Sharing Experiences #BetterTogether

Important Dates:

November 23: Noon Dismissal

• November 24-25: Thanksgiving Break (School Closed)

• November 28: Return to School

• December 2: Staff Professional Development (Noon Dismissal)

Visit Cooke’s Parent page and stay up to date by subscribing to school calendars using your phone or computer. Go to:



Cooke’s New Afterschool Programming: Update

Fall afterschool programming at 1713 Madison is in full swing! Students have been loving the new opportunities to interact with peers from different classes, in a social environment. 

With an emphasis on fun and new skill-building, after-school activities this fall have seen students honing their dribbling skills, perfecting the quesadilla, clearing that big hurdle, coding the perfect sequence, delivering award winning monologues, winning their first check-mate…and so much more!

In Too Many Cooke’s in the Kitchen, students research recipes and follow a sequence of steps with visuals to prepare light bites and snacks. Students learn kitchen safety and valuable cooking skills, while developing nutritional awareness, math skills, and executive functioning. Students also discuss allergies and dietary restrictions and how they come into play with food preparation. Our chefs are up to some great Cook[E]ing!

     In the words of one of our 10th graders, “actually, well, literally nothing is better than jumping jacks with my friends because we are getting so strong…well, except lunch time!”

    Stay tuned for more information about winter afterschool offerings, which will take place on Tuesdays and Thursdays for all K-12 divisions at 1713 Madison Ave.

    Cooke Transitions Student Becomes a SUNY Downstate LEND Program Advocate

    Kayla, a Cooke Transitions student, was selected as this year’s self advocate with the LEND Program* through SUNY Downstate University. Kayla’s role will be to provide her perspective on how students in this program can best support individuals with disabilities.

    Kayla worked with our Transition Department staff to get ready for her interview so when the time came, she was prepared to share examples about ways she had already been an advocate and asked great questions about the program.  

    In addition to having a mentor, Kayla will be participating (in an advocate capacity) in two virtual night classes a week for the year. She’ll have an opportunity to apply her professional skills and will receive a certificate at the conclusion of the program to include on her resume.

    Kayla is very proud of herself (as she should be). This is an exciting opportunity for her and we are thrilled to see her make her mark in this program.

    Here is a photo Kayla right afterwards when she was informed that she was officially accepted to be an advocate in the program. Congratulations, Kayla!

    *The Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and related Disabilities (LEND) Program provides graduate level interdisciplinary training designed to improve the lives and care of individuals with autism spectrum disorders and other neurodevelopmental disabilities (ASD/ND). The program also includes self-advocates (like Kayla) and family advocates. This ensures that their voices are heard and helps LEND graduate students gain a better understanding of working with people with disabilities.

    Off-Site Education is Back: Cooke Students Visit MoMath Museum


    Off-Site Education is back, and staff and students are excited to explore New York City once more. Community-based learning is an essential part of Cooke’s programming, offering students an opportunity to learn real-world skills, interact in new environments, and engage with peers in experiential learning. This week all of the Upper School Upperclassmen took a trip to the Museum of Mathematics near Madison Square Park.

    Upon arrival, students explored the museum’s various exhibits, including mazes on the light-up math square, the human tree, the hyper hyperboloid, spin chairs and the ever-popular square-wheeled trike. Students also worked collaboratively to solve mathematical puzzles. After leaving the museum, everyone had lunch in Madison Square Park before heading back to school via the 6 train.

    The trip was a hit! Our students were fully engaged and happy to be back out in the community with their friends and teachers. This, we hope, is the start of many more opportunities to teach our students how to safely navigate public transportation, observe their surroundings, and venture out once more in New York City!

    New: Cooke’s Alumni Daytime Programming


    Educational Explorers, a daytime program through Cooke’s Alumni Association is up and running this fall. The course runs from October 3rd through December 12th from 9:30 am-2:00 pm and offers goal-oriented trips to museums and cultural institutions. Alumni travel around the city to exciting museums and outdoor spaces, including the Color Factory, the Museum of Illusions, and the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum. Led by Alumni Services Director Michelle Lang and Occupational Therapist Genielle Wieder, the course offers young adult students the opportunity to:

    • learn travel training skills (planning their trips using public transportation),
    • problem-solve and take part in group discussions on the topics explored on their excursions, and 
    • socialize with peers during their fun and inspirational trips.


    The course rotates between classroom and trip weeks. During classroom weeks, students plan the trip and participate in literacy skill-building, social-emotional learning and fitness and movement lessons. A typical schedule for the trip weeks includes reviewing the trip plan, packing snacks and personal items to carry along, traveling in small groups to the venue and exploring it, and sharing photos during wrap-up discussions.

    Celebrating Indigenous Peoples’ Month

    November is Native American or Indigenous Heritage Month,* a time that reminds us to celebrate the history, joy, culture, and experiences of indigenous communities—and as always, Cooke’s curated digital library helps to do just that!

    As we incorporate these titles into our lessons, we amplify indigenous voices and encourage students to read increasingly diverse texts at home. We even create book clubs where they can share their thoughts and ideas about the titles that they are reading.

    For additional resources that capture the stories and perspectives of Indigenous Americans in engaging and impactful ways, go to the New York Public Library’s indigenous joy pictures and the National Museum of the American Indian.

    * Wondering what the correct terminology is: American Indian, Indian, Native American, Indigenous, or Native?

    According to the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian, all of these terms are acceptable. The consensus, however, is that whenever possible, Native people prefer to be called by their specific tribal name. In the United States, Native American has been widely used but is falling out of favor with some groups, and the terms American Indian or Indigenous American are preferred by many Native people. Native peoples often have individual preferences on how they would like to be addressed. When talking about Native groups or people, use the terminology the members of the community use to describe themselves collectively. 

    Here are some of the titles that we have included in our digital library: 

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