This Week @ PS 88Q

November 1, 2021

A Message From Mrs. O'Shaughnessy

Happy November! With the first two months of school behind us, we continue to forge ahead into what has been and continues to be such a vital year. With all of our students under one roof, everyday, it has felt like a return to normalcy. The year is not without challenges, but I believe together, school and home, can and will overcome them. At last weeks parent meeting, we spoke about the importance of the home-school relationship.

This week you will have a set time to discuss you child with the teachers. The first two months have been filled with diagnostic assessments. These assessments, which are not "tests" truly gauge each students levels and guide the staff to give each student what they need. All students are returning in different places, and we as a school want to provide each student with what they need. Teachers will share the results of the diagnostics this week, but more importantly, our plan to close such gaps.

This past week we celebrated our annual Fall Festival as a whole school. It was a fun day for all. Our Character /Person in History Parade was so much fun! Our students had the opportunity to finally be all together in one place! As the students gathered in the schoolyard, they got a sense of how strong the PS 88Q community really is! Our special guest, Mr. Met was a hit!! Our amazing Custodial Engineer, Milosz Balcerzak arranged for that special visit. That is what makes PS 88Q so amazing, each and every member of our community loves our school and works so hard to make every day amazing!

Here are some important details for the week of 11/1:

  • Monday, November 1: Brilliant NYC Town Hall 6:00pm-7:30pm (see registration below)
  • Tuesday, November 2: Election Day-All students learning from home asynchronously.
  • Thursday, November 4: Student half day- Dismissal at 11:30am
  • Thursday, November 4: Parent Teacher Conferences 12:30pm-2:30pm/4:30pm-7:00pm
  • DOE Devices: If you are in need of a DOE device, and have not received one prior, please complete this survey. We have received a limited number of chromebooks for distribution.

DESSA: Social Emotional Screener


Dear Parent(s)/Guardian(s),

We understand just how challenging the past 18 months of the pandemic have been for you as parents, families, and caregivers. We are in awe of the work you have done, and continue to do each and every day, to support your child(ren) and we thank you for your continued partnership with us. Our work together is more important than ever as we strive to ensure your child thrives this school year and beyond. To further support you, our teachers, counselors, and social workers as champions of your child(ren)’s academic and social and emotional needs, are excited to let you know about a wonderful opportunity in our school this year!

Research has consistently shown that developing the social and emotional skills of students helps them to succeed academically, gain confidence, and be happier. Social-emotional learning, or SEL, includes developing relationship skills, self-awareness, responsible decision-making, and optimistic thinking.

To identify and support the social-emotional growth of all children in our school, we are excited to be administering a strengths-based SEL screener, known as the Devereaux Student Strengths Assessment (DESSA). The DESSA asks questions about areas of social-emotional functioning including decision making, relationship building, confidence, and others.This tool will be completed by someone who knows your child really well—in most cases a teacher.

The responses we gather will help us provide targeted, highly responsive support to each individual student. Perhaps most importantly, the tool enables us to build on each student’s strengths while identifying the social-emotional skills they need to further develop. Once our students’ growth areas are identified, we can create highly responsive plans to target and enhance those skills in the most appropriate manner and settings.

The results of this screener will not be included on report cards, will not have any impact on grades, and will not be used to make any diagnostic or evaluation decisions. The results will be stored securely in an online portal that meets the DOE’s strictest privacy and security settings and will only be viewable by your child(ren)’s teachers and select school staff such as the principal or counselor.

The information gathered from the DESSA screening tool will allow us to provide the very best support to your child and will be beneficial to their overall success, both inside and outside of school. Families will have an opportunity to hear about their student’s SEL skills during family conferences.

We are excited to implement the DESSA beginning 10/27/2021 If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to

If you do not want a staff member to complete the DESSA screener for your student, you must write a letter to me stating that. This letter needs to be received by the school by October 27, 2021.

If you have any questions regarding social-emotional learning or the DESSA, please call/email me


Linda O’Shaughnessy

Reimagined Accelerated Learning to All K-5 Students

Mayor Bill de Blasio and Schools Chancellor Meisha Porter announced “Brilliant NYC,” a blueprint for accelerated learning for all elementary students in New York City and a 32 district engagement plan to solicit community feedback. Starting with Kindergarten in September 2022, accelerated learning will be offered to 65,000 kindergarteners compared to 2,500 kindergarteners that the current Gifted & Talented (G&T) model serves. This approach draws from the successful aspects of G&T by making those opportunities available to all students. That includes learning through projects focused on real-world problems, group work, and individualized instruction. This framework will ensure that students are taught in the same classroom at different instructional levels while tapping into their interests and building on them. Students currently in G&T will remain in their programming so there is no disruption to their learning. Brilliant NYC will be phased in for grades one through three.

We are excited to hear directly from communities about the types of learning opportunities that pique student’s interests and let their gifts shine. Every district will host community meetings to ensure we hear from parents, students, and community leaders as we begin co-constructing what Brilliant NYC will look like. We also want Brilliant NYC to be informed by the latest research. This is why we will also be hosting a citywide panel with national and local experts to learn more about how students can benefit from accelerated learning and project-based instruction.

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Making the Most Out of Parent Teacher Conferences

When parents and teachers team up, our children succeed. During this interactive session, engage with other parents and get access to free easy-to-use tools that can help you make the most of upcoming parent-teacher conferences so that you can best support your child this year. Don’t miss this informative and fun session! This course will be taught by our partners and experts at Learning Heroes.

Date: Monday, November 1, 2021

Time: 6pm - 7pm

Click to register on Parent University (or search under “Parent Leadership” category)

MIndfulness Classes on Parent University

Mindfulness is emerging in public education based on 60 years of teachers, parents, and families discovering and utilizing these strategies of stress management, attentional focus, awareness, acceptance, and self-regulation to:

  • Stay with & realize solutions to personal and public challenges and changes

  • Increase one's capacity to notice and appreciate life in ways that support resilience

  • Support joyful learning and growth

  • Develop critical thinking skills

Join us each Tuesday and Thursday at 7:30pm as we build community and harness the power of self-care and self-healing through the discovery of the conscious breath, meditation, and movement.

View this flyer and click to register on Parent University.

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Universal NYC Baby Bonds: Kids Rise Save for College Program

The Mayor and Chancellor have announced a citywide expansion of the community-driven NYC Kids RISE Save for College Program. This public-private-community partnership provides families, schools, and communities access to a universal scholarship and savings platform, regardless of a family’s income or immigration status. Starting this year, every kindergartener enrolled in a New York City public school will have access to an NYC Scholarship Account, with $100 invested toward their future education and up to $200 in rewards. Register for an info session to learn more.
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Join the Youth Tech Safety Project at the Cornell Social Media Lab

As technology use has become an important part of students lives, protecting them from digital risks and harms becomes a critical issue. While technology use has created opportunities for learning and social connection, it can also be used as a tool of abuse in students interpersonal relationships. Consistent access and exposure to media, including content posted by peers, has raised concerns regarding increased exposure to inappropriate content, online harassment, sexual coercion, and cyberbullying.

The Cornell Social Media Lab is conducting a study that aims to understand which online risks parents, caregivers, and educators are concerned about and how they respond when digital harms occur. The outcome of this work will be the development of publicly available tools for parents, caregivers, advocates, and youth. These tools will provide resources for privacy education and mitigation strategies to protect youth.

All interviews and focus groups will be conducted over Zoom and will last 60 minutes. No personal identifying information will be collected.

If you are interested in participating in a focus group, contact:

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