January 29, 2021
Dear PS 321 Families,
I’m so glad we have made it through a full week of being in the building! I’m hoping that next week is the same, though I know that there is some talk of a possible snow day on Monday. I’m hoping not, but if we should have a snow day on Monday, it will be an all-remote day for all cohorts. If this is the case, we will not switch to the all-remote cluster schedule since this would be for one day only and we will just follow our regular cluster schedule. On an all-remote day, the teacher teaches both cohorts together. However, if your children are in Cohort B and we are all remote, they will join the class for most of the day but will attend their remote cluster.
Although we have had one new COVID case within the past two weeks, it is someone who has not been in the building for quite a while, which is why on your nightly update from the DOE it says, “No intervention: A member of the school building has tested positive but the school community was not exposed.” We are obligated to report all cases, including of kids and staff who are learning remotely, but if the person was not in the building during the infectious period, it does not have an impact on classroom quarantine or building closure.
Although I have missed being in the building this week, it has been lovely to see some of your children in their remote classes. It is wonderful to see how our remote teachers have made this new way of learning so engaging. I’m looking forward to being in the physical building next week as my quarantine will be over and I have tested negative on my PCR test.
As you know, we have two important initiatives next week. We, along with many other schools across the country and in District 15, will be participating in Black Lives Matter at School week. This will be a continuation of much of the work we have been doing this year as we have taught anti-racist lessons, included perspectives of people of color in our history lessons, talked about stereotypes and fairness, and shared a range of literature with diverse characters. We encourage families to have children make a quilt square for our Black Lives Matter Quilt of heroes. Here is a link for more information on how to participate in this: https://ps321.org/2021/01/black-lives-matter-quilt-of-heroes/
We also are conducting our annual Food Drive this week and donating the food we collect to CHIPS. You can drop donations in the bins at drop off and pick up all week. The greatest need is for large plastic jars, cans, or bags of peanut butter, jelly, canned tuna, pasta, beans, fruit, veggies, minute rice, cereal, juice boxes, instant oatmeal, and individually packed snacks. No glass jars please. In addition to filling a huge need in our city, this drive is an opportunity for children to have the experience of helping others.
We continue with our weekly random COVID testing of children and staff, which is going very smoothly. The DOE has directed us that children who do not have signed permission for testing (either online or paper version) will have to move to all-remote learning.
I want to remind you that when you drop off and pick up children, anyone who enters the yard must wear a mask. That includes parents and any younger or older siblings who are walking around. In addition, no one except the children in that class are supposed to be in the yellow boxes. And, if you do enter the yard, please stay socially distanced from everyone except your own family members. Thank you for following these rules to keep all of us safe.
It was so nice to see some of you and your children at Green and Healthy Family Night last night! And Joe Phillips’ talk last week about his opera and the experience of being a Black man in America was fabulous. I so appreciate that our PTA is helping us maintain a sense of community during this unusual school year by sponsoring so many outstanding virtual events. Next week’s SEL Workshop on helping siblings get along during COVID and other times, featuring guest speaker Laura Markham, also promises to be a wonderful evening. I hope to see many of you there.
Have a lovely weekend!
January 29, 2021