PS87 Backpack News: February 1, 2021

PS 87 School Store

The PS 87 School Store is open for business! Stock up on tees and hoodies and support PS 87! 

Q&A With PS 87 Parent Coordinator Jennifer Stark

Here’s your chance to learn a little more about our Parent Coordinator, Jennifer Stark

Where did you grow up? 

I grew up in Pound Ridge, a small town in northern Westchester that’s about an hour from Manhattan. As a kid, I considered it a suburb. But now I’ve lived in New York City long enough to think of it as “upstate.” 

How long have you been a parent coordinator?  

I joined the PS 87 community in October. Before that I was a parent coordinator for three years at PS 281, which is near the United Nations. 

What is your favorite part of the day?

Lunch & recess – it’s when I get to know the kids. 

What is your favorite memory as a parent coordinator? 

Probably last year when I taught the whole 2nd grade how to steal a basketball. It was a lesson born of necessity. Thirty kids and three basketballs. More basketballs would have just meant more rebounds and more visits to the nurse. So, they learned to steal. And they learned that it was part of the game. And that if someone stole it from you, the answer was to steal it back. They got really, really good at it. Couldn’t shoot a lick, but great floor game. 

What is your favorite book and why?

This is a hard one to answer for someone who likes to read. I will instead talk about one of my favorite reading experiences: When my daughter was in early high school, she took to reading aloud to me when I was cooking dinner – which, by the way, is the best time to read aloud to someone. Mostly she read plays, but then she tackled The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – a book I always thought I’d like, but could never get into. Well, we both got into it. I would stop mincing garlic just so we could marvel at the word play. She read the whole series aloud. When I mentioned it recently, she was hazy about the whole experience. Told me she stopped reading to me because I always fell asleep. Not fair. I only fell asleep when I was lying down. Never when I was cooking. Like with all reading experiences, timing matters.

What is something no one would ever guess about you?

I don’t think any of you know me well enough for me to surprise you. Ask me again in a year. 

What is one piece of advice you give to all parents that should be repeated continuously?

Well, the advice I gave to myself when I was pregnant and reading all the parenting books was, “Just treat the first one like she’s your third and it’ll all be okay.” I still think that’s pretty good advice. 

PS 87 Family Book Club

Our first Family Book Group meeting is TODAY! We will be discussing Separate is Never Equal by Duncan Tonatiuh. Our fabulous Librarian, Dawnica, has done a read-aloud. You can listen to her read it, or you can pick up the book and read it together as family. The book is also available on Epic:

Remember to mark your calendar for the first Monday of every month at 6 p.m. The books will be most relatable for our 2nd-5th graders, but will be appropriate for all students. 

Click here for meeting link, or use the following – Meeting ID: 821 6200 3944, Passcode: 2fcE93

Yes, We CAN

The Fifth Grade Student Council has organized the Yes We CAN Food Drive.  It will run from January 28 to February 10. We will collect canned food and nonperishable items like pasta and pancake mix in the donation boxes at each entrance to the school. The food will be sent to Ascension Church between Broadway and Amsterdam on 107th Street. Thank you for your help and donations.

West End Fridge

PS 87 Families! Did you know there is a community fridge and pantry right on West 77th street and West End Ave (@ Collegiate Church)?  You can get food there if you need, and you can drop off donations.  The fridge is accessible 24/7!  Drop off fresh produce or pantry items, dairy products, freezer foods, and more. You can also donate homemade food or treats (great project to do with your kids!). Just be sure to label with the date and ingredients. You can follow West End Fridge on instagram at and sign up to volunteer at  Feel free to email with any questions or ideas.

Thank you,

Community Service Parent Group


School Covid Testing Results

If your child(ren) has been selected for random Covid testing, be aware that test results may go directly to your email address. The subject of the message usually has text saying “Secure” with alpha-numeric combinations as well. The notifications come from Be on the lookout and check your spam boxes as well. You may also get a phone call, however the email method has been common recently.

Construction Updates

We are happy to report that the temporary boiler work at PS 87 is done and it is running smoothly. However, at this time, there is no timeline for when further work will resume and the next phase will begin. Until then, we continue to have regular bi-weekly check-ins with the School Construction Authority. As soon as we have information, we will share with the community.

Wednesday Walks

Meet up with fellow PS 87 parents and burn off some steam by going for a physically distant walk in Central Park! Meet every Wednesday in the Big Yard after drop-off (weather permitting). Younger siblings and parents with strollers are welcome! Please wear a mask. 

PS 87 Culture & Community Committee

DOE/Community/Parent Advocacy Updates

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

Middle School Information

District 3 has a new website to share information from Superintendent Christine Loughlin:

The deadline to apply for middle school is Tuesday, February 9. Questions? Check out the Admissions FAQ at You can also click here to find an informative presentation outlining a middle school admissions update provided by CEC3 earlier this month.

The next Monthly D3 Cafe with Superintendent Christine Loughlin will be February 22, from 4-5 p.m.

#KeepNYCSchools Movement

Wednesday, January 27, 2021 was the official halfway mark of the City’s 2020-2021 public school calendar.

All public middle schools and high schools remain closed indefinitely, and the so-called ‘two unlinked-cases’ rule has resulted in hundreds of pre-kindergarten through fifth grade school building closures since December.

If you support school reopening (here are the CDC’s recommendations) and are interested in learning more about the #KeepNYCSchools movement to reopen in-person school at NYC middle schools and high schools, as well as a halt to the two unlinked cases rule, please join the FB group here and follow us on Twitter here.  Any questions or to learn more, email

Parent Advocacy Suggestions

If you have any suggestions, ideas or questions about community affairs/parent advocacy, please reach out to us, Jill Rackmill and Erica DePiero, your PA Community Affairs volunteers at

We will continue to inform you of meetings and events that could be helpful to our school community.  Please check out our Parent Advocacy resources page on the PS 87 website here

Masks and social distancing reminder – let’s continue to protect our community!

Let’s stay vigilant about wearing masks and maintaining a safe distance from others, both around the school and moving about the community. Follow the local data here.

PS 87 Calendar 

See here for details and location/Zoom information.

1-3Cohort A in School
1Family Book Club 6-7 p.m.
4-5 Cohort B in School
8-9Cohort A in School
8SLT 4:15-5:30 p.m.
10-11Cohort B in School
10General PA Meeting 6-7 p.m.
12Lunar New Year, NO SCHOOL
15-19Midwinter Recess, NO SCHOOL
22-24Cohort A in School
25-26Cohort B in School
Backpack News is published during the school year by the Parents Association of PS 87. E-mail articles or updates to  For details on how to sponsor Backpack News, go to the Fundraising bar at The PS 87 PA does not endorse any of the services represented by paid sponsorships.   Editors: Angie Arlia, Beth Goldstein, Madhuri Iyer, Greta Karris
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