Donate Feminine Products for the Girls' Bathroom

About a year and a half ago, an ICE student, (now alumni), suggested in a Girls' Leadership meeting, that the school provide feminine products in the girls' bathroom. We agree! Since that time, we've done our best to keep it well stocked - so students can take what they need, when they need it.

If you'd like to help contribute to the effort, please take a look at our Amazon Wishlist specifically for the bathroom. (If you're not so into Amazon, or trying to lighten your carbon footprint and would rather send different products than listed, please feel free, and have them shipped to: 345 E. 15th Street / 5th Floor - rm. 518 (office) / New York, NY 10003

Thank you for all the ways you help support our community!

Photography Request from Jeffrey

Hello I.C.E. Community,

Amongst the many jobs I do at I.C.E., two very important activities are running the photography program as well as the international trips to Nepal and Malaysia.
I am in the process of trying to develop and advance the quality and depth of these activities.

Some of the things I would like to do are:

  1. Bring in photographers who would be willing to show & tell the work they have done. I am hoping these photographers can show students different “ways of seeing”
    through photography (whether it’d be fashion photography, portrait work, editing
    techniques, landscape photography, etc.). I understand there are a number of parents who are professional photographers and/or involved in the photo-journalism field in other ways and would be willing to volunteer their time to show & tell their work and create a workshop for the students, please contact me. Also, if you know photographers, or those connected with the photo-journalism field, it would be helpful if you could put them in touch with me.

  1. Provide possible studio space, open loft space etc. where myself and my students could, on occasion, practice photography skills outside of the school.

  1. Donate photo equipment materials: these could be point and shoot digital cameras, cell phones with picture taking capabilities (these are really needed – it turns out these are very effective for using with students on the international trips. These phone would be used ONLY for their photo taking capabilities), and film cameras, and, any darkroom
    supplies. Please keep in mind, of course any donated materials must be in good, working

Please feel free to contact me through my email address or through the school.

MS After School is Hiring--Spread the Word

MS After School is looking to hire staff to join our team for this school year! This is a great part-time job opportunity to work with our wonderful middle school students. Some positions we'd like to fill are coaches for soccer and baseball; assistant coach for soccer and flag football; debate; dance and step; and cooking. We're also open to adding new activities for our participants to take part in. If you're interested or want to learn more please reach out to SONYC @ ICE's Site Director, Kristin Gruppuso via email or phone (929-246-0498) for the full job descriptions. 

First Day of MS After School--SONYC @ ICE

Our first day of middle school after school will be on Monday, September 9th! Program will run on Mondays and Fridays from 2:09 - 5 pm ; Tuesday - Thursday from 3 - 6 pm. If you absolutely need your child to stay until 6 pm on Mondays and Fridays we will make an exception. However, after school admin must be notified in advance so we can plan accordingly. For more information please reach out to the Site Director, Kristin Gruppuso at 929.246.0498 or . See you soon!

Volunteering at ICE

Since its early days, ICE has had extremely high levels of parent involvement. We are asking you to continue this trend by committing to volunteering for a MINIMUM of 4 hours per year.

You can volunteer to assVolunteers needed for:

FIELD DAY - Friday Sept 6 (weather permitting)

  • Assist with Field Day activities.

  • Donate snacks and drinks.

    You will receive further information next week including times, location and so forth. Please communicate with Lisa Bleyer at if you are available to assist.


There are more volunteer opportunities available including those for our upcoming Back to School Fundraiser & 5K Run Walk.  Take a moment to visit the ICE Community Volunteers page on the school website located under the Parent Life tab then sign-up using the ICE Community Volunteers Form.

New Venue for the Annual ICE 5K Run/Walk

The ICE 5K is moving to Brooklyn! The  I.C.E. 5K Run Walk  is on Saturday October 12th at a new course Shore Parkway, an out and back course along the Hudson just beneath the Verrazano Bridge!  

The course is an out and back 5k along the water on the Shore Road Parkway. Check-in  starts at 10:00am at The American Veterans Memorial Pier. Bay Ridge Avenue, Brooklyn. Race begins at 11:00AM. 

We will share a car pool form closer to the day.

There will be prizes for the winners in various categories.


  • Adult $40.00 

  • Children $15.00 (Children entering race on their own)

  • Family (1-2 Adults and 1+ Children) $50.00


Sign-up to volunteer using the ICE Community Volunteers Form.

Registration and signage etc  3 Volunteers needed

Course Marshall  (6 volunteers needed)

Prepare & Distribute Goodie Bags (2 volunteer)

All volunteers should arrive by 9:00am to set-up.


Water (2 case – 24 or 48 bottles per case) and 

Healthy Snacks (health bars, bananas, apples, tangerines, etc.)

Pete’s Welcome Letter

Dear ICE Families –

The new school year is upon us!! I am so excited to see everybody next week and get going on another great year at the Institute for Collaborative Education. I spent part of my summer recharging, and the other part working to expand our teaching staff and develop initiatives in our community that will deepen the degree to which learning experiences are equitable and engaging. With more teachers on staff we will be more equipped than ever to individualize and maximize your child’s learning experience.

Next Thursday is day 1 of school and we will begin the year with advisory meetings, a shortened class schedule and an activity fair to introduce what we have to offer outside of the classroom. We will open the doors at 8 a.m., no earlier and please make sure students arrive by 8:10 at the entrance on 16th street between 1st and 2nd ave. Students will go to the auditorium for introductions which will start at 8:20. On Thursday students should come to school prepared with their supplies including a lock in order to claim a locker for themselves. All students in grades 7-12 will be allowed to leave the building for lunch. School hours for ICE have stayed the same: 8:10 to 2:09 Monday and Friday, 8:10 to 3:00 on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

For 6th Grade Families – your children will have a special program on day one in order to get to know each other, their new school building, and their teachers. It is a tradition that we know helps our newest students feel comfortable in this space. 6th grade students will not be allowed to leave for lunch, so please provide your kids with lunch from home or purchase any lunch from outside before school starts. We will escort students to the cafeteria to get hot or cold lunch as well.

Weather permitting we will have a Field Day on Friday September 6th. You will receive further information next week including times, location and so forth. If you have any availability to volunteer your time or can make a donation towards snacks and drinks for field day please communicate with Lisa Bleyer at

Over the coming weeks I plan to reach out and introduce our new staff members, and I will see any of you who can make it at upcoming PTA meetings. Stay tuned for more emails next week reviewing basic policies and sharing links to useful documents.

Take Care for now – I look forward to seeing you all very soon.


Attention All Students! FREE Yoga This Summer with Your Student ID

Bring a mat and towel and attend ANY yoga class at Yoga Tribe Brooklyn for free! We offer a variety of classes including Bikram yoga (heated) and vinyasa yoga (not heated).

Check out our schedule online and see some of our teachers in action on Instagram @yogatribebrooklyn.

Email with any questions at See you soon and don’t forget your water bottle!

FYI: if you forget your mat and towel, you can rent them at the studio for $5.

Students under 18 years old will need a parent to sign The Parent Guardian Waiver

Screenagers Tech Talk Tuesday by Delaney Ruston MD

Below are the June 11th & June 18th articles, if you find it helpful consider signing up for the newsletter.

SUBJECT: Counseling for Screen Time Struggles

In some homes, managing screen time is the source of a lot of stress and tension. It can often be downright toxic.

In one of my favorite scenes in SCREENAGERS, we see Amaryllis, a grandmother raising her grandson Chris, in a counselor’s office getting help setting limits on violent video game playing for Chris who is having frequent meltdowns. The counselor gives the grandmother specific strategies to help establish and maintain screen time limits.

Finding a coach or a counselor can be hard and often is compounded by the fact that many mental health professionals do not take insurance. This is in part because insurance companies grossly undervalue mental health care and reimburse at a low rate.

But, coaching and counseling can come from many places, i.e., an insightful friend, a religious leader or congregant, a support group, or a relative, just to name a few.

For this TTT, I explore the importance of setting and maintaining boundaries and reaching out for professional help when you need it.


SUBJECT: 11 Podcasts for Family Summer Car Trips

I have been an avid podcast listener for the past 15 years. I primarily listen when I exercise or on car rides with the family. Long ago when I was in medical school, I would listen to audio tapes on medicine topics while running.

Summer is here and podcasts are perfect for road trips with the family. Who knows, maybe your family, or kids, or students will be inspired to create their own podcast this summer.

I realize that the best podcast suggestions give specific episodes, so for each of these podcast shows I have done just that.

Podcasts to Listen to with your Family

A Better World Festival and Youth Conference  

If you are looking for a way for your child to stay engaged in the ICE principles of compassion, activism, and community, a recent ICE alum is organizing the perfect solution.

A Better World Conference + Festival is a celebration of the differences that strengthen our community and common desire to work for positive change. The festival offers specific opportunities to engage with causes we care about, and will highlight arts and culture with activities and performances. This is Sunday, July 14th from 12-5 in Bliss Plaza (46th street station on the 7 train). The conference will be a group discussion on what it means to make the world a better place and how young people can make a difference. The conference is Saturday, July 13th from 10-3 at Sunnyside Community Services (43-31 39th st in Queens). Register using this link

PTA Committee Chairpersons Needed 

If you are a parent who would like to do your part in supporting the ICE community but cannot attend monthly meetings consider joining one of our Committees.

Committee Chairpersons - there are several seats available on the

  1. Fundraising Committee

    1. Co-Fundraising Chairpersons (2 volunteers needed)

    2. Family Contribution Coordinator (1 volunteer needed)

    3. Spring Fling Event Coordinators (2 volunteers needed)

    4. Spring Fling Auction Coordinators (2 volunteers needed)

  2. PT Conference Scheduler (2 volunteers)

  3. Town Meeting Scribe (4 volunteers)

Our current volunteers are graduating therefore it is vital for us to fill these roles NOW.

If you are interested in one of these roles please send an email to for more information. In your email please tell us the role you are interested in.

Screenagers Tech Talk Tuesday

Below is the May 14th article.

SUBJECT: Sharing, Not Scaring, is Key to Managing Screen Time

Scare tactics, so popular in our society, do not work. We often give information to others hoping to elicit fear with the goal of changing behavior. Think for example of schools teaching kids about cyberbullying and sexting and having police officers deliver the message. It is clear that the teens should be scared, really scared, of consequences, but does it stop them from posting mean comments or from sending compromising pictures of themselves?

Unfortunately, scare tactics for long term behavior change have proven not to be very effective. Let me give one example.  Massive public health campaigns designed to combat smoking that showed images of damaged lungs and testimonials from people who were diagnosed with lung cancer from smoking were meant to scare us into not smoking.

It turns out that those campaigns had surprisingly little impact on behavior decisions. What eventually turned the tide for cutting smoking rates were two main tactics: substantially raising the cost of cigarettes and placing strong limits on the places where people could smoke. Of course, continuing to educate about the ill effects of tobacco is important but if we had just focused on using scare tactics we would not have made the major progress we see today.

Scare tactics can work better for short term behavior change—but the main point for today is to exam a better tactic than scare tactics which I call “Share Tactics."

Learn More About SHARE TACTICS here

ICE PTA Meeting 

Wednesday, June 12
6-7pm, Rm 518
Your participation is important!
Below are the candidates for the Executive Board positions of the ICE PTA for 2019-20 as of today The deadline for Nomination is Monday, June 3. Anyone interested in filling these seats please contact Penny Chan-Jansens of the Nominating Committee by June 3rd.

Dianne Darbouze

Lavita McMath Turner

Kemala Karmen

Peter Kos

Amy Gropp Forbes

Astrid Lewis Reedy

Marinda van Dalen

Meibell Contreras

Rachel Pratt

SLT (5)
Emmanuelle Chiche
Miranda van Dalen
Catherines Lyons
Alexandra Reddish
Cary Sanchez

ICE Music Department Fundraiser Concert

Dear parents,

I'm thrilled to invite you to our annual ICE Music Department Fundraiser Concert at DROM, this Sunday, June 2nd at 3pm! Please don't miss this opportunity to support our department, and see students, teachers and former students perform. Peter Karp will play with his rock band (yep, the principal is a great rock drummer!), I will perform with the genius Roy Nathanson (founder of this program), Isaiah Barr (former ICE student) will play with his amazing Onyx Collective band, there will be performances by two ICE jazz ensembles, and the songwriting elective will present their most recent original compositions. 

The ICE Music Dept provides a music education to 170 students every year. We offer free instruments to all saxophone, trumpet and trombone players, and provide guitars, basses, drums, amplifiers and keyboards to the students to be able to rehearse. We purchase these instruments and we pay to repair them. We have a recording studio that is used to record albums (check out the new Free Basement album!) and as a rehearsal space. ICE also employs seven music teachers to make sure that Middle School Jazz Big Band members have free private lessons as well as group instruction, which is extremely unusual in public schools. As you can imagine, all of this costs a significant amount of money, and we depend on the generosity of parents like you to continue providing this kind of comprehensive music education to our students.

Not only do students learn to play, they also perform regularly and get to hear fantastic musicians perform at ICE. This year we organized four "Breaking the ICE" featuring two HS jazz bands and the songwriting elective class. These students had the amazing opportunity to play in some of the most renowned rock and jazz venues of the city. We also organized seven "ICE on Fire" concerts at ICE, where we brought some incredible artists to play for the students, including 4-time Grammy Award winner Arturo O'Farrill. Students also perform at Town Meeting, and in the after-school Free Jazz orchestra conducted by William Parker. Our students are also being recognized for their hard work and talent: the Middle School Jazz Band won top awards at both the Six Flags Music Competition, and NYSMA, the most important statewide music competition for students! 

Students at ICE are very fortunate to have this kind of music education, with the facilities and instruments necessary to develop their talents, skills and creativity. But all of this doesn't come cheap: the ICE Music Program is very expensive, and we need your help. 

Please join us this Sunday for a terrific concert, and help to ensure that ICE maintains this unique program and the ability to educate students, help them win competitions, expose them to world class musicians and play in incredible professional venues. 

Buy tickets in advance here.

If you can not attend the event, please consider making a donation here.  

I look forward to seeing you there!

Albert Marques
ICE Music Dept

ICE June Calendar

There are some schedule changes to the ICE Calendar for the month of June. The changes will allow teachers to better support students in completing their work, provide the time and space for students to present on panels to teachers and parents, allow 8th grade and 12th grade graduations to occur on the last days of school, and give teachers enough time to give meaningful feedback to students on their work. Please take a look at the schedule for each grade by clicking on this link. The schedule was also handed to students today in advisory.  Again, it is different than the NYCDOE School Calendar in some cases.

If you have any questions, please reach out to your child's advisor or the main office.


Disclaimer: Submitted by high school parent Kemala Karmen, as myself, not in any official PTA capacity

Finally!  NYS Senator Robert Jackson and Assembly Member Harvey Epstein have authored legislation in the State Senate (S5394) and Assembly (bill # forthcoming) that codifies and affirms parents’ right to refuse New York State grades 3-8 ELA and math assessments and requires notification to parents on behalf of their children.   

What can YOU do NOW in support of this historic opportunity? You can ask your state reps to sign onto the legislation by FILLING OUT THIS BRIEF FORM! It takes less than 2 minutes. This is the opportunity we’ve been waiting for years and there is no time to lose.