September 24, 2020
Dear PS 321 Families,
I hope that your children are off to a good start with remote learning, even though I know how challenging this last minute change was for both parents and teachers in Cohorts A & B.
I want to remind you that there is no school on Monday, 9/28 as it is Yom Kippur. I also wanted to let you know that during the week of October 13, our teachers will be holding virtual Curriculum Conferences on either Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday of that week. Next week, the teachers will notify you of the date and time of their conference.
As we prepare for the beginning of in-school learning, which is now scheduled for Tuesday, 9/29 (Cohort A) and Wednesday, 9/30 (Cohort B), we want to share some information with Cohort A & B families about arrival, dismissal, and health screenings. The DOE has announced that all children entering the building must complete health screenings daily. We highly recommend installing the Online Health Screening Tool app on your phone and doing this very quick 4-question survey on your phone. If you prefer completing a hard copy of the screening, we will be sending home paper copies on Tuesday and Wednesday. On the first day of school, all children present in the building will be given oral thermometers to help you in monitoring their temperature daily.
As you enter through the schoolyard gates on either 1st or 2nd Street, staff members will be there to view the health screening on your phone or the paper copy you have completed. If you are unable to show the screening on your phone or show a paper copy, we will take your child’s temperature using a no-touch thermometer. Children with a temperature of over 100 will not be permitted in school. If they are with a parent or caregiver, we will ask you to take them home. If they are unaccompanied, we will escort them to our isolation room and then call you to pick them up.
Children who come for breakfast at 8:15 (through the side door on 2nd Street closest to 7th Avenue) and any children who come by bus will also have to show their screening.
Because of this new procedure, it may take longer to get into the schoolyard than we originally anticipated. We encourage those of you with children in grades 3, 4, and 5 to arrive between 8:20-8:25 if at all possible. School officially begins for grades 3, 4, and 5 at 8:30. Note that gates will be locked until 8:20. For parents of children in grades K-2, there may be a delay in letting you in the gates (though we hope not), and we ask you to be patient as we put this safety procedure in place. As a reminder, on Tuesday, 9/29 and Wednesday, 9/30., school begins at 8:45 for 2nd graders; 9:00 for 1st graders; and 9:15 for kindergarteners. Beginning on Thursday, 10/1, school begins at 8:40 for these grades, although if there is a backup with the upper grades, we may not be able to open the gates until 8:45. Please explain to your children that once they are in the yard, they need to go directly to the box that their class is assigned and wait on one of the yellow dots. We encourage parents of older children to let your children come in on their own. Parents who do come into the yard will be asked to stand along the fence inside 2nd Street and to leave once classes begin going into the building.
As far as dismissal, if you have a 4th or 5th grader and feel comfortable allowing him/her to self-dismiss (possibly meeting you at a designated corner near the school), that would be very helpful. If you do pick up your 3rd, 4th, or 5th grader, you must wait along the fence on the 2nd Street side. Dismissal is at 1:50 for upper grade students and it is very important that children get picked up promptly. For children in grades K-2, we ask you not to enter the yard until 2:00. At that point we ask that you stand along the fence inside 2nd Street. We have marked the back part of the fence (closest to the playground) for Kindergarten parents and caregivers; the middle part of the fence for 1st grade parents and caregivers; and the front (closet to the schoolyard entrance) part of the fence for 2nd grade families. Teachers will be looking for you in these designated areas.
Parents of children who are at home either in all-remote learning or on their remote hybrid days can come to school to pick up a bag breakfast and lunch between 9:00-12:00 on school days. During in-school days, children can either bring lunch or get a bag lunch provided by the DOE. If you do send in lunch, please make sure that children are able to open all items on their own.
Teachers have so enjoyed beginning to get to know their students virtually. We do understand that some of you have had technology problems, and our team is working hard to help you solve them. We’re very much looking forward to getting in a routine for our all-remote students and to meeting Cohorts A & B in person next week.
As we prepare for the new school in-person year, please remind your children how important it is to keep their masks on at all times (except when eating) and to maintain social distance from other children and adults.
I hope to see some of you at the 4:00 PTA meeting today. Thanks for being such a flexible and supportive group of parents. I know that this has been a very challenging beginning to the school year. The APs and I left a welcome message on your children’s SeeSaw account. If you go to the inbox and look at School Announcements you should see it.