Dear EVCS Families,
Welcome back – I hope everyone had a lovely and relaxing week. Here are a few important updates:
The DOE has updated the daily health screening to be aligned with New York State and CDC guidelines. The questions about experiencing symptoms of COVID and close contact with an individual who has tested positive remain effectively the same, but as of today individuals who have traveled domestically are no longer required to quarantine or be tested upon their return. People who have traveled internationally however, are still required to quarantine. Please make sure that you read the health screening questions carefully and answer them honestly every day your child attends school in-person. If you have any questions about how to access or fill out the screening, please let me know. https://healthscreening.schools.nyc/
The window to change your child’s learning preference from fully remote to blended learning has been extended to this Friday April 9. You can access the Learning Preference Survey here. Please note that in order for your child to return to in-person learning, you must submit a consent form for in-school COVID-19 testing.
Just before the break the Mayor and Chancellor announced an upcoming shift in the DOE’s policy for reduced classroom capacity and physical distancing. We still do not know when this new policy will take effect and are awaiting guidance on other key concerns such as how we will arrange student lunch on days when we need to eat indoors, but when it does take effect we will be able to fit more students in our classrooms and hopefully increase the amount of time our blended learning students have in-person. The mayor also announced today that the city will be updating the policy that determines when entire school buildings close, to be a less sensitive trigger. As I learn more about each of these developments I will keep everyone informed.
The State Education Department is moving forward with plans to administer the standardized tests in ELA and math to students in grades 3-5 this spring. This year the tests will be shortened to just one day each, all multiple choice questions. Students will only be permitted to take the assessments if they are in the school building – the tests will not be administered remotely. The testing windows are April 19 – April 29 for ELA and May 3 – May 14 for math. Once we have more specific dates during those windows, we will let you know. Our fully remote students will default to opting out of taking the tests. Families of Cohort D students who are interested in having their child come into the building to take the tests can opt in by completing this form. Our blended learning students will default to opting in to take the tests. If you wish to opt your child out please email Liz: firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are on the fence and would like to discuss or have any questions about the state tests please let me know.
Finally, If you have a child born in 2017 who will be eligible for Pre-K next year, please note that the window to apply is open now, and the deadline has been extended to April 19.
Thanks very much for making it to the bottom of this email! Please let me know if you have any questions or would like to discuss any of the above.
Dear EVCS Families,
On Friday afternoon the Mayor announced a significant policy shift for New York City public schools. Please read a message from the Chancellor of Schools about these new policies. Here are the main headlines:
||There will be another official enrollment period this spring to sign up for blended learning. The window for fully remote students to opt in to blended learning will open this Wednesday March 24 and will close on Wednesday April 7. You can opt in to blended learning at this link.
||The DOE will adopt the newest CDC guidelines for social distancing in classrooms which recommends that students remain just 3 feet apart, as opposed to 6 feet.
The second point will obviously have major implications for how we are set up, because we will now be able to accommodate more students in each classroom. Exactly how many students we can safely have in each room is not yet clear – we should have the updated classroom capacity numbers later this week. Once we know what our new classroom capacities are, and we know how many new students will be opting in to blended learning after April 7, we can figure out what our new configurations and schedules will be. Though our classrooms will be setup differently and children will be in closer proximity, all of the other health and safety measures, including wearing of masks, ventilation and air purifiers, use of the daily health screening and weekly random COVID testing will remain in place. All new students opting in to blended learning will be required to submit consent to weekly testing in school before attending.
This has been a turbulent and challenging year for all of us, but I am proud of the ways our school community has risen to the occasion and I am extremely confident that we will be able to fold in these new policies while keeping each other safe and keeping our focus on student learning. When we first formed a committee to develop a plan for blended and remote learning this summer one of the main priorities we set – right below the safety of our students, staff and families – was to maximize opportunities for in-person learning for all students who are able to learn in-person, while ensuring inclusive, high value learning experiences for students who are learning remotely. We have remained committed to that priority all year long and will continue to do so under this new set of policies as well.
As I get more information about how this shift will impact our day-to-day I will certainly keep you posted. In the meantime please consider whether you wish to change your child’s learning preference for the rest of the school year, and let me know if you have any questions or want to chat about any of this. Thanks so much for your patience, cooperation and understanding.
Click HERE to read the meeting minutes
Click H E R E to read the meeting’s minutes
Dear EVCS Families,
This afternoon you should have received your child’s midyear report, emailed to you directly by their teacher. These reports provide a comprehensive overview of your child’s progress and performance so far this school year in all subject areas. Our kids have worked hard this year and made real progress, despite significant challenges. I hope you find these reports helpful and affirming, and that they provide a good starting point for the conversations that we will have at our upcoming parent teacher conferences, where we will set goals and chart a course for the second half of the year.
I hope everyone has a restful and lovely break this next week. I know that many of us may have less planned for this week than we ordinarily might, so if the kids start to get a little stir crazy and you’re looking for some wholesome content to keep them entertained, please invite them to check out my archive of the read alouds I did last spring, as well as last year’s remote School-Wide Morning Meetings. You can find it all in my Google Classroom. And in case you missed it, here’s the most recent School-Wide Morning Meeting. I would love for our next SWMM to have more contributions from students and their families! If you’re interested in putting something together you can find the lyrics and chords to most of the songs in our repertoire in the EVCS SWMM Songbook. You can submit videos to me directly by email.
Happy Lunar New Year to all! Here’s to better days ahead in the Year of the Ox. Have a wonderful and safe week.