September 2, 2020
Dear PS 321 Families,
As I am sure you have heard, the DOE has announced a delayed start of students for the beginning of the school year. I so wish that this had been decided weeks ago, and I know that this late decision causes a lot of complications for families. For teachers, administrators, and other staff, it is enormously helpful and allows us to provide teachers with a lot of professional development time and to make sure that all health and safety precautions are in place before any students are in the building. I believe it will help make for a more successful beginning of the school year. I know that there is still a bit of confusion because of the combination of remote and in-school start dates and I want to clarify this.
Tuesday, 9/8—First day for staff. This start date for staff has not changed, but now staff will be working full time in the building without students from 9/8-9/15 to set up classes, attend professional development, work on their Google Classrooms, and put all safety plans into effect.
Wednesday, 9/16; Thursday, 9/17; and Friday, 9/18— These will be “Orientation Days.” These will not be full school days. All students will be participating remotely as teachers conduct brief check-ins with their class. More information to come.
Monday, 9/21 and Beyond
• Children in Cohort D, All-Remote, this will begin the regular routine of remote school, which will be from 8:30-2:00 daily with a lunch break.
• Children in Cohort B come to school for their first in-person day on Monday, 9/21, and then follow their regular schedule of in-school learning on Wednesdays and Fridays and remote learning on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
• Children in Cohort A have a remote learning day on Monday, 9/21 and then follow their regular schedule of in-school learning on Tuesdays and Thursdays and remote learning on Wednesdays and Friday.
• Next week we will get all Cohort A & B families a schedule of which Mondays are for which cohorts, working around holidays.
• Cohort D All Remote students are learning from home from 8:30-2:00 daily with a lunch break.
• Cohort A & B students in grades K-2 arrive at school at 8:40 and are dismissed at 2:00
• Cohort A & B students in grades 3-5 arrive at school at 8:30 and are dismissed at 1:50
• These staggered times for cohorts A & B are to allow for safe, socially distanced, arrival and dismissal.
• All families should have received their grade-wide supply list. Because those were sent out before the start date of school for children was changed, we asked you to get supplies by September 10. At this point you just need to get them by September 21.
• The supply lists were for all students in cohorts A, B, and D. However, on some of the lists it may not have been entirely clear that students learning from home do not need items such as water bottles, hand sanitizer, masks, etc. We do expect all students to have all the learning materials, such as notebooks, folders, art supplies, pencils, etc.
• One addition to supply lists. We did not ask for watercolor paints on most supply lists because we had ordered them as a school. However, these are all backordered now as our supplier has run out and does not know when they will be available. These provide a simple way for students to be able to paint—either in school socially distanced or at home. So, it would be great if you can find a set and include that in the supplies you purchase and bring in the first day or keep at home if you are all remote.
• We will be arranging a time for families of cohort D all-remote students to pick up workbooks from the school. We will let you know that time next week.
• We have begun setting up the new classes, but because we continue to get some changes from families, we are moving the date of finalizing class lists from next Tuesday to Thursday, September 10. That is when you will get teacher/class assignments for your children.
• I strongly urge you not to make changes at this point, and certainly not beyond this week. Of course you should let us know if you are moving and will not be coming to PS 3231. Students who are in an all-remote cohort cannot switch to hybrid until November. Although students in the hybrid model are permitted to switch based on DOE guidelines, these late switches are creating some serious difficulties and causing us to potentially have to change who is teaching in school and who is teaching an all remote class. This is a real hardship for teachers who will clearly be planning in very different ways. If you do need to switch, we will at this point no longer be able to honor requests to be with specific children as we will need to fit children into classes that are already partially created.
Remote Learning Guide for Families
• This was sent to all families this week.
• I urge you to follow the guidelines for getting on Zoom and the other instructions, and you now have a bit more time to do this. Please make sure your children are ready for remote learning on 9/16.
• Once we have set up classes, you will get additional guidance for getting onto your child’s class Google Classroom.
I will be in touch later this week or next week with more details about arrival and dismissal for cohorts A & B and safety procedures, as well as any updates from the DOE. Thank you so much for your continuing support and flexibility. It was wonderful to see so many parents of children with IEPs at yesterday’s meeting and I look forward to seeing many Kindergarten parents at our meeting today at 4pm.