Welcome Letter from Rhonda

August 26, 2022


Dear Salk Students and Parents,


Hello!  We hope that everyone is enjoying the last few weeks of summer vacation and the wonderful weather we’re having.  As for me, I spent much of my time visiting family and friends after so much time apart.  In addition to visiting loved ones, the summer afforded me the opportunity to reflect on the amazing community we have at Salk and to relive the awe I felt in June around our success in supporting students as they transitioned back after tumultuous times.  I am so proud that we were able to continue to make learning meaningful and joyful while helping our students feel a strong sense of belonging to our community.  With our incredible staff and dedicated parents, I know that this year will be one where we once again come together to ensure that our students thrive.   One of my favorite quotes is by Lev Vygotsky (an educational psychologist) who said that "children grow into the intellectual environment around them."  Our staff is ready and excited to make this yet another inspirational year where our students enjoy school because of the connections they're making with ideas and the people around them as well as the opportunities they have to make positive contributions to their communities.

Our school day will begin at 9am. (Once we get up and running, we will email you to let you know about academic recovery programs and teacher office hours that may begin earlier.)  All students can expect a rigorous and fun-filled academic program.  Sixth graders will enjoy a stimulating program of humanities, math, science, STEM, advisory, drama, art and physical education during the school day.   Seventh graders can expect to begin the first of their two-year study of Spanish. As you may already know, selected eighth grade students take the Spanish proficiency exam in June in order to be eligible for a more advanced foreign language placement in high school and our eighth grade students have the option of taking the Algebra high school regents.  In addition to Spanish, seventh and eighth grades will have humanities, math, science, art, drama, advisory, and PE.  This year, all 6th and 7th graders will have an Independent Reading class weekly, allowing us to ensure that students are reading a lot of good books that they enjoy.  Once we get rolling, we will let you know about clubs that are available to join.   Our school day ends at 3:20.  All students can self-dismiss at 3:20 unless they are provided with a DOE school bus for transportation or have an after school program later that afternoon.  (More details about arrival and dismissal procedures forthcoming.)

I am thrilled about the continuation of our free after school program led by Manhattan Youth.  Every day (September 19th - June 16th) from 3:20 to 5:45; students will be able to participate in an exciting array of programs from sports to arts and crafts to many science and engineering activities.  You will be able to check out the many offerings  online in a few days.  For questions about the program, please contact our director,  Khadijha Henry at [email protected]

We have a few new faces around the school this year:  Justine Pucia, 6th grade math teacher; Amanda Spain-Perales, 7th grade science teacher;  Michael Lewis, 6th-8th grade PE teacher; and Allegra Berman, 6th-8th grade art teacher.  (Art Teacher Heather Sporing-Drayzen will be on sabbatical this year.) 

As you know, the first day of school is on Thursday, September 8th.  (It will be a full day.)  School will begin at 9:00am and end at 3:20pm. Breakfast and lunch will be free of charge to all students for the entire school year, however, you are welcome to bring your own lunch.  We have many forms for you to complete at Operoo.com for students.  (Patti, our parent coordinator,  will let you know more about this online system.) Once all forms are turned in, and if students have permission from parents, our eighth grade students will be able to go outside for lunch within a week.  We will let you know when and if 6th and 7th graders will be able to go out to lunch. 

Please remember to bring in your summer assignments on the first day.  It will take us a few days to distribute locks and lockers, so please do not bring all of your personal supplies to school until after you get a locker.  You should also be aware of the fact that you will share a locker with another student, so you may want to use your judgment about which items to bring to school and which items to leave at home.  We ask for your patience in the first week of school while we set things up.

We will have signs on the front door and throughout the building letting you know exactly where each grade should go on the first day.  Here are our tentative plans:  Parents of sixth graders and sixth grade students will meet us at 9:00am on September 8th (the first day of school) in the auditorium.  Seventh grade students will gather in the 1st floor gym and 8th grade students will gather in the cafeteria.  

You will be hearing more from us about class breakfasts and Curriculum Night.  We will also provide you with a school calendar and an account for our school website in September.  In the meantime, you can obtain information and calendars at the Department of Education’s website at (http://schools.nyc.gov),  and later at  our Salk School website (  Please see the attachment from the Department of Health.  There will be more guidelines regarding DOE health protocols in the upcoming days–see DOE website.

Enjoy the last few weeks of summer vacation!  We are very excited about the 2022-2023 school year!


Warmest regards,