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298 6th Avenue | Brooklyn, NY | 11215

Dear Families,

Spring brings renewal and growth of many kinds, especially in a school. It is a season where the developmental milestones of the children within appear more obvious. Their increased outdoor activity and mental agility, highlight both cognitive and physical achievements.  The same is true for the adults in our space.

This is also the time of year that we come together to set our intentions for the following year, working on new classroom teams and renewing our pledge to our practice.  We are doing this through our staff meetings, professional development workshops and discussions with teachers about their goals. Periodically, as a part of this reflective process, we switch classroom teams so that we can see things from a new perspective, allowing us to stretch our thinking.  While this is happening, we are saying goodbye to two staff members, shifting the role of a current staff member and welcoming three new assistants.

In Jitterbug:

We are welcoming Irina Prokhorova, a long term substitute and student teacher.  Irina has been working with BFS for several years as she pursued her degree in Special Education.  Currently, Irina is observing in Dragonfly for her student teaching. She will be working with Aida and Daniela.  At BFS, we are working towards building capacity in our teachers in the field of Special Education. Having this lens in our earliest classroom means we have the ability to support children as they enter our school, to give them the tools they need to feel confident and engaged in their learning environments.  

In Dragonfly:

Angel, our longtime Dragonfly Co-teacher, is moving into a Lead teaching position.  Angel is about to complete her Graduate Degree in Special Education. It is always our goal to support our teachers, whenever possible, as they attain new levels of accreditation.  Angel has been working toward this goal and we are so excited to be able to give her this new responsibility. Working alongside Angel will be Laura, who has been at BFS for over 25 years and Amanda Kelly, a former after school and substitute teacher at BFS who has recently been admitted to Grad school as well.

In Sunshine:

As you all know, this year, we said goodbye to Ryan Kominski, our Assistant Teacher in Sunshine, when she moved upstate.  We hired Alejandra Vicco as a long term substitute. Alejandra will remain with us until the end of the year, when she will be joining the New York CIty Teaching Fellows.  Her replacement in Sunshine will be Claudenie Pierre Louis. Claudenie is currently a grad student in early childhood. She has over three years experience teaching in early childhood. Over the next few months, we will ask her to come in to sub during the day, so she can learn more about our school and its culture.  We are delighted she has decided to join us.

Claudenie will begin this summer as a camp counselor and transition into the Sunshine classroom with Bob and Camille, who is moving from Rainbow.  Camille has been at BFS for over 15 years and holds with her the institutional knowledge of BFS and our Reggio Emilia inspiration.

In Rainbow:

Sasha Seeley, our wonderful Early Bird and Rainbow Assistant teacher has begun the process to go to Law school and we are so thrilled for her.  While she will be missed as a fixture at BFS, she may show up here and there as a substitute when her schedule allows. Supporting Oi in the Rainbow classroom, we have Kathy Vega, one of our Dragonfly Co-teachers and Lizzie Berger-Gutierrez.  Kathy brings with her experience in collaborative team teaching, which will support Oi, who has the largest group of Pre-k children. This will mean that Kathy gets to loop with her Dragonfly students. All the information and tools that they have worked to gather and explore are carried with this group in an exciting continuation of learning.  Lizzie, joins the classroom ready for a new experience. She has been working in Jitterbug for several years and looks forward to working with this age group and growing her practice.

Finally, as a way to support teachers in their work, we have created a new position.  Maria, our longtime Assistant teacher in Sunshine, is moving into a supporting position for part of the day and the youngest afterschool classroom after three.  This new role will allow each classroom team the opportunity to work on projects, document explorations and plan for future investigations. While Lead Teachers generally work after school to do some of these things, this allows for flexibility in whole team work.  It respects and values the practice of teaching by giving time and thought opportunities throughout the week. Maria will be meeting with each classroom team to learn their routines, and find ways to best support each group. She will also be on hand as extra support when the individual needs of the children are larger than a three person team. In afterschool, the youngest children will have the support of a teacher they know well.  This is especially essential as they enter school for the first time.

At our last Staff Meeting, we all met in our new teams and set the values they share and want to support within their new teams.  We made it fun by going on a scavenger hunt. Each classroom was asked to find creative ways to reflect these values, taking a photographic journey of our neighborhood.  Please come a take a look at the things each team holds dear and how they reflected these in their walk around the school.

These are some of the core values the teachers chose to represent:

  • Love and joy
  • Creativity/Imagination
  • Organization
  • Teamwork
  • Community and Collaboration
  • Diversity
  • Communication
  • Respect
  • Accessibility
  • Intention
  • Kindness
  • Fun
  • Belonging
  • Play

Medina Khalil

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Medina Khalil - Executive Educational Director | Mikia Eatman - Operations Director | Daniela Vancurova - Educational Assistant Director

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Brooklyn Free Space · 298 6th Avenue · Brooklyn, NY 11215 · USA

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