Principal about us about us about us General Information



Welcome to PS 174!

Fall 2014

Fall is a time for changes. We notice changes in the weather

with wind blowing fallen leaves;

the trees with colors from green, to gold, reds and browns.

Was it chilly on your way to school in the morning?

Fall brings a new school year. Every year we start off fresh with new shoes, or new books, and new teachers and friends.

          This fall we have some new recognition for our wonderful school. Earlier this month, I received a letter from our District 28 Superintendent Dr. Ffolkes-Bryant and was thrilled to receive recognition of our school’s gains in both ELA and Mathematics from the results of the Spring assessments for Grade 3 through 5 students. Our student scores increased by 4% in ELA and 12% increase in math. Our students are achieving. Our students are learning. Our students, are happy! Let’s all be pleased!
          This is a public recognition of the hard work and dedication of our entire school……
          our teachers, our staff,
                   our families, and most importantly,
                             our students are all being recognized.
This summer, more students participated in Summer reading and writing than ever before! I too read many books this summer; some that may be familiar to all of you – Frog and Toad are Friends, the Magic Treehouse Series, My Father’s Dragon, Summer of the Swans, and my favorite, Winnie the Pooh.
          We had required books for readers of all ages and abilities. Some were planned for reading aloud, with parents and children reading together. Some books were selected for read along, with an audio book and the child looking at the words and reading the book by listening and following along. And others were for students to read and maybe even push themselves beyond just right to a grade level book.

          Look for recognition certificates for children who completed their summer learning activities. Every child who participated will be “shopping” at a special “book fair” on my conference table. I would like to thank a small Target grant for Education for funding these reading recognition books.


          Just look at this school. The halls, the displays, the care that is taken for all of the children and all of the families in our school. Look at the calendars, the websites, and the letters that are sent home from the teachers, from Mrs. Hui, and from the administration. Each September the results of the Learning Environment Survey are published to give us information and feedback on how we can continue to do a better job. In each of the areas - communicating information, academic expectations, and sharing ideals of respect and structures for safety.
          Our School Leadership Team analyzes specifically the results of the survey, and are looking to all of you for suggestions – written, concrete suggestions, of how we can get better.
Share your ideas,
          your suggestions,
                   your insights with us – with your PA board members,
                             your School Leadership Team parent members,
                             with your child’s teacher,
                                      or with Mrs. Hui and me, your principal.
          Our chancellor, Carmine Farina has a vision for All New York City Public Schools to improve student achievement by creating programs and services with strong focus on instruction, learning about each and every student, engaging families in the learning process and making each school a center of the community. We had almost 100 Dads and grand-dads and step dads and even uncles, neighbors and friends here last Tuesday for the national Dad’s bring your child to school day. Dad’s read aloud favorite books, talked about their jobs, made a new friend or acquintance, or just had a bit of breakfast here at school. Happy dads received flashlights and stickers but most importantly, dads became were larger than life in the eyes of their children.
          We are planning more family engagement activities, and look forward to your ideas for sharing our learning.


          Every year we are also challenged by meeting the needs of diverse learners. Each year, there is more information to learn about academic expectations, Common Core Learning Standards, New York City and New York State Assessments, and intervention services. By law, every school in New York City and New York State is expected to educate students with special needs in their home zone schools. We are continuing to expand our program to meet the diverse needs of our children, in every one of our grades from Pre K through grade 5.
A new sweater; new sneakers

          An apple tree, in our own garden, filled with ripe granny                                       


A new grade, new teachers, new students.

We have new teachers to welcome back! You may know that Mr. Wexler has retired after more than 30 years of teaching, and Mrs. Bernstein has returned from her childcare leave. Both she and her son are in first grade this year! Many of you remember Ms. Kempis who has transferred back to her home school, PS 174. Ms. Kempis was in my third grade class many years ago and she was a leave replacement teacher here for technology as well as early childhood. Everyone is pleased that she joins our 2nd grade team. Another returning teacher is Mrs. Cavuto in PreK. Mrs. Cavuto was a preK and grade 1 replacement teacher five years ago. She left for a full time pre K position and we are now thrilled that she is returning to work again with Mrs. Meyers with our youngest learners.
Yes, we have new students!
          More new students. Our enrollment is up again this year, from 669 to almost 700 – an increase with more being enrolled each day. We have a very stable trend of our enrollment – with 5 Kinder classes and four classes on every other grade.
Special School Programs –
This year, we look to continue with our Math Olympiads program, one period per week, for math problem solving in grades 4 and 5. Mrs. Ballard has enjoyed great success with the Olympiads, with highest team achievement for over nine years. Each year, we are visited by the Math Club from Russell Sage JHS, including many of our alumni, and the students reflect on their early math instruction. The students all spoke of their 174 math teachers, including Mrs. Friedman, Mrs. Gianninoto, Mrs. Carroll, Mrs. Russell, and Mrs. Ballard, as well as the competitive strategies learned here at PS 174 both in Math Class as well as in Math Olympiads. We see our 174 Pi Day students all excelling in mathematics and all subjects as they prepare for High School. We look forward to community service projects, a spelling bee, and many contests for art projects and essays -.

New books – we unpacked scores of cartons of materials!

          This year we have again purchased Simple Solutions books for all grades 1 through 5.  You may know that this is a grammar workbook for homework practice for the basics in sentence structure, verb tenses, word use and writing mechanics. We are hopeful that the students will become automatic in their writing including proper punctuation, word use and verb tense. All of these materials are used to prepare our students for not just elementary, middle and high school, but for college and the 21st century! We are also very lucky to receive some materials for our students in Simple Solutions Phonics. Our kinder classes will be piloting these new materials as we introduce all of the early literacy skills of letters, sounds and print awareness.
          These are all connected to the Common Core Learning Standards are being applied to all subject areas, with teachers communicating both individual and grade level goals each month. Our teacher teams and data inquiry groups are working to align both ELA tasks, content and materials as well as math concepts and expectations to the Common Core Standards. You will see goals updated every month to six weeks for all subjects.

          Other Changes…. We know that our parents are pleased with the afterschool program based on the number of students enrolled in all of these enrichment programs. Since there has been a change to the school day calendar, we are trying out a new afterschool residency program called, Music for Many. The teaching artists are teaching artists from a DOE contracted vendor, with clearance for backgrounds. The Monday and Tuesday classes will also have our teacher, Mrs. Friedman and other 174 staff. We are very satisfied with the services of master chess teachers from New York City Chess who are coming again, for the third year, to work with our students in the chess groups, on Monday and Tuesday afternoons. The Wednesday and Thursday classes as in the arts enrichment, dance, piano, sports, computer games, and homework help.
          There will again be two sessions of afterschool, for Fall from October through December and again in the Winter.
          Our Gate classes are continuing their program in Latin instruction, Minimus Mouse, designed just for elementary school children. Our teachers Mrs. Amato and Mrs. Russell again wrote a grant for this program for new books, as well as CDs for the lower grades – Sing along Latin.
          Every fifth grader will be learning the art of debating, as well as the Stock Market Game. Engaged learners with authentic projects in math and literacy, will assure increased attendance and joy in school and of learning.

One of the initiatives and themes we have for this school year is – Full STEAM ahead…..engaging project based learning in
Science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics. Our grant with the upgrade to our school’s technology lab as well as a mobile science cart is beginning! If you get the Twitter feed or, you may know that Mrs. Alperstein has received national recognition for her project based learning activities. Our teacher, student and school are noted on the NASA website and have already conducted two videoconferences.
More arts education – we are always looking to expand the arts experiences for our children….the visual arts with classroom and cluster teachers. This means more products to our students – Model Magic, pencils, crayons, paint and markers fill our arts supply room for class and grade projects.
Arts education means more musical or theatrical performances for each grade level with Ms. Desvigne, and an expansion to our Artists Residencies. This year is year three for the Disney Musicals in Schools programs. Ms. Desvigne is in the process of selecting the show to follow up the success with Aladdin Kids from year 2 and the Jungle Book Kids from year 1.
We are thrilled to receive a grant from you, our generous Parents Association for partial funding for ballroom dancing to our 5 students! Some of you may remember that our students danced at two citywide competitions and also at the 100th Anniversary of Grand Central Station. Fundraising efforts from you, have supported Arts Education over the past decade. There is a school “wish list” for support for each grade – including dancing and visuals arts for each grade. These experiences have included field trips for students to visit farms, museums and shows. They have also brought the arts experiences to our school with puppets, magic, science and history assembly programs. Support for the PA also has brought us visual arts supplies and instruction for our students. I am most hopeful that these efforts will not only continue but expand. Our school has 34 of our teachers on Donors Choose, with 18 current projects for arts and technology supplies. To date we have received over $120,000.00 from generous donors, many of you present, as well as from Foundations and corporations who believe in excellence in education.
Other wonderful projects – NYC council supports the arts with a residency called Inside Broadway, we have planned trips to the Broadway theater, The New Victory, as well as a future collaboration with the Hall of Science.
Thank you for your support; your generosity; and most of all, for sharing your most precious children with our staff every day. Know that we are here for you, myself, Mrs. O’Connor, Mrs. Hui, our Parent Coordinator, and every single one of the teachers and staff of PS 174. You are lucky to have such a group of caring educators and caregivers here on Dieterle Crescent. Know too, PA members, how great it is to have such a dedicated Executive Board. I present to you, your PA Executive Board.

Karin Kelly
Public School 174
William Sidney Mount
65-10 Dieterle Crescent
Rego Park, NY 11374

P (718) 897 7006
F (718) 897 7254