2014-2015 NYC School Calendar
Today, 7/31/2014
High: 81 Low: 66
Rain showers
38% chance of precipitation.
Tomorrow, 8/1/2014
High: 85 Low: 66
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30% chance of precipitation.

Inside Schools

Help homeless kids get free backpacks - Read Full Article

Help homeless kids get free backpacks

There are 22,000 kids living in homeless and domestic violence shelters in NYC, according to Volunteers for America. In addition to the trauma and chaos of a transient life, imagine the feeling of arriving for the first day of school in September, seeing all your friends toting shiny, full backpacks ready to learn, and you have ... nothing.

In 2001, Volunteers of America–Greater New York launched Operation Backpack—a fundraising initiative aimed at providing our city's neediest children with the supplies they need to start the school year right. By filling thousands of backpacks with grade-specific supplies, Operation Backpack relieves stressed families of an impossible financial burden, and most important, they help kids living on the fringes get a fighting chance at a solid education.

There are many ways to get involved. Visit the Operation Backpack website for a list of grade-specific supplies and backpack drop-off locations throughout the city. You can also make a straightforward monetary donation to the project, buy supplies for the foundation's amazon wishlist or donate your time in person. It's a wonderful opportunity to do something real and tangible for NYC education, and to show a struggling child you believe in her.

Free summer fun - Read Full Article

Free summer fun

Perhaps that technology camp you enrolled your nature-loving daughter in just wasn’t quite right, or maybe you’ve noticed your teenager spending too many summer days staring at the wall—or a screen. Luckily, there are still lots of free, engaging summer classes and programs in all five boroughs for kids of all ages. It’s not too late! And don't forget to check out our listing of free educational enrichment programs year-round.

NYC Parks—Free Outdoor Pools

Visit one of New York City's free outdoor pools. Through Sept. 1, NYC Parks’ outdoor pools are offering amenities including free summer swim programs for all ages and abilities and free, healthy summer meals provided by USDA through SchoolFood, a part of the NYC Department of Education for all children 18 years old and under. Download a flyer to find out more about the local pool in your school district. For more information, visit nyc.gov/parks.

Big Apple Games

Big Apple Games for high school and middle school students, sponsored by the Public Schools Athletic League, are held indoors, from Monday, July 8 through Thursday, Aug. 1. For high school students, games run Monday–Thursday, 1 to 5 pm, and from 6 to 9 pm. Afternoon and evening teen recreational centers are hosting wrestling, volleyball, basketball, softball, floor hockey, team handball, gymnastics, ultimate Frisbee, arts and crafts and swimming lessons. The junior high school program for students in 4th to 8th grades is open 9 am to 3 pm on weekdays, and offers a variety of activities including arts and crafts, game room fun and sports. All sites are staffed with licensed teachers and school safety officers. Registration is ongoing. Click here to register and to see a full schedule and list of locations.

Summer Play Streets

Free summer, adult-supervised games and activities for all youths are held on designated streets, schools and playgrounds. Weekdays only. The goal of the program includes reducing risk-taking behaviors among youth and fostering life skills. Older youths play stickball, volleyball, basketball, skully, and double Dutch, among others, while younger kids have jump rope, hopscotch and relay races. There will also be chess, checkers and mancala (a board strategy game) for some mental exercise. For more information, contact Richard Guevera at Rguevara@palnyc.org. To find a Play Street near you call the Police Athletic League at 212-477-9450 ext. 389.

Youth volunteer projects

Several nonprofit organizations in New York City provide opportunities for teens to volunteer. Among them are Green Teens, New York Cares, American Red Cross, Citymeals on Wheels, and Food Banks for New York City. For additional volunteer opportunities, see NY Metro Parents.

CityParks Tennis

CityParks Tennis offers free tennis lessons for youths aged 6–16 in parks throughout the five boroughs from July 1 through Aug. 8. Lessons are offered at all skill levels, including beginners. Additional opportunities include tournaments, leagues, excellence programs and special events. More information may be found at CityParks Foundation.

Apply to participate in Disability Mentoring Day

Students with disabilities who will be a junior or a senior in high school in 2014 are invited to apply to become a mentee. (Members of the current graduating class of 2014 are eligible as well.) The online DMD application is due by Aug. 22, 2014. Mentees are matched with workplace mentors according to expressed career interests and shadow their mentor for a day. This enables mentees to learn more from their assigned mentors about a typical day on the job and how to prepare for that particular career.

Metropolitan Museum

Saturday Sketching—Roman sculpture (ages 11–18)
Experiment with different drawing approaches as you sketch from original works of art in the Museum's galleries with the guidance of an artist-instructor. Register online for Saturday, Aug. 9, 1–3pm. (Ages 11–18)

Art Explore—Roman portraits (ages 11–14)
Talk with other teens about works of art from around the world. Register online for Sunday, Aug. 17, 1–3 pm. (Ages 11–14)

Programs are free, but registration is requested.

Middle school enrichment programs

There's still space in the Department of Education's middle school enrichment programs for students in the Bronx and Brooklyn. Enrollment deadlines have been extended. Check out the information here and on the DOE's website.

New York Public Library 

The New York Public Library has tons of programs for kids of all ages, ranging from family crafts and creative writing to specialized LEGO projects and nature appreciation with live animals. Visit your local branch at nypl.org for a listing of weekly activities.  

NYPL Summer Science Camp

Spend seven weeks becoming a super scientist. Educators lead weekly workshops exploring simple machines and their unique functions. Kids learn about gears, pulleys, wheel and axles and much more through hands-on demonstrations. Get a hands-on education by building models such as cars, planes and paddle boats that lead up to a culminating activity where kids work together with other super scientists to build their very own Rube Goldberg machine! (A Rube Goldberg machine is a purposefully overdone, overcomplicated machine that peforms a simple function, like zipping a zipper.) Presented by the Children’s Museum of Manhattan. For ages 6 and older, through Aug. 26. Take a look at the participating sites below.


Andrew Heiskell Braille and Talking Book Library
Fridays, 11:15 am

Battery Park City Library
Wednesdays, 4 pm

Chatham Square Library
Fridays, 3 pm

Kips Bay Library
Mondays, 3:30 pm

Seward Park
Fridays, 2 pm

St. Agnes Library
Tuesdays, 2 pm


Kingsbridge Library
Thursdays, 3 pm

West Farms Library
Wednesdays, 2 pm

Staten Island

New Dorp Library
Mondays: July 28, Aug. 18, 3pm
Tuesdays: July 15, 22; Aug. 5, 12, 26, 3pm

St. George Library
Thursdays, 3 pm

All New York Public Library programs are free of charge. Space is limited. Reserve a spot by visiting NYPL.org or calling the branches listed here.

Free summer meals for kids

And, don't forget free summer meals are available at multiple sites to all children in the city, 18-years-old or younger.


Applying to high school? Info sessions begin July 15 - Read Full Article

Applying to high school? Info sessions begin July 15

Evening workshops about the high school admissions process for 8th-graders and their families begin next week. Enrollment officials from the Department of Education wll lead information sessions and answer questions about the types of high school programs offered and how to fill out your application. All sessions run from 6:30–8 pm.

Insideschools will be at some workshops too, to meet parents and present our new mobiile high school search.

The first workshop is Tuesday, July 15 at Prospect Heights High School in Brooklyn; on Wednesday, July 16, there will be workshops at Lehman High School in the Bronx and at LaGuardia High School in Manhattan; and on Thursday, July 17, there are sessions at Queens College Kupferberg Center for the Arts (65-30 Kissena Blvd.) and at Staten Island Tech High School. 

High school directories will be given out at the workshops. New this year: Directories no longer feature the A-F Progress Report grades. Instead students can see stats such as what percentage of 9th-graders are on track with their courses after freshman year; how many graduate in four years and enroll in college or career programs and how many kids are satisified with their schools.

Specialized high school workshop & summer sign-up

Workshops about the city's nine specialized high schools, which admit students based on an exam or audition, will be held the following week in Manhattan and Queens. On Tuesday, July 22, the session will be at Hunter College Kaye Playhouse (695 Park Avenue, entrance on 68th Street) and at Queens College Kupferberg Center for the Arts on Thursday, July 24.

Specialized high school handbooks, including a sample test, will be available at the information sessions. Most students do some prep work or take a course before sitting for the two-and-a-half hour test, which is given in late October to 8th- and 9th-graders.

Incoming 9th- and 10th-graders who moved to New York City after last fall's specialized high school exam may sign up for the Aug. 26 SHSAT exam, and the Aug. 28 audition for LaGuardia High School, beginning on July 14 at enrollment offices. The last date to sign up is Aug. 19. See more information here.

Wondering where and how to begin your high school search? Look at our new high school search for mobile devices on your phone. Online, check out our "how to apply to high school" video series.

School Book

A Foreign Melody: Bel Kaufman Expounds on Pedagogical Concerns - Read Full Article

A few days after her death at age 103, listen to this interview with educator and writer Bel Kaufman where topics include her accent, poetry, and the classroom. 

"I feel like an impostor," Kaufman confesses in this talk given at the Overseas Press Club in 1966. The author of the classic book about teaching in a New York City public school, Up the Down Staircase, died on Friday at her home in Manhattan. 

She details her "outsider" status by recounting how at first she was repeatedly denied a teaching certificate because of her Russian accent. "Failed for foreign melody in your speech," was the euphemism of the day. When she finally overcame that hurdle, she was once again turned away for incorrectly interpreting a sonnet by Edna St. Vincent Millay.

Kaufman, not easily discouraged, wrote to Millay, who responded with a long letter vindicating her answer. The result was a major change in the way prospective teachers were evaluated: after this, the test cited only dead poets.

Since the success of her novel about teaching in the public schools, Up the Down Staircase, Kaufman reported, she has become "the unofficial spokesman for teachers across the country," addressing large groups as well as receiving a great deal of mail.

The picture she paints of the educational system in 1966 bears striking similarities to that of the schools today. There is an ongoing tension between the desire of teachers to teach, personally, intensely, emotionally, and the countervailing urge of the administration to make the science of instruction more quantitative and uniform. The students cry out for help, even when not saying a word. Real life intrudes.

"Lady," a policeman says, entering the classroom with handcuffs already out, "that kid, I gotta have." And even back then there is the standard lament that an ill-paying profession does not always attract the best applicants. Kaufman lists three qualifications all prospective teachers should have: a sense of humor, stamina ("physical, intellectual, moral"), and "a touch of teacherly love."  

Born in Germany in 1911, Bella Kaufman was raised in Odessa and Kiev. Her earlier memories are of scenes from the Russian Revolution. She recalls:

Dead bodies were frozen in peculiar positions on the street…People ate bread made of the shells of peas because there was no flour. But a child has no basis for comparison. Doesn’t every child step over dead bodies? I didn’t know any different.

She came to the United States at age  12. Despite not initially  speaking English, she soon excelled as a student, thanks in part to the dedicated efforts of several teachers she encountered in the public school system. This, in turn, encouraged Kaufman to consider a career in education. After the travails described above,  she taught in several New York City high schools. But writing was in her family's blood. Her grandfather was the famous Yiddish humorist Sholem Aleichem. It was while publishing articles and short stories in her spare time that she adopted the less feminine pen name "Bel" so certain editors would not dismiss her work out of hand. One of these efforts was a three-and-half-page story entitled "From a Teacher's Wastebasket." A book editor contacted Kaufman with the idea of her expanding her experiences as a teacher into a novel. This became Up the Down Staircase (1965). The Jewish Woman's Archive describes the book as:

…a portrait of a young teacher who shares much of Kaufman’s iconoclastic spirit. It chronicles the career of Sylvia Barrett, a new teacher in the public school system, and offers an incisive and humorous portrait of the interaction between teachers and students in public school. It is also a satirical look at the administrative bureaucracy teachers must overcome in order to perform their jobs. The novel…spent 64 weeks as a best-seller, of which five months were spent in the number-one position. Up the Down Staircase was translated into 16 languages and has sold over 6 million copies. 

Up the Down Staircase incited a lively national discussion about the role and direction of education in the country. It was  made into a successful 1967 movie starring Sandy Dennis. 

Although Kaufman continued to write, publishing another novel, Love, etc. (1979), the main thrust of her activities  continued to be in  education. At the age of 99, she was teaching a course at Hunter College on Jewish humor. This made her the oldest hired professor in the country. (She turned 100 during the ensuing semester.) In trying to explain the position writing occupies in her life, Kaufman has described herself as a teacher first:

In fact, she has confessed, "I do not LIKE writing; in truth, I HATE writing, and would rather do anything else. But the joy comes when, almost in spite of myself, I come close to what I want to say. A sentence or an insight leaps from the page." 

The hopeful yet somewhat bittersweet tone of her grandfather can be heard in her work, as well as the humor. She ends this talk by quoting him: "That's life, but don't worry."


Audio courtesy of the NYC Municipal Archives WNYC Collection.

June 11, 2014
District 3 Town Hall with Chancellor Carmen Fariña 
& Deputy Chancellor Kathleen Grimm


New Blue Book Reflects Improvements Recommended by City Agencies, Public and Charter Schools, Advocacy Organizations, and Community Councils

Families, educators and interested community members can access the new Blue Book here.


Parent-Teacher Conferences  
Below please find the dates for 4 parent teacher conferences.   













Elementary School

Sep 16

Nov 12

Nov 13

Mar 18

Mar 19

May 13

Middle School

Sep 18

Nov 19

Nov 20

Mar 11

Mar 12

May 6

High School

Sep 17

Nov 5

Nov 7

Mar 26

Mar 27

May 7

D75 School Programs


Nov 17

Nov 18

Mar 2

Mar 3


*Multi-session schools and District 75 School Programs are exempt from these additional conferences. Schools will notify families accordingly if they are holding these events at their site.

June Clerical Shortened Days
citywide June Clerical Shortened Days for elementary and intermediate/junior high schools as well as D75 schools.

  • Tuesday, June 9, 2015
  • Monday, June 15, 2015

Presentation by the NYC Department of Transportation on the proposed West End Avenue redesign from 107th Street to 72nd Street.
6:30 pm at P.S. M811 - The Mickey Mantle School 
(466 West End Avenue - between 82nd & 83rd Streets)

School Admissions News

High School Directories Notice

Students applying to a NYC public high school for the 2015-2016 school year can now access the 2014-2015 High School Directory online in nine languages: Arabic, Bengali, Chinese, French, Haitian Creole, Korean, Russian, Spanish, and Urdu.

All non-native English speakers who will participate in the admissions process are encouraged to review the directories.  Visit http://schools.nyc.gov/ChoicesEnrollment/High/Resources/default.htm for complete information and the English directory. Questions regarding the 2014-2015 High School Directory may be directed to the High School Admissions Team at HS_Enrollment@schools.nyc.gov

2014 Summer School Dates

Summer School Begins -- Tuesday,  July 1

School closed Independence Day -- Friday, July 4

Summer School Ends for Elementary & Middle Schools --  Thursday, July 31

Evaluation Days for Elementary & Middle Schools – Monday & Tuesday, August 4 & 5

Summer School Ends for High Schools  - Tuesday, August 12

Regents Exams  -- Wednesday & Thursday, August 13 & 14

Community Events


Register now for CPE’s free Leadership Workshops to support Parents in knowing their rights, gaining stronger skills for organizing beyond the PTA and taking charge of ensuring that equity in resources, safety and educational excellence are delivered to NYC’s
public school children every day in every district.

Thursday July 24 - 6-8:30pm

Juvenile Justice & School Discipline
Thursday July 31st 6-8:30pm
Parenting Stress & Resistance

Please let us know in advance if you will require free childcare.
Workshops will take place at
DC 37 Headquarters
125 Barclay Street
bet. Greenwich St. & Westside Highway
in Lower Manhattan

REGISTER NOW Via email at: cpe.cep@gmail.com
Or phone: 917-756-6417

UFT Manhattan Borough-wide Parent Conference
Sat. Oct. 18, 2014

Deadline: October 15, 2014

The Lower Manhattan Cultural Council Creative Curricula program provides grants to teaching artists or cultural organizations working with Manhattan public schools to provide K-12 arts education in the classroom.

Link to Complete RFP:   http://lmcc.net/program/creative-curricula/


The fall NLI series is now accepting registrations. From pointers on neighborhood organizing to suggestions on how to navigate city government or attract local press, their workshops are designed with resident-led groups in mind; each session draws from the ideas and experiences that you bring. Complete four workshops (including 'Basics of Community Organizing') and receive a Neighborhood Leadership Institute certificate of achievement.

Workshops take place in downtown Manhattan. For more info and to RSVP, contact Arif at aullah@citizensnyc.org or 212-822-9580.   

Saturday, September 20
11:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Bring your neighbors together on issues that matter to you.
Saturday, September 27
11:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Build and maintain an effective neighborhood association or community group. 
Saturday, October 18
11:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Increase public support for your group by framing your message and alerting local media. 
Saturday, October 25
11:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Learn how city government functions and how to have your community issues addressed.
Saturday, November 15
11:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Support your group's work with community fundraising efforts.

Upcoming Events

Thursday, July 31
NYC Department of Transportation Presentation- proposed West End Avenue redesign
6:30 PM
P.S. M811 - The Mickey Mantle School 
(466 West End Avenue - between 82nd & 83rd Streets)
Saturday, August 16
Community Health Fair
12:00 PM - 3:00 PM
LaSalle Street between Broadway & Amsterdam Avenue
Wednesday, August 20
Business & Calendar Meeting
6:30 PM
Joan of Arc Complex
154 W. 93rd St
Room 204

Thursday, August 21
PEP Meeting
6:00 AM
The High School of Fashion Industries
225 West 24th Street
New York, NY 10011
Thursday, September 4
First Day of School

Early dismissal for non-District 75 Kindergarten students.

Partial school time for Pre-K.

CEC3 News

To join the CEC3 Email List, 

please send your name and email address to


CEC3 2013-2014 Strategic Plan Document

Adopted at January Joint CSD3 Presidents' Council/CEC3 Calendar Meeting

CEC3 Vacancy! 
Applications are now being accepted to fill the vacant ELL seat on the District 3 Community Education Council

All applicants must be a parent/guardian of  an ELL student currently attending a District 3 elementary and middle school

Contact the CEC3 Office for more information at cec3@schools.nyc.gov or (212) 678-2782