October Letter with Important Information
Fri, Oct 16 1:22pm

Dear PS107 Families,

Happy October and Welcome Back to School!

We are delighted to have our kids back in the building, at least some of them anyway.  It has been a joy listening to their voices and laughter in the yard.  We’ve missed them!  Even with masks and social distancing, their presence brings a sense of normality to our part of the world, and what a good feeling that is. While the infection rate has climbed in other neighborhoods leading to school closures, we hope in-person learning at PS107 continues unabated for as long as possible.

This month the DOE will begin random monthly COVID-19 testing for students and staff at PS107 along with all other NYC public schools. The Chancellor’s announcement and Consent Form was shared with you through Operoo. We do not yet know the number of students and staff to be tested each month but have been informed that we will have at least two days warning before they come to 107 to conduct the testing. This massive undertaking by the DOE and NYC Health & Hospitals, the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, and NYC Test & Trace Corps, will be one step further in ensuring the health and safety of all members of our community. The test will use a short swab in the front of the nose, not the long swab that goes in the far back of the nose, and results will be available in 2-3 days. The DOE is “focused on making [the test] a brief, and gentle experience for our students….” While testing is not mandatory, the DOE must have a large enough sample size at each school to identify the prevalence of COVID-19 in the school community. Please read the Chancellor’s letter and FAQ document and complete your child’s Consent Form as soon as possible.

Later this month the application window opens for Blended Learning, Cycle 2. This is a one-week period, from Monday 10/26 through Friday 10/30 for Remote families to apply for in-person learning. Cycle 2 begins on Monday November 16th. There are 4 Blended Learning cycles this year (Cycle #3 in January, Cycle #4 in March). In discussion last week with our School Leadership Team which is made up of parents, teachers and administrators, we resolved that our top priorities as a community are to ensure stability, a positive climate, and continuity of instruction for our students. Remaining on a 2-3 day per week in-person learning schedule is optimal and is our goal. If our Blended Learning numbers swell beyond our current capacity, it could mean resorting to 1 day per week of in-person learning, thus having three cohorts (A, B, C) instead of two, and changing the current schedule for all in-person families. This would be disruptive to all.  Further, it could very well result in new teacher assignments for some students. On the flip side, if our remote numbers increase dramatically, it also may also be necessary to shift teaching assignments from in-person to remote teachers. With all of this in mind, and the daunting logistical and administrative challenges, I encourage you to keep your child in the same cohort (in-person or remote) if at all possible

For those of you whose children are in Remote learning and wish to have them participate in Blended Learning, we will fill all vacant seats by lottery if there are more applications than seats. If you have any questions about Cycle 2 applications, please let me know, or reach out to the SLT parents at: sltparents@ps107.org

This week your teacher will share the Curriculum Overview for her grade level or cluster subject along with information about the grade level content.  Please reach out to your teacher if you have any questions. All teachers have Office Hours at the end of the school day (from approximately 2:00-2:30pm).

A quick reminder that this Friday 10/9 is the last day for Kindergarteners to be picked up by their teachers at arrival. On Tuesday 10/13 Kindergarteners will be ushered into the building by PS107 staff who will assist your child to the classroom if needed.

Our monthly School Safety meeting will be held on Wednesday 10/21 at 2:15pm. If you have any concerns related to your child’s safety while in the building, please share them with Pamela Rosenberg at Prosenberg@ps107.org or let Pamela know if you’d like to attend the meeting (via Zoom).

Our monthly School Leadership Team meeting will be held on Wednesday 10/21 at 3:15pm.  SLT is a collaborative entity that represents the whole of our school community. Our primary goal is to develop the school’s Comprehensive Educational Plan (CEP) each year, but our monthly conversations are much more broad and cover nearly every spectrum of school quality and experience. Please contact sltparents@ps107.org if you have grade-wide or school-wide concerns or questions that you’d like addressed by our Team.

Have a wonderful month.  Stay safe and vigilant!