Message from Principal Ureña- Thus

May 2021 Newsletter

"Someday we will become something we haven't even yet imagined" Yuyi Morales

May 2021

Dear PS398Q Families,

Our country, America, is built by immigrants like Yuyi Morales, author of our May book of the month Dreamers, “Sonadores”. In this book Yuyi Morales tells the story of her journey to America and the hopes and dreams she has for herself and her child (click on the book to hear Yuyi Morales talk about her journey). America is the hopes and dreams of many immigrants. All of us have stories like Yuyi Morales. Stories from our ancestors told from generation to generation. I remember, our founding year, when we opened PS398Q and we introduced ourselves to our families, we all told our stories. As the leader of PS398Q, I believe it is so important to validate our stories, because it is these very stories that make us so unique and special. It is who we are and where we come from that sets our purpose in life. It is our “Why”. Why we work so hard. Why we pour our hearts into our dreams. It is equally as important that we teach through these stories and instill in our children to cherish their own stories, and those of their ancestors. At PS398Q, our core belief, "we all L.E.A.R.N", is built on the premise that all of our cultures, races, religious beliefs, socioeconomic status, and even the color of our skin matters. It is our responsibility as educators to know as much about our children to help our children succeed. This past year, the pandemic has uncovered so many inequities that have just gone to death ears and blind eyes for far too long. Now is the time to look into the future with hopes for our new generation. A proud generation, one with open eyes and a voice to tell their stories. I am a proud daughter, stepdaughter, and daughter in law to immigrants that taught me the importance of a work ethic, honesty and integrity. Despite their limitations in education and the English language, my parents held many odd jobs, working long hard hours as an empanada street vendor, a factory worker, a beautician, a liberty cab driver, a butcher and a small local business owner. Like many other Americans, my parents were dreamers and hard workers. Let us always teach our children every day to work hard, challenge themselves and strive to be their best self, but to do so with humility and compassion, recognizing others. Because, no matter what generation is to follow, we are all on a journey together in pursuit of the American dream.

I am humbled and honored to share that Senator Jessica Ramos and Assembly Member Jessica Gonzalez-Rojas will read our book of the Month during our next PA meeting on May 19 via zoom. Both Senator Ramos and Assembly member Jessica González-Rojas dedicate their lives to fighting and advocating for immigrant families. Please join us for this very special evening. This month we also want to celebrate Asian Heritage Month by recognizing Asian contributions to the history and culture of the United States. We will be hosting Family Fridays outside of our school during the Month of May from 2:15 PM- 3:15PM.

We hope you will be able to join us.

Health and Happiness,

Ms. Erica Ureña-Thus

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Summer Rising Programs


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.

Free Meals for Children Throughout the Summer

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced the nationwide extension of several waivers that allow all children to continue to receive nutritious meals this summer when schools are out of session. These flexibilities are now available through Sept. 30, 2021.

Learn more here:

3K Applications

The pre-K application is closed. If you applied by the April 19, 2021 deadline, pre-K offers will be released later this spring.

Missed the deadline? It is not too late to participate in admission for fall 2021! If you have a child born in 2017, you can add them to waitlists at pre-K programs of interest. Learn how by watching our MySchools tutorial “How to Add Your Child to Waitlists” in the video series above.

Sign up for the pre-K admissions email list

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Teacher Appreciation Week May 3rd - May 7th

New York City’s teachers have shown up for our students, families, and City in so many ways this past year. Teacher Appreciation Week is a time for us to show up for them.

The DOE invites students, families, and other members of the community to take a moment to thank a teacher today!

Visit our website at, where you can send a note of appreciation to the teachers making a difference in your life.

You can also share your gratitude on social media using the hashtag #ThankaTeacherNYC.

Parent University Week May 3rd - May 7th

Do you want to make connections or learn something new? Parent University is a community where you can support one another and build relationships. And it is a network where you can build your own confidence, knowledge and skills, too. Join us!

Enroll in a course!

  1. Visit

  2. Sign in with your NYC Schools Account or create a new account

  3. Choose a course from the Course Catalog tab

  4. Click Enroll

  5. Check your email for confirmation!

Spread the word! If you are interested in presenting Parent University to your community, visit the Train-the-Trainer Resource Folder for flyers, links to videos, an outline and script, FAQ, and Powerpoint presentation.

Share your feedback! We want to make Parent University helpful for all New York City families. Please send feedback and suggestions to

Bring a friend! Print this schedule for the full list of upcoming workshops and events.

Thank YOU Nuala O'Doherty, Lucia, Rafael & 34th Ave Open Streets Coalition