February's school-wide theme is:  ANTI-BULLYING 
Greetings PS 8 Families,
As the principal of P.S. 8 - The Isaac Varian School, it is my pleasure to welcome you back to a new, exciting year of school. At P.S. 8, we strive for excellence and have high expectations for our students. We are focused on creating a learning environment that is safe, respectful, and engaging and our goal is to develop responsible and dedicated students that are prepared for the demands necessary to be successful in the 21st century.  We welcome your feedback, and I hope you visit our site often for the latest news and school events.
Claudia Tahiraj-Sadrija

*Illustration courtesy of Mrs. Jen

PS 8 Proud Lions Newsletter

March, 2018

Greetings PS 8 Families,

It is hard to believe that it is already March! We are looking forward to meeting with all of you on March 15th during our scheduled Parent Teacher Conferences to share with you all of the great work your children have been doing and the progress they have made since the beginning of the school year. 

We are also pleased to share with you that through our Character Education work this year, we are continuing to focus on creating an environment that is safe, respectful, and engaging for all students. Take a look at some of our work throughout the school highlighting our Pillar of the Month for March: "Saying No to Bullying and Teasing!

Lastly, through popular demand, we are happy to announce that this Spring we will be collaborating with two music partnership programs called Third Street Music School Settlement and Flamenco Vivo in an effort to offer students music and dance experiences taught by professional teaching artists!

Thank you for your support as we work together to provide your children with a well-rounded and rigorous education here at PS 8.


Claudia Tahiraj-Sadrija

3-5 Literacy Reading & Writing Coach

Dear Parents,

Our 3rd, 4th and 5th teachers have been very busy preparing your children for the NYS English Language Arts (ELA) exam. Your children are participating in the close reading of texts and are being taught vocabulary words that might be embedded in test questions. They are also learning about the types of questions they can expect to see on the test as well as the specific criteria that will earn them the most points on the written part of the exam. The ELA test is two days long this year and will take place on April 11th and 12th this year. These dates are right after we return from April vacation so please make sure your child gets a good night’s sleep and eats breakfast so they can do their best on their exams.

Ms. McCosh, Literacy Coach Grades 3-5

K- 2 Universal Literacy Reading Coach

A Glimpse into PS 8’s K-2 Reading and Writing Units


Reading: Students will become experts in nonfiction during reading time!

Writing: Students will focus on writing nonfiction booklets about topics they love.

First Grade:

Reading: Students will meet characters and learn lessons through their books while studying story elements such as characters, setting, problem and solutions.

Writing: Students will begin to write fictional stories using their creative imagination.

Second Grade:

Reading: Students will focus on building their reading skills through Nonfiction Reading Book Clubs.

Writing: Student will be creating informational booklets that focus on different structures of nonfiction text.  

Literacy Tips to Help Your Child at Home

If your child gets stuck on a word while reading a book. Please try these strategies:

1.      Look at the pictures.

2.      Say the first few sounds of the new word.

3.      Stretch the word out slowly.

4.      Look for a chunk that you know (-at, -an)

5.      Skip the word, read to the end of the sentence, hop back and READ IT, READ IT!

6.      Try to re- read the sentence, try a word that makes sense

7.      Ask for help (after you have tried all the other strategies)

Feel free to stop by the “ULIT Café” bulletin board (Located on the 2nd floor outside of the library). You will find more helpful tips and information to help your reader at home.

If you have any questions, please reach out to Ms. Camille Blackwood, via email at cblackwood@schools.nyc.gov or stop by room 202. I look forward to working with you!


  • Assembly Schedule

    Class assemblies are starting for grades 2 through 5. Please use the chart below to find your child's class.

     March 235-302 
     March 282-125 & 2-130 

     April 135-309 
     April 172/3-205 
     April 204-307 
     April 24 3-204 
     April 27 5-104A & 5-104B 

     May 44-223 
     May 83-222, 3-226, & 3/4-305
     May 115-301, 5-304, & 5-306 
     May 152-126 
     May 184-221, 4-106B, & 4/3-205 
     May 222-124 
     May 254-203 & 4-227 
     May 293-120, 3-201, & 3-206 

    Posted Mar 20, 2018, 6:38 AM by Justin Russello
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  • Thursday, March 15th is a HALF DAY due to Parent-Teacher Conferences. Students K-2 are dismissed at 11:10AM, and students grades 3-5 are dismissed 11:20AM.
  • Parent-Teacher Conferences are on Thursday, March 15th.
    • The afternoon session is 12:20-2:20PM
    • The evening session is 4:30-7:30PM
    • Please return the conference form to the teacher as soon as possible.
  • Upcoming Assemblies:

Let's celebrate! The following classes had the BEST ATTENDANCE in February:

Kindergarten: K-402 with 94.2%
First Grade: 1-127 with 94.3%
Second Grade: 2-124 with 92.2%
Third Grade: 3-204 with 95.1%
Fourth Grade: 4-223 with 94.4%
Fifth Grade: 5-301 with 94.4%

Overall, THIRD GRADE had the best attendance at 91.8%, finally overthrowing the reigning champions in Fifth Grade.
However, MS. GRIFFIN's third grade class, 3-204, had the top class attendance this month!


  • What Do Fossils Tell Us? - Ms. Klein's 5th Grade Class

    What does the fossil say?

    Ms. Klein, Mrs. Marcus, and the students in class 5-104A studied fossils by examining the role of paleontology in the Western Hemisphere. This extensive project pushed the students' brains to the limit, showing just how dedicated and hard working these learners are. Researching with video and engaging in group discussions, the students worked together to define "fossil" and figure out how we can gather information from our fossils. Then, the class engaged in hands-on exploration, digging up a fossil and "reading" its attributes through observation. Their detailed reports can be "dug up" on this ancient, fossilized bulletin board outside room 104A. Come take a look!
    Posted Mar 13, 2018, 11:53 AM by Justin Russello
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