Dear PS 321 Families,
What a challenging week this has been! I know how disruptive it was for hybrid families and teachers to have to switch to all remote so abruptly. But I am so pleased to hear from so many teachers that their Zoom teaching with their students is going well.
I wanted to let you know that our cluster/specialty program will be changing during our all-remote learning time. When we were in school in half classes, children in Cohorts A & B had specials by cohort rather than class. So, we have had to make revisions so that a class can be together in their specialty class. This weekend, families in Cohorts A & B will be able to see your child’s new weekly schedule including the cluster/specialty classes with log in information. THIS WILL BE POSTED ON THE GOOGLE CLASSROOM “Classwork” section at the top of “Schedules and Checklists.” When we do return to the hybrid model, we will go back to our original cluster/specialty schedule. I am pleased to say that 4th and 5th graders will begin an enrichment cycle with Together in Dance next week. The time of that enrichment will also be on your schedules. This enrichment is funded by our wonderful PTA—all of you!
Cohort D classes will now have two to three synchronous clusters for the duration of time we are all-remote. We have scheduled these around the current schedules of the Cohort D teachers so that this will not disrupt the synchronous time you have with the classroom teacher. These new specials will be posted on the Google Classroom with links. When we do return to the hybrid model, we will go back to that original cluster/specialty schedule.
We have some new resources for families that we strongly encourage you to look at. If you take a look on the Google Classroom under “Classwork” and then scroll down to the “For Parents” section you will see a part called “Remote Learning Guides.” These are wonderful resources that our amazing technology teacher, Sara Silver, has prepared for you. This week she posted a new guide, “Family Remote Learning Guide 3.” It has a great deal of information in it and we ask that you read it through. You can also find additional resources for remote learning in this “For Parents” section.
Just a few updates on COVID testing and quarantine procedures for when we are back in school. We had random testing in our school on Tuesday, and approximately 150 students and staff members were tested. So far we have had no positive results from the testing, which we are very pleased about. We had random testing of our other cohort about two weeks ago and there were no positive test results from that testing either.
Although we do not know how long we will be all remote, I did want to remind you that should hybrid classes be scheduled to return to school within the next few weeks, your child will need to quarantine if you travel to a state other than New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Massachusetts, or Vermont, OR if you travel internationally. The regulations say that if you are in the other state for less than 24 hours, you then need to take a COVID test on your 4th day back in New York. If your child tests negative, she or he can then return to school. If you are in the other state for more than 24 hours, you must take a COVID test in that state within 72 hours prior to arriving back in New York. Then you must take another test on the 4th day you are back. If your child takes both of those tests and they are negative, your child can return to school. If you travel and do not follow these procedures, your child must quarantine for 14 days.
As you know, report cards will be going home the week after Thanksgiving, and we will hold parent-teacher conferences that week as well. Your classroom teacher will be scheduling your appointment. I will write you in more detail next week about the new report cards we will be using for grades 1-5. As always our kindergarten students will get narrative reports rather than grades.
It was so nice to see many of you—as well as many teachers—on the Zoom presentation on mindfulness by Sharon Salzburg on Thursday. And, I’ve very much enjoyed meeting with parents in my grade-by-grade parent meetings. Thanks so much for attending those! The last two parent meetings will take place on December 8 at 5pm for 2nd grade parents and December 9 at 5pm for 3rd grade parents.
Thank you for working with us to make the transition to all-remote learning go smoothly. I know we’re all hoping to be back in the building soon!
Liz Phillips, Principal