Week of November 29, 2021

Dear Families,

This map shows all known active interventions and cases of COVID-19 at New York City public schools. It gives us a clearer understanding of how classroom closures are impacting children, families, and educators around the city.  When I learn about a positive case in our community, I communicate immediately with impacted staff and families because, as a parent, I understand how disruptive and stressful last-minute closures are for everyone. However, I also must await guidance from the “Situation Room,” and unfortunately, it is only open from 7 AM - 4:30 PM during the week; it is closed on Saturday and open 11 AM - 3:30 PM on Sunday.  These limited hours very much restrict the ability of schools and families to prepare.  

When conducting an investigation, the Situation Room asks about close contacts over the previous three days.  “Close contacts” are students who are less than 3 feet apart for at least 10 minutes with masks on or students less than 6 feet apart for at least 10 minutes, masks off.  I understand that when the Mayor changed social distancing guidelines in October, parents anticipated fewer disruptions. However, keeping young children socially distanced in classrooms (over three days!) is just not possible.  Please also remember that our youngest children eat in the classrooms.  Close contacts can come out of quarantine and return to school if they 1) quarantine for ten days and have no symptoms, OR 2) get a negative test result 5 - 7 days after exposure and have no symptoms.

How can families help keep our community safe?

  1. Keep your child home and get them tested if they have any COVID or cold-like symptoms.

  2. Wear masks during playdates and on the playground after school.  

  3. Advocate for expanding hours for the Situation Room (especially as we head into winter).  Please consider joining the Advocacy Committee through Konstella.

  4. Be patient and understanding.  Trust that the school is doing its best to keep your child and our community safe.  Remember, we are a public school and must follow DoE guidelines. 

Our school will offer the first & second dose of Pfizer vaccinations to eligible students, ages 5 - 11, on Wednesday, December 1st, from 7:30 AM - 4:30 PM.

  • Children ages 5 to 11 can receive the vaccine if accompanied by a parent or guardian, and parent/guardian consent is given.  No appointment is necessary.

  • The parent/guardian accompanying the student to the vaccination site must adhere to the DOE’s Visitor Policy and Protocol for Visitors but is not required to show proof of vaccination to enter the building for this purpose.

  • Students cannot return to school after getting vaccinated.

  • Don’t forget to send a $100 referral bonus to our PTA!  Just select Parent-Teacher Association of the Neighborhood School for the name of the organization that referred you or requested at the time of your child’s appointment. This is in addition to a $100 pre-paid debit card for your child—be sure to ask about both incentives!

  • Parents may enter their child for a chance to win one of 50 four-year, full-ride scholarships to any two-year or four-year New York State public college or university.

Finally, a reminder that Friday is a TNS half-day.  Dismissal is at 11:45 AM.  

With Love,

Dyanthe

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