2021

News List

  • April

    Simple Machine Posters

    Ms. Borden's eighth-grade science class combined art and science when they made posters about different types of simple machines. Their creations are bold and artistic, and would look great adorning the walls of any science classroom! Click through to see them.
     
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  • Chemistry Experiment Week

    Experiment Week in Mrs. Haberman’s 10th-grade Chemistry class involved a whole bunch of reactions! What kind of reactions, you ask? Just a little good old-fashioned synthesis, decomposition, combustion, single displacement, and double displacement reactions! This may sound quite exciting, but it looks even more exciting!
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  • Cinema Club Keeps the Love of Film Alive at York Prep

    by Dr. Marzoni

    For the past year, as lockdown orders have found many of us watching more movies than we ever have before, a new club at York Prep has been meeting weekly to discuss classics of world cinema. A group of sophomores and juniors founded Cinema Club over a shared love of “the seventh art,” and since November, we’ve been systematically working our way through the Criterion Collection, watching films by the likes of Orson Welles, Fritz Lang, Federico Fellini, Wong Kar-wai, Stanley Kubrick, Wes Anderson, and Quentin Tarantino. We are actively recruiting new members, so if you love movies as much as we do, come join us on Mondays at lunch in Room 326 or email amarzoni@yorkprep.org for a Zoom link. Click through to read some capsule reviews of our charter members’ recent discoveries.
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  • Mr. Gordon Wins Innovation Curriculum Contest

    Last week, The Gilder Lehrman Institute announced that our very own history teacher, Mr. Gordon, was one of the ten winners in their inaugural American History in 100 Documents: An Innovative Curriculum Contest. The guidelines of the contest were to create a lesson plan using one or more primary source documents in American History: 1493-1945, which provides K-12 schools, universities, and institutions—including Harvard, Yale, and the Library of Congress—access to tens of thousands of rare letters, artwork, broadsides, and maps spanning six centuries of American history.
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  • Poems Ripped From the Headlines

    Happy Poetry Month! This past Sunday, The New York Times ran a follow-up article containing poetry inspired by Ms. Umansky's golden shovel poem.  Out of he dozens of poems that were submitted from around the country, Ms. Umansky selected a few to feature. Click through to read them.
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  • Unpacking Social Issues with ASJ

    by Ms. Aiello

    The Affinity Social Justice Club has continued to meet this semester, unpacking an array of social issues that have surfaced since the new year began. We have welcomed new members with an eagerness to share and learn from one another. Some of the topics we have addressed this semester include the inauguration and celebration of a new president, the riots at The Capitol, the COVID-19 vaccine and its disproportionate rollout, the celebration of both Black History Month and Women’s History Month, and the #stopasianhate and Black Lives Matter movements.
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  • York Students Speak Out for Policing Reform

    by Mr. Tull

    Countless local community groups have responded to the call from state and city governments to offer suggestions for making the police more equitable and accountable.  Our school is no exception.  At York “PB and J” stands for “Police Betterment and Justice.” Last summer, in the wake of George Floyd’s death and the resultant outpouring of protest, a library full of York students and teachers met to trade stories of encounters with police, propose areas of investigation, and synthesize ideas about necessary changes in law enforcement policy, training, and community engagement, toward a more equitable and less violent future. 
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  • The Community Service Club Raises Money for NYC Public Schools

    The Community Service Club is raising money to donate to the Fund For Public Schools. The Fund is a non-profit partner to the NYC Department of Education. “The kids wanted to help out their peers in NYC who haven’t been as lucky as them to be able to have returned for in-person learning until recently,” says Community Service Club Faculty advisor Ms. Dorfman. “This is an ongoing fundraiser until the end of the year.”
     
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  • Headmaster's Thoughts: April 2021

    All right, dear readers, let us get back to normal…the one where I get to be a curmudgeon. It has been too many months since I have been able to just complain through this wonderful vehicle of communication: my “Thoughts”.  In the not so recent past, I have complained about the cost of a small bottle of water in airports ($4.08), indicated the fact that the British Royal Family are nothing but the heirs to warlords, and worried about signs over toilets in railroad cars. So let me catch up by moaning about the menus that companies make you go through, after you try a simple phone call for help.
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  • March

    Aching to Be Just a Face in the Crowd by Leah Umansky

    Find a Headline, Write a Poem: Ms. Umansky's Latest New York Times Article

    Ms. Umansky is a regular contributor to the New York Times "At Home" section. Throughout the past year, she has presented readers with inspiration and instructions on how to create their own poetic creations. This week, she introduces us to the Golden Shovel in "Find a Headline, Write a Poem". Ms. Umansky explains that a Golden Shovel is a "poem that takes a line from another poem or text (often a Gwendolyn Brooks’ poem, but not always) and uses each word in that line as the end of a line in the poem."
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  • York Prep Sophomore Helps to Develop Vaccine Scheduling Website

    Breaking news about the COVID-19 vaccine is developing constantly these days, and one of the biggest stepping stones towards getting the vaccine for many people, has been scheduling a much-coveted appointment. Enter a new website developed and run by four New York City high school sophomores, including York Prep sophomore Daniel Rosenkranz, called Vaccine Scheduling Service.
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  • Art Teachers In the Spotlight

    Chair of Visual Arts and Digital Arts teacher Shoshana Spencer’s photograph “Cone and Pipe” was recently accepted into the photography exhibition titled “Vision: Shadow and Light” at Black Box Gallery in Portland, OR. The exhibition will be on view from March 1st – 20th. You can view her photo, along with the rest of the exhibition here.
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  • Middle School Dance Brings Exciting Moves and Fresh Talent

    Dancing together in person this year has brought such joy to both students and dance teachers, Ms. Hutchison and Mr. Martin. This year’s middle school dance classes are full of fresh talent! “We would love to feature one of our new sixth graders, London Reid,” says Ms. Hutchison. “She is also excelling in Drama class with Mr. Viscardi with her range of accents.” London is featured in the slideshow of photos, and you can also watch a dance routine from Mr. Martin’s eighth-grade dance class, featuring Eden McKinney and Sophia Martinez, by clicking here.
     
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  • The Italian Club and Scholars Italian

    by Katherine Carr

    Since sixth grade at York Prep, I have been participating in the Italian Club and the Italian Scholars Program. In sixth grade, there was no Scholars Italian Class so we formed a club under the supervision of Ms. Rhodes and we would learn basic vocabulary. Also, we would translate sentences from Italian into English. Once Ms. Rhodes left the school, everyone was sad and heartbroken. The Italian Club turned into a Scholars class that was led by Ms. Salerno. Since participating in the Italian Club and Scholars Class, I have been conversing with my family in Italian!
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  • What Is the Future of School?

    The inaugural podcast, produced by the middle school Scholars Podcast class, explores a topic that is at the forefront of all of our minds these days. Mr. Morrissey asked his students to ponder what they think school will be like in 30 years. After a year of attending school during a pandemic, they have experienced the "new normal", which integrates more technology into their learning processes. They have also adjusted to new schedules. How will this experience impact the future of education? Listen to their predictions in their podcast, "What is the Future of School?" here.
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  • Communication In History

    Mr. Gordon’s 8th- and 10th-grade history classes just completed their semester-long research projects. The assignment was based on the National History Day competition. This year’s theme was, “Communication in History: the Key to Understanding.” Mr. Gordon gave his students the option to choose any topic relevant to U.S. history, including current events. They then developed a list of sources, compiled their research, created an outline, and drafted the final project. This year, most students wrote essays, but some students produced documentaries, exhibits, and websites.
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  • New Fantasy Basketball League

    Students who enjoy following basketball players and ruminating on how many triple-doubles Lebron James can get in his 16th season can now join the York Prep Fantasy Basketball League! It is the perfect opportunity for students to enhance their basketball knowledge and have fun! Interested students can download the ESPN fantasy app onto their phones and receive details about the league via Canvas. There will be a draft for students to choose NBA players for their teams. The objective is to build a team that can score the most points combined. The club is run by 10th-grade students Harlan Auerbach and Brett Danowitz, along with faculty advisor, Mr. Shure. Meetings will take place once a month on Zoom
    Click here to sign up!
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  • The Power of Upcycling

    In Mrs. Haberman’s 12th-grade Honors Environmental Science class, a project on Waste Management turned students into innovative entrepreneurs and green publishers! “Their assignment was to learn about up-cycling and think of a product that should be upcycled, what they would upcycle it into, and how to bring their idea to fruition,” says Mrs. Haberman. “They really impressed me with their creativity!”
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  • Can You Tell Me How To Get To...?

    Coach Turi and Coach Michael got creative and produced a fun scavenger hunt for their middle school students that involved riddles and iconic neighborhood landmarks! The students found local monuments, train stations, and even Sesame Street! Can YOU tell me how to get to Sesame Street? If not, ask our middle schoolers! Scroll through the slideshow to see some other spots that they found, as they got some fresh air and exercise.
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  • Erika Lampe, Luca Berman, and Ryan Borkowsky made excellent chocolate chip cookies

    Delicious Chemistry

    When you dig into a chocolatey brownie or a creamy bowl of mac and cheese, do you ever think about the science behind these treats? Mrs. Haberman’s 10th-grade Honors Chemistry class recently delved into this very topic while learning about Moles and Dimensional Analysis. Her students were tasked with creating something tangible while demonstrating their knowledge.
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  • Headmaster's Thoughts: March 2021

    The night after I received my first Moderna vaccine shot, I slept for nearly nine hours. There must be a correlation. I like consequences like this. In Australia, they found that eating ice cream substantially increased your chances of being bitten by a shark. In New York, the percentage of lung cancer increased for people who regularly had coffee in the mid-morning.
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  • February

    York Prep Social Studies Super Bowl XVII

    Social Studies Super Bowl XVII: A Truly Historic Moment

    by Eric Tull

    Last year: Full attendance at York Prep School
    This year: Only 51% attendance in the building
     
    Last year: Attendance at York Prep’s annual Social Studies Super Bowl: 300     
    This year: Over 450
     
    How is this possible? In February of each year, the York Prep Pantherdome hosts the Annual York Prep Social Studies Super Bowl, where the four Upper School classes compete to answer questions about history and geography. This year, however, as with everything in the age of COVID, things were slightly different. Safety precautions made it impractical to bring a crowd of spectators into the gym, so we decided to bring the Super Bowl to them instead. The combined wizardry of Tech Director Richard Abba and History teachers Lane Choplin and Charles Kaczynski enabled us to livestream the contest not only throughout the school building but also into the home of every remote student in the tri-state area and beyond.  An additional advantage: the Middle School students could watch the show from their classrooms [and were reported to be enthusiastically shouting out answers], which has never been possible before.
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  • York Prep Alum, PhD Positions at MIT, Stanford, and Berkeley

    The last time we caught up with York Prep alum Alexander “Sasha” Khazatsky, a little over a year ago, he had just returned from a Robotic Learning conference in Japan where he presented his paper “Contextual Imagined Goals for Self-Supervised Robotic Learning” . Since then he has maintained his prolific level of work in Artificial Intelligence research, and is currently in the running for UC Berkeley’s Class of 2021 Valedictorian!
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  • Our World

    by Talya Plush, 11th grade

    Since sophomore year I have been involved in the Scholars Program. The program allows for students such as myself to take part in additional courses of our choosing. During first semester, I was able to participate in the course “Protest Literature” led by Dr. Davis. The course focused around novels and poems discussing injustice faced by African American and other minority groups.

     
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  • Behind the Back Challenge

    Last month, we presented the Create Your Own Olympic Sport Challenge. This month, The Behind the Back Challenge is the latest installment in a series of fun physical fitness challenges brought to you by the York Prep Athletics Department. The rules are simple. Make a basket behind your back in less than 10 attempts.
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  • Foodles

    Have you ever heard of a foodle? Mr. Schwartz explains it best: “Start with a food product and doodle around it to create a visual pun. His students created some very witty foodles recently via a croissant bouffant  and a fruit phone! Check out the photos to see Emily Zaretsky’s old-fashioned banana phone and Olivia Kieffer’s croissant bouffant
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  • GMOs: Presented in a Children's Book, a Rap, and Talking Apples!

    Ms. Haberman’s 12th-grade Honors Environmental Science class recently approached the hot-button topic of Genetically Modified Organisms, while exercising their creative muscles. Students collaborated on projects that showcased different facts and perspectives about GMOs.  Ms. Haberman proclaimed, “They were so creative while demonstrating a strong understanding of the material and I am SO impressed!”

    Click here to read Jenna Saevitzon’s and Greta Korbus’ children’s book If You Give Demarcus A Cotton Shirt.
    Click here to watch Louise Wade’s and Izzy Veyssi’s GMO Rap. Click here to watch Emma Ervin's, Ming Robinson's, and Philip Winter's short film Arctic Apple Adventures.
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  • Multi-Media Marine Biology

    Throughout the first semester, Ms. Domenicali-Shah’s Marine Biology students explored and learned about a variety of concepts. For their midterm projects, they created multi-media presentations that explained the different facets of the marine biology topics that they learned about. From tsunamis to ocean gyres, to the effects of climate change on the ocean, and color in the ocean, each presentation was vivid and engaging, and you can see a small selection of them by clicking through for the list of project links.
     
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  • Phys. Ed Gets Creative

    Coach Nicole recently captured her 11th-grade P.E. students bowling in the dance studio. Not only was this a physical activity, but a lesson in physics as well! The students had to strategically roll a plastic ball and hit all the pins (the leading pin was a paper towel roll!) with just the right force and position. Other creative P.E. activities this year have included HIIT workouts, yoga (as seen in the slideshow), nutrition lessons, and of course, activities in Central Park. The students will soon participate in specially-designed trivia games interspersed with physical exercises!
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  • College-Level Music Theory and Digital Music

    Mr. Cockrell’s music students are on their way to becoming musical virtuosos. His high school students are conducting in-depth composition explorations, and a majority of the material is college-level! They started with the foundational principles in music, and have moved on to exploring composition via traditional harmony using chord progressions. 
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  • York Prep's 2021 Student Clubs

    York Prep’s 2021 student clubs are in full swing! They are currently meeting via Zoom, and new clubs have been created to meet the growing interests and passions voiced by students. Here is the official list of active clubs, along with links to videos and flyers created by club members and advisors. Students who are interested in joining any of the clubs should reach out directly to the club advisors (Please contact Ms. Feibusch for information about the Debate Club).
     
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  • Headmaster's Thoughts: February 2021

    I believe that these next 12 months will be a good year at York Prep! The first shot of the vaccine has been given to the medical crews, first responders, over 65s, those with certain medical conditions….and (drum roll, please) virtually all of our teachers. Our students will, therefore, be in a safer school. We hope all eligible parents and grandparents have also secured a vaccine dose.
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  • January

    The Latest Issue of The PAW is Here!

    The Winter 2021 issue of student newspaper The PAW is now available online. Click here to read about the latest issues on everyone's minds including the "new normal" education, York's bees, the relation between pine trees and our rooftop, a COVID-19 sports season, international cuisine, and how local restaurants are coping with the pandemic. Congratulations to the faculty advisors Ms.Hersh, Ms. Giebler, and Ms. Arnao, and to the writers and artists of The PAW:

    Katherine Carr, 8th grade
    James Crovitz, 8th grade
    Alexander Holmberg, 8th grade
    Owen Barbagallo, 8th grade
    Emily Singh, 9th grade
    Skyelar Weiss, 9th grade
    Rome Kadi, 10th grade
    Emily Zaretsky, 10th grade
    Mark Tillinghast, 11th grade
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  • Create an Olympic Sport At Home

    Last month, the York Prep P.E. Department encouraged both students and teachers to create Olympic sports in the comfort of their own homes and outdoor surroundings. This challenge was created to keep spirits high while we were remote in December, and the results will also bring joy to anyone who watches the videos created by the students and faculty who rose to the challenge!
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  • Imprisoned In My Own Home

    Mr. Marconi’s English 10-2 students read Albert Camus’s 1947 novel The Plague  last quarter, and then were asked to compare the novel with their own experiences during the pandemic. Tenth-grade student, Zachary Sternchos, wrote an essay entitled “Imprisoned In My Home”  in response to the prompt. His astute observations on the human condition, drawn from both Camus’ novel and the current behavioral patterns of our society during the pandemic, are incisively expressed throughout his essay. You can read his essay here.
     
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  • 12 Angry Men

    by Ethan Pennington

    As my ninth-grade English continues with their study of Reginald Rose’s classic play 12 Angry Men, they are learning about the complexity of law, and jury trials in particular. In the play, a minor is on trial for murder and the action begins as the jurors are dismissed to deliberate.  In 2016, my wife Kassie served on the jury for a murder trial in Brooklyn. Having her speak with my students seemed like a logical extension to further introduce students to this delicate aspect of our criminal justice system, so last month, the entire class met via Zoom to hear her story.
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  • Nouns Via Flipgrid Videos

    At the beginning of the year, Ms. Hersh’s seventh-grade students demonstrated their knowledge of nouns by speaking about them on a video.  It was their first use of a program called Flipgrid that they will be using throughout the year!
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  • PB and J: A Lot More than a Sandwich

    by Eric Tull

    At York Prep, “PB and J” stands for “Police Betterment and Justice”.  It’s not a club as much as a it is a community-minded political activity, prompted by Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Executive Order 203.  Last summer, in the wake of the murder of George Floyd and others, and the resultant outrage and mass protest, Cuomo issued a challenge to every city and town in New York State: Gather input from your community as to the kind of policing reform they need, and write it into law by April of 2021, or risk losing your annual funding from Albany.
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  • The Paw Staff Keeps the Presses Running

    by Hilary Hersh

    A pandemic was not enough to stop The Paw, York Prep’s school newspaper. Last spring when the school closed, The Paw’s intrepid reporters kept on researching and writing. And this fall, with some student reporters in school and some remote and eventually everyone online, the editorial staff continued working hard, week after week, to produce a winter issue coming out in January.
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  • Headmaster's Thoughts: January 2021

    I want to wish all members of the York Community a Happy New Year. Let us wish for a better one than 2020; a future year of joy and companionship, when New York City returns to being the vibrant, exciting place it was before COVID.
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