PTA Weekly Newsletter

No. 30    April 5, 2020

Dearest BNS Families,

We hope this finds you well and prospering in whatever ways you can. As the spring weather warms up, it may feel more stifling to stay indoors. As the Passover and Easter holidays arrive, we may be missing our extended families and favorite traditions more than ever. This time is traumatic for everyone, in ways we don’t fully understand yet, but also so vital for the overall safety and well-being of our society.

Some of us have been talking about the importance of self-care during this time. Many of us are flowing in and out of crisis mode depending on our circumstances, exposure to the news, and adventures out to the grocery store (anyone else stand in that 2–3 hour line to enter the Co-op?). The anxiety, grief (yes, grief; check out this article), and irritability seem to roll over us in waves, and like always with difficult emotions, it is easy to fall down a rabbit hole of panic and despair.

We realized, in our share with the guidance team at Thursday’s PTA meeting, that our kids are suffering from these same waves of emotion. It may not be displayed in a concrete manner, or interpreted by us as grief, despair, and anxiety, but the small or large regressions, anger, spaciness, and moodiness we see is our kids responding to this crisis. Let’s hold them close in our circle by letting them know that BNS is still the center of our community and that all the adults and children are thinking of them and missing them.

Keep reading for BNS news this week and ways to stay connected.



Calendar Changes for Spring Break

The DOE has revised the school calendar again, and now there will be remote learning on Thursday, April 9, and Friday, April 10, in addition a full week of remote learning from Monday, April 13 through Friday, April 17.

Stay tuned for more information about the BNS plan for the week. We’re staying connected with students and families and offering the “break” that many of us need to support our families and community during this very difficult time!

Free Food for All at Meal Hubs

Now all New Yorkers can get three free meals at a Meal Hub. To find your nearest Meal Hub, check

Meals can be picked up Monday through Friday:

  • Children and families from 7:30am to 11:30am
  • Adults from 11:30am to 1:30pm

All adults and children can pick up three meals at one time, and no one will be turned away at any time. Parents and guardians may pick up meals for their children.

Vegetarian and halal options are available at all sites. No dining space is available, so meals must be eaten off premises. No registration or ID required.

☕ Parent Check-in Meetings

Please join Anna and Diane and other parents in your grade for a Zoom meeting. You’ll hear some updates and insights from the teachers, and you’ll have the opportunity to ask any questions you may have. Bring your coffee!

  • 4th grade: Monday, April 6 @ 10:30am
  • Kindergarten: Monday, April 6 @ 1:00pm

To join the Zoom meeting, use this link:

Meeting ID: 129 198 429

PTA Meeting Minutes

If you couldn’t join us for last week’s general PTA meeting on Zoom, please see the minutes posted here. We talked about how the PTA can help keep the BNS community connected. We set up an in-need fund for families to buy school supplies and food. And we started planning a virtual International Food Festival.

Then we heard from the BNS guidance team and discussed the many challenges we’re facing at home from our children’s regression to our own anxiety. Dalisa opened up the conversation with the following encouragement:

“I am both a mom and guidance counselor and I need everyone to know, you are doing a lot and doing your best. You have to tell yourself that, or else you will go insane. If you have to cry, go do it. Relieve that stress, the anxiety. You are doing what you can and that is more than enough. This is bananas!”

Scenes from Home School

Last week, we had big smiles seeing our beloved 3rd grade teachers, and we brought a bit of the outdoors inside with a kindergarten moss garden. Please send your home-school pics to Elyse at or tag us @thebrooklynnewschool!



This Tuesday, April 7, there’s going to be a special full moon! It’s traditionally called the Pink Moon. Here are some fun Pink Moon trivia questions and activities:

* Why is the April full moon called the Pink Moon?

* What is a supermoon?

* What are other names for the April full moon?

* Our 4th graders have been learning about the Eastern Woodland natives. Why was the moon so important to them?

* Create a drawing, painting, or other artwork of the night sky.

* Take a photo with blooming pink flowers in your neighborhood.

Please send photos of artwork and flowers to Elyse at

For the answers, read the Old Farmer’s Almanac.

📣 Send Us Your Spirit Week Ideas

Spirit Week is coming back! The District 15 Spirit Week was so much fun that we’re making our own, BNS-style. This week we’re collecting your ideas and next week we’ll make it happen. Want every day to be pajama day? Want to wear your favorite color or share a pic with your pet? Send your ideas for a fun-filled Spirit Week to Jennifer at

Parent Information Sessions

Some BNS parents are working hard to put together information sessions on unemployment and ACA (Obamacare) with parent experts to help us navigate during these confusing times. We’ll send more details as they become available.

For now, check here for basics on eligibility for pandemic unemployment insurance and other scenarios and benefits.

Balance Toys That Defy Gravity

This week, we’re starting a Science Corner in the weekly newsletter. Our amazing science teacher Barbara is putting together a video library with fun science projects to try at home. Your kids may see some of these in their Google Classrooms, but we wanted to share them with everyone!

Take pics of your balance toys and share them with Elyse at or tag us @thebrooklynnewschool.

Jalopy and BAX Relationships

We are really happy to share that our ongoing partnerships with Community Through Music (formerly Jalopy) and Brooklyn Arts Exchange (BAX) are able to continue during this time at home. Suzi from Community Through Music has established a meeting schedule on Wednesday mornings for all kindergarten classes, mirroring her in-school music schedule.

José and Donna from BAX are able to share recorded videos and join classes for class meetings as they complete their residency with our children. Getting up and moving and connecting through movement and theater right now is so good for us all.

Also BAX has invited us into their digital studio—check it out here! See the email from Amy Sumner last week for the password. New videos will be posted each week.

Community Resources

Our BNS community is strong and we want to make sure all of our families are covered.

And our larger community has resources for getting help and information:

  • Families seeking emergency assistance for evictions, rent, or utilities can call 311 or visit Access HRA.
  • NYC Council Member Brad Lander’s website for COVID-19 resources is here.

In March, we raised about $15,000, thanks to the generous contributions from BNS parents and from the March Match. We didn’t meet our matching goal, but this still feels like a great accomplishment considering the strain we’re all experiencing right now.

In April, our goal is to raise $10,000.

This is a small drop in the bucket of what we will need for next school year, but like April showers that bring May flowers, our hope is that each drop will grow into a brighter future. As difficult as it seems today, we must think about the day that our children will return to school—to the hens and the farm, to the dance and music classes, to the science projects and field trips, and all of the other wonderful programs that the PTA pays for.

If you’re able, please give today.

Three Simple Ways to Support BNS

If your kiddo is having a birthday soon, consider setting up a Facebook birthday fundraiser to help support your favorite school—BNS!
Order from Misfits Market for fresh produce delivered to your door. Use discount code BNSFRIEND20 for 20% off your first order. A portion of the price will be donated to BNS.
Do your online shopping on AmazonSmile and select “Friends of the Bklyn New School- Bklyn School for Collab Studies” as your charity. Amazon gives back to BNS for every purchase made, and it really adds up!


  • AMY TATE, Co-President, mom to Veda (3rd grade)
  • ANNA CATHERINE RUTLEDGE, Interim Co-President and Fundraising Chair, mom to Harry (5th grade) & Walsh (3rd grade)
  • JAIME FRANKLIN, Co-Recording Secretary, mom to Kennedy (2nd grade) & Atticus (kindergarten)
  • LIZ WELCH D’ARCANGELO, Co-Recording Secretary, mom to Bella (3rd grade)
  • JOCELYN LEAVITT, Co-Treasurer, mom to Makua (1st grade)
  • ALTHEA WESSELING-GOTTINGAR, Co-Treasurer, mom to Shane (3rd grade) & Avery (kindergarten)
  • JENNIFER ECK, Correspondence Secretary, mom to Desmond (3rd grade) & Cecelia (kindergarten)
  • ELYSE NEIMAN SEITER, Social Media Manager, mom to Lola (5th grade) & Aidan (2nd grade)
  • MC RUEDA-HILGENDORF, Web Coordinator, mom to Oliver (3rd grade) & Inez (1st grade)
  • RADHIKA CHALASANI, Communications Chair, mom to Anila (1st grade)
  • CAROLYN McGOWN, Food Sales Chair, mom to Ophelia (5th grade) & Lorelei (3rd grade)
  • HANNAH NUDELL, mom to Eliza (1st grade)
  • LAURA TREVINO, mom to Emilia (pre-K)
  • MATTHEW HALL, dad to Lucia (5th grade)

Contact the 2019–2020 BNS PTA at

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