Volume 01  |  July 14, 2017
Inaugural Newsletter

Dear S2 Community,

Our first year has come to end. Amidst emotional “goodbyes” we pause to reflect. It's been an educational year for the students, their families, the staff and the administration. We went into this year with incredible support and high expectations and I am unspeakably proud of what we have accomplished over these past 10 months. Below is a look at some of the highlights from the third trimester, including the formation of our baseball and softball teams, the compassion our students showed through a project benefitting refugees, our democratic process for implementing a new dress code, and some spectacular end of year activities.

This summer we will be working hard to prepare for the new cohort of students and staff who we are eager to welcome into our community. We will also be taking important steps towards integrating our core values more deeply into the school. We are so excited to continue building School in the Square with you all next year.

Thank you and have a great summer!

Evan Meyers 

PS: We are still developing our means of communicating with you all, so please feel free to provide ideas or suggestions for topics you want to hear more (or less) about. Thank you!

Our History, Our City
The Lower East Side, Harlem and Chinatown feel worlds apart, and yet they are all integral to our wonderful city. Students learned about these and other NYC-based immigrant communities and cultures in social studies class before experiencing them first hand. What's the best way to explore new cultures? Eat! Our students enjoyed smoked salmon in the LES, dumplings in Chinatown, and soul food in Harlem. Yum!
Unanimity for Uniforms
Going into our first year as a school, we were unsure about uniforms. It's often argued that uniforms simplify students' lives, allowing them to focus on learning over fashion, but do they squander individuality and diversity? As a school that prizes democracy, it was essential to weigh the pros and cons as a community. All weighed in favor. The whole school researched and debated ideas, surveyed stakeholders, and selected a student committee to settle on an agreeable policy. We are eager to see its impact on our students' happiness and success in the coming year. 

Learn More >
S2 Sports Teams
Participating in team sports is an important element of an S2 education. Our co-ed basketball team began practicing in our newly refurbished gym this past winter. By  spring, the boy's baseball team and girl's softball team formed as well. Nearly half of our students are participating in sports. Many of these athletes have never before played a sport or been a part of a team, but what they lack in experience they make up for with incredible energy and passion. We are so proud to be able to offer three sports programs within our very first year. 

Learn More >
Bake Sale for Refugees
Moved by the plight of refugees all over the world, a topic they studied during the second trimester, S2’s Social Studies A class decided it wasn’t enough to simply learn about this crisis, they needed to take action. So to help the suffering families all over the world who are being displaced by war, our students decided to run a bake sale to raise money to donate to the  International Rescue CommitteeThey raised $477.00!
End of Year Festivities
We have all worked incredibly hard over the past 10 months to make it a successful and inspiring first year -- and it was. To celebrate the friendships that have grown, the difficulties we've worked through, and the experiences we've shared, the administration planned a few days of pure fun. A perfect day was spent at Camp Lakota, unknown talents were revealed at our talent show, and students enjoyed friendly competition during field day. A very special couple days to mark the end of a truly amazing year.
Year End Presentations
As our inaugural class prepared to graduate from 6th grade, we asked them to reflect on the past year. They considered their growth as mathematicians, writers and readers, but also as friends, individuals and community members. This project encouraged students to take ownership of their educations and set goals for the future. They bravely shared their presentations with classmates and family members, who responded with thoughtful questions and suggestions. A truly valuable learning experience for all who participated.

Teacher & Student Spotlights
Yelitza Aguilera, ELA and Social Studies

"...when I saw their vision and that they were in Washington Heights, that’s what really drew me to them. I wasn’t actively looking to teach again, but the mission of School in the Square made me decide to give it another try.”

Isabella Tejada, 6th grade

“Everything is really what I wished for, there isn’t really anything that I can change. Well I can change things, and the whole school can change things, but there’s just nothing that I would want to change.”

What people are saying about S2

It is funny, I thought I would never find a school like this for my lads and I was scared they would continue to feel like an outsider in a school. Like I did many many years ago. But then by a miracle of life, out of all places, School In The Square decided to open up in Washington Heights and my prayers were answered. 

You have no idea the amount of stress you have lifted from me and the fact that my lads love your school and love what they do. Well lets just say that is GOLD to me.

What I love is that we made bill of rights. One of those rights was to let everybody feel safe and that everybody should have the right to be heard, knowing that nobody would laugh or bully  them… So far those goals have been accomplished and also the 3 rules of the school…  I am happy because this school makes me feel welcomed, respected, comfortable, and cared for.

We can't do this without you!
You can help us make a difference in the lives of countless children who might not otherwise have the opportunity to thrive. For more information or to make a donation:
School in the Square  |  718.916.7683  |  schoolinthesquare.org