August 7th Owl Blog Post
"Trauma creates change that you don’t choose. Healing creates change that you do choose." - Michele Rosenthal
Hello AmPark Family,
As always, it is my sincere hope that this update finds you and your families safe and healthy. My thoughts and prayers are with our community members who have been affected by the explosion in Beirut. Please do not hesitate to reach out for support should you need any.
At my virtual District 10 Principals Meeting this Wednesday, we spent a great deal of time planning for Trauma Informed Care for our students, staff, and families. Trauma Informed Care complements instruction by being responsive to the needs of a community and to those of individuals. While we are anxious to get back into the same physical space as our students, we know that the return to school will look very different than in previous years. My heart hurts for all of our children, but most especially for our incoming students that will have to navigate a new environment without the usual hugs and hand holding that can calm first day tears. As a former Kindergarten teacher, the idea of greeting our young learners with masks and social distancing has brought tears to my eyes more than once this summer. These sentiments were being shared by many at the meeting and Superintendent Maribel Hulla, in her warm and reassuring way, reminded us that while we may not be able to physically show love, we can use the language of love. We can gently explain to our children how much they are cared for, and how much we want to keep them safe. We can make even more space for feelings check-ins and continue to create warm and welcoming rooms. In whatever way we return to school, compassion and care will be the center of the work.
These days have also continued to be full of planning multiple scenarios for the future and responding to information as it becomes available. I remain committed to sharing it out and staying connected to you throughout these summer weeks.
Today Governor Cuomo shared his intention for schools to open as scheduled provided the metrics continue to be met.
The Chancellor’s Office shared additional guidance around health and safety and instructional programming which we shared earlier in the week. You can review the latest Chancellor’s letter and all previous updates here: https://www.schools.nyc.gov/about-us/news/chancellor-s-message-for-families
Next week I will be submitting our preliminary plans for reopening to our district in advance of submitting them to the Department of Education. Following this, a comprehensive school reopening plan will be submitted. It will be shared in mid-August after we receive feedback. I will be submitting a proposal for Model 2.
Model 2 Three in-person cohorts, one remote.
Model 2 was selected based on a variety of factors:
Descriptors of Model 2:
• 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).
• Because this model provides the greatest degree of regularity among the three-cohort models, it is the only option available for elementary schools that must program for 1/3 of their students. (this is us - We are programming for ⅓ of our students to be in-person)
• 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.
Additionally, I will be submitting the next step in our school reopening plan which mirrors the content of the Department of Education reopening plan, but with specifics to the individuals in our building who will be responsible for various aspects of ensuring health and safety compliance, as well as components of the instructional program. I look forward to sharing more information in the near future. The Chancellor also assured principals today that student programming is a priority. Once our model is approved we will be able to give you the specifics of which days your child or children will be in the school building. The deadline is no later than the first week of August, but my plan is to have it to you as soon as possible. Please remember to opt into remote only instruction as soon as possible if this is your choice as it impacts this planning. The suggested deadline is today. https://www.nycenet.edu/surveys/learningpreference
79% of families responded to our internal AmPark reopening survey! Thank you so much for your participation. This was a marked improvement from the 34% that answered the DOE survey in June. The insight that we gleaned was essential to our planning and we will leave the survey open to catch as many more families as we can. Please don’t forget that if we reach 90% we will be raffling off a Bose speaker and a FitBit!
From our 79% of families we learned that:
Don’t forget to reach out to Niomi at NMartinez28@schools.nyc.gov if you need support with school supplies. As a reminder there is no pressure to purchase all of the supplies, to use School ToolBox, or to purchase supplies in advance of the school year. This year especially, the lists are both an invitation and a guide.
If you indicated a need for a device for next school year we are in the process of securing more technology and will be in touch as the new year approaches. We are in very short supply and want to be sure all families can be connected. We trust that all requests are made mindfully.
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