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Annual Report


Current Leadership BOARD OF DIRECTORS Renee Rolleri, Chair Matt Goldman, Vice-Chair Michael Parks, Treasurer Eric Huang, Secretary David Beal Lisa Kaye David Rock Jennifer Stanton Jen Wink

compassionate learners use courageous and innovative thinking to build a harmonious and sustainable world.

ADVISORY BOARD Sam Chaltain Larry Cohen, PhD Austin Hearst Ian Kerner Sujin Kim Lawrence Levien John Maeda Jennifer McCrea Sir Ken Robinson David Rockwell Dan Siegel, MD Jeffrey Walker

MISSION To develop and share an inquiry-


PURPOSE Reimagining education for a changing world.

VISION Communities of creative, joyful,

based approach to education that fosters creativity, promotes academic excellence, nurtures human relationships, and inspires a lifelong passion for learning.

Table of Contents Letter From the Head of School


Letter From the Board Chair


Letter From the 9 Executive Director of Business Development 2012 Revenue and Expenses


Annual Fund Giving


Benefit Event


Annual Events and Committees


Blue School Staff


Blue School Values


Head of School

Jeni Aridizzone-West Executive Director of Business Development

Blakely Braniff Director of Development

Freda Gimpel Director of Finance & Operations ABOUT THE STUDENT ARTWORK FEATURED IN THIS ANNUAL REPORT At the beginning of the 2012–13 school year, our new head of school, Allison Gaines Pell, posed an essential question for all classes to consider in their learning journey: “How can a community create change?” Each class was charged with creating their own inquiry theme tied to that school-wide question. Beginning with an examination of the 2012 elections, the fourth grade (our lead grade) created a yearlong theme of “Revolution, Evolution, Who Makes the Rules.” As part of that study, the class opted to illustrate seven key words in Blue School’s vision statement, some examples of which are featured throughout this report.

Don Grace Vice President of External Relations

David Kelly Director of Studies for Lower Grades

Patricia Lynch Director of Studies for Upper Grades



“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.” —Marianne Williamson I have looked to Williamson’s words frequently since I started with you all at Blue School. I do this because the audacity of our mission—to reimagine education —requires confidence and courage. For years, our founders, board, and faculty have asked “What if?” as the question at the core of our work to build a school that could result in a more sustainable and harmonious world. What if, they asked, a school could speak up rather than down to the intellects of children? What if a school’s curriculum could facilitate children’s questions and ponderings about the world? What if a school could develop educational practices that foster creativity and innovation? What if, freed from the what-has-always-beens of many other independent schools, and freed from the standardized testing that has paralyzed our nation’s discourse and practice, a school could launch a generation of inventors, artists, and change-makers who would act boldly and courageously in the face of a changing world? In 2013, I can say we are on our way. When I walk our light-filled hallways and see fourth graders discussing the nuances of evolution and its complement revolution then and now, kindergarteners installing Goldsworthy-inspired art in the hallways, third graders creating heart maps to send to friends on another continent, first graders building Rube Goldberg machines, three-year-olds designing a community Glow Ball, second graders interviewing FEMA workers and discussing


what is beauty, I know we have unearthed a secret that many have spoken about but few have experienced: that powerful learning is joyful. And when I see teachers studying student work together, celebrating our scientists as well as our tricksters and artists, trying new practices, and pushing themselves and our children beyond their comfort zones, I see our promises live. And then I see you, our partners, donors, and parents, who sort out our library, create terrariums, give bridge construction expertise, donate from the heart; who choose to be school-builders alongside us; who make the road with us every day. I see the light in your eyes when you speak about your children, all children, and our school, and I feel the deepest gratitude for your support. The pages that follow tell but a piece of a founding story that starts with a shared response to culture, and brings us here to 241 Water Street, more than 200 children, and a future that has never been as bright. I look forward to working with you, and I cannot wait to see what we do together going forward. My best,

Allison Gaines Pell Head of School


Make the Road by Walking: “Wanderer, your footsteps are the road, and nothing more; wanderer, there is no road, the road is made by walking.” —Antonio Machado One year ago, I wrote to you about the excitement of finding and filling our permanent home for the lab school and appointing Allison Gaines Pell as the head of Blue School. Today, the Blue School community is enjoying a new level of stability that these two major accomplishments have provided. After starting as a parent run playgroup in 2006, receiving Blue School’s 501c3 status and formally launching the preprimary and primary programs in 2008 and 2009, enduring a handful of re-locations until securing 241 Water Street last year, and conducting a two-year leadership search—WE ALL could not feel more fortunate and enthusiastic to have Allison’s great wisdom, vision and pragmatic nature at the helm of our school. We are energized by Allison’s leadership. And we are grateful for the administrative staff’s thoughtful guidance of the leadership transition process, as well as to our entire faculty for being an integral part of a smooth transition for Allison and Blue School families. With this increased stability, we can now focus on the next phase of growth and development for Blue School. Although we have raised more than $7million in donations and over $20million in a facility and resources for the lab school, our journey has only just begun. We will fulfill our existing enrollment plan by 2015-16, growing to two classes per grade through fifth grade, and Blue School will reach operational breakeven in just two years. We need to raise $3million over the next two years to meet this growth plan, and an additional $3.5million to help carry out


our strategic plan. The board and leadership staff are engaged in major gift cultivation and forming strategic partnerships to address both of these funding goals. At the same time, we are also investigating the feasibility of expanding into middle school to ensure that it can be done without compromising the current program. Most constituents agree that there are curricular, developmental and practical advantages for Blue School to expand into middle school. We are committed to growing Blue School in the best way possible to support our community of learners and stay true to the school’s mission and vision. We are committed because we believe Blue School students have something special to offer our world. Our students demonstrate a love of learning that fuels our efforts. Over the years, we have consistently received feedback from parents and educators that Blue School students have a deep sense of self and social awareness about how to communicate and navigate complex social interactions. Our students show an appreciation of differences, empathy for others, a propensity for collaboration, and pure joy in learning. They exhibit ease with creative self-expression and an openness to different points of view as a result of their daily practice with our approach. We see our students become more reflective, flexible, and innovative thinkers over time. Consequently, Blue School students are thoughtful and caring to their peers, and they seek greater understanding through research and project work. Blue School students are engaged because this type of learning resonates with them. Scientific research shows that when children are empowered through choice they tend to engage more deeply in learning. We believe the skills and attributes we promote are critical for 21st-century learners, and these very skills enhance academic vigor and foster a greater potential for a love of learning that will last a lifetime.


Blue School thrives because of the support we have from every member of our community: inspiring learners, dedicated faculty and staff, passionate parents, and the greater community of esteemed advisors and generous supporters who have joined us along the way. We thank our staff for its profound commitment to the children and families at Blue School. We take no responsibility greater than the trust parents put in our school to provide a vigorous and engaging academic experience for their children. We are fortunate to have many incredible educators seeking out Blue School as their place of employment because of their fundamental belief that our approach is optimal for how children learn. Ninety-six percent of our esteemed faculty and staff hold a master’s degree or a PhD. Blue School parents enroll their children in our programs because our mission, vision, and values resonate with them as the best match for their children’s educational journey. Faculty and parents choose us in spite of the other great private school options here in the New York City, most of which have been practicing much longer than we have. Blue School staff and parents reveal a certain level of creativity and risk taking by choosing us, because they, too, have a desire to be part of our movement to reimagine education using an approach that combines current scientific research and educational best practices to create a more innovative, humane approach to learning. We are honored and humbled by your trust in Blue School. Since the moment the school began, Blue School has received a great deal of interest and recognition from the greater community and educators due to our bold mission and vision, as well as the School’s founders’ affiliation with Blue Man Group. Seven years later, we are growing and determining Blue School’s future. We launched this next phase of development within our community this past fall as Blue 2.0 in an event titled: “Make the Road by Walking.” Blue 2.0 marks an exciting time for Blue School, as we strengthen the lab school, investigate ways we might expand into older grades, and realize our mission and vision to share our approach once it is fully codified. We look forward to involving staff, parents, trustees, key advisors, and supporters to gain multiple perspectives that will inform our decisions going forward. With the experience we have gained thus far in building a new school together, we know there will be challenges along the way for us, as a community, to overcome as we continue to “walk the road.” At the same time, we know Blue School’s DNA is powerful—with a vision to build a world that is both sustainable and harmonious—and no challenge will stop the mighty Blue School community from fulfilling its bold mission and vision for our children. With deepest respect and gratitude,

Renee Rolleri Board Chair and Co-founder



With your support in 2011–12, we finalized the foundation for Blue School that

will enable us to flourish and serve both New York City and the larger education world for many years to come. And what a year it was! After moving four times in the past five years, we settled into our new home in a beautifully redesigned building in the New York City seaport area. Over the course of the year, our students helped to create homes for each of our programs, complete with spaces for projects, construction and building, science, art, physical exercise and learning, quiet reading, and glow time. They enjoyed using 241 Water Street to think, create, and learn even as they helped us transform the building into a place for reimagined learning. In addition to our physical space, we continued to develop our lab school. The key to our ongoing success was our search for a dynamic leader who had the skills to further develop and execute the vision for Blue School’s lab school. We brought on Don Grace, the former head of several innovative private schools, as interim head for the 2011–12 school year as we carried out our search for permanent head. Allison Gaines Pell, founder of Arts and Letters, a primary and middle school in Brooklyn, accepted our offer to join us full-time as our Head of School in June 2012. Using our new learning environment, our teachers developed the roots of our curriculum and programs. Our third grade lead class pursued their inquiries on a deeper level with more autonomy. Our primary school students expanded their research beyond the walls of our building to surrounding neighborhoods, explored the various ways and systems that people use to travel to and from school, and learned how Blue School can be a vital part of the community —all while integrating their reading, writing and mathematics skills. Our preprimary students spread their wings a bit with more space to wonder, take on larger art projects, build with blocks large and small, and learn more about their physical abilities. Securing some of these cornerstones of the lab school’s foundation enabled the school’s leadership, staff, and board members to spend the spring of 2012 in strategic planning—examining our work to date, and determining our next steps as we strengthen our lab school, and begin to expand, codify, and share our work. The 2011–12 school year was pivotal in our growth and stabilization. Since the inception of the school in 2006, I have been amazed by the amount of support our approach has garnered and by the importance of our work ahead. Thank you for supporting us as we reimagine education. With gratitude,

Jeni Ardizzone-West Executive Director of Business Development


Blue School Revenue 2012 Tuition $3,689,587 Contributions $595,433 Special Event Revenue $99,292


2% 2%


Gifts-in-Kind $104,706


Other $184,674

Blue School Expenses 2012 Program Services $4,186,693 (68%) Management & General $1,320,896 Fundraising $585,587 (10%)



2011–2012 Annual Fund Blue School’s Annual Fund supports the school’s everyday operations. Thanks to the generosity of so many of you, Blue School is able to attract and retain talented staff as well as grow our program and curriculum. We achieved 75 percent parent participation in our Annual Fund in 2011–12, which is remarkable for a new school and is on par with our peer schools. Thank you for your philanthropic gifts in support of Blue School’s mission and vision. INDIVIDUAL SUPPORTERS Zoe Adlersberg Donna Lennard & Alejandro Alcocer Lora & JJ Appleton Malene Austin Regan Avery & Max Avery Lichtenstein Patricia Sanguedo & Eric Baker Thomas Birer & Markus Bannert Elizabeth Rogers & Julian Barrowcliffe Samantha Bass Sian Edwards-Beal & David Beal Shumita & Arani Bose Blakely Braniff Andrea Lerner & Sebastiaan Bremer Mariana Vera & Christopher Bren Jasanna & John Britton Ninorah & Edward Brookshire Angela Badamo & Andrew Burdess Amanda Leff & Michael Burstein Melissa Hammel & Michael Burton Amy Carlson & Syd Butler Thomas Byrnes Suzanne Brown & Chris Calabia Jamie & David Caro Lisa Silver & Jean Christophe Castelli Piglet Evans & Matthew Cavalletto Stella Chang & Inho Choi Corey Pak & Matthias Clamer Jill & Serge Cohen Emma & Sean Culbert Ananda & Kai Cutter Carin Van der Donk & Vincent D’Onofrio Marina Brolin-D’Urso & Gary D’Urso Stephanie Bruni & Diego da Silva Barbara Abbatemaggio & Jakob Daschek Laura Bailyn & Nicholas Diamand


Lisa Steele & Matthew Donovan Zylstra & Johnathan Dorfman Robin Luce & Sean Fahey Kathleen Falvey Shanon & Nael Farsakh Karla & Matthew Fernandes-Vogel Jessamyn Hatcher & Michael Fields Gretchen Dean & Eric Fish Mya & Lev Fishman Stephanie Batchelder & Christian Fletcher Dawn Williams & Marty Fluger Kate Farrell & Jonathan Fraser Violaine Harris & David Fuhrer Connie Gastler Claudia Duarte & Alan Geller Renee Rolleri & Matt Goldman Catherine & Don Grace Michelle & Mark Graham Shanon Greenfield Natalie Lindsey & Bruce Hamann Anne Hardingham Lindsay Harrison Austin Hearst Elizabeth Yow & Steven Hicks Kari Thorstensen & Joel Hinman Tara Holmes Tanja Norwood & Eric Huang Ashley Hughes Nathan Hughes Radha Korman & Doug Huszti Jimmy Irizarry Gabriela Perezutti & Franklin Isacson Erin & Michael Isakov Sheryl & David Jackson David Jacopin Nele Husmann & Thomas Jahn

Natasha & Michael Christopher James Caroline & Brian Janson Ngina Johnson Courtney Kaiser Schuyler Allen & Kevin Kalb Lisa Kaye Sara & Thomas Kearney Catherine Chang & Hooni Kim Rebecca & Alexei Kostyuchenko Kathleen Castro & Michael Kudler Hali Lee Lindsey Lienert Hera Huang & Johan Lindgren Michele Barker & Suleman Lunat Ashley Lyon Coleen & Paul Maguire Sara Weinstein & Emil Martone Jennifer Nugent & Paul Matteson Laura Stein & David Mattson Jennifer McConnell Jennifer McCrae Vik Muniz Shira Newmark Alexandra Levinsohn & Stian Nilsen Jen Insardi & James Oliviero Anne & William Palmer Marion & Steven Paolini Julie & Nicholaos Papadopoulos Cristina & Samir Patel Annah Pelin Anne Kenan & David Perrin Gordon Peters Tina & Dan Pollack Dot Portella Diana & Dan Projansky Liana Pai & Geoffrey Quelle Claudia Bernheim & Leo Raphaely Gaia Schermerhorn & Blake Rayne Randi Reinhold Jamie & Sergio Riva Christine Jones & Dallas Roberts Ruth Root & Nicholas Butterworth Steven James Rosandich Kate & Ken Ruck Sarah Michelson & Colin Rusch Sovina Doan & Erez Sabag Kimberly Pittman & Robert Saxner Catherine Scheinman Pam Scherr

Stacy Fischer & David Schoenberger Beth Levison & Henry Sidel Luda Branfin-Siegel, MD & Marc Siegel, MD Nancy Simko EJ Sloboda Amanda Lipitz & Greg Smith Alison Yi & Unggul Soemardjo Jennifer & Phil Stanton Willo & Frederick Stuart I-Hsing & Anthony Sun Sabrina Little & William Swartz Martine Capalbo & Joshua Taylor Janaina Tschape Yen Ha & Richard Tesler Lee Ann Brown & Anthony Torn Katie Traynor Alison & Piotr Uklanski Michelle Vanassa Victoria & Benjamin Vergnion Sarah & John Vincent Jacqueline Vittini Karen Zippler & Anthony Ward Elizabeth Thompson & Tim White John Wilson Jen & Chris Wink Lilah & Jeffrey Wise Kira & Jake Wizner Ilaria & Adam Woodward Ana Younghusband Kathleen Johnson & James Yu

CORPORATE & FOUNDATION SUPPORTERS Austin Community Foundation Foundation for NIBD Inc. Goldman, Sachs & Co. Matching Gift Program Just Give Lothar von Ziegesar Foundation, Inc. New York International Children’s Film Festival Peepels Mechanical Corp. Serco Supply Corp. Women in Philanthropy of Western MA We appreciate everyone who supported the Annual Fund. If we have inadvertently left out a name, please accept our sincerest apologies, and contact our office at



Spring Fling

3 Arts Entertainment 7*8 Cake Adour Alain Ducasse Restaurant at St. Regis Hotel Alamar Restaurant Alison Uklanska Alison Yi & Unggul Soemardjo Allison Gaines Pell & Benjamin Pell Amy Carlson & Syd Butler Ana Younghusband Ananda Ellis Andrea Kerzner Andrea Lerner Andrew & Elena Collins Angela Badamo & Andrew Burdess Angela Rowles Anita Durst & Rick Kariolic Anne & William Palmer Anne Kenan & David Perrin Antonio Ramos Appleseeds Ashley Hughes Ask Your Friend Kira Audra Rox Inc.s Bacaro NYC Baked in Brooklyn Bakeri Beth Levison & Henry Sidel Beth Slack Blue Man Group Bobby Van’s Steakhouse Boris & Jennifer Rapoport Brian Zucker CPA Bridge Pilates Bridget Murphy & Kay Vorderwuelbecke Bruce Arnold Carin Van der Donk & Vincent D’Onofrio Carol Ann Guerriero Carla Passos Carol Fox & Associates Carol Quinn & David Mayo Caroline Callahan Janson Catherine Scheinman Cecile Baker Chashama Children’s Museum of the Arts Christina Old Christine Fiorio

Trickster Ball

The 2012 Spring Fling Trickster Ball was held at Bridgewater’s, in the South Street Seaport area, on April 19. A number of special guests joined us for the evening: Darell Hammond of KABOOM!, Sarah Kaye (spoken word poet), Tracy Bonham (singer-songwriter and long-time friend of Blue Man Group and Blue School), and Sir Ken Robinson (esteemed author, educator, and Blue School Advisory Board member). With the watershed-designed Brooklyn Bridge lit up behind the stage, a host of speakers, auctioneers, and performers alike celebrated Blue School’s reimagining of education. Silent, live, and online auctions helped to raise $134,000 for Blue School! COMMITTEE Erin Isakov, chair Leslie Converse, auction chair Jeni Ardizzone-West Angela Badamo Samantha Baker Michele Barker Stephanie Batchelder Thomas Birer Marina Brolin-D’Urso Syd Butler Kathleen Castro Emma Culbert Claudia Duarte Stacy Fischer Jenny Golden Matt Goldman Tana Hardwick Joel Hinman Jess Hooks Ashley Hughes Nathan Hughes Kathleen Johnson

Christine Jones Lisa Kaye Ian Kerner Rebecca Kostyuchenko Hali Lee Beth Levison Marc LoPresti Suleman Lunat Jennifer Lyon Michelle Manning David Mattson Nicholaos Papadopoulos Boris Rapoport David Rock Renee Rolleri Gaia Schermerhorn Jennifer Stanton Phil Stanton Laura Stein Inez van Lamsweerde Cathrine Westergaard Chris Wink Jen Wink

Sarah Kaye



Sian Edwards-Beal & David Beal Signature Theatre SmartSitting Sonic Enrichment Sorelle Firenze Soul Arts Academy South Street Seaport Museum Stacy Fischer & David Schoenberger

Tracy Bonham

Christine Jones Christopher Bren Clare Luxury Claudia Bernheim & Leo Raphaely Claudia Duarte & Alan Geller Competitive Advantage Tutoring Connie Gastler Consider It Done Corey Pak & Matthias Clamer Cotta Restaurant Creative Cakes Cristina Patel Cross-Fire & Security Co. Inc. Crunch Cynthia Bogdanovich Dah Shop Dallas Roberts Danielle Pakradooni Darren Doutt David Mattson David Parsons David Sigman Dawn Williams & Marty Fluger Dean Eisen Depanneur Brooklyn Diane McArter Diego Da Silva Don & Catherine Grace Donna Lennard Dorian & Gary Fuhrman Doug Joachim Dr. Bradley Grossman Edmund Piccolino, PhD Elizabeth & Stephen Wilson Elizabeth Hooker Elizabeth Karamitis & John Kim Elizabeth Rogers & Julian Barrowcliffe Elizabeth Yow & Steven Hicks Emil Martone & Sara Weinstein Emma & Sean Culbert Enopi


Equinox Eric Baker Eric Huang & Tanja Norwood Erin & Michael Isakov Erin Snow Etiquette Clothiers Eva & Jess Drabkin Evelyn Zilberman Exerblast Exhale Mind Body Spa FasTracKids Flatbush Farm & Barn Frankfurt, Kurnit, Klein & Selz Front Studio Architects Gary McAvay Gerard Harper GF Capital Management & Advisors GK Framing Graystone Consulting Gretchen Dean & Eric Fish Hali Lee Harvey Weissman Heather Hess Hector Guivas Helena Moy-Borgen Henriette & Marc LoPresti High Vibe I-Hsing & Tony Sun Ian Kerner Ian Pai il Buco il Buco Alimentari & Vineria Ilaria Fusina & Adam Woodward Imagine Swimming Inez van Lamsweerde & Vinoodh Matadin Jack’s Coffee Jacqueline Vittini Jakob Daschek & Barbara Abbatemaggio Jamie & David Caro Janaina Tschape Jasanna & John Britton

Jascha Clark Jason Juenker Jeffrey Wise Jen & Chris Wink Jeni & Jason Ardizzone-West Jenna Riegel Jennifer Costello & Micah Hollingworth Jennifer Nugent Jewish Federation of Cleveland Jill & Serge Cohen Jill Parsons Jill Platner Jim Lanahan John Silberman Associates John & Sarah Vincent Josh & Meredith Levine Joto Sake LLC JP Morgan Julie Satow & Stuart Elliot Kara & Peter Georgiopoulos Kara Ross Kari Thorstensen & Joel Hinman Karla & Matthew Fernandes-Vogel Karma Kids Yoga Kate & Ken Ruck Kathleen Castro & Michael Kudler Kate Farrell Katie Ford Ken Fisher Kenneth Chen Portraits Kisan Concept Store Kuka & Timothy Coffey Larry Levien Laura Stein LemonSky LLC Les Kelly Leslie Danzis Liana Pai & Geoffrey Quelle Lincoln Palsgrove Linda Seifert Lisa & David Rock

Lisa Bare & Hal Buch, MD Lisa Kaye Lisa Silver & Jean-Christophe Castelli Little Airplane Productions Liz Weinstein & Daniel Squadron Lois Jackson, DDS Lora & JJ Appleton Lu Hanessian Luda Branfin-Siegel, MD & Marc Siegel, MD Luke’s Lobster Lynn Bayard M.E.S.A. Securities, Inc. Made Fresh Daily Malene Austin Manhattan Toy Manny & Nancy Quintela Mara Pauker Marina Brolin-D’Urso & Gary D’Urso Mark & Michelle Graham Mark Joseph Steakhouse Martine Capalbo & Joshua Taylor Marvin Mitchell Mary McIntyre McBurney YMCA Melissa Cheong & Andrew Meyers Michah Hollingworth Michelle Albala Milene Golzer My Little Sunshine Mya & Lev Fishman Natalie Lindsey & Bruce Hamann Nathan Hughes Nele Husmann NETworks Presentations New Museum Nicholas Gelber

Ninorah Brookshire Nitehawk Cinema Norwegian Cruise Line Originals by Gaby P.A. Collins P.E. Consulting Engineers Paige Martin Patricia McCarron pciNetworks Pearl Theatre Peridance Capezio Center Phil & Jennifer Stanton Pilar Cortizo-Burgess Play On! Drama Studios Polly Solomon Radha Korman & Douglas Huszh Raymond Randall Almirall Red Rabbit Rene Lopez Renee Rolleri & Matt Goldman Richard Caliban/5 Mothers Richard Hofstetter Rickshaw Dumplings Rinaldi Pilates Risa Ryger Robin Luce & Sean Fahey Ruth Root & Nicholas Butterworth Samantha & Malcolm Baker Sara Kearney Sarah Geller Sarah Michelson Sarah Parker Rosse & Charlie Rosse Scholastic Schuyler Allen & Kevin Kalb Sebastien Grey Clothiers Seth Barker Shanon & Nael Farsakh Shari Steinberg, JD Shira Newmark Shubert Organization Inc. Shumita Bose

Stephanie Batchelder Stephen MacGuffie Stian Nilsen & Alexandra Levinsohn STREB Sujin Kim Suleman Lunat & Michele Barker Super Soccer Stars Susan Murach Susanne & Vernon Steward Suteishi Sweetwater Tana Hardwick Tastebuds Tekserve The Durst Organization The Fat Radish The Greenwich Hotel The New Victory Theatre The New York Public Library The Weinstein Company Thomas Birer & Markus Bannert Thomas Jahn Three Tarts Tia Pol Tony Ward Tony Winters Universal Orlando Unleash Brooklyn Vale Jewelry Valerie Killen Victoria & Benjamin Vergnion Vienna Wilson Vincent & Patricia Mallardi Vineyard Theatre Violaine Harris & David Fuhrer Wendy Cole & Damon Gorton Word Brooklyn WYSH Wear Your Spirit for Humanity Yellin/McCarron, Inc. Yen Ha & Richard Tesler Zoe Adlersberg


Book Fair Robert LaValva

For the first time, on November 30 to December 2, 2011, Blue School partnered exclusively with the local bookstore McNally Jackson and created our own bookstore in the double common space on the sixth floor of 241 Water Street, overlooking the Brooklyn Bridge and skyline. Curated almost entirely by parents, the collection held books to spark ideas and delight minds. The tables included staff’s and teachers’ childhood favorites and titles that reflected our Blue School lenses and values.

Harvest Festival

In addition, several authors visited, including Karen Katz, who met with our younger children, Greg Foley, who read from his book and worked with children after school to help them create their own magical worlds with paper, pen, and ink.

Blue School celebrated our first autumn in our new home at 241 Water Street on October 28, 2012. We partnered with our new neighbors, the New Amsterdam Market and Bowne & Co. Stationers, as we celebrated new relationships in our community and healthy, sustainable, seasonal food. NAM President, Robert LaValva, joined us for Community Meeting to talk about the market and about the lunch prepared by vendors of the market for students and adults alike. Parents provided homemade desserts. Hungry from field trips to Bowne and the South Street Seaport Museum, we all enjoyed a sumptuous local repast. HARVEST FESTIVAL COMMITTEE Susie Lopez, chair Zoe Aldersburg Ashley Hughes Hali Lee Beth Slack Dawn Williams


Greg Foley

BOOK FAIR COMMITTEE Kira Wizner, chair Sarah McNally Sam Baker Marina Brolin-D’Urso Lee Ann Brown Stella Chang

Catherine Daly Kate Farrell Alison Gingeras Yen Ha Hali Lee Christine Jones Corey Pak

Mo Paolini Julie Papadopoulos Geoffrey Quelle Jaymie Ridless Patricia Sanguedo Beth Slack


Connie Gastler, 4s Floater Don Grace, Interim Head of School Shanon Greenfield, First Grade Odette Habchi, Office Manager Dina Hamaoui, 2s Teacher Joleen Hanlund, First Grade

Blue School Staff Elizabeth Abramson, 4s (B) Jeni Ardizzone-West, Executive Director Bruce Arnold, Consulting School Psychologist Marlon Bernard, Bookkeeper Cynthia Bogdanovich, Third Grade Blakely Braniff, Admissions & Operations Manager Bill Breen, Facilities Manager Kimberly Bush, Child Development Specialist Molly DeGesero, Kindergarten (B) Kathleen Falvey, First Grade Shelly Gargus, 4s


Anne Hardingham, First Grade Tara Holmes, 2s Teacher/Movement Ashley Hughes, Program & Communications Coordinator Rich Jenkins, Kindergarten Ngina Johnson, Kindergarten Courtney Kaiser-Sandler, Music Specialist David Kelly, Director of Curriculum & Pedagogy Valerie Killen, 3s Starry Krueger, Admissions Assistant Hali Lee, Director of Development Lindsey Lienert, 3s Lindsay Lukeman, 2s Teacher/Admissions Ashley Lyon, 3s Gerry McNally, Learning Specialist Lauren Monaco, Studio Teacher Paul Murillo, Security Shira Newmark, Floater Mara Pauker, 4s Randi Reinhold, Second Grade Lindsey Russo, Curriculum Specialist Pamela Scherr, Dramatic Play/Puppetry Nancy Simko, Kindergarten Beth Slack, Administrative & Development Coordinator Katie Traynor, 3s /Art Michelle Vanassa, Receptionist/ Adminstrative Assistant Harvey Ware, Building & Security Supervisor Harvey Weissman, Director of Finance & Operations Dawn Williams, Admissions & Special Projects Coordinator Sarah Wozniak, Development Intern Ana Younghusband, Third Grade Maria Zayas-Bazan, Spanish

We educators are lucky in that no matter what our school’s circumstance, our everyday work begins with hope. We come to school with the hope and optimism that today, we ment of creativity that can one day change the world. We also hope that the minds we touch will not only be changed but that they will change others.

—Allison Gaines Pell


Our Values Each of our values relates in some way to the idea of connection, whether it be connection to a community, to one’s own self-awareness, to one’s artistic voice, to one’s body, to the world, to one’s own interests and learning style, or to one’s sense of joy and wonder.

SELF-AWARENESS & WELL-BEING We help children become aware of how their bodies and thought processes connect to a sense of health, efficacy, and resilience.

CREATIVITY & EXPRESSION We believe that creative expression is a basic human need. GLOBAL & ENVIRONMENTAL EXPLORATION We help children become aware of and respect the world in which they live.

MULTIPLE PERSPECTIVES & DIFFERENTIATED LEARNING STYLES We carefully observe and assess each child’s individual interests and needs and then use this information to guide our teaching.

PLAYFULNESS, EXUBERANCE & FUN We believe children construct some of their most important learning through play.

FAMILY & COMMUNITY CONNECTION We believe that children flourish when deep human connections permeate all aspects of their lives.



Profile for Blue School

Blue School Annual Report 2011-2012  

Blue School Annual Report 2011-2012