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  • María Díaz

Maria's Blog

Updated: 2 days ago

March 30, 2020

Dear PS 24 Families,

I hope that you and your families are staying healthy and safe as we navigate this new reality. It is hard to believe that it has been just a week since we began our remote learning journey. I want to acknowledge that we know how challenging it is for you to be at home supporting with teaching your young children and in many cases still expected to do your full-time job remotely. The majority of students that have access to a device, have been able to successfully access Google Classroom. Thank you for supporting them. We are all doing our best considering our worry about the health and safety of ourselves and our loved ones, and some are worried about financial security as well.

We are trying our best to give some structure to your children’s days. We are asking that you help your child(ren) keep to their daily schedule. Those routines will help when we get back to “regular” school. All of our classroom teachers have posted daily schedules and are working on providing opportunities for their students to see them either in real time sessions via Google Hangout/Meet, Zoom, in a video or via phone. For those that have access to a device or WIFI, the expectation is that they participate in these interactions when assigned. In addition, our teachers are posting time for “office hours,” which are times they are using for interacting with students. These will vary class by class and could include time that teachers are answering questions on their Stream, giving feedback to students on work submitted on the Classwork part of the platform, holding one-on-one scheduled phone or video conferences with children, or teaching small groups through Google Hangout/Meet or Zoom. We ask that you continue to support your children in their learning but please let your child(ren) turn in their own authentic work. If you find that your child is having difficulty or the work is extremely easy, please communicate that to the classroom teacher.

During the times that teachers are not interacting with students, they are answering parent emails, attending virtual IEP meetings and trainings, reading student submissions, and designing and posting new videos and assignments. Within these guidelines, there will be some variety from class to class, just as there is in “real” school.

We are doing our best to provide as much teaching, work, and feedback as we can while also respecting that, given very different family situations, not everyone will be able to do it. For families where you feel you cannot keep up with the work or the screen time, that is fine. We are in a crisis that is getting worse, and parents and children’s mental and physical health is a lot more important than any assignment we give. For many children, doing assignments and connecting with classmates and teachers is helpful and comforting, and we will continue to provide ways to do this. If you are unable to do the work provided, I encourage you to contact the teacher. In the meantime, make sure your child keeps reading, does some daily writing, and if possible, does some math work. Hopefully, they will also have time to play and interact on the phone or online with friends and family. Reading aloud to children and talking to them is also very valuable.

As I’m sure most of you understand, this transition to remote teaching and learning has been a monumental task for most teachers and administrators, particularly in a school where very few of us have ever used Google Classroom before. We are all learning it in a crash course at the same time that we are using it with students. Under normal conditions, this would be a months-long transition, but we know that these are not normal conditions. Even our most tech savvy teachers have reported feeling that this is the most challenging teaching they have ever done. Every teacher feels like a first-year teacher, since this is all so new. That said, we’re all learning how to do this more effectively. We’re trying to work out any glitches and also to share best practices among staff members. There is a tremendous amount of collaboration happening that we know will have a positive impact on remote learning as we move forward.

For children with IEPs and English Language Learners, we are continuing to provide mandated services to the best of our abilities within the context of a virtual classroom. Children who get these services have been contacted by related service providers and intervention teachers to work out individualized programs. In addition, there are Google Classrooms for English as a New Language, Counseling, Occupational & Physical Therapy, and Intervention. And in ICT classes, the teachers will continue to provide modified support for children who need it.

Although many of our teachers are working very long hours, as I’m sure you know, they are not mandated to work after school hours or on weekends. So, if you reach out during those times, you may not hear back for a while. Please be patient as we also navigate the remote teaching and learning and care for our own families. In the event that you must communicate an emergency situation, you can reach out to me at MDiaz26@schools.nyc.gov. Other important contact information: parent coordinator Ada Galan, Agalan@schools.nyc.gov: assistant principal Laura Tiktin-Sharick (PreK-2) LTiktinsharick@schools.nyc.gov, assistant principal Nina Antoniello (3-5), NAntoniello@Schools.nyc.gov.

So many of you have reached out with supportive emails, DOJO messages, Twitter posts and we so appreciate that. Our entire staff has worked non-stop to ensure that all of our children continue to have success with this new mode of learning. We have reached out to EVERY SINGLE family at PS24 and will continue to reach out periodically. In cases where you have concerns, please communicate those concerns to your classroom teacher. I would ask you to assume good intentions on the part of all of us. As we assume good intentions in your part! We are here to support you to the best of our abilities.

Hoping that you and your families are staying healthy. I miss all of you and wish you the best during this challenging time.


Maria Diaz

Principal, IA


Some important DOE Resources for Families:

If you continue to need a device for online learning, please call 718-935-5100 (option 5) to request a device from central DOE, You can also go to www.coronavirus.schools.nyc/remotelearningdevices and complete a form. You will need the school address and your child’s OSIS number.

If you believe you may be eligible to send your child to a Regional Enrichment Center, designed mainly for children of first responders and health care workers, go to https://wwwschools.nyc.gov/enrollment/enrollment-help/regional-enrichment-centers.

And, all school-age children, PreK-grade 12, are eligible to pick up three grab and go meals per day from various sites from 7:30-1:30. To find the site nearest you, go to www.schools.nyc,gov/freemeals.

DOE IPAD Distribution support: https://www.schools.nyc.gov/learn-at-home/ipad-distribution/getting-started-with-your-ipad


For parents who would like more resources for their children, I would also highly recommend visiting www.schools.nyc.gov/learn-at-home/activities-for-students

Resources in Spanish






February, 2020

Dear PS 24 Families,

I am honored to share that I have been appointed as Interim Acting Principal of our school, PS24. With this new position comes great responsibilities but I am certain that together we will make a difference. I migrated to the United States at a really young age and learned very quickly about the challenges of coming to an unknown country, away from all I knew without speaking the language. I learned how to be resilient and use the adversities I faced to motivate me to do better.

For the past eighteen and a half years I have dedicated myself to the field of education, working with children and families that have faced similar challenges as I have. I have learned that children thrive in a respectful environment where they feel welcomed and know that they will be supported. They also like to know what is expected of them. They must be given ample opportunity to explore, ask questions, make mistakes and learn from them. We must also empower them to use their voice as a vehicle to advocate for themselves and others. This is what motivates students to learn. I can assure you that the children of PS24 will be getting the best quality education. We have one of the most dedicated staff in all of New York City. Both of my sons attended PS 24, so I know how wonderful an education your children will receive in our school.

Please know that I cannot do this work alone and will be counting on your support as we continue to collaborate, learn, reflect and celebrate together. I am devoted to continuously exploring new ideas to help meet the needs of all of our students and welcome your conversation and input. By fostering a strong home and school connection built on mutual respect and collaboration we can help build the confidence, trust and support that our children need to excel and help shape the future of our community and nation.

I know the hardships some of us face on a day to day basis. I lived some of those same hardships. My mother and father worked tirelessly to ensure that we had the best opportunities to be successful. Though my dad passed away and was not able to see the fruit of his labor, I hope that I have made him and my mom proud.

We have a school community that cares deeply about your children’s success. I know that together we will ensure that all of our children will make us proud.


Maria Diaz