PS 87 Backpack News: January 13, 2020

Dear Families,

Happy New Year!  We are happy to have all of the children back at school rested and ready to work.

The first book of the month for 2020 is When You are Brave by Pat Zietlow Miller. In this book, we are given advice on how to look inward to gain the courage to deal with days “when everything around us seems scary” or are “full of things you’d rather not do.”

The author mentions that on especially difficult days we should “look deep inside to find the courage you need. It might be hidden away, but if you close your eyes and breathe, you will see it –  shining its light in the dark. Warm. Steady. Safe. Your light might be small to start – just a spark – but you can turn it into a flame.”

Once we get that spark of courage, we are able to carry on, but the author lets us know that this doesn’t mean that we will be congratulated.  Looking inward for courage is about you doing something for yourself. 

Zietlow Miller says “You might struggle. You might succeed. People might clap. Or laugh. Or not notice at all. No matter what happens, you’ll be all right.  Because once you find your courage, it’s easy to use again and again. The next time life seems scary or you start something new, you can remember when you were brave.  And then you can stand straight and walk tall.”

This is a message we can all use. There will be times when we have to face things we think we can’t do, don’t want to do, or are afraid to do. When we are in those moments, we shouldn’t get bogged down in feelings of fear, worry, or anxiety. It is important that we learn to find courage from within during these hard times, especially since there won’t always be someone around to encourage us. We must teach our children to look inside to find the bravery, courage, or strength to move forward in life, and practice doing so ourselves.  

My hope for all of us is that we can become better at looking within to find the courage to handle any situation that comes our way, even if we are anxious or afraid.


Principal Monica

  PS 87 Calendar

* Check for venue info *

13SLT, 4:15 – 5:30 p.m.
20Martin Luther King Day, NO SCHOOLAfterschool Spring registration ends, 11 p.m
21SCA School Construction Meeting, 4:30 – 5:30 p.m.
27Dual Language Committee Meeting, 8 – 8:30 a.m.
31Family Fit Night, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
5PA Board Meeting, 6:10 – 8 p.m.
7General PA Meeting, 8:30 – 10 a.m.Black History Celebration, 6:30 p.m.
10Spanish Class for Parents, 8 – 8:45 a.m.SLT, 4:15 – 5:30 p.m.
17-21Mid-Winter Break, NO SCHOOL
24Dual Language Committee Meeting, 8 – 8:30 a.m.

Mid-Year Update from the SLT

The School Leadership Team (SLT) has been hard at work this year on our Comprehensive Education Plan (CEP).  Our goals this year focus on improving learning in English Language Arts (ELA) and Math for all students, and in particular for students with learning challenges and English language learners.  The Department of Education revamped the entire system for creating, monitoring, and measuring schools’ progress of their CEPs, so we have also been busy learning the new system. Finally, we updated our by-laws to more truly reflect how we operate and what we do. 

As background, the SLT provides ongoing evaluations of the school’s educational programs and their impact on student achievement. SLT is composed of both parents and teachers who are elected, the school’s administration, and PA presidents. Every school has their own SLT. You can learn more on the DOE website or our own PS 87 website. We meet every month to develop ways to improve upon the school’s environment based on our CEP. These meetings are open to all! Our next meeting is TODAY, January 13 at 4:15 p.m. in the library. Please join us to learn more about what we do! 

  • Diane Berman and Kelly Ramot (SLT co-chairs)

PS 87 Auction is March 28!

Here is the latest from the Auction Committee:

  1. Tickets are on sale! Time to book your sitters and we’ll see you on March 28 at Rodeph Sholom. Early bird tickets are $87! 
  2. Principal for the Day Contest is LIVE. Get the chance for your kids to spend the day behind the scenes with Monica! Auction attendance is not mandatory to win, but remember you have to be in it to win it. Contest is $10 per ticket, $45 for 5 tickets and $90 for 10 tickets. 
  3. We can’t wait to share with you the great trips, late night show tickets, gym memberships, camp experiences, and neighborhood gift certificates we’ve been lucky enough to receive so far…but we are still light on participation! Please get your donations in via the website or physical donation slip, available at Officer Ayala’s desk or online. Any questions, just email us at The deadline is March 5.   
  4. All auction details can be found on our school website!

Are you a business owner and interested in sponsoring the auction? We have a lot of ways to participate

School Construction Meeting

The New York School Construction Authority will hold a community meeting at PS 87 on Tuesday, January 21, from 4:30 – 5:30 p.m. in the auditorium. Representatives from the School Construction Authority will be there to answer your questions regarding the construction project that will begin soon at PS 87.  In advance of this meeting we are compiling a list of questions from parents. Please email your questions to by Friday January 17. We also encourage all parents to attend the meeting in person if possible.  We will see you there! 

  • Jenny and Cheryl

Family Fit Night – Friday Jan 31

Please mark your calendars for our annual Family Fit Night on Friday, January 31 at 6:30 p.m! Central Park Taekwondo, Grassroots Fitness Project, and Spring Lake Day Camp will be joining us again this year for fun activities. We will also feature a veggie tasting from Chef Cathy of Wellness in the Schools, dinner from Chopt, all followed by delicious, all natural and allergy-friendly cookies from Sweet Loren’s.  The event is open to the entire PS 87 community!

We still have room for more vendors. If you have a connection with a family-friendly fitness provider, or with a company that can donate healthy snacks, please send them our way!

Feel free to contact us with any questions at

Broadway Night – March 7

Be part of the Broadway Night magic this year! Our annual fundraiser features parents, PS 87 staff, and special guests in a one-night-only, always sold-out show for our PS 87 community. The family-friendly one hour show will be held on Saturday, March 7 at 6:00 p.m. Mark your calendar now! 

The Broadway Night Committee is seeking parents who have Broadway or professional theater experience or have worked in backstage production and would like to participate in the show. We are also interested in guest artists from the Broadway community, so please let us know if you have any friends in the industry who would be interested in donating their time & talent to help raise money for our great public elementary school. Please contact if interested. Thanks!

Spring Afterschool Registration 

Reminder that Afterschool registration for Spring ends on Monday, January 20 at 11 p.m.  Please visit  for the schedule, class descriptions, and to register.  Email with any questions. 

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