Family Email from Principal Mitchell

September 30, 2020

Dear Parents and Guardians

Thank you for your patience and understanding as we go through daily changes with programs, policies, and preparing for your child’s return to school remotely and blended. Your child is the most important part of the return to school equation and at the center of all we do. Be assured that everything possible has been put in place to keep your child safe, engaged and supported academically and emotionally.

As we return to school in person and online, it is imperative that you share your child’s program with them daily. Linked here is a September and October School Calendar showing which day of the six-day cycle all students should follow everyday, and which days blended-instruction students in Cohorts A, B, C & E should attend school physically for in-person instruction. Linked here is also the cohort placement list for you to check by grade which Cohort your child attends classes with: 6th Grade Program Placement; 7th Grade Program Placement; 8th Grade Program Placement. We will also send out Robocalls the night before and the morning of. Please be advised we do not have the room or supervision to watch your child if they come to school on the wrong days. You must make every effort to be sure your child attends school on the appropriate days and according to the programs. Again, I cannot urge you enough to review and understand your child’s program whether it is A, B, C, D or E; linked here is a video explaining how to know which days your child should attend which type of instruction

For attending school in person, please follow the bell schedule below:

Period 19:00 AM – 9:45 AM
Period 29:47 AM – 10:32 AM
Period 310:34 AM – 11:19 AM
Period 411:21 AM – 12:06 PM
Period 512:08 PM – 12:53 PM
Period 612:55 PM – 1:40 PM
Period 71:42 PM – 2:27 PM
DismissalGrade 6 – 2:18 PM
Grade 7 – 2:23 PM
Grade 8 – 2:27 PM

Please also be aware that the arrival and dismissal locations are as follows: 6th Grade: Entrance D – Middle of 19th St.; 7th Grade: Entrance B – Middle of 18th St. Closer to 6th Ave. ; 8th Grade: Entrance A – 18th St, Closer to 7th Ave & Near to Main Entrance. Signs at the entrances will be color coded. 

Updated Contact Information where we can reach you is more important than ever. You will shortly receive text messages and/or emails from a company we’re partnering with called Operoo. 

When you receive a text or email from Operoo, please click the link and register for an Operoo account to be able to complete Back-to-School NYC DOE forms on your phone or computer, including your most up to date emergency contact information. Linked here is a letter with more information about Operoo. 

In both blended learning and fully remote classrooms, our instruction will continue to provide students with time for critical thinking and ways to accelerate their learning. As students return for blended instruction they will receive backpacks with supplies for learning. Time will be scheduled soon for fully remote students to pick up materials as well. Backpacks for students will include: pencils, pens, markers and a notebook, as well as ELA and Math specific materials. 

In ELA, as part of our modified Teachers College Reading Writing Project curriculum, two books will be provided for your children, in addition to digital access to websites for independent and book club reading.

Grade 6Ghost by Jason Reynolds; Betty Before X by Betty & Ilyasah Shabazz
Grade 7Flying Lessons by Ellen Oh; Dear Martin by Nic Stone
Grade 8Pride by by Ibi Zoboi; Black Enough: Stories of Being Young & Black in America by Ibi Zoboi, Tracey Baptiste, Coe Booth, Dhonielle Clayton

In Math, students will use Open Up Resources or Kendall Hunt workbooks to follow along with lessons in the curriculum as they are taught in class and remotely. The workbooks include their daily warm ups and tasks, reflection prompts, unit glossaries, and lesson summaries that function as a text for students to look back at to review what they’ve learned.

While we realize the opening is not easy, together we can make it work. While I know this has been quite a different beginning, be sure we will do everything to make it an amazing year. I will be sending out biweekly updates both written and or videotaped. Thank you for trusting me with your most treasured gems.

My very best, 

Ailene Altman Mitchell, Principal

The Park Slope Education Complex at M.S. 88

School Reopening Schedule and staffing Plan


NEW YORK—Mayor Bill de Blasio, Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza, UFT President Michael Mulgrew and CSA President Mark Cannizzaro today announced a phased schedule and additional staffing plan to ensure all schools and all educators are best positioned to deliver a strong, safe, and healthy start to the 2020-2021 school year.

“For months, teachers, principals and school staff have been working hard to make sure our students have the education they deserve while putting health and safety first,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “Today, we are announcing the latest in our larger plan to re-open schools the right way and give working class families the in-person education they’ve asked us to deliver.”

“Our students, staff, and families have demonstrated tremendous resilience over the last six months, and we’re going to continue to build on all the work we’ve done as we move forward,” said Schools Chancellor Richard A. Carranza . “We are giving our schools more staff, more time, and more support to have the strongest possible start to the most unprecedented school year.”

“The safety of students and staff is always the first priority,” said UFT President Michael Mulgrew. “Our buildings must be ready, and testing and tracing procedures must be in place.  A phased re-opening — and making sure, despite budget challenges, that we have enough staff — can help ensure that safety.”

“Nothing is more important to school leaders than protecting the health, safety, and well-being of their students and staff,” said CSA President Mark Cannizzaro. “Although we are extremely disappointed that the start of in-person learning must be delayed again, it is simply not safe to open buildings to children without a teacher for every class. Our principals have communicated their staffing needs to their superintendents, and the Mayor has committed to providing these much-needed resources.”

Teachers and students this week have been remotely engaging in preparations and orientations for the school year. As remote learning continues, in-person learning for blended learning students will be phased-in across the next two weeks, beginning with:

·         Monday, September 21st:  Blended learning students in grades 3-K and Pre-K, as well as all grades in District 75 

·         Tuesday, September 29th: Blended learning students enrolled in K-5 and K-8 schools

·         Thursday, October 1st: Blended learning students enrolled in middle schools, high schools, secondary schools (schools spanning grades 6-12), and transfer schools/adult education

All students in full remote programs will continue as planned starting full-day instruction on Monday, September 21. As students begin in-person learning according to the above timeline, they will do so according to the blended learning schedules their schools have provided them (e.g., coming in person on Tuesday and Wednesday).

Adding to the 2,000 additional teaching staff to be deployed to schools that the Mayor announced on Monday, the City will also bring on 2,500 additional educators to fulfill staffing needs at 3-K, Pre-K, District 75, K-5 and K-8 schools. These educators will help fill key gaps for in-person learning in schools to make sure that all students have a rigorous learning experience in a safe, healthy environment. The DOE is continuing to engage middle and high schools as well to establish their needs for additional staffing, and will announce additional staff capacity for those schools in the coming weeks. 

Health and safety continues to lead all reopening plans. The City will not reopen schools if the citywide infection rate exceeds 3.0%. The citywide infection rate is currently 0.63%.

Family Letter: Orientation Information and Webinar Links

Dear Parents & Families, 

Below you will find links to student Zoom Webinar Orientation events for all students to take place virtually on Wednesday September 16th, 17th and 18th. The purpose of our Webinars is to partner with you in supporting your children in logging into our school systems based on their grade levels. 

During the Tech Orientations, school staff will assist students and teach them how to login to the websites they need to use to be able to access remote learning, including how to create and access usernames and passwords. One of the websites they learn how to login to will give them access to their schedules. 

During the Safety and Wellness Orientation, students will learn protocols and routines in preparation for returning to school to support their well-being in both virtual and physical settings. Recordings of the Webinars will be available to view on our website this Friday. 

By this Friday, September 18th, students will be able to access their MS88 Emails where they will receive emails from their teachers about class-specific get-to-know-you events taking place on Friday. 

I am so excited to share with you our updated website; please click here to view information that will help students and families access all of the needed links for the start of this school year. The orientations this week along with the resources on the website will help you prepare for the start of both blended and fully remote learning on Monday, September 21st. We will be posting a survey to include recommendations for this website, as we are all in this together.

It has been over five months, and I thank you for your patience and understanding and look forward to seeing our amazing, brave and beautiful students remotely and in person. 

My very best always, 

Ailene Altman Mitchell


Please visit our September Calendar for Orientation Dates, Times and webinar links.