Daily Announcements

How Do I Show My Essence P.R.I.D.E. ?

1. PREPARATION- I will always be mentally and physically prepared for class and school.

2. RESPECT- I will always be respectful to the staff, my peers, the school, and myself.
3. INTEGRITY- I will always do the right thing even when I think no one is looking.

4. DEDICATION- I will always give my all to be successful in school.

5. ENGAGEMENT- I will always stay focused and participate

Tips for Standardized Tests

 As spring arrives, so do standardized tests.
Here are some tips to help your
child do well. Be sure he/she attends every class, every day. Teachers will review information needed for the exam.  They may also give practice questions that can help your child prepare for the actual test. Your child should get about nine hours of sleep and eat a healthy breakfast before each day of testing (and every day!). Protein (eggs, milk) and healthy carbohydrates (banana, whole-wheat toast) will help your child stay alert and think clearly. Encourage your middle schooler by wishing him/her good luck on the morning of a test and telling them you know that they will do their best. Your positive attitude can be contagious.

 Parents please be sure to plan vacations around the following important state exam testing dates:

ELA TEST:                               April 14 – April 16

MATH TEST:                              April 22 – April 24

Picture Day for all Essence School students will be held on Friday

 March 6, 2015


Information, questions, and concerns can be directed to Ms. Dupree, Ms. Davenport, and or
the Essence School Main Office at



– NBA to Host Basketball Clinics in 100 New York City Schools on NBA FIT Friday to Culminate NBA Cares All-Star Efforts –

– More than 750 NBA FIT Events Across the Five Boroughs Throughout the Season –

NEW YORK, Feb. 6, 2015 – The NBA announced today that the league will reach its seasonlong goal to engage more than one million New York City youth with fun, fitness-related basketball programming across the five boroughs as part of its NBA Cares All-Star efforts.

Amidst many first-time undertakings at NBA All-Star 2015, the league will host basketball and fitness clinics in 100 schools – 20 per borough – during the NBA All-Star FIT Celebration on NBA FIT Friday, Feb. 13. These efforts will be supported by Kaiser Permanente and will feature a member of the NBA family, from NBA All-Stars to WNBA players to NBA legends, at each site."
Read more about NBA fit by clicking the following link: http://fit.nba.com/?page_id=17



The mission of the East New York Farms Project is to organize youth and adults to address food justice in our community by promoting local sustainable agriculture and community-led economic development.

    Through the work of improving their own community, we unlock the potential of young people in East New York. From March through November, 33 youth from East New York participate in our intensive internship program. They are involved in all aspects of running a 1/2 acre organic farm, and provide support to other gardens through East New York, often run by senior citizens. Through this process, they learn about the environment, health & nutrition, entrepreneurship, and leadership. They also use food as lens to examine issues of social justice. They work in multi-cultural and multi-generational teams to create change in their community. Many youth stay in the program for several years, taking on new leadership roles each season.

East New York Farms! is a project of the United Community Centers in partnership with local residents


The Essence School Saturday Academy

begins January 10, 2015 from 9:00am to 1:00pm.

Dates:   1/10/15          2/28/15
          1/17/15         3/7/15
            1/24/15         3/14/15
            1/31/15         3/21/15
             2/7/15           3/28/15




The Foundation for a Drug-Free World is a nonprofit public benefit corporation that empowers youth and adults with factual information about drugs so they can make informed decisions and live drug-free.

 Through a worldwide network of volunteers, 50 million drug prevention booklets have been distributed, tens of thousands of drug awareness events have been held in some 180 countries and Truth About Drugs public service announcements have been aired on more than 500 television stations. These materials and activities have helped people around the world learn about the destructive side effects of drugs and thereby make the decision for themselves to not use them.



Enter Into a World of Excitement,
Endless Possibilities & Fun in Our
Fall 2014 Robotics Class
@ The Essence School
Open to Grades 6th - 8th

Robotics is a challenging, fun-filled course where student teams' designs, build, and program LEGO robots. The class promotes group problem solving and critical thinking skills.

    See Principal Lewis For Applications

Dial A Teacher  1-212-777-3380   Free Help with Homework!

The Dial-A-Teacher program began in January of 1980. It was a pilot program in 17 schools in 8 districts. Five teachers were hired to field these questions with one teacher proficient in Spanish. Students throughout the city quickly began to use the program to get help with homework problems that stumped them. By 1986, the program expanded to include all elementary schools in the city through funding by the NYC City Council. The UFT provided a large space where the newly hired staff of 45 teachers could work. Hundreds of texts and reference materials were bought and Dial-A-Teacher was now a world-class source of help for all the elementary students in the city.

As word spread to students that there was a telephone number that they could call to get free help with homework, the number of calls climbed steadily. Students in middle school and high school who were using the Dial-A-Teacher program since the third grade continued to seek this help. Dial-A-Teacher began hiring experts in advanced math and science to field these calls from older students.

Freerice is an ad-supported, free-to-play website that allows players to donate to charities by playing multiple-choice quiz games. For every question the user answers correctly, 10 grains of rice are donated via the World Food Programme.

The available subjects include English vocabulary (the original subject with which the game launched), multiplication tables, pre-algebra, chemical symbols (basic and intermediate), English grammar, SAT, foreign language vocabulary for English speakers (French, German, Italian, Latin, and Spanish), human anatomy, geography (flags of the world, world capitals, country identification, and world landmarks), the identification of famous artwork, literature, quotations, and world hunger. A user's total score is displayed as a mound of rice and the number of grains.

Applying to high school this fall? The Citywide HS Fair is Sept. 20 & 21 at Brooklyn Tech HS. Get a head start:


The Essence School     

Curriculum Night     

Sept. 18, 2014         

5:00p.m. - 7:30p.m.

Good Shepherd Services is a leading youth development, education and family service agency with more than 80 programs that serve over 26,000 children, youth and families each year. We give vulnerable youth in New York City the opportunity to take ownership of their future, making a difference today and for the next generation.

You can get an application for Good Shepherd's After School Program in their main office located in room 502 or in the Essence School Main Office 


Do It Now! Tips To Get Ready For Back-To-School

By Cynthia Ewer, Author of
Complete Idiot's Guide to Getting Organized
get ready for back to school

Move over, summer--a new school year is coming!

With the start of school, families face new organization challenges.

School bells ring--and so do early-morning alarm clocks.

Paper piles swell as hand-outs and homework stream into the house.

Shorter autumn days bring a hectic round of sports, activities and events, and calendars fill with cryptic notes. Can the holidays be far behind?

Get organized now for the best school year ever! Use these ideas to prepare your home and family for the busy days ahead.

Click on the link to read more from this article.

Summer Reading combats “Summer Slide”, a phenomenon that affects children who stop reading over the summer. “Summer Slide” means that students actually lose some of the reading skills they gained during the school year and start the new school year behind where they finished the last. Active reading during the summer months prevents summer slide.


       SUMMER SAFETY TIPS For Children

1.  Always CHECK FIRST with your parents or the person in charge before you go anywhere or do anything. Be sure to CHECK IN regularly with yourparents or a trusted adult when you’re not with them.

2. Always TAKE A FRIEND when you play or go somewhere. It’s safer and more fun.

3. Don’t be tricked by people who offer you special treats or gifts. Never accept anything from anyone without your parents’ permission.

4. Stay SAFE when you’re home alone by keeping the door locked; notopening the door for or talking to anyone who stops by unless the person is a trusted family friend or relative, you feel comfortable being alone with thatperson, and the visit has been preapproved by your parents; and nevertelling anyone who calls that you’re home by yourself. Have a neighbor ortrusted adult you can call if you’re scared or there’s an emergency.

5. Never go into a public restroom by yourself.

6. Never go alone to malls, movies, video arcades, or parks. Take a friend with you, and always CHECK FIRST with your parents to make sure it’s okay.

7. Don’t panic if you feel lost. Identify the safest place to go or person to ask forhelp in reuniting you with your family. Never search for them on your own,and never go off alone with anyone who is trying to reunite you with yourfamily.

8. Be careful when you play. Stay away from pools, canals, and other bodies of water unless you are with an adult. Don’t play near busy streets or desertedareas, and never take shortcuts unless you have your parents’ permission.


The Annual Badminton Tournament was held in the Essene School gym on Wednesday, May 14th. Students from grades 6, 7 and 8 participated in both singles and doubles competitions. Having played in their physical education classes, they brought the skills needed to play in a competitive tournament. The underhand serves were accurate and precise, volleys were intense. The finals of the singles competition came down to 8th graders Abdul Luna and Khaleek Gregory. The game was close, the players were quick and strong, returning each others hits with numerous shots going back and forth. In the end Abdul Luna came out a little stronger winning by a score of 27-20. The Doubles finals players were teammates Zamani Ackie-Davis and Khaleek Gregory vs Abdul Luna and Jerome Everett. After a very close match with the score going back and forth Ackie-Davis/Gregory won the championship game by a score of 21-20. The entire tournament was very exciting. Congratulations to everyone on a very well played tournament. Check out more pictures in the photo section.

On Wednesday, May 7th at 10:00 am more than 50 Essence School students joined students from across the US in the NFL Play 60 Dance America Dance. This was in celebration of National Physical Education and Sports Month. 
Students were joined in the auditorium with Principal Lewis and the Urban Dance League Hip Hop Instructor Mr. Garrick. In addition to the Dance America Dance, students performed the Cha Cha Slide, DLo Shuffle and the Cupid Shuffle.
It was a great morning of dance, exercise and fun. Great job everyone!!!! Look for more mornings of dance in the near future.
Check out more photos in the photo gallery section.

Essence School Garden Project
Thanks to a Community Beautification Grant from Home Depot the Essence School was able to clean up the front of the school and add some gardens in an effort to beautify Sheffield Ave. Home Depot donated garden soil, some bushes, a tree and some pink Impatience and silver Dusty Miller flowers to add some color to our garden. Boys were chosen from the 7th and 8th grade to help with the project. During the week of May 5th, the students raked the grass area in the front of the school, they dug out flower beds, cultivated the soil and planted the tree, bushes and more than 250 flowers. They found lots of worms (which usually indicates the soil is rich) and other insects in the ground. It was lots of hard work but no one complained and everyone had a great time. Because of their efforts, Mr. Lewis treated them to a Pizza Party lunch.  The students will continue to maintain the garden through the end of the school year by cultivating the bed and watering the plants. If you happen to walk in the front of the school, check out our garden. I thinks you will be happy with what you see. The plants are very small now, but with some love and care they will flourish. GREAT JOB EVERYONE!!!!! Check out the photos in the photo album.

A Raisin in the Sun

On Thursday April 10, 2014 Essence 8th grade students went on a trip to Broadway to see the play A Raisin In the Sun starring Denzel Washington. A Raisin in the Sun takes place in the late ‘50s in a south side Chicago apartment, chronicling the lives of the members of an African-American family. Matriarch Lena plans to buy a home in an all-white neighborhood when she receives a hefty insurance check. Her son Walter dreams of buying a liquor store and being his own man, and her daughter Beneatha dreams of attending medical school. The tensions and prejudice they face create the drama in this beloved play.

Essence School



May 1-7 Begins National Physical Fitness and Sports Month

During National Physical Education and Sport Month, Essence School will be joining schools across the country who are participating in Let’s Move! Active Schools, a national initiative in support of First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! Campaign, to show the nation the importance of increasing physical activity before, during and after school. This year’s theme is “Let’s SHAPE America through Dance!”


Keeping children and teens interested in being physically active is critically important to reversing the growing epidemic of childhood obesity. According to the National Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), almost half of young people aged 12-21 and more than a third of high school students do not participate in vigorous physical activity on a regular basis, a contributing factor to obesity over a lifetime.”


SHAPE America recommends that schools and families incorporate at least 60 minutes of moderate physical activity into each child's daily routine. Let’s Move! Active Schools is designed to help every school provide a comprehensive school physical activity program with quality physical education as the foundation so that youth will develop the knowledge, skills and confidence to be physically active for a lifetime.


During this special week, students at Essence will have the opportunity to participate in a wide variety of physical activities. Activities will include early morning open gym, lunch time dance, various afterschool tournaments and events. For a complete list of activities see the National Physical Education and Sports Month calendar in the gym and on the 5th floor bulletin board.

ELA TEST:April 1
April 3

MATH TEST: April 30 – May 2

Three Essence School students achieved Honor Roll status for the 2nd marking period. To be recognized for this honor students must receive an 85 or above grade point average for the marking period. All three students are 8th graders. They include: Alzulma Escalera, Niyah Russ and Michael Rosas. Six other students achieved Honorable Mentions by achieving an 80-84.99 grade point average. Students receiving this award are: 8th graders Jeffrey Almanzar, Festicia Bovell, Sh niyah Welch, Calect Flores and 6th grader Nijah Swan.
These student were recognized for their achievements at a luncheon with Principal Lewis, Assistant Principal Smith and some of their teachers.
Congratulation to everyone for your success and keep up the good work!!!


The New Victory Theater is an off-Broadway theater located at 209 West 42nd Street, between 7th and 8th Avenues, in Midtown Manhattan. The New Victory is New York's first and only theater presenting work for children and family audiences year-round, programming a full season of theater, dance, puppetry, circus, opera, physical theater and other types of performance art from around the world. 

The New Victory Education Department is committed to building impactful and long-lasting relationships with schools and after-school programs. They believe that creating strong and meaningful partnerships between schools and arts organizations allows school communities to deeply enrich their arts programs and infuse creativity across the curriculum. Students and teachers are immersed in high quality performing arts productions during the school day and after school. Students in the 6th grade have recently taken part in classroom workshops led by skilled teaching artists from the New Victory Theater. (SEE PHOTOS IN PHOTO ALBUM)

The New Victory also offers a unique chance for students to experience live performances in the heart of New York City’s Theater District. Some Essence School students have been to several performances at the theater.


On Friday, March 14, 2014 students gathered in the Essence School gym for the 3rd annual Hockey Tournament. Three teams entered to play in a Round Robin tournament. In a round robin tournament each team plays each other once. At the end, the team with the best record is the winning team.

Teamwork, good shooting and passing, plus strong offense and defense by all teams made for a great tournament.
In game one, Team 1 defeated Team 2 by the score of 10 – 5.

Scoring stats: Team 1: Shahid (5), Daniel (3), Bjaro (1), Rashawn (1)  Team 2: Abdul (3), Krishion (2)

In game two, Team 2 defeated Team 3 by the score of 9-1.

Scoring stats:  Team 2: Krishion (5), Abdul (4) Team 3: Daniel (1)

Game three results: Team 3 scored 2 with Team 1 scoring 6.

Scoring stats:  Team 3: Zamani (1), Abdul (1) Team 1: Shahid (2), Daniel (1), Bjaro (1), Rashawn (1), Devonte (1)

 Final Results:        Team 1: 2 wins    0 losses

                               Team 2: 1 win     1 loss

                                Team 3: 0 wins   2 losses


 Team 1 Players: Shahid, Devonte, Daniel, Bjaro and Rashawn

Team 2 Players: Krishion, Abdul, Emmanuel, Kane, and William

Team 3 Players: Zamani, Justice, Matthew, Khaleek, and Dasean




K-8 Lunch Menu

Breakfast Express Menu

Essence School Volleyball Team Comes Alive in 2nd CHAMPS Volleyball Showcase

On Saturday, February 8th the Volleyball Team traveled to IS 62 in Brooklyn to compete in their first Volleyball Tournament.  The team was nervous because the gym and court they walked into was twice the size of the Essence School gym, but after warming up and taking  a few practice serves the teams confidence came back. However, IS 259’s team was a little too strong for the Panthers as they lost 2 out of 3 games for the match. The team played much better in the second game with strong serving from Justin Cepeda, William Sanchez and Shahid Anthony against IS 199 from Manhattan. However, after taking a demanding league the team could pull out the win losing the first game 26-24. They eventually lost the match. Other members of the team include Abdul Xavier, Jamini Robinson, Emmanuel Ford, Khaleek Gregory, Kaysha Gayle, Justin Ackie-Davis, and Zamani Ackie Davis.

The team took to the road again on Saturday, February 15th (in one of the snow storms of this crazy winter). The practices during the week proved to help as the team came away winning both matches. Great serving, passing and teamwork helped the team defeat IS 225 of Manhattan and IS 30 from Queens. It was a great afternoon. Most value player of the tournament went to William Sanchez for his serves with runner up honors going to Khaleek Gregory.  Other members of the team include Daniel Welch, Emmanuel Ford, Justin Ackie- Davis and Zamani Ackie-Davis.

Congratulations to all the athletes for a great tournament.  Ms. Calamari hopes to schedule some additional matches in the upcoming weeks.

 Hip Hop Dance at Essence School

As part of their physical education class this year the 8th grade girls have been getting instruction in Hip Hop Dance by members of the “Urban Dance League”. Every Wednesday morning in the auditorium you can hear the sounds of the most recent hip hop songs as the girls do the moves taught to them by their instructor Garrett. Garrett shows them the routines, they practice and then they are divided into teams. As teams, they compete against each other to see which team of dancers does the best at the routine they’ve been taught. The students have been improving each week. In the spring, we hope to compete against other schools who participate in the program.

What is the Urban Dance League? The Urban Dance League (U.D.L) is a professional sports league of organized street-dance competitions, classes, and showcases. The U.D.L presents professional dancing in the same arena as the professional sports and athletic world. To find out more about ADL visit their website at UDL.org.


On Tuesday, January 21, 2014 the NFL PLAY 60 Team paid a visit to the Essence School. The visit was to recognize us for our success in the NFL PLAY 60 Super Bowl XLVIII Challenge.  As part of the celebration NY Jet Safety Jaquawn Jarret and NY Giant Punter Steve Weatherford spent the morning with the students congratulating them on their accomplishment and also speaking to them about the importance of education. Students also had the opportunity to ask them questions about their career, including their training, education and future.

            After the assembly, forty select students had the opportunity to spend an hour with the players during a Play 60 Super Gym Class. Students did fitness and football drills with the players.

            It was a great day for the Essence School. Congratulations to all the students who participated.



On Thursday, January 16th the Essence School student council hosted its first Family Wellness Night. Students with families had an opportunity to come to the gym and workout as a family. Hockey, basketball, volleyball, skating, x-box, and Zumba were some of the activities played. Healthy Snacks were served to everyone and a free raffle was held for all participants. We will hold another Family Wellness Night in February and March. Check with Ms. Calamari for more information.

Students Show Holiday Spirit During Holiday Swag Day

Dressed in Holiday colors with Santa Hats, Reindeer Ears, and Holiday Ties the Essence School students, teachers and staff showed off their Holiday Spirits during our Holiday Swag Day on Friday, December 20th. Check out more photos in photo album.

Volleyball Tournament Ends with Thrilling Championship Game

The 4th Annual Volleyball Tournament on Wednesday, December 13 was a very exciting tournament for both players and spectators. Four teams entered the tournament. In round one Team William defeated Team Rashawn in Game 1 and Team Beckyann defeated Team Kahleek in the second game setting up the championship game between Team William and Team Beckyann. Some excellent serving and volleying brought the fans to their feet as the game got closer and closer. Down by 6 points Team Beckyann pulled themselves together to come back and tie the game at 15 points. After that the score was back and forth with Team Beckyann finally winning the final point with a 27-25 victory. Other members of Team Becky include Jamini Robinson, Kaysha Gale, Ms. Calamari, Justin Ackie Davis, Ms. Allen, Jean-Carlos and Kwame Blaire. Members of Team William include Joshua Payne, Dervin Pellew, Krishion Blaire, Abdul Xavier, Emmanuel Ford, Mr. Montas and William Sanchez Congratulations to all teams for a great tournament. Check out more photos in photo album.

Pricewaterhouse Coopers visited the Essence School on Friday, November 22nd. As part of their partnership with Essence, PWC gave the students in grades 6-8 a workshop on Finance. The students spoke with employees of the PWC finance department on budgeting and planning for their future. Check out more photos in the photo gallery.

Panthers Win 2 at 2nd Randall's Island Tournament
The Panthers started the day off slow on Saturday, November 16th with a 21-7 loss against IS 62 from Brooklyn. After a first possession touchdown the Panthers would not score again against a strong defense. Stats: TD Deshawn Harper pass to  Krishion Blair.
In Game 2 Essence came through with 20-14 win over IS 22 of the Bronx. Stats: TD: Harper to William Sanchez, Harper to Kwame Blaire, 2 point conversion run by Harper, TD: Deshawn to Sanchez.
In Game 3 the Panthers offense and defense was strong defeating IS 218 of the Bronx 25 - 0. Stats: TD Run by Harper, TD Run by Harper, TD Harper to Rashawn Scott, TD Deshawn to Shahid Anthony.
Congratulations to everyone on a great day.
Player of the tournament: Deshawn Harper.

On Friday, November 22nd more than 40 Essence School students met in the auditorium to do the new dance craze "WOBBLE" dance. The event was part of the Fuel Up to Play 60 "Make Your Move" campaign which is encouraging schools to get healthy by exercising for 60 minutes a day and making healthy eating choices. Beside having fun student were also getting exercise. (Check out the video in the Photo Album section)
Parents also had an opportunity to learn about healthy eating at the recent Parent/Teacher Conferences. A mini health fair was set up in the gym. Healthy food alternatives were served to parents after they met with teachers. Parents could sample some healthy fruits (strawberries, avacados), yogurt parfaits, carrots and broccoli, crackers with humus, and some chex mix.  A scale was also available where students and parents could check their BMI (Body Mass Index) which is an indicator if your weight is in a healthy zone.
Some 6th grade students are also taking the Play 60 challenge to get 60 minutes of exercise a day. They have been given journals to log their daily activity. To help them make the challenge Ms. Calamari has opened the gym to them in the mornings from 7:30 - 8:00.
For more information on the Fuel Up to Play 60 program and healthy alternatives see Ms. Calamari

The Essence School Flag Football Team had a great day on Saturday, November 9th. Traveling to Randall's Island for the Annual CHAMPS Frank Garcia Memorial Flag Football Tournament the team came home to Brooklyn with two victories. Game #1 was played against IS 582 also from Brooklyn, After a slow and nervous start the team came back for the win with a  close 27-25 score. Stats: Touchdowns: Deshawn Harper 30 yd. run, Harper pass to Daniel Welch, 2 pt. conversion Harper to Kwame Blaire, Interception by Harper, 2 pt conversion Harper to Anthony Ford, Ford 60 yd run.
Game #2 never got away from the Panthers with a 22-7 win over IS 354 of Brooklyn. The defense outplayed their opponent only allowing one touchdown. Stats: Touchdowns: Opening game run by Anthony Ford, 2 pt conversion Harper to Ford, Krishion Blaire interception run back, 2 pt. conversion Harper to K. Blaire, TD Harper to K. Blaire.
Other members of the team include: Eli Frazer, Zamani Achie Davis and Justin Ackie Davis. Zamani Ackie Davis was named Defensive Player of the Game for his quick movement pulling the flags of the opposing team. Congratulations to all the players for a great day.

Date: Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Time: 3:00pm – 5:00pm

Location: School Gymnasium & Cafeteria

Carnival games and prizes, karaoke, x-box, snacks, music, and dancing. $3.00 admission includes 5 game tickets. Additional tickets- 2 for $.025. STUDENTS MAY WEAR HALLOWEEN COSTUMES ONLY DURING THE  CARNIVAL. They must bring their costume to school and change before the carnival. All costumes and masks must be school appropriate. Nothing to provocative or offensive.

The 2013 NFL Play 60 Hula Hoop Challenge crushed the old Essence School record. Still hooping after more than 2 hours were 1st place winner  Anastaija Dejesus and runner up Almnotasar Saleh. After a week of practicing the Hula Hoop Contest began in the student's physical education classes. The top two students advanced to the Championship round on Friday, 25th during recess. Eighteen students started and two hours and 26 minutes later a Champion was declared. Dejesus could still be going but we had to stop the contest because school had finished for the day. Congratulations and great job to everyone. See photos in photo gallery.

Essence Brings Home the Gold at NYRR Youth Jamboree!!
The first Jamboree of the new school year was an exciting one for the Essence School Track Team. On Saturday, October 19th members of the team traveled to the New Balance Track and Field Armory in Washington Heights. The team has been practicing its long distance running over the past few weeks and it helped with the short races as the team placed in several categories. Placing in the dashes were: Kwame Blair (1st Place) 200m dash 8th grade; Krishion Blair (1st Place) 200m dash 7th grade; Shimar Rodriguez (1st Place) 50m dash 6th grade. The Long Jump was also a winning event for the team. Placing in 1st place in the 7th grade boys division was Justin Ackie Davis; placing 2nd in boys and girls divisions were Shimar Rodriguez and Tyasia 
Congratulations and great job to everyone. Check out the photos in the photo section.
Burke and Escalera Lead Student Council
The votes were tallied. This years Student Council will be lead by President Tashani Burke and Vice President Azulmar Espinera. The Treasurer and Secretary positions were won by Naijah Wallace and Kiana Gordon. All of the races were very close and we would like to thank the candidates for making the campaigns a great event. Candidates not making it to the top positions will remain on the Council as Representatives. These students include Zamani Ackie-Davis, Alquan Corbin, and Matthew Beeston. Campaign managers will also join House of Representatives. We have a very busy year ahead of us. The council will be meeting bi-monthly discussing the issues that they feel are important to the school. We will also be working on community service projects and some special events for the Essence School Students. All activities will be posted on the 5th floor Student Council Bulletin Board. Check out more photos in the Photo Album.

Dear Parents and Guardians of I.S. 311,                                     
The Essence School

I am pleased to announce that the new Interim Acting Principal will be Mr. Jermaine Lewis.
Mr. Lewis has had a very successful career with the Department of Education. He began as a middle school mathematics classroom teacher for grades 6, 7, 8 and assumed additional responsibilities of Team leader and Data Specialist. Early on his career, Mr. Lewis worked with colleagues to develop and implement a standards-based math curriculum with great success. He coordinated a schoolwide advisory program and led the extended day programming that enabled students to participate in a variety of activities that helped them develop socially and educationally. Mr. Lewis joined the NYC Leadership Academy in 2012 and is ready and able to lead the Essence School community to provide excellence in education for our children.

Joyce Stallings-Harte
Community Superintendent, (I.A) District 19

Dismissal Times:

Tuesday, Wednesday:

All students are dismissed at 2:58 p.m.

Monday Thursday & Friday:

All students are dismissed at 2:20p.m.


Research shows that children who are in school most of the time do better on standardized tests. Studies also show that kids who are absent more often score lower on standardized tests. Being late for school hurts a child’s learning, too. A student who is 10 minutes late every day will miss 30 hours of instruction during the year. Children can copy notes or makeup assignments but they can never get back the discussions, the questions, the explanations by the teacher and the thinking that makes learning come alive.

Your child’s success in school depends on having a solid educational background---one that can only be gained through regular school attendance.

Essence School

Spirit Day

October 4, 2013

Show your Essence Spirit by wearing our school colors which are BLUE & WHITE!

Breakfast will be served that morning during homeroom. A poster contest will be held and the homeroom with the best designed poster will be recognized as displaying the best School Spirit.                    

Songs for a Healthier Generation

On Monday evening September 30 a select group of students from the Essence School had an opportunity to attend the album launch of “Songs for a Healthier Generation” at Symphony Space in Manhattan. The event was hosted by hip hop artists Doug E. Fresh and D.J. Skee.

This album is part of First Lady, Michelle Obama’s Lets Move! Campaign along with Hip Hop Public Health and the partnership for a Healthier Generation. It is designated to empower and motivate children to live healthier lives. Dr. Oz, Matisyahu, Ashanti, D.M.C. , and many other special guest performed hits from their album “Songs for a Healthier generation” which can be downloaded for free from I-Tunes.

Photos from this event are posted in the photo album!

News from the Gym


The Essence School is an N.F.L. Play 60 Super School that supports healthy eating and physical activity. We encourage students, parents, and staff to make healthy eating choices and get 60 minutes of exercise a day.

In the next few weeks we will be looking for parents to become members of the School Wellness Committee. The committee will work on some special events throughout the year and meet to discuss ways we can make the Essence School become a healthy place for the school community. If interested please contact Ms. Calamari.

The Essence School would like to dedicate this year's school yearbook to Ms. Diaz who will be retiring from her teaching career
at the end of the 2012-2013 school year.

In appreciation for your lifelong dedication to education...
for believing in children, for guiding through example,
for inspiring with passion, for living through loving,
for leaving an indelible mark on the future of the students in our community, and
for touching the human soul. We would like to thank you for all your years of service.
You have made all the difference and will be greatly missed. 
With Our Gratitude & Love!
The Essence School Staff, Student body, & Community!

Photos from The 2013 Essence Yearbook can now be viewed in the Photo Album 

Happy Retirement! Ms. Lonesome!

In recognition of your years of service and guidance
to the students in The Essence School

May the blessings and joy you have brought to so many,
along with the contentment of a job well done,
fill your life and family with happiness.

Congratulations On Your Retirement! 


Flag Football Team receives Frank Garcia, Jr. Flag Football Memorial Award

On Tuesday, May 20, 2013 Ms. Calamari and the Football Team received the Frank Garcia, Jr. Flag Football Memorial Award from the Office of School Wellness.

Frank Garcia, Jr. a friend and colleague to the office of School Wellness programs passed away a little more than 2 years ago. He served as the Flag Football program coordinator for many years where he exemplified the values of hard work, sportsmanship, dedication and fair play which also defines the CHAMPS Middle School Sport and Fitness Programs (Cooperative, Healthy, Active, Motivated, Positive Students). These qualities have been displayed at the highest level by teacher/coach Ms. Calamari and all the Essence School students that participated in the 2012 Flag  Football Program.

The ceremony took place in the auditorium and everyone gathered afterward in room 504 for brunch. It was an exciting morning. Congratulations to Ms. Calamari and the Flag Football Team.

See Pictures in Photo Album

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