SMS Recognized as a Reward School for the 5th year

Dear SMS Community,

I am very proud to announce that SMS has been recognized as a Reward School for the fifth year.
This distinction is given to schools who are among the top performing schools or schools that show greatest growth in student performance in New York State.  I want to congratulate our students, parents, as well as our committed staff for working tirelessly to support our students. 

Here is link to the complete press release:  State Reward School List
Congratulations SMS!
Katie Banucci-Smith, Principal

Message from the PTA

Dear SMS Community,

Memorial Day WE is almost over. ALMOST….  We are so excited to report that about 5 minutes ago, we received confirmation of a match donation for this year’s play-a-thon. The Wazelle Family, (1st grade and incoming Kindergarten Parents) have been able to secure $5,000 to match your donation through a close family member.

If you have not donated yet to this year’s play-a-thon (and we know that many of you have not as we are only at 44% of this year’s goal, sorry, I know this stings), your donation will be  matched. IMAGINE this: You donate $333 today. The donation will be matched by the Wazelle match and then maybe even tripled by your own company? At the end The  Music Side of SMS will have received $999!

The Play-a-thon is not over yet. You have 2 more days to contact your uncle, cousin, sponsor etc to contribute. And if we don’t give, the $5,000 will be lost.  Our kids depend on involvement. I realize that we are all tired, but honestly, we cannot be underperform now after such a stellar year of record fundraising!  A huge Thank you! to the Wazelle Family!

SMS PTA Live Auction

Our first ever Live Auction outside of the Kaufman Center was this Saturday, April 1!

Last night’s event was the start of what we believe will be a new SMS PTA tradition — a fun live event honoring a person important to our community (this year the great Sean Hartley), showcasing the talents of our amazing parents and raising record numbers, all packed into one magic evening.  I would like to thank everybody who has contributed to last night’s magic. It is close to impossible to name everybody, so here are just a few (please forgive me for not creating a particular order): Orli Shaham, Shai Wosner, Sean Attebury, Alexander Linard, Mary Pantoga, Brad Linard, David Robertson, Elizabeth Nuñez, Francisco Nuñez, Ann Wazelle, Kristy Glass, Melissa Attebury, Hector del Curto, Jisoo Ok, Derek Wieland, Gregor Huebner, Ana and Christian Gambogi, Yvonne Lau, Bill Belmonte, Sherrye Flynn, Lillie Brinkman, Annette España, Tommy Wazelle, Alex España, Pablo Inirio, Ken Pantoga, Brian Lehrer, Abby Zeichner, Kurt Lageschulte, Ed Harris.

Sean Hartley: Thank you so much for letting us celebrate you. It suited you well and meant a lot to us.

We were also so happy to see a a couple of the Kaufman Music Center Board and Staff: Thank you Johanna Roman and Kathy Hubbard for celebrating with us and for your generous donations. We also received a very generous donation from Lydia Kontos and Phyllis Feder! Your support means a lot to the PTA. Thank you. And, The fact that our very own Principal Katie Banucci-Smith pledged a large amount for the HS scholarship set the tone for raising 4.5 times what we had expected for the scholarship. Thank you, Katie, so, so much. It was also so nice to see our Assistant Principal Kristen Palmieri from the HS and so many teachers both academic and from the music side. Igal Kesselman, Sandra Noreen and Kevin Sullivan thank you all very much for being with us and for your donations.

We were also so happy to having discovered SubCulture and would like to thank Marc Kaplan for welcoming us and being of such great support. Thank you also Bill and Jack from the Party Box Caterers. The food was delicious, the set up gorgeous and the dessert divine!  And of course, a huge thank you to all the parents who came and donated so incredibly generously.

  • Total of pledged bids: $22,105
  • Music Library: $3,450
  • HS Scholarship: $5,550
  • MS Science Room: $8,150
  • Instrument Pictures: $600
  • Bidding Items: $4,355

For more information, contact PTA at

MLK High School 2016 PSAL Soccer Champions

Continuing their long tradition of Soccer excellence, the MLK Knights topped the PSAL league in 2016.  Here, Principal Katie Banucci Smith proudly shows off the trophy her MLK Knights won for running a perfect record in the NYC 2016 Fall PSAL Soccer league.  SMS high schoolers were part of the team that took top honors.  Congrats to all the kids, and a big thumbs up to our own “soccer principal” Katie.  For more on this championship season, click here!

PTA Dues

Our Dues Month is not over yet! Thank you all for your contributions, we are doing well, but over 50% of families have not contributed yet! To make your contribution, click here!

1st grade parents Ann and Tommy Wazelle have honored us with another video:

A Talk with Katie

“Music and Academics Work Hand in Hand at Upper West Side School”: DNA Info: Emily Frost, October 3, 2016

Principal Katie Banucci-Smith has her dream job. A child musician who attended a music conservatory for college and went on to sing opera before falling into teaching, Banucci-Smith heads the Special Music School. The K-12 public school at 129 W. 67th St. perfectly marries her two passions and does that for students as well, she said.

DNA: What are you looking for in selecting the 15 students for your kindergarten class?
We’re not looking to pick someone, we’re looking to find a match. We’re looking to find people that really want to do this and kids that seem to have an aptitude for doing it.
We try to build diverse classrooms. Some have parents that are in the field, some don’t have parents that are in the field, this is their first music test ever. We look at it from like a thousand different diversity lenses. We try to pick half girls, half boys. We try to pick socioeconomic diversity. 

For more on the DNA article, click here!

Special Music School At 20!

Yes, The Special Music School is in its 20th year … and celebrating its first
Graduating 12th Grade Class
.  A marvelous journey just keeps getting stronger and better.
Congratulations to all the Kaufman Music Center staff, especially Lydia Kontos,
and the SMS Teachers and Administration.




Kids at this music school rock state English and math exams.
By Selim Algar | August 25, 2016
To read the article, click this link:

Contact the School

Academic Office: 212.501.3318
Music Office: 212.501.3316
KMC Front Desk: 212.501.3308
KMC Support: 212.501.3356

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Katie’s Korner

For The Principal's Message, Click Here!

Kristen’s HS 311 Report

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