April's school-wide theme is:  WORKING   OUT   CONFLICTS 
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 282-125 & 2-130 

     April 204-307 
     April 24 3-204 

     May 44-203 & 4-227 
     May 83-222, 3-226, & 3/4-305
     May 152-126 
     May 184-221, 4-106B, & 4/3-205 
     May 222-124 & 2/3-225
     May 254-224 & 4-223 
     May 293-120, 3-201, & 3-206 

     June 1 5-104A & 5-104B

    Posted Apr 11, 2018, 5:05 AM by Justin Russello
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    • ELA (Reading & Writing): April 11th and 12th
    • Math: May 1st & 2nd
    • Get a good, full night sleep with a healthy and yummy breakfast in the morning (PS8 offers free breakfast to all students every day).
  • Upcoming Assemblies:

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

Kindergarten: K-402 with 92.5%
First Grade: 1-129 with 93.3%
Second Grade: 2/3-225 with 91.9%
Third Grade: 3-206 with 93.3%
Fourth Grade: 4-106B with 89.1%
Fifth Grade: 5-302 with 94.5%

Overall, THIRD GRADE had the best attendance at 89.6%. This is their second month in a row as the top grade!
However, MS. GOTKIN's fifth grade class, 5-302, had the top class attendance this month!


  • All About Gardens - Ms. McCarthy's Kindergarten Class

    Our brains are growing faster than our plants!

    Ms. McCarthy's class of Kindergarteners had a wonderful time exploring gardens! After exploring 
    nonfiction books about gardens, the students studied different types of gardens and what they offer. Using images and texts, the children developed their green thumbs by becoming garden experts and planting their own flower seeds! A variety of their planning and writing work is on display on this board. This beautiful and flowery board can be found outside class 407 in the Minischool.
    Posted Apr 18, 2018, 10:14 AM by Justin Russello
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