Lion's Share: Feb. 7

News from The School at Columbia University: February 7, 2014

Friday, Feb. 7
Grade 7 Potluck Canceled - to be rescheduled soon!

Saturday, Feb. 8
Science Expo at The School, 1-4 pm! All TSC families welcome!

Wednesday, Feb. 12
PA/Neurodiversity and Kaleidoscope: Sharing Our Stories, 8:30 am (North Dining Room)

Friday, Feb. 14
Parent/Guardian Conferences

Monday, Feb. 17
(Presidents’ Day Holiday)

Thursday, Feb. 20
PA/Casa Latina Meeting, 8:30 am
PA/Neurodiversity and Nutrition and Health Committee: Guest Speaker Geri Brewster, 5:45 pm (Library)

Friday, Feb. 21
K and Grade 4 Buddies Ice Skating Trip
Grade 8 Potluck, 5:45 pm

Thursday, Feb. 27
PA/Neurodiversity Support Group Meeting, 8:30 am

Thursday, Mar. 6
Grade 2 Performance, 8:30 am

Friday, Mar. 7
Grade 2 Bake Sale

Thursday, Mar. 13
PA/Nutrition and Health Committee Meeting, 8:30 am

March 10-14
Integrated Projects Week (IPW)

March 17-28
Spring Break

Monday, Mar. 31
Back to School

Games Next Week
Monday, Feb. 10
Gr. 5 Girls Basketball v. Mandell, 4:15 pm (away)
Gr. 7/8 Girls Basketball v. Hewitt, 4:15 pm (away)
Gr. 7 Boys Basketball v. IDEAL, 4:15 pm (MPR)
Fencing v. Riverdale, 4:30 pm (CU)

Tuesday, Feb. 11
Gr. 6 Girls Basketball v. Bank Street, 4:15 pm (MPR)
Gr. 6 Boys Basketball v. Bank Street, 5:15 pm (MPR)

Wednesday, Feb. 12
Gr. 8 Boys Basketball Tournament at Grace Church, 4 pm
Squash v. Grace Church, 4 pm (away)
Gr. 7/8 Girls Basketball v. Trevor, 4:15 pm (MPR)
Gr. 7 Boys Basketball v. Trevor, 5:15 pm (MPR)

Thursday, Feb. 13
Gr. 8 Boys Basketball Tournament at Grace Church, 3:30 pm
Squash v. Poly Prep, 4 pm (away)
Gr. 5 Girls v. Gr. 6 Girls Basketball, 4:15 pm (Levien Gym, Dodge Fitness Center, CU)
Gr. 7 Boys Basketball v. Rodeph Sholom, 4:15 pm (MPR)

Roar-ee’s 2014 Cub Camps!
Registration is open for Roar-ee's annual Spring Break and Summer Camps at Columbia University, fun-filled day camps with sports, games, swimming, arts and crafts, and more! Camps are open to children ages 6-12. The 2014 Spring Break Camp runs March 17-21, and Summer Camp sessions begin June 16. Visit the Cubs Camp site for more details and to sign up! Register before March 1 for Spring Break Camps, and before May 1 for Summer Camps, to receive early registration discounts. Roar on!

Summer Science Camp at Black Rock
Registration is also now open for an array of week-long Summer Science Camps at Black Rock Forest for Middle Division students! Camps include “Flying High Ornithology Class,” “Surveying Turtles,” “Writing on America’s River,” “The Amazing World of Trees,” and more. Visit to watch a great video about the camps and for more information, or call 845-534-4517.

The Gallery
Science Expo Pep Assemblies
Grade 8 Digital Photography
Middle Division Debate Team
Grade 8 Stop-Motion Art

The Tube
Middle Division Performing Arts Winter Concert (in parts)


Tomorrow! Science Expo!
We hope you will come to this year’s Science Expo tomorrow, Saturday, Feb. 8 from 1 to 4 pm. Scientists in more than 30 exhibits will share their work and passion for science with hands-on activities and dazzling presentations!

The Expo Committee would love for families to bring individually wrapped nut-free baked goods when they come, to be sold at the event’s bake sale. Please drop them off on the second floor on your way to the exhibits on Floors 3-5!

And don’t forget the very special guest speaker, NASA astronaut Mike Massimino! Mike will give a brief talk at 3:45 in the MPR, and then answer audience questions until the Expo ends at 4 pm.

A few notes about Security & Safety:
- All children who attend the Expo must be accompanied by an adult.
- All adults will be asked to present a photo ID to enter the Expo. Acceptable forms of ID are (in order of preference): TSC photo ID, CU photo ID, and government-issued photo ID.

The School, the PA, and the Science Expo Committee look forward to seeing all families tomorrow!

Students acted as computers, robots, wires, and much more during today's very exciting Science Expo Pep Assemblies. Renditions of "Here Comes the Sun" and "Float, Float, Float Your Boat" were performed, nodding to exhibits at tomorrow's Expo that will explore pinhole cameras measuring the Sun, and aluminum foil boats carrying weight. See more photos of the assemblies on The Gallery, and be sure to come to tomorrow's Expo!

Mr. Anthony Carthan
When you see Security & Safety staff member Anthony Carthan next week, please be sure to give him a hug, or a high-five, or both, or many. In Anthony’s words, “Dear families and students whom I love with all my heart and soul, I write to inform you that I will be moving on. My time at The School has been a wonderful experience. It has been a time of meeting and greeting wonderful people every day. My main goal was to provide a safe environment for everyone, and I feel that has been accomplished in my more than 10 years at The School.” Anthony’s last day at The School will be next Friday, Feb. 14. Please see him next week if you would like to read his farewell letter, and please join The School community in thanking him for his incredible service, and in wishing him the best for all he will do in the future. Mr. Carthan will be very missed.

Weather Communications
The School communicates with all families via email AND phone if school, as a whole, is canceled due to weather or other emergencies. Going forward, The School will communicate with all families via email AND phone if just after-school activities are canceled (in the past, after-school closing information has only been emailed to families). Accordingly, if after-school activities are again canceled in the coming weeks due to weather, please expect to hear from The School via both an email and a voicemail message. But let’s hope the worst of the snow is behind us!

Contracts Reminder
Please be sure to return enrollment and re-enrollment contracts to the Office of Admissions on the first floor (at the back of the Lobby, on the right) by Friday, Feb. 14. Kindly do not leave contracts with the Security & Safety desk, or in the administrative offices on the second floor, so that we may process your contracts as efficiently as possible. Thank you very much for your help!

Food Services Update
Please know, The School has lifted the restriction of pork as an ingredient in food at The School. Items in the Lunch Program that do contain pork will be clearly labeled, and we ask families to clearly label pork in any items they bring into The School. Shellfish, nuts and nut oils will stay on the restricted list and not be served at The School, and vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options will continue to be available every day. Thank you to all families for your flexibility, and for working with us to best serve our students’ needs.

Buzz! Collaboration in Action!
Over the fall semester, many Middle Division students participated in the Target Round of Math Counts. This past Friday, Jan. 31, fifteen students who qualified (with a score higher than 12 in the Target Round) participated in the final Countdown Round! The Countdown Round started with two students, whose continuation in the contest was dependent on answering various math questions accurately before the other student. Each round consisted of three questions. The student with the “best of 3” progressed to the next round, where they matched math wits with another student.

At the end of the contest, awards were given for First Place, to Milan Haiman (Grade 7 student); Second Place, to Inbar Pe’er (Grade 8); and Third Place, to Mariya (Masha) Pershyna (Grade 7).

The Middle Division Math Team congratulates, and is very proud of, all Math Counts participants!

-- Katie Hildebrandt, Middle Division Math Team

Ms. Hildebrandt told me about the need for buzzers for the Math Counts competitions, and she asked if the TSC Design Team, an after-school club for Middle Division students, might be able to create them. She specified that the buzzers needed to make it easy for contest judges to know who pressed their buzzer first, with audio or visual output. And two buzzers weren't allowed to go off at the same time.

Students in the Design Team split into two groups to tackle the project. One group set out to code a buzzer program in Scratch, a visual computer programming language developed by MIT, and the other group focused on finding a 3D-printed button design that could be pressed on for activation. The two groups made quick prototypes of their respective products, and then came together to connect the computer program to the 3D-printed model via MakeyMakey, a little circuit board that lets users turn conductive materials into computer inputs. I gave the prototype a quick test and sent it off to Ms. Hildebrandt for the event.

A collaborative success!

-- Dylan Ryder, Educational Technologist and TSC Design Team Leader

Debate Team Roars!
The TSC Debate Team has set the bar high and showed they are a force in the Metropolitan Debate League! This past Saturday, Feb. 1, at The Garden School in Queens, seven TSC students debated teams from more than 12 schools around the city. Debaters included Sawyer Cooper, Emery John, Otto Moran, Khaliq Rodriquez (Grade 6 students), Claire Keenan-Kurgan, Aise O’Neil, and Inbar Pe’er (Grade 8). Our students shined with strong technique and extensive subject matter knowledge, on topics such as the National Security Agency’s PRISM surveillance program. The TSC teams debated eloquently and knowledgeably on all resolutions.

The day ended with one team finishing 2-2, and two undefeated teams. Additionally, Inbar Pe'er was awarded best speaker, the highest individual honor given at the event. The Debate Team and leader Mr. Carthan thank families, alumni coaches, and head coach Bernardo Sarmiento-Hinojosa for their unwavering support! The next debate will be Saturday, Mar. 8 at Hunter College Campus Schools. Congratulations to the TSC team!

It’s Awards Season
Students in Grades K-4 have started reading and analyzing the five finalists for this year's Leo's Choice Award, The School's annual award for best picture book. Copies of all the finalists are available to read in the Library, in a bin marked “Leo’s Choice.” Please note, the finalist books must stay in the Library for now, so students can review and use them for lessons. The students are very excited about choosing their favorite, and I'm sure they would love to talk to you about the books as the process unfolds!

The finalists this year are:
“Mr. Tiger Goes Wild” by Peter Brown
“The Silver Button” by Bob Graham
“Exclamation Mark” by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Tom Lichtenheld
“Sophie’s Squash” by Pat Zietlow Miller and Anne Wilsdorf
“The Day the Crayons Quit” by Drew Daywalt and Oliver Jeffers

Sharing Our Stories: Neurodiversity and Kaleidoscope
Wednesday, Feb. 12, 8:30-9:45 am, North Dining Hall
The school community is invited to a collaborative morning meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 12, co-sponsored by the PA’s Neurodiversity Support Group and Kaleidoscope, featuring a panel of parents whose children struggle with learning differences caused by neurological challenges. Participants will discuss families’ experiences, including strengths and skills they bring to the school community. The aim of the meeting is to create an environment for everyone to feel safe, be heard, and thrive. Following the panel there will be a Q&A for the audience.

How Food Choices Can Affect Mood, Behavior, Cognition
Thursday, Feb. 20, 5:45 to 7 pm, Library
Join us for a discussion with Geri Brewster, RD, MPH, CDN, to learn how food choices affect brain function, cognition and behavior. Nutrient-rich refreshments will be served. Parents/caregivers, faculty, staff and Middle Division students are invited to attend. Childcare and dinner will be provided for TSC students in Grades K through 5. This event is co-sponsored the Neurodiversity Support Group and Nutrition and Health Committee. Please RSVP here!

Rafi’s Run
The PA invites families to join the school community on Sunday, Mar. 9 in Riverside Park for the third annual Rafi’s Run, a 5K run/walk celebrating our Grade 1 student Rafi Kopelan. The event is held to benefit DebRA of America and research for Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB). Sign up and learn more at!

The PA is looking for volunteers to work the day of the event. To volunteer, please submit this form or email Also, please contact if you’d like to donate gifts for the raffle, or help secure sponsors for the event. Please be sure to save the date!