PTA Weekly Newsletter

No. 41      June 21, 2020

Dear BNS Families:

For those of you who identify as Dad, we hope today was a wonderful Father’s Day!

What a year. In some ways, it will be a relief to step away from the Zoom rooms and the at-home schooling and to focus on having a summer that might be a bit more “normal.” But we know this is easier for some than for others and we want to stay connected to all BNS families. Please look out for the occasional summer message and continue to reach out to the BNS PTA. We would love to hear what you are up to, and we want to know what needs you have.

As the school year comes to a close, some of us have stepped away already, anticipating the space of summer. This is one luxury that our teachers, admin, and staff do not have the option to take. Our teachers and assistant teachers were struck hard by COVID and the quarantine, which made the bubbling up of recent events—the murder of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and others, and the surfacing of previously restrained tensions—even more difficult. Where they would have held circles and lengthy processing discussions with us and our children in person, they were forced to hold these spaces online. This was particularly difficult for BIPOC teachers and assistant teachers, who often had to hold their own emotions in check in order to lead these conversations with our children, and with us. If you haven’t already thanked your teachers, go ahead and do so now. They deserve our praise and support now more than ever.

And this is on top of June Share and all the extra hours each teacher did to create that epic online event, as well as the incredible virtual graduation to celebrate our 5th graders. We are feeling so fortunate to be a part of this community.

Read on for this week’s events, information, and ways to give and stay connected.


Congratulations to our 5th grade graduates! We’re so proud to celebrate how far these students have come and all that they’ve learned this year. The 5th grade studied Mayan Culture and discovered what’s important to them to stand up and fight for. They’ve grown so much!

Many of our 5th graders have been part of the BNS family since pre-K, and some joined us each year along the way—making lasting friendships that have shaped who they are today and building a strong foundation for who they will become as they continue to grow.

We send them off with confidence to face the future, even as we will miss seeing them each day.

The virtual graduation ceremony was a first for our teachers and administrators, and they knew they’d have to get creative to make it the memorable experience our 5th graders deserved.

We invite all BNS families to watch the student portrait slideshow and the 5th grade teacher collaboration video. For individual class videos, as well as the full gradation ceremony, check out these links.

School-Wide Parent Check-in with Anna and Diane

Thursday, June 25 @ 10:00am on Zoom

Join Anna, Diane, Amy, Shelley, and Barbara for a final family Q&A and a send-off to summer for families. We will share some summer resources, tour our summer section of the website, and hear from Barbara about how the Ecorama site can be an ongoing summer resource for all of us!

Join the Zoom meeting here:
Meeting ID: 828 3419 2421
Password: summer

It’s Almost Watermelon Day!

Friday, June 26

At BNS, we have a last-day-of-school tradition to gather in the Big Yard and share a sweet summery treat of watermelon together before separating for our summers.

The real heart of the day is the coming together, sharing a smile, and saying goodbye.

Join us for virtual Watermelon Day—a sharing of watermelon-themed art, songs, and silliness. We’ll have an interactive Padlet site (like we had for Ecorama), a live virtual Zoom “Big Yard” session to drop in and say hello and goodbye, the live hen cam, some art time with Paola, and more!

We’d love to have your bloopers (any video outtakes from home learning that didn’t quite work out) that we can post and share. Please send yours to Amy at or Shelley at

Keep an eye out for that Watermelon Day link!

After-School Band Spring Concert

Tuesday, June 23 @ 1:00pm on Zoom

Our 2020 after-school band Spring Concert video is finished, and we invite you to join us as we celebrate a live release over Zoom!

This is a great way to get a taste of the program if you are curious about signing up for next year, so come and see what band is all about.

Join the Zoom meeting here:
Meeting ID: 868 1928 8108
Password: bnsband

Last week, we were awed by the incredible work on display from all of our students in the virtual June Share and the extraordinary efforts of our teachers for pulling it all together.

If you missed it, check out the calendar with links to each grade.


We encourage everyone to share the grade-level links with the people outside our community who love a BNS student. Click here for a video message for our grandparents and special friends!

Thanks to your generous donations, we reached our $20,000 matching goal! With this match, we raised $40,000 in just two weeks to support art, science, library, farming, and more at BNS. Thank you!!!

And now we have a NEW challenge. Yet another amazing BNS family has stepped up to offer an additional $5,000 match. If we can raise another $5K by Thursday, every dollar will be doubled.

Last Chance to Take the School Survey

The Return to School 2020 Survey was created by NYC DOE to compile feedback from families and students regarding the 2020–21 school year as they explore various options for re-opening our school buildings. DOE is currently exploring options based on available guidance from public health experts and they would like to complement this guidance with the perspectives of families and students to ensure they move forward with our community’s interests and concerns in mind.

All parents/guardians of students in grades 3K through 12 are invited to take the survey here by Monday, June 22.

Redistribution of P-EBT Funds

Families for Families, a BNS PTA initiative, is asking families who are financially able to consider redistributing some or all of the $420 food benefit they will receive to those families in greater need. The goal is to provide every BNS family in need with an extra $100 per child in the form of a Target e-gift card. We have already pooled enough funds to give $100 to every pre-K child in need!

If you are able to contribute, please purchase e-gift cards at Target in amounts of $100 or smaller, as we want to ensure each family in need gets $100 per child. Email your e-gift card(s) to

If your family qualifies for FRPL, you will automatically get a gift card.

📚 BLM Reading Room

Check out this interactive site for kid-friendly videos and read-alouds in support of Black voices. Every image or book cover is a clickable link.

Free Air Conditioners

New York City is offering a Cooling Assistance benefit to help eligible households stay cool this summer. The city will buy and install an air conditioner up to a cost of $800. Check for eligibility requirements here. To apply, click here.

Celebration Dates in June 2020

June 22: World Rainforest Day
June 23: National Park Day
June 24: Swim a Lap Day

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!
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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