PTA Weekly Newsletter

No. 18      January 18, 2021

Dear BNS Families,

It was great to see so many of you last week at the first PTA-sponsored panel celebrating Anna’s career and looking back at the founding of our school. We were inspired by the dedication of these early BNS parents and the time they spent building up the school. From the division of the foundational values of progressive education to the actual building of tables and benches, these parents and teachers (often both) seem to have thought of everything. We are grateful to them and to our current administrators, teachers, staff, and parent volunteers who are keeping the light alive, even through this dark and difficult time. Please be sure to tune in to future panels, one each month through May. Up next is Teaching with a Social Justice Lens on Wednesday, February 10.

In the spirit of parent participation and lifting each other up, please make a habit of checking in on the Share an Ask, Share a Give document. There are many opportunities to help out in school and in our general community. We are continually reworking this document and adding asks and gives. Most recently we are working out a section for donations to offer teachers and staff Lyft rides to get their vaccinations, which was the brilliant idea of new parent Stephanie Rabins.

Keep reading for this week’s happenings and so much more.



Get caught up with the minutes from last week’s general meeting (attached and posted here).

Grade-Level Parent Meetings

This round of grade-level meetings with Anna, Diane, and Malika will cover readiness for the next school year, a topic we discuss in January every year. What does surviving versus thriving look like? Come with your wonderings.

  • Pre-K: Wednesday, January 20 @ 9:15am
  • Kindergarten: Wednesday, January 20 @ 10:00am
  • 1st Grade: Wednesday, January 20 @ 1:00pm
  • 2nd Grade: Thursday, January 21 @ 1:00pm
  • 3rd Grade: Thursday, January 21 @ 10:00am
  • 4th Grade: Tuesday, January 19 @ 1:00pm
  • 5th Grade: Tuesday, January 19 @ 10:00am

All meetings will use the same Zoom link:
Meeting ID: 850 2131 3449
Passcode: 146146

One tap mobile:

+16465588656,,85021313449#,,,,*146146# US (New York)

Dial by your location:

+1 646 558 8656 US (New York)
Meeting ID: 850 2131 3449
Passcode: 146146
Find your local number:

School-Wide Fundraising Meeting

Tuesday, January 19 @ 7:00pm on Zoom

All families are invited to attend the next meeting of the BNS fundraising committee. The agenda will begin with an intro to BNS fundraising: how much we need to raise, what we raise money for, and how we raise it. We’ll hear a mid-year financial update on fundraising from the treasurers and discuss fundraising principles from the DEI, as well as upcoming fundraisers like Beards for BNS and merch and sandwich sales.

To join the Zoom meeting, go to:
Meeting ID: 848 5824 4530
Passcode: bns146

Register for After-School Workshops

Registration is open now for our exciting line-up of remote after-school workshops! Workshops begin Monday, February 1, and run through Friday, May 28. All programs are led by community organizations. Our full schedule, registration, payment, and scholarship information can be found here.

  • Mondays: Intro to Role-Playing Games, Juguemos a Cantar, Clay, and Piano
  • Tuesdays: Bollywood, Musical Theater, and Piano
  • Thursdays: Simple Machines and Imagination Adventure, and Piano
  • Fridays: Adventures in Coding, Superhero Films, and Piano


There are a limited number of scholarships available. If your family qualifies as low income on the DOE income verification forms (formerly known as school lunch forms), you may be considered for a scholarship. Your income verification form for 2020-2021 must be completed before you can be considered for a scholarship. Complete the income verification form online here. Families requesting scholarships should complete this form. Requests will be reviewed with the administration.

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Recap

The DEI Committee met last week to discuss, among many things, ways in which fundraising at our school can be more inclusive and welcoming of the entire BNS community, as well as how we as a school can participate in the upcoming Black Lives Matter at School week of action the first week in February.

For those who missed the meeting and are interested in being involved, please join the DEI Committee on Konstella where the minutes from this meeting, and those prior, are shared, as well as links to upcoming meetings to support the initiatives set by this working group of parents, caregivers, teachers, and admin. All are welcome!

Health Information for In-Person Students


Each child attending BNS in-person must submit a health screening EVERY DAY. Watch this quick tutorial then bookmark this link to fill it out online, and be prepared to show it to the nurse at morning drop-off. Or fill out the paper version (attached) and send it to school with your child. Please include your child’s name and the date on the paper form.


Every week a random sampling of students and staff will be tested at school. Regular testing helps to keep everyone in the building safe. Families MUST fill out the Covid testing consent form (online or paper) for each child attending BNS in-person.


This Wednesday will be an A day. Click here for the January to March in-person schedule for children in Cohorts A&B.

A group of parents, staff, and teachers came up with the Share an ASK, Share a GIVE list to communicate ongoing needs and availability. The aim is to pair up those who have materials, time, skills, and energy and give them to those who have specific needs, including teachers and admin.

This ask-give list is growing every day—please check back often to see how you can help!

Use Your P-EBT Funds to Help BNS Families in Need

All families with a child enrolled in a NYC public school last spring when schools first shut down received a P-EBT card with $420 in food benefits. This was equal but not equitable.

Since this summer, the BNS PTA has asked families who are able to give some or all of their $420 to families in greater need. Families must use their own P-EBT card to buy food, as they are not transferable, but you can then purchase a Target gift card to help another family.

To date, this program has collected more than $15,000 in Target gift cards, which have been redistributed to BNS families.

If you are able to contribute, please purchase e-gift cards at in amounts of $100 or smaller, as we want to ensure each family in need gets $100 per child. When purchasing the e-gift card, please use the following info:

From: My family
To: Your family
Note: From my family to your family

If your family qualifies for FRPL, you will automatically get a gift card. If you aren’t sure if your family qualifies or if you need this support ASAP, please email Diane at

Say Thank You to Capitol Custodians

A government teacher started a campaign to write thank-you letters to the custodial staff at the Capitol who cleaned up after the riots on January 6, which of course helped Congress be able to continue doing their job. Read about this effort here and send your own thanks to:

Architect of the Capitol
U.S. Capitol
Room SB-16
Washington, DC 20512

You can also email thank-you letters to AFSCME Local 626 at or to the Architect of the Capitol at

Warm Up with BAX Every Wednesday

Wednesday, January 20 @ 8:45am on Zoom

Gather every Wednesday morning wherever you are with Donna and José to sing and dance your way to a great day. This warm-up is your Wednesday morning super vitamin!

To join the Zoom meeting, go to:
Meeting ID: 869 1740 4980
Passcode: bnsbax

📚 Weekly Library Read-Alouds

Every week our BNS/BCS librarians post new recordings of books to share with your child. These books can be enjoyed by anyone at any time, and they are great conversation starters.

Click here for the Weekly Read-Alouds.

You can keep up with what’s going on at the library through the BNS/BCS Library webpage, which has booklists and online resources as well as our library catalog (use the left-hand sidebar to navigate and then explore tabs).

❤️ Support Brooklyn New School

Every year the PTA raises funds to pay for the many things that aren’t covered by the DOE, the things that contribute directly to BNS’s mission. And without the community events that bring in more than $100,000 for our school, we need your direct support as never before.

Please click here to make a tax-deductible donation to Brooklyn New School to directly impact your child(ren)—and hundreds of their schoolmates.

Building a Stronger Sibling Bond

Thursday, February 4 @ 6:30pm on Zoom

BNS families are invited to attend this wonderful SEL event on siblings—which feels timely given all the extra togetherness this endless pandemic has made possible. Dr. Laura Markham shares ways to help your kids forge a close, lifelong sibling bond. In this discussion, she gives practical advice for creating a loving family culture that encourages laughter and minimizes fighting, developing deep connections with each of your children; and how to teach your children healthy emotional self-management and conflict-resolution skills.

To attend “Building a Stronger Sibling Bond During a Pandemic or Any Time, with Dr. Laura Markham,” register here: A $10 to $25 donation is suggested, but all are welcome.

Please spread the word to your child’s former daycare, preschool, or program and to other parents in your neighborhood who may be interested in BNS.

Sign up for an Open House here.

More Ways to Support BNS

If you or 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!


Bookmark the DOE school calendar here.

January 20: BAX Wednesday Warm-Up (8:45am)
January 27: BAX Wednesday Warm-Up (8:45am)


  • AMY TATE, Co-President, mom to Veda (4th grade)
  • RICH AMBLER, Co-President, dad to Elena (2nd grade)
  • ALTHEA WESSELING-GOTTINGAR, Co-Treasurer, mom to Shane (4th grade) & Avery (1st grade)
  • LAURA TREVINO, Co-Treasurer, mom to Emilia (kindergarten)
  • JAIME FRANKLIN, Co-Recording Secretary and DEI Co-Chair, mom to Kennedy (3rd grade) & Atticus (1st grade)
  • LIZ WELCH D’ARCANGELO, Co-Recording Secretary, mom to Bella (4th grade)
  • JENNIFER ECK, Correspondence Secretary, mom to Desmond (4th grade) & Cecelia (1st grade)
  • ELYSE NEIMAN SEITER, Social Media Manager, mom to Aidan (3rd grade) & Lola (BNS grad)
  • RADHIKA CHALASANI, Communications Chair, mom to Anila (2nd grade)
  • CAROLYN McGOWN, Food Sales Chair, mom to Lorelei (4th grade) & Ophelia (BNS grad)
  • JULIE REINKEN, Website Manager, mom to Leon (3rd grade)
  • MARGIE DOTTER, Crew Parent Coordinator, mom to Cliona (4th grade) and Juniper (kindergarten)
  • HANNAH NUDELL, mom to Eliza (2nd grade)
  • ARIANA MANGUAL FIGUEROA, mom to Lucía (2nd grade) & Marcela (kindergarten)
  • JADE HARRIS, mom to Miller (1st grade)
  • CANDYBELLE ACEVEDO, mom to Emilia (3rd grade) & Isabelle (kindergarten)
  • MAGGIE ROSS, mom to Magnus (4th grade) and Axel (1st grade)

Contact the 2020–2021 BNS PTA at

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