Volunteer of the Month — Valerie Konstantinova

Every day the efforts of BSI parents help make BSI a better school for our kids. Recently, Valerie Konstantinova, mom to Jake (301) and James (102) Bondarchuk, brought the Museum of Math (MoMath) to visit the 1st and 3rd grade and explore math concepts in some exciting and playful ways. MoMath will return to visit the 4th and 5th grades on 11/30/17 at 9am.

We asked Valerie if she could share her process with us.
 We hope she inspires you as she has inspired us.

Could you describe the program with MoMath that you brought to BSI?

The MoMath school visit program, in general, introduces students to new ways of thinking about math.  A typical presentation has 3 parts: (1) A topic in modern math related to school curriculum, (2) An area of science, technology, or business in which math plays an important role, and (3) A mathematical game or other interactive activity. The program MoMath brought to BSI in October aimed to show the relationship between the shape & size of an object and its sound.  Kids analyzed things like Violin and Viola, metal cylinders of various shapes, even turkey basters changing sounds when the water level was raising.

How did you think of starting a program like this?

My kids have been attending summer camp at the Museum of Mathematics over the last few years.  I was thinking that it would be great to continue with similar programs throughout the year, not just in the summer.  The commute to MoMath in Manhattan is a problem of course during the week – we live in South Brooklyn.  I was thinking it would be great if MoMath came to our school instead. I mentioned it to MoMath educator over the phone, probably few years ago. I hadn’t heard from MoMath until about few months ago they let me know that they are coming up with a school visit pilot where they’d be delighted to come to our school.

How did you make this happen? What were the steps to make this a reality?

I reached out to the teachers of my kids first (301 and 102). I know both are very supportive of field trips and school visits.  They were interested in MoMath coming  to their classrooms and very cooperative which helped me to set up the date.  I also emailed Eric and Anna [our Principal and Assistant Principal] in case they would want to observe the MoMath presentation in the school and so that they could provide their feedback.

What advice would you have for other parents at BSI?

As cliché as it sounds, parent’s involvement is important. Hundreds of research studies show that when parents get involved, children do better in school. Think of something that is your favorite and is easy — it could be a BSI Soccer Social. We have a soccer field at Seth Low now — you just need to reserve it and hope for good weather.

Thank you, Valerie, for this and the many, many things you do for our kids — we are all inspired by your work to make BSI a better place.


Order through Bonfire before Dec 6th and you will have them in time for December 25!

The design from BSI’s first year, created by Amy Saidens, and is available in a variety of styles, colors and sizes. Check off someone on your gift list and support BSI at the same time!

Thank You!


Many thanks to everyone who came out to shop and listen to our teachers read at the Barnes & Noble Book Fair on Sunday! It was a day full of joy!

Our code is still good online through November 24! So please keep shopping online at bn.com and enter Book Fair ID# 12258356 at checkout. Every purchase supports our school.

A Special Thank You to the Amazing Teachers, Parents and Students Who Made the Book Fair Happen!

Ms. Audrey Elias, Ms. Meredith Jose, Principal Havlik, Ms. Anne Montero, Ms. Rachel Michael, Ms. Rita Youssef, Ms. Nanna Tanier, Ms. Sevgi Unay, Ms. Robyn Waters, Andi Azarias, Shari Axelrod, Victoria and Mark Belov, Dionne Burnett, Jason Elias, Aracely and Kylie Fan, Judy He, Marcy and Morgan Johnson Quamina, Tania Kirkman, Willow Lawson, May Li, Claire Lin, Maura Minsky, Sara Mogulescu, Marcia Osgood, Lily Ruan, Ella Royzman, Carlie Steen, Rosemary and Zoe Titievsky, Annie Thoms, Holly White, Karah Woodward, and Anna Len who has coordinated this favorite event year after year.

In community, BSI PTO Board


Barnes & Noble Bookfair, November 19th, 9am-9pm

Join us! Sunday, November 19th from 9am-9pm
Park Slope Barnes & Noble, 267 7th Avenue

SIGN UP TO VOLUNTEER HERE. Hand out vouchers or wrap gifts. Middle School student volunteers welcome! Download and print bookfair vouchers here.


10:00am: Ms. Audrey Elias

10:30am: Ms. Meredith Jose

11:00am: Principal Havlik

11:30am: Ms. Anne Montero

12:00pm: Open

12:30pm: Open

1:00pm: Ms. Rachel Michael

1:30pm: Ms. Rita Youssef

2:00pm: Ms. Nanna Tanier

2:30pm: Ms. Sevgi Unay

At 3:00 pm author Michael Northrop joins us to read from and sign his new book Polaris. Michael Northrop is the New York Times bestselling author of the middle-grade adventure series TombQuest. He is also the author of Trapped, an Indie Next List selection, and Plunked, named one of the best children’s books of the year by the New York Public Library. A New York based writer, he has been an editor at Sports Illustrated Kids for many years.

POST ON FACEBOOK, EMAIL, TWEET: Support our public school! Shop at any Barnes & Noble store or online with BookfairID#12258356. B&N makes a donation for every purchase!