Transgender Day of Remembrance

Friday, November 20th, is Transgender Day of Remembrance. On this day each year, we honor the memory of the transgender people whose lives were lost in acts of anti-transgender violence. You can participate in Transgender Day of Remembrance by taking time to honor those lives that were lost and by learning about the violence that affects the transgender community. You can start by checking out these resources:

Forward Together dreams of Trans Freedom: https://tdor.co/

Learn the story of William Dorsey Swann, the world’s first self-described drag queen and one of the first individuals of color in America to stand up for the rights of queer and trans people.

Many more resources at this shared Google Doc.  (You may need a Gmail account to access.)

“Transgender Day of Remembrance is really all about remembering to never forget the history and presence of trans* people in our world. And with that, Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR) stands as an even larger motivator to embrace the identities we ourselves have and the identities of others. It’s a day for action, for mobilization, for story-telling, and for revitalization. But most importantly, TDOR is an opportunity to celebrate the diverse lives of trans* people everywhere. It’s crucial to recognize that trans* people have made great, beautiful strides to transform and challenge society… and what’s even more awesome and admirable is that we keep doing so every single day. We continue to come out, to speak out, to shout out loud that we have hurt and we have lost but that will never prevent us from shouting even louder that we are here and we will continue to exist in the most influential ways—that’s what matters most to me: having a community that I can stand with no matter what.” – GLSEN Student Media Ambassador Loan T.

Thank you to the Brooklyn Millennium HS Gay/Straight Alliance for pulling these resources together.

If you want to get more involved in LBGT issues, please contact our LBGT/Straight Alliance advisor, Dr. Lankewish, at vlankewish@ppasshare.org

Temporary Building Closure

From Mr. Ryan:

Dear PPAS Community,

As you have probably heard, all NYC public schools, including PPAS, will close starting tomorrow due to the COVID-19 infection rate raising above 3%.  All students will remain in their current class programs, and are expected to log into their Google Classrooms as per the bell schedule (attached).  Also attached is the letter from the Chancellor regarding the decision to close all schools.  They are working on reopening as soon as possible and depending on the infection rate in the city.   Continue to pay close attention to these Pupil Path messages and any information coming directly from the DOE at schools.nyc.gov.  Feel free to reach out with any questions you have.  Thank you and let’s hope this is short lived.  Be safe and be well.

Sincerely,

Keith Ryan 

Veterinary Club

Dear PPAS Students,

Hi, all! My name is Gabby. I’m a ninth grader with interest in both performing arts and veterinary studies.

I am starting the vet club at PPAS this year and would love it if you could join. You don’t have to want to be a vet to join this club; you don’t even have to know anything about animals… hopefully you do, though, because you are one! All that’s required is that you care for animals and the environment. Our meetings will be bi-weekly, every other Thursday from 5:00-5:45. Our first meeting will be Thursday, December 3, at 5:00 PM. The focus of the vet club is studying anything relating to endangered species, prevention of animal cruelty, and animal wellness in general. There will be a different focus every week in the google classroom (e.g., petitions to sign, documentaries to watch, etc.). I will post a topic and resources every other Tuesday for us to learn and then talk about in our Zoom meetings. Here is the Google Classroom link. Please feel free to reach out with any questions or concerns regarding the vet club.

I look forward to learning with you!

Gabby

Help Drama Succeed

Dear Parents of Drama Majors:

Welcome to an amazing year at PPAS.  We are your drama delegates – Margaret Harris and Rosa M. Jacquez (dramadelegate@ppaspta.org).  We are looking forward to working with you to build a close community that ensures that our children receive the best drama education experience possible in this very challenging year.  We need your help to make this happen!

In the past, the PTA has enhanced Waterwell’s budget significantly. This year, due to lack of fundraising opportunities, there is a shortfall of $10,000 for the Drama productions.  We have put together a fundraiser, along with the middle school delegates, to raise funds. This money will guarantee that the quality of performances and overall experience will be at the same high level as they have always been. Online live performances are just as costly as in person!  We are asking each family to contribute $50.  If this is too much, please contribute whatever you can – no donation is too small!  If you can donate more, we greatly appreciate your generosity.  

Time is of the essence, the first performances are just around the corner.  Please click this link to donate:

https://wdpsavetheshows.funraise.org/

Please friend us on Facebook for updates, to ask questions and share your thoughts.  Press ctrl + click to follow the link or simply paste this in your browser:

https://www.facebook.com/PPAS-Drama-Majors-106128544614303.

Also,  we hope the drama majors will connect each other via Instagram at  # ppasdramamajors.

Do not hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns. 

Best, 

Rosa and Margaret 

November PTA Meeting

Dear PPAS Families,

Please join us for our pre-Thanksgiving PTA meeting:
Thursday, November 19th from 6:30 – 8:30

Stay connected and help us brainstorm various fundraising activities/events for the school! We need your help, suggestions and expertise more than ever … together we can help PPAS stay successful during these ever-evolving times.

Please join this Thursday, November 19th @ 6:30!

Celebrate Veterans Day

From Mr. Ryan:

Each year on Veterans’ Day, my family visits a veterans’ monument in our Brooklyn neighborhood.  There is always a small military band and a few speeches from local politicians.  Sadly, this year such events have largely been cancelled due to the pandemic.  We might still take a walk and read the words and the names of the men on the monument. Even without the fanfare, I feel it’s important to spend some part of the day honoring the men and women who served, and are serving our country.  These courageous people, void of political entanglements , have an enduring commitment to ALL citizens.  To them I am forever grateful.  Below are some virtual resources for celebrating our national heroes.

Video explaining the holiday:  middle to high school

The Veterans History Project oral history archive. Use the search feature to look for digitized veteran profiles, or browse the collections below:

Courage, Patriotism, and Community

African Americans at War: Fighting Two Battles

Women at War

Asian Pacific Americans

Hispanic Americans

Jewish Veterans of World War II

Willing to Serve: American Indians

The WASP: First in Flight

Healing with Honor: Medical Personnel

LGBT Veterans‘ Medal of Honor Recipients

Veteran Changemakers

Athletes in Uniform

National Monuments – state by state.  A good resource from the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs.

COVID Testing Update

From Mr. Ryan:

As part of New York City’s ongoing effort to stop the spread of COVID-19, and ensure the health and safety of our community, COVID-19 testing of staff and students will be conducted in our school once a month from now through the end of the school year. We have been notified that the testing provider will be at our school within the next week. Please note that only New York City public school students from grades 1-12 are eligible to be tested.  Only a small percentage of students will be tested.  These students are chosen randomly by the testing staff.

As the September 29, 2020 letter co-signed by NYC Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza, Executive Director Ted Long of New York City Test Trace Corps, and Dr. Dave Chokshi, Commissioner of NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene stated, the test is easy, quick, and safe. A “short swab” (similar to a Q-tip) will be inserted into the front part of the nose for five to ten seconds. Later this school year, it is possible that tests will be administered by collecting a small amount of saliva (spit).

Thanks to all the families who submitted a paper consent form and those who have already consented on line.  Only students who submitted consent forms (either paper or on line) are eligible to be tested.  If you have not consented yet, you can do so on line at this link: schools.nyc.gov/covidtesting. Your child will not be tested if they are uncomfortable or become distressed at any point during the process. If that happens, we will work with you to address any potential concerns so that your child is comfortable participating in future testing.

If your child is tested at school, information about the testing process, and when and how you will receive the results, will be sent home with your child. The majority of all testing results will be available within 48 hours. If your child tests positive for COVID-19, the testing provider will notify you via a telephone call, and NYC Test & Trace Corps will call to provide your family with resources and support.

If any member of the school community tests positive during this testing process, our school community will continue to follow the guidelines outlined on the Health & Safety section of the website.

We deeply appreciate your partnership and your commitment to keeping your school community safe and healthy.

Parent-Teacher Conferences

From Mr. Ryan:

Next Thursday evening 11/12 from 5:00 – 7:30 PM, and Friday afternoon 11/13 from 12:30 – 3:00, PPAS Teachers will be available for Parent Teacher Conferences.

On Monday, we will be sending you instructions on how to sign up for virtual meetings with your child’s teachers.

IMPORTANT:  We will not have enough spaces in our schedule of Parent-Teacher conferences for all parents in all classes.  Over the two days of conferences, teachers will have 50 slots (some teachers have over 100 students). Teachers will be specifically inviting some parents where they feel a meeting is necessary, and the remainder of the slots will be filled on a first come – first serve basis.  We recommend that you choose one or two teachers to sign up for, especially if you have specific questions or concerns about the class or if your child is struggling in the class.  If you do not get a slot with a teacher, you can always follow up with them in at a later time by requesting a meeting. 
Again, the instructions for signing up for Parent-Teacher conferences will be sent out on Monday.

PPAS Dance Cocktails and Curriculum

November 12, 2020 at 6:30pm Via Zoom

Mr Asca and your dance delegates invite you to join us for a virtual meet and greet where we’ll discuss the dance curriculum across all 4 years and levels. Topics include technique classes, student participation, juries, regents exam and arts endorsement, events throughout the school year and ways to get involved!

There will be student demos of various techniques across the curriculum.

THIS IS A PARENT/ GUARDIAN ONLY EVENT

Don’t forget to B.Y.O.C(ocktail)

RSVP here to join us 

               OR

RSVP to dancedelegate@ppaspta.org 

2020 Election

From Mr. Ryan:

Tomorrow (or perhaps a few days after tomorrow) when the results of the presidential election are complete, our community members – students, parents, faculty, arts partners – will return to school and work with a degree of emotion. Some of these feelings may be strong, perhaps stronger than we have experienced in any presidential election in the history of our school. It is fully expected, and reflective of our core values at PPAS, that we will practice empathy and treat one another with respect and civility – no matter how much disrespectful or uncivil activity we may observe elsewhere. On many demographic measurements, PPAS is one of the most diverse schools in the city. We pride ourselves in our diversity, and we will continue to support one another in assuring a safe and inclusive space for all community members, regardless of their gender identity, race, ethnicity, culture, sexual preference, and political leanings.

For students that are feeling vulnerable, angry, marginalized, or having any emotions that are distracting or upsetting, we will have staff on hand at any time during school hours in the days that follow the election, to talk, or simply to provide some quiet space. This safe space will be the Learning Support Center, room 302, where we will pair students with appropriate support staff or supervise quiet space.

It has been awe inspiring to listen to and observe PPAS students over the last several weeks in their action to support political involvement: get out the vote efforts, discussions clarifying the biggest issues of our time, providing vehicles for student voice. I encourage this activity before and after the election, and look forward to the incredible contributions of our intelligent and talented students!