The Botanical Garden Celebrates Earth Day!


Test Preparation Pointers

Taken from

We find that parents and caregivers want to help their children prepare for standardized tests, but are often unsure of what they can do. Here are our top suggestions:

1. Build Test Skills

The best preparation is to steadily build skills. Children who master math and reading fundamentals, such as; phonics, reading comprehension strategies, and facts and formulas, will be prepared for more complex questions and concepts, and will ultimately perform better on tests.

  • Review of old concepts should be consistent with the learning of new skills, so children are accumulating knowledge while refreshing basics.
  • A fifteen minute daily review of basic facts and skills can make a world of difference when more difficult concepts are introduced.
  • Children should be reading daily to themselves and aloud to parents for best results. Reading fluency and comprehension are gained through consistent exposure to literature.

Test Preparation at Home

Taking a standardized test differs from taking regular school tests. Standardized tests are strictly timed and have specific instructions to follow. Schools do spend time acquainting students with what to expect, but reinforcement at home will make your child feel more prepared. At a minimum, have your child become familiar with testing procedures.

  • Prior to the test, exposure to answering a variety of question types ranging from fill-in-the-blank, to multiple choice, to lengthy reading passages, and computation practice will allow students to become acquainted with a mixture of formats.
  • Having children become adept with test terminology is important. Children should know the difference between synonyms and antonyms, main ideas and details, and greater than and less than, to name a few of the more tested skills. Within the questions, clues can be found, such as in the question; How many blocks are there altogether? Students should understand that the word, “altogether” indicates addition as the operation needed to answer the question sufficiently.
  • Designating a particular amount of time for an activity or review lesson to be completed can help children get in the mindset of finishing work with time restraints. The use of their own timer or stopwatch can help them be conscious of time, while also providing a fun way to do quick practices of certain skills.
  • Most states provide copies of tests from the years before. Parents can use these as resources guiding them toward the more tested skills. The majority of review can then be placed on those key concepts of focus. Parents should be sure their children know what to expect and how to best approach the test.

3. Test-Taking Tips

Test Prep isn’t a substitute for lack of knowledge, but parents should make sure their children know what to expect and how to best approach a big test. How are other parents coping with their big tests?

Here are tried and true strategies that help in the testing clinch!

  • Children should pay close attention to directions, and should note, highlight or underline any words that may assist them in answering the questions.
  • In the reading comprehension section of the test, which can be very lengthy, test-takers should start by previewing the questions prior to reading the assigned passage. This helps children know what they are looking for when they read the text.
  • In multiple-choice questions, if stumped, test-takers should first rule out answers they know are incorrect. It will then be easier to figure out the correct answer. Also, make sure your child understands the test’s system for scoring blanks versus incorrect answers.
  • Pay attention to time. Introduce your child to the concept of time management. Then, throughout the year and just for fun, engage your child in some timed tests or quizzes. Consider rewards to spark enthusiasm.

4. On the Week of the Test – Minimize Anxiety!

Even a well-prepared student can feel pre-test anxiety. Encourage your child to relax and to view the test as a chance to show what they have learned. Reassure them that it’s natural to feel a little nervous and that the important thing is to try their best.

Finally, some last pieces of advice to make everyone in the family feel fully prepared for the testing experience:

The Day Before: A good night’s sleep the night before is most important. Test scores can be greatly affected when a child hasn’t gotten enough rest.

Test Day: A good breakfast the morning of the test is a terrific brain booster. Nutrients help to stimulate the brain. Don’t forget last minute supplies, such as No. 2 pencils, a watch, and extra paper for working out problems.

Parting Thoughts: Think Long-Term

If you want to change your child’s performance on standardized tests, don’t over-focus on short-term test prep, as it only builds pressure which is generally counter-productive. Remember, it takes months and years to build skills. The results are largely determined by the years of previous education. The best solution is to stay involved in your child’s education, and to keep in mind that standardized tests, while giving you insight, are not the final say on how much your child is learning or how well they will do in life or even in academics.

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Math State Exams

Title: Math State Exams
Start Date: 2012-04-25
End Date: 2012-04-27


ELA State Exams

Title: ELA State Exams
Start Date: 2012-04-17
End Date: 2012-04-19


Spring Recess – No School

Title: Spring Recess – No School
Description: Enjoy your time off!
Start Date: 2012-04-09
End Date: 2012-04-13


PTA Meeting

Title: PTA Meeting
Location: All Purpose Room
Description: AGENDA

Approval of Minutes
New Business (New PTA Website)
Budget Update
Honor Roll Awards Ceremony
Upcoming Election
Audit Committee
April 20th Pictures
Teacher Incentive Program
April Bake Sale
May 19 – Dance-a-thon


Principal Katheleen Bornkamp
Parent Coordinator Susan Mozeson

Questions? Comments? Send us an e-mail at our NEW E-MAIL ADDRESS:
Start Time: 6:00 PM
Date: 2012-04-17

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Pictures Day

Title: Pictures Day
Description: Dress to impress!
Date: 2012-04-20


Honor Roll Awards Ceremony

Title: Honor Roll Awards Ceremony
Location: Multi Purpose Room
Date: 2012-04-03


General Membership Meeting Minutes 3.20.12


General Membership Meeting Minutes


March 20, 2012


The meeting was called to order by Norma Morales at 06:05 p.m.

Members that were there:

  1. Norma Morales – PTA President
  2. Lizbeth Quinones – Vice President
  3. Gloria Cruz – Secretary
  4. Maddy Romano – Treasurer
  5. Elizabeth DiDi Santos – Membership Chair

School Staff:

  1. Mrs. Bornkamp – Principal
  2. Mrs. Civitano – Assistant Principal
  3. Mrs. Mozeson – Parent Coordinator
  4. Mrs. Francis – Teacher
  5. Mr. Wil – Teacher
  6. Mrs. LaManna – Teacher
  7. Mrs. Distefano – Teacher

11 parents were present by the end of the meeting; a total of 23 Members in attendance.


Approval of Minutes

The 2/28/12, 3/2/12 and 3/7/12 Executive Board Meeting Minutes were passed out to all in attendance.  President, Norma Morales asked for everyone present to peruse the minutes.  Mrs. Morales then asked if there were any objections to the minutes or questions regarding the contents of aforesaid minutes.  Everyone said “Nay”.  Thus, the 2/28/12, 3/2/12 and 3/7/12 Executive Board Meeting Minutes were approved.


New Business

–          New PTA E-mail Address

–          New PTA Website

–          New Executive Board Committee/Chairperson


The PTA of PS 97 has a new e-mail address which its members will be checking on a daily basis.  The new e-mail address is:



The PTA has also launched an informative website for Parents, Teachers and Students currently viewable in Beta Version.  You can access the site through any internet browser and it has mobile phone capabilities. The Beta Version of the website is:

Mrs. Morales reminded parents to submit their legible e-mail addresses on the sign in sheet, so that the PTA can send notices via e-mail and through the website.

Mrs. Morales introduced Elizabeth Santos as the Executive Board’s choice for Membership Chairperson of the newly founded Membership Committee.  Mrs. Santos has been an active general member since October 2010.  In January 2012, she began volunteering and offering her expertise.  Mrs. Santos is a welcome addition to this Executive Board.


Budget Update

Treasurer, Maddy Romano passed out the February 2012 Financial Report.  The Bank Ledger is $5,250.14, as of the close of the month.


Lil’ Bit O’ Luck Bake Sale Update – The PTA made $496.00 minus the cost for supplies ($157.88) as no baked goods were donated.  The total amount of funds made on March 14th and March 15th was $338.12.


Nominating Committee

Mrs. Morales met with the Nominating Committee to discuss the upcoming PTA Election.  The Committee as a whole, nominated Mrs. Isaura Rodriguez as the Nominating Committee Chairperson.  We are pleased to have Mrs. Rodriguez as Nominating Committee Chairperson.


Audit Committee

President Norma Morales stressed the importance of the General Membership forming an Audit Committee.  The Audit Committee should be comprised of five (5) persons that are not responsible for handling money.  Three parents volunteered, but this committee needs two more volunteers.  Formation of the Audit Committee is postponed until April 17, 2012 GM meeting.


Principal, Katheleen Bornkamp

Principal Bornkamp took the floor and asked the General Membership to mark their calendars for important dates such as April 30, 2012 for Internet Safety Meeting and on May 07, 2012, PS 97 will be hosting a Parent Resource Fair.


Mrs. Bornkamp asked parents to remember that attendance goes on the students’ report cards.  The weather is getting nicer each week, but to continue to ensure that your children get to school on time and come each day.  Let’s keep our celebration of attendance going on throughout the entire year.





Mrs. Bornkamp also thanked Mrs. Santos, Membership Chair, for her idea regarding improving the “Snack Attack” for the children of PS 97.  Mrs. Bornkamp addressed adding a prize to the “Snack Attack” making it a “Snack Attack Prize Pack”.


Mrs. Bornkamp asked parents to fill out the school survey if they hadn’t done so already.  The school survey determines the School’s Progress Report or Report Card Grade.


Parent Coordinator, Susan Mozeson

Parent Coordinator, Susan Mozeson took the floor and asked parents to check their child’s book bags for notices home as PS 97 has a lot of information regarding the Internet Safety Night, Parent Resource Fair and the new Core Curriculum Learning Standards coming home soon.


Door Prize Drawings

Mrs. Santos, Membership Chair donated four (4) Gift Certificates from for the door prize drawing.  Two lucky PTA members won a $25.00 gift certificate to Caridad Restaurant on Kingsbridge Road. (Congratulations to Caesar and Mr. Wil!).  Two other lucky PTA Members won a $25.00 gift certificate to The Black Whale Restaurant in City Island (Congratulations to Mrs. LaManna and Isaura Rodriguez!)


On behalf of the PTA of PS 97, we’d like to thank the following staff, teachers and parents: Mrs. Bornkamp, Ms. Civitano, Mrs. Mozeson, Mrs. Francis; The Science Teachers; Mr. Wil, Mrs. Distefano, Mrs. LaManna, The Executive Board of the PTA of PS 97 and all of the parents who brought food for our sit down dinner and supported the School Wide Science Fair!

Meeting was adjourned: 7: 45 P.M.

Next meeting: April 17, 2012 at 6:00 P.M.

Gloria Cruz        Elizabeth Santos

Secretary            Ad hoc Secretary

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Bronx Fathers Taking Action! – Presented by Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz

For more information: Sara Monserrat (718) 590-3567
RSVP: Wilfredo Pagan @

Thursday, March 29th, 2012
6 p.m.-9 p.m.
Bronx County Courthouse Rotunda
851 Grand Concourse @ E. 161 Street
A Father’s Involvement is Important in their Children’s Growth & Education
Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. Presents:
For more information: Sara Monserrat (718) 590-3567
RSVP: Wilfredo Pagan @
Food and Refreshments will be provided
Open Group Discussion led by Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.




Lil’ Bit O’ Luck Bake Sale

Winter just won’t go away!

Hopefully, with a Lil’ Bit O’ Luck, having a springtime bake sale will help bring in some Spring Time Cheer!
For just $1.00 per item, your child can purchase one baked good item of their choice.
Parents, please contact Norma Morales, PTA President at: to donate baked goods.




PTA General Membership Meeting

Parents!  Don’t forget, there is a PTA General Meeting on Tuesday, March 20th at 6:00 P.M.


Family Potluck Style Dinner
A word from Mrs. Bornkamp
A word from Mrs. Mozeson
Bake Sale Update
Budget Update
Nominating Committee
Audit Committee


100th Day Awards Ceremony

115 Students From PS 97 Attended School 100 Days Straight!


That is an awesome dedication to learning.  Congratulations to all of the students and their parents!



Session II – Parent Teacher Conferences

Title: Session II – Parent Teacher Conferences 
Description: Parent Teacher Conferences are March 13, 2012.

Students will be dismissed at 11:30 A.M., resulting in a Half Day.

There will be an afternoon session and an evening session.

Session I: 12:30 P.M. – 2:00 P.M.

Session II: 5:30 P.M. – 8:00 P.M.
Start Time: 17:30
Date: 2012-03-01
End Time: 20:00


Session 1: Parent Teacher Conferences

Title: Session 1: Parent Teacher Conferences
Description: Parent Teacher Conferences are March 13, 2012.


Students will be dismissed at 11:30 A.M., resulting in a Half Day.

There will be an afternoon session and an evening session.

Session I: 12:30 P.M. – 2:00 P.M.

Session II: 5:30 P.M. – 8:00 P.M.
Start Time: 12:30 P.M.
Date: 2012-03-13
End Time: 14:00 P.M.


Don’t Forget! On March 11 – Daylight Savings Time Begins

Title: Daylight Savings Time Begins






Remember parents!

It’s time to SPRING forward. Turn your clocks forward an hour at 2:00 A.M. on Sunday, March 11, 2012.
Start Time: 02:00
Date: 2012-03-11
End Time: 02:00


General Membership Meeting Minutes 2.28.12

Members that were there:

  1. Norma Morales – PTA President
  2. Gloria Cruz – Secretary
  3. Maddy Romano – Treasurer

School Staff:

  1. Mrs. Bornkamp – Principal
  2. Mrs. Mozeson – Parent Coordinator
  3. Mr. Drummond
  4. Mrs. Francis

Meeting called to order at 6:13 P.M.

69 parents were present by the end of the meeting; a total of 76 Members in attendance.

Mrs. Morales asked if all the members had received the bylaws and if they were ready to vote.

Mrs. Bornkamp reminded the members that the proposed Bylaws of the PTA of PS 97 are the Chancellor’s Regulations on how a PTA should be run.

Mrs. Morales went on to briefly address: 1) Dates that both the PTA Executive Board Meeting and PTA General Meeting will be held. 2) Each parent is member of the PTA General Membership. 3) Code of Conduct – how all members of PTA of PS 97 must present themselves inside the school and outside of the school; especially when doing business for the school.         4)  Any officer can be voted off their chair. 5) Quorum allocation: two Executive Board members and four parents.  Quorum should consist of a total of 6 persons.

The vote was as follows: 51 members said “Yay”: 0 members said “Nay”.

Mrs. Mozeson, Parent Coordinator, spoke about upcoming Math Workshop. Math Workshop is scheduled for February 29, 2012 at 6:00 P.M. One Math Workbook will be given out per family.

Mrs. Mozeson also noted that there will be a Student Leadership Team Meeting on March 5, 2012 at 3:30 P.M. There will be ELA test prep at the school

Mrs. Morales gave the total amount raised during the Sweetheart bake sale: $610.35


Mrs. Morales informed parents that Parent Teacher Conferences are March 13, 2012. Students will be dismissed at 11:30 A.M., resulting in a Half Day. There will be an afternoon session and an evening session. The afternoon session is from 12:30 P.M. – 2:00 P.M. and the evening session is from 5:30 P.M. – 8:00 P.M.

Mrs. Morales opened the floor briefly to questions from the parents.

Questions Asked:  Parent asked about forming a Membership Committee:

The membership committee shall be responsible for encouraging parent participation, outreach and recruitment. The Chairperson for the Membership committee shall make every effort to coordinate their outreach efforts and strategies with the school’s Parent Coordinator. The membership committee shall also prepare a newsletter to all members which contains, at a minimum, messages from the principal, association president, list of executive board members, all association meeting dates, student and parent events, school policies, budget and any other material deemed appropriate by the association. The committee shall also be responsible for maintaining a current list of members which shall be available without home addresses and telephone numbers at every membership meeting.

Membership committee will be discussed at the next PTA meeting. Must be on March agenda.

Mrs. Bornkamp introduced a wonderful chorus of 5th graders led by Mr. Drummond.

Mr. Drummond led the choir in singing “100 Days” to reflect the student body achievement of 100 days of perfect attendance. The students also sang “Positivity” to address self-esteem issues.

Mrs. Bornkamp and Mrs. Francis handed out the Awards for 100 Days of Perfect Attendance.

Congratulations to all 115 children who received awards for having perfect attendance! Coming to school 100 days straight is a serious commitment to your education.

Mrs. Morales reminded parents to submit their e-mail addresses on the sign in sheet, so that the PTA can send notices via e-mail and through the upcoming website.

Budget: The PTA Balance is: $6,459.07

All of the catered food was from Mamma Rosas Cucina 1007 Allerton Ave. Bronx, NY 10469.


On behalf of the PTA of PS 97, we’d like to thank the following staff, teachers and parents: Mrs. Bornkamp, Mrs. Mozeson, Mr. Drummond, Mrs. Francis, The Executive Board of the PTA of PS 97 and Mr. & Mrs. Santos for volunteering their time to help us ensure that the 100th Day Celebration was a success!

Meeting was adjourned: 7: 39 P.M.

Next meeting: Tuesday, March 20, 2012 at 6:00 P.M.

Gloria Cruz



PTA General Meeting February 28, 2012 6:00 P.M.

Parents!  Don’t forget, there is a PTA meeting on Tuesday, February 28th at 6:00 P.M.


– ByLaws Approval –

– Voting Committee Panel –

– 100th Day Celebration-

Come out and voice your opinion and concerns.  Hope to see you soon!


Bylaws Letter to Parents


February 3, 2012


Dear Parents:


Under State Education Law, Section 2590, every New York City public school is required to form a Parent Association. All PA/PTA bylaws must comply with the current Chancellor’s Regulation

A-660.  Attached, you will find the proposed bylaws of the PTA of PS 97.  The bylaws of a PTA simply contain basic rules relating to this association as an organization in order to conduct business and govern its affairs.  These bylaws define how the PTA should run, how it should function, and include all rules that this association considers important o the rights and responsibilities of the membership.

The provisions contained within these bylaws determine the amount of control the general members and executive committee hold and the powers and limitations of powers to be allowed to executive officers. These bylaws also outline how the PTA should abide by a Code of Conduct, as well as how the PTA processes Financial Affairs.

Please take a brief moment to read the bylaws, so that you can be informed as to how the PTA of PS 97 and its members shall be governed.  If there are no objections on the attached proposed bylaws, the bylaws will be approved at the next General Membership Meeting.

This information is important as it outlines the dates when the PTA meets as well as when the executive meetings take place.

If you have any questions regarding these bylaws, we encourage you to attend our next PTA General Meeting where you can voice your concerns and bring your suggestion on the bylaws for final approval on February 28, 2012 at 6PM in the All Purpose Room.

Link to Bylaws:




PTA of PS 97


Sweetheart Bake Sale

Sweet Heart Bake Sale takes place Feb. 8th and 9th Wednesday and Thursday.

The students will have the opportunity to purchase goodies during lunch.

All baked goods are on sale for $1.00 per item.