Halloween Fundraisers: Don a Costume for a Cause

Local Parents Band Together to Protest New Dog Park Site

Main Street Block Party a Fall Hit

Octagon Field Renamed McManus, Tensions Remain

Islanders Enjoy Fall for the Arts Festival

RIOC and RIRA Meet on Back to Back Evenings Last Week

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September 2, 2019

Happy Labor Day, Roosevelt Island! It’s been another summer of change on Roosevelt Island, and at The WIRE

You didn’t hear much from us this summer because it’s been a tumultuous summer for me personally, culiminating with my family’s very Roosevelt Island international move off Roosevelt Island. My husband, three children and I are moving to London for a few years.

The WIRE will still be around and we are in the process of building our new team. 


June 27, 2019

A few weeks ago, Cornell Tech held its second recognition ceremony – the actual commencement takes place in Ithaca. The ceremony marked the graduate school’s second full year on Roosevelt Island, a year that also encompassed continued campus construction, and additional connections between the residential community further north and the campus.

The University launched its popular Community Conversations program earlier this year, building on the 3D-pri...

Students in Class 402, spread the love on Valentine’s Day in honor of Respect For All Week

PS/IS 217 was bustling with especially enthusiastic students last month. Not merely due to the fun and engaging learning and growing that typically happens here, but because at the end of February we celebrated Respect for All week! Students from PreK - eighth grade were eager to tackle the Kindness Challenge checklist, and participated in daily activities t...

December 1, 2018

Congratulations to PS/IS 217 middle school students who received 90% or better in allsubjects on their first-trimester grades.

Social Studies teacher Andrew Buttermilch says, "We congratulate the following students for making the 217 HonorRoll!"


Theoentle Boniface 

Isabella Torres

Elizabeth Miranda

Maziko Kandulu

Zhara Thomas

Persya Perez

Neriah Umeh


Virginia Lima

Shah Rahman

Sean Ramirez

Deyan Reza

Ivan Dronjic


Hooriya Aamir

Buraid Ahmad

Ksenia Ibatullina


October 13, 2018

The local public school hosted their annual Monster Bash this past Friday. The PTA fundraiser has long been seen by Island children as the unofficial start of Halloween. The event, open to the entire community, offered games, homemade baked goods and other yummy hot and cold, savory and sweet offerings. Activities included pumpkin painting, face painting, a jumpy-house, and music. The event, held in the school courtyard was a community affair with man...

June 13, 2018

To the Editor:

Recently I was at the pediatricians’ office here on Roosevelt Island. The topic of the new Beacon program and the difficulty this has brought to the Island was being discussed. Principal Beckman’s name arose and the person with whom I was talking stated, “It’s time for new leadership.” 

I have been reflecting on that, recalling when the previous Beacon provider did not get the contract and there were posters circulated on the Island sayin...

May 25, 2018

PS/IS 217 is going green. Construction on the school’s green roof is scheduled to begin within the next month. 

“We are delighted to announce  that construction will commence soon and we are looking forward to integrating the green roof into our STEM-enhanced curriculum across all grade levels,” said Principal Mandana Beckman.

The project was the top winner in Council Member Ben Kallos’ Participatory Budgeting competition in 2015, winning a third of all...

March 15, 2018

At 10:00 a.m. on March 14, 65 students walked out of PS/IS 217 to join families and community members in demanding stronger gun laws. The event was part of the #Enough! National School Walkout and marked the one-month anniversary of the February shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, which left 17 students and teachers dead. 

Outside the school, the protesters carried homemade signs and sang Bob Dylan’s Blowin’ In the Wi...

March 9, 2018

Next week is the #Enough walkout. On March 14 at 10:00 a.m., across the country, students and parents and, where possible, teachers and administrators will walk out for 17 minutes – one for each Parkland victim – of silent protest. We will be protesting lax gun laws, protesting a system that privileges a right to bear arms over a child’s right to live, a system that privileges money over the common good. Children and youth and adults alike are invited...

January 21, 2018

Every year, PS/IS 217's middle struggles to fill a single class per grade, despite being part of a thriving elementary school. But with Cornell Tech’s stated commitment to the school and steady interest in the elementary school, many wonder whether there may finally be enough momentum to enact change.  The question is, what might that change look like? And what compromises would the community – and the school – be required to make?

January 6, 2018

The elementary school on the Island has waiting lists of parents hoping to get a spot. So why, then, are so many parents fleeing the same middle school? In the first of a series of articles about the middle school at PS/Is 217, we look at how an effort to increase choice has left our neighborhood school fighting to survive.

January 6, 2018

While IS 217 cannot offer a specialized program or many of the extracurriculars of a larger school, it does have an ace in the hole that few other schools can boast of: a relationship with the Island’s Cornell Tech graduate school.  Cornell Tech’s work with IS 217, including helping the school embed computer science into every grade, could arguably be more valuable than what is happening at the most desirable District 2 school.

December 22, 2017

PS/IS 217 parent, Serife Gokdemir, is inviting members of the Roosevelt Island community to sponsor a local student for the school's second annual Read-A-Thon event. 

She writes: 

Dear members of Roosevelt Island Community,

On behalf of PS/IS 217 PTA, I reach out to you regarding our second annual Read-A-Thon event, Warm Up With a Good Book, which will run during the school’s holiday break. In so doing, we ask for your kind support an...

December 18, 2017

To commemorate 100 years since women first gained the right to vote in New York, The Main Street WIRE sponsored an essay contest for Island children, asking them to write about a woman, from the past or present, who inspires them. The entries were then judged by Assembly Member for the 76th District, Rebecca Seawright; Island activist and RIRA Vice President Lynne Shinozaki; and our managing editor, Kelly Turner. (Names were removed from the entries p...

November 30, 2017

Good Shepherd Community Center was overflowing at Monday night’s Town Hall. The event was billed as a presentation on the past, present, and future of Island life and Cornell Tech’s impact on it. 

Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright, Congress Member Carolyn Maloney, New York State Senator Jose Serrano, and City Council Member Ben Kallos were all in attendance, as well as representatives from Cornell Tech. 

The evening’s discussion focused on initiatives b...

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