PS87 Backpack News: October 17, 2021

PS 87 Calendar 

See here for details and location/Zoom information.

October  2021
23Harvest Fest 1- 5 p.m.
27 General PA Meeting 7 – 8 p.m.Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 897 9723 1597Passcode: 8Z4YG2
November  2021
1Family Book Group 6 – 7 p.m. via Zoom
2Election Day – Remote School Day
Parent Teacher Conferences – Half Day of School/ Remote Conferences
10General PA Meeting 7-8 p.m.
11Veterans Day – No School
25-26Thanksgiving Break – No School

November 2 (Election Day) is a Remote School Day

Please be sure that your kids have access to Google Classroom for November 2. If you have any technical questions, remember that there is a parent run help desk that you can contact if you have any questions –

From Principal Monica

Dear Families, 

Our book of the month for October is Be Kind by Pat Zietlow Miller. The book begins with a little girl named Tanisha spilling grape juice on her new dress. All her classmates laugh at her except for the narrator of the story.   Initially, the narrator wants to laugh but quickly remembers, “mom always tells me to be kind….”  After failing to make Tanisha feel better, our narrator begins to reflect on what it means to be kind. As the narrator thinks about kindness, we learn that one can show kindness in many ways, such as giving, helping, or even noticing and acknowledging others. 

As the narrator continues to contemplate kindness, she points out something very important. Being kind is not always easy.  Teaching someone something you know well is kind, but it can be difficult to do even if you have a lot of patience.  Standing up for someone being bullied is kind, but it is not always easy (and, as the book says, can be “really scary”).  

So we should all start with small acts of kindness. Hopefully, as it says at the end of the book, our “small things might join small things other people do.  And together, they could grow into something big.  Something really big.  So big that all our kindnesses spill out of our school, spread throughout town, travel across the country, and go all the way around the world.” 


Principal Monica

Going Once… Going Twice! Two Auction Chairs Needed!

The PS87 auction is one of the biggest nights of the year for our school.  It is always a fun-filled night during which we raise a large portion of our annual budget.  We are still in need of an auction chair/auction chairs! We cannot have an auction without one or two auction chairs.  So if you are reading this and thinking, “maybe I’d do it if I had a partner or team,” email us! If you are interested in filling this position, email us! If you simply want to hear more, email us!  A team of people would be great! Send all inquiries to

Harvest Fest Time!

Join us for PS 87’s first-ever outdoor Harvest Festival!  Adult admission is free and all-access activity wristbands for kids are just $20 each.  Click here to purchase.

We need your help to make Harvest Fest a success!  If you are new to the PS 87 community, this is a great way to mingle and meet more parents and kids.  If you are a returning parent, you know how much our school needs you to make all our wonderful programs work.  

Click here to sign up for a volunteer shift or to bring a delicious baked treat for our Bake Sale table. Responsible 5th graders and/or older siblings can volunteer as well.  

Speaking of the Bake Sale, we are in need of desserts and treats for the event!  Homemade and/or store-bought are welcome. Proceeds will help fund PS 87 enrichment programs. Please drop your donations at the Big Yard on Saturday, Oct 23 between the hours of 9 a.m. -12 p.m. (before Harvest Fest). 

DEI Task Force Update

The DEI (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion) Task Force is a group of parents, teachers, administrators, support staff, and Afterschool staff, aiming to represent the many backgrounds present within our vibrant PS87 school community. Our role is to keep a pulse on any identified pain points within our community, and act as a bridge to provide, as best possible, solutions or guidance to minimize barriers, to create an atmosphere where everyone feels included, like they belong, and are valued. 

We met for our kickoff meeting on Tuesday, October 12, following a preliminary survey to help us identify some key areas that matter to our community and any “pain points” to focus on. Some initial observations from the 170 responses received so far:

  • Communications popped up a few times – whether that is being more transparent, recognizing other languages, or adhering to our PS87 community’s four tenets;
  • Sexual orientation is an area of diversity that a few respondents brought up;
  • Different people value the various diversity attributes very differently, ranging from being indifferent to caring strongly about it;
  • Better access to programming for those children who live out of zone;
  • Better access to programming for those families experiencing financial hardship;
  • Better programming to cater for any IEP (Individualized Education Plan) students;
  • Better planning / inclusivity for students who are signed up for AS (Afterschool);
  • Dealing with anxiety in students and families who recently transitioned to in person classes;
  • Too many assumptions that families are privileged and well to do, making it challenging for those families that aren’t;
  • The need for support groups, an outlet, or guidance for families who speak a certain language, or feel strongly against certain regulations.

Here’s who’s on the team (listed alphabetically):

  • Angie Arlia, Dual Language parent, Afterschool (AS) Board President, PA Board VP of Communications
  • Barbara Kissane, Admin, Assistant Principal
  • Beatrice Yang, Longtime parent, PA volunteer 
  • Cheryl Melchiorre, 4th Grade Paraprofessional 
  • Emily Morrison, 2nd Grade Special Education Teacher, ICT Class
  • Geronimo Ruiz, Afterschool Executive Director 
  • James Mitchell, School Based Support Team Family Worker
  • Jennifer Stark, Parent Teacher Coordinator
  • Lauri Posner, Fifth Grade General Education Teacher, Union Chapter Chair
  • Luciano Accinelli, Dual Language parent
  • Monica Berry, Admin, Principal
  • Ola Hixon, new parent, lives out of zone 
  • Rita Kakati-Shah, PA Board President, new parent, AS parent 
  • Robyn Kurzrok, Fifth Grade General Education Teacher 
  • Robyn Ulzheimer, Kindergarten General Education Teacher, ICT Class
  • Sara Loya, IEP, new(ish) parent, alumna

The next meeting is planned for Wednesday October 27, and we welcome any feedback and comments! Send an email to:

Your DEI Task Force

Charleston Gift Wrap Fundraiser- More Than Just Gift Wrap!

There is still plenty of time to shop the Charleston Gift Wrap fundraiser – it runs until November 15.  There are so many great gifts to buy— socks with your pet’s face, photo gifts for grandparents, eco-friendly kitchen solutions, and more. Please share this fundraiser with family and friends!  There are two ways to shop:

1) To register to earn rewards, go to and click “Register Participant.” Our organization ID is 20759.  From there, you can register yourself, shop and email friends and family for rewards.

2) To simply shop and support PS 87, click on this link and shop away!

Thank you for supporting PS 87!

Reminder – Mask Up in the Morning!

All adults and children should be wearing masks on the drop off line each morning. Thanks for your cooperation!

DOE/Community/Parent Advocacy Updates

Click here to read Chancellor Porter’s 9/20 letter about changes to the DOE testing and quarantine policies.

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 website with updates from Superintendent Christine Loughlin:

Parent Advocacy

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

We will 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

NYC COVID-19 Updates

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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