The Pre K Center has been a wonderful experience for our youngest child. We were so worried about him starting Pre K in September because he had not been in school since the start of the pandemic when he had just turned 3. So he had basically been home for 2 years. However, due to the wonderful teaching of Ms. Amaya and Ms. Castillo in the Dual Language Program and the Pre K Center our little one wants to be in school even on the weekends and is upset when he cannot attend school.
The Pre K Center is how every school should be. An educational center based on play based exploratory learning and emotional development.
Thank you again for making it such a wonderful place.
We wanted to share our very positive experience with having Caleb in Ms. Vasquez and Ms. Sysak's classroom.
They have created such a warm, playful, and creative environment while being incredibly attentive to the individual needs of the students. We have seen Caleb come out of his shell, interact with the other students beautifully, and use language more skillfully as he learns English. Not to mention potty training, especially being one of the younger students in the class. The way they have built out the curriculum with play, arts, and experiments is the ideal classroom we were looking for our son.
What we really appreciate the most is how responsive and informative they are with the parents in sharing daily posts on the activities (class dojo). They also involve us in all aspects by bringing parts of our home life (videos and stories) back into the classroom. It really feels like a big family. It also brings the curriculum to life as we can see it come to action. We engage with them more purposely at home by incorporating the lessons.
We recognize it is voluntary for each of the teachers, so we do feel incredibly lucky. At the same time would advocate that it's an important part of why we have been so involved. As parents, especially in 3K where we are just beginning to transition our little ones into a formal classroom, seeing our kids through pictures and videos not only eases our anxiety but we can see how nurturing Ms. Sysak and Ms. Velasquez are with the students. If only I can have that same energy =]
The biggest testament is how much Caleb tells us that he loves school and his teachers, he actively looks forward to his day. That is really all we can ask for.
Happy to share more, and looking forward to still being part of the District 30-Prek Center next year.
Stephanie and Raul
I wanted to personally, from the bottom of my heart, thank you for enabling our Clare to get back in the PreK classroom this January. While we were so appreciative of the virtual instruction as well, we saw our daughter light up and all of her learning synapses start to fire. She went from essentially doing show and tell to the captive audience, and getting bored after screentime lessons, to coming home talking about different animals, the difference between transparent and opaque, and a host of other stimulating, exciting topics that got her interest in the classroom. Additionally, she learned the magic of friendships, and like you saw from many of her classmates in the slideshow, now wants to be a teacher when she grows up. The example that you, her teacher Ms. Davidova and all have taught our children - modeling resilience, protecting their safety and leading through unprecedented challenges - stand without parallel. You will have to forgive the run-on sentences here, and chalk them up to the effusive gratitude we feel for you and the team. I hope you have a wonderful Summer and that we can all come back to a slightly more "normal" learning experience.
Kathleen B. Reynolds
My daughter has had the incredible experience of being in Ms Olivella's pre-k class this year. I am writing to express my gratitude and appreciation for your school and her class in particular.
Claire is our younger daughter -- and this is our third pre-k experience in LIC. My older daughter was downstairs at 78 in a proper 78 pre-k. And Claire was in the UPK room at Lolly's last year as her bday is January 8th and she was really ready for pre-k last year.
Having this previous experience provides me with a unique lens by which I am able to say without hesitation, this year, this school, these teachers have been the very very very best.
We are founding families at 384 with out daughter going into 3rd next year. And Claire shortly joining. My experience with 384 mirrors that which you and your school have provided this year and I am truly grateful and feel so lucky.
Thank you again for all you and your staff have done to make a difficult year successful for students and parents alike.
Thank you for all the social-emotional work you do in class. It has helped my son become more self aware and better at evaluating positive and negative behaviors in himself and others. He can now recognize moods he doesn't like-loud, angry, physically rough-and distance himself from them. We really appreciate your expertise in cultivating his character.
I would like to thank all the Pre-K staff for all they have done for my daughter this year. I am very happy for the progress that my child has made throughout the school year. I am confident that with this years scholastic experience she is ready to tackle the many obstacles that kindergarten may bring. I would like to give a special thank you to Ms. Peralta and Mrs. Castillo. They have not only done an excellent job preparing my daughter scholastically but they have also touched her heart, by treating my child like if she was their very own. Thanks to these two beautiful ladies my daughter was extremely happy and eager to go to school everyday. I am grateful and recommend this pre-kindergarten program and its staff to all those parents looking for a great Pre-K experience for their children.
We really appreciate the kindness and thoughtfulness of the teachers of the District 30 Pre-K Centers. Our daughter entered the class from April to June, just after we moved to NY from Japan. At first, she did not understand English at all, but the teachers helped her understanding gently and continuously. Even in such a short period, she could get used to the class very well and make good friends, thanks to the careful consideration of the teachers.
I am so happy that Dylan was part of the inaugural pre-k class. The class has made a big difference in his social skills and behavior. He has learned to use the potty and doesn't throw tantrums anymore. He knows his alphabet and plenty of nursery rhymes. He loves to sing. Thank you for doing such a wonderful job with the children.
Dear Dual Language Team,
We want to thank you from the bottom of our hearts for all that you have done for our son Pavel. Everyday he is so excited to go to school. We are so pleased to hear his vocabulary in English and Spanish. We understand your hard work and dedication. We cant thank you enough. This first experience for Pavel has been incredible.
The Valdez Family
I want to thank you for all your hard work and dedication. My son Jayden Reinertsen passed the Gifted and Talented exam and based on his scores, he was placed in the 99th percentile. Thanks a million!
Since the Pre-K center was a new concept we did not know what to expect. We were extremely pleased with the entire experience. Jacob thrived both educationally and personally this past year. It was great to see how much he learned and enjoyed school. We were so happy with all the teachers and administration of the center Jacob attended.
On the first day of the Puppetry in Practice residency, Pre-K students participated in an interactive puppet show of Apartment for Rent. In subsequent lessons, children created a tree house apartment along with a variety of puppet residents for the house. The tree house became a permanent installation in each classroom and served as a stage for the puppets created. New characters were created and students were encouraged to change the storylines through their dramatic puppet play. Individual units from the school's curriculum were implemented during the course of the residency, allowing the dramatic play to serve as a way for students to deepen their connection to each unit of study. Children explored various art materials as they created different types of puppets. Additionally, mathematics skills were incorperated as children learn patterns, the properties of materials, special relations, shapes, and symmetry.
The program connects to early childhood Benchmarks in the Blueprint for the Visual Arts (Art making: Theatre sets and puppets) and for Theatre (Theatre Making: Group activities, including creative play, storytelling, pantomime, and improvisation). Through sequential activities, students begin to understand the process of moving from design to creation of production elements. Students extend their understanding of theatre by connecting it to learning in other disciplines. Additionally students' level of engaging--in terms of socializing and language development with one another, with the teacher and with the teaching artist--all increased and improved.
The greatest challenges of the program were to effectively cover all the units of the study within the timeframe of the artist's visits. It was important to the school that this collaboration with Puppetry in Practice link to our curriculum in order to reinforce the learning goals for our students. To resolve this challenge, several planning sessions between the teacher and the teaching artist were implemented in order to sddress specific areas of study within the unit that the teachers felt should be further reinforced. This allowed the teachers an opportunity to collaborate with the artist and to include his lessons into their own. We also scheduled a series of Parent Engagement workshops in order to promote continued learning through the arts at home by giving parents hands-on, extension activities to use as a follow-up to the classroom learning. Parent Engagement workshops were conducted in both English and Spanish.
Puppetry in Practice
Thank you so much for all that you did in this trying year. I know it wasn’t easy, but you made it look like it was! We recognize and really appreciate it.
We wanted to send a note of praise for our son’s teacher, Eridania Rodriguez at 397.
We were quite anxious about sending our son to school in the fall for all the normal reasons, plus the added pressures during the pandemic. Mrs. Rodriguez put us at ease right away with her obvious natural way with the children. Tommy really loved her and it was obvious the other children did, too. She truly has a gift for what she does and we were so incredibly fortunate that Tommy got to experience having her as a teacher! She told me many times how much she loves being a teacher and that absolutely shines through. I’m honestly heartbroken Tommy is moving on from her class, but I hope my younger son has the opportunity to be taught by her in a few years!
Thank you again and I hope you have a wonderful summer and that next year's school year is a little bit easier!
Katie Berkshire McNulty and Tom McNulty
Our daughter attends PreK at the District 30 Pre-K center at Jackson Avenue, LIC. Her teachers are Ms. Irene Sysak and Ms. Naz Modak. We wanted to take the opportunity of Teacher Appreciation Week to give a shout out to both of them.
Because of the pandemic, everyone had to change their way of life, at home and work, and adapt to a new way of working.
Our daughter has been 100% remote since the school year started. We were wondering how she would cope up with PreK, like that, since she's too small. But thanks to her wonderful teachers, she's been doing great.
We saw how the online classroom evolved, as the teachers brought in a certain type of decorum that was essential for virtual classes, and got all the kids to adapt to it, and run a successful class. Each child gets a chance to share and talk about their work, and anything else they want. The kids ask questions and also get to learn a lot of new things, effectively. The teachers are so loving and caring towards their students, and the students are fully engaged and interested in what the teachers are saying.
Our daughter has enjoyed her classes and very excitedly waits for school in the morning, and does her assignment to show and talk about it, for the afternoon class. She even asks if there is school over weekends!
We know how much of a struggle it must have been for the teachers to change their way of instruction, and engage children online. We're sure all teachers have adapted and are doing their very best. We wanted to thank Ms. Sysak and Ms. Naz for the wonderful work they are doing, and the encouragement and the motivation they are providing to the children in their classroom.
Ms. Sysak & Ms. Naz, you both have been excellent and wishing you the very best, for you to continue to inspire the minds of young children! We hope, when our 1 year old daughter grows up and is ready for school, she has the opportunity to be in your class, just like her sister.
We've attached the drawing our daughter made for her teachers, which has also gone up on her Google Classroom.
Mr. and Mrs. Noel
Thank you for sending this recap. I appreciate the information. I had another call during today’s session.
I just wanted to say that over the summer the thought of sending our kids to school for this year was really scary. We weren’t sure if we would opt for only remote or in person. THANK YOU to everyone who made this possible in such a controlled, safe way.
The kids are so happy to be in school. The communication from everyone has been wonderful. The teachers are LOVELY and caring. We couldn’t be happier with how it’s been going, so again… thank you.
I just wanted to send a thank you note for all the work and positive vibes you have been sending to our kids this week! It has been much needed during this time of uncertainty and immense transition. While kids are still little, they definitely pick up on the fact that something of big magnitude is happening right now.
Maya has been so happy to see you on Tuesday and today when you read a book via video. She kept giggling when I shared your comments about her work and I see they made her smile on the inside.
I learned something new today too! When watching you read a book to the kids, I noticed a certain way you probed them about the book and asked thought provoking questions - definitely excited to keep practicing this technique with the girls!
Have a good weekend and stay safe!