March 12, 2020



Dear Brooklyn North Principals,

Happy Women's History Month. This week we salute Wilma Mankiller who is known for leading her people with strength and courage. Growing up in the 1940's and 50's as a Cherokee on a farm in Oklahoma was hard, but Wilma prevailed and became the first ever female Chief. She led a strong fight to improve health care, education, and access to clean water. Wilma was determined! This week we also salute Virginia Apgar whose invention saves lives every single day. Virginia's decision to become a surgeon started when her brother died of tuberculosis. Due to the Great Depression, she had to switch her interest to anesthesiology. She started working with babies and women who were giving birth. Her work resulted in the invention of the Apgar Score, a simple but important method used for evaluating the health of a new baby. It has been said that Dr. Apgar did more than anyone else to improve the health of mothers, babies, and unborn infants during the 20th century. We salute you Wilma and Apgar!

Thank you for your flexibility and diligence as the DOE works through guidance related to the coronavirus. As you know, this pandemic is unknown to the CDC and the DOE is doing their best to make sound decisions on behalf of our 1.1 million children, while also keeping the adults safe. In this edition we have provided you with a link to the CORVID-19 virus website, the latest letter from the DOE that was backpacked and other resources from the city. I strongly suggest you work with your staff and review these resources so that you are well informed. All questions regarding sick days and leaves should be directed to your payroll secretaries since they have been provided with guidance. As new information is given regarding the virus, we will ensure that you are informed. Students and adults should be reminded to practice good hygiene and wash their hands throughout the day. Bathrooms must be outfitted with running water, soap and paper towels at all times. When in doubt reach out to us here at the BCO.

On Tuesday our monthly BCO meetings with district teams and committees representing all of our Drivers were conducted. We are excited to share that our BCO has added two new drivers. We welcome the members of the Early Childhood Committee which will be facilitated by our DART, Arelis Parache. We also welcome the members of the Family Empowerment Committee which will be facilitated by our Executive Administrative Assistant, Precious Jones and Mollita Abron, the FACE B.E.T. Director. We have included all of the minutes from the committee meetings within this newsletter. Our ILF committee meeting focused primarily on the Next Generation Learning Standards. Thanks to E.S. Watts, Angie, Tracey and Zosia, we were provided with an in-depth look at the new standards in ELA and Mathematics. We also looked closely at the cross-walk between the Common Core and the NGLS. We examined the overarching themes of the new standards in an effort to understand what is new and what the expectations are across each grade band. This professional learning session will be presented to all of you during the March Principals' Conference. As a reminder, all BCO support staff must continue to create action plans and share them with the administrative team in each of their schools. These plans must be reflective of the work you are engaging in with the staff. All plans must be uploaded into our School Link system. Be sure to share all of the great work you are doing and make sure your language is clear, and representative of all that you are doing.

Hopefully, you received the communication that Math Pi Day on March 13th has been postponed. We will keep you updated in the event that we are able to find a venue to accommodate us for a new date. In a meantime we ask that you engage your students in fun activities regarding Pi. This is an opportunity for the teachers and students to join forces and have fun with math.

As part of the renovations in Room 506, a new lactation room has been constructed. Once 506 is completely finished, the lactation room will be permanently moved to 506.

As always, we are happy to provide you with an attached listing of upcoming events and important dates, as well as the meeting notes from Tuesday. Stay safe, healthy and wise as you navigate around the CORVIS-19 virus. Remember, when in doubt, reach out to us here at the BCO. For ALL that you continue to do, we thank you!

Upcoming Deadlines/Meetings/Events:

3/14 - John A. Gibbs Conference on Environmental Issues

3/17 - March Principal meetings in all Districts

3/30 - Brooklyn North STEM Day at Barclay Center

4/25 - Department of Youth and Community Development NYC Youth Leadership Summit

Your Partner in Education,

Sandra D'Avilar

Week of March 9, 2020

1. Please be sure to visit the DOE website for the most recent communications regarding COVID-19.

2. The Chancellor shared this letter on Wednesday, March 11. If you did not already do so, please make sure you backpack it home today.

3. Please see here for a number of resources provided by the City regarding COVID-19.

4. Please see this memo that was shared with payroll secretaries.

5. Please view the opportunities on the Special Education professional learning calendar and the SESIS professional learning calendar.

6. Please see here for the high school science opportunities.

7. Please see here for the upcoming social studies opportunities.

8. Please see all the school garden news here from Garden Train.

9. Please see this Guide to Create and Join a Meeting in Microsoft Teams.

10. Please see this opportunity for middle and high school students to participate in focus groups designed to increase awareness on how to interact successfully with law enforcement officers.

11. High school students are encouraged to attend the 25th Annual John A. Gibbs Conference on Environmental Issues on Saturday, March 14, 2020. For more information and registration, visit the website.

12. In support of Brooklyn North's e-STEM Driver, there are some amazing opportunities for your grade 3-8 teachers that are being offered by the American Museum of Natural History over the upcoming Spring Break. Please see the flyer for additional information.

13. The Leadership Program engages schools or community groups by creating unique shared experiences to address issues of low attendance, bullying, unmotivated students, disengaged families and teachers. Their programs use social-emotional learning to teach students, teachers, and families how to engage with each other and the world by understanding their own feelings. This translates into increased empathy, which leads to stronger relationships, deeper connections, and the desire and ability to lead.

14. Dr. Donyall Dickey will be speaking at Scholastic on March 31st about best practices in literacy, the Next Generation Learning Standards, and Culturally Responsive Education. You may view the flyer here and register here.

15. Please consider attending and participating for The 23rd Annual "Mahatma Gandhi-Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Season For Nonviolence" educational event on April 1, 2020. As you may know the Gandhi-King Season for Nonviolence was established by the Gandhi and King families and others at the United Nations in 1998 during the memorials marking 50 years since the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi (in 1948) and 30 years since the assassination of Dr. King (in 1968). Since then groups in over 900 cities and 67 countries have held events during the "Season For Nonviolence," which last annually from January 30th (marking the day Gandhi was assassinated) though April 4th (marking the day Dr, King was assassinated). In NY, the annual culminating educational event continued to take place for many years at the United Nations and is now held at the Concert Hall at the New York Society for Ethical Culture Building. Admission is free and all are welcome. For more information and registration, see here.

16. Do you have a student entering kindergarten through grade 12 in September who is interested in having fun, unique, STEM experiences this summer? Succeed with STEM this summer! Apply now to attend exciting enrichment and experiential learning programs with STEM Matters NYC. A wide range of programs are offered and vary by grade level. The 5-week STEM Academy is offered to students entering grades 3 through 11 in September and is located at schools throughout the City. Our 1-week camps are offered to students entering kindergarten through grade 9 in September and are located at museums and zoos in all five boroughs. Courses and internships are offered to students entering grades 10 through 12 at museums and experiential learning centers around the city. All programs involve the opportunity to gain real-world, hands-on learning experiences this summer! Don’t miss out, spots are limited and the application deadline is Friday, April 10. Preference is given to students who attend Title I schools. Download our flyer, learn more, and apply now. For questions, contact

17. Students aged 15 to 18 are invited to apply for the Steven H. Strogatz Prize for Math Communication to share their love of math with the world! Cash prizes will be awarded for compelling math communication projects, with winning entries recognized online. Send us your podcast, school newspaper column, art exhibit, YouTube video, website, song, play, or project (or any other mode of public communication) celebrating the universality of math; entries will be judged based on content, creativity, and communication. The submission deadline is April 22. Learn more and submit your entry at

18. Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez today announced the start of the application process for high school juniors and seniors interested in participating in a five-week paid summer internship program. The summer internship is open to students who live and/or attend high school in Brooklyn and are interested in learning about the different careers and responsibilities within the criminal justice system. The summer internship runs from July 7 to August 7, 2020. Students can apply on the website.