Dear PS10 Families,
Attached please find the minutes and presentation from last week's Back-to-School Town Hall.
I have also included the full text from the minutes below for translation purposes (Konstella has a built-in translation feature using Google Translate).
As always, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
TOWN HALL MINUTES:
Liliana Morales - Our translator gave a speech in Spanish about how to access live interpretation.
Heather Volik, PTA President:
- Welcome message: Thank you for coming today. We had over 275 questions sent in that the admin has gone through to try and answer. We aren’t going to be able to monitor everyone’s chats, please post the chat to Ask Questions Now (Jennine) as she will get the questions and hold them for the Q&A. If we are unable to respond to all questions today we will send out FAQs with answers in a couple of days.
- Wanted to say how grateful I am to teachers, parents, and admin. We have worked hand in hand with Laura and her team to get safety measures in school, for example, air filters. Parents brought ideas and really implemented their ideas. They did the research, and even researched other school’s research! So through our PTA budget approved in June, we were able to purchase:
- An air filter for each room for PS10 (and K280)
- a touchless thermometer for every classroom
- a standing thermometer for guests entering the building
- UV Light sanitizers for each floor and the office
- Various PPE such as:
- 500 reusable clear-bottom face masks for teachers
- 4 cases of latex gloves
- This effort is very much parent and teacher motivated, we are here to address your concerns. This happened because of a lot of research and work by our parents and the needs raised by the administration.
Jenn Cribbs, PTA Treasurer:
- Thanks to the group of parents working on ventilation and filtration.
- Over the summer, the building staff worked to reinstate existing ventilation equipment in the building, particularly an exhaust system from when the school was built that serves the classrooms and bathrooms. This is something most schools do not have. When the windows are open, fresh air is pulled into the room, and the air in the room is exhausted through the exhaust openings in the closets. This has been turned on and is being worked on at the moment. We do not know the specific airflow from each room.
- The School Construction Authority inspected each classroom to see if windows open and if the exhaust openings are pulling air. The school has made the decision not to use some rooms that are not being exhausted that only had one window.
- The building staff is currently working with a contractor to maximize the airflow through this existing exhaust system. This will be an ongoing effort since the contractors are all working on several school buildings with different systems, but they have already started the work.
- In addition, the school maintenance staff are working with the contractor to reinstate existing ventilation supply and exhaust fans in the auditorium and cafeteria. This will provide 100% outside air in these rooms, but we do not know the airflow.
- In addition to the school staff providing outside airflow through the classrooms, the PTA has bought room air filters with HEPA filters for every classroom. We continue to work with building management personnel and are ready to support whatever else is needed.
- *Added note in answer to questions asked during the meeting: During the winter, the radiators will be turned up and windows will remain open so that the exhaust system can continue to pull fresh air into the classrooms and exhaust existing air out.
- Jenn added that she knows we are all feeling uncertain but she feels confident that together we are going to figure this out and get through it. She has seen work the admin and other school personnel have done, and it has been extraordinary.
Laura Scott, Principal:
- The PTA has been amazing as I have been problem solving, they have been there for me. In all the 40 years I’ve been in administration and as a teacher, this has been the most challenging and memorable experience of my life, beyond creating K280.
- We created a PPT that will address many of the questions that you had. Our administration has also reviewed the questions you sent in prior to the Town Hall and will post them with answers to specific questions as an FAQ by Monday on the website, especially those not addressed in our PPT. Thanks for keeping us on our toes and raising issues we didn’t think of. That’s part of why I think of PS10 not as a school, but as my extended family. Please know that we in the administration are approachable and open to your ideas and concerns.
- Starting yesterday through the 15th, teachers will have professional development. The teachers in this building are amazing, 90% came in over summer to plan curriculum and social-emotional initiatives, they helped plan for both fully remote and the hybrid blended model. If you see them, please tell them thank you because they went above and beyond.
- From the 16th - 18th students will go through remote orientation 1 hour per day. If we get more information, we will post it on the website & through School Messenger (our automatic telephonic alert system). If you haven’t checked out the school website, please check periodically for updates, also check Konstella.
- On Monday 21st we will start our hybrid and remote learning instruction model. Cohort A starts in-person on the 21st, and Cohort B will start on the 23rd. Cohort D, fully remote, will start Monday 21st.
- Parents, please stick to your decisions regarding blended or remote learning. Whatever you choose, we promise your child's needs will be met academically, physically, and emotionally. Don’t keep changing, when you change you upset the apple cart for the entire school. Right now we have 2 additional teachers added to every grade to address our remote needs. They are from within the PS10 community. If we have to add to the remote number we will have to bring in subs from other schools, which we don’t want to do.
- School hours are 8:30 am - 2 pm. Staff hours are 8 am - 2:50 pm.
- Our focus this year is to be consistent re: how information is sent out, and the schedule for students - synchronous (live instruction) or asynchronous (independent or recorded lessons). Every teacher will be touching base with kids the same amount of time regardless of hybrid or remote: every day the child will have time with their teacher. Google Classroom will have additions per grade to meet their needs, but the format will be similar across grades so parents will be able to navigate it easier. Teachers have been set up in groups and are relying on one another. When they come in at 8 they will be collaborating with their colleagues.
- Health and safety are paramount, and we will share what our plans are. Parent awareness & cooperation is also imperative.
- Website slide - We have updated our website and will be updating continually. We have faced a lot of internal issues with the DOE, which is why we haven’t been able to let you know about class assignments. We know this is a new type of going to school. At the top of the website on the red bar, by Friday of each week, we will post the cohort days for the following week in case you forget. At the bottom of the screen, we will also list the schedule.
- We will also be rolling out a new system for people to access their cohort and classroom/teacher on the PS10.org website. As long as you know the OSIS number, it will automatically bring up the cohort, class, and teacher. We are excited to share this with you as soon as the classes have been formed when all parents have made their final selection of a Remote or Hybrid learning plan for their children.
- Last year we created a Parent Corner on Google Classroom. This is another way for parents to access information.
- Curriculum slide - We are going to continue to embrace Teachers College for ELA, as well as Fundations for younger K-2 students. Math will be TERC, and others (see PPT). There will be 2 science teachers, D’Alonzo K-2 on remote days, doing live sessions, and Ms. Thill for 3-5. Ms Venier will be teaching in the 4th grade. Social studies will be integrated into the ELA curriculum.
- Outdoor Spaces slide - We will be utilizing this to accommodate classes during duty-free teacher lunch. Only one time per day, e.g., period 4 will be duty-free lunch for K, 2nd grade will go to the auditorium for science or a computer lesson. Each grade will be separated. Each space will be used once per day. Children will be automatically socially distanced. Students will be having instructional lunch in the classroom. (Please note that we have since been informed by Central that we will not be able to utilize these large indoor spaces at either building.)
- Cohort Schedule slide
- Example hybrid schedule flow of day slide
- Children will have Morning Meeting at 8:30, and teachers will walk them through the rest of the day.
- Example remote schedule slide. - During the small group experience paras will be involved.
- Google Classroom slide - The format will be the same across the board for each grade.
- The school’s Building Response Team has designed arrival and dismissal protocols which will be shared shortly.
- Facilities Update slide - We cannot have an open-door policy this year, all visits are by appointment only.
- Cleaning Protocol slide - Cleaning will be routinely done, enhanced cleaning protocols. Drinking fountains will be looked at to be safer. We will have one-way stairways. Cleaning logs will be kept daily.
- Health & Safety - We want to reopen and keep open. NYC must have under 3% new cases using a 7-day rolling average to keep schools open. If positive tests are over 3% we have to close. It may not be the only trigger they use to close schools. If recurring uncontrolled cases are breaking out in schools we will close again. Nursing coverage is through DOE, not Ms. Josephine. If single schools have a breakout it will be only that school that will close.
- School’s BRT (building response team) will deal with any issues that normally affect the school’s safety but also go through checklists about what to do when people have a fever or are unmasked.
- Temperature Screenings slide - Note, fever is 100 degrees or higher.
- Isolation Room slide - This room will only be used if a student has symptoms
- Students displaying symptoms slide - All students’ medical information will be kept confidential.
- Staff Slide - Staff who show symptoms will be asked to leave the building.
- Symptoms of COVID slide
- Criteria for returning to school - Isolation for 10 days, presents clearance from a healthcare provider, fever/symptom-free within 24 hours. Please do not give a child medication to bring their fever down and send them to school. Documentation should be from a healthcare provider.
- Face Coverings - Must go over the nose and mouth. Everyone is required to be masked when they are in the building. We have disposable masks available in case they get dirty. Do not use masks with valves or "gaiters." Make sure you are washing these regularly, but do not put them in the dryer as they will shrink. A few recommendations that came in during the Town Hall are as follows:
- Old Navy
- GoodDay Masks (Etsy)
- Factory Nova (Etsy)
- Electric Styles
- During mealtimes, students in the classroom will be facing front, take masks off while distancing, the room will have the windows open, and the teacher will be behind the students with their mask on.
- Physical distancing - Everyone must be kept 6 feet apart, and classrooms will meet these requirements. If a classroom does not, it won’t be used. We will also have plexiglass barriers for some of the desks.
- Handwashing/sanitizer slide - Please also note that 2 of our bathrooms were fully remodeled in the last 6 months as well.
- Windows will remain open even in winter - kids will have to bundle up and wear proper gear.
- Barrett Braithwaite, AP: Special Ed - IEPs should continue to work how they did in the past, updated annually. Remote learning plans in spring have been updated, the first training is tomorrow morning, our IEP teacher will attend to find out what the plan is. Will be a detailed explanation of what students will be receiving based on hybrid or remote. Any student with a teacher will get a PAD. Children will continue to get services, PS10 people will be reaching out to you. Some service providers will be working remotely. Some will be in the school building. They will provide remote services from school as well. We are being told to schedule services to put students' safety first. In most cases, it will be a lot of remote services, as we try to find safe spaces to do in-person services at the school. Re: Push in / pull out services, the group size will be based on the service provider and how they can meet the needs remotely. Maybe some online small groups or individual services, this can be adjusted.
- Technology & school supplies:
- To access the DOE emails for students go to: https://www.schools.nyc.gov/learning/learn-at-home/technical-tools-and-support/doe-student-accounts
- Jonathan Colon will be able to help with technical troubleshooting.
- School supply lists are on the website: https://www.ps10.org/back_to_school_2021. You can also purchase supplies by using School Toolbox - http://www.schooltoolbox.com.
- Bussing: We have general information from the DOE. MetroCards have also been distributed to us.
- Communication from school: We use Konstella, email email@example.com if someone you know needs a login. Also, we use the website ps10.org.
- Parent responsibilities: Please take your child’s temperature every morning. Also, follow quarantine orders. Nothing of the students should be left behind to ensure proper cleaning.
- Final slide: DOE back to school pledge.
- Laura Scott: We are sorry about the loss of materials left behind, but we got conflicting information and we had to dispose of them. “We got this” is our new motto.
- We want you to walk away from this meeting knowing you have this too because you have our backs. With your help, suggestions, and ideas, it’ll be the best school year ever.
- Gary Nusser, AP: Re: middle school process. To 4th or 5th grade families, here is what we know: The DOE middle school website is the same as it was in March. We don’t know what the virtual orientation process is yet. Many of our middle schools did set up virtual orientation last year. We assume they will keep those up. They’re going through what we are going through to set up. He is in communication with them. We will figure out a way to give your kids a way to see what middle school is like. D15 has a diversity initiative which is a lottery system, you can select schools but there is no audition process and they don’t look at grades, scores, or attendance as a factor for admission. It’s based on certain criteria and then there is a lottery. We know what you’re going through and we will help you through it. There will be a Konstella and website section for middle school info. We will be in touch with middle schools and every school will be represented, with links to orientations. Parents will also report back to us their experiences with different middle schools. We will hold your hand virtually.
- Gary Wong, AP: Hold off on sending in all the school supplies with your children on the first day of school. We want to make sure the teachers & students know how they should get their materials safely when they are in the classroom. The first few days of school will be dedicated to orientation. Students can take some time to get to know the teachers, and then decide how and when to bring in materials, and where they will be stored.
- Laura Scott: Class assignments will be shared as soon as possible, and will be available on the website. Please don’t make any more changes from hybrid to remote or vice versa. We are sorry it’s taken so long and are grateful for the PTA for their assistance. We are in a good place and are ahead of many schools.
- Gary Nusser, AP: Thanks to PTA for helping to organize translation services. Please continue to utilize the website and Konstella for up-to-date information, you can also reach out to Maddie Seide, Parent Coordinator - firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Robert Grant, K280 AP: Their Town Hall will be tomorrow. Our teachers are still getting into the classroom. If you left anything please reach out to last year’s teacher, they may be able to pick them up. We will talk to you tomorrow.
- Heather Volik: Please donate to our COVID relief fund if you can - https://www.konstella.com/open/donations/5f440f06dafa88bd5bebdfdb.
Town Hall Q&A:
Q: Pre-k and K - Confusion around how parents get access to OSIS numbers, Konstella, or any information regarding cohorts. For parents unfamiliar, how can they get set up?
A: Laura Scott: We will work on that immediately and post ways for new parents to get that information. Dany is trying to reach out to parents, we have almost 400 and 175 kindergarteners so it’s a work in progress. For new students, it’s difficult because the OSIS numbers aren’t active yet, but if you email us we will get them to you when they are available. Email the following for OSIS & information regarding cohorts:
Alison Koziel - AKoziel@ps10.org / 347-525-3090
Danny Depaz - DDepaz@ps10.org
Madeline Seide - email@example.com
Jonathan Colon - JColon@ps10.org
To access Konstella, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and a login will be sent to you.
Q: ICT classes - what do they look like for fully remote students?
A: Laura Scott: There will be a teacher assigned plus an additional teacher assisting and doing small group instruction for IEP students.
Q: Parents who have questions about cohort assignments, or they were told they were remote when they wanted hybrid, or vice versa, who should they contact?
A: Alison Koziel: Reach out to the following personnel in Admin ASAP:
Alison Koziel - AKoziel@ps10.org / 347-525-3090
Danny Depaz - DDepaz@ps10.org
Madeline Seide - email@example.com
Jonathan Colon - JColon@ps10.org
Q: If we go remote will we switch classes around?
A: Laura Scott: We created a model that will be conducive if we go 100% remote. At any point, if we have to close down, this model will hold true. We won’t flip flop or reassign kids.
Q: What about devices students used last year?
A: Gary Wong: If a student has graduated they need to return laptops to the building on 16th - 18th orientation days, or on the 29th. If students are staying at PS10, they can hold onto their laptops from last year. These iPads are also hotspots, if you have another device in the house you can connect one device to another. Students with related services should hold onto their devices from last year & use it this year as well.
Q: What is the procedure for students who require EpiPens?
A: Laura Scott: Bring it to teachers’ attention. We will also post the protocol for that.
Q: COVID Testing - The terminology is that testing is strongly advised, but is it mandated? Will there be nasal swabs?
A: Heidi Bookman, UFT Rep: The UFT agreement talked about mandated testing. Testing is only as good as the day you take it; you can develop symptoms in a day. The best way to proceed is to conduct random testing. Starting in October, there will be random testing of 20% of the school population, anyone selected is required to take a nasal swab, and are required to be notified of results in 24 hours, and work with contact tracers. Beginning in October staff and students will have to take the test. There will be permission slips that will be sent home the first week of school for this.
Q: Parents at other schools received messages that they need to work with the school to secure devices and that the DOE doesn’t have any. Can we work to further clarify the process for parents how they can get technology, as some have been waiting for over a month?
A: Gary Wong - For iPads, that comes from the city & we have no say. We can try to track a device you have requested & find out the status. It’s very important that if you are requesting the device you are able to include special instructions for delivery so they know where to drop it off at your home. Ensure that your address is properly typed in. We have no control over this. If you haven’t already, please fill in the device request form: https://coronavirus.schools.nyc/RemoteLearningDevices.
If you want to look into the status of a device you have already requested, please contact us and we will look into it and see what we can do to escalate. We don’t have any devices to give. Reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will route your questions.
- The School Leadership Team Meeting is Monday at 7:00pm, in it we will discuss a PAC survey sent out to teachers. There will be continuing discussions about the teacher and staff concerns raised in that survey. The SLT is a public meeting, and the Zoom link & login were sent out by Gary Wong on Thursday night.
- In closing, thank you for taking the time to come to our Town Hall, and sending questions ahead of the meeting. Everyone will work their hardest to get answers over to you as we know how exhausting and overwhelming this time is. We’re working constantly to address all your concerns and teachers’ concerns. This has been an ongoing conversation through the summer and we’re looking forward to doing more. We are in a good spot compared to other schools. We are behind on getting PTA meeting dates out, but know there will be monthly meetings. We will also be conducting online elections for our executive board, but are waiting on guidance from the DOE. Finally, please buy your children’s school supplies via School Toolbox (http://www.schooltoolbox.com/), and consider donating to the PTA’s COVID relief fund: https://www.konstella.com/open/donations/5f440f06dafa88bd5bebdfdb