Dear PS 107 Families,
I hope that you are all staying warm and dry and are experiencing the same sense of relief that I am that the Omicron surge appears to be mostly behind us. Our in-school residencies resumed today, and it’s been wonderful seeing our PreK and Kindergarten students engaging in movement with BAX, hearing our 1st graders singing with TADA, and seeing our 3rd graders dancing with Alvin Ailey! Later this week, our 2nd graders will dance with Ajna Dance Company.
I’m writing to share a few important updates, all of which are related to changing DOE policies regarding COVID.
First, I’m pleased to share that the DOE has recognized that highly-vaccinated communities such as PS 107’s have different needs related to in-school COVID testing. Effective 2/7, when we have in-school random testing, the number of students tested will be based on 10% of our total student enrollment in grades 1-5. (Of course, only students whose parents have given consent for in-school COVID testing will be selected.) To demonstrate what a big difference this makes for us, last week, 10 students were tested; today, 37 students were tested. Thank you to all of you who advocated for more in-school testing! Our voices were heard.
Second, the DOE will be providing at-home test kits to all students and staff members during the week of February 14th, before the upcoming mid-winter recess. These test kits are being provided so that you can test your children before they return to school on 2/28, which we strongly encourage you to do, though you are not required to submit the negative test result to the school. However, if your child tests positive, please inform Pamela Rosenberg and me so that we can advise you on their isolation period.
Third, the DOE’s attendance policy has reverted to what it was prior to the Omicron surge. Only students who are isolating because of a positive test result or quarantining because they are an unvaccinated close contact who was exposed to COVID outside of school, will have asynchronous work provided in Google Classroom. Similarly, only children in those two categories are eligible to be marked “present, learning remotely,” a special code that the DOE created for the COVID-19 pandemic.
Fourth, we are thrilled to announce that the DOE is once again allowing students to take field trips to indoor locations! While yellow school buses are still not available for field trips, classes may walk or take the subway. Note that the vaccination requirement that’s in place for most NYC indoor venues does not apply to students who are on school-sanctioned field trips. Teachers have been made aware of the change in field trip policy, and we hope to see trips happening in the second half of the school year.
While this has not been an easy stretch for our school community or our city, I am incredibly grateful to all of you for your unwavering support throughout. As always, please feel free to reach out with questions about the above changing policies – or anything else that’s on your mind.
PS The DOE's letter to parents about these changes is attached.