FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 2, 2008
MAYOR BLOOMBERG, CHANCELLOR KLEIN, SPEAKER QUINN, COUNCIL EDUCATION CHAIR JACKSON, UFT PRESIDENT WEINGARTEN AND CSA PRESIDENT LOGAN WELCOME NEW YORK CITY PUBLIC SCHOOL STUDENTS ON THE FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL
Elementary and Middle School Families Receive New Great Expectations Guides that Describe What Students Can Expect to Learn at Each Grade Level
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Schools Chancellor Joel I. Klein today welcomed New York City public school students back to school for the 2008-2009 school year. The Mayor and Chancellor also announced new Great Expectations guides for families that describe what elementary and middle school students can expect to learn in Math, English, Science, and Social Studies each year and, how to help parents become more involved in their children's education. The Mayor and Chancellor were joined by City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn, Council Education Committee Chairman Robert Jackson, Councilmember Maria del Carmen Arroyo, Deputy Mayor for Education and Community Development Dennis M. Walcott, United Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten, Council of School Supervisors and Administrators President Ernest Logan, and other New York City leaders at P.S. 62 in the Bronx.
"It's the start of a new school year for some 1.1 million other students who are the future of New York City. Because this is a fundamentally different school system than it was in 2002, that future is brighter than ever," Mayor Bloomberg said. "Our schools are safer. Our classrooms are less crowded. Parents and students enjoy far greater school choice. We now have parent coordinators in our schools, whose job is to help parents stay informed and involved. Our teachers and principals are better qualified and better paid than ever before. And today, every school gets a fair budget deal from City Hall. These reforms - and many more -arise from the fact that accountability has been established at every level of our school system. Everything else flows from that, and it has all translated into better results for our students."
"This year we will continue to focus every single day on putting children first in New York City schools. That means attracting and retaining the best teachers, giving principals the decision-making power to meet students' needs, and giving schools and families the information they need to make decisions that help students learn," said Chancellor Klein. "We know that all students can learn and make progress-no matter where they came from or skills they may have at the start of the school year. Last year, our students made dramatic progress, and I'm confident that this year they'll build on that progress and make every day a day of learning and growth in our schools."
"Our schools are at the very heart of our City," said Speaker Quinn. "They are they place where our children will encounter those very special moments in education from teachers who will open their eyes to something new, to coaches who will inspire them, and counselors who will believe in them. That is why it is such a priority of the City Council this year to restore $125 million in funding for our schools to make sure that we give our children the resources they need to succeed. This funding will go directly into our classrooms and will be a big part of continuing the progress that our schools have made in the past few years."
"PS 62 is a sterling example of what a school can accomplish when administrators and educators collaborate for the benefit of their students," said United Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten. "Located in one of the most depressed areas of the Bronx where asthma rates are among the highest in the city, the school is a haven for kids. You have stable staff and administrators working together to provide students with a quality education, which is reflected in rising student test scores. Recently when the staff used funds provided by the City Council to purchase furniture for the faculty conference room, the principal pitched in and had the room painted. The school now has a new auditorium and a new library, and students, educators and parents are happily kicking off the school year on a high note. This is the type of working relationship we should strive for at all city public schools, and I want to commend principal Lourdes Estrella and UFT chapter leader Robert Fernandez for their efforts."
"The first day of school is always an exciting day for educators, students, and parents alike. School leaders have been working diligently all summer preparing for the challenges and new opportunities another school year brings. Great public schools begin with great leaders and I'm confident that work collectively, school leaders, teachers, parents and the Department of Education, we can provide every child in the New York City public school system with a quality education," said Council of School Supervisors and Administrators President Ernest Logan.
Beginning this September, schools will help to further engage parents in their children's education by distributing new Great Expectations guides to every family. The guides describe what students can expect to learn each year from kindergarten through 8th grade-from colors, shapes, and basic words to DNA, equations, and about the economy of the Great Depression era. The guides provide information about what students learn in core subject areas of Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies, as well as what families can do at home to enhance learning in those areas. They also provide information about arts, fitness and health, libraries and research, and technology education, and provides questions for teachers that will help them to engage parents and improve their children's learning.
"An informed parent is a powerful partner in a child's education," said Deputy Chancellor for Teaching and Learning Marcia Lyles. "We have created these guides to give parents another tool to help their children learn when they're at school and at home."
The Mayor today also unveiled an updated edition of the NYC Family Guide, which is a handbook of practical information about everything from enrolling in school, to student transportation, to graduation requirements, to suggestions for extracurricular reading.
Historic Academic Progress
New Schools and New State-of-the-Art School
More Options for Students
About P.S 62
Stu Loeser/Dawn Walker (212) 788-2958
David Cantor (Department of Education)
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