Happy Holidays!

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Greetings TAOTS Families,

It’s hard to believe that 2021 is coming to a close and the holiday season is upon us.  We have had a successful start to the school year and I would like to wish all of our TAOTS families a wonderful holiday season and a healthy and Happy New Year.  I also would like to reflect on a few important events and academic highlights that our TAOTS community has engaged in so far: 

  • In the spirit of the holidays, during the last week of December, our school community participated in some fun school activities along with sharing our cultural traditions with each other. “Spreading Holiday Cheer Week at P.S. 682” which involved a Holiday Dress Up Day, Ms. Hunt’s Movin & Groovin Day, Creating Winter Door Decorating Contest, attending Mr. Dubin’s Concert / Sing Along, and a special TAOTS Snow Day in Pajamas
  • During the month of December in an effort to support Culturally Responsive Education, TAOTS celebrated the customs, traditions and cultures of our students by engaging them in a Holiday Study. We devoted this month to learning about and celebrating each other’s cultures by participating in many types of learning activities. In addition, each student created a snowflake by writing one way that they can show kindness in their school community and the snowflakes were used to decorate our TAOTS Tribes Tree. Each class along with our families, concluded their study with a special Classroom Cultural Celebration during our “Spreading Holiday Cheer Week”.    
  • This year’s Winter Concert/Sing Along, sponsored by our PTO, was a huge success. Our talented Music Teacher, Mr. Dubin along with his band members worked collaboratively with our students on creating a top notch performance. Children joyfully sang holiday songs from around the world which aligned beautifully with our holiday study. 
  • TAOTS students and families have contributed to many noteworthy causes and community based organizations this year, currently we have raised $3,072 for Relay for Life thisWe are hoping to gather again in June 2022 to spread HOPE and Support the Relay for Life! We recently collected over 350 lbs. of canned food for the hungry families of Brooklynin November. You have generously donated over 200 toys for our Toy Drive. Both events were to support a local Bensonhurst organization, Reaching Out Community Services. Families also donated new pajamas to the Pajama Drive so that children and adults in need have warm pajamas to wear.  For every pair of pajamas, Scholastic donates a book so that children are able to be warm and comfortable and have a book to read.  We collected 96 pairs of pajamas!
  • As the recipient of the 2017 Blue Ribbon Lighthouse School Award, TAOTS was invited once again to present on a national level to over 600 participants from around the country in Orlando, Florida.  The title of this year’s presentation, “Enrichment For ALL,” highlighted my vision around enrichment opportunities that exist at TAOTS for all of our students.   
  • Lunch Recess is Safe, Inclusive and Fun Students enjoy participating in organized games while learning about teamwork, new games and much more. New games and equipment are constantly being added to recess time keeping the time students participate fun and safe.  By shifting behavior on the playground, we have increased positive student engagement, more fun play opportunities and reduced negative episodes so that our students can return to the classroom ready to learn.
  • The TAOTS Green Team of 4th & 5th grade volunteers and faculty is up and running. TAOTS  is working with our custodial staff to help improve our building’s energy efficiency rating. The Green Team will be monitoring the new recycling stations in our classrooms and assisting students with the proper way to separate their trash, turn off lights and smartboards while monitoring sinks for dripping faucets. 
  • As we continue to create a safe and positive learning environment through our TRIBES Learning Community we are continuing our partnership with the “No Place For Hate”.   By participating in “No Place for Hate”, our school community will continue to be a safe learning environment,  promote unity and respect, and reduce bullying, name calling and other expressions of bias.  Throughout the school year we will continue to focus on inclusivity and community, honor diversity and foster harmony and promote respect for all through activities. 
  • Ms. Konstan, our School  Counselor alongside Mr. DeFeo, our Community Coordinator hosted a graduation for a new group of dedicated and caring 4th grade students who they trained in our  Student Peer Mediation Program.   These students were taught how to help resolve conflicts between their peers through learning mediation and conflict resolution skills that they will be able to use throughout this school year and throughout their lives.
  • Ms. Konstan and Ms. Belfon, School Social Worker,  have teamed up this year as facilitators for our Student Council. They have been working with 4th and 5th grade students who are representing the school community.  The students are helped with the pajama drive and will be choosing another charitable organization for our school community to support.  The children are learning the roles for running a meeting such as facilitator, note taker and time keeper.  They have been doing a fabulous job and will continue to support the school community and support our students’ voices.
  • This year we are thrilled to bring back our Tribes Book of the Month.  All classes will participate in a monthly read aloud that supports social-emotional learning and celebrates our diverse school community. Students will engage in Tribes activities centered around the themes of the books and will also integrate discussion, reading & writing skills. 
  • The PTO events this year have been a great success so far.  During the month of November,  the PTO ran a successful Picture Day. Picture retake day will take place on January 21, 2022.   In mid November, the PTO organized another Pie Sale that sold over 400 pies that we all enjoyed at our Thanksgiving tables. Also in November, the PTO Hosted the Scholastic Virtual  Book Fair.  In December, the PTO generously sponsored Mr. Dubin’s Concert & Sing Along. The PTO and our staff are continuing to work together to plan more exciting events for this school year.  We are very grateful for the support of our PTO, Parents, and our Community at TAOTS.

I’d like to express my appreciation and gratitude for your continued dedication and support that you provide to your children and our entire TAOTS community.  I look forward to the second half of our school year as we continue to work together in partnership to make great things happen for our students.  My warmest thoughts and best wishes for a wonderful holiday season and a very happy and healthy New Year.  See you all again on Monday, January 3, 2022.