Inside Broadway Sign Up Sheets have gone home!

Dear Lower Lab Families Grades 3-5 ONLY,

Please check the backpacks for the information sign up sheet for the Inside Broadway Program beginning February 1st – May 25th. This is a program only for grades 3-5 and will most probably have a lottery for selected students.

Hand in your interest sheet prior to January 2nd!  Lottery will be pulled on January 4 to give parents enough time to sign up for the LL after school programing should their child not get selected in the lottery.

Inside Broadway – NYC Musical Mystery Melodies for Students in Grades 3-5

November Update 4-245



November Update

Parent-Teacher Conferences:

You are invited to sign up for Ms. Courtwright Fall 2018 PTC.

DATE: November 13, November 14 and November 16

PLACE: 4-245

REGISTRATION DEADLINE: End of day 3 days before each conference day

To pick a time slot, enter this link in your internet

At that link, you will be asked for your Entry Code, where you should enter 2AR1214176

This information will also be backpacked home.


In math, we are beginning a group project. Students will be researching an ancient number system (such as Chinese, Greek, Roman, Egyptian, Mayan). They will be learning about how it works and will be teaching the rest of their classmates about it. This project is an extension of our first unit where we explored our base ten number system.

In literacy, we are finishing up our first unit on realistic fiction reading and writing. Students are beginning to think about determining the theme. Remember, the theme is what the author is trying to teach about life (as opposed to the lesson the character learns). Please ask your child what their thoughts are about the themes in their independent books. They should continue to read a CHAPTER book at their appropriate reading level and write about what they are reading Mondays-Thursdays.

In class, we are moving into an informational reading, writing, and research unit. Students will be working on a long term Social Studies project about Native Americans. There will be various due dates. Please keep an eye out for this packet. Students will work on the project in school and at home. A variety of reading, writing, and research skills will be embedded in this project. It is sure to be challenging. You can support your child by checking in with them about their progress. Always refer back to the project packet for questions about deadlines, etc. This project will be shared with students in coming days. Thank you in advance for your support!

Happy Halloween!!!



October Update

Dear Families,

In Reading, we are currently focusing on fiction books. All students are expected to be reading a fiction book as this will support the literacy work we are doing. We are continuing to write about reading in our Reading Response Journals, writing about things such as character development over time and how mood and setting affect the character. In Writing, we are finishing up our realistic fiction stories through peer editing and revising. We also started using workbooks to review grammar skills. This will be part of homework and the book should be taken home and returned to school (please do not rip out the pages). In Math, we are unpacking the addition and subtraction strategies such as subtraction in parts, compensation, the number line, and the U.S standard algorithm. In Social Studies, we are learning about the world around us and how to understand it through various kinds of maps. Students should learn the 50 states as well as the continents and oceans. We are having a quiz soon.

Later in the month we will begin an integrated unit on informational reading, informational writing, and Native Americans (Social Studies Research). We are taking a special field trip to Inwood Hill Park on Wednesday October 25th. Please review and sign the permission slip and return it to school along with the $3.00 trip fee as soon as possible. It is sure to be a great learning experience!

Best Wishes,

Robin Courtwright




                Here is the welcome letter again for your reference.

                                                                                                                 September 7, 2017


Dear Families,

I hope you had a fun and restful summer! I am really looking forward to getting to know your family this year (and reconnecting with ones I already know!!). I am happy to welcome Ana as our Teacher Assistant, Maria as our student teacher (through December), and Susan as our paraprofessional.

I live in Nyack with my husband Seth. We just bought an old house and are fixing it up. We spent a good part of the summer taking road trips to places like Cape Cod, MA, Hopkinsville, KY (WE SAW THE TOTAL SOLAR ECLIPSE!!!), Asheville, NC, and Baltimore, MD. When I’m not at Lab I spend my time seeing my big extended family, doing yoga, watching TED talks, hiking, skiing, and enjoying our extremely cute kittens.

I absolutely love teaching gifted kids and appreciate all of their unique strengths and needs. Fourth grade is an exciting time. The academic curriculum is rich and rigorous. There are many important developmental tasks at hand such as self-regulation, independence, and resilience. Students are encouraged to work together but to also build independence—to take responsibility for their actions and their learning. I hope you can attend our Curriculum Night on Wednesday September 13 to learn more about what your child will learn this year.

This letter contains a lot of information you’ll need to know in order to have a smooth school year, so please take the time to read it carefully, and keep it in a safe place for future reference.



Family support is integral to a successful year. I look forward to partnering with you to maximize learning opportunities for all students. If you have an area of expertise you would like to share with our class community please do reach out. As your child’s teacher I should be the first point of contact for any questions or concerns regarding our classroom. The best way to communicate with me about anything time sensitive is via a note in your child’s Homework Folder. My email is



Please double check that your child’s name is on all personal belongings i.e. backpack, lunchbox, sweatshirt, baseball hat etc. Help children to become independent about checking their homework folders, and maintaining an organized backpack. Encouraging students to be responsible for these tasks will help them immensely as they progress through school (and life).

Please do not go through the homework folder without your child. He or she is ultimately responsible for making sure that what needs to be there, is there.

The homework folder should go home every night and come back to school every morning.  The homework folder will contain student’s homework for the evening or week, permission slips and other notes that need to be signed and returned, other school-wide notices, graded work to keep at home, etc. Please check the homework folder together with your child every evening, and if there are notes for you, take them out.  Do not leave things in the homework folder unless they need to be returned to school.


Your child should read for 30 minutes each day (including weekends) to support his or her reading development. During the course of the year, homework assignments will vary as the curriculum progresses. Some homework may require using the internet (such as research, educational programs/games, typing, etc.). Alternative or supplemental homework may be given to best support your child’s specific academic needs (such as correcting mistakes on a math test, revising an essay, extra practice with a particular skill, etc).  I will communicate directly with your child if and when this may occur.

In general, homework should not take excessive amounts of time (no more than one hour and fifteen minutes per night including the 30 minutes of reading). There will be times when your child needs to plan out his or her time such as in preparation for a larger research project, to complete a writing piece, or to study for a test. Students will begin to learn how to prioritize and manage their time over the course of this year. These important skills will continue to develop in the years ahead. Children also need time to play and relax. Please reach out if homework becomes a challenge.

Your child will be expected to write down homework in his or her planner each afternoon. This serves to support the development of executive functioning. Please make sure your child brings the planner to school each morning and be sure to review it together with your child to see what the assignments are.  

Each student will be assigned a class buddy.  If your child misses school, it is his or her responsibility to find out the homework assignment from his or her buddy.  If there are homework handouts and/or other notices, your child can get them when they return to school in their mailbox.  There is no need to make homework arrangements with me — there is an automatic 2 day extension.

Scholastic Book Orders

I will periodically send home scholastic order forms. Please place all orders online at Please use our class code when ordering: MHT9F 

This helps us earn new books for our classroom. Thank you!


Specials Schedule (subject to change)

Please keep an eye out for a class schedule that will be sent home as a reference. As always, your child should wear sneakers on PE days and bring their instrument to school when needed. As of now Upper Strings have music on Mondays and the rest of the class has PE. Lower Strings have music on Tuesdays and the rest of the class has PE. I’ll be reviewing the class schedule with the students in the coming days.



Attendance and punctuality are important for all students. Please keep in mind that lateness should be avoided if possible. If your child is late, he/she should report to the main office to get a late pass and then come to class, entering quietly so as not to disturb the rest of the students.


Early pick-up

If you know you will be picking up your child early from school, please send in a note to me in the morning so that I can be aware. When you come to pick your child up, go to the office; please do not come up to the room.



Please sure to send in the dismissal form outlining dismissal plans for your child. If there are any changes to dismissal, a written note is required, preferably in the morning. Please do not have other parents inform me at the door that “it’s ok”. I cannot dismiss to someone who has not been previously authorized.


Class Parent

I am looking for a volunteer to serve as “class parent”. The class parent would communicate with all of the parents about various opportunities to support the class this year as well as important updates or announcements. The class parent would help our class with the coordination of celebrations, coordinate donations for the classroom, help to locate chaperones for trips, set up photo sharing, and help with special projects.  If I have several volunteers one will be selected by picking a name out of a hat. Please let me know if you are interested in being involved in this way.
Request for additional school supplies

  • If you have not already done so, please send in all school supplies.
  • Additionally, we are collecting $5.00 per student to cover the cost of

Time for Kids Magazine. Please make a check out to PS 77 or send in exact cash.

You are already so generous and I can’t tell you how much it is appreciated. Your generosity makes our school so wonderful.


For you to complete

  • Please complete the enclosed family survey. This information will help me be the best teacher I can be for your child. Please complete as much of it as your time allows. Please return it to school with your child by Tuesday September 12  if possible. Feel free to put it in a sealed envelope.
  • Within the first few days of school you will received many forms and notices from the school. Please complete them and return them as soon as you can. Of particular importance is the blue emergency card and the school lunch form. All families must complete the lunch form whether or not they receive free or reduced lunch. The income portion is not mandatory but all lunch forms must be returned. Please be sure to send in a completed dismissal form right away.

Thank you in advance for your support and partnership this year.  I look forward to a wonderful year together!


Warmest Regards,

Robin Courtwright


Attendance 4th Grade – Please Read

Dear 4th Grade Families,

As the year is coming to a close, please be aware that there will be no way to alter your attendance next year if you notice an error in September. It is imperative that everyone review any dates that seem to be egregious before the 28th of this month.  Our School Aide Hugues Recamier leaves for the school year on the 28th at 3:00PM. This is the last time our systems can be updated. If you come in September with a change due to lack of doctor’s note or explanation he will be unable to assist as the system locks after June 28th.

How can you check your attendance?

  1. Log on to your NY Account. This is the account where you check your test scores and everyone should already have this info and password to log on so that they can check State Test Scores over the summer.
  2. Go to the attendance section and you will see all the days your child has been out.
  3. Please note that absences are not excused but explained.
  4. If you follow our posts earlier in the year there was mention that attendance might impact your  middle school application for certain schools and the rubrics for all middle schools was posted by the CEC. See link below:
  5. If you have any issues with what you see in your NY Account attendance page please email Hugues at . If you can not get into your NY Account email Gina!

June 3, 2017

Dear 4th Grade Families,

I can’t tell you how wonderful it was to be surprised by the entire 4th grade on Friday.  What a special group of students and parents we have this year  I was so impressed by the organization and self-control–no one spilled the beans! Then the speech and the delicious treats.  I’ll never forget it.

Thank you to everyone to participated in any way.

While I’m writing, just a quick reminder that Wingspan is this week.  The show for families is officially Wednesday evening.  But, if you can’t make it for any reason we will be performing on Wednesday morning for students so please feel free to come to that show instead.

A few final details for Wednesday–students must come up to the classroom on Wednesday evening by 5:45 in order to change into costumes.  After the show, all students must return upstairs to change/collect personal items before going home with parents.  Please wait patiently for them in the lobby after the show.

Thank you again,


Music – Lower Lab Orchestra

Broken Violin (2012), M.E. Ologeanu


Dear 4th and 5th grade parents:

Bravo to our outstanding musicians for their hard work this year! As our school year winds down, please pay particular attention to Rental Renewal Invoices coming from the Ardsley Musical Instrument Service, Ltd.  

If you rented an instrument with the Ardsley company and are planning to return the rented instrument, especially for most 5th grade students:

  1. Have your child bring the Rental Renewal Invoice to school
  2. Place it in the instrument case 
  3. Leave the instrument in the music classroom BEFORE the pickup date at our school (If you never received the Rental Renewal Invoice from Ardsley, you can still leave the instrument for the pickup date)

Instruments – Rental Renewal Invoices coming from the Ardsley Musical Instrument Service, Ltd.

Dear 4th and 5th grade parents:

Bravo to our outstanding musicians for their hard work this year! As our school year winds down, please pay particular attention to Rental Renewal Invoices coming from the Ardsley Musical Instrument Service, Ltd.

If you rented an instrument with the Ardsley company and are planning to return the rented instrument, especially for most 5th grade students:

Preview Night May 25th TONIGHT! 5:00-7:00 See schedule below

flyer for preview night copy

Screen Shot 2017-05-23 at 2.05.55 PM
Take a brief view of next year’s curriculum 
across the content/specialty areas.

• Teachers will present work/expectations/goals across the year for next years class/grade.

• Music, Art, Science, PE and Technology will provide a curriculum overview for their specific subject with presentations for Grades 1-2 and 3-5.

• 5th Grade Families will participate in a Workshop with Josh and Gina – Transition to Middle School

Screen Shot 2017-05-24 at 11.22.34 AM

Dear 4th and 5th Grade Families – Spring Concert on Wednesday, May 10th at 6:00 p.m. in the auditorium

DSC_0585Happy Spring!


We are pleased to announce the 4th and 5th grade orchestra and choir Spring Concert on Wednesday, May 10th at 6:00 p.m. in the auditorium.  Please be aware that the school-wide assembly for students in grades K-3 will also take place on this date at 1:45pm.

The students have worked very hard throughout the year and they are eager to share what they have learned with you.  I am proud of the students’ hard work and appreciate your parental support in their music-making journey during this school year.

For the evening performance, students are to report to the music classroom (M35)  by 5:30 p.m. for tuning and to set up the stage.

The dress code for the evening performance is as follows:

  • Boys: Black pants, white collared dress shirts (black ties/bowties are encouraged), and dark dress shoes
  • Girls: Black skirts/dresses and white blouses or dress shirts, and dark dress shoes

We encourage all students to participate in our annual concert, so please mark this date in your calendar!  If you have any questions or concerns, please email me at

As always, thank you for the support of the Music Program.


Ms. Kim