HS 311 by Kristen

Dear Parents and Families,

Another short week ahead! There is no school on Wednesday or Thursday this week. Students should be starting to settle into their schedules. Most schedule shifts have already been made. I am also delighted to announce that the new morning scanning procedure has resulted in positive results for the students. I hope your student is reporting limit wait times and a relatively pleasant experience.
Items to be Collected:
1. Blue Cards: please make sure to return two copies
2. Supply Money: I am collecting $60 from each student, $30 for the music program and $30 for the academic program. Unfortunately, we cannot yet accept checks.
3. Campus Phone Forms: Students must have these forms signed and returned in order to participate in the campus cell phone program
4. Lunch Forms: All families are required to submit the lunch form either online or on paper regardless of whether the student will be using the school meal program. Please use the following link to do so: https://www.applyforlunch.com to fill out the form online.
5. Campus Medical Forms: In order for your student to be treated by the campus nurse, this form must be returned along with an updated medical form

Parent Forms

Please use the following links to access forms for the school year:

Lost, Stolen, or Damaged MetroCard Replacement Form

Parent Early Dismissal Request FormStudent Absence/Lateness Form

Update Contact Information

Parent Biographical Information
Each year, we ask families to fill out an online biographical form to provide up-to-date contact informations for our database. Please take a moment to fill out the linked Google form:  Parent Biographical Information 2015-2016
Parent Permissions for 2015-2016
This document provides permissions for students for the 2015-2016 school year. These permissions include use of Google Apps for Education, walking field trips, outdoor lunch, etc.
PTA Release of Information
Each year our PTA publishes a school directory that is published to the community. Parents may opt to participate or not to participate in the directory by completing the following form:PTA Release of Information 2015-2016
Preview of Curriculum Night – September 30th at 5:30pm
We are delighted to welcome you into the school space on September 30th to hear about our big projects for the year, hear from the PTA, and meet and greet classroom teachers. While the formal presentations will start at around 6pm, parents are welcome to arrive as early as 5:30 to look around, purchase SMS gear, and have some light refreshments. You will have a chance to hear from the new school guidance/college counselor and receive a tutorial on how to use our new online grading system. You will also be able to visit classrooms and hear from course teachers and receive some helpful information about the year ahead. It will be a packed evening. In anticipation of this community event, I thought I would share some information about our returning and new school faculty members:
Sarah Anderson – ESL – sanderson@specialmusicschool.org
Sarah Anderson is our English as a New Language teacher. She has been teaching for 15 years and this will be her 5th year teaching at the Special Music School. Sarah first began working with English language learners at an International Baccalaureate school in Heredia, Costa Rica. It was there that Sarah simultaneously acquired Spanish and taught English. During that time, she became deeply interested in the cross section of language, ideas and culture. Inspired to continue working with an international community, she returned to New York and pursued an education on in TESOL. Since then, she has experienced all facets of the educational experience: as a student, a teacher, a cooperating teacher, and a student teacher supervisor. Sarah now resides with her family in Nyack, NY. In her free time, she enjoys reading, gardens, playing records, and dabbling in skate park advocacy. She is delighted to work in a school that is fluent in a language that breaks all barriers: music.
Nathan Blom – English Language Arts, Grades 10 & 11 – nblom@specialmusicschool.org
Nathan Blom is a 14-year veteran of public school teaching. He is also completing his second masters degree at Teachers College, Columbia University, where he was a Peace Corps Fellow and an AmeriCorps Fellow. For two years as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Nepal, he taught elementary English and regularly trekked for days through the Himalayas to give teacher trainings in the remote villages of the Mustang district. Nathan’s pedagogical experiences have taken him from teaching piano, karate, and middle school math to teaching graduate students at Teachers College where he was an adjunct instructor. Through his work, Nathan creates the conditions for his students to intellectually, emotionally, and socially make meaning of the world. He is beyond excited to be on the faculty of SMS.
Max Chomet – Living Environment, Advanced Biology – mchomet@specialmusicschool.org
Max Chomet is a science teacher delighted to be a part of the SMS community. He grew up in New York City, where his interest in biology developed as a student at Bronx Science. Mr. Chomet went on to study biology at Swarthmore and attain a Master’s in Immunology at Weill Cornell. In his spare time, he studies and teaches karate to children and adults. Mr. Chomet is eager to now bring his experiences in the lab to the future musicians of New York.
Ari Friedman – Global History 10, AP US History – afriedman@specialmusicschool.org
Ari Friedman is thrilled to return to SMSHS.   This year, he is teaching 8th Grade American History, 10th Grade Global History, and 11th Grade AP US History..  He graduated from New York University with a Bachelor’s Degree in both Contemporary American Politics and Music, and received his Master’s Degree in the Teaching of Social Studies from Teachers College at Columbia University.
Mr. Friedman is passionate about engaging all students in an in-depth study of the complexities of the past and present in order to help his students “make sense” of the increasingly interconnected, interdependent, and often-troubled world in which we live.   Additionally, he hopes that through an exploration of the past, his students will develop strong reading, writing, and thinking skills as well as their own sets of values, ethics, and beliefs that will guide their thoughts and actions  Outside of education, he enjoys travelling, playing guitar, piano, and a few other instruments, occasionally watching great films and television shows, and spending time with loved ones.
Noah Gordon – English Language Arts, Grades 9 & 10 – ngordon@specialmusicschool.org
Noah Gordon is the founding English teacher at Special Music School’s high school, where his classes address questions concerning artistry and literacy in the 21st century. He has worked as Technology Liaison for the New York City Writing Project and was a Technology Fellow at Teachers College, Columbia University. He has pursued his passions for reading, writing, and thinking by cofounding Literacy Unbound – an experimental professional development program at the Center for the Professional Education of Teachers – and by making pilgrimages to the Harry Ransom Center in Austin, Texas to read the original manuscripts of his favorite authors. Beyond teaching English, he has also taught software engineering, creative writing, guitar, chess, and graphic design.
Morgan Harlan – Spanish – mharlan@specialmusicschool.org
¡Saludos! Morgan Harlan joined the SMS community as the Spanish teacher two years ago.  Morgan was born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where she received her Bachelor’s degree in Bilingual Secondary Education. She is currently working on my Master of Arts in Spanish Literature and Linguistics here in NYC. Morgan has taught Middle and High School as well as undergraduate Spanish courses. Spanish language and culture are her passions. Morgan has traveled, studied, and volunteered throughout Latin America, and she integrates these experiences into her lessons with students. Morgan’s Spanish teaching philosophy is a dynamic total immersion experience, meaning that she teaches the majority of the time in Spanish. By the end of the year, students are expected to communicate in the target language. Morgan is looking forward to a productive year at the Special Music School, and working with all of your talented hijos!
Laura Hohm – Guidance – laura@specialmusicschool.org
Laura grew up in Westchester County and currently resides in Queens with her husband and their cat Leo.  Laura has a BFA in Computer Graphics from Syracuse University and an M.Ed in School Guidance Counseling from Cambridge College.  After obtaining her Master’s degree, Laura worked as a College and Career Counselor for two years and a Guidance Counselor for three years at public high schools in Massachusetts.  Laura is very excited to be back in her home state.  In her spare time Laura enjoys reading, kayaking, ceramics, traveling and spending time with friends and family.
Abby Plump – US History 11, Global History 9 – aplump@specialmusicschool.org
Abby Pump is happy to be a new member of the Special Music School as the 9th grade Global I and 11th grade US history teacher. Abby spent the last 7 years teaching American history in Washington Heights and is happy to be teaching at SMS where she can continue her work with students using history and multiple perspectives as a tool to examine essential questions of progress, membership, and identity. Abby is an avid traveler, reader, music fan, and foodie and is looking forward to a great year at SMS!
Jeff Reeder – Geometry, Algebra2/Trig, Pre-Calculus – jreeder@specialmusicschool.org
Jeff Reeder is beginning his sixth year of teaching. He taught his first five years in Anaheim, CA, where he taught at the high school and college level. Jeff earned his bachelor’s degree in Math and his master’s degree in math from Cal State University, Fullerton. During his free time, Jeff enjoys weight lifting, running, listening to music and exploring the greatest city in the US, NYC!
Lauren Ryan – Special Education – lryan@specialmusicschool.org
Ms . Ryan is beginning her first year at Special Music School, but has taught for many years at schools in both New York City and Maryland. As a learning specialist, she will be working primarily in math and ELA classes, as well as providing small group instruction to support students.  Ms. Ryan completed her bachelors degree in music at Ohio University and a masters in special education at Johns Hopkins University. In her free time, Ms. Ryan enjoys traveling and volunteering as an EMT.
Elli Simonen – Algebra, Algebra 2/Trig, AP Statistics – esimonen@specialmusicschool.org
Elli Simonen is excited to be in her second year at Special Music School High School.  She has been teaching high school math in New York City for the past 10 years, before that she was a Peace Corps volunteer in Tanzania teaching math for 2 years.  Elli enjoys working with teenagers and having new experiences.  She likes traveling, theater, the arts, opera and does pottery.  Elli has a BS in Mathematics from James Madison University and a MA in Mathematics Education from Teachers College Columbia University.
We cannot wait to see you all next week!
Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns.


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