Communicating Reopening Updates & Consent For Student Testing Dec. 7, 2020

Dear TAOTS Families,

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday.  The Mayor announced this past Sunday that elementary schools will reopen on Monday, December 7th.

On Monday, we will reopen with week 2, Cohort B for in-person learning.

DOE 1B cohort model

Below are a few updates/reminders as of November 30th: 

  • New classes have been created and parents/students have been informed and have been asked to join their new Google Classroom.
  • The Model that we are using has not changed. We have Cohort A and Cohort B for in-person/ blended learning and we continue to have our Cohort D -100% Remote learning.
  • With the new changes we were able to provide 2 Blended Remote Teachers.
  • In some grades, New Classes were created for 100% Remote, Cohort D, which allowed for smaller class sizes.
  • All students returning to in-person learning MUST submit a signed COVID-19 consent form before the first day your child returns to the school building.

Updates/Challenges On Suggested Five-Day Week Model

The Mayor and Chancellor also suggested that some schools may be able to move to a five-day per week schedule for students that attend school in-person.  Although the hope of moving to a five-day schedule is the ultimate goal, at this current time we will not be in a position to offer a five-day per week in-person instruction to our blended students.We are however carefully looking into this possibility and will update you if/when we can do this.  A task such as this one will take extensive time, planning and preparation.

In order to offer five-day per week instruction we would have to:

  • add additional students in the building and to each classroom
  • have a sufficient number of teachers for in-person learning
  • have the necessary number of additional classrooms to accommodate all the students with social distancing
  • be able to follow safety guidelines and social distancing as a whole school body

Why we can’t offer five-day per week in-person instruction to our blended students: 

  • A large portion of our teachers/staff are working remotely for the remainder of the school year due to approved medical accommodations
  • Our in-person cohorts are too large to add additional students due to classroom capacity and class-size constraints
  • Several additional classrooms in our shared campus are needed space to open the additional classes 
  • Additional in-person teachers are needed

Lastly, any student that is participating in the blended learning program, must have a consent to be tested in school for COVID-19.  Prior to the recent closing, we were participating in a weekly testing program.  This program will continue, and 20% of our students and staff will be randomly selected for testing. If consent forms are not completed by Monday, December 7th, your child will have to go fully remote.

  • You can find the testing consent form at mystudent.nyc.  Ms. Appelbaum also emailed this form directly to families.
  • As a reminder, the COVID-19test that we are utilizing is a short swab test, and it is quick and painless.  

If you are uncomfortable with consenting to COVID-19 testing for your child at school, please email admin@taots.org and your child will be assigned to a 100% remote cohort.

I’m happy that we are able to return to the building this Monday.  There have been many changes already and we should all anticipate more changes to unfold over the next coming months.  As I said in September, this year will be a year like no other which can include class changes and new teacher assignments.  During these unprecedented times, our focus will always be on student safety, academic, and emotional success.  We promise to keep you informed and up to date as we continue to navigate through this very unique school year. 

Educationally yours,

Principal Sportella-Giusto