Panther Press

Empathy and Engagement

Chancellor's Focus on Literacy

Chancellor David Banks announced in September a city-wide focus on literacy and reading instruction. His first "pillar" of education is that all students will learn to read well. New York City Public Schools is moving toward the utilization of age appropriate standardized curriculum that focuses on phonics and decoding. District 75 has not yet selected a curriculum, and we are piloting Teach Town this year to gather our own data about it's support of student reading.

Robust attention looks different in our school, but it is no less important. Our students deserve access to direct instruction, phonics and decoding skill development, and most importantly, access to literature and great books. Students can read in many ways- traditional books, via adapted texts, audiobooks, vocational materials, and community signs. Let's use the same D75 motto, and give our students a world of options.

NYC Public Schools - NYC Reads

Literacy Plan

I have attached our school literacy plan here for your review, and our literacy goal/problem of practice statement is highlighted below. Please review, and reach out to me with any questions.
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Podcast Recommendation

Recommended by Ms. Gilinson, this is a must listen for anyone who is interested in the science of teaching kids to read, especially students with disabilities.

From the website:

Sold a Story: How Teaching Kids to Read Went So Wrong

There's an idea about how children learn to read that's held sway in schools for more than a generation — even though it was proven wrong by cognitive scientists decades ago. Teaching methods based on this idea can make it harder for children to learn how to read. In this podcast, host Emily Hanford investigates the influential authors who promote this idea and the company that sells their work. It's an exposé of how educators came to believe in something that isn't true and are now reckoning with the consequences — children harmed, money wasted, an education system upended.

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Upcoming Events/To Do

October 10 to 27- Initial Planning Conferences

October 14th-9am-2pm- New Teacher Induction, Ellery site

October 16th-20th- Spirit Week

October 16th- Extended Day, IEP Tracker review

October 22nd- Disability Pride Parade

October 23rd- Hispanic Heritage Month culminating projects due

October 25th- Hispanic Heritage YouTube Live event

October 27th- SANDI closes

October 27th- Masquerade Ball

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What are you reading today?

Kimberley Crousset and Rabekah Pasquetti created beautiful bulletin boards and a PowerPoint that highlight the books we all love.
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National Disability Employment Awareness Month

October is National Disability Employment Awareness month. I am incredibly proud of our commitment to hiring former students as DOE employees- here are Nery, Joseph and Mohammad from Flatbush Town Hall. All former students, and all amazing employees. I asked Ms. Larson and Mr. Be to write a bit about their roles at FBTH:

"It has been such a privilege to see how far Joseph, Mohammed, and Nery have come since they first stepped into the doors as students at P373K. Over the years we have all gotten to watch them grow. They have never once let their disability get in the way of what they want to achieve in their lives. Mohammed now has his own apartment, Nery has Yankees season tickets, and Joseph is becoming one of the most popular staff in our school community, always at every event. Getting to see them every day now working as adults is a great daily reminder of how much our students really can accomplish one day. We should all be very very proud of these 3 young men." - Mr. Be'

"Being able to work alongside Joseph, Mohamed, and Nery at Flatbush Town Hall is an experience I would have never dreamed possible when I first began my teaching career. To have my previous students now as my coworkers fills me with so much pride in this school community and the way we nurture one another's’ growth despite disability. Mohamed, Joseph, and Nery are the epitome of reliable, hard-working employees who are dedicated to our students on another level, and it is invaluable to have staff who can understand and relate to our students in the way that they do. "- Ms. Larson

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New Teacher Induction

On Saturday, several of our new teachers met with veteran staff to learn more about our school, instructional planning, writing IEPs, behavior management, and benefits/UFT resources.
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Decorating McKinney

Halloween and school spirit decoration by Christian Moreno and Giovanna Cacace.
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Shout Out

To everyone who shared a favorite book and had students share/write book reports, thank you! As a lifelong book nerd, it's brought me such joy, and I hope this week's photos and PowerPoint resonate with all of you too.

Rabekah Pasquetti and Kimberly Crousset for the beautiful "What am I Reading?" bulletin boards.

To our staff who organized and participated in Saturday's new teacher induction:

Osvaldo Claudio

Nicole Hamilton

Sheniese Thelem

Jon Hunt

Kara O'Connor

Hilarie Gilinson

Miranda Griffith

KellyAnn Platt

Donna Douglas

Fatimah Lawal

Book of the Week

Natives, by Akala, is of the most enlightening books I've ever read in its treatment of how race, class, colonialism and empire intersect, mainly in Britain but also across the world. It's in part a personal memoir, some of which is blood-boiling about the injustice and casual cruelty of teachers and the institutional bigotry that continues to underestimate black kids-Akala was put in a special needs class based upon his race. There is justified anger here, as he unpacks systemic racism and its long-term global impacts.
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Song of the Week

Among his other literary achievements ­­– including writing Natives, a best-selling book on race (see above) Akala set up the Hip-hop Shakespeare Company in 2009, a musical theatre group that highlights the linguistic similarities between rap lyrics and Shakespeare’s plays. This is the 2006 single supporting his mission to bring Shakespeare alive for new generations. “I’m similar to William, but a little different / do it for kids that’s illiterate, not Elizabeth”.

Akala - Shakespeare (Official Music Video)