FAQs from AmPark Coffee Chat & New Family Orientation on July 29, 2020
General Information and Survey Links:
DOE Website for Returning to School
NYC DOE Learning Preference Survey (To Opt In to Remote Learning for the Fall with the DOE)
AmPark Parent & Family Survey (Let Kelly and the AmPark team know your thoughts on hybrid models and your preferences for fall reopening structures)
Family and student information sessions (citywide)
Requests for data-enabled DOE iPads
Questions and Answers from Coffee Break Town Hall 7/29:
Q: Will a student who goes remote have the same teachers when they go back in person?
A: We don’t know at this time. Depends on staffing, enrollment and number of students who opt-in/opt-out. May be different grade to grade.
A: Everyone in the school building must wear masks. They will be provided to those who do not have masks.
A: Grab and Go meals for remote and in-person students.
Q: Where would they eat?
A: Students will likely eat in their classroom.
Q: Safety guidelines?
Q: School supplies?
A: Do what you can. No obligation to buy. Can use other sources or materials you already have. Students need their own individual supplies this year, not community supplies. If you can support the school and other students in need by providing donations, that would be great!
Q: Student workload?
A: The workload will vary by grade level.
A: Workbooks will be used as supplemental material in many grades.
Q: Academic testing?
A: iReady for District to determine student levels.
Q: State testing?
A: State Testing TBD - last term, the state granted an exemption (and did not hold testing: http://www.nysed.gov/news/2020/statement-board-regents-chancellor-betty-rosa-and-interim-state-education-commissioner-2)
Q: School programming?
Our parents have voiced preference on both surveys for alternate days rather than alternate weeks.
Q: Protocols on busing? & Temperature checks?
A: Guidance forthcoming from DOE
Q: Positive COVID Test? & Responses to Symptoms or Positive Cases?
A: DOE is continuing to monitor relevant state health guidance to:
Design a clear process to monitor COVID-19 cases in school buildings.
(excerpt from DOE’s website - https://www.schools.nyc.gov/school-year-20-21/return-to-school-2020/health-and-safety)
Q: When do kids find out which teacher they have?
A: Likely 10 days before school starts when staffing and enrollment are closer to being finalized. This is similar to traditional years.
A: Guidance forthcoming from DOE- last term, it was MT (meets expectations) and NX (course in progress)
Q: Social time during remote learning? (i.e. project based learning)
A: We are in favor of this idea.
Q: How will the school communicate?
A: Teacher Google Classrooms, AmPark Owl Blog, PA Blasts, SchoolMessenger
Q: How will attendance be taken?
A: Guidance forthcoming from DOE
Q: After school programs? Child care?
A: Guidance forthcoming from DOE
Q: How will AmPark maintain social distancing before and after school (dismissal)?
Q: What will the school time frame be? Same as last year?
Q: How many kids will be in a class?
A: Approximately 9. Likely no more than 12. It depends on the space and number of students in the in-person cohort.
Q: What will classrooms look like?
A: CDC guidelines in effect. Social distancing. Individual supplies. All facing same direction.
Q: When is the first day of school?
A: Guidance forthcoming from DOE
7/29/2020 PK/K Virtual Orientation Questions
Q: Masks? If a child dirtys their face mask and doesn't have a spare, will the school offer one for them?
Q: What would happen if a child refuses to wear a mask?
A: The response will be case specific and likely depend on the reasoning behind it.
Q: Are children getting a break from wearing masks since their little faces need to get fresh air?
A: The DOE guidance is that students will wear them throughout the day. Working within guidance, we will plan to include breaks as possible, such as by going outside or using other barriers.
Q: Can you discuss the school supply list recently sent out? If you choose remote learning, is purchasing all of the school supplies still necessary?
A: The supply lists are a guide for families in purchasing individual supplies for their students as there will be no community supplies. They do not need to be purchased now. You can purchase only what you need for in-school or remote. You can also use other stores or brands. Please let Niomi know if supplies are a hardship.
Q: Will the models start on September 14th? When is the first day? Anything special programming for the first two days of school (September 10th and 11th)?
A: The official calendar has not yet been released. We will share any special programming decisions closer to the start of the year.
Q: Who is teaching Kindergarten? When will we know our child’s teacher?
A: Staff members are able to apply to work remotely for medical reasons. Until our applications are processed, our final staff roster and student assignments will not be made. We anticipate sharing assignments approximately 10 days before school starts as we usually do even in traditional school days to allow for changes in enrollment and staffing.
Q: Will breakfast and lunch be provided by the school?
A: Yes, a cold menu will be provided for both in-person and remote students. There will be a pick up location for remote students.
Q: When is the last day to sign up our child for remote learning?
A: You can sign up at anytime, but the DOE is requesting that sign-up occurs by August 7th to allow for school planning. https://www.schools.nyc.gov/school-year-20-21/return-to-school-2020/choosing-remote-instruction-for-fall
Q: How can I request for a laptop for my child for remote learning ?
Q: Can you advise what platform Ampark is/will be utilizing for remote learning?
A: Google Classroom
Q: For pre-k, how much of the remote learning will involve video interaction between the students and teachers?
A: The Early Childhood Division is working on guidance for student interaction. There will be both live and pre-recorded offerings.
Q: Will the remote classes be in step with the hybrid classes?
A: Yes, although there may be some variations just as there is from class to class in traditional school.
Q: If you sign up for hybrid but end up missing a lot of school will you be able to stay in step remotely?
A: Likely, but more information is needed. Hybrid students and full-time remote students may be in different cohorts.
Q: How much screen time will be required for remote students?
A: There is not a prescribed amount at this time, but it is our intention for there to be a balanced mix of screen and non-screen activities.
Q: Will there be opportunities to do assignments on paper as well?
Q: How will remote learning be assessed and graded?
A: Our Academic Policy will be informed by the Department of Education’s guidance when it becomes available.
Q: Is remote learning also for Kindergartens kids? Does that include the kids that have an IEP?
Q: When can we opt back into in-person learning from fully remote?
A: Quarterly. The first opportunity that has been shared is for November.
Q: We need student OSIS numbers to opt into online learning. How can we access that?
You can also call 311 or reach out Damaris Scott at DScott5@schools.nyc.gov or Niomi Vasquez at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note that Damaris is not a summer employee and there may be a delay in response.
Q: Has the school consulted with a safety specialist, biologist, chemist on how to safely bring students and teachers back to school? What is the procedure school can do to make the environment safer from it? What will Covid testing, screening and monitoring look like? How often will students be given tests? Who will be testing the kids? Will they be administered by a medical professional?
A: We will follow state and city guidelines when available. These determinations are not made at the school level.
Q: There was construction going on during last year that impacted entry and exit for the lower grades…is that construction still going on?
A: Construction was halted during the pandemic and our playground has not been finished. We will continue to use the 95 yard which helps us additionally with social distancing.
Q: Will AmPark have access to the large playground that’s on PS 95’s property for PE?
7/20/2020 Town Hall Questions
The Chancellor’s Office will be hosting 3 additional Family and Student Information Sessions on July 28th, August 12th and August 27th:
Models and Scheduling: https://cdn-blob-prd.azureedge.net/prd-pws/docs/default-source/default-document-library/school-buildings-reopening-principal-meeting-07072020-for-posting.pdf
Q: What models are being considered?
A: Based on our survey results, the space planning survey and walkthrough, and the numbers of students enrolled, we are looking at having students come in for in person learning between 1 and 3 days per week with the days set as much as possible. We are also considering student groups alternating weeks. Unless we have a large number of students opting for remote only, we will likely need three cohorts of students for in-person learning which would limit the number of days per week and eliminate the week to week model.
Q: Will siblings be able to attend on the same days?
A: Yes, this will be a priority for scheduling.
Q: When will families know which model has been selected?
A: Our model selection is due August 14th. By that time, we will have a better idea of how many staff members will be working remotely and how many students will have selected the all remote option and anticipate being able to say how many days per week, and which days per week, students will be able to attend in person.
Q: Who will be teaching the all remote option? Will my child have the same teachers for in-person and remote?
A: It is likely that the all remote option will be taught by our AmPark teachers, but I have not yet received official confirmation. This will likely depend on the number of staff members teaching remotely and the number of students opting in. Students enrolled in the hybrid model may have an in-person teacher and a different remote teacher.
Remote Only Option: https://www.nycenet.edu/surveys/learningpreference
Q: Is the all remote group receiving the same instruction from the same teachers?
A: Until we know how many students will be all remote, and how many teachers will be approved for remote work, we will not be able to assign groupings. According to the Chancellor’s Office the remote instruction will be similar in content to that of the students in the hybrid model.
Q: What are the opt in and out periods for remote only?
A: Initially, you are encouraged to indicate that you would like the remote only option by August 7th through the survey to support school planning. The Chancellor’s Office has shared that you can opt into remote instruction at any time, however opting into in-person instruction will only be available at designated times.
Q: Do we need to do anything if we prefer not to do all remote instruction?
A: You can indicate so in the survey, but it is not required as the hybrid model is the default option.
Q: Do students have to test positive to be in the all remote group?
A: No. Any student can opt into remote instruction at any time for any reason.
Q: Can students be online for the full day during their remote day?
A: No. It is not feasible nor a best practice to try to recreate the school day virtually. Remote instruction and in-person instruction require different types of teaching and learning. More information about both the in-person and the remote school day will be shared when our program model is approved and staffing for in-person and remote is established. We are working hard to further innovate and grow remote instructional practices from the spring.
Q: Will special education services be offered in class or remotely?
A: Related services will likely be case dependent. Some providers may be working remotely. Others may be working in person.
Q: Can the school split the days into half days? Can the day be shortened?
A: These options have not been approved as of this time because of cleaning needs, busing needs, and New York State mandated minutes of instruction.
Q: How will students be supported socially and emotionally?
A: Students will be supported socially and emotionally both in-person and while working remotely through a variety of strategies that range from use of RULER and The Leader in Me to small group social sessions to at-risk or mandated counseling to individual check-in systems. Our school based committees, such as the Pupil Personnel Team, Crisis Team, Student Implementation Team, and Attendance Team meet routinely to review data and make recommendations for students with families. Strategies are further outlined in our state mandated Consolidated Plan and this year there is an added focus on the Guidance Plan. These documents are submitted and reviewed by our higher offices. Additionally, the Chancellor has shared an initiative for supporting students through Trauma Informed Practice.
Health and Safety:
Q: What is the protocol for quarantining students and staff if there is a confirmed case? How will this be communicated?
A: Official protocol has not yet been shared. In the spring, the health department was involved in the process. The recommendations that are generated have come from this department and we then share with the community through our various platforms.
Q: Is there a plan for ongoing testing of students and staff?
A: Not at the school level. We will await guidance from the Chancellor’s Office on how testing and contact tracing will be conducted.
Q: Will temperatures be taken daily?
A: This is one possibility and one that I believe we will employ at entry. New York State has released guidelines that include other options, such as parent testimonials and temperature checks at home.
Q: Will students with health needs and early childhood learners be required to wear masks?
A: Many factors will have to be taken into consideration and decided upon with community input into the feasibility of all students wearing masks all day. New York State has also released guidance around special considerations.
Q: When will the PK/K Virtual Orientation take place?
A: The virtual orientation will be held on July 29th at 12 p.m.. Emailed invitations will be sent out. We will discuss early childhood learning, staffing, ways to connect with the school, and get to know one another. There will be times to share questions and concerns regarding our young learners in remote instruction. Please contact Parent Coordinator Niomi Vasquez for more information.
Q: To accommodate for working parents, can meetings be held in the evenings?
A: Monthly Parent Association meetings which include the principals update and time for questions and answers are always held in the evenings. Our monthly SLT meetings, which are open to the public, are also held in the evenings. In addition to the November and March evening conferences, September and May open school night meetings are held in the evenings, as well as middle school meetings in the fall. There are also routinely planned special events in the evenings. While also not required to, many staff members, including administration, engage in phone calls and emails on an individual basis outside of working hours to accommodate families. We encourage families to reach out when needs arise, as well as to stay informed through teacher blasts, PA blasts, and the Owl Blog.
Staff members are contractual employees and while time is often made to host and attend meetings based around the input from families, every meeting cannot be held in the evening. Many of our staff members are also working parents and/or have additional obligations. When possible, we will make recorded sessions and/or slideshows available to families via the blog.