Maria's Blog

August 2020

Dear Families, 

 

Thank you so much for your patience and understanding as we navigate such a complex situation. During our Town Hall on Monday, August 10th we discussed a number of things. Below please find a recap and updated information. 

 

Health and Safety: The health and safety of our children and staff is our number one priority. We will follow the protocols outlined by the DOE as noted in the following link: Health and Safety Protocols.

 

Model: After meeting with the SLT and feedback from parents, staff, and the Learning Preference Survey we have chosen model 1a. Upon opening half of our students will attend school on Tuesday and Thursday and alternating Mondays, the other half will attend on Wednesday and Friday and alternating Mondays. Our students in the ASD class will have the opportunity to attend every day with both models. 

 

We still have many questions for which we don't have answers to. As of now, school is expected to start on September 10. For students who chose the blended model, we plan to let you know what days of the week your child will be in attendance around August 21st. We are still waiting on the teacher accommodations to plan the cohorts and won’t know for sure if your child will have the same teacher or teachers from PS24. 

 

Instruction: Students who chose the blended model will be at school from 8:30-2 pm and teachers will be required to be available between that time. Instruction will take place five days a week no matter the model. Students in all remote will meet with teachers in small intervals. There will be both synchronous and asynchronous learning throughout the week. Please visit the following link for more information: Return to School - Teaching and Learning.  

Social-Emotional Learning: We have suffered a lot of loss during this pandemic. We are committed to ensuring the social and emotional well-being of the children and staff is attended to. Currently, we have a number of social workers and guidance counselors on staff that will continue to support our families. For more information visit the DOE page on Teaching and Learning  or the CASEL website on Social and Emotional Learning 

 

Special Education: Additional information regarding Special Education is forthcoming. The Department of Education is committed in continuing to provide high-quality special education and related services to meet the needs of all students. Students will receive services in person or remotely.

 

Dual Language: We are committed to ensuring the integrity of our program. We have switched to a program model that will be half the day in English and half the day in Spanish across kindergarten to fifth grade. Pre-K dual will receive instruction in Spanish for 80% of the day daily. We are working diligently in planning how this will work in various settings. Currently, we do not have sufficient teachers to accommodate all the dual classes in all the models every day. We will continue to plan and share information with you as it becomes available. If you have any ideas or suggestions, please share them with us. 

 

English Language Learners: Our English Language Learners will continue to receive their mandated services either in person or remotely. 

 

PAZ After School: According to Ms. Torres, they have been given the go-ahead to begin planning but will be receiving additional guidance soon. Once we have more information we will let you know. 

 

Parent Engagement and Technology: At PS24, we are a family. We will continue to support all of our families and will be available throughout the year to answer any questions you may have. Our parent coordinator Ms. Ada Galan will be with us to help guide our queries. Our PTA has gone above and beyond throughout this pandemic. Please join them in   We also have amazing tech support from Mr. Manuel Villanueva. 
 

Given the current status of the pandemic in our country, and the policy questions that are yet unanswered and that are essential to safe reopening, many principals in our district and across the city have expressed strong concerns about the safety and viability of in-person, blended reopening of school this September. On August 11th, most of the principals in District 15 sent a letter to the chancellor, mayor, and governor voicing our concerns about school reopening. You can read the letter here. 

 

Learning Preference Survey: So far, approximately 147 out of 543 families who completed the survey chose all-remote for their child. That means that we can accommodate half of the remaining students on any given day. 

 

Choosing fully remote: If you would like to choose all-remote for your child but did not already complete the survey, please do so as soon as possible, and preferably by this Friday, August 14 because we must have accurate numbers in order to program our remote and blended students and teachers. The survey to opt for an all-remote model is still open. TAKE THE SURVEY HERE. You do not have to take the survey if you would like to be in blended in-person learning. 

 

Switching between blended in-person and fully remote: Families who choose to start the year fully remote will have the option to switch to hybrid in-person at quarterly intervals during the year. The first opportunity to come into in-person learning will be on November 13. The deadline to let us know will be October 30. However, families can switch into fully remote at any time. 

 

Please continue to stay in touch and please check in to our DOJO, website, email, robocalls, twitter, texts. We will be sending updates regularly. 

Please be safe and stay well. 

 

Respectfully, 

Maria Diaz 

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