Respect For All Week Assembly: Grades 4 and 5

 During Respect For All Week our fourth and fifth grade students took part in an assembly about the Holocaust.  Shira Stoll, the presenter, is a Multimedia Specialist and video journalist at The Staten Island Advance/ created this project. She was be accompanied by Holocaust survivor Arthur Spielman who shared his story along with his 9 minute video testimony for the students. You may view his video here:

After watching the video testimony our children had the opportunity to speak with Arthur Spielman and Shira Stoll about their experiences. I was in awe of the thoughtful and thought provoking questions they asked of Arthur. The message of the assembly overall led students to the realization they should not judge others for their differences. Our students also spoke about how important it is to treat others with respect and stand up for others if they see any acts of bullying. 

After the assembly the students wrote notes to Arthur and some of the other survivors living on Staten Island. See below for an example of just some of the amazing letters our students wrote. 


February Campaign: Understanding Conflict vs. Bullying

Conflicts can be Resolved, Bullying has to be Reported!

Conflict is different than bullying. Not all disagreements and fights are bullying. Conflict is a normal part of human interaction and arises frequently in our day to day lives. Part of learning to be independent and grown up is learning how to deal with and respond appropriately to conflict at home, at school, and in your community.  Recognizing the difference between conflict and bullying will help students, parents and teachers know how to respond.

Conflict is:

  • All parties have equal power to solve the problem
  • All parties have an equal interest in the outcome
  • All parties are of relatively equal size, age or status
  • A conflict can be resolved by talking or working things out together or with help from an adult.

Bullying is:

  • A repeated form of mistreatment where the victim cannot defend him/herself
  • An imbalance of power – usually one person is either bigger or older than the other or has a higher social standing (is more popular) and uses this against the other person
  • Usually involves repeated acts of harassment, harm or humiliation

Differences in Addressing Conflict and Bullying

Conflict is an important part of growing up but bullying is not. Conflict teaches kids how to give and take, how to come to an agreement and how to solve problems. But bullying only wounds kids.

When it comes to conflict, it’s good for kids to learn conflict resolution and resiliency skills. These skills promote listening and working together to come to an agreement or plan to move forward. 


Conflict resolution works based on the assumption that both people are in part responsible for the current problem and need to work it out. In this situation, both kids make compromises and the conflict is resolved.

When bullying occurs, the bully is fully responsible for the situation. And the bully bears all the responsibility for change.  For instance, bullies need to be told that their behavior is unacceptable and will not be tolerated. They also need to experience consequences for their behavior. Likewise, targets of bullying need to be reassured that they didn’t cause the bullying, they did the right thing by reporting and that they are not to blame. They also should receive interventions that will help them overcome the negative impact of bullying so they can build self-confidence and resiliency.

Resources include:

Understanding Conflict vs Bullying.docx 

Respect For All Week

Respect For All week is celebrated in all New York City schools each year. This year it will be celebrated February 11-15th. This is a statewide initiative to decrease bullying and harassment in schools. We are excited to do our part to making sure all of our students feel welcome each day! 

  • All week counselor's will be presenting class lessons on the topic of Respect to Grades K-5
  • February 14th wear pink or red for our school spirit event on Valentine's day and our 100th day of school.
  • February 15th we will be wearing our favorite P.S. 13 shirt and celebrating No One Eats alone day during all lunch periods. 

This Pajama Day our students learned about Martin Luther King Junior and his inspiring dream. Student's then took the time to share their own dreams.

Check out what they shared below.  

January Campaign: 12 Tips For Raising Confident Kids

12 Tips for Raising Confident Kids

  1. Model confidence yourself.Even if you’re not quite feeling it! Seeing you tackle new tasks with optimism and lots of preparation sets a good example for kids. That doesn’t mean you have to pretend to be perfect. Do  acknowledge your anxiety but don’t focus on it—focus on the positive things you are doing to get ready.
  2. Don’t get upset about mistakes Help kids see that everyone makes mistakes and the important thing is to learn from them, not dwell on them. Confident people don’t let fear of failure get in their way—not because they’re sure they won’t ever fail, but because they know how to take setbacks in stride.
  3. Encourage them to try new things. Instead of focusing all their energy on what they already excel at, it’s good for kids to diversify. Attaining new skills makes kids feel capable and confident that they can tackle whatever comes their way.

Click the link below for the full list. 

 12 Tips for Raising Confident Kids.docx 

December Mental Health Campaign: Mindfulness

Enjoy the Holidays More With Mindfulness

Slow down and get more out of this busy season

Contrary to common belief, one effective way to cope with the holiday madness is to SLOW DOWN and take a little time each day to cultivate and practice mindfulness. Perhaps you’ve heard about this concept, which is rooted in Zen Buddhism, and has recently become more popular in Western society. Research has demonstrated that practicing mindfulness is associated with improvements in well-being, physical and mental health, relationship satisfaction, and attentional focus. In addition, the practice of mindfulness has been shown to help reduce stress and associated negative emotions such as anxiety and sadness.

You may be asking, “Okay, so on a practical level, how can I be mindful?” In reality, there are infinite opportunities to practice mindfulness during each day. Here are some suggestions to get started:

  1. Find a quiet place for just a few minutes (e.g the bathroom, as for some people this is the only quiet spot!). Get yourself into a comfortable sitting position with your feet flat on the floor. Close your eyes and focus on your breathing only. Do this for a few minutes. Listen to the sound of your breath and notice how your body feels during this time. When thoughts of other moments come racing into your mind, acknowledge them and let them go by as if they are on a conveyor belt, and refocus your attention on your breath again. Do this over and over.
  2. Spend a few minutes each day writing down five things you are thankful for that day.
  3. When you are walking outside, focus on one of your senses. For example, for vision, notice the colors of objects around you or for hearing, listen to the sounds around you and label them nonjudgmentally (eg “That building is gray,” or “I hear a horn honking”).
  4. Get the kids involved! One favorite thing I like to recommend is good old fashioned bubble blowing. Make a game out of it and instruct them (and yourself) to silently watch the bubbles float around the room. Resist the urge to pop the bubbles and see where they go.

By taking a few minutes each day to be mindful, perhaps even more than once a day, we can give ourselves the space to get in touch with ourselves, to fully experience the meaningful moments that often pass us by, and to take time to practice gratitude for what we have in our lives. Instead, we can experience gratitude daily, reduce our stress, and be more in touch with the little things that make all the difference.

Cited Emanuele, PhD


November Assemblies: Internet Safety

This month your children are learning about Internet Safety during our monthly Guidance Assemblies. 

Some things they will be learning are:

  • What personal information is and what not not to share strangers online
  • What netiquette (online etiquette or good manners) is and how to use it 
  • What to do if they see or read something inappropriate
  • What to do if they are being cyber-bullied 
  • What a virus is

Always  monitor what your children are doing when they are using phones, tablets, laptops or gaming consoles. Talk to your children about what they are doing and seeing during this time. A lot of our tips tell students to speak to their parents or trusted adults when something is making them uncomfortable online so be sure to keep this communication open. 

Check out these resources: 

  1. This site has some great videos and games to teach your kids how to be safe on the internet. Watch together! 
  2.  A game google that teaches students how to be safe online 

November Mental Health Campaign Topic: Calm Voices, Calmer Kids

Check out this month's read on the benefits of staying calm and not raising your voice when communicating with your children. 

 Nov 2018 MH Campaign.docx 

Monthly Assemblies

This new school year the Guidance Department is bringing social-emotional learning to the whole school. There will now be monthly assemblies presented to each grade once a month. Here students will learn through discussions, role plays, books, video clips and more. Our area of focus in September was on Communication, both verbal and non-verbal. The lower grades focus was understanding the relationship between feelings and body language. For instance, someone who is happy may smile, while someone who is mad may frown or cross their arms. The upper grades were able to go further and reflect a bit on how their body language is impacting their communication with others. They discussed miscommunications that have happened based on their facial expressions or body language not matching their words. 

Next month we will take this idea of communication a bit further and work on building strong friendships. 

Guidance Department 

Ms. Kump and Ms. Callender 

School Mental Health Campaign

Our school School Mental Health Campaign will continue this year thanks to our school Mental Health Consult Latiana Wilson. For those of you that do not know, this means that once a month I will be sharing resources from Ms. Wilson. These resources may be about bullying, study tips and healthy habits. Be sure to check back each month to see what is new. The first resource has 7 Bullying Intervention Tips for Families

  1. Increase Communication

Begin discussion that has to do with the social and online lives of your children as often as possible. Ask specific questions that can create important discussions (e.g., instead of “How was school?,” try “What was lunchtime like at your school—who do you sit with, what do you do and what do you talk about?”). You have to ensure your conduct shows how genuinely interested and open minded you are, and must not in any way see you as trying to control or invade privacy.

  1. Monitor Behavior

You can get to see your children under different situations by being watchful during social gatherings, volunteering at school and participating in extracurricular activities. If in any case you realize that your children are overly aggressive, vulnerable to peer pressure or show other behavior that gives you cause for concern, talk to them about your concerns and correct the behavior. Keep watch on the warning signs associated with bullying behavior (e.g., fear of attending school, social withdrawal, avoidance of or preoccupation with technology) and you can always believe that your instinct will intervene when you feel like your children are deviating. 

Click the link below to check out the rest of these useful tips. 

7 Bullying Intervention Tips for Families-October 2018.docx