School Reopening Schedule and staffing Plan

MAYOR DE BLASIO, CHANCELLOR CARRANZA, UFT AND CSA ANNOUNCE 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

Principal

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

PTA Meeting 9/16

Come & join us to ask your pressing questions, meet your PTA representatives and discover how you can support our children’s wonderful school in the year ahead. Click on the link in bio to register and receive the zoom link. Also- please help us spread the word among your friends in the MS88 community.

PTA Meeting Wednesday, September 16th at 6:00 PM

  • PTA meeting at 6 pm on Wednesday the 16th
  • Register for the Zoom meeting here
  • PTA looking for language partners, parents who speak Bangla/Bengali, Mandarin, or Cantonese. 

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 nyc.gov/health/coronavirus 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 schools.nyc.gov/nycsa.

For additional information on COVID-19, visit schools.nyc.gov/coronavirus 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

Principal