March 23, 2020
Dear PS 20 Families and Students,
The transition to remote learning is now underway. This has been a tremendous undertaking for our faculty. The teachers have been working throughout the weekend to ensure a smooth transition to the Google Classroom platform. Teachers have been collaborating to ensure that a cohesive, educationally sound, user-friendly plan is developed.
I wish to thank the members of our PTA for their support during this transition. As an elementary school, we have very limited experience with remote learning platforms. It is my guess that families are new to this as well. We received crash courses in getting started with Google Classroom, how to add students to Google Classroom, how to create a new class and upload assignments in Google Classroom etc.
Finally, today most, but not all classes have engaged in a morning Zoom meeting or a Microsoft Team meeting. We hope to resolve the technical issues we are having this week to ensure that all classes experience live meetings at least once a day. The goal is to have 100% of our classrooms engaged in live morning meetings by the end of the week. In the coming days, we will continue to learn how to navigate the Google Classroom platform and make appropriate adjustments to maximize our effectiveness and your child's experience.
I have been asked if Remote Learning is mandatory. As of now, remote learning is an expectation for all teachers and students to engage in. However many of our students still do not have internet enabled devices. If your child needs an internet enabled device, or you know of a family that is in need, please contact Karen Colon at firstname.lastname@example.org or our guidance counselor Deborah deShong at email@example.com. They will reach out to the family and get a device in the hands of all students who need one.
No surprise that digital communication has increased tremendously. I am requesting that we all try our best keep the email traffic across your classroom Konstella page reasonable. Remember to message teachers privately for individual concerns. In addition, ask your children to only post messages on Google Classroom that are related to class activities.
A virtual faculty meeting took place today at 2:30 PM. Teachers shared many highlights they experienced along with many technical difficulties. The teachers discovered that the Zoom platform is a better way to conduct live meetings. Therefore, we will all be switching to Zoom for live classroom meetings.
I understand that there are still many questions. We still have many areas to explore and experience before we have all of the answers. Communicate directly with your child’s teacher for information related to instruction, teaching and learning. Communicate with Ms. Colon to retrieve your child’s books and materials if you have not already done so.
Families that want to request an internet enabled device should fill out the Remote Learning Device Request form available on the DOE website: https://www.schools.nyc.gov/learn-at-home/ipad-distribution. The DOE is distributing iPads to students in temporary housing first. They will be delivered in bulk to shelters and foster care centers. Priority will be given to students most in need. The DOE is contracting with FedEx to deliver iPads directly to students. iPads will be shipped to the address entered on the request form.
Thank you for your patience and your ongoing support.
The Clinton Hill School, PS 20
PS: remember to look at ps20.org/remote-learning for tips and help with remote learning tools.