PS87 Backpack News: April 19, 2021

Reminder- New COVID-19 School Closure Policy

The DOE has updated its school closure policy regarding Covid-19 cases. The attached letter from Chancellor Porter details the changes. Please read: Update for Families April 9, 2021.pdf.

Get your Fun Under the Sun Tickets Now!

PS87’s biggest fundraising event of the year is just around the corner. Join us virtually on April 24 (that’s next Saturday!) for entertainment, raffles, and plenty of family fun.

Tickets are pay what you wish, 87-style: $8.70, $87, $870.  

You can purchase your tickets here:

The Zoom link for the event will be sent out to ticket holders at 5 p.m. on Saturday April 24.

See you there!

Outdoor Monitors – Volunteers Needed

We are seeking parent volunteers to supervise lunch rotations as well as the 78th street closure barriers throughout the week for the remainder of the school year. We will need rotating shifts for lunch periods from 10:30 until 2:00 pm. Additionally we need a monitor for dismissals every day on the 78th street side of the school. If you are great at project management, we could use a lead to plan the schedule and coordinate the efforts. If you are interested in leading or assisting, please contact Thank you!

Picture Day

It is that time of year!  School photos!  This year some things will be the same as in the past and others will be different.   

What is the same?  Like last year, all students will have their photo taken, and proofs will be sent directly to parents who can order online and have shipped to their homes. You will receive your online viewing code a few weeks after photo day. You will not be required to fill out any forms in advance. Please DO NOT send in any money to school with your child. 

What’s different? This year we will not be taking class photos. All students, teachers and staff will take their individual photo as usual and we will take those individual photos to create class composites.  

What else is different? All individual photos will be taken outside, weather permitting. We purposely planned a Friday and a Monday so that each cohort would be in school on their respective days.  So if you are Cohort B, your day will be Friday April 23rd.  If you are Cohort A it will be Monday April 26th.  

For remote students, we will be offering appointment slots during the Friday and Monday photo days after school for students to come to school and have their photo taken outdoors. We are encouraging all remote families to take advantage of this opportunity if possible for a professional photo. This will be your only opportunity for a professional photo. Please sign up here. Please put your child’s name and class in the comments.  Remember this is ONLY for remote students. Students in Cohort A and B will have their photo taken during the regular school day. For those unable to come in, we will provide an alternative option for photos.  More info to come.  

Please note: Although 5-day in-person learning begins on April 26, the schedule for school photos will continue to follow the current plan.  Remote students as of today should use the online sign-up form and those in the two cohorts as of today will follow the schedule as laid out above.  

The PS 87 Art Fundraiser – Ends April 26

PS 87 Art Shop:

Access Code: ARTatPS87

Choose the Schoolwide Art Project and/or Upload Your Own Art and place your order for various keepsakes

You will be able to upload multiple pieces of art, something your child created in the past, a new drawing, or both. Sibling art, family projects, and photographs are also accepted! To prepare your art for uploading, follow these easy instructions for how to scan/photograph your art.

There are some great options for Mother’s Day gifts so plan ahead with this Art Fundraiser FAQ and order by April 18 to ensure on-time delivery!

Shop the PS 87 Store – New Items Available

Check out the new gear now available in the PS 87 store, including long sleeve tees and bags!

Our Cinch Backpack is available in 10 colors.  It’s lightweight, washable, and fits a soccer ball!  

Click here to shop – 100% of the profit goes towards the PS 87 Parents’ Association to help sustain the resources and programs that benefit every student at PS 87.  All items may be shipped or picked up locally on the Upper West Side.


PS 87 Spring Book Fair

We are thrilled to announce that we will be holding a safe outdoor book fair for our school and community this spring!  The Scholastic Book Fair has been a beloved tradition at PS 87.  By having it outdoors with many safety measures in place, we think it will be a great event to boost community spirits while promoting literacy and raising money for our school!

WHEN: Friday, May 7, 1-5 p.m.

          Saturday, May 8, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

         (Rain date: May 21-22)

WHERE: PS 87 K Yard

WHO: Open to everyone in our neighborhood!

Come pick out some new books and see friendly (masked) faces in-person! Make sure to pick up bookmarks with our Fall Book Fair Mascot winners from 2019 AND 2020 while you’re there. If you can’t make it, don’t worry! There will be an online fair as well that will run for a week beginning on May 7. The link will be posted on the PS 87 website. Please email with any questions. Happy shopping and reading!

Your Scholastic Book Fair Co-Chairs

Megan Pilla, Sejal Shah, & Mercy Ji

After-School Options for Spring

Exciting spring outdoor after-school activity news! Please see information below on the two outdoor after-school options offered by Togetherhood and Kids in the Game, in partnership with the PA. Thank you to our Afterschool Committee for all their hard work putting together these options for our PS 87 families.

Togetherhood After-School Programming for PS 87 Families

Togetherhood is providing PS 87 families with distinct after-school programming (Monday-Friday) taught by local independent enrichment providers. Classes fall under four categories: Art, Performing Arts, STEM, and Outdoor Exploration.

Children will be picked up at PS 87 by Togetherhood staff at dismissal at 2:30 p.m., and parents will pick up in the PS 87 Big Yard at 4:30 p.m. Classes are held outdoors in both Central Park and Riverside Park. Cost: $40 a day.

The PS 87 course lineup includes: Harry Potter, a dance class entitled “Nature in Motion,” musical theater/Broadway showtunes, art, and more!

Registration will launch at 9:00 am on Monday, April 19, and continue on a rolling basis.  To register, visit

For more info, email or

Kids In The Game After-School Programming for PS 87 Families

Kids in the Game will offer outdoor after-school activities and games for 30 students per day in the PS 87 big yard. Registration is open now at:

Starting April 26, outdoor after-school sessions will run on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays from 2:30-4:30 pm. Students will be picked up at school dismissal at 2:30 p.m. by Kids in the Game coaches. Cost: $25 a day.

Kids in the Game has been providing in-person programs since June 2020 thanks to the development of their Physically Distanced Games Resource guide. This guide allows for fun, impactful play while following health and safety guidelines for COVID-19.

Wellness in the Schools Family Cooking Workshop – Wednesday, April 21 4 p.m.

When we have a snack attack, it’s important to have healthy options available! This week we will be making a tasty and versatile black bean dip for our fifth of seven bi-weekly family cooking classes.

This recipe will allow us to practice knife skills, and blend protein packed black beans with a rainbow array of vegetables. 

Attached is the recipe and shopping list.  There is also a note on how to make homemade pita chips if you’d like to do so in advance. 

Please prepare for  the Zoom with all hands washed, long hair tied back, ingredients and equipment ready and minds ready for a culinary adventure!  In advance, if you’d like to purchase a child friendly knife for this class and future workshops, we recommend lettuce knives or child friendly nylon serrated knives  which can be found online, at Bed, Bath and Beyond and local gourmet food stores. 

Zoom ID: 381-624-7859  Passcode – 866858

Be Well, 

Chef Victoria

West Side Campaign Against Hunger- Spring Challenge

PS 87 has been a longtime supporter of the West Side Campaign Against Hunger, which supports New Yorkers in need. Donate to their Spring Campaign here!

New York State Tests and Assessments – Dates and Resources

New York State assessments will be administered within the following dates:

· English Language Arts for grades 3 through 8: April 19–29, 2021

· Mathematics for grades 3 through 8: May 3–14, 2021 (testing will not be held on May 13 when schools are closed for Eid Al-Fitr)

· Science for grades 4 and 8: June 7–11, 2021

If your child does not participate in the state exams, he/she will not be penalized. 

The DOE has created a Parent Guide to address commonly asked questions about the administration of the Grades 3–8 ELA and Mathematics exams as well as the Grades 4 and 8 Science exams in the 2020-21 school year (

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.

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

Parent Advocacy

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.

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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