Letter from the Chancellor (July 8, 2020)

Dear PS 101 Families-

Please read this letter from the Chancellor: Update for Families-Reopening_July 8 2020 .

Please visit the Return to School 2020 webpage –  schools.nyc.gov/returntoschool2020 – for more detailed information and ongoing updates. Translations of the attached document will be available for download on the Infohub later today.

GK

Regarding Recent Events -from the Chancellor

Dear Families,

It is hard to recall another time as gut-wrenching and heartbreaking as these recent days have been. George Floyd’s murder at the hands of police officers last week was horrifying. I am sickened. But, like many of you, I am not surprised. We have seen this abominable disregard for Black lives so many times before, including multiple times in recent weeks. It is truly agonizing to witness; it is nothing short of another pandemic presenting itself on the streets of America.

The New York City Department of Education condemns police brutality and this brutal loss of life. My heart breaks to know that yet another Black family has lost a son, a father, a brother. I stand in solidarity with Black New Yorkers and Americans, and with everyone who is mourning yet another senseless loss. Pain ripples and resonates across communities all over the City. I am with all of you as we individually and collectively reckon with this tragic injustice. The demonstrations happening in the five boroughs and in nearly 140 cities across the country are a reflection of this anguish, and the desire for a better world.

It is incredibly difficult to be a parent or caregiver right now: grappling with emotions, seeking actions that both feel of service and of the magnitude needed in this moment, and thinking through ways to begin or deepen conversations with children and families about recent horrific incidents and the systemic racism from which they spring—all at the same time. The pain and struggle are very real.

For communities of color, nothing about this pain is new. It’s been in the bodies, minds, and hearts of millions of New Yorkers and Americans for generations—because racist violence has been perpetrated for that long.

Racism also causes new harm in other ways, every day, because it is systemic—woven deeply into the fabric of our institutions, our economy, and the systems that make up our shared community. That is true in New York City, as progressive and forward-thinking as we are, including in our public school system.

At the DOE we have said, and we will continue to say: no more.

We must answer the call to be actively anti-racist and work every day to undo these systems of injustice. We will continue in our resolve to advance equity now. We will honor the dignity and humanity of every student, parent, educator, employee and member of our community every day.

No matter the form teaching and learning takes—in brick-and-mortar classrooms or on a digital device—the goal remains the same: providing an excellent education to every single student. In doing so, we must also continually find ways to dismantle institutional racism and reverse its effects.

That work is underway. It includes implementing restorative practices, training all educators and employees on implicit bias, providing mental health supports to school communities, and more. This work creates a lifelong effect in children and has the potential to transform our society in ways that make that the world safer, more just, and better for everyone.

When, for example, children learn from books featuring protagonists and lessons featuring stories from people of different races, abilities, genders, ethnicities, languages, and more, they learn also to value difference and diversity. When students experiencing anger or resentment are taught healthy ways to communicate, it’s more likely they won’t react out of unfounded fear.

We will not relent in the work to intensify equity until, student by student and school by school, change comes. We all need this, because racism doesn’t just harm Black, Brown, or Asian families—it harms us all.

Everyone has a role to play. In addition to continuing our work centrally, we are supporting educators with resources to teach episodes from our history and our present, episodes where these same shudders of injustice and outrage, peaceful protest, and also violence and destruction have ripped through our city and society.

At the same time, many of you have already been doing this work at home or are otherwise putting personal resources into these efforts—your time, your energy, your heart, or your voice. We see you, and we are grateful for your powerful commitment. Children see and feel the world around them, and now is an important time to guide them in understanding and engaging with their experiences and those of their friends, families, and fellow New Yorkers.

Below you will find resources to help start, continue, or deepen conversations with children about racism and injustice. We are also sharing resources to help with stress, exhaustion, and self-care. As parents and caregivers, caring for yourself is essential in order to be able to care for others. We will continue to update resources as we move ahead.

I have been reminded of this quote by the writer James Baldwin that resonates so powerfully in this moment: “Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.” These are difficult days of reckoning, but we have the opportunity—and a calling—to go farther in facing injustice.

You are our most important partners in the education of the children of New York City and the building of a better world. We are grateful for you today and every day.

Sincerely,

Richard A. Carranza
Chancellor
New York City Department of Education

Resources for Families

How to Talk to Your Children About Race and Current Events

June Calendar- June 4, 9 and 26th

Dear PS 101 families-

Please read the letter below from the Chancellor:

__________________________________________________________________________

Dear Families,

Thank you for your continued patience and flexibility in response to this ever-evolving crisis. We are writing today to share some important updates and reminders about the end of year school calendar.

We have two days coming up in June that were originally scheduled as times when students would not be in attendance. However, with the ongoing pandemic, students will be expected to participate in remote learning on both of these days:

  •   Thursday, June 4 was originally scheduled as a non-attendance day for all students in observance of Brooklyn / Queens Day (also known as Anniversary Day).
  •   Tuesday, June 9 was originally scheduled as a non-attendance day for students in schools serving grades K-8, as well as District 75 schools and programs.

    On June 4, all students are expected to complete work independently as staff will be engaged in professional development. Teachers are not expected to engage students on June 4; instead, schools will set students up in advance with independent work for the day.

    On June 9, students who attend a school serving grades K-8, or who attend any District 75 school, are expected to complete work independently as staff will be engaged in reorganization work. Teachers in these schools are not expected to engage students on June 9; instead, schools will set students up in advance with independent work for the day.

    If you have questions or concerns regarding the school schedule for your student, please contact your school for additional information.

    As a reminder, June 26 is the last day of school and a half day for all students. We will issue additional guidance to families about the end of the 2019-20 school year in the coming weeks.

    Thank you again for your partnership as we continually navigate unfamiliar terrain. I often say that we have the best students, staff, and families in the world. You and your children continue to prove that, every day. Together, we will continue to weather this storm.

    Sincerely,

    Richard A. Carranza
    Chancellor
    New York City Department of Education

 

Upcoming Engagement on Policy for 2020–21 Admissions

Dear PS 101 families-

Please see the letter below from the Chancellor regarding admissions to Middle School and High School. As we already know which Middle School our students have made, this policy is more around placement within the school:

Due to COVID-19, some factors that middle and high schools consider in admissions decisions, such as state test scores, attendance, and end-of-year grades, are not available. The admissions process for middle and high schools for the 2020–21 school year has to adapt to account for the absence of this information, which schools use in ranking prospective students.

The DOE announced a citywide engagement plan on admissions for the 2020–21 school year, and will continue its plans to gather feedback from parents, students, school leaders, and others to help inform the policymaking process. The engagement plan describes upcoming parent engagements with deputy chancellors and executive superintendents in all five boroughs. Please share this letter with students’ families, so that they can be made aware of the opportunity to participate.

Anyone is welcome to attend these meetings, listed below:

  • Bronx with Executive Superintendent Meisha Ross-Porter on May 27 (6:00–8:00 p.m.)
  • Queens with Executive Superintendents Mabel Muñiz-Sarduy and Andre Spencer on May 28 (6:00–8:00 p.m.)
  • Staten Island with Executive Superintendent Anthony Lodico on May 29 (6:00–8:00 p.m.)
  • Manhattan with Executive Superintendent Marisol Rosales on June 1 (6:00–8:00 p.m.)
  • Brooklyn with Executive Superintendents Karen Watts and Barbara Freeman on June 2 (6:00–8:00 p.m.)

Letter from the Chancellor: PMIS

Dear PS 101 Families.

Please see the attached letter from the Chancellor:

Update for Families_PMIS_May 11 2020 and read below regarding Pediatric Multi-System Inflammatory Syndrome, or PMIS, a new health condition appearing in children in New York City and elsewhere, and which may be associated with COVID-19 in children.

The attached letter offers more information to families about the illness and guidance about when to seek medical care. Please share it with all the families in your communities now; translations will soon be available and posted to the Coronavirus Parent Letters page on the Info Hub.

This situation is still developing, and we will provide further updates and guidance as new information becomes available.

Stay safe-

GK

Letter from the Chancellor/Mayor on NYC Schools Closing

T H E CI T Y O F NEW Y O R K

April 13, 2020

Dear Families:

Less than one month ago, we came together and began transforming the largest school system in the nation. The battle against COVID-19 left us no choice but to close school buildings to students and staff, transition to remote teaching and learning from home, and adjust to distancing from each other to remain safe.

Now, we face another painful decision. After consulting with public health experts about the ongoing trajectory of the virus, and with educators about the potential for continued disruption for the remainder of the year, we have decided that New York City school buildings will not reopen during the 2019-2020 school year. Teachers and students will finish the school year in remote learning. We will continue to operate our 400+ school-based Meal Hubs, which serve three free meals a day to any New Yorker who needs them, and we will continue to ensure child care for the children of essential workers.

This is a painful but necessary decision for two reasons. First, public health experts have determined that community transmission of COVID-19 will be widespread well into the end of the school year. Even at low-level transmission, we’d have new cases, which would be extremely difficult to contain school-to-school. We believe there simply wouldn’t be enough time to bring our students back.

Second, we, as parents, know how important it is to have some sense of predictability in order to effectively plan for your family. This crisis is hitting all of us very hard. But we are hopeful that this sense of certainty will allow for more stability and the ability to better plan for our work and home lives.

We know this will have an immense impact on the 1.1 million students and 150,000 staff who make up our New York City public schools. But we are inspired by the extraordinary ways everyone in our school communities has risen to this challenge. Every day, we see how you – students, families, and the dedicated staff serving and supporting our public schools – are going above and beyond to connect in the face of this crisis, all in service of making sure learning continues. We also know that you’ll need support to continue this tremendous undertaking. That’s why we’re making the following commitments to you as we extend the closure of our school buildings until the end of the school year:

1. Every student who has requested an internet-enabled device will have one by the end of April. No student will go without the tools they need for learning. We have already delivered tens of thousands of devices to our most vulnerable students, including those in shelter and temporary housing. We are committed to closing the remainder of the digital divide for each of our kids. If you still need a device, please fill out the Remote Learning Device Request Form at schools.nyc.gov, or call 311.

2. We will make sure that parents can ask and get answers to their questions about remote learning. We know you need someone to turn to who will answer any question you have about

education during this time—from social-emotional support to academic progress to graduation requirements. Your school is always ready and willing to support you, and we will also make sure that additional support is available as we continue in our remote environment. This means increasing hours and staffing of our parent hotlines so you can get the answers you need. Call 311 to be directed to the right DOE support.

3. We’ll continue to invest in instructional resources, enrichment programs, and student supports for your families to engage in learning at home. Our students need and deserve rich, deep programming and remote learning opportunities as we go further into the school year, and we will continue to provide them. This includes learning resources provided by your teachers and schools, but it also includes enriching and fun materials from the world-class cultural institutions, libraries, museums, parks, and more right here in New York City.

4. We will ensure every high school senior is supported towards graduation. We’ll provide 1:1 counseling support to every senior, working closely with schools and families to understand if students are on track—and if not, provide opportunities to help them get there. Guidance counselors from every high school will reach out to every senior to make sure they are on a path to graduate.

5. We will reopen schools stronger than ever in September, ensuring the safety of our buildings and the resources in place to combat any learning loss and provide emotional support to our students, families, and educators as needed to resume learning and reconnect our communities.

Nothing about this is easy. For the last six years of this administration, public schools have been the anchor of our fight against inequality. They are how we’ve delivered increased opportunity, and we can’t overstate the loss of the concrete sense of community our schools provide. But this is about saving lives.

We are so grateful for your flexibility and patience; we know how hard every one of you has worked to support your children’s learning at home. And we will continue to make every effort to both support you and keep learning going during this unprecedented time.

We will also continue to keep you updated. As a reminder, you can visit DOE’s website anytime at schools.nyc.gov for more information and updates on our plans for the rest of the school year.

Sincerely,

Bill de Blasio/ Richard A. Carranza

Mayor/ Chancellor

New York City Department of Education