Fifth Grade

No more long lines and supply lists!

Good news for next year’s fifth-grade families!

Rising 5th Grade Supply Donations (2019-20) The fifth-grade teachers have come up with a way to make purchasing classroom supplies easier than ever. We have created a 5th grade supply list on Donors Choose.

All you need to do is go to the website and make a donation, and once the project is funded, Donors Choose will automatically ship the supplies for all 5th-grade classes to school. Families will avoid waiting on long lines at stores and spend less money on school supplies! Please donate this spring or as soon as you can to ensure we can get the supplies over the summer.

The suggested donation is $80 per child, which is far less expensive than the supplies would cost if purchased individually. If you would like to donate more to sponsor another family, feel free to donate more money. Please donate what you can afford.

Copy and paste the link below into your browser to donate:

*Please note, even though the site is organized by Genoa Jones, this fundraiser is for the ENTIRE 5th grade.

Have a great summer. We look forward to getting off to a smooth start in September!

Additional Supplies, personalized to your child’s interests:

  • 1 Pencil case
  • 1 Handheld pencil sharpener
  • 1 pack of special personal pens
  • 1 pack of special personal pencils
  • Optional: Handheld Spell Checker

Scroll down to the bottom to see Middle School information.

Meet the 5th Grade Team

Laura Burns and Catherine Pacilio
5 409 ICT Catherine Pacilio and Laura Burns [email protected] Class Website
Catherine began her teaching career as a 6th grade ICT Humanities and Math teacher in East Harlem at Isaac Newton Middle School. She is excited to be returning to the PS261 community, teaching 5th grade for the past five years. Prior to teaching she earned her bachelors degree in Marketing and Psychology at the College of William and Mary and studied Advanced Psychology for a year at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia. She also earned her Masters Degree in Childhood and Special Education at New York University. Catherine worked as Marketing Director for the Massachusetts Youth Soccer Association prior to becoming a teacher. Soccer is a life-long passion of hers, from playing in college to coaching all ages at recreational and advanced levels. When she is not on the soccer field she enjoys knitting with her cat Lola by her side. She hopes to use her experience working in middle school to guide 5th graders in transitioning from elementary school to the years beyond.
Ms. Laura was born in New York City and spent her formative years in Greenwich Village where she lives now.  After graduating with a degree in English from Smith College, she worked for several years in the arts then became a foster care caseworker for the city.  It was here that she discovered that she enjoyed working with children and decided to become a teacher. Laura received a degree from Bank Street and spent the last twenty years in Ocean Hill-Brownsville at (the recently closed) PS/IS 73 where she taught grades 1,2,4,5 and 6 (both ICT and General Ed). In her off hours, Laura enjoys spending time with family and friends, making things (cooking, baking, knitting, photography), reading, riding her bike and cheering for the Mets, Knicks and the Cleveland Browns.  
Judy Salazar & Teresa Setzer
5 411  ICT Judy Salazar and Teresa Setzer [email protected]

Tara McHugh
5 412  Tara Mchugh [email protected] Class Website Tara McHugh has been an NYC public educator for 12 years.  She has taught every grade from kindergarten to fifth, though she has a special place in her heart for fifth grade.  Following graduation from Susquehanna University with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education, Tara taught at PS 272 in Canarsie, Brooklyn for four years. That experience guided her in pursuing a master’s degree in TESOL from Teachers College, Colombia University. During her field study in graduate school she worked at Hamilton Heights School; where she then taught second and third grade for two years before teaching overseas in Maracaibo, Venezuela. Tara continues to grow and learn with the PS261 community and feels overjoyed to work with such a passionate and smart group of educators. Her free time is filled with family/friend love, outdoor activities, and soaking in the abundant culture and art throughout the city. In a world without tennis hour regulations and annual fees, one would catch her playing tennis most days after school. Instead, you might see her bopping around town or playing with her nieces in Prospect Park.
Genoa Jones
5 415  Genoa Jones Email  [email protected] Genoa is excited to be joining the PS 261 community this year.  She is returning to New York after spending the last five years working at International Baccalaureate schools in Bucharest, Romania, and Bangkok Thailand.  Before moving abroad, she taught for ten years in Washington Heights.  Over the past fifteen years, she has taught grades 2-5 in both general education and special education settings.  The diversity she has experienced through her own upbringing and travels reinforces her drive to help her students develop an appreciation and acceptance of differences on both the local and global level. Genoa views her role as an opportunity to facilitate the development of problem-solving skills, an understanding of empathy, and the chance to help students take action. When she’s not planning her next trip, she can usually be found trying a new restaurant, playing lawn games (an interesting pursuit in an urban setting), rescuing animals, or cycling.
Nan O’Shea
5 424 Nan O’Shea [email protected]  Nan has been working at PS 261 for the past 22 years! She has taught 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th  and now 5th grades. She was the Theater Arts teacher for two years and conducted “Community Group Sinf” for many grade levels. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Theater from San Francisco State University and a Master’s of Science from Hunter College. She infuses her teaching with humor, singing, drama, and art. She believes that all students are gifted in some way or another and encourages each child, throughout the year, to broaden their talents. Ms, O’Shea lives in a brick house covered in Wisteria with her husband and their two cats. Gulley & Lucy. She has a beautiful daughter, Bridget, who is a graduate of PS 261. Ms. O’Shea credits Bridget with helping her teach with empathy, patience, and love. “I treat my students the way I want my daughter’s teachers to treat her” In her spare time Ms. O’Shea gardens, Signs with the Crace Choral Society, takes Irish step dancing classes and is currently teaching her cats to read. If Ms. O’Shea could come back as any animal she would be an otter lying on her back in the kelp, eating shellfish.


You can start signing up for school tours now. There are 11 district 15 middle schools.
Call or email the parent coordinator, Enid Para to obtain a tour date now. You must include the following info: current school, current grade, student name, parent name, and telephone number/email.
[email protected] or 718.965.0390
Sign up for a middle school tour now:
MS 88
Sign up for a middle school tour now:
Sign up to attend an Open House now:
MS 839
Tour Dates will be announced shortly. In the meantime, here is some info:
MS 447
Open House dates will be announced this week. Please keep checking their website for sign up:
MS 51
No information from this school yet but they’ve posted a virtual tour on their website. Click and scroll down to bottom of the page under yellow banner Open House Information and click on video:
MS 442 Carroll Gardens School for Innovation
No information from this school yet.
Park Slope Collegiate
Open House 10/25 but no tour dates listed yet. To register for Open House email [email protected]
MS 136 Charles O Dewey
No information from this school yet but they’ve posted a virtual tour video on their homepage:
Sunset Park Prep
To register for one of the tour dates call Evelyn Deliz at 718.840.1951 x 4591
ICE (City-Wide)
Sign up for an Open House now:
NEST+m (City-Wide)
Sign up for Tour Dates now:
MARK TWAIN (City-Wide)
Mark Twain will hold two Open House Dates on Oct 16 and Oct 18 from 5:00-7: 30 pm. No need to register – ARRIVE EARLY!!