Help Out With Our Auction

Our online auction is just a few months away, and we need donations! Do you or friends have something to donate? How about local businesses you frequent? Ideas for auction items include gift cards to restaurants, stores, spas, gyms, and salons; tickets to sports events, museums, theater, and concerts; and hotel stays, classes, and behind-the-scenes trips to TV or film shoots. 

For a donation form, click HERE. For a letter describing our auction and school, click HERE. 

Note: All donation items must be new, not used, with tags on. 

Email your donation forms to [email protected]. Or mail items and forms to the address on the form, or drop it off in the PA office on the 3rd floor.


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No School Thursday, February 9th

With a heavy heart, I must report there is no school tomorrow due to the incoming storm. See you Friday!

– Mr. Levin

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Letter from Levin – week of February 6th

Parent/Guardian of a Clintonian —

You should have received a report card when your child came home. I only mention this since, depending on the year, some of mine were buried in the book bag and only unearthed months later. 

The report card represents about half of the work for the year, as we are closing on our 100th day of school (Wednesday). In the second half you should look forward to increased opportunities for your young adult to be independent, demonstrate mastery, and consolidate what they have learned. As always, NYS Exam and Regents are a quasi-necessary evil that we will tackle in the Spring. 

February also starts an avalanche of events, some new traditions, and others old. As I write this from our library’s computer, the sounds of the middle dance are pounding through the walls. Once again some upper grade students helped set-up, and are now DJ’ing. 

Next Thursday, Friday and Saturday will be the production of Rent. I have heard and seen some of the rehearsals, and it is amazing. As you know, our middle grades musical has been a rich tradition, and I am thrilled that the upper grades are starting their own production. Please come out and support the arts at Clinton!

Next Saturday morning we will head to ski with about 100 of our bravest middle schoolers. Upper grades students, not to be shown up, will have an overnight ski trip to Vermont in March. Whoop. Whoop.

A note that this Monday is an early release day, with all students dismissed at 12:38. Manhattan Youth has graciously agreed to run afterschool until 3:25 for middle school students that would like to stay. 

Lastly, a sad note that Delia Vargas, a longtime school aide at Clinton, was in a car accident last week and will be out of work for some time. I will let you know if I hear more, but please keep her in your thoughts.




Important dates- (always see for latest dates/times)

February 6th– B Day- ALL STUDENTS DISMISSED AT 12:38!

February 7th C Day

February 8th D Day

February 9th E Day RENT

February 10th A Day–  RENT

February 11th- Saturday RENT and Middle Grades Ski Trip

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Letter from Levin – week of January 30th

Parent/Guardian of a Clintonian —

As I write this teachers are putting the final touches on grades. New schedule begins Tuesday, and report cards to follow this week. I am firmly in the camp of the ‘you got this grade because you earned it,’ and appreciate all the effort they have put into assessment this year. There is a high level of transparency through Jupiter, and generally I feel grading is leaps and bounds improved since when I attended high school. 

We walk this ground together as we decide, as a community, what is the appropriate amount of support and scaffolds for students in our 6-12. I don’t think it’s fair that we have the same expectations as students will face in their first year of college, but it’s clear that we must continue to push to get them ready for it. 

In high school students must earn credits. Students that pass courses move closer towards completing NYC requirements. If a student fails a course they must attend summer school. This allows them to stay “on track” and enter our IB Programme in 11th grade. 

Worth reviewing is this document from NYC’s Department of Education:

Generally, I think the more opportunities you give students to demonstrate mastery, and the more assignments that feed particular outcomes, the more our grades reflect a student’s academic potential. That being said I have learned, even from my own sons, that you can open many doors for students and they don’t always walk through them. 

Grade teams will take some time this week, once grades are in, to review how our students are doing, and also what steps we are going to take to challenge our students at the high end and our students that are struggling. As always, triple E and office hours are two excellent supports. 

Beyond the official time that students are with teachers, so many of our staff take time to be with students before school, during lunch and afterschool. Sometimes those may be productive times, and sometimes not, but I think even the spending of time with an adult helps our most vulnerable students feel like they belong. 

And in these times, it seems to me that’s one of the most important jobs a school can do. 




Important dates- (always see for latest dates/times)

January 30th – B Day- No school for upper grades, end of Regents’ Week

January 31st –  C Day

February 1st – D Day

February 2nd – E Day

February 3rd – A Day– Almost VDay’s Dance (middle school)


* Reminder Rent coming up!

* Middle grades ski trip coming up!

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Letter from Levin – week of January 23rd

Parent/Guardian of a Clintonian —

Next week a reminder that 9th and 10th graders are not in attendance starting Tuesday for Regents Week. 

Over the weekend, when not protesting, many of our teachers were in on Saturday to assist with the middle school admissions process. Although it is a difficult process for the families involved, it is always wonderful to see so many 5th graders who have ranked Clinton first on their application.  

Beyond their paper applications, we have an opportunity to see them in action in a group interview. My favorite part of the process is the role that our 7th and 8th grade ambassadors play, as they facilitate the conversation. 

This year we had almost 400 5th graders rank us first in the process. This means, no matter what rubric we use, almost 300 families will not be matched, and only 100 will be.

Although not even Solomon could ensure that all students can come to Clinton, on Monday the School Leadership Team will reflect on the admissions process, and consider how to ensure it’s fair and equitable.

Have a great week.




Important dates- (always see for latest dates/times)

January 23rd – B Day

January 24th – C Day

January 25th – D Day

January 26th – E Day

January 27th – A Day

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Letter from Levin – week of January 17th

Parent/Guardian of a Clintonian —

I hope that you had an opportunity over the weekend to relax and to reflect.

As the semester comes to an end, I am seeing so much great work around the building. From preparation for midterms in Chem and Physics, to a music concert, to medieval skits, to final art and photography pieces, to published memoirs. We try to use larger projects as opportunities to students to put into action what they know, and demonstrate that they can make sense of what they have learned, not simply “know” a lot of stuff.

These outcomes are measured by staff, and what contributes to a student’s report card card. A focus on what students are able to do and know, in combination with their ability to complete them in a timely fashion, and with a high level of effort, create a grade.

Students will wrap up most major work this week and next Monday. Upper grades do not have classes on Tuesday, although we are using the opportunities of no classes to do Naviance training, take trips, and volunteer.

Naviance is a college preparation program that allows students to complete college applications,and learn more about possibilities for college and career. All students in the upper grades will receive a Naviance login. For a quick video with more information, see:

A huge thanks to Tracy Schaffzin for setting up Naviance and supervising the training.

Additionally, our first financial aid night last week was a huge success. I learned a great deal about the process and how to approach paying for a child’s undergraduate education. 



P.S. Marie Brown, our Secretary, has been selected for a jury and will be out for at least this week. Know that you may not be able to reach us via phone. As always, if your child is out sick you do not need to call, just send an email to [email protected] or [email protected]

If you are picking up a child, our Safety Agents will let you know where to go. Depending on the time of day, this might be on the 2nd, 3rd or 7th floor. Please follow their directions and ensure you have signed-out your child. This allows us to keep everyone safe




Important dates- (always see for latest dates/times)


January 17th C Day- Cooper Hewitt Trip

January 18th D Day- Music Concert- middle grades

January 19th E Day

January 20th A Day

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Letter from Levin – week of January 9th

Parent/Guardian of a Clintonian —

As we head into 2017, there is much to be thankful for, and that was before Governor Cuomo’s proposal concerning free SUNY tuition! If your child is in the upper grades, I hope you can join us next Thursday, for an overview on the financial aid process from Tracy Schaffzin, our college counselor, and a representative from CUNY.  Please rsvp to Jill Bennett. 

One of the advantages of having such a small school is that we will be able to support students as they evaluate college options with a counseling:student ratio that is unheard of in public schools. We look to continue to build our college counseling department, and appreciate all the help that Tracy has received so far from parent volunteers! 

At full scale we look to have at least two counselors working with about 90 Seniors! As Principal I want to ensure that every student knows that they have options for college, and that paying for it is only one factor into where he or she goes to school. 

We will continue to ask for your assistance, financial and otherwise. A task beginning next year with be connecting Clinton to your alma mater, especially for schools that participate in alumni interviews. Although colleges know the IB, we want them to get to know the heart and soul of Clinton, and its students.
Although you may or may not be looking forward to our new President, Clinton also held elections for the middle grades as 2016 wound down. I’m pleased to announce that we have an 8th grader as President, an 8th grader as VP, and a 6th grader as Secretary. Each grade also has two grade representatives. Today one of our 7th grade representatives and our new President are over at my previous school, MS 131, discussing the issues of the day with the representatives from other middle schools.

As the semester winds down, and the year gears up, we are also in the midst of middle and upper grades admissions. All students for middle school that ranked us first will schedule themselves for an in-person session where they will complete an on-line math assessment, an on-demand writing assessment, and a group interview (run by students, supervised by staff). For prospective 9th grade applicants, they also register for an in-person assessment. To the assessment they bring their answer to a writing task we ask them to complete about the IB, then they complete another writing assessment here, and also engage in group interview facilitated by students.

Just a scheduling note that Regents Week, standard for high school, gives students an opportunity to retake or pretake exams instead of waiting until June. During this time, our 9th and 10th grade do not have regular classes. Instead, we will use that time to teach them Naviance (a program for applying to college), and have some trips and service opportunities. Middle school classes will occur as usual.

Report cards will be distributed the week of February 3rd. Note that each semester has its own grade, so the first half is not worth any more or less than the second. There is no final grade that averages the two semesters. For the purposes of applying to other high schools, high schools will see your child’s grade for the second semester of 7th grade.

Does this mean that the first half doesn’t matter? Of course not. In the high school, credits are accumulated regardless of semester, and in the middle school we expect the Fall to give students opportunities to learn, get into good habits, and establish themselves as scholars.





Important dates- (always see for latest dates/times)

January 9th – C Day

January 10th – D Day

January 11th – E Day

January 12th – A Day- Financial aid overview at 6 pm

January 13th – B Day

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Invitations have been sent to all prospective 5th graders that ranked us first on the D2 Choice Application

On January 4th we sent out robocalls to students that ranked us first in the choice application. Please go to and register (in you child’s name) for one session. 

At eventbrite, search “the clinton school.” Each day and time is a separate event. Note that two slots are for students with ICT support as listed on their IEP.

Choose from:

Jan 10th at 3 pm
Jan 19th at 3 pm
Jan 21st (saturday) at 9 am, 11 am (ICT only), 1 pm
Jan 25th (school day) at 9:30 am, 11:30 (ICT only), 1:30 pm
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Invitations have been sent via robocall for Prospective 9th grade students

Invitations have been sent out via phone. If you received an invitation please register for an admissions session from The Clinton School either by phone, email, or from their middle school counselor on our behalf.

Go to “” and search for “the clinton school” to find our event. 

Jan. 5 and Jan. 10 are reserved for students with ICT services.If you do not have ICT services, please do not register for those two dates.


We will conduct the writing and interview components of our admissions process through the lens of the IB Learner Profile. Students will read and write about the IB Learner Profile BEFORE and DURING the admissions session. Students will also be asked to speak on the Learner Profile traits during their group interview.



To learn about the IB Learner Profile, students are asked to read the attached document that names and describes the 10 IB Learner Profile traits that we look to develop in our upper grades program. The IB learner profile can be found at:

Students may also review additional information about the IB Diploma Programme at:

Once the applicant has reviewed the IB Learner Profile and the Diploma Programme, they need to bring a written response with them to the interview session.

Written Reponse – bring this completed piece to your interview session:

Choose 1 person who you believe demonstrates one of the IB Learner Profile traits. In a short written piece of 250 – 450 words (1/2 to 1 page), please tell us:

  • The person you have chosen
  • The IB Learner Profile trait she/he/they exemplify
  • Why you believe she/he/they is a good example of the Learner Profile trait

Staple AND Bring To Session:

Staple together your written piece AND your planning pages. Please bring them with you to the admissions session.


When you arrive for your interview session, we will distribute copies of the IB Learner Profile traits and descriptions to everyone. We will ask you to read the information, and we will ask you to begin a short writing task prior to your group interview. This will help to prepare you for the group interview.

We will interview students in groups of about 4 – 6 students. During the interview, we will ask all participants to speak about the IB Learner Profile.


The process will take about an hour and a half. Parents do not need to drop-off or pick-up students.

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Letter from Levin – week of December 5th

Parent/Guardian of a Clintonian —

Next week is going to be epic. On December 5th and 6th representatives from the IBO will visit to gauge Clinton’s readiness to offer the Diploma Programme. This is a visit we have prepared for over the last four years and I am fully confident that, like most things in life, the hard and smart work will translate into an early spring triumph. 

Thanks in advance for all the support from the Parents’ Association in bringing Clinton close to the brink of being authorized. 

On December 8th we will have our next early release day, with all students dismissed at 12:38 at the conclusion of upper grades lunch. Upper grades students will not go out to lunch for Thursday.

During this early release we will take some time to reflect on what has gone well during the first part of the year, and to continue to vertically align student work over 6-12 grades.  One concrete example of this is the extended essay, an IB Diploma Requirement. This will now be completed by students every year, not just at the start of 12th, and end of 8th and 6th grade. Much more to come!

In addition to continuing to prepare for students completing the IB in 11th and 12th grade, our main focus for the spring is ensuring that we are fully committing to being a close-knit and collaborative environment. 

We have many initiatives planned, including:

* teacher professional development focus every Monday afterschool from our work with Yale University this summer (

* total overhaul of upper grades triple E for the second semester to ensure that we are building an outcomes based culture around academic honesty, support for the IB learner profile, and increasing our collective emotional intelligence

* revision of middle grades triple E to include social and emotional support

* explicit support for students in executive functioning

* partnering with a coach from Morningside Center for Teaching Social Responsibility (

* increased voice and role for student government in all grades





Important dates- (always see for latest dates/times)

December 5th- IBO visits

December 6th- IBO visits

December 7th- Optional Whitney Afterschool Trip

December 8th- All students dismissed at 12:38 

December 9th- 

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