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The Principal's Corner


October 11, 2017

Dear Families,

Wow time waits for no one…October is already here!  The weather will soon shift, the leaves will turn color, and can you believe our first month of school is behind us?  With the change in weather I am asking parents to please make sure children are dressed appropriately for the season and have a jacket in case it is chilly.

 It was wonderful to see many families come out to join us for our Meet and Greet/Orientation Night on September 13, 2017.  More families than ever joined us and this was the first of many opportunities we will host for families to partner in their children’s learning.  Mrs. Ulaj our Assistant Principal designed a parent survey which was sent home to all families in September to take stock of what your interests are for Parent Workshops. Based on your responses we have scheduled several workshops on the most requested topics of interest.  A calendar of those workshops and dates will be sent to families in the near future so you can save the dates.  In addition we will send home reminder letters before each workshop. Be on the lookout for these wonderful workshops which will be presented by our very own staff and please make every effort to join us. 

 Data drives all instruction and our school-wide instructional focus is:


Tailored small group instruction across all content areas with an emphasis on consistent monitoring for understanding through the use of summative and formative assessments.


 September was “getting to know each other” month.  Classroom teachers and staff have been getting to know your children, what their interests are, and how they learn best.  All students have participated in a variety of assessments so we can meet them where they’re at as learners and grow them along the learning continuum. Our staff continually assesses students throughout the year in regular cycles to better monitor student progress and performance.  We keep open lines of communication with families and we focus on the “whole child,” (socially, emotionally, areas of strength, areas requiring more support, interests, etc).

 In Pre-K children continue to participate in early childhood screening and teachers are beginning to set up work sampling portfolios which will be shared with you throughout the year as they discuss where your children are in the early childhood learning continuum.   The emphasis has been on establishing rituals and routines throughout the day that will make children comfortable as they begin to see consistency in their daily school routines.  At this young age, children are developing socially and emotionally and much of the learning takes place during play in centers.  For example, as children explore, they are learning how to share, express themselves, problem solve, and play collaboratively.  It is during this time teachers tuck in other learning experiences tied to theme studies.  For example, they may tuck in a read aloud and art activity focused on friendship or a science experiment connected to the season…etc.

 We are a Teachers College Reading and Writing Project School and for over 12 years we have partnered with Columbia University’s Teachers College.  Our teachers receive state-of-the-art professional development that is aligned to the Common Core State Standards by attending workshops at Teachers College and working with our Teachers College in-house staff developers throughout the year.  This staff developer supports our curriculum and data driven instruction.

 In grades K-5 all students have participated in TCRWP reading and writing assessments.  Teachers have administered spelling inventories and running record reading assessments to find each child’s independent and instructional reading level.

  • In Kindergarten this usually begins with conventions of print such as the parts of a book, pictures versus words, directionality, and sound symbol recognition of letters. From this teachers develop and plan for early reading strategies.
  • In grade 1, teachers are looking for this as well as fluency and comprehension. Fluency is closely correlated to reading comprehension.  If a child is able to read all of the text smoothly but has no recollection of events, is not able to re-tell the story and cannot answer comprehension questions, then no matter how smoothly they may read every word, they are not reading, rather decoding. 
  • In grades 2-5 Fluency and high levels of comprehension are what we look for. Children should be able to demonstrate these both orally and in their writing about reading.

 Spelling Inventories demonstrate to the teacher which level of word study children are learning at.  This information is used to group students for instruction with the intention of growing them to the next level. 

Children have engaged in On-Demand writing samples in both narrative and informational writing.  This informs us if they are bringing up the grade with them last year’s learning and where we must drive our instruction during writing workshop.

 All students have also participated in Go Math beginning of the year assessments and unit assessments that demonstrate again where children have strengths and what skills they need to develop.  Students are grouped accordingly.

 In addition to these assessments we have added NYC/DOE Common Core Aligned Performance tasks in K-2 and Common Core Aligned benchmarks in ELA and Math for grades 3-5. 

Grade 3-5 teachers spend a great deal of time analyzing the state ELA/Math Data from last year to notice trends and patterns of what skills were strong for children and which areas need more support.  All of this data informs our instruction

 Teachers have analyzed all of their data and have begun to plan for instruction tailored to the needs of the children.   For children who struggle, teachers develop a Response to Intervention plan. Progress and the close monitoring of these students are discussed between Administration and our School Assessment Team at our Monthly Pupil Progress Team Meetings, and among teacher inquiry teams.   

 Teachers are available to meet with parents from 2:45-3:20 on Family Engagement Tuesdays by appointment only, and are also available on their preps. During these meetings they will share data, celebrate your children’s successes and strengths and also share concerns and areas they may be struggling in.  They will also share their intervention plan and how they are working to support them.  This is an opportunity to share your thoughts and concerns as a parent and to be informed about how your children are learning so you can support the learning at home.   If you wish to request a meeting, please call Mrs. Chow, our Parent Coordinator to arrange a date. 


October is National Bullying Prevention Month


Parents As Learning Partners Day:

October 13th is our first Parents as Learning Partner Day and we invite parents to join us at 8:35 a.m. to engage in learning along-side your child in their classroom. Our focus will be reading with an emphasis on Bullying Awareness and Respect for All.

If you have more than one child in our school you will have to choose one class to visit. We have these meetings every month and the next time you can visit the other child’s class.


United Nations Day:  October 24, 2017:

On this day we celebrate our ethnicity and culture and invite everyone to dress up to represent their culture and where they are from!


Unity Day:

Wednesday, October 25, 2017 is “Unity Day” and we encourage all students, staff, and parents to wear orange as we unite against bullying!


On this day please have your child wear orange as we stand together against bullying and stand united for kindness, acceptance and inclusion.

Wear Orange: Make a statement!


We have many safety protocols and procedures in place to ensure the safety and welfare of all children which were shared at our September Meet and Greet. In the near future we will be arranging a parent workshop to share these once again with families.  Letters will go home as well as a phone blast with the information once it is set in place. 

 Also note that all of our exits are armed with alarms throughout the day.  Children engage in bus drills, fire drills, shelter in drills, soft lock down drills and evacuation drills.  All of these systems are put in place to further ensure student’s safety.  We also have a Building Response Team trained in General Response Safety Protocols.  They are the ones in the orange vests you see during our drills and special events.

Our 5th grade Senior Service Committee members serve as community role models and helpers and we are very pleased and proud to have them.  This team of 5th grade seniors will be assisting in the cafeteria with recycling, assisting children, reading to kindergarteners, helping in the school yard, and helping during special activities.  We have had great success with the Senior Service Committee led by Mrs. Ulaj. All children must adhere to the rubric of expectations/behavior as outlined in the SSC handbook, and all have met with Mrs. Ulaj, our Assistant Principal to discuss this in great detail. 

Our PTA meeting will be on October 17th at 9:00 a.m. and all are invited to attend. At PTA forums we share policy and protocol and the PTA brings resources to support our families. Our October guest speaker Mr. Paul Helfman will share the Middle School application process and answer related questions and we will have a representative of the March of Dimes here to speak as well.  Do join us.  PTA membership dues of $10.00 are collected from each family to benefit the children of PS 38…please send in your membership dues and help support our children. 

Our Halloween Wonder Walk Parade and Pumpkin Patch will take place on October 31st. Every child will visit our Pumpkin Patch to pick a pumpkin and will receive a cupcake and juice box.  This is sponsored by our PTA and notes will be forthcoming as they will need donations of peanut-free cupcakes and juice boxes as well as parent volunteers to help.  On this day children are allowed to come to school in their Halloween costume.  We ask that parents do not send their children with accessories that are weapons.  All costumes must be age appropriate/school appropriate and we must be able to see all children’s faces for safety.  Grades K-2 will march in the school yard and grades 3-5 will march around the perimeter of our school.  Our Building Response Team will be activated and posted around the perimeter of the school to ensure the safety and welfare of the children.  Please come watch us as we March for Babies to benefit the March of Dimes.  The March of Dimes funds lifesaving research and programs and works to end premature birth, birth defects and infant mortality. Every baby deserves a healthy start!

 Lastly I would like to thank everyone who donated backpacks with supplies for our Hurricane Harvey backpack drive.  All backpacks have been sent to the collection centers which will forward them to families in need.  A little kindness goes a long way…thank you.

 Once again, thank you for entrusting your children to us.

 “Partners with Families…Partners in Learning”

Believing In Children...

Inspiring Young Minds,

 Nancy Murillo


My October 2017 newsletter  10-6-17.docx.doc 

 My September 2017 newsletter  sept 11-17.docx.doc 



Parent Reading Volunteer Program of P.S. 38

September 25, 2017

Dear Parents & Grandparents:

The Parent Reading Volunteer Program of P.S. 38 will soon begin servicing our children.  If you have a little time you wish to donate by reading to a child, please join our Reading Volunteer Program.  Anyone wishing to volunteer must go for training.  The training requires a parent to attend a two hour workshop for two days at the Staten Island Mental Health Society located at 669 Castleton Avenue Building A, the Elizabeth W. Pouch Building.  The schedule for the training is as follows:

Session I:

Tuesday, October 3rd and Thursday, October 5th  

Time 9:30 am – 11:30 am


Session II:

Tuesday, October 10th and Thursday, October 12th     

Time:  9:30 am – 11:30 am


For more information, you can contact me at the school 718-351-1225 or my cell phone 347-563-4635.


Mercedes Chow

Parent Coordinator

 reading volunteer letter (1).doc.doc 

School Spirit Day- Blue day

Show your school spirit!!! Wear our school color BLUE!


SLT-School Leadership Team

 Our School Leadership Meetings are open to the school community and the public.

  P S 38 Meeting Schedule 202016-2017.doc