Dear PS 321 Families,
As I am sure most of you have heard, there is a good chance that schools will go all-remote in the near future. Before schools opened in September, the DOE/Mayor and the UFT agreed that if the average 7-day positivity rate went above 3%, all city schools would be closed. The Mayor has indicated that he will hold to that agreement. I know how much families and staff in Cohorts A and B value having the children in school, and how well school is going for these students. Fortunately, it is also going very well for the all-remote students in Cohort D. I have no doubt that if we are required to close due to the rise in infections, we will continue to provide all of our children with a rich educational experience.
Although we hope that perhaps the infection rate will not rise to 3% and we will remain open, we do want to be prepared in case we have to close. Most of the changes do not have an impact on Cohort D and you will continue to follow your regular schedule. One change for this cohort though will be that if we are all remote, beginning on Day Two of everyone learning remotely, there will be a change in your cluster/specialty schedule and we will provide some synchronous specials to Cohort D.
For Cohorts A & B, in the all-remote model the two cohorts will be combined into one remote class with your classroom teacher teaching the whole group. Children in these cohorts will attend remote school daily, not just on their Cohort days. There will be synchronous instruction daily.
Although we are prepared to teach remotely, we want to allow our Cohort A/B teachers time to think through how they will be combining their cohorts and setting up small groups. Therefore the synchronous instruction on Day One and Day Two of remote instruction for Cohort A/B students will be more limited and in most cases will be whole class instruction. All of these remote classes will begin with a morning meeting at 8:30, and sign-on information will be on your child’s Google Classroom. On Day One and Day Two of all-remote instruction for hybrid students, there will also be two synchronous lessons taught by the classroom teacher. The teacher will give asynchronous assignments for the children to do the rest of the day.
WE WILL HAVE TO REDO THE CLUSTER/SPECIALTY PROGRAM IF WE GO ALL REMOTE. Therefore there will be no cluster/specialty classes on Day One of all-remote, but you will get a new schedule and cluster/specialty classes will begin on Day Two of all-remote instruction. Cohort D will get their new cluster schedule then as well.
At the end of Day Two of remote instruction, the Cohort A/B teachers will post a weekly schedule that will include whole class and small group synchronous instruction as well as some time for asynchronous assignments. You will be getting more information from me and from your child’s teacher if we do have to close school. We will make arrangements for you to pick up learning materials if they were not sent home.
I know that we are all disappointed that the country and now the city has been unable to control the spread of COVID-19 more effectively. If we do have to close school, the city is committed to opening it as quickly as is safely possible, so we are hopeful that any closure will be temporary.
Note that if you opted to move your child from all-remote to hybrid (which was to happen between November 30-December 7) we would not move children while we are all learning remotely and would wait until we are able to return to the hybrid model to do this.
Please understand that I have no more updated information about school closing than you do, but I just wanted to make sure we are all prepared in case we do have to close. Thank you for all your support!
Liz Phillips, Principal