School Highlights

Naming of the Fleet

Due to the proximity of our school to new and existing ferry landings, P.S./I.S. 78Q was eligible to participate in a new vessel naming competition that allowed eligible 2nd grade classes to nominate names for 13 new citywide ferries.

In partnership with the New York City Economic Development Corporation (EDC) and Hornblower, the Department of Education held a competition to name 13 new vessels that will be inaugurated this summer. These new vessels connect New Yorkers along six brand new routes extending over 60 miles of waterways. The students drew from topics discussed in Units 1, 2, or 3 of the DOE’s Social Studies Scope and Sequence.


We are thrilled to announce that entries submitted by Ms. Di Roma’s class (201) and Ms. Loguercio’s class (203) both inspired names for two of the thirteen new Citywide Ferry Boats. Ms. Di Roma’s class came up with the name OPPORTUNITY, whilst Ms. Loguercio’s class created MUNSEE. The official boat names will be registered by the United States Coast Guard and will be recognized by members of the maritime community. The boats named by these two classes will be enjoyed by many passengers riding on the new Citywide Ferry.

A word from Ms. DiRoma – Class 201

The name “Opportunity”, was thought of after reading Building Manhattan by Laura Villa. The book taught us about how Manhattan started as just a small island, and over time was built up into the extraordinary city it is today. The word ‘opportunity’ was thought of after learning about all of the diverse people who came to America for a better life. Opportunity also means chance. Without chance, the first settlers wouldn’t have come to America to seek the land of opportunity, better life, and new beginnings.

The Munsee people made a life here first, in what was called Manhatta, by using the resources around them to survive. Additionally, the Munsee’s created their own clothing, built their own houses, and hunted animals to eat. They used the natural resources around them to help build a life.

On the other hand, travelers from other countries, such as England, sent explorers around the world to find a faster route to Asia for spices. In their travels, explorers like Henry Hudson, thought they could find Asia through the Northwest Passage. Little did they know, there was no Northwest Passage, but North America, which was discovered by the English in 1624. Hudson’s crew, settled by the mouth of the Hudson River, which became the city of New York. Upon arrival, the explorers found the first inhabitants, the Munsee’s, already in the area.

As time continued, the city began to build up as more and more countries discovered America. Engineers started to build bridges, tall buildings, thick roads, and transportation, which made New York City a more desirable place to live.

Today, New York City acts as a melting pot consisting of many diverse people from a variety of cultures, religions, countries, and languages. This is why “Ferry of Opportunity” should be the vessels name. Thanks to our vibrant past discoveries, New York City was, and still continues to be the city of opportunity.

A word from Ms. Loguercio – Class 203

We decided to name a new local Citywide Ferry, the Munsee after the Munsees. We have been learning about New York City over time. We learned about the First Inhabitants of New York City, the Munsees. The Munsees were the first people to call New York home before any other settlers. Since we live in New York City, the students were extremely interested in the Munsees because they were able to relate to the Munsees in some way.

The Munsee’s showed the students how their community, New York City, has changed over time. The students read resources in regard to the Munsee’s way of life, their traditions and culture. The students felt that the Munsees are an important part of history, especially the history of New York City. They wanted to name the ferry, the Munsee to illustrate how significant the Munsees are to New York City. The Munsees are relevant to New York City’s maritime history because the Munsees were the first people who inhabited New York. Water, including ponds, fish and the nearby oceans were very important for the Munsees, as they needed to fish to survive. Just like people now need ferries to trade and travel across a body of water, the Munsees used dugout canoes to help them fish for food. They also used the surrounding water to trade goods with nearby Natives.

We feel this name is the best for the new vessel because it demonstrates the history and culture of the Munsees. Having a vessel named after the Munsees would emphasize the importance of their traditions and culture to New York City. New York City is famous for its ethnic and cultural diversity. The Munsees highlight the cultural diversity that is New York City. We look forward to watching this new ferry vessel became part of our New York City culture!

Parent Volunteers

New & Veteran

We have been welcoming our newest Learning Leader Parent Volunteers during the last couple of weeks. The latest training took place back in January for the parents who signed up, but the badges and clearance from the Learning Leaders organization, an outside entity, only started coming in toward the beginning of March. Pretty much at the same time we were informed that the organization was closing its doors for good on March 15th, 2017. For the time being our wonderful parents can volunteer with their Learning Leader badges, valid until June 2017. Principal Pavone will decide how to proceed thereafter.

The primary area volunteers are needed for is lunch and recess monitoring. Our “veteran” parents (and grandparents) have been most helpful. Now we have even more sets of eyes to help keep our students safe during the recess-to-lunch and lunch-to-recess transitions. We are still refining the schedule. Once all the volunteers confirm the days and times of their availability, we hope to cover most days and lunch/recess periods in both the Early Childhood Center and Middle School buildings.

Our volunteers have been incredibly cooperative about monitoring recess, be it outdoors or indoors, and helping out in the lunchrooms. Many thanks to Christina Nieto-Arias, Cornelia Whitley, Bea Murphy, Maria Vrachnos, Nina Karchava, Nickia Joannides, Alicia Gljiva, Lajos Geenen, Yiota Dimitriou, Ana Abreu, Maryam Mizani-Bertrand, Mary Jobaida, Charmaine Mendoza, and Rebecca Barnes.

Family Ukulele Workshop

The Family Ukulele Workshop runs for the entire school year

The FAMILY UKULELE WORKSHOP, created and directed by our very own Mr. Gianutsos, known as Mr. G to many, takes place after school every Tuesday from 2:30PM to 3:15PM in the auditorium. Students in grades 2 through 8, along with their families, learn to play the ukulele and make music together.

The participants have already performed at the P.S./I.S. 78Q Winter Concert and are slated to perform at the Spring Concert too. They have also graciously performed for the Community Education Council back in December.

It is a delight to watch the group as Mr. Gianutsos strums along with the members.




¡ En Español Por Favor!

P.S/I.S. 78Q kicked off March with its new Spanish Club spearheaded by Ms. Barales. Interested students meet once weekly on Fridays after school. It is an engaging and interactive program. Students will not only develop or improve on their conversational skills, but will also have the opportunity to enrich their knowledge of the Spanish language by reading and writing. Culture will be introducedthrough the incorporation of classic stories. Ms. Barales knows the benefits of being bilingual and certainly wants to bring that to her students.

Students are still welcome to join!

Lost & Found….St. Mary’s Bound!

The school’s (very old) lost and found items had been lingering in the Middle School building for over one year. Notices were sent out to our families in January giving them a window of time to come into the school and weave through the array of hoodies, sweaters, coats, hats, gloves, scarves, and SO much more.

In early March the items were donated to St. Mary’s Church, thirteen boxes in total! This will certainly go to those in need.

Many thanks to parent volunteers Bea Murphy and Maryam Mizani-Bertand for all of their help, and of course to our always helpful custodian Marcus.

For current lost & found items:

ECC Building-Main Office
MS Building-Community Room (General), Cafeteria (Lunchboxes/Waterbottles)

Recess Revamped


You may be hearing your children mentioning Kevin, Michelle, Tyra, Diane, Michael, Madison, and Peter. These are some of the staff members of Kids Orbit, an outside recess company approved by the general membership, hired to oversee and enhance recess in the Early Childhood Center as well as the Middle School Building.

The first week was all about getting the transition between recess and lunch to go smoothly and efficiently so that the students had equal time to eat and move their bodies.

The Kids Orbit crew is really great at group games like Infinity Tag, Boppety-Bop-Bop-Bop, Log Tag, Trolls Wizards & Giants, Sharks & Dolphins, and Steal the Bacon for the older children. For the younger ones, Red Light Green Light 123, and Mr. Fox. In the days to come as the transition process between eating and recess times becomes seamless, more and more games and props will be introduced. Some of our students prefer free play, and that’s okay. A few students choose to stay in the lunchroom because they might be feeling under the weather or would rather quiet time reading.

It has been a phenomenal team effort between our administration, teachers, school aides, parent volunteers, and Food Service to make the new and improved recess happen.


Lunch 10:36AM: ECC Classes 012, 013, & 016, MS Grade 2
Recess 10:58AM: ECC Classes 012, 013 & 016, MS Grade 2

Recess 10:36AM: ECC Classes 011, 014 & 015, MS Grade 3 & 4
Lunch 10:58AM: ECC Classes 011, 014 & 015, MS Grades 3 & 4

Recess 11:22AM: ECC Classes 101 & 103, MS Grades 7 & 8
Lunch 11:45AM: ECC Classes 101 & 103, MS Grades 7 & 8

Lunch 11:22AM: ECC Classes 102, 104 & 105, MS Grades 5 & 6
Recess 11:45AM: ECC Classes 102, 104 & 105, MS Grades 5 & 6

Ribbon Cutting & Formal Opening of The Met Breuer


Children from P.S./I.S. 78Q join NYC Mayor, Bill de Blasio, Majority Leader and Council member Jimmy Van Bramer, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney and The MET Board Chair, Dan Brodsky for the Ribbon Cutting and Formal Opening of The MET Breuer on March 18, 2016.

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The Met Breuer will provide additional space for the public to explore The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s modern and contemporary art program that is expanding to include a new series of exhibitions, performances, artist commissions, residencies, and educational initiatives in the landmark building designed by Marcel Breuer.

The Met and P.S./I.S. 78Q have already partnered to offer free after-school programming for all of the middle school students through the Cultural After School Adventure (CASA) program, a City Council initiative created to provide greater access to arts and culture for young people, outside of the school day.  “We are excited about this partnership and appreciate The MET’s and council member Van Bramer for the opportunity to offer this unique experience to our middle school students.” said, Louis Pavone, Principal of P.S./I.S. 78Q.



P.S./I.S. 78Q is College Ready!

On February 10, 2016, The Middle School students, grades 6th, 7th and 8th from P.S./I.S. 78Q visited Yale University. The students had an opportunity to tour the Yale University Campus and gain first hand experience in the day and the life of an Ivy League college student. The entire educational and fun experience was free and sponsored by SASF and the NYC Department of Education.

As part of our initiative to work with community based organizations, the students went on an hour long guided tour of the campus and had a taste of campus life, having lunch in Yale’s Common Dining Hall.  Students were also able to ask questions of students currently in undergraduate studies and gain knowledge of what it takes to prepare for college.  The students had a great time touring the campus and interacting with college students. “At our school, the aim of a trip like this is to continue the college conversation within our school and help students and families understand that their dream of college is attainable.  It is also critical that students and our school community prepare for college early which will lead them towards a path of college readiness,” said Mr. Pavone, Principal.

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Toys for Tots

IMG_8110In December, P.S./I.S. 78Q Student Council coordinated a community service project at school with Toys For Tots. Toys for Tots is an initiative designed to collect and distribute toys to underprivileged children in our city. The children collected new and unwrapped toys donated from the families and children of P.S./I.S. 78Q. Students and families were encouraged to deposit all donations in boxes located in the lobby of each school building.

“It is an important teachable moment for children, when they are able to think of ways to help others. I hope this Holiday Season brings happiness to all families in our city.” said Mr. Louis Pavone, Principal of P.S./I.S. 78Q. The program was a success and they collected over 10 large bags of new toys for children in need. Way to go P.S./I.S. 78Q School Community!IMG_8109


Groundbreaking with Mayor Bill de Blasio

On Monday, November 23, 2015, Mr. Pavone and the student council of P.S./I.S. 78Q joined Mayor Bill de Blasio and other elected officials for a special groundbreaking ceremony for the an affordable housing development and expansion of Hunters Point Park South phase II in Long Island City, which will include a kayak launch, a platform overlooking the East River, playgrounds, basketball courts and a dog run, officials said this week.

Mr. Pavone, Principal of P.S./I.S. 78Q said, “It will add to an already great community filled with beautiful parks for children of all ages to enjoy.”

Work on the park will start in late summer or early fall, according to officials from the city’s Economic Development Corporation.

The park will be expanded to run along the East River and Newtown Creek south of 54th Avenue, and will feature a 40-foot wide overlook that’s elevated 35 feet above the water and offers a “dramatic vista and will feature lawns and a play area for toddlers,” according to the plans.

The park is expected to be completed by the end of 2018, officials said.