Friday Update 1/27/2023

Friday Update 1/27/2023
Farid Johnson

Dear Siwanoy Families,

We had a very exciting week with our Siwanoy Spelling Bee on Monday. Congratulations to all of your hardworking children who participated. I was so proud of them. Our top three finalists were Macpherson Alderman, Anna Albarella, and Lucy Gould. Our District Bee was held on Wednesday. where Macpherson came in second place! Special shout out to Amanda Sozio, who worked tirelessly to prep the students; including reminding them to ask for definitions and to use words in sentences, and a big thank you to Suzie Diano, Alyssha Miro, Brianna Infante, and Paige Hefter for their help and support.

Spelling Bee Club!


Please read this entire update as we have many different events happening next week.


Siwanoy's Read-A-Thon is up and running

The Read-A-Thon is a favorite tradition among our neighboring elementary schools, and we’re thrilled to bring the fundraiser to Siwanoy this year. Our first weekly read-a-thon winner is Rena Ilkowitz of Ms. Diano’s class who logged in 528 minutes of reading. Go Rena!

Gentle reminder of what you need to know: 

The Read-A-Thon started Tuesday, January 17th and ends Friday, February 3rd. During this time the goal is to read as many minutes as you can outside of school. 

Set up your reader’s pledge page, if you haven't done so already. Every student has their own fundraising page for the Read-A-Thon. Simply search for your child’s name (first name, last initial) on our online pledge page* (  

*Each donor can choose to make a flat fee donation or they can pledge per minute read. Consider making a donation to get your reader started.

Once your student’s page is created, feel free to share their link with friends and family. No donation amount is too small!

Read! Read! Read! Minutes read should be entered on your child’s pledge page. It is important to mention that being read to counts; audio books do not. 

Earn prizes! Those who reach achievement levels of reading 100, 250, 500, 750, 1000, 2000 minutes will earn prizes. Minutes will be tallied by class as well, and the classes in K-2 and 3-5 with the most minutes will receive an additional award. 

Parents, to help build student excitement for the Read-a-Thon, it would be great for the students to know what (and where) their classmates are reading! Please have your children share what they are reading, a favorite book recommendation and/or their favorite place to read (and maybe share some ideas for building your own reading nook! Photos and drawings are welcome, too! Happy reading!

Read-A-Thon share link

Safety Reminder

Please drive safely around the school. It has been reported, on a couple of occasions, that there are cars speeding, pulling out of spots without looking, and even some close encounters of almost being hit. Please make sure that you are driving slowly and taking all precautions while driving around the school.

Siwanoy Dads Club upcoming events, including this weekend!

The Siwanoy Dads club has tickets to this Sunday's IONA game at 1PM. Tickets are free and available to all. Tickets will be dropped off this weekend. 

Reserve at:

Also, save the date for the annual ski takeover on 2/11. Reserve at:

Early Dismissal on Wednesday, February 1st

Just a gentle reminder that we have a 1pm dismissal on Wednesday, February 1st for Professional Development. This will take place right after your children have lunch. Thank you, as usual, for arriving on time to pick up your children as this allows our teachers to start their workshops on time.

What is Groundhog Day?

Groundhog Day is on February 2nd and is when people look to the groundhog to predict the weather for the next six weeks. Folklore says that if the sun is shining when the groundhog comes out of his burrow, and he sees his shadow then we will have six more weeks of winter. However, if he does not see his shadow, then spring will come early. Here's hoping that Staten Island Chuck and/or Punxsutawney Phil bring their a-games this year.

Student Government on Friday, February 3rd

Our Student Government is hosting a "Wear Red for Heart Health" day on Friday, February 3rd. Students will be coming up with some fun exercises that we can all do together and announcing them over the loud speaker right before lunch. Make sure to wear red and comfortable shoes!

Curricular Chess Program Q&A on Sunday, February 5th

Save the date: Parent Q&A session with instructor Mike Ellenbogen Sunday, Feb.5 @6:30pm (via Zoom). Recording will be made available. Link and further details coming soon! 

Siwanoy Dance on Thursday, February 9th

We are excited to announce our first school-wide dance at Siwanoy! It will be on Thursday, February 9th. Due to capacity limits in the gym, we are splitting the grades as follows:

4:00pm-6:00pm - Grades K-2

6:30pm-8:30pm - Grades 3-5

Look out for more information early next week, including sign-ups for chaperones. We can't wait!

Word of the month for February - Kindness

Being kind is an intentional act that benefits others for its own sake when one is not required to do so. It is generally regarded as a virtue. A kind person shows a genuine, deep, and selfless concern for people without expecting anything in return.

Happy Lunar New Year

The Lunar New Year is a 15-day festival that begins with the new moon that occurs some time between January 21st and February 20th according to Western calendars. Festivities last until the full moon. The holiday is sometimes called the Lunar New Year because the dates of celebration follow the phases of the moon. This year, we celebrated the Lunar New Year on Sunday, January 22nd. Our 3rd grade students will parade around the halls of Siwanoy on Monday in celebration.

Math Puzzlers for Grades 1-2 Only

We are thrilled to be able to offer Math Puzzlers for grades 1 and 2 beginning February 2nd. In Math Puzzlers, students will solve problems, play games, and engage in mathematical discussions with their peers led by a teacher. Math Puzzlers is for students who enjoy math games and like playing with numbers. This program will run during the lunch/recess period for 5 weeks. We will run two consecutive 5 week sessions. Attached is the flyer for Math Puzzlers including sign up instructions.

Math Puzzlers Sign-up Information

Building Bridges program starts May 8th

Please see the link below about additional information on Building Bridges and on how to get involved.

Building Bridges Program

Pelham Art Center Faculty Exhibit

The Pelham Art Center is currently exhibiting works from Pelham Art Center instructors. These instructors are not only artists but also curators, collectors, entrepreneurs, scholars, and community pillars who have kindled creativity in thousands of students. Many are graduates of premier fine arts programs, hold prestigious awards and apprenticeships, and have been widely exhibited nationally and internationally. One is by our very own art teacher Emlyn Taveras. Her piece is exquisite and I highly recommend checking it out. The exhibit only runs through February 4th.

Kindergarten Registration 2023

Our district website has posted a link for online kindergarten registration! This will take place from January 23rd through February 2nd. Thank you so much for registering your incoming kindergarteners during this time. This is a tremendous help to our Central Office in planning classes for next year. Screenings and additional incoming kindergarten information will be coming out very soon after registration.

Upcoming dates:

1/30 - Day 6

1/31 - Day 1

2/1 - Day 2 1pm Early Dismissal for Professional Development

2/2 - Day 3 Groundhog Day

2/3 - Day 4 Wear red for heart health

Keep spreading the love! #everydayabetteryou

Farid Johnson

Principal, Siwanoy School

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