Volume 02 | December 2017
YEAR 2 AT S2 STARTS STRONG!

Dear S2 Supporters,

We have grown so much as a school this year. In every classroom, students are engaged in work that matters to them and that is at their appropriate academic level. It is gratifying to see. In this newsletter you can read about some recent happenings at school, but I also urge you to come visit. If you haven't watched it already, please take a quick peek inside the school by viewing this short video we recently produced.
It is hard to believe that we are approaching our second holiday season as a school. During times like these, we reflect on how much we have to be grateful for and on everything that has contributed to our early success. I am particularly grateful to our new principal and leader, Carrie Amon, and to our hard working Board and staff.

Of course, to those who have supported us in so many different ways over the past few years: we cannot thank you often enough .

With that said, I must make one final appeal for 2017. You have likely heard of Jane and Daniel Och’s challenge grant, awarding the school up to $250,000 in matched funds for 2017. Meeting this challenge will ensure that we are able to deliver on our vision for the coming year. Through our community’s generosity, we have raised $210,000 in 6 short weeks, meaning we are only $40,000 short of meeting the match for 2017. Please, if you have not yet supported us this year, or would like to do more to help us reach our goal, remember that any contribution you make through the end of the year will have twice as much impact! For those interested, or if you have not sent in your 2017 pledge, see here for ways you can give.

Wishing everyone a happy and healthy holiday season and new year.

Gratefully,

Evan Meyers
Executive Director
NEW PARTNERS, NEW POSSIBILITIES
S2 values meaningful partnerships with high quality organizations that expand what’s possible. Blue Engine is an organization that partners with schools to give teachers access to trained Blue Engine Teaching Assistants (BETAs). Having BETAs in classrooms this year has dramatically reduced the student/teacher ratio, allowing for beneficial small-group work based on students' abilities. S2 is proud to be Blue Engine’s first charter school partner!
GIRL'S VOLLEYBALL
S2 continues to expand its sports programming, adding girls' volleyball to the list this year. Over 50 students tried out, and 15 6th & 7th grade girls made the team. They practiced two nights a week under the guidance of their coaches, Blue Engine TA's Lucy Zicherman and Chaewon Hwang. Despite starting the season with little to no experience, our girls won their last three games and made the playoffs!

Basketball season is up next!
IMPORTANCE OF DATA
This year, to better serve our students, S2 took the next step in delivering a highly targeted, data-driven approach to academics. By understanding and monitoring each student's skills individually, then adjusting their schedules and services accordingly, teachers are building on students' strengths and supporting their weaknesses. This approach will continue to produce major academic results for the months and years to come.
SERVICE LEARNING
Since 1987, Love Kitchen has been feeding hot, vegetarian meals to those in need in the Washington Heights area. On October 23rd, Mr. Meyers took a group of 7th grade girls to volunteer there after school. From 4:00P - 6:30P they helped by preparing individual meals, setting up food stations and serving the patrons. It was an eye-opening and rewarding experience for all.

"It is an important reminder of the value of doing real work, both in and out of the classroom." -Evan Meyers
FALL HARVEST AT THE ZOO
On Tuesday, October 31st, S2 took students on a trip to the Bronx Zoo to celebrate Halloween and Autumn in NYC! Students engaged in a photo scavenger hunt and enjoyed learning about Gorillas in the Congo Gorilla Forest special exhibit. Among other exotic animals, students spotted a red panda, giraffes, a rhinoceros, many birds - they were even entertained by a sea lion!
Zoo
TEACHER & STUDENT SPOTLIGHTS
LESLEY PEREZ
7th Grade ELA Teacher

Ms. Lesley Perez, a new teacher at S2 this year, always knew she wanted to work in education. Her mother and aunts worked in education in Cuba, where Lesley was raised, and her grandparents, who grew up with limited access to school, taught Lesley the value of education.

After graduating from Rutgers University, Lesley taught public school in Chicago through Teach for America. She has been an educator ever since. Middle school is her favorite age because she enjoys engaging with and supporting students during this transitional time in their lives.

“I heard how absolutely amazing the system is at S2, the real emphasis on community…That kids have a voice… that they are being exposed to mindfulness… When I got the offer, I didn’t even think twice… I’m very happy that I’m here”.
NAOMI PABON
7th Grader

Naomi Pabon takes pride in being a great student, but her smarts don’t define her. When she’s not acing tests, she is shooting hoops, hanging out with friends, practicing her hip hop moves or walking her dogs. She wants to play pro basketball, but if that doesn’t work out she aspires to be a veterinarian. For college, Naomi hopes to go to UConn because “their basketball coach is legendary”.

Naomi is a two-time recipient of a student merit award from the Consul General of the Dominican Republic. She loves being at S2 and shares her enthusiasm as a school ambassador, helping recruit prospective 6th graders.

With her academic prowess, determination and love for her friends, Naomi will surely continue to find success at S2 and beyond. 
WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING...
"My daughter won't admit it, but she doesn't like the weekends. She would rather be in school!"

"She is making friends. She is so happy!"

"Last year I had to fight with him to do his homework. Now he just comes home and does it!"
-S2 PARENTS
". . . I am in awe of what you do and the school you've crafted. Although in it's second year, School in the Square has a culture I have not seen or heard of in the charter school world. The care you take to make your staff, students, and families happy is as admirable as it is extraordinary. Thank you for creating the school that you have, for dedicating your lives to a righteous cause, and for welcoming others to join you in the fight for educational equity." 

-S2 TEACHER
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