PS87 Backpack News: September 29, 2020

From the Desk of the Principal

Dear Families, 

As we begin this unusual school year, I’d like to introduce our four tenets to those that are new to the PS 87 community, and offer a reminder to those that are returning. These tenets define how we expect everyone, both children and adults, to behave as members of our community. When speaking to the children, I liken the tenets to our family values or house rules. Our tenets are be kind, be wise, be honest, and be brave. 

Despite the circumstances, we have been trying to hold on to some of our traditions. One of those is our annual four tenets assembly. In trying to keep with that tradition, this week the children will have an opportunity to watch a video of me introducing our four tenets to the community.

In the video, I will discuss each tenet with the children in the following ways: 

Be kind – There are many ways to be kind. We can cheer-up others if they are feeling down. We can give someone a helping hand.  We can reach out to new members of the PS 87 family to make sure they are feeling at home. In addition to being kind to people, we can also be kind to the environment by picking up after ourselves and recycling. 

Be honest – To be honest is to tell the truth, both to ourselves and others. While it sounds very simple, we all know it can be hard at times. There are times when we know that telling the truth could make people angry or could get us in trouble. However, it is important to be honest because that is how we build trust. 

Be brave – As one student stated in an assembly two years ago,  “Being brave is giving something a try. Even if you are really scared.” We encourage all members of our community to be brave and take risks. This could be anything from trying something new, to asking to join a group, to answering a question in class. When we take risks, we grow and learn.

Be wise – When we ask people to be wise, we are asking them to think about what they do or say before they act. Before acting, we should ask ourselves, “Will this be harmful or helpful?” Our goal is to be helpful in all we do. 

Each month, we will read a book that illustrates one or more of the tenets and/or teaches us how to be good community members. For our first book this year, we will be reading The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson. In this book, we learn the power of speaking your truth and having the courage to be yourself, even if you feel like an outsider. If we have the courage to share our true selves with others, we may find that we have more in common than we realize.

During my video, I will also introduce the students to our “Respect For All” protocol. If children believe they are being purposefully alienated or treated unkindly after trying to resolve the issue themselves, we encourage them to inform an adult. The adult should reach out to Jacqueline Rodriguez, our school guidance counselor and “Respect for All” liaison, so she can help to resolve the issue. If your child informs you that he or she feels picked on regularly, we ask that you reach out to Jacqueline immediately at 212-678-2826 ext. 5161 or

I understand that this is a particularly difficult time.  There is a lot of uncertainty around this school year. We have had many abrupt changes, which have caused us all to feel confused, anxious and even angry. During all of this, we ask everyone to keep these tenets in mind as we interact with the members of the PS 87 community, as well as with the community at large. It will not only make us a stronger community, but it will also help us to make the world just a bit more kind, caring, and loving.


Principal Monica

Stepping up to Help Lead our School

Due to Covid-19, the PA Board was unable to hold an election to fill open board positions last spring. Elections will be held this month at our first PA meeting on October 14.  Please consider stepping up and taking a leadership role during this important time. If you are interested in running for office, please reach out to us at We’d be happy to answer any of your questions. You can also visit  

our website to fill out the form if any of the volunteer opportunities interest you.

Open positions: 

  • Presidents (at least 2 are needed)
  • Administration (bylaws)
  • Family Giving
  • Kindergarten Representative
  • 5th Grade Representative
  • School Leadership Team (SLT)
  • Community Affairs
  • Family Giving
  • Membership

Welcome new families to PS 87! 

We’d like to tell you about some of our favorite PS 87 traditions, programs, and events. While this school year will undoubtedly look different, and we aren’t yet sure which events we’ll be able to hold, we do know that we’ll all be working hard to maintain our strong sense of community.

📚 Book Fair: Twice a year, the school lobby is transformed into a pop-up book shop! Students love to pick out new titles and spend time with friends. 

🎃 Harvest Fest: With costumes, decorations, a haunted house, face painting, and carnival games, Harvest Fest is always a spooktacular celebration! 

💚 Book Buddies: One big friend, one little friend, reading, and magic. Older and younger kids alike love the book buddy program which pairs experienced and emerging readers to explore books together. It’s a school favorite.

🎒 Lecciones de Español: Free Spanish lessons for parents… beginner, intermediate, and advanced classes available. Connect with other parents and brush up on those language skills. Bienvenidos a todos!

🎵Rock Night, Broadway Night, and Movie Night: We dive right into the arts with several events throughout the year. Did you know that there is a PS 87 parent band? Stay tuned.

🎉 Parents’ Nights Out: We all need them! 

🌳PS 87 Auction: Donate prizes, bid on excursions, and even enter the “Principal for a Day” contest during our flagship auction fundraiser. This event provides critical support to our students, like classroom assistants, literacy programs, math intervention, as well as yoga, dance, and arts enrichment classes.

📖Book of the Month: Each month, all PS 87 students read one special book together. Look for Principal Monica’s introduction to the books in Backpack News each month.

Community Service 

Hello from the PS 87 Community Service Group! We’re looking forward to planning projects and activities when possible this year, but for right now we’ll be sending suggestions for family activities that can be done remotely or outdoors.  Also, we’re looking for a new co-chair to support this work. If you are interested, or if you have ideas for how we can help the community this year, please email Sasha Elias at  

A few ideas for families and adults:

Virtual Help Desk 

If you are having tech issues or have tech related questions while your child(ren) are remote learning, send an email to The parent volunteers will respond and assist you as best as they can. 
They will not help you with homework though.

Chancellor  Updates 

The NYC Department of Education continues to update the link below. Keep an eye on it for the latest information.

Email Traffic

Our teachers have been busy planning schedules and lessons for our children, and the administration has been busy preparing to open the school safely. They are getting many emails on various fronts so they may not be able to answer them as quickly as you expect. If you really need to email, please keep it short and simple. 

Census 2020

The Census closes on September 30 (tomorrow!). If you haven’t sent in your information yet, please do so before the deadline. Convince your family and friends to complete it as well. The census is such an important event as its data provides funding for cities, which includes schools, infrastructure and congressional representation. Here’s the link if you haven’t yet completed it.

87 Afterschool 

As of this point, DOE has not yet determined whether after school programs can operate in school buildings. If/when the DOE approves in-person afterschool, we will notify you. Until then, we will offer virtual afterschool classes and tutoring services. This will be a great way for children to see old friends. We are working out the details now – emails with details to follow shortly.  

Social Media 

It’s unprecedented to see the teachers and kids in their remote learning environments, so it is understandable that you might want to capture these moments as they are happening. However, please do not share these photos on social media. Many children and teachers have not signed an agreement to have their pictures shared, and they may not want to be on social media without their permission. Thanks for your understanding.

Girls on the Run

Registration is now open for the Girls on the Run fall season. Programming options are available for all girls in 3rd-5th grades. During this fall’s 8-week season, girls will come together in a safe virtual space with peers and trained coaches to have fun and build meaningful connections. To help girls nurture their physical and emotional health, the twice-weekly lessons will explore the importance of expressing our emotions, standing up for ourselves and others, and more, while also providing the opportunity for movement!  To register a girl in one of the city-wide virtual teams, you can visit  If there is enough interest within the PS 87 community, we can create one or two virtual teams with similar schedules to past years.  If interested in this, please contact Radford Lathan at

Visit to learn more!!

PS 87 Calendar

29-30 Cohort A – In School
1-2Cohort B – In School
5-6Cohort A – In School
7-9Cohort B – In School
12Columbus Day, NO SCHOOL
13-14Cohort A – In School
14PA Meeting, Zoom, Link and Time TBD
15-16Cohort B – In School
19-20Cohort A – In School
21-23 Cohort B – In School
26-28Cohort A – In School
29-30Cohort B – In School
3Election Day, fully remote instructional day for all students
4Parent-Teacher Conferences – evening only
5Early Dismissal, Parent-Teacher Conferences
11Veterans Day, NO SCHOOL
12Parent-Teacher Conferences – evening only
13Early Dismissal, Parent-Teacher Conferences
26-27Thanksgiving Recess, NO SCHOOL
24-31Winter Recess, NO SCHOOL
1Winter Recess Continues, NO SCHOOL
2Winter Recess Ends, Back to School
18Rev. Dr. MLK Day, NO SCHOOL
12Lunar New Year, NO SCHOOL
15-19Midwinter Recess, NO SCHOOL
MARCH  2021
3Parent-Teacher Conferences – evening only
4Early Dismissal, Parent-Teacher Conferences
18Parent-Teacher Conferences – evening only
19Early Dismissal, Parent-Teacher Conferences
29-31Spring Recess, NO SCHOOL
APRIL  2021
1-2Spring Recess, NO SCHOOL
MAY  2021
13Eid Al-Fitr, NO SCHOOL
31Memorial Day, NO SCHOOL
JUNE  2021
3Anniversary Day, NO SCHOOL
8Clerical Day, NO SCHOOL
25Last Day of School
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