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News & Announcements

Today’s events and how we will support our children

Dear Families,

I apologize for the number of emails I’ve sent today and for sending this email so late.  It has been a challenging day for all of us.  However, it feels important to share this information so that we can support our children and each other.  

First off, I cannot stress enough how critical it is to monitor the news that your child is hearing or watching tonight.  It is scary for us, and you should process it first before you share any information with your child.  If you choose to talk with your child about today’s events, you may find these guidelines helpful.

Tomorrow and Thursday, our teachers will:

  • Listen.  Find out what children know, have heard, and have seen. 

  • Provide containing information (this is tricky because there are still many unknowns).   But, for example, we know that everyone is doing whatever they can to find the person who did this terrible thing.  

  • Find out what children are wondering.

  • Reassure children that they are safe in their school. For example, Agent G and Agent Jackson make sure that anyone who enters our building is allowed to be here, we practice drills to make sure that we are prepared in case of an emergency, etc.

  • We also want to make sure that children have opportunities to continue to process what is coming up for them.  This may include providing a blank book where children can write or draw about what happened if they are worried.

  • Finally, our children may want to take action.  For example, writing opinion pieces, congresspeople about gun control, etc.

Please reach out to me, Denise, or your child’s teacher if you or your child needs additional support during this time.

With Love,

Dyanthe

News & Announcements

4/12/22: Today’s events and how we will support our children

Dear Families,

I apologize for the number of emails I’ve sent today and for sending this email so late.  It has been a challenging day for all of us.  However, it feels important to share this information so that we can support our children and each other.  

First off, I cannot stress enough how critical it is to monitor the news that your child is hearing or watching tonight.  It is scary for us, and you should process it first before you share any information with your child.  If you choose to talk with your child about today’s events, you may find these guidelines helpful.

Tomorrow and Thursday, our teachers will:

  • Listen.  Find out what children know, have heard, and have seen. 

  • Provide containing information (this is tricky because there are still many unknowns).   But, for example, we know that everyone is doing whatever they can to find the person who did this terrible thing.  

  • Find out what children are wondering.

  • Reassure children that they are safe in their school. For example, Agent G and Agent Jackson make sure that anyone who enters our building is allowed to be here, we practice drills to make sure that we are prepared in case of an emergency, etc.

  • We also want to make sure that children have opportunities to continue to process what is coming up for them.  This may include providing a blank book where children can write or draw about what happened if they are worried.

  • Finally, our children may want to take action.  For example, writing opinion pieces, congresspeople about gun control, etc.

Please reach out to me, Denise, or your child’s teacher if you or your child needs additional support during this time.

With Love,

Dyanthe

News & Announcements

Change in mask mandates beginning Monday, March 7

Dear Families,

This has been a week of significant news both globally and locally.  I am sure that you share my outrage and horror about what is happening in Ukraine and the uptick in anti-Asian violence around the city.  I will address how our community is responding to these events in my letter next week.  Still, I wanted to acknowledge these terrible events and their impact, especially on our Asian American children and families.  A parent shared an excellent article, “War, Crisis, Tragedy: How to talk with kids when the news is scary,” to support conversations with your children about what is happening.  

Today, mayor Adams announced that masks will become optional for all K-12 students and staff beginning Monday, March 7th.  However,  pre-K students will continue to wear masks since children under the age of five are not yet eligible to receive the vaccine.  Other COVID safety measures like weekly random testing, daily screeners, increased ventilation, and test kit distribution will continue. 

The decision to not wear masks at school is a personal one that families and staff need to make based on their unique circumstances and individual risk calculations.  For example, families and staff must assess factors such as their sense of comfort and safety, vaccination status, underlying medical conditions, and pregnancy.  Additionally, they may consider family, colleagues, or high-risk classmates or cannot get vaccinated.  We understand the complexity of this decision and respect all our families and staff’s decision to do what is best for them and their loved ones.  

I want to share some data to help you make informed decisions about what is best for you and your family.  Our current school data, available publicly, shows that 81% of our students have received one or both doses of the COVID vaccination.  STAR Academy’s (the school we share the building with) vaccination rate is 45%.  If you have not yet uploaded your child’s vaccination status, please do so at https://vaccine.schools.nyc/.  Also, if you have not yet gotten your child vaccinated, you may want to consider doing so at this time as the mask mandate is lifted.

Teachers and students will talk about masks today.  

Thank you for keeping our community safe and inclusive.  It is imperative that all community members respect each other’s decisions on this issue. 

Warmly,

Dyanthe

News & Announcements

1.6.22 Town Hall

Dear Families,

Thank you to those families who participated in last night’s town hall.  If you were unable to attend, I am sending the link to the recording.  I am also sharing a letter that Shaniqua wrote to her families advocating for more testing and a centralized remote program for when kids need to be home because they are in quarantine.  If you can, please join our schools’ rally for safer schools on Tuesday morning at 8 AM.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend and get to go out and play in the snow with your children!

Warmly,

Dyanthe

***************

Hi Everyone,

As you probably have heard, some of the TNS teachers came together to organize a march for safe schools. Unfortunately, due to the inclement weather tomorrow, we have postponed it to Tuesday at 8 AM at the front entrance to ensure maximum participation from families who want to join.  

We demand that the city do its job and create the infrastructures necessary to ensure that kids in person are safe - we need way more testing of both students and staff, free masks for students and staff (N95 masks), and HEPA purifiers. They only allow a certain amount of adult staff members to be tested at schools. Before the break, none of the staff were allowed to be tested at school.  Like last year, the city is throwing its hands up at the cost of your children’s education and health, and it is NOT okay. I’m sure it’s also driving you all up the wall, trying to figure out child care, to say the least. 

Kids have a right to an education, and we demand that the DOE create a centralized remote program for everyone. It needs to be created by the DOE and run by teachers they hire to teach remotely. Then, the same way they created specialized schools, they can make a specialized remote school for NYC’s over 1 million students. It is not okay that students are expected to do nothing at home.  It’s time we start pushing back against the city officials and insist that they do their jobs!  We deserve more. Our kids deserve more! 

We have been talking about it as a class and noticing that some of our classmates haven’t been able to come to school for a long time because they are protecting themselves and our community. Some have made signs that they are excited to march around, demanding their friends learn and asking for masks and testing. 

Warmly,

Shaniqua 

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