UNES REDHAWK REVIEW
COMMUNITY NEWSLETTER - February 5, 2024
Thank you PTA (and BJ Dellolio) for an incredible Valentine Dance!!
ROOF UPDATE LETTER
In case you missed it, CLICK HERE for a letter I sent out last Friday with an update on our roof:
Dear UNES families,
I am writing to share information about an area of our roof at Upper Nyack Elementary. After a recent rainy day this week, wet ceiling tiles were observed. Technicians came in the same day to inspect and ensure the safety of everyone in our building. Additionally, our architectural firm has been in this week to perform an observation of the reported leaks in the first floor hallway of the north side of the building (the single story section). The architects have indicated that the roof is intact and safe.
The District followed the recommendation of the architectural firm and will complete a school roof study in the coming weeks. I will share more information as it becomes available. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out. Enjoy the weekend.
Student Leadership Clubs are up and running!!
The 5th Grade Ambassador and the 4th/5th grades Youth Equity Leadership Clubs are up and running!
Our Student Ambassadors are working together to discuss the qualities it takes to be a leader at UNES and are brainstorming ways they can promote positive changes at Upper Nyack. Thank you to Ms. Perez and Ms. Nikocevic for bringing this powerful program to UNES!
Our Youth Equity Leaders will be learning about leaders who have fought for equitable change, discussing equity issues in and around UNES, and taking on a project to make for a more equitable school environment. Thank you to Ms. Brooks, Ms. Semidey and Ms. Erskine for leading this new initiative at UNES!
Additionally, our STREAM teacher, Mr. Gianakouros, has been running STREAM clubs in grades 4 & 5. His clubs last for 8 week cycles and some of the topics include: Cardboard Creations, Robotics, Mixed Media Art, Lego Engineering, and Coding. Students were surveyed to find their interests and the clubs have been in full swing.
Black History Month is here!
We have officially kicked off Black History Month with our Laser Light Show. There were pros and cons to the presentation, but it definitely held the attention of our students! See photos below.
Our UNES Black History Door/bulletin board decorating efforts are in full swing. In this second annual effort, doors and bulletin boards are decorated to highlight the student learning over the first weeks of Black History Month. Once they're complete, I'll share photos.
On Friday, February 9, Mayor Tarapata and village historian Winn Perry, are coming to speak to our kids about an effort to honor Peter Williamson, who as a young enslaved person, helped to construct the meeting house across the street. His family did well over the years and his house and store were where Summit School is now. When he passed, he was the last person in Rockland County who was known to have been enslaved.
Our morning program is making special efforts to highlight black history month in February including read alouds, videos, crowd games, and guest speakers.
Black History Month Book List
Thanks to our partners in the IDEA group and the Nyack Public library, we have a wonderful LIST OF BOOKS that can support our students' learning around Black History.
Additionally, PLEASE CLICK HERE for a wonderful activity on Saturday, February 24 at the Nyack Public Library celebrating books and Black History Month.
PLEASE NOTE THE DATE CHANGE TO FEBRUARY 12
WORLD READ ALOUD DAY (WRAD) - February 7
World Read Aloud Day is WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 7, 2024. On this day, authors from around the country make VIRTUAL VISITS to classrooms and read an excerpt from their children's books, as well as answer questions about becoming an author. UNES will be celebrating writing and "authorly ways" with our students on that day. Please ask your kids about their learning on this day.
Chinese Lunar New Year! - Celebrate on February 9
This year Chinese Lunar New Year falls on a Saturday, so at UNES, we will plan to take some time out of our day to do some teaching around the Chinese Lunar New Year Celebrations on Friday, February 9. We will be planning to do some activities to celebrate the Lunar New Year in classes on that day. At the end of the day, I'll be inviting some students down to conduct a DRAGON PARADE through the building with our very own UNES dragon.
IN PERSON WOMEN'S HISTORY CAREER DAY COMING IN MARCH!!
March is Women's History Month and International Women's History Day is March 8, 2024.
In celebration of women, we are very excited to offer 2 career day IN PERSON events to highlight women and their careers. We are looking for parents and community members (Nyack and beyond) to present to our students on their fantastic careers and career path. We have split this into 2 days to allow for presentations to be geared to the ages visiting that day. The dates are March 6 (Grades 3-5) and March 13 (Grades K-2) from 9:40-11:15. We'd love to highlight women in leadership roles, the sciences, technology, the arts, community organization, and all sorts of other careers. We want our students to see the impact of women in our world. If you would like to present on this day, please let us know and/or if you know of someone that you think would be a great addition to this effort PLEASE reach out to them and invite them in. Participants should fill out THIS GOOGLE FORM to notify us of their interest. You can sign up for 1 day or both days. This will be set up like a college fair where student groups will move from table to table. We will give each presenter about 10 minutes with each group. Thank you to Andrea Perez for spearheading this effort with the assistance of Val Mondesir!
UNES 100 Days of School - February 12
Our 100th day of school is fast approaching on Monday, February 12. The 100th day of learning is a fun way to celebrate all of the incredible hard work that our students do each and every day as they learn and grow in school. It is typically tradition to celebrate in the early grades, but all are welcome to find fun ways to CELEBRATE 100 days of learning!
I invite all students and families to find fun ways to mark the 100th day, even in the older grades. This could include dressing up as a 100 year old, wearing a 100 day T-shirt, bringing in 100 items, or other creative ideas.
UNES TALENT SHOW - FEBRUARY 15
THIS FLYER was distributed in all classrooms last week to provide info about our upcoming UNES Talent Show on February 15.
THE FIFTH GRADE COMMITTEE IS HOSTING A BAKE SALE AT THE EVENT. PLEASE SIGN UP HERE TO BRING BAKED GOODS! Please contact Lisa Gould with questions.
Important to note, in order to participate in the Upper Nyack Talent Show, students are required to:
• attend the Mandatory Tech Rehearsal on Tuesday, February 13th 3:30 - 5:30PM.
• perform a Full Dress Rehearsal on Thursday, February 15th during school hours. Students in the relevant grades will be invited to attend as audience members.
The in school schedule of rehearsals on February 15 are as follows:
Grades K-2 - 10:15-11:15am
Grades 3-5 - 2-3pm
• Students must arrive by 5:30PM on THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 15th for a 6PM UNES Talent Show 2023!
If you have any questions, please email Denise Charles at firstname.lastname@example.org
INDOOR RECESS GAMES
Our teachers and TAs are in need of board games and other items to entertain our kids in a safe way during indoor recess. I am having the teachers develop a wish list of items that they think would enrich out students' experience during this time and will distribute that to the community in my next newsletter in the hopes that community members may wish to sponsor a class' wish list.
In the meantime, if you have board games (with all the pieces) and other items that your family no longer uses and you'd like to donate to the school, please send them and we'll place them in the faculty room for teachers and TAs to add to their classrooms.
IN LOVING MEMORY OF RONA
A team of colleagues and I will again be participating the Nyack Penguin Plunge on Sunday, March 3 from 12-2pm. Before she passed, our beloved Rona Edwards was on the list of children to be supported by this year's plunge. We don't want to detract from the children being sponsored this year, but we will silently be doing this year's plunge in loving memory of our Rona. We are asking for the school community to consider making a donation to support the children that are facing life and death struggles in the community IN THIS LINK. We are also inviting the community to join us on that day, and if you are interested to see it in action, we'd love to have you root us on. CLICK HERE for more information and/or to make a donation.
Additionally, please see the information below from Rona's parents:
We want to invite you all to join us for the first Rona Edwards Memorial Blood Drive, co-hosted with the New York Blood Center (NYBC) and the Nyack Library. The event will be at the Nyack Library on Saturday, March 9th, from 11am to 5pm. The attached flyer has a link you can click to sign up for an appointment. We will accept walk-ins for any untaken slots on that day. If you schedule a time and later find you can't make it, please cancel your appointment by following the instructions in the confirmation you receive so we know it is available.
- Lindsey Wahlstrom-Edwards and Samtubia Edwards (Rona's parents)
Car Drop Off Line Change and Reminders
While I used to stand outside each morning, with the creation of our morning program and the presence of 300 kids in the cafeteria in the morning, I spend most of my time there. However, in standing outside last week, I noticed a few things:
- Please don't exit your car and outfit / hug your child in the car drop off line. Drop off is supposed to be quick and for us to be efficient with morning entry, we really need parents to stay in their cars on the line.
- Also, if everyone waits until the first spot for the kids to get out, this slows the process leading to kids arriving late. We will be positioning cones outside with signs - Drop off #1, Drop off #2 and so on up to Drop off #4. When you reach those cones, please unload. This way we can clear 4 cars at once and get everyone into school on time.
- Finally, I noted some people doing three point turns in the driveway and some even doing U-turns on Broadway. Please be reminded of our MORNING DROP OFF PLAN - CLICK HERE and please approach the school from Birchwood.
5th Grade Talent Showcase - March 27
The 5th Grade Showcase, "A Universe of Talents," will be held on Wed. March 27 from 6:00-8:00pm in the Multi-Purpose Room. Jody Ferber ( email@example.com) is the lead organizer on this event. On Monday, March 25 and Tuesday, March 26, there will be rehearsals in the cafeteria on the stage to prepare for the show. Please mark your calendars and CLICK HERE for the signup form that was also sent home in red folders.
Social Emotional Learning Update from our Guidance Counselor, Ms. Perez
In January, our students learned how to respectfully disagree and problem solve in a healthy and calm manner. Mrs. Perez used the Second Step curriculum to teach the 4 steps in problem solving. Just remember S.T.E.P. Say the problem without blame, Think of solutions, Explore consequences and Pick the best solution. When children are able to take a moment to calm down and then talk through their problems, they are better able to understand how the other person is feeling. This helps them create a solution that they both feel happy with. The students are learning about empathy and the importance of being able to understand how others are feeling. This leads to less conflicts and allows more opportunities for students to learn how to work together to solve a problem.
Computer Based State Testing 2024
PLEASE NOTE THE FOLLOWING DATES FOR STATE TESTING FOR UNES
(EACH BUILDING IS ADMINISTERING ON DIFFERENT DATES)
UNES - April 15 & 16
UNES - May 2&3
Grade 5 (Elementary) - May 14
UPCOMING PTA MEETINGS
Please mark your calendars for these upcoming meetings of our PTA:
THE PTA ZOOM LINK CAN BE ACCESSED AT THIS WEBSITE - CLICK HERE
Monday, February 12
Monday, March 11
Monday, April 8
Monday, May, 13
Monday, June 10
LOST AND FOUND WILL BE DONATED ON FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 16
We have a rather large collection of lost and found items at UNES and would love to find their owners. To this end, we will be moving the lost and found close to the main entrance so that parents can peruse items and hopefully find things that their children have lost. Any items not claimed by February 16 will be donated.
MARK YOUR CALENDARS
LOTS OF GREAT EVENTS COMING UP!!
- Wednesday, February 7 - World Read Aloud Day
- Friday, February 9 - Chinese Lunar New Year Celebration
- Mon-Fri, Feb. 12-16 - UNES SPIRIT WEEK
- Monday, February 12 - 100 Days Celebration
- Monday, February 12 - Art Exhibition for Grades K-2 at the District Offices @ 5pm
- Monday, February 12 - PTA meeting at 6pm in the Global Learning Commons
- Thursday, February 15 - UNES Talent Show (6-8pm)
- Friday, February 16 - Rockland Read In
- Feb 17-Feb 25 - Winter Vacation (No School)
- Tuesday, March 5 - Dr. Douce (World Language Chair) comes to 5th grade to discuss language selection for next year.
- Wednesday, March 6 and March 13 - Women's History Career Day Exhibition
- Monday, March 11 - UNES Family STREAM NIGHT 6:00-7:30pm
- Friday, March 15 - Superintendent's Conference Day - NO SCHOOL
- Thursday, March 21 - ROCK YOUR SOCKS for World Down Syndrome Day
- Friday, March 22 - UNES FAMILY BINGO NIGHT
- Wednesday, March 27 - 5th Grade Talent Showcase 6:00-8:00pm