Friday, December 21, 2018

NewsNotes 12/21/18

December 21, 2018

In this issue:

From Principal Nardelli
Seasons Greeting to the entire Horace Mann community.   If you have a moment to read, here's the latest from Horace Mann:

225 Nevada St. Move Update: I wanted to provide an update on our move and describe some of the things that have been happening in the days and weeks leading up to the break:

As I mentioned in a previous newsletter, we brought our entire staff to the school to visit classrooms and other spaces.  Teachers saw their tentative classroom assignments and got a chance to see other spaces as well. There are many positive elements and features of the new building:  it is bright, there are high ceilings and wide hallways, a beautiful cafeteria,  etc.

We have also noted some challenges that we need to address before we move in.  Below is a table of the challenges and the action steps we are taking to address them:

Classroom Size:

  • We have concerns about smaller square footage for several classrooms at Carr.  We are working with city planners to reconfigure some spaces. This means changing room assignments and doing construction projects.  We hope to enlarge classroom spaces for 5 classrooms.  The city is consulting with architects to create drawings that will need to be approved in January.
Allocating Space for All Necessary Spaces:
  • We need to find appropriate spaces for DAD, a book room, office supplies, and curriculum storage. Work with city planners to reconfigure so me spaces (see above).
  • Technology needs to be updated and renewed. We are doing in inventory of equipment in both schools and putting together a proposal for new technology that will be required. 

Miscellaneous: There are a variety of needs across the building that need to be update.  We will be looking to add sound dampening in specific locations, add additional lockers, add storage shelving, and add furnishings for a staff room, among other things.

January Assessments - During the month of January, we will conduct academic assessments in all grades for our students.  The assessments are timely, give us sense of where students are in reading and math, and help us to plan instruction and report on student progress for the early February report card.

Winter Break Article - I came across an article that I thought I would share with families this season.  Our staff are familiar with the sentiments in the article and we aim to do much of what is suggested here.  I thought it might give you all a sense of what school looks like in the weeks leading up to the break.   I also want to acknowledge the the holidays bring about different sentiments for our families, and for some, it isn't all wonderful:

Professional Development Update - If you want a sense of what we are talking about in our professional development sessions with staff, take some time over the break to check out the following two videos:The first is from the 80’s, and shows a classroom in Harlem taught a teacher named Ms. Toliver.  Her approach is a model for what we aim to achieve here at Horace Mann on so many levels: student engagement, inquiry and deductive learning, high expectations, family partnerships, and efficacy.  Here’s a link to the 26 minute video:

The second is a speech by Zaretta Hammond, author of the book Culturally Responsive Teaching and the Brain, which is the foundation of our PD work this year.  Dr. Hammond uses brain research to talk about how we need to adapt our approach in the classroom.  Much of what she says is reflected in the practices used by Ms. Toliver over 30 years ago.   This video is also about 23 minutes in length:

Wishing you all a safe and healthy December break.

Mark Nardelli

No School, December Recess
Monday, December 24-Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Important Dates for 2019
Social Night at the Paint Bar
Friday, January 11
Science Fair
Friday, January 25
Mystery Dinner
Saturday, March 2
Spring Auction
Saturday, March 23

Visit the entire Horace Mann Calendar at

From the PTO
The PTO would like to wish everyone a safe, peaceful winter break.
May the New Year be a good one! 

Thank you to all who donated to the Food Drive
The Social Action Committee helped load up the many boxes of food and supplies and delivered it to the Centre Street Food Pantry. Thank you for your generosity and for teaching our children by example.
We received 250 bags of food/supplies, over 60% of the school participated.  This translated to ...

10 boxes of cereal (150+ individual boxes of cereal)
14 boxes of snacks
22 boxes of baby supplies
13 boxes of soup (200+ cans of soup)
16 bosses of coffee and tea

Time to register for a night at 
The Paint Bar!
Friday, January 11 at 6:30 p.m.
Register here:

Mystery Dinner—Saturday, February 2, 2019—Calling all dinner hosts!

We are also looking for an Appetizer Host, please contact Liz Kleinerman or Tracy Kane for details.  Contact information listed below.

Our 2019 Mystery Dinner is Saturday, February 2nd and we need dinner hosts!!  Those of you who have been a part of the Mystery Dinner in previous years know how much fun it is.  It's a wonderful opportunity to catch up with old acquaintances, meet new friends, and connect with other HM parents; all while enjoying delicious food and supporting the school. Please consider opening your home for a dinner.  Dinner host deadline is Friday, December 14th.

For those who need more information, a quick snapshot of the night:

At 7pm on the evening of the event, you and the other attendees will gather at one large appetizer party,  where you will receive your mystery envelope revealing your dinner destination, host, and theme. At 8pm, everyone will proceed to their dinners,  we will all enjoy delicious food and get to know each other better. After dinner around 10pm, everyone will reconvene for dessert and coffee at a new (surprise) location.
Being a host entails opening up your home to anywhere from 4-10 people (or more if your house can accommodate) for dinner.  You decide the theme and the menu for your party to enjoy.  Past dinners have ranged from home-cooked Italian dinners to surf & turf to Indian cuisine.  It can be as creative and involved as you wish.  It does not need to be extravagant--the point is to enjoy a good meal and to have fun!  If you are interested or have questions, please email Liz Kleinerman ( or Tracy Kane ( with any questions.
Save the date, get your childcare lined up, and get ready for some fun!

Horace Mann is moving to the Carr Building 
Horace Mann is scheduled to move to the Carr Building in September 2019.
We know there are many questions about what to expect with regards to the move, facility enhancement, technology and many other areas. In order to help us communicate accurate information, Mark Nardelli will answer your questions through regular updates via email and news notes. Please list any questions you have about the move below. Thank you!

Quick Links
Don't forget to use our rewards programs when you shop! Money raised goes towards the PTO. Thanks!
You can also pay your dues online if you haven't already.