Lion's Share: Dec. 20

News from The School at Columbia University: December 20, 2013


Monday, Dec. 23 - Friday, Jan. 3
Winter Break

Monday, Jan. 6
School Resumes

Save the Date!
Saturday, Feb. 8
Science Expo at The School, 1-4 pm

Wallach Art Gallery Family ProgrammingThe Miriam & Ira D. Wallach Art Gallery on the Columbia University campus is offering free family programming with its exhibition “Goddess, Heroine, Beast: Anna Hyatt Huntingon’s New York Sculpture, 1902-1936,” by reservation only! The exhibit is on view Jan. 22 through March 15, 2014, and CU Art History and School of the Arts MFA students are on hand to lead tours and Family Day activities. Please contact Deborah Cullen, Director and Chief Curator, with any questions or to make reservations. The gallery is located on the 8th Floor of Schermerhorn Hall  (1190 Amsterdam Ave.). Enjoy!

Early Registration: Holiday Cubs Camp

Holiday Cubs Camp will be held at Dodge Fitness Center on the Columbia campus Dec. 26, 27, 30 and Jan. 2, 3! Early bird discount for registering before tomorrow, Saturday, Dec. 21. Visit the Cubs Camp site for details.

New on The Gallery and Tube
The Gallery:
Grade 5 Dance China Studies
Grade 7 Coders

The Tube:
Grade 5 Tai Chi
Grade 3 Recorder Concert
Dance Club Duets and Solos



As we enter the winter vacation, it is time to pause and recognize the importance of our school community. The winter break is a wonderful time to enjoy sleeping in and playing in the snow. However, it is also a time to think about the people who have made a difference in your life. Our connections to each other are among the many things that make our school so special. I encourage you to take time over the break to share with someone who has had a made a difference in your life why they are significant to you. 

On behalf of the entire faculty and staff at The School at Columbia, I would like to wish you and your family a happy and healthy winter vacation. We look forward to seeing you again in 2014 on Monday, Jan. 6.

-- Amani Reed, Head of School

Faculty and Staff Gratitude
Faculty and staff would like to give a big thanks to our kind families for a variety of lovely gifts! For the first time this year, a group of nearly 80 parents put together handmade gift boxes full of goodies for multi-grade teachers and staff members and delivered them around the building. It was a wonderful surprise that was much appreciated! Class parents also organized gifts for classroom/homeroom teachers and we all thank everyone who participated for their generosity of time, talent and treasure.

MLK Jr. Day of Service
The PA’s Kaleidoscope welcomes the entire school community to spend Monday, Jan. 20 (9 am to 12 pm) at The School celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with music and dance performances by Harlem's renowned dance theater group Forces of Nature, community service activities, inter-generational shares, and art-making workshops. There will also be a bake sale organized by the Nutrition and Health Committee, a professional clothing drive, and a dry goods collection, which we will march to a local soup kitchen in honor of the civil rights movement and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service. More information to come after the break -- but space is limited, so please RSVP now! For questions, please email Kathy Leichter at and if you would like to volunteer, please email Lida Rubenstein at

An Important Note For Families of Yellow Bus Riders
The School’s students who arrive by school bus are transported via a service provided by the New York City Department of Education (DOE). This note is to inform you that the school bus service provider Atlantic Express and its affiliated companies (including Amboy, Staten Island Bus, and Atlantic Queens Bus) have filed for bankruptcy protection. These companies have informed the DOE that they will cease operation on December 31, 2013. The DOE is working to get other bus vendors to step in and serve these routes.

However, it is possible that some or all of the Atlantic-related school bus routes will not be in service when school resumes on January 6, 2014. Should that occur, The DOE's contingency plan is as follows:

1) Special MetroCards will be available for use by all yellow bus riders currently traveling on Atlantic buses. The parents of those riders may also receive MetroCards upon request. These MetroCards are being sent to The School immediately, but they will not be distributed until specific instructions to do so have been issued to schools by The Office of Pupil Transportation (OPT). Please note, if MetroCards are distributed to parents and students, such distribution will occur on or after January 6, 2014. Accordingly, families will need to make arrangements for your child(ren) to be transported to school on January 6, 2014.

2) Families should begin regularly checking the OPT website at beginning Friday, December 27, for updated information regarding the transition of bus services for your child(ren).

We understand the anxiety and inconvenience this situation may bring. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Yvelisse Viera at (212) 851-4288 or

We appreciate your understanding and support.

Young Programmers Teach Others
Seven students from the Intermediate Division co-presented a computer programming workshop with Educational Technologist Dylan Ryder at Scratch Day NYC at the Marymount School on Saturday, Dec. 14. The children took turns teaching an audience of other students, teachers and parents from around the city how to program the classic video game Pong. Scratch is MIT's computer programming language that uses graphic code blocks to create animations, games and other computer applications. Our students did a great job and a fun time was had by all!

Dylan Ryder and Students
Dylan Ryder and five of the seven students who co-presented the workshop. Photo by Karen Blumberg. 

Mystery Composer Challenge #5 Answer
Thanks for playing the Mystery Composer Challenge, if you answered Gian Carlo Menotti, congratulations! Below are the clues from last week to Menotti’s identity.

Who am I?
- Italian-born composer
- Born 1911, died 2007
- Compositions include “Amahl and the Night Visitors” and “The Unicorn, The Gorgon, and The Manticore”
- Awarded the Kennedy Center Honor for Achievement in the Arts
- Wrote the opera "The Consul," which won a Pulitzer Prize
- Studied Music at Curtis School of Music in Philadelphia, PA

I am ... Gian Carlo Menotti!

Parting Shot
Music teacher Rachel Klem acts as emcee for the whole-school winter assembly, full of songs and fun.

THE WEEK OF January 6 IS "B" WEEK!