Dyanthe’s August Updates

Dear Families,

I hope that your family is well, safe, and enjoying summer. 

I want to share some changes with our staff for next year.  First, Emily is moving to Portsmouth, New Hampshire, where she has lived with her family for the past year. Second, we hired Julia Broach to teach Science. Julia impressed the hiring committee with her thoughtfulness, enthusiasm, and understanding of curriculum planning (a must for TNS teachers!).  We are thrilled to have her!  Finally, after 23 years at TNS, Yolanda is retiring.  We will miss Emily and Yolanda, but we wish them the best! 

I imagine you have many questions about September, especially as concerns grow around the Delta variant. Unfortunately, schools have yet to receive updated guidance about health and safety measures.  However, we expect the NYC Department of Education’s forthcoming reopening guidance, in alignment with CDC recommendations, to prioritize ventilation, cleaning, vaccination, and mask-wearing along with 3 feet of social distancing where possible.   At this time, there are no remote learning options in NYC public schools.  Our planning team has been meeting regularly over the summer, and we anticipate:

  • Adults and students will wear masks, regardless of vaccination status.  Please remember to send a mask your child is comfortable with (stays over their nose when they talk) because they will be wearing it all day, except when eating. 

  • All school DoE employees must have proof of vaccination for COVID-19 or, if not vaccinated, be tested for COVID-19 weekly. 

  • Drop-off and pick-up will be in the courtyard and recess yard, except for our youngest students.  The school day will go from 8:25 AM to 2:45 PM.

  • Students and staff will wash their hands throughout the day.

  • Every classroom and common space will have open windows to provide proper ventilation and at least two air purifiers.

  • PPT will continue to be provided at no cost to our school.

  • Students will need their DoE emails and devices in case a class or the school needs to pivot to remote learning at any time.

  • We will have after-school programming in the building.

At the forefront of our planning team’s decisions is the physical and emotional health of our students, families, and staff.  Please join us on Wednesday, September 1st at 6 PM for a Town Hall about what school will look like in September. https://bit.ly/tnstownhall

The DoE recognizes that all schools must be prepared to work with their students’ trauma and social-emotional needs when school begins in September.  Schools Chancellor Meisha Porter recently announced that schools would prioritize social-emotional support, “Children in every community are carrying trauma from the COVID-19 pandemic. Successful academic recovery can only happen when the emotional and mental health needs are also addressed.”  

We will support children’s social and emotional needs this year through the Teddy Bear curriculum.  Every new child and staff member will get a Teddy bear in September.  If your child has a bear from last year, it can return with them in the fall.  The Teddy Bear Curriculum is part of our ongoing work with Emotionally Responsive Practice at Bank Street College.  They support us to develop emotionally responsive school routines, curricula, and adult-child interactions that help all children, including those with a traumatic history.  I am also happy to share that we will have school social worker Troy Nicholas back this year.

I expect the DoE to share more details in the upcoming weeks, and we will continue to communicate how this impacts our reopening in September. I strongly encourage you to keep connected to school and the PTA using Konstella.  

You will receive a welcome letter and supply list from your child’s classroom teacher(s) in the next week or so.  It will detail the materials your child will need and essential information about the classroom and expectations to start the year.  The primary focus at the beginning of the year is on getting familiar with routines, the flow of the day, and getting to know each other.  We can’t wait!

I hope that you enjoy the rest of the summer.  I will be in touch soon!

With Love,

Dyanthe

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