Principal Tom Carty of P.S./I.S. 49 in Middle Village is bringing some fun to his students and school community wading through remote learning.
Carty, who’s been the principal at P.S./I.S. 49 for six years, has created education-themed cover songs to brighten the days of his students, their families and the school’s faculty. His songs include “Home School Mode” to the tune of “Old Town Road” and his latest, “49 Strong!”
“I thought that one was totally original but my daughter pointed out that it sounded a lot like ‘The Fresh Prince,'” Carty said.
Carty said he used to make up jingles and raps for the morning announcements while he was an assistant principal in Bushwick — but when P.S./I.S. 49’s PTA president asked him to record the Pledge of Allegiance so they could play it for students every morning, he thought he should take it one step further.
“When we are at school, the Pledge and morning announcements set the tone for each day at 49,” Carty said. “I felt that a recording would not do it so I did my best to recreate my office, and have done them live on Instagram and Youtube everyday since remote learning began. I think it has helped us all to maintain something of a normal routine and start each day together. The students seem to be enjoying all of it and I am so happy to be able to do something to maintain the sense of community that we have all worked so hard to establish.”
Carty also began doing weekly story time and singalongs, and then he created his own songs.
He said he usually gets his ideas while doing his morning exercises. “I guess I just start playing around with words and phrases in my head and it just takes off from there,” Carty said.
When asked how they’re managing remote learning, Carty said that while the transition has been tough, they are adjusting as best they can.
“They have all pulled together and are making the best of a very difficult situation,” he said. “I spend a good deal of my day doing outreach to families and I am amazed at our students’ ability to remain positive and do their best every day. They really keep me going.”
Chris Brosky, a P.S./I.S. 49 parent, thanked Carty for all he’s doing for their school community.
“Mr. Carty is doing an amazing job bringing some normalcy and fun to the students and even the parents of P.S./I.S. 49 through his morning announcements, story times and original songs,” Brosky said. “He is a great principal and person.”