Summer Letter 2019
Posted on August 15, 2019

Dear Second Graders and Families,

Welcome to a new year at Brooklyn New School! Our names are Greta Schwerner and Andrew Chiappetta. We will be your Second Grade teachers this year. 

We hope you are having a fun summer vacation.  Greta is spending the summer camping and canoeing and traveling to Tennessee with her husband and two daughters.  There will be much tromping around the woods, swimming in rivers, and trying to catch blue-tailed lizards. (Really!  There are blue-tailed lizards here in Tennessee!) When Greta and her family get back to Brooklyn, she’ll be reading books, hanging out at the Red Hook pool, and getting ready for school in September.

Andrew is spending his summer exploring - places halfway around the world and places right out the back door. He will be hiking and camping and gardening and drawing and painting and studying trees. If you want to find Andrew over the summer, the best place to look is in a forest next to a tree. He will probably be there with a pencil and a sketchbook and a tree guide.

We cannot wait to meet you and hear about how you spent your summer vacation!

Now here are your first two assignments to get you ready for 2nd grade!


This summer, as you go walking outside - along the sidewalk, in a park, on a hike, in a backyard, wherever you go - look for trees. Then, look on the ground around the trees. Find a leaf that has fallen from a tree. Choose a leaf that you think is particularly beautiful or interesting. Make sure the leaf is from a tree and not from a nearby bush or other plant. Also make sure the leaf is not broken. You should be able to see the full shape of the leaf. Next, use the kit (which we will send to you in the mail) to press the leaf. That way your leaf will not dry up and crumble. Finally, get ready to share your leaf and tell the story of finding it. Where did you find the leaf? What made you stop to pick it up? Bring the leaf, with the press, into school on the first day. Everyone will have the chance to tell a leaf story. Then we will put them all together to start a class leaf collection.


Keep your eyes open for bridges this summer, too. Once you start looking for them, you will see them all over the place! Some bridges will be huge and some bridges will be tiny. Bring in a picture of a bridge. Any bridge. You can take a picture with a camera and print it out. You can find a picture in a magazine. You can draw a picture (be careful and use lots of detail, so we can see how the bridge really looks). Pick a bridge that you think is interesting and beautiful.

The first day of school is Thursday, September 5th.  School starts at 8:10. We will meet you in the Big Yard and we will all walk together to our classroom, 309.  We look forward to seeing you all soon!


Greta and Andrew


Important Information For Families

Please send us an email to with your name and your child’s name, confirming that you got this letter. We will send the leaf press kit to the address we have on file. If you would like us to send it to a different address please let us know.

The beginning-of-year forms will be sent home during the first week of school.  As always, it is important to get these back to us as soon as you can.

Allergies/Health Issues

If your child has serious allergies which may require emergency treatment, asthma, or any other health issue that we need to know about before the first day of school, please send us an email so that we can be prepared.  


We have chosen to buy all our classroom supplies in bulk. This should save us all quite a bit of bother and money while providing uniform materials for all of our students.  We will spend $75 per child. So, instead of buying specific supplies, we ask that you reimburse us. Please feel free to pay the $75 all at once or in smaller installments. As always, if this amount is a burden, please pay what makes sense for your family.  If this amount is not a burden and you could contribute more, that would be very welcome, too. This will cover the cost of the following materials: notebooks, copy paper, yellow drafting paper, tape, glue, pencils, colored pencils, oil pastels, permanent markers, post-it notes, dry erase markers, watercolor paper and paints, tissues, wipes, paper towels, scissors, labels, laminating materials, construction paper, manila drawing paper, sheet protectors, fasteners, band aids, and ziploc bags.