Principal’s Newsletter – January & February 2018

January/February 2018


Dear Families,

I want to take this opportunity to wish all of our Abigail Adams families and happy and healthy new year.  As we embark on this new year, we are looking forward to many exciting school activities!  The 4th and 5th Grade Chorus Performance and our 1st Annual Respect For All Week Tie-Dye Fundraiser will be in February, Mrs. Carmeli’s Art Fair will take place in March and the 4th Grade CASA Performance will be in April.  Follow these exciting events and more on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook (@ps131q).

The first marking period ended on Friday, December 22, 2017.  Report cards will be distributed Friday, January 12, 2018.  Please be sure to contact your child’s teacher should you have any questions about their progress.  Tuesday afternoons between 2:20 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. teachers are available for meetings, phone conferences and email communication.

As winter creeps in, parents are asked to listen carefully to the news on the television or radio for the latest information regarding school closings or delays.  The NYC Department of Education lets you sign up for emails that will notify you of important school news, including snow closures.  You can follow the DOE on Facebook and Twitter, and visit the DOE website ( for the latest weather-related scheduling changes.  Another option is to sign up for school alerts at Notify NYC or call 311.

During the months of January & February, your children will take the STARS Reading Assessment online in the school’s computer lab. Discuss your child’s reading level with him or her at the March conference and appropriate books he or she can be reading at home. School is closed on Friday, February 16th for Chinese New Year.  Mid-winter recess is February 19, 2018 – February 23, 2018. Consider spending your break watching fabulous family theatre shows, exploring cool museum exhibits or visit the local library. You might also enjoy seasonal sports in the city, like ice-skating and sledding, or take a day trip to a nearby skiing and snow tubing resort. Plus, lots of museums run special family programs over breaks, where kids can enjoy a wide variety of hands-on activities.


Warmest Regards,


Veronica DePaolo


Principal’s Newsletter – November & December 2017

Dear Families,

It was great to see everyone at our October Thinking Maps Parent Workshops.  I am very excited to continue having students participate in student led conferences on Thursday, November 16th.  Students in first through fifth grade will be dismissed at 11:20 AM and kindergarten students will be dismissed at 11:40 AM on this day.  Lunch and bus services will be provided.  Here’s some helpful information about student-led conferences:

  • A student-led conference is a conference with parents led by the student;
  • The role of the classroom teacher is to facilitate the process;
  • Students lead parents through a discussion of their work and established academic and social goals;
  • The teacher will be facilitating several student-led conferences at one time;
  • The role of the parent is to listen and ask their child to tell them more about what they wrote and why they  wrote it.

We are continuing our partnership with E3Sports this year.  This will allow students to be outside even during the winter months.  Please note, Roger Platt, MD, Director of School Health for the New York City Department of Education, strongly recommends that children should be given the opportunity to play outside whenever possible.  Unless it is snowing or there is ice on the playground, low temperatures should not be a barrier to outside play.  Please dress your children appropriately.  Make sure they are wearing their coats, hats and gloves to play safely outside during the cold weather months.

Please be sure to utilize the online components of our math and reading programs in the evenings, during the weekends and on days the school is closed.  Please reach out to your child’s teacher if you do not have these passwords.

Thank you for the privilege of serving your children and thank you to all of the families and teachers for your hard work and dedication to the school community each and every day.



Warmest Regards,


Veronica DePaolo


Principal’s Newsletter – October 2017

Dear Families,

It was great to see everyone at our Meet the Teacher Night.  Our first weeks together have gone by so quickly.  The children have made new friends and have become comfortable with our daily routines.  Please feel free to contact myself, Mrs. Quiles, Mrs. Cintron or Mrs. Guttell if you ever have any questions or concerns.  Remember, communication is very important to ensure a successful school year.

It is important to make sure all of your emergency contact information is current and up to date.  Another essential element is your ability to access your child’s NYC Schools Account.  You will be able to access key information about your child’s progress in school, including attendance, report card grades, general school information and test scores, in one of ten languages.  If you need to sign up for your account please contact Mrs. Pauline Isaacs.  Another great resource is our school website.  This website can be accessed directly through the website or visiting

Please note, at P.S. 131’s main building, the main entrance cannot be used to enter the building between 7:50 a.m. and 8:05 a.m. All students may enter through exit 8.  If you choose to drop your child off at school in the morning, note that students should arrive no earlier than 7:20 a.m. for the breakfast program, as there is no supervision provided before that time.

Another important safety procedure is during arrival and dismissal.  Please do not double park your cars during these very busy times.  Double parking is causing traffic congestion and endangering students who are crossing the street.

I am excited to announce another opportunity to visit your child’s classroom will take place during Open School Week which is November 13, 2017 – November 17, 2017.  The marking periods have been updated this year to provide your children more time to acclimate to school.  Updated marking period dates are as follows:

  • Progress Report distributed to parents and PTC: Thursday, November 16, 2017
  • 1st marking period ends: Friday, December 22, 2017
  • 2nd marking period end date: Tuesday, March 6, 2018


Warmest Regards,

Veronica DePaolo


Principal’s Newsletter – September 2017

Dear Families,


Greetings to each of you!  On behalf of the entire faculty and staff of the Abigail Adams School, I welcome you to the 2017-18 school year.  It is with great anticipation and excitement that we begin our year together.

Personally, I am grateful and elated to continue this journey with you as the principal.  Over the past 2 years, I’ve had a chance to meet many of you and your children, and look forward to continue building a strong relationship with all of you in the upcoming school year.  As we enter this new school year, I want to let you know that our staff has been engaged in learning Thinking Maps.  Thinking Maps is a new initiative for this year!  The language of Thinking Maps links each thinking skill to a unique and dynamic visual representation, and thus becomes a tool that supports effective instructional practice and improves student performance.  I strongly encourage you to read the information that comes home about Thinking Maps and to attend the parent workshops we will have this year to support the work.  I’ve attached an overview of all 8 Thinking Maps to this newsletter.

I want to personally invite you to attend our Back-to-School Night on the evening of Wednesday, September 13th.  Sessions will begin at 4:30pm.  More information will follow.  This will be a great opportunity to meet your child’s teacher and learn more about our Thinking Maps initiative.

Together, we are partners in the education of our children. Your involvement and support is not only needed and vital to the success of all learners, but is also most welcomed. Please be sure to visit the school website which can be accessed directly through the website or visiting for important information throughout the year.  Feel free to contact me at any time should you have a question, comment or concern.

I look forward to seeing you all in the very near future and to the start of another terrific school year!


Warmest regards,


Veronica DePaolo,



Principal’s Newsletter – May/June 2017

Dear Families,


Another successful school year is coming to an end!  Reflecting on the past school year makes us realize how fortunate we are at P.S. 131.  Our school has been successful due to the wonderful collaborative partnership between students, staff members, and parents.  We must recognize our students for their perseverance, hard work, and effort displayed throughout the school year.

On May 17th, P.S.131 will hold the last Parent Teacher Conference of the year.  These conferences will take place from 4:30 pm to 7:30 pm.  Staff members from each grade and content area will provide three different information sessions.  The different sessions will allow you to attend presentations for different grades.  During these conferences teachers of your child’s next grade level will present expectations for the 2017-2018 school year. These meetings will provide you with information about different routines, procedures, and curriculums for the upcoming school year.  The presentations will also include helpful tips and suggestions for summer activities that will promote student learning.

During the next two months, staff and students are busy with teaching and learning, assessments, and exciting events.  Please see the calendar of events in this newsletter for specific times and dates that pertain to your child’s grade level.  Students in grades 3-5 will take the NYS Common Core Mathematics Exam May 2nd – May 4th.  Students in grade 4 will take the NYS Science Performance Test between May 24th and June 2nd.  The grade 4 NYS Science Written Test will be Monday, June 5th.  The Dance Festival will be held on June 9, 2017.  The 5th grade Graduation Ceremony will be held on Friday, June 23rd at Jamaica High School.  Wednesday, June 28th is the last day of school for students, which is an early dismissal day.  Dismissal is at 11:20 a.m.

Please enjoy the change of pace that the summer brings.  Have a happy, relaxing, and safe summer with your children.  We look forward to seeing everyone upon our return for the 2017-2018 school year.  Have a wonderful and relaxing summer and we will see you again on Thursday, September 7, 2017.

Lastly, it has been an honor and a privilege to serve as the principal of the Abigail Adams School for the second year now. If my staff or I can be of any assistance to you, please do not hesitate to contact us.  We are here to assist you and your child.


Warmest regards.


Mrs. Veronica DePaolo




Important Dates to Remember!


May 2, 3, 4 – NYS Mathematics Exam for grades 3, 4, 5

May 8, 9, 10, 12 – Smile NY (Dentist Visit)

May 12 – PTA Mother’s Day Sale

May 15 – PTA Meeting 5:30pm/Student of the Month at 6:00pm

May 17 – Parent/Teacher Conference* (Evening)

*Expectations for your child next year

May 17 – Science Fair for grades 3, 4 and 5

May 23 – Spring Concert (4th and 5th Grade Chorus)

May 24-June 2 – Grade 4 State Science Performance Test

May 24 – Grade 5 Senior Trip

May 29 – No School – Memorial Day

June 5 – Grade 4 State Science Exam – Written

June 8 – No School – Anniversary Day (Chancellor’s Staff Development Day for Teachers)

June 9 – Dance Festival – All Grades – Rain date- June 19

June 12 – No School for Students (Chancellor’s Clerical Day)

June 19 – PTA Meeting 5:30 pm/Student of the Month at 6:00pm

June 20 – Grade 5 Awards Night at P.S. 131 at 5:00pm

June 23 – Grade 5 Graduation at Jamaica High School

June 26 – No School – Eid al-Fitr

June 28 – Last Day of School – Dismissal 11:20am – Report Cards Distributed


Sept 7 – First Day of School!

Weather Advisory: Schools Closed Tuesday, March 14 Due to Severe Weather Conditions

Due to expected severe weather conditions, all New York City public schools will be closed Tuesday, March 14, 2017. After-school programs, adult education, YABC programs, and PSAL activities are also cancelled.

DOE central and field offices will remain open. We urge New Yorkers to exercise caution when going outside and avoid traveling.

Sign up for direct alerts at  & follow @NotifyNYC. Call @NYC311 if you have any questions.

NYC School Survey

Every year, all parents, teachers, and students in grades 6 – 12 take the NYC School Survey. The survey ranks among the largest surveys of any kind ever conducted nationally. It helps school leaders understand what key members of the school community say about the learning environment at each school. The information captured by the survey is designed to support a dialogue among all members of the school community about how to make the school a better place to learn.

The following social media links are available:

Hashtag: #NYCSchoolSurvey


Video –  Check out our Vimeo account:
20 17 Press Release – Check out our website :
#NYCSchoolSurvey is available in 10 languages

Principal’s Newsletter – March/April 2017

Dear Families,

We may have a few more snowflakes ahead of us, but spring is just around the corner and we’re ready to celebrate the warm weather and cheer on our students with their spring academics.  We look forward to seeing all parents and guardians at Student-Led Conferences on Thursday, March 9th.  Students will be dismissed at 11:20 am on this day.  Please make arrangements to pick up your child early.

Deciding when a child is too sick to go to school can be difficult. Please know that good health is more important than a perfect attendance record. In order for your child to be available for learning, and to control communicable diseases in school, it is important to keep your child home for the following reasons:

  • Fever above 100.4 degrees – Your child should be fever free, and off of all fever reducing medication for 24 hours before he or she returns to school. Students returning to school before they are well are more susceptible to illness and may expose others. Please do not give your student medication to treat a fever and then send him or her to school.
  • Sore throat or tonsillitis – A minor sore throat is usually not a problem, but a severe sore throat could be a symptom of a more serious illness. Keep your child home from school and contact your health care provider. if your child is diagnosed with Strep Throat, he or she may return to school 24 hours after antibiotic treatment begins.
  • Spots/Rash – Do not send your child to school with a rash until your health care provider has said that it is safe to do so. Children with ringworm, scabies, or impetigo can return to school after 24 hours of appropriate treatment. The affected area should be covered if possible.
  • Bad Cough/Cold Symptoms – Children with bad coughs/colds need to stay home, and possibly see their health care provider. When the cough improves and the child is feeling better they may return to school. It can take well over a week for a bad cough to completely go away.
  • Eye Inflammation or Discharge – If your child’s eye is red with a cloudy or yellow/green drainage; matted eyelids after sleep; eye pain and/or redness, you should keep your child home, and contact your child’s health care provider. If your child is diagnosed with pink eye, he or she may return to school 24 hours after treatment has begun.
  • Vomiting and/or Diarrhea – your child should stay home until the illness is over, and for 24 hours after the last episode (without medication).
  • Ear Pain – Consult with your health care provider. Untreated ear infections can cause problems with hearing loss.
  • Head Lice – Student must be treated with a special preparation for killing head lice (available over-the-counter).
  • Acute Pain – Students that have pain that requires narcotic medication for relief should not attend school.

Lastly, the NYC Parent Surveys will be distributed at Parent-Teacher Conferences this year.  This survey gives the school feedback on what we are doing well and what we still need to make even better.  We need to hear from you.  Each class that receives 100% survey completion will receive an ICE CREAM PARTY!  We encourage all parents to complete these surveys and return them to your child’s teacher as soon as you can.


Warmest Regards,


Veronica DePaolo



Please review the upcoming calendar of events scheduled for the month of March/April.


Event Date Location
Report Cards Distributed


Thursday, March 9, 2017
Student-Led Conferences Thursday, March 9, 2017

Half-Day – Dismissal 11:20 AM


PTA Meeting Monday, March 20, 2017 School Auditorium 5:30 PM


Student of the Month Ceremony Monday, March 20, 2017 School Auditorium 6:00 PM


New York State ELA Exam Grades 3-5


Tuesday, March 28th – Thursday, March 30th
Spring Recess April 10, 2017 – April 18, 2017


School Closed
NYC Parent Surveys Due


Friday, March 31, 2017
New York State Math Exam Grades 3-5 Tuesday, May 2nd – Thursday, May 4th






Notice to Parents: Elizabeth A. Rose, Deputy Chancellor, Division of Operations

Dear Families and Staff:

This is a follow up to my December 19 letter outlining the additional measures the New York City Department of Education (DOE) is taking to ensure that the water in New York City schools is safe for students and staff.

On January 25, 2017, every potential source of water for drinking or preparing food at P.S. 131 – Queens (P.S. 131 Abigail Adams, 170-45 84 Avenue Queens, NY 11432) was tested for lead. The laboratory results showed elevated levels of lead in 9 of the 66 samples of water taken and tested from outlets in the building. A more detailed letter related to the testing for lead at P.S. 131 – Queens is attached and complete test results are posted on the DOE website.

In any building where lead test results show even one water outlet above the action level of 15 parts per billion, the DOE will implement its standard response protocol, which includes removing any drinking or cooking water fixture outlet from service, flushing all or part of the system to eliminate water sitting in pipes overnight, replacing equipment and re-testing after the equipment is replaced.

Each affected drinking or cooking water fixture at P.S. 131 – Queens will remain out of service until it is remediated and future testing shows that the water does not have an elevated level of lead. The custodial staff will also continue to flush the P.S. 131 – Queens water systems on Monday mornings before school starts in order to eliminate water that has been stagnant in pipes over the weekend and to ensure safe drinking water is available for students and staff.

Please visit to learn more about the robust protocol we use to ensure the safety of drinking water in each and every school, as well as to look up water test results for their child’s school.

We will keep you updated on the remediation work at P.S. 131 – Queens, and thank you for your patience and support.

Sincerely yours,

Elizabeth A. Rose

Note: The complete test report is available for download here: