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Your Child’s Learning In The 3rd Grade

This is Part I of the Series, "Your child’s learning in the 3rd, 6th, 9th, and 12th grades". Third grade is a year of cognitive, academic and social growth. There is a large degree of variation, but most 3rd graders (ages 8-9) are beginning to be more abstract thinkers; increase periods of sustained attention and [...]


The kitchen and dining room are one of the biggest users of energy on school campuses. So, it stands to reason that reduction of energy, natural resources and material use in these areas goes a long way towards reducing a school’s impact on the environment. Seven New York City independent schools are doing just that. [...]

Pssst..I have a secret. How would you like to boost your child’s academic performance this year that won’t require expensive tutors or militant measures. Instead it's teaching basic social and emotional learning (SEL). Not convinced? A recently released study published in the Journal of Child Development found what we at socialsklz:-) see everyday- SEL programs [...]

One of the most important shifts in education today is an awareness of the positive impact that Social & Emotional Learning (SEL) can for the academic success of our youth. Even Congress has recognized the importance of SEL with a bill introduced this past July, called “The Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning Act of 2011,” [...]

Swimming, basketball, tennis, and trips to the baseball stadium…these are the activities that most often come to mind when thinking about what your kids will do this summer. I’m all for sports. I believe kids grow and learn important life lessons when playing sports. However, I’d like to get to the point when cooking, gardening [...]

Why Camp?

Is it in self-interest to keep my children at home and not send them to camp? Having spent the better part of my life - 7 years attending, 26 years working - at summer camps and now being a father of young children (twin 6 year old boys), I have recently come to the conclusion [...]

On Friday evening, May 6, 2011, culinary teams from The Trinity School, The Dalton School and The Grace Church School competed in the First Annual New York City Flik Invitational Cook-off, an Iron Chef-like competition co-hosted by Flik Independent School Dining and Spoons Across America® to raise money for The Dinner Party Project®, a multi-week [...]

Xaverian High School is a Catholic college preparatory school located in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, NYC. The spirit and mission of Xaverian High School is based on the charism of St. Francis Xavier and the Xaverian Brothers in America. The school faculty is dedicated to the education of the whole person with a strong focus on [...]

Flik Independent School Dining (Flik) and the Northeast Livestock Processing Servicing Company (NELPSC) work together to serve locally-raised, grass-fed beef to eight independent school communities in New York City: Dalton, Ethical Culture Fieldston, Horace Mann, Grace Church, Village Community School, Lycée Francais de New York, Friends Seminary, and Columbia Grammar and Preparatory. The model is [...]

This past week I had the pleasure of being re-introduced to Dr. Steven Jones by our Head of Lower School, Sandy Stuart Shaller (Sandy introduced me to Dr. Jones the first time back in 2009 at the NAIS People of Color Conference in Denver) at a workshop called Cultural Competency in the 21st Century. To [...]

We are excited to announce that Rachel Begun, MS, RD, CDN, Principal of Rachel Begun Nutrition Communications, a food and nutrition communications consulting group, will join the NYC Firm Schools Blog as a regular contributor in the areas of food, culinary and nutrition education. Rachel Begun, MS, RD, CDN is a registered dietitian and accomplished [...]

The first step of Emotional Literacy in the “RULER” Method, developed by Dr. Marc Brackett of the Health, Emotion, and Behavior Laboratory at Yale University, is Recognizing multi-faceted feelings in each individual and social situation. The second aspect of this process is Understanding what those emotions mean and how they play into the unfolding dynamic [...]

Self described "tiger mother" Amy Chua and her book on parenting, Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother has outraged parents and hit hard at a national sore spot-adding fuel to the fear that the US is losing ground to China and other rising powers starting with education. A prepublication excerpt in the Wall Street Journal [...]

This past term we conducted a documentary class with a group of 5th and 6th graders. The students were required to come up with a film about a topic that was pertinent to them. One team choose NYC's Cycle Wars, another team choose how to combat pollution in NYC, and the final group decided to [...]

No, I am not Chinese. But I really related to Amy Chua and three ways her and many other Chinese mothers’ parent. The WSJ Online recently ran Ms. Chua’s essay entitled, Why Chinese Mothers are Superior. Like Ms. Chua, many African American mothers have historic styles of parenting too. I can really identify with three [...]

A recently announced decision by The Children’s Aid Society (CAS) to close and sell the Philip Coltoff Center has left parents, teachers, staff and community members shocked. The “Center” situated on Sullivan Street has been the location for Children’s Aid in Greenwich Village for over 100 years. A legacy many thought might continue indefinitely is [...]

Your Child’s Evaluation

If your child is about to have an evaluation, one of the following is probably the case: 1. You are trying to identify whether your child has delays in learning/cognition or social/ emotional difficulties that may require special education services or other interventions. 2. You are trying to identify the instructional strategies that will be [...]

There is perhaps no greater fear for a parent than the idea that his or her child will be bullied. Unfortunately, incidents of bullying in schools across the country have become increasingly common—but the good news is that we as a society have become better at recognizing this problem, as reported in the New York [...]

It's back-to-school time and in advance of the first day (and beyond the first day outfit and backpack) equip your kids with the crucial social skills to succeed. Dr. Barbara Howard, an assistant professor of pediatrics at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and an expert on behavior and development explains, “social skills are necessary [...]

Summer in the City

On June 26th NYC will slow to a quieter hum as many school age kids hop the bus bound for summer camp. Some kids, especially teens, will decide to brave the urban jungle and sit out the loneliness and sweltering heat at home. Worried parents imagine this means that their once healthy and vigorous child [...]

Your kids have taken their final exams, written the last papers, and are ready to close the books on school. Before they head off for summer fun and toss their old notebooks and tests into the nearest garbage can (or, hopefully, recycle bin), take a little bit of time to help your child review the [...]