Friday, June 25, 2010

Mosaic Art for the Roosevelt Island School (P.S./I.S. 217) Is Almost Finished

Mosaic artist Micka Feinerman and other P.S./I.S. 217 (Roosevelt Island School) G&T Kindergarten class parents continued working on a colorful mosaic which is expected to be displayed on the last official day of school - Monday, June 28th.


Photo:  Micka working on the final stage of the project - grouting the mosaic.

Moving Up Ceremony at P.S./I.S. 217 (Roosevelt Island School) Kindergarten

G&T Program at P.S./I.S. 217 Is Saved!

Roosevelt Islander blog reports on the future of G&T Program at P.S./I.S. 217 (Roosevelt Island School):
UPDATE 7:40 PM - Received the following joint statement from Assembly Member Micah Kellner and NYC Council Member Jessica Lappin:
“It is with great joy that we are able to announce that the Roosevelt Island gifted and talented program has been saved. Two weeks ago, the Department of Education unilaterally announced that the program would not be accepting a class of kindergarteners for next year. This was the wrong decision and our offices immediately began working with parents and school officials to make it right. At a meeting with us and parents on June 11, the DOE committed to maintaining the program if at least 18 students could be found who were interested in attending. Our offices worked with parents from Manhattan, Queens, and Roosevelt Island to spread the word and recruit families for this program."
"We are pleased to say that as of today, there are 18 students enrolled in the program. There will definitely by a new G&T kindergarten class on Roosevelt Island next fall."
“This is a huge victory for parents who worked so hard and who refused to take no for an answer. More than that, this is a victory for the families who will now have a first-rate gifted and talented program for their children this fall.
"We’d especially like to commend PTA President Nikki Leopold, Principal Mandana Beckman, and Elizabeth Rose of the DOE for their efforts to preserve the G&T program on Roosevelt Island. This is excellent news and we look forward to continuing to watch the G&T program on the Island grow and thrive in the years to come.”
Assembly Member Kellner adds:
"Now that next year’s kindergarten class has been secured, we will seek to expand the program to make it citywide — bringing some of New York City’s brightest students to Roosevelt Island and securing the Island’s gifted and talented program for the long term."
And another update from P.S./I.S. 217 PTA president:

I am happy to announce that PS/IS 217 has 19 families who are ready to enroll in our Kindergarten G&T program for the 2010/11 school year. This is a major victory for our school, made possible by the strong support and advocacy of Council Member Lappin, Assembly Member Kellner and our dedicated parent body made up of families from Roosevelt Island, Queens and Manhattan.
The G&T program has been a wonderful and welcome addition to our school. We look forward to the growth of the program, as a component to the existing elements that make our school so unique.
Comment by Nikki Leopold — June 24, 2010 @ 11:59 pm

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Mosaic Art for the Roosevelt Island School (P.S./I.S. 217)

Teachers, parents, and students continued working on mosaic that will soon be displayed next to P.S./I.S. 217 (Roosevelt Island School) entrance.  Mosaic artist Micka Fienerman, who has a daughter in the G&T Kindergarten class and a son in the 2nd grade, came up with the idea and coordinated this wonderful project.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Kindergarten Class Is To Open This Fall

According to P.S./I.S. 217 Principal Ms. Beckman, as of today, June 23rd there are 18 kindergarteners who registered for G&T class - so the DOE will officially open this class.  Parents are expected to enroll their children officially by this Friday.  Congratulations to school administration, community members, and the PTA who worked hard to make this happen!

Another school tour for prospective parents is scheduled for tomorrow, Thursday, June 24th @8:45 am.

An email update from the PTA president:

You might have already heard, but the DOE confirmed that there are 18 families who are ready to register for the PS/IS 217 G&T program.  This is a monumental accomplishment given the time frame that we were working with and the obstacles that we had to overcome.  The breakdown includes 7 Roosevelt Island, 5 Jackson Heights (District 30) and 6 Manhattan (District 2) families.  The role of parent advocacy in this effort cannot be overstated.  Thank you to those who worked tirelessly on outreach and recruitment.  I will send out more information tomorrow, but wanted to let you know the good news.
One more tour tomorrow so we may see a further increase.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Last Day of Spanish Program 2010 at the Roosevelt Island School (P.S./I.S. 217)

 P.S./I.S. 217 (Roosevelt Island School) students from grades K through 3 had their last session of Spanish this Wednesday, June 16th, 2010.  The first year was a huge success for this new PTA sponsored Spanish after-school program "Explorando EspaƱol", established through a partnership with El Taller Latino Americano.  Each student received a folder with multiple art projects s/he completed during the semester, and a CD with songs and vocabulary words that the classes recorded earlier this year.

Field Day Activities at the Roosevelt Island School (P.S./I.S. 217)

Kindergarten students at the Roosevelt Island School (P.S./I.S. 217) had a fantastic Field Day on June 16th, 2010.  Baton Relay, Obstacle Course, Potato Sack Race, Egg and Spoon Race, Three-Leg-Race, and of course the most popular with the students - Sponge Relay.  We had so many parent volunteers for the event - thank you for your help on this exciting day!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

G&T Kindergarten Update

The Administration & PTA of PS/IS 217 has decided to go forward with the planned G&T Kindergarten class for the 2010/11 School Year – regardless of DOE’s stated minimum requirements. What does this mean? It means that there WILL BE a Kindergarten G&T class in place, and that you can still put your child’s name on the list to attend – regardless of whether you’ve already registered at another school. 


1) Immediately contact Parent Coordinator Lauraine Rademaker at (or call 347-563-5165) to express your intent and to fill out a ‘Placement Exception Request Form”, which is a required document in this process.

2) Email Kim Cobb (, and Michael Greenberg (, in the Enrollment Office of the DOE expressing your intention (please cc: Nikki Leopold at

Per the DOE’s Elizabeth Rose, Director of Portfolio Planning: “Families will not give up their current seat unless and until we make a decision to open the class at 217.” 



If you have any questions or require any additional information, please contact Nikki Leopold, PS/IS 217 PTA President, at

Upcoming School Tours at the Roosevelt Island School (P.S./I.S. 217)

The DOE have opened second round of enrollment to P.S./I.S. 217 G&T program for District 30 and District 2 families.  If your child qualified for G&T and received placement elsewhere, you are welcome to re-submit your application and register your child at the Roosevelt Island School.  To accommodate all parents considering signing up to P.S./I.S. 217 G&T program this year, the PTA and Roosevelt Island School administration arranged four more school tours on the following dates:

Wednesday, June 16 @ 8:45 am
Friday, June 18 @ 8:45 am

Tuesday, June 22nd @ 8:45 am
Thursday, June 24 @ 8:45 am

Monday, June 14, 2010

Keep P.S. 217 G&T for District 30 is on Facebook

Keep P.S. 217 G&T for District 30 is on Facebook:

Due to a few not well-thought out issues on behalf of the DOE, P.S. 217's G&T Kindergarten was canceled for Sept. 2010. Fortunately, following a June 11th meeting with the DOE and various politicians, that decision was reversed provided there are enough children to come. So if you want P.S. 217 as a place for your soon to be kindergartner, I urge you to call the DOE and let them know, and call 217 to let them know.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Update from "LINKS" (P.S./I.S. 217 The Roosevelt Island School Newsletter)

"We have had an incredible year in K003.  It seems like yesterday was the first day of school.  The class has made phenomenal progress in reading, writing, and math.  We had so much fun with our tree study, our nonfiction endangered animals project and our geometry unit... just to name a few.

"I like learning about symmetrical things." (Xavier P.)
"My favorite trip was Harold and the Purple Crayon.  I liked seeing Harold's pictures come to life like magic." (Lilli)
"I really enjoyed math games like the money cube game." (David)

Thank you to all the K003 parents for you continued support throughout the year... chaperoning trips, class projects and being "mystery readers."  You all helped make this a memorable year.

This month we are continuing to study time and money in math and animals in science.  We are looking forward to our upcoming field day, and our in class moving up celebration.

In addition here are some recommended series books for your child.  Keep reading!
Level F - Biscuit
Level I - Froggy
Level J - Poppleton
Level K - Franklin
Level M - Junie B. Jones"

2nd Round of Enrollment to the Roosevelt Island School (P.S./I.S. 217) G&T

Parents of children from District 2 and District 30, interested in attending P.S./I.S. 217:

If your child qualified for the G&T program this year, but received placement elsewhere, you are welcome to re-submit your applications to P.S./I.S. 217.  The Kindergarten class will open this Fall, as soon as it gets more children registered. Please, contact the school to register your child!

The PTA thanks every parent who came to the meeting with DOE representative this morning to defend our case.  It is gratifying to see such a tremendous community support for our neighborhood school.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Kindergarten Chorus at the Roosevelt Island School (P.S./I.S. 217) Spring Concert 2010

Kindergarten students gave a touching performance at the Roosevelt Island School (P.S./I.S. 217) Spring Concert yesterday, June 9th.

An Article About Roosevelt Island School G&T in the Wall Street Journal

To clarify, the G&T Program in the Roosevelt Island School will be offered as an alternative for the students coming next year (2011/12), and current Kindergarten class is continuing on to the 1st Grade (and according to DOE is expected to grow by three students).  There will be a G&T program meeting to discuss the fate of the students who chose PS/IS 217 this year.  If you are interested in this program, please join us tomorrow, Friday, June 11th at 9 am in the Roosevelt Island School auditorium (2nd floor).

Gifted Classes Are Hot Point By JOY RESMOVITS

A Roosevelt Island public school won't offer its gifted-and-talented program for incoming kindergartners, prompting parental gripes and threats to move to the suburbs.

Families point to the Department of Education's discontinuation of the class at P.S./I.S. 217 as ironic amid overcrowding and a scramble for kindergarten seats.
Michael Rubenstein for The Wall Street Journal
Cari Bak, left, and her husband, Jakob, inside P.S. 217 with their daughters Elke, 11 months, Bronwyn, 3, and Lillian, 6.

"I'm devastated," said Cari Bak, a mother of two who moved to Roosevelt Island recently. One of her daughters, 6-year-old Lillian, can distinguish rivers from tidal estuaries. According to Ms. Bak, Lillian benefits from the 14-student gifted-and-talented classroom.

But now, Ms. Bak is nervous. If her 3-year-old daughter, Bronwyn, qualifies for the accelerated program but can't attend school on Roosevelt Island, Ms. Bak said she would move to the suburbs.

School officials said its decision was driven by a lack of demand. "Two students this year listed P.S. 217 as their first choice—far below the 25 needed to fill a classroom," said education department spokesman Matt Mittenthal. "These students will be assigned to seats nearby."

But the school PTA President Nikki Leopold said she knew of at least five families that ranked the school first. Children must score above a 90% on an admissions exam to qualify; families often rank several schools in order of preference and children are placed according to how high they scored on the exam.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

An Update about G&T Program at the Roosevelt Island School (P.S./I.S 217)

To answer some of the questions we received from interested parents, a quote from an email update from the Council member Lappin's office regarding the status of the Roosevelt Island School (P.S./I.S. 217) G&T Program :

"They [The DOE - Department of Education] have promised us that they remain committed to the program and will include it among the choices next year.  They will also work to devise strategies to increase enrollment at the program.  This year’s kindergarten class will be able to continue in the G&T program in first grade next year (and, in fact, is expected to grow by three students).  <...> Even with the hopeful note about the DOE remaining committed to the program in the future, <...> transportation from off the Island is likely going to be a determinative factor in the program’s success."

More information will be available at the G&T Program meeting this Friday, June 11th at 9 am in the Roosevelt Island School auditorium (2nd floor).

Field Day Activities at the Roosevelt Island School (P.S./I.S. 217)

On Wednesday, June 16th Kindergarten classes of the Roosevelt Island School (P.S./I.S. 217) are having a field day.  This will be a fun-filled morning of activities at the filed across from the school from 9 to 11 am.  The teachers need as many parent volunteers as possible to assist with this field day (setup activities, run an activity station, move teams to different stations, bathroom runners).  Please return the sign up form sent home via backpacks if you are able to volunteer.  Volunteers should be at school at 8:30 am to start setup.

Please send your child to school wearing sneakers and comfortable clothing.  A sheet for the color each child should wear on this day was sent back home - children will be split into six teams.  The children will be having a water event.  If you would like, you can send a change of clothing in your child's backpack.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Roosevelt Island School (P.S./I.S. 217) G&T Program Meeting this Friday, June 11th

G&T Program Emergency Meeting this Friday, June 11th @9:00 am in the Roosevelt Island School (P.S./I.S. 217) Auditorium (2nd Floor).  Everyone, interested in the future of the G&T Program on the island, is invited.  Offices of Council Member Lappin and Assembly Member Kellner confirmed they will be there.   Please make every effort to attend!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Roosevelt Island School (P.S./I.S. 217) Spanish Program Recording

Lower grades students at P.S./I.S. 217 (Roosevelt Island School) recorded a CD with some songs that they have studied in their PTA sponsored Spanish After-school Program during this semester on Wednesday, June 2.

Moving-Up Ceremony at the Roosevelt Island School (P.S./I.S. 217)

What: "Kindergarten Moving-Up Ceremony" followed by breakfast party
Where: In your child's classroom
When: Friday, June 25th at 9 am
Why:  We are so proud of all the student's accomplishments and would like to celebrate all their hard work!

A sign-up sheet for party items is outside your child's classroom.  Since this is a classroom celebration, it will be limited to just parents/guardians.  Your are welcome to take. you child home after the celebration.  However, please note that Monday, June 28th is the official last day of school.  It is a half-day and student report cards will be distributed.

Field Day Activities at the Roosevelt Island School (P.S./I.S. 217)

A note from The Roosevelt Island School principal Ms. Beckman: "As the summer approaches PS/IS 217, many classes have scheduled Field Day Activities.  Please remember that only students that have demonstrated positive behaviors and have no outstanding school lunch bills will participate.  You will find out more information from your child's teacher regarding what food to bring and the number of chaperons needed.  Please speak with your child's teacher with any question you might have.  Have a wonderful summer."  K003 (G&T) class will have their field day on Wednesday, June 16th 9:00 to 11:00 am.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Spirit Week at the Roosevelt Island School (P.S./I.S. 217)

Teachers and students at P.S./I.S. 217 (Roosevelt Island School) enjoyed the Spirit week. See some photos from Twins Day and Crazy Hair Day below.



All data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. The opinions expressed by Parent Bloggers do not reflect those of the P.S./I.S. 217 or any employee thereof. The Roosevelt Island School is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied here. Parent Bloggers may keep updating old posts on a regular basis and are not bound to explicitly state all corrections made.