P.S. 119 Amersfort School of Social Awareness

P.S. 119 Amersfort School of Social Awareness

Magnet School of Global & Ethical Studies – 3829 Avenue K, Brooklyn NY 11210 (718) 377-7696

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PARENTS

Working in the real NYC: Parent coordinator Bernadette Slack acts as liaison between school, parents

By January, Bernadette Slack wil know all her school's 500 students… (Jacob E. Osterhout/News)

Bernadette Slack is a parent’s best friend.

The parent coordinator at PS 119 on Avenue K in Brooklyn takes a great amount of pride in her job, doing “whatever needs to be done to make sure the school runs as smoothly as possible for parents, students and staff.

“The responsibility of a parent coordinator is to create a welcoming environment for families at school,” says Slack, 48, the parent coordinator for eight years at the Flatlands public school that both her children attended.

“But the position has evolved. Not only do I meet the parents when they drop their kids off in the morning, but I’m on the phone with parents all day, I go on class trips and then I stick around until every student has been picked up.”

Slack, who describes her job as “that middle man that talks to parents, teachers and students,” arrives at 8 a.m. While she is free to go at 4 p.m., she often stays until 6:30 to ensure all students make it home.

“Every parent has a dream for their child and my role is to help these parents accomplish that dream,” she says. “That can mean many things, but most importantly, the child needs to show up to school on time to receive an education.”

Born on the island of Curacao but raised in Brooklyn, Slack attributes her strength as a parent coordinator to her ability to relate to the parents at PS 119, many of whom are also immigrants from the Caribbean.

“This is my neighborhood,” says Slack. “This is the school where I sent my children. And I am also from the Caribbean, where I understand the schools are very different. You don’t go into the schools there to discuss issues, so a lot of parents do not realize that we encourage a welcoming, interactive environment.

“I have to remind them that here in New York, parents have a say. You can’t just rely on the schools. The parents have to do their part, too.”

Slack’s knowledge of the community allows her to creatively solve problems. On afternoons when a child is not picked up after school, she will make phone calls until someone arrives for the student, even if it means making her own family wait.

“I will try and make a connection,” she says. “I will say, okay, this other student lives next door and I know that her grandma is home, so let’s give her a call. Most times, a sibling has forgotten and a few phone calls will remind them.”

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20 Responses to “PARENTS”

  1. 1
    photoclub:

    Thank you partents for taken care of us students/children.From Jevron

  2. 2
    fifthgrade119:

    Thank You for taking care of me

    Sincerly Jasmine

  3. 3
    PeacePrinc:

    Please join us tomorrow for our first Magnet Expo!! It is amazing!!

  4. 4
    snow119:

    I was soooo happy to see all the families during the EXPO. It means alot to the children and staff to see the support.

  5. 5
    fourthgrade119:

    THANK YOU PARENTS FOR EVERY THING YOU GAVE TO US

  6. 6
    PeacePrinc:

    Dear Parents- If you have something to share about the Magnet countries that we are studying, please feel free to call me so we can set up a visit. Thank you! In peace. Ms. Fernandez

  7. 7
    fourthgrade119:

    Dear Parents,
    Children under 13 can’t have a facebook or myspace!They can still have an email adrress.

  8. 8
    fjump:

    Children under the age of 13 should have limited access to the Internet unless it is supervised by an adult.

  9. 9
    secondgrade119:

    children under 13 should not have aim or aol too

  10. 10
    secondgrade119:

    well i have a myspace from
    charizma harper

  11. 11
    secondgrade119:

    which the last name is gustardo

  12. 12
    fourthgrade119:

    why snt anyone on the school blog

  13. 13
    thirdgrade119:

    cause they are in bergen beach summer camp from christina 😀

  14. 14
    thirdgrade119:

    you should not have Myspace Charizma.You are just in the 5th grade.(from:Christina)

  15. 15
    thirdgrade119:

    😀

  16. 16
    thirdgrade119:

    😀 😀

  17. 17
    thirdgrade119:

    Ms. Fernandez how did you even get yourself your own blog? From:Christina

  18. 18
    fifthgrade119:

    thank parents for putting us this AWESOME school

    briana
    5-303

  19. 19
    PeacePrinc:

    I love this school and all who pass through it’s doors! Parents- if you have an expertise that you want to share give us a call. We want to hear from you!! Happy New Year!

  20. 20
    PeacePrinc:

    Mrs. Slack- Thank you for all you do for the P.S. 119 families!

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