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Family Guide

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LETTER FROM DREAM’S DIRECTOR OF FAMILY ENGAGEMENT Dear DREAM Families, Welcome to another exciting school year! At DREAM Charter School, we believe that families are critical partners in our children’s education. We know that our students’ academic success depends upon active family involvement in student learning and full participation in our school. This guide provides a variety of options for you to become involved or stay involved in your child’s education. Whether you become a family leader with DREAM Family Action Council, attend a family workshop, volunteer for a special event, or work with your child at home to be the best scholar that he or she can be, your involvement makes a huge difference in your child’s life and school success. Sincerely, Emily Parkey Director of Family Engagement

For more information or assistance, please contact:

Emily Parkey, Director of Family Engagement Office: 212.722.0232 Cell: 646.398.4886

SEE WHAT’S INSIDE! How to Help Your Child Succeed At DREAM. . . . . . 4 GET INVOLVED. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 family workshops . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 FAMILY SPECIAL EVENTS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 family conferences. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 tips for successful family conferences . . . . . . . . 15 who can answer my questions. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16

HOW TO HELP YOUR CHILD SUCCEED AT DREAM MAKE SURE YOUR CHILD READS AT HOME EVERYDAY. Grades K-2: 20-25 minutes daily (with a family member) Grades 3-5: 30 minutes daily Grade 6: 45 minutes daily Make reading fun by scheduling family reading time every day. Help your child pick books that interest him/her and are appropriate for his/her reading level. Be enthusiastic about reading and ask questions such as: • What happened in that book? • Who was the main character? How do they feel? How do you know? • What was funny, sad or exciting in the book? ESTABLISH A DAILY HOMEWORK ROUTINE. • Schedule a consistent time each day for your child to do homework (e.g. after dinner). • Create a comfortable and quiet place for your child to work with paper, pencils, and other materials. • Limit distracting noises from the TV, cell phone, radio, etc. • Supervise the completion of your child’s work, but do not correct mistakes for your child. • Encourage your child to “work smart” by trying new strategies and taking risks. • Praise your child for working hard.

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ENSURE THAT YOUR CHILD COMES TO SCHOOL ON TIME EVERY DAY. The leading causes of academic failure are absence and tardiness. Make sure that your DREAM scholar is present, on time, and ready to learn everyday. ENSURE THAT YOU CHILD GETS 10 HOURS OF SLEEP EVERY NIGHT. Lack of sleep leads to poor concentration, behavioral problems and low academic performance. Make sure that your DREAM scholar gets enough sleep every night to ensure a great day of learning!

SHOW YOUR CHILD THAT YOU CARE. • Ask your child daily how his/her day was and what he/ she learned. • Help your child name his/her feelings and talk about them. You can say “You seem sad. Are you upset about something?” • Show your child love and affection with hugs, praise and comfort. • Encourage your child to make friends and involve them in activities with other children of a similar age. • Help your child cope with and solve problems.

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SET LIMITS. • Help your child understand what is expected by being clear about your own expectations, setting limits and being consistent. • Help your child feel safe by setting up predictable routines. • Model the behavior that you would like to see in your child. • Notice and praise your child when he/she demonstrates DREAM values (Diversity, Respect, Effort and Enthusiasm, Achievement, Mindfulness and Teamwork.) • Be patient and kind with your child when he/she fails to live up to your expectations. Give your child a chance to fix mistakes by asking what could be done next time. BE IN TOUCH. • Stay in contact with your child’s teacher to track progress and learn tips for supporting learning at home. • Ask questions about what your child is learning, how he/she behaves in class, and how he/she interacts with classmates and teachers. • Support your child by coming to school events and activities. • Reach out to the Social Work team if you have a sensitive issue that you would like additional support with.

GET INVOLVED COMMUNITY GATHERING DREAM welcomes family members to attend our school-wide K-6 Community Gatherings. At Community Gatherings, DREAM builds connections and reflects upon shared values as an entire school community. Students are awarded attendance certificates and other special recognitions, and classes lead cheers and present information that they have learned throughout the year. This year, Community Gatherings will take place once every other month on the following dates at 8:30 AM. • • • • •

Monday, September 9 Monday, November 4 Monday, January 17 Monday, March 13 Monday, June 19

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DREAM FAMILY CAFÉS DREAM families are invited to have breakfast with our school leadership team on the first Monday of every month (excluding holidays) to hear the latest school news, build relationships with school leadership and share thoughts and concerns. DREAM OPEN HOUSES Throughout the year, DREAM invites families to observe classroom learning and participate in reading, math, and other interactive activities. This year, DREAM Open Houses will take place on: • • • • •

Tuesday, September 17 Tuesday, November 19 Wednesday, January 29 Thursday, March 27 Friday, May 23

DREAM FAMILY FRIDAYS Once a month on a Friday, DREAM invites family members into the classroom to read a book, share a skill or talent, tell a story, or make a presentation with their children. Contact your teachers today to sign up for a DREAM Family Friday slot! CLASSROOM CAPTAINS Classroom Captains are family volunteers who serve their child’s classroom by communicating important information to other family members and recruiting family volunteers to enhance schoolwide and classroom events. DREAM CHARTER ADVOCACY DREAM families work to promote the rights of charter school students and families by participating in charter school advocacy events including an annual trip to Albany to visit state legislators.

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DREAM FAMILY ACTION COUNCIL (DFAC) The DREAM Family Action Council (DFAC) is a group of DREAM family leaders who work to ensure that every family at DREAM has a voice in our school. DFAC meets one Tuesday evening each from 6:15PM–7:30PM. DFAC develops an active and involved family body and also serves as an avenue of communication between families, administration and faculty. Throughout the year, DFAC members develop fun school activities, family projects and fundraising opportunities. DFAC meetings are great places to get the latest school news, provide feedback on important school-wide decisions and take an active role in planning and carrying out school events. DFAC is open to all DREAM families. Natashia Veras, DFAC President My name is Natashia and I am the mother of Vladimir, a 5th grader, and Eden, a future DREAM Scholar. I have served as a Parent Representative on DREAM’s Board of Trustees and have volunteered and chaired numerous DFAC events. I enjoy working with and getting to know our amazing families. Ilene Brettler, DFAC Vice President My name is Ilene Brettler and my daughter Jolita is in 5th grade. We are a team and do everything together! I am involved in my daughter’s education because I know it is important to her success! Angela Ramirez, DFAC Communications Secretary My name is Angela Ramirez. I have three kids, two of which are in DREAM. Derek is in 5th grade and Nyah is in 3rd grade. I am excited to be the newest member of DFAC as the Communications Secretary. I look forward to working with all of our new families. Ida Butler, DFAC Recording Secretary My name is Ida Butler. My daughter July will be entering the 5th grade this coming fall. I look forward to serving as DFAC Recording Secretary. Sharon Pierce, DFAC Treasurer My name is Sharon Pierce, and I am the proud mother of three. Christian is in 4th grade and Brandon is in 3rd grade. I am a compassionate, generous, caring, kind and reliable person. I earned my bachelor’s degree from John Jay College, and have over 20 years of experience in the federal government.

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DREAM FAMILY WORKSHOPS aCademiC WORKSHOPS Family academic workshops are designed to provide families with more information about what their children are learning in the classroom and how to support classroom learning at home to help children excel academically. WHaT TO exPeCT WHeN yOuR CHild STaRTS KiNdeRGaRTeN Friday, August 30 – 8:30AM – PS 50 Kindergarten is an exciting time as young scholars adapt to new schedules, new friends, and new routines. In this workshop, families will learn how to help their child have a successful transition into Kindergarten and develop a positive attitude about school and learning.

miNdSeT Friday, September 13 – 8:30AM – PS 38 Parents will learn how to help their child take risks, see failures as learning opportunities and develop a mindset that will help their child persevere through difficult tasks to succeed.

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CuRRiCulum NiGHT aNd BaCK TO SCHOOl PiCNiC Thursday, September 26 – 4:00PM – PS 38 and PS 50 What will scholars learn at DREAM? How will their work be assessed? Families will find answers to these questions and learn tips to help their child succeed in the classroom at this workshop. The night ends on the Field of Dreams for a fun-filled Back to School Picnic! HOW TO HelP yOuR CHild SuCCeed aT maTH Tuesday, October 1 – 8:30AM – PS 38 and PS 50 Why is math different now? Nationally renowned Math Expert, Stephanie Smith, will lead this workshop about CGI (Cognitively Guided Instruction) and how DREAM teaches math. yOuR middle SCHOOleR aNd yOu: HOW TO SuPPORT yOuR CHild THROuGH adOleSCeNCe Thursday, October 17 – 8:30AM – PS 38 Cafeteria Adolescence is a time of rapid physical and emotional change for pre-teens. As they embark into the world of self-identity, independence, and peer relations, they need parents more than ever! This workshop teaches parents how to support their child through adolescence and provides an open forum to ask questions about raising an adolescent. SPeCial eduCaTiON 101 Tuesday, October 22 – 8:30AM – PS 50 What is an IEP? What is the CSE? This workshop explores the meaning of these abbreviations and the services DREAM scholars may qualify for. DREAM’s service providers will explain the special education system, parental rights and advocacy for children. immiGRaTiON 101 Tuesday, October 29 – 8:30AM – PS 38 Attorneys from the DREAM Legal Clinic will join families for an informational workshop on the latest in immigration law and opportunities for citizenship. HOW TO RaiSe a ReadeR Thursday, October 31 – 8:30AM – PS 50 How can families make sure their child is reading the right books for his/her reading level? What are some strategies that will make reading fun? Parents will learn how to develop their child into avid readers. 1 0 i dream charter school i FAM ILY GUID E 2 01 3 – 2014

dReam Family liTeRaCy NiGHT Thursday, November 14 – 6:15PM – PS 50 Scholars and families will come together for a night full of literature, games, and fun!

eVeRyTHiNG yOu Need TO KNOW aBOuT THe NeW yORK STaTe TeST aNd HOW TO HelP yOuR SCHOlaR SuCCeed Saturday, November 23 – 9:00AM – PS 38 What will DREAM do to prepare scholars during the school day? What can parents do to ensure their child’s success? DREAM’s instructional leadership team will facilitate this workshop that focuses on the 3rd - 6th grade New York State Exam. HelP me GeT THROuGH THe day! CalmiNG STRaTeGieS TO HelP FamilieS Relax! Saturday, December 7 – 9:00AM – PS 38 Expert trainers from Ramapo for Children will come to DREAM for this interactive workshop where parents will learn simple and fun relaxation techniques to relieve stress and teach kids to find a sense of calm through the chaos! CHaRTeR SCHOOl 101 Wednesday, January 29 – 8:30AM – PS 50 What makes a Charter School different than a public school? Families will learn about rights as parents and guardians of charter school students and get involved in the fight to protect youth’s right to an excellent education.

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dReam Family maTH NiGHT Thursday, February 13th– 6:15PM – PS 38 and PS 50 Families will enjoy fun math games and delicious pizza fractions at DREAM Family Math Night. HOuSiNG RiGHTS 101 Tuesday, March 25 – 8:30AM – PS 38 and PS 50 Attorneys from DREAM’s Family Legal Clinic and Volunteers of Legal Service will explain housing rights, potential housing issues and protection from eviction.

COlleGe SaViNGS 101 Wednesday, May 31 – 8:30AM and 6:15 PM – PS 38 and PS 50 Parents will receive a crash course on financial aid, college costs and how to prepare for their scholar’s college career. eNGliSH aS a SeCONd laNGuaGe (eSl) DREAM will provide free English classes to scholars’ families. These workshops will help parents and guardians better communicate with teachers, assist scholars with their homework and obtain better job opportunities.

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COmPuTeR liTeRaCy The Family Engagement department will provide workshops on basic computer skills such as word processing, navigating the internet and more. Contact DREAM for more information.

NuTRiTiON WORKSHOPS As part of DREAM’s Health and Wellness Initiative, DREAM partners with the Cornell Cooperative Extension to provide families with free nutrition and cooking classes that focus on healthy eating and reducing the presence of diabetes and obesity in our community. DREAM CHARTER SCHOOL LEGAL CLINIC DREAM partners with Volunteers of Legal Service and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom to provide on-site, one time, free legal consultations to DREAM families dealing with housing, immigration, public benefits and other legal issues throughout the year. Legal clinics take place on the last Tuesday of every month at 8:30AM. To register to attend the free legal clinic fill out and return the legal clinic intake form in the Family Resource Room #119.

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DREAM FAMILY special events HARVEST FEST Thursday, October 24 – 5PM Harvest Fest is an annual DREAM Family event where scholars and families play harvest games, make arts and crafts and enjoy a wonderful time with fellow DREAM families and friends. DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. DAY COMMUNITY GATHERING Friday, January 17 – 8:30AM At this celebration, the DREAM community reflects upon the life and dream of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and how to work together to keep that dream alive today. WINTER WELLNESS POTLUCK Friday, January 31 – 6PM The Winter Potluck gathers DREAM families and DREAM staff to share a delicious meal and build a strong school community. DREAM SCIENCE FAIR Friday, May 23 – 1:30PM DREAM scholars share science projects with families and friends. DREAM DAY Wednesday, June 18 – 12:00PM DREAM Day is full of fun games and teambuilding activities for DREAM scholars! Families run face-painting booths, outdoor games, and fun craft activities!

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FAMILY CONFERENCES DREAM holds three mandatory Family Conferences a year. Family Conferences are important opportunities for families to connect with teachers to receive the latest report card, discuss academic growth, and develop strategies to support learning at home and in school. Families are encouraged to remain in communication with teachers throughout the year, and can request additional meetings via email or phone at any time to discuss their child’s progress. • Tuesday, November 5 (9AM – 7PM) • Thursday, March 20 (1PM – 7PM) • Tuesday, June 17 (1PM – 7PM)

tips for successful family conferences 1. Talk with your child before the conference about how things are going at school. 2. Share information with teachers about your child’s strengths and interests. 3. Ask questions: - What will my child be expected to learn this year? - Are there standards in place that will help measure my child’s growth? - Can you show me an example of my child’s work? - How will my child be evaluated? - How will I be made aware of my child’s progress? - What can I do to support my child’s learning at home? 4. Create a plan with your child’s teacher with specific steps for how to collaboratively work with your child to ensure your child’s academic success. 5. Follow up with your child’s teacher after the conference to track your child’s progress and revise your work plan.

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WHO CAN ANSWER MY QUESTIONS? All DREAM staff can be reached at 212.722.0232. Question

I have a question about schoolwork, tests, class field trips, homework and anything that takes place inside of the classroom. I want to know how I can best support my child’s learning at home.

Who to speak to at DREAM

Your Child’s Teacher Email – First letter of teacher’s first name followed by their last name Ex: Ima Teacher – Music and Theater Teacher: Cherelle Hale Health and Wellness Specialists: Rose Gelrod

I have a question about music, theater, physical education, James Franco science or art at DREAM. I want to know more about a project, special field trip or other issue Art Teacher: within a special class. Erica Jones

Science Teacher: Stephanie Farmer

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Who to speak to at DREAM

I have a question about modifications being made Director of Special Education: to address my child’s special Jacqueline Frey learning needs or questions about my child’s services and supports. I have a question concerning student enrollment, the lottery, student records, school uniforms, transportation, or school lunch. I need to advise someone of my change of address/phone number or update my emergency contacts.

I have a question about the school’s culture, discipline policy, behavioral expectations, suspensions or other disciplinary actions. I want to know how the school deals with bullying.

Operations Manager: TBA Manager Student Affairs: Crystal Vargas

Director of School Culture: Mike McCarthy mmccarthy@ Dean of Students: Brett Fazio

I would like to discuss an important or sensitive issue that I feel is affecting my child and family. I need help to find a support or program in the School Social Worker: community for me or my family. Jasmin Berrios I have a concern about my child’s feelings or behavior and need to speak to someone other than my child’s teacher.

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Who to speak to at DREAM

Director of Family Engagement: Emily Parkey 646-398-4886

I have a question about how I can be involved as a family member at DREAM Charter School. I want to know more about DREAM’s legal clinic and/ or other community resources. Family Coordinator: I need help with an issue and Marilyne Cartagena don’t know who to go to for help. mcartagena@ 917-837-2276

I have a question about Harlem REAL Kids Campus Manager: RBI’s after-school or summer Taylor Vecchio programming. I have a question concerning DREAM’s school wide policies and operations including attendance, facilities, and security. I would like to know more about DREAM’s Summer program and/or College tours. I have a question concerning the school’s curriculum or instructional approach, report cards, NYS ELA and Math Tests, other school wide assessments. I have spoken to my child’s teacher but still have a concern.

Director of Operations and School Planning: Traci L. Douglas

Academic Deans: (K-1): Emily Macias-Capellan (3-6): Andrew Kile

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Who to speak to at DREAM

Elementary School Director: I have a question about DREAM’s Robin Rubenstein overall performance and goals. rrubenstein@ I have spoken to the Academic Deans, but still have questions. Middle School Director: TBA I have spoken to the appropriate person, but still have a concern about a DREAM policy, procedure, or staff member that I need help resolving.

Head of School: Eve Colavito ecolavito@

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DREAM Charter School 232 East 103rd Street New York, NY 10029 TEL 212.722.0232

DREAM Charter School Family Guide 2013-2014  
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