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Staten Island Parent Newsletter - November 2021

News Stories

Sign a petition for smaller class sizes

Dear parents and caregivers,

I hope you’re looking forward to a warm and restful Thanksgiving now that we’re able to more safely gather!

In the interest of keeping it safe to gather together in person, please join the UFT in demanding that New York City elected officials and the city Department of Education set new limits on class sizes in the wake of COVID-19. We’ve always known that reducing class size is integral to student achievement and equitable schools, but now it’s also become a public health issue.

Sign the petition

Check out more upcoming events and news you can use below.


Marie Rodriguez
UFT Queens Parent and Community Liaison

Special education workshops for Staten Island parents: Thursday, Dec. 9

The UFT Staten Island Special Needs Parent Committee will host its first event of the school year on Thursday, Dec. 9, from 9 a.m. to noon, at the Institute of Basic Research at 1050 Forest Hill Road. We’ll have two free, back-to-back workshops for parents and caregivers of children with special needs. The first workshop is titled Understanding the IEP, and the second, presented by Parent to Parent of New York State, is titled Educational Records Organizing. We’ll also serve breakfast.

Learn more and register

Upcoming events

  • Monday, Nov. 29: Learn about a new initiative the DOE is rolling out in all kindergarten classes next school year at a Brilliant NYC panel that will be streamed live on YouTube at 7:30 p.m. The experts on the panel will explain the science behind accelerated learning and project-based instruction that supports the Brilliant NYC initiative. Learn more by visiting the event page.
  • Wednesdays throughout the school year: United Activities Unlimited invites parents to free, evidence-based parenting workshops on Wednesday nights online via Zoom or in person on Staten Island. The workshops run from 12 to 2 p.m. for parents of children ages 0-12 and from 3 to 5 p.m. for parents of teenagers. Topics include bedtime routines, hassle-free shopping and family conflict reduction. Learn more and reserve your spot using the online registration form.

Student opportunities

  • Apply for a $5,000 UFT scholarship: Each year, the UFT awards $1 million in scholarships to academically excellent and financially eligible New York City public high school seniors through our Albert Shanker Scholarship Fund. The deadline this school year to apply for a $5,000 scholarship is Saturday, Jan. 15. Learn more and apply »
  • #UnfoldTheUniverse student art challenge: NASA’s biggest and most powerful space telescope is launching soon. To celebrate, NASA is inviting students to share original art depicting what they think the telescope will reveal. Submissions are due by Dec. 18, and winners will be featured on NASA’s website and social media channels. Learn more »
  • Lunabotics student engineering contest: NASA and Future Engineers are challenging young innovators to help design a new robot concept for an excavation mission on the moon. The Lunabotics Junior Contest is open to K-12 students. Entries are due by Jan. 25. Learn more »

Parent news and resources

  • UFT mental health referrals for students: The UFT’s Positive Learning Collaborative is offering free, confidential mental health sessions to students and to parents calling on their children’s behalf. If your child is struggling with the return to school this year, we have licensed clinicians on standby to help you access care. The helpline is open between 8:30 a.m. and midnight on Mondays through Fridays or on Saturdays between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. You can reach the helpline by calling 212-709-3222 or by texting “PLC” to 43961.
  • Free vaccinations for children ages 5-11: The CDC now recommends a pediatric COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5-11. If you get your child vaccinated at a city-run or school site, the city will pay you $100. The vaccine is a safe, effective way to protect your child, family and community. Schools will host pop-up vaccination sites for students through the end of November. See the schedule »
  • Get tips via text on how to promote your child’s development: Subscribe via text to Ready4K, a family engagement program that offers short text messages with fun facts and easy tips on how to promote your child’s development by building on existing family routines. This program is evidence-based and designed to be easy for parents to use. There’s no cost to subscribe. Sign up by texting “NYC” to 70138 or learn more by visiting the website »
Related Topics: Parent News