DEP Update

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September 12, 2016

Dear Families and Staff,

As a follow up to my May 2, 2016 letter and the letter the New York City Department of Education (DOE) sent on March 23, 2016, outlining the number of proactive, ongoing measures the DOE has been taking to ensure that the water in New York City schools is safe for students and staff, I want to share additional information about water testing for lead at The Bellaire School.

The water at The Bellaire School, was recently retested and the results came back completely negative for elevated lead levels.

New York City’s water is of the highest quality, meeting or exceeding all federal and State standards. The City regulates its own watershed that surrounds — and protects — our reservoirs, and the water is tested over 500,000 times each year at various points throughout the system. Beyond these extensive measures, the DOE works with City agencies, including the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) and the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), to ensure our students have access to safe drinking water in schools.

DEP has invested more than $10 billion over the last decade to maintain and improve our water supply infrastructure. Between 2008 and 2010, DEP worked with DOE and other city agencies to identify and remove lead service lines to schools and other municipal buildings.

Beginning in 2002, the DOE partnered with DOHMH and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to test the water in DOE school buildings. Currently, in every NYC public school built before the 1986 ban on lead in construction, the water has been tested for lead.

For those buildings that ever had even one outlet with results above recommended levels, we have implemented a protocol, approved by DOHMH and based on EPA guidance, involving a combination of weekly flushing, equipment replacement and more, to ensure the safety of students and faculty. Flushing has been shown to be highly effective in removing lead from water because (a) flushing builds up the protective coating on plumbing pipes and (b) flushing moves old water out of the system and brings in fresh water.

As you know, the water at The Bellaire School was initially tested for lead on April 4, 2016, and there were 3 elevated samples out of 168 samples tested. This information is also available on the DOE’s searchable database at http://schools.nyc.gov/AboutUs/schools/watersafety.htm.

As a result of the 3 elevated results, our school is on the Health Department-approved protocol in order to ensure our water remains safe for students and faculty. This protocol is proven to be highly effective in removing lead from water. For the limited number of elevated samples, the vast majority are only found on “first-draw,” involving stagnant water that has been sitting in pipes for prolonged periods of time. That stagnant water is removed through our regular flushing protocol. We also take the highly-protective step of removing all equipment connected to one of the elevated samples.

In accordance with EPA guidelines, the flushing protocol includes the following:

  • Flushing takes place following weekends and holidays (prior to student and staff arrival)
  • Cold water taps used to obtain water for drinking or cooking purposes will be flushed
  • The furthest outlet or faucet from each branch line will be flushed first for 10 minutes
  • All other outlets on that branch line will be flushed until the water gets cold, or for a maximum of one minute
  • Drinking fountains with refrigeration units will be flushed for one minute
  • Custodial Engineers will document all flushing exercises and maintain a record in the school’s Safety Log

Additionally, the plumbing and fixtures that tested positive in the The Bellaire School building were removed from service and replaced.

On August 4, 2016 the water at The Bellaire School was retested for lead and there were no elevated samples. This information is also available on the DOE’s searchable database at http://schools.nyc.gov/AboutUs/schools/watersafety.htm. The building will remain on the flushing protocol out of an abundance of caution.

Please be reassured that the water in our school building is safe to drink. While there is no cause for concern about the water in our school building, we understand that you take your child’s safety seriously and we share that commitment to safety with you.

 

Sincerely,

Principal Lagnese

New York State Test Scores

Dear 3rd, 4th and 5th Grade Families,

The NYS test results for the ELA and Math State Tests are now available on the NYC Schools Account website. For families who have already created an account, please follow the link below to get your child’s test scores.

http://mystudent.nyc

If you have not created an account or if you need help setting up the account, please reach out to our Parent Coordinator Mr. Raul Lopez via telephone at 718.464.2119.

“ONLY IN QUEENS”

UPDATED DETAILS ON JUNE 26 “ONLY IN QUEENS” SUMMER FESTIVAL

Free Family-Friendly Activities and SummerStage Concert in Flushing Meadows Corona Park

QUEENS, NY – Borough President Melinda Katz, in partnership with NYC Parks, NYC & Company Foundation and Delta Air Lines, unveiled further details about the upcoming “Only in Queens” Summer Festival to take place on Sunday, June 26 from 1:00 – 8:00 PM in Flushing Meadows Corona Park. Admission is free and open to the public.

Delta Airlines Scavenger Hunt

Back by popular demand, the park-wide Scavenger Hunt sponsored by Delta Air Lines will kick-off at 1:00 PM. Upon registration, teams of two to six people will be equipped with t-shirts, a map of the park, a tote bag and a list of new clues that will test participants’ knowledge of the 1939-40 and 1964-65 World’s Fairs and of the park as it is now. Throughout the Scavenger Hunt, each team will be directed to various cultural institutions and other locations throughout the park and receive a token to prove they were there.  The teams that have collected the most tokens by 4:00 PM will be declared the winners. Prizes for the winning team and top runners-up include VIP tickets to a SummerStage show at Central Park; tickets to a performance at the Forest Hills Stadium, the Kupferberg Center for the Arts or the July 4th Louis Armstrong Birthday Bash; Family Membership to the Museum of the Moving Image; gift basket and membership to the Queens Botanical Garden. Participants must register for the Scavenger Hunt in-person between 12:00 – 1:00 PM on the day of the event at the Queens Theatre, located adjacent to the New York State Pavilion.

Literary Tent

Visitors can meet and hear from Queens authors from 1:00 – 5:00 PM. Appearances will include children’s authors such as Michelle Schusterman, author of I Heart Band, The Kat Sinclair Files and Maudeville; Ama Karikari Yawson, author of Kwanzaa Nana series; and Sam Ita, author of the bestselling pop-up versions of 20,000 Leagues under the Sea, Moby-Dick and Frankenstein.

Food, Arts and Craft Vendors

Independent vendors of the Queens International Night Market will feature some of their best foods, arts and merchandise for purchase, including Romanian-Hungarian chimney cakes by TwisterCake, Sri Lankan cuisine by Ceylon, kati rolls by Kati Roll Shack, takoyaki from Karl’s Balls, mochi waffles from Moffle Bar and more.

Open House Tour of the New York State Pavilion

Members of the media are invited to participate in an Open House Tour of the New York State Pavilion from 1:30 – 2:00 PM, where Borough President Katz, the National Trust for Historic Preservation and People for the Pavilion will be available to talk about the Pavilion’s influence, its importance to the Queens’ community and the international design competition currently underway until July 1. Additional tour time slots are available throughout the day. Tours will include the inside of the “Tent of Tomorrow,” the Pavilion’s main exhibition space that once dazzled and delighted attendees of the 1964-65 World’s Fair. They will also see from the inside where the world’s largest suspension roof rose up and take a look at the remaining 567-panel terrazzo road map of the Empire State that once greeted visitors.

Music and Cultural Performances

An eclectic, multicultural array of bands and groups that represent the diversity of Queens will fill the park with music throughout the day as part of the Summer 2016 Katz Concert Series in partnership with NYC Parks and the Kupferberg Center for the Arts:

1:00 PM – The Queen’s Cartoonists offer a tour-de-force of the Swing Era’s zaniest and most creative music, much of which was written for or adapted for classic cartoons. The band’s repertoire includes cartoon music from the 1920’s all the way to the present day.

1:45 PM – Radio Jarocho plays “son jarocho” music fashioned after the towns, musicians and swampy countryside that created it in Veracruz, Mexico. The band’s members also write their own songs inspired by this popular genre and tailor them with assorted influences, creating a contemporary repertoire that captures the spirit of the traditional style.

2:30 PM – Kumbakin is a Cuban-inspired dance band lead by Puerto Rican singer Jainardo Batista (also known as Yemal Melódico).

3:15 PM – FJ Music was founded by Feifei Yang and Jiaju She, who are dedicated to the international promotion of Chinese traditional music and to integrating Chinese musical language with diverse world music genres.

4:00 PM – Zikrayat is an Arab music and dance ensemble dedicated to presenting the classical music and the dance traditions of Egypt, Lebanon and the greater Arab world, in vibrant stage productions evoking the theatrical atmosphere and dramatic depth of classic Egyptian musical cinema. Alternating vocal and instrumental numbers with solo and group dance numbers, Zikrayat’s mission is to highlight the diversity of Arab culture for mainstream Western audiences in an authentic yet entertaining contemporary representation.

The SummerStage outdoor concert in partnership with the City Parks Foundation will begin at 4:30 PM at the Festival Site in the park, with performances by hip hop group and Queens’ own KID ‘N PLAY, singer/actor TRISTAN “MACK” WILDS of the HBO drama “The Wire” and the CW series “90210”, R&B singer GINUWINE and music by Queens native DJ CAMILO of Hot 97. Funding for the SummerStage concert comes from the Flushing Meadows Corona Park Improvement Fund, administered by City Comptroller Scott Stringer, Borough President Katz and NYC Parks.

The “Only in Queens” Summer Festival will offer a wide range of activities for people of all ages, including:

  • Guided tours of the New York State Pavilion’s Tent of Tomorrow, the Queens Library Mobile Unit and the Queens Museum (tours of the Queens Theatre will no longer be provided);
  • Family-friendly fun including cultural performances, face painting, inflatable bounce houses, activities run by the United States Tennis Association, and an appearance by Mr. Met;
  • Exhibits of memorabilia from the original 1939-40 and 1964-65 World’s Fairs, classic cars and a boat from the annual Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival;
  • Virtual reality demonstrations by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the group People for the Pavilion and Queens-based RPGA Studio as part of the international ideas competition currently underway to solicit imaginative and creative public input for how the New York State Pavilion can best be adapted for public reuse.

Additional co-sponsors for the “Only in Queens” Summer Festival include TD Bank, the New York Daily News, Vio/K Marketing Group and Resorts World Casino, New York City. For more information, go to http://www.queensbp.org/onlyinqueens.

This year’s “Only in Queens” Summer Festival follows two successful World’s Fair Anniversary Festivals, held in 2014 and 2015 in celebration of the 75th anniversary of the 1939-40 World’s Fair and the 50th anniversary of the 1964-1965 World’s Fair, and organized by the World’s Fair Anniversary Committee (co-chaired by Borough President Katz and State Assemblymember Margaret Markey) in collaboration with NYC Parks.