The Boulevard Beat

A Monthly Newsletter from SBS - April 2015 Edition

The Principal's Place

Dear Parents,

On April 21st, SBS students, families and staff collectively enjoyed an incredible Thank You Tea event, which hopefully left you feeling appreciated for all that you do for your children, as well as energized by the amount of progress that they have made so far this year. The children were so proud to review their work and complete some projects with you, and an excellent time seemed to be had by all. Thank you for coming to share this special day. Below are some pictures to enjoy!

In last month's Boulevard Beat, I mentioned that I would be sending out a survey to gather some information from the community about homework at SBS. Please take a few minutes to click the button below and complete the short survey. Your input is essential in arriving at the best possible practices for our students and families.

I'd like to remind you that next week, our third graders will take the PARCC End Of Year (EOY) Assessment. Similar to the PBA Assessment taken in March, all students will have a slightly adjusted schedule for Monday-Wednesday of next week in order to facilitate the assessments.

I hope to see you at the Golf Outing later this evening.


Robert Gardella


The Nurse's Nook

Welcome to spring! Here’s a public service announcement from your child’s school nurse and health teachers:

Spring weather brings opportunities for more outdoor play. We encourage that for building strong bodies and minds! As spring invites us to explore the great outdoors, we are reminded that daily tick checks are advised for anyone who is spending time in back yards, on outdoor sports fields and on local playgrounds.

Our health teachers are currently discussing this subject with SBS students. We invite and encourage your vigilance in preparing your children for outdoor play and in following through with daily tick checks and frequent showering after they have been outside. Helpful information and recommendations from the CDC are available below:

The Library Lowdown

Wow! May is right around the corner! The library has been booming!!! We recently prepared the students for EARTH DAY with some great books donated by the P.T.O. Earth Day Committee. Kindergarten learned about monarch butterflies and saw a slideshow about the monarchs that metamorphosed in our library in the fall. First graders learned about composting. We shared Compost Stew and Diary of a Worm. Second graders heard the book Energy Island, a true story about renewable energy. Third graders heard All the Way to Ocean, a book that showed how litter can end up in our waters to prepare them for the watershed model on Earth Day.

Second graders have conducted or will soon conduct research on the fifty states in their classrooms and the library. We used the new google chromebooks to do online research, as well as created brochures/pamphlets. Third graders have started their animal research projects. We have used numerous books and encyclopedias, as well as the chromebooks to visit animal websites. Third graders even composed a bibliography of their resources. The students will visit the Bronx Zoo in June to see the animal they researched. Second and third graders are doing a fabulous job with research!

Parents and students please check at home for any missing library books or materials. If you think the book has been returned, please let us know. We will check the shelves.

Thanks and have a great week!

Counseling Connection

Spring weather can offer our children a multitude of dilemmas as they try to balance the responsibilities of school and chores against play and relationships with friends. When conflicts arise, it can be helpful to apply a strategy to sort out the various solutions. In fact, even the act of using a strategy can help to ground oneself and give time to calm and think before acting. While there are many problem-solving strategies, one such strategy, from Second Step, uses the acronym of S.T.E.P. to guide the conflict resolution process. It offers a chance for students to sort out the quagmire of options and evaluate possible consequences of various solutions. During April and May, the 3rd grade classes are learning how to use the S.T.E.P. strategy for problem-solving. The students are given a flow chart from the Second Step program to work through a problem, as outlined below:

1. Say the problem.

2. Think of three solutions that are safe and respectful.

3. Explore consequences: think of one positive and one negative consequence for each solution.

4. Pick the best solution.

I tell the students to always add a final step ~ after they act out their best solution, it’s important to reflect and review how it went. Did it work to their satisfaction? Did the solution they picked end up with a result that respected everyone’s feelings and differences? Did the process help them toward a peaceful outcome? What did they learn about their friend, family, or about themselves, in this process? Do they need to try again?

As always, it’s important to remind our children that when we have conflicts, confusion, or any problem that life presents, the first step is to calm down. The best way to do that involves stopping, name the feeling, breathe, count, and use positive self-talk. This problem-solving formula will help students to resolve conflicts in a manner that is reflective of a school climate and culture that is thoughtful, respectful of differences, and where we know that kindness involves using strategies that reflect those values.

The Design Den

What has been happening in Design and Technology this month?

3rd Grade students are beginning to brainstorm materials they need to create a water filter. Ask your child what materials they are thinking of using and why they think those materials are the best choices to filter water.

2nd Grade students have created informational posters about the pollution they have researched on Google Slides. Ask your child to log on to Google Drive and show you their poster on Google Classroom.

1st Grade students have recently learned about composting and the benefits of it.

Ask your child to give examples of ways that composting helps the environment.

Kindergarten students are researching an animal and it’s habitat. Ask your child what animal they have chosen and where that animal lives.

Thank you again for your support of Design and Technology!

Ms. Stojanov (Ms. S)

Dinnertime Conversations...

Tired of the same old responses when you ask your children how their day went? Check in here for some conversation starters!

Ask your kindergartner:

1. What is a habitat?

2. How can I help the earth?

3. What do you know about the life cycle of a butterfly?

Ask Your first grader:

1. Can you identify 4 coins and their values?

2. What are the different ways to make 100 cents or $1?

3. What is your favorite genre of writing?

Ask your second grader:

1. What nonfiction books are you reading and why?

2. What was your favorite exhibit at the Liberty Science Center

3. Get our a pile of coins and ask your child to count them for you.

Ask you third grader:

1. Revisit the portfolio the portfolio celebration with your child, what writing pieces make your child the most proud?

2. What was your child's favorite part of the Spring Concert? Does your child wish to join chorus or play an instrument at Lafayette Ave. School?

3. Your child has picked an animal for their research project. What is their animal? What have the learned so far about this animal?

PTO Posts

Today is the annual TEE OFF WITH SBS event at Fairmount Country Club. We hope to see you all there. Special kudos to Kay Aprea and Laura Ferchak for their extraordinary effort in planning this really important event. It will be great fun, and there will be many wonderful prizes. Fingers crossed that the weather is good, but either way it is always a blast!

Our next PTO meeting is on Tuesday, May 12th in the Media Center. Please note GR 3 PARENTS: We will have a question and answer informational session after the meeting. We will provide you with answers to the logistical questions you will have as you transition to LAF. The meeting will be in the Media Center at 10:15 am, right after the PTO meeting.

Special Thanks to Jennifer Mathews and her team for creating the most engaging Earth Day celebration! The kids loved it and really got so much out of their activities. I think they all feel a bit more connected to their environment.

Special Thank You to Ashley Dunn and her committee for planning an exceptional Family Fun Night for Grades K-1.

Keep your eyes on the School Supplies information coming out in early May. You will be able to order all your school supplies for your child(ren) for the upcoming school year, and skip the lines at Staples (sorry middle and high school parents). The ordering information will be live on the PTO and School websites shortly.

Check out our Facebook page for pictures of the events. If you haven’t already, please follow us on Facebook for important event reminders and updates.

May is around the corner, and hopefully warmer weather with it. Fingers crossed!

Be well.

Vivian Cooney

SBS PTO President 2014-15