“News from 9”

Welcome to weekly updates from PS9, the Sarah Smith Garnet School!

Week of May 16

This page is maintained by PS9’s Parent Coordinator, Ms. Charmaine Derrell-Jacob. If you have any questions or need assistance, please call 718-638-3260 extension 1121, or email her at CDerrell@schools.nyc.gov

At PS9

Remember to check your Konstella account for more details regarding these events.


NYC School Survey – Very Important

We have another survey to bring to you, so don’t get weary yet. This one is very important as well!

Every year, all parents, teachers, students in grades 6-12 and select school support staff take the NYC School Survey. The survey helps school leaders understand what key members of their school community think about the learning environment at their school. The information captured by the survey is designed to support a dialogue among all members of the school community about how to make the school a better place to learn.
Families are not receiving survey access codes for your students this year as they will use their OSIS number to access the survey.
  • Go to: https://surveys.panoramaed.com/nycdoe/login
  • Enter lowercase “f” followed by your child’s nine-digit Student Identification (OSIS) number. Student ID numbers are located in Operoo, in your NYC Schools Account (NYCSA), or on a printed report card. You may also email CDerrell@schools.nyc.gov for your child’s ID number.
  • Answer all questions. (This survey is anonymous. PS9 will never get to see individual responses.)
  • The deadline to complete this survey is June 11.
Your voice counts, so allow it to get counted!

From Principal Ali

Dear PS9 Families,

Welcome to Asian American Pacific Islander Awareness during the month of May. PS9 is a school comprised of many cultures and ethnicities and we welcome and affirm all our students each day.  We start morning announcements with our students leading the school affirmation followed by sharing Asian American and Pacific Islander inspirational quotes along with their reflection  via the public announcement system. Teachers are encouraged to facilitate daily dialogue for students to construct meaning and connection to themselves. Our quote from today read, “I’m not a minority: I’m majority of one. We all are. To call someone minority, you give them baggage, of not being full, or not being seen as full. All of us need to be seen as full human beings.” by Jose Antonio Vargas.


Thank you for your partnership in support of this vision and to the EDI committee for their contributions for building on Culturally Responsive Practices as we strive to improve in all that we do. This year our staff have been receiving ongoing professional learning via Cultivating Genius by Gholdy Muhammad to provide an equity framework for Culturally & Historically Responsive Literacy. This text explores restoring equity and excellence in the classrooms from exploration of historically responsive text to selecting and using historically responsive lesson plans. This ongoing professional learning and support will create the mindset required to make the vision  come to life in a dynamic, authentic and sustainable way. Please see below for a wonderful resource from PBS that you can use at home.


Celebrate Asian Pacific American Heritage Month this May and every day with a special PBS collection of stories that explores the history, traditions and culture of Asians and Pacific Islanders in the United States.



Dear PS9 Families,
May is Mental Health Awareness Month. At PS9, we implement supports for students which focus on prevention. Daily, students are absorbing all that they see, hear, and feel around them and need a space to express and process the information overload. Teachers across the school facilitate discussion with students which invite them to learn more about themselves and their classmates. Through this daily practice, they build true connection to self and others. In this way, they learn they are not alone.

Each year millions of Americans face the reality of living with a mental illness. During May, NAMI joins the national movement to raise awareness about mental health. Each year we fight stigma, provide support, educate the public and advocate for policies that support people with mental illness and their families.

Support Resources to support student self-identity:
Affirmation Cards: 45 Incredible Positive Affirmations for Kids


Mental Health Impacts All of Us
Mental health impacts not only our students but our families, schools, and communities.

One in five children struggle, or at some point in their life will struggle, with their mental health.
Half of all mental-health and substance-use conditions start before age 14.
Approximately one in five students who could benefit from additional mental-health supports does not get them.
Get Help Immediately
Text “WELL” to 65173, call 1-888-NYC-WELL (692-9355)

NYC-Well is a confidential mental health information and referral line with access to mobile crisis teams. Staffed by trained social workers 24 hours a day, 7 days per week, 365 days per year.
Interpretation services are offered for 200+ languages.

NYC Well services are provided through ThriveNYC, which is a comprehensive public health approach to mental health in NYC. The program works to shift the culture, remove stigma around mental health, and make help-seeking normal.

To learn more about ThriveNYC, view the ThriveNYC Roadmap for Mental Health.
See Mental Health services listed by school name, location, and district


Get Help at PS9:
Mental health resources are available to every public school in New York City. The School Mental Health Program offers support so schools meet the emotional health and academic needs of their students.

Our Guidance Counselor: Karen Shaw Taylor @ KShaw@schools.nyc.gov

Our Social Worker: Anne Kner @ AKner@schools.nyc.gov

Our Psychologist: Jaye Skinner @ JSkinner4@schools.nyc.gov


Best Wishes,

Fatimah Ali




2021–2022 School Year Calendar 

The 2021–22 school year calendar  is now available for all K­­–12 NYCDOE public schools. View the 2021-2022 Calendar.


Equity, Diversity & Inclusion (EDI) Committee Meeting

Our next EDI meeting will be held on Wednesday, May 12, 6-7 p.m. The information to join this meeting is posted in Konstella.



NYC Public Schools will be closed this Thursday, May 13, for the Muslim holiday of Eid. We wish a joyful celebration to all PS9 families who will celebrate this High Holy Holiday!


Kindergarten Registration

Beginning the week of May 3, all families who accepted an offer in MySchools will be contacted by PS9 staff with instructions for registration.

Waitlist offers are populated in MySchools for viewing. When we receive guidance to move forward with our waitlist, we will contact families if/when seats become available and we have reached your waitlist number.


2-4-6-8 | YOU are the Electorate! | 2021-2022 PTO & SLT Elections are Tuesday, May 18th

Nominate and elect PS9 leadership for 2021-2022!

When: Tue, May 18 6:30pm-8:00pm
Where: PS9 Sarah Smith Garnet

(Nominations ended on Friday, May 14)

On Tuesday, May 18th, beginning at 6:30pm, the PS 9 community will vote at a virtual election for the 2021-2022 parent and community leaders who partner with PS 9 administration in keeping our school together and strong. If you read a message on Konstella, enjoyed Enrichment Hour, checked out Outdoor Learning — these are all services brought to you by the incredible volunteer officers and parent reps this year.

Save the date to vote and please nominate yourself, or someone else, to serve!

The PS9 PTO Nominations Committee

    • Radhika Ramamurthy (parent of fifth grader and PS9 alum)
    • Mike Tilley (parent of fourth grader and PS9 alum)
    • Suyin So (parent of fourth grader and incoming kindergartener)


Daily Health Screening Update

The DOE has updated the questions on the daily health-screening questionnaire to reflect the latest guidance regarding the elimination of mandatory quarantine requirements. You can also view this printable copy.


Grab and Go Meals at PS9

All families and students can continue to go to any school building Monday through Friday between 9:00 AM and 12:00 PM to pick up free grab-and-go meals. No identification or registration is necessary.

Members of the community can pick up meals from 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM, Monday through Friday at locations across the city.

  • Meals are not available to the general public at any other time
  • No registration or ID required
  • Multiple meals can be picked up at once
  • Vegetarian meals are available at all locations

For a list of where meals are being served text “FOOD” or “COMIDA” to 877-877 or visit the NYCDOE’s webpage for Take-Out and Community meals.


Brooklyn North & Community School District 13


Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) Program

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has launched a short-term Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) program, which will provide reduced cost broadband internet service for eligible New York City households during the COVID-19 pandemic. All families with a student enrolled in a DOE school or program are eligible for this benefit, and funds will be allocated on a first-come, first-serve basis until the program has exhausted available funds or six months after the US Department of Health and Human services declares an end to the COVID-19 health emergency.

Families can find out if they are eligible, apply for the program, and find participating broadband providers via the USAC website. There are two types of benefits available to eligible households:

  • Monthly Benefit: a discount of up to $50/month for broadband service, equipment, and device rentals; or
  • One-time Device Discount: up to $100 for a laptop, tablet, or desktop computer (with a co-payment of $10 – $50), where available.

Families can visit the FCC’s EBB webpage and view this FAQ to learn more about the EBB program. Translated materials are available via the following links: SpanishArabicAmharicBurmeseChineseFrenchHaitian CreoleKoreanPortugueseRussianSomaliTagalog, and Vietnamese.

If families have questions or require support with an application, they can email EBBHelp@usac.org or call (833) 511-0311.



NYCDOE Citywide

EVENT: Special Education Family Forum

Join us at the Special Education Family Forum on May 20, 3:00PM ET – 7:30PM ET!

During this interactive virtual Forum, you’ll learn about a variety of special education topics from experts, hear from parent leaders, and get tools that can be used to support participation in the Individualized Education Program (IEP) process.

Our interactive workshops have been developed to meet the diverse learning needs of families who are new to special education, those with children who are preparing for life after high school, and everything in between.

Register and read more at: https://www.techlearningevents.com/family-forum/home?ref=nycdoe

See the full agenda.

Summer Rising Grades K–8

Summer Rising is New York City’s free summer program for any City student in grades K–8, including students with disabilities, who wants to participate.

All K–8 students participating in programs will have access to academic classes and enrichment programming, including field trips, arts activities and outdoor recreation. Students will engage in daily community building and social emotional learning activities.

Summer Rising will address academic and social emotional needs of our youth through tailored support. These programs will provide a bridge to next school year and allow students to reconnect with one another and with their schools. They will address unfinished learning while providing avenues for recreation, exploration, and fun.

Program Overview

    • Summer Rising will be available throughout the City to every New York City student.
    • All programs will be run by local school leaders and trusted community-based organizations.
    • Summer Rising programs are full day and in-person experiences
    • All programs will create a bridge back to school in the fall and give parents peace of mind as they return to work.
    • The environment will be safe and supportive. Staff members are prepared to respond to children’s social and emotional needs.
    • Summer programs will offer academic support, arts, recreation, and social-emotional support.
    • There will be local field trips to parks, pools, and other enriching outdoor venues that are educational and in accordance with State health and safety guidelines.
    • Breakfast, lunch, and a snack will be served to each student.


Grades K–5

    • July 6 to August 20 (except July 20)
    • Monday–Friday
    • 8 a.m.–6 p.m.


For Summer Rising programs in grades K–8, families can sign up through the discoverDYCD website.

View and sign up for Summer Rising at PS9.


Parent University: Classes for NYC Families

Parent University – https://parentu.schools.nyc/ – seeks to educate and empower families as partners, advocates, and lifelong educators in their student’s education through free courses, resources, events, and activities.

Parent University serves all families, from early childhood through adulthood. Even if you are not a parent, we encourage you to become involved with Parent University.  With an expanding course list Parent University is ready to support you.

Register and enroll for a course today! To access the website you must use your New York City Schools Account (NYCSA). If you do not have a NYCSA account, instructions on how to create one are available on our website.

Video Series available for the following (with translations in some languages):

How to Vote in the 2021 CCEC Elections

Social Emotional Learning (SEL)

Ranked Choice Voting

EVENT: UFT Virtual Parent and Community Conference

You’re invited to a free online conference for parents and caregivers! This conference is organized by our Bronx parent and community outreach committee but is open to all parents citywide. We’ll enjoy informative workshops in English and Spanish, hear from and support fellow caregivers and get a chance to win raffle prizes. It will be a wonderful day of empowerment and mutual support. Register here for the conference to be held May 22, 10 am to 2 pm.

We’ll hear from UFT representatives before beginning the two workshop sessions. For each session, you can choose from among four topics. During the morning session from 10:15 to 11:50 a.m., the workshop choices are:

  • NYC Civil Service 101: New York City agencies fill most of their jobs through civil service exams, but qualified candidates may be hired temporarily while waiting to take an exam. Want to know more about the city’s civil service process and how to land a job? Sign up to learn more.

  • Special Education Advocacy — Understanding Your Child’s IEP: Join us to learn about special education services and Individualized Education Programs (IEPs). You will leave understanding the role of your child’s paraprofessional, knowing how to prepare for an IEP meeting, and knowing what parent counseling and training means as a related service in your child’s IEP. In short, you’ll become an even stronger advocate for your child.

  • Healthy Homes: With so many of us spending more time than ever in our homes, this workshop will help you keep your home and family safe. We’ll learn about lead and how to prevent lead exposure, how to reduce mold, how to keep a clean environment, how to get rid of pests like roaches and mice without endangering families and how to install safety devices such as carbon monoxide detectors and window guards.

  • Mental Health — Life is Precious: During this informative and interactive workshop, we’ll explore how self-care allows us to better care for our families, how to manage burnout, how to model balance for our children and how to set healthy boundaries. We’ll also cover the statistics, warning signs, symptoms, risk factors, protective factors and coping mechanisms of common mental health issues encountered by children. Finally, we’ll talk about why and how to discuss mental health with our families to destigmatize the need for emotional support.

During the afternoon session from 12 to 1:30 p.m., the workshop choices are:

  • Special Education — Know Your Rights: During this workshop, we’ll gain essential tools to navigate the special education system in New York City to ensure that children with special needs receive the educational services to which they are entitled regardless of the type of school — public, charter or private.

  • Mental Health — Understanding the Language and Behaviors of Emotional Pain, Depression and Suicide: As more parents face the hard realities than many children are experiencing anxiety and depression and are at risk of suicide. the need for education and awareness is dire. We’ll discuss the ways children, youth and adults experience mental illness and trauma that can lead to suicide risk, how to identify mental illness and trauma in others and how to respond effectively. We’ll offer safety tips and best practices for parents to support children in managing the complexities of life.

  • Salúd Mental — La Vida Es Preciosa (Spanish): Un taller informativo e interactivo de entendimiento sobre la Salúd Mental donde exploraremos el concepto de cuidarse a sí mismo para que pueda cuidar a sus familias, cómo manejar el agotamiento, modelar el balance y límites saludables para sus hijos. Además, discutiremos estadísticas, señales de advertencia, síntomas, factores de riesgo, factores de protección, mecanismos de afrontamiento respecto a la salúd mental y cómo abordar los problemas de salúd mental que puedan surgir con sus hijos. (This workshop will be conducted in Spanish.)

  • Hogares Saludables (Spanish): Dado que muchos de nostros pasamos más tiempo en nuestros Hogares, este taller está disenñdo para enseñarle cόmo mantener su hogar y familia saludables. Tome medidas para prevenir la exposición al plomo: cubre qué es el plomo y los pasos para prevenir la exposición al plomo. Moho: cubre los hechos sobre el moho y los pasos para reducir el moho mediante la reducción de la humedad. Limpie su hogar de forma segura: cubre los pasos que puede tomar para tener un ambiente hogareño limpio. (This workshop will be conducted in Spanish.)

EVENT: Special Education Family Forum

Join us at the Special Education Family Forum on May 20, 3:00PM ET – 7:30PM ET!

During this interactive virtual Forum, you’ll learn about a variety of special education topics from experts, hear from parent leaders, and get tools that can be used to support participation in the Individualized Education Program (IEP) process.

Our interactive workshops have been developed to meet the diverse learning needs of families who are new to special education, those with children who are preparing for life after high school, and everything in between.

Register and read more here: https://www.techlearningevents.com/family-forum/home?ref=nycdoe

See the full agenda

EVENT: Beyond Access

Join us for the Beyond Access Series, a weekly series of webinars designed to support families of students with disabilities during this challenging time. The webinars are provided by the Special Education team in partnership with experts in the field.

Topics include executive cognitive functioning, literacy, social emotional learning and more. Presenters provide strategies and resources that families can use to support their children’s learning and overall well-being at home. Recordings of Beyond Access events will be made available on Parent University for anyone who misses a session.

UPDATE: COVID-19 Vaccines

Resources from the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH)

New Yorkers ages 16 years and older can now get their COVID-19 vaccine without an appointment at select sites across NYC: http://on.nyc.gov/walkupvax

It has never been easier to get a COVID-19 vaccine appointment! To book your vaccine appointment for you and any family member residing, working, or studying in New York City, visit the City’s vaccine finder at https://vaccinefinder.nyc.gov/ or call 877-VAX4NYC (877-829-4692).

Please note that walk-up appointments are now available for New Yorkers over the age of 50 and a companion at these sites located throughout the five boroughs.

Watch the COVID Vaccine: Doing Our Part Video to hear from NYC DHS and HRA leaders about what the COVID-19 vaccine meant for them.

Key links to share with others: Most of these resources are available on nyc.gov/covidvaccine in multiple languages!

Wide Open School

Wide Open School (run by CommonSense) is partnered with the NYCDOE to provide student and parent support with distance learning. They have created Parent & Caregiver Guides to a wide variety of subjects to foster a positive experience learning from home. The helpful how-tos include: using Zoom, making routines & setting expectations, creating a balanced approach to tech & media usage,  and supporting academic growth. Go to their website to check out the Parent & Caregiver Guides and explore a wealth of other vetted resources.


“Let’s Learn NYC!”

Let’s Learn NYC is an educational public television program produced by the WNET Group in partnership with the New York City Department of Education (DOE), features lessons for children in 3K through second grade that will supplement remote learning. More information can be found at Let’s Learn NYC.


EVENT: UFT Health and Fitness for Children and Adults for May

The past year has not been easy on families. With the stress of remote learning and other hardships, physical health and quality time have suffered in many of our households. Let’s change that together! At Transitioning Back to Groovement, our weekly, online health and fitness classes, we’ll take time for bonding and self-care. Details and Registration here.

Get moving with dance-based fitness classes; return to fundamentals of mental, spiritual and physical health; and learn some nourishing, budget-friendly recipes that kids will love. These classes are designed to be engaging and fun for children and adults together.

You can register for as many or as few of the classes as you choose. Here’s the full schedule:

  • May 22 — Soca Fitness: Move your body to upbeat Soca music from the Caribbean Islands! We’ll tone our bodies, strengthen our cores and have tons of fun.

  • May 29 — Hip-Hop: Together we’ll learn a piece of hip-hop choreography, incorporating street dance styles, and the pop-locking technique. Children may be invited to use props to understand counts and rhythm and to enhance their motor skills.

  • June 5 — Budget-Friendly Dinners: This session will teach you how to prepare healthy food using everyday cooking items you may already have in your fridge or freezer. Learn easy tips to cook meals with your family that are super tasty and economical!


Prospect Heights Community


Prospect Heights CSA

Join the Prospect Heights CSA!  Fresh, Organic, Locally Grown Veggies and more!
Sign up is open now for the Prospect Heights CSA. Pick up is slated to take place at the PS9 garden on the corner of Bergen and Underhill on Thursdays starting June 10 for 22 weeks. Learn more on our website:  prospectheightscsa.org

What is a CSA?

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) connects a farmer in Upstate NY to people like us in Brooklyn who want to buy fresh organic vegetables.

What kinds of vegetables get delivered?

Each pickup we get 6-10 different organic veggies, depending on what’s in season. We get everything from lettuce, collard greens, and bok choy in June to beets, corn, and tomatoes in August, with lots of potatoes and squash in the fall.

Is it expensive?

The cost is on a sliding scale based on your income, and we offer payment plans and financial aid for members who need it. You can get this year’s prices on our website.

Where and when is the the pickup?

The pick up is at the PS9 garden on the corner of Bergen and Underhill on Thursdays from 4:30pm to 7:30pm.

Who runs the CSA?

The members! Every member works one or two work shifts during the season to help make the CSA work. The work shifts (2hrs 15 min each) are on Thursday afternoons and evenings, just like our pickups.

How do I become a member?

You can sign up to become a member on our website. Registration is open until end of April. Spots are first come first served, so don’t wait!