be distributed on June 15th. Borrowed technology devices must be returned to receive a copy of report cards and/or diplomas.

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Annual NYC School Survey

All parents/guardians, students in grades 6–12, support staff, and teachers will be invited to take the annual NYC School Survey on May 10; the survey will close on June 11. The survey helps school leaders understand what key members of their school community think about the learning environment at their school. The information captured by the survey is designed to support a dialogue among all members of the school community about how to make the school a better place to learn.

All families can take the survey online – in any of the nine NYCDOE supported languages – using their student’s nine-digit identification (OSIS) number. They can find the OSIS number on the report card, student ID card or their NYCSA account. Families completing the survey online should go to the NYC School Survey website (, enter the letter “f” (lowercase) followed by their student’s nine-digit OSIS number, and complete the survey.

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Dear Families,

We are excited to advise you that we are adopting a new system named Operoo. Some people may have already used this system, previously known as CareMonkey.

The Operoo system makes it very easy for you to respond to field trip, blue cards, registration, and other consent forms using your mobile phone, tablet or PC. No more paperwork! No more lost forms or notes found in the bottom of the backpack, no more concerns about children missing out on information when they are absent.

It will greatly reduce the burden on you to provide information that is repetitive. For example, it will allow you to keep your or your child’s emergency contact up to date; so you don’t need to repeat this information again whilst your child is at PS/IS 180. It also keeps you informed of all form requests, events, important dates, registration and backpack letters.

We do need a valid email address or cell phone number from you in order to use the Operoo system. Please share those details with us if you haven’t already.

You don’t need to do anything else until you receive an email invitation from us asking you to sign up for your Operoo account. After that, you’ll receive notifications whenever there is an electronic form to complete or a backpack letter to view for PS/IS 180.

From PS/IS 180’s perspective, you or your child’s information will only be visible by the relevant staff for you or your child and will be managed in accordance with our privacy policies. Details about Operoo’s security and privacy procedures can be found here:

Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions. You can visit the Operoo website for more information here: There is also a parent introduction page here:

As always, if you have any questions or concerns, you can contact your parent coordinator, Ms. Opa, at or call the school directly at (212) 678-2849.

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Happy Teacher Appreciation Week! PS/IS 180 has the best staff around!

Message from the PTA

Save the Dates! PS/IS 180 is happy to announce that we can safely hold the annual Jag-a-thon Fundraiser in person this month. On May 25th and 26th, students will be able to participate in a masked run, jog or walk around the play yard, or a zoom activity with their remote learning teacher. We are holding the event over two days to make sure we have only one grade per time period to adhere to social distancing.

Every in-person student that would like to participate in the run needs to have an online permission form signed. At this time there are no paper forms. If you have any trouble completing the online form please reach out to Beth at Parent volunteers can sign up using this same permission form.

Students that do not participate in running/walking/jogging or zooming will be able to cheer on their classmates as they socially distance in the play yard or through their zoom classroom.

All students have the opportunity to share our fundraising page with their friends, family and community, no matter where they live. You can find our fundraising page here. We know this is a tough time for families all over the world and any donation at all is highly appreciated. Funds raised will go toward classroom needs and lunch and recess support in the next school year.

Please see this FAQ page for more information.

‌We hope to see you running, volunteering, zooming and cheering on May 25th and 26th!‌

--Beth Eldridge

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PS/IS 180 Reading Challenge

Please join me in congratulating the 4TH GRADE! They are officially the grade team to beat! Fourth graders have earned themselves $5 Dunkin Donuts gift cards AND a pizza party (in-person students) and a movie/snack pack (remote students).

I am thrilled to announce that we had 149 students participate in the challenge, and together we logged over 33,403 minutes of reading as a school!

Shout out to the following grades that increased the number of minutes read: 1st, 4th, 6th, 7th and Bridge Class

Shout out to the following grades that increased participation: Kindergarten, 1st, 2nd, 5th, 6th, and Bridge Class

The great news doesn't end there: The PTA will be awarding smaller prices to:

  • 2nd Grade for highest participation. We had 69% of 2nd graders take part in the challenge!
  • The Bridge Class will win an award for the most improved. These Jaguars more than doubled their minutes.
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Arts & Culture at PS/IS 180

Have you heard the news? Directly across from our school, Zaq Landsberg: Reclining Liberty is now on view in Morningside Park, 120th Street and Manhattan Avenue in Harlem. The art installation, approved by NYC Parks Department, is 24-foot x 5-foot x 7-foot. Read more here.

This spring, we have enjoyed numerous virtual and outdoor assemblies as well as Paint Nights:

  • Taiko Drumming with Ne-O ensemble of Midori & Friends
  • Young Peoples' LatinX Performance with Ballet Hispanico (made possible by Council Member Bill Perkins)
  • Studio in a School art nights for K-2, 3-5 and 6-8 grade bands
  • Jazz at Lincoln Center- Let Freedom Swing band
  • Family Paint Night with the PTA
  • America's Got Talent--> Zuzu Acrobats!

Our next event will be a music concert with Skye Steele featuring string instruments with Midori & Friends.

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2021 CEC Elections

The New York City Department of Education will be hosting what we hope will be the largest online municipal election in history – the 2021 Citywide and Community Education Council Elections!

⭐️ Voting begins this Saturday, May 1st and continues until Tuesday, May 11th.

This year, more than one million parents are eligible to vote, and we are encouraging parents to vote through their online NYCSA account in the comfort of their own homes. In-person voting sites will be open during the hours of 4pm – 7pm, on weekdays from Monday, May 3rd to Tuesday, May 11th. The Manhattan in-person locations will be:

  • Anna Silver School (01M20), 166 Essex Street
  • Harriet Tubman School (05M154), 250 W. 127th St.
  • Michael J. Buczek, (06M048), 4360-78 Broadway

⭐️ Click Here to See Who’s Running :
⭐️ Click Here to Hear Directly From the Candidates:
⭐️ Lastly, the DOE has prepared a Video Voting Guide to Voting to learn more about the process this year:

This will be the largest CCEC election in DOE history with a record-breaking 1,750 parents running for seats - let's make it a success!

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Summer Rising

Registration is now open for Summer Rising, NYC's new free summer program for students in grades K–12. PS/IS 180 is a confirmed host location. Please continue checking the website weekly for updates.

Summer Rising will offer academic and social-emotional support, arts, and recreation. There will also be local field trips to parks, pools, and other enriching outdoor venues that are both educational and meet State health and safety guidelines. Breakfast, lunch, and a snack will be served to each student.

Families of students in grades K-8 can sign up at For families of students in grades 9-12, high schools will reach out students in the coming weeks to discuss a summer program that meets their needs and interests. If you are a family of a student in grades K-8 and you do not see your site listed, please complete the survey at and you’ll be contacted when a program opens in your neighborhood. We’re adding new ones every Monday through mid-May. After you sign up for a program, you’ll receive an email confirming your registration.

We look forward to seeing your child this summer!

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Parent University

We’re delighted to announce the launch of Parent University, a collaboration between the Office of Family and Community Empowerment (FACE) and the Division of Instructional and Information Technology (DIIT)!

Parent University seeks to educate and empower all families from early childhood through adulthood, with free courses, resources, events, and activities. Parents can register for free trainings on a wide range of topics, including adult education, student social-emotional learning, and special education. Visit Parent University today at!

All families, from early childhood to adult education, can create a free account and register for workshops, attend an event, find a training and more. There are currently 95+ courses offered covering a wide range of topics including:

  • Remote Learning and Technology
  • Health and Wellness
  • Special Education
  • Multilingual Learners
  • Early Childhood Education
  • Parent Leadership
  • School Buildings and Operations
  • Adult and Continuing Education

Attendance Policy Reminder

Attendance will continue to be taken first period in both in-person and remote settings. Students who arrive past the first period class (8:30AM- 9:00AM) will be marked as Tardy for the school day. Students who are not present at school for scheduled synchronous sessions with the teacher will be marked as Absent for the day. Attendance does not count towards grades. Students’ grades reflect the extent to which they have met the learning outcomes for their courses. When students attend remote and blended learning consistently, they have the greatest opportunity to make progress, receive support from their teacher, and demonstrate their learning.

Grab & Go Meals Available

Remote Learning Students may pick up a free breakfast and lunch at PS/IS 180 daily. Enter the large school yard and head to the wheelchair ramp entrance to receive free meals.

The parents/guardians of those students may also pick up the take-out meals. Take-out meals for students and other NYC children will be available on school days from 9:00AM - 12:00PM. No registration, ID, or documentation required.

What's on the Menu

  • See what's on the menu for free breakfast and lunch.
  • Dates, locations, and menus are subject to change.
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Click here to purchase pins celebrating Jaguar Pride

This is a great stocking stuffer for friends and family. Proceeds benefit PS/IS 180.

Upcoming Events

SLT Meeting

Tuesday, May 11th, 7:30am

This is an online event.

Check Bloomz for zoom link. All are welcome.

PTA Meeting

Thursday, May 20th, 7pm

This is an online event.

More information including zoom link, detailed agenda, minutes of the previous meeting and the treasurer’s report will be distributed via Bloomz

Principal Parent Coffee Chat: Culturally & Historically Responsive Teaching Conversation

Wednesday, May 12th, 5:30pm

This is an online event.

Check Bloomz for link. All are welcome.

Principal Parent Coffee Chat: Envisioning the 2021-22 School Year

Wednesday, May 19th, 5:30pm

This is an online event.

Check Bloomz for link. All are welcome.

District 3 Superintendent Coffee Chat

Monday, May 24th, 4pm

This is an online event.

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Monthly Calendars

Please see school calendars below for May & June 2021. At this time, Grades 7-8 follow an A/B schedule. All other grades have returned to 5-day instruction for families that opted in.
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Jaguar Highlights

Our Core Actions to Prevent Spread of COVID-19

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Ryan Health Center School- Based Clinic

Please fill it out and drop it off or email it to us at

NYC DOE Health Policy

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NYC DOE School Reopening Plan

Please read the New York City Department of Education's District School Reopening Plan, which outlines the policy, guidelines and processes schools will follow to open safely in September.

PS/IS 180 School Reopening Information

Building upon the District Plan, every school has provided information on key school-specific contacts and safety measures that have been put into place, which is linked above.

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Bloomz is available on the desktop, iPhone and Android phones. Downloading the app is very easy and can be done in a couple of minutes. It is a private and secure way that we communicate with families.

New Bloomz Parent

1. Download the “Bloomz" app from the AppStore/PlayStore and click on "Enter Code". If browser, go to and click on "Join Bloomz" followed by "Enter Code"

2. In the text box, enter the following codes to access the following pages:

  1. PS/IS 180 Announcements: P8WSVG
  2. PTA: 4XEBTA

3. Create your account

Existing Bloomz Parent

1. Log into your Bloomz account

2. Click “+Add Class/Group” on the left navigation.

3. In the text box, enter the codes as provided by classroom teacher(s)

4. Click next

Things to be aware of……

  • The app will provide you with access to your child’s classroom blog
  • For those who give photo/ video permission, we will periodically post pictures from activities/ events of your child(ren) visible to the grade
  • You will be able to view general news posted by the school, PreK grade team, PTA and any other important announcements
  • Upcoming events are listed on the app
  • Your child’s classroom teacher may send you alerts and reminders via the app

Tech Support for Families

If you need technical assistance, please visit our school website at, and chat in the message box (located in the lower right hand corner of your screen) as shown below to reach our PS/IS 180 Tech Help Desk.

Live support with Ms. Costley, PS/IS 180 Tech Specialist, is available for families and students from 9:00AM- 11:00AM and 1:00PM- 2:00PM, Monday through Friday.

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Free Tutoring for PS/IS 180 Students

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