Parent Letter from Ailene Mitchell

We are committed to ensuring you have the information you need on COVID-19 as we continue to navigate the pandemic together.

Dear MS 88 Community: 

September 11, 2020 

It was wonderful to gather at our town hall webinar on September 10, 2020.  Please be reminded that the health and safety of our students and staff, and everyone in the DOE family across the city, is our top priority. We are committed to ensuring you have the information you need on COVID-19 as we continue to navigate the pandemic together. 

Today I’m writing to inform you that a member of our school’s staff has tested positive for COVID-19. We have been handling this situation with the utmost seriousness, working in partnership with the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (NYC Health) and the NYC Test + Trace Corps to quickly take all appropriate action, including tracing close contacts. Any close contacts have been be instructed to quarantine for 14 days since their last contact with the individual who tested positive. Out of an abundance of caution, the building has been cleaned and disinfected and will continue to follow COVID deep cleansing protocol and know I have been meeting with our plant manager daily.

Heading into the school year, everyone is feeling a mix of emotions—excitement, fear, and everything in between. We want to be really clear that while New Yorkers have done an outstanding job fighting the virus, leading to weeks of extremely low infection rates citywide, COVID-19 is still active in our city, state, and our country. There will be cases of COVID-19 this fall; we know this, and all of our preparations have been in service of fighting this virus. Our job is to swiftly and effectively handle any cases that appear, and be transparent every step of the way. That is what we are doing today.

We know a lot more than we did in March about how to protect each other from the virus, and it’s critical that we continue to act to protect ourselves, our loved ones, and our schools. All of us must remember to follow these important “Core Four” actions to prevent COVID-19 transmission:  

  • Stay home if sick: Monitor your and your child’s health and stay home if you are sick or keep them home if they are sick, except for getting essential medical care (including COVID-19 testing) and other essential needs. 
  • Physical distancing: Stay at least 6 feet away from people who are not members of your household. 
  • Wear a face covering: Protect those around you. Wearing a face covering helps reduce the spread of COVID-19, especially if you are sick and don’t have symptoms. For more information about face coverings, visit and look for “FAQ About Face Coverings.”  
  • Practice healthy hand hygiene: Wash your hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available; clean frequently touched surfaces regularly; avoid touching your face with unwashed hands; and cover your cough or sneeze with your arm, not your hands. 

We will continue to closely follow directions from public health experts and proactively update you on any measures we are taking. Please sign up for a New York City Schools (NYCSA) account so we can keep in touch with you via text and email by visiting

For additional information on COVID-19, visit or call 311.  

As I have stated, health and safety will always come first in New York City public schools, no matter what and of course Middle School 88 and I will work with all agencies to ensure the safety and well-being of you and of course your children.

I can’t thank you enough for your time, patience, and understanding as we go forward in providing students with the best teaching whether fully remote or blended.

Stay stay, stay strong.

In unity,

Ailene Altman Mitchell