October 26, 2020
From Principal Liz Phillips:
We were shocked, as I know many of you were, to hear this morning that the DOE has changed its timeline for families who want to move from all-remote to hybrid.
In a letter from the Chancellor this morning, we were informed that there will ONLY BE ONE OPT-IN WINDOW FOR FAMILIES TO MOVE FROM ALL-REMOTE TO HYBRID THIS YEAR. The new schedule requires families to opt in to hybrid between November 2-November 15. Schools will then have two-three weeks to reprogram and children will begin in their new classes the week of November 30 or December 7. As I am sure you know, this was NOT a school based decision but one made by the DOE.
For those of you who had planned to opt in this week and be in new classes November 16, this is a two-week delay. For others, who had wanted to wait until late January or March to make a decision, you no longer are able to opt in later in the year.
We do believe that the large majority of families in both all-remote and hybrid classes are happy with their decision and that most children will remain in the classes that they are currently in. For those who are considering moving to hybrid, however, you will need to make that decision by November 15. Starting Nov. 2, use the DOE’s Learning Preference Form to indicate your child’s switch to hybrid.
As soon as you’ve made your decision to switch, please complete our own Google Form as well, so that we have time to plan for your child’s move. The link to the PS 321 form is HERE.
Some of you have asked for more detail about what a move from all-remote to hybrid will mean, and I will try to outline that here:
· Your child will be in a different class with a different teacher.
· If your child is in Cohort B (where we have the most room), he/she will go to school on Wednesdays, Fridays, and alternating Mondays. If your child is assigned to Cohort A, he/she will go to school on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and alternating Mondays.
· On the days children are not in the school building, they will be working remotely. That work will include at least one on-line Zearn Math lesson as well as assignments that the teacher gives. Those assignments may be in SeeSaw or they may be work that the teacher gives out in class. Often they will be a follow up to work done in class.
· The classroom teacher is not available to work with children on their remote days as she/he is live teaching the other cohort on those days.
· On remote days, children will have one or two synchronous lessons delivered by a specialty teacher (art, music, science, library).
· In-school hours are 8:30-1:50 for grades 3-5 and 8:40-2:00 for grades K-2.
· A priority will be keeping siblings in the same A or B cohort, but beyond that we will most likely not be able to honor requests for keeping children with friends. We have been given space guidelines and cannot go over the number of people mandated in each classroom. Therefore we will have to place children where we have room.
· If children who are in hybrid are exposed to someone who tests positive for COVID 19, they must quarantine for 14 days (even if they get a negative COVID test). In this case they will be temporarily assigned to an all-remote class. The same is true for any children who travel to another country or to a state on the New York State Travel Advisory list.
Although the DOE has announced that there will be no opt-in window later in the year, I do believe that in the case of extreme circumstances, we would be able to move a few children from all-remote to hybrid at a later date.
I apologize for this last minute change. I know that all of us were under the impression that the timetable outlined in the summer would be the one that was in effect all year. These certainly are highly unusual times, and clearly flexibility is key!
Liz Phillips, Principal