School Begins
Thursday, September 8, at 
Our 92nd Street gate opens at 8:35am.
Homeroom assignments
will be given to students in the yard.

Welcome Back Tigers!

Parent Breakfasts
with Mr. Getz and Mr. Colon

6th Grade:  Friday, September 9, 9:00am
    7th Grade:  Wed., September 21, 9:00am
   8th Grade:  Friday, September 23, 9:00am

East Side Middle School's
is now open for registration here.

All classes are free!
View program details by clicking on the orange box below:

8th Grade Students and Parents:
Please join us for

Monday, October 26
6:00pm in the cafeteria

ESMS alumni will share their experiences
at various New York City high schools.

The East Side Middle School
Poetry Magazine

Click here
to be inspired by these beautiful student poems!

Check It Out!
Sotheby's invited students from East Side Middle School
to share their thoughts on the Emancipation Proclamation and what freedom means to them.  View the amazing results here.

  Principally for Parents Book Club

Parents are invited to a monthly gathering in the ESMS library with our book-loving principals.  The club will discuss great books personally selected by Mr. Getz and Mr. Colon.  Some months we read award-winning fiction or non-fiction written for adults and other months we dive into great books our middle school children are enjoying.  Please consult the website calendar for the specific date and book selection each month.

If you plan to attend a Book Club gathering, please email our Parent Coordinator Caren (


          and the Power Women of Kenya 
Inspired by Mr. Getz's Skype Kenya program for our students, ESMS moms have begun a weekly Skype program with a group of mothers in Kibera, Kenya.  These women are HIV positive and must support themselves with the jewelry, baskets, and other artistic wares they create in this urban slum.  The ESMS Power Women program sells their goods in the ESMS community and raises money to supply them with laptops and Internet fees.  The group meets every other Friday morning -- check the website calendar for dates and times. If you're interested in participating, please email Jodi Caplan (  To purchase the beautiful jewelry and products created by The Power Women in Kenya, contact Manuela Fisher (

From The Principal’s Pen
By David Getz

Though there are many legitimate and neurotic fears that parents of young children carry around with them, few are as terrifying as the fear of losing or misplacing their child’s favorite stuffed animal. Common are the stories of panic and frenzy, usually taking place at the most inconvenient times or places. Arriving at the rented vacation home in Cape Cod only to discover that Dad left Mr. Lion on the dining room table back home, and he is either going to have to drive six hours back to New York or track down Grandma and convince her to climb through the fire escape in the kitchen window to retrieve him, bring him to La Guardia and find somebody who is flying up to Hyannis. I’ve heard stories of parents who came “this close” to temporary separations over accusations of who actually put Elly the Elephant in the washing machine. I’ve heard of parents who had to bring their child’s stuffy to the pediatrician for check ups, insurance-be-damned, because their child was convinced that the stuffy had caught “chicken pops” and was in “sooo much pain!”

Psychologists call these stuffies “attachment objects” and explain that children value them because they imbue them with life-like properties. They are, in a fashion, invented siblings. They have feelings, wishes and personality traits. They confer comfort and reassurance. They are non-digitalized avatars. They are capable of experiencing joy, physical pain and consciousness.

In Dominique Smith’s new book about classroom management, Carrots or Sticks, she tells the story of a kindergarten teacher who used her knowledge of these attachment objects to try to keep order in her classroom. On the first day of school, this teacher asked all of her kindergartners to bring in their favorite stuffed animal, which she then labeled with each child’s name and lined up along a shelf by the window. When a child misbehaved in her class, she retrieved that child’s stuffed animal and carried him to over to another shelf and made him face the wall. Smith writes, “The looks on students' faces after doing this displayed heartbreaking sadness and anger.”

No kidding! Given that the child she is punishing considers the stuffed animal to be alive, the teacher was actually using the technique of dictators and street gangs called “collective punishment” in which they keep order with the threat of harming family members of those whom they believe are not behaving. Only in this case, the teacher was resorting to humiliation rather than dismemberment. Still, the impact is similar in that it invokes in the child fear and contempt.

Smith uses the story to help us reflect on the purpose, not only of classroom management, but of the classrooms themselves. She points out that a good school teaches not only content and academic skills, but social skills, as well. And the better schools do this explicitly. She writes, “There are two aspects of an effective learning environment: relationships and high quality instruction. When students have strong, trusting relationships, both with adults in the school and with their peers, and their lessons are interesting and relevant, it’s harder for them to misbehave.”

Smith is describing the philosophy of East Side Middle. It is our goal, and it seems from past years that we are quite successful at reaching our goal, to help create smart and engaged citizens. Rather than teaching obedience, we are giving them the tools of engagement. We are inviting them to help us create nurturing and exciting classroom communities. We are helping them develop responsibility and giving them ample opportunities to pursue their own curiosity. After all, what is the value of teaching American History without teaching our students how to be better Americans?

I’m sure their stuffies would agree.

Welcome to another great year at East Side Middle School. Go Tigers, roar!

Mr. C’s
Sense of Community

By Kevin Colon, Assistant Principal

The most important stakeholders in our community are the students. I figured I would close year out with the words from our "A. P. For The Day" Hayley Solomons. 

As my time here at East Side Middle ends, I look back on all of the amazing memories I've had and how much I have learned. I hope the incoming students and future 7th and 8th graders take advantage of their time here. Do as many of the activities that you can and try your best in all your subjects. Remember that your time at East Side Middle is short. I will miss everything about this school. Thank you for the best 3 years.

Hayley (Class of 2016)

Go Tigers, roar!!!

Kevin Colon
Assistant Principal

Upcoming Events

  Current 5th grade students who are interested in attending East Side Middle School in 2017-18: please click here for our Open House Schedule.

ESMS Extra Help Schedule

For students seeking further instructional support in any subject...

Each teacher at ESMS provides a weekly "Extra Help Session" before school, during lunch or by appointment. Please consult this schedule for complete information.

Students who need assistance with homework assignments (or just want a quiet place to study) can attend ESMS Study Lab, held Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays after school from 3:35-4:35 and 4:35-5:50, in the library. Please register through Manhattan Youth.



Help us maintain the programs that make us one of the top middle schools in New York state!

Donate today by using the tab on the upper right corner of this homepage.

What's Cookin?
Click the hamburger to find out.  Lunch is free for all middle school students!

The Elephant Corner 
Meet Murit 
(he's the cute one on the right)

Murit is an orphaned elephant in Kenya,
recently adopted by ESMS students 
through the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust.

Click here for a monthly diary about Murit's progress
and to see the impact of our funds.
If you would like to add a donation, please
email Caren Austen  (

ESMS Email Distribution List

If you are not receiving regular email communication from the school, you may not be registered in our system. 

If you have not yet registered, please click here to submit your information!

Keep in touch, Tiger!