Update for Families August 17 2020

August 17, 2020

Dear Families, 

In good times and in challenging times, I know that you want the best for your children. You want them to be safe, healthy, and happy. And you want them to always be learning, growing, and getting ready to take on the world. Our schools play such an important role in that, especially now, when the children of our city have been through so much. 

For us, health and safety always lead the way. Our vision for the fall is a safe, strong, and supportive learning environment and an excellent education for every one of our students. Schools will be in session and students will be learning five days per week—no matter where they are. 

We know a lot more now about how the learning experience is going to work. In this week’s Reopening Update for Families, you will find: 

  • The latest health and safety information, including on ventilation, school nurses, and testing and tracing in schools  
  • How to stay informed on confirmed COVID-19 cases in your school community  
  • How families can change their children’s learning preference to/from fully remote learning  
  • What happens if students attend school in-person on a day they are not scheduled to attend
  • Supports for students with Individualized Education Programs
  • Supports for students in temporary housing and foster care  

We know that planning for the new school year isn’t easy—for you, for our educators, for school staff, and for our communities. But I believe that by working together we can start the school year strong. I want to acknowledge the tireless work of your principals and school leaders, who have been hustling all summer to be ready for the first day of school. 

I also want to thank you. Your partnership has made it possible for us to consider and plan for both in-person and remote learning. Your continued investment and engagement in your school communities is a vital part of ensuring our students’ success not just during this upcoming school year but for years to come. We are privileged to serve you and your children, the young people who not long from now will be the ones leading our city. 

If you have questions regarding the information in this letter, please contact your principal. You can find principal contact information by searching for your child’s school on Find a School: schoolsearch.schools.nyc. Principal information is on each school’s web page at schools.nyc.gov, in the “School Contacts and Information” section. And as always, all information regarding back to school can be found at http://schools.nyc.gov/returntoschool2020.

Sincerely,

Richard A. Carranza 

Chancellor 

New York City Department of Education  

Reopening Update for Families: August 17, 2020  

The updates below are included on our school reopening webpage at https://www.schools.nyc.gov/school-year-20-21/return-to-school-2020/health-and-safety, available 24/7 to help you find information about the upcoming school year. 

The Latest Health and Safety Information  

For school buildings to open in September and remain open, the city must see fewer than 3 percent of all COVID19 tests come back positive on a weekly average. Since June, the city positive test rate has been between 1 and 2 percent. We have strict protocols for testing, tracing, and quarantining if there is a confirmed case in school, and we will use every effort to prevent the spread of infection in schools if a student or staff member is feeling sick or has a confirmed case of COVID-19.  

Many families have questions about ventilation. Our commitment is simple: if a room does not have adequate ventilation, it will not be used by students or staff. We are assessing and performing maintenance in buildings to maximize ventilation with outdoor air to the greatest extent possible. We expect maintenance to be completed by the opening of school.

Finally, this fall, every school building in New York City and all early childhood programs across the city will have access to nurses. Through a partnership with NYC Health + Hospitals, in addition to our established nursing workforce, every student will have access to a qualified nurse every day as we reopen schools safely and continue to stop the spread of COVID-19. Nurses will be in-place by the first day of school.   

How to Stay Informed on Confirmed COVID-19 Cases in Your School Community  

When the school year begins, we want to make sure we can contact you quickly and effectively to share information, including about confirmed COVID-19 cases in your child’s school. Please sign up for a New York City Schools Account (NYCSA) so we can contact you via phone, email, or text message. 

Your NYCSA account can also help you find your child’s grades, test scores, schedules, transportation information, and more— from anywhere, and in all nine standard DOE language translations. I encourage you to keep your contact information up to date, so we can get in touch with you in the event of an emergency. If you don’t have an account, sign up today at https://www.schools.nyc.gov/nycsa. It only takes five minutes!  

How to Change a Child’s Learning Preference to/from Fully Remote Learning   

Your school principals, in partnership with district and central administrators, are continuing to develop schoollevel plans for every public school in New York City. We are currently planning for around three-quarters of our students (over 700,000 students) to begin the school year in a blended learning mode. This means that they’ll learn in-person in a school building part of the school week and continue learning remotely from home for the rest of the week. The remaining families in our DOE community will begin the year in fully remote learning mode. 

You can move your child into 100 percent remote learning at any time using the Learning Preference online form: https://www.nycenet.edu/surveys/learningpreference. Families who choose 100 percent remote learning can opt back into blended learning on a quarterly basis, beginning in November. 

What Happens if Students Attend School In-Person on a Day They are Not Scheduled to Attend

Schools will work closely with families to clearly communicate which days their child will attend school inperson. The DOE encourages you to make alternate childcare arrangements and to build a plan to help ensure that your child does not arrive at school on unscheduled days. If a student arrives at school on days when they are scheduled for remote learning, your child’s school will inform you. All children attending on an unscheduled day will need to be picked up or will be sent home, depending on age and other factors. For more information on policies for students who attend school on a mistaken day, visit http://schools.nyc.gov/returntoschool2020

Supports for Students with Individualized Education Programs  

The DOE will provide students with disabilities access to in-person instruction during blended learning. If your child’s IEP recommends related services, you will soon receive a survey where you will be asked to express your preference for in-person or remote therapy. Upon school opening, your child’s school will contact you to discuss your child’s specific schedule and make every effort to align your request to available services. The DOE will release additional guidance and information for families of students with disabilities shortly.  

Supports for Students in Temporary Housing and Foster Care   

Students in temporary housing and foster care face unique challenges as a result of COVID-19, including the shift to remote learning. We have been providing additional supports to these students, including ensuring their early receipt of remote learning devices. Any remote learning devices given to students in shelter have cellular capabilities. As possible and appropriate, students in temporary housing and foster care may also receive additional in-person instruction, depending on a school’s programming model, overall student needs, and capacity.

iPad Update for Families

Getting Started with Your iPad

The DOE has loaned iPads to students across the city for remote learning. Here you will find information on how to get started with your iPad. School staff and community members can also use this information to help students with connectivity and other troubleshooting issues. Please Visit https://idm.nycenet.edu/students/start.form to request your child’s @NYCStudents.net account information.

iPad Update August 13, 2020

For anyone who has a DOE-loaned ipad, we have some important updates for you. It is essential that you take the actions below to ensure your child’s ipad is ready for use for return to school. The first day of school is only a few weeks away, and all students will be working remotely for at least a few days a week. Your child will need their ipad to be ready for learning for the fall. Please note that when we have other updates, we will send messages to you and your iPad on Thursdays, and we will let your schools know about the updates.

To prepare, you MUST 

Turn on the iPad

Some iPads have not been turned on all summer. We need you to charge and power up the ipad.

Turn Airplane Mode On and Off

This will reset your internet connection

  1. Go to Settings
  2. Find the Airplane Mode button
  3. Turn Airplane Mode on for ten seconds (button turns green)
  4. Turn Airplane Mode off and wait until the ipad reconnects to the internet 
  5. You will see the connected icon at the top of the screen
  6. Go to schools.nyc.gov to make sure your ipad is connected to the internet – all DOE-loaned ipads have internet access.

Sign into Zscaler

In order to ensure your child is using the internet with all the safety the DOE requires and protect your child. You will need your child’s @nycstudents.net account. Once you get that please follow these directions, or see the instructions on our Zscaler page:

  1. On the main screen, click the Zscaler icon. After clicking the icon, you will be taken to the login page.
  2. Enter your child’s @nycstudent account (only use the student’s username and password, no need to include @nycstudents to log in), then click the “sign in” button.
  3. Click on the “allow” button and wait one minute for a connection to be established until you will see the Zscaler screen
  4. Once the connection is secure, close the app
  5. That is it. You can use the iPad normally now.

Sign into the Learn at Home App

To get ready for the first day of school, make connecting to learning and support much easier for your child (and you, too!), and allow you to get notifications on the iPad:

  1. Find the Learn at Home icon on the main screen on the iPad
  2. Log in the same way you did for Zscaler, using the same @nycstudents.net account (only use the student’s username and password, no need to include @nycstudents to log in)
  3. From the Learn at Home app your child can access TeachHub, Google Classroom and get help.

Good news! Your child’s iPad is Now a Hotspot

That allows you to connect other devices used for remote learning to the internet. It is easy:

  1. Go to Settings
  2. Find Personal Hotspot and click to take you to the login screen
  3. Select Allow Others to Join
  4. Devices other students in your house are using for remote learning can be added to that connection
  5. As a reminder, as with the ipad itself, the hotspot connection is to be used only to access remote learning activities. Any unauthorized use is strictly prohibited.

Parent Meeting for the 2020-2021 School Year

Dear Parents/Guardians,

Please join us for a Zoom Parent Meeting on Thursday, August 13th at 6pm regarding the upcoming 2020 – 2021 school year. 

Date/Time: August 13, 2020 6:00 PM

Join Zoom Meeting

https://zoom.us/j/99844643693

Meeting ID: 998 4464 3693

Passcode: taots2021

Use this link if you want to submit a question: https://forms.gle/XboayMwSjoHGfvng6

If you have a specific question about the 2020 – 2021 school year, please submit one question and we will try to get through as many questions as possible. You will be able to submit questions until 9:00am on Wednesday, August 12th.

Also, please watch the Chancellor’s Family & Student Engagement Session on Wednesday, August 12th at 6:30pm.

Register at https://learndoe.org/face/

In addition, in the upcoming weeks our TAOTS team will be providing grade specific ASD/Nest Parent Meetings. Details will follow shortly.

School Reopening Updates 2020

Dear Parents/Guardians,

We hope you and your families have been able to enjoy the summer thus far and have remained healthy and safe.  We have received more information from the NYC DOE that I would like to share with you.

It is imperative that all of our TAOTS families complete the LEARNING PREFERENCE SURVEY by Friday August 7, 2020 if you are choosing 100% Remote Learning.  If you have not done so already, click on the link below and complete the survey.

The information obtained in this official survey from the NYC Department of Education allows students to opt into 100% remote learning full-time and it must be completed if you want 100% remote learning for your child. 

When we receive the final information provided to us by the NYC DOE, we will then be able to assign students to cohorts and provide you with that information. This school year will be very different from what we have experienced in the past.  Overall, it is crucial that we maintain a positive and safe learning environment for our students by following the directives of the DOE and CDC guidelines.

Blended Learning Model Choice:

The DOE has hosted several Parent Information sessions, surveying families, and sending the latest updates for the Fall reopening of schools.  We also include all of this information on your school’s website www.taots.org which is translated into all languages.

We are now starting to get information on the parameters, guidance, and plans for school opening.  All City schools have been asked to choose a Blended Learning Model  that is most conducive and appropriate for their schools community.  P.S. 682 TAOTS has selected Model 2. When deciding on a model, we carefully took into consideration the square footage of our classrooms, social distancing parameters, class size and staffing.

Model 2

What you need to know about Model 2:

Model 2 involves 1 – 2 Days Per Week with Alternating Weeks / The In-Person Cohorts

  • The Model will incorporate Three In Person Cohorts of Students and one remote.
    • Provides regularity on days per week with some variation by week (e.g. Group A is in-person every Wednesday, as well as on Monday in week 1 and Tuesday in week 3).
    • This model will accommodate for ⅓ of students to be in the building.
  • Group A, Group B, Group C: in person learning 1 – 3 days per week (5 days every 3 weeks); remote learning for non-in person days.
  • Group D: remote every day; consists of students who opt out of in-person instruction.

The DOE is requiring Principals to submit the Model of Choice to the Department of Education by August 14th for final approval and planning.  Our selection has been submitted and we are awaiting approval. This was fully discussed on July 20th at our School Leadership Team (SLT)  meeting. The minutes to this meeting can be found on our school’s website in the School Leadership Team (SLT) section and then click onto the SLT Minutes: TAOTS SLT Google Drive Folder

Next – August Planning and Preparation:

We are currently awaiting approval for our selected Model 2 and will soon begin planning to implement Model 2 framework into our school program, schedules and procedures.  We are also looking into accommodating families with siblings at P.S. 682.

As the NYC Department of Education prepares to open schools in September in a blended learning model, where students will work from home on specified days and will receive live instruction in school on specified days, there is also the option of remaining 100% in the remote learning environment until schools open at full capacity.  

  • Students who remain in remote learning will NOT be able to change their decision and enter the blended learning model until specified points during the year.  We do not have the dates for when the change can be made.

We understand there are questions regarding this and we will continue to provide you with the most up-to-date information that is given to us by the NYC DOE.  Please understand that we are awaiting further guidance from the DOE and all information will continue to be relayed to you in a timely manner.

A Robo-call will follow this letter and translated versions of this letter can be obtained from our school’s website at www.taots.org

I hope to see you all again soon and please know we will all get through these difficult times together.  You are always in my thoughts and I will be following up with a Zoom Meeting next week to meet with all of you and provide you with further updates. Please stay tuned for details.