Good morning Parents/Guardians of our PS#3 Conwell Tigers,


This week’s tragic events that took place in Florida, taking the innocent lives of 17 people, has impacted all of us very deeply.  From Columbine to Virginia Tech to Newtown to Parkland, the inexplicable is happening more and more often.  Gun violence in schools is a scary and frightening reality that can not be taken lightly or ignored.  It is extremely important that we be vigilant and observant in our goal of ensuring a safe and secure environment.  We are extremely fortunate that similar events have not brushed our door step, however, we must maintain the approach that it could happen at anytime and for any reason.  Once again, these acts of violence are very often inexplicable, however, the responsibility you have given the administration and staff at PS#3 to keep your children safe is at the forefront of what we do.  Very often times, when a tragedy such as this occurs, there are multiple protocols that are revisited, resources reallocated, additional training provided, etc.  


This event forces something completely different that includes all of the above.  We must all work collaboratively to insure that our school provides every deterrance to prevent any such horror from occuring at our school.  It takes every single one of us to do our part to continue to protect our children and staff.  Safety and security sometimes may not be convenient.  What we need to do in order to sustain the safety must not only start immediately but must continue indefinitely.  Our sense of urgency must not ever be compromised.  We must maintain a vigilance and determination to do the right thing to protect the students and staff at PS#3.  


Parkland, Florida has hit me at my core.  It has made me reflect as both a caretaker and a school leader.  The changes that you will see, hear, and feel will be permanent and all participants will be held accountable to the same standard as equal partners in the process of making our school as safe as possible.  I ask for your support in this process both as a concernced parent and a community partner.


  • We practice numerous drills with the children.  The way in which you can help us at home is to encourage your children to take these drills very seriously.  The fire drills, evacuation drills, the intruder drills, and the various lockdowns.  Explain to your children that if they are in a place when a lockdown or drill is called, they are to remain in that place until an adult arrives.  If they are in the hallway they should move immediately to the closest room.   Most importantly they must listen to the adult in the room and take the drills seriously.


  • Secondly, when parents enter the building, respect our processes.  Anytime you enter the building you must obtain label while checking in at the security desk and provide identification.  Treat our staff with respect and understand that even though they may see you everyday, they are doing their jobs to protect your children.  Don’t speak to teachers at dismissal about your child’s progress.  The teachers are outside monitoring their children and when they take their focus off of the children, their safety is compromised.  

  • Parents of our pre-K are only allowed to drop their children off at their assigned door and must do so before 8:45 am.  Don’t try to make a security guard feel guilty because you don’t want to walk around the building because it is cold.  The less number of entry ways into the building, the safer our entire school community is.  


  • I will be personally monitoring students who arrive late each day.  Children should be at school by 8:30 am.  That’s our arrival time.  Children enter through the cafeteria.  Please understand that when you arrive with your children through the front door at 8:45 am or after, our resources are being spread thin because our staff is monitoring children that should already be in classrooms.  This is also impacting instruction in the classroom.   8:30-8:45 is breakfast in classroom but it is also unpacking time.  If your child arrives late to school, they are interrupting the class when they arrive and missing valuable time.  


  • Dismissal procedures for Grades 3-5 will be changing in the near future.  I will be providing information shortly about where and when that will be occuring.  


  • Your children must be in uniform everyday.  The “safety orange” color allows us to identify our children very quickly.  The color was changed to orange for this purpose.  


  • Picking up your child early from school should be avoided at all costs.  Please make all medical appointments for after-school hours.   There really should be very limited traffic of adults in the building unless they are there for a school event or a school-related purpose.  


I would like to close by telling you that the single most important way to prevent an incident similar to Parkland from occurring at PS#3 is to eliminate any motivation for such a tragedy.  As educators and adults, we must be very conscious the impact our words and actions have on the developing child.  There are times where an act of a child requires a response of discipline as per the code of conduct.  As part of the discipline process, the cycle should always end with a clean slate for the child and that they feel they can reenter the educational process without bias.  We will end any and all student conflict(s) with an understanding that children will not be treated differently as a result.   Please speak to your children.  They should not be involved in any conflicts to begin with.  Students should always tell a teacher first before resulting to any physical response to a stimulus.  A child should never leave their experience at PS#3 with anything other than a love and loyalty to our institution.  That is my belief and my mandate.


I wish you a wonderful rest of your weekend and should you have any questions or responses, please feel free to email me at   


I am committed to leading a school that you are proud of and that you can have faith in.


Darren Mischel, Principal

Valentine’s Fundraiser, After-School Enrichment Program, Support our Teachers Inbox x

Dear PTA Member,

We urge you to read this entire post as there is important information you need to know about our recent fundraiser, the after-school enrichment program, and support for our teachers. Our next PTA meeting will take place on Tuesday, February 27th at 6pm in the Wallace Theater. For more information and to sign up click: African-American History Month Celebration.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Thank you for your support with our first Lee Sims chocolate lollipop fundraiser -- we raised $1,454 with a 50% profit. These funds will go towards the Teacher Appreciation Breakfast and Field Day activities. Chocolates without a candygram were delivered to classrooms yesterday and chocolate candygrams were delivered to classrooms today.

After-School Enrichment Program (ASEP)

Many of you have asked when the Winter/Spring session will start. We are trying to refute the incurred security guard fees (around $3,400) for the Fall session. As mentioned in previous meetings, we were notified the program would be assigned one security guard daily AFTER it had already started. It was too late to cancel the program as arrangements had already been made with vendors and with parents. Currently we are the only parent organization that has been billed and pressured to pay. Had we known of this new district regulation, program sustainability and pricing would have been discussed and adjusted accordingly.

Correspondence to Mr. Youmans (, Mr. O'Reilly (, Dr. Lyles ( and the Board of Education Members have gone unanswered in terms of what the hourly rate moving forward will be, financial responsibility if there is a staggered shift schedule, whether or not we have to pay the fall session due to the lack of notification, questioning the charge since there are guards assigned to the school everyday until 4:10pm (our program ends at4:30pm), and consideration to share the cost with CASPER since half the students are from CASPER. In addition, the PTA was never given a guard assignment schedule to know who was assigned to our program. With the exception of one guard who would check in with the program on their assigned day sometimes, no other guard assisted with dismissal, moved students to and from classes, or walked around to check on the classes that were in session. This job was always taken care of by our Clubs Coordinator and Club Volunteers. What is the assigned guard doing for the PTA that we have to pay $42.82/hr for?

Remember, the PS3 PTA is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization with a limited budget relying solely on fundraising. Many members such as yourself offer your time and work very hard to provide the school with Tigerpalooza, Family Science Night, cultural celebrations, Field Day, Teacher Appreciation Breakfast, Health & Fitness Week/Disco Party, and the ASEP. The ASEP is a convenient and low-cost enrichment program that would otherwise require you and your child(ren) to travel to and from the program location and pay up to double/triple the class fees.

We patiently bided our time and now ask for YOUR help to get our questions answered and to decide on the viability of a Winter/Spring session ASEP. Contact Dr. Lyles, Mr. Youmans, Mr. O'Reilly, and Ms. Regina Robinson ( to let them know we need the answers to our questions regarding regulations for assigning programs with a security guard.  Please take this short 2-question ASEP Survey to find out your willingness to incur a $25 security fee PER CLASS and your child(ren)'s grade(s) for the sustainability of the ASEP. We need sufficient responses to make an informed decision on whether you want the ASEP to continue. A lack of responses will lead to the cancellation of the program which many of the local businesses and PS3 families like yours have relied upon for the past 8 years.

Voice your concerns at tomorrow's Board of Education Meeting -- Thursday, February 15th at 6:00pm in PS #11, Martin Luther King, Jr. School, located at 886 Bergen Avenue. To speak at the meeting, contact Ms. Veda Rencher at 201-915-6074 by 12pmtomorrow.

Support Our Teachers

Have you wondered why our teachers have been rallying in front of the school between 7:15 and 8:00am for the past four weeks? All Jersey City Public School Teachers are working without a contract, have not had yearly salary increases, and pay extremely high rates for their healthcare. Negotiations between the NJEA and the Board have been ongoing for months. 

Show your support in any of the following ways:

·       Attend tomorrow's Board of Education Meeting (PS#11, 886 Bergen Avenue)

·       Write a letter to the Editor of The Jersey Journal, The Hudson Reporter, and/or El Diario

·       Join the staff in their morning rallies from 7:15-8:00am

·       Contact the following people:

Jersey City Board of Education

Dr. Marcia Lyles, Superintendent

(201) 915-6202

Sudhan Thomas, President

(201) 915-6074

Lorenzo Richardson, Vice-President

(201) 915-6074

Mussab Ali

(201) 915-6074

Amy DeGise

(201) 915-6074

Luis Fernandez

(201) 915-6074

Vidya Gangadin

(201) 915-6074

Marilyn Roman

(201) 915-6074

Matt Schapiro

(201) 915-6074

Angel Valentin

(201) 915-6074


City of Jersey City

Steven Fulop, Mayor

(201) 547-5200

Rolando Lavarro, President

(201) 547-5268

Daniel Rivera, At-Large

(201) 547-5319

Joyce Watterman, At-Large

(201) 547-5134

Denise Ridley, Ward A

(201) 547-5098

Mira Prinz-Arey, Ward B

(201) 547-5092

Richard Boggiano, Ward C

(201) 547-5159

Michael Yun, Ward D

(201) 547-3534

James Solomon, Ward E

(201) 547-5315

Jermaine Robinson, Ward F

(201) 547-5338


Hudson County

Tom DeGise, County Executive

(201) 795-6200

Kenneth Kopacz

(201) 795-6001

Bill O'Dea

(201) 795-6001

Jerry Walker

(201) 795-6001

Joel Torres

(201) 795-6001

Anthony Romano

(201) 795-6001

Anthony Vaineiri

(201) 795-6001


We thank you for your cooperation and ongoing support. Working together we can serve our children and support our teachers. Please attend tomorrow's BOE meeting to voice your concerns (call Ms. Veda Rencher at 201-915-6074 by 12pmtomorrow to be placed on the list to speak). We look forward to seeing you and your family at our monthly meeting onFebruary 27th.

-The PS3 PTA Executive Board

Week of 2-12

Mr. Mischel’s weekly message:

Good morning Conwell Tigers,

Hope you had an amazing weekend thus far.  The Winter Olympics are off to great start on the other side of the world, and here back in NJ, we are looking for the end of the rain.  We have a lot of important announcements for the week so listen up….

There is a half day for all students on Tuesday.  Please make arrangements for your children to be picked up by 12:30PM.  Report Card distribution will begin promptly at 1:30 PM and will end at 2:55PM.  If you cannot pick up your child’s report card, you can email your teacher to schedule a conference for a later date.

There will be Cubs choir on Wednesday after school.  The Conwell Kidz NPAF rehearsals will take place Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. 

Engineering Club on Friday and they are selling t-shirts, smencils and pretzels at lunch time for Space Camp.

Many classes will be observing the hundredth day of school this week.  Individual teachers will share any information they may have. 

On Wednesday, join the staff in wearing red for VALENTINES DAY.  If your child plans on bringing in Valentines cards for children in the class, please make sure to include EVERY child. 

I leave you with these words….that still resonate today and will forever by the late great Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

“I say to you today, my friends, so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.”

Have a wonderful Sunday!!

Week of Feb 5

Good afternoon Conwell Tigers,

Tomorrow will be a FREE WEAR YOUR FAVORITE JERSEY to school day to commemorate today's NFL Super Bowl.  Whoever you are rooting for, or against, I hope you have plenty of healthy snacks on hand and that you have a fantastic experience.  As for me I'm torn, I'm thinking I have to root for Tom Brady and the Patriots because I just can't find ANY rationale to root for the Eagles.  So Ms. Rodgers....Let's go Pats.

MOVE IT MONDAY TOMORROW.  Don't forget your healthy snack.

This week we have NPAF rehearsal on Wed, Thursday, and Friday immediately after school.  The festival is only 3 weeks away and the Kidz are getting really excited.  They will be performing in school for some grade levels, dates TBD.

The Conwell Cubs will be rehearsing on Tuesday and Wednesday after school.  The Engineering Club, which will be meeting on Friday, is going to start to sell pretzels and smencils at lunch to support the Space Camp trip to be held in March.

We have a really cool fundraiser coming up for the Pre-K.  Winter photos with a Valentine Theme.  1 for $3, 2 for $5.  The pictures will be taken on Thursday for Pre-K-2 and Friday for 3rd-5th. 

It is Black History Month so we are encouraging all students for $1 to wear Red, Black and/or Green on Friday February 9th.  Black History Month Assembly featuring the Conwell Cubs and the Conwell Band will be on February 28th, which is a half day for all students.  Parents are welcome to attend.

Week of Jan 29

Good morning Conwell Tigers!!!  


Hope you are staying dry on this rainy Sunday.   We have some very important announcements for this upcoming week.


First, all PTA Chocolate Lollipop orders are due back tomorrow, January 29th, to your child’s homeroom teacher.  We are also organizing a “candy gram,” of sorts, with these lollipops should your child want one delivered to another child or a teacher in the school.  Forms for this delivery should have gone home on Friday.  


Secondly, we have Cubs choir of Tuesday, Conwell Kidz NPAF on Thursday and Friday, Engineering on Friday.


Last and certainly not least, we have a HALF DAY on Wednesday for ALL STUDENTS.  Dismissal will begin at 12:30pm.   The staff has workshops starting at 1:30pm so PLEASE arrange to have your children picked up on time.  There is NO CASPER, CLUBS, OR EXTENDED DAY on Wednesday.


Hope you have a fantastic Sunday and we will see you tomorrow for MOVE IT MONDAY!!!!


Carry on, Continua….SEE YA!!!

Week of Jan 22nd

Good afternoon Conwell Tigers,


We are officially ⅓ of the way done with the winter and it certainly has been a cold one.  We are fortunate that a committee of parents have worked closely with the school administration and the faculty to create recess-like opportunities on days that the children cannot go out.  We will continue to use the 32 degree mark as the line for determination of whether we have outdoor recess.  


The children have been working diligently over the course of the school year to become critical thinkers, problem solvers, readers, and writers.  I am encouraging all parents and guardians to continue to support the school’s efforts by making sure children complete their homework assignments and that they arrive at school on time ready to learn.  I am very proud of how our children are excelling and I want to ensure that the progress continues.


This week, the Conwell Cubz Choir continues after school on Tuesday and Wednesday.  The Conwell Kidz NPAF group has rehearsal on Wednesday and Thursday until 6pm.  The Engineering Club will meet on Friday until 3:45 pm.


I hope you have an excellent Sunday and am looking forward to MOVE IT MONDAY!!!!  


Have great night.


Carry On, Continua, See ya